9 Aug 2016

Revisiting Endau Rompin, Selai

We had a lovely week away at Endau Rompin, Selai. Since we camped there way back in 2010 we've been wanting to do a return trip but just never did because we were exploring other sites.

How blessed we were when we discovered that other campers for the days we were there had canceled their reservations and we'd be the only campers there for the week. We were just three families consisting of 8 children, and that size is just nice for a relaxing getaway. Good food, close company, shooting stars and peaceful river all to ourselves. What more could we ask for.

To book, email erselaijnpc@yahoo.com 
On day of arrival, head to the office in Bekok, sign in and pay.
If you have your own 4WD, you'll save money on transport.

**Sadly we discovered that the other side of the river has been heavily logged by illegal loggers. The forest rangers told us they couldn't do anything about it.  That's so sad to know! I hope enforcements will try to stop further logging before we loose this very very beautiful forest. Here's a video I took by our campsite. You'll notice the gaps between trees as the area behind has been totally logged.
Yet listen to the beautiful song of the gibbons. I awoke everyday at 5 am to their song which would go on till sunrise and then they'd stop.

Daily hangout area. The children especially would stay there almost the whole day singing, creating stories and chatting.

Our daily visitors

Each day we were there it threatened to storm. But God was good, each time we'd pray and then watch the storm clouds move away. We were blessed with sunshine for our entire stay. And finally it rained just as we left the place. God is good.

We paid for one rod. But it sure was tough....the fish wouldn't take our bait.

The kids' favourite rock...where they'd eat...write their journals...read a book..chat.

A resident got really brave. Looks like they're used to having visitors around.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016


17 Jul 2016

Nel's Ballet Performance

Nel's ballet teacher challenged her students to choreograph their own ballet performance for this year's concert. Out of the many students in the class, 5 chose to take up the challenge, and one of them was Nel. I'm so proud of her. She and her dance partner, J, took about 3 months to choreograph and perfect it. It was tough going at first as this was a new experience. So I sat with her initially picking the right song, counting out bars and phrases, discussing steps, working on accuracy.

Eventually they took off and worked independently....with a bit of pushing and prodding from me along the way. We had fun shopping for the right dress, buying make up, and sequins to decorate the dress. Lots of hard work, but it all paid off. Beautiful dance!!

Am so proud of her. My girl who has mostly been too shy to even stand before a tiny group of audience took this challenge and danced before a full house at DPAC. Bravo Nel!!

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016


5 Jun 2016

Science Co-Op Marine Creatures

This term at Science Co-op we've been studying about water creatures. For one of the classes, a parent bought frogs from a restaurant for the kids to dissect. Yeah these frogs were meant to be cooked (deep fried, or boiled in soup). A little grossed out by the idea at first, but eventually they got really hands on.

Female Frog..look at the eggs

egg through the microscope

During one of the sessions, kids played outside after class and rescued a Quail which had its legs tied up with plastic bags.
Apparently it was the grass cutter's, but the kids decided to rescue the poor bird by grabbing it and running with all their might to rescue the bird. It was quite hard untying the tight knots around its legs but the bird was quite calm and allowed us to help it. After  observing it a while and making sure it was fit to fly, we brought it to a forest area nearby and released it. What a wonderful adventure.
Video of the release below. Video taken by Nel.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

More art work

Mine merging batik pieces and acrylic with some broken shells

Jo's a mermaid face t o face with a turtle

Nel's stack of hand made cards

Jo wondering how it feels like to move like a turtle :p

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Tambun Cave Ipoh

Upon the invitation of a friend, we visited Tambun Cave. We've always wanted to go, but the dates never matched. Well finally it did!

It was a great learning experience. Phd students from USM led our group and provided interesting facts and info about the caves. We also took part in two interesting activities which were, 1) Map out on a chart where the cave drawings are, and 2) create a cave drawing on plaster boards provided.
Twas a great learning experience!

 To go on one of their trips, watch out for announcements on the Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness FB Page.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Camping Hutan Lipur Lentang

Together with friends from the HS scouts group we went for a one night camp at Hutan Lentang.
It was one that was activity packed for the children. Building their own bamboo table, learning to weave their own ropes, swimming at the river and waterfall, carving their own swan out of apples and lots of fun games. They were supposed to have a survival night, but alas, it rained. So they ended up singing songs and telling tales.
Jo, K and a new scout, An shared a tent, while Nel slept with us in our larger tent. 
The girls had their own territory, and they made the boys dig a large trench around their territory, and paid the boys in form of twigs! :p   haha..
All in all a short but really enjoyable trip!

The girls built their own campfire, which was just right for marshmallows so in the end...almost all the kiddos who went formed a tight circle around the fire, roasting their own marshmallows.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

2 Jun 2016

Grandpa's birthday

We had a special birthday celebration for dad's 70th birthday. It was a gathering of family and our closest friends. Both Nel and Jo choreographed two dances together with their cousins. Rock around the Clock (which they made everyone dance) and Wind Beneath my Wings. The second was a really touching and beautiful performance. At the end of the dance they held up cards with the message, "Ah Kong, You are the Wind beneath my wings." Then they all ran and surrounded him with hugs.

Girls doing the Rock around the CLock dance before changing into beautiful dresses for the second dance.

Jo baked a cake for her beloved grandpa. Though she's a beginner, she did it well. It was moist chocolate cake with cream and deco all done by her.
Certainly they really love their grandpa, and they are blessed because he loves them even more.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016


31 Mar 2016


We've been outdoors a lot, mainly for our survival project...(mentioned two posts before), scouts, and archery.

But for relaxation...we've only done two this year.

1) Our favourite picnic spot with Uncle W!  Honestly nothing better than BBQ by a stream...soo relaxing! Need to do  this more often.

2) Camping- Genting with friends/scouts.
Lots of fun for kids, followed by a heavy rain at night! I tell you, nothing like trying to cook over campfire under light rain....followed by heavy rain that drenched most of the kids' tents!!

Not camping related....a Bulbul nest on our tree again. Precious!! :)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015

Some random art from this year so far

Most art here...will be mine and Jo's. Nel doesn't really do art, although she will occasionally doodle and design.

Hand painted an old brown chair. Scraped and polished and painted it. Good as new now. :)

 A wooden bench made by Jo with a little help from her dad and Nel. Mostly done by Jo.

I dreamt a strange dream. Bout old friends...sharing conversation..laughing at their wrinkles, allowing their white hair and wrinkles to blend in with a checkered quilt. Let's hope I age as gracefully as the ladies in my dream did. :)

At the request of Prof Chan, we met up with her and did a few pieces of Batik Collage to help raise funds for the Turtle Conservation Society.

Nel made a card....picture of work in progress.

Jo's of course, always has a mermaid in it.

On a tired day...I decided to try painting a 3D garlic for fun...with watercolour. Not bad for a first try??

Nel tried placing a real garlic on my pencil sketch. Cool effect. :)

Couldn't resist a bit more fun.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Volunteering so far 2016

We've been volunteering...because volunteering is rewarding and a nice change from our schedule.

1)We helped out recently at the Turtle Conservation Society Booth during the Raptor Watch. Girls made a little Turtle and Ladder game for the public, in hopes that those who played it would realize how hard it is for a turtle hatchling to survive, thus we all have to help in conservation.
                             Quite a lot of children came by and took the challenge. :)

2) Twice a month we travel about an hour and a half to go teach English to a group of children who can barely understand English. Nel especially is really into it and looks forward to each trip. Jo is more of my assistant, helping when I require additional help with kids who are weak in pronunciation, and she also helps out with conversational English. It's an awesome experience that we plan to continue with faithfully.

Part of our journey, by boat.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Some highlights from 2016

With the girls in preteen and teen years now, there seems to be so much more activities, and so little time left to blog. Whatever free time I've left, is spent vegetating doing nothing, resting, reading, or perhaps doing a little art.

Trying to catch up on blogging is tough. Just some highlights from this year so far:

1) Girls have been baking a lot, sometimes having little challenges with each other or a friend.
Sweet Potato Kuih which girls made for Chinese New Year. Turned out great!! :)

2) Together with two good friends, they're doing a cool but slow going survival project. All self learnt... with a little help from Mr. Google. We learn it is hard going experimenting with survival stuff. Easy when someone shows how it is done. Hopefully we get somewhere with this.
Stuff girls and friends have tried so far:

  • Starting lots of fires of course.
  • Whittling to shape a fish hook
  • Making pancakes from nuts with nothing but rocks to pound
  • Smoking fish to preserve
  • Making an axe
  • Boiling water with nothing but mud and hot stones

Girls built a tripod, and attached rope to dry fish which they cut cleaned and fillet. With lots of patience, it turned
out quite tasty! (though we burnt one or two.)

Yup...it is tough going as they've realised. NOthing is easy without practice.

3) Jo after bugging me for years about archery began lessons this year and has finished her first cycle. After three months of classes and still lovin it, she decided to part with her Chinese New YEar angpow money to get herself a brand new bow!! Oooh yeah!

4) Girls participated in Science fair...and won one of the Best Booth Award. The other award went to their good friend K. In all fairness, I think all the kids at the fair were fantastic! Homeschool rocks!!
Girls worked hard on their project, The Science of Fragrance. Since it is a project that takes time, patience and persistence...it wasn't always easy going. Lots of mistakes, redoing, and stuff that went wrong. Lots of learning and going into related information. Perhaps, I'll let them write a post on this another day.

to be continued.......

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016
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