Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Growing Years Of My Son

8 years has passed, now my beloved son is already in grade 3 at his school. He has grown so much in both physically , mentally and even spiritually.

Physically, his shoes size and mine is almost the same now. If my shoes size is 6.5, his shoes size is already around 5.

When he was small he was a fussy eater, now, he can eat 5 pieces of fried chickens on one sitting. Everyday he eats 4 to 5 meals a day, beside his snacks, candy, and milk. But he still weight only 30kg because he never stop moving. He has a very healthy body.

Mentally, he grow more mature, more caring with his sister. Part of the reason they fight once in a while is because he is too protective to his little sister without the wisdom of an adult. If you are a parent then you know that when you want to deal with a little child, you need to cajole them sometimes, or bargain, trade with them. You will need a lot of hugs and kisses to make your kids do what you want them to do. Well, my son basically just yell at his little sister not to touch hot stuff, stand on the chair, etc. Of course his little sister is not too happy with that style of command. Hence they fight. But don't forget that he never mean to hurt her.
Spiritually, he has grown in amazing way. I have few stories about him in term of his spirituality. Since he was 4 years old, with the innocent of a child, he has tell his friends about the Gospel. Using the same style that he use when he is commanding his little sister, he likes to ask his classmate if they are Christian. If the answer is no, then he will declare it to them that they will go to hell. Oh jeez.....

If the answer is yes then he will continue the interrogation. Next he will ask them if they pray and read bible every day. If their answer is no, then he will ask them how can they call themselves as a Christian if they do not know the Word and never talk to their God everyday? Oh man ....

As a worried mom I told him to tone down his interrogation style ....

When he was small usually the conversation ended here. Mostly because the other children do not know how to respond back to his question maybe. But now that he is 8, his classmates are smarter.

One day, one of his classmate give said like this to him. This friend happens to be raised in a more liberal household. When my son threw the same questions to that boy, that boy said that his mom said that as long as they never hurt other people, they don't do bad thing, they will still able to go to heaven. And this is again my son answer ... " Doing good thing while you still alive on earth is a good thing. But that may only help you to have a good life while you are still alive. Going to heaven has nothing to do with your good deeds. You can only get it through Jesus and only by His grace. "

Wow ....

I asked him how can he give an answer like that? Did he learn from the Sunday school teacher?

He answered, " From you mom ! "

I was surprised because I do not remember if I ever teach him that.

Then I realized. Every night when we read bible together and pray, we always pray this prayer that I taught him, " Holy Spirit, please teach me tonight, help me to understand, to remember, and to do it, in Jesus name, Amen ! "

Only now that I realize the power of the Holy Spirit when you invite Him into your daily prayer time. Many times the Holy Spirit gives me the wisdom to teach our children that is beyond my own level of wisdom and understanding. Many times I was even amaze at what I said myself in front of my children. Is like I also learn the meaning of this bible verses for the first time together with our children. It's true that in front of the God, all of us are just like little children.

So yes, my son learn on how to answer like that from me, but only through my mouth, the truth is, our teacher who taught us that kind of wisdom can only be the Holy Spirit himself. I was just a mouth-speaker. A tool.
Another story ...

One night when only me and KK were reading the bible and praying together. I opened the book of Jeremiah when on that chapter, Jeremiah was angry and asking some tough questions to God. The kind of questions that many adults ask too. In fact, not to long ago, a 50s years old lady who has done years of ministry asked me the same questions.

Just for your information, my son likes to interrupt a lot....sigh....

Jeremiah 12:1 b

"... Why are the wicked so prosperous?..."

At this time, my son started to interrupt me ... " Off course a lot of them are rich, mom !" ...

I was getting annoyed at him because he always interrupt me before I can even finish a verse. So I asked him, " Why do you say off course ?"

With an air of know-it-all, he answered me ... " Off course the wicked are rich mom, don't you know? They are rich because the wicked people will do anything they can to get rich! Unlike us "

I was blown away with his easy straight to the point answer, so I forget that I was annoyed just now, and I continue to read the verse.

" Why are evil people so happy? "

Predictably, my son interrupted me again at this point. Loudly he said, " Off course they are happy mom! "

I asked him, " Why do you say like that? "

Then again, he answered me like I am very slow indeed, he answered me slowly, word by word,
" Off...course... the evil people...always ...happy...because...they ...they what...their action..will! "

I was laughing like crazy when I heard his answers.

After I can manage to stop laughing , I continue again reading.

On Jeremiah 12: 3b , Jeremiah was truly angry at the injustice, then he asked God ...
"... Drag these people away like sheep, to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered! "

When my son heard this verse, he suddenly sit up straight ( he was laying down before ), and he firmly said, " Oh no.... now he ( Jeremiah ) is getting stupid..."

I was laughing again like crazy, I have never heard anyone dare to call a prophet stupid. And now out of a babe's mouth, he dare to call Jeremiah stupid.

Let me give you the explanation that I found at the bottom of the page on my bible.

If you read the whole chapter you will know that God didn't give a straight answer to Jeremiah. God gave Jeremiah a challenge...

The explanation for Jeremiah 12: 1-6 :
"Many people have asked, "why are the wicked so prosperous?" Jeremiah knew that God's justice would ultimately come, but he was impatient because he wanted justice to come quickly. God didn't give doctrinal answer, instead, he gave a challenge. If Jeremiah couldn't handle this, how would he handle the injustice ahead? It is natural for us to demand fair play and cry for justice, we must realize that ourselves would be in big trouble if God gave each of us what we truly deserve."

My son knows this ...

The explanation for Jeremiah12: 5,6 :
" Life was extremely difficult for Jeremiah despite his love for and obedience to God. When he called God for relief, God's reply in effect was, " If you think this is bad, how are you going to cope when it gets really tough?" God's answers to prayer are not always nice or easy to handle. Any Christian who has experienced war, bereavement, or a serious illness knows this. We are to be committed to God even when the going gets tough and when our prayers for relief are not immediately answered."

So true ....

The explanation for Jeremiah 12: 14-17 :
" God chose a people through whom to demonstrate His care for the world. The nation of Israel was given much; thus, much was required of her. But she repeatedly failed. The fate of other nations depended on their willingness to demonstrate faith in God whether or not God's chosen people accomplished their task of witness. God's love extends to reach every square inch of the globe."

Now, think about the world's situation today.

Think about the global crisis that the world has to face together.

Think about those ultra mega rich people who has started this crisis.

Remember that you are THE chosen people of God.

I believe now is the time to stop throwing questions about why the wicked are so rich and happy because none of us can handle it if God gave each of us what we truly deserve.

Take account of your situation right now and ask this question to yourself, " If my situation right now is bad, what if next year is going to be worse? How will I handle the worse crisis ahead? If I believe that I AM God's chosen people, then God will want me to be better than others. Stronger but not by my own strength, but by His help "

It is time to grow deeper in the Word.

The help can only come from being consistently and truthfully knowing your God. If you do this part of the bargain, THEN God will keep his part.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Baby Girl Is Going To Preschool

Why is it we always dreaded the day when our children has to go to school for the first time? We always worry that they are going to be sad, miserable, being bullied by their friends, tortured by so many homework, etc...?

We were like that too with KK. We were worried that he will cry for a week looking for his mommy and daddy. Then we were worried that every morning we have to drag him to school. We will count the hours until we can rush to pick him up from school. Partly because we miss him so much already. We imagined that when we arrived in the school to pick him up we will see his face plastered on the glass door, watching and waiting for his parents to come and save him from the school.

So now when it is LL's turn to go to school for the first time, we were doubly worried because she is a girl, she is a lot more sensitive than KK, a lot less tough, she cried a lot easier with the least provocation. Worry....worry...worry....

With KK, our worries were proven wrong on all account. On his first day at school, not only we don't have to drag him off from the bed because he is so excited to go to school, he also did not cry at all, and in fact we have to dragged him home for the first week.

Well... this time we were half right. She did cry until the second week. Her teachers said she cried the loudest in the class....oops.... But, she can take care of herself. The teachers said that now if they heard her scream ( very very loud ), they know right away that someone must have touch her stuff. She really doesn't like it when her touch her crayons and stuff. On the other hand, she also never touch their stuff too.

After 2 months, suddenly she start to speak out in either English or Chinese or Bahasa or her baby languages. Now she talks a lot and very funny too. She is also good at sport ( unlike her mom thank GOD! ). She loves soccer, hahaha. She loves dancing too. She is still a bit shy at times, but she is getting better, now she wants to shake hands and say bye bye to new people.

Also, she eats much better when she is in the school with her friends. The school, Surabaya Taipei School, gave her morning snack and lunch too. I am very satisfied with this school. My daughter becomes very polite and she said if she is good, the teacher will give her a sticker, hahaha....

At home, she is a difficult eater. very picky, likes to spit out the food when she gets bored chewing at her food. But at the school, she always eats by herself, never spit out the food, and even though she is the slowest eater ( my goodness! ), but she always finish her meal somehow....

I also applaud the school's cook for a job well done on cooking and planning a well-balance menu. I know, because we received a monthly menu list. For only Rp. 250.000 or US $ 21 / a month, she gets breakfast and lunch that consist of 3 - 4 meals.

Her school fee is US $ 1,000 / semester. For each class, they have 2 teachers. One is from Taiwan, and the other from Indonesia who will teach her English. Her teacher said that she is the student that improve the most in speaking English. I believe that's because KK mostly communicate with her in English at home.

Now after 3 months later, not only she stop crying, she is not scared to dance on the stage too on the grand opening of her school on this new building.

My little angel is a school girl now! She loves school so much, we never have a problem with waking her up in the morning. When KK is still not ready yet to go to school, she will keep calling him, " Come on, KK, let's go to school !!!!"...... hahaha.....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer In Bali

This summer I have a promise to keep with my son. I promise that I will bring him to Bali for a vacation, because he's been begging me after he saw how nice our belated honeymoon in Bali last year. But this time my parents, my kids and even their nanny will come with us.

The planning was not hard. I just went back to the same travel company that I used for our honeymoon. But at that time because the travel agent that took care of me was on her holiday, another agent handled my case.

So she book 2 bedrooms villa at this secluded hotel in Uluwatu. This hotel owned by Koreans as a result, their breakfast menu is heavy with Korean cuisine. The most obvious clue is the Kimchi off course. Even for breakfast, they still serve Kimchi. Fortunately, my family loves Kimchi....

If I compare this villa with Aston Pradha Villa, this one seems more luxurious. It takes us 5 minutes to figure out how to use their high tech toilet bowl's manual. Yes, they have a manual stick to the wall to teach us, country bumpkin on how to use the toilet ! But I think the worker who built the villa where we stayed did a bad job because every time we had a shower, the bathroom floor will be flooded. Despite the top of the wall is open, somehow there was not enough air circulation, so the bathroom smell a bit all the time. But maybe that was just our villa only. Maybe other villas are fine.

LL was very excited and a little bit scared too in the airplane but because the flight is only for 40 minutes, she was fine. She fell asleep.

The kids were very excited with this trip. as you can see on the photos. But once they saw the swimming pool in their villa, they just became crazy! KK just dive directly to the pool !

Another thing also that maybe it's my fault. Because on the last day I found out that if I need to cook, I can ask the room service to deliver a small gas stove to my villa.This villa has a kitchen but the kitchen is empty except for it's fridge that has free drinks that will be refill on daily basis with juice and sodas. Because the location is so secluded, there is no restaurants around the hotel, you unless you have a rental car, you are pretty much stuck with the hotel food. Yes, they have shuttle car, but the schedule is not too flexible because it is far to go anywhere from this villa. So we ordered in food from room service. Guess what, a plate of fried rice/noodle can cost Rp.100.000 or US $ 10. Yikes ! So the next day we went straight to Papaya supermarket and stock up on instant noodle that can be cook with just pouring in boiling water. At Aston Pradha, my kitchen is fully equipped home style kitchen complete with a full size cooktop and utensils.

The rest of our stay in Bali, my family kept complaining to me that I chose the wrong villa this time because we spent too many hours on the road to go anywhere..... arghhhh.......

Sometimes I feel that maybe it is not a good idea to mix grandparents with grandchildren on a vacation. The grandchildren wants to stay and play on the beach as long as possible but the grandparents can not stand the heat etc..... So at the end, I sent the grandparents back first to the villa with LL, while KK stayed with me and his dad.

Because it's too far, this time I can not go shopping as much as I wish. Like last time, I mean. But my wonderfully understanding husband who happen to love shopping to, haha, took me for a shopping trip alone with him, without the kids. The kids are happier actually, because they rather stayed-in the villa with the swimming pool and the PlayStation. I love buying Bali style children clothes because they are usually made with soft cotton that can keep the kids cool and comfy. They look so cute too! For me, I love buying those ethnic necklaces, they are cheap and colorful ! They are playful. For hubby, he will just go straight to those DVDs stores and go crazy.

And since this time we went with my mom, so we made several stop at some gift shops. She bought so many snacks to give to everybody back home until we have to packed and shipped them first. My mom is expert on this though. she always do this everywhere she goes.

To keep the children happy, I brought them to Bali Bird Park, and Bali Safari and Marine Park.

For LL, since she can not remember the time when I brought her to the parks in Vancouver, this is her first experience and she was loving it! She is very curious yet scared too because there are many exotic birds running loose on the ground, such as albino peacock, etc. But for KK, it was so wonderful to see him running around full of curiosity to see both the birds and the vegetation. It's just like watching him back in VanDusen Botanical Garden again. Both of our kids love animals so much and especially for KK, he also loves gardening too. He loves gardening so much that he doesn't like to pick flowers, he likes to admire them while they are still alive. On the other hand, I still have to train LL not to pick my flowers from their branch, sometimes before they are even blooming.

Actually next to the bird park there is also Bali Reptile Park, but after spending some time there the grandparents started to tell me that it's time to go back, the kids must be already dead tired, let's go back now .... etc...etc.... (sigh)

The next day was the same again, but this time even I have to agree, we were too tired walking around the Safari. This place is huge! My father especially was so impress with this place. My parents are no very curious people. They have been to Bali many times but each time are always the same. They go there either because they have to accompany guests or a family wedding. So all they do in Bali was just stay in the hotel, go shopping , eat local food and that's it. My father has this image that Bali is still using a local standard on everything, and now he is in for a surprise, the old Bali is gone, and the new and more International standard Bali is in ! He just keep on saying how impress he was with Bali now. This Safari place really makes us feel like we are not in Indonesia anymore. Even R was impress too by this place. The food court also great, it cater to all kind of taste. Wait a minute, why do I always tells you about the food first? Hmmm.....

I guess it's because I forgot to tell you that included on my package to stay in our villa, we also get a seafood BBQ dinner cooked right in our yard next to the swimming pool that I and R missed completely due to our shopping spree .... you know what I mean right.... too much fun.... forgot about the time.... To be fair about this villa, they know how to spoil people in term of food. This is to offset my complain about their location and bathroom, so here are the photos of the seafood BBQ ...

Anyway, next time you go to Bali, bring your kids to this Safari place. You can spend the whole day here and most likely you still can not see everything they have, that is why people.... I am going back here again soon, on December, not only to finished what we missed, but we will stay in their new hotel in the middle of the safari, think of me sitting in my bedroom and I can watch lions outside my room, hahaha.... I am not kidding.....stay tune for my future update about Mara River Hotel ....

And now, I will let you enjoy my family vacation pictures .....

Bali Bird Park

Jl. Serma Cok Ngurah Gambir
Singapadu, Batubulan - Gianyar - Bali
Telephone: 62 361 299352
Fax: 62 361 299614

Bali Safari and Marine Park

Jl. Bypass Prof. Dr.Ida Bagus Mantra Km. 19,8
Gianyar 80551 - Bali - Indonesia
Telp: 62 361 950 000
Fax : 62 361 950 555

Pic: Believe it or not no body teach her to swish her hair like that in the camera. Sigh.... I guess for some people it just comes naturally .... and all this time I thought my son is already great in front of camera and here she comes ....