December 31, 2015

2015 year in review

Yan Yan graduated from kindy this year and that’s probably the highlight of 2015.  Her self confidence has also improved, as well as being less timid.  On our recent trip to Legoland, she surprised me by going on all the rides.  She asked to attend After School Program (ASP) at the kindy and enjoyed herself tremendously with all the fun classes like cooking, music & movement, gardening, etc.  She was struggling with reading last year and as part of her ASP, we got a teacher to spend extra hours with her on her reading, and I’m really pleased that she can now read independently.  She managed to join both her class parties this year as well as the kindy trip to KL BirdPark, and won a silver medal in her kindy Sports Day.  She also became a flower girl at my colleague’s beautiful and cosy wedding.

Yiu Yiu participated in her school Sports Day, won 3rd prize for Chinese singing competition, and represented the school in a choir competition.   She also passed her Grade 2 piano and Grade 3 violin exams, besides playing a main role in a short film competition.

Getting some coaching from her music school principal, Rachel Tan, who used to be with Dama Orchestra, in preparation for her singing competition

Posing with her piano Grade 2 certificate

The girls took part in their first ever musical organized by their music centre.  They played only a small role but they enjoyed themselves tremendously and it was an experience that would not be easily forgotten. 

On the personal front, organizational changes were announced sometime in Q4 which will take effect in 2016.  The changes are positive for me, though it poses new challenges.  Work wise, I hardly travelled this year, except to Ho Chi Minh.  I also got my stubborn spot of eczema on top of my lips resolved, thanks to Izumio and Super Lutein.  If anyone has any health problems, do get in touch to learn more about Izumio and Super Lutein – they really do work!

Among some outings this year included playing tourists in Ipoh and Melaka, and going on a helicopter ride, the first in our lives, at the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Festival.  We brought the girls snorkeling for the first time in Lang Tengah (and Yiu Yiu asked if we could do this annually J) and discovered the beauty of Kuala Terengganu Chinatown.  Another first for the girls was participating in a 4km run.

Unlike the last few years, we didn’t go out of Malaysia for the year-end holidays (as mummy couldn’t get cheap flights and was too kiamsiap to pay full price for flights) but we spent quality time together revisiting Legoland and two farms in Johor.  The girls also paid Hello Kitty a visit.

Looking forward to 2016 where Yan Yan will be entering a new chapter in her life by stepping into Primary 1.

December 30, 2015

Christmas time at the malls

First up was at the Curve, with the theme Tales of Christmas Magic.  The centre court was nicely decorated with giant books, where they open up for performers to tell the story of Aria, the songstress, whose singing could awaken the creatures of Christmas Storyland to life.

The girls visited Sunway Pyramid with their dad, where an aquatic wonderland awaits.  With their theme of Christmas in Atlantis, seahorses, starfish, dolphins and mermaids greeted visitors, complete with seahorse drawn sleigh.

Over at Citta Mall, it was a Christmas Funtown, with toys, toys and more toys.  As more and more children are born with a smartphone in their hands, Citta Mall wants to reignite the diminishing passion for toys that has long been associated with Christmas.

We spent Christmas’s Eve at Midvalley Megamall and The Gardens Mall.  With the theme Elves Town Christmas, Megamall was transformed into a quaint little town in the North Pole bursting with colour.

Over at the Gardens, it was a Christmas Affair to Remember with its East-meets-West concept with oriental paper fans and Chinese lanterns sitting alongside sparkling baubles.  We found it rather odd and was wondering if the same d├ęcor would be used for CNY later J

Themed the Sweetest Season, Suria KLCC was a sweet tooth’s dreams come true, with gumdrop furniture, ice cream cone wallpaper and ginger bread men body guards.

December 29, 2015

Hello Kitty Go Around Malaysia

Hubby’s Lions Club brought some orphans to the Hello Kitty Go Around Malaysia fair at the Viva Home Expo Hall so the two girls tagged along.

Will let the photos do the talking.

December 26, 2015

Stopover in Melaka

A trip to Kluang will not be complete without a visit to the original Kluang Rail Coffee.  We visited the old coffee shop (a coffee stall is more like it J) at the Kluang Railway Stattion for breakfast before leaving Kluang.  It was packed even on a late morning on Monday.  We waited a while before seats were available for all of us six adults + five children (+ a baby).  Service was prompt and we had the typical fares like nasi lemak bungkus, mee siam, half-boiled egg and toasts.  Food was OK but nothing mind-blowing – I suppose it’s just the novelty of eating at the stall where it all began.

A train made a stop at the station while we were there

We decided to stop in Melaka on our way back to show the two older kids some historical landmarks in Melaka, now that they’ve learnt about the Portugese invasion in Melaka in their history lessons.  Our first stop was the Melaka river cruise…it was still a pleasant ride despite it being our second time.

After the cruise, we walked to A’Famosa and St. Paul’s Church for a light dose of history for the children.

The children were fascinated by this non-Chinese singer who belted out Chinese songs for them

The three sisters and the five cousins

December 22, 2015

Cuti-cuti Johor – UK Agro Farm

We googled for some breakfast places in Kluang (saving Kluang Rail Coffee for the last day) and saw that Botak Curry Mee is highly recommended so we made our way to the Kampung Paya shop (run by Botak’s son) to find it closed.  We detoured to try our luck at Botak’s daughter’s stall at Mengkibol River Hawker Centre and was glad to find it open.  We waited quite a bit for our noodles and it didn’t disappoint.  Serving was really small, and many adults had to order a second bowl.

After breakfast, it was a short drive to the entrance to the UK Agro Farm along Jalan Kluang – Batu Pahat.  What we didn’t know was that there’s another 15-20 minutes drive along a gravel road to reach the farm proper.  The farm is known for its goat’s milk and passion fruit juice.

We reached the farm just in time to join its 12 noon bus tour.  The sides of the bus was open, and the ride in the bus was an adventure in itself :-)

Our first stop was at the feed processing shed, where grasses are milled into tiny pieces as goat’s feed.  We were then taken into the goat’s shed where visitors can feed grasses to adult goats and milk to baby goats.  I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and well-kept the goats were.

Next was the milking shed, where we witnessed the process of milking of the goats.  The goats’ udders were first wiped clean, before the worker squeezed a small amount to see if there’s any blood, which may indicate that the goat is sick.  If everything was in order, the milking began and at the end, the worker applied some iodine onto the udders to help heal any wound, if any, that might have resulted from the milking.

We hopped back onto the bus to our next destination – duck feeding.  This was followed by a visit to the ostrich enclosure, where there was just one lone bird.

Close to the ostrich enclosure was the replica of a Jakun village.  The lone Jakun there showed visitors how an animal trap works, and demonstrated his skills in blowpipe.

Yan Yan trying out the animal trap 

Next was a pit stop for snacks where we had some ice cream and rojak.

Plucking her own coconut for her coconut drink...NOT

Yan Yan saw this little pond with plenty of coins at the bottom and asked for a coin to make a wish

It started to rain at this point, and the rain continued while we headed to the last stop, the mushroom farm.  Two types of oysters were grown – oyster mushroom and ganoderma mushroom (lingzhi).  There were several other attractions near the mushroom farm – a wishing tree, another huge tree with a tree house, and vegetable farms.  Next to the wishing tree was the horses’ enclosure.  We spent some time here while waiting for the rain to stop.

The girls hanging their wishes on the wishing tree

Oyster mushroom and ganoderma mushroom 

Mulberries and ladies finger

We headed back to the reception area and grabbed some food while waiting for the goats herding at 4pm.

A rare photo of mum with her three girls - we really should take more photos like this 

It started raining again right after the herding so we decided to call it a day and unfortunately skipped the mini zoo and lavender farm.