5 Things in 2015

“Open your eyes, look within.
Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”

I turn 40 today.

As a person who likes to reflect on my life, especially during significant times, such as year end, beginning of the year and birthdays, I have been reflecting on my 40 years of living.

Am I happy with where I am in life at this moment?
Do I have any regrets or unfulfilled dreams?

Most importantly, how do I want to live the next 40 years of my life (assuming I have another 40 years or more)?

In all honesty, I think I am pretty happy with many areas of my life right now. I have experienced many things in life (both the good times and the tough times), travelled to a few countries, have a wonderful family, a loving husband, 3 wonderful children and friends whom I can count on.

The past decade of my life has been spent primarily on raising kids. Half of those ten years were spent staying at home and being there for them during their formative years.

Now that the children are more independent and I have hit a new decade of my life, I find myself entering a new season, where the focus is shifting.

So, I am glad to join this blog train started by Rachel, which has helped me to reflect on the things that I want to do differently this year.

These are the 5 things that I want to focus on in 2015.

1. Sabbath

I will set aside one day of rest every week in 2015, to be alone, pray, reflect, create, read, recharge.

ingspirations-sabbath

This is something that has been much neglected and near impossible in my life the past ten years. With 3 little ones to look after, the words “off day” has not been in my dictionary for a long, long, time. This year, with my two older ones in school, with their CCAs, it is now possible for me to have a day all to myself. I am extremely thankful for that!

2. Word

I am going to memorise and reflect on one Bible verse a week.

As a Christian, I’m going to let myself be inspired by the Word of God once again. One of the best ways for me to do that is to focus on one verse a week, to reflect on it throughout the week as I go about my work and daily life. To dig deep, and let my thinking be changed. Someone wise once said, “Your life can only truly change when your thinking changes.” And to me, the best way to change my thinking is through the Word of God.

3. Work

Not just any work. But meaningful work.

meanigful-work

I want to engage in meaningful work in 2015. Doing meaningful work has always been one of my top priorities in life. By meaningful, I mean making a difference in this world and in someone’s life. I have officially resigned from MOE on the last day of 2014. As much as I enjoy teaching the little ones in school, I do not find it meaningful to teach children day after day to rush through the syllabus so that they can be ready for tests and examinations.

I have started to coach and tutor a number of primary school students this year, with the purpose of building their confidence and helping them to cope with their school work.

Where will this lead me? I am not sure. But what I know is, I hope to play a part in helping these little ones know that there is hope for them in this stress-filled education system. And I hope to do more of such meaningful work this year.

4. People

I plan to meet up with one friend per month in 2015.

Being an introvert and someone who prefers solitude to crowds, it is a challenge for me to initiate meet up with people. So, this is going to be something out of my comfort zone.

5. Thankfulness

Finally, I want to find at least one thing each day to be thankful for.

thankful-everyday

In order to do that, I have to be mindful and present every day. In our busyness, it is so easy for us to be doing something or being with someone but our minds are somewhere else. Putting this in a practical way, I am going to revive my Dayre account and I will post at least one thankful post on it each day. For the rest of 2015. Today is a good day to start! :)

So, there you go, 5 things that I will do differently in 2015.

Do you have things that you’d like to do differently this year?
Do share with us!

This post marks the end of this blog train. Check out what other moms are doing differently this year here. May you be inspired to live purposefully in 2015!

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Pause… And Take A Deep Breath

Life has been pretty hectic this year. Besides spending my days running after the 3 kids, preparing them for school and coaching them after school, I’ve been busy with curriculum writing, lesson planning, teaching and tutoring. In between the craziness, I am also trying to cope with the never-ending housework, cooking and cleaning.

So, this space has been much neglected.

I’m going to hit the pause button by looking back at some of the things we’ve done the past two months.

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Messy Play in a Box: My Messy Box {Review + Giveaway}

my-messy-box-creative-pack

Messy play is not something new to our 3 kids. From as young as 2 years of age, all 3 of them have experienced some form of messy play at home. You can read more about some of our messy play at home here, here, here, here and here. :)

The wonderful thing about messy play for young children is that they get to explore and create freely. There are endless opportunities for learning and imagining. Messy play also helps young children develop their fine motor skills and hand-and-eye coordination.

The not so wonderful thing about messy play for adults is the cleaning up! Which is why many parents shun messy play. As I have shared before, I know of parents who refused to let their kids engage in any form of messy play at home because of the dread of cleaning up or the fear of messing up the house.

My view is, kids are little only once. The benefits of messy play far outweigh the hassle of cleaning up.

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How Long Is Eternity? {Review + Giveaway}

Have you ever been stumped by your children’s questions? I know I have.

My boys sometimes ask such profound questions that I have no answer for. When that happens, my usual reply is either “I don’t know” or “Go ask Daddy”!

If I am not too tired, they will receive a more positive reply such as, “Why don’t we find out more?”

What would you tell your kids if they were to ask you, “How long is eternity?”

I know I’d have a hard time explaining eternity to my kids.

But not anymore.

Thanks to Wild Crane Press, we received this book ‘How Long Is Eternity?’ and I have to say that this is one of the most unusual and thought provoking books I’ve read.

how-long-is-eternity-book-review

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Cherish The Mundane

Having been a mother for almost a decade, I have come to realise that the term “enjoy every moment” is so not realistic. There are moments in this parenting journey that I simply do not enjoy.

I don’t enjoy the tantrums and meltdowns, especially in public places or when I am too tired or in a hurry. I don’t enjoy the bickering between the siblings. I don’t enjoy the night feeds and having to wait for everyone to sleep before I can start work. I definitely do not enjoy the crazy juggling trying to keep all the balls in the air.

So. I don’t believe in “enjoying every moment” now.

Yet, once in a while, as I go about the daily routines or mundane motherly duties, such as reading the same book over and over again to my 4-year-old before bedtime, or walking my boy to the bus stop to wait for his school bus, I will pause.

And take a deep breathe.

And realise that all these mundane routines are what a person misses the most when crisis hits.

cherish the mundane, parenting inspirations

Have you ever been in a crisis before? A time when everything in your life is being shaken and threatened?

If you have, you would know that during such turbulent times, what your heart longs and craves for is the mundane. The simplicity of living a normal day, watching your kids wake up and play, preparing home-cooked meals for your family, sitting down for a simple meal with your loved ones, talking about the day’s events. Nothing spectacular, just the simple, mundane, daily living of a normal life.

The mundane which is often being taken for granted. We might even complain about the mundane, how boring, how uninteresting it is. How we wish for a more adventurous and exciting life.

It is when this mundane is being threatened, that we realise how much we miss it.

I have been there. When crisis hit the family.

That is why I constantly remind myself, not to take the simple moments of my daily life for granted.

Though I don’t “enjoy e.v.e.r.y. moment”, I cherish the mundane.
For life might not always be so.

Melbourne City With Kids

When we first stepped foot in Melbourne, the thing that welcomed us was the cool weather. Our kids were thrilled to experience what they called “outdoor aircon”, something which they don’t get to experience in Singapore.

There are plenty to do and visit in Melbourne. These are some of the places we visited which are a hit with our kids.

1. Eureka Skydeck

See the city from the 88th storey.

eureka skydeck

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Kuafu Chases The Sun {Review + Giveaway}

Besides reading to our two boys daily when they were toddlers and getting them to read on their own now that they’re older, one of the ways we got our kids to love reading is to expose them to a wide variety of books. You can read about our experience in getting our kids to love books here.

Which is why I usually welcome every opportunity to introduce new books to my kids. So, I was glad when Wild Crane Press sent us a copy of “Kuafu Chases The Sun” for review.

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Exploring Great Ocean Road With Kids

The hubby and I love Melbourne. We went there for our honeymoon and told ourselves that we had to go back again one day.

Went back again we did, 12 years later. This time, lugging with us 3 kids and my mother-in-law.

It was a lovely trip. A month has passed and I’m still missing Melbourne.

Good thing is, I have a blog now where I can reminisce the beautiful moments of life. So, indulge me as I put these beautiful memories into blogposts over the next few days.

Well, you can always use these as an itinerary reference too if you’re planning for a trip to Melbourne soon! :)

12 years ago, when the hubby and I visited Melbourne, we rented a car and he was the one who did all the driving as I had no driver’s license then. He drove us along Great Ocean Road and until today, it was an unforgettable journey for us.

Great Ocean Road 12 Apostles
The 12 Apostles at Great Ocean Road, Melbourne

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S… L… O… W… Down

“Mommy, don’t scold me…”

“I’m sorry, Mommy… I’m sorry…”

These are words spoken by my boys to me. Words that brought a pang of guilt and pain to my heart.

They are words that made me stop and think. Words that made me question, “What have I done to these little ones in the midst of my rushing through a hectic pace of life?”

Sometimes I feel that my days are lived in a hurry. Especially so during school days. Our 3 kids start and end school at different timings. As a result, they have breakfast at 3 different timings, and lunch at another 3 different timings.

A typical school day goes like this:

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Make A Difference – Foster A Child

I have 3 children. Ever since I become a mother, my life has been completely changed. All of a sudden, there is an overwhelming desire to protect, provide and nurture these little ones.

So, it is hard for me to imagine that there are children out there who are deprived of something which many of us might have taken for granted – a complete family and a safe environment to grow up in.

The Harsh Reality

Even in such an affluent society like Singapore, there are children who are abused, abandoned and neglected. These children are in need of a safe and healthy environment to grow up in. Some of these children have parents or guardians who are sick and do not have the ability or resources to look after them. Others are abandoned, neglected or ill-treated by their parents or guardians.

Fostering Scheme in Singapore

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