Happiness in Life is Made

"O, happy the soul that saw its own faults" – Rumi

Life simple pleasure

Whenever I feel like I need a moment of hirameki, I would either:
– imagine Sydney Harbour
– drink fruit tea
– watch uplifting dvds

So tonight, while pulling by the curbside waiting for Munawwar, I watch for the umpteenth time: Julie and Julia. I love Amy Adams. I just do.

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I am happy already.

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Miniature Pothole Gardens Drawing Attention on the State of Some London Roads

I just love people who are creative and make the best out of everything…

Interior & Architecture Design

SteveWheenPotholeGardener1 Miniature Pothole Gardens Drawing Attention on the State of Some London Roads

Steve Wheen is the artistic mind behind a great blog entitled the pothole gardener.  It is here that he uploads pictures of various miniature gardens he develops around east

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Putting things into perspectives

I cannot sleep right now mainly because I feel that I need to get whatever that I have on my mind before I retire for the night. Today has been quite a challenge to me.  Itqan refused to do his Math homework and preferred to repair his long forgotten goal post that was kept hidden for many months in our store underneath the stairs. After much negotiation  and after he failed to find sticky tape to mend the goal post, he decided to play with his bicycle. I thought: That’s it – I am going to give him a silent treatment. And that was exactly what I did when he came back from the bicycle ride.

Knowing Itqan, I knew that he would feel guilty and try to get my attention,  which he did, but I would show him that I would not budge. He still has not finished his Math. I don’t know what he was thinking when he finally sleep on the recliner, but I can tell you that this has really taken the toll on me. It is killing me inside that I was acting this way and picked a silent treatment to punish my son. I don’t know why, suddenly during that moment of me getting so upset, I remembered my dear friend who is now fighting Stage 4 cancer. I thought, would she treat her children like I did today knowing that her days are as precious as anyone can possibly think of? Would she shout and pretend that she did not mind all the attention that her children is trying to get from her?

SO, my dear self (and friends – whoever is reading me out there), whenever you have doubts about forgiving others, think again. It might be that it is you that will be forgiven the hardest for things that you know can be handled differently with TLC if only you want to take a deep breath, step back and let your love speak on your behalf – not your tongue ignited by anger.

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Time and tide wait for no man

Some mothers may find this difficult – that is to just spend the day doing nothing. So far, that is exactly what I have been doing. I am waiting for the Australian Open 2012 Man Final Tennis and that is the only itenary on my diary (not that I have one) today. Munawwar has been very busy this weekend with his work from office. The kids are busy with their new kitchenette and pots and pans we get for Najdah for her upcoming 4th birthday.

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When I went for groceries shopping last Friday I thought I might want to cook something special for lunch this weekend. So much for planning and all I managed to get done today was fruit and nuts cupcakes for brunch. As the day unfold, I can only stare at the cookbook and found the pictures of the food staring back at me. There was no magical moments, no sign whatsoever, no chemistry. It was kinda ironic that we get our daughter to play cooking while the mother herself has no intention to even look at the kitchen *sigh*

Finally, I seek help from our humble refrigerator, took out the frozen  processed food and whipped up chicken burgers. The guilty debate will continue, I know.

Just as we finished eating lunch, I have already asked the boys what they want for dinner: is it pumpkin soup? Munawwar shook me out of my dream just as I took out the dry bay leaf from the pantry and noticed that we only have half of the white loaf left. Or maybe tom yum soup? That sounds much better considering that there is rice vermicilli noodle available. As I am typing this, I remembered that there is Naan bread ready to be eaten and all I need is to cook a vegie curry or maybe lentils curry.. oh my, suddenly the chioce is endless.

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What the heck. I will keep the eagerness to cook dinner till later. For now I will settle with my book, before cheering for Raphael Nadal soon.

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If you want to buy something for your children, “buy” for them EXPERIENCE

As parents we always want the best for our kids. The book by Sir Ken Robinson entitled The Element was the triggering factor for my husband when it comes to buying experience for our kids. Exposure to sports for example is our way to identify their talents and support their interest, and for our boys it is football (soccer).

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For that reason, the boys were so excited when we enroll them into a football academy. After a year of training almost every weekend, we can see that they appreciate and respect this game that encourage team work, good individual skills and excellent fitness level even more. Rujhan even bagged a gold medal last year for U8 tournament and Itqan scored  a hattrick of 3 goals for the U10 tournament.For us as parents, eventhough training over in Singapore will take up our weekends due to traveling and the long queue of vehicles at the check-point, we are more than happy to use the time as bonding sessions.

If you have never read The Element, I strongly recommend that you grab a copy and I can assure that you will look at success and education like never before. Happy reading!

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The homework helper

The kids are growing each day and unlike other parents, I admit that I have not been so helpful with their homework. Partly because, they usually do a super quick work in the class ( and thus the usual outcry of “No homework today, ummi!” from whatever they were playing with) and another part because even when they have homework they would not usually ask for help. I have been thinking I had experienced such as primary-goer too. My usual subject when asking-for-help-homework-moment would usually be art. I assumed that my work was not neat enough or beautiful enough and they made me unhappy with myself and ended up doing bad drawing. (No teacher would praise me for finishing that difficult task anyway so why finish them if you could not get an A?) In retrospect, I realised that I was quite a perfectionist in myself. I would always arrange my colours in the box as they were when I first bought them. And no, I don’t like dirty corners on my eraser either so I would rub it on my desk to “clean” it from the black pencil marks.I even made sweeping my class job into act of charity by collecting all the stationary especially pencils that I found under the tables into a container and whoever needed them could use them.

For those who do not like the usual messiness of crayon on your kids little fingers, try this out!

Where was I? Oh yeah, my kids homework. I was peaceful in my head regarding their homework until the report card day (does that sound familiar? epiphany always occur during the report-card day *sigh*) when I was told that my eldest was not finishing his homework on time. I did not know how to react. First, I thought should I be angry and promised to have a long discussion regarding this with him later but then I thought oh well, these are my kids and the teacher did not seem to care enough about my child as an individual. But what really struck me was that my son told his teacher that he did not finish them on time because I was not there when he needed to ask me regarding his homework. My heart was crying inside, not because that my son did not finish his homework, but because I was not there when he needed me the most. The tell-tale signs were all over ( the problem with a doctor as a mother) but denial is the biggest and sometimes the longest challenge for acceptance to problems. No awareness equals to no action.

With the recent realisation that I must help them with their homework, and also the echoes of my friend (who by the way home-school her children) regarding the importance of actually, physically, intentionally sitting with your children doing whatever the children want to do, I announced yet another ongoing project of happiness: Homework helping. What I am currently doing is coaching them with their schoolwork. Let them get the feel of what the material is about before they start their class and later let them do a pre-test (well actually I let them do the pre-test and later the skim reading). I always believe that nature plays pivotal role in determining our children temperament, and just like me, I know that I learnt better the hardest way when I was younger. Meaning, that mistakes hurt but would forever be remembered. (Which was quite a challenge considering that I was quick to abandon any project when I foresee failure looming ahead). Knowing this, and knowing that learning style can be “learnt” and “re-learnt” I intended to groom my children into the habit of learning in a systematic way. When things clicked together like pieces of puzzles, the homework helper is born. I have to say, that I was quite happy already now that my husband helps with the Quran, religious subjects and Arabic language. The expertise has been there all this while but again if no awareness, no action!

The altruistic part of me know that I can do better if I engage others in such project. One because, somehow I know that my kids would also learn from others, be it on the subjects or the mannerism when having others in the house and two, it helps me to focus on being consistent that every Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I have coaching project instead of doing other unimportant stuff elsewhere and the stakeholders are not just my kids.

It is still early to say anything regarding the effects of this project of mine for the children. For one hour on those nights, I have started seeing the sharing of books and dictionary, opinions changed for certain questions and answers and the older helping the younger ones. I cannot predict if my effort would change their grades form, Cs to As. All I want them to understand is that I will be by their side when they need me.

Later I will share with you the wisdom of study motivator regarding the useful strategies to study any subjects in a systematic way. Keep coming back.

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My wish since last year…

I will tell more about this later

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7 reasons why sending kids to school should be included in my project of happiness

What is ferry? According to my humble online dictionary , it is not just the boat that  we can catch to cross the sea to Penang Island, it is also a verb which include to transport people or goods in a vehicle. See here.

So on my wish list this year, is to ferry my children to and from school everyday. Some people my think, “What the? I ferry my children to and from school and anywhere on earth everyday!”. But believe me, there are many parents out there who have this on their wish list but yet to make it come true. This is why:

1. The route to school is different from the route to work. If parents insisted that they are going to send the kids to school and then to work on the very opposite directions they will turn up late to work.

2. They do not have the vehicle to do so. If they own a motorcycle and they have to ferry 4 kids one at a time, imagine the hassle.

3. They are not able to because of the working timetable. Some start at 7 if they work morning shift and return at 8 if they are on night shift.

So I am happy that starting from this school term I can send my children to school, because:
1. they have better mood and not feel too tired after school
2. they can have early lunch as opposed to at 4 pm last year
3. they can finish their homework as the result of better mood and happy tummy.
4. they can do other important stuff like playing soccer in my bedroom or watch tv or find stuff on the internet after they have done their homework.
5. they listen to me more intently in the car ( boy, we have such a long discussion on everything)
6. I will happily put on the sermon by our fav Ustaz en route to school. See here.

Most of all, I am happy to be at the giving end.

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Why Eduparty

Some people thrive on socialising from one tupperware party to another, then you have slumber party, baby shower, and all sorts of other parties that you can think of.

I have done eduparty this year, but I guess there is more eduparties to come. Although my friend gave me a remark about the high standard of the menus that night (which were only foods that I know to cook really) I can’t wait to host even more.

Watch this space and I will update more later.

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Eduparty

My friend coined this term over her facebook status to describe the kind of gathering we did last week.

I like it so much that I wanted to have more eduparty later.

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