Friday 31 January 2014


Chinese Greetings in the Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Here is a good compilation of Chinese greetings in the Year of the Horse by Princess Dana that I will be using to teach J, hopefully:

Giggles Indoor Playground in Singapore

Recording down places for kids in Singapore.

Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep

Oh this is so meant for me. Night night everyone. I am going to bed.

Quality Time Needs Quantity Time to Appear

I am reading "What Kids Need MOST in a Mom" by Patricia H. Rushford. Some wisdom that I gleaned from it. It reminded that quality time cannot be planned. Mothering takes place. Full-stop. If I may be allowed to quote:

"You have planned the perfect outing and your kids tell you of their plans. Such premeditated plot tends to keep a parent's eyes focused on the time, not on the child. Special moments with a child come at the oddest moments, and the best way to capture them is to relax and let them happen. Sometimes, quality time comes when your mind is focused in an entirely different direction."

"Special moments are like seeds. They must be planted and watered before you can expect them to grow. Then be ready to stop and enjoy the flowers - when they come."

All too familiar I laugh to myself. Remember that special and expensive vacation that you have planned with your child set in perfect setting - clear blue sky, white snow cap, mountain top, deep blue sea? And all went sour and not so special afterall?

In short, quality time needs quantity time. When it happens, just make sure to seize it.

Personal learnings for me:

Being a highly efficient person not wanting to waste a dim of time, it is hard for me to do nothing. I am tempted to pack my day with a whole list of To-Dos, and ticking off each item. Even as I am now working part-time, there just isn't enough time in a day to do everything. I need to allow myself and tell myself that it is ok to drop some balls, to drop my To-Do list and seize the special moments. I need to go easy with the Montessori activities and the workbooks, and allow myself grace if they are not fitted within a day.

Oh blessed are those stay-at-home moms. They have the courage to go for what truely matters in life. They have the courage to give success a different definition against society's norm. And as a result, they are blessed with the quantity time to be there to catch the quality time and special moments with their children. What they have sacrificed in terms of income, professional positions in lives, etc. they have gotten back a 100 folds with the special memories made by being there and seizing the moments!


J Summary (4Y10M26D) - Parenting J in the Lord

J sometimes says to me that since Daddy is not going to church, he does not want to go to church too. Sometimes, he says he is lazy to go to church and rather stay at home with Daddy. It sometimes discourages me, and I find it doubly hard to find the energy to go to church. I tried to teach J's Christian values as much as I can. I tried to encourage JN in Singapore from afar. Sometimes, I feel that I am failing, and my labours are in vain.

Today, my friend YL shared with me about her daughter, A, who is 5 years old and now back in China. They used to be my neighbours. I used to bring A to church along with J. A did not seem very interested, at least, not according to what I judge as interest. And I didn't think that I had been such a perfect example to her either.

Back in China last December, A asked YL to bring her to church. They went to church together on Christmas Eve in 2013. The church in Xiamen China was packed and overflowed with people that the service was conducted outdoors. The ordinary Chinese folk are hungering for God in their lives.

One day, YL and A passed by Chinese temples, YL asked A, what religion she would like to choose when she grows up. A said that she would like to choose church just like Aunt E (that's me).

YL told me that I had planted a seed with A. It is like God telling me, "E, continue to be diligent and bring J to church. Do not look at the immediate results. Do not consider too much what J says. You are planting the seed, and you just need to be faithful, even when your efforts are seen in your eyes as "failing." Trust in me, just do your part, and leave J's heart to me."

Thank you God for this sharing by YL. YL is not a Christian, but she told me that she has started praying to God.

At times, my faith in God wavers, and I felt guilty that I have not been too good a testimony at my workplace and with the people around me - judged by my own standards, and truely I have not.

Yet God chose to use me to minister to YL and A, yet not by my efforts, as I simply just drove the car, brought A to church and brought her back. It was God who did the work, yet God used me in His work.

At times, when my faith wavers, and I question my own love for God, this episode quietens down my heart and assures me once again that it was by grace that I was saved. It was by grace that God used me, a very imperfect and sinful person, to participate in His work.

Quietly God is whispering to me, to continue to pray for J and JN and be faithful. The load is His and I don't have to carry this load. I will leave J and JN to God.

I am filled with thankfulness.


Children grow so fast. Spend time with them. If I may be allowed to quote the poem by Patricia H. Rushford:

If time were diamonds...
would I gather each precious moment to my breast?
And when they fade would I mourn and wish them back?
Or would I simply sigh - thankful for memories,
And move on to the next,
Knowing I had done my best.

Extract from "What Kids Need MOST in a Mom" that I am currently reading:

Thursday 30 January 2014


J Summary (4Y10M26D) - Chinese New Year Decoration

My dad wanted J to hear the sound of firecrackers, as it is so much part of Chinese New Year. So he bought me this humongous firecracker decoration, that we did not know how to fit it into our luggage to bring it back from Singapore. My Significant Other normally would complained that I buy too many things back from Singapore, to my surprise did not complain at all. He also managed to fit it into our luggage amazingly, giving me a sign of relief and gratitude.

Back home in Copenhagen, on my day off from work, I finally managed to find time to dress our home up a little with J for the Chinese New Year, so that he would have the concept of it and remember Chinese New Year as part of his childhood. J was very excited about dressing the home up.

So often, I fear not having a language to communicate with my son. I am not able to express my feelings in Danish, and J is not fluent in Chinese and English, and I fear so much that he will never be fluent in Mandarin. Language is the key to the heart. The kind of agony and feeling of emotional separation no one can really understand, except those in a cross-cultural marriage and family. Yet, from this experience, it was like God speaking quietly to me that J will remember his heritage, bringing me much comfort. Thank you God, for your quiet assurance. I will trust in You, O Lord.

Back to the CNY Decoration, it gave me headache to find a suitable place to hang the humongous fire cracker decoration. I scratched my head real hard over where to hang it. I was almost giving up, then J reminded me that we should honour our parents and we will get long life from God, and that I should not give up and that I should hang it up.

I taught him that he should be nice to gong gong in Singapore. We brought my parents for morning walk at Tiong Bahru Park. When gong gong said things that annoyed J, I mentioned briefly to J that it was mentioned in the Bible that we should honour our parents so that we will have long life. It was very brief, and I am amazed that he remembered it.

Of course, it is not simply because we want to have long life that we honour our parents, but that because we love our parents and we love them with the love of God. I knew in my heart that J had learned the lesson, when he reminded me of the Bible verse.

Back again to the Chinese decoration, we did not give up, and J and I found a place to hang it up as shown above. Here is a picture of J below.

I hold this memory close to my heart.

Tuesday 28 January 2014


Singapore Sweet Cup Corn

1. 1 cup frozen sweet corn
2. A little margarine/butter
3. A little salt

1. Place sweet corn in a bowl, add a slab of margarine/butter and sprinke salt.
2. Microwave for 1-2 minutes (depending on the degree of thawness of the corn)
3. Stir, mix well, transfer to a cup leaving the liquid behind and serve.

Additional Information:
Just back from Singapore and I am feeling nostagic. Daddy and J like this. To buy it from the hawker is a ripe off, around 2 SGD, if I remembered correctly, compared to the cost of ingredients and the ease of making it ourselves. So here I am, trying out and it tasted exactly like the one we had in Singapore :-)

If you wish to make it more healthy, substitute margarine/butter with nut butter such as organic cashewnut butter. It will taste a little different, but still delicious.

This is my own recipe, after watching the hawker preparing. But apparently someone in Singapore has the same idea :-) You can read more here:


Hot Matcha Milk Tea

Preparation and cooking time: 1 minute


1. 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
2. 1 cup boiling water
3. 1 tsp of condensed milk to sweeten (if not, some sugar will work too)
4.  A some fresh milk


1. Boil water
2. Add 1 TBS of matcha into a cup
3. Add boiling water.
4. Add 1 tsp condensed milk and stir
5. Add milk

Nutritional value:

Green tea is known to be very good for health due to its antioxidant properties.

Additional Information:

I had matcha latte, matcha milk tea, matcha milk shake, matcha smoothie while in Singapore, and am having cravings for it now that I am back.

Matcha Avocado Smoothie

This recipe makes exactly the amount of this 1 mug

Preparation and cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 1-2


1. 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
2. 1/2 avocado
3. 2 cups (500 ml) of fresh skimmed milk (1 cup would be too little)
4. 3 chopped dried dates
5. 1 tsp flax seeds (optional)


Mix together and blend for a few seconds until smooth. Pour into glass and serve.

Nutritional value:

Green tea is known to be very good for health due to its antioxidant properties, and green tea crushed into powder has even higher antioxidants than green tea. But it contains caffeine too unfortunately.

Additional Information:

I am craving for matcha milk shake in Singapore, thus I decided to make this smoothie. Avocado does a fantastic job at making the milk shake creamy without over-powering the matcha flavor. I sometimes add 1 tablespoon of condensed milk, instead of dates, to sweeten it, if I crave for the taste of condensed milk.

Our Little FECS (9Y10M18D) also loves matcha smoothie, although I try to keep it to a minimum due to the caffeine in matcha.



Mixed Whole Grain Oats (Rye, Oats, Wheat, Barley & Spelt)

Wholesome meal for babies from 8 months after major solids have been establish, for toddlers and for adults.

1. Mixed whole grain oats (oats, rye, wheat, barley and spelt) (1 cup)
2. Milk (2 cups)

1. Cook 1 part mixed oats with 2 parts formula milk or milk under weak heat (no. 4 on our electric stove) and stir until it is soft and tender. (Adjust the amount of milk accordingly for desired consistency)

2. Stir in 1 teaspoon olive oil for babies (optional)

This makes an excellent wholesome breakfast for adults too. You can cook it with low-fat fresh milk under low fire (no. 4 on my stove). Heat 500ml of milk under low fire, and then add 8 TBS of oatmeal. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

1. Cool down, pour into ice cube tray and freeze.

2. Once frozen, knock the cubes out and store them in freezer bags (makes 2-3 ice cube trays, can store up to 8 weeks)

Nutritional Value:
Oats are an excellent source of soluble fibre, protein and the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, B6 and vitamin E. They also provide iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc.

Rye is a very good source of manganese and a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, copper, pantothenic acid, and magnesium. It also contains lignan phytonutrients.

Barley is a very good source of fiber and selenium. It also serves as a good source of the minerals phosphorus, copper and manganese. A cup of cooked barley will give you 23.0% of the daily value for phosphorus.

One cup of cooked spelt has 246 calories, 11 grams protein, 1.6 grams fat, and 51 grams carbohydrates, and 7.6 grams fiber. Spelt is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese. It has vitamin E and B-complex vitamins (especially niacin).

Additional Information:
I spotted this in the "Spotsvare" section of Netto Supermarket. It seems that good oatmeal and whole grain products are still not as readily available in Singapore and I have received requests when I visit Singapore. For readers in Singapore and overseas, do contact me if you wish to get hold of this.

Since fresh milk is very affordable in Denmark, I usually cook it with fresh skimmed milk, but you can use long life milk as while.

Top it with nuts, blue berries, goji berries or raisins or eat it on its own and you have a delicious breakfast.

You do not have to add any salt or sugar to taste. The natural grains are salty enough. J tried it and he usually lets me know if food is not salty enough, and he likes it as it is.


The Mixed Grain Chinese Chicken Congee Porridge/Kinesisk kylling grød/藜谷小米粥鸡粥 [lí gǔ xiǎo mǐ jī zhōu]

Serves 2

Preparation & Cooking Time: 45 minutes

1. 300-400g boneless chicken or 1-2 pieces of thigh
2. Rice (1/2 cup)
3. Quinoa (3 TBS)
4. Millet (3 TBS)
5. 1 egg (optional)
6. Ginger (1/2 to 1 inch, optional)
7. Leek (1 stalk - white portion only)
8. Spring onions (1 stalk, optional)
9. Salt & Pepper to taste (optional, skip this for babies)
10. 1-1.5 litre water
11. Garlic oil (optional)

1. Cut chicken into small pieces

2. Cut ginger into cut slices

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add chicken and ginger and cook under medium-low heat until chicken is tender and cooked

4. Add rice, quinoa and millet and stir under low fire until cooked

5. Dish, garnish with garlic oil, sprinkle on some chopped spring onions and serve

1. You can crack an egg into the porridge.

2. You can also substitute chicken with pork, prawns to create variety.

3. For adults, you can also add a bit of garlic oil as garnish for more fragrance and flavour.

4. For babies, you can blend the chicken in the baby blender, if baby is too young to eat bite size chicken pieces.

5. When you are making the Chinese Ginger Chicken Soup, why not use some of the soup and make Quinoa Congee Porridge :-)

Nutritional Value:
Quinoa is a highly nutritious food. Quinoa has been rated by the WHO as possessing protein of a quality similar to milk. It has been classified as a supercrop by the United Nations on account of its nutritional value and high protein content. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. The protein quality and quantity in quinoa seed is often superior to those of more common cereal grains. Quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat. Quinoa grain has a lower sodium content and is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Quinoa is a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, two minerals that serve as cofactors for the superoxide dismutase enzyme. Superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant that helps to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage created during energy production as well as guard other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals.

Quinoa also contains vitamins B6, Niacin and Thiamin. Quinoa is lower in carbohydrates than most other grains, but an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and cooks in about half the time of regular rice. Quinoa is low in fat.

Millet is tasty, with a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor and contains a myriad of beneficial nutrients. It is nearly 15% protein, contains high amounts of fiber, B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, the essential amino acid methionine, lecithin, and some vitamin E. It has the highest protein level of any cereal and is also excellent for potassium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.

The seeds are also rich in phytochemicals, including Phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol, and Phytate, which is associated with reduced cancer risk.

Millet is gluten-free and is not an acid forming food so is soothing and easy to digest. In fact, it is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available and it is a warming grain so will help to heat the body in cold or rainy seasons and climates.

Additional Comments:
I have experimented with different grain to find the right recipe that could make more nutritious porridge whilte tasting like the delicious traditional Chinese congee porridge made with rice. And I think I have found it. Cooking porridge with quinoa or millet actually provides the same results and taste, since the texture and feel of cooked quinoa and millet is very much like rice. And you can adjust the desired consistency of the porridge with water or chicken stock.

I am documenting it down to remember it. Sorry, the photo doesn't look so good. I didn't have time to garnish it up. Too hungry then!

You can use this to serve to a sick child, just thin the porridge to the desired consistency that is acceptable to your child. If your child does not have appetite, then you can give him just pure chicken soup.

You can chopped some vegetables such as florets of broccoli into it as well.

Here is a pic of one I made the other day

Monday 27 January 2014


J Summary (4Y10M22D) - I Don't Want to Grow Up

This morning, J told me, "Mommy, I don't want to grow up."

I asked, "Why?"

J said, "Because if I grow up, Daddy and you will grow old. And if you grow old, you will die, and I will be very sad. I don't want you to die and be no more. I don't want to not be able to see you again. So if I don't grow up, you won't grow old. If you won't grow old, you won't die."

With a heavy heart kept to myself, I mustered enough cheerfulness and light-heartedness, stroked his hair, hugged him tight, smiled and said, "Oh silly boy, you are so sweet, but you will grow up. And mommy hopes that you will grow up into a fine young man."

I tried to explain to him that when we die, although our bodies are dead, but our souls live forever. We need to know God and be with God living happily ever after in heaven.

J asked, "What is soul?"

I tried to explain that our body is a shell, a home for our soul on this earthly home. But we won't need our body in our heavenly home. And Daddy, Mommy, J and God will one day be together forever, never separate again.

I thought of my own mum. At a tender age, I told my mum the same thing. I told her too that I didn't want to grow up, because I didn't want her to grow old. I wondered what went through her mind then.

It is a hard topic. I wrestled with God. I cried my heart to Him.

Oh God, why do you allow death to take place that makes all happiness on earth so temporal? I want to beg, cry and plead with God for everlasting life on earth. But no one has ever done it before. From time memorial, every human dies. Even the Emperor who was in search of the exlir eventually died. Money cannot buy eternal life.

I know why God would not grant us this request.

If life on earth is so good and we live forever, we will never ever think of God, give reverence to God and surrender our lives to God. We will be too proud. Afterall, who needs God, if we all have everlasting life on earth?

It is a hard fact and painful journey in life as J at 4.5 years old is beginning to realize about life and death. But with God, we can find true joy, peace, hope and meaning in our short sojourn here on earth.

Yet God conquered sin and showed His love towards us by conquering death, bringing us close to Him with eternal life, for those who accepts God and give God our lordship.

I take comfort from this verse from the Bible:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever belives in Him shall never die, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

And growing up, boy, is J growing! At 4.5 years old, J is growing strength to strength, physically. He is soon not too far behind mommy. J said to me, "Mommy, boys are stronger than girls. Mommy, soon I will be taller than you."

J wants to freeze time. I want to freeze time.

But indeed, J is growing up and we are growing older. And it has given us joy.

And truly I hope that he will grow up into a sensible adult, knowing God, contributing to society and able to help the weak.

Life - it sums up as follows:

" is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." - Ecclesiastes 12:13

May God help us to be thankful for what we have, grant us long and healthy lives into our old age, the joy to enjoy our current lives and the courage to approach the eventual ending of life with love, joy, peace and hope.

Saturday 25 January 2014


Things to Do in Singapore

I am compoiling a list of things to do with kids when visiting Singapore and its surrounding:

Kids' Activities Portal

Fun at Giggles Playground

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay has a new playground for children called Far East Organization Children's Garden with interactive play delights, water play features and educational programmes in a lush natural setting. So bring along your swimwear and have a splashing good time!

Adventure Cove Waterpark

KidsStop - Singapore Science Centre



Universal Studio Sentosa

S.E.A. Aquarium

River Safari

National Library Orchard (Adult sections only)

Night Safari


Bird Park

Changi Airport

Changi Aiport has some attractive children play areas such as the butterfly park, playground, etc.


J Summary (4Y10M21D) - Some Good Moments and Not So Good Moments...

We are back from our vacation, are still jetlagged and struggling to return to a routine and schedule. Thus, J has been going to bed early on evenings around 7pm, leaving no time for School Time. Learning (such as doing workbook, reading, etc.) is also more haphazard, if it happens at all.

This morning, he woke up early around 7am and came downstairs to me, telling me that we should do workbooks and Montessori. Surprised and touched, I asked why, and J said that because it was hard to find time during the day to do so, thus, we should do it right away first thing in the morning. But he must be hungry in the morning. So I asked if we should do the worksheets after having breakfast. He said that it was fine, let's do the worksheet first. I was impressed, so we went to do homework, before breakfast and brushing teeth.

Today, however, at the Chinese school, J wasn't behaving very well in class, not greeting his teacher after returning from vacation, not really motivated in follow the teacher and being rebellious. I was upset and had a good talk with him. He agreed to be more appreciative during class next week and to be thankful that he can attend school. We will see how it goes.

I was glad that I was able to control myself, to talk nicely and seriously to him, all the while praying hard for wisdom not to nag and for the work of God in J's life. I didn't think that I am getting all the words right and I think the words that came out of my mouth still sounded like nagging, but in my imperfections, I just have to trust God for His faithfulness and help in raising this kid in the right path. Alone I could not do it, feel so inadequate. Oh what peace that I could entrust it to God, and praying that I will continue to improve.

I was ready that he would not understand what I say and would not accept what I say, although I still have to teach. But J actually reflected and apologized for his behavior. It does show that talking calmly works. To retain my authority, I followed through with the consequence of withdrawing the privilege of watching a video after the Chinese class. The trials and errors of parenting. Hopefully I am doing the right thing.

I have to remember to parenting principle of that I read somewhere:

"Establish expectations, rewards and consequences long before iscipline is required."

A good moment and a bad moment all within a day - the roller coaster of parenting.


Teaching Addition in Every Day Life in a Fun Way

1. Yogurt
2. Blue berries

Additional Information:
I am not very good in integrating learnings into our daily lives. I lean more towards formal learning (meaning open books, now do your Maths style). At 4.5 years old, J is still struggling with simple addition and I should find ways to strengthen it and introduce the concept of additional into our daily living.

This morning, I made yogurt breakfast with blue berries for Daddy and J.

I added 3 blue berries into each bowl. Then I added 2 more into Daddy's bowl. Then I asked J how many blue berries he should add into his own bowl to have the same amount as Daddy's. He answered 2 more. I said, 3 and 2 make 5.

I then added 3 more into Daddy's bowl. Then I asked J how many more blue berries he should add into his own bowl. I gave him clue to count the number of blue berries in Daddy's bowl and then compared to the number in his bowl. He derived that he would need another 3 more blue berries.

So today, Daddy and J had 1 bowl of yogurt and 8 blue berries each for breakfast.

Saturday 18 January 2014


JN Summary - Growing into a Fine Young Man with a Healthy Self-Esteem

Oh how thankful I am for the progress he has made. JN has a healthy outlook and triving. I no longer sense such a low self-esteem.

I was back in SG and invested some time to have some one-to-one time with JN today. JN came to our hotel. We went to the Gym together and had a swim at the hotel together with J and Daddy. We had sushi at Citylink together. Then JN and I went for a long walk along Marina Bay and MBS, while Daddy went back with J and put J to bed. JN stopped by to try to meet his mom during her work break. I was happy that he made the effort and wanting to see his wife during the break. JN and I sat down at the MBS Singapore river front and chit chat. It was a nice cool evening with the breeze blowing as we sat there.

For the first time, he shared about more deeper things in life - the usual challenges a typical teenager faces. I am very glad to have the privilege of him opening up and sharing to me as a friend. I think that it what all parents hope for when their children is a teenager. JN would be turning 14 years old this year. I hope that J would do the same, when he becomes a teenager.

JN has made much progress in school. He passed all his final secondary 1 exams in 2013 and with better improved grades. He served as volunteer with his teacher Mr. Tan making pine-apple tarts at the Hidding Place (a Christian based organization in Singapore providing shelter to youth on the edge and drug addicts where his form Mr. Tan is volunteering as a teacher and tutor helping these youths with their "O" levels).

JN doing well in school and is doing his homework responsibly without prompting. All these changes are amazing and miraculous considering someone with ADHD, and I thank God for graciously giving us all these fruits. JN's father reported that JN is more matured now, thus confirming my observations.

I am jotting all these down to remember them.

Of course, the work is not complete, and there are still challenges. But dear God, thank you for answering my prayers so far, proving that You are a real, faithful and loving God, wanting the best for us, a God whom we can completely trust.

I will continue to trust God that God will continue to walk with JN, guide him and mold him into a fine young man with character.I

t has been a high price to pay for my going part-time, yet God has rewarded and returned to me much more precious than what money could never buy. Thank you dear God for your blessings.

When doubts set in, when anxiety is near, I will disband it and remember all God's faithfulness in answered prayers such as this. Thank you God. When facing discouragements and disappointments in life that brings me low, I want to remember all these things that I am thankful for.
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