Saturday 30 August 2014


J Summary (5Y5M25D) - Making His Bed and Life's Lesson

J sometimes complains that it is not fun to do work. This morning, he straightened his bed so well, straight and neat in his own initiative and all by himself without any help from me. It was not easy for a 5 years old, and he has now mastered it by teaching and learning by trial and error by himself. That was the best way to learn. I was full of thankfulness.

I took the opportunity of this teachable moment to ask him, how he felt about making bed, when he did his best? Did it feel good and fun? What made it felt good and fun?

It was because he did his best, and put in his whole heart.

I said it is the same with writing Chinese characters, doing Maths sums, practising the piano... you will enjoy learning, if you put in your best and make it your aim to do it well.

The vice versa is also true. If you don't play with all your heart, even the most fun play and game is hard work and boring.

I then talked about the importance of attitude in work and play, in learning and doing both the fun and mundane things, which are all parts of our lives for character-building.

He pondered and thought and said that was true. It was more fun, when he put his heart into it.

I thank God for this teachable moment, and for the words for it, and for working in the heart of J.

J went on to complete his music coloring homework with self-motivated effort. He loves coloring now. I hope this attitude will last and follow him when he starts school next year.

Friday 29 August 2014


J Summary (5Y5M24D) - Mommy is Wise & Daddy is Fun

Over breakfast this morning, J said, "I love my mommy, because she is very wise (klog)."

I couldn't like but asked, "What about daddy?"

J said, "I love my daddy, because he is fun to play with."

Ok, I am not as fun-loving as daddy, but still loved and accepted as I am nevertheless :-)

I wondered if it was because I have been reading and learning a lot of wisdom from Corrie ten Boom recently. When mommy is wise, it is because I have walked close with God, and when mommy is foolish, it is because mommy has walked far from God. J should not learn my foolishness, but should learn to seek wisdom from God.

J's Lunchbox

Clockwise from left: fiskafrikadeller (fish cakes from Netto), fried rice from dinner the day before, mixed nuts, rye bread spread with mooncake, raspberries, blueberries and baby cucumber and baby carrots below.

Tuesday 26 August 2014


Montessori Activity: Introduction to the Stamp Game

AGE: 5 years (after the child is familiar with the decimal system, Static Addition With Golden Beads
and Dynamic Addition With Golden Beads)


1. Practice in the function of quantity.
2. Preparation for the four operations with the stamp game.


1. Stamp Game.
2. Introduction to Decimal Quantity Tray
3. Large Number Cards
4. 1 mat


1. Introduce your child to the stamp game and compare them with the Golden Bead material to show your child the connection.

2. Place the large number cards 1000, 100, 10 and 1 on the table in a row and say, "unit, ten hundred, thousand."

3. Bring the presentation tray, remove the 1000-cube, 100-square, 10-bar and 1-unit and place them below the large number cards respectively.

4. Show the child the green 1 unit stamp and say, "This is 1. It is the same as the unit bead" and place the unit tile below the unit bead.

5. Show the child the blue 10 stamp and have him say 10. Tell the child that this is just like the ten-bar and place the 10-bar next to the 10 tile.

6. Do the same for stamps of 100 and 1000.

7. Do a Three Period Lesson with the 1, 10, 100, and 1000 tiles.


1. Show your child that when taking out the unit stamps, they should be placed below the compartment of the unit stamps in a vertical line. For example, place 5 unit stamps under the compartment of the unit stamps. Do the same with tens, hundreds and thousands.

2. Think and write down a number using a two place value numeral, then three, then four for example 30, 500 and 2000 and compose them with the appropriate stamps 3 tens, 5 hundreds, 2 thousands. Ask your child to pick the respective golden beads - unit beads, 10-bars, 100-squares, 1000-cubes as comparison.

3. Have the child read the stamps.

4. Give your child a number and let him try to pick out the appropriate golden beads and then the appropriate stamps.

5. Let your child try to compose a number and let him pick out the appropriate cards and stamps.

6. Remember to have your child put back the tiles into their compartments after each try.



1. Seeing a new material which represents a familiar concept.
2. Color of the stamps.
3. Numerals on the stamps.
4. Seeing the different categories in the box.
5. Counting the stamps and finding matching symbols.


The stamp game is available from Amazon:

Monday 25 August 2014


J Summary (5Y5M20D) - A Day of Rest on Sunday

I have been thinking that we should keep Sunday a day of rest, but haven't had the discipline to do that, and as a mom with a "tiger-mom" tendency, it requires a lot of prayer and help from God to deskin myself from the "kiasu-ness" that so much characterise me as a typical Singaporean.

Yesterday, I finally tried. The day before, I told J that Sunday is a day of rest - Sabbath, and we will not be doing anything - no homework, no need to practise piano, no need to do Maths sum, no need to practice Chinese characters. He said "Yeh"

We woke up Sunday morning, and an idea just came to read Genesis story of creation... "and on the seventh day, God rested." We also read Exodus 20 on the 10 commandments of the Sabbath day. This would be our act of worship, since we would not be going to church today as we had been invited to a birthday party.

Then we went down to have breakfast. Just as I declared Sunday a day of rest, he wanted to work on Montessori!!! He had fun with the Addition Strip Board making different combinations of addition the evening before and wanted to do it again. Thus, we did briefly the Montessori Addition Strip Board after breakfast, so I had not quite fully kept Sunday as a untouched day of rest. After the birthday party, J watched videos, played with iPad and we had Family Time in the evening. That was our Sunday.

The followin day, which was Monday today, J made his bed, washed his dishes after breakfast. I requested him to do homework, Maths sums, practise piano, write Chinese characters, etc. and everything went without the usual energy sapping nagging required and also accomplished faster.

It may seem like a coincidence, perhaps because of the freshness of having taken a day's break, or perhaps J's way of repaying for having a day of not having to do any work on Sunday, but I held it to my heart believing it as God's kindness in showing us how He blesses us with more, when we give Him our Sunday and make Sunday a day of rest, already the day after, rather than it being a coincidence. I am thankful to God. Next Sunday, we will learn to practise the Sabbath as a day of rest again until it becomes a tradition in our family. The good thing is that Daddy loves to relax, thus, it should not be difficult to get his support :-)

J Summary (5Y5M20D) - The best thing in the world, is that I have mom and dad...

J said this over dinner this evening, "Det bedste i verden, at jeg har mor og far." - The best thing in the world, is that I have mom and dad. We were very touched and we just want to remember it.

J Summary (5Y5M20D) - Name Pancake

What to do with the leftover pancake mixture that is not enough to form into a round pancake?

J requested it to be made into his name and we put it in his lunch box to kindergarten.

It is a fun way for younger children to learn or revise their names or letters :-)

Saturday 23 August 2014


The Power of the Dining Table

Don't underestimate the power and importance of your dining table.

I am reminded of its importance from the famous and amazing Dutch woman Corrie ten Boom:

"Can a piece of furniture be important? The oval table in our dinning room was the gathering place for hopes and dreams, the listening place for prayers and petitions, and the loving place for joy and laughter." - Corrie ten Boom (Author of the book: In My Father's Hourse - The Years Before the Hiding Place)

However, meal times at our home can sometimes degenerate into this:

J reading his Donald Duck comics, Daddy reading the news on the iPad and me absorbed in the books of amazing biographies of great people... and at the same time eating. When I catch myself and resist the temptation, it is easy for us moms to nag or explode our children and spouse out of this. But the best way is to take it to the Lord and pray and gently coach our family members out of their cocoons... not easy, but the best way.

We are not a perfect family and we don't always achieve it. But the important thing is the progress. Tomorrow is yet another day to try :-)

May our dining table be a place of fond memories years down the road in our family. This is the prayer and goal of our family and may it be everyone's too.

J Summary (5Y5M18D) - In My Father's House...

This evening, we read a story about a boy called Daniel. Daniel's friend's dad said, "Daniel, I encourage you to read God's Word every day. Why don't you begin by reading the Gospel of John." In the story, we also read this Bible verse:

"Do not let your heards be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will also come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." - 2 Corinthians 8:9

J said that the picture in the book that the boy was reading looked like my Bible, and he went to our bedroom to fetch the Bible. Inspired by the story, I then start by reading John 1:1-3 from my own Bible.

J prayed, "Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me, forgiving my sins and preparing a place for us in heaven." I want to remember his prayer.

I asked J if he remembered the time he accepted Jesus into his heart. He said yes. I asked him if he remembered how old he was. He said he was 3 years old. I asked him if he remembered where. He said it was in his room. I asked him if he remembered the story I read to him at that moment, and he said it was Jesus death on the cross and his ressurection from the Rhyme Bible and he went to bring me that Bible. He could remember all. This gave me assurance that he did not just accept Christ without quite knowing it, when he was 3 years old.

I held this close to my heart, thanking God for giving me a glimpse into his heart and faith. I thank God for His faithfulness and for my continued trust for the heart of J to Him.

Incidentally, recently, I was reading a book about Einstein and came across the concept of spacetime. I have been reading up on the universe and spacetime. As I read this verse, the thought of universe came to my mind. If the universe created by God can be so huge and is still expanding, heavens can't be less limited than the universe. I used to wonder how it could be that the heavens could house so many people who passed through the centuries. The incomprehensible size of the universe give us a glimpse of the heavens, and makes it possible.

This is the book I read to J:

Friday 22 August 2014


J Summary (5Y5M17D) - I Know that Mommy Loves Me

I said, "I love you, J" during bed time this evening. J said, "I know," in a very assured way and without any doubt. His answer assured me (I wrote a post on the touch of a mother's hands here). I wondered if it is becaue I have made a conscious effort to practise a loving touch with my hands, praying that it will leave J with a warm memory of his childhood. As I pondered, I am filled with gratitude and thanks to God for His faithfulness to my prayers thus far. I prayed that God will continue to give me a pair of warm, loving and thoughtful hands at home. It is a prayer that I pray for myself everyday if I remember, trusting in Him to cover my mistakes and gently remind me when I get things wrong.

We practised writing the Chinese character for "hand" today. And as he wrote, J said, "This is hand, the hand that Jesus gave to us" in mandarin.

What a delight to be giving a glimpse to his faith by hearing him giving credit to God for providing us hands. I hold it close to my heart.


30 August 2014

Adapted from Just One Cook Book


1. 2 packets of udon noodle thawed
2. 250g pork or chicken sliced
2. 1 clove garlic chopped (optional)
3. 1 onion sliced thin
4. 1 carrot sliced thin
5. 5 cabbage leaves sliced thin
6. 5 oyster mushrooms or shitake mushrooms sliced thin (optional)
7. 5 broccoli florets
8. 3 TBS cooking oil
9. 1-2 eggs (optional)

Marinade for meat:

1. 1 TBS soya sauce
2. 1 tsp cornstarch
3. Dash of pepper


1. 1 TBS Mentsuyu sauce
2. 1 TBS mirin (if you do not have, you can substitute with Chinese rice wine or skip this altogether)
3. Yakiudon or yakisoba sauce
4. Salt & pepper to taste


1. Sprinkle of bonito flakes (optional, if you don't have, you can do without it)
2. 1 stalk spring onion chopped
3. 1 fried egg and cut into slices (optional)


1. Blanch broccoli with boiling water, drain and run under cold water to retain the greenness and set aside.

2. Marinade meat with soya sauce, pepper and cornstarch and set aside.

3. Heat wok with 1 TBS cooking oil and meat until cooked. Remove and set aside.

4. Beat egg with sprinkle of salt, heat work with 1 tsp oil, fry egg, set aside and cut into slices.

5. Heat wok with 1 TBS and fry garlic until golden.

6. Add carrots, onions, mushrooms and cabbage and fry for a couple of minutes.

7. Add mirin and stir well for a minute.

8. Add udon noodle, Mentsuyu sauce and yakiudon sauce, stir and mix well. Sprinkle pepper.

9. Add broccoli and meat and mix well.

10. Dish and garnish with fried egg, spring onion and bonito flakes (optional)

Video Demonstration:

Additional Information:

If you could not find udon noodles, you can substitute with spaghetti cooked according to package instruction before frying the noodle. If you don't have Mentsuyu sauce, just substitute with soya sauce. I sometimes don't have the bonito flakes, and do without it. You can also add tofu or other vegetables to your liking :-)


0. Thaw udon noodles....

Prepare all the ingredients and set aside...
1. Blanch broccoli with boiling water, drain and run under cold water to retain the greenness and set aside.
2. Marinade meat with soya sauce, pepper and cornstarch and set aside.

3. Heat wok with 1 TBS cooking oil and meat until cooked. Remove and set aside.

4. Beat egg with sprinkle of salt, heat work with 1 tsp oil, fry egg, set aside and cut into slices.

5. Heat wok with 1 TBS and fry garlic until golden.

6. Add carrots...

....add onions...

...add mushrooms and cabbage and fry for a couple of minutes.

7. Add mirin and stir well for a minute.

8. Add udon noodles...

... add Mentsuyu sauce and yakiudon sauce, stir and mix well.

9. Add broccoli and meat and mix well (forgot to take picture)

17 May 2015
10. Dish and garnish with fried egg, spring onion and bonito flakes

15 September 2014

Thursday 21 August 2014


Montessori Activity: Addition Strip Board

AGE: 5.5 to 6 years (after introduction to decimal system, golden bead work, bead stair, teen board, etc.)


1. To provide your child with concrete experience in addition.
2. To prepare your child in learning the addition tables.
3. To prepare your child for abstract mathematics.
4. To train concentration.


1. Addition Strip Board
2. 1 set of addition worksheets containing problems under 9
3. 1 set of addition worksheets containing problems over 9


1. Place the board on the table.

2. Point to the numbers at the top of the board and say, “This is where the answer is found.”

3. Have the child take out all the blue strips and arrange them in sequence either above or beside the board.

4. Have the child take out all the red strips and arrange them in sequence either above or beside the board.

5. Select a problem such as 2+3=?

6. Select the blue strip 2 and place it on the first row of squares from left.

7. Select the red strip 3 and place it after the blue strip covering more squares of the first row.

8. Call attention to the position of the strips by pointing to the strip and number on it and say the problem "2+3=".

9. Point to the number above the end of the second strip and say, “This is the answer.” Then say, "2+3=5" pointing out each part as you say it.

10. Review the written problem and write down the answer on the addition worksheet.

11. Return the strips to the stair at the completion of the problem. (Later a child might choose to continue by leaving each problem, but leaving them on the board limits the strips available).

12. Repeat with the next problem and allow the child to work with it as soon as he seems to understand the procedure.



1. Give the child equations in another form:


1. Verification by the Directress.
2. Verification by the Addition Chart.


1. Have the child set up the material as in Presentation 1.

2. Ask your child to place the blue 8 strip on the board.

3. Say, “Let’s find all the ways to make 8.”

4. Have your child place the blue 1 strip on the board and count the remaining squares.

5. Ask, "What red strip do we need to make 8?"

6. Let your child place the red 7 strip next to the blue 1 strip.

7. Write 1 + 7 =8 on a paper and read it together with your child.

8. Have the child place the blue 2 strip on the chart. He should then place the red 6 strip next to the blue 2 strip.

9. Record and read as before.

10. Say, "We are now going to look to see if there are any more combinations such as 7 + 1 and 1 + 7, etc."

11. Continue in the same way until all combinations are exhausted.


I tried this with J on 23 August 2014 (5Y5M17D). He was able to use it well, though he was not too keen after a few equations. The following day, we tried presentation 2. We took turns to make different combinations and he found it fun. There were lots of laughter and he enjoyed it. He said he wanted to do it again tomorrow (Sunday). I was thrilled that he on his own initiative wanted to do it again, and was tempted for a moment, but I told him that Sunday is a day of rest and we would not be working on Montessori. It will be the first time that I am trying it out not to do any work on Sunday, but simply to rest, play and enjoy the time with the family. I hope I will succeed.


- Shu-Chen Jenny Yen’s On-line Montessori Albums



We did, for example, different combinations that add up to 15

 The Montessori Addition Strip Board is available from Amazon:


Books On Famous Scientists for Children

I am currently reading a biography on Einstein and His Life. J was curious about what I am reading, but the book is not suitable for him. But I have found some books which are suitable for J:

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642):

Isaac Newton (1643-1727):


Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Fun Children's Physics, Chemistry & Biology Books

I found some great introduction books to Physics, Chemistry and Biology for young children. I like them for presenting the terminology/jargon of the subject matter in a interesting and easy-to-understand way for small children. These books serve to wet the appetite of young children to Science and Maths.

They are available from Amazon:

Monday 18 August 2014


Sweet Sour Pork/Chicken/Fish

Sweet Sour Fish


1. 300-350g pork, chicken or fish fillets sliced into bite size
2. 1 red or green pepper bell cut into small pieces
3. 1 carrot cut into small pieces
4. 1 cup of cut pine apple slices
5. 1 clove garlic chopped
6. Cooking oil for deep-frying
7. 6 TBS corn starch (or 3 TBS cornstarch and 3 TBS oatmeal powder) for coating meat
8. Handful of broccoli florets (optional)

Marinade Ingredients:

1. 1TBS soya sauce
2. 1 egg yolk
3. 1 tsp cornstarch

Sauce Ingredients:

1. 1 TBS sugar
2. 2 TBS vinegar
3. 2 TBS tomato ketchup
4. 2 TBS water
5. 1 tsp cornstarch
6. 1/2 tsp salt


1. Blanch broccoli with boiling water and run under cold water.

2. Roll meat in cornstarch.

3. Heat oil for deep-frying and fry meat over medium-high heat for 2 mintues. Remove and drain.

4. Drain off all but 3 TBS oil and fry garlic until golden.

5. Add carrots and stir-fry for a few minutes.

6. Add pepper bell and broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

7. Add sauce ingredients and stir well. Adjust with a little water if needed to derive the desired sauce consistency.

8. Add pineapple and meat.

9. Dish up and serve.

Additional Information:

I made sweet sour fish today. I used salmon fillet, since it is the type of fish fillets that are readily available in Denmark.

Deep fry the meat which is coated with corn starch

Monday 11 August 2014


Phone app takes you on learning trails across Singapore

Saturday 9 August 2014


J Summary (5Y5M4D) - Reverse Pyschology Did the Trick

On a struggling Sunday evening...

J: Mommy, I am very tired now. Can we not practise the piano? Can I go to bed now?

Mommy: Ok, you don't have to practise the piano. You are so tired already after a long weekend. You can go to bed now.

Half an hour later... downstairs he went and started practising... completing all the pieces on his own initiative and later with me by his side.

Reverse pyschology did the trick :-) Yipee!!!

Friday 8 August 2014


J Summary (5Y5M4D) - On a Sleepy Saturday Morning...

J: Mommy, wake up

Mommy: Okie (Zzzzzzz)

J: Mommy, wake up.

Mommy: Okie (Zzzzzzz)

J: Mommy, wake up. Otherwise, we have no time to practise the piano!

Mommy: Okie dokie, true (Mommy sprang out of bed right away)

J knows the way to Mommy's heart... or should I say, Mommy's sleepy head.

One hour later... J is still not at his piano.

Mommy: @@@@????!!!! (Got cheated)

J Summary (5Y5M3D) - Salad Train

Just want to remember an evening of bonding with J. J created a game of fetching the fruit with the train, after reading the Thomas-the-Train story book. I would rather have my own time, but I was glad that I was able to put my needs away, and played with him. It was a very simple game. According to his instructions, we simply took turns to fetch the fruit with the train, then built a mountain with it, and then we ate them... carrots, green peas, apples and pineapples. The fruit did fall off the train. I managed to resist feeling the mess and telling him not to eat it, and putting aside homework that took strength to resist for a kiasu Singaporean in me. We ate it all.

Play doesn't come easy to me, I much prefer work. Play is work to me, and work is play to me. But I want to remember the main reason for going part-time is to simply play with J, no other lofty goals. Full-stop. And here I am learning to play with our boy who is growing up fast to soon become a man. Thanks for this evening. Mundane, but full of sweet precious memories.

Monday 4 August 2014



1. 1/2 cup popcorn kerners
2. 2 TBS cooking oil or butter

1. Heat pot with oil under medium heat (no. 5 on my stove) and put lid on.
2. Drop in 2 corn kerners to check for the right heat and put lid on.
3. Once test corn kerners pop, add the rest of the corn kerners and put lid on.
4. Shake the pot to prevent burn and have a little air opening to give crispy popcorn.
5. Once there is no popping sound left, season with salt or sugar as desired.

Additional Information:
This is a good snack to win the heart of your child during one-on-one date. I made this for J, to accompany the video we were watching together, or rather, he was watching. I need to be better at watching videos with J :-) I was reading my book, while he was watching the video. The book that I was reading was Einstein and his life. Will try this again next time.


15 June 2015 (6Y3M10D)

15 June 2015 (6Y3M10D)

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