Monday 31 March 2014


Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream

Make 600ml ice-cream, serves 4-6

- 1 cup (240ml) fresh milk
- 100ml whipped cream (36% fat)/piskefløde
- 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup or (90g) brown sugar
- 200g strawberries
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 fresh vanilla bean (optional)


1. Place a bowl in ice-water and let it cool down.

2. Pour whipping cream into the bowl and whip the cream with a hand-mixer until it turns thicker.

3. Pour milk into a container, add in vanilla, strawberries, lemon juice and brown sugar, and stir until dissolved or blend in mini baby blender for 30 seconds.

4. Add the strawberries mixture to the whipping cream and gently stir the mixture while keeping the form as it is (it doesn’t have to be even at this moment).

5. Pour in the mixture into the ice-cream maker. In about 20 minutes, the mixture will gradually become smoother in the ice-cream maker. It is ready to be served. If you like the ice-cream firmer, place the ice-cream in the freezer for an extra 1 hour.

Additional Information:
Yesterday, J had been wanting to experiment with making ice-cream. I am off work today, and J asked that he could stay home instead of going to the kindergarten. Ice-cream is not the most healthy food, but it is cozy and fun to make together once in a while, and it is nice to do something your child looks forward to. Before we started making ice-cream, I asked him, what he think ice-cream is made.

He said take apples, cut them into small pieces, freeze them and blend them and bravo - you get ice-cream :-) Not quite right. Then he said ice-cream is made from blending ice. Not quite right too. I told him that that way of making is more like making ice-cachang, a type of Singapore dessert, but not make ice-cream. It was very exciting and lot of fun for him to see how ice-cream is made. So this morning, we had a date together - we went to shop for the ingredients together and then we went home to make ice-cream. It was a memorable and fun day together. I am learning to have fun with J (yes, being an Merlion mom and I think most Merlion moms are not so good in having fun with our kids compared to American moms. We are better at doing assessment books with our kids and sending our kids to enrichment classes - that comes more natural to us), but I am slowly learning, and I thank God for the opportunity and the luxury of time to do this together with J. Indeed we are very blessed to have such simple joy.

Sunday 30 March 2014


Cultural Differences

In Singapore, kids are sent for robotics programming and piano class are the number 1 priority. Sending your kids to football is unheard of, at least in my generation. The focus tends to be on academic development.
In Denmark, sending your kids to football is the number 1 priority (yes, even sending your daughters), at an early age before everything else. The focus tends to be on physical development.
In Denmark, people don't ask which enrichment programme you are sending your kids to), but whether you have sent your kids to football. (Enrichment centres? They are non-existence here. But in recent years, some Danes are looking for enrichment centres for their kids, but they are nowhere to be found. Singapore should consider starting some enrichment centres franchise here to take advantage of first mover)
And for us? Treading cultural pole line, we are doing all - so that we fit into both cultures. We are embracing the best of both culture. Hopefully we are making the right decision.



J's favorite toy at the moment. Being a Merlion Mom (a friend of mine calls me that, who is herself a Merlion Mom), I am always on a look-out for educational toys that can stimulate J. But I am not very good in following him, rather, I am directing him most of the time, which is running contrary to the Montessori concept of following the child. I am still learning and hopes to be better. This is a weakness of most Asian moms.

J talks a lot about countries and the earth. So I decided to buy this globe when I saw it on discount at a bookshop in our neighbourhood. We have also been talking about the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 371 and where the southern Indian Ocean is. J was able to point out where Australia is on his own (since we were in Australia on vacation in January). I need to pray with J for the flight. It is really sad...

It is an instant hit. I should spend more time on the globe for the next few weeks. He also loves the fact that it can light up - it is a lamp. The light actually helps to see the countries on the globe better. Very good quality and I highly recommend.

You can also find it on Amazon:


J Summary (5Y0M25D) - Our Fifth Weekly Family Meeting Night (WFMN)

Daddy read about life for his grandfather under 2nd World War as narrated by his father

It's our 5th WFMN. I didn't manage to make any snacks for our WFMN this evening. So far, I have been leading for the last 5 family meetings. Praying that Daddy will one day take the lead for the family meeting too.

Weekly Family Meeting Night Agenda

Date: Sunday 30 March 2014
Time: 6.15-8.15pm (2 hours)

6.15-6.45pm: Review Family Calendar & Thanksgiving & Affirmation & Goal Setting (5 mins)

We rang the bell to indicate our family meeting time and opened with a prayer. We discussed next week's engagements and a couple of months ahead - Easter vacation and visit to Knuthenborg safari, friends to invite for dinner.

We each shared something that we are thankful for the week:
Daddy: Safe business trip to Berlin
Mommy: Thanksgiving for a good and sincere friend in Adrienne. Thanksgiving that sis has given birth safely to a baby boy.
J: Successful treatment with his right nose. Found back his sticker book.

6.45-6.55pm: Set Goals for Next Week (5 mins)

We did not set goals for this week past - we forgot.

Next week's goal:

We each set a goal for next week:
Daddy: Private :-)
Mommy: Read 1 chaper of The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius and Autism
J: Be a sweet and a good host to his playdate Askel

6.55-7.00pm: Talent Show (5 mins)

J performed "Kære Sol" for us on the piano.

7.00-7.30pm: Short Lesson (30 hour)

Daddy read aloud one section on second world war in the book "Mit livs mosaics" about farfar's childhood.

7.30-7.45pm: Short Lesson on ABC Bible Book (15 mins)

I read the ABC Bible Verses book aloud - Letter L - Let your light shine before man. I am not sure how much he listened as he wasn't very serious or attentive, but I can only commit to God. I will continue to pray and adjust accordingly and not to give up. Praying that God will work on the heart of J and that He will give me the wisdom on the heart training of J.

Today's story was about a boy named Tommy shoving Bill. Bill got angry but remembered to let his light shine before man. So he told Tommy that it is not right to fight, that he would not fight with Tommy and that Jesus would not want people to fight. As I read this story, J asked me what "shoved" meant and told me that a boy in kindergarten pushed him away and refused to let him join in the play. So we went through what the right thing to do would be. The right way to react is as the boy, Bill, in the story did. So we practised with J how to tell the boy in his kindergarten that he would not want to fight and that it is wrong to fight. If we hadn't read this story, J wouldn't have told us his encounter at the kindergarten. So a thanksgiving to God. We ended with a prayer. I now know where I should concentrate my prayer on.

This is a very good book in terms of teaching children moral, ethics and how to lead life as a human being. You can find it in Amazon:

We closed with a word of prayer, that I will be sensitive to observe what J's interests lie, and also my nieces and nephews interests. It is only by nurturing a child's interests that the child can reach his/her full potential, as I read from the book "The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing, Genius and Autism."

You can find this book from Amazon:

We didn't sing any song from the song book nor end with our family cheers. Firstly because I forgot. I forgot, because we ran out of time.

7.45-8.15pm: Fun Time (30 mins)

I promised J that he could watch a video today, but we did not have the time in the afternoon, as he was busy planting vegetables and flowers with Daddy. So this evening, we did not play any boardgame, but watched a kid's DVD instead at the request of J.

Here were our first four experiences with WFMNs:

If you wish to know more about how to implement WFMN, ideas for WFMN and a sample WFMN schedule, the following are the links to my posts:

If you weary and giving up, here are some encouragements to cheer you to press on:

Here are some healthy homemade snacks and drinks to entice your family to come for the meeting :-)

Wednesday 26 March 2014


J Summary (5Y0M21D) - Milestones at 5 Years Old

J is more consistently making his own bed, getting dressed, before coming down for breakfast.

He loves to color and can sit and color for 20-30 mins in one go.

He still isn't so fond of jigsaw puzzles as I would like him to.

He can string a bead necklace or bracelet from start to end.

He can cycle very well, starting and stopping easily by himself.

He is also navigating very well on the scooter.

He enjoys playing football, but too gentle when kicking the ball... reminding me of myself.

He is getting better at controlling his stroke when writing Chinese characters.

He loves to draw.

He loves to make theatre play.

He enjoys taking pictures with his camera.

He took iniative with cutting activities and completed the whole book within a month in April 2014.

He can wash dishes rather well with supervision.

He is happy to do Montessori Maths as long as I don't pressurize him or get angry with him.

He is willing to write Chinese characters as long as I don't pressurize him or correct him too much.

He is willing to play the piano as long as I don't pressurize him or correct him too much.

He still doesn't take initiative to greet people, which we are working on it.

Last year, this time, he hadn't started to learn how to cycle. This year this time, he has mastered cycling, getting up and down the bike, turning and cycling all by himself.

Last year this time, he could not swim and float from one end of the other end of the pool. This year this time, he can swim from one end of the pool to the other end, although not the right strokes.

29 March 2014 - A picture of us taken by J

Saturday 22 March 2014


This Mother Tore Off Labels And Nurtured Her Son’s Hidden Genius

What an inspiring mom who never give up on her son, but gave her all and persevered on... A good reminder to all of us whose kids are labelled with autism, ADHD, etc. There is a purpose for every child, we just need to find it and affirm it, instead of trying to change our child.

This is a story of how we can build self-motivation in our child. We need to focus on what they are interested in and nuture that.

I am not very good in following J, in observing and discovering his interests. This book reminds me that I should see what J's interests lies and provide him with opportunities to develop his interests. This will be my prayer request, and I thank God for speaking to me through this book. I also need to pray more ernestly to observe my nephews JN's and R's, and niece C's interests.

I highly recommend this book. It is not so much about nurturing genius, but nurturing a child's to his/her full potential.

Here are 8 parenting tips from her:

The book she wrote is available from Amazon:

Monday 17 March 2014


How to Provide a Fun Way to Give 听写 (Spelling & Dictation) to Preschoolers?

We have replaced our Montessori Salt Tray with Doodle Art, as J is able to control his pencil grip. Here is how it works.
Age: From 4-6 years old
To provide a fun, easy and convenient way to learn English phonics, Chinese 汉语拼音 (hanyu pinyin) and Chinese 汉字 (Chinese characters) through 听写 (tingxie) meaning Spelling & Dictation.
Doodle Art
1. It can be used in the following situations:
- While your child is waiting for Mommy to do her make-up and get dressed...
- While waiting at the entrance for Daddy to be ready to bring your child to kindergarten...
- While Mommy is doing chores at home...
- While sitting in the train...
2. Say a letter out loud and clear to your child.
3. Your child writes the letter without following any text.
4. Correct the result of what your child has written
1. Fun & Speed - J does not like to use paper and pencil to write for 听写. With Doodle Art, it is much easier and faster, and he is much more motivated.
2. Mess and paper free - no eraser needed.
1. This doesn't allow more complex 听写 to be executed, but it doesn't matter at J's age.
Additional Information:
The Chinese teacher in Copenhagen that J attends has a very high academic standard. 听写 has been introduced to his class a month ago. Unless I go along with her, J will fall behind the class, although thus far his teacher has been very kind and compassionate.
听写 is a very common learning method used in China and Singapore. You say a word or a letter and the child writes out the word, without looking at any text. It is rote learning at its core. But then again, how can a child learn to write ABCs without any rote learning? How else can a child learn how to write Chinese character without putting them into memory?
But how can we balance the east and western methods, ensuring that the child learns his hanyu pinyin, letters and yet does not kill his joy for learning? I have no easy answer. I am still experimenting.
In my opinion, J is a little too young for 听写. But to my great surprise, how effective it has been. He has been learning his ABCs for months, always missing out a letter or two here and there. But he was able to nail it down and mastered it, when I gave him 听写.
I remembered I hated 听写 as a kid. But I have a mum who was very dedicated in giving me 听写. As such, my Chinese was almost always at perfect score and at the top of my class throughout my primary school years. But my mum didn't know English and couldn't help me with it. As a result, I am one of the poorest in my class for English.
Even though I have gone part-time, time is too short in a day to cover everything. How can I squeeze it in, so that J does not fall too far behind the Chinese kids in Copenhagen? 听写 is usually done on paper and pen. However, the Doddle Art provides a convenient way to work it into a mom's daily busy routine.

15 March 2014 (5Y0M9D) - J learning to write his A-Z from memory, while I was busy with other chores
Our mini version of the Doodle Art for use on the train

Doodle Art is available from Amazon:

Sunday 16 March 2014


Reflection: Starting Over & Over Again

I lost my cool and snapped at J over this and this - the two expectations of utmost importance to an Asian mom (as you can probably guessed). I told him that I was utterly disappointed in him, stopped short of using the word s*****

It was too much for me. I saw no way out. I needed to give myself a time-out. I left the dinning table and went upstairs... and sulk.

Self-pity overtook me and negative thoughts spiralled me down.

Why am I doing so much? I am tired and weary. I started to complain and calculate.

With whatever bit of sheer will power left, I forced myself to stop this negative thought. I dragged my feet into the bedroom, looked up into the sky, kneeled before the Lord beside the bed, opened my Bible and prayed. I turned to Proverbs 31: 10-31 and read it again.

I told God, "God, I can't accept this and this about J."

"God, I don't want to give anymore."

"God, the other mothers have it easier."

Then my thoughts returned to the dining table. Leaving the dinning table just like that, a mommy behaving like a immature disrespectful little girl.

I was upset with J for not being respectful, and yet ironically I countered it with an equal dose disrespect myself - disrespect for dinner time!!! What kind of a mom am I???

Surely no one can be a worse mom than me. NO ONE. Totally childish.

A feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness crept in.

But God said to me, "I still love you inspite of your childish behavior. So, will you still love J if he does not measure up?"

There and there I evaluated over my conditional love for J and felt ashamed of it.

I paused.

I said, "Yes God, I will still hold him in my arms unconditionally."

God's unconditional love and His forgiveness for my sins yet once again. Yet once again, He took away my guilt, allowing me to try again..

I need to erase my mistakes, just as God erases my mistakes, stop the negative thoughts and have the courage to try again.

J came upstairs. He said sorry to me. He said he will try again. I asked for his forgiveness. He forgave me instantly. And my Significant Other, he has forgiven me and given me a lot of good advice that enable me to try again.

"But God, I have done emotional damage with my outburst on J earlier."

How can I start over?

Tonight God showed me these verses from the Bible. It spoke directly to my heart just as I needed it.

"He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young."
- Isaiah 40:11

With my many weaknesses, I could probably cause much emotional damage. With my many flaws, I could probably teach J a lot of wrong things and bad behavior.

Where does my hope come from?

My only hope is in God.

That He would replace the negative thoughts with His wisdom. That He would cover J over all the mistakes that I have made and will be making.

The last line of the verse - "gently lead those what are with young" helps me to rest in Him. Yes, God leads me gently.

"He leads the mommies gently," in the words of a fellow mom whose reflection I read. And in the following words of that fellow mom that brought me great comfort:

"With the tired, he is gentle.
With the worried, he is gentle.
With the guilty, he is gentle.
With the frightened, he is gentle.
With the little ones over which we worry, he is gentle."

Seeing what I have done in my bad moment, you know you can't be a worse mommy than me.

If God can forgive me and lead me gently to try again, He can forgive you, lead you gently and enable you to try again too.

J Summary (5Y0M11D) - Our Fourth Weekly Family Meeting Night (WFMN)

It's amazing, today was our 4th WFMN. It has been a month already. It seemed like just yesterday that we started this tradition.

I did not manage to make any snacks for our WFMN this evening. I was too tired and running short of time.

J asked to have Family Fun Night and not Family Meeting Night. I said no no. To entice him, we accepted that the fun part would be the LEGO session. On hindsight, LEGO took too long time on a Sunday evening.

Weekly Family Meeting Night Agenda

Date: Sunday 16 March 2014
Time: 6.45-8.15pm (1.5 hours)

6.45-7pm: Tally the Smileys from Children's Bonus System

While waiting for Daddy to join us at the WFMN, we tallied up the weekly smileys from the children's bonus system. J earned 28 smileys this week. He used 20 smileys on an ice-cream and converted the rest into tokens and saved up in his piggybank.

7-7.05pm: Review Family Calendar & Thanksgiving & Affirmation & Goal Setting (5 mins)

We opened with a prayer. We discussed next week's engagements - invitation by friends, playdates arrangement, the idea of joining the Powerwomen exercise, which also included kids. We decided not to sign J up, because his calendar is full of activities, but I will sign up alone and use the my off on Thursday to work out.

We each shared something that we are thankful for the week:
Daddy: Thankful that the model he developed led to reduction in calculation time.
Mommy: Thankful that the bead that J swallowed accidentally came out of his system. Thankful that we managed to follow through with the volunteering experience last Thursday in the midst of super hectic schedule. Thankful that Daddy took time to do the Solar System activity with J.
J: Thankful for everything that Mommy had mentioned. What a copycat!

7.05-7.10pm: Set Goals for Next Week (5 mins)

We reviewed the goals we set for this week. We all achieved our goals :-)

Next week's goal:

We each set a goal for next week:
Daddy: Be a good colleague to a new colleague who start next week - help him get a good start
Mommy: Exercise at least once a week
J: Exercise at least once a week (copy cat again) and jog to a friend's place if he is invited to a friend who lives nearby

7.10-7.15pm: Talent Show (5 mins)

J performed Nissermand hopper and pret-a-pret for us on the piano.

7.15-7.40pm: Short Lesson (30 hour)

Daddy read aloud one section of chapter 3 of the book "Mit livs mosaics." about farfar's childhood.

I read the ABC Bible Verses book aloud - Letter J. This week, although he seemed not to listen, he got it right when I asked questions. This is thanks to the Sunday School he has been attending in church. My gratefulness to all the Sunday School teachers.

7.40-7.45pm: Sing & Pray (5 mins)

We closed with a word of prayer, thankful that our family meeting got on well, despite a little challenging start. We thanked God for a good week, and prayed for God's guidance for the next week. We forgot to pray for the Malaysian flight went missing, although it was on my mind, but J was distracting me too much. I need to remember to pray with the family tomorrow.

We sang two songs from our song file.

We forgot to end with the bell, but we remembered to end with our family cheers - the full version.

7.45-8.15pm: Fun Time (30 mins)

J's suggestion to play LEGO with Daddy. It was probably a bad choice as it took a lot of time, and it was past J's bedtime, but Daddy and J had great fun. We are trying to move J's bedtime up after being inspired by my friends whose kids sleep by 8pm.

Here were our first three experiences with WFMNs:
If you wish to know more about how to implement WFMN, ideas for WFMN and a sample WFMN schedule, the following are the links to my posts:

If you weary and giving up, here are some encouragements to cheer you to press on:

Here are some healthy homemade snacks and drinks to entice your family to come for the meeting :-)

J Summary (5Y0M11D) - Goodbye Montessori Salt Tray...

We said goodbye to our salt tray, as its purpose ran out. now that he can control a pencil. It was used for J to practise drawing straight lines, circles and writing the letters with his fingers from he was 2 years old. Although we did not use it a whole lot, I was a little overcome with emotions... like when we said goodbye to breast-feeding, when we said goodbye to the diapers, when we said goodbye to sippy cup, when we said goodbye to bibs... Boy, J is growing up fast, and we are bearly catching up with the flying of time...

Saturday 15 March 2014


LEGO Junior Robotics Course

2 January 2014 (4Y9M27D) - LEGO robot built by J

While we were back to Singapore in January, J took a course on LEGO Junior Robotics from My 1st 3D at Pomo Singapore.

You can read more about them here:

Age: From 4-8 years old

Key Learning Values:
1. Learn to program a robot
2. Brainstorm to find creative alternative solutions
3. Experiment using variables
4. Record observations like time and distance
5. Use mathematical skills like adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and estimating
6. Use feedback to adjust a programming system

Additional Information:
The LEGO robotics course is multi-faceted - it encompasses the 5 components essential for problem-solving: imagine, design, build, program and testing

It is also is multi-sensorial - it uses the senses of touch, hearing and sight when children build their models, suiting J's age.

According to the company, this is a starter course for children with no robotics experience. Children are brought into the world of science and technology with LEGO Education WeDo sets to design and build their own robots and be introduced the basics of robotics. Children then apply their problem-solving skills when presented with a problem, a must know in today's society.

We were very pleased with it and J had great fun and learning experience with it. We wish that Denmark has something like that.

Below are some videos and pictures from the course:

Updates 16 May 2014: Our LEGO Robotics arrived the day before. J could not wait to build a model with Daddy the following day. J chose an alligator that can bite when you throw something into its mouth. J built it mainly by himself with supervision from Daddy.


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