Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Little India/ Deepavali

Oops!  I forgot some photos.  Republishing.  

Deepavali is today!  It's the Indian holiday, Festival of Lights.  I took the boys down to Little India on Monday and we cruised around checking out all that was to be seen, heard, touched, ate, and smelled.  

The markets smell like flowers because there are so many of these lovely garlands hanging up.  

I'm pretty sure this food is always like this there but I just love the way it looks.  

The streets are decorated (and light up at night) for the big holiday.
This is one of the lanes where the merchants are selling all kinds of festive Indian decor.
These are placed on the floors, sometimes made with colorful sand or rice.

We had to have lunch in Little India since Indian is probably our favorite food!

We stopped by the temple.  When Evan went for his field trip a couple weeks back I think he got to go inside.  Today we just took pictures outside.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

There is Beauty All Around

The day after Legoland Ryan got sick.  And then a day and a half later Evan got sick.  And then a day and a half after that I got sick.  I do not do well with illness.  I don't like it when my kids are sick but I have the worst immune system in our little family and for some reason, when I get sick I feel like I am dying.  DYYYYYING.  I do realize that I am, not in fact actually dying.  But that's what it feels like.  We all had this cold that produced a nasty cough and a high fever.  For Ryan it lasted about three days.  For Evan it lasted about 5 and for me about 5 as well.  Three of those days were so bad for me that I didn't hardly get off the couch.  I even called Colin and asked him to come home and take care of me and the boys, on a Wednesday.  I never do that.  It was bad.  

My point is, I had a really time coming out of this illness and I don't feel like I've returned to my normal self yet.  The twelve days inside my apartment all cooped up without the ability to do anything really threw me in to a funk.  

I've been seeing so much negativity lately and it's really getting me down.  There are people in this world who suffer tragedies MUCH worse than a little cold.  And I wonder how on earth they have the strength to endure such challenges.  I won't go into the details of the personal lives of those around me, if you want to know of the negativity in the world, all you have to do is turn on the TV and watch your local six o'clock news.  

Sometimes in life you just feel the weight of it all.  It comes bearing down on you and you feel as though you'll suffocate.  I have felt a little bit like this recently.  

And then yesterday I went for a little walk.  There was a purpose in my walk but my focused changed.  I noticed a few flowers and I thought about how beautiful they were.  I realized, God is present in our lives.  He is there to send people, and things to beautify our world.  He is mindful of us.  He knows our struggles.  He knows our pain.  And he is merciful.  I realized that although there is negativity, evil, and tragedy in our world, there is also beauty.  And it is all around us.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The boys were out of school on Thursday and Friday of this week.  Evan had a birthday party to attend and Ryan had a zoo date on Thursday.  I proposed that Colin take the day off Friday and we all go to Legoland.  It's a bit of a tricky situation getting to Malaysia without a car but we put on our adventurous hats and off we went.  If you're wondering how we went, I'm happy to share.  We took the SMRT (public Singapore bus) number 950 to the border.  We had to get off, go through customs, get back on, drive to the border, get off and enter Malaysia.  Once we were in Malaysia we took a taxi (Teksi) to Legoland.  We paid 35RM (Malaysian Ringet) to drive the 30 minutes to the amusement park.
We arrived at the park right at opening and our kids were free with coupons off the Meji milk containers.  We purchased combo passes to the park and water park. The kids were given a passport book to collect stamps from all of the rides.  If they collected 10 stamps they'd earn 1 mini Lego figurine and if they collected 16 they'd earn 2.  It took us almost the whole day to circle the park collecting all of our passport stamps.  Ryan was really cute about keeping track of the passport and the stamps.
The park was nice and empty on Friday.  We ran into a few families from our school and even a few from our Condo.  It was so nice to have no lines on the rides and just basically have the place to ourselves.
Once we had collected all 16 of our stamps, we headed over to the water park for a much needed cool-off.  We tried nearly all of the slides and attractions at the water park and then we were ready to make the journey back home.  We did basically the same thing in reverse and it ended up being just fine.
I'm so glad we were finally able to make it to Legoland!  I feel like the park is best suited for kids between the ages of 5-12 or so and while my kids are in that age bracket I feel like we should take advantage.  We had an awesome time.
This video is 9 minutes long but it includes all of our pictures and videos from our day.  The song is pretty annoying so feel free to mute!  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mom & Ryan "date"

It seems like every weekend Ryan is asking me to spend some time alone; just the two of us.  So last weekend we didn't have much going on and I suggested that we go do something together.  I've been thinking of taking him to a neat place that I walk to while he's at school.  It's not really a hike but it's more than a walk, and to a nine year old, maybe a mini hike. We've started giving the kids allowance and they've been saving up for a pet but there haven't been any at the pet store.  I knew Ryan wanted to spend some of his money so I suggested that we go to the mall and buy something.   

As soon as we left our house it was a torrential downpour with the most lightning I'd ever seen.  I often tell people that I'm from the desert and I'm not used to this kind of rain.  After some posts on Social Media about the recent rain in my home town, I guess maybe I'm getting more used to the rain than I thought.  But the thunder and lightning? Maybe not so much.  It REALLY scares me!  So anyway, we decided to reverse the order of our date and go to the mall first and go on our mini hike afterward.  It worked out well aside from the fact that our shoes and socks were drenched the entire time.  

We took the bus over to the mall, had some lunch together, shopped around for matching beaded necklaces, shared an ice cream sundae, and then went on our little hike. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Lunch Date

Perhaps this is a mundane thing to blog about but aren't you glad I'm blogging so much?  That's what I thought!  

Whenever I have to make a trip to my doctor's office I go have lunch with Colin.  Hey, if I'm gonna go to a place that I can only reach by taxi, I may as well get my money's worth.  

Side note: One time I tried to reach the medical complex by train... BIG mistake. I ended up walking a LONG ways and it was so not worth the five minutes I spent inside collecting my meds.  Man, do I miss mail-in pharmacies.  

ANYWAY, Lunch.  So, I met Colin for lunch and we branched out a little bit and went to a new hawker center he had found at Tanjong Pagar Market.  I had this amazing Phad Thai and paid a whole 4 dollars.  Colin had some char siew pork.  It's always fun to see Colin in the middle of his enormously long work day.  

Chinatown decorated for Mid-Autumn festival. 

Colin and I downtown


Lemons and Sugar Cane

The market was really pretty with lots of flowers and fruits for sale.
I'd like to go back another day and explore it a little more.  

I love the colors of the fresh fruits.  Somehow the rain in the background just sets the mood.  ;)

Monday, September 01, 2014

Singapore: food edition

As promised, I'm writing about the food here in Singapore- as part of our 1 year mark reflections.  Perhaps this is a post I should have asked Colin to write about. He's much more into the food scene than I am.  I'm really not much of a foodie.  But Singapore could be considered a foodie's dream. There's some great food choices here and many people think that's one of the best things about Singapore! I guess one of those reasons could be because of all of the different cultures that call this country home- even if only for a little while.  Singapore is really a hub of all of South East Asia.  There are people here with backgrounds that include Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Thai, Filipino, Australian, and many more.  
Here are some of the dishes we've tried and enjoyed.  
Sweet & Sour Pork (from Noodle Man in Chinatown)
Since I'm Celiac and can't eat any noodles, this is what I get when I go there.  
I've always loved fruit, and mangoes are probably my all- time favorite.
Fruit is always in season and these are amazing. 
I still haven't been able to figure out how to pronounce the name of this burger.
It's a turkey burger in Teriyaki sauce with onions and a rice patty bun.
Another gluten free option and  I LOVE this meal.  

This is the noodle man making his noodles.  I hear they're pretty good!  

Beef noodle and chicken noodle soup

My all-time favorite Phad Thai! 
The ever famous Chicken Rice... not sure where Ryan's chicken is... and Iced Milo.
Milo is a chocolate drink kind of like Ovaltien. 

I think the family favorite so far is the Indian food.
We always order Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala but I pretty much love it all. 

OMG!  These Chinese Shaved Ice desserts are AMAZING

Indian flat bread- Naan and a few curries pictured here as well. 
Pineapple juice made with real sugar cane.  ugh  amazing