Monday, February 11, 2013

Viva La France - Dec 2012-Jan 2013 Trip

Yes! I am still scrapbooking.... albeit a little behind in everything.
I have yet to sort my photos, so can't really develop them for my pages.
Before I forget everything, I have to journal them down here... in this little blog of mine.

Sat, 29 Dec - Flight to Paris CDG via SIN
Sun, 30 Dec - Arrival in Paris
Mon, 31 Dec - Paris, Eiffel Tower Countdown
Tues, 1 Jan - Paris to Dijon, Overnight in Dijon
Wed, 2 Jan - Dijon to Lyon, Overnight in Lyon
Thurs, 3 Jan - Lyon to Nice, Lunch in Marseille
Fri, 4 Jan - Nice & Monte Carlo
Sat, 5 Jan - Nice to Arle, Cannes
Sun, 6 Jan - Avignon (Palace of Papals), Pont du Gard
Mon, 7 Jan - Arles, Nimes, Overnight in Carcasonne
Tues, 8 Jan - Carcasonne to Dordogne, Overnight in Dordogne
Wed, 9 Jan - Visit to Font du Gaume, Overnight in Loire Valley
Thurs, 10 Jan - Visit to Chateau de Chenonceau, back to Paris
Fri, 11 Jan - Paris
Sat, 12 Jan - Paris
Sun, 13 Jan - Flight back to KUL, via Amsterdam

Yeah. Yeah. Seems hectic with so many cities/towns covered. But because we rented our own car, we could adjust the schedule however we want, up to a certain extent... as I had pre-booked all our hotels. I didn't want to end up in a city with no place to stay. At least we didn't have to wake up at 6.00 AM! That's the normal wake-up call for most packaged tours.

More details about France....

Year of the Ssssnake 2013

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!
Wishing everyone an abundance of Health, Wealth and Happiness!!!

It is Chor-Yee (Second day of CNY) today... and things are certainly different from Malaysia or Singapore. Whereas these places will have at least two days of holidays, it's business-as-usual over here in Melbourne; and the boys are already back at school. Nope. No public holidays. Nada...

So how did we celebrate CNY over here?
We had REUNION DINNER on Saturday (9th Feb) with the hub's relatives - uncle and 2 sets of cousins etc. My youngest sis was supposed to join us with her hubby, but experienced Braxton Hix contractions. Asked her to stay home instead.

CNY Day... stayed in bed till about 10.30 am. So lazy. Then took S2 for his soccer information day.
I always sik-jai on Chor-Yatt so had bread and jam for lunch, for I had forgotten to cook my vegetarian Chap-Chye the day before. The boys and the hubs had bread with Spam. Supposed to go down to Crown Casino for the festivities. Am told that they have all sorts of food stalls, CNY performances, fireworks... but we were too lazy, and whilst we were just about to plonk down on the sofa... The hub's uncle called to ask us to visit an old aunt. So we went lor...

We had dinner with my sister & BIL at our house. What did we have?
- Yu Sang (of Course)
- Crabmeat and Sweetcorn Soup
- Vegetarian Chap Chye
- Fried SpareRibs
- Sang Choy Pau
- Fried Seafood with Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Roast Duck (Sis bought takeaway...)

Needless to say, we were all stuffed!

Friday, February 01, 2013

What's been happening???

From my previous post about our relocation......

Yup. The family has relocated from Jakarta to Melbourne in June/July 2012.

What has happened since then?

Boys started Term 3 of 2012 School Year in July - S1 in Year 9 and S2 in Year 7.
Due to the cut-off dates of their birthdays, S1 remained in the same year group as he was at BIS Jakarta. As for S2, he was moved to a year ahead. Thus notice the 2 years difference only...versus in their previous school. S1 in Year 10 and S2 in Year 7, ie. 3 years difference.
(Note: In the British System, the Years are up to 13; whereas in Australia, it is up to 12 ...just like in the States)

Both boys assimilated quite well into their new school, I think.
Although S1 theoretically repeated 1/2 year of school; it was good thing. At least he could spend the time making new friends, building up on the social stuff and not having to worry about catching up work. As he had already completed his IGCSE Maths in May 2012 (got an A, but not an A*.....definitely due to his carelessness! It was sooooo close to an A* that the teacher from BIS actually wrote to me for permission to get his paper remarked. They were hoping to an another A* into their list so that they can 'brag' about it on the results table. The remark came back unchanged. I tell you... I've marked my son's work. He is one of the most careless boys I know. He can have the right answer, but write the wrong answer on the answer sheet. He can actually lose all his marks on carelessness. I tell you...that boy!!!), he was pretty ahead in his Maths. For Science, some repeated topics...but there were also some additional stuff that he learned which was not covered at BIS. Stuff like dissecting a cow's eye to look at the lens etc. Cool. I thought. English wasn't a problem. But Humanities was a bit of a problem, as there were topics on Australian History. Aiyo. Even the father, who is a history buff knows nothing about Australian history. Australia got any history one meh??? Overall, the final report was quite pleasing lah.

S2 did pretty well too. He was already in the Accelerated Maths group at BIS, so transitioning to a higher year group wasn't a problem for him. English was okay...except for Writing. The grade was 'expected level at this year group', which to an Asian KIASU mom is NOT good enough!
If you've seen the Dr.XiaXia YouTube videos... We are Asians NOT Bsians!

How about me? Nothing much to report... other than being the maid (okay...not so much maid lah. Since boys do most of the housework like vacuuming, washing up, mopping, dusting, sweeping up leaves etc), cook, driver, etc...
More about me in a different post... a different day.

Anyway, we went back to Malaysia during the long Summer Holidays... for a month. We left Melbourne on the 23rd of December 2012, and got back on the 23rd of January 2013.
I have to say it was GREAT not having to do housework nor cook.
Gawd. I hate thinking of what to cook each day! Damn sien man.
This last week, I had to cook both lunch and dinner... I was going a bit crazy already. Can you imagine if I had to worry about lunch and dinner for one whole month? DIE lah...

Okay... to be continued

School: Term 1 begins....

Don't wanna sound like a broken record... but TIME really does fly. Doesn't it??

Anyway, school started yesterday (Thursday, 31st January 2013).
Boys are now going to school at different times!
S1 has been 'promoted' to High School and school starts at 8.10 am.
S2, who's in the Middle School starts at 9.00 am.
So the last two days, I've done two school runs in the morning. Not too bad lah... since school is only 5 minutes away.

What about dismissal?
ALAMAK. Also different times! I can't keep track... and S1 has volunteered to walk home from school.... except for Thursdays. We'll have to fine tune our pick-up/drop-off times in weeks to come, once we have a better idea on everyone's schedules and activities.

So how were the two days at school?
Both of them complained that they didn't like this teacher and that teacher etc etc.
S1 said "I don't like my English or Maths teacher".
Obviously, I asked why.
"Donno how to explain. But my Maths teacher is like YOU"
"What? What do you mean by saying you don't like her...because she is like me?"
You know why?? Because she was STRICT and gave the class homework on the first day.
That sure was mighty good news to this mom!
I like this teacher already!
S1 has to realise that he is now in High School and teachers do expect more responsibilities and more discipline.

Funny how the teachers they like, we don't like.
And the teachers they dislike, we like!

Why blogging is important...

So why do you think blogging is important?
Well, for starters, it helps to keep loved ones who are thousands of miles away informed about the going ons in your life.
But more importantly, it is for YOURSELF!

Well, for me. At least.
Especially when I find my memory going ....
I'm still pretty young, mind you!
But then... but then....

Realised that I should really really continue to blog today. And all because of PINEAPPLE TARTS!
Well, you see... we girls were gonna get-together to make pineapple tarts next week. For CNY, of course. And the topic of which recipe to use came up. I remembered using the recipe from Kenwood the last time I made, which yielded quite good results. The thing was... I wasn't sure if I used ALL butter or mix of half butter/half margarine or did I use Crisco?? I absolutely could not remember.
BUT when I googled for pineapple tarts recipe and Kenwood... there it was. My long ago post about Pineapple tarts was in the Search Results.... and what do you know? My post told me that I used ALL Crisco.. and to use half and half the next time!

 So.... will try to keep on blogginggggggggggg.

Watch this space!