Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Honey For A Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt

This book is an essential guide for parents who want to find good books for their children. A love of reading is the key to true learning. Train up a child in the way he should go is more than teaching him facts. It is to train the child's character, to give him high ideals and to encourage integrity. It is to provide largeness of thoughts, creative thinking, imaginative wondering - an adequate view of God and His world. The head does not hear anything until the heart listened and what the heart knows today, the head will understand tomorrow.
A child's basic needs are for milk and honey from parents. Milk is a symbol of care a child receives for his physical needs and honey is the sweetness of life, the special quality that gives the sparkle within a person. Good books are rich in honey.
What types of books?
·         Stories that make for wonder, for laughter.
·         Stories that stir one within with an understanding of the true nature of courage, of love, of beauty, stories that make one tingle with high adventure, with daring, with grim determination, with the capacity of seeing danger to the end.
·         Stories that bring our minds to kneel in reverence, stories that show the tenderness of mercy, the strength of loyalty, the respect for what is good.
·         Instead of pouring out so much knowledge on a child's soul that it is crushed, we should plant a seed of an idea that will develop from inside.
·         A good book is not problem-centred, it is people centred. It reveals how to be a human being and what the possibilities of life are - it offers hope.
·         Good literature has always dealt with truth but not in a way that makes man less. Good literature shows man how to be more.
Reading aloud and sharing a book demonstrates that stories are fun and books are friends. Parents who read widely together with their children are going to be those who most influence their children, who have the largest world view, who have an uncommon delight in what is good and true and beautiful - and an uncommon commitment to it. Sharing and feeling and talking together will come naturally. Books shared with each other provide that kind of climate.

FRIM - 6 Dec 2011

AVATAR backdrop in FRIM's Keruing trail

Our group of 10, the youngest being 5 years old made our inaugural jungle trek to FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia) in Kepong. The whole trek of 5 km would take about 3 hours, going through 4 different phases.

The youngest two tagging along....more conscious of the mosquitoes than the surroundings.

Nature's golden carpet, the moss.

Caterpillar eggs on a leaf.....

Starstruck, the flowers from the Keladan tree....

Our guide Nizam patiently explaining the good Ara versus the bad Ara trees, and other interesting plants which could be used to make food and things from chocolate, cosmetic, erasers, pencils, to furniture and bridges depending on the type of wood.

The Crown Shyness Phenomenon - the leaves of the kapur/camphor trees do not touch each other.

"I SPY".......

....the Canopy Walkway, the highlight of our walk, which is 150m long and built 30m above ground level.

Going downhill was more challenging with the steep and uneven terrain.

A drawing by Ming from the saga seeds that he picked up from the jungle.

Aviation Legacy - 15 Dec 2011

We visited RMAF (Royal Malaysian Air Force) Museum at the Sungei Besi Air Base yesterday. This was the first international airport in Malaysia before Subang and Sepang. The main attraction is the array of aircraft in display, which was once the pride of the nation. We were also fortunate to catch the air force's Nuri (transport helicopter) and the flying practice in the nearby runway.

We have the privilege of Encik Rashid, a staff member of the museum to brief us on the aircraft in the museum compound and the hangar.
The first aircraft of the early years was a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer. It was named Lang Rajawali by Tunku Abdul Rahman, our first Prime Minister of Malaya.  
Future pilots in the cockpit....

"Control Tower, request clearance to cross the runway!!"

What's inside the "skin"?

Hands-on experience on the working of a rotor blade helicopter.

Kids would love to explore the interior of the large wing Caribou, and when standing in the narrow cabin, we could still feel the adrenalin rush of a paratrooper waiting his turn to jump off the plane.

The only indoor hangar for the smaller and delicate aircraft.

The A-4PTM Skyhawk - the supersonic fighter jet that once ruled our skies in the 80s now greets visitors silently.  
Kids having a field day discovering more about the aircraft in the hangar. With their ambitions high in the sky, what is dust, dirt and mud!!

It would be a shame to lose the historical RMAF Museum over to the redevelopment of the Sungei Besi Air Base land. This is a great educational opportunity for the future generations and a piece of our colourful aviation history. 

Not to be missed some souvenir keychains - these were the fighter jets after the Skyhawk era, ie MiGs, Hornets and Sukhoi.

Celestial Party - 10 Dec 2011

The much awaited lunar eclipse happened last Saturday. At first, we were hesitant to go to the National Planetarium in city centre because of bad weather forecast. By the time we arrived, it was past 9.00 p.m., there was already a big crowd. However, the cool breeze and open space made it a comfortable place to wait for the eclipse.

Plenty of telescopes to go around......

While waiting for the eclipse, we took some time to pose with the telescope. The queue to go on top of the Observatory Tower was too long, so we hung around the exhibition gallery and entertained ourselves with a virtual trip to the space in the 360-degree dome theatre. There were also quizzes throughout the night, and we won a mini telescope!!

The bonus for the night, we saw Jupiter, the biggest planet within our solar system as well as Orion, often referred to as The Hunter, a prominent constellation and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous, and most recognizable constellations in the night sky. Not forgetting the blinking lights across the night sky from flying airplanes.

Finally, the highlight of the night at 10.30 pm, we saw the full lunar eclipse. We were thankful the sky was clear at the critical moment so we could see the moon turning into pinkish orange.

Singapore Science Centre 30 Nov 2011

Be transported back in time to see dinosaurs come to life with the help of technology, lighting and sound effects at the "Dinosaurs - Live" Exhibition in Science Centre. With close to 50 dinosaurs from all prehistoric periods, this was an unforgetable experience, educational and entertaining - although the young ones might take some time to warm up to the colossal creatures and the dark surroundings.

Size matters! This was the largest dinosaur on display - the T-Rex!

The children were guided by the exhibition trail booklets, which were specially designed with questions, fun facts about dinosaurs and activities.
Fossils await discovery in the Dig Pit! Experience how palaeontologists search for fossil evidence and identify the dinosaur from the bones!

We spent a long time in Scientist For A Day!, a place where children can do various hands-on experiments with the help of facilitators. The facilitators were very helpful and patient to explain the questions from curious children, and also adults.
A fun, wet experience with water. At Waterworks, the children have gallons of fun learning about water.
Waterworks features a circular rainbow, water jet, a water maze and more!!
Science Centre is definitely a must visit in Singapore. The admission charges are still reasonable as compared to other attractions in Singapore, only that the location is a bit far away. We spent the whole day there from 10.00am to 6.00pm, covering most of the fun-filled shows (Above photo: Fire tornado show) and interactive displays.

This was our 2nd visit to the Science Centre, but also a very different experience from the previous one. We have more time to appreciate and understand the exhibits and shows and the children were able to explore a world of wonder and beauty of science.

Marina Bay - Waterfront Promenade 28 Nov 2011

The new waterfont promenade in front of Marina Bay Sands is great for a cool evening stroll.  It has a granite-paved upper-level promenade and a lower-level timber boardwalk. We walked on the timber boardwalk to get close to the water and sat on the tiered seats and steps to watch the night view of Singapore skyscrapers.

The nightly light and water show at Marina Bay Sands, an amazing convergence of light, music and sound to tell the journey of life.

Our eyes were feasted in this huge Sands shopping arcade with a canal flowing through the mall, floating crystal pavilions, a lotus-inspired museum and an endless entertainment.

Christmas has somewhat a themed park atmosphere in Singapore, with all the shopping, entertainment and the 'landmark' lights decoration along Orchard area. We could easily over-indulge ourselves in the marvels here.

OUTBAC Broga 23 Nov 2011

We discovered a great outdoor adventure campsite located at Broga, near Semenyih. As part of a church camp programme, Jin and Wei spent a day at the Outbac Broga campsite. Among the outdoor adventure facilities available are Extreme Sports Tower (Flying Fox, Abseiling and Rock Climbing), Ropes Courses (Low Ropes, Leap of Faith) and Obstacles Course including a Kayaking Pond and a Water Course!

Many first attempts for the boys, including the 3-storey high flying fox, rock climbing and kayaking!! There were also teambuilding activities and treasure hunt while waiting for their turns at the personal challenges.

Exploring Chamang Waterfall - 6 Nov 2011

We followed the signs to Chamang waterfall in Bukit Tinggi. After passing the Bentong town, the road leading to the waterfall was narrow and winding.  Our car could barely pass through a stretch blocked by a fallen tree. Near to the waterfall, we could hear the gush of rapids and see picnickers  all around.

Awesome and scenic 3-tiered waterfall…
Strong rapids just after the rain…
The hanging bridge is the only way to cross to the campsite and there is also trekking trail for the more adventurous.
Inviting cool clear water…

Despite the signboard warning of past drowning incidence, we could see many visitors taking a dip in the water. Children must be guided and accompanied in the water at all times, and not recommended to go during the rainy season.

Father & Son Camp 7-8 Oct 2011

Posting by Xian Jin:

My father and I went to SUFES campsite in Tapah, Perak. The camp was organised by "Focus on the family". The purpose of the camp was to strengthen the relationship between fathers and their sons. It was my first time staying overnight in a real camp!

We took our time to register ourselves. There were more than 20 pairs of fathers and sons from all races and different parts of Malaysia.

When all the participants had arrived, the organizers led us to an ice-breaking session.

After that, we learnt to pitch our own tents. It took us only a few minutes. It was fun!!

We played a game called "Water Balloon Badminton". My father and I reached to the finals and.........

.......we won 1st prize!!!

Football siesta time!!!

After dinner, all the children have to wash their own plates and their fathers' too.
We had a game called "walky-talky" where the fathers learnt to trust the sons and communicated with one another to reach our goal. All the fathers had to be blindfolded while the children led them to do tasks together. We were given things to do like "Laugh or giggle until you reach to the next sign". It was hilarious.

In the afternoon, we teamed up with another pair of father & son to cook our lunch. The lunch was fried rice. I discovered that I enjoy cooking. Our food was delicious!

After lunch, we trekked up the waterfall and played there. The trek was about 2 hours to and fro and was about 7 km in total. We helped one another during the trek. I discovered that my father is very agile in all the strenuous activities and good in planning.

One of the most unforgetable experience for me was the night trekking on the first night. There were many interesting things along the trek like glowing leaves, creepy crawlies and weird looking plants. At one point, all of us switched off our torches and stayed in the dark for 3 minutes, listening to the sounds of the forest.
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