December, in summary

It’s been a good, long break. I turned down any work that came along in December, and have been soaking up time with the family. We did many things, we also did nothing on some days. With everyone at home, I haven’t felt inclined to sit in front of my laptop to blog, not even at night when everyone’s asleep.

We took a trip to Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, more on that to come in a later post. The rest of the time, we spent mostly at home – they watched way too much TV, while I had time to do housework and do up the home. We also did crafts, painted and played board games. Oh, there were sibling fights too, lots of them, every day.

We put up our little 10-year-old Christmas tree. Actually, the tree has been up since mid-November, after Shannon’s birthday. As is the case in the previous years, it is just easier to pull down one set of decorations and put up another while we’re at it. I started with a small carton in my storeroom for Christmas decorations, and it has since expanded to a small carton and a big basket. All decorations go in clear Ziptop bags according to their colours and I pick some colours to use every year.

We went with gold and red this year. The tree topper star is from Finland, my sister bought it for us when she went there for work some years ago.

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Apart from putting up our usual ornaments, I made some photo ornaments to go on the tree. I pulled out the digital pictures of our past Christmases, added frames and the year it was taken, using the photo-editing website PicMonkey, and had it printed – two pictures on one 3R print. I then laminated it, punched a hole at the top and hung it with silver string!

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This is how it looks on the tree.

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I also put out a basket of Christmas books – a couple are ours, the rest are from the library. I don’t notice them much all year round in the library, but when I went in search for some in early December, I found lots of them!

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We also had our usual basket of December toys (the Christmas-related ones that come out from the storeroom only once a year).

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We did get out in the evenings when it did not rain, and most memorable was when I took them on a trip to their papa’s school. They on their bicycles, me on foot. Their papa cycles to work every day, and while we go down to cycle at the park connector fairly often, both have yet to cover the full route which takes them to their papa’s school. I decided they had to experience it. So off we went, on a day when their papa took the car to work. They started complaining about how far it was halfway into the ride, but I had my speech prepared (along the lines of how papa cycles this distance every day, to and fro, just so that we have the comfort of the car to send both of them to school, so they should not be complaining… and so on.) I was mentally prepared to have to carry Shannon and somehow drag her bicycle along at some point. But miraculously, both trooped along willingly with one water break in between. Their papa takes 20 minutes to reach school, we took more than double the time.

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But we made it! Below, Jason with his act cool look for the camera which he knows I dislike…

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Then, the boys tried rock-climbing at Kallang Wave Mall.

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The rest of the time, they turned into couch potatoes.

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They painted on canvas.

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Shannon drew the balloons but lost interest after finishing the background with her papa. So I coloured them in for her.

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Jason found his groove since the last time and has been asking for bigger canvases. The only problem is we don’t have space for so many big canvases.

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Then the year-end festivities began. Below – grilled vegetables for pasta.

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Yummy Christmas Eve dinner at my sister’s.

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Christmas Day dinner with my in laws at our place.

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Christmas tree veggie-platter, an idea I saw online.

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Kid-decorated log-cake which they did with their cousins, using store-bought swiss rolls.

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Slightly more elaborate breakfasts in the morning from leftover sausages and ham.

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And a wonderful family picnic, marred only by a slight drizzle. It was breezy, food was good, company even better. Here are the adults while the kids were playing on their own. 
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They got to fly a kite with their granduncle Edward.

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I’m so thankful for my younger cousins(I’m the oldest among them), who make it a point to play with my kids at each gathering, leaving me free to catch up with the rest of the family.

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Here’s to a wonderful 2015. Happy New Year!

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