Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winding Down

the year's coming to a close. this year's been a mix of a year - with the boys' performances in school not up to mark, akmal showing great potential in school, massive holiday planning - for the 10th anniversary & the taking a chance trip, hubby's new job and big change in his weekly and sometimes, weekend, schedules, a cat becoming our new family member, new kittens born and a week later, died. full of ups and downs and new things, this year.

i doubt next year will be a quiet year what with amir now in morning session and akmal in his final year in kindy. and ariff in year 2, with no excuses about not being able to read or write, no more excuses about just starting school. asyraf too need to buck up, both in school and personally. he's been such a let down this year and he needs a good nagging to improve and be better.

of course, the highlight of this year was our california holiday. especially since its so fresh in our mind and well, withdrawal symptoms are currently attacking full force.

we came back with cough and flu and fever (for me at least) and with muscle aches and pains (for hubby and me, we're old). we managed to fight off jet lag despite being up since 4am on the day we returned. the boys pushed themselves to still go for their weekend football training. i pushed myself to unpack and do laundry and sort out our clothes. we all pushed and held on strong and went to bed with the rest of the country. ok…maybe earlier than the rest but we did it, we fought off jet lag both over there and when we came home.

there's so many things i want to turn around next year. yes, i know, i don't need to wait for new year to turn over new (in my case many, many) leaves but since my leaves revolve hugely around the schooling tree, it makes it easier and more sense (my sense) to use the new year (and the new schooling year) as a starting point.

anyway, i am grateful for all i've been through and learned during the year. despite its downs, the ups have been extremely wonderful and fulfilling. the downs can be overcome and, insyaAllah, i'm hoping it will turn, or slowly start to turn, towards up.

anyway…the jist of our year, in pictures. we started the year with a bang, with ariff entering primary school, and ended on an extremely high note, with our holiday in sunny california, which i have written a few entries on, on our travelog - link is at the side and here.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Year End School Holiday 2014

or in this case, preparation for back to school 2015. i have a love-hate relationship with back to school preparations. i love doing the list, i hate the ticking off process; i love buying uniforms, i hate getting the name tags sewn and getting the shirts ironed; i love looking at new text books, i hate wrapping them.

many ask me why i start my preparation early, many give me virtual salute in fact. but honestly, starting early means you have a longer time getting it done. and i do need that long, long time because once the big items are sorted (i.e. the books and the uniform) i start to procrastinate and end up taking forever to finish what i've started. plus its better to spread out the things you do so that you don't start to hate doing it as you'll be doing it for years and years to come!

the boys got their text books quite early this year, about 2-3 weeks before the school holidays started. i got them wrapped over a weekend when hubby was not around, i.e. a 'we won't be going out' weekend. with my start-stop attitude, it took over a day to wrap almost 40 books.

i moved on to the next big item, the school uniforms. i went to a nearby aeon while the boys were in agama school but they did not have uniforms stocked up yet so i went to 1utama after i picked them up from agama school. a quick 30 minutes in-and-pay-and-out with 2 huge plastic bags of uniforms. i got new shirts for the boys but their pants were recycled.

then came the bit i hate most, taking off the name tags and school badges from the old uniforms. i seriously hate doing that so i spread them over a week so i wouldn't go mental. got them all tucked in the pocket of the new shirts and brought them to tailor to get them sewn. and then ironing 24 sets of uniforms over the space of 3 days.

once the school holidays started, i took the boys to get their stationeries and then their shoes.

i was kind of on the fence with buying school books. usually when i go, there's a long line of parents at the book shop that it totally turns you off. but this year, i drove by the school after lunch and there were practically no cars parked outside. we went to the book shop and there was only about 1-2 parents getting the books, so we joined the queue and got the boys' books on the first day the bookshop opened.

i'm actually surprised that currently i have settled 90% of the list, just pending school bags, amir's shoes and a few books that were not yet available at the book shop. other than that, its pretty much sorted, alhamdulillah. so now, we can enjoy the rest of the year-end school holidays.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Asyraf's Football Party

asyraf turned 8 last thursday. out of the four, he was the only one who requested to have a party. not exactly sure why because he's not one for get togethers. if its amir or ariff, i'd understand. they're more of a 'people person'.

i wanted to decline his request for a party but approved it after he said its purely a 'main bola' party. ok, that i can handle. i wasn't going to go with a full blown party, especially when his brothers didn't have one.

since we ok-ed his football party, which was to be held on the first weekend of the school holidays - a couple of days after he turned 8, we opted to not have anything on the actual birthday. not even the customary family dinner as hubby was super busy. but at the last minute, a year-end party was planned for his class on his birthday so i felt bad not bringing a cake to school. so i went to get a nice cake from giant and brought it to school for a simple 5-minute candle blowing & cake cutting before the year-end party started.

because asyraf's version of a party is to just play football, i decided to up the ante a bit with some nice invitation and simple deco and a lovely cake, just to have a bit of a theme feel. i didn't want to get too much and too many variety of food since only his friends would be coming and prepared a simple but useful thank you pack with food that everyone would eat.

its supposed to be a party for ariff and asyraf, since their birthdays are close but the guests were more of asyraf and amir's friends - not surprising considering the theme.

a simple birthday celebration for asyraf, that he totally enjoyed.

a big thank you to the people who helped…


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
Images by Freepik