Tag Archives: parenting

merry may

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Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair and let us huddle together as darkness takes over. We are at home amidst the birds and the trees, for we are children of nature. Susan Polis Shutz

Greetings everyone! It’s been a while since my last chattering, boy, have I been busy! My hubby’s relatives came one after another to visit him after his operation, don’t think we’ve ever had so many of them visiting us in a year like that before. Alhamdulillah, my hubby’s fine now, he went off to The Netherlands for a week’s work trip right after his 3-week leave. I missed him like crazy whilst he was away, have got used to him being around 24/7 for a bit! Amidst all that, my son is currently going through his GCSE exams, fortunately it’s half term this week so he’s able to have a wee break. He was over the moon when his good old friends (more like brothers really) from the UAE visited him for a couple of days (read my previous post), that took his mind off the exam pressure a little. Back to exams next week when school resumes, my big girl will have her year-end exams too. Fortunately for them both exams will be over before Ramadan (annual Muslim fasting month) begins in mid-June, fasting in the summer months can be rather trying due to the long daylight hours!

Apart from that, I’ve been keeping my younger two busy outdoors. Everytime my good old friend M visits me (every couple of years), she will exclaim how much she misses the greenery in England. Having born and bred here, she truly misses it. She’s been in the UAE for a decade now, she’s settled well and is happy there. But nothing can replace the joy of being outdoors in England, that much she’s certain! I totally agree with her of course. That’s why we always try to take our children out whenever we can, ever since they were all little. My older two will sometimes look back at their old photos and can still remember all the lovely places they’ve been to. I think it’s important to create sweet memories for children, especially in today’s challenging and confusing world. Those simple happy carefree days I experienced as a child seem alien to many children of today. Sad really. I still recall my happy childhood, that’s one of the best gifts my parents have bestowed upon me. I would want my children to feel the same when they’re older, Inshallah.

We’re only human, therefore I must mention how I’ve learnt a harsh lesson or two recently. You know when you sometimes reach out to people, where you’re genuinely warm, open, accommodating and naturally expect them to reciprocate? Only to realise later that the other party’s only being amiable or pleasant towards you for some other reason? Not because you mean something to them after all. A minor thing perhaps to some, but to a sensitive soul like mine, it’s a big deal. I’m glad to have an outlet here to share my feelings a little, maybe another delicate heart out there can relate to it too. Well, life goes on, I shall move forward and focus on those truly worthy of my attention. Why waste time on those who don’t really care? People are people I guess, you get all sorts. Now in my 4th decade, I can see more clearly as to who’s a true blue and who’s a fake, wisdom does come with age. Right, I shall leave you on a lighter note. Here’s some memorable pictures I’ve taken recently, which captures the simple happy moments of our little life in England!

i’m on my way!

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Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever…

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves…

The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children…

Greetings folks! I’m still on high from last night’s event, which was my son’s high school music concert. They usually hold their annual Inter-House Music competition at this time of the year (early Autumn), just a few weeks after the new school year commences. I took my big daughter and my middle daughter with me; my youngest girl just wanted to stay home with her papa as she can get a bit overwhelmed at public functions.

Concerts at my son’s grammar school are usually major events, 1000 tickets sold out in no time over the 2 day performance! We just about managed to get tickets. My son participated once before when he was in his first year, at that time they sang ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles. Since this is my son’s final year at his grammar school (Inshallah if he does well in his GCSE exams he will remain there for his A-Levels), he’s decided to take part in the competition once again. It’s a nice way for him to relax and have a bit of fun with his mates before they get all serious preparing for their major exam.

The overall show was really great, as ever. They always put on the best of shows, year after year. My son sang in the boys’ choir for his House, this year they performed a medley of songs by the Scottish group The Proclaimers. I’m familiar with their song ‘500 miles’ but I don’t think I’ve heard any of their other songs properly before. This particular song ‘I’m On My Way’ was the final one they sang and it was so good they received lots of applause and cheers at the end!

Anyway, I just wanted to remember last night and how I felt and the love for my children here in this entry. They are growing up real fast, wasn’t it only yesterday when I was carrying them in my arms? Just like the song, they are well on their way…becoming their own person, developing their own personalities. As a mother, I’m very proud of them all, and I shall continue to support and guide them in whatever path they choose to lead. To be wholesome human beings; with respect and tolerance for others, to strive for excellence in whatever they pursue. Right, enough chattering yeah, hope you’ll enjoy the song my son sang below, I love it! Have a fab weekend! 🙂

when they were babies: my son, my big girl and my middle daughter

when they were babies: my son, my big girl and my middle daughter

my son, a young man now! my daughters at their brother’s show last nite!

I’m on my way, from misery to happiness today…Enjoy the song! 😉

mother’s love

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It was Mother’s Day in Malaysia yesterday, over here in the UK it was celebrated back in March. I don’t think I can ever blog enough about my mother, the woman who means the world to me. I have arrived at the stage in my life where I feel really close to my mother. Perhaps you might find that ironic considering the fact that she’s 6,500 miles away from me! I’m very much like my mother in many ways, therefore we clashed a lot whilst I was growing up. I was head strong and so was she, my late dad was the one I turned to at times when my mom failed to understand me. I realised now that she always had my best interest at heart, but because we were so much alike in character and personality, we found it hard to communicate effectively.

It’s rather different now, for the past 2 decades since I’ve become a wife and mother myself our relationship has improved in more ways than one. I think we’ve both changed as people as we age further, which leads to better understanding and acceptance of one another. I used to favour my late dad more as a parent; he was the sensitive, emotional and caring one, always there with a warm hug, the one I could talk to and vice versa. But I know now that it’s my mother who I needed most (especially now); I value her advice, wisdom and prayers more than ever. As I raise my 4 children I realised that my mom treated my 2 younger sisters and I differently because each child is unique, not because she favours one over the other. Being the eldest I used to resent how my mom paid more attention to my younger sisters as we were growing up. I know now it’s not because she loved me any less, but because she felt that I was very independent (I was at boarding school since 13). I could go on and on about my relationship with my mother, I could write on forever.

In a nutshell however, let’s just say that I’m truly glad that I’ve reached this point where I totally understand and accept my mother for who she is. And vice versa of course. I know she misses me and my family and wished we were geographically closer. But I also know it would break her heart if I was round the corner from her but depressed in my life. As reluctant as she was when she agreed to let me marry a ‘foreigner’ almost 2 decades ago, I know she is at peace when it comes to me because I am happy where I am, with my beloved husband and children. And that is what a loving mother wishes for her dear daughter, to be blessed and content in her life. Thank you Mama for your endless love and prayers, I will never be able to repay you for all that you’ve done for me, I am eternally grateful. You are the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met, I am proud to be your daughter forever. My family and I miss and love you so very much, may we meet again sometime soon, InshaAllah. Happy Mother’s Day to you and all other beautiful moms out there. ❤ ❤

my mother during her youth

my mother in her youth

my mother in her 7th decade

my mother in her 7th decade

 

 

welcome 2014

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You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. – Desmond Tutu

Happy New Year 2014 everyone! How has it been for you so far? I went downhill on New Year’s night, was blowing hot and cold. I know this sign very well, I used to get high fever regularly as a child. Even as an adult in my homeland Malaysia, I still suffered badly from it time and again. Alhamdulillah, since I lived in England 17 years ago, my health has improved a little in that sense. Only in harsh winters like now do I tend to suffer from a bit of cold, flu and fever. A couple of days of putting my feet up normally does the trick. Anyway, what have I been up to? You know the weather’s really bad here at the moment right, the lashings of rain seem to continue endlessly and the winds just seem to get stronger each time! It’s dark, cold, wet and windy, in other words, MISERABLE! But we got a bit of respite the weekend before New Year, so we headed off to my in-laws up north. The drive took us 4 hours, fortunately my children have all grown out of their whingy and whiny phase by now.

After a brief stop at the service station halfway through our journey (to stretch our legs, have a cuppa tea/coffee/McDonalds french fries and get out of the horrible traffic for a bit), we continued travelling till we got to my in-laws safely. It was dusk by then, 4pm, tea time. My sisters in law had organised a little birthday get-together for the family kids, so my husband’s cousins with children were also there. Along with my hubby’s aunties and his youngest cousin. It was nice to be together again, we only meet up a few times each year due to the distance, busy schedules and horrid weather! The few days there were spent socialising with my hubby’s family and relatives. My hubby had a cousin who just had a baby, another who’s just been to Hajj (pilgrimage in Mecca), another who has a lovely house we never visited before, as we usually meet up at my in-laws or their parents’. This meant visiting several houses and savouring many delicious food! My children had great fun bonding with their young cousins who they’re really fond of. It’s a shame they live so far away, but then they do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder!

My youngest sis in law also took my girls and I to a Christmas pantomime, Aladdin. It’s been a while since I’ve watched a stage show, I enjoyed it immensely, so did my girls. I felt really moved by my sis in law’s gesture to be honest. My hubby and his brother-in-law also took the children bowling, they had a memorable time. The night before we left we went out for a family meal with my in-laws, I truly cherish these special moments for they are rare. Even though my own family and relatives are thousands of miles away, I am fortunate enough to find family love within my hubby’s family and relatives. As a daughter in law, nothing compares to the feeling of being included and accepted in the family, Alhamdulillah. Right, enough chattering, here’s some images to remember the wonderful time we had last weekend. Till next time, take good care! 🙂

our party food

my older three amongst the relatives

my bubbly aunties in law

my bubbly aunties in law

my two girls with their grandpa

my children with their beloved cousin

my girls at the pantomime

the panto cast

the panto cast

night out with my in laws

summer trail

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Hello everyone! I just returned from a lovely walk in the woods with my good friends and their children, I feel rejuvenated! Just what I needed at the moment, a long walk to clear my mind. I feel more like myself again, all that ‘longing’ I felt for my homeland during the recent Eid celebration has disappeared, thank God. I cannot go on moping around can I, this is what my life is like now and I must embrace it with widely open arms. To live whole heartedly in this land that is now my home!

We were fortunate to have found rows and rows of blackberries during our walk, quite early this year to be honest. We normally find them in early autumn, mid-September thereabouts. We all spent some time picking blackberries, hoping to make jams and pies out of them. Looks like we don’t have to go to the farm this year for berries! Our children had a good time as always, the summer holidays here tend to stretch a bit (6 weeks). An outing on a sunny day is an opportunity not to be missed!

I also feel our children today need to get out more, it’s unhealthy to be stuck in front of the modern gadgets/apps! I just love the end of summer, the transition from summer to autumn is a wonderful period. It’s also extra special because it’s my wedding anniversary and my 3rd child’s birthday (yes, on the same day!). So much to look forward to as I spend these last few weeks of summer! I leave you with several images from our summer trail, take care till next time!

the lil ones heading off for their walk

the lil ones heading off for their walk

away they go!

away they go!

blackberries!

blackberries!

loads of them!

loads of them!

my lil one picking blackberries

my lil one picking blackberries

my youngest two busy picking blackberries

my youngest two busy picking blackberries

there's more here!

there’s more here!

my older two doing their bit

my older two doing their bit

that's me! we didn't have any container, so had to collect them in our crisp bag!

that’s me! we didn’t have any containers, so had to collect blackberries in our crisp bag!

on with our walk

on with our walk

children enjoy being out in nature

children enjoy being out in nature

admiring the wild summer flowers

admiring the wild summer flowers

we trailed by the river

we trailed by the river

my anniversary child with her good friend

my anniversary child with her good friend

simply enjoying their childhood!

simply enjoying their childhood!

they simply love the outdoors!

they simply love the outdoors!

last bite of blackberry!

last bite of blackberry!

my girls walking back happily

my girls walking home tired but happy!

our blackberry pie straight from the picking, perfect with vanilla ice-cream!

our blackberry pie straight from the picking, perfect with vanilla ice-cream!