A MOMENT TO REMEMBER

I've been feeling sad over the recent passing away of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Since Monday, I've been asking myself why I feel sad but why I don't feel as sad as other people. I also didn't really want to write about all the great things that he did, not because I disliked him but because I didn't know him.  When I was in Lower Primary, he had already stepped down as the Prime Minister. I knew him as the former prime minister of Singapore in name, and that is all.

As I read about and saw streams of people going down to the Parliament House to pay respects to him, my heart moved but my feet didn't and I wondered why. With social media, there were countless articles and videos circulating around, some moved me to tears but yet I was still not moved to wanting to join the queue to pay my respects.

Not until when increasingly more 'common folks' were uploading their personal photos of Mr Lee and sharing about their encounters with the man himself - My friend whose grandfather talked about Mr Lee when he was a young boy, the lady who met a taxi driver whom Mr Lee helped during the Meet-the-People's Session... I wanted to go down.

So I asked myself why - it was for my family, my children. 

My mother belonged to the Pioneer Generation, but she has never spoken much to me about politics before nor can I remember her talking about Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In school, I wasn't interested in politics too and couldn't care less to read much. As a youth, I was disengaged, indifferent. Only when I had a chance to vote recently, then I started finding out more.

The first thing that came to my mind was,  "Wouldn't my children be too young to understand anyway? Nat is 4 and Noe is only 1."

And then I realised that paying my respects to Mr Lee, wasn't about making them understand, it was to capture a moment to remember that's important in the history of Singapore, to record an experience down in pictures or writing so that we can then later on reflect on it together as a family, when the children are older. And as the husband reminded me, we uphold the value of honour as we honour him. Whether or not we agree with his methods, is a different matter altogether, and a debate for another day.

Too bad this realisation of mine came too late. Today, the queues were too long and members of the public were strongly advised not to go down. In the end, we decided to head down to one of the satellite sites instead. I did a mini-activity with Nat before we entered the site so as to create in him some awareness of who Mr Lee Kuan Yew was. I told him some basic stuff and he started off colouring a picture of parliament house (drawn by Evacomics). Then he was made to hunt for 'treasures' along the way as he decoded 4 words with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The 4 words were 'tree', 'water', 'train', 'house' and I explained to him that Mr Lee envisioned of all these for Singapore. Finally we got down to writing a 'thank you' note.

a moment to remember

At the satellite site, It was interesting that after he placed the thank you card at the front, Nat was very captivated by the one of Mr Lee's speeches on the big screen, it was at the moment when Mr Lee was declaring "Merdeka!" He kept asking me if Mr Lee was Prime Minister already and then was clearly upset when the screen switched to the news instead. He said he wanted to watch more of Mr Lee, and not the news and advertisements. I was happy with his response but also happy to go off because his little sister was going to start running all over the place if we didn't leave soon. 

a moment to remember

My hope is that when they are older, Nat and Noe will look at the photos we took and read what I wrote here, about what we did together today in this historical moment. And then they will share these memories with their own children. The memories we build as a family, as a nation, are important for the future generation to learn and gain strength from.

Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew, for these memories.

TURNING SOMETHING INTO SOMETHING MORE

Where have I been for the past 2 weeks? As what every student does towards the end of term - rush to complete my readings and assignments! I've completed my first online course called "Ignite Your Everyday Creativity"! Woohoo! It has been 10 years since I last graduated and have not studied for anything since then. Although it was just a 6 weeks course, it has been longer than any courses than I've gone for during this time.

Right at the beginning of the course, I was asked to highlight one thing that really stands out to me, one that I think represented who I am as a creative individual. As I was making a list of the ways that I'm creative in my day-to-day life, I realised the ones I really enjoy were making simple things into something meaningful and purposeful. For example, I cut up these 1.5L plastic bottles (I've a neverending mission of recycling bottles because my husband likes to buy drinks home) to make holders for markers and colour pencils so as to set up a mini art supply station for my kiddos. I got a bit nostalgic when I saw them all organised neatly because some of the markers and colour pencils have followed me since my teens! I kid you not they're still usable!

turning something into something more

"Turning something into something more" is what represents me as a creative individual.

Somehow from recent discussions with my friends, I realised that it also kind of represents the theme of my life so far, how God has always turn seemingly negative experiences in my life into something much more than just another sad moment, but something that is of purpose, something that I could use to help others. 

It is not difficult. Turn something simple into something more today, be it a gesture, a thought, a piece of paper, it will bring about great joy and meaning.

BUILDING FAITH PICTURES

One of my so-called New Year's resolution is to start an art journal. Actually I've not made resolutions for a long time, but this year I was impressed upon my heart to start doodling, colouring and painting again - something that I loved to do a lot when I was a child. The stressors and busyness have started to make me feel very jaded about many things in life and I felt that there was a need to live life through a lens of child again, to recover back the playfulness, the openness, the joy, the hope, and the childlike faith.

When God gave Abraham the promise about being a father, He gave him a faith picture -  as numerous are the stars in the sky, so shall your descendents be. Wasn't it a wonderful picture? Whenever Abraham looked at the night sky,  he would remember the Lord’s promise and “see” all his children.

So I've decided that my art journal will be a collection of faith pictures from God's word and the easiest book to begin this personal project of mine would be Psalms. Today's sketch is more like a note. I was reflecting upon what was the point of life, what was the point of recording down our life through photos, through writing, why am I blogging and what was the point of a keeping a journal. Then I came upon this verse - that God himself is recording down every day of my life, laying down every moment - exactly what I'm doing now. There is meaning, there is some divine purpose in our everyday living, our daily tasks, or else why would He be recording it down? This faith picture is how I imagine the Lord's journal to be, His writing flows effortless like painting strokes.

It has been quite a slow process but I hope I can keep up with it. I've posted them on my website under "PSALM LOVE SONG" - building up faith pictures through one Psalm one sketch. I'll be keeping an eye on them and keeping them in my heart. Feel free to check it out and perhaps you will like to start your own journey of building faith pictures in your life.

DIY FLOWER POT HOLDER

I've been feeling like a student again, trying to catch up on readings as I embark on a 6-weeks  course, a first since I had my children. But this time the readings seem to be more meaningful and inspiring because I'm able to apply it to my life. I've been reading the article "Cultures of Creativity" and it talks about how Playing, Making and Sharing are critical components in shaping our creative environment. I feel especially connected to the concept of 'Making'. According to the article, 'Making' is not just about the activity of creating and building, but refers to an attitude that the world is constantly being built and re-built, and that there is an active role to be played in that building and rebuilding... The activity of making things provides a rich context for learning. It doesn’t really matter what you are making; you might be building a sand castle, writing a poem, cooking a new recipe, or programming an interactive robot. What’s important is that you are making something that is meaningful to yourself or others around you. 

In our 'buy and throw' society now, I find that 'Making' has been dismissed by people as a science, or an art, something only for a school project or work requirement, rather than an attitude of creating things in our everyday lives. I'm very inspired by the people who constantly create things from nothing to something, or from something to something more. My father-in-law once converted a chair (found at a rubbish bin) to one with rollers. It's not like he couldn't afford a new chair with rollers, it was the attitude, the creative spirit that he had. I want my children to have that attitude of 'Making' too. So I try as best as I can now, to always challenge our family to first think of 'making' something rather than immediately resorting to 'buying'.

One day, I brought the children to the nursery for some cold room fun. And along the way, we ended up buying some tiny pots of plants. If you've been following my blog, you will know that Nat does enjoy taking care of plants but last year the 2 Japanese Roses that he potted sort of died. Somehow we don't have green fingers. So this time we bought pots of cactus instead for easier maintenance and a longer lifespan.

When we got home, we realised that we didn't have a holder for the tiny pots so the water will just all drip out onto the floor. I chanced upon the many milk cartons we've been keeping and thought we could make a pot holder from a milk carton (I gave the husband, the 'see I told you these will come in handy one day' look because he doesn't like me keeping such things). Nat was very intrigued about how it was going to turn out when I surprised him by cutting a big hole out of it. He painted the milk carton white first and then excitedly painted the whole thing with his favourite colours. He was extremely proud of his painting skills, how he managed to cover every single white spot.

diy flower pot holder

The milk carton was a perfect fit for the 3 tiny pots we had! Do note that the carton cap should be at the bottom so that you can easily drain the water out when you open the cap! You won't want any mosquitoes breeding inside! We're happily keeping an eye on the plants and Noe has also caught on the spirit of watering the plants, she even attempted to water the floor of our home with the watering can!

HEADGEAR OF THE DAY: HEADSTRONG HELMET

Noe is as headSTRONG as the helmet she is wearing. People have been telling me she looks a lot like me but actually when you take out the childhood photos to compare, she looks totally like her father when he was young! Although she doesn't resemble me much, she does have the same headstrong personality as me while having the same extroverted nature of her dad. How personality traits develop in a child is really interesting, the mix-and-match of different personalities from both father and mother :)