Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seronoknya Main Salji

Inilah akibatnya bila banyak entri yang tak dikemas kini dalam blog. Entri pun dah mula berterabur, yang dulu dikemudiankan, yang kemudian didahulukan, dah tak ada aturan. Tapi bila difikirkan, memang dari awal blog ni dibuat pun dah macam tu he..he..he..

Apapun dibawah ni adalah gambar2 Ilham semasa main salji dengan kawan2 pada 17 Disember, hari terakhir persekolahan sebelum cuti Krismas. Ingat nak letak sama ngan video main salji hari tu, tapi video upload tu punya la lama, sakit jiwa dibuatnya. Proses nak upload gambar2 ni pun tergendala beberapa hari, semuanya gara-gara USB external drive yang "kapot"(bahasa Dutch untuk rosak) hari tu. Alhamdulillah, DH hantaq kedai kut :), semalam bawa balik dah ok :D

Ilham nampak seronok sangat hari tu, tu yang nak juga diabadikan gambar2 tu di blog ni :D Sememangnya Ilham memang suka bermain, kalau boleh nak yang lasak2 je... yang lawan2... yang kejar2... yang gomol2... dalam kata lain, tipikal budak lelaki. Yang tak tahannya bila dia asyik jatuh, bukan jatuh betul pun, saja je nak golek2, lari sikit... golek, orang tackle je...golek, ada aja alasan dia nak bergolek.... :D

Yang ini dengan Ms Murray-assistant head teacher, suka pulak dia main salji ngan budak2 tu

Memang basah kuyup dan menggeletar kesejukan... macam mana tidaknya kalau dah siap berbaring lagi :D

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Party

Christmas party for Year 4 was celebrated on Thursday 16th December 2010. I had been requested to prepare cupcakes/christmas biscuits by the class mum. Not feeling like going out in the cold searching for the biscuits, I decided to give my best effort in making the cupcakes even though I have never really done it before. Normally I made muffins, which some people say is different from cupcakes. Muffins are much easier than cupcakes even though they look the same :D I actually felt very nervous because I think these white mums surely make better cupcakes than me, afterall cupcake is surely their speciality right. I wanted to make our local dish like karipap or popia like I normally did at the ISA. But here it's a bit different, parents are emailed with a required to do list. Whereas at the ISA, it was more like "no pressure event", bring anything of finger food varieties. I know I could have informed them that I would be bringing a local food instead, but since it's christmas party I felt it might be a bit weird. At the ISA, it was always referred as year end party, so there was no theme involved so you can bring anything.

Anyway, back to my cupcakes projects. So that night I labourously baked cupcakes based on this recipe from this lovely book which I bought because it looked so cute even though I did not understand it :D

I did not have cocoa in stock, so I decided to add bananas instead. The last time I made banana muffins was when I was in Amsterdam and it was quite good if I may say so :) So, in a way I felt more confident with my project by now.

But this is how it turned out :(

Not only it looked ugly, it also looked and tasted heavy and definitely did not rise properly. I blamed the oven naturally :D (never my fault he.he..) I realise that my attempt before this, to make icecream cupcakes also resulted in similar condition. Perhaps I should cover the cupcakes with icing so that the ugliness would be hidden. Unfortunately my icing also turned out funny because I used the wrong sugar !!! In the end, I brought the cupcakes as it was and the icing mixture is still sitting in my fridge waiting for me to do something about it ha..ha..

Luckily I already decided to make some sushi as well for the party. It was intended more for Ilham, because he couldn't eat anything except chips and cookies. At the ISA, there were always some Japanese and Korean children, so Ilham had no problem in eating because the mothers would always made sushi or rice balls. But here at the BSN, there is no Japanese/Koreans in his class or the other year 4 class for that matter.

Hmm.... not bad right :D

Made 2 layers of that and it was all gone during lunch time. According to Ilham, Ms Kilbane the class teacher said it was so yummy...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mr Plumbly's House

While going through Ilham's file yesterday, I found some school works which he did in grade 1 at the International School of Amsterdam (ISA). Thought to myself that I might as well post them on the blog.

Ilham joined the school in February 2009, so that gave him a few months in Grade 1 until the middle of June. Luckily he was able to follow the lessons otherwise he would not be going into Grade 2 in August. There was a Korean girl who joined the class in March 2009 but she couldn't go into Grade 2 because the class teacher thought that she was somehow not matured enough and might not be able to follow grade 2's lessons. Her parents met with the Lower School Head to protest but to no avail :(

Anyway, back to the school work, I'm not sure whether this work was covered under Unit Of Inquiry or not. It probably was, but I wasn't sure under which topic. I wasn't that aware of the school's curriculum then :) The students were given a poem/story of Mr Plumbly's House and then they were asked to draw their version of the house on the computer. It was simple enough, but it was interesting to see how each student interprete them.

This is Ilham's version of Mr Plumbly's House

Based on this poem :)

And these are the students works :)

I loved looking at the drawings, I wish I had taken a picture of each of the work, then we could see clearly how creative the students were.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow Fight On The Last Day Of School

What a great day to end the school term. We woke up on Friday morning to a white blanket of snow again. The first wave of snow at the end of November only lasted for a few days, but it was heavy enough to cancel a few trains. It was funny really, the snow was so heavy on Saturday, and yet by Sunday morning, the temperature had risen to 4 celcius, causing the snow to start melting. For the rest of the week, we had to tolerate the icy and slippery road.

But this time, it's been snowing steadily since Thursday night until today. It was fun walking to school on Friday morning in the snow. We were late, but I was not worried because I expect a lot of students would be late as well :D

My 2 friends and I were planning to have breakfast in The Hague, but because of the heavy snow, we changed our plan, worried that we might not arrive back in time to collect our children. So we went to the nearby mega supermarket to shop and had breakfast there. When we got back to school at 12 o'clock, the children were having fun playing snow fight. Among them I could see some of the teachers as well.

We stayed for a little while to let Ilham snow sledding on the dunes in the school area. Unlike our previous place in Amsterdam, here we have to drive in order to get to sledding area, so its not very convenient. At our old place, the small "hill" was only 3 minutes walk away....

Let's see the children with their snow fight....

Ilham sure had a nice time :D

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Temple Of The Doom

One good thing about Home Learning(HL) is that it forces me to "study" and do research in order to assist Ilham. While doing that, I learn many new things as well and sometimes it made me recall things that I had forgotten. I like it most of the time, that is. Doing research can be time consuming, and sometimes we didn't have that. We need to sit down together, otherwise it will be my homework and not Ilham's!!!

For the second HL project, we thought of making a temple of ancient egyptian. As usual, I suggested it to Ilham because I thought it was one of the easiest thing to do and didn't require much time to complete :D Afterall my motto is "Don't complicate your life" :D So, we sat down together and browse through the internet looking at various designs of ancient egyptian temples. We tried to find common things that these temples had and any special features about them.

Some of the temples are truly interesting like the Abu Simple Temples. Looking at the photos of the two temples (great and small temples), I remember watching a TV documentary on how this temples were relocated in the 1960s, from its original location on the bank of River Nile. The relocation was necessary to avoid it from being submerged by the rising water of River Nile due to the building of Aswan Dam. The temple complex was originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharoah Ramesses II in the 1240s BC. During the relocation, the entire complex was carefully cut into large blocks, dismantled, lifted and reassembled at the current location.

The temples during the day and at night

It was believed that the axis of the temples was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that on 21st October and 21st February, the ray of the sun would penetrate and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall except the statue of Ptah (the so called god of the underworld).

Ok, back to HL, Ilham was very excited about the project. He made a temple with LEGO pieces, complete with a pyramid, palm tree(I think it should be date tree right??) and river Nile. The temple was built and then kept being dismantled and reassembled for a few times. He was no architect mind you, so he made the temple without really thinking and without proper planning :D He started building from the back of the temple, eventhough I advised him to start from the front. So in the end I made the entrance (but he modified it) and we had to move it a few times trying to place it at the centre and the right size. We also had to keep dismantling parts of the temple so the colours would balance and mix nicely. He insisted to put hidden treasures inside the pyramid just like the real ones. That was a real pleasure for him, he had such fun showing the treasure to his classmates :D

Side view (picture taken before the inclusion of funny looking pharaoh and priest)

Front view

Yeah... we had fun doing this. Even DH was also involved :) he placed the small yellow "statues" at the side of the temple and he added top part of the entrance, making it looked like a triangle. He even put a LEGO man on top of it (but we took it out before going to school he..he... Ilham didn't like it).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Story Of Ramses

After browsing through the suggested activities for Home Learning, I suggested for Ilham to "write a story set in Ancient Eqypt" as his first activity. It was the easiest one I could think of. What we needed was only a piece of paper and lots of brilliant ideas. It was easy !!! Or so I thought....

First, he made a list of what he thought ancient Egypt was like :

Pyramid, river nile, temple, pharoah, the boy king Tut, egyptian boat, mummies, dessert.... hmm... what else??? These things could be mentioned in the story.

Then, the story needed a plot. So what's the plot about?? Ilham didn't understand what a plot was. I had to rephrase that "what is the story about?" After thinking about it for a little while, he said it's about how a boy saved King Tut's life. Hmmm.....that sounded like a good story....

Let's see what transpired between us in the making of the "story"

"Once upon a time in the golden sand of Egypt, there lived a boy named Ramses", then he stopped.

Me : That's a nice beginning. Explain a little about Ramses. Who is he?

"Ramses was poor boy", he stopped.

Me : What did Ramses do?

"Every day, he helped his father in the field. When he finished, he would go to the river Nile to fish and to enjoy the view."

Me : That's nice, write a little bit more.

"Sometimes he would play around the pyramid"

Me : Go on...

Ilham : No, that's enough, you only need a little introduction.

Me : Ok, let's write the main story then, remember your plot.

"One day, Ramses saved King Tut's life"

Me : If you write that, your story will end in 3 lines. This is the interesting part, explain how Ramses saved King Tut's life. What happened on that day. What was Ramses doing.

"One day, Ramses was lying on the river bank. Suddenly he saw King Tut fell into the river. Then Ramses saved him"

Me : First, in your story do you want Ramses to know that it was the boy king? Second, make it more suspense. What happened when he fell.

So the sentence was rewritten....

"Suddenly he saw a boy fell into the river from a boat. There was a crocodile in the river. The crocodile came towards him. Ramses killed the crocodile. He saved the boy."

Me : That's good, but maybe you should explain a bit what did the boy do next when he fell, and how Ramses kill the crocodile. Remember, you want to make it suspense! And tell me first before you write, that way, you don't have to keep erasing.

"The boy tried to swim to the river bank, but then the crocodile came and grabbed his legs"

Me : Good, what did Ramses do then.

"Ramses took his spear and throw it at the crocodile, but it missed. Then Ramses jumped into the river. He took his knife and stabbed the crocodile until it died"

Me : Very good, then what happened?

"You saved my life" the boy said to Ramses,"come to the palace, I must reward you"

Ilham : I'm tired now, can we continue tomorrow?

That was the end of our writing on the first day. The following day, Ilham had another session of writing, with his father this time. It was easier the second day, he had more "ideas" of his own - the boy king and Ramses became friends, the Romans came, people died, Ramses defeated the Romans, they lived happily until King Tut died, Ramses became pharoah etc...

Conclusion : Writing is not easy :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Have A New Blog !!!

To family and friends(cyber and all), I wish to introduce my new blog....

where I intend to write bits of our experiences here in the Netherlands.

Do check it might be to your liking :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Goodbye Stripy....

I was in the bedroom last night when suddenly I heard a loud commotion and crying from outside, in the hallway. From the sound of it I know something bad had happened. Sure enough, Ilham came bursting into the bedroom and between hiccups, told me...

"Stripy.... died.... she was outside... her house....near the heater....I think...she was cold....that's why she went there.... I don't want her to die.... I don't want to have a pet anymore....they always die...." and on...and on...

He was inconsolable...

Poor Ilham, Stripy was his second hamster. The first hamster Fluffy died in winter too, a month after we got her. We thought that perhaps Fluffy died because she was not warm enough, so this time we put Stripy next to the heater in the hallway. Stripy survived five months longer than Fluffy.

Happy moments together....

This morning, Ilham went to school feeling sad and gloomy. But, during the walk home from school, Ilham was cheerful again. He said that Vyvyian, his classmate had five hamsters, they all died. Everytime a hamster died, his parents would buy him a new one. Ahhhh.... I'm glad the sad episode only lasted for one day :)

When we reached home, I showed him Stripy's final resting place. He went there and said....

"Goodbye Stripy, have a nice day in heaven"


Monday, December 6, 2010

Sandy Scheveningen

Scheveningen is one of the districts in The Hague and most popular for its long sandy beach. It is in fact the most popular beach in the Netherlands and a favourite among the locals and also the Germans particularly in the summer. It is not very far, only about 15 minutes tram ride from the centre of The Hague.

On fine Saturday in early October, we picked Ilham up from his friend's birthday party. The weather was unusually sunny and hot and we decided to head to Scheveningen. As expected, there were a lot of people and looking for parking space was very hard indeed. But looking at Ilham's excited face, it was all worth it.

We walked along the esplanade first, before deciding to join the crowd on the beach... Ilham was inching towards the water line. Very much impatient to test the seawater...

And collecting sea shells..........

While he was buzy picking sea shells and getting his shoes and pants wet in the process, I took in the scenario around me.....

The crowd enjoying the sunny day....

The Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel looks majestic

The hotel upclose

The two floor pier in the distance....

Bungy jumping - with two screaming youths hanging upside down....

I heard that there was a nude section somewhere on the beach and wondered whether we would encounter any sunbathers in their adult glory this late in the season. Would my innocent soul be able to take it if we did ??? Hmmmm :)))

My thoughts were interrupted by something flickering from the corner of my eye....... Did I see what I just did?????

I quickly turned around, my hands reaching into the pocket for the camera....

I couldn't believe my eyes....

And my luck...


Ahhhh.... two naked souls prancing around in their birthday suit...




Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Proud Of You Irfan

This entry is specially dedicated to my dear grandnephew Irfan and even though it might be a wee bit late in being posted, it is nonetheless no less insignificant.

Congratulations to you Irfan, for not only getting 5As in the UPSR recently, but most of all for your courage, redha and tawakkal. Yes dear, you are brave enough and strong enough to withstand the exam even under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Circumstances that no one would ever want to experience themselves, circumstances that no one would ever wish for it to happen to someone as young as you. Only Allah knows how you felt on that fateful day, only Allah knows.

It could not have been easy entering the exam hall knowing that your dearest father had just died the night before. Thoughts of his jenazah being driven all the way from Johor must have intruded from time to time while you were answering the questions, yet you managed to hold on. The feeling of sadness, confusion, helplessness and perhaps anger too, must have been so overpowering, so great, it could have crippled a lesser person, yet you persevered.

The last two weeks before the exam was a difficult time indeed, ever since the tragedy of the small plane crash which resulted in him being hospitalised far away in Johor. The fact that the incident happened in the holy month of Ramadhan and so close to Hari Raya, somehow made it even worse. But you were strong, you were indeed a pillar of strenght to your three younger sisters. You had to... you had no choice... your dear mother had to be with your father in this time of need.

But your strenght crumbled the night he died, anyone would have too.... You didn't want to sit for the exam the following day, you didn't care anymore, you just wanted to cry. But people cared, neighbours, family friends and your own teachers all came to give you support and to talk to you, and you finally relented. That night, you slept with his kain pelikat as your blanket, hugging it close to your body, wishing that it was his warmth instead.

Dear Irfan, losing someone you love is never easy. How I know it.... But you did well, in fact you were able to bear it all and come out of it with flying colours. Your dearest father would have been so proud of you. I hope that you will grow to be a stronger person and be a responsible son your parents would have wanted you to be, insyaAllah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stop Child Abuse

While visiting a blog recently, I found this campaign by UNICEF on child abuse. It saddens me to read stories of children being abused, and the fact that it happens quite regularly in our society makes me wonder what is happening to our so called caring society. I recalled the story of a toddler being hit and kicked to her death by a man in a park, and there were witnesses around watching the whole scene unfolded !!! I'm not sure whether the witnesses were adult or not... but it seemed that they did not intervene because they thought that he was her father !!! Even if he was her father, it was uncalled for. It was so tragic, poor child !

As a mother and a human being, I hope that such cases will be prevented in the future and I certainly hope that I shall not read another sad story like that ever again. So let us STOP CHILD ABUSE and give our support to the campaign.


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