Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye! This is my last post...

... for 2010! Though technically it is only published in 2011, it has been there in draft since the last day hehehehe.... Cheating eh?

Anyway, 2010 has been a life changing year for most part, and bitter sweet memories have been made this year. We are now in a journey of our lifetime, and we pray for a better future.

So what did we all - in a foreign land that is so cold - do to celebrate the coming of 2011?

a. Too cold to go to the park for a picnic, and it was raining..
b. Too lazy to browse around the shopping malls as we are sure it will be crowded..
c. Rayyan has just recovered from bouts of diarrhoea..

But since school is about to open - for both Qistina and Papa, we decided to have a hair cut! Save for me, all the others had their turn sitting on the barber's chair.

the messy-tangling-before-haircut look

the barber-doing-his-thing

the neat-crew cut-school going-after look

My aunt said Rayyan looked like Mawi. Owh nooo!!! :P
Spent about £10 for the three of them. What a steal!!!!

Anyway, i hope it is still not too late to wish everyone a great new year. Hope what you want to achieve in 2011 will be achieved! Till then, sayonara for now...

Thursday, 30 December 2010

A medley of all sorts - part 2

It's been a while since this blog gets updated. First of all my hands were kind of tied and I get busy when the kids and their papa is at home during the winter break. Moreover the kids were feeling a little poorly prior to the break so when the school finally closed it was recuperating time. Owh wait, we were away for a while and then time to recuperate. And we had my nephew here. Anyway, this was what that has happened the past 3 weeks :-

1. Christmas Party at Rayyan's nursery
A little get together was organised by the nursery for the kids and the parents to celebrate the holidays. Father Christmas was there to give away gifts to the kids, and Rayyan got a little red control car! Very thoughtful of the nursery. The kids performed some Christmas songs wearing cute little costumes and headgears. Rayyan had Rudolph on his head :D

Rayyan will not be returning to the same nursery, as I am registering him to the nursery adjacent to Qistina's school - more convenient for me so this was like a goodbye party for Rayyan.

2. Qistina's Christmas Play
The Reception classes at Qistina's school organised a little Christmas play for the parents, a few days before the winter break. It's a nativity play about Christmas so there are angels, sheep, shepherd and Christmas stars among others. Qistina was one of the Christmas stars and performed Reach with her friends. I will never forget that day! I was so proud of her I had tears in my eyes hehehehe... Alhamdulillah I captured it on video so whenever I want to re-live that day, I will just watch the video :D

3. The gathering of SARHAL's cucundas
My nephew, or Qistina and Rayyan's cousin came with his mom to the UK on the 16th to experience winter and the snow. Boy we had quite a bit of snow! In fact the weekend before Christmas the whole UK was on a standstill as the weather was really bad - heavy snow! Flights and trains and busses were cancelled, highways were closed, Christmas shopping was halted etc... Anyway, they still enjoyed their stay here and they went to quite a few places.

They gathered back at our place before continuing their journey to Kent and head home. The weather was a blessing to them as they get to spend a bit more time here. We miss you already Abang Ashraff!!

4. Winter break trip to Edinburgh
Read about this here.

5. Sledding!
Abang Ashraff has left the kids with a red coloured sled to play before he departed back to Malaysia. So when the snow stopped, it was a must that we visit the park nearby our house, then covered in snow and has plenty of slopes to go sledding. The kids had so much fun they wanted us to buy a bigger sled! Let the pictures do the talking..

Unfortunately the snow stopped falling after that. No more sledding...

On Christmas morning we went to our favourite place - Stratford Upon Avon and took a picture at the signature riverbank...

That's it for now! See ya later!

Monday, 13 December 2010

To My Dearest...


Mama is so worried that you are unwell for the past few weeks. Your coughing is on and off, and you get feverish every now and then, so often that I feel like I am not taking care of you well enough. I feel helpless, that you have to go through this. I hope it is just the season, and I pray to Allah that you will be well soon. And that your immune system will be much stronger. I miss the healthier you so much. And even now that you are sometimes feeling off colour, you just know how to make me laugh and smile.

You and I share those moments when we walk home together after sending Kakak to big school. I will always treasure that. Always. Now that you are feeling poorly, it has been days since we walked together.

Please forgive me if I sometimes lose my patience with you. I would give anything to take away your sickness. I love you with all my heart, and again my anak bungsu sayang, my do'a to Allah that you will soon feel much better.


Today your temperature went up a little. I hope that is just your anticipation for your Christmas play at school tomorrow. A little nervousness for the big day. You have a little cough, but you seem determined to shake it off. Mama still worries about you sayang, though you think you are all grown up now that you are in Big School.

Your sense of humour is getting better by the day, making me laugh with your antics. Especially now that you have learnt some new 'tricks' at school. I look forward to the time I pick you up in the afternoons when you will fill me in with the happenings between you and your friends. I love our walks, especially if it is just you and I. I will always treasure the moments we shared together.

You do drive me up the wall sometimes, but I hope you will get well soon anak sulung manja. I look forward to see you on stage, with your twirly skirt, bubbly shirt, and your star bands. As with your Adik, I would give anything to take away your sickness. My prayers to Allah for your health always. I love you so much.

With love

Thursday, 9 December 2010

How do you do that?

* warning : quite a sensitive issue here..

And when?

How do you :-

1. introduce Allah and Islam to a soon-to-be five year old who goes to school sponsored by the Church of England?
It's Christmas and we are in this society where 99% are not muslims. She is involved in a Christmas play involving Christianity. It's fun for her as she's singing all these songs, she gets to go for an excursion to the nearby church to watch plays by the other students, meet the Santa and all...

2. introduce the concept of halal and haram?
She gets hot lunches in school but every morning she will have to choose between the 'red' (meat) or 'green' (vegetarian). Sometimes they have fish in 'red' so she can choose red on those days then. But there are also days when chicken is 'red'. And we eat chicken at home. But she can't choose chicken in school. How do i explain that to her? Obviously i told the teachers that she is allowed to eat fish and vegetarian meals but no meat so that helps when the little one chooses 'red'.

At the moment these are the 2 things that keeps popping up in my head.

I welcome any suggestions from anyone.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Autumn and winter warmers

1. sup ayam kampung (perencah sup adabi)
2. bayam masak lemak
3. roast chicken with rosemary, butter, garlic, pepper and a pinch of salt
4. butter lamb (ready made gravy from Patak's)
5. sambal tumbuk <--- favourite
6. fried seabass with asam jawa
7. telur mata lembu masak sweet and sour
8. many, many versions of nasik goreng
9. many, many versions of bee hoon goreng
10. nasik lemak
11. nasik ayam
12. daging masak merah
13. roast lamb with rosemary, butter, garlic, pepper and a pinch of salt
14. chicken tikka masala (ready made gravy from sainsbury's)
15. cabbage, leeks, carrots masak lemak
16. ayam masak merah
17. curly kale stir fry with ikan bilis
18. ayam masak kicap
19. sup sayur
20. ayam padprik
21. sambal tumis ikan bilis
22. daging goreng blackpepper and halia
23. ayam masak halia
24. ikan bilis goreng kicap bercili kering
25. kari ikan
26. rendang daging (courtesy of brahim's)
27. kari ayam (brahim's also)

i am out of ideas...
so what to cook for tonight? took out the chicken already...

hopefully i will get some inspiration later...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Train Tracks

There's a train track at the back of our house.
Every now and then we will hear the train passes by.

There's a train track at the back of Tok Mama's house.
When we go there, every now and then we will hear the train passes by.

There's a train track at the back of Maktok's house.
When we go back, every now and then, if we listen carefully, we will hear the train passes by.

I wonder if we connect all the tracks we would be able to ride the train to Tok Mama's and Maktok's.

Owh we miss them so much.

Friday, 26 November 2010

The Book of Qistina

On her last day at nursery, her principal early years practioner gave her a journal of her days there, albeit a short 4 weeks.

These are images captured and observation written on Qistina, that I will treasure (oh that emotional crap again hehehe..), since I was not around to see some of the things she did in the nursery with her friends. I truly think she had a great time there. In fact, 2 weeks into Big School, she still sometimes talk about going back to the 'Green Room'.

Thank you Jo Flowers for making her stay truly enjoyable! Qistina still misses you!


Can u spot Qistina in this picture?

Jo Flowers and Qistina

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Monday, 15 November 2010


The english autumn days are gorgeous when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, and especially great if it is during the weekends. It can be cold when it is windy but must not waste such beautiful day nonetheless.

Picnic is a favourite passe-temps. Anywhere. At the park, by the fountain, at the playground, at the rest area and even at our backyard.

For the past 7 weekends since we are here, we have been going on picnics almost every weekend. Except for week 1 when we went to pick up our car :)

Fun! Fun! Fun! Yeayyyy!!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A medley of all sorts

It's been crazy the last few weeks, running around here and there so i thought i'd just strung a few stories together :-

1. Chicken pox
Both of the kids were having chicken pox last week. Even after vaccination you would still get it apparently. But the effect has been very minimal. Syukur alhamdulillah.

They did not have any alarming fever (only Rayyan having a slight raise in temperature 2 weeks prior to the spots coming up but i thought that was because of the flu he had), normal appetites, playing and being active as usual if not more. Qistina had very little spots, none of them visible with her clothes on while Rayyan had more including on top of his head. Itchy and red. But after some calamine lotion and piriton prescribed by the pharmacist and a visit to a local walk-in medical centre, they are both certified fine. Alhamdulillah....

Picnic. Every weekend (when weather and health permits that is) without fail so far. More stories and photos in another entry ya?

Last week was her last day at the nursery as she has been accepted into the nearby school. Big School (as she says it). It was sad leaving the nursery where she had loads of fun, but i am sure she will have fun in Big School as well!

In the UK, children starts school at the term when they will turn 5. In this case, Qistina who will be 5 in February should have started school in September for Primary 1 or Reception*. Anyway, i have been shopping around for schools and alhamdulillah Qistina has been accepted into the nearby school which is 5 minutes walk away. 15-11-10 is her first day. Will have photos up later ok?
*Reception or Primary 1 or FS2 (foundation second year) is the first year of primary school in the United Kingdom and is preceded by nursery, and then followed by Year One - wikipedia

5. The boy who's left at home
Rayyan is lonely when his sister is at school. He now looks forward to the 3 weekly sessions of going to the nursery - or "papa chopis skul" (papa's office school). His vocabulary has increased tremendously though still gibberishly sounding. He's an adventurous eater, very unlike his sister and would try any food that's put on the table. If he likes it he will ask for more :)

He is becoming more independent, wanting to do most things by himself. He sings when he's happy and is very cheeky nowadays.

6. Love thy neighbour
I posted in FB a few weeks back about forgetting my darling neighbour's name. I got it now. I will put that discovery up in another post :wink: :wink:

That's it for now i guess.