Farewell Lunch to Great Grandma!

~ Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 11:32 AM ~

Last Sunday, we had a lunch farewell plus early birthday celebration for our dearest Great Grandma (Grandma or PoPo to us) who will be leaving for Sydney in a few days time.

Below are some of the pictures taken during the celebration:

Venue: The Ming Room, Bangsar Shopping Center.

Good choice of place, great food and we had a private room for our function so it feels very comfy and spacious and the service are good too!

Ben's cousins just got back from a church performance (multiracial performance theme) and one of them put on the China man cap on Ben.

Ben is so amused at the long piggy tails that came attached with the cap...

Ben keeping himself hydrated...

Didn't manage to take pictures of any of the dishes because I was busy going for it!

Hahahah... and I was also feeding some to Ben so no free hands to take pictures.

But trust me, the food is really good!

Below is one of the dish we had which I took from the restaurant's website:

Braised Abalone with Imperial Beancurd and broccoli. Super yummy!

After the lunch, we chat around then the children (8 with 1 late teen) got ready for a musical performance for Great Grandma.

We all sang 2 songs while Ben happily sleeps away in his babyland...

Great Grandma praying and making a wish as we celebrated her birthday early.

And this is the yummy birthday cake! I had 2 slice of this, yumyum!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Great Grandma a smooth and safe journey to Sydney and hope that she will enjoy her short stay there.

We'll all be waiting for you when you come back in few months time!

Words Can Hurt...

~ Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:16 PM ~

I was feeling pretty upset this morning. Decided to try to use the oven for the 1st time by baking a ready-made pizza dough. Just required a few instructions to follow along using the oven and you can have the pizza ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Thought I'd give the oven a try, and also give me a mini boost to conquer my fear of baking first.

The pizza calls for the following instruction:

1. Preheat oven to 220℃

2. Take out pizza dough from box and internal plastic wraps

3. Put pizza dough right in center and bake for about 8-10minutes, or until cheese melted and you see the crust is golden yellow

4. Ready to eat!

Simple right?

I thought this is just a mini warm up start for me to get used to following instructions on baking and using the oven... But, the moment I got ready the oven, I hear this coming from my MIL:

"What? You are going to start using the oven already? Sigh... you all just do things for fun because it's a new thing" (I'm translating this from Cantonese to English.. the words in Cantonese were harsher... it's actually 'San Si Hang' which practically means new toilet seat.. something which Chinese like to say to represent people getting excited for the first few moments over new stuff and then forget and stop doing it when they get bored of it)

So anyway, yeah.. those 3 Cantonese words goes to my ears and stabs right in my heart. Maybe you think I'm over-reacting but it hurts.

Baking things IS a new thing for me. Is it wrong for me to get excited over this new thing?

But who is she to assume this excitement is going to pass? And I'm still wondering what else I did that made her assume that?

I told her nicely that "If everytime someones tries to attempt something new and you go telling the same 3 words to people, how will they get encouraged to continue on? You already branded people that way and assume people is going to stop doing it. Can't you be more encouraging?" She kept quiet after that.

Sorry for venting out but I reminded her that she is the same person who told me 'Guns and weapons won't hurt people if you leave it there, but a mouth can turn a gun and weapons to hurt someone. A mouth can tell someone to get a gun or weapon and hurt someone'.

So why is she doing this?

Nevertheless, I grit my teeth and continue on with the pizza thing and now that I'm typing this, I'm more determined to prove her wrong. I thought to myself.. why am I letting her discourage me? True, it's her mouth and I cannot tape it shut and I've got no control over what she wants to say but I got control over my ears.

I can choose to ignore and NOT listent to those negative words. Read: Ephesians 4:29 (NIV), John 14:1 (NIV)

My 1st SIL is coming this weekend to show me some demo on a few of her baking recipes. Wish me luck with my baking adventure!

Read: Mark 10:27 (NIV), Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV), Philippians 4:13 (NIV), Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Hungry Ghost Festival...

~ Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 9:35 PM ~

Oh yes, ghosts get hungry too... *eyes rolling*

Anyway, I'd just like to share some thoughts on the Hungry Ghost Festival which is celebrated by a lot of Chinese. According to Wikipedia,

"The Ghost Festival also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month (14th in southern China).

In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in Spring) and Chung Yeung Festival (in Autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, on Ghost Day, the deceased are believed to visit the living.

On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths.

Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living.

Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities."

 

What I can remember was whenever the 7th lunar month approaches, the old folks will be telling us to come home early (if possible not to go out at night too), be careful if we're travelling at night and not to eat any roadside food. I also remembered accompanying my dad to clean up his parent's tombs (chopping off the weeds and bringing foods for offering) and we would also be burning up joss sticks and those joss papers.

Some Chinese who can afford it will actually buy those papier-mache items to burn for their deceased family members. Just look at the following pictures I got from the Google image search... I'm not kidding you, these are some of the things that got burned which is believed will be sent over to the deceased family members and ancestors..

  Hell notes...

  Clothings... even dentures!

  Luxury cars with driver too!

  Motorbike to cruise in hell?

  Wow! A laptop too!

  Washing machine!

Since I became a Christian about 5 years ago, I no longer celebrated or participated in this festival and have often wondered whether it is necessary to be burning all these stuff.

I mean, I absolutely get it if you want to pay respect to your ancestors or deceased family members but to the extent of burning all these stuff? Sigh.... I don't know what else to say...

Do you think it is necessary to have all this?