Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Melur and the Cats

We have two cats - Archie and Hermione. Melur loves those two cats. She reads to them, plays with them, and sleeps with them. Here, she made a makeshift bed for Hermione from the piano bench, Arman's pillow, and Arman's hair towel. Hmmm... how come she's using all of Arman's stuff for the cat?...

Here you see a picture of Melur and Hermione. Maybe it's time to buy cat beds...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Conversation with Arman

Between Arman and Mommy about 2 weeks ago...

Arman : What are you reading Mommy?
Mommy: Newspaper
Arman : What's in the newspaper Mommy?
Mommy: A student fell from the roof... and died
Arman : Is the police investigating it?
Mommy: I'm sure they are.
Arman : Do they think it's homicide or suicide?

Conclusion: We've been watching too many episodes of Monk on DVDs...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Spring 2010 Piano Recital

This video was taken last month, the last piano recital for the 2009/2010 school year. Melur and Arman play really well this time around. Arman was even a little dramatic (you have to check it out). I got tired of waiting for Melur and Arman to add commentary for their Melur and Arman Show, so I just pieced it together and uploaded it to my own youtube channel. What do you guys think?

Anyway, thanks for watching. I’ll be posting another video (in 2 parts) of our second trip to the K&P Trail. This is yet another video that I simply got tired of waiting for the commentary. There are still more videos in the queue for the Melur and Arman Show. Watch out for those!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ep 9: Trip to Lake Placid

As Mommy mentioned in a recent blog post, our family went to Lake Placid for a little mini vacation. Daddy was running a half marathon there, and we thought we’d make it into something more. We were spending money to go there and stay there anyway. Mommy’s post was pretty comprehensive, but to top it off, we’ve compiled some video footage, and put them into the Melur and Arman Show (with commentary, of course). Episode 9 is in 3 parts (3 days of footage, after all). Take a look below:

I think that pretty much sums it up. I’d love to go again, but these trips aren’t exactly cheap. And if we did have a budget, why go to the same place over and over again? Why not go somewhere else, and try something new? Anyway, we’ll see how it goes. We’ll most likely have these mini-vacations in conjunction with sporting events that Mommy and Daddy want to attend. Where shall we go to next?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ep. 8: ISK Graduation Party

Okay, so this is yet another entry from the Melur and Arman show. We recently went to a graduation party for Evening School students studying Quran at the Islamic Society of Kingston (ISK), just this past Friday actually. Food was great, kids had fun, and we generally had a good time. Melur and Arman couldn't wait to put the video together, and they dressed up for it too. Without further ado...

That's all folks. Still need to put together videos of our trip to Lake Placid. Will do that soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ep. 7: Toronto for Chess

This is a recent entry from the Melur and Arman show, but the trip itself is from 2 months ago, when we went to Toronto for Arman's chess challenge. There's a separate blog entry that describes the chess event. This entry describes the trip itself: where we stayed, went and ate. Couldn't quite fit it into one youtube video, so here it is in two:

In part 1, Melur and Arman talk about the hotel where we stayed, the Yorkland Hotel in Toronto:

In part 2, we continue on with dinner at a halal Malaysia restaurant called "Restoran Malaysia", followed by breakfast the next day at the hotel, and finally dinner at Red Lobster once back in Kingston:

It was a pretty short trip... only 1 night. But we had lots of fun. And it was our first trip to Toronto, although we weren't really able to explore much of the area. Maybe next time we're in Toronto, we'll be able to see more.

Episode 5 & 6: Ottawa (Half) Marathon

Here's a more recent entry from the Melur and Arman show, taken from our trip to Ottawa for Mommy's Half Marathon. We separated the entire trip into 2 episodes, one for each day.

Here is Episode 5 from Day 1. Melur and Arman describe our first day at Ottawa, which includes lunch at Nando's, a quick stop to pick up Mommy's race kit, a swim at the Hampton Inn hotel where we were staying, followed by dinner at a Malaysian restaurant called Chahaya Malaysia:

On the second day (Episode 6), we dropped Mommy off at the race venue bright and early. When we got back, The kids and I had breakfast at the hotel, followed by a short swim, and then we checked out. We headed straight for the race to cheer her on. We picked Mommy up after the race, and had lunch at a shish kebab place.

And that was pretty much it. There was a big jam on our way back to Kingston - Bummer! Our next race will be at Lake Placid where I will run my second half marathon for the year (4th ever). Mommy already put in a blog entry for Lake Placid, but we'll put together something for the Melur and Arman show as well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lake Placid Mini-Vacation

Have you ever tried miniature golf? Well, we did and we (especially Mommy) like it a lot!

Day 1 (Saturday, June 12)

We left the house at 1:30pm. Half of the drive was a bit confusing, since the road wasn't actually a interstate highway. It was quite an uneventful
drive though... except for seeing Amish people on their horses and carriages. Mommy and Papa were really excited about seeing them. But, Melur and Arman were more excited to see cows and horses... It was green all the way to Lake Placid, since the area that we went through was for farming.

Arrived at Spruce Lodge at 5:30pm. Checked in, and the room is decent for 2 adults and 2 kids. Went out again for dinner. We initially tried to go to the Downtown Diner, but it was closed. A passer-by recommended two places - Lisa G's and The Cottage for dinner, and the diner for breakfast and lunch.

We tried Lisa G's. It was awesome!

Day 2 (Sunday, June 13)

Papa went running with 2500 other runners in the Lake Placid half-marathon. Mommy, Melur and Arman cheered for him.

Papa proudly showing his finisher medal in front of Spruce Lodge

After the run we decided to do something touristy. We went out after noon, and spent two hours window shopping. We are proud to report that the financial damage was very minimal... Mommy spent $27 on a tea pot (planning to start a collection... have always liked the decoration of "The Teapot" at PJ... hope that the restaurant is still around when she gets to go back to Malaysia again), $15 each for Melur and Arman for Lake Placid t-shirts, and $16 for Papa for his Lake Placid t-shirt and cap combo. We simply walked along Main Street in the middle of town, and went inside most of the stores... at least those that look quaint. One store demonstrated glass blowing. We bought some home-made chocolates and popcorn too. Stopped by the small lake at the center of the town (called Lake Mirror). Melur was begging us to go canoeing/kayaking... but Mommy actually did a lot of canoeing/kayaking during her MRSM years... and the thought of paddling for the kids at 2pm right under the sun didn't sound like a lot of fun. We went back to room and decided to watch a movie (The Mummy Returns) on the computer with popcorn*

Later after googling "family fun Lake Placid"... we got two results... one was Pirate's Cove miniature golf and the other was a local museum. Miniature golf sounded interesting. We went there, paid for a game, and started playing. Everything was fine until Arman had a tantrum** Had to bar him from hole 15-18. Oh well... was still an overall good day.

The Pirate's Cove: Offering 18 mini-golf courses

Mommy and Melur in front of the entrance to Pirate's Cove

The final score - Papa won - Arman didn't get to golf on 15-18

Ended the day with dinner at The Cottage. Another great place with great desserts!

Day 3 (Monday, June 14)

Checked out at 11am sharp. Dropped by the diner for brunch. Excellent pancakes and omelletes here. Our whole trip is complete. It was definitely a great mini-vacation, and we are planning for mini-vacations around road races in the future.

*Arman spilt the popcorn.., we ended up watching the movie without popcorn and taking an afternoon nap.

**This boy is getting to be a handful nowadays...:(

*** More pictures of the kids...

We let the kids play at the park... they seem to be having a lot of fun

Arman with his own unique style of posing in front of the camera... first you look down

Then you look up...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Episode 4: Kingston K&P Trail

So here's another entry from the Melur and Arman show, taken from our first trip to the K&P Trail on April 4, 2010. We had just gotten our new bikes for the spring, and we also got a new bike rack from the car - pretty awesome. We had to split the video into 2 parts due to youtube constraints.

So the first part of the video shows us getting ready for the trip, as Melur and Arman explain, as well as the first leg of the bike ride:

This second video shows us riding back to the car after taking a break at the mid point of our trip.

I think the kids had fun. We'll definitely do this again, maybe take a different section of the trail. The trail itself isn't too long, but after going a few times, I'm sure we'll have a favorite stretch. Check it in our next episode perhaps....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Episode 3: Ottawa Winter Wonderland

I'm not sure if people are following Melur's new youtube channel, so I just thought I'd post them here as well. We ended up not posting some of our news/events, because Melur puts it into one of her shows. So I guess we should re-post her episodes here and provide more context. Anyway, here is goes:

On Valentine's Day weekend, which is a 3 day holiday here in Ontario due to the Ontario Family Day, we headed up to Ottawa with some friends for the Winter Wonderland. Ottawa was hosting a winter wonderland of sorts, with shows and activities for the entire family. We made the 2-hour drive up in 2 cars. You'll see Santiago sitting in the back with Melur and Arman, while Mommy and Papa are in the front. In the other car is Santiago's mom, Paula, and Farnoosh. Check out Melur and Arman's commentary:

We had to split the video into 2, since youtube only allows 10 minutes per video. This is the second half of our trip.

Anyway, thanks for watching. I'll be posting more of Melur's shows here. Till next time...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2010 Ontario Chess Challenge

This is kinda old news, but I thought I'd blog about it anyway, just so there's a record of it. Last April, Arman qualified for the 2010 Ontario Chess Challenge by winning first place at the Eastern Ontario Youth Chess Tournament (for First Grade). Here's a video of his adventures at the 2010 Eastern Ontario Youth Tournament in Kingston on April 11:

So the following weekend (April 18th), we headed to Toronto for the 2010 Ontario Chess Challenge. Arman got 5th place (for 1st grade). Here's a short video:

Arman was a little disappointed he didn't win the whole thing. But he did really well. Fifth place is not bad at all, for ALL of Ontario. Maybe he'll do even better next year.

Keep it up, Arman. You'll do well!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Arman's First Interview

Arman came back from school last week with a note from his teacher, Mrs Richard (pronounced ree-shard). The note describes Arman's next project, which is due on May 25th. Arman needs to choose an occupation, use different strategies (e.g., Internet, books, interviews, watch a video, etc) to gather information about that particular occupation, create a poster with about six to ten facts, and give a short presentation in class on the due date. Arman's first choice was to find out about pilots... but unfortunately, we don't know anybody who's a pilot in Kingston (or anywhere else really). So, Arman ended up choosing librarians instead.

Fortunately, Mommy was able to arrange for Arman to meet a few librarians from the local university. The librarians were so happy when we told them that Arman chose librarians for his project. They simply think, "he is destined for greatness." So today, off we go to the Stauffer Library at Queen's University to meet with two librarians there - Susan and Cate. These two ladies were kind enough to spare some time to be interviewed by a 6-year old. Arman was quite the professional. He came prepared with questions. He gave a good, firm handshake to both ladies and introduced himself, explained to them briefly about his project, and then asked permission to start the interview. He did all that while still looking so cute!

These are the questions he prepared:
1. What do you do in the library?
2. When are your busiest times?
3. When are your work hours?
4. Who helps you with your job?
5. Who do you help?
6. What technologies do you use in your work?

At the end, the two ladies took their time to show Arman some neat gadgets that they have at the library. One that Arman was particularly keen on was this gadget that will make 2-D maps look 3-D, so that you can see the ground elevations and such.

Arman spent half an hour with the ladies, and left by saying thank you. The librarians seem to really appreciate the chocolate bars that Arman gave... just his small way of saying thank you. Arman will work on the poster this weekend, and he thinks that it'll be great. A big holler to the ladies at Stauffer Library for being so nice and helpful!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Bikes

The weather has been so good lately... warm and sunny, at least most of the time. We got the kids new bikes. Papa has been taking them to K&P trail on Sundays. They enjoy the ride, and most of the time, they can go on the bike for an hour or so. Just look at them enjoying their bikes, croissants, and warm sun.

It's a great place for bike rides, running, and such...

Melur's Book Report

I've been wanting to write in this blog for ages... unfortunately, I've been so busy. But here's a little update on Melur...

She did a great job on a book report recently (OK, so it was two months ago...). The report was really creative. She made a book bag with a picture of the book cover on one side, and a short summary of the book on the other. Inside was eight items representing the book... she wrote a poem, made a story cube... lots of interesting things.

Some pictures:

Melur has not problem being creative... Mommy on the other hand needs a lot of work. Sorry for such a lame entry...:)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Arman and Melur Show

Wow! It’s been a while since I last posted an article to this blog. I’ve been really busy with QuickSchools, and haven’t had a chance to step back. As I mentioned in my personal blog, we did make it to the 1000 Islands Port of Entry, and did our Landing (still waiting for our PR cards). But we forgot to bring our camera. And the trip itself was relatively uneventful. The following week, we got our new Social Insurance Number (SIN), and the week after that, we applied for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). And just last week, we had our trip to the dentist, and everyone’s cavity-free.

Anyway, for today’s post, I wanted to talk about this past weekend as well. I wanted to get Melur passionate about something. Arman has his Chess Club. Melur doesn’t have anything that she’s really interested in pursuing. So I’m attempting to get her interested in computers, maybe broadcasting, or multimedia. She loves this show called i-Carly, and I convinced her to start her own little web show.

We spent Sunday looking for a camera. We got the Ultra Flip HD from CostCo (it seemed pretty cheap). I was reading reviews for the original Ultra Flip camera, and its simple interface is actually ideal for kids. Getting it in HD was just a big plus. After getting the camera back home, we proceeded to do our first web show (with 2 episodes). I set up a YouYube account for Melur. You can check out her first web show below. Do subscribe, if you’re on YouTube.

I think it worked. Melur, AND Arman, are both looking forward to their next show. It’ll be a weekly thing, I hope. I’m hoping to teach them about planning, and broadcasting, and all that good stuff. Maybe Melur will be the next i-Carly. And when we go on family trips, I can get Melur to cover the story. I wish them the best of luck.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tour of Pembroke Street

I've been meaning to give you guys a tour of our house, and finally did it today, with the New Year (when else, right?). We got a fresh layer of snow overnight, so everything is white. Anyway, here's the video:

In case you're wondering, the temperature according to was -15 degrees Celsius yesterday and this morning. It's warmed up a bit since. I've put up a little weather widget on the right for your viewing pleasure.

Also, if you're wondering how the kids faired with a second day of fasting (from yesterday's post), they did it again with flying colors. Good job Melur and Arman. Tomorrow, they start school again, after the winter break. I don't think they'll be fasting again will the weekend, but we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Good Muslims

The kids wanted to fast today (Saturday, Jan 2). Mommy and I were skeptical at first, when they first told us to wake them up for sahur in the morning. I told them, when Muslims fast, they wake up before sunrise to eat. You could technically eat before going to bed at night, but it’s not the preferred way. You have to sleep first, and get up for your last meal before starting your fast.

So the kids slept at the regular time (which is late by western standards, I think) of 9:30 pm. Lo and behold, they got up right away when I woke them up at 5:45 am. We had a quick meal of leftover curry from last night, with some frozen chapatti I cooked on a pan. When subuh came, we prayed jemaah together.

I also told them that as Muslims, it’s best not to go back to sleep after praying subuh (it’s not good to sleep after eating anyway). And so the kids stayed up and watched TV. I on the other hand, was so sleepy for staying up late last night. I wasn’t planning on fasting today, but since the kids wanted to fast, I had to fast too. And I went to bed after praying subuh :(

When I got up later that morning, the kids were still going strong. Sure, they were hungry, but they stuck in there. I tried to occupy their minds with something else. And so we prayed zuhur and asar together. Then, we headed out to Loblaw’s to get some cake for buka puasa. After getting the cake, I took them out grocery shopping. And the kids managed to make it ALL-THE-WAY. We buka puasa with Babybel cheese at the grocery store (we didn’t make it home in time). When we got home, Mommy had some fritters waiting for us. Here's a picture Mommy took, coming home from the grocery store with our cake.

Look at Melur's Make-Up. Nice cake though.

Before having our cake, we prayed maghrib and isha’ together as well. Soon after, Melur had her piece of cake. I said I’d have mine after dinner, and had cookies instead (didn’t want to spoil my dinner). Arman followed me (he often does, actually), and had cookies as well. Mommy prepared dinner soon after, and that was that.

Mommy and I were so proud of Melur and Arman today. I know many kids in Malaysia start fasting a lot sooner, but it’s hard here in Canada. And this is their FIRST time fasting a full day. Now the kids want to fast again tomorrow, so they can have more cake for buka puasa (the cake from Loblaw’s was REALLY good by the way). Hopefully, tomorrow turns out well.

Family Google Calendar

I've put together a Google Calendar for important family events and holidays. For those of you coming to visit, you'll know when the kids are free. I have yet to put in all the kids vacation for 2010, but it'll be updated soon. See below:

FYI, this same calendar is also on my website at

Friday, January 1, 2010

An Author in the Family

I've always dreamed of becoming an author, writing a book. But apparently Arman has beaten me to it. He wrote a book about books. Here it is:


Book about Books
By Arman Azroy

Authored by a kid that is 6

Note: I assume he meant 6 since he canceled the 5 and circled 6 instead.


Book have to have a title.


Book have to have an author.


Some books have a cover


Some books have a picture

And of course....

He wrote this book all by himself, and stapled the pages together. How original... a book about books... why didn't I think of that...