Monday, December 31, 2012

Embracing Winter: Sledding @ Fort Henry

Roy embracing winter - sledding downhill at Fort Henry.
I've decided that the family will embrace winter this year. We've been in Kingston for almost four years, and we've never tried any of the winter activities as a family. As a first step, I decided that we'll all go sledding. Something that everybody in the family will be able to do.

The kids have been sledding in the front yard (we have a mini snow hill in our front yard!) for the past few days. I decided that we'll go sledding at Fort Henry, which is the best place for sledding in town (I read this online, not sure if it's true). I can't describe how much fun we had... we were there for more than an hour... just going up and down the hill. A few pictures of us in action:

Melur and Arman walking uphill... trudging through snow.
You can see me (in pink and blue... just like Melur), ahead of the kids. It was quite an uphill walk.
When I first saw this picture, I thought it was Melur... No, it was me going downhill... I was laughing and screaming at the same time all the way down!      
Reaching the bottom and seriously hoping that I'd stop before banging into the tree.

Dual action - the kids sledding together.
And the kids downhill...
Arman sledding with his favorite style - eager for action.
Melur sledding with her favorite style - relax and carefree!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas, Boxing Day, and Snow in Kingston

The whole neighborhood is covered in snow

Just reporting on what we are up to for the past few days...

December 25th - We don't celebrate Christmas, so we didn't do anything special on this day. But we were very productive - we clean-up the house! I got the kitchen, Papa got the office, and kids got the living room as well as their own room. We spent 3-4 hours... once in a while... the house needs a thorough cleaning. Leaving the bathroom for the weekend.

December 26th - Boxing Day around Kingston is just so-so. We don't have that many stores, and I don't feel like driving to Toronto to shop (still tired from the conference in Orlando). We still manage to get a good haul though. Mostly clothes for myself (a very much needed a winter coat among other things!) and the kids. Papa drove us around, but he didn't get anything. Sorry, honey! Maybe you can splurge on a tablet with bigger screen for the new year.

December 27th-28th - We suddenly got heavy snow in Kingston. Woke up in the morning and everything is covered in powdery snow. Papa spent a good part of his day shoveling snow. We can't leave the house because the drive way was totally covered in snow. The kids seem to have a lot of fun though... making forts, sliding down mini snow hills, and throwing snowballs. Some pictures below:

He looks like he's enjoying himself, but shoveling snow is a lot of hard work
Melur and Arman building their forts
Melur... resting on her lazy char made from snow
Arman... happy in his fort
*Sigh* At times like these... I start yearning for the days when we can pack our bikes and go bike riding on the trails.

Wondering when we would be able to enjoy the warm weather on a bike trail

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Arman's 9th Birthday!

We had a big birthday party for Arman to celebrate his 9th birthday, on Saturday, Dec 8th, 2012. We had about 12 kids altogether, including Arman and Melur. About 10 of Arman's school friends - yes, we had to entertain 10 active, loud 9-year old boys! Melur got to invite one of her friends too, and she invited Gillian. The venue was at the Cineplex on Gardiners Road. It was hotdogs, fruit punch, and chocolate birthday cake... followed by Wreck-It Ralph in 3D! The kids seem to enjoy themselves, especially the movie and popcorn.

Here are some pictures from the birthday party:

Arman was so excited!

Arman blowing his birthday candle - Melur insisted on the big 9 birthday candle

After the birthday party: Melur and Gillian went inside the tornado simulation chamber

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Visit to the Falls

We went for a short trip to Niagara Falls about two weeks ago, spending the Victoria Day weekend there. It was a combination of vacation and shopping trip. We needed to get a few things for family back in Malaysia. Our schedule was roughly:

Day 1 - Saturday (May 19)
11:30am-4:00pm - Drive from Kingston to Niagara Falls
4:00pm - 5:30pm - Immigration (needed to go through US immigration, takes a long time!)
5:30pm - 9:00pm - Shopping round 1 @ Niagara Falls outlet
9:00pm-10:30pm - Dinner @ Apple-bees
10:30pm - Check-in and rest

Day 2 - Sunday (May 20)
9:00am - 11:30am - Breakfast and get ready for day
11:30am - 2:30pm - Shopping round 2 @ Niagara Falls outlet
2:30pm - 4:00pm - Lunch @ halal buffet restaurant
4:00pm - 8:00pm - Rest
8:00pm-10:30pm - Dinner, sightseeing, and haunted house of wax
10:30pm - Rest

Day 3 - Monday (May 21)
10:00am - 11:30am - Check out and get ready for day
11:30am - 12:30pm - Lunch @ Denny's
12:30pm - 2:30pm - Drive to Waterloo premium outlet
2:30pm - 5:00pm - Shopping round 3 @ Waterloo premium outlet
5:00pm - 8:00pm - Drive home to Kingston
8:00pm - 9:30pm - Dinner @ Rahim's
9:30pm - Home sweet home!

See... lots of shopping, but we were buying souvenirs for Malaysia. We did buy a lot of Coach bags... I think in total about 9 bags. The kids didn't have as much fun during this trip. But we promise them that the real vacation will be in Malaysia, and we'll be going back in less than a month.

And here are some pictures...

We bribed them with ice-cream so that they'll cooperate...            

Taken from a bridge when we were sightseeing... the view is quite nice
Arman standing and smiling at the bridge

The most fun the kids had during the trip.. the haunted house of wax. The kids thought it was lame.... but Mommy was scared

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Melur's Science Project

I was looking through this blog for the past few days. My, how the kids have grown... Melur is in Grade 4 now and Arman is in Grade 3. Soon they'll be in middle school, high school, and then off to college.

Anyway, last March Melur presented her science project - "Electrical conductors and insulators" - during the Winston Churchill Public School's (WCPS) science fair. She had about 6 weeks to do the project... but, well lets just say that the bulk of the work was during the last 3 weeks before hand-in (which was not that bad really, could be worse). One week was spent reading and understanding the materials - i.e., the science behind conductors and insulators. The next week was spent setting up the experiments and preparing the written report. And the last week was spent preparing for the class presentation and creating the display board for the science fair. Melur got some help... but she did most of the work. She has to because she must be able to answer the questions during the science fair and class presentation. Here's a picture of Melur and Papa putting together the written report.

Melur and Papa putting together the science report
And here are some pictures of Melur during the science fair. For her project, Melur set-up an experiment to test whether an object is a conductor or insulator. She the small light bulb she's holding? She must be holding a conductor. 

Melur and Papa showing off their stuff... 

Melur and Mommy during the science fair
The science fair was for Grade 4 and 5 students, but only Grade 5 could go to the provincial science fair. All the projects were on display at the gym with the students minding their booths. Lots of other interesting projects were on display - e.g., magnets and magnetism, hydroelectricity, pollution, etc. Melur enjoyed doing her science project, and she's planning to go to the provincial science fair next year. 

Melur proudly explaining her project to a visitor
It is quite interesting to see the education system here. I don't remember doing anything of this sort when I was in Standard 4. I had projects in high school though. And definitely parents are more involved here. The instructions that came from the teachers included instructions on what parents could do to help. Maybe the education system has changed in Malaysia... it has been quite a (LONG) while.