Monday, January 14, 2013

Thank You Cards

Arman and I took on a small project last weekend. We wrote thank you cards for the boys (and Gillian) who came to celebrate Arman's birthday in December last year. Arman wrote this message for the boys:

Dear XXX,
Thank you for coming to my birthday party. I hope you had a great time.
- Arman

I took pictures of each boy who came to the party and had them printed. Each boy gets his picture as a small token from us. Just something that would remind them of the fun they had.

The thank you cards and pictures

Arman taking his task seriously

Proudly showing off the finished product
This is good exercise for both Arman and I. Arman gets to practice his handwriting and hopefully, he forms good habit in terms of writing thank you notes. I get to spend some time with Arman by helping with the cards and I also need to get into the habit of writing thank you notes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Melur the Handy Girl

Over the years, we’ve noticed something very interesting about Melur – she likes to put things together. When Arman gets a Lego set, strangely enough, it’s Melur who puts it together. And if/when it breaks, it’s Melur who puts it together again. Melur also likes putting together puzzles.

Recently, I put together Arman’s new desk and cabinet. I thought I’d test Melur by letting her put together some furniture herself. And yesterday, she passed with flying colours.

We started her off with something simple – a work chair for Arman’s desk. Other that unwrapping the box, Melur pretty much put the entire thing together. She needed minimal help from me. She managed to decipher the instructions herself:

Here she is with the completed product:

So we moved on to something more difficult, a book shelf for my office. This was a little tough, as there were some imperfections in the fabrication. But other than a few adjustments, Melur put most of the parts together herself. She put in every screw/bolt (although I may have tightened them at the end). Here’s the completed bookshelf for my office:

Nice job, Melur. I know who I can count on to put together our furniture in the future :p

Arman’s new chess coach

So at Arman’s most recent chess tournament in Toronto, we met with a few other Malaysians on the circuit – James from Kedah and Gary from Johor (their kids were Kylie and Eugene, both from Grade 3). It was a delight meeting them. Although Arman is in Grade 4, they’re all in the same age category (Under-10, at the moment), and have very similar CMA ratings. All our kids competed in Section 1 of the Kids Grand Christmas Chess Tournament, and finished in the top 10.

Living in Toronto (or even in Ottawa), you have access to a lot of resources when it comes to chess. There are many chess clubs near and around Toronto. And there are also several chess masters in the area willing to give out chess lessons – not so much in Kingston. I know Arman is anxious to move to Ottawa or Toronto to get access to chess masters and chess camps.

Anyway, I thought I’d try to get Arman a real (titled) chess master as a coach, and I thought I’d give the internet a chance. I came across and thought I’d reach out to them. I was immediately contacted by IM Kizov. We set up a first coaching session, and Arman seemed to take a liking to it.

IM Kizov is a FIDE International Master from Macedonia. I believe he still lives there. He runs his chess lessons via Skype and the ICC. One of the interesting things about this process, is that we’re getting acquainted with the tools of the trade. Arman now plays on the ICC, and we also downloaded ChessBase Light for analyzing chess games.

Anyway, Arman has only had 2 lessons so far. But hopefully, it’ll improve his game. I’m starting to see some improvement in his game, but it’s still too early to tell. The Kingston Chess Club starts up again tomorrow, so we’ll see how well he improves.

Good luck, Arman!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Busy Bee

Roy is not only the main bread winner in the family, he's also the handyman. See what he does around the house.

Time to get Arman a new closet, the one he has now is old and falling apart - literally! 
Tools of the trade
Showing off his handy work
Arman also got a new computer table
I got something new too - an additional table for the office for the extra work space