Monday, April 30, 2012

Exciting Times Coming Ahead!!

Reese's latest drawing. His version of Time Square NYC.

One of Reese's dream is to have a solo exhibition of his own one day and we as parents are going to do everything we can to realized that dream! He likes sharing his art with others and whenever he has an opportunity to share, he will passionately tell his stories through his drawings.

So for a start, we are working on a Facebook Page dedicated to his art and it's going to be called Reese's Secret Gallery. Well, not really a secret but a continuation of his blog Reese's Secret Isle. :)

When it is ready, I hope all of you faithful readers will LIKE the FB page and spread the word around in hope that someone in the art world might take notice of my boy's work and may help to bring him another step closer to his dream!

Another exciting thing is that Reese and I will be interviewed by a journalist of a local newspaper this coming Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Obsessed with Life After People - The Great Collapses!

One fine day (about 2 weeks ago) my dear son was browsing the internet and he found a youtube video of buildings collapsing! It was a program by History Channel, Life after people - The great collapses.

My son is obsessed with these videos! Day and night he will watch them on the computer or iPad. He will show it to everyone who pays attention to him.

Because of these videos, he now knows a dozen more famous landmarks and structures like Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, Willis Tower (Sears Tower), Macau Tower, Ambassador Bridge and many more. He will google up these buildings and look at the images. Honestly when he mentioned some of the structures, I have not heard of them before!

Reese telling me the names of the buildings from the program.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When You Allow Your Child to Read Comics...

This is what happens when your child reads a lot of comics!!

When I first introduced Reese to comics, I never thought that the language used in them...... eerr... really bad!!

Mind you Reese reads child friendly comics like Tintin, The Smurfs, Disney series...educational comic like Survival Science (Gempak Starz).

Survival Science series is the worse of all. After reading only 1 book, my son started to say phases like "What the?" , "What the heck!". I was shocked. What do you think? Rude words and phases don't you think? 

Yesterday evening, he played with my box of magnetic alphabets and made the above. My dear son cleverly came to me and said... "Mom, look what I made? Words I am not allowed to say... hehehe..." 

Thank God he doesn't use these words and phases in his everyday speech!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Reese's Interpretation of Taipei City and a Church

Reese said this a view of Taipei City from the top!

Taipei City. Can you spot Taipei 101?
One of those rare pieces! It is a colored church.
A Church

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our Very Own City!

After 2 weeks of building and remodeling, our Lego city is finally completed. :)
The whole Lego city
A view from the ship
Reese busy busy busy...
My favorite townhouse
Town square
Keyhole view from the Eiffel Tower
Coast guards on petrol
The coast guard ship
Coast guard station
A view of the city
Eiffel Tower
Petrol station and car workshop
Cowboy on house with a wagon

Yummy Roast Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Basil Recipe

One of our favorite dish meal is roast chicken with cherry tomatoes and sweet basil. A very very simple one pot meal that you can make with your child. When we go shopping for the ingredients, Reese will get the herbs and cherry tomatoes for me. He learned about the different kinds of herbs too! Back home Reese will help me wash the cherry tomatoes and then cut them into halves and pluck and wash the sweet basil leaves. My job is to marinate the chicken and cut some other vegetables that Reese can't do with his dinner knife. :)

Reese at work. He is now an expert in cutting the tomatoes.
Usually I will use two boxes of cherry tomatoes. Reese did all the cutting. Not bad eh? Needs a lot of patience.
Add in the basil and chicken and the rest of the ingredients and most importantly drizzle it with a generous amount of olive oil.
Believe me, this dish is really good even thou it doesn't look very nice here... :)
When the food is cooking in the oven, the lovely smell will filled up the whole house and Reese will give me a thumbs up and keep asking when will the food be ready. 

I got this recipe from Jamie Oliver's website. All you need is sweet basil, cherry tomatoes (assorted colors), 1 big bulb of garlic with skin on, you can add potatoes or cannelloni beans if you want a more complete meal. For the chicken, marinate it with salt and pepper (generously) a few hours in advance. Put everything together and drizzle it with a generous amount of olive oil and put it into the oven at around 190 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chinese Lessons with Grandma

Today I had a chance to see Reese learning Chinese with his grandma. Grandma only managed to teach him how to speak a few sentences without writing. Lesson was only for 10 minutes! Ha... my son was already sleepy and giving excuses why he had to stop the lesson!

Enjoying his barley drink while waiting for grandma to do translation
Reading with grandma

Reese reading a sentence in Chinese.


My son is saying prayers when he feels like it. His prayers are serious and at times include words like sin! He will pray when he has no control of certain things/situations, when he is angry with me and will ask God to stop me from sinning! No kidding. Haha...

He is growing up and seems to understand a lot of things. Just yesterday night he was telling his dad about 9/11 and what the naughty men did and told him that it was TERRORISM. How did he know? He was listening when I taught my 9 year old student the word. Not too long ago, we read a short story about how a missionary escaped the Japanese soldiers with over 100 children. I went on to explain a little about the cruelty of the Japanese soldiers and later we went on to talk about World War II. Reese asked a lot of questions and at times I don't even know how to explain to him. Didn't want to reveal too much of human cruelty and a host of other bad things. I tried to focus on the good stuff.

We are learning about different religions of the world and yet it's not easy to explain why others worship different Gods when in our faith we believe in one true God. We had a lot of discussion and yet I still cannot fully explain to him because I still have my doubts and issues to deal with in my faith.

We bought a kid's bible for Reese and reading it to him everynight. Well, skipped a few nights because I was too tired. I would like to include some bible studies in our learning from now on and it is also a chance for me to be closer to God.

Reese has started Chinese lessons with my mother. He is interested and is willing to sit with my mom and learn for half an hour every Friday when my parents babysit him. Learning to recognise and write Chinese characters seems easy for him so far. He can orally tell me the strokes and how to write them. He is also motivated to learn because he is my teacher! He will teach  me what he learned. :) I tried teaching him myself thinking that I can do it but even the basic sound following ping yin was hard for me and I taught Reese the wrong name for certain strokes! I am hopeless. Hehe... Glad that he allows my mom to teach him.

Our homeschooling is increasingly becoming unschooling! A lot of times I will let Reese decide what he wants to learn instead of following the program schedule! He messed up my schedule and we are like 2+ months behind schedule for certain subjects and many months ahead for others. The only constant is math. He still doesn't like doing math but he has no choice. Our schooling journey is not always smooth sailing. At times we had shouting match, tantrums and crying but we always kiss and make up in no time. We do not do schooling everyday. Usually 3 times a week but we read daily. Be it a comic or something serious. I have included more craft related activities since Reese has interest in them now. At times we do nothing at all the whole week! When I first started homeschooling, I was constantly worried whether my son was learning enough but now I know my son is learning a lot because he is motivated to learn from everything he sees and experiences. How much you learn is not determined by the amount of worksheets/activity books you do or being able to read, spell or write at an early age. We learn to enrich our lives and not to pass exams!

Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that Reese is not even six yet. There is no rush in his learning. We should enjoy the process and have lots of fun.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lego Fever

Reese is still in Lego building mode. Day and night he will build. Check out our Lego city! Reese did most of the buildings from scratch. 

Reese's Lego city

My favorite town house
The latest and most impressive building he did was from the Creator Series. A beautiful town house with a garage. He patiently fix the little pieces together brick by brick. It has 1174 pieces in all. Reese did it in a few sessions over 2 days. We helped him gather the parts and along the way corrected him a few times over wrongly fixed pieces. Reese did great. 

Imitation Lego. We pay RM165. Hubby bought it from an online store. The real Lego Eiffel Tower is about RM2000!
A another project for Reese to work on with his daddy dearest
Hubby found a few imitation Legos from China selling online. All selling very cheap. He decided to get one and try. We just received it this evening. First impression was quite good. Quality wise, not bad at all but of course it's not as well done as Lego. It is somewhat harder to piece the bricks together. The locking of bricks to base plate or other bricks requires more effort. If you are not a serious Lego collector, paying Rm165 is definitely worth it. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Legos!

Reese has been building and building. He likes Legos now. :)

Town expansion! 
He likes his town very much. 
Reese did all the buildings except for the petrol station.(One of my Lego collection)

Together with Reese we sorted all the bricks.

He enjoys following the instruction manual and build things. He is getting good at it. Yesterday we bought another box of Legos to add to his current collection. Reese is happily expanding his lego town. Soon, I will dismantle one of my Lego collection (A house with a garage) and let Reese rebuilt it. 

My favorite Lego. It's expensive too. Reese has been eyeing my house for a while... :)

Legos are expensive. Most of the sets available are theme based which is fine but I realized that many of them come with prebuilt big parts and the actual building using bricks is very limited. So we bought plain bricks that allows a lot of building instead. I can't find those extension box sets with only roofs, windows doors, flowers and trees. 

Monday, April 09, 2012

Lego Fun

Reese has always love to build things with blocks but never Lego bricks. Reason being they are much smaller and takes a lot more effort to build. We introduced Lego bricks to Reese when he was around 2 or 3 years old (Can't remember) but he was not interested. He plays mainly with wooden blocks and mega blocks. A few months back Reese showed interest with his Lego bricks and I was thinking perhaps he is ready to build buildings by following the instruction manual. He was excited and we bought a mini set for him to try. It was a castle. He did really well, in fact following the instruction manual is a piece of cake for him. He really enjoyed it.This morning we did another 4 buildings and a horse. :) 

Daddy coaching son how to build by following the instruction manual 
Full concentration
Lots of parts to work with
Reese's first attempt to build following the instruction manual
Lego bricks are everywhere.... we have these since Reese was 2/3 years old!
Reese was hooked on Lego building! He built all these.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Art at 5 Years 6 Months

One of the Duomo that was being constructed
DoRaMi Restaurant (Fictional)
Ponte Veccio
I like the Chinese character he wrote. Not sure whether it exist but do look Chinese! :)
A battle scene of Lord Shen and others (Kung Fu Panda). I like how the flags are flying...see how he portraits them? Quite real isn't it?
Coins of the world! (Inspired by Bank Negara visit)
Bank Negara and surrounding buildings got struck by lightning. Heavy rain. (On the day of our visit, it was raining)
Some destruction
Tsunami and lots of debris
Total Destruction
Lord Shen (Peacock)
Fish Aquarium
Chinese City using ball point pen
A church in Italy. Pencil sketch