Sunday, November 28, 2010

More of PD Nov 2010

We finally harvested the clumps of lemongrass growing in the backyard and we had enough to fill 2 big bags. We took them back to PJ and distributed handfuls of lemongrass to our neighbours.
I made lemongrass tea with a few stalks.
Incidently I had lemongrass jelly yesterday and it was refreshing dessert. I shall google a recipe for it one day.

Fai found a flat rock riddled with a few holes. He searched for 3 twigs and said that he had made a clock. JY had taught him to tell time a week back.
Once he had the clock done, he asked
" What's the time Che Che"
JY: 3.20
Fai would then adjust the hands of the clock. He asked for a bit of help to locate where the hour hand should be placed.
2 minutes later
Fai: what's the time?
JY: 3.22
A few minutes later he would ask for the time again. This went on the whole afternoon. JY was unperturbed and answered him patiently each and every time.

JY discovered our bedroom spider as she was helping out in making the beds. Hiding behind the mattress was this beauty. A common wolf spider. It used to live in the bathroom. It had grown a bit from the last time I saw it.
K caught it to let the kids examine it closer and we let the it go in the backyard after a while.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Camping in FRIM 25-26 Nov 2010

Organised by Laini and Gary, nine rambunctious kids aged between 2 to 7 gathered at Camp Perah in FRIM for a two day camp.

The campsite was well designed with terraced slopes and beautiful shady trees. It would be a great venue for a big gathering.
From the entrance of the campsite, a slope will lead you down to a row of picnic tables overlooking the campfire site. Further down would be the campsite; about 8 to 10 square plots roughly 10'x10' in size.
There were 3 huge barbeque pits, at least 10feet in length ready to be fired up to feed an army.
The toilets didn't have the usual male/female logo but instead they were labelled "Tongkat Ali" and "Kacip Fatimah"

This suspension bridge leads to the circle of A huts. The boys loved running up and down the bridge as it swayed with each step and created a marvellous trip-trap sound.
The huts could easily accommodate me and my 3 boys with lots of space for our luggage. Each hut has a wall fan and a power socket. Sleeping bags are essential for comfort. The temperature dipped to 24C in the wee hours of the morning, it was chilly and I had to switch the fan off.
Gary was great with the kids. He numbered the kids in a fun way and they were made to count off before and after each activity.

The first activity: tent pitching.

Second activity: wood shaving. Ean was very attentive.

Third activity: Scavanger hunt in the pouring rain. Look for something hairy, look for something that looks like a bunga raya; Look! wild boar foot prints.....

After a quick shower, the nice and dry boys yelled to their pal "Hello there!!!!"

Uncle Gary splitting wood with his parang. The kids lined up to add firewood to the fire. It was a first time experience for some of them. Fai being an old hand at this was giving advice freely. Ean once again paying close attention.

Fifth activity: The kids made bamboo rice.
Line the bamboo with banana leaf, take extra care not to tear the leaf. Fill half of the bamboo with rice then top up with water till about 3/4 full. The rice was presoaked with pandan leaves for half a day. Finally, cook over the fire.
Ours was left unattended overnight and was uncooked and rather burnt at the end. So we didn't have a chance to sample the rice.

6th Activity: Roasting marshmallows.

Han roasted this for me.

7th activity: Night walk and frog hunting.
Uncle Gary hid 8 frogs and the kids had to look for them.

Uncle Gary showing a stingless bee hive. He put his ears against the tree trunk and said" listen to the hum" He put his nose by the entrance of the hive and said" I can smell delicious honey in there"

While waiting for Uncle Gary to set up his projector the kids were made to sit in a circle with toes pointing to the middle. Asked to hold hands and to try to get up without bending their knees.

It's Show Time!

Fai and his best friend at camp 'H Chuan'. They made a good team. Fai would do the illustrations and H Chuan did the commentary.

After a roti canai breakfast, the kids walked to the FRIM museum.

We walked past the souvenir shop, over an arch bridge and assembled at the open field in front of the museum.

Uncle Gary giving a lesson on insects.

I was surprised at how good the exhibits in this museum was. It was well kept with good lighting and looked pretty informative. I will definitely come again to have a better look.
The photo on the above right is that of the longest rotan in the world. the one in the museum is only half of it. The other half is kept in the Singapore museum.

An interactive display on paper pulp making. Unfortunately it wasn't working. But Ean and Kiana didn't want to leave the display and spent quite a bit of time touching and looking at it.

Fai's favourite pitcher plant in tissue culture. Liani told me of a good spot in Ipoh to look for wild pitcher plants. Hmmmm....another trip to Ipoh coming soon :)

After the museum, the kids went for a fun ride in the back of Uncle Gary's pickup to the Botanical Gardens. Hidden away, it was a perfect setting for a day out with kids. I loved the big lawn. I looked around and saw a few houses....perhaps I will get a house there :)

The kids running a three-legged race. Fai with HChuan, Vanessa with Johan and Han with Inas. Team Fai and HChuan won. Han and Inas were too busy having a good time tumbling and laughing to be bothered.

Ean noticed a peculiar looking jackfruit. He got his fingers sticky with sap and was caught up in sticking his fingers together and prying them apart.

After a quick snack, we headed back to camp. Packed up, said our goodbyes, exchanged vital information for Facebooking and promised to keep in touch.
The kids gelled together well. And I am looking forward to meeting up with this bunch of mothers and their kids soon.

Home! To Lego and soldiers.
This was a first time for me paying for an organised camp. It was well worth the $$, I didn't have to fret over the details such as food and activities. I just went with the flow and had a great time.
Thanks Liani and Gary.

Lumberyard 24 Nov 2010

It was a day reserved for errands in Cheras and nothing could be more satisfying than late breakfast in our favourite Hakka Yong Taufu stall in Peel Road.
Brinjal, okra, bittergourd, foochok, taufupok and taufoo all stuffed with fishpaste and served in delicious fish soup and a bowl of steaming hot rice. A satisfying meal indeed!

Next we headed for the lumberyard in Desa Pandan. We have been planning to build a deck and a climbing frame in PD and we thought a visit to the lumberyard would give us inspiration. And inspired we were!
There were all sorts of hard wood; chengal, merbau, wood from pre-war buildings and KL sentral, telephone poles, door frames.....
The man-in-charge could tell the type of wood from the wood grains. I was impressed. It all looked the same to me.

Han taking care of Ean as they watched the men unloading some boards.

This motorised saw reminded me of the horror show " Chainsaw Massacre"

Han supervising 2 men bundling wood.

The boys were fascinated by a half-dead cockroach as it desperately tried to escape from red ants. Ean tried to catch it but thought otherwise when the cockroach started wriggling.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

JY's clay class 21 nov 2010

JY had signed up for a course on polymer clay modelling quite some time back. The good thing about this course is that there is no time limit and she could come as she wished.
Perfect for an unschooling family.
She completed her first orchid project last December and lost interest just after starting on her second flower project.
So after a lapse of half a year, she resumed her clay class but this time on figurines.

body parts

clay rolled out using a pasta machine and embossed with a PVC tablecloth

the figurine draped with 4 pieces of rolled out and embossed clay.

The end product would like something like this. JY says figurine modelling is much more enjoyable. She now insists on going for clay classes st least once a week. I guess the boys will be seeing a lot of Smaland from now on.

Fai's art

Castle, knights, swordsmen

Fire breathing dragon vs Electric dragon defending a stone-walled castle.
Me (pointing to the structure next to the fire-breathing dragon): Is that a crane?
Fai (with an exasperated expression): No, that's a Mage guild
Me:(?????)what's a Mage guild Fai?
Fai: It is a place to go to learn spells
Me: Oh ok.

This is something different from Fai. Not a single medieval thing in sight.
I asked Fai about the picture and he said he drew it for his 4 year old cousin who likes heavy-duty construction vehicles.