RSS Tenacious, now boarding!

IMG_5662There are still two days left to the June holidays, but since I’m going to be busy at Maker Faire this weekend, today feels like a last day of sorts. And what a wonderful evening we had! Thanks to the good folks at Singapore Navy, we had the incredible opportunity of going onboard the frigate RSS Tenacious and were treated to a special ship tour with Staff Officer (Public Relations) Yong Kee Onn.

The boys were so excited to board the ship, and explored every nook and cranny of the galley, bridge, flight deck, plonked on various chairs throughout the ship, gamely posed for a barrage of photos, cheered for the officers who performed for the Sunset Ceremony, and finally, dressed up in mini uniforms for a memorable snapshot!

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Navy@Vivo | We’re closer than you think

IMG_5942The annual Navy@Vivo is coming round the corner once again, for the fourth year running. For the past few years, we have wanted to bring the boys for this event, but the timing has always clashed with our schedules… This year, the formidable-class frigate RSS Tenacious will be calling at VivoCity Promenade from 23-26 June, and we are finally going onboard this magnificent vessel for the first time.

Ship ahoy!

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Every life counts

_48451119_009845459-2It has been termed by The New York Times as”the worst act of terrorism on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and the deadliest attack on a gay target in the nation’s history”. This morning’s brutal mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub claimed 50 lives and wounded 53. When I saw the headlines this morning, and took in the images of grieving friends and family of the bereaved, I almost didn’t believe that this had happened. After all, it was just two days ago that the world lost a talented young woman called Christina Grimmie to another deadly shooting.

I can almost imagine the shock and horror that the people of Orlando, and the US as a whole, must be reeling from. Then again, perhaps many are numbed by the many incidents of gun violence the nation has experienced over the months. But it doesn’t matter.

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Boogie in the Jungle

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After the riotous time that David had at March’s Art Camp with Artify Studio, I knew that I had to sign him up for another one this June hols – so I did! (Since then, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Artify founder Jae a little better, and the opportunity to collaborate with Artify Studio to hold a few Dottieshop workshops there this school holidays. It’s really a godsend, and I am thrilled by how things are working out thus far. Anyway, back to the Art Camp…)

This time round, the theme of this month’s Art Camp was Jungle Boogie, and the children had a great time crafting three unique jungle friends from their imagination, based loosely on the books The Tiger Who Lost His ROAR!!, by Dr Wong and Emily Kin, and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, by David McKee.

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It’s not fair

It’s not fair that we get to do baking on a clean kitchen floor without worrying about flour being spilt or cookies being burnt, when you are scrabbling in the rubbish heap for a stray morsel of bread.

It’s not fair that our drawers are bursting full of clothes, while you roam the streets half naked and wear the same torn shirt all year round.

It’s not fair that we can walk to the nearby park or playground any day of the week to scoot and cycle and run and play, while you step out onto your street at the risk of your very lives and limbs.

It’s not fair that we worry about teaching the boys to read, while you worry about just staying alive for one more day.

It’s not fair that we get to fight and make up and sometimes even go to bed angry, saying “we’ll talk about this again tomorrow”, while you never know when a bullet or bomb is going to take out your loved ones and friends this next instant.

It’s not fair – and sure there are things I could say about how God is a good God even though evil and suffering like this exists. This post is a great read. But tonight I just weep with those who weep and feel angry at the injustice and cruelty of it all. My tears won’t make a difference to their pain, but my hope is that our prayers will.

 

O God, do not keep silent;
be not quiet, O God, be not still.

Psalm 83:1

Have you met the Wakesaur?

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When it comes to waking up in the morning, most people tend to fall into one of these two categories – the ones who bounce out of bed, bursting with energy to face the day ahead, and the ones who roll over, and sleepily whine “Five more minutes please…”

Hubby and I, we tend to fall into that second category. Our boys on the other hand… let’s just say we have hardly any need for alarm clocks in this household. You can imagine why this is very good on weekdays, but not so helpful on weekends…

Even so, we were tickled pink by the story Meet the Wakesaur, written by my friend Sherwin Seah and illustrated by Candice Phang. The story revolves around an adorable purple dino-like creature that’s specially equipped to wake sleepyheads up in the morning. Sherwin is himself a father to a 5yo boy, and this story was inspired by his own experiences trying to wake his son up for school! Personally, I think that’s super sweet 🙂

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A time to be silent and a time to speak…

Growing up, I was always the rather timid sort. Timid in the sense that I was wary of speaking up, of sharing my personal views, of infringing on other’s turf, of offending or hurting people. I wasn’t shy, but I was uncertain of myself, and my words, and their impact on the world around me. In any given conflict situation, my first response was to bite my tongue and shrink back.

When I began work, my perspectives on communication shifted drastically. My colleagues were great advocates of authenticity and talking things through; terms like conflict resolution and care-fronting were frequently scattered into our everyday language. Our work meetings were lengthy affairs, as different ones bared their hearts and spoke their minds. At first, it was overwhelming and somewhat distressing, but I soon began to see and appreciate the heart behind the words, the values of trust and teamwork that were being built, brick by brick, through hard heart conversations and long debates.

Over time, I moved from trepidation, to acceptance, to embracing of these new communication norms.

But some years ago, something in me shifted again.

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Tokyo 2016 | Day 8: Of good coffee, delicious seafood and watching the sea

IMG_4136We decided to forego an early morning Tsukiji Market trip in view of the (emotional) exhaustion of the previous day, and spent a slow and languid morning strolling around the Shibuya area before travelling to the Tokyo Bay area for the last couple of days.

A part of me regrets that we didn’t make the trip, since Tsukiji as we know it is set to change, with the Big Move to Toyosu later this year. And I had been looking forward to that sashimi breakfast for weeks! However I think the extra sleep did us all good, and on hindsight was necessary for the next two days of chiong-ness at Disney.

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