Monday, June 30, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

This movie was awesome! We almost got blinded by its awesomeness! :)

Seriously though, this movie was excellent.  I have to admit I was a bit concerned with the PG rating at first as we wouldn't normally watch this with the kids but we really had nothing to fear.  From start to finish it was good fun for the kids and for us.  I think the PG rating was for the violence or what passes for violence when cartoon animals are kung fu fighting but it's nothing the kids couldn't handle.

From the opening sequence where Po the Panda was dreaming about fighting along with the Furious Five all the way to the final scenes, it was a great ride.  The kids seemed generally excited throughout the whole movie although there was some bits in the middle where the boy started to become restless but once the fighting started he was hooked.  The fighting itself wasn't scary at all but more fun than anything else.  The boy and girl couldn't stop laughing when Po and Tai Lung ( the bad guy ) had their fight scenes.

This movie borrowed from classic Kung Fu films that I used to and still enjoy.  The training sequence was a real classic.   Even the message of the film about believing in one's self reminded me so much of that other camp classic Kung Fu movie:  "The Last Dragon".

At any rate, this is one movie we would love to watch again.   Remember,  "There is no secret ingredient."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthday Staycation

The wife was celebrating a birthday this weekend and as a little treat, because we had some free hotel vouchers to use, I arranged for a stay at a local hotel for a couple of nights. Nothing too far or too fancy. Something like a little "staycation" for all of us. After picking the kids up from school on Friday, we went straight to the hotel and checked in in the afternoon. We had dinner then spent the time in the hotel. The kids took advantage of the bathtub and we spent Friday just watching TV.

On Saturday, after a buffet breakfast, the kids insisted on using the hotel pool despite it being a cold winter's day. Good thing that the hotel spa was running and we just stayed in the warm water. We even tried the sauna just so we got of the cold!

In the afternoon, as an added treat for my wife, I actually booked her for an appointment at a day spa. The kids and I dropped her off for her afternoon of relaxation while I took the kids to an indoor amusement park. We had a little fun playing mini-golf and some arcade games and the kids spent a lot of time at an indoor jumping castle. After a couple of hours we picked up their much relaxed and hopefully well pampered Mum from the spa.

That night we ordered room service and watched a movie in the room. A nice and relaxing evening just to get away from the winter chill even for a little bit. In the morning, we checked out then went to mass and had little lunch at Chinatown. In the afternoon, we got to see Kung Fu Panda, but that's another blog post!

All in all, a busy weekend with spots of relaxation in between...

School Reports 2008

The kids got their school reports last week, here's what the teachers had to say about our little girl ....

She is an absolute delight to have in the classroom. She is a friendly, engaging student, with a ready smile and is always willing to do any task asked of her. She always take pride in any task she undertakes, presenting her work in the best possible manner. She often requires extension activities in maths and language. Her letters and numbers are consistent in shape and size. She contributes to large or small group activities with a positive attitude, prepared to acknowledge the contribution of others. She reads fluently, with solid comprehension of all she reads. She has a great attitude towards her learning, and we look forward to seeing her progress in the next semester.

The little boy also made quite a big impression on his teacher. She had this to say about him .....

He is a happy natured student who has settled in well to the school routine and made an excellent start to the school year. He approaches all aspects of school life in a positive and responsible manner. He has made good progress in all areas of his learning. He came to school being able to read and is continuing to develop as a confident reader. In class we are working on strategies to further develop his independent writing skills. Congratulations on doing a great job as a member of the Student Representative Council. Well done. Keep up the good work!

Needless to say, we as parents are very very proud of them!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sunday at the Art Gallery

Last Sunday we found ourselves at the Art Gallery of South Australia. As part of an ongoing exhibit of modern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, the Art Gallery had something for the kids to do which was an afternoon of making their own Message Sticks. It was fun for the kids and got them something to do indoors on a wintry day. There was even some snacks provided and we were even treated to a short Aboriginal dance performance.

We usually try to find some things like this for the kids could do during the weekends and this time around we were able to find some free activities. There's usually something going on and we always have a look at the local newspapers or the free kids magazines that are usually available around. It's a good idea and gets us out of the house to explore more of Adelaide.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Deed for the Day

We went to visit the city today and as we were finishing up lunch the little girl and I noticed that someone left their ATM card on one of the nearby teller machines. After picking the card up and making enquiries I went to drop it off at the information kiosk.

As I was standing in line to speak to the concierge, the persons in front of me were asking if someone dropped off an ATM card. I read the name out loud on the card, they turned and I could see the relief in their faces as I handed them their card.

It's nice to be able to do a good deed like that as it's good for one's karma. Makes one feel warm inside despite the distinct winter chill in the air.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Basketball Update

I played basketball again for the first time in a couple of weeks. This time I was even able to score a basket! Unfortunately, it came at a cost. I twisted my ankle again. I'm putting it on ice now to relieve any swelling but I hope it doesn't get too bad like the last time. At least I can say it's a sports injury instead of some silly attempt at wakeboarding.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back From a Wedding

I'm back after a quick trip to the Philippines for my brother's wedding. It was actually the first time to travel back without the family and the first time I was actually away from them ever. We weren't too sure how we were going to be but we made sure that I got to talk to them everyday to at least talk to the kids for a little bit even if just to say goodnight. I'm glad to note that we all seemed to have survived being apart none the worse for wear.

At any rate, my trip was an "Amazing Race" of sorts as I travelled through different parts of the Philippines I've never been before. I travelled through Singapore and then Cebu, Philippines where I met up with my siblings and parents and we travelled together to Southern Leyte where the wedding was going to be. The wedding celebrations was quite fun as tons of people from Dumaguete arrived soon after to celebrate with my brother. There was so many of them that they had to charter an entire bus to take them to Cebu. It was great to see all those people as they arrived like a traveling tribe in the middle of the night. I got to spend time with all of my cousins, some of whom I've never actually met before. I was glad to be able to do that and connect even for a short time. Our kids would have loved being there to experience the huge family they actually have.

The wedding itself was a huge celebration and the reception took up the whole school gym. There was dancing and dinner with a whole roasted calf and even chocolate fountains for dessert! Unfortunately, I didn't travel with a camera this time around but I hope the others can share some of the pics they took throughout.

The day after the wedding was like a mass exodus as all of the guests started the journey back home. As the rest of the group travelled back to Cebu and Dumaguete, my brother and sister and I travelled 3 hours to Tacloban, Leyte, another leg in the "Amazing Race". We stayed overnight there to catch a plan to Manila the next day. We then travelled to Manila, stayed overnight and said our goodbyes the next day as I flew back to Singapore and then on to Adelaide.

It was quite a trip with lots of experiences but nothing like being home, with the kids being makulit, my wife trying to relax and myself about to prepare dinner.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Room Names

The place we are staying at has room names. Was nice to see this one.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

F1 At The Airport

In front of a Formula 1 race car.


At Changi Airport.

Monday, June 02, 2008