Archives for September 2011

In the Details – Buntings for his ‘Crib’

There's something about buntings that seem to give a cheery boost to any corner of the room.

These days, bunting are not just used in parties or events, but commonly seen in interiors as well. especially for a child's bedroom. I would love to use a fabric bunting for the hall, but hb might start asking, "Are we having a party?"

So I confined my festive inspirations to Kyle's room with a string of mini felt buntings in his room's colour scheme of red, blue, yellow and green, and suspended it below the picture frames. Felt/fabric buntings are very lightweight, so it can be hung on almost anywhere in the house.

It is a really simple handmade to do. All you need is a few sheets of felt in the colours that you like, cut them into triangles of the same size, and tack it to a thicker string. I used mint and white bakers' twine here as normal sewing thread can be too thin and delicate for this.


Together with felt (what else?) hot air balloons mobiles hung from the ceiling, this corner of Kyle's room has become my favorite little corner in the house.  

Now how about another fabric bunting on this other corner of his room? Yes, my love of bunting is getting a bit too much…

Here's the tutorial for a fabric bunting if you would like to make a bunting for your kid's room.

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What about God?

I showed Kyle this video last week, when I chanced it on a Christian blog that I regularly visit. The scenes in the video are real and were consolidated since the start of 2011 from various news channels.

Some of you may wonder why would I show a 4 year old these (possibly nightmare inducing visuals). It was not done on purpose, I was watching this clip on Youtube when the little boy came along, caught glimpses of it and insisted on watching the clip from the beginning to the end. I figure that this could be educational for him, as I feel that a child of a certain age should learn to be more aware of the world around him. 

The video gave a really sombering perspective of what is happening around us, the natural disasters and dead wildlife etc. Every other week these days, there will be an earthquake, flood and typhoon in some place, and most with a dire aftermath. Us humans tend to get a little immune when these things happen too often, but I think seeing all that happened since the beginning of this year, should really get us to sit up and realise this – Is the world really the same as before and could all these be getting worse?

The first question that Kyle ask after video clip ended was, "Will God save us from these things?"

My answer to him was undoubtly, "Yes of course, as long as we believe that God has send a Saviour Jesus to us who saves us from these terrible things that are happening to and will continue to get worse on earth."

His reply, "Yes I believe in Jesus and I know He will save us."

Such an unwavering pronounce of faith. How many of us can have that same childlike faith that a child has when it comes to believing in something that we do not see or touch?

As a parent, one of my biggest hope for my child is to know God. My faith means alot to me, and have given me alot of hope and strength in my life, thus I hope that my child experiences the same. Some may say this is indoctrination, shouldn't a child have the freedom to choose what he believes in?

Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas and attitudes, and it differs from education in the sense that an indoctrinated person is expected not to question or examine the doctrine they have learnt.

I will expect him to question or examine what he has been taught. In fact when the time comes, if he still doubts the truth about what he has learnt about God and life, I will challenge him to ask God Himself show Him how real He is. Of course 'real' in this case really goes beyond only seeing and touching…as I am an example of how God Himself has proven to be so real in my life, without having to see or touch Him physically.

I don't believe that our lives are created by chance or by a collision of atoms/big bang theory.

I hope that by helping my child know his Creator, it will help him to understand the purpose of his existence in this world. Training a child to know God is cumulative. I started reading bible stories to Kyle when he was barely 1 and a half and make a point to consistently set aside devotion time daily with him before bedtime. These resources have been really useful to use during our devotion sessions; The Beginners' Bible, The Jesus Storybook, Gotta Have God Devotions for 2-5 boys, The One Year devotional for Preschoolers. Kyle's favorites are the short bible stories from the first 2 titles.

We often talk about God, His creations, His purpose for our lives. I thank God that He has been answering my daily prayers of helping Kyle grow in wisdom and revelation of Him. Sometime last year, Kyle dreamt of Jesus and 2 weeks ago, he experienced another dream of Jesus again. Some of you who are Christians will know that hearing or seeing Jesus in your dreams is not such an easy thing to have, even when u do ask for it in your prayers.

These days I am really amazed by the things that he says about God and his level of understanding about what it means to believe in God. Often, I am being entertained by original compositions like these…

Untitled from Rachel T on Vimeo.

His question to me that evening after singing a barrage of songs about God and Jesus was, "God is very happy to hear me sing songs about Him, isn't it?"

"Yes, for sure, definitely!"

His reply, "I love to sing songs about God!"

It is really hard not to talk or sing about Him when He has grabbed your heart ever so tightly in His.

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Hello, my name is…

'A rose by any other name will smell as sweet'

This quote is from the love sonnet of Romeo to Juliet. It meant to say that the names of things do not matter, only what things are.

Does it apply when it comes to names for our kids?

Recently I came across a name, Le'Maine. for a baby girl I would assume? Complete with an apostrophe in the name. I tend to think that it is quite strange to have any form of apostrophes or hyphens for that matter in a name. Le Maine is one of the traditional provinces of France, and is translated to 'the lake'. Maybe I am just being too judgemental, it could be that the parents had their honeymoon in this place and got so enamoured by it, that they decide to name their kid after it. Hopefully, the parents are not following the trend of replacing the first syllabus of the name to make it sound more unique, like 'Le'maine' instead of the traditional name of 'Germaine'.

Anyhow, I saw this name from a picture of a handmade hat that a local crafter uploaded on FB.

Picture this, child wears the hat, then a french person from Le Maine or is familar with place comes along and sees the child with the hat.

French : Le Maine, it is a beautiful place…

If parent does not know what the french is trying to imply, he/she gives a polite smile.

French : That's a nice hand-made hat, you must have got it from Le Maine. What's you lovely little girl's name?

Parent : It's Le'Maine.

If I were the french person, I would have mutter something like, "'s a unique name!" or something to that effect in an effort to cover up my surprise.

This is akin to naming your child New York or Beijing, or there's the more commonly accepted ones like Brooklyn or Georgia. I don't understand what goes through a parent's mind when they think of unique, but strange or outlandish names for their children. Do you really want your kid to stand out so badly? I would rather go with names that are commonly heard of for a peace of mind.

I wonder if the parent actually spare a thought for the child when he/starts to be tease mercilessly by other kids for their unique names or when they become an adult? Having a normal name like Rachel is not spared being teased by other kids. I used to be called 'radio' or 'ratio' when we started learning all all about ratios in primary school. Maybe people will likely not forget their name if they are named, 'Rainbow Tan' or 'Hero Ng', but how much credibility you will get with names like these?

As for Kyle's name, it does often gets mispronounced. I often hear versions like 'Kay-lee", "Kale', 'Cawl'. Instead of getting irate, I do find it quite amusing and will attempt to correct the mispronouciation. I will tell them, it's like 'aisle' but with a 'K' in front of it. It's interesting how a name like Kyle, which is not that uncommon, will seem a challenge to pronounce in the local context. What more an unique name like 'Le'Maine'?

Hb and I named our son Kyle because we liked the sound of it, 'Kyle' is of Gaelic origin and the meaning of the name is "narrow, straight". It would have little meaning by itself, but his second name is Christian, which means "follower of Christ". We hope that like his name, he will always remain in Christ and will take the straight and narrow path which leads to life. 

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14

We are always reminded with Kyle's name of the two paths in life, the straight and narrow which leads to life, and the wide, broad gate which leads to destruction. It's a sombering reminder at times, but it works well for us to keep ourselves in check.

What about you? Are names important for you and how did you go about choosing the name for your child?

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