7 and 17 : My ‘Gifted’ Numbers as a Mom

7 years. Breaking it down to absolutes, it has has been 84 months or 2555 days or 61,320 hours.

That’s how long I have been a mom. It’s no mean feat, coming from someone who didn’t expect a child 7 years + 36 weeks ago, and didn’t intend to have one. I surprised my close friends and family when I gave up my career, pursued a post-grad studies in Early Childhood and then started a part time work option. All of that so as to dedicate more time to take care of this little guy.

I would have probably laughed out loud in your face, if you have told me 8 years ago, that the day I become a mom I will be doing exactly what I did a year after I gave birth to him.

Life have never been the same ever since this guy came into my life. As this little guy is the key factor for all the life-changing experiences I have encountered in life the last 7 years.

desired to have another child sometime ago, but I soon came to realized that K will likely be the ONLY child that God plans for me to have.


The Numbers 7 and 17

7 and 17 are very interesting numbers for us. These are the numbers that often pop up in my life in the strangest of places.

Last December during our short trip to Hong Kong, the number 7 or 17 appeared so many times, until I could not ignore it. From tables in restaurants, seats to ticket numbers, numbers that I could never have been able to select for myself.

Kyle and I are both born on the 17th day of the month, his being in March, while mine is in September.

17 is also the last of the 7 prime numbers of indivisible numbers of 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13 and 17.

If you have read the bible before, about 1 in 5 bible scriptures contain a number. So do numbers in the bible contain any significance? I believe so.

Gematria is the technique of using the numeric values of Hebrew and Greek letters to find a hidden or symbolic meaning to the corresponding word. It has its roots in interpreting Hebrew scriptures in order to seek out hidden meaning and has been adopted by both Christians and the occult. Some Christians maintain that gematria has real meaning in scripture, while others warn of its mystical roots.

Taking the number meanings in Jewish or English GemetriaRachel equals to the number 117 while for K (with his names) equals to the number 775. There you see the numbers 7 and 17 in our Names Gemetria.

If you take note of what numbers that you often chanced upon, you might realised that you have special number/s too. Using the Gemetria Calculator, try not to get distracted by results the strange words that people search out with the same number Gemetria as your name 😛


What does the number 7 and 17 symbolize? 

7 symbolizes completeness and spiritual perfection, while the 17 symbolizes “overcoming in enemy” and complete victory in Biblical numbers.

Not that I am implying that K and I are spiritually perfect. Rather, what I believe is that completeness and spiritual perfection can only be found in our life in Christ.

From the bible, this is where the number 7 and 17 are found;

“By the 7th day, God completed His word” (Genesis 2:2) The Bible’s Old Testament ‘Feast of Booths’ was complete after 7 days (Leviticus 23:24).

There were 7 pairs of each animal taken into Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:2).  And God began to flood the earth on the 17th day of the 2nd Hebrew month, and Noah’s Ark and its 8 passengers (1 + 7 = 8 !) rested on the mountains of Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month. (There’s 7 and 17 again!).

In the book of Revelation, which I believe is not just symbolic, we can find 7 churches (a depiction of the modern church as well). In this same book, the Judgement of the earth is completed with 7 seals, 7 trumpets and 7 bowls of wrath.

From the creation of Adam and Eve, there has been approximately six millennia on the earth; and the 7th millennium will see Christ’s rule on earth, and complete earth’s history.

Jesus Christ gained a complete victory over death and the grave, when God resurrected Him near sunset on Nisan 17 (Saturday, April 8, 30 A.D).

Kylephoto3 In the book of 1 Corinthians in the bible, the 17th mention of the word “LOVE” comes when the apostle Paul states that it is the GREATEST gift of all (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Which incidentally ties together with theme of this post. The LOVE a mom has for her child/children, the LOVE that God has for us and it is LOVE that inspired the beginnings of this blog.


How did a 7-years-of-being-a-mom post turned out to be a post on biblical numbers?

This significance of biblical numbers are just one of the many ways that God demonstrates that His presence is always here with K and I.

I often like to say that K’s birth is an accident, since I didn’t plan for it. But after learning about the significance of these biblical numbers, God has showed me that our very existence did not come by accident.

God has planned exactly when He wanted K to be conceived, and I have been specially hand-picked by God to be the mom that God wanted K to have.


So when anyone asks me what are my special numbers? I will either say 17 or 7, as ever so often, God pulls out a 17 or a 7 out of His hat, and throws it my way to remind me that He LOVES us and is always here with us.



These photos were all taken in the month of March 2014. This March has proven to be a very special month, not only for me, but also for K.

The weekend before his birthday, K experienced something very special that proved to him that God is very real in his life and that He listens to his prayers.

See that duo in the picture above, of a stunted Iron Man and a Captain America figurine without his shield?

Hb got K the Limited Edition Iron Man figurine from a 7-Eleven store. He surprised K with the box on Saturday afternoon, and when hb got it he didn’t know what character will be in the box. The little boy prayed that he will get an Iron Man or Captain America.

K had a 14% chance that he would get either characters, and was totally thrilled when he opened the box and found that it was an Iron Man figurine.

Then that very afternoon, when he went to the mall with hb for a games arcade treat, he met a cleaner uncle in the toilet, who said, “小弟弟,这个给你” (Translated – “Little Boy, this is for you”), and the uncle passed the Captain America with the missing shield to K.  It turned out that some child, left the figurine on a table in the food court and never returned to look for it.

What are the chances that Cleaner Uncle was able to meet K on the same day and then decided that he was the boy to pass the figurine to? I would think extremely remote!

When you know God personally, He becomes so real in your life, that coincidences become commonplace. So much so, that I would think that these experiences and numbers are God-incidences and not just mere coincidences. Through this, God has also shown me that He has a great sense of humor 😉

I thank God for the 7 years that He has gifted to me with this little boy and I look forward to the many many sets of 7 years ahead as K’s mom. No matter what life may bring, I know I will be able to take it with hope and courage as I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!


What’s your number? Try to pay attention to some numbers that have very special significance, or seem to jump out at you in many many places. You just might be able to discover the number that God has for you. You can check out this site to find out the Jewish Gemetria numbers for your name, and read here for your biblical meaning of your number.  

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Managing Money


This is the first Chinese New Year that K will be able keep the money in the red packets that are given to him. For previous years, hb and I have been rather sneaky to pocket the money to make up for the ‘losses’ on our end, besides, the little boy didn’t quite understand the value of money then.

This year, we are doing things a little differently.

For a start, we don’t have plans to visit relatives, all except my dad and his family and my MIL. So it wouldn’t be exactly a big bountiful harvest of red packets for him, however, he will get to keep all the money from his red packets this time round.

After getting almost 4 weeks worth of pocket money, he seems to be getting into the groove of spending and saving money, and I have found him pouring out all the money he has in his ‘can-coin bank’ and counting them, at least twice in these 4 weeks. And he has never taken a single coin from it to spend, not once.

He has glee-fully announced that he has has $31.00 worth of new coins in his can.


Earning his money

I don’t reward him for picking up his dirty clothing and putting it in the laundry basket, clearing his toys after play or helping with any form of chores at home. I wouldn’t give him extra money for doing things that are part of his responsibility. And he would likely find that he has to do them for the rest of his life, so I do not want to give him the wrong message that he will be doing these things at home, just because he will get something out of it.

I don’t believe in rewarding him for good results in school either. He need to know how to intrinsically motivate himself to learn, and not be pushed to learn or do well academically through extrinsic rewards.

He is however, allowed to look through my coin purse for new coins, if there is a positive review of his overall behavior at the end of the week.

Just last week, he has been penalized for lack of self-control and did not get any extra new coins from my coin purse, and had game-time deducted from playing on the iPad/PS3 to only 30 mins during the weekend.

I don’t pressure him to save more daily. He is given the freedom to decide what he wants to eat. He has only once, since school started, bought a ‘sweet’ drink, while all other days he has been contented with drinking water from his water bottle and has bought 1 eraser from the school bookstore.

At the end of each week at school, he will have a dollar or more saved from his pocket money, so he will change the coins for a shiny new coins to add to his can-coin bank.


His coins in this Fruit Tree can is about 3/4 filled and he hasn’t taken any out to spend since he started saving since 5 months ago.


‘For the love of money is the root of all evil…’

You must have heard this saying before, that is from the bible by the way.

I can probably write a whole thesis about how the love of money is the root of all evil. From how families are being destroyed by divorces as the result of financial issues. Or how men through the ages have laid their lives to serve money. Some cheat and deceive many, while others are driven to commit crime for the sake of money. Or how the world tags a social status to how much money or material things one own.

Money in itself isn’t evil, it is only when one loves money (greed) then it becomes the root of all evil.

As a parent, I see the importance of teaching my child about money at age 6. So to prepare him to make good financial choices ahead, ensure that his money habits leans towards being more of a thrifty person, rather than a spendthrift. And how to help him NOT to be be a ‘money-face’, materialistic adult.


What to do with Savings? 

I have asked him what will he plan to do with the money once the can is full to the brim.

He has said that he wants to give the money to the poor and then keep aside enough for buy just 1 toy for himself. I was rather surprised with his response, as he has always been rather stingy with the money he has saved. Looks like watching videos of poor and less fortunate people and discussing about how we can help them, has helped educate him that it is a blessing to give to others.

So, we will be setting aside a percentage of his savings to give to the poor. Some savings will go into his POSB Savings bank and he can still buy the toy that he wants.


Apart from occasions like Christmas or his birthday, he does not get toys all other times. I think buying for him whatever he wants will not help him at all, instead he will learn to earn and help pay for the things himself from his allowance. Also with the ‘new’ economy that we are living in these days, he needs to learn how to delay gratification, stretch the ‘dollar’ and live beneath his means.

So likely all money got from the red packets from CNY this year will go into his savings. And in the next few months, I will start giving him a weekly allowance, to see how he will learn to budget his pocket money weekly.

How do you teach your child to manage money?  Do share. 

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Primary 1 in an Inclusive Programme

If you a mom planning to put your child into a primary school in the next 2 years, I can share with you that there is nothing to worry about, if the school that you have selected for your child has an Inclusive Programme.

What do I mean by an Inclusive Programme?

Screen Shot 2014 01 20 at 4 46 08 PMPicture from here

An inclusive programme helps each child makes the best of his or her abilities and do not require him/her to have advanced abilities or knowledge ahead of their expected development, so as to be able to on par with the school standards.

A selective programme in turn means that the school will push each child to have a level of competence that is above the standards of schools across the board.

Since 2012, MOE have stopped releasing statistics for the general public to benchmark the academic performance of one primary school to another. Schools rankings were changed to be based on a set of criteria known as ‘The Masterplan of Awards’ (MOA) in 2012, which will be changed again in 2014.

But this doesn’t stop kiasu parents from ranking schools themselves.

This mom refuses to be stressed by the unrealistic demands society has placed on parents and children, so the ranking of schools have little bearing on my choice of primary school for K. Besides, I have no fear about my child ‘losing out’, despite reading articles like this which will bring out the latent traits of kiasu-ism in any parent.

On the contrary, I am glad that I did not make the choice to go with hb’s alumni which has a selective programme that includes the qualifying criteria of having children of a certain race, as there is no other 2nd language options in that school apart from Chinese. Also, as the child progresses in the school year, not being to afford tuition for most subjects could likely become a disadvantage for a child in the school.

I heaved a sigh of relief when I chanced upon this hearsay from a relative whose friend works as a teacher in Hb’s alumni; The teacher don’t spend alot of time teaching the students, as the majority of them are way ahead of the required curriculum for the subjects, so she dishes out plenty of worksheets instead.

In this school that K attends, he is a minority race in his class, as there are officially 7 chinese students in his class of 30. He has to join another class for his chinese lessons, and I see the advantage of the teacher and child ratio of a small class of 16 children.

He will have little chance of becoming a xenophobic being in this school.

Just this weekend, hb and I visited K’s school for a parent’s briefing on the Holistic Assessment (HA) plans for the year. We were shared details about the Stellar Programme (btw I have yet to see a fairy tale in the range of Big Books) and the Programme for Active Learning which is incorporated into the curriculum.

With these Holistic Assessment plans shared for the academic year, we were given very clear roadmaps on the topics covered and weightage of skills evaluated for the year.

HA 2Holistic Assessments for English

Having to understand this big picture of what K will be taught for the year, tells me that :

1) I am not going to be a smarty pants and teach him what he does not know 2-3 terms ahead. As I only have myself to blame if he gets bored in class and then cause behavioral problems in class.

2) Too many moms are worried about kids not being able to read fluently before they reach Primary 1. I think this worry is unfounded especially if your child is in a preschool, especially a childcare programme or a Montessori. Most preschools have a proper phonics programme in place to provide your child with some foundational skills in learning how to read.

Inclusive primary school programmes will further support in providing explicit instruction in teaching reading in school. K’s school has a reading programme that utilizes the Leap Frog Tag Reading System, where students can being a book home to read with their parents over the weekends. This programme can help the children to revise phonics and improve their reading fluency.

K may be slightly ahead in his English language reading ability, however, he has weaknesses in other subjects, namely, Chinese.

HA 4

3. Having this knowledge of the HA plans for Chinese language, I am able to help him with acquiring the specific skills that he needs.

4. I realized that there isn’t a necessity to ensure that you get the contact numbers of the fellow moms of your child’s classmates as;

– Most school issue the Student Handbook to the students at the start of the school year, where children are expected to write down details of their homework requirements daily, things to do or bring the next day or week.

– There are fixed days for English and Chinese Spelling, and the teachers will inform parents of the spelling schedules at the start of the school year.

– If there are upcoming assessments / tests. A child who is paying attention in class, he should be able to tell you as well.

I think the best way a child learn responsibility is through natural consequences.  I have told K that it is his responsibility to pay attention in class, listen to instructions and try his best in learning what is taught in school. If he doesn’t make an effort to listen to what is needed, he will just have to accept the punishment given by his teacher.

HA 5

After meeting K’s form teacher, my first impressions are that she is friendly and approachable person. And K likes her too, and says that she is caring while at the same time, strict and firm with the children.

This first parent-teacher session of the new school year has opened clear channels of communication between the teachers and parents, and have cleared any doubts I initially had about the academic requirements for Primary 1.

Ultimately I feel that the level of stress your child will be exposed to is related to the demands from the school.  If I were to chose a school with a selective or ‘advantaged’ programme, it would be contradictory if I were to complain that my kid is stressed with too much homework, or not being able to catch up (since 90% of his/her classmates) are at least 1 grade above in their academic competence. Why complain when this is expected?

However, if you are a parent like me, who sees the importance of not quenching a child’s love for learning at an early age, and are aware that childhood is the time where our children define and develop their character. You will likely go with the school with an inclusive system, and not let unrealistic demands snuff out the joy and wonder from his/her childhood.


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