Sunday, May 17, 2009

Taco Meal

I don’t know what has gotten into me lately, I have been in the wildest mood for cooking. On Friday I was attacked by a violent craving for a Tex-Mex meal and the first dish that came to my mind was Taco because it’s delicious and simple to prepare. So, after Hannah and I finished our piano lesson yesterday, we went to Pantai Selamat supermarket to get the necessary ingredients to make Taco. I bought 2 packets of ground beef, 2 packets of Taco seasonings, a can of whole tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a head of lettuce, red chilies, and a few ripe tomatoes. Since we still have an extra block of cheese from our macaroni meal, I didn't have to buy any. As soon as I got home I made the salsa. Then I made the beef filling, chopped the lettuce, cubed tomatoes, and grated the cheese. Right before we ate them today, I heated up a few taco shells and voila! Taco anyone?

Taco is ready to be eaten!

The beef filling

The Taco shells and homemade salsa

The filling and the homemade salsa

Yumm, yumm, Finger licking good and they are all gone!

Sunday Activities

Like my typical Sunday, I started the day with a jog around the neighborhood, and today I went with my friend Faridah. By the time I left the house, Steve and Danial have already left for Al Irsyad school because Danial’s school team was supposed to have a soccer match with a team from another school. Later in the day I found out that the other team didn’t show up so they just played among themselves. When I came back from jogging (about an hour) Steve has gone to the kids’ school again and this time he had to send Harris for a youth cadet practice. He informed me earlier that he was going straight to his office to do some work after he dropped Harris. I cleaned up quickly and got ready for my tajwid lesson at 9.00am. Since Steve was not at home, I took Najla to my tajwid class. When the class was over at 10.30am, Najla asked me to send her home because she didn’t want to go to KPTM with me for my ping pong training. Today, 4 guys showed up for the training and we played for 2 hours. By the time we finished, I was starving. As soon as I got home, my family and I enjoyed our long awaited Tacos.

After lunch, a sudden idea of going to the nearby waterfall popped into my mind. When I mentioned it to Steve, he quickly agreed (that’s no surprise, he’s a very agreeable man :)). As soon as I mentioned the plan to the kids, they all got excited and started packing for clothes to take with us. We left the house around 3.30pm and we got back at 6.30pm. Everyone was hungry after playing in the water and we had and early dinner of the left over Tacos from lunch.

Now, at 11 pm all the kids are fast asleep. Only Steve and I are awake, enjoying a quiet moment which is rare.

Saturday Activities

Yesterday I started off my day with a half an hour exercise (using a CD) followed by an hour of piano practice. Then Hannah and I were off to our piano lesson as usual. After we finished the class we went shopping for the ingredients to make Tacos and drove straight home to start preparing for the dish. As soon as the cleaning lady finished helping to clear our mass, Steve, Hannah, Najla, and I went to a friend’s sister’s wedding in Semambu. Danial, Yasmin, and Harris stayed home doing what they like best i.e reading novels or playing the computer games. On the way home we stopped at a few shops looking for cloth to make Yasmin’s cadet’s uniform. After we stopped at the third shop and still couldn’t get what we were looking for, we decided it was time to go home. Besides, Danial has been calling us for 3 or 4 times asking us to come home because he needed a ride to his school for a soccer practice. He was supposed to have a soccer match today (Sunday). In late afternoon, Steve and I played tennis at KPTM. We took Harris, Hannah, and Najla along. At night, I watched Terminator 3 on TV with my kids and wrote a few blog entries during commercials.

Scholastic Books

We have been ordering books for our children through the Scholastic Book Club since Danial was in standard six. On 13 May 2009 Steve brought home 7 new books which we have ordered a few weeks ago - “the Looking Glass Wall” for Danial, “the Boys Start the War” and “Drama Queen” for Yasmin, two “Bionicle Adventures” books for Harris, “ A Long Way from Home” and “Secret Code Door Alarm” for Hannah, and “Clifford’s Puppy Days: Hooray for Mom” for Najla. Najla’s book is special because it came with a stuff toy of Clifford the Big Red Dog and she loves it so much.

It really worth all the money we spent when we see the kids read with passion. Besides our family, a few other families who send their kids to the International School of Kuantan also purchase some. Since Steve was the organizer, he received “Red Apple Teacher” mugs.

Tough to Spell in English

Najla can read Malay pretty well because Malay words are easy to spell. Unfortunately she still has trouble with the English spelling. Two or three mornings before, she looked at our fan (National brand) and innocently asked me “what does NA TI ON AL mean?” I thought it was really cute because she is so used to phonetically spelling Malay words.

Every now and then she would remind me to talk to teachers at Al Irsyad school about enrolling her there next year (She’ll be 6 years next year). I guess she can’t wait to be in the same school with her brothers and sisters.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

Sometime last week Danial asked me to make macaroni and cheese to take to his school because his class was going to have a gathering. Since he needed to bring the dish on Thursday I had to set the alarm clock really early so that I had ample time to cook. So, I got up at 4am and started to boil the pasta, cut up chicken, slice the veggies and the whole thing was done before it was time to drive the kids to school and me go to work. Voila! Above is the finish product ready to be eaten… yummy

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother’s Day

These are pictures of the card made by Najla

Last Sunday was my day because it was Mother’s Day. Frankly, I think we should celebrate mother’s day everyday. Two or three days prior to that day Najla brought me a handmade mother’s day card which she made at her kinder garden. What a lovely present from my lovely daughter. Thanks sweetie. I received a few other gifts from Hannah and Harris too.

Other than that I got wonderful short messages from my friends Tengku Lin and Sumadhi and great forwarded emails from my friends Sharifah Fatimah and Norashikin which I published for all to read in my other blog.

“Berakhirnya Agenda Zionis” Convention

While Harris, Hannah, and Najla were busy “dressing” Flat Stanleys last Saturday, Danial and Yasmin were a few hundred kilometers away attending a convention called “Berakhirnya Agenda Zionis”. The convention was held at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in KL. They went with 40 other students from their school, Al-Irsyad. Since they had to leave Kuantan at 4 am Saturday morning, the teachers asked all of the participants to stay overnight at the school. Steve sent Yasmin around 9.30 pm but Danial was sent by Steve sometime in late afternoon when he picked Harris up from “qiamuallail”. They spent the entire Saturday at PWTC and arrived home around 10 at night.

Flat Stanley Visited Kuantan

About 2 weeks ago I received a package from Ms Russell, a Catholic primary school teacher in Fort Scott, Kansas, containing a few Flat Stanleys. We are supposed to dress them in our national costumes and write about their adventure in Kuantan. We also have to send a few souvenirs with them. So our family decided to include a Malaysian flag, a few post cards, stamps, coins, and a few other small items. Yesterday, Harris, Hannah, and Najla participated in “dressing” Flat Stanleys in baju Melayu”.

Below are pictures of my kids “dressing” Flat Stanleys:

Harris’ Qiam

Harris had “qiamullail” last Thursday night (7 May 2009) at his school. Steve sent him around 6pm and he stayed overnight at his school. The program was over on late Friday afternoon. Steve brought him back around 6pm.

Danial’s 15th Birthday

Danial’s 15th birthday was on Monday 4 May 2009. Usually either Steve or I would bake our kids’ favorite moist chocolate cake for their birthday the day before the celebrated date. But this time we didn’t bake Danial’s cake until the evening of his birthday itself because we attended a friend’s wedding in Lenggeng and had to travel back to Kuantan at the time we were supposed to bake. So I had to do it on Monday evening after work. He didn’t get to cut the cake until 10 pm on Tuesday. By then all the other kids (except Yasmin) were already sleeping. Danial said “it was nice and quiet”. Maybe he was just trying to make me feel less guilty. What a wonderful son.

The kids' favourite : Moist chocolate cake

Hmmm... yummy

Convoy to Yaya’s and Zikri’s Wedding

I like to attend weddings. On 3 May a few friends and my family attended a wedding in Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan. It was the wedding for KPTM lecturers. We went in 4 separate cars – Nizam’s, Hisham’s, Nik’s, and ours. All of them drove straight from Kuantan but we met them half way, in Ulu Bendul, at my mom’s house. It seemed that majority of the guests were from our College! Here are some pictures taken during the wedding: