Monday, March 28, 2011

Conversation with Najla

Yesterday while washing dishes Najla came to me with her new umbrella and the conversation goes like this:

Najla: Mak, look at my new umbrella. It's only 8 Ringgits. Abah bought it at the co-op.
Me: Really? What happens to your red umbrella?
Najla: I don't know. Hannah had it before. Besides it was torn.
Me: What? It's a new umbrella and it's already torn?
Najla: Yeah. I don't know how to take good care of it. I am not like you. You have many children.
Me: What is the relationship between having many children and umbrella?
Najla: Well, you can take good care of your children, and taking care of children is more difficult than taking care of an umbrella.
Me: ??? (Smart kid ;))

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yasmin's Back

Tuesday night Yasmin arrived, from her trip with Uncle Husni and family to KL, at about 1.30am. Before arriving Husni called and Steve got up and waited for them in the living room. I must have slept like a log because I didn't hear the sound of the phone or the bell ringing. All I know Yasmin was in the toilet taking a bath yesterday morning. So now our family is back to normal, with 4 kids at home and us. Harris was really hopeful to go to KL on Saturday with them but unfortunately Husni's car was really full. There were 3 big bags for Khadijah to take back to Egypt, Omar's bags to take to his school in Johor, Husni's family's bags with enough clothes for 4 days, and a box full of goodies from us to be sent to Danial in Johor. As soon as Husni's car left, Harris went to his room and shut the door. Usually that's what he does when he's upset about something. Luckily we had a wedding to go to that afternoon so Harris was happier. Najla and Hannah were fine because they would not dream of parting from us (yet). Harris said "Yasmin always gets to go. When she's in a boarding school, I will go places with uncle Husni". Poor Harris:(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Birthday Time

Today is Steve's birthday. As usual we don't celebrate or give each other present anymore because for us everyday is a celebration, hahaha. But it is different with our kids' birthdays, we must celebrate or else... Since yesterday was Najla's birthday, Steve baked our family tradition's moist chocolate cake. At night we went to eat at ECM Pizza Hut. I guess the kids were really starving because they ordered 2 large pepperoni pizzas, 3 orders of bread-sticks, 3 cups of mushroom soup, iced lemon tea, orange juice, and pepsi. I ordered a regular crispy-crust veggie-lover's for me. Before we entered the restaurant, we bumped into parents of one of Steve's students. Just for the sake of conversation, we mentioned that it was a celebration for Najla's birthday. Little that we know, about half an hour later they gave a box of present to Najla. Wow! That's what we call rezki. My mom who is with us for this whole week, also bought a present for Najla. As soon as everyone "inhaled" the food, we left the mall so that we could get our beauty sleep before enjoying another day of life. These are some of the pictures I took yesterday:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hijrah Iman Talk

Alhamdulillah, the talk went smoothly on Friday night. Many students showed up to listen to the young Ustaz sharing his bitter sweet moment of finding Islam. He was raised to be a priest and his ambition was to convert all the Muslims in this country into his previous faith. But as God said in the Quran, humans plan but God is the best planner of all. I really would like to thank my students for spending so much time making posters and planning the event, especially Pudin, Epi, Fathi, Sarah, and Bela. Please forgive me if I missed some names. We managed to collect around RM1,400 and all of the Ustaz's books, Hijrah Iman - Satu Anugerah Agung dari Tuhan, were sold out. I hope that he will get enough funds to further his studies locally or overseas.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Every day I pass by this breeze way. It really fits the name because it is always windy and breezy. I can definitely say that this is one of my favorite spots at work. Whenever I pass by, I feel like being at the beach rather than at work. There is one student who shares this feeling with me (I guess) because I often see him sits there with his laptop on. What could be better than surfing in a breezy afternoon?

Thursday, March 3, 2011


When the semester started, it felt like it was going to last forever. I was wondering if it ever was going to end! Suddenly, we are already in the 11th week, which means that the students have only one and a half weeks to write their proposals before they have to hand them in on the 11th of this month. Panic! Not me, but the students! Just take a look at the pictures above. They are very serious discussing the issues. I am really not looking forward to reading all the papers. But the good news is, we are going to have the longest semester break ever, nearly 5 months!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

Is it normal to have an image of a character in our head when we read a novel? I hope it is because I always have faces for all the characters in any book that I read. The same happened when I read Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert which I just finished a few weeks ago. I have been wondering how close the images were to the real characters (if they were real). In Eat, Pray, Love, there is a character named Ketut Liyer. Gilbert made it sound like this old man is so wonderful, warm, adorable, and even cute like a teddy bear. So naturally a certain image came to my mind to fit all the descriptions. But when I saw an article about the real Ketut Liyer in NST last Monday, I was disappointed because the image I had is no where near the original one (in the picture above).

Writers Block

Salam, hello, hi, aloha, etc.
Writer's block? What is that? It's a big word for an excuse:)
Well I hate it when I feel like writing so much but I just could not put anything on paper, or in this case, in my blog. I just realized that I only wrote once in the month of February! Suddenly on Monday, I saw an article in the classified section of the NST newspaper about overcoming writer's block. I said, whoa, the writer must be talking about me. According to the writer, writer's block is caused by a variety of reasons such as "social, academic, and personal factors which increase our stress level and interrupt the free flow of ideas". Yeah, tell me about it. But the good news is, it can be overcome by following a few steps: brainstorm and organize, uninhibited writing, and grouping. If you want to know the details, you just have to read the article.

Social? I can think of one social reason for me. I am very busy coordinating a talk which will be conducted by a young convert at my neighborhood mosque, at my kids' school, and at my work place. T
he idea of inviting this young speaker came at around the time that I stopped writing! Wow, I don't even realize that the coordinating job is very stressful. No wonder I cannot write.

Academic? Definitely. At the moment I am swarmed with
mid-terms to be graded. Well, it's not like reading the Twilight Saga, ok? Some of the stuff the students wrote can give someone a heart attack. I am teaching 5 sections of writing classes! Yes, isn't that ironic! I guess it's a lot easier telling students to write than doing it my self. So I must be gentle on them;)

Personal factors? Wow, this is the main bulk of the problem. I know just the biggest personal interference of my writer's block pr
oblem! It's definitely something to do with my moving into a new house. Boy, moving is no joke. My family and I have officially moved into our new house last December but the process of cleaning, repacking, etc has not finished yet. In fact there are still boxes and plastic bags in the old place that need to be scrutinized before we transport them to the new place. We are given until the end of the month to do that. By hook or by crook, everything must be hauled by the 31st of March. No wonder I am so stressed out. The pictures below are the proofs of the mess that we still have at the old place.