Friday, January 16, 2009

Family Vacation at Cameron Highlands

We went to Cameron Highlands from December 15th - 17th, 2008. Yes, only ONE day after our Christmas Musical. We were tired, exhausted, drained (you name it) but we were excited about this little family vacation. Err.... not, not "little" family vacation. In fact, there were 24 adults and 6 children who came to Cameron Highlands.

Benjamin, Sally, Su-Ann
Cherie, Godwin, Sze-En
Rachel, Rajen
Eunice, Michael
Chris, Norman, Brian
Sharon, Thomson, Mae-Z
Terry, Mary, Fen-Ni, Jaden, Jared
Annie, Guru
Indran, Madeline
Neela, Jason, Joelle

Let's see. What did we do there? There were 2 groups of (older) people playing mahjong, the slightly younger generation played cards, the kids played "pick-up sticks" AFTER watching a DVD played on Jason's laptop. Others went into one of the rooms to watch a fwe video clips of the musical.

Food of course, was in abundance. Mr Liew, the caretaker of the HSBC bungalow cooked both Asian and Western food. We had fishball soup, roasted chicken, fish and chips, etc. His dessert is not great. For example, he made apple crumble - the "crumble" was so much more than the apples. As for the pineapple tarts, Sharon said it's not worth leaving space in my already stuffed stomach, so I didn't taste it.

The Yeoh Clan - a close-knit family

The 3rd generation

More pictures ............

Some of us went to "Ye Olde Smoke House" on our way back to Seremban. The rest went back straight to Seremban.
At 1pm, the rest were already there, waiting for Rajen, MCTC and me. While admiring the beautiful garden, a stern looking lady came up to them, took in their extreme casual clothes and told them that the place was for her private guests. A. Chris who was quite offended by her rudeness, told her that they were there for lunch. The lady mumbled something and went in.
Later, A. Chris related the incident to Rajen, who then went up tothe lady to introduce himself first before explaining the relationship with the rest of us. Rajen, who gets cold easily, was wearing a smart long sleeve shirt and long pants. He was polite to this lady, whom we found out was one of the owners and I guess she was taken in by his charming voice. (ahem!)
After taking hundreds of pictures in the garden, we were asked to be seated in the dining area. She walked past us, a slice of half eaten bread with marmalade. She saw Rajen and told him that the marmalade was "home-made" and asked if he would like to try some (for free!!!!). She specifically said that it's only for him and there was only one slice of slightly toasted bread with some marmalade spread by the side. Oooooh! See what I mean when I said that she was quite taken in by him???

Most of us had a heavy lunch there. A. Lily didn't eat because it was not halal. I had a bowl of mushroom soup and crepe suzette. Others had chicken maryland, steak, black pepper grilled chicken ............ etc.

Thomson and MCTC got back to Seremban at about 6pm while we only got back at 9pm.
What a tiring day for everyone! It was a great short vacation, though and I hope the next time we have another of this little vacation, more of the Yeoh clan would be able to join in.
-posted by Rachel

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Musical 2008

For this year's Christmas Musical, there were more than 20 of us who participated in one way or another. Some of us had dual roles.

Michael Chang - Grounds

Mae-Z - Dancing Angel

Derrick - Young Joseph / crowd

Chris - Light

Alan - Crowd

Thomson - King Herod / crowd

Rajen - part of the choir

Cheng - Stage and Light
Sharon - Light

Eunice - Props

Godwin - inn keeper / crowd

Guru - Make-up / Hospitality
Annie - Hospitality
Su-Ann - Choir Conductor / soloist
Pastor Ben - Preacher
Pastor Sally - Ministerial
Cherie - Drama (crowd)
Sze-En - Drama (crowd)
Brian - Drama (crowd)
Esther - Backstage management
Madeline - Soloist Guide
Norman - Ministerial

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cameron Highlands

We stayed at Thomson's company's (HSBC) bungalow in Cameron Highlands. The air was crisp and as usual, the food was superb. Aunty Terry came and brought Jaden along. Uncle Beng and family made the trip right after prayer meeting and by the time they arrived, it was past midnight. The scary thing was that the roads were slippery. Thank God they arrived safely.
Michael and Fong couldn't make it at the very last minute because Michael's mother was sick. Cheng, as usual, was anti-social. Actually, she was busy with the Christmas Musical.
Everyone had fun and pretty soon, it was time to leave the highlands .....

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Welcome Home Party for the Criggers

Way before Neela, Jason and daughter Joelle (the meeting of East and West brought forth this really cute and beautiful child) came down from Canada, Eunice (Fong as she is so lovingly called) had already put into gear a get-together. Needless to say, this Malaysianised family were gungho for it and it was all systems go at the onset.

We met at U.Guru's on June 2nd, which was the birthday of our King, the Agong of Malaysia. We purposefully chose this day for the simple reason of it being a public holiday and everyone was free to cook, bake and be present.

Eunice proposed a high tea party.

On the day in question, you should see the spead, simple yet fantastic. Everyone brought something, pot-luck style. A. Chris made pai tee (top hat), her first time trying out, recipe courtesy of Amy Beh, the well known author of many food and cakes. It was an instant hit with all of us. Other food lined up were poppy seed muffins, pancakes, waffles, crepes with Swedish butter, nut filled brownies, homemade italian bread, delicious nyonya chicken curry, meehoon siam and the very fattening creamy mushroom soup. Beverages, the usual 3-in-1. Yes, you guessed it - food was again in abundance - trade mark of the Yeohs.

I am not proud to say this but, us being us, the truly Malaysianized family and a kiasu lot, we stuffed ourselves full. Jason was sick that day and being a lover of spicy food and all things Malaysian with the exception of durian (com'on, how many orang putihs go ga-ga over the King of Fruit?), had to pass off many of the fare and went for the more 'safer' dishes. Neela, who had not been home for the past ......years enjoyed the food thoroughly.

Food and games - the ideal combination of a great family get-together. Taboo was the game of the evening for the adults and hide and seek for the kids. A.Chris was the only aunty who was willing to play with them. Joelle was fantastically thrilled and tickled when she found her (Aunty Chris, who else???) under a table! From that point onwards, she had such adoration for a.Chris.

The party lasted until late at night. We were so full from the amount of food we had that we skipped dinner altogether.

- Submitted by Rachel -

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Family Retreat at A Famosa, Malacca

We from the Yeoh Clan can never pass up an opportunity to convene - breakfasting at Ah Seng's coffee shop, bonding at mahjong sessions after lunch, chitchatting (or gossipping?) over tea, catching up during elaborate dinners, or laughing together over coffee at suppertime. At times, we planned ahead for holidays together, either with a larger group at church camp, or just among ourselves.

The A Famosa Resort, Malacca, is one such place where the Yeoh Clan would retreat to, for rest and relaxation. This year, Neela and Jason came back for holidays from Canada. Seeing a golden opportunity to get the whole family together, we booked the place from the 28th - 30th of May, 2007. Yes, it was a short holiday but, boy, did we make full use of our time there.

The family being so huge, one bungalow will not do. And so, we booked two. Each bungalow has a pool, which the kids maximized.

There were many things to do within the resort itself. During the day, some of us went on a safari tour organized by the resort where there was a mini zoo and animal shows. The children had the grand privilege of feeding some of the animals there.

The animal show left the children with a sense of awe. There was this dog that jumped through a ring of fire (which reminds me of the song by Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire”), while another drank from a can. There was also a dog within a dog - that is, a bigger dog rolled a cylinder with a smaller dog inside. These dogs were certainly trained well. (Sigh..if only some us can be that trained to certain tasks…. what a better place this world would be).

The elephant show was something else. It was an eye-opener to see elephants playing basketball or swinging a skipping rope, causing a poor guy to exercise unceasingly.

Cowboy Town was also an attention grabber. The kids saw some "real life" action here – cowboys shooting each other down, a-la-Hollywood.

Evening saw the children having the time of their lives in the swimming pool. The resort made some extra money out of us as Neela and her dad, Uncle Guru, drove down to the resort outlet to get rubber floats. To be fair to the resort, the price was quite reasonable. Thomson was the food supplier. He fed the kids intermittently.

It was here that Brian learned to swim. Adele was his swimming instructor and the amazing thing was she didn't even get into the pool. According to her, Brian is a fast learner. Soon, both he and Alisa were competing against each other.

Let me tell you, food practically binds our family together. We (more so the older generation) are known for being good cooks and gourmets. Food was in abundance. It was a three day trip but the food we brought could feed an army. The management would think twice about having us when we next book this place. Look what a huge mess we made of the kitchen. Tsk.tsk.

Night saw us all retreating to the more relaxing games of mahjong (for the older adults) and card games (for the younger adults - including Uncle Guru). And the kids? They just chilled out in front of the idiot box.

It was an altogether heartwarming, bonding time for all of us, made especially so because Neela, Jason and Joelle were with us. A Famosa was a fantastic place for a retreat.

Of course, I only speak for the adults. If the kids are to be given a word edgewise in this paragraph, I'm sure their unanimous comment would be that "at home, at the playground or in the pool, as long as we can be together, everything's cool." Or words to that effect.

- Submitted by Rachel -

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Brian's 9th Birthday Party

Coming from an unsuperstitious and non-conformist family, we celebrated Brian's 9th Birthday on the 26th of May, 9 days after his actual birth date. This was actually for the benefit of all the 'kiasu' mothers who wanted their children to finish their half-yearly examinations. Their philosophy for their kids - Work (Study), Play comes Later or sometimes Never.

Brian, being Brian, wanted a "Ninja Turtle" theme but (phew!) I managed to manoeuvre his mind set to a Peter Pan cum Pirates theme party. Trust me, Brian, being Brian, it was not easy. I had to put up with the humps and grumps but I, being me, had my ways. Oh, Ninja Turtle was not bad, really, but the real reason why Peter Pan and the Pirates were pre-decided on was actually due to the fact that Rachel and Eunice went to the U.S. and bought a Peter Pan costume for Brian. This being a done thing, I just had to persuade Brain that Peter is much more macho than some humpback turtle thingy...

Planning took one solid month. Goodness, what a blessing the Net has become. We managed to get tons of ideas from it. Rachel got Brian and Mae-Z to help paint the cartoon characters. Sharon, Eunice and I helped too. We spent two afternoons painting 10 cartoon characters. The ship, which was made from 2 cardboard boxes, was done with the help of Eunice, Sharon and Adele.

The invites were one of a kind. I got this idea from the Net. It was a torn, burnt and coffee stained paper with a map printed on it. This map was inserted into a bottle provided by Chin Yih, Adele's husband.

The day finally came. It threatened to rain with dark clouds looming above us. We got the children to pray. It drizzled a little and after that, the sun smiled on us.

A big banner, made by Rachel, with the words "WELCOME TO NEVERLAND" greeted the children as one by one, they trickled in from 5.30 pm.

Some of the kids came dressed to complement the theme. Brain, of course, was Peter Pan. Mae-Z was a piratess (she said that she was too "old" to be a sexy Tinker Bell), while Alisa was dressed in blue as Wendy. Joelle came in a lovely pink dress with fairy wings and Sze-En came as Tinkerbell. Ezra, Brian's good friend, came in a crocodile costume but he was ill and had to go back early.

After handing their presents to Brian, the kids signatured their presence by finger drawing on a book and initialling their names. They each received an eye patch as their door gift.

We got the children to settle down to play the very first game. To get them into five groups, we printed out pictures of animals whereby they had to imitate the sound of the animal to find their groups.

Four groups got to participate in the games planned. The fifth group was for children ages 5 and below. I guess we didn't prepare appropriate games for them. So they had to be with their parents.

We had a treasure hunt which Rachel prepared. There was a map given to start off the hunt and clues, in the form of riddles were hidden at every treasure station. We had 7 treasure stations altogether. Entrance to Neverland, Crocodile Creek, Mermaid's Lagoon, Indian Camp, The Ship, Blind Man's bluff and Peter Pan fighting with Captain Hook. (Now, you know why we needed to paint all the cartoon characters - for identification of the different stations).

The treasure hunt didn't go off that well because the children got all the clues mixed up and some groups went off with other group's treasures. But, all is not lost for there is yet another, this time, bigger treasure to be found. We assembled the children at the car porch, gave them the final clue (which was purposely kept back to the end of the hunt) which leads to a 'sack' filled with good stuff. Within minutes, Alisa and her group found the sackful of treasure which was hidden in the teepee (wigwam) at the Indian Camp. Three cheers for Alisa and her group!!

After the hunt, the children went off to play some other games. The first was Walk the Plank. This proves to be a piece of cake for the children, except for Mae-Z who was wearing her mom's high-heeled boots.

After that, came the water balloons and water pistols. The children REALLY loved this game. The girls were in the card board ship, holding on to their water balloons while the boys were at a distance with their water pistols. No one won but they had fun playing with water. Thomson was seen helping the girls aimed a water balloon at one of the boys while Jason was standing at one corner, debating whether he should join in the fun.
The next game was balancing on the plank while hitting an opponent with floured stockings. I got this idea from the Net (where else?). Not all the children were as adventurous as Justin, but those who were willing to 'fight' him were effortlessly swept off and down by him. His father, Michael Ong, also had some fun in this game. Justin was truly the under 12 titan for the day.

Because of the sweat and water and flour, I had Brian changed into a pirate costume. He became Captain Hook when we sang the birthday song. I made the ship cake which everybody commented was something unique. Food was pizza, sausages for the children and catered food for adults.

After filling their bellies, the children were asked to hit the pinata which I made. We started off with Joelle, since she's one of the youngest there. By the time Brian hit it, the pinata was almost coming apart. Samuel and Justin were the last to hit and they broke open the pinata completely with one blow!

The party continued even after the children went back at 8pm. It was of course, a more subdued party where the adults sat at the patio, talking and reminiscing, eating leftover cakes and washing it down with a good cup of coffee, courtesy of Thomson.

Overall, it was a fun and successful party. Of course, at the back of Rachel and Eunice's mind, plans for celebrating the next birthday, which is Mae-Z’s, is already taking shape.

- Submitted by Chris -