|a pretty a day is here and away|

Documenting life's beauty, as seen through the eyes of a lady blessed with everything a girl could dream of, and more: five gorgeous kids, patient and providing husband, an adorable dog, a very cheeky frog, and still time enough to get crafty and creative in the kitchen or with my trusty needles, thread and yarn!
The joys of being Queen of the household! Rejoice, and the world joins in!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas past, Christmas present ;)

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." -- Edith Sitwell

Oh Edith Sitwell, in that quote alone she's just described my Christmas holiday! If you replace "winter" with "Christmas", there you have my Christmas!

This year we decided to do something different, and now that the kids are mostly not-so-much-kids, they're all great to travel with, and looking up the flight routes on the internet got me all excited -- how could I resist...

I'll let the pictures do the talking cos if I talk I may never stop!

Thank goodness for great travel companions -- the whole troop of 'em!

My presents to the girls this year -- matching rings made of Buffalo horn. It is believed that the power of the bull is found in its horn, and the wearer of anything made from the horn will inherit its power. Nail-polished fingers are crossed that this is true, because the New Year holds great things!

Phew, if there's one thing that we'd all agree on, it's how fast time flies! And boy has this year gone by all too quickly :)

Looking back...

It's been a good year in my books, an eventful year, and from now things can only get better going forward.

Say, did I mention that 23 December marked our 26th wedding anniversary? Well it did!

Here's a photograph!

And this is it, folks! Here's to 2012 ;)

Your resident magic mom

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Letter to my eldest daughter on her 20th birthday

With Love to my daughter, Mel - 01 October 2011

On turning 20 ...

As you explore this big wide world of possibilities, remember to keep your eyes and ears wide open. Be kind always. Love freely. Take care of every creature. Tell the truth. Always do your best. Listen to the big people and the little people. Explore new paths and have fun. Remember that you are always loved and give thanks for all your blessings. Above all else, love and you will do wonderful things in this world!

Just me,

Just some little snapshots of the days leading up to and the day of your birthday and our garden party!

And Melly writes about turning 20 on her blog... here! (Clicky clicky!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

All kinds of everything in August!

August, August, oh how very eventful you've been! Well we've seen through all kinds of everything this month and we're only in the middle of it, aren't we?

The first of Everything: Our Big Beautiful Boy Ben turns TWENTY-FOUR! A ripe old age, that is! ;) And oh how far we've come, Benji...

Don't we all just love your forever-grin and your cheeky beady eyes...
Yup, that's Benji who's moved on from Playmobil to iPads and beer... hmm... ;) Don't worry, his cheeky antics are still right here...

Cheers, Big Boy!

And in case you were wondering what the occasion was... Our favourite guy Papa Alfie turns ... shh, don't say it! well, he turns a good age too! As he usually quips, "A blank page tells a better story!" Well I'm sure when it comes to his age, now he'll say no number is a better number! Well, ever the poet, Alfred!

And we don't do full family portraits very often, do we? So right up there gracing the very top of this post, our happy family in its full glory! Seven's the magic number, folks!

There you go -- all about my busybusy August!

Dollin' up and loggin' out,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kimmydoll: some years ago and at present

Oh Kimmydoll, she's exactly that -- a downright doll!

I still recall excitable ladies and big girlies all squealing over my little walking talking dolly and asking for permission to pose with her under the giant Christmas tree they put out every year at the Ngee Ann City Mall!

And my, how Kimmy's grown!

mmmm and here's a suitable musical dedication to my littlest grown up musical doll! :)

one proud momma,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Oh very young...

"Mom, where is that book with Sunday boots and Working boots and the Johns?"

Tssk, kids, remember everything! I knew it was somewhere in the house, the book they were so adamant on getting their hands on again (and I knew they would demand storytime - mind you, they're in their teens!)... and of course I had to prove my Mom Powers by producing this book from thin air -- oops, I mean from the depths of the bookshelf, of course ;)

Melly enthusiastically joined me in my hunt, of course she wanted to claim full glory after she fished it out from the back of some hardcovers. We all know Momma knows best, anyway, so I left her to bask in her solitary glee.

We spent awhile reliving the tales of their childhood... All the familiar friends and faces were back!!! So here you have him! The good ol' working man with his Working Boots!

Gosh, these little pictures bring back so many memories... And it's a wonder how one good volume of amazing stories can have such great effect on the kiddos... I'd say they all grew up very fine, even if I say so myself!!!

And little Janet! Who was still called Girl John by her brothers because all of them were named John and it was a good honest name! Indeed! Why didn't I name Nicky that? John! A jolly good name :)

And the boy with his little fig tree that he received as a birthday present! Oh, a touching story if anything! The boy ate the leaves one by one because he was sure that the leaves would make him grow. The years passed, the boy grew taller, the fig tree did not. Dad threatened to take the tree away, but the boy did not allow it. "Give it one more chance, it's my tree, after all," he said. And they gave the tree one more chance - just one more. And the fig tree did not say anything, but the next week it got two new leaves, and the boy did not eat the leaves. He dreamed a good dream when he went to bed that night - he dreamed that the tree was taller than his dad, taller than the house, taller than every thing! And there were figs, juicy figs, sweet figs, falling all over the lawn :) It just makes me smile!

Oh, and the little boy whose naughty little secret scared three large, fierce giants!!!

This is probably the story that inspired Kimmydoll to go about hugging unsuspecting strangers -- AND HER DAD -- when the girls had the chicken pox!

Oh very young
What will you leave us this time
You're only dancing on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your daddy's best jeans
Denim blue fading up to the sky

And hey diddle diddle, this lil kitty played the fiddle, and he graces the cover page of the kiddos' favourite book! This is a family treasure for sure ;) we will keep it well!

Smiling in the night

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers' Day!

A contribution from my soulmate and best friend, Alfred, to our favourite Pudge.. It was submitted to ST Life for Dads:

The best thing about being your Dad, Nicky, is the everyday opportunity to make each other’s day just by being with the one we love! I can lead the way, but you're making your own path. We may not be two peas in a pod but boy, opposites do attract, and I'll always be proud of you, my son!

Me and my son, Nicholas Lam.

Happy Fathers' Day Alfred!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Gypsy Girl

My Gypsy girlie Melly with her camera.

What can I say to a wordsmith?

After all, her own papa famously wrote in a book he presented her when she was sixteen, "A blank page could tell a better story". (Yup, I'm proud to have married an unwittingly witty man hahahahaha!)

Perhaps in song...

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world

I know how Melly usually prefers the original version of old songs, but I think we both agree this rendition has a nice tone to it ;)

What can I say? Gotta love Melly!

Love, love, love,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I just wanna...

Mother's Day this year was life-changing, what was meant to be a happy day tainted by the sudden news of my pa's passing, but here's a little something my littlest girlie Kimmy said to me that night...

"I just wanna be the one who makes you Happy..."

It is by far one of the sweetest utterances said to me... ever! :) Through the sadness of the moment, I had to smile and remember that all was not lost, and Her Royal Sweetness definitely brought a tear to my eye!

There she is right there in one of my favourite pictures of her at the moment... because she's such a photogenic girl, I'll soon have so many more favourite pictures! Looking ethereal, as always... that's my Kimmy Doll!


Friday, May 13, 2011

May 12: No more longing; A final passage

Despite the overtone of grief and solemnity, I was happy to see so many people whom Pa loved, and who loved Pa, gathered in the place where so many of our firm friendships formed: 95A Old Airport Road. It all felt like things had come round full-circle.

Everything that has transpired from 8 May, the day Pa returned to our Heavenly Father's arms, and today, when we walked with him one final time, has definitely changed us all. I am glad that things went smoothly, and that we were able to pay him a good final tribute through our nightly prayers and a meaningful mass. All his grandchildren had a part to play in Pa's mass. I remember him enjoying their little show-and-tell sessions, whether they were performing a music piece or reading off a book, and I imagine him smiling in the company of angels as he watched their last earthly gift to him.

The walk down the aisle of the church had much meaning for me. Twenty-six years ago, Pa proudly walked me down the same aisle, wearing his grey safari suit, to present me for marriage. Yesterday, I joined my family, his grandchildren in tow, and walked him down the aisle, to present him to heaven.

Mel delivered the eulogy. Here's Melissa's tribute to my pa:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts, and lives through many ages.

In his time, Andrew was a friend, a brother, a husband, a father, a father-in-law, brother-in-law. To us, he was grandpa. We always hear so many stories about grandpa when he was younger, but of course we only knew him in more recent years.

People we meet always say that Grandpa was strong and tough, and Grandma has a photograph of Grandpa hunting to prove it. He is standing with a huge gun, with one foot on a dead wild boar.

He rode a motorcycle and had a revolver because he was a policeman. Of course, I always thought that this was the picture of cool.

But to his grandchildren, Grandpa was mellow and gentle.

For the 19 years that I have known Grandpa, I remember him most for his smile, because it was always slightly mischievous.

Grandpa always seemed to notice when I had just done something clumsy. At one mooncake festival party, I accidentally toppled a tray of mooncakes, and there Grandpa was, smiling at me with the twinkle in his eye. I always felt quite silly but he wouldn't say anything, so neither would I.

I imagine the same twinkle in his eye when as a boy, Grandpa escaped with his brother back to Singapore after they were sent to the Batu Pahat boys home in Malaysia. That must have been a great adventure.

If all the world's a stage, I'm honored to deliver this eulogy at Grandpa's curtain call.

Grandpa has played so many different roles in each of our lives. I am glad to have known him.

He will be remembered fondly by Grandma, his children, and all of us as a generous man who bought durians by the baskets and always loved a good meal. On his next great adventure, I wish him eternal happiness. Till we meet again.

The brother, who Pa ran away from the boys home with, passed away exactly one year ago. I'm sure they're off on some new path, which must hold more appeal than any path in our mortal world.

May God bless and keep you always, Pa.

I took a photo of my accessories for today. I will never look at this pair of earrings, this watch, this ring, this hairband, necklace... the dress that I picked... I will never look at them the same way again.

And a little dedication to my mother, Gloria, who should be glad to be alive, and learn to embrace life and live it like she should.

You see I'm just a little man, trying hard to understand
What kind of living is a life if I can't stand on my own two feet

You see we are looking for the same thing
And we are trying to survive
But I know each day in life don't get much easier than the last
So today I'm just glad to be alive

And I'm singing
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, stay by my side
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, I'm glad to be alive
Glad to be alive

I think that life is a blessing
And every step, every lesson
You want for love and protection
To those in me

To all my mothers and fathers
And all the angels and saints
I'm so glad to be alive

Seems like there's never enough time to do the things I wanna do
And it never ends
But at the end of the day I might not have no money to count or spend
But I know I can count on all my friends

And you call on me
See we are looking for the same thing
And we are trying to survive
And I know each day in life with you gets better than the last
So today I'm just glad to be alive


Monday, May 9, 2011

R I P My Dear Pa (1930 to 2011)

My father, Andrew Loh aka Willie passed away this evening and I am very sad.

The memories I have of my father will always have to be the cool motorcycle rides he gave me daily to school during my secondary school days much to the envy of my friends ... I can still remember his license plate no. 2192 which won him the first prize in one of his regular weekend bets! With his winnings, he got mom a brand new kitchen and new terrazoo flooring. My pa is a very generous man. He bought us durians and mangosteens by the baskets.

Whenever I pass by the Police Academy in Thomson Road, I still have sweet memories of my annual trips with my pa to their sports carnival. We'd bring back home lots of little ice-cream cups and other take-aways but we'd never take part in the races. My pa's a quiet man ... a man of a few words but he always listened. The walk down the aisle on 23 Dec 1985 my wedding day must have been his proudest moment! He looked so handsome at 55 in his grey safari suit.

My pa loved good food and he's a great cook too, very proud of his fried Hokkien prawn noodles and always recommending us places of good and cheap food. I'll always remember his favourite Lor 9 beef noodles stall.

I will miss you pa and so will Alfred, Mel, Amelia, Kim, Nick and especially Ben.

May you rest in peace pa,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Today is a special day, a special one indeed,
A day to thank our mamas like a knight his noble steed.
A day to adorn our mama's hands with gifts and presents galore,
To express our gratitude and thanks and how mama we adore.

Then we'll feast upon chicken and good food,
And we'll let nothing take away the joyous and carefree mood.
Because today is a special day, a special one indeed,
A day called Mother's Day as it is known internationally.

And so with this poem hopefully great food we shall earn,
While others sit by and watch her cook, hoping to learn,
Her magical spicy sweet and mouth-watering recipe,
But they won't cook as great a dish as Mama, says my bear Duffy!

A special Mother's Day gift from Nicholas and his company of companions

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I'm sure you can sense my excitement at reaching this sort-of-milestone in the blogging world: my 100th post! And what better thing to celebrate than EASTER!

Every Easter brings back memories of egg hunts and messy egg-decorating sessions where nobody left with clean fingers ... and the colour-stained t-shirts and walls after ... and of course, Easter parties!!! (Now I need to scour through our collection of photo albums for those pictures!!!)

This year, with the kiddos all "grown up", we had a sort-of-different Easter -- no coloured eggs and scrambles for hidden chocolate -- but every Easter's a good one and a reason to be thankful for being alive and believing!

Kiddos probably know this song best as the song from Shrek, but hey, before Shrek, there were... THE MONKEES:

A happy tune ;)

Also, I've been reading a little about Easter and this world never ceases to amuse and entertain!

Thank goodness for the Internet, I chanced upon this charming little tradition in Hungary...

(Photo by Attila Kisbenedek)

The tradition is called the "Watering of the girls", and this is how the 'Matyo' people of Hungary celebrate Easter! It's a fertility ritual that dates way back to Hungary's pre-Christian tribal history! That's CENTURIES ago! Whoa!

Speaking of believers...

Oh, I could hide 'neath the wings of the bluebird as she sings
The six o'clock alarm would never ring
But it rings and I rise wipe the sleep out of my eyes...

Exactly what I'll have to be doing in just about five hours... Oh well! All the better to send the kiddos off to school early :P Hmm perhaps wake them up with a good Hungarian splash of water heehee...

G'night, everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A dreamy little song, company for the night!

I will live my life
As Alfred Lam's wife
On an island in the blue bay
He will take care of me
He will smell like the sea
And close to my heart he'll always stay

I'll bear three girls
All with strawberry curls
Melly and Mimi and Kim
While I'm combing their hair
I will catch his warm stare
On our island in the blue bay

Far away, far away
I wanna go far away
To a new life
On a new shoreline
Where the world turns blue
And the people are new
To another island
In another life

Doesn't this little ditty just make you want to jump up and dance? :) A great pick-me-up for a night such as this! I've been busy busy busy this whole day, what with activities all over our little island, and all the little ones to deal with!

Phew! But 12.47, the start of a new day, and the night is still young. Oh the laundry that awaits this happy momma... A lesser woman would shudder at the towering sight of it all!!!

Good night, good people, good night!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A look into the past!

I was looking through some old photos when I came across this gem, which hadn't made it to the first cut when Milly first put the photos on Facebook. Why not! This was a caught-unaware moment, neither of us properly in position for the photo, all funny smiles and closed eyes too! As Milly aptly captioned, hey! - Behind every great guy, there's always... HIS MOMMA! ;) Yup, I'll gladly take my bow, I'm happy to say Ben's turned out okay and more! If you look closely, you'll spot a little dab of paint on his shirt... One of many, I'll have you know. These little spots used to irk me - NO AMOUNT OF WASHING POWDER'S GONNA GET THAT OUT, BIG GUY. But you get used to his little idiosyncrasies... the paint-spot quirk just joined the many he's chalked up over the years! Ah well, guess he's got an artistic streak :P

Great song Milly just shared!

Took my love and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes bolder, children get older
I'm getting older too

And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe, well maybe, well maybe
The landslide will bring you down

Night, amigos!

P.S. Mil's new blog's up here if you're up for a late-night read! Nick's right where he usually is, the funny little man ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nicky's foodie adventures!

Our little Nicky's growing up quick and he contributes to the local newspaper, The Straits Times! Recently, he's been given his own column in another newspaper, aimed at youths, and it's called 'IN'!

We're ever so proud!

Here's his first column for 'IN'!

(click on this image for a bigger view!)

The first reaction from my family the moment I stepped into the house with two Home Economics books and an apron was one of utmost shock. My father asked, choosing his words very carefully, “Nicholas, are you sure you didn’t buy the wrong books? Aren’t you all taking Design and Technology?”

“It’s not like we’re never taking Design and Technology, Dad, we'll be doing that next year,” I assured him, deciding that it was best to wait for Friday to find out what was happening from the teacher herself. “Boys just aren’t suited for this Home Economics business,” he mumbled to himself.

Friday arrived without much fanfare, and the teacher hustled us out of the classroom and up the four flights of stairs to the Home Economics room, telling us all to sit down in the crammed space before finally starting on the lesson.

Our first lesson was an introduction to the many different kinds of nutrients and vitamins, and how we can maintain a healthy diet by eating certain kinds of food. It was very informative and interesting. "No cooking disasters yet!" I thought, relieved. I'd survived it unscathed!

However my father’s tone and his words lingered in my mind. I felt the same way as he did about teenage boys handling stoves and knives. The images of boys with acne-dotted faces and dark hands worn from the many times on the inclined pull-up bars stooped over a frying pan was almost laughable from my point of view.

Our failure to get a decent grade for a simple tuna sandwich seemed only to reiterate my father’s point. My weak attempt looked more like an explosion on a plate than a sandwich, with cucumbers poking out of the sides and tomatoes half sliding off the plate. Dad's predictions proved accurate time and time again, and by the third week of Home Economics class, as I accidentally let a bowl of flour slip from my hands and sent flour all over the counter top, I was ready to throw off my apron with a cry of "Je renonce!" in the manner of a posh French chef, taking note to let the egg yolks spill onto the floor.

And the moment my partner pulled out the half-burnt cupcakes we had made, we knew we'd had it. We waved our dishclothes like white flags in surrender. The way to a man's heart may be through his stomach, but we sure could do without the actual cooking! It was also much to our absolute horror that Home Economics might just include sewing or embroidery.

Perhaps Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay have made it big, but I prefer my dinners cooked by someone other than myself, or if I must prepare them myself, at least let them be a three-step process involving tearing packets, hot water, and three minutes of waiting time! Home Economics has proven quite an adventure so far. The occasional few might just succeed where others had fallen, but I just can’t wait till Design and Technology starts. Perhaps Dad will have something to say about that!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kimmy on the flute!

Kim on the Flute from Kimberly Lam on Vimeo.

Pretty of the day - Kimmy! She's applying for a music scholarship, and I hear competition's tough, but here's wishing her all the best! ;) Cheers, Kimmy, here's to success!

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