Happy Deepavali or Divali to all those who celebrate it

While Deepavali or Divali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", a more appropriate significance is "the new year of luck and wealth". Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Deepavali is the celebration of this Inner Light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (Inner Joy or Peace). Diwali celebrates this through festive fireworks, lights, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship. While the story behind Deepavali varies from region to region, the essence is the same - to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying reality of all things (Brahman). Well, how did I know all the details above? Well I just checked out Wikipedia . But I'm grateful to be living in Malaysia to be able to take all the pics below in Johore Bahru just across from Singapore where I caught the spirit of Deepavali a week earlier.

While the family did their usual shopping and other banking business in Johore Baharu..

I too the opportunity to stock up some Indian favorite goodies of ours!

Muruku, Indian coconut candies.... yum yum

Such festivals besides enriching our multi-racial culture and giving us more holidays in a year from work has helped me in my life to gain an appreciation of Group or Community Interests

Wow! Look Who Turns 18 today???

Happy Birthday Han!

Here are 18 reasons why Mom and I think you're an Awesome Son!

1. Firstly, you're the oldest son of awesome parents
2. And you looked really awesome as a baby
3. You amazed your parents in your ability to read and solve puzzles at a young age 4. And you had the courage and ablility to sing too at such a young age.
5. You always looked smart wherever you go.
6. Always dressed up for the occasion
7. You were the kid with high ambition 8. But never taking yourself too seriously
9. Always full of imagination and an aspiring cartoonist
10. You were baptized into the Church and continued to be an active and serving member
11. Always an example to others where ever you are
12. Your grandpa loved you since you were a baby and you remembered him as you matured doing..
13. You have many qualities and strong in body, mind & spirit
14. You even took up dancing
15. And continue to share your musical talents for others to enjoy. Listen to the Duet

16. You always remember your friends
17. Even the furry ones
18. You are already famous in your school as an academic prize winner and you've even won a national prize for your school. Check out this Video
Whether you win or lose, don't worry as you've already earned yourself a permanent place in the hall of fame of our family page. Check out the Profile

Come next holidays, you will be AWESOME on the road with a full licence!!!

50 reasons why Dad is AWESOME

  1. He's now half a century old!
  2. But he is forever young at heart
  3. He is brave and adventurous
  4. He goes on all sorts of great adventures all over the world
  5. He takes us out on adventures too
  6. He's brought us on piggy back rides, car rides, motorbike rides, and boat rides.
  7. He has 6 well brought-up children
  8. He loves to give us treat
  9. He never tires out
  10. He works hard
  11. And plays hard
  12. He makes sacrifices for his family
  13. He took time to drive us all to school in the mornings
  14. He tries to spend as much time with us as he can
  15. He is a leader
  16. He teaches us leadership by example
  17. He is dog's best friend
  18. He is supportive of us, our interests and talents.
  19. He gives us opportunities to develop our talents (including paying for them)
  20. He comes to watch and support us in competitions
  21. He never holds our academic failures against us
  22. He is a survivor
  23. He teaches us life lessons.
  24. He's read us bedtime time stories.
  25. He is tech savvy
  26. He always has fun
  27. He is a pioneer
  28. He is always active
  29. He takes time to document every special occasion
  30. He keeps good records
  31. He's made sure we go to the best schools and received a good education
  32. He is strong in every way
  33. He is a champion
  34. He takes time to develop his talents
  35. He is always filled with optimism
  36. He is quick to forgive
  37. He finds humor in everything
  38. He loves people and people love him
  39. He is a “Be There” dad
  40. He takes time to do things one-on-one with us
  41. He is generous with his time and talents
  42. He is always happy to share what he knows
  43. He has a strong testimony of the gospel
  44. He is filled with so much love, it's contagious! =)
  45. He is passionate about life and learning
  46. He is always ready to serve those in need
  47. He takes time to ponder meaningful things
  48. Most of all, he is our dad
  49. We love him very, very much
  50. And he will always be the awesomest dad in the world to us!


Hope this next half of the century will be filled with even more adventure, growth, learning, love and FUN than the last.

Love from all of us:

Ray, Ernie, Shuan, Han, Su and Fei.

Postdated comment: Little did the children know that the next 50 years was already envisioned shared with their Grandpa recorded in this prophetic journal!

Thanks Boys and Girls for your Birthday Greetings to me

If you think I'm awesome because of the past 50 years of my life, wait till you wish me at my 100th birthday ok? Read my thoughts and feelings at My Heart and Mind especially on the part I sat to consult with Grandpa about my future, who turned 87 this year.

As I blew the candles in my cake above, my wish was that when I turn 100, I would have achieved enough to help you complete the list of 100 reasons why you would think I am still awesome. Hahaha!

For now, my thoughts turn to Su on her 23rd Birthday and we usually share a joint celebration but this year, my 50th seemed to have overshadowed hers. Anyway here are my 23 reasons of why I think she is awesome too :

1. Firstly you are the daughter of a father who has been told he has 50 reasons to be Awesome.
2. You were born in a hospital where they put you in a cot that has that awesome number that Dad talks about in a post below.

3. That you grew up with Dad doing awesome things like sitting by 'The potty side' hearing him read you stories in the toilet!(Better not show any pics here)
4. I'm glad you only wore awesome ear rings when you were much younger.

5. You made an awsome pair with your sister.

6. You were awesome in school
7. Awesome in track and field events or sports

8. An awesome in water since young
9. Always winning medals from somewhere
10. As in Gymnastics where you reached the National Level

11. An awesome driver cris crossing deserts with Dad in USA

12. Sharing a birthday cake with an Awesome Dad very often

13. As adventurous as your Dad climbing mountains in the Rockies
14. That you're full of humour too in your own unique ways

15. Always a loving older sister

16. A righteous woman like your mother
17. Even a dedicated missionary to serve God and your fellow men
18. An Awesome dancer too
19. A lover of awesome fruits of Malaysia

20. A hardworking gal trying to pay your way through school
21. A much loved daughter in the family as you even send home gifts from Santa Su
22. A globe trotter too

23. A pianist and talented musician