Eve of the 2nd decade of the New Millenium

A decade went by so quickly in the New Millenium. I can still remember typing out our annual newsletter to be sent out by snail mail in Dec 1999 that is scanned here. As technology became more available I started my first webpage greeting and updates in Dec 2000 with the first blog Christmas greeting appearing in the year 2005 where the actual first blogpost started in 2005 is found here.

Today we also have social networking programs like Facebook which was ranked by scientists from the British Science Association as the no. 6 in the top 10 'inventions' that changed the world. Apparently every day around the world, more than 3 billion minutes are spent by computer users on Facebook. Online social networking has allowed people to rekindle friendships with friends they lost touch with years ago and that is certainly true for our family. It has also helped us keep closer together as family members who are so spread out geographically today. We have enjoyed the blessings that family can become friends and friends can become family as quoted by our friends the Dallings in Portland USA on Facebook recently. They have already celebrated their 50th Anniversary together.

I recently took time to compile all the greetings and updates we have been sending out to friends and family since 1992. I have posted them in our main website http://www.familylane.info/ on the left red column half way down the page onwards. It is interesting to note the chronological order of the communications and when each new mode was used!

We hope this online message and greetings from us gets out to you on a timely moment on this auspicious day.

We wish you the very best in BODY, MIND & SPIRIT for another decade at least, past 2012 hahaha!

Our Never Ending Christmas Story on video is now completed below for more hahaha. Remember it's always mixed with fiction and truth. The real truth with details can be deciphered if you take time to browse through all our posts in our websites, blogs and facebook summarized in our familylane website above. GOOD LUCK!!!

The Never Ending Christmas Story Dec 2010

Our Never Ending Christmas Story first started in Dec 2006. It began first with just a pictorial blog story which had true and untrue parts in it. Readers were warned this and told that those who received a DVD at the end of the year could unravel the true story. For those who never got hold of the DVD, the video has since been uploaded online here.

In Dec 2007, the Story continued with more photos added to the one in the previous year but presented in a video clip. All photos of the family are authentic but readers are warned again that the events of the story are part true and part untrue created for purposes of humour only.

By Dec 2010, our Story had lapsed a couple of years without an update, not because we had lost our humour but the family had gotten busy with the Father not having the time to continue the story. The good side is that we now have even more experiences and photos to continue our Never Ending Christmas Story this season so here we go : ( Post dated event : The completed video clip version can be seen here )

The story continues with a Facebook conversation that started on Dec 18, 2010.

Geok Lee : Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas CD playing in the background
Good morning Ern! It's one week before Christmas! And we haven't decorated our house yet.
Ern: Are you really going to decorate it?
Geok Lee: Yah...we'll hang laundry all over the house..hahaha
Shuan Chong : No joke! It's still a huge pile. I don't want to go to the back room!
Ern : i'm the one who hanged them all! So i've done my part for the christmas deco :D
Geok Lee : ok...we'll leave it after Christmas to take them down LOL
Merille Yong : joke of the day! =D you guys are too funny...
Shuan Chong : Solution: Escape to KL!
Sun Fu Chong : Yeah the decorations here just need ironing only, no need to hang any more!
Dad adds to mom's Facebook wall with a pic :

How do you like our KL neighbour's decorations?

Jenny Han : Hahaha... you guys so cute... me house not decorate either...

Ai Lian: Do you guys need more decoration? I can send some over. Hahahah.

Su Min Chong AHAHAHA...I literally laughed out loud when I read your status, mom =D
Have you found your Christmas present yet?

Dad makes another post to Mom's Facebook wall :

Sun Fu Chong thinks he has out done the neighbour in hanging the decorations!
End of Facebook conversation.
Yes TIME seems to be a major challenge for most families and for the Chongs, there is no exception, especially near to the year end at Christmas time. Each member of the family spends their TIME differently as we can see from their activities in the past year.
Dad the head of the family has always been advocating to follow the ways of the round O for Optimal Time planning.
Mom is in total concert with the idea of doing OT. Can you see her as the tiny speck in the deserted beach background of the above pic?

We zoom in to see her spending Optimal Time relaxing with the youngest and their family dog exploring the beach...

.... or day dreaming for her former maid to return back to help hang the Christmas deco?

Else she may be out narrating or telling stories on radio to the public, winning the top cash prize for Story Telling in Singapore

Han the oldest son has a different way of using OT. He tries to squeeze as much as he can into limited time frames. He was caught sending a Christmas greeting to his friend recently, " Have a Messy Christmas!" Do you see the side effect?

While his sister previously seeked communism in China, he finds himself in Russia instead mixing with a group of KGB agents in Moscow with a mission in St Petersburg

Talking about his sister Fei, doesn't she look better now comparing her before and after pic?

Her parents were very happy when she married an American, signifying the infusion of capitalism into China! This will make Fei a more rounded person as China will too as a country.

Now Fei has a younger Sister Su who visited her in China. After much meditation and fasting she chose a different course for her life.Instead of following the round O like everyone else so far, she decided to go SQUARE.

Remembering that in the previous story she went to join the singing nuns and had to wear an almost square badge everyday...

... and later finished college to wear a square hat!

Now having only covered all the girls and one boy only so far, let's finish with the rest of the boys starting with Dad :
Remembering earlier that he was left confused whether to follow the West or East, he finally decided to choose to be a Nationalist and focus on his own country of Malaysia!

Yes he is the advocate of Optimal Time usage, always using the bicycle as a symbol of the Circle of Life. "Keep riding" he says and you will always have a balanced life!

It is interesting to note that boys inevitably follow their fathers for good or for bad as the following pics depict :

Shuan trying his best to look scary at the Mulu Caves on Borneo Island

Well perhaps not always following in the same way...

.... and not without costs too, 3 stitches and teeth marks on the right arm in this case for Ern!
Sometimes it's easier to follow Mom as in Shuan's case who took over Han as chief cook of the family as in the previous story. Roasted chicken wings. Yum Yum!

Now we are not sure who the youngest Ray follows. We think he beats his own drum...

... but he did learn to make a Snowman in Utah with 3 round snow balls last summer!

Experience building a Snowman yourself by clicking here

Wait a minute! Who is this round-faced boy?

Hahaha. He is not a Chong but is funny enough to earn a spot here!
He was a boy from the Church party who sat next to Dad. See the round wreaths at the entrance and the Snowman that symbolizes our story of the O Time ?

Now the Countdown begins.....

2 weeks before Christmas - Party at KL Church and dinner

3 days before Christmas - Dinner with family and friends in Kuantan

2 days before Christmas : Still in Kuantan for another dinner with family & friends

1 day before Christmas - rushing to Singapore from Kuantan via KL to reach about 2am on Christmas morning. Our dog Simba served as a fully alert navigator in our camper van.

Other times, he would be watching over the youngest asleep while the others are following behind in another car.

On Christmas day - Lunch with family members in the Singapore Raffles Town Club

.... and everyone found a watch in their stockings from Santa to remind us about O Time

1 day after Christmas - Visiting the Henderson Community Centre for a Church sponsored project
Mom was assigned to tell a story to the senior citizens present with other Church representatives there.
The guest-of-honour Ms Indranee Thurai Rajah, a member of Parliament, presented a plaque as a token of appreciation to the Church for it's contribution to the event.

Heard on Sunday night after Christmas from Mom to the boys : You can help take down our Christmas tree now!
Hope everyone had a joyous Christmas weekend and the Holidays!
Here is how Singapore is lit up for the Christmas Season :

Here is a photo for Georgia Simmons who left some comments on this blog posting below :

I am very impressed with your son. The day I first saw Elder Blissett at Church, he was giving a blessing in our national language of Bahasa Malaysia just like a local!

Are tortoises intelligent?

When I was a child, I was told the story of the Tortoise and the Hare that showed how a slow and steady tortoise could win the faster rabbit in a race. One might think the Tortoise became a winner purely due to the complacency of the rabbit who overtook the tortoise in the beginning but rested and slept midway thus allowing the Tortoise to eventually pass the rabbit and crossed the finishing line first. It is interesting to note that our family had experience in raising tortoises and rabbits together when we lived in Kuala Lumpur as the pics below show :

Remember in the Story, the rabbit only over took the tortoise in the beginning of the race and in our home as per the above pic, two rabbits went past the slow tortoise. One day the family had moved to Singapore and we had to leave behind the tortoise and the rabbits to fend for themselves. Well several years had gone by and just today I decided to drop into the old house to visit the same indoor garden where the above pics were taken and here is what I found and shot on video : In the race of life, it seemed that the rabbits had gone missing but the lone survivor and winner of life was the tortoise I had found. Do you think tortoises are intelligent after watching the above video clip? All my life I knew dogs were intelligent as recorded in this blog post but I guess after today, I can confirm so too are tortoises or at least our tortoise!