The world isn't all about the economic recession, disasters and wars as is widely spread by popular media though these are real problems.
Similarly life isn't all about how big our house is, what car we drive or the titles we achieve as is commonly judged by the public though these are real rewards.
In 2011, our family continue to face real problems and receive real rewards. We have kept together, though some of us are already geographically separated, to help one another live happier lives often times beyond the realities of the world as we know it. The following are our pictorial highlights :
Inspiration from the Last Lecture that started our year off!
Celebration for Woon Han and his cousin Ying Er scoring Seven As for their A Level exams
The Never Ending Christmas Story continues from last year's story which can be found here.
The Dec 2011 story starts off with the two daughters in the family. The two young girls made a vow to each other in mid-air one day....
...that when they are grown up, they will look for their true love no matter how far they have to travel
They learned to sing entertaining crowds to earn a living with their parents
They would sing and laugh together growing up
Even till they became grown ups and it was time to find their true love
Now the older had gone to China to find her handsome prince. Instead of a yellow Chinese she found a white American!
From a communist preacher, she became a beautiful bride in the summer of 2010, to marry in America
The younger sister who was then a gospel preacher in America prayed that she too could become a bride
While in America she found her handsome prince. Instead of a white American, she found a yellow Chinese!
The four got together in America and jumped with joy! The bride to be wished all of her family in Asia could be with her on her wedding day
This would be quite a feat as it will cost a lot of money to fly all of them to America....
... especially when Dad gave up communism in China to become an entrepreneur in America at the wrong time when the country was going bankrupt!
This would not deter the unstoppable Mom who decide to start early to wheel herself all the way to America with the help of google maps
This inspiration must have come from a Dr William Tan on wheel chair that she met...
... who has completed 10 marathons in 7 continents in 65 days and became the first person in the world to undertake a wheelchair push in Antartica.
The miracle of prayers by many occurred where she made it & didn't need the wheel chair anymore to give it away to a 96 year old friend!
The wedding of her youngest daughter went beautifully on a perfect day
The bride fulfilled her dream of having all of her immediate family there, especially Mom, with her in America on her wedding day.
The crowd got bigger with the addition of the groom's family and friends joining in
Due to the thin mountain air perhaps, the parents of the bride began dreaming that it was their wedding day in the Great Salt Lake Temple
Even the parents of the groom began dreaming of the same thing. It's amazing what the thin mountain air up in the Rockies can do to a couple!
For a moment Mom expressed her sadness as she would be losing two of her 'Jewels' from home.
How could she manage the home without the girls, especially with the remaining boys who are always kidding around the house?
This made the boys get together to make a promise to their Mom by flexing their muscles in all seriousness saying, "Don't Worry, We can Do it!"
This made Mom feel extremly Good!
To see what follows, watch the continuation on the video clip below :
Please note that our 'Never Ending Christmas Story' is always part true and part fiction purely for entertainment. To know the real stories behind the real photos of the family, read the actual journal posts summarized here.
Post Christmas Day event :
On Boxing Day, Patricia Cheah (Lee) came by our home in Singapore to visit our family. She was our first convert that we baptized on my mission 31 years ago in Kuala Lumpur. We had lost contact since she moved to Singapore to help raise a grandson and we are reunited again!
Baptism date on 25th Oct 1980. This is recorded in my spiritual journal found here.
She was in our Wedding Reception in Petaling Jaya held in Jan 1983
Pat Cheah even out-lived Mom seen in the above photo taken during the Church Funeral Service on 8 Nov 2012 of her looking into Mom's casket.
She was one of the first to send a bouquet of flowers received at the site of Mom's Wake
Growing up with a dog has been a central theme of Dad the KL city kid's life and in a recent Father-Son outing to Penang island, when the youngest boy Ray picked up a stray puppy from the Batu Ferringhi beach, a thousand thoughts flashed through my mind.
A thousand thoughts is a dangerous thing when the mind becomes flooded with a focused memory of the past that may lead one to repeat history. Repeating history can only be dangerous if current circumstances is not conducive for it and in this case, since we live in apartments on both side of the causeway of Malaysia and Singapore, raising a dog would surely not be a convenient thing!
However.... a quick decision had to be made as the puppy is already in the boy's hands! When Ray held it up to show me the puppy, I saw that it was a male and this is a favorable sex if you wanted to raise a dog and not want a litter of puppies further down the road! Hmmmm..... this puppy looked vulnerable as it seemed lost without its mother at the beach, shivering somewhat from the cold morning wind. The immediate decision was to allow Ray to take it to our campsite and give it some attention.
Giving it some clean water and bread from our campsite ration was the best we could do for it at the moment...
..... and of course some tender loving care! The puppy seemed contented to find comfort and rest by the feet of its newly found human care giver. A penny for the thoughts of Ray at this time!
When awake, the puppy would be actively playing chase with Ray on the beach giving it a possible name of 'Chase'. This was the beginning of the story of a boy and his dog that started from the Batu Ferringhi beach on Penang island. Like the lyrics of the popular nursery rhyme 'Mary had a little lamb' , "everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go", likewise it was the same with this puppy!
As we headed out to another beach close by in a boat, the puppy was sure to go
Usually it's monkey see, monkey do but in this case it's puppy see, puppy follow to the beach that was part of the protected Penang National Park "which is against all the rules"!
It made the beach combers "laugh and play, laugh and play" to see a puppy at the beach, even offering the puppy a drink of fresh clean water.
Now off the beach in a 1.2km trail hike is the Muka Head light house. Seeing hardly any monkeys at the beach to entertain us, we decided we would go for it. By this time, no decision has been made yet about keeping the puppy but I have been reminding Ray about all the hard work that is required to keep or maintain a dog. IF a decision was made later to allow him to keep it, it must be his full responsibility to do everything for the dog like being the father while I am only the grand-father to enjoy and play with it. After all the boy is already 14 years old and should be capable of doing all the things required to care for a dog! Right from the beach, he was already taking full responsibility for the puppy by feeding it and carrying it wherever we go.
The Muka Heads lighthouse journey was a totally uphill trail of about 1.2km and while I was panting all the way up the trail only with my cameras, the boy carried the puppy more than half the way as some 'steps' were just to high for the little puppy to climb over! I could see the determination of the 'Young Daddy' to take full responsibility for the puppy and he practically marched all the way up the trail like as if he had powered legs with a heart of steel!
Taking just one break to care for the puppy. There was little time to rest as we were told the lighthouse entrance to the public would be closed at 5pm and we started the journey at 4.15pm thinking it would be an easy 30min hike which turned out to be a good 45mins at a punishing pace!
Listen how hard I was breathing just as we reached the lighthouse and follow us up the spiral staircase to thetop for a panaromic view of the island and the Penang National Park area.
The puppy was practically carried up all the way to the top by Daddy Ray, a.k.a. as Amazing Ray in a recent video clip made for him on his birthday. His puppy proved to be an Amazing Ace on the downhill journey, thus a possible new name of Ace for the puppy has arisen. Take a look at this next video clip :
Indeed the puppy has proved to be an amazing match to our Amazing Ray!
Next the trip up to Penang Hill
Taking a pic on the old train that used to run up and down the hill
The puppy attracts attention everywhere it goes. The girls in the photo are from Ireland and Finland. A father of Iraqi origin even borrowed the puppy to play with his son and bought a packet of milk for the puppy too! A photo of the man and his father is found here, under the Penang Hill section.
If not carried, the puppy will tag along behind the boy real well .....
.... but the hotel restaurant would not let the dog tag along in with his young master.
All that walking made both the boy and his puppy tired to nap on the journey to the next destination.
Next a visit to the Botanical Gardens
On reaching, it was felt safer for the puppy to remain in the car ...
... as gangs of monkeys began to approach the car with monkey business in mind
... in which peanuts were an acceptable peace offering to the Chief.
All the activities of the day made both the boy and his puppy sleep well through the night as well
Next a stop-over in Kuala Lumpur City
Which stray puppy from Penang island could imagine himself seeing the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur?
Getting a night tour of KL city pillion on a bike
Visiting the boy's former gymnastic coaches and family at SCOPE. Hey that's Corey on the far right that we had just run into up on Penang Hill by chance in our recent trip.
The puppy even got to attend Church on Sunday. Hey isn't that boy next to the puppy in our Never Ending Christmas Story and video last year as the round-faced boy?
Introducing the young puppy to our old Simba, the KL City Dog
Simba who is 15 human years old ( x 7 = 105 dog years),was a little intimidated by the bouncing active puppy wanting to play with him all the time till he even got pushed to a corner!
The puppy needs to be trained like Simba to be a city dog. If old grandpa Simba could learn in his elderly years, surely the young pup could do likewise. So in the few days in Kuala Lumpur, the attempt is made. Let's look at the results in the video below :
Click the pic above to start the video.
Puppy got to meet the young master's cousin Woon Ming too who loves dogs and gave him a toy doggie bone. We were taking his parents along with us to our next destination
At the Teluk Cempedak beach
Everyone had ice cream at the sea-side ....
... except the puppy whose tongue stuck out in despair!
Nevertheless, the puppy was happy to be back at a beach again playing water...
... or his favorite game of chase ...
... or even simply just being by the boy playing sand
Yes you can tell a contented puppy with his tongue sticking out only slightly now!
So how does the puppy behave after being back to his original habitat and put back in a residential home of the boy's uncle with a perfect garden and immaculate floors? Click the pic below to start the video:
The puppy proved to be a perfect guard dog with good hearing abilities and most important leaving the garden plants alone and not leaving anything behind on the immaculate floors!
And so how did that make the young master feel?
Just like a Dato' like his uncle who was trying out the outfit for a coming ceremony as he was just given this honorary title from the Sultan.
After a sumptuous meal that included 'Shark fins soup', it was time to head out to the next destination
The boy and his puppy sleeping most of the way until the final destination
Any visitor to Singapore would surely be impressed with the city's skyline and modern living
Boats and ships are seen not only on water but can be imagined to be hoisted up on top of a casino complex of buildings that cater for gamblers who dream of 'sky high' winnings!
Public transportation is thoroughly efficient and is catered for the disabled
A person on wheel chair can cross the street on cross-over brides with ramps and can even board a bus that is equipped with special elevators.
But the boy and his puppy soon learns that maybe the city isn't quite dog-friendly. Notice in the large top photo of the famous Singapore Merlion, the puppy must now be tightly secured with a leash. A moving stair way was a scary experience for the poor puppy.
When walking the dog on public grounds, it has to be leashed and the owner be ready with some old newspapers to catch any droppings from the dog to be wrapped up in a plastic bag for proper disposal. There are laws in place that will make in costly if you don't comply which is necessary in order to maintain the reputation of Singapore as a fine city.
To keep the puppy in Singapore, the authorities will even want to physically insert a smart micro chip under its skin for identification purposes in case it is found as a stray in public. After much consideration, the family decided that it would be more conducive to have Dad raise the puppy in Malaysia even though Ray has proven that he was capable to handle all the chores and be fully responsible for the puppy.
After all, Dad already has a track-record of knowing how to train a dog from the country to live in the city.
Sad moments followed in a parting of the boy and his puppy in the border town of Johore Bahru
A penny for the thoughts of the puppy
Thus began the journey back to Kuala Lumpur with the puppy sleeping all the way!
Back to training school in Kuala Lumpur
Can you repeat the instruction again?
Hmmm... this puppy will take a little more time than Simba to be trained!!
Post-dated developments :
More dog stories of Simba and the continuing story of Ace the puppy continues here.