Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

One holiday that I'm not so keen on, but still celebrate for the kids, is Halloween.
I don't mind decorating the house in autumn colours, with pumpkins and even a token spider or ghost here and there. I don't really mind either organizing their costumes since we dress up a lot in this country!
I do draw the line though at taking them trick-or-treating, which would be really time consuming here where you have to drive everywhere... Instead the past few years we've been to some great Halloween parties at the Yacht Club - unfortunately this years party was cancelled for reasons I don't know.

Then it's lucky to have a Canadian friend, who take Halloween very seriously!
Kim took it upon herself to organize a Halloween party for her daughter Mallory and her friends, so this afternoon 15 little monsters in different ages descended upon her to celebrate!
Ha ha, I'm not quite sure she realized what she was in for! Fortunately for Kim, four of us Mums stayed through the party to help, and to take photos, of course!

All the little monsters, some scarier than others!

I was the only Mum that was dressed up..! :)

Kim had decorated the house really nicely and had the whole party very well organized. The kids did all sorts of games - somehow I managed to miss the first game, apple bobbing, so no photos of that. But here they are "mummy wrapping":

We had some spooky food, mummy-wrapped-sausages, blood punch and pumpkin woopie pies. Mmm! The kids also got to decorate a muffin each, with some Halloween themed icing and sprinkles:

After having played pass-the-apple (under your chin!), Kim had the kids team work to make a big spider web, quite a popular activity that kept them busy for a while:

It was such a great afternoon, huge effort made Kim, thank you!
She had thought of everything, when we left the kids got ready-made treat bags, so no need to go out trick-or-treating this year either! Yay..!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Tonight was the Halloween Hash. We were at the same site 3 years ago for Halloween too, Tungku Beach. I remembered from last time I wasn't all that keen on walking around in the total darkness with only a flash light to lead me, so I decided not to go in tonight but stayed by the tent instead.

As per tradition, the hash didn't start until it was already dark, and the hashers got sent in on the trail in groups of 2 or 3, with a few minutes apart. Along the trail they got spooked and scared several times by quite a large "Scare Crew". Not just the hares, but a bunch of their friends too, had dressed up and made a huge effort in making the hash as spooky as possible!
I didn't regret not going though, getting spooked is so not my thing!

As usual a lot of the hens had also made a huge effort in dressing up for the on-on and we had pumpkin lights and glow sticks in the tent, while we enjoyed a scrummy Halloween dinner, mmm!

A rather pleasant Halloween Evening, I must say!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Lots of Linnea - less of Lucas?

I'm aware it's been a bit of an overload of Linnea in the blog lately. I guess it's just all happened at once for her. She's had a busy month with her birthday, the preparations for the upcoming dance concert, the swimming competition etc.

Lucas... well, he has just been chilling lately.
He spent nearly every day of the midterm break with friends, so even though we didn't make it to Legoland Malaysia this time, he was very pleased with his holidays since he had had so many play dates!
Apart from keeping his hair short, worrying about our dying fish (...) and discovering 'Minecraft', not much else has gone on, really. I'm sure something will happen very soon though and Lucas will be back on the blog in no time!

T - 18 days

First day back to school today after the midterm break. A break that was very welcome for all of us I think, we all needed to slow down and just relax for a bit.
It's not too bad to be back at it again though, as you know I do like my routine - plus, it's now less than three weeks until we depart for New Zealand! I think we can handle that..! :)

Mind you, it's going to be three very busy weeks though!

There is the big dance concert on the 10th, with all that that involves. I'm taking part in a 3 hour (!) Zumbathon "Party-in-Pink" this Sunday at the Indoor Stadium, to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. There is a birthday party with a fancy dress theme coming up, for us adults, and Founders Day is happening soon at the Hash as well = more dressing up required (luckily I've got that one sorted already!). Next week it's International Week at school, with the big parade on the Friday so I have to figure out the costumes for the kids for that too..!
A Kids Halloween Party on Wednesday, a big Coffee Morning on Friday, again to raise funds for BCR; and then of course I've got the usual CrossFit, hashing and Zumba sessions penciled in plus some girlie lunches with friends. There is also my Zumbatomic Starz at school, who are due to perform at the Assembly in a few weeks time, we need to get cracking with the practise for that!
I also have a few before-holidays-appointments booked in to get "prettifyed" before we go, and hopefully I'll even be able to squeeze in a day in Singapore with Anna to go Christmas shopping too!

That's November in Brunei for you, and we are even only here for about half of it! :)

I'm getting married in the morning...

It's less than two weeks to go to the big concert and it's starting to get really intense. Next week there will be long practices nearly every day after school at Jerudong Park, the actual venue for the show; and today Linnea and her group had yet another photo shoot booked in, in their show costumes.
We could only do half the shoot today though. The jazz costumes weren't finished yet so we will have to come back another day to do that one.

Today they took the photo for their tap routine. They are dancing to "I'm getting married in the morning..." from 'My Fair Lady'!
They got their hair done again, and got some make-up on; and they were so cute in their wedding dresses, with a crown and a veil, white stockings, white gloves and little white bows on their shoes!

Here are some snaps from the shoot, unfortunately rather blurry and badly lit since I only had my iPhone, again...

I just love this photo! I'm not quite sure what she is telling him, but I like these relaxed behind-the-scenes shots a lot better than the posed ones!

And finally, one last photo with the proud Mums!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Brunei Swim Meet 6-8 Years Old

Linnea had been invited today by school, to the '3rd Brunei 6-8 Years Old Swimming Championship' hosted at the big Stadium. I let her make her own decision if she wanted to participate, as it meant that she was going to miss the Kids Halloween Hash - but she wanted to, so off we went.

Nathan was flying, as usual, so it was her and I settling in for a long afternoon. I had heard that these events can take quite a long time, and for the participants there is a lot of waiting around, since there are quite a few heats. Today there was nearly 350 kids competing.

It was Linnea's first "real" swimming competition, apart from the ones she has done at JIS - and once we arrived at the Stadium and saw all the people she gasped "But Mummy, do I have to swim against other people than JIS people?!?" Well, yes, it's a competition!

Hence the tears in this photo, "I wanna go hooooome"...

We didn't. Instead she went for some warm-up with the rest of the JIS team, all dressed in black and with black JIS swimming caps:

Wearing this swimming cap was a bit new too. We had to be careful with her ears and new earrings, and it made her face look all funny!

A bit of a team get-together before the competition started:

- GO JIS!!!

Then they got walked over to the waiting area to get sorted for their heats, the older girls looked after her so nicely.

Linnea's first event was backstroke. Unfortunately that didn't happen.
She walked over to the waiting area fine, but once she got seated with the girls in her heat she broke down completely and I got called over. I think it all was a bit too daunting, especially since she was the only JIS girl in her heat. I tried to cheer her up and she did walk up to the chair by her lane, but ended up in tears and refused to swim, so that one was a no show for her.

I must admit I'm not the best at pep-talk, but after the tears stopped we agreed she would try again, and at least do one race.

She used to be in the Dolphins Swimming Club at school, but she hasn't been anymore for quite a while. The only swimming she is doing currently, is that one session a week they do at school. So I guess she's just not used to the competitive part of it really.
More waiting...:

In the next race, she was in a heat with a JIS girl from Year 3 (every heat had girls from all three age groups, but they only competed against the girls in their own age group in the end... Very confusing for this virgin swim-Mum...). I applied the "out of sight" method, she couldn't find me to cry to, so she just kind of had to get on with it! :)
It was her favourite, breaststroke:

Yes!! She did it! She swam!
She didn't swim super fast and she was awfully preoccupied by watching where all the others were and how fast they were swimming, but hey - at this stage just that she did swim was a win!
Then, more waiting:

Walking up to her last race, this one was freestyle:

No, she didn't win any medals this time. But - she didn't come last either!

She only missed her PB in the freestyle with 0.95s - but improved nearly 2.5s on her breaststroke PB! Well done Linnea! I'm proud of you for overcoming your fear, and for doing the best you could!