The door to Ulul Albab
In the effort of giving the best education to our kids, hubby and I browsed the programmes offered by MRSM or dalam bahasa omputihnya Mara Junior Science College. We are keen to enroll Syakila, our eldest, in the Ulul Albab programme, offered by only 3 MRSMs (Besut, Kepala Batas and Gemencheh). Not willing to separate too far from my daughter and tak sanggup berombak rindu di kemudian hari..., we chose Gemencheh. The closest to our home.

So we applied for that and she was scheduled for an interview in MRSM Gemencheh couple of weeks ago. The interview was set in the morning thus we traveled to Gemencheh the day before. From PLUS highway, exit at Simpang Ampat (toll price RM13.60), head towards Tampin. Gemencheh is located between Tampin and Gemas. We stayed the night at Gemas Golf Resort. In reaching the place, you will pass in front of MRSM Gemencheh.

Gemas Golf Resort is located quite near to Gemas Railway Station but the road leading to the resort is a bit confusing because there's a lot of constructions going on and lack of signage caused us to go in circles before finding the right way.

The entrance and registration counter.

We took 2 adjoining rooms.

The master bedroom with a queen-sized bed.

 The kids' room with 2 single beds.

The rooms are spacious but quite ill-maintained. The usual amenities are provided but no room service (the cafe is not even opened) and no house keeping service after 7 pm. In fact, there is no phone at all in the room. The water heater in the shower does not seem to be working. But the surrounding and the lush green of the golf course is lovely. The pool is adequate to satisfy my kids yang amat suka berendam dalam pool.

The resort is 3-storeys high. The rooms are on the 2nd floor and there is no lift. Good exercise though.

View from the 2nd floor. 

Kids enjoying the pool.

Jalan-jalan cari makan in the area of Gemas. Tak de le jauh sangat jalan-jalannya. Pekan kecik. In terms of fast food outlet, KFC je yang ada kalau tak silap. 

We had dinner in one of the restaurants nearby.

Breakfast in one of the stalls. Not bad. Sedap sambal nasi lemak dia.

Lunch at Nasi Ayam Gemas Mustafah restaurant. This eating place is quite famous. Ramai orang. And when I surfed for Gemas previously, the shop is listed in the 'where to eat' category in many websites.

One turn-off thing about Gemas-Gemencheh area is that there are lots of flies. Irritating betul. There must be chicken farm somewhere.

Anyhow, we went to MRSM Gemencheh that morning for Syakila's interview and test.

Registration table, with all the info on the interview process. Helpful and friendly students of the school are available everywhere to assist you in any way that they can.

Briefing by the principal. Can't remember his name but he declared 'Saya bukan ustaz'. I suppose lots of parents called him ustaz.

Well, we have approached the door and knocked on it but whether our daughter will be let in, we have yet to find out. And in case this door remains shut, I pray for more doors to open wide for Syakila in future. Amiinnn....
To friend or to unfriend
Few months ago, I had to go to Kuala Terengganu for a work trip. And my family went together, thus became a holiday trip for them. Well, kena ponteng sekolah la tapi...

Anyhow, usually, during trips like this, my kids would buy souvenirs such as key-chains and fridge magnets (by the dozens at times) to give to their friends and teachers. And the Kuala Terengganu trip was no exception.

A few days after the trip, I asked Syahirah aka Angah, my second daughter, whether she has given the key-chains to her friends.

She said, bagi kat cikgu je. Tak nak la bagi kat kawan Angah.

I asked, kenapa pulak macam tu?

Dia jawab, Nanti bila dia tak kawan Angah dia pulang balik key-chain tu. Pas tu bila dia kawan balik, dia mintak balik. Tak nak la Angah.

Dalam hati, dah gelak berdekah-dekah, but I controlled and said, Boleh pulak kejap kawan kejap tak kawan.

Instead of answering, dia pulang paku buah keras kat mak dia and said, 'Alaa... masa mak kecik dulu, mesti mak pun pernah tak kawan dengan kawan mak...'

Adeiihhh... tak terjawab mak dia. Coz it's true. Ha ha...

Well, now, the art of friendship has evolved.  She is yet to discover that there's a simpler way to friend or to unfriend someone. It is as easy as a click of the mouse. :D

Image from here.
UPSR Results Day - Sek Keb Taman Selasih
The UPSR results day was over, almost a month ago. Both hubby and I took leave from work that day. Since it is our first child, semangat berkobar-kobar nak tunggu results. The news said that the results can be obtained from the school after 10 am. And being the over-anxious parents, we were already at the school gate as early as 9 am. The guards didn't allow us in and told us to come back at 11am. 

Too nervous to go back and wait at home, we went to Bangi Kopitiam nearby, trying to kill the time as fast as possible ;). While waiting, I had this drink which is too sweet for my taste. But with the adrenaline running high and nerves all tense, I supposed I could use extra sugar.

About 10 minutes to 11, we were back at the gate. And since the results were not out yet, we managed to collect the RM100 education assistance money for our 2 younger kids who are also schooling there.

Finally, the results were out. One of the teachers put up the results on a notice board.
Parents and kids started to crowd in front of the notice board, even before the teacher finished his job. Nervous...nervous...

Hubby, wishing he has supersonic eyes to be able to see. But frankly, his eyesight is wayyy better than mine.

Eventually my daughter managed to see her results and conveyed the good news to me. Alhamdulillah, syukur yang teramat sangat.

Syakila with the beaming parents.

Syakila with her class teacher, Cikgu Fuad. Jasamu dikenang cikgu.

I was smiling from ear to ear however, I was deeply saddened to see some students crying because they did not get the results they were hoping for. I hope they realized that there's still a long way to go and failing to get good grades in UPSR does not mean it's the end of the world. 

Speaking of a long way to go, I have a long way to go with my kids too. Next nerve-wrecking UPSR moments, in 3 years time. Phewww....
The end of the 3-series
I celebrated my birthday almost 3 months ago. And only now I'm writing about it??? Duuhh... Malas + perasan busy. Nothing to do with aging, I hope. ;)

Anyhow, my birthday was on a Sunday. And normally we just have a simple celebration, going out for lunch or dinner. Kek pun tak beli selalunya. Dah tak kuasa pulak nak berkek-kek. But we make exceptions for the kids' birthday though. They usually look forward to blowing out candles.

So, we planned to go out for lunch that day. And I was enjoying my 'no cooking' moments. Then I received a call from my brother, Kamal, saying that he and our parents will be coming over to my house that afternoon. Waahh.. surprise visit from my parents... Rupa-rupanya both my parents just finished their puasa 6 and nak beraya kat rumah anak-anak diorang. He he... cool... They had lunch at my other brother's place, Faisal, and had tea at mine. I prepared a simple dish of curry and roti jala.

And since it was my birthday, I asked hubby to buy a cake. Dah ramai-ramai tu, ok la jugak beli kek. So this is the cake that hubby bought.

Our plan to go out for lunch was postponed to dinner. We had dinner at this place, Restoran Labib, near Taman Melati. Why this place? No particular reason. Saja nak cuba sebab belum pernah cuba.

We picked these from the menu.
On paper it looked like this.

In reality, ok la, ada resemblance.

We also had this, the kids' favorite, butter prawn.

And yg jadi mangsa tukang kopek kulit udang, no other than hubby.

The kids utilizing the family zone in the restaurant. Tengah wan tu som...

Kebab stall outside the restaurant.

On top of receiving prezzies from hubby and the older kids, my youngest surprised me with a gift as well. She managed to roll over on the eve of my birthday. She was 3 1/2 months then.

The birthday gift from Angah. Two red pens. Dia memang tau mak dia banyak pakai pen merah nak tanda kertas jawapan students...:)

And 2 months after my birthday, I received the most wonderful gift from my eldest, Syakila. Alhamdulillah, she obtained 5As in her UPSR and mumtaz for her PSRA.

I enjoyed the last of my 3-series birthday very much. 

Well, they said 40 is the new 20. And if that is so, happy 19th birthday to me. :P
UPSR butterflies in the stomach
Wow!! It has been over 2 months since I last updated this page. Teruk betul... If ever this blog applies KPI (key performance index) score, I'll surely fail. Silap-silap yearly assessment less than 85% thus no annual increment. Nak naik pangkat pun susah. If la kan...:P

Lots of things to write, lots of things to tell but so limited time, or rather malas and tak kuasa sebenarnya. Now, since I have a few minutes to spare, I'd better write a few lines.

Tomorrow, the UPSR results will be announced and my eldest is one of the candidates who is waiting anxiously for the results. And of course, I'm one of the mothers yang tak senang duduk jugak.

This situation reminds me of the time when I was waiting for my SRP and SPM results years ago. I remembered how determined I was to be the first person in the family to know my results. Sendiri punya results kan, so I'm entitled to know first. And I remembered how pissed I was when I found out that either my father or my sister called the school to find out about my results BEFORE ME. Gila bengang masa tu. Siap merajuk-rajuk, berkurung dalam bilik. Serious, ntah hape-hape. Buruk perangai betul.

And now, having my own kid, I think I finally understand my father's action. The anxiety for your own child, the worry over your own child, the fierce feeling trying to protect your own child from bad news and the eagerness to share the good news with your own child... all mixed into one. Those are the butterflies that I have in my stomach right now.

Mudah-mudahan it's good news tomorrow. Even if it's not, I'm still proud to have a daughter like my Syakila Nor Alia... (tiba-tiba rasa nak nangis...isk..isk...isk...)
Blues Hari Raya
Seronoknya berhari raya
Pulang ke pangkuan keluarga
Di desa nun jauh di sana
Tapi hampeh, ni highway ke apa?
Dah jadi slow-way dah gayanya
Kalau tak memotong, ikut kiri la!!

Bangun tidur di pagi raya
Tak sabar nak pakai baju raya
Digayakan pulak dengan henbeg raya
Tapi keluar je bilik mulut ternganga
Ramai dah tunggu giliran bilik air rupanya
Kak Long, Kak De, Kak Cik semua ada

Ayam dan daging dibuat rendang
Sedap dimakan bersama lemang
Tak boleh miss ketupat dengan kuah kacang
Dah sebulan berlapar, sekarang makan kenyang-kenyang
Tapi kut ye pun, bawak-bawakla bertenang
Bila perut meragam, kan dah terlentang

Cantik berseri di pagi raya
Tudung matching pelbagai gaya
Merah, ungu, kuning, hijau muda
Kus semangat, tengok baju kotor anak yang lima
Menggunung macam Gunung Fujiyama
Mujur panas terik, kering jugak semua

Berakhirlah sudah cuti raya
Meredah lagi highway yang jam gila
Pulang semula ke kotaraya
Tapi raya tetap raya
Jamuan ofis, di sini sana
Raya sebulan tak cukup gamaknya

Open house tu, open house ni
Tak pergi kang tuan rumah kecik hati
Walaupun dah pergi 3 rumah tadi
Anak-anak seronok tidak terperi
Melihat duit raya yang diberi
Nak simpan ke nak beli MP3?

Ziarah menziarahi kaum keluarga 
Sahabat handai sanak saudara
Diucapkan Selamat Hari Raya
Salam dihulur maaf dipinta
Blues Hari Raya sekadar suka-suka
Macam tak de kerja lain pulak ya...

Pic of my kids on 1st raya. Bila buat pantun ni, teringat diorang sebab diorang suka sangat dialog pantun Jarjit dalam cerita Upin Ipin. And they will always create their own pantun which usually starts with 'Dua tiga kucing berlari'. And sometimes I chipped in:

'Dua tiga kucing berlari
Cepat pergi mandi!'

Degil yang amat time suruh pegi mandi....
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Berehat dalam ibadah
Ramadhan dah makin sampai ke penghujung. Mudah-mudahan ibadah seperti solat terawih masih diteruskan sehingga malam terakhir (reminder to myself sebab selalu sangat tak tercapai).

Bercakap tentang solat terawih ni, pernah dengar satu ceramah ni, 2-3 tahun yang lepas. Ustaz tu kata terawih bermaksud berehat-rehat. Maksudnya, boleh laksanakan dua rakaat, kemudian berehat, then sambung lagi 2 rakaat dan seterusnya.

From my reading (yang tak berapa luas ni), it is so-called berehat-rehat sebab di zaman Rasulullah SAW dulu, baginda mengerjakan solat terawih dua atau empat rakaat dan kemudian berehat sebentar untuk menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan sahabat baginda.

Konsep yang sama boleh digunapakai, lebih-lebih lagi di hujung Ramadhan ni. Sambil bakar biskut raya, solat dua rakaat, berhenti rehat kejap, tengok biskut dah masak belum, sambung balik solat dua rakaat. Sambil pasang langsir raya, solat dua rakaat, berhenti rehat kejap, pasang pulak langsir kat tingkap dapur, sambung balik solat dua rakaat. Sambil jahit bling bling kat baju raya, solat dua rakaat, berhenti kejap, jahit pulak bling-bling kat lengan baju belah kanan, sambung balik solat dua rakaat. Sambil tengok Grey's Anatomy kat channel 711, solat dua rakaat masa iklan, berhenti kejap, tengok balik McDreamy buat clinical trial on Alzheimer patients, sambung balik solat dua rakaat.....errr...NOT!!! Terus tak khusyuk solat terawih dok ingat McDreamy, McSteamy dgn Avery yang macho itu. ;)

Anyhow, I have been applying konsep berehat-rehat dalam mengerjakan solat terawih. Not that I have to consult or give advice to anyone like the Prophet, but as a mother to a baby, kejap-kejap nak menyusu. And as a mother to a 4-y-o kid, sekejap nak susu, sekejap BO (atau dalam bahasa kasarnya, nak gi jamban). And as a mother to 3 school-goer kids, sekejap kena leraikan diorang bergaduh, sekejap ada yang nak tanya pasal homework.

Thus, there's no excuse whatsoever to not perform solat terawih. Islam itu mudah. Tepuk dada tanya iman la kot...(reminder untuk diri sendiri jugak). Lastly, sempena Syawal yang akan tiba, jari disusun maaf dipohon, andai ada terkasar bahasa, tersilap bicara dan terguris perasaan. Mudah-mudahan dipertemukan lagi dengan Ramadhan yang akan datang, insyaAllah. 
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A business idea (from a 9-y-o kid)
1. Open your internet browser

2. Search for song lyric

3. Copy the lyric

4. Write it nicely on a piece of A4 paper

5. Decorate the paper with ribbon

6. Sell it to your school-mates

That's what my daughter did. She sell it for 10 cents, 20 cents if the paper is decorated with ribbon. Songs that are high on demand: Aishiteru and Cinta Muka Buku. (I myself have never heard these songs until my daughters view it on youtube).

I'm amazed that my daughter came up with this idea. And what even more amazing is that ada pulak orang nak beli tu....considering her handwriting yang ber'seni' itu...:)

p/s To date: dia baru je jual sekeping. Ada 2 orders lagi tapi dia belum sempat buat. Ha ha... baru 2 order, dah tak menang tangan..;)
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Iftar cum birthday dinner
Two of my love ones celebrate their birthday in August. My eldest daughter, Syakila, and my dearest hubby. As usual, we celebrated by dining out.

Syakila's birthday at Riverstone Ecoresort.

The place is located in Sungai Tua, along the road to Ulu Yam, within the green beauty of nature. Definitely not Celcom territory, because no signal at all on my phone...:(

The restaurant is quite big and can accommodate more than 100 patrons. The resort also offers camping facilities, recreational activities and seminar/training packages.

We had the Ramadhan buffet. RM40 per adult, RM20 per child.

Some of the menu.

Asam pedas


Nasi ambeng set

This was what I had: white rice, some daging masak semur, pecal, some kerabu, ayam panggang, ayam masak kicap and the tempe dish. Plus the sagu gula melaka dessert. I passed the asam pedas and patin masak tempoyak.

I had a taste of laksa.

Some of the cakes on the menu.

ABC pun ada.

The drinks.

Overall, the food is quite good. My kids suka. Syahidah had a few rounds of ayam masak kicap. And Syahirah love the curry puffs. Having dinner very close to nature might have something to do with their appetite.

Praying room is available but one has to go up a flight of stairs to get there. So, a bit inconvenient for people with knee problems like my mother-in-law. Luckily, our house is not that far so we managed to rush back for Maghrib prayer.

For hubby's birthday, we made reservations at de Templer. Have to pay RM50 upfront, in case of no-show.

Located near Taman Melati, this place offers Muslim Chinese cuisine.

Complimentary dishes: dates and this crispy and crunchy fish. Very nice, macam keropok. And not salty at all.

We ordered tom yam (medium size)

Buttered prawn (small size)

Boxing chicken (small)
Sweet sour sea bass 

Alhamdulillah, the food was nice. The kids makan bersungguh-sungguh. Syahidah even said that she wants to have her birthday dinner there too. Well, that's about 7 more months to go.