August 31, 2008


Yesterday my boy was out for a weekend camping with all his friends from 7th grade. It’s his school’s tradition for the new students (Here the kids finished their elementary school at 6th grade then continue to a new junior high school from 7th grade). From the letter I received from his school, the main reason to do this activity is trying to build kids’ behavior for being independent, feeling togetherness with his new friends and helping each other. For kids that lived in the big city doing such camping activity like this is a very rare opportunity. That’s why I saw my boy was really enthusiast in preparing his stuff.

I accompanied him to his school’s camping area early in the morning on Saturday. I saw all the parents were busy to help their kids carrying bags. Something funny I saw that morning, one of a girl brought her suitcase for camping, wow….typically big city girl I think. I remembered the night before when my boy had already packed 3 bags, my hubby suggested him straightaway to minimize his carrying into 1 backpack and a medium sized of plastic bag for the kitchen stuff. In his group, he has a responsibility to carry a skillet and 2 bottles of water for his group and plate-glass-spoons for himself. My hubby said camping should be fun for him, no need engaged for packing as many as stuff like he want to go away for a week…Yes, I’m agree, but both of us felt a little bit sorry for never had a chance to take the kids for a family camping so this would be his first camping :(

On Sunday afternoon my hubby and I pick him up at the school. In the car he was busy telling us that last night was raining and his group got a leak tent in many places. Finally their teacher told them to sleep at a classroom after they’re waiting for a long time that the rain didn’t stop, but he was happy after all because he and his friends could make a campfire before the rain and did some games. I think at first since they’re camping at their own school just for a night there wouldn’t be any parents come to visit, but I was wrong. My boy told us that 5 of his friends (there were 8 kids in a group at 1 tent) had visited by their moms. Some of them visit their kids at night and some did in the morning. Not only visiting, but they also send their kids some fast food, snacks even an open-toe slipper!! Only he and his 2 other friends had not visited by parents and I heard from his voice that he’s proud because he could make it by his own. My boy told me the teachers had already warned the parents for not visiting unless if there’s an ‘emergency’ case, but still they could sneak and meet their kids maybe because the tents were at the open space behind the school and there were not enough teachers to supervise.

I think it was a pity that those moms don't let their kids learning to be on their own. I know sometimes it’s hard for moms to do that. For some reason -in another case- maybe I also did the same way without any conscious. I realized we should try to let our kids doing their"small-simple own business" by themselves, starting from home like clean up their own bedroom, washing their own shoes or backpacks, etc. Once in a while I don't satisfied with the result of their works and redo it without their knowing, but after that I feel guilty. It's not the right way to teach them, isn't it?
How about you in letting your kid learn to be on their own?

August 28, 2008

Announcement: New Blog of Mine !!

Hi everybody, my dear friends...
I want to announce my other new blog "SEASHELL"
It's a little space of mine about doing artcraft works when I've still spare time to do it or when I have something to share with you that doesn't "fit" enough with "all about kids" stuff. My daughter and I love art and craft very much and maybe through this new blog I could be also help her to be more confidence of her art works.
This blog has not finished yet but if you have time, please visit...
I'd love to have all your comments. Thank you :)

August 27, 2008

More Phone Calls

I have been in a ‘domestic research’ of phone callings at our home for almost a month now. I do without any serious purpose, just fulfilling my curiosity. I found there’s a big difference in the sum of phone calling before the 2 big kids still at Elementary School and now, when they’re in Junior High School (7th and 8th grade). Maybe I should tell you about the education system here. We have 6 years for Elementary, 3 years at Junior High and another 3 years for Senior High before someone enter the university/college. Back to my ‘research’, the phone usually busy rings between 4 – 7 pm when the kids at home. Definitely those calls come from their friends. Nothing seems really important from my point of view, but maybe truly important for them.

Almost all the conversations talking about school stuffs like “what about your assignment, do you know what page of our homework, don’t forget to bring blah,blah..for our group project tomorrow, how to make the front cover of our blah, blah…, etc”. (I put the TV, telephone and PC at the living room so I would know what my kids doing with all those things).

Interesting for me to know they have a bigger group of friends now in Junior High and a little bit different stuff as topics for talking. So when the phone rings between those hours, I nor my husband, rare to get an opportunity to pick up the phones. Usually my boy or my daughter would walk fast (or almost run?) to reach the phone.
Until this time the conversation still take place about school stuff, never heard about ask for a date or getting closer to that stuff, not yet I mean.
Maybe I would do a ‘serious research’ if they finally ‘reach’ that moment or maybe I confused what should I do :(
What about your 7th or 8th grade kids phoning activities nowadays?

August 25, 2008

Thinking of Another Blog

If I'm not mistaken this is my 102th posts and I was thinking to have another blog as a present that I could write as many as that (I never imagined that before that I could write) and maybe a birthday present to myself. In my thought it would be my other creative blog about anything I made or do in my spare time on my ‘positive’ moods and minds.
Sometimes when I browse and visit someone’s blog that full of her creative projects pictures I just can’t stand to write comments, learn something from them or want to share the experience in making it. I think the contain of this blog (All About Kids) would be blurred if I also write or upload pictures of my handy craft works. Basically I love art and craft works :)
What do you think? Make another one (and try to find another extra time to write and post, it’s difficult sometimes :b ) or just changed the name of this blog?

Playing with Bed Sheet

I never had my bed sheet neat and tidy, most of the time…
Here’s the little kid who always mess up and love to play with the bedsheet. I don’t know exactly why, but he never did it at his own bed.. :)

August 22, 2008

Our Doors At Home

These are our doors at home look like. Every kid sticks their own favorite pictures/stickers at their door’s bedroom.

I used to feel uncomfortable at first, but now I try to figure out in a positive way of thinking…
Well, at least it had showed their creativitiesSee the door with the “do not disturb” sign? That’s my daughter’s bedroom :) Typically teen’s girl …

More than once my hubby and I have been surprised to see our not-so-little-anymore-girl says a big “NO” when we asked her to join us to some place together or even to the mall (it seems she like to have her own private time more this year)

August 21, 2008

Hannah Montana & Musical High School

Almost every night my daughter would watch her favorite movie series of Hannah Montana or High School Musical.
From Disney channel. Sometimes when I don’t have anything to do then I join her, mainly just want to know the theme of the story or what’s her movie star likes. So far, I found those movies are fine for her. I ever had once seen Hannah’s interview session together with her dad on one of Oprah’s Show. I think she has good personality and loving parents behind her. Their relationship seems good, too. That’s why I allowed my daughter to see her movies as long as her homework from school had been done.

We have 2 TVs at home, one placed at the living room and the other is in my bedroom so every time they turn on the TV, I would know what they’re watching (what a watcher mom…). For their balance in watching TV, I often recommend The National Geographic channel for them, but sometimes it didn’t work when they don’t like the theme.

How about you in taking part to choose something suitable to watch for your kids or teens on TV programs?

August 20, 2008

Kids' Nicknames

I sometimes find at the preschool that some kids for some reasons have different nicknames at school and their homes. It always interesting to chat with them about the difference of nicknames they had. Sometimes from their parents I knew that their kids’ names just pop up from what the kids called/spelled their own names in baby tongue. Like this, for example: Caca comes from Sasha, since the girl can’t spell her name in a ‘right’ way so Caca become her nickname until she grown up. Just like that…

My daughter also has different name calling. Since her full name is Natalie Amadea (Her name has a meaning : God’s beloved ones. Amadea derived from the word Amadeus. I found it on one of babies name book). We usually call her Dea at home and between closed families. But between her friends and teachers at school her calling name is Natalie. We choose Dea to be her nickname at home because it easier for us to call her – in short or long tones – than Natalie :)
But I like both of them. There was a funny story had ever once happened when I was the one received her friend’s calling and I said “Dea is still in the bathroom” then her friend was confused, “Oh sorry, I think I dialed the wrong number.” Haha….

But my other 2 boys have the same nickname at home and school, Adit (from Nathaniel Aditya - has the same meaning with my daughter’s name, but this is from Sanskrit term) and Ian ( from Ignatius Adrian – with the third kid we just love the sound of his name calling and do not really care of the meaning, as far as we know it’s also good because Ignatius was used to be one of Saint's name :)

What about your kid’s nickname? Do you have something ‘funny and interesting’ story behind it?

August 18, 2008

Yesterday, I Had A Great Time With My Daughter

Yesterday afternoon I had a great time with my daughter. We’re both watching HBO channel and see a movie of “How to make the American Quilt”. One of the actresses was Winona Ryder and the other were quite famous middle aged actresses I think, but I don’t know their names. The story was about 6 different middle aged women who gather at a sewing club and they all made beautiful quilting with different styles, but their entire quilt patterns had their own private memories from the past. Winona as one of their grand daughter and a want-to-be married-soon young woman finally had gotten so much life lessons from all those women.

Well, I don’t just want to share about the movie, but the nicest time I had with my daughter. As you know, having a teenage daughter and become her mom could be a hardest “job” ever in this world for me. Sometimes I don’t get in for the way her thinking or doing something. Too much read and too many theories from the books about raising teenagers could give me more terrible headaches in some way. I found the easiest experiences with my boy who turned to be 13th next January (becoming another teens in my life) than with her.

Back to our nicest time yesterday…
We both enjoyed the movie and discussed it while watching, a really nice conversation. As a young girl she has a good “taste” in watching movies. Sometimes I surprised how could she enjoy themes of the movie that I think a little bit “heavy and serious” to her. She does like kids’ movies, but she also loves the ones with full of life lesson or something we can learn from it. If the movies turned to those themes then only she and I were sitting in front of the TV.
From what we had experienced yesterday, I just had realized maybe if I start the ‘other’ conversations right from something what she likes (not what I like) then we would have a nice one in comfortable ambience. Maybe I should try to start reading her magazine, also speak something “silly” like the way she used to talk with her brothers, closed my eyes and mouth when entering her room, stop for a while for always said "Get down your feet from that table", such thing like that.

To those wonderful moms out there, maybe you have something special to share with me (so I can learn again) about your teens? I really appreciate it and thank you so much for your sharing. I believe in you more than those theories I had ever read :)

August 16, 2008

Celebrating Independence Day

Tomorrow, August 17 is our independence day. We usually celebrating this national day by setting up many fun traditional games, The most popular are sack racing, eating rice crackers (kerupuk) racing, climbing ‘areca nut’ pole racing. It has been taking place since I was kid and years before and it always fun.

August 15, 2008

The Rotterdam Port and Something about giving Trust

It’s really an old port in Makassar left by the Dutch colonialism. That’s why the name of the port is exactly the same with one of the city at the Netherlands. Makassar was used to be an important city because all the tropical spices from East Indonesian like pepper, clove, nutmeg, coriander, also coffee, tobacco, etc were all gathered there before shipped to Europe. Now the Rotterdam Port is not longer a port, but a museum. The architecture of the building is typically like Dutch buildings in common. When we’re standing in the middle of the area it just like we’re at one of the old city in the Netherlands, so interesting place.

I let my second boy to take all the pictures here.
Actually I want to know how was his own angle in taking pictures, because several times when I did it, he always asked his turn and take the same picture. At first I was a little worried if he did wrong, because we only came there once and I want to capture that moment as good as I can. Seems like an egoist mom, huh? Finally I realized to give him a chance and let him ‘dominate’ the camera. I think it was all about how big I trust on him. After all I was a little bit surprised to see all the pictures he had taken. They're good for a beginner, aren’t they?

We found ....

We found a pole of a bridge and this little cute, but sharply animal...
on this clear and not so deep sea water.
The kids also collect shells...

'Till Getting Dark

Two days in a row we went to Kayangan and Samalona island. Look at the was not far from the city port,
nor the old port (only 15 minutes by boat)

Only my family and another one there, so serene.

and we never left the beach until it was getting dark....

August 14, 2008

August 13, 2008

"Actually it was our vacation, not him.."

Have you ever been asked your kids to play hooky, I mean ‘deserted’ from school? I did 3 days ago.
You know, I asked them to join me to Makassar for 4 days vacation started from Saturday until Tuesday. They have already been schooling for 2 weeks (we’re earlier in starting the new semester here), so at first I think it was ok to write a permission letter to their teacher. Then I received difference responses from them.

Since our destination is a port city and full of beaches then the little one that’s still in K2 said: “Yeah, I wanna go with you, mom. I wanna play sand again at the beach.” The second boy, who always discipline and do everything in order said : “Gosh, mom…how could you ask me to do that? How if I left out my lesson, my teacher said there will be 2 tests on Monday. “The oldest one, my daughter who tends to be a relaxed and easy going person said: “Ok, never mind to ask a permit to my teacher. If there will be a test then I can do it the next day. I ever had done before. Wow, I couldn’t stand to be in the airport soon ..”.Look, 3 kids with 3 different thoughts… and it completed with one mother with ‘strange’ request. Lol!

We’re back from our vacation in Makassar -a port city at Sulawesi island-2 days ago. Finally all of my kids agreed to join us. We all have great time there. Right now I think my one leg still there and the other leg is here.
Actually it was my husband’s agenda to be there for 4 days for attending the Indonesian Ophthalmologist Association Annual Meeting. Since he got 2 complimentary rooms at the hotel to take the family there (so we’re only need to buy the airline tickets) that’s why I felt it was a pity if we didn’t take this rare opportunity :)

So there were 2 agendas for us while we were there:
My husband was busy with the meeting until late at night, I and the kids were busy too exploring the new exciting places. We’re all together only at breakfast in the hotel. So far I think it was our vacation, just for me and the kids, not for my hubby :) He only accompanied us on his half latest day.

By the way, back to my first question about playing hooky, am I a bad or good mom in this case? Haha… Of course the first one, no other choice and no need to ask !

August 07, 2008

Always Read The Same Book

Most of Ian's books are about tractors, forklift, buldozers, and such kind of construction vehicles like that. Whenever we go to a book store he always end up in a line to cash register holding that kind of book to pay. I remember when he aged 3 we always have to argue seriously there because he often pick the same book that he had already have at home. It was really hard to persuade or make him understand that he don't really need to have 2 same books although he LOVE the topics so much!

Now at aged 5, he's a little bit 'wise', seldom to do that again, but still a big fan of construction vehicles topics. Like the way I did last night. I read to him the same title of book for 5 days in a row. Usually I only need to read for him 4 times before he pick his other books. I was doing something "silly" last night. I skip one or two pages secretly just to make the reading session finished a little bit quickly. But my trickery had never been succeed. haha... He always know every details of the contain and pictures from the book.
when I was on page 5 then he asked, "Where the other story before this, Mom? Let me turn the pages for you."
Oh, my gosh....

So, if you have anything to asked about construction vehicles, just let me know...
I'm an expert in it now :)

Haven't Packed Anything

Today at 2 pm we're all going on weekend vacation -to Makassar-, another islands of where we're living now. It need couple of hours by plane and there's 1 hour difference in time zone. All of us are excited to this plan.
It's already 10.30 am now , but I have not packed yet all the stuff we want to take.
The big kids had already packed their stuff last night after I grumbled them to do it soon :)
I have to pick all the kids too from school in a moment, too.
But now look at me! I'm still stuck in front of my PC, busy answering my emails, visiting all my blogger friends.. Gosh, I couldn't just passed my friends blog without giving comments! Oh, I wish there is more then 24 hours today.

As usually mom is the only person that looks busy at this kind of time, preparing all thing for everybody! But not now for me :)
Later then an hour from now..
Have a nice weekend for all of you, too.

August 03, 2008

Processing Our Kitchen’s Organic Trash

I had tried to make simple compost yesterday and this what I’ve got…
To make compost from our kitchen organic trash, we need:
A laundry basket that has lots of holes for good air circulation. Covered its all side with carpet sheet.

3 buckets of husk (from rice or wheat, “sekam” in Indonesian term). Make a kind of pillow which sized same with the laundry based form, just fill the cotton pocket and filled with husk, sew tightly.Put the husk pillow on the bottom of the laundry basket. Mix the rest of the husk with :

½ tablespoon tempeh starter (tempeh culture : rhizopus oligosporus)
1 teaspoon yeast (“ragi tape” in Indonesian term)
1 bucket of rice bran (or rice sifting)
Sugar solution made from 2 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 cup of water
Unhulled paddy separated from stalks (“gabah” in Indonesian term)
1 handful of moist soil (you can take it from soil under the tree, I called it "humus")'

Put that mixing all together to the laundry basket. We can called that 'native micro organism'.
Put all your daily kitchen organic trash to the laundry basket. Remember for always cut the trash in small pieces then dig a hole , put the trash in it and covered with the mixing of native micro organism.

The other day you want to put another organic trash, dig another hole at different place and covered it again with the native microorganism mixing. Just simple like that, do it everyday and your laundry basket become full for a whole month. You can take the compost for your plants. Easy...
Here I put the picture of tempeh cultures.

Oh..I think my blog today has change from "all about kids" to a "all about organic trash" blog :o

A Lady Who Did an Awesome Work in Processing Organic Trash

Yesterday on Sunday I visit a lady (a housewife and mom of 2 kids) and learn from her how to make compost from organic trash in a simple way (I have a lot from my kitchen everyday. I know her name about 2 weeks ago from a local radio while I was driving to pick up my kids from school. At that time the radio set a talk show about organic trash (70% city trash come from household) and invited the lady as the speaker because she has couple of appreciations such like from the Ministry of Environment (she was on top 5 at national environment contest), Japan Government, etc. She’s only an ordinary housewife, but did an extraordinary work for her surrounding environment. I always want to know and get in touch with people like her. So I made a call to the radio station and got her phone number.

Finally I could find her home after getting lost for almost 15 minutes. My hubby accompany me with his motorcycle because the lady had told me before that I couldn’t reach her home by car, since she live in a narrow street. You know what…, we both really amazed of her, more than before, after we saw her home and its surrounding environment. Her home is really small in the middle of a crowd settlement, typically a low income community housing in development countries.

In all her limitedness, she still willing to do something useful and did it with all her passion. She told me that her work begin at 1990 when she saw the river at the back of her house was become more and more dirty, full of trash from year to year. Then she started to ask all of the ladies from her community to collect all organic trash from home, separated them from plastic trash and learned together how to make compost from their own kitchen trash and use the compost they produced for their pot plants. Not only flower, they also plant their own spring onions, chilies, tomatoes and other everyday cooking spices. I know it has never been easy to ask people to do something like that, especially for people who come from that kind of community with a low background education. For me that’s awesome!

As usual the local government here doesn’t aware or always late to aware at someone’s positive effort for what his/her doing to the community. At the second year of her work Mrs. Singgih and her friends got helped from a non profit organization to for a continuation training in organic trash processing. The Japanese Non Profit Foundation (JICA) also help them and invited a Japanese expert in that field, Mr.Takakura to train them in making a better efficient compost. So, now they called their new system in organic trash processing Takakura Home Methods. I saw the difference with the old system yesterday. With the new one the ladies had no worries at all to find maggots. The new system made the trash processing more simple and free from maggots or rotten smell.
Oh, I almost forgot. Mrs.Singgih taught other ladies from her community to recycle the plastic trash like the ones we’ve got from detergent, instant juice powder, coffee, etc into many kinds of simple bags, pencil case and women’s wallet. Really terrific job! (but sorry I forgot to take picture of those things).

I don’t really know about your organic trash. If you live in big countries maybe you don’t have to worry about those things because the government had already processed the trash in a right way.
But here, we must to take care by ourselves if we want our kids still have a nice clean and healthy environment for the next decade. Thankfulness to the people like Mrs.Singgih who dedicate part of her life to this kind of work.
Learned from her, I want try to start with my own kitchen trash first…

Little Shark

This is what happened when a little "kid" shark had separated from water...