Wednesday, December 30, 2009

20th Wedding Anniversary

Can you believe that? Here's to another 20 year.....

After the movie, we went to Bone Fish Seafood Restaurant where one of my student works as a cook - we had a great time savoring delectable seafood!

Generous portion of New Zealand Mussels in Creamy Garlic and Tomato sauce.

Deep-Fried Calamari with Asian-inspired dipping sauce.

Scallops wrapped with bacon served on a bed of Mango chutney - just fabulous.

BANG-BANG Shrimp - a best seller at the restaurant.

We were glad to spend this special day together as a family. We started the celebration by going to a movie matinee (the last time we did that was 2 years ago - National Treasure 2) and watched AVATAR. What a blast - funky 3D glasses added much excitement and visual treats. The movie was long - about 2 hours and 45 minutes - of course we stayed for the credits!

AVATAR - Go see it....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

It's the Season - Merry Christmas to You - May All of Us experience the real peace that only Jesus Christ can offer.

Manger at the Cove, a retreat organization of Billy Graham.

A lot of work went into decorating this tree - it is easily 15 feet tall.

A magnificent fireplace with beautifully decorated mantle - we can feel the heat from the fire on our backs - it felt wonderful.

For the lady of the house......

You can never have enough of these.....

She loved those shoes....

One of Hannah's favorite artist....

Ferrari - the closest thing to the real ones....

David playing at a recent piano recital.

Duet with her teacher during the recital concert.

It was a special night - we invited Bob and Ah Nan and their family to share our Christmas dinner.

This is Bob's family inaugural Christmas Dinner.

We had hams over the years but this one is by far the tastiest!

We are thankful for this delicious bird.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Gerda is thrilled about the snow - she grew up in Michigan where snow like this was a common occurrence during the winter months - me I am happy without the snow though today's snow is much appreciated.

Walking to church (see below) - never imagine we get snowed in - our regular church about 25 minutes drive is canceled. Montreat EPC Presbyterian which is located in Montreat College is open for Sunday worship.

View from my office - background is Gaither Chapel where worship and chapel takes place. It is a mile from our home.

We live in the mountains - 3,500 feet above sea level - it is so pretty up here.

Lake Susan is 2 minutes walk from my office - in the past, we fished for rainbow trouts on the lake

Notice the ice forming

Pay attention to the sign!

Ice skating anyone?

We probably received 15 inches of snow - look at the picnic table - for my Singaporean friends, the snow makes great ice-kachang!!! What is ice-kachang? See below for a clue....

Our front of the house covered with snow...

Snow-covered front, back, and centered.

Granny covered with snow - we fondly call our 1997 Toyota Camry because she is old but feisty - 235,200 miles (376,320 km) - can you beat that? We intend to keep her as long as she allows us to....

Getting ready - the outdoors is their playground....

Satisfied owner/builder of a fort....

The fort is complete.....

Lying on a bed of snow - he was born in Madison, Wisconsin - a snow tiger.

Ice-kachang anyone? (my Singaporean/Malaysian/Asian friends will know what it is) - see below for a clue.


Video of David sledging and great view of Lake Susan.

David had the best time - he was flying in the air.

With more practice, he soon became good at it.

Look at those eyes - moments of fear and thrill all mixed together - no broken legs thankfully.

See David in action - I hope he doesn't become a speed-junkie.

After sledging, we walked around Lake Susan and took pictures of the swans.

Look at this shot - the Sony Cybershot DSC-H20 takes great pictures at 10.1 megapixel as well as zoomable HD videos (unlike the Canons) - the sun shone on these Wood Ducks also called Mandarin Ducks just as I captured the shot. The water in the lake is crystal-clear.

Resting by the shore.

By the way, these are males - the female Wood Ducks are mostly dark brown and not as vibrant.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In the next few days....

Now that I am off - final exams done and grades submitted - I have the next few days set aside to update the blog. So pardon the 'dust' as I add content.....

By the way, we are snowed in - all is well - we have electricity and food - our regular church is canceled though we can walk to Montreat EPC tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Drew Morris Graduation

Congrats to Drew Morris - a day he should be very proud of - way to go Drew! I am sad to see him go (he won't be in my class next semester) - he is bright and a whiz with computers - I know he will do well.

So proud of Drew - he has graduated - best wishes to you Mr. Morris!!!

With Drew and his family, sister, dad, mom, and girlfriend.

Nice picture of Drew Morris, a graduate!

Happy Graduates!!! High Definition video using my new camera - a Sony Cybershot DSC-H20.

Video close-up of the family.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We are back

Hi All,

We are back - arrived safely on September 6 - thankful for journey mercies and all our luggage made it.

Brian and Diane were so kind to pick us up at Charlotte Airport which is about 2 hours drive from our home - good thing Brian is prepared - he strapped all our luggage on the roof rack securely and we arrived home safely.

As you can imagine, we are adjusting to life in the States, with my work at Montreat College and homeschooling for Hannah and David - Gerda is doing well juggling and keeping us all on track.

My laptop was hit by viruses - I supposed I picked up some nasty stuff overseas - it took a while but all data and 8 Gigabytes of photos and videos taken during our Asian adventure are intact - I am behind with the blog postings but will get to it as soon as I can.

The Teos

Monday, August 31, 2009

Singapore - Back Again

We had the most enjoyable time in Phuket, and equally memorable for David to spend his birthday fishing and snorkeling - what a blast. We are blessed to be able to spend another 2 weeks in Singapore before we fly back. Still there are a few things we wanted to do in Singapore yet.

A nice afternoon at Nanyang Technological University....

Lunch with the President - Dr. Su Guaning was most gracious and kind to host a special luncheon. He pampered us with a fabulous 5 course meal at the President's Lodge located on the beautiful grounds of Nanyang Technological University. I met Dr. Su at a conference in Salzburg, Austria in 2008. He arranged for my teaching engagement at Xiamen University. Thank you Dr. Su!

Under Dr. Su's leadership, NTU has become a highly-ranked university around the world.

As Assistant Director of Corporate Communications, Michelle made sure our luncheon visit with Dr. Su went without a hitch. Thank you Michelle!

After lunch, we visited my cousin Professor Koh Soo Ngee, Associate Chair of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NTU. I have not seen Soo Ngee for well over 25 years and so this re-connection was especially meaningful. Since he was older, it was natural that he associated more with my older siblings but nevertheless, he set a great example for me the importance of higher education. I believe he was the first in our immediate families to have received a Ph.D.

Pool get-together with The Benitezs. Charlotte and her girls live in Seattle - they are visiting familiy (parents/grandparents) who lives in Singapore. We have know Charlotte and Kiko when we lived in Madison - it was so good to catch up in Singapore!!!

At the Singapore Turf Club Winner Circle - no we were not there to place bets. As you may know, Hannah loves horses. My sister Esther was able to arrange for a private tour of this facility.

Control Room - look at the myriad of computer screens - very high tech - we were able to access this secured area during a non-racing day but importantly because of Mr. Murthu.

Privileged access - the VIP area - Mr. Murthu was so generous with his time. He also presented us a number of Singapore Turf Club souvenirs too.

Some of you may be aware that I am the youngest and have 4 sisters and 2 brothers. So imagine growing up in a 800 square feet apartment - well shown above is the apartment I grew up. Because of a government upgrading housing scheme (this apartment was scheduled to be torn down and rebuild), my parents were offered alternative housing - a newer apartment nearby and with some financial compensation. But later, because of the unforeseen economic downturn in 2008, the government decided to renovate the apartments and offer them as rentals. This Russian lady, a student studying at Singapore Management University, now lives in the apartment. So in one way, I am glad the apartment is preserved but on the other hand, it is surreal to know that these apartments are now occupied by her and other foreign students.

My eldest sister Rose was so kind to organize a belated birthday get-together for David after our Phuket trip - shown here with his grandfather.

Receiving a birthday gift.......

ION Orchard is the latest shopping mall right in the heart of Orchard Road - the shops are great but only to window shop - who can afford these prices! We shop at Goodwill and Kiwanis! In the basement of the mall is a food court where the top 50 food vendors/hawkers are assembled serving fabulous local delights.

Japanese deep-fried appetizers....

Gerda and David are roti-prata fans - check out the video of the hawker preparing Roti-Prata......

Still shot of the Prata man in action - basically dole stretched and flattened and then cooked over a hot plate then served with Indian curry.....

This artifact was for sale at a National Geographic retail store in Vivo City Shopping Mall earlier and now guards the food court in ION.

Saying good-bye to my parents....

David helping his Grandfather.....

Gerda, Hannah and David love the shrimp dumplings that my Dad makes. This was our last meal at their home before heading home.

Three generations - saying good-bye to my Dad.....

All packed and ready to go - our friend Pastor Peter Chan came at 4:15 am in the midst of a heavy downpour to transport us to the airport - a great example of servant leadership.....