Orphan of the Month for May… Angel Crafts Shop…

My Orphan of the Month for May is a sweet boy with a serious medical condition.

Meet Tanner Jay!

Tanner Jay is almost 10 and needs a loving family to help him get the medical care he so desperately needs.

Tanner Jay has a Congenital Heart Defect but his file does not tell us which heart defect exactly. However, it is serious enough that his lips are constantly blue. That is not a good sign; blue lips usually mean that his blood circulation is slow or his blood pressure is low. (i know because i have a CHD too) His fingers are also stumped and he is very small size for his age. All this points to the fact that he needs medical attention and he needs it as soon as possible.

Because of his orphan status, he is unlikely to get that much-needed medical care while he remains an orphan. And his medical condition means he is unlikely to be adopted within his own country due to the social stigma of being a “sickly boy”.

Tanner Jay is intelligent and learns very quickly; he can play a musical instrument after just two lessons. He can speak some English and has good self-care skills. He also gets along well with other children and wishes for an older brother.

He needs a family who can get him that medical attention as soon as possible. And it is most likely to be a family outside of his home country; which means lots of expensive paperwork and travel involved.

His adoption grant is currently at zero! With your help, i would like to get that to at least US$50.00 by the end of May. 

All purchases made at Angel Crafts Shop in the month of May will see 50% going to Tanner Jay‘s adoption grant. So come shop and help grow his adoption grant!

Please click on his name or picture to find out more about him. Please do pray for him and his daily needs and his health, most of all, pray for a caring family to come for him asap.

Thank you very much.

syc

Spring Break 2015… Part 02…

Here’s Part 02 of our Spring Break this year. If you have not read Part 01, go here to read it.

Yes, we were off to Liverpool – the place where my husband got his degree and more importantly, the city where his football team is. Yes, it is his team… hahhaa… The last time we went there… i had to go look it up; it was 2009! Almost 6 years ago! Read about that trip here.

This time the main aim of going to Liverpool was to watch a football match; Liverpool vs Newcastle. Initially, Tobias and i were not going to the match. Walter planning to go with his colleagues and friends. But the match date got shifted and they could not make the new date. So it became a family event :D

i’m just going to give you a day by day summary of what we enjoyed there.

We landed on Saturday, about lunchtime. Picked up our rental car from the airport, then headed for lunch, settling on the quick and easy option of KFC.

i thought it was such a cute car, all bright and yellow! Reminds me of the song Yellow Submarine.
Such a cute car, all bright and yellow! Reminds me of the Yellow Submarine.

Then it was off to the hotel to check in and rest. We had to get up really early to catch the 7 am train to Geneva for the flight in. And we had all had a late night the night before. So rest was needed.

Top: View from Holiday Inn Express Breakfast room. Bottom: View from our hotel room.
Top: View from Holiday Inn Express Breakfast room. Bottom: View from our hotel room.

After our little rest, we ventured out for a short walk and to get dinner. It was decided that we would get fish and chips (a must-have while we were in Liverpool) and bring it back to the room to eat. It made for a quiet evening in. As well as an early night.

We saw this cute vintage ice cream truck on the way. It was not open though.
We saw this cute vintage ice cream truck on the way. It was not open though.

The next morning, we headed down for a nice breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. (There was other stuff too but we like our eggs , bacon and toast.) Then it was a short walk down to the Museum of Liverpool.

The view from Albert Dock, looking at the Open Eye Museum (the modern building) and the 3 Graces; the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.
The view from Albert Dock, looking at the Open Eye Museum (the modern building) and the 3 Graces; the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.

This museum opened just a couple of years ago and is a great museum. So very very much to see inside. In my opinion, they had squeezed way too much in there, i hardly knew where to start.

Top: The Museum, looking at it from the Mersey. Bottom: An amazing painting of the Liverpool city area.
Top: The Museum of Liverpool, looking at it from the Mersey. Bottom: An amazing painting of the Liverpool city area, took many artists many hours to paint it.

They had exhibits about the docks and the life back then. Exhibits which traced Liverpool’s history to the very early years. A small area which showed off the overhead rail which used to run in the city (it was taken down because the company went burst). There was a special area which highlighted the Beatles story, of course. As well as a whole room tracing the history of the 2 football teams in Liverpool. We got to watch a very interesting film about how one team became 2.

We spent more than 3 hours in there and still had not finished looking at everything. But we were getting hungry and went to find food.

Darling hubby had researched (he doesn’t do that often) and found a lovely place (The Interesting Eating Company) which serves pancakes and scones all day (i love scones!). It took a 15 minute drive to get there but so worth it! And get this, they do gluten-free too!

It was a very rainy day so we just drove around a bit and then decided to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. We saw it the last time from the outside only. It is absolutely beautiful! Lots of interesting bits inside too.

My pictures were rubbish. These are from the Cathedral's website.
My pictures were rubbish. These are from the Cathedral’s website.

Dinner was another must-have; authentic Chinese food! We went down to Chinatown and chose a very small family run place. It felt like we were eating in someone’s home. The place could only seat 12 at the most. It was not ‘i-will-keeping-raving-about-it’ food but it was homely and we liked it.

Yummy REAL Chinese food!
Yummy REAL Chinese food!
A nice waterfall near the center of the gardens.
A nice waterfall near the center of the gardens.

The next day was Match Day! But the match wasn’t till late in the evening. So we spent the morning having a little wander around the Festival Gardens. The feel of it was a very lovely and ambitious project neglected over time. Or maybe it was just the time of day? But there were some nice bits and a little walk along the water’s edge gave us a good view to admire.

Then we crossed the Mersey or actually we went under it and into an area called the Wirral (yes, the English and their strange place names). We visited a lovely little village called Port Sunlight, which was built by Lord Leverhulme for his workers. You can read more about the history of Port Sunlight and Lord Leverhulme here and here.

i really like the village. They have preserved it so well, even the Tudor buildings (i really fancy living in a Tudor house some day). And we also spent time walking around in the museum built by Lord Leverhulme for his wife, the Lady Lever Museum. It houses a lot of the art they had collected over the years. According to a short history written on a display in the museum, Lord Leverhulme loved art, he collected all sorts and filled his many homes with them. The museum shows off just a small portion of his vast collection. There is also a sweet little cafe in the basement of the museum which served traditional great-tasting but rather filling English fare.

Love those timber framed houses!
Love those timber-framed houses!
There is this big boardwalk in the middle of the village and along it is this very interesting sundial, where the person is the dial! There was no sun that day so we didn't get to test it.
There is this big boardwalk in the middle of the village and along it is this very interesting sundial, where the person is the dial! There was no sun that day so we didn’t get to test it.
Tobias loved his lunch but could not finish it. Can you guess how cheap it was, compared to Switzerland?
Tobias loved his lunch but could not finish it. Can you guess how much it costed?

Then we headed back to the hotel for a little rest. It was going to be a late night.

At about 5 pm, we dressed in our reds and went off to Anfield!

i had not been to a live football match since i was a little girl and the atmosphere was quite amazing; brimming with the excitement and anticipation of thousands of fans.

The schools around the stadium open their grounds for fans to park, for a fee of course!
Just look at the crowds trying to get to their seats. The schools around the stadium open their grounds for fans to park, for a fee of course!
The teams getting warmed up.
The teams getting warmed up.

Before the match started, a moment of silence was observed in memory of all the fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough more than 25 years ago. The anniversary was just a couple of days after this match.

Then the match started! We sang, we cheered, we oh-ed and ah-ed.

What i found most amusing was the cheers from the Newcastle fans. i have to hand it to them; there were some really interesting rhymes they had come up with, some not meant for children’s ears. i am tickled that someone actually thought up these cheers and people learnt them by heart and everyone shouted it out in unison!

The score! i know it's hard to read; 2-0. Way to go Liverpool!
The score! i know it’s hard to read; 2-0. Way to go Liverpool!

It was so very late after the match and we had to get back to the car of risk getting it shut in the school grounds. So dinner was sandwiches from a Tesco Express, which closed a few minutes after we bought our food!

Needless to say, we had a late start the next day, which was just fine cos we were on holiday. It was to be a day of walking. We decided to walk from the docks, through the city to the World Museum on the other side. This way we saw lots along the way, stopping off at various interesting shops and thrift stores.

Saw more vintage ice cream trucks!
Tobias photo-bombed my picture of the Pumphouse. Saw more vintage ice cream trucks!
There was this lovely open library - take a book, leave a book concept. It also served as a place for author appearances - how cool is that!
There was this lovely open library – take a book, leave a book concept. It also served as a place for author appearances – how cool is that! Right: Walking along Bold St.

The World Museum was spread across 6 floors and was quite interesting. It is not the most exciting museum we have been to, we do go to quite a number. And some of the exhibits were not well-maintained. But it did cover lots of topics, from bugs to bones, underwater creatures to space travel. The cafe did not sell very exciting food but it was enough to satisfy and had a great view of the city.

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Top: In front of the World Museum. Bottom: The Bluecoats.

On the way back, we went into an interesting place, called the Bluecoats. It is a whole building, dedicated to the arts. Artists could rent studios and exhibition space. There were workshops held there and various shops, selling wonderfully hand-crafted items, some very expensive but oh so very pretty!

There is a most amazing bookshop there, a place with lots and lots of books, not just normal books, very old and curious books. The place smelled thrilling – i loved it! We spoke to the owner and found out they had just moved in a few years ago and would even find antique or hard-to-find titles for anyone and they ship internationally! Of course, we took his namecard!

We had bought 6 books for just £12! Most were from thrift stores. We would have bought more if we had the luggage space, especially from that wonderful bookstore mentioned above. And of course we bought some lovely food items too. We even stopped off at the Chinese grocery shop. We then dropped off our stash at the hotel, got into the car and drove to Crosby Beach.

It is a lovely lovely flat expense of beach, stretching for miles! Lots of people were out and about with the family and walking their dogs. There is a nice playground, near the parking area. And then you take a short walk and up a little hill and you can see the sea!

The interesting thing about this beach is the permanent installation art on it. It is called Another Place by Antony Gormley. There are about 100 iron-casted men standing all along the beach and up to 1 km into the water. It represents man standing against nature and in harmony with nature. It was interesting to see.

Top: See how flat it is! Bottom: Tobias standing with the iron man ;)
Top: See how flat it is! Bottom: Tobias standing with the iron man ;)

We had dinner near the beach, at an American-styled pub. Then drove around and looked at the grand and beautiful houses in the area. Last but not least, we stopped and enjoyed the sunset.

Top: This house is faces the beach and was for sale - isn't it lovely? Bottom: The sunset made for a lovely end to the day.
Top: This house faces the beach and was for sale – isn’t it lovely? Bottom: The sunset made for a lovely end to the day.

Then next day we checked out. Dropped off the car at the airport and took a bus to Manchester where we caught our flight back. Why Manchester? Cos we were using Hubby’s miles to get ourselves a free flight ;)

There were so many other places we wanted to visit, such as the Tate, the Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, the Fab Four Story, Open Eye Museum etc. And we had planned to ride the Mersey Ferry but didn’t get to it.

It looks like we will definitely have to make another trip ;)

syc

Spring Break 2015… Part 01…

We had our 2 week-long Spring Holidays, which started on Good Friday, 3rd April and ended 19th April. It was a nice break from the routine of school and other lessons.

As usual, we don’t sit at home for long – we love to explore. So off we went.

Our first stop was the Laténium on Lake Neuchâtel in the French part of Switzerland. We went with some friends. It is a wonderful museum, situated right by the lake. So it boost amazing views and on the day we went, the weather was perfect; windy but bright and sunny :)

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i like the actual building itself. Lovely design and materials used.
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Isn’t that view just lovely? :D

The permanent exhibits traces the history of the area, from about 1600 AD to the Ice Age, with many valuable and interesting archaeological finds from its very shores on display. We (that is my friend and i) were particularly interested in the Celtic displays. There is always lots about the Romans being in Switzerland but one rarely hears about the Celts.

The kids had audio guides which was wonderful for them and for the adults cos we did not have to explain every exhibit to them and could wander at our own pace. There were also several hands-on exhibits which made it interesting for them.

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The kids playing one of the ancient games with stones, this is still played today.

i loved the wealth of displays as well as information available. The exhibits were nicely arranged and in a good order.

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There were quite a few of these little exhibits which recreated the daily life of long ago.

We also saw the special exhibit about the Pharaohs which i believe is on loan from the Museum in Cairo.

The large park outside with replicas of old buildings and burial mounts gave lots of space for the kids to explore and run around. There’s a fun little playground for small ones.

We were a little disappointed that the replica of an old cargo boat was not on display on the water as indicated. But i think it’s because it’s just after winter and they have not brought it back out.

There is a large pool (no swimming in it) which showed the level of the lake as it was in ancient times; a whole 2.7 meters higher that it is today.

Here’s a nice little article which tells you a lot more about the Laténium. If you are visiting, it is good to know that the exhibits only have text in German and French. So if you don’t read either, please get the audio guide; it only costs CHF 5/. Also good to know that the museum cafe is tiny and only serves cakes, re-heated pizzas, packaged snacks and drinks.

We spent a couple of days at home, cleaning and doing what needs to be done. And then went off to France with some friends for the day; just across the border to Le Parc du Petit Prince (The Park of the Little Prince).

This delightful park is based on the famous children’s book, ‘The Little Prince‘, which is one of my favourite books.

If you have not read it, you really should. Especially if you intend to visit this park. i challenged Tobias to read the book in the 2 days before we went to the park, because i knew he would appreciate it and would then understand the different parts of the park as we went through it. He did it and it did help him so i recommend you either have your children read it or read it to them before you visit.

The park has attractions for all ages; there are rides and wonderful playgrounds for little ones. Lots of outdoor spaces for families to just spread a blanket and enjoy the sunshine. Food is always round the corner with various kiosks and a restaurant spread out over the park.

Here are some pictures of what we did enjoy at the park:

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i like the drawings of the Little Prince they have on the walls. There is an automatic ticket machine. But we chose to go to the counter as it was our first visit. And the first thing which greets you as you come out of the entrance tunnel is B 612 with the Little Prince standing proudly on it.
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Traditional fun-fair rides to entertain the children as well as lots of various little play areas. There is also a fun zip-line and big swings (not pictured).
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Meeting the different characters in the book; such as the Boa Constrictor who swallowed an elephant, the Baobab Tree, the sheep and of course The Rose!
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Explore the inside of a bi-plane. It is next to the main restaurant and the Big Movie Theater. Or take a ride on the little train. If you are going to the Big Movie Theater, note the times for the one English film and the one German film. The rest of the films are in French.
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Flying high with these 2 rides; the Balloon of the King and the Aerobar of the Drinker. Note: The Balloon only flies if the wind is below 25km/h. 
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At the top of the Aerobar of the Drinker. We actually took this ride twice! You can get a drink at the kiosk right next to this ride and take it with you on the ride. It goes 35 meters up, it felt higher though.
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This is the beautiful view which rewards you for flying high!

We also enjoyed some indoor attractions as such the cargo plane (where you get to feel what it is like to be in a plane during a storm), the mail plane (where we had to step on the right cargo to get to the right place), a short documentary showing the changes a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly, the underwater adventure ride to take photos of rare fishes and a little interactive room where the fox teaches you how to tame him. However, it was mostly in French and we simply guessed at what was happening. Of course, lots of visuals helped us.

Oh i must not forget the very fun room called “Planet to Planet” where we spent time jumping on lots of trampolines. There is a tall jump which you can do one at a time into a big soft form pool if you were brave enough.

We did not go to the Astronomical Questions because it was going to be in all French and we just didn’t think we would understand enough. The Volcano of Passions was closed when we were there, but i think it’s another restaurant.

There was also an opportunity to Draw a Sheep on a long wall but the kids weren’t interested in that. We did get to see real cute sheep in the meadows. But the foxes were not out. And now i know why – the mama fox just gave birth to 4 little ones! It says so on their website.

We also did venture through The Labyrinth of the Fountain. We started out thinking it was going to be easy but ended up having to take a shortcut out of it so we could make the show at the Big Movie Theater in time.

It is a nice little park to spend a day at. It isn’t extremely big but big enough to be interesting for all in the family.

Then we went off to Liverpool – but i will save that for Spring Break Part 02.

syc