Batu Pahat Trip

Setelah hampir lima purnama tidak mengembara, akhirnya peluang untuk menjadi pengguna lebuhraya PLUS dan pelanggan Petronas pun tiba.  Pack up, kids.  We are off to Batu Pahat.  Yok, yok.

Lodging:  Haji Marni & Family Guesthouse, Seri Beroleh.

Tiga buku wajib bawa:

1.  Muqaddam/Iqra’:  Misi menghafaz juzu’ Amma (in progress, so far Abi’s leading.  Umi trailing faaaar behind)

2.  Dr. Kawashima’s Train Your Brain:

Strongly recommended!  Each day Muhammad and Musa will complete three sets.  Muhammad used to whine..tiba-tiba pening kepala bila kena buat Dr. Kawashima.  Musa enjoys ‘academic’ stuff like this.  Now, Muhammad’s latest time has improved to 7 minutes per set.  BIIIG difference!  Syabas son! Umi and Abi get a dose of training too when we check their answers.  Just what the doctor ordered.

3.  Peter dan adindanya Jane: This is for Maryam’s reading time.  My girl is reading now, Alhamdulillah.  Dunia terbuka luas dan cerah bila kita pandai membaca kan?  She enjoys reading signage, billboards, labels..on the road la katakan.  Bravo, Maryam!  Readers are leaders.

For the brothers, they use the advanced Peter and Jane series (the adventures yang melibatkan sepupu-sepupu P&J) for writing workout.  They copy the pages (2-3 pages at a time).  Good practice for penmanship, spelling, punctuation, vocab, plus FOCUS and PATIENCE.


For the first time, our family played futsal – Sarah included.  Caution:  for extra-protective moms out there, don’t try this at home.  Shoeless, shirtless, baby lying on unhygienic futsal ‘floor’.  My bad!  Oh well.. *wink*

IMG_1526Muhammad, Musa and Alif caught 15 ikan keli from Hj Marni’s pond.  (Hj Marni is the owner of the guesthouse.  Remember Alif?  He went to tahfiz camp with the brothers.  Alif is Hj. Marni’s grandson.)

I missed the photo-shooting moment because I was too caught up in my nap. *thank you, painkiller* (nada sinis).

All in all, it was fun to travel again.  We brought home one pokok pisang – a gift from my lovely Tok Wan, Hajah Zahrah.  Funny..when we arrived, her maid baru selesai tanam anak pokok pisang ni.  Then Tok Wan asked her to cabut balik pokok pisang..nak kasi Sheedah bawak balik.  (My family calls me Sheedah, by the way.)

What can you spot inside this van? Can see the banana tree, jr.?  What about bags of kerepek?  Can u spot the laundry too?

.IMG_1615 Speaking of kerepek, after our program in Parit Sulong, one of the English teachers took us to Kerepek Factory.  No oompa-loompa like the ones in Willy Wonka, ya.  Oh, pillows of kerepek waiting to be munched and crunched!

IMG_1613Before we left Batu Pahat, we fulfilled our promise to the kids – DURIAN indulgence!  Alhamdulillah, rezeqi durian lazat dan penuh nikmat.  Our style is to eat durian there and then.  InshAllah, we’ll get the best deal and setiap biji edible.  “Berbaloi-baloi!”


Next trip:  Taiping- Abi’s hometown

Next-next trip:  Kuantan

Quick..Kemas rumah!!!

casa escuela setQuick!! Kemas rumah! Orang RTM nak datang rumah!

Stashing stuff here and there has been my forte.  I remember when I was in high school, I was a clean freak!  Pantang bersepah….siap marah-marah kat my bro and sis yang tidak berdosa itu.  (Insaf, insaf..ampun dik).

Hahaha..our house is simply sempoi – for now *wink!*  We have this one orange sofa-bed which recently got ‘amputated’.  One of the legs broke!  Adoi… why at times like this emergency happens?

Quick thinking solves the problem.  I put two thick dictionaries to make the sofa back to its original position.  Then I draped two curtains over the sofa to hide the dictionaries.   (In the pix below, Miss Producer in blue tudung is sitting on the accident victim.)


Somehow I get a ‘kick’ out of sweeping and MOPPING floors.  I love the smell of the detergent…oohhhh harum!!!  Anyway, I found this poem and fell in love with it.  Whenever I get too tired to think of the mess the kids make, I’ll TRY to apply this poem in my life.  You should too.  Enjoy!

Dust If You Must

Rose Milligan of Lancaster England

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it’s not kind. And when you go – and go you must – you, yourself will make more dust!

It’s not what you gather,
but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

EPL Sisterhood Rendezvous!

Salam Sisters,

DSC_0030InshaAllah, our first follow-up session will be this coming July 19 (Sunday) at Nuin Cafe, BBBangi.  3:30 – 5:30 pm.  Please bring your EPL Red File – we’ll practice and ‘perform’ Readers’ Theatre together!  Yee-ha!

More info coming on

Coming this October!  Another round of EPL for those who missed the fun last month.


My business partner and I conducted a mini-ESB seminar yesterday at Kompleks PKNS Bangi.  Took the opportunity to promote October EPL.

Saturday, Sunday @ PKNS Bangi

Karnival Generasi Berilmu (KGB)

-tiada kaitan with perisik Russia..tapi memang berkenaan intelligence

At noon Saturday, we’ll be there to organize English Zone Challenge for kids and teens (maybe adults).

  • Spell-it-WRITE
  • Hanging Definitions
  • if time permits…we’ll play…STOP!

Main Stage, Kompleks PKNS Bangi.  12 noon – 1:15 pm.

On Sunday, at noon also, Inshaallah…

English Sure Boleh mini-seminar!

See you around.

smile & salam, coach sha

Baju kecik..

While sorting out clothes with Maryam, this li’l fashionista said:

“Umi, baju yang dah kecik boleh kasi Sarah.”

Then Umi replied, “Baju tak jadi kecik, Maryam.  Kita yang jadi besar.”

She thought for a while..digesting this fact of life.

Umi continued, “Baju stays the same.  This same baju sama saja saiz dulu dan sekarang.  Maryam yang grow up.”

Still reflecting.. then..

“Oh..oh..oh!! Maryam tau.  Baju memang macam ni.  Badan kita yang jadi besar.  (Laugh) Apalah Maryam ingat baju tu yang jadi kecik.  Tapi kita yang jadi besar..hahahaha”

Alahai..all this while my girl thought her clothes got smaller.

We cannot do it alone..

No man is an island.

We cannot do everything everytime alone.  We need others to help and assist us.  Teamwork is muy, muy importante not only for companies and businesses, but above all we need a strong teamwork to keep a family going.

Throughout our ‘home’s-cool-ing’ journey, we have had wonderful experience with our ‘nannies’.

Speaking of nannies… some of my favourite movies and sitcoms are:

and of course, the all-time classic, Mary Poppins!

Here at Casa-Escuela, we have our own definition of a nanny.  Our kids call them ‘coach’.  These coaches are university graduates, final year students and some even joined us while waiting for their SPM results.

What is their jobscope, you might ask?

Yes, we do have a maid to look after Sarah and execute household chores.  But when we travel for seminars, we have to leave the boys and Maryam at the hotel or guesthouse.  We can’t just leave them alone doing nothing, right?  Very cruella de ville to let them do what they like!  Absolute freedom leads to absolute chaos.

That’s why we need a ‘nanny’ to tutor them – to supervise their learning, play games, interact with them and teach a thing or two.

Leaving the kids with their coach gives us a peace of mind.  Not only that, the nanny-coach will buy lunch/snacks for kids when we have a full day program at school.  Bolehlah umi dan abi bekerja dengan hati yang tenang dan lapang.

The perks of being casa-escuela nanny-coach?

Travel ke ceruk pelusuk tanahair.  Makan minum ditanggung halal.  Own room (or sometimes share with Ngah our helper..depends).  Get to play with my kids (hahahaaa..bonus tu!).  Get to practice English with us (hihhiii double bonanza ni!)  Get paid (kihkihkih…very materialistic depa ni..)

Mereka yang telah ‘terjebak’ ke lembah casa-escuela adalah seperti berikut:

DSCN1893Miss Shima (left) and Miss Aini.  Our first ever nanny-coaches.  Aini was our Spoken English Cuti Sekolah student back in Taiping and Shima is Aini’s buddy.  Back then, we didn’t have a maid yet.  Maryam was 3 then.  Alhamdulillah, their parents merestui kerjaya sambilan mereka.  They followed us for almost a month to Pantai Timur while waiting for SPM results.  Superb job, I must say!  My kids adore them.  Imagine, once we had to go Sabah/Sarawak for two weeks and left the kids with my mom (Tok Wen).  Shima and Aini helped to look after my kids.

Much appreciated, girls! May Allah Bless You.  Both are in IPT now.

DSC00762 (2)Miss Aisyah followed us to Kelantan, Melaka, Teluk Intan and sometimes put up a night at our house when we have to be away for a day or two.  An engineering graduate, she is very independent and confident.  Aisyah loves to travel and she’s good with kids so this job suits her very well.  Now working as an engineer.  All the best, coach!


That beautiful lady next to Muhammad is Miss Hazimah.  She joined us during her final year final semester at a nearby university.  We were in the process of getting a maid and I was waiting for the day to deliver Sarah.  This photo was taken in my hospital room right after Sarah came out.  Hazimah was there to look after the kids and was one of the earliest people to kiss baby Sarah.  She’s now a Physics teacher.  We miss you, coach!

These are four of our regular nanny-coaches (ramai lagi tau).

Thank you, ladies.   May Allah Bless You!