New Blog Changes

This would be my last post here. No, I am not stopping blogging nor am I deleting this blog – for now, at least🙂

Building An Ark in Singapore, went live back in 30th July 2006 on the Homeschool Blogger platform. In February 2008, I switched to and started Building Up Moms. I had originally kept 2 blogs because I wanted Building Up Moms to be a place where I could share what I have learnt (housekeeping, homeschooling, family issues) as well as be a place that encouraged, specifically, Christian stay-at-home moms. Building An Ark in Singapore would be a place where I shared more personal and general stuff.

But I think it is time for a change🙂 After some thoughts I think it is not necessary or productive to keep 2 blogs – too confusing, as my husband said. So I have merged the 2 blogs into one as of today.  I spent the past few days exporting and importing posts from here to Building Up Moms. listing all the posts under the tab, Site Index, at the top of the page. I hope that will make it easier for readers to look for stuff.

I am also thinking if I should change the blog name to reflect the changes taking place. New look, new name🙂 Any opinions?

For housekeeping purposes – If you were subscribed to Building An Ark in Singapore via email, you will have to re-subscribe to the new blog at for updates on new posts. But only if you wish to, of course!😀 If you should choose to stop receiving any more updates from me, I just want to say, “thank you” for reading my blog!

Humbled…yet again

On good days, I think I have it all under control. I just know what to do with regards to school, home management, allergies, etc. You name it and I have an opinion and a right opinion, mind you, about it.

And then come days that show me that I don’t have anything under my control at all! Days that show me that I am so clueless and what I know does not hold true 100% at all. I stand humbled. Truly, if not for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I am but nothing, just another sinful person tooting my own horn.

Yes, you can guess what type of day I am having😦

After being told that yeast was at the root of our eczema rash, we were having a pretty successful battle against eczema. We used anti-fungal creams topically and switched from full GAPS to a semi-Paleo diet with a little grains. I have given the same piece of advice to many people and those who have followed it have found success with it.

And yet, seemingly out of the blue, my 4.5 year old had a relapse, and not just a mild one but, a full blown all-over-the-body kind. The kind that has her screaming in pain when I shower her. She broke my heart this evening when she said, just before her shower, “Mama, I am scared.” She knows she is going to hurt big time because she had been scratching badly from the late afternoon till her skin broke.


What caused the re-flare up? I am not sure. The trigger could be an overload of carbs – she had rice daily for a week (remember, we are semi-Paleo so we rarely have grains). It could be the chicken wings she ate. I have been told twice in one week that chicken wings are the most toxic part of a chicken coz that’s where they are injected with the growth hormone! (True? False?) Or it could be the combination of both. She had reacted badly to chicken thighs before but was ok with chicken wings. I can’t pinpoint the trigger with certainty. But once it started flaring up, there seems to be no stopping it. Her whole body went into an overdrive.

It is tough to see your children suffer and be unable to help them. Hard to accept that your advice helped others but is seemingly impotent now. Why is the protocol not working? I have asked the question a million times. I have no idea. But I will persist in it and I will persist more in prayer!

And I need to repent of pride, yet again. Deja vu😦

Argh – A Rant

You have been warned. I am in a ranting mood, so if you are looking for encouragement, I suggest skipping this post.🙂

What’s my issue? Besides the dog that won’t quit its barking??? Moms who are unwilling to even try diet modification to see if eating a real, whole food diet can help their child’s health issues. Over and over I have moms come and chat with me about their child’s allergies because they know that we have allergy issues which have mostly subsided thanks be to God and with diet modifications.

Everyone wants to know how we healed. Well, there’s the God thing and then there’s the food thing.

Whenever I share that we basically eat a real, whole food diet of meats, vegetables, fruits & nuts and good fats, people are shocked and horrified. What? No rice? We are Asians, you know? No bread? Then what do you eat for breakfast? No soy? How can??? (That’s Singlish for how could you?)

Now, I don’t expect many to go the whole hog like us coz not many are as desperate as we were to heal ourselves without steroids and antihistamines. So I would say, just eliminate the usual culprits – wheat and dairy.

Nope. No go. Telling moms with young children not to give them milk is akin to telling them to starve their child. Seriously! The milk industry has done an excellent job in brainwashing generations of people into thinking that milk is THE perfect food, without which all of us will suffer osteoporosis and malnutrition. Hey! I didn’t even ask that you eliminate soy and sugar. Just wheat and diary.

And then they throw in the clincher – the doctor says that the illness (whatever the illness is) is not diet related. Hmm…And has the doctor read enough? Or has he only read what the Big Pharma wants him to read?

And so, the child keeps on popping pills/slapping on steroid creams/spraying nasal steroids that don’t work or they require stronger and stronger meds in order for the meds to “work”. And when their child feels better, they celebrate by giving the child milk and cookies/pizza type of food. Really? Really????

It is so, so, so frustrating to talk to these moms! Can’t you at least try???

Look, as I had written about in Diet Affects Our Well-Being, I KNOW it is a pain in the you-know-where to not just eat what you want especially when you are a child. And I know that the reprieve from allergies may not even come soon – hey the longer you have been eating toxic stuff and popping pills, the more toxins your body has to first remove and then repair. I had read before that the you need to allow at least one month for every year you have been afflicted to heal!

But it is a temporary situation. Unless you or your child feel so good on a real food diet that that becomes a lifestyle change. Once the child is better, you can slowly introduce the foods back. Some foods however, may be off limits for a longer time or may never be allowed back.

Please!!! The amounts of meds fed to your child for months and months is not good!!! Steroids have a rebound effect. There is such a thing as topical steroid addiction and if one can get addicted to topical steroids I am sure one can get addicted to nasal steroid sprays. And it is not just steroids, any medication taken on a long term basis is bad for the liver which has to process and break down the toxins to be passed out of the body.

Yes I know that some people have no choice but most of us do! If we cannot eliminate all meds we are taking, we can at least cut down the amount taken or the dosage prescribed. Try diet modification at least for 4 – 6 weeks. Then assess. But you have to be strict. No cheating allowed! It is only 4-6 weeks.

Go read up on GAPS, on eating Paleo (ignore the caveman part. We didn’t evolve from monkeys or cavemen and grains were there from Man’s beginning.) and the Whole 30 Programme. Arm yourself with knowledge and then pray and ask God to reveal what to do. Don’t toss diet modification aside just coz you may have to work a little harder to make it work. For the sake of your child, please???

Ahhh! End of rant.😀

Homeschool Fair 2013

For those of you who are wondering about the various homeschooling curricula local homeschoolers use, you can come and visit the yearly Homeschool Fair. Details are as follows. I am not part of the organising group nor will I be at the Fair, so if you need more information about it, please email the organiser via the Yahoo Homeschool Group.

Date: 15th May 2013, Wednesday
Time: 2.30 – 5.30pm
Venue: Pandan Valley Condominium function rooms (do ask at the security post for directions as it’s a big compound)
Nearest MRT stations: Dover, Clementi
Buses: 61, 75, 92, 156, and 165 (along Ulu Pandan Road); 92 and 560 at Pandan Valley/Mt Sinai Rise

Curriculum Display – There will be a wide range of curricula on display, many of which are popular with homeschooling families: e.g. Sonlight, Math-U-see, Saxon Math, Apologia Science, Artistic Pursuits, just to name a few. Come and browse to your hearts’ content, and take the rare opportunity to speak to actual users of these resources.

Talks – Here are the topics! The talks are scheduled at half-hourly intervals, so you can just sit in for what you are interested in amidst navigating through the curriculum displays. These are fairly informal sessions by real homeschooling mums!

3.00pm Montessori At Home, by Chern Bay – Did you know that the Montessori method is not just for preschools, but is relevant for primary and even secondary levels as well? Come and find out!

3.30pm Charlotte Mason Methods for English, by Heather Low – Have you heard of Charlotte Mason? What about the use of narration, copywork and dictation to teach English? Come and learn something about these gentle, enjoyable yet effective ways of imparting language skills to our children.

4.00pm Preparing for the PSLE Chinese Oral Exam, by Kwan Sau Wan – This topic speaks for itself. Come and listen!

4.30pm Creating Chinese Books with Children, by Lai Yam Yee – Come and hear a mum who is passionate about the Chinese language talk about how her family appreciates the language in daily living, as well as the unique project of creating books!

The full list of curricula on display can be found at

Yeast as the Culprit

If you have seen A Story in Pictures, I am very sure that you have been waiting anxiously for me to tell you how God healed me🙂

Before you read this, you ought to read Repenting of Pride and Chided. I strongly believe that if I had not repented of pride, of being judgemental and of putting God last, I would not have come to this point. So I urge you that if you are seeking for a cure for any ailment that you have that you go to the Lord and ask Him if you may have any thing that could be obstructing your healing process – physical and spiritual.

You also need to ask Him what the root cause of your illness is. Just treating the symptoms is not good enough. The root cause, not being identified and addressed, will continue to cause problems in the future.

In my case, it was suggested about a year ago that we should look at my dd’s rash as a yeast infection instead of eczema. This happened after she consumed a lot of fruit at a buffet lunch. Her face turned red and patchy and of course, itchy.  It persisted for a few days, getting redder. When I posted on the GAPS Yahoo group, Kati of Tribal Mamas, who is very active on the list suggested that I should try to treat it as a yeast rash. Upon her advice, I bought a tube of antifungal cream with clotrimazole* as the active ingredient. She had suggested Lotrimin but that is not available here in Singapore.

After 3 days of usage, the rash subsided very quickly! So I would always use the cream on her whenever she turned red and itchy. And I also controlled her intake of fruit and starchy vegetables. I tried the cream on myself, it did not work at all. I was disappointed.

Fast forward to early July 2012. The rash on me had gotten progressively worse as you saw in the  before photos of A Story in Pictures. One Thursday, God prompted me to use the antigungal cream on myself. I immediately reacted with scepticism. This was my conversation with God.

Me : I had used it before and nothing happened.

God : Try it!

Me : Can’t be la! I have tried it a few times remember???

God : Try it!

Me : Ok – but I will give you 5 days max. If by then, nothing happens, then confirm it isn’t a yeast rash!

So I dutifully slapped on the cream 2x/day. Guess what? Nothing happened! On Sunday while getting ready for Church, I literally cried out to the Lord in frustration and discomfort (the itch had been horrid and the antihistamine did nothing to elevate it).

Me : Lord! Did I hear you rightly??? I can’t take the itch anymore! If I really heard You rightly, then please at least make this stubborn spot not red anymore!”

I went to Church after that and went up for prayers at the end of the service. Dr Jerry Horner was the speaker that morning. He prayed for the disease to be cursed right down to its roots and to shrivel up and die! Amen!

I went home. The spot was not itchy but it was still red and raw. But by evening, the redness had subsided. It was a very pale pink! That was God’s gracious answer to a frustrated, impatient, petulant child🙂 I had gotten my answer!

Daily from then on, I slapped on the antifungal cream 2 – 3 times a day. The rash rapidly subsided till mostly scars remain. There are a few stubborn spots – mostly on the knuckle and ankle joints that are still itching and peeling.

I also went on a Candida Cleanse using Allerase’s Candidase and Viral Stop. I bought them from iHerb. Use my code LIM018 if you are a first time user at iHerb and get up to $10 off your 1st purchase!

Apparently the root cause of my rash is a yeast overgrowth. The steroid creams that were prescribed to me actually made the whole situation worse. No doctor diagnosed me. No doctor ever suggested that it was a yeast rash. But God did. And only in His time.

Why did the cream not work the other time? I have no answer. Of course I have my theories but they are only theories, one of which is – Could it be that the anti fungal cream could not work before the GAPS Diet had done its part? I don’t know. But I do know that it was what God used to clear the rash 90%.

And so we plod on, waiting on the Lord to heal totally, completely from the inside out. For those also suffering from eczema and other allergies, I know that this is not an easy road to travel. And I truly feel for those who are suffering. Especially babies and children. Do note that diet is critical. See Diet does affect our well-being. To hope to heal while eating junk food is crazy! You may not have to give up as much as us but I believe you will have to modify your diet for at least a few months before you can see healing. And you might just want to explore the possibility that the root cause of the problem could be a yeast overgrowth!😉


* Clotrimazole is found in Candid and Candazole creams available at Unity and Guardian pharmacies, respectively. Both are OTC so you do not need any prescription for them.

How Should I Answer?

Most people know that my daughter and I have battled the eczema beast the past few years. It has been a tiring battle. And we have not fully defeated it at this point. But everyone can see that great tremendous progress has been made and we are continuing to make. So they come and ask me what I did that helped. It is a normal reaction since that was what I did when we were battling it. Ask around and hope for a magic pill to pop or cream to apply.

So they will ask, “What did you use/take/not take???”

Honestly, I don’t know how to answer because there isn’t a single answer except what no one wants to hear : PRAY!

I am not trying to be upper spiritual but that is the truth. I hated that answer when I was the one asking those who had seen breakthroughs. Pray? What do you mean pray??? Are you insinuating that *I* am not praying??? Or are you saying that I do not have enough faith???

So I am stumped. I know that they just want the practical tips, just like I did. But the practical tips only work a little. It is the spiritual aspect that makes all the difference. I did all that was “right” and I saw no breakthrough. I prayed the correct prayers and saw no breakthrough. I prayed and cried and prayed and cried some more. Then one day, everything clicked. It made me feel like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1.🙂 I am sure she had prayed many, many times for a baby. Yet it was only on that particular day while she was crying and praying that the Lord chose to answer. Why? I have no idea! But I know God did. And she persevered in praying, over and over and over.

So how should I answer??? I can share with you the practical things that have helped me. It may or may not help you. I can also share with you the prayers I prayed over and over. But until you speak with God and hear Him tell you what to do, it is only one man’s advice to another.

The 2 practical things I did that I felt helped me most are the GAPS diet and clotrimazole.

1. Diet : Step-by-step

Because I believe strongly that Diet does affects our well-being, I cannot not mention diet as part of our healing journey.

a) Elimination Diet
If you had read this blog long enough, you would know that we were on the Elimination Diet for about 1 year. Dd had taken the IgG test which showed that she was reacting to the usual suspects and more! See So what are we allergic to?!  It was horrible. I did not know then that what we experienced was a die off effect. No one warned us.

b) No grains
Then we took ourselves off all grains including rice and tapioca flour. Yes, our repertoire of food and marinades shrunk overnight.

c) Vegetarian
Then we went vegetarian – literally ate only vegetables and nuts – to cleanse the body. Did it for 7 days.

d) GAPS Diet
Finally, we proceeded to the GAPS Diet. It was actually a relief to be able to eat all meats and eggs again! We finally saw improvement. But it never totally cleared up. It seemed to clear up many other issues but the skin issue stubbornly remained.

On hindsight, the slow progression to GAPS was helpful for both me the cook, and dd and me the sufferers. We did not do cold turkey which may have sent us over the edge immediately!

2. Anti-fungal cream (active ingredient : Clotrimazole)

I have written at length about all the stuff we have tried in Another One Bites the Dust. And how bad steroid creams are in Steroids just make eczema worse. The only thing that worked was an anti-fungal cream with the active ingredient Clotrimazole. The anti-fungal cream with this active ingredient can be found in Candid or Candazole. Candid is much cheaper and available only at Unity Pharmacies. Candazole is almost double its price and is available at both Unity and Guardian Pharmacies.

This was our breakthrough cream. Because the underlying issue for us is a yeast overgrowth. Not true eczema. And for this revelation, which no doctor ever mentioned at all, is from God. I cried out to Him and He brought to mind to treat the rashes as a fungal rash. The next blog post will cover this in more details.

But I must emphasise again that it wasn’t just the diet and cream that healed us. Because it was only through prayer that I was led to use the cream.

3. Prayers
When I am itching I literally cannot think of anything except to scratch. And even when I know it will bleed and make things worse, I will still scratch because it is sheer torture to itch. To help cope with those times, I searched out verses on healing, especially healing of the skin/flesh and prayed them over and over. Not like a chant, but to remind myself of God’s promises. Two passages that spoke to me and gave me strength were :

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

 Psalm 103:1-3

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

*Scripture from the New King James Bible and highlights are mine.

And now you know why while it seemed that I should be able to just answer,”GAPS and Clotrimazole healed me!”, it isn’t that simple. So this is my very long answer to a very simple question :D

Choosing not to waver

Whenever you choose not to follow the crowd, you will, at various points of the journey, second guess yourself. I think it is just part and parcel of walking against the tide. Which can be a good thing – it can either solidify your position clearly or it can show up its inadequacy which will lead to a better decision/direction.

I had one of those moments a few weeks ago😀 We had decided on a  high school plan for our children last year. See Choosing our Highschool/Secondary School Curriculum. But a few weeks ago, when I met up with some highschool homeschooling moms, I got a freak-me-out-moment😀

As I listened to what they were doing to prepare their child/ren,, they were doing a lot! And I was doing none. I felt seriously discouraged when I heard them sharing the numerous classes and activities they have signed their child/ren up for and how they are making sure all available options are covered. Yes, there is peer pressure within the homeschool community as well.

Instead of feeling energised and inspired, I felt lousy. I felt that I must be short changing my children. So I did what I always do after moping and moaning about things – I went to God. And I had to go back to the hows and whys of our decision.

He called, He empowers, He never fails.

He has been faithful and I know He will be faithful. I just need to do my part and stop looking around at what others are doing or not doing, because He will definitely do His part. I shall look to Him and not to the distractions around me. I shall remember what He has called us to do, not what He has called others to do. So help me, Lord!

We will not be changing course unless He says so. We will stick with what we have decided and keep at it. And I pray that the next time I meet up with any other mom, I will not experience a repeat of a freak-me-out-moment😀

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