So 2014 was my first real dedicated year of 'One Little Word'. A concept that Ali Edwards begun back in 2006. Rather than reinvent the wheel with the explanation of it, I'll let Ali explain ...
About One Little Word®
A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.
In 2006 I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open and thrive. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They've been imbedded into who I am and into who I'm becoming. They've been what I've needed most (and didn't know I needed). They've helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.
My 2014 word was 'no'. Back story here. I'm pretty proud to say that I used that word quite a number of times this year to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed or from feeling guilty. I've actually felt very empowered by being able to say it and mean it without it weighing heavily on my conscious.
So.... 2015..... I've been giving it a lot of thought. The 'one little word' needs to be a goal - achievable with a bit of effort. It needs to be relevant to who I am, it needs to have meaning or what's the point of it. It needs to take me out of my comfort zone, to challenge me, to make me aim high.
drum roll please
... new horizons
... fun and laughter
... deeper relationships with the important people in my life
... help when I need it
... deeper into myself to discover more of who I am
Our community have been blessed with a really great copper who has been here with his family for a number of years.
Today he and his partner came into the Cummins Christmas Wonderland for a visit. I pounced on them and asked if they would mind a pic of them in the sleigh. No convincing was required at all. He suggested it was a brilliant idea with 'community policing' in mind.
So while a bunch of young kids looked on, the coppers played up for me. I reckon the coppers had more laughs than the kids watching them.
Cummins Street Parade hosted by the local traders. It was a perfectly balmy evening without a breath of wind, compared to the last few days leading up to it. The Parade was awesome and the gathering in the Railway Triangle for the public to enjoy BBQ and good music was enjoyed by so many. The best one yet.
Annie's had beautiful long hair all her life and the last few years she looked after it totally by herself other than plaiting it. Kym and I shared that job.
Thursday she announced she wanted a hair cut, not just a trim, but a chop. As we were in Lincoln on Friday I gave her a night to sleep on the idea just to be sure. Friday dawned and her resolve was firm. So she had the chop.
She would like to donate her hair to the anit-cancer foundation to make a wig for someone to wear. A couple of elderly ladies at the hairdressers watched with fascination as the plait was cut and applauded her generosity in wanting to donate her hair.
I'm trying my best to install in my kids the concept of doing a good deed a day. No matter how big or small, a good deed a day is a wonderful gift to offer. This deed is a biggie. That's my girl.
I've been very blessed to be included with this pregnancy since its very beginning. And just maybe, maybe I might see it to its very end ......
I cried when I felt the little bubba kick for the first time. I just couldn't help. I haven't really been connected to any pregnancies since my own two, and this one is very special. So my tears fell and the amazing wonder of a little life in there, for me was overwhelming.
I actually had a morning home this morning. A rare thing.
And as my photography desk is clear at the moment, I sat down to scrap. Or I should say, I stand up, I sit down, then I stand up, I walk around a bit them come back to sit down or stand up at my scrap desk.
You are trying a wheat free diet for the next two months as part of your Links to Learning Program. Half way through this year you finished a intensive retuning program for sound frequencies via orchestral music. The change in your confidence, concentration and output has been stunning. You then went on a maintenance schedule for a few months but due to an excessive wheat diet and asthma/colds you have slipped from where you were. To help get you back up to where you were, we all going wheat free to support you.
While we are going wheat free we are trying out lots of different taste sensations I thought I'd give smoothies a crack. Not ever having done them before I put an ask out on Facebook for different recipe ideas.
Our first night was granny smith apple, kiwi, grapes, yogurt, milk, icecream and a light dusting of chocolate quick. That only got a lukewarm response from the kids.
Tonight we tried strawberries, frozen raspberries, yogurt and milk plated up with balled icecream. This got a big thumbs up.
The biggest challenge so far has been a bread replacement. We haven't gone down the 'wraps' path yet, or the rice cakes, but I do have them to try out on the weekend. So far 2 different brands of breads have been given the thumbs down by the kids. And we have had one that I found in Lincoln that's been OK so far.
I've had a talk with our local baker to see what they could offer. He did explain what gluten from the wheat does to the dough during the baking process, so at least now I can understand why the gluten free breads are small dense loaves.
I've had wonderful support locally from the butcher who about to start a gluten free line in his display case. He has been asked a lot for no wheat/gluten free products in recent times.
I've had a walk around the local IGA with the owner who pointed out the many many alternatives to wheat products. I then took the kids in so we could all shop together so they could learn to read the ingredients, look for certain brands and just learn that wheat is just about in everything. It took us an hour and a half to walk 3 aisles in the shop as the kids pulled out products, read the back of them and had to put most of them back. We sat on the floor quite a few times with things around us so we all could learn what is a good food and what isn't.
Being wheat free is very different from being gluten free. Wheat free means we can still use bran, oats, barley, rye, coconut, sorghum, rice, and maize alternatives. Gluten free cant use wheat, barley oats, triticale or rye as they all contain the protein gluten.
So its all a learning curve for each of us and to support Sean we are all giving it a crack.
Hold on to your hats. I've scrapped!! Well sort of..... I had the bones of this one started at #e2cmini2014 and just haven't the moment to come back to it. Its a bit wonky, the text is off centre and the mat is all over the place, but I'm embracing the imperfections. Keeping it real.
Last Friday was the Gym Club windup. Its always a lot of fun on the night, but its a bit of work for the gymnasts leading up to it. The competition boys (the group I coach), choreographed their own routines to demonstrate to their families and friends. This involved weeks of nailing the moves so the boys looked sharp and tight. And they were AWESOME!
I had the great honor of receiving the 2014 Club Person of the Year.
The blurb that was read out loud: Cummins Gymnastics & Kindergym Club Inc Coach Tiff Firth was awarded 2014 Club Person of the Year. For upskilling her knowledge, training and taking the only competition group to their very successful competitions this year. For promoting the club at every opportunity and actively seeking helpers. For being an active committee member and key truckie for pack up/unpack days. And for maintaining the club Facebook page. And of course being Madam Paparazzi for the club. 14.11.2014
Sean was pretty chuffed with his medallion too.
I've been been really considering my options regarding my shoulder/elbow/wrist issues that have been ongoing for quite some time. With the Chiro, the Physio and the Dr all saying 'stop', I've actually really had to take their advice on board. The decision has been gut wrenching. I felt so very torn.
I've loved coaching the boys this year, taking them to their comps in Port Lincoln and then onto Adelaide. But my injuries are just not healing. So I've announced my resignation from coaching at the Windup. I really didn't want to leave the club in the lurch as some of the other coaches are finishing up this year too.
The President and the parents of the boys knew about it prior to the Windup as I had personally let them know of my decision and my reasons, and they'll all been so very very supportive. I've cried over my decision, but it does feel like a weight is off my shoulders atm.
But the club is in trouble. I might be back as a mentor coach. We need a new injection of people on the committee. Or the club will close. Its a simple as that. And as complicated too.
I do need to consider what Sean and Annie feel about my maybe coaching future. For all the times I've been in there coaching, Annie has been there too. Usually in the kitchen reading and doing homework. Even when I had the boys training 3 times a week, she was there. So I really must consider my own kids first.
Last week Annie and I traveled to Adelaide for the Annual Primary Schools Band Workshop. She was 1 of the students invited to play in the 200 piece orchestra.
We headed over on Tuesday night and we watched this beaut sunset out of the plane window.
Once landed we waited for our one bag to pick up (her Saxaphone was tagged as Priority Hand Luggage - you hand it over at the steps of the plane and its handed back to you at the steps of the plane when you disembark). While we waited Annie popped up on the carousel for a quick pic.
The next morning found us catching the tram to the Ridley Centre at the Adelaide Showgrounds. From my sister in laws home it was only four stops away so the tram was wonderfully convenient.
200 kids and their parents were pouring in through the door into the large acoustic room that boasted a grandstand for 300 people. Once the roll books were done, the kids got stuck straight into warm ups and working through various pieces of music.
I caught up with two of my SILs at a coffee shop not far away for our Christmas planning session. And I also met up with the camera cleaning wizard who took both cameras for sensor cleaning. He was wonderful. He understood that I didn't have a vehicle and not able to get to him, so he picked up and dropped off. Very old school and very much appreciated by me.
I was back before the kids broke for lunch. Annie wandered in the courtyard with her new friends for lunch and I just kept an eye on them from afar. You can definetly tell the country kids from the city kids thats for sure. As it turned out, the girl Annie shared the sheet music and stand with, is a niece of a local woman here. And my brother went to school with the girl's Dad. Small world hey!
While Annie was practising, I was in a side office with my laptop flat out in photography post production. My work comes with me ;)
The kids knocked off by 3.30 so Annie and I took the tram into town. The main reason is to acquaint Annie with the transport system, to get her to recognise landmarks and just to figure out how where some things are, so if she still goes to collage later on, she knows a little bit about getting around Adelaide.
Heading back home was a bit funny. I lead us onto the wrong tram and we took off in the opposite way I intended. It was a bit of a giggle. If nothing else, my error did lend itself as example to Annie how you can get off at the next stop and just catch the tram that goes the right way. No biggie.
We stayed at my sister in laws home and they have Karla. He's the most charismatic Sulphur Crested Cockatoo I've ever met.
The next day saw us back at the Ridley Centre with the rest of the ensemble by 9am. I keyed away on the laptop while Annie keyed away on her saxophone. They sounded so much more polished than the day before.
1pm and we were dismissed so I thought we'd jump the tram to Glenelg. We so rode those trams like a Boss!
I havent' been to Glenelg since I was a little kid. Year 7 school Adelaide Trip I think. Its changed a lot but then, not changed much at all.
We found this guy doing those amazing big bubbles by the jetty.
We headed up the jetty...
we played hopscotch near the jetty...
and watched kids whiz around the slide at the Beach House while we had our ice creams.
That night was the main performance played in front of 300 family and friends. They played 10 songs and just blew me away. The last song was the finalé and was just so impressive. Everyone had this sheet music sent to them at home weeks before the event, to practice, and it was really really cool to hear how all the sounds came together.
Please ignore the videography ;). The camera was terribly heavy with my fast 200mm lens and I really needed a tripod. So just close your eyes and listen instead. If you peek you'll find Annie wearing vertical black and white stripe top. I've focused mainly on the percussion side of the ensemble as they were the heartbeat to this amazing music.
THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE
Friday morning saw us coming home. Got to do the obligatory airplane selfie.
I was very lucky
enough to be invited to go to Adelaide to play music at the Annual Primary
School Concert Band Workshop at the Adelaide Show Grounds last week. I played
Alto Saxophone as part of a 200-piece ensemble.
When I arrived at
the Ridley Center there were kids with their parents and instrument cases
pouring into the center. It was a large sunlit room with 300 seats in the
grandstand. There were percussion, trumpets, French horns, bassoon, clarinets,
flutes, saxophones, electric keyboard, tuba, bass guitars, slide trombones, kettledrums
and a few others. We practiced lots of songs for two days.
On Thursday night
we performed our concert in front of family and friends. We sounded awesome and
at the end of one of our songs some people stood to give us a standing ovation.
experience was great. We made wonderful music and new friends.
While at the mini e2c retreat at Trinity Haven I pulled together my first memory file book. Not having done one before, I did a bit of looking around at the different ideas for flaps in other books, both at the retreat and before hand. It was very handy to have a few of the girls on the table done them before for my questions. What's a few flaps amongst friends. ;)
The book was completed there, and is now waiting for the photos to be printed and the stories to fill it up.
I used my lanyard in the book.
I saved the hot air balloon decoration from that weekend especially for this book. The e2c sticker came from the class packaging.
The striped paper was part of the table runner decoration.
Bicycle tag was in the bag of goodies that each scrapper received.