Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Overdue Update

Again I did not realize it had been so long since I last updated so here goes:

Everything was very exciting with Shayne's campaign for Seneca County Commissioner in March.  He won his election (I think he won every town and every precinct in the county except for one which he lost by only about 8 votes.) He will take office on January 3, 2017 and I think he will do a fabulous job!  I'm so proud of him.

After earning 20 peer-reviewed publications, making 25 state and national conference presentations, and earning some awards for my teaching as a professor, I earned tenure and was promoted as a tenured professor at BGSU in May.  It was something I had worked for (and worried about) every day over the past seven years so this was a tremendous relief and joy for our whole family.  Next to my family there is nothing I love more than my teaching and I am so humbled to be a professor at BG so it was incredible to be rewarded for my work and to now be a tenured professor.

Christi would have turned 19 on May 12th.  A few days earlier, I took 18 BGSU students to study in England for ten days so on Christi's birthday my students were in an acting workshop at the Globe Theater in London.  While tears pour down my face, I just had to look at my lovely students and think that's exactly how old Christi would be and they were doing exactly what our little "theater lover" would want to be doing too so I just had to wipe away my tears and give my students my all since their moms were back in the states and I wanted to be a wonderful substitute "mom" for them while on their trip.  (Picture below: with my awesome BGSU students in England, May 2016)

One of my sweet students put together a little video clip of our trip so if you want to check it out, here is the link:  DrAngelaThomas_BGSU_England_Trip   (So if you watch the video clip, yes, indeed Shelby did see David Beckham and I have a picture of him dropping his little girl off at school.  Shayne was able to go with us on the trip and I'm in the midst of planning a return trip next summer.)

We've been blessed with an amazing summer.  Shayne and I have gone on a lot of bike rides and hikes.  We've taken in a lot of theater and have done a lot of reading.  I taught four summer courses and I've gotten ahead with all of my fall classes and some new projects I'm taking on this year at the university.

Shayla took some classes and performed in five "sold out" shows of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" the 18 & under "teen" musical up with 3B productions in Maumee.  She met new friends, learned new things, went up in a hot-air balloon, and had an absolutely wonderful summer.  Yesterday their production of "Little Mermaid" was selected as one of just two who will go to state in a few weeks so we had a very exciting day of theater and we are looking forward to their next performance.  (Seeing Shayla perform as a "tap-dancing" seagull is an absolute hoot!  Here is the video link if you'd like a little peek; Shayla is the dancing gull who accidentally loses her hat while dancing so you'll be able to find her, lol.)  Video_Clip_of_Shayla's_Tap_Dancing_Seagul_Number_Little_Mermaid_3B_Productions

We recently had Shayla's Senior pictures taken by her (and Christi's) first grade teacher.  (The sweet woman who used to come to our home, when Christi was in her class to tutor her at night.)  It's hard to believe Shayla will soon start her Senior year of high school.  Time has gone by so quickly.

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful summer!  Take care and be well!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I didn’t realize I hadn’t updated for so long.  Here goes:

About a week before Christmas we flew to Santiago, Chile where we spent a couple of days before boarding a Princess cruise ship for an 11-day cruise which sailed around the Cape Horn.  We were able to see adorable penguins and walk in the southernmost city in South America, commonly referred to as the “End of the World” (Ushuaia, Argentina).  We were about 1,000 miles from the South Pole.  From there we sailed back up to Buenos Aires where we disembarked and spent a few days before flying home.  Shayla did a really good job of speaking Spanish.

Shayla turns 17 tomorrow!  She had her third annual “Lemon Ball Dance Party” – a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Fund (pediatric cancer research).  She wanted to raise $1700 for her 17th birthday, but instead she raised just under $4,000!  We were shocked!  The ball was a blast for the kids and I must admit that Shayne and I loved it too!

Currently, Shayne is running for County Commissioner.  The election will be held on March 15th.  Living through what we have left Shayne forever changed.  He wants to give back and to serve others in our community.  He wants to leave this world better than he found it.  Shayne has been having a ball campaigning.  He goes door-to-door talking with voters and making small speeches at various events.  So far I think he’s knocked on over 1500 doors and he’s walked over 100 miles.  I must admit it’s wild to see his face on billboards around the area and to see yard signs with Shayne Thomas printed on them.  They catch me off guard as I think, “Hey!  I know that sweet guy!”  Lots of fun! 

Works is going really well for me! Once every four years, my college gives an "Excellence in Teaching" award to a faculty member. I was incredibly humbled late last summer to be nominated for this award and I quickly got all of my materials around for the submission. I was incredibly surprised and thrilled this fall when it was announced I was selected as the winner.  I was happy to get the $1,000 check and a plaque showed up in our School of Teaching & Learning's office where it will hang for the next for years. Since my arrival at BGSU as a full-time assistant professor in 2009, I've made 25 national conference presentations, published 19 peer-reviewed articles, and taught 1,326 BGSU students in 65 courses.

Thanks for checking in!  Thanks for loving Christi and all of us!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Holidays from the Thomas Team!

Our hometown has a Victorian Weekend Celebration each year.  For the Victorian Dinner fundraiser, held at the Great Hall on the campus of Heidelberg University this year, all were encouraged to dress up.  We rented some costumes and had a ball- all the while raising money for a great cause!  Merry Christmas!  
Picture:  Shayne, Angela, Shayla and her friend

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Vacation in Europe

In mid-June we flew to London, rented a car and drove to Oxford where we spent four lovely days as a family before settling Shayla into her dorm room at the University and leaving her. She was in a group of 75 high achieving 16-18 year olds from around the globe who spent two intense weeks studying things like philosophy, psychology, debate, etc. at a summer academy.  There were four students from the USA there and students from 30 different countries. Shayla's sweet roommate was from Norway.  While Shayla was in Oxford, we then explored the Cotswolds, especially enjoyed Burford and Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace).  Then we flew on to Ireland and spent two weeks biking from village-to-village and staying at lovely B&B's and the amazing Ashford Castle for two nights.  It was a sign from God that we were able to meet up with our Philadelphia friends (the Grants) and huge Christi supporters when we were in Ireland and we enjoyed a lovely day with them.)  When we flew back to London for Shayla's graduation in Oxford we were surprised and happy to learn that she was appointed Valedictorian of her class and she gave a lovely speech.  We wrapped up our three week vacation with time together in London.  Our highlight was bring "groundlings" at the Globe theater. After coming home for two days, we took off to Macinaw City, Michigan where Shayla spent a week with friends and we were blessed to spend the week with our sweet Webby (Eric) and his wife at their cottage in northern Michigan.  Now we are back home and filled with great memories!  God is good!
Shayla and her roommate at "The Boat House" outside of Oxford for the Mascarade Ball.

Shayla and her roommate (from Norway) enjoyed Bristol, England on a day off of campus.

Touring the Warner Brothers Studio, outside of London was a huge hit for our little Harry Potter fan.  I could only laugh when she ran out the battery on her audio tour guide and had to get it replaced.  She spent FIVE hours enjoying it all.  (Shayne and I spent some time waiting for her in a cafe.)

Shayla made friends with girls from around the world during this amazing experience she had in Oxford, England.

Back from Europe and now enjoying Macinac Island, Michigan - lovely!

Cannot even believe we were blessed to spend two nights here, but we did!  WOW!

Shayla's arrival on campus.

Shayla in her dorm room at the university.

What a God event to learn the Grants would be in Ireland at the same time.  It was fabulous to get to spend a precious day with them all.  Lovely, people!

Biking with my bane on the largest Arlan Island -  Ishimor

Cycling up to our "home" for the next two days was a dream come true!  I still can't believe we stayed here.  It was amazing!

Lovely cycling, so scenic!

Proud moment!  Shayla, the Valedictorian, after graduation with the Headmaster and Assistant Headmaster.

We had lots of rainy days in Ireland.  Good thing we packed our ponchos!

Shayla made so many friends and learned so very much!  It was the experience of a lifetime for her.  What a blessing!

We had a ball being "groundlings" at The Globe Theater and enjoying, "Measure for Measure".  Earlier that same day we sat in seats and took in "As You Like It".

Gotta love those London taxis - impressive!  Photo by Shay Shay

Shayla captured this lovely photo of the grounds at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill.  She went with her school.  Shayne and I enjoyed it another day, on our own.

At our first inn in Oxford, The Bath Hotel.  Great location, tiniest room EVER!