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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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!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

2015 Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarships Awarded to Dance Unlimited Students

This year's Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship applicants for the Dance Unlimited Scholarship were all simply amazing!  We love them and are very proud of of them all. We understand why Christi loved going to dance to be with them whenever she could.  Congratulations to this year's Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship Winners!  $1,000 - Elena and $1,000 - Marissa.  Because of awesome applicants, we added three $100 Book Scholarships which were award to Paityn, Madison and McKenzie.  I was so relieved Shayla Thomas​ gave the speech for me. This whole scholarship process we do each year is emotionally draining.  It feels like life is being sucked out of me.  No one was closer to Christi than Shayla so my thanks to her for doing this for our family. Congratulations, ladies! (Three minute video clip of announcement attached.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

$1,000 Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship Winner for Seneca East - Paityn!

As always, we had many wonderful applications for the annual $1,000 Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship we award to a Seneca East graduating Senior.  This year's decision was very difficult, due to all of the students being so fabulous.  After careful review, prayer and deliberation, we selected Paityn Caudill as this year's recipient.  Congratulations, Paityn!