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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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back in the Swing

We've returned to life in the fast lane and I continue to count my blessings!! I miss Christi every day, yet I continue to tell myself to "knock it off" and to be thankful she was in my life at all. She was the finest of teachers teaching me so much about life!

Shayla is THRIVING at ice skating lessons, back to dance and LOVING her new school. I too am loving "The Taj", am back to OSU for the four classes I'm taking this quarter and also am enjoying the graduate class I'm teaching for OSU more than I should be allowed to enjoy!! (What can I say?! It's the first time OSU is paying ME instead of me paying THEM! YES!!) Seriously, I hope I am teaching these students, working on their Masters degrees, to be the very best middle childhood language teachers possible! I've added some on-line components to the class and that has been an exciting new venture for me as well.

PICTURE: Shayla in mom's new classroom. Our incredible school is so big Shayla's been lost trying to get to my room after school each day, but she keeps claiming she'll get it right next time and reminding me not to send one of my students off to get her; she will do it right tomorrow. (I'm so lucky to work with amazing colleagues who keep pointing her in the right direction!) She sits and reads in my classroom until it's time to go to hers in the morning. I walked her over the first day and after that she thought she could get there. On Friday, her third day, I stood with her in the doorway and specifically asked her if she knew how to get to her room. She insisted she did, gave me her traditional kiss and sign language "I love you" she gives me many times each day, and took off - in the wrong direction. My teacher friends did their very best not to laugh out loud as I reached out, grabbed her shoulders, turned her around and gave her a gentle push - in the opposite direction! (Her giggles were heard for quite a while as I had to bend over from laughing so hard myself!)

Each time my mind wanders to, "Where would Christi's locker be?" "I see Christi's class eating, where would Christi be?" I try to force it out of my mind because it is so painful. The sixth grade classrooms are right next to ours so I still see her classmates many times a day. They were the sweetest kids and I am certain Christi's the little busy body in Heaven watching over all of them! I'm also concerned about Shayla turning "9" next month. Will she still be the "little" sister then? I recently asked her not to turn nine. When she asked why I told her how much I loved her at eight and eight has been the best age for her ever. She told me, "You don't know about something until you try it. You may like nine even more than eight!" Unlike mom, she can't wait to turn nine!

Pictures: Shayla with her amazing "blue and sparkly" ice skating outfit for her American Girl Doll - thanks to one of Christi's sweet supporters who continues to email with us!! It is sooooooo beautiful and so similar to Shayla's. (Chris even sent these little SKATES!!) Shayla has been wearing her new outfit to ice skating lessons and despite the cold does not let me zip her coat. (That would cover "blue and sparkly" ya know!) I'm amazed at how quickly she's learning. She's learning how to skate backwards and to do some little spins and other interesting things.

After studying and grading papers entirely too late last night and again this morning, we took off to the Cleveland Boat Show for a bit today. Shayla went to a friend's house because if you're just going to look and dream and not buy anything, you might as well go play with a friend I guess! Regardless, it was fun to dream and I did buy another book from Bob Adamov. While not the highest of quality literature, he's an Ohio author who writes about Put-In-Bay and I always love when an author autographs my books and write about places I know!! Now when my quarter ends in March, I'll be digging in to read it over my spring break!

Today's Advertiser Tribune informed me that the Editor selected "my story" for the "Hats Off!" for the week. I was really shocked! I checked it out and then ran into town to buy newspapers. Here's what the Newspaper Editor had to say:

Hats off
January 12, 2008

She’s just 1 of 11 in U.S.

We tip our thinking cap to Angela Thomas, a teacher at Seneca East, for earning a second national certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards — one of 11 teachers to hold multiple certifications nationwide. Thomas, who now teaches language arts to seventh-graders, received certification in in early adolescence/English language arts last December. She first achieved certification in 2004.


At 12/1/08 9:19 PM, Anonymous Amy D said...

I still love reading your updates every day. Shayla looks just like her mom and is so beautiful! I'm so happy to read of all your good news.

At 13/1/08 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad Shayla is enjoying the skating outfit. Her doll is SO the skates! Glad to hear the lessons are going well.

Rachael J

At 13/1/08 5:44 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Shayla looks beautiful as usual and what a great classroom you have! :)

And congrats on your Hats off too that is wonderful!!

Lots of love and prayers,

At 13/1/08 11:48 PM, Blogger Aimee Jackson said...

Thanks for the great picture of Shayla in your new classroom! It looks wonderful. Congratulations on the newspaper articles too. I was already impressed at the double certification, but I had no idea such a thing was so rare! You have really accomplished a lot. I am sure Christi inspired you, and is proud of you for it.


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