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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Friday, June 13, 2008

Ritz Camp 2008 "The Wiz"

My thanks to the Missoula Children's Theatre Directors! At the end of tonight's show he thanked the Christi Thomas Memorial Foundation for the scholarship and also spoke of Arabella's saving her allowance to sponsor a second child this year! I thanked him after the show and he said he wanted to do that. When he found out he was traveling to Tiffin, he "googled" it and the first thing that popped up was about Christi. The second was her Memorial Fund page. After what happened earlier in the week with a Ritz Director, I was very touched that he mentioned Christi and that I got to tell him how much she loved the Ritz! I feel so much better! (He also told me "Mooch" is very smart and was really into her part. I told him how she's taking a Theatre Project for 4-H.)

I had it wrong. Shayla (Toto) is NOT called Manco, but Mooch. Regardless, being "a dog" has been a total thrill for her. Often the girls would play "animals". In this picture, taken July of 2006 (Christi, age 9) Christi is covering herself with "fur" as the girls were playing dogs at Aunt Marty's pond. I'm so glad Aunt Marty snapped this picture for me while I was in class and she was babysitting. I just wish Christi could have been at Ritz Camp this week too. Tonight, watching what would have been her "class" perform as coyotes and as munchkins, it was hard to see and to wonder what her role would have been. On the way home, Shayla said, "I wish Christi would have been 'Top Dog' and we would have had a dog fight together on stage!" I told her Nonee and I said nearly the same thing in the audience!

We recently attended a fundrasier for a sweet women with a host of medical issues. At that auction, I bid on a "spa package" so today after taking Shayla to camp I treated myself to a body wrap, facial, hair cut, make up application and then met Mom and Joe at the Ritz. It was exactly what I needed to end this long week! I emailed my Advisor yesterday inquiring if many quit at this point because I could easily see how this one could! She told me to hang in there. This is my time to prove I am an expert in these four areas of education. (Well, quite frankly, I now know how much I don't know and I don't feel like an expert in anything! How am I supposed to be pulling together nearly 20 quarters of work! It's crazy!!)

(Fun with Donna!)
Things have improved a bit now; I've now completed four out of seven sections of my first paper. It is 22 pages in length and I'm certain by Wednesday, my due date, it will be well over the 30 page limit; however, I think that's ok. I don't want to ask because I don't want to have to cut out anything I wrote. I've sort of become attached to it (smile). I'm now debating if I should end this first question with "Parents should stop fund-raising and start hell-raising," but I am contemplating if that's a very scholarly way to end my paper, or not. (I know it'd shock my committee members to read that in MY paper, but maybe that's exactly why I should include it, hmmmmm. What do you think?)I believe until parents start advocating for what's best for their kids, schools are going to continue to be a disservice to them! This testing garbage simply must be changed! This year I lost well over a week of instructional time with my students because of these blankety-blank tests and they've dumbed down the curriculum, not to mention the fact that each time I see a student crying during state test week I want to call my elected officials (actually grab them by their shirt collars) and tell them to get into my classroom to see what they are doing to my kids! (OK, sorry about that, I'm really done venting now! This insanity must be changed!)


At 13/6/08 9:48 PM, Anonymous Jordan said...

Mrs. Thomas,
Shayla did absolutely wonderful today. She was so into her part, it was just amazing. I have followed Christi's blog becuase my grandma is Ann Newhard and my mom got into it and now I check it nearly every day. I spent a while wondering if I would be in Shayla's year again. I was hoping it would turn out like that because I also enjoyed hanging out with Shelby last year. I sat in the seats, watching Shayla preform, and I thought about Christi. I looked over- you sat about 3 seats away from me and I could see the proud look in your eyes as you watched your little girl preform. I am the one who talked to you and Shayla after the preformance about eating lunch with Shayla and Shelby last year. It is just too bad that Shelby couldn't do it this year!!! Well, I just wanted Shayla to know how absoulutly stunning she was- a star indeed!!!
Thank you and God Bless you!!
Jordan Gase

At 13/6/08 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She did great, and I am sure that tomorrow will go the same!!
We were all talking behind stage about how much we missed Christi this year but before any of us go on stage we always look up to heaven and think about her. At least I know I do.

Love and God Bless,

At 13/6/08 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad your week got a little better! I totally agree with you about the state tests. We live in NC but our 9 year old had to take one also and she was a basket case for a month before it. It broke my heart and angered me that she had to be put through that for a test. Here is hoping your weekend is great.

The Schmidt Family

At 14/6/08 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't quit! It's wonderful that you are feel such passion about your research. I know the feeling - writing up my thesis at the moment, four years of work into 80,000 words. As for the ending - I think a well-reasoned conclusion will always strike a scholarly note, and I like the punch of your sentence. Needless to reiterate, but obviously I am amazed that you combine your research with a full-time job and family!

Shayla looks great as a dog - I think you have a talent on your hands there! It's wonderful that you give the gift of the theatre experience to other children in Christi's memory - I'm sure it's great for children and also such a burden off recipient families.


At 14/6/08 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Angela

I have been following Christi's journal for probably over a year now and always look forward to reading what you have to say. I am glad you have kept it going because it is also now lovely to hear how Shayla is growing and developing.

I think you should go with hell-raising, if parents and teachers are not going to stand up for the children who will? Hey need a voice and you can help facilitate this. Good luck with your work.


At 14/6/08 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Angela

I have been following this journal for well over a year now and am always touched by a loving close family you are. I am glad you have kept the journal going as I love hearing about how shayla is growing and developing. I always look forward to reading the entries.

I agree with you and think you should end the paper with "hell-raising". If parents (and teachers) are not going to be the voice for these children who can will. The pressure is not needed a good education is.

Good luck with all of your studies.

Melbourne, Australia

At 15/6/08 8:28 AM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Hi Angela,

I'm here at home celebrating Father's Day and my Mom and brother say put it IN! They definitly agree with every word you wrote about the blankety blank tests!

All our best to you sweet friend! Best wishes as you complete your exams, you're a great advocate for education!!

With all our Love,
Heather (Lynn and Dan too!!)

At 16/6/08 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I feel the exact same way you do about the testing processes in our schools today. They do dumb down the curriculum, and they certainly add a bunch of stress to the teacher and most importantly the students! And for what? I despise those tests! Our elected officials do need to step up to the plate and make changes!

Sasha German


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