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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Monday, April 27, 2009

Worst Day Ever

Now I would NOT say that today was Shayla's worst day ever, but someone around here will disagree with me. And I feel horrible, really sick about it all.

As we were getting ready for church Sunday morning, Shayne whispered to me, “How long do you think it will take Shayla to ask for a later bed time?” (Because her new school starts a bit later and because she doesn’t have to leave early to make a bit of a drive and to make the required teacher arrival time at S.E., she’ll get about an additional hour of sleep each morning.) Well, Sunday night, sitting by the river eating sandwiches in between her dance program rehearsal and her “Music Man” rehearsal she said to us, “Since I can sleep in an extra hour does it mean my bedtime is an hour later now?” Although we had not discussed it, we both said in unison, “No”.

Shayne said that Shayla got really worried when it was time to actually go to the new school this morning, but he thought it went well and that she did fine. He said he really liked her teacher and that the secretary was very nice. I know she’s really able to handle herself remarkably well for her age, but I still wondered about her all day and prayed she was doing well.

Sweet Caroline emailed me today and told me to tell Shayla to call her cell phone if she thinks she left anything at SE. “She saw me crying at least three times on Friday. The last thing she said to me before leaving for your room was, ‘I’ll be seeing you soon.’ I know she was worried about me.”

Well, I waited out in the drive way to meet the bus in case the driver had any messages for me. It was a sub and Shayla stomped off saying, "Why did you take my picture? Delete it." This was quite shocking to me, but it went on and on, all the way to dance practice. She was silent the way home, but then took it up with Shayne when he called and she answered saying, "What?" (Can this really be Shayla? YIKES!) I understand she complained to him all the way back up to Music Man practice tonight too. Oh, my!

What was so bad? (Well, I'm in between laughing because it was so funny and crying because I know she's serious.) They have to write in cursive. (At least it's not Latin, right?) They don't have air conditioning. There wasn't time to eat all of her lunch. Recess is ten minutes and they don't play, just talk. There is even homework in music - and they all can read notes, she can't. The bus was hot and the list went on. Perhaps the top of the crumble was the fact I threw away a picture she drew to give to a little girl friend. "It was the best horse I ever drew." I remember; it was great, but I was cleaning up. Argh! I really cannot believe this is my child! (And I really can't believe I'm doing this to her!)

Shayne and I are shocked because this kid really does NOT complain. I can only hope and pray that tomorrow will be a better day, but I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully God will hold it for me because I'm feeling quite ill and needing some support from Him.


At 27/4/09 7:23 PM, Blogger Emmers said...

no matter what, everyone's first day at a new school stinks. I think she'll be ok, once she gets used to the newness of it all. I hope it goes better tomorrow! Maybe someone can help her catch up to reading music (she's smart so she'll get the hang of it quick!) - perhaps the music director at your church? (unless you guys can read music that is!) Good luck Shayla!! Tomorrow is a brighter day and its almost summer!! :D

At 27/4/09 8:46 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

I am so sorry, Shayla! First days can be so hard. I am thinking of you. I know it wasn't easy, but they will get better; I promise! My first days in new schools were always hard but they always got better and I ended up loving them.

Loads of love,

At 27/4/09 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what? When I was Shayla's age, my family was talking about moving. I made up my mind that if we did, i would NOT enjoy it and I WOULD let my parents know how unhappy I was. And like your little girl, I was a really sweet kid!
I think this is just Shayla's kid way of saying "This is really hard for me. I'd rather not have to do this. It's not easy adjusting". It's probably just too hard for her to verbalize. She will adjust, though. You've raised some brave girls. God bless you all.

At 27/4/09 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to read about Shayla's bad day. I hope things get better! I've been a fan of the Thomas family for the last six years, when I stumbled across Christi's website. Although I read your blog regularly I am not much of a poster. Thinking of all of you as you go through this transition, and wishing you all the best!

Whitney from Washington, DC

At 27/4/09 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet Shayla, today was a tough day but don't give up because I'm just SURE you will love it soon and that school will just love YOU!!!

From one horse lovin' gal to another, cowboy up!

At 27/4/09 9:12 PM, Blogger mn pony girl said...

Hang in there, Shayla. It will get better in no time flat!

From one horse lovin' gal to another, cowboy up! :)

At 27/4/09 9:48 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

Dear Sweet Angela,
It will be okay. Shayla right now is completely and totally out of her element and everything that she once knew. It will take time but she will adjust and do fine.

My little girls have had to move several times with the military and I am always shocked by how hard it is for them in the beginning and how mean their words can be when they express their frustration.

Hang in there. Shayla will experience many new things in her lifetime and this is just one of those experiences. Give it some time and she will soon love it.

Thinking of you and praying for you and Shayne and Shayla.

At 27/4/09 11:47 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Dear Shayla,

Change can sometimes be very hard. When we are used to something and very comfortable there, it is natural to want to stay. Getting out of bed in the morning is easy when you are certain that where you are going is somewhere you belong. It can be very difficult if you are about to go somewhere that is full of uncertainties, of new things and people you don't know.

Always remember that everywhere was new once. This is a big change for you because it is the first time you have ever embarked on something this big and scary on your own without Christi having gone ahead before you. In the past, when you first started school, it was a little easier because she was already there and it was a place you recognised and already felt a part of. Your new school feels strange because there is so much about it that you don't know...yet.

Yet is a very handy little word!

Whenever I have to face a big change, I take the word "yet" with me. I moved from my home in Australia to live in England for two years, which is a very long way from home! When I landed in England, I didn't know any people, I didn't know much about the country because I'd never been there before and, to begin with, I didn't even have a place to live. It is very scary to be in such a big place and have so many things to find out about, but I knew that if I concentrated and worked hard and made the effort, then one day, all those things that I didn't know "yet" would become things I was very familiar with. Every time I discovered something I wasn't sure about, I always made sure I put "yet" on the end of the sentence. I didn't know anyone YET. I didn't have a place to live YET. I don't know which train to catch to get me to work YET. As long as you always remember to take "yet" with you, you will carry with you the most comforting, warm and glorious thing imaginable; hope.

So remember, all the things that confuse you, all the things you feel that you don't know that the other kids do, all the differences between your new school and your old schools, are just a pile of "yets" waiting for you to solve them. You don't know notes YET. You don't find cursive easy YET. You don't like some things YET. Keep a list in your head, sometimes I do. Every time something stops being so new and different, I cross it off the list. Every time you wipe something off the list, you are telling the whole world that you are a pioneer, a problem-solver, someone who knows that a "yet" is just a wonderful opportunity waiting to happen. You have, in your lifetime, erased a lot of "yets" from your list. Go back and think of all the things you couldn't do a year ago, two years ago, three... For every thing you can't do YET, there are a lot of things you've already solved. Big changes are hard and it's okay to feel sad and angry, but don't forget to feel excited too. Life is an adventure and you won't get to see the best parts of it if you stay in the one place forever. Never leave the house without a little hope in your back pocket. Don't let the "yets" get the better of you!

- Karen
Melbourne, Australia

At 28/4/09 5:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that sounds grim! Not to worry - it will get better. The way I always remembered the notes was that the lines read from bottom to top - EGBDF - or Every Good Boy Deserves Food (think Oliver!) - and that spaces between the lines, again from top to bottom, read FACE. As for the cursive - couldn't help but think of that episode of the Simpsons where Bart moves school - a quick google has elicted:

Mr Doyle: So, you never learned cursive?
Bart: Well, I know hell, damn, bit...
Mr Doyle: Cursive handwriting, script. Do you know the multiplication tables? Long division?
Bart: I know of them.

Perhaps it might make Shayla laugh :-)

All the best,


At 28/4/09 6:15 AM, Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

Dear Angela

I stopped in on your Blog today just to see how Shayla's day 1 went. Oh dear. I hope things improve - rapidly.

Please post a day 2 report so we know whether to increase the prayers or can thank God for his help with an improvement. Hopefully the latter.

Good night from Australia.


At 28/4/09 6:36 AM, Blogger Two Kids and a Husband said...

She is a super strong girl and she will get used to this "new normal". I moved twice when I was in school...(once in grade school and once in highschool) once she has made some friends life won't seem so terrible anymore! Give her time and don't beat yourself up... you have to be one of the most dedicated mothers I know of. I draw inspiration from you with my own kids. (7 and 4) oh the fighting, arguing, distruction around the house and bed time...oh my!!! :) She will pull through!

At 28/4/09 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear Shayla had a tough first day. I guess it would be the hardest, wouldn't it? I'm hoping each day will get just a little easier for her!

A lot of people are scared of change, Shayla has been through a lot and is a strong person, I just know that she will slowly grow into this new situation and really love the new opportunities it presents.


At 28/4/09 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers and God Bless...

At 28/4/09 8:34 AM, Blogger Team Russi said...

Starting fresh is so hard, and I'm sure Shayla had really high hopes. I hope that she's feeling more settled by the end of the week and making friends. She seems like such a charmer - I'm sure it won't be long before she's made a big group of friends and embraced the school.

At 28/4/09 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey !!

so in the first picture is her new school!!?? its really big :)
she will get used to it ...i changed school 4 times its was hard in the biginning ...

she´s a four grader student??

here in my country the schools are a litle bit different from there i think ...
my elementary school wass sooo litle ...and its still the same ..a litle house :) with like ...70 students from 1 to 4 grade heheh

then we have the basic school(from 5 to 9 grade) with a lot of teachers , we have a lot of subjects like portuguese , english, french , geografy , history , chemistry , natural ciences , sport ,math, arts , and music just in 5 and 6 grade..

and we have the secondary schools

i really miss my high school :)

in high school we have four geral courses to take like cience and math ; economic course , arts course , and social ciences(mine) :) and the professional courses for the students who dont want to go to college.

so all i can say in my life i ve been in 4 different schools :)


shayla is so bigg :)

i think i never comment anything in this blog before but i came here every day!!
sorryyy my english is not good , but to be honest im improving lololol

kisses for all

Susana (portugal)

At 28/4/09 3:18 PM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

Oh dear, sweet Shayla -- sometimes God gives us challenges in our lives so that we lean more into Him and trust Him more. I am sure that in no time at all you are going to not only be comfortable in your new surroundings at school, but absolutely loving it AND reading music notes BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE in the class!!! Each day WILL get better and better, you'll see!
In the meantime, I'M always keeping you (and your mommy and daddy) in my prayers and today I'm asking God for extra support for all of you!
Big hugs to you Shayla, from me :)

At 28/4/09 3:20 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I really hope Shayla has had a great day today!

At 28/4/09 5:01 PM, Blogger Tawny said...

Aww Shayla, I'm so sorry to hear you had a tough 1st day :( I had to write in cursive sometimes in school too and I never liked it much either! I'm surprised the school has no AC but I'd assume there would atleast be fans in each classroom. I hope your day today was better now that you knew what to expect.

At 28/4/09 10:49 PM, Blogger TheDorothyFamily said...

Please tell me your sweet girl had a better day today......I seriously prayed she would :)

Jan in Arkansas

At 28/4/09 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Shayla, you're a "tween": not yet a teenager, but not exactly a little girl, anymore, either.

Good luck to your parents! Try not to give them too much of a hard time! Or, just tell them that you're "not going to do anything that they didn't do when they were teens"--yikes!

At 28/4/09 11:50 PM, Blogger Tracy'sspace said...

Hugs to you and to Shayla. I am sure that as she settles in things will improve, it is a pretty big life change! Failing that, get ready for the pre-teens :-(. Sometimes I think they must be worse than the teens!

At 29/4/09 7:07 AM, Anonymous Joyce said...

Dear Shayla,
I moved too to a better school district, but in third grade instead of fourth. It was DEFINITELY different, for exactly the reasons you said! People didn't play outside as much, the classes were something to adjust to, including those like art and music, there was more homework PERIOD and it was just DIFFERENT.

Now, about ten years later, I'm definitely glad I made the move. Eventually you find the friends that like to play four-square or go crazy on playgrounds (I still do:) And, well, compared to my public high school (one of the best in NY state), a top college really isn't that hard. I'm definitely glad I made the adjustment to that level so long ago rather than now.

That doesn't mean it wasn't hard, but I do think it was worth it. Hang tough, and keep your eyes out for activities with people who share similar interests. I hope each day improves a little more!

P.S. Yes, the buses are quite hot in the summer without air conditioning. Don't worry though, they DO have lots of heating in the winter!

At 29/4/09 2:08 PM, Anonymous Nicole M said...

Moving to a new school is quite tough. The smallest differences are huge at that age. We moved from Dayton Public Schools to a district in a small farming community. I had to ride a bus, hike up a hill to the playground, couldn't sit where I wanted for lunch, there were 3 flights of stairs, everyone was related to everyone else...I can go on. :) It was a tough transition but it was something that needed to be done. I also did it the last month and half of 3rd grade. The next year was so much easier as I wasn't still the "new" kid. It does get easier.
And if it helps, I can show her some fun tricks with liquid nitrogen when I'm in Tiffin for our program at Krout!

At 29/4/09 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"OH MY GOSH"...that is what I thought when I saw the picture of Shayla in front of her new school!!! That is the same school that I went to from grades K-6. I am a fellow country girl who grew up in Clinton Twp. and attended that school. I have MANY, MANY GREAT stories to tell about all of the fun that I had at that school! Tell Shayla to keep her head held high and be proud that she is a fellow "mustang" ;-)


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