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, November 08, 2009

Fun in Indy!

Praise God! I presented at my first national conference - the National Middle School Assocation - and it went very well. Despite being told to prepare for 70 and that there were only 112 chairs available, there ended up being 130 in attendance at my session and they stood, they sat on the floor, and they didn't seem to mind. I had a blast presenting "Effective Strategies and Methodologies for Those of Us in the Middle". My boss was in attendance and collected the evaluations; she told me I did great. The conference was amazing! I had a ball - 7,500 attendees and about 30 of us from the Middle Childhood Program at BGSU. I loved getting to spend time with my students and other professors off campus. The sessions and speakers were fantastic! It was a tremendous weekend! I remember applying to present last December thinking, "Even if my proposal is selected, my school district will probably never let me go." To be encouraged to go, to have finanicial and moral support from my new employer - WOW! Thank you, dear Lord! I am so blessed!

Imagine my shock and surprise flipping through the conference book trying to decide which sessions to attend the next day and seeing the name of one of my OSU Professors as a presenter! I had Dr. Zutell (who had retired, but who came back to teach for a short while) for three reading classes (and one of those classes is the reason I'm not graduating with a 4.0, but a 3.98. It's ok, I'm over it now (cough) can ya tell?!). Seriously, it was great to see him! He greeted me with, "Long time, no see!" and a big hug. I told him I was living the dream; I had a P-H-D and a J-O-B! He told me he saddened when he learned Christi died (He got to meet her in July of 2006) and he was glad to find out I landed on my feet now. What is really odd about all of this is he called himself, "Grandpa Zutell" when this photo was taken.....his advisee was my advisor - like three generations of reading professors! Amazing!

Much to my surprise and delight, Shayla had two days off of school due to parent/teacher conferences - the same exact days I needed to go to Indianapolis for my conference. Whew! I picked Shayla up an hour early from school on Wednesday, picked up mom and Joe, and off we went to the city until Saturday afternoon.

Shayla had an absolute ball with her grandparents enjoying the Children's Museum, the zoo, Miss Liberty, the mall, manicures, swimming, etc., etc. She had such a special time with two very special people in her life. Thank God for grandparents!

Shayla cuddling with her grandpa back at the hotel.

Thankfully, I had Friday night free so I took the little one and had "date night" with her. We really enjoyed our special time together at the art museum.

My sweet, sweet friend and one of her little ones came to our hotel Thursday night. It was great to catch up with her.

This is the only photo I saw any "orbs" in. Of course it made me think of Christi and the many times she enjoyed the dinosaur exhibits at different museums. One night I took Shayla over to the mall to get our dinner. We were surprised to spot an "Alex's Lemonade" billboard featuring Alex's picture. Shayla said, "I think that's Christi's little way of letting us know she's on this trip with us too." I assured her I thought so too!

Christi, NYC, age 5 (January 2003)

I think this is my favorite photo out of the many mom took! So cute!


At 8/11/09 8:31 PM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

SO glad all went well at the conference Angela -- and glad Shayla had that special time with her grandparents as well.

At 8/11/09 8:32 PM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

SO glad all went well at the conference Angela -- and glad Shayla had that special time with her grandparents as well.

At 9/11/09 9:25 AM, Blogger Team Russi said...

Congratulations on a successful conference. It's great to hear that the timing worked for Shayla and your parents to accompany you. Sometimes those unexpected trips turn into the greatest moments.


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