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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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The First Band Concert

Christi had her instrument all picked out upon entering 5th grade. Unfortunately, she didn't live long enough to actually get that instrument or to take lessons, to practice or to perform. Last night was Shayla's first band concert - and she was very lucky to be there! (I really don't believe in luck, but it had to play a role in this.) Let me first back up just a bit.

We ended our incredible five nights in Keystone by skating on America's largest outdoor skating rink. Next we drove to Vail and had lunch so that we could see what Vail was like (amazing too). After lunch we headed back near Denver to visit with Shayne's cousin and her husband (and AWESOME child). We overnighted with them and went to the airport Sunday morning nice and early.....that's when the "adventure" began.

While waiting in line to check our luggage we learned that the Cleveland airport was without power and there would be no flights going in or out of Cleveland the entire day. Now I kept thinking, "I've had five weeks off and now that I have to be to work the next day, there is a problem." And, "We fly out of so many different airports, why did it happen to be Cleveland today?" So odd! Finally, it was our turn at the counter to see what we could work out. After much checking, desperately trying to locate three seats on the same plane going to some other city, we were booked on a later flight to Dayton. We were happy to be able to get to Ohio on Sunday, so we took that fight. After landing in Dayton, we spent $150 to rent a car to drive 300 miles to Cleveland, where our van was parked. Then it was an hour and a half drive home. CRAZY! But we made it and were quite thankful when we finally pulled in our drive way. We definitely won't ever forget that adventure home!

Prior to going to Keystone, Shayla came home one day with a concerned look on her face. She had learned that she earned first chair in band, but that the concert was when we were going to be in Keystone skiing. I told her to practice hard and maybe she'd keep that seat for the spring concert. (OK, Shayne and I actually considered trying to reschedule our trip so she wouldn't miss it, but thankfully we didn't.)

While in Keystone, Shayla was chatting with one of her friends one night and she learned due a snowstorm back home the concert she was going to miss was rescheduled for Monday. She was so happy and so thankful! I emailed the band director to see if she could still participate. He said, "It must be divine intervention because her name and chair were actually printed in the program." Amazing! God is good!

NOTE FOR MY PARENTS FROM SHAYLA'S PROUD MOMMY who claims she places no worth on grades (smile). Shayla's report card was all As again. (A- in math and A+ in band) WHEW! She's had a great year so far. Thank you, dear Lord! OK, and what is a little bit comical is that Shayla's wonderful principal called me before our trip to inform me that school policy was only five days of vacation per year which she took in December and Shayla taking another week off to go skiing was in violation. I sweetly asked him, trying not to laugh out loud, "Should I hire her a tutor?" (thinking my BGSU students would love to pick up some ca$h if the school made us do this and Shayla would LOVE their attention - if we could just squeeze it in with everything else she has going on). I truly understand school policy and know why he had to call, he is a great principal, but Shayne and I laughed over that more than once. (And what was really funny about it was that they were watching a full length movie the day he called, "The Polar Express". That's educational - wink) Thankfully, she's a healthy child and doesn't miss school for illness. We are blessed!

Here's wishing you and yours a great week!

An oldie, but goodie (I miss that little sweetpea!) PHOTO: Summer 2001 outside of Dallas, visiting with my friend while Shayne was in Texas for work. Christi holds one of the twin's hand while Shayla is in the stroller. I often thought Christi might end up marrying one of those boys! Melissa and I joked, "We'd like their in-laws!" thinking it'd be great fun. We met at BGSU in our teacher preparation program, both taught first grade for a while and were in each other's weddings. Good times, great friends! Now Melissa is doing much more important work as a full time mom to many more than these two blessed little guys- homeschooling them all too!


At 12/1/10 12:00 PM, Blogger Emmers said...

Looks like you guys had an awesome vacation!! And congrats on straight A's and first chair Shayla!!

At 12/1/10 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad Shayla was able to perform! Awesome!
What a precious picture of Christi holding her friends hand! So sweet!

At 12/1/10 9:17 PM, Anonymous Jennifer Zwissler said...

CONGRATS to Shayla. I've followed your blog for years now, but this is the first I've left a reply. I too am a teacher, from Ohio (Cincinnati area, now living in TN). I am also a professional flutist and until 2000, I showed horses (25 years worth), taught riding lessons, and was very much in the horse bug! I am a music teacher, but also have taught band to all levels. I was so tickled when she picked the flute, and it is a big deal for her to be first chair...sounds like she has an awesome director! Feel free to email me at if you have questions about flute stuff ever! I have 2 daughters of my own (6 and 8), and I can only pray they turn out to be as awesome as your Shayla and Christi. LOVE hearing of your adventures! No, I did not attend OSU, as their marching band did not allow woodwinds. I went to UK instead, but I did take a few flute students to BGSU for auditions when I still lived there.


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