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, July 27, 2010

Fun at the Fair

Shayla improved her time by 4 seconds in her second barrel racing competition this year! We'll have to see what happens for her third on Sunday. Go, Shayla! Go, Skeeter boy - take care of our gal! (Unfortunately, a young woman broke her arm when she fell from her horse during Monday night's speed show. So glad am I that Shayla's not so fast!)

Thank God she'd rather kiss horses than boys! (Jill - fabulous to see you today as always. We need to get together once this week is over and we've caught our breath!)

Tonight Shayla modeled her sewing project in the Style Review show. She won first place for her shorts/bag/scrunchie project out of 13 lovely outfits. She was happy at the end of the evening to learn that she qualified for the state fair with her sewing.

She received 2nd in scrapbooking and she was very happy with that. She did decide to opt out of her fair for a day this week to take her other two 4H projects to the state fair to compete with them there - Designing Interiors and Art as an Expression. She wasn't disappointed at all that her pickles didn't score in the top three (She really has been having quite the giggle with the fact she entered her pickles!)

A quiet moment with Skeeter before entering the arena. (He really takes such great care of her. He's a star!)

Last minute tips from the horse trainers: Ali, Claire and Daddy (Oh, he's the Stable Boy, I forgot!)
Finally - Fair Fun with Friends! This is the week we've been waiting for - ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
English Bareback Competition
Showmanship Competition
The Ladies of Lane of Dreams (the barn where Shay leases her horse and takes weekly lessons)

So awesome to see one of Christi's best friends at the fair - so lovely, so grown up, still the same sweet gal with a huge heart and a beautiful smile. And what a seamstress! WOW! Goodluck at the state fair with those lovely sewing projects girls!!

Shayla met with the judge Saturday afternoon to discuss her Gingerbread Stable as part of the Self Determined category of judging. She received an "Honorable Mention"

A hug for Skeeter! "He's the best horse!" Shay keeps telling us.Tomorrow she competes in Western classes. They're calling for 90 degrees and high humidity. We may pull her out of some events if it's too hot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Testing 1, 2, 3; Testing 1, 2, 3! Praise God!

Whew! After sweating out my "computer disaster" for months, it's all back now! I praise the Lord I did not lose a single thing on my home computer and I thank BGSU and my on-line backup storage system for all working so well to help me get it back. I was most worried about losing my old pictures, but as you can see from these I've never shared before - they're back and I'm floating! Now I have absolutely no excuse for not getting Christi's cemetery plaque ordered! (Other than I don't want to of course, hee hee! I will! I will!)

Christi, July 2003, age 6, Swimming with the Dolphins in Hawaii on the way back from her Make a Wish trip to Japan.
Christi in Hawaii.

Same Trip: Shayla, age 4, in Hawaii before taking the helicopter ride over a volcano. Sadly, Shayla doesn't remember much of anything about the Make a Wish or Hawaii trip because she was so little. (I guess we'll have to go back - haa ha!)

$1,000 Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship - Fremont St. Joe Student

Congratulations to Taylor Darr! Taylor was selected as this year's recipient of the $1,000 Christi Thomas Memorial Fremont St. Joe Scholarship. I feel terrible about not being able to call and tell Taylor myself. My only hope is that she will by chance read this blog and find out. My computer problems are far from over and therefore I'm not able to access her application to find her phone numbers. (I'm putting in yet another call today and hopefully I will be back up and running again soon. What's bothering me the most is not being able to look back at pictures of Christi. I know the files are not "lost" and I praise the Lord for that! I'm just not able to get them installed back in my computer as of yet.)

Taylor - This morning I mailed BGSU a check for $1,000 in your name. Congratulations and please stop by my office sometime to say hello or to let me treat you to lunch. It would be my pleasure! Best Wishes and Gooooooooooooooo, Falcons!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

4H Judging & a Great Stay at Grandma and Grandpa's

Shayla's new (Well, new to her!) outfit for 4H judging.

Shay said all three of her judges were very, very nice. She really enjoyed talking with them and sharing her work. What sweet ladies to volunteer their time like this! May God bless them and keep them save in His loving arms!

Being judged for "Designing Interiors"

Shayla received an "A" on all of her projects, despite telling the "Arts as an Expression" judge she should get a B when the judge asked what she thought she should you get on her project. (She said she keeps confusing "principles" and "elements" of art.) I don't know why Shayla said that because she worked so hard on all of her five 4H projects and learned so much. She called me after judging and said she really enjoyed getting to talk with the judges about everything she did. I'm grateful my mom was able to get her there and to snap some pics for me while I was teaching!

Late yesterday afternoon I received a message that Shayla was selected to go to the state fair for two of her three projects she took on Tuesday: Interior Designs and Arts as an Expression. I was really floored she didn't make it for Scrapbooking, because I thought it was absolutely awesome, but she was ok with that and happy about qualifying for the other two projects. Now we don't know if she will be able to go or if they will need to call the 2nd place winners to go instead because the state fair is the same time as our county fair and she has a horse event to compete in that day - "Versatility" (where they have a "pit crew" to do all of the tack changes as they have to complete all at once for a lengthy time in: showmanship, English, Western and barrels). We've told her it's her decision and we don't care what she decides, but she keeps going back and forth and I think really wants us to tell her what to do - but we are not going there! We've always felt it best for the girls to have choices and to make decisions (when it's something like this and doesnt' really matter) so that they realize there are results and consequences that go along with decision making and that life is all about making choices - make good ones!

My deepest thanks to all of those sweet 4H volunteers!! These kids would not have the opportunities or expereinces they do without them!

I received a text one night from Shay. It said, "We made 77 cookies today. Guess what we're eating for dessert?" I texted back, "Cookies!" She said, "No! We had them for our lunch dessert, we are having S'mores over the fire tonight." She's a hoot! I love her so and I'm glad she had a great time at grandma and grandpa's and I will now have LOTS of time to spend and enjoy with her as I'm officially finished working for a whole month. (Of course I will be writing and working on some research I will be conducting this fall, but nothing I have to leave the house for - yippeee!).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time for an Update

I've received a few emails of inquiry wondering if all is ok with the Thomas team so, despite having any real or exciting news, I thought I'd better update this evening. All is well! I thank God for that, as always! Since I last updated on June 29th, I finished teaching two more summer classes and I've completed a ton of grading. I love making money and teaching the courses, but the lesson planning involved still takes me a great deal of time. I keep thinking the more I teach the less time I will have to spend in preparation, yet that never seems to be the case. Thankfully, I really enjoy the planning - it just takes me too long! I've also been spending time with the new language arts content standards work I will begin on Friday of this week and I will continue that work into the next week for the State Department of Education.

Shayla has been busy enjoying the summer! Since my last update she's been to the city pool with friends, to Soak City and Cedar Point with friends, working with Skeeter nearly every day, reading a ton of books, shopping with her "Decorating Committee" for 4H, having weekly "mounted meetings" at the fair grounds (4 1/2 hour ventures involved in loading up Skeeter, trailering him in to town and back to the barn, working with the other 4Hers in the club in the arena and then having the meetings as well). Thankfully, she enjoys it all! (Shayne and I are just exhausted! But that's OK!!)

(PIC: The required sewing box she put together) She spent much of last week finishing four of her five other 4H projects: scrapbooking, sewing, interior designs and arts as an expression. It's amazing how much work is involved with each and every project. (It's not just the project, but a good sized workbook to go along with each project - yikes.) I believe she did absolutely outstanding work on all of her projects and I'm very proud of her!

Yesterday was her sewing judging. They keep the parents in a roped off section away from the judges (imagine that - involved, competitive parents in 4H? I'm shocked - hee hee!). But from where I sat I thought the 15 minute interview went very, very well. She smiled and happily chatted away the entire time. Her grading card showed a grade of an "A" with "very good" (the highest) marked in every section. There were 13 competing in her first year division (make a skirt or shorts and two additional accessories. Shayla made the white shorts and green/white polka dot bag and hair scrunchie).

The judge wrote many positive comments including: finished seams, excellent fit, great colors complements well and other things I can't remember. As soon as Shayla came back to me she said, "This judge was really, really nice. I think it went great except for one thing." When I asked, "What?" She said, "The only workbook page she opened up and turned to was page 46 - that's the only page I didn't do. My 4H advisor said it was for second year." My heart fell. In the car I opened up to the page and sure enough, we left it blank. I told her it was my fault, not her sewing teacher's, for not checking all the workbook pages. I thought she was done because on page 45 it said at the top of the paragraph, "Congratulations! You have just completed Ready? Let's Sew!" I did not read to the bottom of the paragraph (Yes, I am a reading teacher!) where it said for the last sentence, "Now turn to the next page and answer the questions."

When we got home I again told Shayla I was so sorry for not checking her book more carefully. I received the most mature response from a very happy little camper (sewer?). "Mom, let it go. It's no big deal. I'm not upset why should you be? I learned how to sew and I had fun. That's what I wanted to do. Next I get to model my outfit in the style show at the fair!" I could only respond, "Shayla, I think I will increase your pay for sewing the family's buttons back on. Instead of paying you a quarter, I may give you a dollar." She's amazing! (So, I've yet to "let it go" but I'm trying really hard and reminding myself winning ribbons isn't important - learning is!) And aren't all of those little girls' outfits they sewed darling?! I had the most wonderful time watching all of the girls come in, wearing their outfits, and meeting with their judges - really neat! I wish I could sew! (Seriously, I could NEVER have the patience required.)

Speaking of trying really hard, I've yet to order the cemetery plaque. This week I will call the computer storage back up company about my computer. It's STILL not restored. YIKES! I am getting concerned. I have THOUSANDS of pictures of Christi there and I "thought" they were all backed up. Shayne just told me today to call the company this week because he's done all he can for me. Oh, I'm praying hard this can be fixed and all of my "stuff" can be located.

For the fourth of July weekend, we bought an awesome new waverunner so we have been spending a lot of time on it in Lake Erie. The used ones we bought in 2004 because Christi loved being out on them in the lake so much, were really "junk", but the price was right back then. They never really worked well and were so old (1995, I think) and I was glad we recently sold them. Also, after Christi died and we were left just a family of three, it seemed weird to have two so this new waverunner holds all three of us comfortably. Now we can all be together and no one gets left. (Well, left on dry land that is. Shayne did manage to dump all three of us in the lake within our first two hours on them, but it was so hot it actually felt great! Getting "mom" back up on it was another funny matter, but I won't even describe that!) Another thing I love about this one is that we also bought a "floating dock" so we don't have to trailer it in and out of the lake and down to storage anymore. (What a pain!) Now we can just go out of the condo and hop right on it.

We went over to South Bass Island and enjoyed "Put in Bay" today! We can't believe how grown up Shayla is becoming. Yikes! (PIC: Shayla in the back of the "fun car" we rented calling grandpa telling him she's entering their dill pickles in the county fair judging while enjoying her mocha from "The Chocolate Factory" on the island.

(PIC: Touring the nature wildlife preserve)

(The fun car we spent much of the day in)

Shayla and her dad: kicked back outside of the candy shoppe

That's all our "news" for this update. This coming week I will be very busy teaching a class for Heidelberg University every day, but as soon as it's over I want to spend time with my mom and Joe! I've missed them soooooooooo much and my summer schedule just hasn't been leisurely enough to allow that to happen yet - but it will soon! Ahhhh! Shayla is really looking forward to spending the week with them while I'm working and I'm grateful mom will get Shayla back to town for more 4H judging this week - three more projects will be judged on Tuesday. I hope it goes as well as Saturday's 4H judging did. I hope you and yours have a lovely week! ENJOY!