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, December 03, 2010


Pic: Shayne & Shayla at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge's pool where they swam every day we stayed there - too sweet!

"Florida" written by Shay, age 11 Pic above: 2004 in Florida. Shayla (5), Christi (7)

After the plane baggage pick up and getting a car, I can't help but wonder what the heat will be like here. Staring out the car window of the black PT cruiser, I find out. Full sun rays pour down upon us. It isn't hot, but a feeling of warmth gingerly brushing by. Soon it is gone and the glimpse of a promise for warmth is gone too. A cloud flutters over the sun, crushing our attempt to flee the cold's bite in Ohio. I rip my eyes from the sky and focus my mind on my surroundings. From the front seat, my mom and dad droned on in their definition of a "lighthearted" conversation. They aren't and won't be talking to me so I reposition my focus. I settle for looking at the trees. The trees! So green and not many the "palm trees" like Florida has a reputation for having. To me, they look like a civilized jungle complete with Spanish moss adorning the trees. Berries are ornaments beaming from steamy lands. And we're off to explore this new world!

(Pic: enjoying a rollercoaster with Shay Shay at Magic Kingdom)It was a very busy week here and I found myself reflecting back upon last week's - a LOT! In addition to all three of us reading "Catching Fire", Shayne and I both read Condelezza Rice's new autobiography too. We both LOVED it, thinking it was more of a "how to raise a single child" book than a political book by a former US Secretary of State. I was particularly interested in her parents, both classroom teachers and then her "Daddy" going to work at the university. I found her launching her career into higher education as a new professor to be equally exciting. I did not know she lived in Birmingham in the 60s - wow! We couldn't put it down - well, except to catch the bus to a Disney park (smile). I also read a heartbreaking and eye opening book "I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced". There is much work to be done!

Shayne had to fly back to Orlando again this week (for work this time). Shayla's thrill of the week was attending the middle school dance, a slumber party and enjoying both grandma and grandpa babysitting her one night while I was working late on campus. It's hard to believe I only have two more classes to teach yet before break. I have so much to do yet - yikes!

Pic: My birthday - celebrating this one at Planet Hollywood. On my birthday night, at EPCOT, Shayne surprised me with the Disney waiters singing to me and putting down a cupcake, I cried. It was so much better than the one I spent alone in 2003 in the Ronald House in Philly. I am so lucky!

Speaking of lucky and blessed, Shayne came home on the night of our 19th wedding anniversary this week with a huge bouquet of gorgeous red roses. Later we learned he just dropped by the flower shop on his way home and they didn't have any flowers available. He talked them in to giving him the bouquet they had waiting for another anniversary wife's husband to pick up the following day. I sure hope they were able to make more before he arrived. Shayne kept saying he was sure the other couple was getting a divorce because he bought that guy's flowers for his wife. Too funny!


At 4/12/10 12:02 AM, Blogger Christy said...

I love reading your updates! I've been following Christi's site for several years now. Your family is awesome!

At 5/12/10 5:34 AM, Blogger Amy K said...

I love to read about your family adventures.
Happy belated Birthday and Anniversary!


At 5/12/10 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm a longtime Christi fan, but I've never commented on your blog before because so often I just don't know what to say.

However, I just saw that you read and enjoyed I am Nujuood, Age 10 and Divorced, and I wanted to recommend Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It was an amazing read.

My best wishes to the whole Thomas Team! Sometime soon I'll write a real introduction post, but I just couldn't resist a book recommendation.

Philadelphia, PA

At 6/12/10 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a sessional lecturer during my years at grad school, I read (and graded) a ton of English lit essays. May I just say that Shayla's piece on her introduction to Florida is superior to many undergraduate university students' essays on children literature! Shayla, you are eloquent, insightful, and deliver your subject with a clarity and simplicity that few ever achieve! I know the Thomas Team is a special family. Thank you for sharing your talented family with us! I can imagine Christi's pride at having such an amazing sis!


At 10/12/10 9:02 AM, Blogger Cassandra said...

I echo Kalyani's comments about Shayla's amazing writing style. This essay was superb, and I had to re-read your blog post several times to clarify who wrote the essay. I am a college professor too, and her writing ability exceeds what some of my students have submitted to me. She is quite a gifted writer, with a beautiful and descriptive style. Keep up the great work, Shayla!!



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