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, April 25, 2010

Still Kicking & A "Christi Thing"

No, we haven't fallen off of the face of the earth, we're still here - just busy and that is a FANTASTIC thing in my book. I remember, not so long ago, being busy with things like doctors' appointments, transfusions and chemo treatments. This self-selected busy is fabulous! Praise the Lord!

Shayne has been deep sea fishing off of the coast near Tampa with colleagues from work. Shay has been doing her usual routine of school, dance, horse, and 4H meetings. She had a slumber party and also a friend get together thrown in there too. I'm frantically trying to wrap up spring semester (it ends on Friday - where does time go?) while preparing for a few summer classes I agreed to teach to pick up some extra dough. It will help pay for all of Shayla's bad and expensive habits (wink). Seriously, my summer classes will be over before Shayla is even out of school in late May so I couldn't say no to the generous offer, plus I absoltuely LOVE teaching for BGSU!

Shayla conned us all into the act for her science project on "Energy Utilization". At 11:30 pm every night, Shayne has to go outside and record the number on our electric meter. I've been assigned 7:30 am and Shayla reads and records the number every day at 3:30 pm. Thankfully, this assignment is about over. (And it's a good thing too because we are not permitted to adjust the lights, she has placed masking tape over the switches and handed us flash lights. I'm dying to watch a little TV myself, but I can say I have enjoyed eating out every single night since we are not permitted to use the oven, microwave or dishwasher. Clothes are piling up, but it's "all in the name of science" says the little one. We will see if the mad scientist has discovered anything or not. (I'm thinking not, but Shayne told her his best science project ever was when he had a failed science experiment. "A failed experiment does not mean a failed project." Time will tell!)

I made a trip to Christi's grave one afternoon this week, again pledging to get her cemetery plaque ordered. I really, really must do that soon, very soon - like by the end of summer. That is my new goal!

We were able to visit with Aunt V from Arizona on Saturday afternoon and evening. That was a wonderful treat! She is a gem - a rare and precious find! I love and miss her and am so glad she could come and "hang" with us!

Dance pictures were on Saturday. It's made me sad ever since I've only been able to take one girl and not two. This year, however, I was smarter. When I saw a "sister shot" being captured, I just left the room. No need to sit and long and suffer! I'm lucky to have one gal and she is to be treasured. I just always really miss Christi at dance picture day.

A very crazy "Christi thing" happened immediately after dance pictures. As I pulled away, a call came into my car. A dance mom who left earlier said, "My friend went to the library book sale and bought some books. In one of them was a postcard to Christi from your mom and I think your dad. She wants to know if you want it." What? I could not believe it! About a month ago, we donated the rest of Christi's books to the library and I thought I went through every one. Yes, I want that postcard. I want to give it back to my mom. The girls always loved getting her little postcards in the mail. Sweet! (And really "odd" timing too as I was a bit sad driving away from dance pictures. I've convinced myself it was a sign from Heaven - where our little dancer is celebrating on the most glorious stage.)

Not long ago one of Shayla's friends had been grounded due to "sister issues". I jokingly said to Shay, "Well, at least you can't get in trouble for not getting along with your sibling." Without missing a beat she said, "And I don't have anyone to play with here either." Ouch, that hurt! I know she misses Christi and in her mind they would still be playing here together day after day. It's hard to believe Christi would be 12 and I wonder if she'd still want to hang out with her sister. I bet she would, but I'll never know.

I'm running out of battery power. I must go! While Shayla says, "I miss playing wii, but I think I could be Amish," this science project really can't end soon enough for me! Take care! And turn the light on for me! Hee hee!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

4th Annual Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship Given at Heidelberg

I didn't think I'd cry. I've sat through Heidelberg's Awards Ceremonies now on four different Aprils. Why when I see Lori standing there presenting the award on behalf of our family, do tears start welling up? A glance at Shayne let me see he reacted the exact same way. I'm so lucky to have him as he squeezed my hand tight, letting me know he was right there beside me.

It was nice to meet this year's $1,000 scholarship recipient, Katie, after the ceremony yesterday afternoon. She is a fine recipient and we wish her the very best in finishing her Senior year and in starting her career as a teacher soon after. Congratulations, Katie!

Because of so many worthy applicants this year, we added four additional $100 "book scholarships" to help pay for fall textbooks for Sarah, Krystie, Jenna and Jessi. Best wishes, ladies!

On Thursday after lunch I put a new yellow bow on Christi's tree, planted outside of the Education Department on the campus of Heidelberg University. The lawn had just been moved so I brushed the grass off of her pretty little face and added the fresh new bow. Heidelberg - a wonderful place with amazing people! Go Berg!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Little "Bling"

We enjoyed a lovely day at the Equine Affaire in Columbus today with Traci and also Marty and Jeff! (Yes, try not to gag - Shayla is eating chocolate covered bacon on a stick. I couldn't even think about trying that, ugh!)

Much to everyone's shock and delight, the Ice Cream Truck came to Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff's today. They said that never happened before. Shayla was bareback on Dolly at the time, so she rode up! What a hoot!

We went to the Equine Affaire on Saturday with hopes of buying Shayla the belt she needed to complete her Western Show outfit for her horse competitions this summer. We had success! BLING, BLING!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Imagination Celebration & The End of "Christi's Bears"

After working on it for months, her project was finished last week and ready for the annual "Imagination Celebration". Being new to the school district and to the HEIGHTS program, we had no idea what to expect. We had a great night as we learned about new things and ate a wonderful Italian meal at the fundraiser dinner too. Shay had a blast! (She even ended up staying overnight at one of her HEIGHTS's friends' home who goes to a different elementary school.)

Throughout the evening, adults mingled around to the students' projects where the students stood ready to answer questions. All of the projects were interesting and the 3rd to 6th grade kids - absolutely amazing!

Shay's project board shares her survey results and current trends of "tweens".

Showing grandma Nee Nee her new hair cut

CHRISTI: While ridding ourselves of Christi's remaining possessions in January, when we were getting Shayla's new room ready and my new office completed, we did not know what to do with the many stuffed animals Christi had received throughout her treatment years. (How many stuffed bears does one need to keep to remember her?) Shayla wore her clothes, the rest of her books were donated to the library for their annual sale, her toys went to a resale shop, things were given to young relatives to play with, items were placed in plastic tubs in the basement, etc., etc, etc.; however, the question remained, "What do we do with these stuffed animals?" They were in such great shape; we did not want to just throw them away. Christi really loved them all!

I shared my concern with my friend, who is a newspaper reporter and she suggested I contact the police department. I did and I heard nothing back. I can't believe the tears I had over the bears, but it really bothered me (Shayne too).

Then, one day about a month ago, I ran into an old family friend from my childhood who is a police officer. (One of those amazing men I vividly remember wearing dress blues and standing at full attention during Christi's funeral procession.) I hadn't seen him for years. I told him about our dilemma and he said he too thought some officers would put some animals in their trunks to give children when dealing with tough situations. (And I'm sure those police officers see a lot of hurting children in their work.)

So time went on and just this week, Shayne said, "Are you going to take in the stuffed animals?" I said, "Oh, it's going to kill me to go to the police station, but somehow I will get them to our old friend." He said, "OK, I'm putting them in the back of the van so we don't have to keep seeing them. It's killing me." Ironically enough, Shayne ended up taking the van to the Imagination Celebration last night and who was there - our police officer friend. CRAZY! We decided to pass them off right then and there to be done with it. When the two guys came back into the school and informed us they were parked within a couple of cars of each other, I knew - AS I FELT THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE SITUATION - Christi was spinning her magic over all of us.

Those (practically brand new) Build a Bear bears and other really nice ones will go to hurting children and will hopefully give them the same comfort she received from those bears in beautiful condition. God is good! I can't believe it all worked out so well and with all of the really ironic things regarding the timing of it all. I can only feel Christi's soul was directly involved. Thank you, dear Lord! Please bless and protect all of the hurting children.

Dearest Christi, I love you so much! I'm so sorry you are not here with us - you would have LOVED last night's imagination celebration. I continue to tell myself you are in a much better place. You are where I want to be and I will continue to live my life in a way that will get me to you and to Father one day!! All my love and big misses, Mom

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter 2010

Christi's Last Easter (2006) with her great aunt Mary

I had not been able to return to my aunt's for Easter since Christi's death. Christi (and Shayla) always LOVED going to aunt Mary's for dinner. (She has the greatest egg hunt!) One of my last great memories was of Christi's Easter, spring 2006. My sister was up and we hunted eggs at my house on Saturday, they stayed over. We went to church togehter and then to aunt Mary's for lunch. Sometimes I still find it's best to avoid situations that bring me down, but quite frankly, I've missed my cousins terribly so I emailed my aunt and asked if we could be invited. I told her I thought I was finally ready. I'm so glad I did. She claims she was happy to have us and it was FABULOUS to spend precious time with each of my cousins. (I'm blessed to have many.) Sadly, Shayla had a ball with cousins she didn't even know she had. I feel terrible about taking her away from that while I mustered up the courage to get through the holidays by putting myself out of town. Time has helped. Things are better - not to say I don't miss Christi terribly, but it is easier.

Tiny Christi getting eggs and prizes from Aunt Mary - wow!

2005 - Aunt Mary's Egg Hunt (Christi & Shelby) Go, Girls, Go!
It WONDERFUL to visit with my grandma (She's 90!) and my beautiful cousins today. What a lovely one - temps again in the mid 70s. Ahhh!
The annual egg hunt. Shayla was happy to get to hide the eggs with a cousin. (She's so big, wink)

Shayla loved her Easter prizes. (The wwi fit plus game she received insulted Shayne, but it is fun! I'm not a video game person at all, but I could see how others could really get into them.)

The annual stairs pic (2005)
Shay (2010) Annual Stairs Pic (Ready to collect eggs)

Side of the House Egg Pick Up (annual pic)

Christi, 1999, Easter morning!

Christi, hunting for Easter eggs on Easter morning.

Friday, April 02, 2010

COSI Recap

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A COSI Spring Break

Shayla wanted to take a friend to COSI and spend the whole day there while she was on spring break. I don't know how we managed to be one of the first ones in the door this morning and the very last ones out of the door tonight, but we did it. THANKS Traci and Jenn for an absolutely incredibly amazing day! I have some new (snot) material for class and Shay and her friend learned a ton. I'll post more pictures another day. Right now I must crash for the night.

4th Annual Tiffin University Christi Thomas Egg Hunt

Thanks so much to all who helped in anyway! The weather was incredible (75 degrees and sunny), the turn out was amazing - tons of people, Tiffin Univeristy did a great job of putting everything together - thank you!
Shayne gave them a $1,000 check in Christi's memory and thanked them for giving us the opportunity to help them with their community outreach in honor of Christi. She loved their annual egg hunt so much. It was so nice to see so many people we knew and the kids were all precious, incredibly darling and way too cute! Gooooooo, Dragons!!