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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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fluffy (20th Wedding Anniversary)

Fluffy! That was Shayla's response when I pulled up this picture my mom emailed me last night to say, "Happy 20th Wedding Anniversary!" I showed it to Shayla and she said, "You look the same just fluffy back then. The births of our two daughters, our wedding day and my graduation from Ohio State - truly the highlights of my life and the best decisions I ever made. Shayne wished me a Happy 20th today and said it's been the best 20 years of his life. I told him I hoped we are blessed with 20 more years together. He is a wonderful husband! When we set out on this journey together 20 years ago today, little did we know the ups and downs we would encounter, but I think there was no doubt in our minds about our deep love for each other. We have been richly blessed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 (New York City)

Our long Thanksgiving weekend was beyond fantastic! (The only thing better would have been to have had Christi with us, smile!) The van turned the 100,000 mile mark on what couldn't have been more familiar territory to it - filled with our family on the way to the east coast. Shayne drove Christi (and all of us) so many times back and forth over the years. My sister and her family met up with us and we had a wonderful time enjoying each other's company. We saw a few shows (Rockettes, Phantom and Anything Goes), did some shopping, eating and touring (Chinatown, Little Italy, Central Park, Times Square, St. Pat's - lit a candle for Christi's soul, the Met, Restaurant Row) and caught up with a couple of sweet NYC friends - really more like family! I hope you and yours also were blessed with a great Thanksgiving.

The newest Rockettes - hee hee!

Another highlight of our long weekend in NYC was meeting up with Nitza at the Met. She gave Shayla the tour she's been asking for - Greek Mythology, based upon characters from one of her latest book series (Percy Jackson). Nitza is absolutely amazing - brilliant, beautiful, compassionate and an old soul!

at a pub with my sis

Some families camped out to get a great parade watching spot, others just showed up, hmmmmm! Gotta love my sister's family! THANKS!

Shayne catches up with his brother-in-law in the big apple.

The girls LOVED watching the Rockettes dance at Radio City Music Hall (so did my sister and I)!

Since I have a picture of Shayla with this Pokemon balloon from our parade spot in 2003, I thought I'd better capture another one. The girls used to love Pokemon!

Cousins in Central Park

We actually ran into some friends from our hometown on the street in Times Square - CRAZY!

"The Balloon Blowup" on Wednesday night - crazy!

Fun in Times Square

Cuddling with Shayne

Waiting to catch a subway train.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Little Update

Hello! I've been reminded by a few sweet blog followers that I have not updated for a while so here goes and here is why: I've been SUPER BUSY! And after living in a "super busy" world of childhood cancer where you don't have a choice, I love my self-selected "super busy" time. I am blessed! I know I can set my own schedule and stop at any time, unlike those still in the cancer world, yuck! That's not a pretty place to be. Busy by choice is a good place to be - at least for me!

The first weekend of November found me presenting at a national research conference for literacy in Virginia and the following weekend I presented with a colleague at the American Middle Level Educators' (AMLE, formerly NMSA) Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Last weekend I went with two fantastic 7th and 8th grade E/LA teachers (and also one of my current BGSU students) to the National Council of Teachers of English Language Arts Teachers' national conference in Chicago. I did not present at that one so it was just fun to go and learn and catch up with other educators.

I was blessed to spend the evening of my birthday with my family! Shayne and I drove back from Chicago and aunt Marty brought a birthday cake for us. (I was born on my mother's birthday.) We then went to the 10:00pm showing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn.

A manuscript I wrote for a research journal was rejected; however, I was thrilled beyond believe when an article I wrote for a peer reviewed journal of the National Social Studies Council was accepted. I made the revisions, corrected the proofs, worked back and forth with the editor and it will be printed in their Jan/Feb edition. Praise God as this is a mandated requirement for keeping my job, but also becuase I believe my work contains vital information that social studies teachers should be doing in their middle school classrooms to enhance their students' learning.

Shayla continues to do incredibly well and I thank God every day for the healthy and sweet young lady she is. She tells us she's happy and I'm thrilled about that! We love her friends, grades and many activities she partakes in. This afternoon she will be getting braces on her bottom teeth. She's really doing well!

Thanks so much for checking in. I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving enjoying your many blessings!

Shayne and I recently attended our 25th high school reunion. Certainly we are not that old! (I remember when my parents went to theirs and I thought they were old! Hee hee!)

I recently served as head judge for the Miss Maple City pageant - a local preliminary to Miss Ohio and then Miss America. Shayla helped back stage, curling hair, zipping gowns and taking it all in. She's always amazed at how nice the girls are to each other and I tell her that was exactly my experience as a contestant back in the day, funny how I still keep in touch with some of the other girls. I can't say enough about the Miss America Scholarship program - my winnings fully funded my Master's degree. I'm happy to judge and give back; I may be getting more involved in the near future.

Shayne called on clients while I was at my conference and then we squeezed in lots of couple time, enjoying Chicago! Sushi, deep dish pizza, shopping and an incredible suite at the Trump Tower, thanks to a sweet friend's treat! Unbelievable!

After checking into our suite, Shayne and I were sent up a fruit plate much to our surprise and shock. We were treated like royalty. Both rooms had floor to ceiling windows and even a "pillow menu". We have never been put up at such an amazing place before. While in Chicago I was also able to have a fantastic lunch with an amazing woman we met through Christi's journey.

Thanks to mom and dad for taking care of Shayla while we were in Chicago last week!

Shayne hugs her great aunt Marty (and her Godmother)

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Be No Evil! Love those three guys!