(PICTURE: Shayla at Sunday's 4H Awards Banquet, honoring those who earned Top Awards at the State Fair)
As we approach the four year mark of Christi's "Angelversery" we are keeping ourselves very busy. I think that helps tremendously as we do ache with the loss of our precious Christi. She really was amazing and it's so hard not having her here with us. I will never understand WHY while here on earth so I've pledged to live my life in a way that will get me to a place where I will know the answer one day. (When none of it will matter anyway, smile!)
I was incredibly blessed on Monday (so much so that I drove home from BG wiping tears here and there just thinking how very, very lucky I am). In the morning I met one of my former students at Starbucks on campus. I hadn't seen this young man for many years. I think the last time I saw him, we were probably looking eye to eye to each other. Arriving in the union, I immediately was struck by how tall he was. He gave me a big hug and we chatted. Finally I said, "So how tall are you now, 6'3"?" He said, "No, Mrs. Thomas! I'm 6'5"!" I replied, "Oh, well let me buy you some coffee so we can sit and talk because you are hurting my neck!" I don't think we, as teachers, often enough get to find out what happens to our students down the road so this was particularly wonderful.
Monday afternoon I received the most joyous email a tenure track professor at a research institution could receive! "Your manuscript has been accepted as submitted and will appear in our August 2011 edition." Ahhhhhhhhh! It's a journal with a circulation of over 30,000 so I was completely blown away and THRILLED by that! (And it made the rejection I received from another journal on Tuesday super easy to swallow.) I will share more later, but right now I continue to Praise the Lord. (I needed three publications in three years and I now have four - in one year, YES!!!)
On Monday, I met eight Seneca East 2010 grads for dinner on campus. I couldn't believe they would show up to meet me - their old teacher. ("Perhaps it was the fact they knew you were buying," a loved one told me, smile.) Regardless, it was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC to see them and to know they are all doing super! (Despite the one young lady who whipped up her shirt and said, "I just had my belly button pierced three hours ago. What do you think?" Ahhhhhhhh, teachers are also actors at times, smile. I said, "Did it hurt?" not what I was really thinking, "Are you crazy?!" Hee Hee!) Having dinner with those great kids - one of those little "Rewards of Teaching" you can't put a price on, but knowing you've touched their lives and made an impact is absolutely priceless in my book.
Work has been keeping me way too busy, but I am just loving it all - really, really loving it all! In addition to my three classes on campus, one day this week I was able to teach a middle school's faculty some literacy strategies for a few hours of their in service day. I put a TON of time and preparation in to my presentation and I'm so glad because it really went well, the evaluations were so sweet and I think they will be trying some new things in their classrooms to better help their students.
On a personal note, I was still able to squeeze in a breakfast and two lunches with friends and family this week. Sweet people I don't ever get to spend enough time with. Shayla and I also went to the Wyandot County fair where we had a fabulous time with Nonee and Grandpa. I was also able to get in some walks around town (which I really enjoy because it's so nice to see all of the lovely fall porch decorations). The weather has been AMAZING so I'm taking advantage of it when I can!
(PICTURES: With mom and dad at the Wyandot County Fair)
Shayla continues to thrive and love everything about middle school. She will bring her progress report card home this afternoon, but she said she knows she has all As, except she's not sure about one subject (math). Shayne arrives back home from Canada today where he's been for business. And we really can't believe September 19th is arriving so soon - despite the fact we try to ignore that dreaded date. (And do I really NOT yet have a grave marker for that precious little gal? I'm embarrassed to say yes, however, I did take a baby step in that direction this week.)
(PIC: Shayla and I love watching "Cupcake Wars" on the Food Network. On Sunday we pretended we were in our own competition. Check out Shayla's "Signature Swirl"!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND JOIN US IF YOU CAN! My sweet friend, Dr. Lori Grine and her Education Students at Heidelberg University are honoring Christi by holding their Annual Lemonade Stand in her memory on Friday, September 24th from 11-1 on the lawn in front of the Education Building (on Greenfield Street, beside National Machinery). I am thrilled that this is the first year I can join them and be there. Praise be to God! Thank you, Lori! Thank you, Heidelberg! "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade - and raise money for pediatric cancer research!" It's sickening to know the survival rate has not increased for neuroblastoma stage IV since Christi was diagnosed (September 2002 - 8 years). The evil beast needs stopped.