Monday, August 30, 2010

Change in plans....

Don't think we can pull off the fundraiser in a weeks time...we need 200 people,not 100.
Going to try to get something together for November, probably in Dayton, possibly Thanksgiving weekend. Will update info when we have it!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FIREBIRDS for FORT Fundraiser!

Angie call today with an opportunity for a Fundraiser for Firebirds for Fort - if we can pull it off in a couple of days.. a comedy show at Funnybone in Newport (KY) next Sunday evening (Sept 5th) would be a private show and proceeds would go toward Firebirds for Fort Scholarship Fund. The performer is Kenny Smith,Angie's friend Jeanette's brother and he is hilarious! Cost would be $12/person and start at 7p.m. The WEBN fireworks on the river in Cincinnati are that night also - would start after the show!
We need 100 people to reserve it - hopefully we can pull this off! You can email me at to let me know if you can be there! THANKS!

Butterflies and the BENGALS....

I should have posted Sunday night...I didn't know the stories would continue all day today...
Got an email from KJ (one of Fort's Dayton rugby friends)...she had a butterfly experience this past week.

From KJ:

I went to the Bengals practice at Welcome Stadium last weekend. It was so packed and hot and we had to sit up at the very top of the stadium.

Now, I'm a Browns fan all the way. I just went to the practice because I'd never seen an NFL practice and the tickets were free. Fort and I had gone to the Browns-Bengals game together in the past and tailgated together more than once and she always made fun of me (and I her, of course).

I was poking a little fun at the Bengals while at the practice (nothing disrespectful because I didn't want to get beat up). Just then a butterfly came and buzzed my head. I thought it was going to fly into my eye! All the way at the top of the Welcome Stadium! All I could do was laugh and think of Fort :)
HA! Fort was a TRUE Bengals was her....


CONGRATS to ANOTHER of Fort's cousins -RYAN ADAMS - is the kicker for Carroll High School - had a 52 yard field goal against Xenia on Friday night! WOW!

Right after I posted this morning, Nick dropped the boys off. We got popcicles and went out to the backyard. Drew looks over and says "BUTTERFLY!" This beautiful butterfly stayed on the flowers and Drew got close enough to touch it, and it stayed there. I told him it was Aunt he started waving and saying "HI AUNT FORT!" Stayed in the backyard around the flowers for about 5 minutes-long enough for me to get a few pictures...even flew around our heads a couple of times. It flew away, and a few minutes later Donny got home from his football meeting - I was telling him about it, and it came back...for MORE pictures. Fort? I think so.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Fall! ... Are you ready for some Football?

Ended the summer on a good note...went to the Compassionate Friends Picnic and Balloon Release. There were probably 20 families there. All with ONE thing in common. To send our children messages...with balloons. We KNOW they get to heaven...I guess it's our very own "post office". I took the boys (Nick had to work late, Mere was out of town, and Donny was coaching) and Sue. Couldn't have don't it without Sue. She took one, I took the other. They loved the park AND the balloons of course. I was writing a message to Melissa on a balloon and it slipped out of my hands...Drew was VERY upset. But when we got in the circle and each family released their balloon after saying their child's name - and it was OUR turn - he was ok. There were so many balloons going up, I think he knew it was going to Aunt Fort. Another bittersweet moment. I miss her EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.


Off to heaven...



Take a look at Melissa's profile...she LOVED LOVED LOVED the fall. The weather, rugby, football and the beautiful colors. It is bittersweet that one of her best friends is now the head coach of the Fairmont High School football team, and she isn't here to relish in it...I hate that. She would be so proud of both of them.
The first game was Friday night - HUGE rivalry between the two Kettering teams...Fairmont and Alter. For some reason, we never get over the rivalry - and were pretty confident it was going to be a GREAT game. Unfortunately, Alter was on a 15 game winning streak (including to State Championships in a row)...hard to beat that. Fairmont not only has a new head coach, but a few underclassmen moving up to Varsity.
I have total faith in Andy and his coaching staff...might take a while to build it up - but it WILL get there. GO BIRDS!
Coach Rock and Coach Fortener...Fort would have LOVED this. One of her best friends in high school - head coach of their Alma Matre - and her dad. After John, the two of her favorite men....

Coach Fortener

Coach Rock (center) warmups before game...

Coach Fortener (center) with running backs...

All decked out...Fort would have LOVED this...she would have been all decked out in her FIREBIRD gear too (maybe not the wig - although in the last few months she started liking the wig thing...) but definitely the painted face, a toga and somebodys # on it!

fans in the stands...Pam & Ang...

and of's time for SCHOOL too...
I am now officially the librarian at Greenmont Elementary. Been in the library unpacking all my boxes and putting things away, putting up bulletin boards (which I'm not too fond of - Fort would have LOVED to do them for me!) and getting barcodes printed for all l9 classes. I think I'm ready. Looking forward to meeting the students this week - all 350
of them! Have met a few of the teachers, some have stopped by the library for books, but I'm not the social butterfly I used to be (I'm working on it), so I'll meet them when they bring their kids to the library. Always look forward to the stories the kids tell too - I'll share the good ones...

Have a good week....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Party time!

Max thoroughly enjoyed his first birthday...if eating his birthday cake was any indication. He couldn't get enough of it. A few friends, some family and lots of pictures. (only thing missing was Aunt Fort...she would have LOVED this party!)

Max is looking for more cake...

Max & Uncle JMac

Drew shares popcicles AND his wagon with two pretty girls!

Dancin' on the table...
(I think Max has some Franz blood in him...DANCIN' ON THE TABLES???)

Max enjoying cake with Krista...

a kodak moment...

It was also my birthday today. Just one of those "holidays" that I would just rather skip...but it was ok. Had breakfast with my DEAR friend Jackie at Cracker Barrell - early-specifically because after 20 years, we won't be working together any more-had a LOT to talk about. That was nice. John stopped by on his way home (he stayed with Nick & Mere last night)and we talked for a little bit, then relaxed until dad, Nick & the boys and Ang came over...a lot more than I did last year - just a visit to THE BOAT.
(did that last weekend and won another $100 on the butterfly slot machine!).
I made it through the day and it was ok. Not the same without Melissa, but it was ok.
Donny, Nick & Mere really helped me today.

Our neighbors came out when Nick & Mere were leaving so they could see the boys - Shirley was saying how much Drew reminded her of Nick when he was that age - the blonde hair - and then she reminded me of her FAVORITE Melissa story - (what a great birthday present for me!) - Melissa was 5 when we moved in (Nick was 3). She was talking to Shirley over the fence and she said "want to know what my mom and dad are doing in the bedroom?".....WELL.....of course Shirley DIDN'T want to know. (we were putting up our water bed)...Shirley never believed THAT story - but it was true.

Also, a couple of butterfly stories -
Melissa's cousin is the kicker for Carroll High School. They had a scrimmage Friday night and his mom and grandma (Donny's mom and sister) both saw a butterfly when they were in the stands before the game. Ryan was on his way down to the locker room, and a butterfly followed him into the locker room!

My friend Marianne called tonight to wish me happy birthday - but also to tell me that she had family over today and they were sitting by the pool and a butterfly LANDED on her -opened it wings (of course so she could see how beautiful it was)...(I was kind of hoping for a butterfly to land on ME today - did see LOTS on my walk, but no landings...)
(Marianne - that could have been Melissa, but it could have been Terri too!)

I LOVE all of the butterfly stories. Hoping to see one at the Fairmont/Alter game on Friday...I'm pretty sure she'll be there for her dad and Andy...and for her Firebirds.
Will update Saturday - hopefully with a butterfly story - but also a balloon launch this coming Thursday at the Compassionate Friends meeting.

Tomorrow is the big all staff meeting at Fairmont High School. Should be interesting.
Then on to my new school. Kids start Tuesday.

Have a good week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy First Birthday MAX!

Nick dropped by school so Pamma could sing Happy Birthday to Max...can't believe he's a year old already! Celebrating with a cookout at Pamma's & PopPop's tomorrow afternoon.
ANOTHER interesting story...just happened 5 minutes ago. Nick is here with the boys and he was telling me about Max's doctor's appointment today. "Did you know there is a vaccine for Chicken Pox now??? Where was that when I was in school....I had to miss Field Day because of the chicken pox!" Right when he said that, the wood puzzle that goes off randomly..went off..we both laughed because we're pretty sure it was Melissa agreeing...she had the chicken pox in April and missed going to the CIRCUS!!! (this puzzle hasn't gone "off" in about two weeks...I was wondering if it would again - I guess she just didn't have anything to contribute in the last couple of weeks!)

I SURVIVED MY FIRST DAY BACK to my new school...after MUCH anxiety, a sleepess was much ado about nothing. Started in the office and worked my way out - felt pretty good about what I got done. Donny went to F&S School Supply and bought all the butterflies they had - it was the best birthday present ever...they are all over my room, with some left for the rest of the building...(with the approval of the Principal!)...Melissa is EVERYWHERE! I love it.
I was missing her last night when I couldn't sleep - really wanted to call her...
I know that she would approve of my choice of schools...could have used her help with my bulletin board....
Don't have my first classes until the 30th, so I have a week to get everything in order, figure out the smartboard and figure out the computer. I forget everything from last year-imagine that.
I think things will be ok.

my office...

a new library AND a Smartboard (one training so far - one to go)...

My new checkout desk...(notice the butterfly above the desk?)


If you've emailed me about butterflies...thank you. I LOVE hearing the stories and LOVE that butterflies make people think of Melissa. I have seen MORE butterflies this summer than ever before. My cousin sent me a note about her "butterfly" experience - thought it was interesting enough to share...

Cathy and I were in St. George two weekends ago and we happened upon a little street fair there. The first booth we came upon was a man who framed butterflies in all their beauty. At first I felt sad for the butterflies, then we talked to the artist and he explained about the life of a butterfly, how when they become adults at the height of their beauty they only live a short time. When we see beautiful butterflies we are more lucky then we know because their life is very short, but they bring such beauty to this world as long as they can. He actually breeds these butterflies that he frames and times it to when they are close to the end. I was very impressed with the artist and Cathy actually bought a picture.

This weekend I was thinking about the artist and the beautiful butterflies he had framed and Melissa popped into my head. I started reflecting on how you say she sends you butterflies and rainbows, and I believe she does. I decided I was meant to hear that story about the butterflies, because I think it is Melissa it was referring to. She grew into a beautiful and charming woman, but her time on earth was short. In that short time she brought so much joy and happiness to everyone around her and even in her struggle with her illness she brought courage and inspiration to so many. She is the butterfly!!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Summertime and cicadas....who needs them......

The day started out ok. I got out of bed, which is always a good day for me. Took a bike ride, went to my new school-not to DO anything (I don't even know WHERE to get started), met another teacher and had a nice conversation. Met my good friend Jackie for lunch. ALWAYS nice.
Got home feeling....BLAH. Anxious. Didn't feel like doing much of anything, so I decided to finish the James Patterson book I'm reading. I lay on the swing on the deck and read - VERY relaxing with nice background music from the cicadas.
I'm laying there really getting into the story, MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, when out of NOWHERE something comes flying at me (it was like someone shot something at me with a slingshot!) and hits me in the neck. I jump up, trying to brush off WHATEVER just hit me, and I see NOTHING on the deck. WHERE DID IT GO????? Then I hear the buzzing noise....coming from INSIDE my shirt. OMG! I'm hopping around the deck, shaking my shirt, trying to get whatever it is OUT, and it's not COMING OUT. So I start to take off my shirt...then I remember that I don't have a bra on! (we have a privacy fence on ONE side of the yard and HALF of the back of the yard...but our deck is high enough that the neighbors on the side of the privacy fence can see us on the deck. Fortunately, our neighbor on the side WITHOUT the privacy fence who is ALWAYS in his backyard, wasn't out today!) So I run into the house, rip my shirt off and shake the cicada out. Now I have a buzzing cicada on my floor in the dining room. So I throw the shirt over it, throw the cicada AND the shirt out on the deck. Instead of getting another shirt, I go out on the deck SANS shirt, kick the cicada off the deck then put my shirt back on.
Needless to say, no more reading on the deck for me, at least for awhile.

The picture is actually the cicada that ATTACKED me. It was still in the grass where I kicked it - buzzing still, but not moving.

I kind of figure that it was Fort's way of putting a little excitement into my afternoon. It worked. Hey Fort...I like the butterflies better.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Melissa and I had many things in common. Our love of writing (I was on the school newspaper & yearbook staff in high school - she was on the newspaper & yearbook staff in high school; I was class treasurer, she was Commissioner of Communications on United Student Body; we both played volleyball.....)but another thing we had in common was our choice of friends. We both had good "girl" friends, and we both had good "boy" friends.
Mine were Jim & John. (Jim and I tried the dating thing - didn't work. He was actually did a reading in our wedding! John & I share a birthday -coming up on the 22nd - Happy birthday John!) Melissa had Andy, Josh, Bone and a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting!). Jim, John and I have this picture taken every time we're together...once every five years, and today, for his mom's 80th birthday. (Jim was also a neighbor of mine, and I always felt pretty close to his WONDERFUL family). Melissa stayed close to not only her girlfriends, but Andy & Josh too. Josh actually flew in from Colorado TWICE when Melissa was in the hospital and Hospice. She actually wrote a poem about him in high school too - I'll post when I find it.)
So todays post is about (boy)friends. Mine - Jim (with a picture of HIS mom), and Fort's (with a picture of Andy's mom). Our lives wouldn't be the same without them.
Thanks Jim, John, Andy, Bone (and any I'm forgetting...I'm getting old...)
(of course ANOTHER thing we had in common? Our BOYfriends...they were kind, intelligent, good cooks and we were smart enough to marry them...thanks Donny & John - our lives DEFINITELY wouldn't be the same without YOU.)

just a note....Fort knew about my friendship with Jim. I guess I must have talked about him occasionally, and how nice it was to have a friend you could talk to without all the drama...guys are like that. When she was in Hospice, Jim came to visit one night - very late (one of his daughters was at UD at the time - right around the corner from Hospice). There was a knock on the door, and the nurse stuck her head in and said "there is a Jim here to see you"...right away, Melissa said "SCHULTE??????" She knew. Good friends show up when you need them - even if it's been five years since your last visit. Thanks Jim. Don't think I ever told you, but that visit meant a lot to ME and to Melissa!

Jim, Pam, John

Pam, Mrs. Schulte, Donny (her tshirt says "the Lawn Lady is 80". Mrs. Schulte is STILL cutting grass...for 5 of her neighbors! The "80" on the shirt was made to look like a number on a football jersey - both Jim & Jack were #80 in high school!)

GOT GRASS? (I guess she's looking for more lawns to mow....hey dad - HERE's someone who can cut your grass!!!!)

Kim (Jim's wife) & Donny ONLY go to the WW reunions if the other one is there...they have kept each other company at the last 6 reunions....

Welcome Reece Evelyn Marie!

(finally) arrived Saturday, August 7 in the wee hours of the morning.

Reece & Grammy Peg (Andy's mom!)

(another interesting butterfly story...gave Jen & Andy a gift for Reece, and the card had a butterfly on it. Andy says "Hey - Reece's room is all butterflies!!!!" Fort is everywhere....still. She'll be watching over Reece too Andy!)

Lunch at Fort's favorite place...China Cottage!
Been trying to get together with some of Melissa's friends all summer, and finally had a date...and couldn't think of a better place than Melissa's birthday place. It is ALWAYS great to spend time with Melissa's friends (and their parents!)...and John of course!

Jen, Kyra, Pam, Evie

John, Donny & Dave (awwwww...John still has a thing for Donny I guess...)

Coach Fort (Friday night "Midnight Madness") Interesting story here. I think this Midnight Madness is something fairly new. Saturday was the first day for "contact", so some teams have started this tradition of having a contact/hitting practice the minute it is legal to do so - midnight on the first day. Fairmont players were dressed and on the field at 11 p.m. running through drills. I was sitting on a bench right behind the team (in the stands) and a butterfly went by (right in front of me - it WAS a butterfly!)..then flew toward the group Donny was working with. He saw it too, and turned around and gave me this "butterfly" signal and pointed (like "did you see it too?)
He said it flew toward the goal posts - and he thinks THROUGH the goal posts...I hope that's a good sign...