Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Melissa Fortener McLaughlin "B" Positive Award goes to...

Makayla Waterman....AGAIN!

As we watched the team this year, I sometimes wondered WHO would receive the award this year...who most closely represents Melissa's B POSITIVE spirit...her positive attitude not just about the game, but about LIFE.

It was really no surprise that Makayla received the award again this year. Makayla
kept a positive attitude through adversity - last summer, she tore her ACL playing AAU ball. She sat out the first half of the season, came back into the game a few minutes at a time after the first of the year.

On this amazing team, Makayla is one of the TOP players. She is already being recruited by several Division 1 colleges. I know how hard she had to work to get back into the game when she did.

Reminds me A LOT of Melissa and the adversity SHE faced. She never gave up. NEVER.
She fought EVERY SINGLE DAY, for Melissa, to get back to work. For Makayla, to get back to the game that she loves so much.

Melissa ALWAYS had a smile on her face - even though there were some really difficult days. Even at the end.

Makayla ALWAYS has a smile on her face...even when she was sitting on the bench, waiting to get back into the game, cheering on the team. Just like Melissa - waiting to get back into the game...of life.

Makayla has a promising future ahead of her, and we are SO HONORED that Coach Cogan and his assistants chose Makayla for Melissa's award. She was the PERFECT choice this year.

Congratualations Makayla...I wish you could have met Melissa. She would be honored too!

The Banquet...didn't even recognize the girls all dressed up!

After the State Finals...Chelsea Welch (AWESOME point guard for Fairmont), Pam, and Brianna Welch (who played for Fairmont a couple of years ago, now plays for Fairmont State in W.VA.)...both former students of mine from Moraine Meadows (ok - Chelsea only went there in Kindergarten, I think Brianna went there until 4th grade)

Lindsay, my cousin Leanne's daughter,was pulled up to Varsity from JV for the tournament. Each girl was introduced (including non-starters) for the
she is on the BIG SCREEN about the court at the Schottenstein in Columbus...and she's a FRESHMAN!!! (didn't get in, but had the best seat in the house!)

Chelsea Welch (Fairmont MVP) on the big screen at the Schottenstein Center before the a message about Sportsmanship. GREAT JOB CHELSEA!

Fairmont Firebirds after a win against Colerain (Lindsay is back row, right next to Head coach - Tim Cogan - on the left)

Pam & Lindsay, after the Colerain game in the tournament. Fort would be SO PROUD! (She actually went to some of Lindsays basketball games when she was in grade school - she would LOVE that Lindsay is playing for Fairmont now!)and she DID get into this game!

Nick & Mere's new house...ALMOST ready!

Josh with some of "Jackie's Books"....One year ago March 18, we lost a colleague,a good friend (one of my BEST friends) and to the kids, a great reading teacher.
$4000 was donated for Jackie's Books. Mike (Jackie's husband), Josh, Rodney, Debbie and I went to Books and Co. to purchase the books, then stamped each book with
"Jackie's Books"
In Loving Memory
Jackie Geary
Moraine Meadows Teacher

The books were donated to Children's Hospital in Dayton (to their new Library),
to Artemis Center (a referral service for battered women) to their new library
and to Southdale Elementary, where Jackie taught for a couple of months after
Moraine Meadows closed.
She will ALWAYS be remembered...LOVE YOU JACKIE!!!!

This is where I want my bed, Pamma! (in the new house)

Happy Birthday Mere! (Don't have the story of the day SHE was born...have to get that from HER mom!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Happy 32nd Birthday Nick!!!

32 years ago today-right now-our family was me, Donny and Melissa. By the end of the day, we added Nick. We thought he was going to arrive on Leap Day - I thought that would be pretty neat (although NOW I know he would have HATED it)...but he wasn't ready. We went to the hospital, they put me in a room and had me walk the halls for a couple of hours. He wasn't ready.
Three days later, I thought I was having contractions AGAIN. Had an appointment that day, went in. Nope. Not ready yet. But when I got home, and we were eating dinner (of course), the contractions got closer together. We packed up our bags, AND Melissa, headed out the door to find my friend Nancy in the driveway, delivering Girl Scout cookies! Needless to say, we grabbed the cookies, she got out of the way and we headed to Donny's sister Jean's to drop Melissa off. When we dropped her off,
got back in the car and Donny said "which way should we go? Down Wayne Avenue, or on 35?"

We arrived at the hospital at 7:36 p.m. ( and we have the parking ticket to prove it!) Nick arrived at 8:47 p.m. Once he decided he wanted out, he wasn't wasting time!

Got a dozen roses for the first time in my life (from Donny).

And our family was complete. Melissa was a good big sister...for the next few years anyway. And then again once they were both off to college.

Can't believe my BABY is 32. Older than my oldest. Weird.

Happy Birthday Nicholas Andrew. We are so proud of you and we love you very much!

And of course, there's always a funny Drew story. Went to pick up Drew & Max at the sitter yesterday. When I was putting them in the car, I asked Drew if he "knew what tomorrow was". He said "Daddy's birthday". Then he said "Can we go to the store to get daddy a present?" I thought that was SO thoughtful. Then I asked him what he wanted to get his daddy.

"LEGOS". He even named the KIND of legos he wanted to get him. (Funny thing, Drew LOVES legos too. hmmmmm.)
His aunt Fort would be laughing right now - she liked to buy us things that SHE wanted (like the moniter she bought us for Christmas - her last Christmas. She didn't like our moniter, and she used our computer a lot, so she bought us what SHE wanted - and we are still using it. Probably won't ever get rid of it, even if stops working - hard for me to get rid of things from Melissa...)

So as we speak, Nick and Drew are out running errands, and will go shopping for "Nick's" birthday present. (Actually Nick likes building the legos too...I think if the truth be told, he would have asked for legos anyway!)

Big day for Fairmont girls basketball team - in the regional finals at Harrison High School in Cincinnati. They play Colerain. Getting into the better part of the tournament. Going to the game today, even though it's Nick's birthday...he's being very understanding (it was easy after taking him out to breakfast and promising a steak cookout tomorrow!) Will let you know how it goes! (Melissa & John would always join us at the games in Cincinnati...I know she'll be there cheering on the Firebirds...HER Firebirds!)

This is University of Dayton (women) vs. St. Bonnaventure. #33 is Cassie Sant. She played basketball for Fairmont - recieved the FIRST 'Melissa Fortener McLaughlin B POSITIVE Spirit Award'! Having a great season at UD! Way to go Cassie!!! (love the pink uniforms!)

Some recent photos of the Nick & Mere's new house. Actually it's even farther along...drywall is hung and painted, doors are in bathrooms in, cabinets in Kitchen, and today they are pouring the concrete for the sidewalk and driveway! They are getting so are we!

I took several pictures to get THIS shot. First time they sat next to each other for any length of time...I couldn't believe it.

Karen & Jerri Zukowitz, Jackie Russell and me. Breakfast @ Clinton Mill.
I lived with Jerri before I got married, Jackie and I were friends in grade school.
Last time I saw Jackie was in 1996. Melissa's senior year in high school. Jackie
lived in St. Louis and we drove out to see her (let Melissa get some highway driving time - 3 hours to be exact-good thing, she pretty much did ALL of driving on her way home from Florida Spring break, that's a story for ANOTHER post). Anyway, we were there during Mardi Gras. Went to a historic district called SOULARD. Melissa, of course bought a tshirt there, which she saved, and is on the quilt of tshirts Johns mom made for her. I love to wrap myself up in that quilt.

Took Drew & Max out to dinner. They had salads. Ranch dressing on the side. For Max to DRINK. Just like his dad!

They LOVE Poppop...he builds them monsters!

Melissa bought this for Drew for his FIRST Christmas...and her last. And he STILL plays with it. I love it.

Workin' out. They're getting stronger every day! (We have a picture of Melissa, Nick and the Ryan boys when they were about his age in the same pose!)

and last but not least...our ROCKIN' Max...really. Whenever he hears music, he's ROCKIN. Can't be loud enough in the car! AND he sings too!