Thursday, May 17, 2012

And the 2012 Recipient of the Melissa Fortener McLaughlin Scholarship is...

Fairmont High School Senior


There were 21 applicants this year.  Greg and Denise Nelson, Donny and Angie were on the selection committee.   While there were several deserving candidates, Melanie's essay stood out among the rest.  Her sense of humor showed in her writing (like Fort), she was involved in the Spirit Chain for the United Student Body (like Fort).  She will paying for her college - working the last two years to save for college.  Fort paid for the majority of her college education also.  Melanie is a VERY deserving candidate  and we are pleased to present her with the 2012 scholarship.  She will be attending Wright State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. 
Congratulations Melanie!!!!

Donny, Melanie, Pam, Angie


Mother's Day

Not an easy day...although Nick, Mere and the boys made me smile...on Saturday.  They have been very accommodating when it comes to holidays.   They really went overboard this year - I got a beautiful Willowtree statue (that I have begun to collect), it's a mom (grandma)and two little boys,
two butterflies for the gardens and a beautiful wall hanging with a letter to "mom"...PLUS a cashmere sweater (with a breast cancer ribbon) from Mere's mom.  Overboard...but SO nice.
(Thanks Nick & Mere, Drew & Max!)
Sunday, off to the boat for some mindless activity...a good way "around" another holiday.
Donny and I took a good friend from Compassionate Friends.  (She is not a gambler, but needed to
get away too.  She accidently put $5 in a $5 slot maching - and won $100.  I told her it was her Mother's Day present from her son!  She liked that...)
My beautiful daughter in law, Mere, with a rose from her LOVING
husband (from grandma's roses)

Nick, Drew, Pamma, Max

A rose from Grandma Fortener's
rose "tree"

Not a rose bush, a rose TREE.  At least 25 roses
on this thing!


That's Why I'm Here.....
A couple of weeks ago, Donny and I were at Books and Co., saw that Chris Spielman (former Ohio State football player, also played for the Lions and Buffalo, is now an ESPN Sports Analyst) was going to be there signing his book That's Why I'm Here.  He lost his wife Stefanie to breast cancer about 6 months after Melissa passed away.  He started a foundation in her name to raise money for research.  The story he tells is very similar to Melissa's story.  His wife was diagnosed at 30, fought it for 12 years.  I was very impressed with the work his foundation is doing.  He only spoke for about 10 minutes, then started the book signing.  He listened intently to each person that came through the line (I think 75 #s were given out)...and took pictures of survivors to put on his FB page, also pictures with anyone else that wanted one.  The book REinspired me to get started on MELISSA'S book... plan on starting on it this summer.

Pam and Chris Spielman


"Firebirds Fighting Cancer"

This year, the JV & Varsity Softball teams raised over $600 for Melissa's Scholarship fund...



ANOTHER butterfly.....!

My students KNOW how much I love butterflies...and I literally have recieved over 100 butterflies in the last two years!
This one was from a fifth grader.  Saw it at the store and his mom said "if you want to spend your money on this..."
and he said "YEP".   Wow. 

Pam (holding solar butterfly) and Shawn


Mrs. Geary's Reading Bench

Southdale Elementary School (where Moraine Meadows students and four MM teachers went)
dedicated a READING BENCH to my colleague and friend, Jackie Geary.

Jonathan Cooper (Principal), Carrie, Debbie, Lisa
Pam, Josh, Pam (former MM staff members)




A beautiful day for a rugby match...and OH how I miss seeing Melissa out there...but how I LOVE seeing her friends...they are so good to us....(plus they are a little more patient explaining rugby to me than Melissa was...I guess she thought I should understand the game after explaining it to me for TEN years....I'm getting a little better.  I think.

Ok...I think this is called a "line out" I right? 
Notice the green shirt - that's Coach Curt.  On the shirt
it says  "15 years of history - a lifetime of memories"
At the top of the rugby ball, it says FORT, then the
names of two other players who have passed, and LOTS
of rugby memories.  Now my favorite rugby shirt.

(Until the "OLD GIRLS play - May 26 in Dayton - that shirt
is AWESOME.  Fort would LOVE it.  Will post a picture
when I get one!)

Jen "Smitty" (former rugby coach and friend),
Tammy, former teammate and friend.
Now MY friends.

Will post information about the upcoming OLD GIRLS and OLD BOYS matches
soon.  If you've never seen a rugby match, this would be a good day to watch.
Should be interesting....



Fort seemed to always end with something cute about Drew.  Whenever I have something to share, I try to do that too.  When we got home from the Awards Ceremony tonight, we had a message on the answering machine.  It was Max (with Mere in the background) telling us that he pooped in the big boy toilet.  He was SO excited.  Mere was telling Drew to say "HI Pamma and PopPop" he said it, then he said "THEY'RE NOT TALKING TO ME"...just doesn't understand "leaving a message" I guess!  But it reminded me of when the kids were little, we had one of them (can't remember which one) call Grandma to wish her a happy birthday.  We put them on the phone, said "Say Happy Birthday".  So they said Happy Birthday.  Then they said "it's still ringing"....
Oh well.  I wish I would have written down EVERYTHING they said.  My advice to you -
get a journal when they're little AND WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN.  You WILL forget. 
I'm writing down everything Drew and Max say now...they'll be sorry.


Ten days.