Monday, November 2, 2009

Valley Family

The school that our kids attend is Valley Elementary in Beavercreek. They pride themselves on being a "Valley Family" and treating each other with respect. I am sure lots of schools say this, but at Valley they live this motto everyday. Which, when your child is diagnosed with leukemia, it is wonderful to have people like this in your corner. It is not just one person, it is all of them together that make our kids feel so welcomed and safe and just loved. I know there is also supposed to be church and state separation, but these are also some of the most prayerful and caring people you can meet.

They try to make my lives easier by keeping tabs on sicknesses, even providing me anonymous reports on what is going around and how many kids are out, etc. I speak to Ann and Linda (our school nurses) all the time. They call and warn me about everything from chicken pox to flu to rashes.

Valley sent a huge contingent of people to the Light the Night Walk too. Some of them were not even Ally's teachers, but they are just the caring sort of people.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to go to both of my kids Fall Parties in their classroom. I would love to be helping out in that school all the time. But my circumstances do not give me that chance very often. I hate it, but I can't change it. So I really enjoyed going into their rooms and helping a little bit.

In Evan's room, he had a party with about six different craft/game stations. He absolutely loves things like this. I loved seeing his little face concentrating while playing bingo or while cutting out his bat. He is lucky to have several good friends in his class. And while I wish I could spend more time with Evan and all things kindergarten, I feel that he is happy and learning and I am thankful. Here he is:
Concentrating on pumpkin bingo
With his teacher, Mrs Howell
More concentrating, usually he sticks his tongue out....
And Ally had a similar party. She seemed a bit nervous to go. She hasn't been to school in a long time. As soon as I walked past her room, I could smell lysol and disinfectant. They had scrubbed the room clean because they knew she was coming. See?!? Who does that. Well at Valley they do. Ally's teacher is so loving to her you wouldn't believe it. And she also spends her recess/lunchtime helping Ally and keeping her up to date. (This is when most teachers probably take a breather or get their paperwork done)

As soon as I walked into Ally's room for the party, I saw this.

Wow! I choked back every single tear...trying not to make a spectacle of myself in front of the class. The entire school....EVERY PERSON....signed this banner for Ally. It is huge, probably 15-20 feet long. They also made her several books to cheer her up. Joke books and letters about how much they love her and how they love her hats and how much they miss her....these are treasures. She has to feel loved. I am going to find a big long wall in my house and hang this banner up for Ally.
This brings me to one final request to all my Beavercreek friends. ( I know this eliminates most of my readers.) But one of my good friends (and loyal workout partner) is running for the local school board. KIM GRANT! She is such a good friend that if you look really close you will see my name on her campaign signs. I am her campaign treasurer! She is very dedicated to the cause of keeping Beavercreek Schools in the excellent status that they currently hold, but which could slip away if we are not careful. She has always been the kind of person that can get things done. The motto...if you want something done, ask a busy person...well that was written for Kim. Last fall she was right there with me when I was managing the campaign for the passage of the Beavercreek school levy. We both spent many a Saturday going door to door and campaigning for what we believe in. She does a lot for our community, she works at the Children's Hospital, but most importantly she can be our voice for what is best for our kids. So vote for Kim Grant.
This is Kim and Me! (some think we look like sisters!)


  1. So glad you could go to the school parties. I'm also happy Ally could participate. The support of Valley Elementary looks amazing. I hope things are going well and you have enjoyed your time at home as a family.

  2. I must agree...Valley is a very special school- filled with people who care about the students and one another. Good teachers work very hard to reach every child-and I know Evan and Ally both have GREAT teachers. In the midst of this journey, it must be comforting to know that they truly care for her and your family.

    Go Kim!!!

  3. When you see the wonderful things the students and teachers at Valley do for their own and realize the wonderful schools we have in Beavercreek, then you understand why I want to put my time and effort into supporting in any way I can. Thank you for all your help Janel, you are a true friend - still willing to help when your whole world has been turned upside-down. Win or lose at the poles today - does not matter, I feel like I have already won knowing all the wonderful people that have had support me.


  4. That banner is just awesome. I'd probably lose it too seeing that and all the support that comes from it. Now I can't wait for Owen to go there!

    I will of course be voting for Kim today--go Kim!

    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. :)

    Wishing you much happiness today, and always.
    It's going to be a great day.
    What an amazing school.

  6. Janel, Hope you have a wonderful birthday! I am so glad you will all be together for it! Jenny.

  7. Happy birthday, Janel!!!! And thank goodness for Beavercreek schools. I keep telling Tyler that we have to did a way to move back to the Creek before our kids start school. He thinks I'm crazy. Thanks for the great trick r treat post and Valley story. I'm thinking about all of you as the next challenge nears.

  8. I saw your family at the All Souls service at St Luke on Monday night and had to come check in on how you all are doing. So glad Ally got to go trick or treating and that she has such a supportive family at Valley Elementary.