KC Zoo Tiger Donation

To help fulfill Mason's dream and help the Tigers:
KC Zoo Attn Laura Berger "In Memory of Mason Kempf" 6800 Zoo Dr Kansas City, MO 64132

For the beauty of Snow and Magic on Christmas :
Elves of Christmas Present PO Box 3535
Olathe, KS 66063

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! I have mixed feelings as we approach 2011. Today we look back on 2010; and think of all the good times and happy. We thank you for following our journey and those who have recently. We are ever so thankful for you. We could not have gotten by without our friends and family. I've learned so much about friendship; new and old. And the compassion from complete strangers. We thank you from the bottom of our heart. We hold all those cherished memories of 2010 close to our hearts. We thank each and everyone for your support and the joy you have added to our lives. 2010 taught us that life is a gift, we should cherish everyday. God is in control; it is He that holds tomorrow. We can not predict the future. So celebrate today and everyday. Here's to 2011; we will take you day by day. Here's to traditions, memories, love and laughter in 2011. THANK YOU for helping us get through this year!

In 2010 Mason, built a snowman, played soccer, ran, jumped, went off the high dive, roller skated, played football, rode his bike, went on a zip line, wrestled, painted a picture, ate an ice cream cone, walked to school, sang, danced in the rain, received a medal, flew in an airplane, splashed in the fountains, traveled in 11 states, swam in Lake Erie, made a sand castle, played in crashing waves, drove a boat, went tubing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, splashed his brother, went on a hike, rode a motorcycle, drove a 4-wheeler, went down a water slide, hugged his family from New York, had pizza at Leaning Tower, slept in a camper, went mushroom hunting, got his first camera, played laser tag, went berry picking, ran through a field, had a water gun fight, convinced mom to try sushi, splashed in a waterfall, slid down a water fall, hiked in Stony Brook, played washers, threw a Frisbee, chased a rainbow, blew out birthday candles, purchased a dog, climbed the jungle gym, ran his first 5K, pushed his sister in a swing, carried his sister on his back, read out loud, wrote his name in the sand, went fishing, caught fire flies, went rock hunting, went to Disney World for the first time, went to Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun, rode a roller coaster, watched fireworks, held a sparkler, started 4th grade, rode in a convertible, led a Childhood Cancer parade, dreamed of owning a log cabin, was dubbed a knight, went trick or treating, carved a pumpkin, went to Chiefs game, tailgated, walked his dog, played catch, started a fire, roasted s'mores, caught a snowflake, watched it snow, listened to his school teachers sing, raised money for Make-a-Wish, opened Christmas gifts, laughed out loud, went sledding, and for the first time stayed awake until midnight to ring in the New Year.
I'd give anything to witness it all again, as you start your New Year, think about all the things you take for granted and be thankful.

Mason drifted to sleep by 12:05, a #8 headache and a whisper, "When can I start the steroids?"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Enjoying the Snow

We've been busy playing in the Snow!! If we haven't returned a phone call, we've been having too much FUN!! Maverick is ready to be the next Shaun White. (that's his $2.00 snowboard I found in March) Ally has decided that Snow is so much better than food. Mason has been soaking it all in, and the smiles continue to pile up. It was so much fun when the neighborhood kids stopped by to play. With temps near 60 today we are going to enjoy every last minute the snow stays; I have a feeling the sledding hill may not last. The pictures tell it all! Mason got his haircut yesterday too; he is promised a Target trip.(see photo below) It was quite an experience, he is so sensitive and it broke my heart. I felt awful, "It's too short, mom!!" and then non-stop tears. I thought he was going to wear a hat the rest of winter. Thankfully a little styling gel made him smile again. It is nice to see those beautiful brown eyes again.

Mason received an EXCITING package in the mail; from New Orleans Saints Football team. A signed autograph football. He was very excited and made him remember our 2010 Superbowl football SNOWMAN!! Mason predicted New Orleans to win!! What an INCREDIBLE gift!!!! Thank you from the bottom of our heart, I hope you can see the excitement!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Magic of Christmas....

The most amazing Christmas ever; the outpouring of love is still fresh in our hearts. We witnessed something beyond our wildest dreams. It was truly remarkable and unforgettable. We can't stop smiling. Even driving to the store with our snow-covered van brought tears to my eyes. Every bit of snow at our house is magic. Christmas day; a day we will never forget. Our Christmas story was shared by the KC Star newspaper like the story reports, "somebody needs to pinch me".
Channel 4 stopped by just to capture the kids at play; there was a heartwarming story at 9 and 10 p.m. The 10 p.m. story still brings tears to my eyes. I hope Santa, Chief Elf and all the Elves saw the joy in our hearts and Mason's humongous SMILE. Mason's smile said it all. And our tears could not stop falling as we relived the magic of Christmas Day. We are all still smiling and on top of the world. The magic of Christmas will never leave our hearts. I share tonight with you JOY, SMILES, LOVE and LAUGHTER!! Our Christmas wish came true and our thank yous come in the photos above and video link; a huge smile from the heart. And thanks to everyone for allowing us these very special family moments. Click on the video below our tribute to everyone that shared in our magical Christmas!!



Friday, December 24, 2010

Magic of Christmas

Snowflakes are just the beginning of our magical day!! We had a surprise visit from Santa this morning!! All the way from the North Pole. What a magic morning as snowflakes fell from the sky like crazy during his visit. Nobody can tell me Santa is not magical!! Mason received a beautiful snow globe. Ally a white fluffy bear and Maverick a red bear. The entire family received a blanket with bells for keeping warm this winter. There is magic in the air today. Thanks for all the White Christmas prayers; we feel your love. And thanks for all the continued surprises. Hoping you feel the magic this Christmas too.... God bless everyone!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Thank you to the wonderful 4th graders at Holy Cross for making snowflakes for Mason. They are all beautiful and are a special part of our home; hanging in hopes for really snowflakes. It was a wonderful day yesterday. The kids and I played cards, we love playing "There's a Moose in the house". Ally enjoyed scribbling notes and drawing a green and blue dinosaur. I enjoyed an evening out with two of the most wonderful friends. It is so good to feel the love and observe the goodness of people all around. My heart really feels bigger, and goose bumps keep popping up.

No smiles as I entered the house from my early evening out. Mason was curled up on the couch and reality smacked us in the face again. The next hour he cried, tossing and turning in pain; a headache. It's been so long....and I feel so helpless and hurt. I held him as tight as he would let me, sometimes pushing me away in pain. He fell asleep around 8, no dinner as his appetite decreases daily. Takes me back so long ago, when at dinner, headaches would mysteriously appear and we thought, "May be it's just been a rough a day"

At 5 a.m. this morning Mason whispered, "Mom, I am feeling much better" as he drifted back to sleep.

Dear Santa, I know you can not take cancer away. But maybe, just maybe can you keep pain away on Christmas day? My Christmas wish is simple: love, laughter and smiles for Mason, Maverick and Ally. I HEAR the sleigh bells. I believe. Listen closely, and feel the magic today.
Dreaming of a White Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Party hats anyone?

Christmas is drawing closer and closer. The love of family and friends continues to overwhelm us. We are so blessed. Tears came easy today; happy and sad. Yes, we have had typical melt downs too; as expected this time year, even more so this year. Maverick realizing that his 3 year old sister is not as cool to tackle and wrestle as his 9 year old brother. Maverick does not complain, but... Why are Mason legs so tired, and jiggly. And why does Mason need helping getting dressed every night and morning? It's cancer that continues to eat at our hearts daily. We celebrated Mason's 9 1/2 birthday. First time we celebrated a half birthday. But Mason's eyes grew big at the realization and he even made his own chocolate cake. Maverick helped with the green frosting and sprinkles. And Ally added the candles, more than 9 of course.
Right before Ally drifted off to sleep, she said," Is Mason's birthday tomorrow too?"" Mom, we forgot party hats, decorations and streamers." The Disney sign pops in my head, "Celebrate Today" and a rock I found inscribed, "One day at a time." I live by words and quotes, it reminds me of the good in life and to be thankful. May positive words surround you each day, and may you live, love and laugh.

This Christmas there is definitely magic in the air; there has always been magic this time of year. I've always loved the gift of giving, the smiles and the laughter. I love being a kid and reminiscing about childhood memories. My first pair of roller skates, a Barbie car, SNOW, and family gatherings. I believe in Santa and always will. I hope the magic of Christmas touches each and everyone this year. Here's to the memories of Christmas long, long ago, the present and to the future. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do you believe in........

Mason found a rock at Hobby Lobby with the simple words, "I believe in You"
That inspired a morning of" What do you believe in from A to Z."
Below are our answers I bet you can tell which ones Mason and Maverick picked. What do you believe in? My children have shown me how to believe everyday.

Do you believe in
Angels, Abominable Snowman
Cat tails
Dreams, Droids
Equality, Elves
Faith, Frankenstein
God, Gophers
Ice cream
Knights in Shining Armor
Lucky Charms, Love
Magic Fairies, Monsters
Never ending stories, Nerf
Oceans of blue
Paradise, Perry the Platypus
Queen of Hearts
Rainbows, Red-eyed Squirrels, Reindeer Poop
Snow, Star Wars
Teamwork, Tinkerbell
Universe, Unicorns
X-ceptional friendship, X-men
Do you believe in only what you can "Z"ee?

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 more days until Christmas

We had a great weekend! We celebrated Christmas with Eddie's family on Saturday. The kids are now realizing just how close Christmas is. We have presents under the tree, stockings hung and Christmas carols being sung. Of course Ally celebrates a different holiday every day, she made a Mother's Day card and wrapped a birthday present and now thinks the tooth fairy is going to bring a Princess knife. I had her repeat the word knife and finally she said," you know what you cut food with in the kitchen." I should have known not to explain that a Princess knife does not exist. It made Mason giggle as the kids drifted to sleep. Of course Maverick has his own ideas that Mom will sue Santa because he thinks Santa is out to get him. O.k. nothing like making you say, WHAT?? I think there was a full moon last night; and yes, Maverick there is a Santa Claus... And on Saturday night we had a few snowflakes fall from the sky, it was fun watching the kids try and catch snowflakes, just like Charlie Brown......Snowflakes are our rainbows.

Most importantly, the kids know the true meaning of Christmas and we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The reason for the season.
Luke 1:35
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Good Morning everyone! The Christmas spirit is here! My heart grew 3 times this year. No, I am not a Grinch, I just feel extra loved this year. We have always loved December. I wondered how different this December might be; but instead of sadness, we have been overwhelmed with kindness and love. Thanks for the added smiles and memories this Christmas!! This week has been wonderful; Mason and I have enjoyed playing games, and we love that Winter Break has started for Maverick. We all can play and laugh!!
I have to admit there are times when my insides get a beating. Sometimes it's something small, like watching Mason sit instead of standing while playing Wii Ski. And last night as the boys were falling asleep; giggles were zapped. As Mason repeated a word over and over again. I tried so hard to understand, but he got more and more frustrated. And then tears, "No one can understand me!!" I finally got him to spell the word and nothing even made sense, all I could feel was pain in my heart. I couldn't breathe. The night before he was awed that I could guess what he was thinking next, where were my super mom powers tonight? It's Saturday morning, one week from now the kids will not have to wake me up; I will be wide awake ready to capture the love and laughter of Christmas morning.

I got out our copy of The Night Before Christmas. It is also a Christmas journal. Mason's first Christmas "12-24-01- "Your daddy and I thought it was the best Christmas, because of You!"

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Magic was in the air.......

Yesterday was truly amazing!! We are so proud to be a Brookridge family and live in such a caring community. Thanks you everyone for bringing such joy and happiness to our day. I have been singing Christmas carols all day. What a day to cherish!! Thank you for everything; but mostly importantly for the love and laughter. Let it SNOW, Let it SNOW, Let it SNOW!!!!
Love to each and everyone one of you!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

SNOW!!! Brr! The cold did not stop Mason, Maverick and Ally from playing in the snow. They could not get dressed fast enough. Dad pulled everyone on the sled and then we celebrated with hot cocoa. Maverick played outside longer than the rest actually using a rake to scoop up all the snow into a tiny ramp. He was trying hard to create a snow hill, but there just wasn't quite enough snow. The rest of the day we relaxed, and watched Chiefs football. We are almost finished reading our Hero book; it is a nice way to end each night. I almost forgot to mention that we visited Santa this weekend. Ally asked for ice cream; she has had her eye on a Melissa and Doug ice cream play set since September. Her favorite ice cream, vanilla. And Maverick asked for a R/C car; Mason-Snow!! The countdown to Christmas has never been so anticipated.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thanks everyone

Good Morning!! Just wanted to let everyone know we did not make the finals in the Snow Contest. But, we feel like winners thanks to all our family and friends!!! We have had lots of phone calls and support for Snow; it's as if snowflakes are already falling. Thanks everyone. Now we just wait to see if Mother Nature can bring some magic.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hello everyone! Guess it's time for catch up. Mason has decided to wait on starting the meds. He somehow forgot all about double vision during the nurse visit. But, I can't really blame him. Chocolate milk and cereal are still his biggest request; yesterday it was Captain Crunch cravings; and Ally got her first Captain Crunch taste. Mason has been playing Phineas and Ferb DS game, along with T.V. and challenging mom at Farkle and cards.
We have had tremendous support and want to thank everyone!! Everything from a surprise Popcorn gift, dinner, and all sorts of ideas to make Mason smile. It makes us feel so good inside; when smiles are sometimes so hard. And I feel fantastic after my beauty makeover and date. Never felt so fabulous after a 4 hour beauty treatment; enjoyed every minute of it. And Trezo Vino was excellent!! Thanks Lisa for taking your time to nominate me. And Thanks mom and dad for watching the kids; and Mason enjoyed sharing the dinner stories at bedtime. We put our night stay at the Aloft hotel on hold; we have until November 2011. We may also decide to use over winter break as they have an indoor pool the boys would love! Thanks for everything!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Double Vision

Wow, just two words tonight; Mason couldn't even say them. "Double vision." It was the end of what I almost wanted to call a perfect day. Mason seemed to be doing great all day, no complaints. And balance seemed better too; until tonight when I could tell something was bothering him. So I began with the questions. My heart sank when he nodded yes to double vision. And even more surprising he is ready to start steroids. What else can I say? I held him tight and told him not to be afraid, that I will always be by his side. No child should have to go through this. So tomorrow, I will pick up the prescription that I knew we could not avoid. With steroids the body's immune system weakens; so an antibiotic is also prescribed along with Zantac for stomach pain. And with the flu season upon us we'll have to be very cautious. Double vision; the most horrifying words I have ever known, it just takes me back to when this whole nightmare started. Such a mixture of emotions.

Laugh today and everyday

Good Morning! It was a wonderful relaxing weekend. We had lots of laughter this weekend. We played one of our new favorite games, Qwirkle. We piled all the mattresses in the living room and had a fun movie night. We went swimming at Matt Ross. We finished wrapping gifts for one another; and are counting the days until Christmas. We watched the Chiefs win over the Broncos. And last night the boys were having trouble sleeping so we pretended we were authors and made up funny book titles; and talked about ideas to help them fall asleep. It's hard not to smile when laughter is around. I know I had sweet dreams as I fell asleep with all the giggles in my heart.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ~e.e. cummings

Friday, December 3, 2010

Live, Love, Laugh, Snow! - iWitness Weather Photos and Video Video

Live, Love, Laugh, Snow! - iWitness Weather Photos and Video Video

Here is the video for the Snow Contest. See previous blog for information.

You are #1

Mason let me cut his hair yesterday; we can see those brown eyes once again. I am no hair stylist; but he refuses to go elsewhere after someone nicked his ear. He is the same way about toenails and fingernails; trust me it is more painful for me. He let me cut his hair in exchange for a Target trip. "Can I have the $6 you saved?" Who can say no to that? There has been so much excitement stirring these last few days. My beauty makeover starts tomorrow, hair cut and shopping!! The makeover concludes with a night's stay at Aloft hotel after a dinner date on Wednesday the 8th; unless the boys go we may postpone. Night time is no fun for Mason; his legs give out. Last night, Mason sat in the hallway; no words could comfort. There's nothing to say when you can't stand on our own two feet. And finally, he whispered and pointed, "Bed." It's 3 a.m. and I have tried to sleep 3 times tonight but keep popping out of bed. We made a video and submitted to the Weather Channel for a Guaranteed White Christmas. We will post a link when available. I usually do not enter contests; but right now I'd do anything for Mason. So if Mother Nature does not cooperate we may have to resort to making our own snow or road trip! A big thank you to a group of school friends for stopping by and adding stars to our Make-a-Wish tree. And Mason's foam hand collection just doubled, thanks to a friend/co-worker in Texas. Thanks for bringing a smile! You are all #1 in our hearts! Another thanks to the St. Jude/ Make a Difference for Mason running team headed to Memphis. We wish them the best of luck and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for all the support for us and the children of St.Jude. Lots of love this week. The spirit of Christmas is alive in our hearts everyday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More snow please.....

It's the 4 a.m. wake up call, the "I can't sleep, too much on my mind" It's hard once again to put down words...
Yesterday I found myself sticking with the normal routine of cleaning and organizing, while Ally and Mason watched television, or played video games. Everything seems normal, until I get the, "Mom, will you help me". Walking, dressing and simple day to day tasks are challenging. When Maverick gets home there is added excitement, a trip to the pool was planned. Right before we left Mason fell down and hit his head. I had this added fear he might fall at the pool. My stomach is in knots all the time. As I sat and watched the boys race around the lazy river; wishing everything could be normal. But there is even a difference at the pool. And I try to concentrate on the laughter and the giggles between the boys. There is nothing better than the laughter; and it scares me to wonder when that may change. Laughter, that's not to much to ask for is it? For now, we concentrate on each day. We are so thankful for all the support. Lots of invites; but it is hard to leave the house. And I sit and worry; I've hurt someone's feelings.
Mason has stopped requesting Oreo blasts and instead eats cereal twice a day and maybe a snack here and there. Raisin Bran and Corn Pops, or a glass of chocolate milk are the requests this week.
And all I would like to request is "Snow", lots of it. Mason deserves the beauty and laughter of the snow. For anyone that has ever watched a kid play in the snow understands. I leave with a January 2010 photo. Almost a year has past; a year forever etched in my mind.....


Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Morning

It's 3 a.m. and I give up on sleep from coughing and hacking. I tried Theraflu Cold relief the night before but it caused major sleeplessness. I'm so thankful the rest of the house is quiet. Mason looked at me worried yesterday and asked if I was going to be o.k. He just melts my heart. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving week. Mason did get tired at the Christmas lighting and fell asleep on the couch as the last guest was leaving. He said he had a headache during the party, but never really complained. On Sunday; he wanted to visit the Target toy section to check out the latest Bakugan and Bionicles. I've turned him into a Target kid; in Memphis that was our get-away from the Ronald McDonald house. Maverick insisted on pushing his brother in the wheelchair; thankful he did not run over anyone, racing Mason as he were in the Grand Prix. This weekend the boys played so well together; and Mason had a great week. His speech was the only thing I really noticed and a few times difficulty swallowing. For the most part we had a restful and relaxing weekend.
The MRI scheduled December 4 has been rescheduled for mid-January. We decided that after the holidays would be much better; we were told we could wait until this time. And Mason is against flying; so we will hopefully have good weather for January.
I really want to thank everyone again, I really need to work on thank yous!! Just know we really appreciate you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magic was in the air...

Mason had a wonderful time at last night's lighting ceremony. It was truly awe-inspiring, I could feel the magic in the air as the lights came on. We were overwhelmed around 100 plus friends and family stopped by to celebrate one of our favorite holiday traditions. I tried to capture the moment, but have been unsuccessful with night photos. (Above Mason's ready to light the night) We are also very touched that Mason and Maverick raised $200 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. They will be continuing to collect over the holiday season, for anyone that would like to contribute and receive a key chain.

Today marks my 40th birthday, and my voice has vanished (cold or allergies); but I can honestly say this has been the most cherished birthday. My friends and family have truly gone above and beyond to make this birthday the BEST. I have been truly blessed; a new washer and dryer thanks to a group of friends at an early birthday celebration. A Thanksgiving meal; and a dinner on my birthday; gift cards; the list goes on. And I can't forget to mention my latest surprise, a day of beauty courtesy of Michael Shae's Day Spa, new outfit, a date with Eddie, an evening at Aloft hotel; all thanks to a wonderful friend for entering a contest in my honor. All of this goes beyond the definition of friendship, we have a big FAMILY. We LOVE you all.

The greatest gift of all this birthday, "Love." Mason gave me a necklace with the word; MOM. The necklace is beautiful, but my greatest most treasured gift of all, my purpose in life- The day I became a Mom. Thank you Mason, Maverick and Ally. Your birthday is the reason for who I am today.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! Some of our friends shared a traditional Thanksgiving side dish or dessert with us. We did not have to do anything; but cook the turkey. WOW! I can't think of a more relaxed or special Thanksgiving. A day we will always remember and cherish. Lots of smiles and laughter. Thank you for sharing a part of your day with us. It was like having all our friends gathered around the table. Ally sang Johnny Appleseed; as the boys dug in! Mason gave dad an early Christmas gift; a replica lamp from the Christmas Story. And Mason has been talking about SNOW; and his wish came true. A special delivery arrived with just enough snow for a snowball fight!! What an awesome surprise!! And now Mimi and I are heading out soon to join all those crazy shoppers; because who wants to break tradition... Thanks everyone!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday turned out to be a much better day. Mason has a wheelchair now. We took a trip to Red Robin for dinner and Target last night. He is up this morning enjoying a big bowl of Raisin Bran and watching Phineas and Ferb marathon. We are looking forward to Thanksgiving meal at home tomorrow; thanks to a group of friends for providing the meal. A Black eyed peas song keeps blaring in my head; "Tonight's going to be a good good night, I can feel it. " Thanks everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!! Feeling very thankful today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photos of Love

Good Morning! Last night we received a special delivery! Our family photos courtesy of Photos of Love. We had these pictures and many more taken on a beautiful Sunday evening; weeks ago at South Lake Park.
Such precious memories and a huge thank you to our photographer Myron.
This morning is a new day, Mason had a sore throat all day yesterday; along with balance issues and is just waking up this morning unhappy. Hopefully Honeycomb cereal will help start his morning; with some warm tea. Eddie is off to work so away I go......Thank you for all the support and continued prayers. We love you and can't tell you how much the support lifts our spirits.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oreo Blast

The weekend has zapped my energy. I will try to keep the blog updated, but I struggle with the right words to say. There have been more physical changes with Mason. Simple things like raking leaves, and then falling down. A breakdown after suddenly not being able to get a word out. Dark clouds are above, as we search for rays of sunshine. Oreo blasts are an everyday request. It makes me smile that a simple Oreo blast brings a Smile. Snap circuit, Legos and Nerf guns add sunshine to our days. And thanks to the friends/family that organized and surprised me with an early birthday party!!! We are counting the days to Thanksgiving; this year we really understand the meaning of being Thankful. Goodnight everyone, it's time for our nightly reading of Hero. Chapter 7 here I come... Guess not, a # 7 headache tonight. Praying for sweet dreams.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Star on top of our Tree....

My mind is blank..... really there is lots to say. Lots of words swirling around in my head. It's like my world is stuck on spin cycle. Mason is at home; today he organized all the Nerf guns and had each loaded and prepared for battle. It was nice having his brother home early - half a day of school. Mason is aware his coordination is off, simple daily things such as writing, drinking, and walking are all different. It comes and goes, some moments better than others. As the day wears; walking and sometimes speech is a challenge....
Lets concentrate on smiles. Mom finally made meatloaf and mashed potatoes after nights of requests. We owe a big thanks to friends for dropping off BBQ dinner over the weekend!!! And the boys enjoyed lunch on Sunday with their 2nd grade teacher. So many thank yous right now, big hugs to everyone for bringing smiles. Mason received a Circuit set in the mail and is eager to get started! Instead of curling up like an armadillo; we live through love and laughter. Because of YOU; we SHINE like the star on top of our tree.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Star Everyday!!

Good Morning everyone! Mason would like to say hello to everyone out there. Especially all his school and class that he misses. I thought I'd share some of his favorites. Mason is "Star of the week "in his class, but has been at home. Necrosis being the reason (which was from receiving radiation.) His coordination and balance is off. And this morning he could not remember what he did last night. He also gets a headache when he thinks; making school work difficult. His body is not moving like it should at times, and that is very frustrating. Medication may help, but the right treatment for necrosis is still being discussed. Mason would love to go to school just now is not a good time.

Here are some of Mason's current favorites:
Start the morning: a bowl of Life Cereal or Lucky Charms
Favorite drink" Chocolate milk and Coca-Cola
Reading: Diary of Wimpy Kid, The Ugly Truth (read them all)
Favorite Song: Usher-DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love
Excited about: Snow (yesterday he could smell snow in the air)
Favorite Sport: soccer, but just yesterday he said Maverick and his new sport is Football!!
Favorite Snack: Oreo Blast-loves making his own with Oreos, milk and ice cream

Thanks everyone for checking in, have a GREAT weekend!! Go Chiefs!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The good......

Some good news! We joined the local gym, Mason has always loved swimming. So glad to find a place to break away; and have fun. Mason loved the cards from his class, he misses everyone too, it is hard adjusting to some new changes. A visit from the D.A.R.E. officer brought a smile. We had a friend drop off dinner the other night; it would've been great if I turned on the oven. So, we voted for Chinese take-out. Tonight, Eddie remembered to turn on the oven and it was wonderful. Now, off to read more Diary of the Wimpy Kid, The Ugly Truth. Sweet dreams everyone and thank you!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No School Today

Mason woke up with a headache, and after breakfast headache was slightly better but tummy ache. Ally is coughing and coughing every time I mention Preschool, she wants to stay home too. Last night, I dreamed I was trapped inside a boat spinning in every direction. It's amazing how real the dream interprets today. Thankful that my strength has returned after a restful night's sleep. Thanks everyone.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tomorrow is a New Day

Mason went to sleep and plans on going to school tomorrow. It's been a roller coaster! Mason likes being home with me, and enjoys the company but "Ally's shows are boring." Ally told dad tonight about play time with Mason. "Mary had a little farm", and "Rex and Milo were sheep." Mason played the part very well, Ally sold him Milo for $5.00. I love when laughter sneaks into our day. Especially, when Mason bursts out laughing and I ask Ally, "What are you doing? "Cleaning the toilet mom" I guess, the toilet brush should not be left out. I am going to try and get some rest, as a stomach bug or lack of sleep is making me ill. Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for all the kind words and prayers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An extra hour........

Here's to you Mason, and your fabulous smile!! Saturday; a day of errands for mom and Christmas lights for dad. Santa has no problems finding our house. Eddie's slightly obsessed with holiday illumination. And this year; there is no stopping him, the kids love the lights. Giving that there is only 2 more weekends until our house is a glow; he's very busy. The boys were content at a day of watching T.V., playing Bakugan and watching dad decorate. Homework was attempted, and shoved in a corner. Maybe another day? Thankful for an added hour to our day. This Sunday; family pictures and KC Chiefs football blaring on the T.V.!! Each day a new day. Thankful for the cards from St. Lawrence School in Rochester NY, friends reaching out, and continued prayers. I could go on and on, you know who you are; thanks for getting us through our day. * As a side note: Liquid Zantac was so unbelievably nasty, that Mason does not mind swallowing the pill form.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick Update

Just wanted to let everyone know. Mason's headache is gone, replaced with a sore throat. I think he has some sinus/cold issues going on? Thanks for checking in and thanks for all the support and kind words. A big hug to our friends. Mason is writing instead of using his voice and the first thing he wrote is Do you have homework for me? Can you write math problems? So, I was thankful to get his school work. Gotta love it!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Yesterday; one of those days where a dark cloud lingers above and you just keep waiting for a glimpse of sunshine. Pill is not a word to be said in our house, thankfully there is a liquid form of Zantac. But that still sits on the pharmacy shelf as last night's cloud continued to plague our household. Headache was intense; and sleep followed at 5:30 pm for Mason. While Mason slept and dad cleaned dishes, we left the quiet house to visit the library. I felt as if every book was jumping out and attacking me; it's been that long. "Call me Ishmael." Today brings a new day. My thoughts right now, disassembled, like a jigsaw puzzle. Today we are looking for a rainbow in the sky. Or finding a place to write our name in the sand and watch the waves crash against the rocks. "Yesterday," by the Beatles keeps playing in my head.... "now I need a place to hide away." And who knows this day can be filled with loads of sunshine and laughter; today is a new day. I know it's what you make of it. I see ice cream in today's forecast...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat

We had the most fabulous Halloween evening! Running from house to house, from block to block. Dad went and got the van, but Mason kept on going. Mason was too tired this morning for school and had a tummy ache but is feeling better after a day of rest. The mystery Halloween bug! Ally Kay has a nasty cold, hoping no else catches. Happy Halloween everyone!! And the boys sold their candy for 10 cents a piece. (All their idea) And thanks to wonderful friends for the surprise Halloween ice cream cake it was delicious!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Make a Wish

What a wonderful lunch today! We just left a luncheon for Make a Wish volunteers and sponsors. We were honored to be there along with other wish families. What a good feeling inside, we are so THANKFUL for Make a Wish that words can not express. Barry Hinson, KU assistant basketball coach delivered an awe- inspiring speech today. We remember, "It's Not about You" those powerful words. We have been touched by so many friends and family; who focus on making others happy. Today I am left feeling full of passion for life and want to share that happiness with you. Make a Wish granted Mason a trip of to Disney World. Our first trip to Disney; we are forever grateful. I can not even begin to explain, it really was a dream come true. Now I have a wish to make other kids happy just like Mason. If you have a business or company that would like to support Make a Wish, you can sell Season of Wishes stars for Make a Wish. At only a $1.00 a star. Magical memories last a lifetime!! Thanks to Make a Wish for those memories!! We share our smiles with you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

4 day Halloween Weekend!!

Good Morning! Mason is wide awake this Thursday morning. No school for parent teacher conferences, and then the weekend begins. No special plans this weekend, just trick or treating and relaxation. I am sure we will think of something to sneak in, like maybe a trip to the dog park. Above is a picture of Mason, Ally and Maverick. The boys had a Halloween costume parade yesterday; and today Ally has her preschool party. Happy Halloween everyone. Mason is enjoying the costume photos on the Make a difference for Mason Facebook page. The boys are both awake!! Mason loves waking up his brother especially when there in no school. Mom can we play Wii ? P.S. Mason decided to stick with a swamp monster costume, to mom's relief I was not having any luck finding a football helmet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off to School.....

It's Tuesday morning and Mason slept 12 hours. He did not even eat dinner last night. Fell asleep with a painful headache. Thankfully, his headache vanished in his sleep. He was ready for school, excited about the Halloween party tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chiefs Victory

What a great weekend!! Still smiling!! We had a fabulous time at the Chiefs game Sunday. A big thanks to the Chiefs organization. We loved every minute, donuts, tailgating, a walk on the field, stadium food, the loudest stadium in the NFL , a winning game, a beautiful Fall day. GO Chiefs!!! 42-20! And thanks to the NFL referee for an added smile. We all created some wonderful memories! Maverick even wants to play in the NFL someday, and Mason your smile is priceless.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bring on the weekend.......

Good Morning! It's Friday and Mason is wide awake ready to start his day.Yesterday he had a full day of school, with service club after school. Then a Halloween Boy Scout party. And up early to start Friday. Mason and Maverick are collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. It's a simple way we can help, and if you have pop tabs you can send them our way......thank you neighbors for donating your collection. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Picture of the Day

October 23, 2004-KC Zoo Run

Good Morning! Thought I would share a picture from 6 years ago, the boys were sitting on a bench waiting for Papa and dad to race by at the Zoo Run. Mason had fun searching for a 4-leaf clover, and his favorite animal that day was the tiger.

Ella Higginson

I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blossoms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
And one is for love, you know,
And God put another in for luck, -
If you search, you will find where they grow.

But you must have hope, and you must have faith,
You must love and be strong - and so,
If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sweet dreams...

Tonight, a very relaxing evening with friends, what more can I say? My spirits were lifted this evening! A giant thank you and hug to all. I got home just in time to tuck the kids in bed. Mason had a good day; no headaches for a week. Pleasant dreams everyone and thanks for checking in, it's your caring heart that gets us through each day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Extra smiles today

Mason returned to school today. I visited him at lunch and he was feeling fine, and the rest of the day was thumbs up. We had a quiet relaxing weekend, on Saturday we visited Deanna Rose Farmstead. And then nothing but relaxation on Sunday. Sunday morning started a bit rough. This evening we were blessed to each receive a prayer shawl from Prayer Shawl Ministry College Church of the Nazarene. We cherish each shawl and are blessed with the love and prayers wrapped into each one. Chiefs tickets arrived in the mail today!! EXCITEMENT has filled the household. Mason's new game is crazy eights and we are now reading Double fudge by Judy Blume. This Monday has been awesome in so many ways. Smiles to everyone. God Bless and thanks for keeping our family in your prayers and thoughts.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Radiation Necrosis of the Brain

Necrosis, a new vocabulary word; it basically is the destruction of healthy tissue.
Mason's headaches and balance issues: necrosis. Apparently after visiting the local doctor, finding out the full report; necrosis was present at the September MRI. We were not shared this information. The point is now we know, this was a risk that can occur any time after radiation, 2 weeks to 10 years. It does add extra concerns, but it was not progression of the tumor. Steroid medication was recommended, only 35% of patients get relief. Mason is strongly against returning on steroid medication, we are up in the air. He does not want to be puffy ever again, I know he would rather fight the headaches. Mason had a GREAT day yesterday, but he also had a relaxing carefree day. Mason is ready to return to school on Monday; we will have a 3-day weekend to evaluate(no school on Friday due to in services) Mason wants to go to school and be with his friends. It is a bumpy road we are on, I will always be on guard about the slightest issue of pain. It was unbearable to see him with evening headaches again. As the slightest pain breaks my heart. He has had 2 days headache free. As far as the stomach pain, he will start Zantac. I know there will be good days and bad days, here's praying for a lot of good days in the months ahead.
Wish I would have taken pictures of the boys jumping in the leaves yesterday afternoon, it was great to hear their laughter. It was a beautiful Fall afternoon. The pictures below are from October 2003.