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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Brick by brick...

It was a quiet weekend. Dad played Legos with the boys. We watched Megamind twice. Mom got some errands done and even got Ally's spring wardrobe unpacked and organized. A weekend of productivity. As the boys organized mixed up Lego kits. Mason is sitting here now finishing a kit; brick by brick. We all had a great weekend at home. After Maverick questioned the oxygen machine; Mason asked for it to be removed from the living room. "Mom I don't need it." But, his heavy breathing at night keeps me wondering. I don't know what to think as March approaches. Last year the end of March; the headaches began. What a journey. Almost a year; a year forever changing our lives. Cherishing smiles more than ever.

As Mason does not wish to stop steroids after realizing headaches and other symptoms will occur. There are more important things then appearance. We learn something everyday.
And there are some things, no matter how hard we try; we can not control.

Still counting Valentines and cards...

An awesome handmade Valentine from Peculiar, MO

More international postcards from India, Chile, Australia, Germany and a Philippines card mailed from China.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Because the love is not stopping I share with thee... I really thought I'd be sharing the last Valentine card, but we are still receiving well wishes and letters that touch the heart. Knowing that we have touched one person brings special meaning to our journey. We will never understand why, but the strength we receive from each other provides hope. Just like flowers in the spring time.

Thanks for the cards of Hope; Heartland Christian Daycare/Preschool in KC, MO

More greetings from across the USA

Meow, and Purrs to Chai, Little Bit and Sugar Bear

Greetings from Swain Ski Resort in Swain, NY!!

Cards from Saudi Arabia, 2 more from India, Spain and lots from Portugal
Thank you, I need to shout out. We are so grateful and send our hugs to all. From cards to meals, to a silent prayer. We thank everyone that reads this for the continued support. Heartland Church in Olathe, KS you've touched our hearts. Thank you EVERYONE from the bottom of our hearts.

Every now and then then I hit the rewind button. I know; one day at a time. But, with the school carnival last night; I flash back to last year, the boys racing from classroom to classroom collecting tickets for prizes, bouncing on the inflatables, playing the cake walk, laughing and joking with friends. Yes, sometimes I try and picture how things were and how things could be today; before cancer changed all that. We ended last night with laughter of our own. Mason does not talk about what he is missing. I know it is buried inside. It is why he can't get himself to return for a school visit. It's those memories; to be a normal kid, not center of attention, or mom answering his questions, and so on. We carry on...holding on to strength from each other and finding sunshine to every day.. And holding on to those visions in our mind and those memories when we hit rewind...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smiles across the globe...

These Valentines from India brought big smiles, thanks for the joy to our hearts.

Thanks Bill, these were from a business trip to Kiev, Ukraine

Thanks Chan for the lovely letter and good luck panda, Jing Jing

We also received a card from a former Brookridge student now an Air Force family stationed in Hohenfelse, Germany.

Owl be your friend in Roeland Park, Kansas

Thank you San Diego, CA Pathfinders for the Care package and Santa Fe Trail Elementary, KS first graders for the cards..

Oreo, walking by to say hello. She likes to jump on Mason's lap while he is playing computer games.

A tough start this morning as Mason's voice hurts to speak. But feeling a little better after some Captain Crunch and blueberries. Last night he struggled but asked, "What is Ally doing for her birth day?" I just smiled and said may be we can go to Build a bear? Mason always thinking ahead, but this morning fear grows in our hearts. It's been there just waiting to surface.

The other night a vivid dream still plays in my mind, I gazed up at a humongous tree but, instead of buds; it was Full of wasps nests ( wasps waiting to be hatched). I woke up amazed how it fit the day; we can not prepare or escape their stings.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Hello everyone! Thanks for the support and smiles from our mailbox.

Above, a guardian angel sent from Florida and Lighthouses of Maine

Hallmark Cards in the Netherlands

Here's a question, What is the world's smallest country?

More cards from Kenya, Holland, India, Germany, and 2 from Hungary

Here is a Sweet turtle and card from Sophia and the Class of 2011 from Austria

More beautiful cards from Spain, Coconut Creek, FL, 16th St. Pathfinders in CA, and Wilton Manor Elementary in FL.

Mason has been spending his days playing Legos. Yesterday for the first time he decided to try the oxygen since his breathing was so rapid. He did not need it very long, but it did help. He could not stand the prongs in his nose and as soon the nurse left; he yanked it off. Nonetheless, there is oxygen in our living room. Today's burning question, "Mom when can I stop the steroids?"
Last night we decided a trip to the Mall was in store, Mason was anxious to use his Build a Bear gift card and name his bear (thanks Carlsbad , CA). He named his bear Fuzzakin. Ally and Maverick had loads of FUN, stuffing a bear too. It was wonderful, no one else was there. We had the entire store to roam around and play.
After arriving home, we finished the night laughing in hysterics, we have been reading a joke book from the UK, "A Chuckle of Kids Jokes" I thought I'd share a chuckle.

It was a cold winter's day and a man was sitting in his armchair warming himself by the fire. Suddenly, he heard a knock on the door. Reluctantly the man got up and opened the front door. There was nobody to be seen, and the snow drifted in thick and fast. The man was just about to return to the fireside, when he heard a small voice pipe up, "Excuse me, Sir!' He looked down and saw a little snail shivering on the doorstep. "Excuse me, Sir, it's so cold out here. Would you let me in so I can warm myself by the fire?" The grumpy man was annoyed at being dragged away from his fireside, and said, "Beat it", and kicked the snail out into the middle of the road.
Winter passed, and summer came. This time the grumpy man was sitting watching television, when he heard a knock on the door. He opened the door and lo and behold, there was the same snail staring up from the doorstep.
The snail looked at him accusingly and said" What did you do that for?"

Hope you start and end every day with a laugh.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Long weekend...

We are still feeling the LOVE from Kansas City to London...

Here is a card from Sydney, Australia (Kelly's Place Children Centre)

Mason received a COCONUT from Hawaii on Saturday!! Everyone helped drill the holes and had fun trying fresh coconut. It was delicious!!!

Mason was honored to receive a signed KU basketball. Even more honored to surprise dad on his birthday.

What a weekend. Ally is feeling much better tonight after a nasty virus, that caused horrible tummy cramps. Mason is starting to become more and more frustrated with his physical challenges and headache pain in the evening. Mom is trying very hard to keep up and balance the family. Ice cream sundaes, coconut, and Legos seemed to add a few smiles. Mason's feet need to be elevated. Pain in his feet may be the start of neuropathy. (damage to the nerves) We are all ready to start a new week.
We had some time to read the Valentines from John Diemer Elementary, Overland Park, KS and some from Prince of Peace Catholic School in Olathe, KS. We also received some from Salina High School, KS (thanks so much) Smiles. I am cuddling with the family as we watch Alpha and Omega.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine Overtime...

It is hard not to feel LOVE after Mason opens his mail. Although the mail is slowing down; it's amazing how much the World has shared with us. And it is hard to explain or put in words how meaningful the cards are. If only I could share each and everyone that has touched us. As I've said before there is a rainbow above our house. It's hard not to smile when you are being hugged.

Thank you Gonzalez United Methodist Church in Florida for the daily prayers.

Thank you Oologah, Oklahoma 8th graders for remembering Mason after 2 weeks off of school. 30 inches is a lot of Snow!! Like one of the Valentines read, "Hope your Valentine's Day goes in Overtime" Your thoughtfulness means so much.

Just look at the cool collection of magnets sent by George and Carol in Raytown, MO .

Thanks for the beautiful handmade Valentines (received on Valentine's Day)

Thank you Girl Scouts Troop 5414 in Ft. Leavenworth, KS

Thank you Coconut Creek Elementary in Coconut Creek, FL

Love from the South of France, China, and Dena and Brian from Czech Republic who shared pictures of different places they have traveled.

Below: our first postcard from Greenland

The world continues to reach out and share a part of their day with Mason; letting them know they care. Mason is listening. We are all listening. Thanks for allowing us to escape to different corners of the world. Places we have never been; and may never get to. In our hearts we are there with you. The out pouring of compassion will never leave my heart.

Even after a horrible day, we know there is someone out there. Yesterday was a day where the walls were closing in and the camel's back could take no more. But I am still holding my head up high, rough waters still lie ahead. I wish I could forget trivial things tonight. (Trivial: small or little importance) I can only laugh, when I go to the store for lemonade and come home with everything but lemonade.
The night ended with Ally sick as ever and Mason crying from a headache. Pain slapped me in the face. It's hard to sleep when your mind is in over drive; so here I am letting it out. Thanks for caring, sharing and listening to my blaring. Sometimes it's those simple words, "Our hopes and prayers are with you"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Straight to my heart

It was a beautiful day here in Kansas, Mason even sat outside for a while. Ally was still very sick and slept most of the day. Mason got frustrated today when he could not find anything to satisfy his hunger. Tonight he fell asleep as American Idol was ending. Below are some more smiles from today's mail. Over a course of 28 days; 1, 750 pieces of mail have arrived for Mason. Thank you everyone, one person can make a difference. A world of love has passed through our doors.

How can you not SMILE at an Australian Crocodile that sings from the Land Down Under? Made me sing and dance!!

It's hard to believe we thought Alaska and Hawaii would be difficult; we received a card from each today. Even more amazing; 22 pieces of mail were received from Alaska and 21 from Hawaii.

More beautiful postcards from Napa Valley, CA, South Carolina, Maine and Florida

An "Express" Valentine card was also delivered from Hallmark Cards in United Kingdom.

Cards from Belize (Thanks Krisalis, and Julio )

Thanks to Daisy Troop 676 in Olathe, KS and Haven Elementary in Haven, PA

And then there are those cards that just go straight to my heart. When we were at Ronald McDonald House in Memphis, the walls were covered with children's hand prints representing a child with cancer. It seemed like yesterday Mason's green hand print was made. And as I gaze up at the stars at night I think of loved ones that live forever in my heart.

Before we were even aware, look what arrived in the mail; Mason's first Lucky to Know You card from Olathe, Kansas. My heart is so full it is overcome with emotion tonight.


Yesterday's fog stuck with me all day. So glad sunshine is in the forecast. Mason had a good day; I have no idea where the day went yesterday, I guess we spent a lot of time in front of the television as Ally just wanted to be held. Ally is sick with a tummy ache and spent a lot of yesterday puking.
Mason had fun playing and organizing his Legos. He also loves playing Plants vs. Zombies on the computer. He is looking forward to the release of a new Star Wars Clone Wars Lego game.

Hopefully with some spring air today; 70's!! We can open some windows and the germs can blow right out the window. I have been following Ally with a Lysol can, I pray no one else gets run down with this stomach bug.

We are still receiving some Love in the mail.

Cards from Greece, Australia, England, United Kingdom, and a New York card from Switzerland and a first from Hong Kong.

Here is a collection of handmade cards adorning our wall.

We love cards from Pets; Cats Tiger and Sir Lancelot

Beasley the beagle from Wisconsin

Mason, Maverick and Ally love their Stack it Cups!

Greeting from Legoland CA and the cutest elephant Valentine from Los Angeles, CA (below)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our heart's melting from all the LOVE

Yesterday, Maverick spotted this heart shaped creation while playing in the melting snow.
Our hearts continue to melt from all the support and encouragement.

Mason received cards from Willis Elementary, FL; LomaLinda University Church, CA; Lewis Family Dental, Lincoln, NE. A Construction hat, cap, and rocks from Ames Construction in Draper, Utah; a tiger a shirt from Valley Springs Tigers in AR; and a hat from KU Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

Hope and Inspiration; it's what gets us through, a student at Willis Elementary wrote, "Mason I know you are amazing and brave. I want to be the person to cure cancer. All cancers!" Including yours. You inspired me to."
It's cards like that prove what amazing world we live in. So many words of HOPE. May the chain of love continue to spread, and awareness never stop.

The Brad Kaminsky Foundation for Brain Tumor Research sent cards of Hope and support.

A kind customer left pencils and supplies at "The Little Shop of Crafts" in NYC, so customers could make cards. This made my HEART pound!!

A family in Idaho shared some LOVE, we enjoyed the beauty of Northern Idaho and can't wait to sink our teeth into some Wild Huckleberry Taffy!!

Cards that made us Smile. Miss Missouri Teen USA Sydney, asked Mason to be his Valentine.

More smiles. The card in the middle reads" Enjoy the Moment" And we laughed at the Tree, "Wood you be my Valentine?"

International cards from Valentine's Day!! We received 25 pieces of International mail.
Cards from Canada, Jr. Torch Club in Germany, Costa Rica, Quatar, France, and 2 from Kyrgyzstan (Thanks Jack (Bishkek) and the U.S. Army from Mannas, Kyrgystan)

More International cards from Australia, Peru, Japan, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Austria and Scotland. The castle in the middle is Glasgow University in Scotland.

International cards from the 15th from Spain, Canada, China, Australia, and Afghanistan

We still have some cards to read, a tub of 1,152 Valentines still waits to be cherished. Like Maverick said, it is AMAZING; people taking time to send a card. Thank you everyone for taking your time to full our day with smiles.