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What started out as a site to update on our daughter's cancer has thankfully grown into a site to update on our beautiful family of four. Enjoy our journey...

Friday, November 30, 2007

i walk for life...

So, today I went to the dentist to get a broken tooth fixed - left with a root canal. Let me tell you, had the time of my life! I am feeling pretty good now, but it does hurt!

While sitting in the chair I joked with my Dr. that "I was blessed with great teeth". (those of you who know me and my family, you know this is a lie!!!) He told me "better to have bad teeth than a bad heart". Thank you for putting that into perspective for me! That is so true. Of all the things to be "bad", my teeth are minor and I should be happy that they are my only concern at the moment! Just a reminder of how much we take for is easy to find something to complain about every day. It takes more energy to find the good things, but it is so much more rewarding! I actually left there (in pain) but feeling glad that it was my only worry of the day! I do not have to worry about what my child or I will wear tomorrow in the utterly cold weather, and I don't have to worry about where we will find warmth in the upcoming storms. I can't even imagine, those are REAL worries...I have nothing to complain about.

Off to more chipper things...

This morning, my day started off great. I got a call from Chad's aunt Janelle confirming that Charli will be the honorary Chair for the 2008 Platte County Relay for Life. This is amazing for so many reasons! #1 This will help raise awareness of Childhood Cancer! It is not as uncommon as people think. However, it is uncommon enough that people don't dare entertain the thought that children do die from this "adult" monster. #2 It will be a great opportunity to introduce different organizations who desperately need funding to fight these monsters in our children. And, finally #3 It will be, I hope, an eyeopening experience for others to see what it is like to have a child with cancer. I know that they are thousands of other families out there who have it so much worse than we do. However, they need to spend their time and energy caring for their children. Right now we are able to do these things because we have been blessed with Charli's health, so it is very important that we cease these opportunities to do whatever we can.

For those of you who have attended the Relay for Life in Columbus, you know that it is a great event that gets a lot of recognition. Charli's luminaries will solely spell the word CURE that will be in the grandstand. It will be amazing. I am not sure who to thank for this "honor" and opportunity, but whoever you are...I hope you are reading this. Since the beginning of this I have wanted nothing more than to make a difference, I appreciate the opportunity to try to do this.

PS. Our team will be called "Charli's Angels" and I will post more about the event and our team as the event draws near! I am a team captain along with Chad's aunts Janelle and Janice. I know that they will do a great job, and I am excited to see all of their hard work, love, and energy go into this great event!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why do children get cancer?

She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room.
She said: 'How is my little boy ? Is he going to be all right ? When can I see him ?'
The surgeon said, 'I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your
boy didn't make it.'

Sally said, 'Why do little children get cancer ? Doesn't God care any more ?
Where were you, God, when my son needed you ?'

The surgeon asked, 'Would you like some time alone with your son ? One of the nurses will be
out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university.'

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. 'Would you like a lock of his hair ?' the nurse asked.

Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic b a g and handed it to Sally.

The mother said, 'It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University for Study. He said it might help somebody else. 'I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.' She went on, 'My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.'

Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car.

The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room.

She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

'Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that Iwill ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say 'I Love You'. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things
us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD ! And guess what, Mom ? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom ? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. Go d said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him ?' 'God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children. Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool ? I have to give God His pen back now He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery ! How about that ?

Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me.

let's talk

Charli has been talking a bit more every day! Tonight, everything was "WOW" - it was cute! Of course, once I got the video camera out she stopped!!

She loves her book bag that she got from her Great-Aunt Vicki for her birthday, here are few pictures of her showing it off tonight!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I know I haven't posted pictures for awhile, I will do so soon! In the meantime, here are some pictures of Amanda's beautiful house and her with her favorite Preister niece!!

Notice the red and green brick on the front of the house, such detail! And the "Busselman" sign in the front yard. The small white squares are presents with bows on them even! She was so creative! Her house even has a nice wreath and festive Christmas lights!! I wish my *real* house looked so cute!! GOOD JOB AMANDA!!

Amanda painted her house white even! And the grass as just a touch of snow on it!

After all the work was done, it was time to play!

yeah for Christmas!!!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to ask a quick favor of all of you! There are so many of you out there that I have met since Charli's diagnosis - and I would like to include you in our Christmas card list this year!

For all of you who would like to be put on this "list" please email me your address so I can be sure to get a card sent to you!

Thanks for your help...tis the season!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Band of Parents

If there is anyone out there looking for Christmas ideas for anyone in my family or for your own family, come see me! I have so many ideas of gifts that can be purchased while raising money for Childhood Cancer and Neuroblastoma...I would like to share!

For example: (click on any item to be directed to their site!)
holiday cards

These are all gifts that anyone can use! So...ask me about them!

More specifically I would like to tell you about a special group of parents called the "Band of Parents". You can learn more about this group at These parents are raising money by selling cookies, just in time for the holidays! I ordered some, although I like to make cookies this time of year...because it will save me some time and be going to a much better and greater cause! They also have a store with many awesome gift ideas! In fact...there are several shirts on there that I would like myself!!!

I know it is hard this time of year to make ends meet, buy Christmas gifts, and donate money as you may like to. That is why groups like this are so can donate money to a well deserving cause while you are taking care of some of your Christmas shopping as well!!!! It is a win-win!! And, I am not sure if I will share the cookies I got - so you might want to get your own!! Just teasing of course, but we can never have too many great cookies this time of year!

for all who are thankful

I have a lot I would like to say (are you surprised!) so I will probably break this up into two posts!

Thursday was Thanksgiving Day, as you all know! I hope everyone had a great day and a nice weekend break from the usual routine. Our Thanksgiving supper went pretty well I think. I didn't hear any complaints, I will put it that way. My sister Vicki and part of her family came down a little early to visit and help me get things was a big help! Including the two kids, we had 14 people - it was a good house full for my small house! It was so nice to have the house full though, aside from Charli's party it was the first time I had a house full of people! Now I know why people like to entertain at their homes, it felt nice to see and feel all the fellowship in our house!

Those who were able to attend were:
my mom & Dad (Sandra & Charlie)
Vicki, Aaron, Colton
Deb, Dillon
Amanda, Brad
Charli's Great-Grandma Preister
and our neighbor Jacky
(and of course - Brenda, Chad, and Charli!!!)

For those of you reading - thank you for coming and spending this very special Thanksgiving with us. I know that every Thanksgiving I would try to think of something special to be thankful for, but this was certainly different. Although, I find things daily to be thankful for...this Thanksgiving Day seemed to be pretty encompassing of all I have to be thankful for!

On Friday Amanda and Dillon came down to make a ginger bread house! I bought a kit for Amanda to use, because one caught her eye last week and I thought she would like it! I, on the other hand, was going to make mine from scratch! However, what I didn't take into consideration how tired and lazy I would be! The first two sides turned out and baked really nice! The other four sides were too thick, solely because of my laziness of not rolling them thin enough. So, if anyone would like to see my gingerbread house...please see my trashcan! I gave up, I admit it! Amanda's house is amazing! I will make sure she sends me a picture of her finished project so I can share it with everyone! She did a great job, and most importantly I think she had fun!

Sunday we had Cohen's baptism at Looking Glass. It was a nice day spent with the family again! We TRIED to get a good family picture - as it was the first time everyone was together, without a baby on the way (that we know of!!!!) in many-many years! But, of course I don't think we got one good picture! It was a neat feeling to have everyone in one spot! I must admit, I didn't think that the little ole Borg family would ever take up three pews at church...but we sure did!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving meaningful Thanks....

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wow, this holiday has so much more meaning this year than in years past. I suppose that shows that I was not truly thankful, even when I thought I was. The saying "you don't know what you have until it's gone" isn't always true, but I do believe you don't know what you have until you are faced with loosing it all.

This year I (very, very last minute) offered to have Thanksgiving at our house. What started out to be four people has now turned into 12! I am so excited too, I have never hosted anything like this. Aside from Charli's birthday party, I have never really done it at all! I made two pumpkin pies last night, and already this morning Chad wanted to break into them, but I have been able to hold him back so far! I will also be making the turkey, potatoes (sweet & mashed), stuffing, and spinach artichoke dip! It seems like I am forgetting something. My sister is bringing the green bean casserole and veggie tray, and my mom is making jello and rolls. Chad's mom is bringing another dessert.

Hopefully everyone will be able to attend. We hope to have Chad's Grandma Preister over, after she gets off of work. We also invited our neighbor Jacky to eat with us! She will have the shortest trip here! I have not made any promises for the food, but I am trying!

I really hope that at some point today everyone can sit and think about all they have to be thankful for. I know that no one's life is perfect, but that certainly doesn't mean we don't have our fair share of things to be thankful for. In fact, it would be great if people could respond with a few things that they are thankful for.

This year I am thankful for many firsts:
Charli's first Easter
Charli's first chemo treatment, putting her on the road for recovery
her first biopsy, showing us what was wrong with our baby girl
negative marrow scans, reminding us how lucky we are
Charli's first CAT scan that showed a smaller tumor!
Charli's first birthday, what a great day of memories!
her first trip out of the house, to see the baby kitties
Our first trip as a family to Omaha...for FUN and not for the hospital
Charli's first day back at daycare after treatment was over
Charli's first words...

I could go on and on - but I don' think you care to read all day! I am thankful for so many "small" (to some) things, that sometimes they overpower the big things - like Charli being NED! I am overwhelmed with feelings of thankfulness today, it is making it hard to put into words!!

When I asked Chad today, what are you most thankful for...he said "this little girl right here"...and he patted her on the head! Big surprise, right?!!

We wish everyone a blessed day full of family and friends! If you are in the area and don't have anywhere to go...come on over! But, let me know first so I can pull up a chair for ya :-)

Please don't forget to count your blessings today, you might even find a few you didn't realize you had!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Angels Among Us

Sorry I haven't posted anything, I have been doing other things!!

This weekend was a big and exciting weekend for our family. On Saturday we attended a benefit in Omaha for "Angels Among Us", called 'Calling All Angels'. It was a great night. We were fortunate to have about 13 people there to support not only us but the organization. Those who were able to attend were: Sandra (my mom), Bob & Jody (Chad's dad), Deb (Chad's mom) and our sisters - Amanda & Brad, Vicki & Aaron, Kara, Rachelle & Shawn. Dad got sick and was not able to go:-(

The evening began with several silent auction items, I would say 100+ items were available for bid. Our group came home with several, such as a fondue basket, chocolate lovers basket, Crayola coloring basket, picnic basket, angel bracelet, husker basket, flower arrangements, and a fishing cooler! Also, Preister Excavating purchased a vacation package for Winter Park, CO from the live auction.

It was absolutely amazing to see people there willing to give their time, money and support for this group. As a recap, Angels Among Us is a non-profit organization based out of Omaha that helps families with children who are fighting cancer in the state of Nebraska. They hope to be nationwide. They help the families by paying $500 of bills (each month) , paying the bills directly. This money has gone for mortgage/rent payments, property taxes, vehicle payments, etc. The service is greatly needed, and appreciated even more. I urge all of you to check out their site to learn more about the group and the wonderful people who are a part of it. We were fortunate enough to meet several people who are envolved with this group this weekend. Let me tell you first hand, these are the best people in the world - with the biggest hearts. These people truly are the angels among us, and deserve to have this organization be successful for eternity.

Miss Nebraska was there for the evening and helped throughout the night. Actually, her and her boyfriend (mr. Nebraska as I called him!) were sitting at the table of my sisters. They seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the night with them!

During the live auction the auctioneers would randomly auction off shots of Crown Royal (alcohol) to anyone who got the high bid. Generally these went for $25-45. However, at one point they offered Miss Nebraska to pour the drink with them, this happened twice. Those shots went for $1,200 and $800! It was fun to see people enjoying giving their money to this great group!

There was great music and touching slide-shows. Charli had two pictures in one of the shows - all of the kids are just too adorable to have gone through so much pain. There was also a tribute show for a child who earned his wings last May. His mother is part of this great group.

At the end of the event I spoke for about 10 minutes. I talked about some childhood cancer statistics, including the fact that every 16 hours a child with Neuroblastoma dies. I also did a recap of Charli's journey and how truly blessed we are with not only her presence but also her love for us. At the end I shared a poem written by a mother whose son was diagnosed with NB.

I left the event feeling great. It was just heartwarming to see so many people there who care, and who were willing to donate their money. It was wonderful to share this with our family too. I know that so many of them have been looking for a way that they could help...and this was a good outlet for them. It was amazing to see the items that were donated for auction. Included in the silent auction was artwork created by the kids. Charli sent in artwork of her hand prints...this is a sore spot for my family! It went for $150 I believe, but there was a bidding war between my mom and my sister - with my sister ultimately winning. I felt bad for mom, because she already had the spot picked out. But, in Rachelle's defence - Charli is her only "BORG" niece. Mom...I will make sure Charli makes you a picture!!
I would like to thank Angels Among Us for hosting this event, and giving everyone the opportunity to see how important this group is. I would also like to thank you for asking me to speak, as a parent of a child who battled cancer - it is easy to feel helpless in this big world who doesn't seem to know much about their fight. Getting the word out 400+ people at a time, is a great way to start!

Thank you to everyone who attended that evening. Your presence was overwhelming for me, and often brought tears to my eyes...good tears! No child should have to go through the fight of their life so young. However, it is a fact of life. Now...we need to raise awareness about it and help those who are in need because of it.

Happy Holidays everyone. I pray that this Thanksgiving you truly sit down and realize how blessed you truly are, amongst all the things that maybe aren't going your way. I know that heartache comes in all shapes and sizes, but there is always an abundance to be thankful for.

PS -Happy Anniversary Chad! Thank you for the beautiful flowers :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

a victory that needs repeated

This is a victory....

Bill expands childhood cancer research, monitors cancer trends and provides
resources for patients and their families

November 14th, 2007 - Washington DC - The Senate Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions (HELP) Committee today approved Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN) and
Jack Reeds (D-RI) Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2007, which would provide $30
million per year through 2012 to expand childhood cancer research, create a
national database to evaluate cancer trends and provide resources to patients
and families affected by childhood cancer.

Childhood cancer is a disease that affects far too many Minnesota families,
said Coleman. While we have seen improvements in survivorship rates, cancer
remains the number one killer of children. We have the minds, we have the
technology, all we need is to empower our researchers, physicians and families
with the tools they need to confront this disease. I applaud the HELP committee
for recognizing the importance of this bill and moving it one step closer to
the President's desk

Specifically, the legislation will allocate $30 million per year through 2012

Provide funding for critical biomedical research programs aimed at preventing
and curing childhood cancer and improving the lives of children with
pediatric cancers;

Support a national childhood cancer database to monitor the incidence of
pediatric cancers, identify cancer causes and aid in the development of prevention
strategies and cures;

Foster clinical and translational research for pediatric oncologists
especially in the early stages of their career development; and

Provide informational and educational services to patients and families
affected by childhood cancer to help ensure access to the best available therapies
for pediatric cancers.

More than 12,000 American children are diagnosed with cancer each year and
more than 2000 more will succumb to this tragedy. In Minnesota, about 160
children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer and about 25 children die of
cancer each year. Based on current rates, it is estimated that 1 of every 385
children in Minnesota will be diagnosed with a cancer before age 15.

Leroy Coleman, (202) 224-5641

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This video has been uploaded to You Tube! I realize almost anything can be uploaded on You Tube, but now many more people hav access to see it! I am excited :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

it's about time!!!!

Okay...I know you are all here for the pictures! So, I won't talk too long! I have so much that I want to say, but I will save it for a separate post! Sorry this took so long, even though I got my computer back several days ago, there were still issues I needed to work on with it! I am sure these are way out of order...sorry!

daddy & I after bath!

peacefully sleeping!

Dr. Farmer Preister

ha ha...look at Kasper, he is locked out!!

We got to meet Gavin - what a doll!!!

piggy-back ride!


reading a book before starting the day!

I was wearing daddy's boots from when he was MY age!! (they are OLD!)

joe-dirt baby!

Halloween Day 2007!

Halloween 2007!

Grandma & Grandpa Preister, Superman (Conner) and me!!

i carried the candy all around!

OH, my new favorite book!!!!

playing in the leaves, again!

so fun!!

leaf time is AWAYS fun!

working with dad!

this little pumpkin is still pretty big for me!

playing peek-a-boo with the nurses!

playing "farm" with daddy!

our welcome home surprise from Grandma & Grandpa Preister (after our last dr. visit!)

daycare Halloween party! Look at all those cute costumes!

trust me, I am a professional artist!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

i'm "back"

Hi feels good to have my computer back! I have a lot of things to do before I am back at full-force, so hang in there with me! I PROMISE I will have pictures up as soon as I can!

I do need to ask you all a favor! In the process of all of this I lost ALL of my old emails. So that means those of who you didn't get your bracelets yet...yeah..I don't know who you are! So, can you please email me with your name, address, and how many you would like - so I can get that take care of. I apologize. You can find my email address listed in my profile...please send an email and not a comment, or I will forget where the information is!!

Also, if you have sent me anything of importance in the past few days, and did not hear back from me - please resend it. I also lost some emails that were "out there" waiting for me :-( What a pain. But, I am SO thankful that I didn't loose my pictures of my beautiful baby girl!! I would have gone off the deep end if that happened, for real! I have also lost all of my "favorites" if any of you out there want to send me some great links - chances are I need them!

We keep so much of our lives on the computer anymore - I didn't realize what I would loose if I lost that darn computer.

In the meantime...don't loose your patience with me! I PROMISE I will work as fast as I can to get it all take care of and get those Halloween pictures up!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

i'm sorry!

I am having computer problems at home I am not sure when I will be able to update the site with pictures from Halloween! I am so sorry! I tolk it into the "doctor" this hopefully I will know something soon!

In the meantime, I will atleast let you know what she was! So, if you want to wait for pictures - here is a spoiler alert - don't keep reading if you don't want to know!!
Charli was a piggy for Halloween this year! She was adorable, but I will save my stories for when I can update pictures!!