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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...

Monday, March 31, 2008

a GREAT way to buy luminaries!

If any of you are interested in buying luminaries I have a GREAT idea for you!! My mother-in-law, Jody, is a very good artist! For anyone who purchases a luminary in the month of April from her, she will do a pencil sketch for you! Do you remember the one she did of Charli in the spring last year...of Charli in the camo hat - very cute!!! Anyway, a GREAT value and a super great keepsake to have! So, I urge you to look into it! I will include her email and flyer - please pass this information along to everyone you know...we need LOTS of luminaries!!!!!

You can contact Jody at her blog at

The following message was emailed to family and friends and I have decided to include it on my site as well. A copy of the flier preceeds this message:

As many of you know, our granddaughter, Charli Ann Preister, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Cancer in March of 2007. After going through treatment and much prayer, Charli has been declared NED (no evidence of disease) and is doing well. Although the tumor remains in her spinal area, she is developing and growing into a healthy, normal and beautiful little girl...and our prayers continue for her always! Charli, who will be two in July, has been chosen to be the honorary co-chair for the Platte County, Nebraska Relay for Life which will be held the last weekend in June and our team 'Charli's Angels' will be selling luminaries to spell out the word 'CURE' for the ceremonies. So we are all working very hard to raise money as well as an awareness of Childhood Cancer, which is the leading cause of death among children...and one of the least funded for research!

We are also on a mission to have every state represented with a luminary from our team...that's where you all come in. I am going to be doing some donated sketches for the next month for relay for life. For every luminary purchased from our Charli's Angels Team I will do a free 8'x10' single subject pencil sketch from a photograph of the contributors choice...person or animal. That should keep me busy! But it goes to a good cause, and it is the one thing I know I can do to contribute. I figure, God gave me this talent and I need to give back whenever I can.

So, won't you join me and the other members of 'Charli's Angels' in raising awareness to Childhood Cancer and supporting Relay for Life by printing and sharing the flier (at the top of this messeage) with your friends, family and co-workers...or sending it on through cyber-space to those you know in other states (countries?) and see just how busy you can make me :o)

Photographs can be sent to me directly at the address below or given to the Charli's Angel Team member you are familiar with. Please include your full name, address and phone number so I can contact you and return your photo with your drawing. This offer will expire on April 30, 2008, so purchase your luminaries and get those photos to me as soon as you can!

Oh, and please be patient with me as I complete each drawing. Thank you and God Bless!

Jody Preister
27040 State Hwy 91
Humphrey, NE 68642


The news is good, and that is all that matters! But, some details would be nice too!!

Charli's oncologist called and said that Charli looked like a "normal" little girl in this scan! Her kidneys are back in place and all is well with the world! The tumor that remains on the spine has even shrunk!! This is great news!!!!! The fact that the word "normal" was used, is pretty neat too!!

We will go back in three months and do it all over again!

Thanks again everyone for checking and loving our baby girl!! A BIG thanks to Linda for the BIG-BIG bottle of bubbles and the beach ball for Charli - she will get lots of fun from the bubbles!!!!

Worth the gold!

Just a QUICK update to let you know that Charli's oncologist called me this morning and told me that the scans came back with positive news!!

I will post the details later, but for now I just wanted to let you all know that things are GOOD!! Thank you for checking on us, and all the messages, emails, calls, etc we have gotten showing us that you are concerned.

God is if we didn't know that already :-)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hey everyone....still no news from Omaha - so I will be calling a few hours into the day tomorrow to get the *official* good news. As positive as I am that the results are great, it is still hard not knowing. Charli has been so goofy the past few days, I know she is feeling great - so that helps keep my mind free and clear!!

Today she got to play with her Aunt Amanda & Uncle Brad and her Grandma & Grandpa Borg! She had fun showing off all of her new shoes and her new potty! Grandma gave her a bath and took her potty too...what a big night :-) She also played ring-around-the-Rosy with Grandma many times, and bowled for a long time with Grandpa. So, I think everyone will sleep well tonight!

We hope you had a GREAT weekend too!!

the sun never goes down when your cool!

Been farming long?!



Friday, March 28, 2008

a new feeling

Well we are home tonight, and Charli is sleeping - we are tired!! Let's recap our day, shall we?!!

We were to be on the road by 5am...I woke up at 5am, so we rushed around and left the house around 5:10!! We arrived at the hospital around 6:30, Charli didn't sleep on the way down, until we were about 20 minutes from the hospital - poor girl!! We got there and were told that we would have have to access an IV line prior to going down for the CT, we were so thankful. Luckily they were able to set her IV while she was "sleeping". We were told that once she was back up and awake we would be on our way home!!!!

Before she could go into the procedure she had to be looked at by the doctor, and we were actually able to see her primary oncologist. She said that Charli's ear was a little red, but probably just from the crying she had done so far. They took her down right around 8:30, which never gets easier on the inside although it looks easier from the outside!!

When they brought her back to the room she looked a little dazed and confused and quickly started to cry, which didn't really stop for about 45 minutes. Her voice was so horse, they must have scratched her throat with the breathing tube during anesthesia. We were told that when they removed the tube her airway (throat) started to swell shut, so they had to give her special medicine to combat that and also give her a few breathing treatments. They also told us that they suctioned quite a bit of yellow "junk" from her after waking up. She sounded very croupy and just looked like she felt miserable. After a lot of rocking and swaying she finally fell asleep and slept for about an hour. When she woke up, she is the Charli we were missing so badly!!

We stuck around for about 15 minutes to get some food and drink into her before heading home. She did pretty well on the way home, was a bit fussy and we could tell she didn't look so great. About halfway home we started talking about taking her in to see her pediatrician at home to check her ears...especially with all that happened after the CT. When we got home we basically dropped our bags off and went into the clinic! It turns out that Charli did have an ear infection in both ears, as well as inflamed sinuses. We are glad that we took her in, because there was some puss in her ear with the infection...and with it being Friday I would hate for her to have to "deal" over the weekend.

We still have no answers from the CT scan that they did over 12 hours ago. This is a new feeling for us, because we have always known before walking out of those doors what we were dealing with. I trust that God is just taking his time in giving us this news to strengthen our faith and our patience...probably two things that we badly need. However, the longer we go without information the more we make-up our own reasons for why we haven't hear from them yet...and none of those reasons have a happy ending. We are staying positive, and trust that we will hear great news tomorrow...which will make that news even sweeter after having to wait for it!!

For now Charli is sleeping soundly in her bed, wearing new PJ's!! I hope we caught the ears before they started bothering her too badly, so she can just go on being the happy little spider-monkey we all know she is!!

Thanks for the prayers, emails, calls, texts, and treats on or door step tonight! We love them all...and we love you all. Your support means so much, I hope you truly know that you are appreciated and loved by our family!

Charli got to arrive in her PJ's this trip..."I <3> DUCKS!"

Daddy stays pretty close to Charli while we are in the hospital!

This is a face we will never forget, the look of letting a "stranger" take your baby...on a regular basis :-(

Charli got a potty chair!!! We aren't going to start working on it yet, but she does show interest and surprisingly knows how it works and what to do!!! She is such an information sponge, it is frightening!!!

PS. It makes my mind spin to really sit and realize how Charli's little body has not had to really fight anything off until the past few months with the ear infections, etc. It just proves to me how much God is watching over her little body and making sure that she is strong enough to beat these fights she is doing, like like other "normal" little kids get to do! If Charli would have had to face these infections a year ago, life would have been miserable. Praise God for blessings of all kinds, big and small...and all the ones in between!!! We really are so blessed!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweet Dreams

Well, we hope Charli sleeps well tonight! We need to be at Children’s by 6:00am tomorrow – so it will be an early morning for all…except Chad I guess! I pray that Charli will sleep on the way there, and have a smooth morning without skipping a beat. She is always such a trooper, but has she gets older she is more aware of not being able to eat and what is going on around her. Her scans are schedule for around 8:30…so she should be out by 9:00…and I pray to have results quickly, but who knows how that will go! I would like the information before leaving Omaha, but I imagine it is possible that we would have to wait. We’ll see…it is definitely information I would like to have before starting the weekend! As always we expect and pray for good news, but just like everyone plays the lotto for the small chance of winning, we have to prepare ourselves for the small chance of loosing. But, I know that God has taken Charli under his wing and she will be A-OK! Thank you to everyone who has remembered this big day for us with phone calls, emails, notes, visits, and messages…it means a lot to us knowing that you are all still cheering for our star!

No big plans for the weekend, sounds like the weather will be less than summer-like so we will see where it takes us! I plan to finalize some plans for a few different charity events and be able to post more about them next week! For starters keep May 4th open if you can for a GREAT event to take place in Humphrey around 1:00!! More details to come!!!!

Charli has been so independent, she is now walking herself down the stairs and to the car – crawling up into the vehicle and then “past” the car-seat….every time!!! Then, when we get out…she has to walk to daycare, down the stairs, take her coat off, and hang it up on her own! What a big-kid we have on our hands!! She is playing so well on her own, and doing imagination play so well! She will even involve us in her imagination play!!! She is starting to love her puppies a bit more but will ignore them too, starting to do her own thing and be less dependent on them for entertainment! Slowly she is starting to show interest in cartoons, but very little. She has never been a TV kid, but some mornings if we have extra time to be together I will put some cheerios in a bowl and turn Mickey Mouse on, and we can sit for about 5 minutes and snack on some cereal, drink our juice…and enjoy some mom-and-me time together on the couch! Tonight her daddy taught her to say "Cancer, all gone!" PRIASE GOD!!!!

Every night I think I could never love her more and every morning I am proven wrong. Being the mother of Charli has changed my world in a way that I can never put into words…no matter how hard I try! Charli is amazing and I love her…and I love that you all love her too!!!!! Have a GREAT weekend.

Please say an extra prayer for Charli tonight, I think that tomorrow will be a challenge for all of us as this will be her first visit without the port…and it could make things a bit more difficult for her. Please also pray that Chad and I are able to keep our patience with each other while we sit and wait for such important news…it can be difficult.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter 2008!

The BEST Easter of them all has arrived! I spent a lot of time today wondering if today was truly a better Easter than last year. In 2007 Charli had her first EVER Easter celebration, but we were so burdened by all that was going on, none of us got to enjoy it like we were able to today!! Although, we did get lots of visitors last year!

Charli thought looking for eggs was the funniest thing EVER today!! She woke up to a trail of eggs from her bedroom door to the living room, and walked around until she had all 26 of them in her basket! Sadly, some were plastic and some were real eggs...but all got thrown in the basket the same!! The Easter Bunny was very good to her this year! She got a doll house, and several animals. At the end of the day, the animals were living in her dollhouse - is anyone surprised?!

We went to church and Charli did really well I think! If the service was about ten minutes shorter I think she would have been perfect!!!! After church we went to the farm and she immediately started to find eggs with her cousins! They had fun!! After lunch the kids had an outdoor egg hunt was cold out, but the kids enjoyed it anyway!!

When we got home Charli was having fun playing with her basket and toys that she got earlier that day, and all of a sudden I looked out the window - and the Easter Bunny Fairy came again and scattered eggs all over our front yard!! OH MY GOSH!! We bundled Charli up and took her outside! As soon as she saw the first egg in the grass she freaked out! I have never heard her scream so long and so much in my life!! She was on cloud 9! There were a few people walking by, she locked eyes when them and hollered to them as if she was telling them how much fun they were missing out on!! Many eggs later Charli came inside a very happy girl. It made my week to see her enjoy the day so much! Easter will always be one of those "tough" holidays, because I will forever remember the feeling of being stuck at home last year as Charli started her fight against NB. But, it will also remind me of how far we have come...and remind me to be so thankful.

We hope that all of you had a great Easter, and were able to spend it with the ones you love...and truly thought of the meaning of Easter.

PS. In the spirit of Easter I was thinking about forgiveness and new beginnings. I read somewhere this week that rather than getting upset at someone and wanting revenge we should pray for them to find healing in whatever it is that is making them act the way that they do. I think we can all use this piece of advise...I hope to be better at applying it.

hmm, guess which one jumps off the couch!

the "special" bunny put eggs in my front yard!!

i'm so proud of my new house!!

yeah....more eggs!

notice the chicken in the tub?!!!!!!

I decided NOT to look at the camera while I looked so cute!


BIG shoes!

Grandpa & Grandma Preister gave me this bowling set...I LOVE it!!

Happy Easter 2008!!

Look at my eggs daddy!!

WOW!! WOW!!!

PS - this weekend I decided that I wanted to feed myself almost every meal! By doing this, that meant that I ate my breakfast one cheerio at a time - mom was so patient and let me do it anyway!!! I am growing up mom says! She keeps asking me where the kid is who she fed watered down baby cereal to in her car seat. Yuck, I hope she wasn't talking about me!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Time to think

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile, I have pictures up - so I hope that will make up for it!
I have had the opportunity to do a lot of thinking and reflecting this week...and it has put a lot of things in perspective, and raised a lot of questions. Next Friday we take Charli down for her scans. Of course we expect good news, but you can't help but wonder and worry. Right about now around our house you will see the hugs last a little bit longer, and and kisses multiply!!

I have really been thinking about my friend Gina and all that she is having to deal with as her mother faces this new challenge head on. I can't imagine, and feel so helpless wanting to help from 70 miles away. I hope that you have gone to visit her site (under Gavin to the right) and said a prayer for all of them.

It makes me wonder. Do you think that God gives us what we need in life? I don't mean in the sense that he will always provide for us in the way that we can feed our family, etc. I mean in the way that these types of things are "meant" to be in our lives? I look back at my life and think that it is obvious the plan that was laid out for me at times. When Chad was in his accident in 1999, I don't really remember skipping a beat. I got in my car and drove to the hospital, and with help from Chad's family made it to Omaha. I was there with him nearly all the time. At the time I don't think I ever felt it was a burden to care for him or wanted to be anywhere else, I was only 18 years old - so it is kind of hard to understand that now...but I was where I needed to be taking care of and supporting Chad. I think that God put us in that position because he knew it was laying the ground work for what he would grant us with later in our lives. I am just not sure how we would have sustained this life without having dealt with his tragedy.
I think that through Chad's accident we truly appreciate health. I mean, it has been nearly 9 years since his accident and he has struggles daily because of it. Because of this, we treasure the good moments and know what it is like when your health is taken away.
Before Charli was diagnosed with cancer I loved her. But it wasn't until her diagnosis that I realized how much I took her and that love for granted. Between the two miracles that live in my house I have been made to realize the greatness of health and unconditional love.
Sometimes I think that we tend to look at others and pity what they have been given in life. But I think that God gives us exactly what we need! Everyone is missing something in their life, but I think that eventually that void is filled somehow - I just happened to get my fill early in life I guess!! Definitely not saying I am not missing things in my life...just trying to say that I appreciate what I have been given - the good, the bad, and the great!!!!
Have a great Easter and enjoy the time with your family and focusing on your faith. I am sure many interesting and fun pictures will be taken this weekend!
I hope that this weekend as we all celebrate Easter we can all find things that we maybe once viewed as a hindrance that have now bloomed into blessings in disguise. And hopefully through that, when the next roadblock pops up we can have faith that God is giving us exactly what we need.
my newest spider-monkey move!

these are my favorite thing now-a-days!

seriously mom...did you REALLY put MY clothes on these guys...


playing with my cousins!!

hmmm, think these two will get in trouble together?!


knocked out after playing with the Haines girls!

hey!! this coat has pockets too!

Charli still wants to sleep sideways in her crib, the short way! So, she wraps her body around and sticks her feet out the side!! Precious to see!

She likes her toes to be clean!!

it is so FUN to have clean toes!

Where's Charli?! Shhh, she is hiding!! - HILARIOUS!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Please Pray

Please take a few minutes to visit "Gavin's" page, the link is also listed to the right. This blog is hosted by a very near and dear best friend of mine. She is going through a difficult time, as her mother is battling cancer right now.

I want to take away her pain, and know that I cannot...and that is tough as her friend. I don't want to see her suffer. Please lift her, Gina, and her mother, Stella, up in well as their very large family who need our prayers and support now more than ever.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Okay - so here are the details for the Home Interiors Fundraising for the Relay for Life. If any of you are interested please let me know ASAP as this is only good through this month!! You can email me directly, this information is available through my profile here...50% of all sales will go towards our team! I will deliver these to you in a few weeks, I think they will be given to us at our May meeting. You should be able to see more about these products at

Scents for $7.49
7.5 oz, 3"x3"x3 3/4", 40 hours burn time
-Baked Apple Pie
-Hawaiian Delight
-Raisin Bread
-Chocolate Iced Cookies
-Apple Nut Muffin
-Spiced Orange
-Pink Grapefruit (NEW!)
-Juicy Watermelon (NEW!)
-Berry Orchard (NEW!)
-Banana Cream Pie (NEW!)

Scents for $12.84
12.5 oz, 4"x4"x4 1/2", 65 hours burn time
-Baked Apple Pie
-Delicate Breeze
-Moonlight Tuberose
-Fresh Cotton
-Cranberry Orange
-Lilac Bouquet (NEW!)
-Mandarin Orange (NEW!)
-Sweet Vanilla (NEW!)
-Honeydew (NEW!)
-Pineapple & Mango (NEW!)

Fragrance Charms - $10.70
-Country Casual & Baked Apple Pie
-Medallion & Sweet Vanilla
-Garden & Fresh Gardenia
-Tropical & Island Pineapple

Lotions & Shower Gels - $9.63
-Sugar Citrus

Room Fresheners (pack of five) - $10.70
-Linen Fresh
-Mango Cooler
-Green Apple
-Jasmine Vanilla

All of these prices are with tax included. There will be a shipping charge of $1 per order I believe. If paying via check I will let you know who to make the check out to. Any questions...ask!!!!

a day in history

For those of you who are counting, it was a year ago last week that we went to Children's and got Charli's diagnosis. On March 15th we were told she had cancer. I am not trying to "overly" think about it, but how can I not. I may post more about it, I am not sure...

Either way, this was my post from one year ago today - before Charli was a cancer fighter and a cancer survivor. This was before the word Cancer threw our world for a spin, this was before we found out how strong our daughter was....this was before I knew what the word "strength" and "faith" *really* meant...

A newborns conversation with God.

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?" God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy." God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to Me if I don't know the language?" God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you to understand."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?" God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?" God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life." At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked,

"God, if I am To leave now, please tell me my angel's name." God said, "You will simply call her, "Mom."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

the power of WOW...

I received this in an email today, and it struck a cord with me. I think it is so true. Today I was having a conversation about faith vs. religion and if there is a difference. I am not going to debate it with anyone. I know where I stand, and what helps me sleep at night!!! But, I thought that this paragraph kind of sets the tone for my view on life.

"To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did" When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence..... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'

I know so many people who feel they have been stripped of something from "the man upstairs" and to each their own I guess, but the God I pray to each day does not punish us for anything we have done...He rejoices when we celebrate and he cries when we are sad. And, at the end of the day, He makes all things possible - we just have to learn to trust in Him.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Relay for Life

I think I have mentioned this before, but Charli is the 2008 Platte County Relay for Life honorary co-chair!! This means that she has a very important job...she will lead the survivors lap on June 27th, a very important thing! This also gives us the opportunity to share her story with everyone who attends that evening, that is exciting to me! One thing they mentioned at the meeting this week (which I got to share Charli's story at) was that one reason they picked her is because her story has reached so far. After I got home, I realized it really has!! She has followers checking on her from South Africa, Austrialia, and probably all 50 states! And, with a name like 'Charli Ann'...when I see her mentioned on other sites or in other places I know they are talking about her!!! She has touched the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have a team this year, to celebrate Charli's health, life, and future. We are called "Charli's Angels" cute, right?! Our team's goal is to sell enough luminaries in Charli's name to spell out the word CURE in the stands that night. This means we will need over 150 bags honoring and celebrating her! I want to go above and beyond that as much as we can! We can do it!!

That brings me to my next topic. If anyone would like to purchase a luminary to celebrate a loved one who has survived cancer or would like to honor a loved one who has can do that through our team! The luminary bags are $10 each. We can and will decorate them, or you can decorate them yourself if you would like!! These bags can be purchased in anyones name, including Charli's! You may also make a monetary donation to our team to help us reach our goals. I am so excited to use this event to not only help the American Cancer Society but also raise awareness to Childhood many people out there don't think "kids" when they hear the "C" word...but they need to, sadly.

We hope to have a few events over the next few short months to help us reach our goals, so keep an eye out! In the mean time I will be selling Home Interior candles to raise money for our team. A local consultant gives up her commission to go the ACS, so I hope to take advantage of that. If anyone is interested...let me know! This order will need to be placed by the first week in April - I need to get a move on. We are also open to any fundraising ideas!!!

A BIG thank you goes out to our team have already been great! Charli's GREAT-Aunt Janelle is really pulling the strings behind this project, and we are so proud of all she has already done!!! We can't wait to blow Platte County away with our great team...and information about our super-girl, Charli!!

I am sure I will talk about this several times in the future...I hope everyone else is as excited about this as I am!!! If you have any questions or want to know how you can help - drop me a note! We won't turn away any walkers for that night...or supports for the fight!

i forgot!

I forgot to add these pictures!!!

taking the boys for a walk...I got to take Kasper, mommy took Wynston!

my new favorite hobby!

spider-monkey see...spider-monkey do!

a fun weekend!

I have so much to say, but I am going to keep it short! Charli is so silly, she is more goofy each day!! I would go into detail, but I am trying to get ya'll to come visit!! I will say that Charli is big into making faces, using her pockets, making imaginary food, cleaning, walking the dogs, and playing copy-cat to everything we do!!

This weekend we took her all around town to see animals, she loved it! Daddy wanted to get EVERY animal he saw, but I had to put my foot down! Just kidding, the other way around is more like it. Chad even vetoed my fish purchase...someday - you just wait!!

So, if that isn't enough to make you come visit - I got nothing :-)!!!!!! We hope to show her off to all of you soon!!!

Charli's favorite past time

Daddy's big helper

Mom has it SO made!

my new super-fun toy!!!

Daddy...can we get the ferret!?

here birdie-birdie!!


I want a bunny daddy!!

What do you mean I'm silly?!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Please sign

I thought I posted about this earlier, but I can't seen to find the post. Please take a few minutes to sign this petition to create a Childhood Cancer Awareness Stamp with the US Postal System. If Mickey Mouse can have a stamp, why can't our babies? It doesn't take long, please take one minute to change the lives of many...

Childhood Cancer Awareness Stamp

Word gets around...

Who's the big kid?!

It was brought to my attention today that the article that made FRONT PAGE news in the Kearney Hub last week made its way to the Omaha World Herald! You can check out the article here:

Charli is feeling better - although she is fighting a cold now. It could be worse, but I hate when she is sick. You know the saying "When mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"? our house it is more like "When Charli ain't happy....ain't nobody happy!!"

Charli crawled up onto the couch and fell asleep Thursday when she was sick...too cute!

She discovered pockets this week, and is pretty big stuff about it too!! Always such a cutie!

Charli went to a purse party with me tonight, and picked out her very first purse. It was a proud moment for me, and I am pretty sure daddy was thrilled she has inherited the gene too!!