Mattie Miracle 9th Annual Walk & Family Festival -- Raised over $97,000

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

Random Shots of Mattie, Family and Friends

April 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009 at the "Mattie March." As I mentioned before on the blog, Team Mattie is the true creator of our community walks. They created a framework upon which the Foundation has built upon, expanded, and shaped over the years. In fact, many of the key players in the Mattie March are still a part of our Foundation Walk planning committee. In this picture, Mattie sits between his two very close kindergarten buddies, Charlotte and Campbell. My faithful readers may recall that Mattie considered Charlotte his girlfriend and actually gave her a plastic engagement ring, and Campbell is the fellow who I recently mentioned made a donation to the Foundation on Mattie's birthday and also gave me a chocolate bar because he deemed I needed that kind of support. Charlotte always told me she, Mattie, and Campbell were going to go to college together and actually share a dorm room. That comment always made me laugh, but it spoke to the level of closeness this threesome shared. Typically a group of three friends may not work out so well, because one usually can get left out. But that did not happen with these three. It was a special kind of friendship.

Quote of the day: The possibilities for tomorrow are usually beyond our expectations. ~ unknown

Tonight's quote captures the tone of my whole morning. Last night, as I was preparing for my last kindergarten session on Matisse and Picasso, I could never have imagined the actual art work that was going to be created today. It is actually way beyond my expectations. Today's class content addressed the friendship or better stated..... rivalry that existed between Matisse and Picasso. However, like any great nemesis in one's life, there is a strange allure, intrigue, and desire to understand why the other person is better or perceived as better than we are. For Matisse and Picasso, this rivalry became almost an obsession. As obsession that caused each of them to study the other's art. INTENSELY! Not only study it, but adopt some of the techniques and integrate them within their own works. So for example, Matisse was considered the master of color, and therefore Picasso examined Matisse's style and over time, integrated colors, patterns, and textures into his own paintings. In fact, I showed the children numerous PowerPoint slides depicting this and at times it was hard to know which painting on the screen was a Matisse and which was a Picasso, that is because their styles became so well integrated.

The children found the story of these artists' love-hate relationship fascinating. But what needs to be noted is that each presentation I did with the children enables me to be in their classroom for 90 minutes to 2 hours. This is a great deal of time to engage such young minds and bodies, but they soaked it up! You would be amazed at their retention. Can you believe they remember that Picasso's painting style is called cubism? The list goes on as to what they remember. As part of my presentation today, I explained to the children that Matisse and Picasso both loved painting still lives. I then asked them what they thought a still life was. Some of the explanations were fascinating, such as a "person who is alive and not moving." Which is definitely a good guess. But then one little girl said, that a still life captures trees, grass, and flowers. Which of course was absolutely right, still lives, depict mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on).

I set up a still life composition in the middle of the classroom. It included a tablecloth, two bowls of arranged fruit, and sunflowers in a colorful vase. The children were then asked to paint what they saw using components of what they learned about Matisse and Picasso. Meaning they could paint this still life based on form and shape like Picasso, or capture the color like Matisse, or integrate the styles like both artists did later on in their careers. Naturally this gave the students a great deal of flexibility and the ability for them to use their imagination. I snapped a picture of one of the four tables working today, and as you can see even though they were all working with the same still life, each creation was UNIQUE!

I wish I took a picture of all 15 creations today. But I did not get the chance to do that. However, I want to show you a sample of some of the amazing art that flashed before my eyes. This painting captured my attention immediately. The colors and shapes were beautiful and you can see that in my fruit bowls I had bananas, limes, lemons, and one large naval orange.

I watched a little boy create this painting today and he was clearly giving us his interpretation of what he saw. Very reminiscent of Picasso. In addition, this fellow developed a fascinating way of spluttering the light blue paint on the canvas. It caught my attention, because it gave great depth to his painting.

To me this painting reminds me of Matisse. The colors are bold and fluid. Matisse was labelled a fauvist, meaning that his paintings looked wild. In addition, Matisse sometimes selected colors for objects that didn't obey the natural color or order of things. So a Matisse lemon could be purple for example. In my still life composition there was no pink, and yet based on this artist's vision the flowers and bowls were a vibrant pink.  

This painting also intrigues me because I feel the quality of it is so well done. To me this student has a real feel for capturing the world around him/her and expressing it in art.

This painting may be the most realistic of the paintings seen today. Realistic in that it is true to the color scheme I designed. In addition, I marvel at the intricate details this artist placed on the blue vase. Keep in my mind that my actual vase had painted sunflowers on it! I love the bananas, lime, and flowers too!

This painting reminds me of a Picasso, and yet the colors and pink pattern seem to capture the style of Matisse. What all the paintings indicate to me is that not only do the children like creating, but they actually were able to operationalize what they learned about Matisse and Picasso over the past three weeks. It was a beautiful way to end our time together. 

Within each session, I always bring in a themed snack. Since they learned about still lives today and actually painted fruit, I thought it would only be appropriate for the children to have a fruit buffet. I had Donna survey a couple of days ago the top three fruits in the class. So today, I came armed with their top three: strawberries, pears, and watermelon. In addition, I brought caramel, fudge and marshmallow sauces for the children to dip the fruit into. I provided them with colorful plates and napkins, and literally there were two buffet lines going within the classroom. I can tell you that the fruit was TOTALLY wiped out! It was a hit and some of the comments of appreciation from the students were just darling and will be remembered.

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