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

August 27, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2002. Mattie was three months old. If I had to give a title to this photo, it would be... "Do you hear what I hear?!" Even at a very young age Mattie was alert, curious, and inquisitive. He was born on and ready to go!

Quote of the day: Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do. ~ Kahlil Gibran

As promised, I finally downloaded some of my photos of Monet's house and gardens onto the blog. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do. Monet's gardens were spectacular and I am not sure the photos do it justice. It was very special to be walking through the gardens that inspired the creativity of such a wonderful painter. Seeing his home and gardens help me to understand the inner beauty within the man. Monet's life was also touched by tragedy.... his first wife died of cancer, one of his son's was killed in a car accident, and he himself died of lung cancer. All facts I did not know, but facts which help me to relate to him even more.

There are two parts to Monet's garden: a flower garden called "Clos Normand" in front of his house and a Japanese inspired water garden, across the street from his house. The two parts of Monet's garden contrast and complement one another. This is a picture of Monet's Norman Garden ("Clos Normand"). When Monet and his family settled in Giverny in 1883 the piece of land sloping gently down from the house to the road was planted with an orchard and enclosed by high stone walls. A central alley bordered with pines separated it into two parts. Monet had the pines cut down and planted a garden full of perspectives, symmetries, and colors.

The land is divided into flowerbeds where flower clumps of different heights create volume. Monet mixed the simplest flowers (daisies and poppies) with the most rare varieties.

Claude Monet did not like organized nor constrained gardens. He married flowers according to their colors and left them to grow rather freely. He was quoted as saying, "All my money goes into my garden, but also I am in raptures."

In 1893, ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighboring his property on the other side of the railway.Monet had the first small pond dug even though his neighbors were opposed. They were afraid that his strange plants would poison the water and thereby their animals. Later on the pond would be enlarged to its present day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and curves. It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he collected avidly.

In this water garden you can see the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all the famous water lilies which bloom all summer long.

Never before had a painter shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. In essence, he created his works twice (first by planting and staging his environment, and then by actually painting it). Monet found his inspiration in this water garden for more than twenty years.

Around 500,000 visitors discover Monet's gardens each year during the seven months that it is open.

Beauty as far as the eye can see!

After Claude Monet's death in 1926, his son Michel inherited the house and garden of Giverny. He did not live there and it was Monet's step-daughter Blanche who took care of the property. Unfortunately after the Second World War the house and garden were neglected. Almost ten years were necessary to restore the garden and the house to their former magnificence. Not much was left. The greenhouse panes and the windows in the house were reduced to shards after the bombings. Floors and ceiling beams had rotted away, a staircase had collapsed. Three trees were even growing in the big studio. The pond had to be dug again. In the Clos Normand, soil was removed to find the original ground level. Then the same flower species as those discovered by Monet in his time were planted. Thanks to generous donors, mostly from the USA, the house was given a face lift. The ancient furniture and the Japanese prints were restored. The property has been open to the public since September 1980.

It is said that Monet found this property one day while riding on a train. While passing the property, it caught his attention and he decided to rent the property first, since he couldn't afford to purchase it at the time. Monet was married twice. His first wife died from cancer, and he had two children with her. He married his second wife Alice (also a widow, by the way her first husband was Monet's closest friend), who had four children from a previous marriage. In this house lived Monet, Alice, and their six children! The pink color of the outside walls and the green of the shutters was chosen by Monet. In those times, shutters were traditionally painted grey. For pictures of the interior of the house, go to: I have to admit that the interior of the house was NOTHING like I would have imagined it to be. Monet chose bold colors like yellow and blue in some of his rooms, and his impressionist style clearly visible outside the house was not carried over inside the house.

We took about 200 pictures within Monet's gardens, and I wish I could share them all with you. We loved the unique beauty of this incredible flower.

Purple was everywhere!

Monet's love of sunflowers was very evident in his gardens. To me sunflowers are happy flowers, they respond to the sun shine, and we were very lucky that day to have some sun before it rained for the rest of the day. I hope I was able to transport you to Giverny for just a short while and that I have impressed upon you the glory of Monet's gardens!

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