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, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2009. Mattie was sitting with one of his art therapist's, Jessie. This was a Mattie creation, one that I absolutely love and it hangs in our dining room. The irony of this masterpiece is it looks like something Picasso would have approved of. Full of shapes and clearly coming from Mattie's imagination. 

Quote of the day: Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~ Pablo Picasso

On my way into Mattie's school building this morning, I passed his memorial tree. I heard a lot of squawking coming from the tree. So I went over to investigate. What I found was birds flying in and out of Mattie's birdhouse. If you look closely you will see a bird (he's brown) sitting in the tree on the upper left hand side of the birdhouse. It was a wonderful sight! 

Today was my first session of three for Donna Ryan's kindergarten class. Though Donna wasn't Mattie's teacher, she knew him as Mattie's class and Donna's class did many activities together. In the Fall of 2010, Donna invited me to her classroom to get to know me better and to find a way to have me interact and guest lecture her students. Why? Well she heard about me from Mattie's kindergarten teacher. When Mattie was in kindergarten I tried at every opportunity to participate when asked. I did all sorts of activities with the children from gingerbread man decorating, to cutting open a coconut from Florida to name a few. 

When I met with Donna in 2010, we talked about all sorts of things and my interests. She then mentioned that she reads a book to the children called "When Pigasso met Mootisse," and she would love the children to know more about the painters, other than from this story book which portrays them as a pig and cow. Given that I love art, I decided to take that challenge on. It was MOST definitely a challenge because I had NO curriculum to go from and this landed me in the library doing research. It took me weeks to present slide presentations and to figure out clever hands on activities for the children, because I remember distinctly with Mattie (and really any student), to truly learn a concept you have to apply it!

I began my first lecture series in 2011, and have been asked back ever since. So this is my SIXTH year of working with Donna and her class. I have gotten to know six different generations of kindergarten students in essence. Each class has its own rhythm and flow and you have to teach accordingly. 

Today we started the series with Picasso. The children learned he was from Spain, that he is the father of cubism (A style of painting that does not mimic real life. Instead the people and objects are painted using geometric shapes, such as cubes, circles, and triangles. In addition, the people or objects in the painting are shown from many different points of view all at the same time.), that he painted based on how he felt and he strongly believed one should paint using imagination. 

They learned a little bit about Picasso's personality and his love for a messy studio, painting at night, and needing absolute quiet to paint! But in essence Picasso was born a painter, and he painted what you and I would call great works of art as a teenager. 

I introduced the children to Picasso using Power Point slides. They literally sit still for about 30 minutes as we talk content and they see slides of Picasso's great works. Then they move to their tables where they get to experience art and try to apply the concepts learned. Of course I always end each session with a home made treat and today's treat was apple empanadas.

This is Picasso's Woman with a Hat. Peter literally traces the form of this painting for me onto poster boards. So what the children see in front of them is a white poster board with black marker shapes all over it. They then need to work with their tablemates to create a masterpiece together by painting in the shapes that they see. 

What I have consistently seen from year to year is NO ONE's finished product looks like Picasso's and also no two paintings in the classroom look the same. Picasso would have loved this because he believed it was important to follow your feelings and paint using your imagination. 

This is example of what was happening at one work table. You can see the white poster board and the black marker outlines.

This is a continuation of the photo above..... the final product!

Here is another table's creation. Though it looked finished the group kept working on it. What I find fascinating year to year is there is always a group who adds a border around the poster board and then starts to add patterns (dots, stripes, etc) to the composition. This isn't really Picasso's style, more like Matisse. Which intrigues me because the children are naturally blending Picasso and Matisse's styles, without knowing anything about Matisse yet!!! 

So you saw the painting above, here is the final product. You can see patterns everywhere!

Here is another table's creation in progress. 

This is the final product from the creation above. 

I return to the classroom on Wednesday to discuss Matisse! 

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