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 27, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. I entitle this "my laundry buddy." When this cart came out that meant it was laundry day. To do laundry in our complex means that we have to traverse to another floor. It isn't ideal even as an adult without a child in tow, but with a baby/toddler it took challenging to a whole new level. Trying to balance carrying Mattie and dragging this cart wasn't easy. But Mattie got used to this chore over time and it became fun for him. As he got older he would ride his bike through our hallways to the laundry room, or his scooter, or you name it. Of course there were always cars coming along with us too. It wasn't boring. I remember after Mattie died having to get acclimated to just me again.... laundry without my buddy. 

Quote of the day: I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the light joyousness of springtime, which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost me.... ~ Henri Matisse

I returned to Mattie school today for my second session in the art series. Monday we covered Picasso and today we were discussing Matisse. Prior to the presentation, I asked the children what they remembered from Monday's class. I ALWAYS get a kick out of this because when I would ask my graduate students this same question, I would get blank stares. But this isn't true for five and six year olds! They are like human sponges even though they are very active and distract easily. You may think they aren't listening, but that really isn't the case. The kids did a great job reminding me that Picasso is the father of cubism (a big word, but they remembered it), that he is all about painting geometric shapes, using his imagination and expressing his feelings! They also remembered he was from Spain and recalled the stories I told them about Picasso's personality and painting style! AMAZING!!!

The first session is always hard! I have experienced this all six years that I have done this project. It is hard because the children have to get used to my style and the structure I provide. After all I would imagine that most of their teachers don't lecture them with power point slides for 30 minutes. So the first session is a real stretch for them but by the second session, they get the plan and how things work!

So today we reviewed Matisse through a power point presentation. We discussed how Matisse came into art later in life, in his 20s (unlike Picasso, who was practically born an artist). He was studying to be a lawyer but then came down with a debilitating illness and he had to convalesce at home for weeks. I explained to the children that there was NO TV or the internet to keep him busy, so he landed up driving his mom crazy. She needed to find an activity for him. So what she did was she brought him a box of paints and gave him paper. It was then that he learned there was an inner artist in him ready to come out. Needless to say he never returned to law school. 

In his 70's, Matisse developed intestinal cancer. He was wheelchair bound and could no longer physically paint. Clearly he could have given up, but the spirit of art was inside him and he was passionate about still creating. So Matisse developed a new art form called painting with scissors, or cutouts. Matisse could spend years developing his cutouts. Paint was replaced with paper and the intricate designs he would cut on paper from his wheelchair or bed, were remarkable.  Here is a 40 second clip of Matisse creating a cut out:

Matisse is considered the father of Fauvism (which translates into Wild Beast). His style was considered at the time in France to be wild because he used bold colors, wild brush strokes and had NO regard to the natural colors of people or objects. So for example, if he painted a banana, he would use his imagination and paint it ANYTHING other than yellow. In addition to color he was fascinated by patterns. A skill he learned from his mom. His parents owned what we could call a hardware store today and she sold fabrics, wall papers, and so forth. So as a child he saw these materials and was influenced by them and his mom's knowledge of them. 

Even in Matisse's cutouts you can see his bold use of color and patterns. He literally translated his fauvism style to paper. 

Matisse's cut outs are NOT small. As you can see from this one in a museum, it can take up a whole wall!

The children absolutely loved the ability to cut out their own shapes and patterns today in paper and then assemble them onto a piece of foam core. You can see the glorious Scissor Art Gallery that results. The compositions are lying on the floor. 

Today was a damp and gray day, but these colorful creations really brightened up the classroom 

I am going to share a couple close up photos of the cutout creations. This one is 3-D in nature, which is really new for me, because in the past five years no one has done something like this!

This student entitled her cutout.... Flowers Dropping!
This one was entitled, "The Best Day Ever." In fact while discussing the title with the little boy, he and his table mates told me I must be famous! You got to love kids. They determined I am famous because I know so much about Matisse and Picasso. Interesting how we can be special in the eyes of a child. SO unlike in our adult world. 
To me these are true Matisse like shaped!! 
This child enjoyed cutting out the creations and wanted to explore layering!
This one was entitled, "The Sniffing Dog." The dog is in pink!

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