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

May 9, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008, two months before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. We took Mattie to Calvert Cliffs Park in Maryland. This was a special place to us because you have to walk over a mile, through a beautiful nature trail to get to the beach. The beach itself wasn't thrilling, but what caught Mattie's attention was digging for fossilized sharks teeth. Mattie could dig for HOURS with Peter and they never left empty handed. I still have Mattie's bag of sharks teeth in the kitchen, right where he left it. 

Quote of the day: There are always flowers for those who want to see them. ~ Henri Matisse

Today I went to Mattie's school and did my third and final art session for Donna's kindergarten class. It is hard to believe I have done this for six years now! EVERY year. Yet each year I learn something knew from the children. 

I haven't seen the children for two weeks, as I had to take a hiatus last week to go to a conference. But today we seemed to have picked up right where I left them. They were able to recall information about Picasso and Matisse and what I find fascinating is they remember the stories I told them about the personality styles of the artists. In fact, I would say they found that information intriguing! 

Now that they were familiar with Picasso and Matisse, today's session focused upon the rivalry and friendship that developed between the artists. As Picasso always said.... no one looked at Matisse's painting more closely than him, and no one looked as his own art more closely than Matisse. There was deep competition and jealousy between them, and yet these emotions are what probably pushed them to their greatness. Picasso was known for his drawing and use of geometric shapes, while Matisse was known for his bold colors. Yet over time, after studying each other's material long enough, they started to blend the two styles together (shape and color). In addition to this, they always painted similar subject matter and this was intention. As if one saw the subject matter and thought.... I can paint it better than you!

Here is a sample slide from my presentation that I showed the children. The painting on the left was done by Picasso and the painting on the right (done a year later) was created by Matisse. Notice the same subject matter and in some cases the titles of their masterpieces are practically the same. Of course there is no mistaking whose painting is whose, yet look at the vibrant colors Picasso incorporated into this painting and as for Matisse, look at the shapes and strong lines he brought into his work. By adopting and incorporating each other's style within their paintings, the finished product became very noteworthy.  

Below is a short video clip I showed the children today. I feel it gives a nice overview of the rivalry between the artists. 

A short CNN clip on Picasso and Matisse exhibit from 2003:

After I shared my slide presentation for about 30-40 minutes, I then had an art exercise for the children. They learned about still life today and they had me laughing because I asked them what a still life was. The response was.... when you stay very still. 

Any case, they learned that flowers and fruit for example are considered a still life. I set up this still life display and then using their imagination and the information they learned about Matisse and Picasso, they were asked to paint and create on their own canvas. 

It is hard to believe that these children are 5! To me they did a stellar job, and in true art fashion, no two paintings looked alike.
The children wanted to sketch on their canvas first before painting. That was a NEW one for me, no other class asked to do this. But the outcomes were delightful. This child clearly is influenced by Matisse, as you can see her bold use of colors. 
This fellow worked very hard on this creation and it basically mimics what I set up!
Love the colors! Now I did not have a basket of fruit on display, but she painted from her imagination, which Picasso would have appreciated. 
A more abstract depiction of the still life before her, and yet it is very intriguing and beautiful. 
This fellow was the last one done. He gave a great deal of thought and attention to the fruit and details he saw on the tablecloth!

Once the session was over, I left them with the snack I prepared. I always bring them chopped up fresh fruit with dipping sauces during this session. I figure if they painted a still life, they might as well eat it! 

The children all said their good-byes to me today. Donna took a photo of me with the children and several hugged me and told me how much they enjoyed my visits! 

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