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, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 -- Mattie died 397 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2006. We were on our way to Pennsylvania to take Mattie to Sesame Street Place. Half way was an amazing aquarium in New Jersey. Across the water you can see the buildings in Philadelphia. Mattie LOVED the aquarium and was very excited about our threesome weekend away. I am so glad we did as much as we did when we did it with Mattie because there were no second chances. 

Quote of the day: The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? ~ Picasso

For seven years, I have been teaching a three part art series at Mattie's school to a kindergarten class. Specifically, about the artistic styles of Picasso and Matisse, as well as the rivalry that existed between the artists. A rivalry that inspired each artist to out create the other. As a result, they studied each other's art so diligently that they began adopting aspects of the other's style. 

In 2011, I created this wonderful curriculum that involved power point presentations, hands on activities, and finished with a themed snack. I spent a great deal of time that first year developing this series, as I am NOT an artist, art educator, or better yet an educator of young children! That first year I had almost three hours to work with the students in comparison to the one hour I had today.

In a way I am seeing longitudinal changes on kindergarten aged students. Certainly I am not following the same children over 7 years, but instead I am getting to see how children at the age of 6 learn, process information, and behave from 2011-2017. I am seeing generational changes. That alone has been enlightening and I wish I could say what I am seeing are vast improvements thanks to technology, over programmed schedules, and forced curriculum. However, I am NOT. I am saddened that what I am observing is shortened attention spans, need for immediate gratification, a disinterest in really learning, difficulty with communication, a lack of attending to what others are saying, and the list goes on. 

I questioned at first why we were moving away from my power points this year to showing students a brief video instead. However, given what I saw today, I got all the answers I needed. Yet as a former educator I wonder....... should the educational system change and conform to the demands of its pupils, or is there something to be said for the traditional methodologies that so many of us grew up with as we were learning. I don't have the answers, but I do know that I left the one hour experience today dejected. Mainly because showing kids a video should not be deemed an educational experience. I did not feel like I connected with the students using this format and worse I don't feel like they gained any knowledge about Picasso, like they would have in previous years with my lecturing, discussing, and asking questions.

If you want to see the five minute video I chose to show the class, here it is:

This was Picasso's Woman with a Hat. I had Peter trace the outline of this painting onto table sized pieces of cardboard. I brought in four of them, so that children could work in teams of three to paint in the shapes. After all Picasso was the master of shapes. 

The children aren't shown this painting, until after they color in their cardboard, so as not to influence what they are creating. 

When each of the four tables of students saw the same tracing before them, their respond to me was that the product would all look the same. But of course, it never does. What makes art is the artist, one's feelings... which direct colors chosen and how one sees those colors in space.

Here is one group's Picasso type painting. Notice it looks nothing like the real Picasso nor does it look like any of the other groups below. 
A second group. This group created polka dots by painting their fingers and then dotting the cardboard. That may sound creative and neat, but it was a royal mess. Which may have been fun, but I am not sure got at the purpose of the exercise. 
A third group. This group was serious and intentional about staying in the lines and they talked to one another about who was going to work on each section of the painting. 
This fourth group fascinated me from a behavioral standpoint. In the previous six years I have done this, I never saw a group more focused on mixing colors and doing this directly upon their own art work. There were puddles of paint everywhere, with no focus truly paid to either the assignment or the pleasure of creating beauty. Instead the result was free will to do whatever pleased the child. 

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