Monday, August 27, 2012

Lunch at Angel Guardians Free Lunch Cafe

I have been dying to check out the Angel Guardians Free Lunch Cafe and today I had the chance!  

The mission of Angel Guardians is to "improve the quality of life for special-needs teens and adults in the areas of housing, employment, fitness, socialization, and recreation".  It all started when a local family's youngest son, who had Down Syndrome, became a teenager and didn't have anywhere to hang out on the weekends.  They started the VSP (Very Special People) club, a rec center for people with special needs.  They have dances, play pool, watch movies, and plan outings to baseball games and other fun activities.  

Angel Guardians later expanded their services to AngelWorks, offering career training in fun and rewarding jobs like sewing, jewelry making, furniture repurposing, dog treat making, and now the free lunch cafe!  I had the highly talked about Margarita pizza and it definitely lived up to the hype!  

There are two thrift stores in Omaha that help fund Angel Guardians.  They also employ people from the career center and sell the goods they make like t-shirt scarves, t-shirt rugs, rosaries, dog toys and treats, wall canvases and much more!  Angel Guardians is also in the works of creating campus style housing for people with special needs.

I first learned about Angel Guardians when I was pregnant with Clay and just happened into their thrift store.  I noticed that numerous employees had Down Syndrome so I asked the woman working the register about their connection with special needs.  She was so sweet and explained their services to me.  I have also had more chances to connect with and learn more about them through my mom's support group.  

I think the story behind Angel Guardians is SO great and the services they provide are amazing.  I loved seeing the joy and sense of accomplishment our server had today.  The kitchen staff greeted us at the front door and were LOVING on Clay!  I hope that one day Clay will get to take part in some of the great things that Angel Guardians has to offer and I am excited to see them continue to expand their awesome services.

The Free Lunch Cafe (they take donations) is open from 11-1 Monday - Friday.  
Call 402.334.5232 for reservations.

Sioux City Down Syndrome Awareness Walk

We participated in our first Down Syndrome Awareness Walk on Saturday and had such a great time!  The walk was in Sioux City and sponsored by Gigi's Playhouse, a Down Syndrome Awareness Center. My mom did a great job organizing our team and recruited her sisters and friends to help us represent our Super Clay.  My dear friend Becky joined us with her little ones and the kiddo's cape shirts were a big hit!  Thank goodness the weather was on our side and we enjoyed a nice, DRY walk.  There was face painting, crafts, a petting a zoo, a bounce house, and more....the kids could have stayed all day!  I really enjoyed meeting other families at the walk and seeing the kids with Down Syndrome grin from ear to ear as they had their moment in the spotlight.  Gigi House is a great organization and we were so happy to be a part of such a special day.  Thank you to all of you who walked with us!

Now time to gear up for the Omaha Buddy Walk!

Becky, Mason, & Reagan

Clay's Superheroes! 

My classy girl ;-)

It is exhausting to be this cute!

LOVE the capes!

Aunt Anita and Clay

The goat later decided her tutu tasted delicious...

Kath, Mary, Anita and the man of the hour

Super Hazel!

Cruisin' in the DARE corvette
Update - Wyatt made the news coverage!  He has about a 1/2 second claim to fame while getting his face painted.  He is about 44 seconds into the video.  Click here to see it!

Road Trip to St. Paul

I am always SO grateful when my sisters come to visit.  I love that we still like to go through my closet and play dress up,  we stay up late drinking wine and laughing until our stomachs hurt, and although no one gets a lot of sleep, having an extra set of hands to wrangle the kiddos is priceless!  Nickie and Molly have both been such big helps since Clay was born and have made SEVERAL trips to see us.  I wanted to repay the favor.  

Clay and I were lucky enough to escape for a long weekend to see Nickie & Morgan in June and had such an amazing time.  Luke and I had talked about taking a family vacation to St. Paul to see Molly & Pat but summer flew by and Luke has been working a TON.  So, my mom and I planned a last minute, fast & furious, trip before Molly starts teaching again.  The kids did really good in the car and we had a wonderful time and great weather in St. Paul.  My mom was such a good sport and handed Wyatt & Hazel a snack or new book about every 30 seconds of our 6 hour drive!  Molly and I even managed to get a run in on the beautiful, historic Summit Street.  We are lucky enough to have TWO cousin wedding in the St. Paul area next summer and I am looking forward to our next trip(s)!

We ate lunch at a Mickey D's next to a big open field and the kids loved running around and looking at, steers (???). 

Somewhere in middle America
We are HERE!!!

Embassy Suites Happy Hour!!!

Clay had prunes....

They had ducks in the lobby pond that served for lots of entertainment!

Wyatt loves to cuddle with Clay.  He tells him he is his big brother and then explains all the things they are going to do together when Clay is older.  Oh, that boy tugs on my heart strings!

This is Wyatt's bunny that he sleeps with.  It was SO cute that Clay was so excited to have gotten his  hands on it like he already knew it was off limits.


Hazel decided to get dressed out of mommy's bag.  She is ALL girl!

Molly was so excited to wear Clay - and he loved it and took a nice nap on her chest ;-) 

Cuddle time

My Super Dudes

Wyatt was our Zoo tour guide

This is how we roll

My Loves!

Wyatt teaching Clay a very important life skill - how to work an iPhone

Telling the ducks good-bye
All packed up and ready to go!