The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Dec 3, 2011

Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, etc...

Macy participated in her first Special Olympics events a few weeks back...The Special Olympics Young Athletes program is for kids between 2 and 8 years old.  Our Macy is not quite two yet, but since she is so mobile and gets around as well as she does, they welcome her with open arms!
These classes take place on Sunday evenings and are instructed by Emily, who is a PT major at UNO.  There are also several instructors who are current PT students at UNMC.  They are all wonderful with our kiddos, and I am thankful for their service and genuine enthusiasm.  The program is very well run..each child is matched with their own student.  They have all sorts structured activities, exercises and new skills each week.
getting started with stretching and song
Macy, Janessa and Francesca playing with the colorful scarf thingys.  Not sure which skill or ability they are working with here, maybe it's a sensory thing...but it didn't matter to Macy, this may have been her favorite event.  After she discovered the HUGE wall mirrors of course.  hehe
Big sister McKenzie was invited to come and help out.  She was a great assistant  :-)
climb up...climb down.  She loves any and all obstacle course type stuff.
They were trying to encourage her to jump from them, but this is just not an ability she has achieved just yet.  She sure does put forth a valiant effort though.  You can see (in her face) the fierce determination and strong desire to imitate a jump as she raises herself up.  Her eyes light up, mouth opens, her teeny heels leave the ground, but those toes remain glued to the surface, she just can't seem to "take flight".  It is super cute.  :-)  In time sweetie, in time.
Every once in a while she'll spot me over in the corner (watching from afar) and run over to me.  MOOOOM!  It doesn't take much to round her up and distract her back into playing though.
Little Francesca's turn!
It warms my heart to have Macy participating in this Special Olympics program.  To know that there are so many awesome opportunities and wonderful individuals willing to volunteer their time, step up, reach out and help our little people recognize their potential is amazing.

The special Olympics motto:
Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

Macy you are absolutely nothing short of brave...we will encourage and support you in anything you decide you want to do - the sky's the limit babe  :-)  We WILL be your BIGGEST fans!

We feel bless to be a part of our Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midland's group.  There are SOOO many wonderful opportunties provided through this organization.  I still REALLY enjoy our Mom's coffees.  I get SOO much out of our gatherings each month.  Always good topics, speakers, conversation, and most of all support.

A couple weeks ago, UNO's "Student Council for Exceptional Chidren", reached out to the DSA and wanted to form a partnership.  They offered up a free evening of childcare, while us parents were able to have a night out on the town.  Of course, we took them up on this offer.  Free childcare?  Who are we to pass this up?  We dropped our kiddos off at the childcare location...I loved seeing all the other kids trickle in.  Many, you can tell are great friends.  I enjoyed seeing their reunions, the hugs & high fives they had for each other.  I still have a strange craving to interact and be around older ones with Down Syndrome.  I guess it just provides me with a sense of comfort to get a visual of what's to come for Macy.  :-)
It warmed my heart to meet sweet Mary (8).  She walked over to Macy, who was pulling books off the book shelf.  Mary was following her around, looked over to me and said "I'll watch and take good care of her".

After getting the girls all checked-in and squared away, We met up with some friends at Jaipur.  mmmmm gooood.  We had great conversation.  Mostly about our kiddos.  hehe
here are a few pics I stole from Casie's blog from that night...
Jose & Jamie
me and the hubby - we never have our pic taken together so I had to steal it.  ha!
Vernon & Casie

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