Red Bird Blog


The Austin crew attended the Minnesota Self-Advocacy Conference in Bloomington on May 12th and 13th. We attended a yoga class, self defense, self advocacy bingo, and living your dream sessions.  We learned that differing abilities should never hold them back from trying to achieve their dream and that we need to speak up for ourselves and what is important to us.  During class we learned that advocacy has come a long way and there are many who have worked hard to get us where we are today. We also had fun, which is a Cardinal Core Value.  We made new friends, some won at bingo, we relaxed in the hot tub, ate good food, and danced the night away.  We recommend to other self advocates to attend the Minnesota Self Advocacy Conference in 2019.

Carol turns 75!

Carol celebrated her 75th birthday this year! She started the day off with her favorite food…WAFFLES! Next, she went to the Cardinal office for her birthday party. She was joined by her daughter, cousin, and aunt, along with her housemates, staff members, other cardinal clients, and staff from Wellner. Carol enjoyed a meat and cheese tray, fruit salad, and virgin grasshoppers. To top everything off, there was a cupcake shaped cupcake cake with purple frosting. Carol was overjoyed to see the cake and blow out the candles. After the party, Carol went out to eat with her daughter and spoke with her brother over the phone. The next day, Carol stated that the party was the best birthday party she ever had. 😊

Baby Love

Jolynn has a love for children so when she came into the office and I had my daughter at the office she was beyond excited to be able to hold her. When another co-worker came in with his daughter the look on her face was so heartwarming. Her face lit up as she had 2 babies, right in front of her within arms reach. You could see the wheels turning as to what she was going to do, how was she going to make sure she gave both of these babies attention. She took turns holding each baby, patting their back, giving them hugs, snuggling them and smiling at them. Jolynn has a special touch when it comes to babies, not only was she excited to be able to hold them, the babies were equally excited to be held and snuggled by her.

Prom Night

Every year the Fillmore Central High School prom committee is gracious enough to leave their decorations up and let people with disabilities in Fillmore County enjoy a prom of their own. This has been going on for a very long time. Horizon’s which is a non-profit organization that provides activities or outings for people with disabilities in Fillmore County puts on the prom for all of clients. Dennis and Bob were able to attend with fellow peers from Fillmore County. They got dressed up in their Sunday best and had a great meal, went through the Grand March and then did some dancing. They both really enjoyed themselves and had some pretty good dance moves. This is an event that they both look forward to each year. We are very grateful to been in a great community and have this opportunity for our clients.

A day of Hiking

Mike and Ryan went hiking at Grandad Bluff in LaCrosse. Their hike lasted about 2 hours. At first, Mike was fairly unsteady on his feet and nervous, as he tends to question his balance and doesn’t like heights. However, with support and encouragement from Ryan, Mike became more steady and confident in himself as he went along. When asked if he had a fun time hiking, Mike stated that he did and would likely do it again! Way to go Mike for challenging your fears. Way to go Ryan for offering support and encouragement!

Birthday Celebrations!

Beth, Lisa, Kim and Sheloy wanted to celebrate Carmelita (RS’s daughter) and Wyatt’s (staff’s son) birthdays at the house.  We all enjoyed shredded pork sandwich with coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans. Then we finished the night off with cake and ice-cream. When it comes to birthdays these ladies love to CELEBRATE! They never forget a


Pet Therapy

Justin, lead DSP at Valley Oaks, brings Lacy to work with him a few times a week. Lacy has been a great addition to the house, offering a sense of calm for both staff and clients. Lacy is very well trained and everyone enjoys having Lacy around. When Lacy isn’t around, the clients are always asking about her and when she’ll be visiting next. Pictured is Lacy enjoying her afternoon nap.

Love is in the Air!

The Bluffview gals celebrated Valentines Day by getting dressed up and going out to dinner with their dates! Happy Valentines Day!!

Paint the Town Pink!

It’s going to be a great night!! Julie from Cardinal Circle and DSP Heidi are ready to cheer the Austin Bruins Hockey team in the Paint the rink Pink game for Paint the town Pink in Austin! Go Team Go!