Monday, November 24, 2014

We talked to the kids a few weeks back about what they wanted to do for shows this season.  Elf was in town, so was Disney on Ice, the Rockettes, and a few other things.
All the kids were super excited about Disney on Ice, and it worked out great, as it was Adoption Day Anniversary Weekend.  So Disney on Ice it was.
I decided to go crazy and go all out and get a new outfit for the kids.  Denali knew she wanted a princess outfit, no surprise there.
Isaiah was happy with a Mickey Shirt.

I thought Quinn would be so excited to get an Aerial mermaid outfit, but she wanted nothing to do with that.  After talking for a bit, she wanted Minney Mouse.  That is new, she has always loved Aerial, but she was so excited to do some Minney Mouse styles this weekend. 
All the kids loved the show.  We got amazing seats thanks to Quinn, lots of leg room and no stairs.  Isaiah and Denali had to take turns on my lap, and I love that.  Quinn and I had to work together to get her head control under control, so she could look down to see the show, yet not get to tired.  Head control is a big deal, and she has to work hard for the control she has.  We got it figured out and it worked out fine.  Isaiah said his favorite part was Buzz Light year and Cars.  Denali’s favorite was the Faries.  Quinn loved Minney Mouse.  We all liked Goofy dancing and falling down.

What a wonderful way to spend the day.  Saturday we went up to Grandma Vicki’s and had an early Thanksgiving, and that was fun too.  We are all looking forward to only two days of school this week, and then Thanksgiving.  (I love the Thanksgiving Parade!)  We are also getting so excited to get the Christmas Tree up.  All the kids have already picked out presents for each other, so we are ready on that front as well.

As for Thanksgiving –

I’m thankful for John, he is a great dad and it’s fun to listen to him tuck in the kids at night.
I’m thankful for Isaiah, he gives great hugs and does not miss out on anything.
I’m thankful for Quinn, she giggled over and over today, and that giggle is amazing!
I’m thankful for Denali, she is so passionate and watching her with her little cousins over the weekend was wonderful.  She is a little mother hen and so sweet to her cousins.
I could go on and on, but instead I’ll ask you, what are you thankful for?

I will add in, I'm so thankful for all the therapists who help Quinn!  I love these pictures.  I love how Denali loves to help, how Quinn works so hard, and how the therapists are willing to let Denali get in there and help.  


Friday, November 21, 2014

It’s been a year since adoption day!  November 23, 2013 will always be a special moment for us.
 Pictures from a year ago!
Waiting in the courthouse for me to park the car.
 Signing paperwork with the judge.
 In the courthouse.  I will never forget how Quinn yelled out yes to almost every question the judge asked.  She was so excited to have Isaiah and Denali as her siblings.
 The judge and our kids!
 Part of our amazing support system!
 Our wonderful therapist!
 The end of the night!  What an amazing day that was!
 How we introduced our kids to our family and friends!

I would tell anyone to become a foster parent.  Our experience had its moments, but over all, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  We had great caseworkers, who are over worked, but so passionate.  We had a therapist who was so kind and caring and open and helpful.  We had an organization that was there for the families and the kids.  They helped coach us on parenting, and everyone could use some parenting classes.  We are still working with our foster care group, doing respite, and more exciting news,  we are excited to see two families we care so much about start their own foster care experience.  There are going to be some kids who find amazing homes soon, with these two families.

As for all of us.  I can say that our family was not complete before we got Isaiah and Denali.  We had our amazing Quinn, and she was a ray of strength, but something was missing.  Now, the way our three kids work and play together is amazing!  God had a plan.  Quinn is so much more excited, and loves the kids.  We were just talking about how she is more passionate, and she has siblings to get her into trouble, and I am good with that.  Isaiah is so much more loving now.  He gets to be a kid, and continues to hug all over us, and that was not the case when he came to us.  Denali came to us a bit wild, we did not want to take that zest out of her, but she is calmer, and her passion for life is more focused and not so frustrated.

We still have moments, as all families do.  However our house is filled with love, it’s complete and full of swimmers, dancers, gymnasts.  It’s full of dolls and cars and rubber band bracelets and moments that come from love.  It’s full of snuggles and mischief and hot chocolate spills.  It’s full of love you’s and hugs and story times.  It’s full of messy rooms and sometimes, grounded children, it’s full of hugs before work and school, but most of all it’s full of a family that knows they are loved! 

I am so thankful for God’s plan.  I am exhausted by the end of most days, but am so thankful for all the busy days.  I am not taking a moment for granted.  Like when Quinn is at therapy and both Isaiah and Denali cheer her on as she rolls down the hill.  When Denali leaps across the living room in her dance outfits and gives that million-dollar smile.  When Isaiah jumps onto my lap and cuddles in.  When Quinn giggles after Isaiah whispers secrets into her ear, or when all three of them cuddle up together to watch a movie. 

Life is far from perfect for all of us, life is meant to have it’s ups and downs.  We have had our fair share of downs and they make us remember how good the ups are.  Right now I cherish every moment.

Life is so good right now, and I’m so thankful for our life and our three kids!  Blessings to you all!  We have some fun things planned for this weekend, so hopefully we will have more pictures soon!

Here we are now, the kids are gaining so much self worth.
 So cute together.

 Isaiah, beautiful!

 The Otte Five!  Love it!

 Quinn, beautiful!
Denali, beautiful!
Remember if you click on the picture, it will make it bigger so you can see it better!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Here is a great email I got from Chrissy, who helped get the kids on the bus in the morning and oh so much more.

This morning I asked them, “Do you know what day, today is?”…and I got all kinds of answers…but not Veteran’s Day.

When I asked them if they knew what Veteran’s Day is, Isaiah said, “The day we take the animals to the vets office.  We say thank you to the vets.”  Denali said, “yeah, we say thank you to the vets that take care of the animals.”

So, we had a mini lesson on what Veterans are and why we should tell them thank you.  But boy, was I giggling inside. ☺

Thanks Chrissy for the mini lesson!  We all could use a little lesson on Veteran's Day!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Our newest family portrait!  
Created by Denali!
I love it!
 next we went to the Sunken Gardens for pictures, and the best ones are going in Christmas Cards, but here are some of them that I love, and did not make it to the cards.  
 I can not begin to say how much I love these kids and how much they love each other!

 Finally I love getting notes like this from school, as well as more portraits that classmates draw for Quinn!
 In case you can not see it well enough, the note is from a student teacher Quinn had, it reads:
Last week while I was reading Wayside School to the whole class, you just busted out laughing with everybody.  Your smile and laughter always make my day.  Thank you for letting me get to know you.  Quinn you are truly spectacular!  Miss Porath
 Quinn and Makynlie, by Makynlie

 and a few more fun pictures from the Sunken Garden!

 Well, these two girls are going into the doctors this afternoon!  They have got a cold they keep sharing with each other, so we are taking care of the issue, I hope!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!
 We had some fun for the afternoon of Halloween!  It was a great day, a bit on the chilly side, around 45 or so.

 Isaiah has finally given in to the pictures, he now acts silly and gives great pictures rather then trying to hide, there are a few more further down and I could have added so many more.  I love it.

 Oh I am loving that the kids let me play with the camera and different shots!
 We started off at a Halloween Party, and how often do you get to hang out with a gorilla in a banana costume?

 The girls added a snowflake to their look, Isaiah could not have anything mess up his look, so no extras for him.

 The bounce house was fun.
 Denali loved her wand and gloves the most!  There were not to many Elsa's in our neighborhood, but they were out and about this year big time.
 A few more pictures from earlier, the kids playing tag.

 He was in such a great mood, I love his pictures!
 and Quinn is feeling much better!  She was full of big giggle most of the night.  After the party we hit our neighborhood for some trick or treating.  I love all the sidewalks that are in now, as the buildings keeps going up.  We met a few more of our neighbors, and I was so grateful for the neighbors that came down their stairs to give Quinn her treat personally.  Most folks did not think of it, and the other two kids always looked out for her, but a few folks would take the time to walk down the stairs to talk to Quinn personally, and that was so sweet.  John and I got in on the action at one house too, as they gave snack size treats to the kids and full candy bars to the parents!  What a fun idea!
Halloween blessings to you all, thanks for checking in on us!