Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Morning!
What a magical time!
 Grandma and Grandpa joined us for a fun day.

 Grandpa helped Quinn open her gifts.

 Grandpa was very entertaining!
 We read books!
 The girls were nervous knowing that a stranger was going to be in our house over night, delivering gifts, so they had to sleep together.
 Isaiah lost his charging cord for his Nintendo, so he was a super happy kid to get a cord again, and had to spend a bit of time with his games.
 Quinn was exhausted from the fun and needed to rest.

 We played lots of games.

 We continued to find beautiful trees all over Lincoln.

What a blessed year!
We just got back from seeing the heart doctor, and the appointment went great.  Quinn is doing great and we are so grateful for that!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eve was amazing.
We started off by going to church.  Singing Silent Night with the lights out holding candles is magical.  Talking about magical, Grandpa Harold leaned over to me to say look the sun finally came out, and it did.  We have had some cloudy days, but during that Christmas service, the sun came out and that was beautiful to see the sun shining through the stained glass windows.
Then driving around a few areas of Lincoln that put out the candles in bags, and they are beautiful neighborhoods.
Then it was back home.  To open a few gifts and love on each other.  Thanks to Nadean and Tom, we had a couple of Christmas books to read that night as well.
 Our night of reading Christmas stories.
 Opening the books together.
 Isaiah helping out Quinn.  I love that!
super soft blankets

 Giggles between sisters!
What a Blessed Christmas Eve!
Next up is Christmas Morning!
Blessings to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas, if you are looking for our Christmas Letter,
it is one publication down.
Feel free to check this one out too, as there are lots of fun events!
In fact check in on us all the time.
I think we have some great things to share!

 We got to meet Santa, we agreed this is the real Santa!  
Not one of the helper Santa's!
 Isaiah, Quinn and I watched the amazing athletes play wheelchair basketball, while Denali had dance class.  They are always fun to watch.

 To top it off a few of Isaiah's friends were there and got to hang out.

One fun thing we do at Christmas, we take our give money that we have saved up all year, (we have three banks, Live, Save, and Give) and buy gifts for someone who could use some.  We talk about how sharing and giving is the real meaning of Christmas.
We decided awhile back to give to a new foster family this year, and we ran across a beautiful family that currently has 4 kids, so we found books, stuffies, and gloves to give to all the kids.  Talking to my kids on the way home from giving the gifts and playing for a bit was so fun, having them see the excitement the kids had for the gifts, and to hear how much love they had in giving the gifts was beautiful!  Oh, that is what Christmas is all about!
 Some of the gifts, after being opened and the kids out playing!
 That was not all, the kids also had to find 5 things each, nice used things, that they can handle giving away, yet someone else would love.  They did great picking things out to share, so we got to share those as well.
Then we decided to make cookies!  Grinch cookies, pretzels and chocolate, sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies.  We have been busy, but the kids have had lots of fun!  I am so thankful for all the memories!

Finally, we have had fun with Angels, this year.
Some families have had elves, but we were lucky to get Angels, they have brought scripture, and jokes and a few gifts here and there.  They know a lot about the kids.  They have given them ideas on keeping their rooms clean.  They have talked about Gratitude, being grateful, being humble, and loving each other.  It's been a great experience.

We ended up having a little fun with an elf after all.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas
What a year!

We have been busy. We had Aunt Sarah’s wedding this summer, plus a trip to South Dakota. It was wonderful. Our house is always full of scraps of paper as all my kids love creating cards, glittered artwork, rubber band bracelets, and so much more. We had to change out some furniture to get a cupboard full of art supplies, because as an art teacher, I’ve got to give them the means to create. It’s good for the soul!

So Isaiah is in 3rd grade this year. He is our reader and is constantly filling us in on information on bugs, Big Foot, jokes, and those crazy facts that are so exciting for 3rd grade boys. He came home with the old joke I use to tell my friends. “Mom, did you know 9 is not a number anymore?” Why I reply, “Because 7 ate 9.” He was so excited to tell the girls, and when he did, Denali said she did not get it.  He went over it, "you know ate and eight". Denali asked Quinn if she got it.  She also said no, and they went on and on. Isaiah said that must be a 3rd grade joke.   2nd graders just don’t get it. He is busy with swimming and dance this year. He is figuring out that homework is not optional and he is turning into my cuddle bug. I love it.

Quinn is in 2nd grade, and finally we don’t have to keep telling everyone at school she can do everything everyone else can, she just needs things modified. She is showing them what she can do, and they are holding her accountable. Granted Chrissy is still going into classes to give ideas, but everyone is on board and working so hard to help Quinn be successful. Quinn and Isaiah love to get into trouble together and Quinn and Denali do a great job working on homework together. Quinn's laugh is amazing.  She has been healthy this year, no hospital stays, and so we keep praying this continues. Quinn is busy with therapy and dance class, and she loves both of them and gets so excited for them.

Denali is also in 2nd grade. She is all about her friends. Isaiah will come home and talk about math, as he loves math. Quinn will come home and talk about a teacher or what books she is reading, but Denali comes home and talks about who is getting along with who or what drama is happening with her friends. Even with all the friend drama, she is doing great in school, which I was glad to hear.  We continue to check in and talk about how she can catch up on friend drama at recess, but school time is when she focuses on school! Denali is in dance class and started gymnastics this year. She is the first to say she is clumsy, but her dance is helping her with that.

We are so busy with all our activities, and trying to do fun things like the pumpkin patch, or visiting Santa, or Fourth of July parties to celebrate. Creating clay sculptures, reading bedtime stories, being grounded, or spending time with family. We are busy. We are so thankful for how well the kids work and play together. We are so blessed and this is such a great age to play with the kids! John and I are lucky and we know it. Sometimes I think we could both use a nap, but we would not give this up for anything.

Here is hoping you are blessed with a great new year! All our love, The Otte’s.

The Otte's