Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Quinn helps us be a better version of ourselves.

I will post Christmas pictures, but after today, and a few other days, this Holiday season, I am grateful, and wanted to say so.  

Now I could focus on the not so great, with our amazing nurse moving away, and not having another nurse filling in her shifts quite yet, and insurance changing, which will change everything up, and change is so hard.  We could focus on the crazy crowds out and about today, and how hard it is, to get a big wheelchair through the crowds, but rather then focusing on the frustrating, we are going to focus on the good.

Today, we went to the Omaha Zoo and Omaha flower gardens.  It was packed.  When it is packed, having Quinn's big ol wheelchair is hard.  We have to be patient and wait to get through places.  We get lots of double looks, and kids ask their parents lots of questions.  Some parents don't know how to answer, but some do.  We had a mom and daughter hold an elevator for us, and the mom talked to Quinn and told her what a beautiful headband she had.  Then her daughter who could not be more then 8 or 9 chimed in saying, oh you are just beautiful.  Her mom agreed.  Her mom then talked to her about how they were  going to hold the elevator door open for us to get out and then they would go out.  This is just one simple story, but if we can help others share the love and learn tolerance and acceptance, then getting out there in the crowds is totally worth it.  Having folks part ways for us to get through, and hold doors, and give that extra smile to Quinn or Isaiah, or Denali, or me.  That extra smile, that shows they see the love.  That smiles that shows they see the beauty.  That smile that shows they understand a bit of what we are doing.  Those smiles from strangers are priceless.

So I am once again reminded that there are so many good people in the world.  Those folks who take a moment to hold open doors, who smile at strangers, who take time from their own moments of joy to share a moment of love with us.  We are blessed to live where this happens often.  We are blessed to help educate and share the love.  We have been given an opportunity from God, and we are going to try to get out and make a difference.  Sometimes it would be easier to hid out at home, but we are going to continue to get out and experience life.  Get out and do our best to educate, and enjoy life.  Get out and continue to grow as people and help share the love and acceptance, we all need and want to see in the world.  

Maybe I'm tired after a busy day, but my heart is full, seeing all the people willing to share just a bit of love with us.  I am grateful and will continue to share our adventures and so forth!  We are lucky to have the family we have, we are pushed outside our comfort zone at times, and grow as people because of it.  We are grateful!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hmmm, the big moments of 2016.
 My family is at the top of my list!

We are fortunate!  We live where many people care about each other.  We live in a safe place in the world.  We live where our children can be successful and cared about.  We know that is not the way it is worldwide.  So we pray thanks, and we pray for peace.
John walked away from a bad car accident this year, and we are thankful for him being ok.  Past that he loves his job as an underwriter.  We are lucky because he is a wonderful dad!

Isaiah is loving his dance classes.  He does Hip Hop, a competitive one, and boys ballet.  He would do electronics every day if he could and is really trying to figure out if he has to do spelling words, or if some homework is optional.  Hey we all need to check out our boundaries once in awhile.

Quinn is working hard to not do much work.  The kids all started a new school this year, and Quinn is a relationship kid 100% and having to make new connections is hard.  So we are working hard on her being successful and accountable.  She is also loving her dance class.  She talks to her friends and helpers during dance and therapy without thinking twice about it.

Denali is also dancing, this year she is doing ballet, theater, and helping with Quinn’s adaptive class.  She also has taken on the Viola and is doing both with ease.  She is our helper.  She wants to be involved in everything.  That is so good most of the time.

I am still teaching art to elementary students.  I love working with my kids!  I have the pleasure of shaping minds, and have wonderful coworkers to bounce ideas off of, and I am so fortune how supportive they are.
I love to bring art home to my kids too.

The educator comes out in me and we continue to educate others about all our abilities!

We have really experienced life this year.  We have celebrated engagements and weddings.  We have welcomed new folks into our lives, and also watched a few move away.  Change is hard.  We have also gone to way to many funerals.  We have learned a lot about life!  For those of you who are missing loved ones or suffering all kinds of frustrations, we are sorry and pray for your peace.  For those of you who have had wonderful life events, we pray thank you’s, and are so happy for you. 
We continue to focus on the good in people and strive to be the best versions of ourselves.   Thankfully we take each other at our best and our worst.
Merry Christmas and thanks for checking in on us.

The Otte’s

Susan, John, Isaiah, Quinn, and Denali.

We celebrated Quinn's birthday with cake,
it was food school, eating day at therapy, so birthday cake was part of therapy.
Denali took part too.
Isaiah was busy being sick for a whole week! 
It was hard on him.

 Quinn and Denali opened birthday gifts too.
We also have new technology we are learning.
We are learning to control the computer with our head and our joystick on our wheelchair.
That is one smart girl, to be able to do this.
I give her so much credit!

 This week was also filled with a beautiful concert.  Denali did great with her viola!
Well done!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Another dance performance.
As lovely as ever!
Denali was in over half of the numbers, and loved every bit of it.

 She also had a duet that was beautiful!
 Grandparents were there.
 Our amazing nurse was also there.  She is moving in less then a month, and we are going to miss her so much!  She loved Quinn and Quinn loved her.  It was a wonderful match!  So we are sad you are moving, but happy for you for your new adventure.

 Both our partners were there and were wonderful!

Then back to our house for cake for Quinn's birthday.

 We sure appreciate our friends and family!
Love you all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We had our yearly appointment at the CDC clinic.
The Children's Developmental Clinic.
We see doctors, nurses, therapists, and get many many appointments over in one day.

Starting off in the waiting room playing games, what a fun way to start the day.
 Denali wanted to go along.  Isaiah was going to, but though waiting in a room just sitting there would be frustrating, and after checking with Quinn, opted to go to school instead.
Grandma came along too.
The day went well.  We changed up a couple meds, and are working on a few other changes.
The most ironic part, is that anyone that came in wanting Quinn to talk to them, was greeted with no talking.  Anyone else that did not care if she talked to them, she would talk their ear off.  Her dance teacher is the Physical Therapist there, and had a student with her.   She asked Quinn to talk to the student, so in this case Quinn did.  Suzanne asked her to tell this student what they do together, so she pulled up the page that talks about how she loves to dance.  It's on a page with about 7 other things she likes to do.  She told this student all 7 other things she likes to do.  The student leaves the room, and Quinn looks at Suzanne and says I like to dance too.  Yes!  Quinn Otte is so smart, and so naughty sometimes!  I am grateful for that spunk, as it gets her through a lot of frustrating times, but it also makes me look like a mom who says Quinn can do more then she shows.  I'm getting to the point where I am ok with that too.  It is who she is, and I am so very thankful for how smart she is, even if she only shows some of us.

 We then had our blood draw.  Quinn was tough and they got her on the first poke.
 Denali on the other hand has a hard time watching Quinn hurting!
 Then off for a bit of fun.  The hospital always is so festive!
 The girls took their gifts along to give to kids in the hospital on Christmas.  They saved up, they purchased them, and they gave them to the hospital.  It makes my heart happy!
 A picture of all of us!
How lucky we are!
 Then back to our routines, therapy in Lincoln this afternoon, and Denali had to be right in there helping Quinn push herself across the floor in the scooter.  She worked hard and it was a wonderful day!