Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas was a blessing!
The kids had fun, and Quinn was finally feeling better.
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Our foster care kiddo had surgery and is doing pretty good.

 Even Buttercup got in on the fun!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Last week Quinn and I both got the flu.  It was bad!
Our foster kiddo had two surgeries as well, so it was busy!
Glad that week is over.
This week it snowed.  Denali was so excited.
Everyone else was more interested in sleeping.

 The kids angels brought them a scavenger hunt, that was fun.

 Some fun Christmas Eve adventures.
Silent Night by candle light at church is one of my favorite things!

 Back to therapy.
 Buttercup is loving having Quinn back on the couch.  Those two love each other.

Friday, December 15, 2017

What a blessed year we have had. 

Our kids are getting older, and it happens so fast. 
This year was full of summer camps, dance classes, foster care experiences, and some fun trips here and there. 
Isaiah is almost 12!  He started middle school at Moore Middle School, and has loved it.  He is finding out how he has to be accountable and is working harder but enjoying school.  He is in 3 dance classes, a competitive class, a ballet class, and a hip hop class.  He is doing great.  He has such a sweet heart and wants to be his best and help others, while at the same time is content to stay home and play on electronics.
Quinn is 11!  She is doing better in school; this year is better than last year.  Her teacher gets her sense of humor.  Many mornings Quinn will tell us how much she loves her teacher and how excited she is to go to school.  We have great nurses that go with her, and she is doing good.  She still likes to work hard on talking and telling them all socially all the stuff she wants and loves, but is still not wanting to work the way she can.  I can’t blame her, as she has figured out how to get out of doing work.  I appreciate her teachers for pushing her to work anyway.  She is still in dance class, she loves her teachers, loves her friends, and is so excited to perform.  Her class got to dance with the Lincoln Symphony this year, and it was amazing.  She also was in Miss Amazing, and she decided it was fun, and we saw her friend win her division.  Quinn plays percussion in band, thanks to Chrissy’s help and she loves it.  We are working on ways to help her be more independent, and see this as something she could do great with.  She loves to use her Tobi tell us how she feels and what she wants to do.  It is wonderful.  She continues to work on driving her new wheelchair and works with Chrissy to try different mounts and tech to help her be her best.  She also loves therapy sessions and works so hard to get her body to work to do things so many of us take for granted.

Denali is 10, and she is also in 5th grade.  She is learning the delicate dance of friendships.  We have had lots of talks about friends, and have learned a lot.  She is also in dance.  She helps Quinn’s dance team, she is now on the competitive team, she is also in ballet and baton.  Denali started playing the clarinet this year, and is doing great.  She is our extrovert and loves being out and about.  She has a heart of gold, and is willing to jump in and help out anyone.  Her goal is to keep her room clean and she is still working on that goal.  She loves to bake, and is loving this season.  She makes sure our house is always moving and it’s never quiet when she is around. 
We also have a foster kiddo, who we have had for a few months.  All foster care kiddo’s privacy is important so we cannot share much.  We can say we all had to be ok with the placement.  We all were.  We knew it would humble us, and that is a great trait to have.  It did, it also helps us learn a lot, and helps us continue to educate others.  We don’t know how long he will be with us, but his parents are working hard to get him back, which is wonderful.  So we will help him with as much as we can for a bit, and hope this will help educate our kids and show them the importance of giving and staying humble.  He is a good kid who is teaching us so much.  In the future it will also be good to look back on these months, and remind ourselves, we survived 4 kids for months, so when our 3 are super busy, we will know that we can make it. J
John is still working at All State; he loves his job.  He had surgery on his pacemaker and is much happier now that everything is working better.  He is a wonderful dad, who works hard to help keep the kids successful.  He also has stepped in to really take care of our foster kiddo.  He has had to miss a few of our kid’s performances here and there to be somewhere else to do a drop off, or pick up, or doctor appointment.  I am grateful for all his work.
I am still teaching.  I have great kids and am thankful for my job.  I am always learning and trying to improve.  I have gotten good at documenting everything for our foster kiddo.  I’ve also gotten good at schedules.  We have kids that are busy and I love seeing them do things they love, but I tend to go from teacher to taxi service most nights.  I would not trade it for anything, because with how fast they are growing, I will not have this opportunity for long.  Luckily I still have it for a while.  I can say I am in a dance class right now, along with the kids.  An adult hip hop class.  Oh it’s a mess, but it sure is fun and a great workout, so come join us.
We are blessed to have a great support system.  We could not get through this crazy life without it.  We are blessed to have our faith, and a family who loves each other.  We are grateful to live where Quinn can get the support she needs, as well as all of us.  Sometimes looking into the future is scary.  I don’t know what it holds, but I do know that right now is pretty amazing.  We are thankful.
All our love to all of you,

Susan, John, Isaiah, Quinn, and Denali Otte
A busy day at therapy.
Denali got to help today.
Quinn will be getting a new vest to help her with her posture.
 She also worked on fine motor skills.
 Then the girls had a band concert.  Denali plays the clarinet and Quinn played the bells.
 They did a great job!  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Isaiah loves to squeeze in to the chair by the tree and study by Christmas tree light.
He was working hard on his presentation below.
Sounds like he did well.
 The girls are also working hard on homework.
and I had to share Quinn's fun card she brought home from school.  Someone there has some great art skills!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sunday was busy!
We started out at church.

The kids had their Christmas program.

Quinn was the North Star.
It light up and everything.
Isaiah helped her.

Denali was an angel.

Isaiah also did a reading.
It was a beautiful morning.
Then we celebrated Quinn's birthday.

 We are thankful for all our friends.
 Crafts were a hit.

Denali helped Quinn unwrap gifts.
Quinn ended up being a gift, by the time Denali was done.
 The kids got to play outside for a bit.
We are thankful for all our grandparents too.
 Love how the kids love each other.
 Then Denali had a baton recital.
 She did great.  Love her face in this picture.
 If you look in the mirror, you can see her baton, she caught it every time.
So very blessed!