Thursday, August 31, 2017

The girls in our family went to Salina's wedding.  She was Quinn's old nurse, who we loved!  She moved to South Kansas and so we road tripped it and had a lot of fun.  It was the weekend after school started, so we were tired, but we could not miss it.  Quinn really really really wanted to be there.
 The wedding was beautiful!  We threw paper airplanes when they left the church, that was fun.
 The girls were beautiful!  It's fun dressing up sometimes!

 We thought it was fun that we were driving through Salina, to go to Salina's wedding!
Then to top it off, the church was a block away from Douglas street, the groom!
It must be fate right?

 It was a great night!

 Love these pictures!  

So we started the 2nd week of school off on the tired side after a fun wedding!
This next weekend is going to be full of football and band music, so we are looking forward to another fun weekend, if Quinn's allergies can handle it!

Monday, August 28, 2017

All of the 5th graders in Lincoln got to go to a baseball game.
The girls might not love baseball, but they loved getting out of school,
and hanging out with their friends.
Quinn is loving her 5th grade teacher.
 Denali made it on the news.
 Quinn loves her nurses too.
Quinn was so excited, a bunch of her friends from Maxey saw her at the game and came over and hung out with her for awhile!  Oh how we miss those girls!
It was a fun day!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Our new foster care friend is doing great.  Denali was talking about how great it is to be a foster family.  All the kids are pitching in and helping him get what he needs.  I got a great email from a former Zeman Zebra's mom, who is now at my kids school, in 1st grade with our new friend.  He asked his mom to tell me hi, we have a connection! :)  Then he started a picture of his classroom and started drawing his new friends wheelchair. :)  Our foster care kiddo!  I forget how many people he will impact with learning how to accept new people who are different from us.  I think the little kids understand that acceptance thing better then us big kids most of the time.
You can see his wheelchair in the bottom corner!
Oh how I love kids!  They get it!

Denali started Clarinet, and is loving it.

She knows 3 or 4 notes and how to put it together, and what to do with the reed.
That's a great start!

Quinn also started.  I need to get some pictures.  Right now she is using her computer, that has all kinds of instruments on it.  She wrote out a mission statement of sorts to share with Mr. Scofield.  Her nurse Mary and Quinn went to the lesson.  (sometimes Quinn does not show off for new people.)
Mr. Scofield welcomed them in and asked her for her statement, and she clicked on her computer and told him right away.  Then he asked for her to play her keyboard, asking her to play specific notes and she did.  He asked her to play the drum and she did.  They played notes back and forth.  Hearing Mary share this story with me, gave me goose bumps!  I think Quinn found another kindred spirit, and a love for music in a new way.  Oh Thank you Mr. Scofield!  We are so excited.

To keep things real, the rest of the day Quinn said, I don't want to do that, and I'm board!  She wanted to go back to band, but sadly she has to do her school work too.

Oh so much more to share, we went to a beautiful wedding, and the girls went to a baseball game with school.  Isaiah is still loving school, and him saying that out loud is a big deal.  He is loving the library and all the new books!  I love his love for reading.  

We are blessed!  Susan

Friday, August 18, 2017

Love one another as I have loved you.  John 13:34
John and I are trying to educate our kids, give them experiences, and help them stay humble.  We want to do it by example, so we are.

We have a new foster kiddo, who is a sweetheart.  John and I have talked and prayed.  Then we talked to our kids, and prayed as a family.  We have gone into this experience having everyone in our house state they are good with this situation, and are willing to love and nurture anyone coming into our house.  If even one person in our house was not ok with this, we would not have done it.  We have listened to our families and talked with friends.  Understanding everyone's thoughts and understanding the responsibility we are taking on.  We also have a good understanding with our Fostercare group, that they are willing to help us with taking care of our new friend.

We have now had him a few days, and everyone is pitching in.  Denali and Isaiah have had the great experience of seeing the paperwork involved in a foster child placement, and things that happened with them, that they were not aware of.  It is good for them to see that many kids in the world use foster care when they need to.  We pray this gives them more understanding and closure on their experience.  Quinn has been excited to see another person in a wheelchair, and all the kids have learned how different people in wheelchairs can be, and how they can not be compared as they are all so different.

We know our special friend will be going back to his bio family, and this is just a small amount of time.  We also understand that as we get older we will not always do foster care.  We believe now, we are helping show our family humility, a caring heart, acceptance, and love.

We are seeing the love and acceptance in all our kids.  We are also being careful to give our own kids the love and skills they need during this time.  Denali just got her clarinet.  Quinn is still getting in her therapies.  Isaiah is sharing his room, and doing great with it.  As he had to be ok with it, and if he has any issues, he knows he can talk to us.  He also understands that not everyone has the knowledge or acceptance we do, and how we are helping our friend and his family in their time of need.  In turn we hope that people will do the same for us, when we have different needs and helps in the future.  As so many people have helped us in the past and we are grateful.  

We are learning acceptance, humility, love, and helpfulness.  We don't know if this will last a couple weeks or a few months.  We do know we will learn about cultures, religions, and special needs of a special kiddo.  It's been fun getting to know him, seeing his beautiful smile, and seeing how giving and wonderful my kids are with him.

We are grateful for this experience for our family.  We are grateful that everyone in our home was willing to tackle this experience, and we look forward to growing emotionally as a family, and helping our kids understand how to love others unconditionally.  We are so fortunate to be in a situation where we are doing well, and we can help others.  We know that will not always be the case, so we are willing to work hard now, and share the love.

So we would appreciate prayers for our family, our new friend, and the bio family of our friend.  Prayers for our extended family,  prayers for his new teachers and para's, prayers for our Foster care unit, and everyone helping us help our new friend.

We can not share pictures of our friend, as pictures of kids in foster care can't be plastered all over, so that is why you will not see pictures on here, but feel free to stop by any time and meet a wonderful kiddo who we believe has been placed in our home for a reason, and the short time we can help him will help us grow as a family in so many ways.

Blessed!  The Otte's

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We had our first day of school.
Isaiah got started first.
He was up and going strong, he now is in 6th grade.
The school is right down the street from us, so he can walk or ride his bike.
So we did a trial run the night before, and he has got it down, then opted to walk the first day.
School starts an hour earlier for him this year, so that will be an adjustment, but past that
he is excited and nervous and feeling exactly how he should be feeling.

Isaiah is not sure how Buttercup will do with out him during the day!
 The morning started off rainy.  Because we got her new chair, we had to give her poncho a trim job, and it is now ready for the year.
Quinn is ready to have a great year, when Chrissy asked her how she was going to do this year, here was her reply!  
 I will answer, please be patient.

Great answer Quinn!
 The last first time of sending them to elementary school!  

Here is hoping everyone had a great first day of school!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Denali had her first true theater show.
She played the mean girl, and had it down well.
We have learned she like to be a method actress and likes to take her role home,
so she has been grounded too.
Lucky she decided method acting might not be for her.
She did a great job.

 We also had a family reunion, and it was so good to hang out with the cousins.
 There were 166 people at the reunion!  That is a lot of relatives.

 We love family!  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

We are trying to suck the last moments of summer out before school starts tomorrow.
 Still going strong with therapy, this picture is actually a couple weeks old, but I love it and had to throw it in.
 We are getting ready to sign up for dance and such, and got Denali a new button, it's like 4 inches longer then her old one.  She has had a huge growth spurt, and has made the transition from looking like a little girl, to looking like a preteen.  
 We had family pictures taken.  We had to take about Isaiah, and smiling even if we take 15 million pictures, and Denali to be real and natural, not drama queen, so I had to take some ahead of time to get the diva pictures out of her system.
 I am pretty sure Tabi got some great pictures, and I thank her in advance.  Creative Eye's studio, folks, it's amazing and she is so good.
 We also threw in a birthday party for grandma Vicki.
Weekend stuff is still coming up.  We had a family reunion, and Denali was in her first musical.  So that will be coming along with first day of school pictures.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Yikes, how is the time flying by so fast.  School starts next week, so we have been busy.  I am back in my classroom, and I always wonder this time of year, how did I parent, and taxi my kids, and educate them, and give them learning opportunities, and take them to appointments and therapy and play with friends, and read with them, and play with them, and go for walks, and teach school at the same time. I have to get back into some organization and no more afternoon naps with the girls and the dog.

So Isaiah had his open house first.  He opened the elementary school last year, and he got to open the middle school this year.  So LPS better get busy and get a high school going so he can open it in a few years.

Isaiah is a kid that would be happy to live life at home with a book, an electronic, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the dog.  This is his perfect life, and he got a lot of that this last week.
So he is nervous for middle school, as he should be, as all the kids are.  He already has his lock figured out, and is excited for Spanish class.  So it's a start.

 the girls had their open house as well, and things are going so well.  The girls are excited to be back. It took Quinn a little more time to find the love, Denali has been excited for weeks.
 When Quinn got to school, she finally did start to get excited, she saw one of her teachers and was so happy and giggled and it made my heart so happy.
For Quinn we set up an extra meeting ahead of school starting for her team to learn about her chair, her personality, her technology, and help learn how to move her out of her chair and things like that.
We are so excited to have our same nurses back!  We love love love our nurses.
We are also getting back some teachers, and para's and our new teachers are kind and so willing to learn and help Quinn succeed!
Thank you to all these wonderful people and the school staff.
I know I want a lot for her.  She is an amazing kid, and I want amazing things for all my kids, (students included)  so I know I can be a bit over the top at times, but I want every possibility for for my kids to succeed!  As any parent would! :)
So thank you teachers, nurses, para's, all support staff.  We are grateful for the janitor coming over and chatting with Quinn before the meeting!  We are grateful for all of you.  I sit here and want to cry again.  I am sharing my love, my children are everything to me.  I try so hard to give them everything I can to help them be successful.  Not things, but experiences, therapy sessions, life lessons, being grounded, good life stores, lots of love and trying my best to send them down the best path.  So sharing them is hard for me, along with many other parents.  I think about that with my students at school.  Each one of them is a treasure, and I am grateful to have a part in their life, so please be gentle with my three.  If Isaiah forgets his locker combination, please be kind.  If Denali talks to her friend for the 27th time in the day, and then gives you the sweetest smile, please give her a consequence and help her learn, but be kind.  When Quinn acts like a bump, and just wants to watch her classmates, and does not want to do her job.  Please love her up.  Hold her accountable, but be gentle.  These kids are amazing, and sharing them is not always easy!  It's needed, and we are grateful, just know they are treasures!

Whew, it's been a long week, and I am obviously overly emotional!
Good luck students and staff!

I pray it will be an amazing year!