About Nicole

bio goes here More about me Nicole is a former special education teacher and developmental interventionist and current stay-at-home mom to four kids. The youngest three children were all adopted from foster care and have varying disabilities ranging from primarily emotional and attention problems, to cognitive delay, to major physical disabilities. I'm addicted to books, caffeine, sarcasm and social media. Just like you, I'm running as fast as I can and struggling to keep up a house, a marriage, amazing kids, and now, a website. That said, I'm enormously blessed with great friends and family and (most of the time,) making it work.

It’s the Little Things that Lift You Up or Level You Completely

I have to apologize for such a long drought in my writing.  It’s not that I haven’t tried to write but that I haven’t been able to form a focused, complete piece.  Partly, it was a summer with a house full of children but it’s also about the fullness of my own head.  I’ve spent a lot of time worried and angry and, since I am not as funny as Lewis Black, the pieces weren’t worthy of saving.  In all honesty, today’s post isn’t the encouraging, useful post I want it to be either.  It is, however, what I need to put out there. Continue reading

Modified Life–Life Lessons the Hard Way

Today, I was reading an update from my friend Terra whose little girl is fighting for her life.          If you haven’t liked her page, you can find it here:  Hope For Kendall.  If this post does nothing else, I hope that it urges you to pray fervently for sweet Kendall and her beautiful family.  However, Terra’s always honest and heartfelt words about struggling to tell Kendall’s sisters about how sick Kendall is and that their planned family vacation won’t include everyone because she has to stay with Kendall in the hospital cut me to the core.  She’s fighting so hard with her sick baby and she’s afraid that she’s failing her other girls because she has to be with her beautiful sick princess.  Maybe you’ve never had to cancel or change a vacation.  Maybe your child’s needs haven’t required you to spend weeks on end in the hospital, but don’t you sometimes worry about the cost of modified life for your other children (or others you may want to have)?  I know that I have. Continue reading

Something Sweet Amidst the Scary

Hello, Mamas, I hope that summer finds you enjoying lazy days with sandy toes.  First, I should assure you that neither Brandy nor I has been abducted by aliens nor fallen into a deep hole from which we cannot escape.  We’ve just been busily rushing around like modified chickens with our little heads cut off.  I have been struggling over a post for a while and just can’t quite get all that I need it to say into it without tipping over into harpyville. Thus, I have temporarily tossed that post aside to write about something completely different.  On “Tell Us Tuesday,” I want to share what pretty much occupies my every waking thought right now and I am begging for any hints those of you who deal with these issues can give me. Continue reading

Mama Needs a Brand New Bag!

Gosh darn it, mamas, something’s gotta give around here!  I’ve dipped into some sort of funk.  I’m pretty sure my yoga pants rolled their eyes at me when I put them on (yet again) and didn’t do any yoga (yet again) last week.  I’m not doing a very good job of taking care of myself right now.  We’re eating out too much. I’m not exercising nearly enough and, frankly, I’ve let myself go.   Continue reading

The Real Skinny on a Service Dog

Me, the minions, and Fantasy Rose!!!

Me, the minions, and Fantasy Rose!!!

Okay, mamas!  As promised, here is a post about the good, the challenging and the surprising about our experience with a service dog.  I apologize that it has taken me this long to do it but my oldest son has had a hard transition back to school and it has literally taken all of my everything to try to build us a new routine and get our lives back together.  I promise to try to answer all of the questions that I’ve gotten along the way but, if you have more, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer those as well. Continue reading

Head Over Heels for a Blond

Well, it’s true.  I’m completely head over heels in love with a gorgeous blond-a girl, no less.  That girl is a one year old golden retriever and she is absolutely the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  We are a full 6 days into training now.  Fantasy, our new service dog, knows all of the stuff.  She’s just learning to do it for us now.   Continue reading

Head Over Heels for Our Fantasy Girl!

Our gorgeous service dog

Our gorgeous service dog

See this gorgeous girl?  She’s our new service dog, Fantasy.  Let me just say, she is all that AND a big ole’ bag of chips.  Not some cheap gas station chips either; I’m talking a mylar bag, not plastic, maybe a bag of those super yummy ones from Schlotsky’s or a whole can of Charles Chips (remember those?) but I digress. Continue reading

When The Tigers Come At Night

Okay, true confession time.  I’m struggling.  I’m an avid blog reader and, in case you haven’t seen them, one of the things so many moms are writing right now are these lovely pieces about a particular age in childhood.  What does two or four or seven, etc. mean to them and to their child.  The pieces are beautiful; they’re gorgeous.  I read them and I’m captivated and mesmerized by the moments that these friends of mine are sharing.  I read more by mom’s I don’t know.  They are just lovely and I would never take anything away from that.  However, there’s a piece of me that aches as I read them.   Continue reading

Early Morning Prayer and Worship Time/DeZarn Family Comedy Hour

Prayer time with my minions is a little less this...

Prayer time with my minions is a little less this…

Of course we pray before meals, always have.  However, a long time ago, I decided to carve out a time to pray and spend time with God and my kids.  I thought it was important but I also didn’t want it to feel like punishment or something boring to get through to get to something else.  So, I picked a time that was regular and where they really didn’t have anything else to do.  We pray, recite Bible memory verses, and sing simple worship songs every morning on the way to school (and sometimes they initiate it on other car rides too; which is just fine with me.)  It’s only about 10 minutes but it is regular and genuine and you’d be amazed at how much they have learned in that time over the course of several years.  Plus, they frequently dive into their children’s Bibles to pick the next verse or ask questions later in the day about what they learn in that time.  It’s great!   Continue reading

Really Cool Product Review: Hidden Rules With Friends

A few months ago, Michelle Roush from Things I Can’t Say (one of my personal favorite blogs,) said that she was looking for some mommy bloggers for kids with special needs to check out some new products and write reviews.  Quick as my little fingers would carry me I hopped on that bandwagon.  Then, about 10 minutes later, I panicked because I thought, “What happens if I hate this product?  What will I say?”  Well, I lucked out because I absolutely LOVE this product and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

A game for teaching those rules that no one really talks about but that make our kids stick out in a crowd.

The product I was sent, a card game called “Hidden Rules With Friends,” was from a company called Courage to Change.  Courage to Care is attempting to make books, learning and play materials aimed at persons of all ages with learning and/or social and emotional needs.  You should definitely check out the link because they have a ton of really interesting products.  I think I’ve probably blown about half of my home school budget in my mind just browsing! Continue reading