Category Archives: Parenting

“Norah’s World”

My three year old granddaughter is a joy.

She has an incredible sense of adventure, a hilarious sense of humor and the ability to make you laugh. She is absolutely gorgeous(no bias here), loves to play dress up, go down her slide a bazillion times and buzz around the room like a race car driver.

She loves her school, friends and teachers. She has the ability to make you feel as though you are the most important person in the room. She loves fiercely. Her smile lights up the room and all my social media posts.

She is now a big sister, and handling that responsibility well. She is a typical three year old, of course. She has a fit now and then when things don’t go her way, and she is quite opinionated and strong willed!

And Norah has Cerebral Palsy. She uses a wheel chair, a walker, and sign language. She does things a little differently, but don’t we all? As a former special education teacher, I always taught by students that they just leaned differently than others, not better…not worse…just different. Norah is perfect.

McKenna, Norah’s sweet friend, began to ask her momma about Norah. Lacee found that there were very few books that address inclusivity and normal questions that many children have about friends that are different than them. So, she wrote a book…”Norah’s World.”

It can be found on Amazon

I highly recommend this book! It is very important reading for all the children in your life. Inclusiveness and acceptance is the primary theme in this delightful book. All libraries, schools, parents, grandparents need books like this. Yes, it is my granddaughter and I might be a bit bias….but it is well written and beautifully illustrated.

Thanks dear ones..

~Be Encouraged~


Homeschooling Quick Tips

Homeschooling Quick Tips

I taught in the public school system for the first five years of my teaching career, then in our home school for ten years.  I then returned to public schools and taught in a special education classroom for nine years.

I have seen so many people having to “homeschool” for the first time, and not by choice necessarily.

Life is chaotic right now, and we are all dealing with times in which we are not familiar.  But we know that the Lord is our peace, our hope and our salvation.

So, I offer some tips from my experience only.  Maybe these tips will help you in the days to come. You may not need them or disagree and that is okay.  They are from my perspective as a certified teacher, coming into my home as my sons’ teacher.

1.)  Do not worry about making your home just like a public school.  I tried bringing what I knew to be “school” into our home.  It did not work.  I was their mom and did not do things like “Mrs. Norris” did…  It took a while, but they adjusted. And I did.

2.)  As a teacher in the public schools, I had to do a lot of “crowd control” and had to have many levels going at one time.  My colleagues had 25-30 children in their classroom on different levels as well.  This caused them to have to use worksheets and review work to keep others busy while they worked “one on one” with those students.  With homeschooling, that is unnecessary.  It can free time up to learn in different ways.

3.)  I felt like I had to make them complete every. single. question.  If your child is grasping what you are teaching and you see that….make sure you repeat, review and go on.  If frustration sets it, set it aside and come back to it later, even tomorrow.

4.)  My boys used to hate to write because I made them write so much. So write, write and write some more!  When they were in college, they thanked me.  They were constantly being complemented on their work.  It is a skill that will serve them well.

5.)  We started each morning with Bible study, prayer, or just discussions and talking.  Some of the best conversations took place on our back porch. And there is plenty to talk about right now. They always had questions about things going on in the world and now is no exception. It was a time of bonding that I appreciate so much.

6.)  Most of the time we accomplished all school work and subject matter in about 2-4 hours, depending on their grade level.  I could reward them with an afternoon of their favorite subject or project.  And now, as adults, those “favorites” are a part of their careers.

7.)  Teach them household living skills.  My boys learned how to cook, clean, wash clothes and could take care of themselves quite well.  They did not like it all the time, but they learned.  It certainly helped in college and later on as they married.

8.)  We always had our downtime.  Sometimes it was in the middle of the morning, sometimes as a reward for completing some work.  I had to learn how to be flexible.

9.)  We did a lot of “study units” in which it allowed them to pick something that they were interested in and wanted to learn a lot about.  One unit was apples, one was castles, etc.  We used those subjects and did our math, reading, writing, grammar, and projects.  They never realized that they were learning, and I enjoyed it as much as they did.

10.)  I had to remind myself that learning was often times “caught” by what we did.  We used the computer some time, but not all the time.  As the years passed by, I realized that I got to teach in a manner in which I loved.  And I could literally “individualize” for each child.  As a special education teacher, this was my job anyway.  Funny how God equips you!

So this is a longer post than usual, but I thought this might be some encouragement to some at this point.  There were days that it frustrated me, but mostly it was a precious time for us.

My prayer is that it is the same for you.

If you have any comments or questions, please ask!

~Be Encouraged Today~


Fierce Love and CP

This was a post my daughter in love made on social media.  I am sharing it with permission.

I pray it inspires you as much as it has inspired me.  Our granddaughter is a treasure that brings joy and happiness to everyone she meets!


September 13, 2019 was a life changing day for our little family.

I’ve spent 18 days processing this. 18 days of being sad, angry, hopeful, bitter, grateful.. sad again.. angry again. I’m normally not one to overshare personal information (besides pictures of my ridiculously cute child) but I feel social media is the best outlet to deliver this to friends and family. I don’t have the heart to talk about it over and over on the phone or in person.

We’ve spent the last few months addressing some health concerns with Norah, mostly developmental delays and some tight reflexes in her feet and ankles. We met with a few Doctors, Specialists, and Physical Therapists which eventually resulted in a referral to a Pediatric Neurologist.

I went into this appointment optimistic. Yes, I had spent the last several weeks with my friend, Dr. Google, but I knew there was nothing seriously wrong with my perfect babygirl.


Cerebral Palsy

Those 2 words with the formal diagnosis hit me like a train. What? How? Why? She’s 13 months old.. I had a perfect pregnancy, she’s only been sick with a cold once in her whole life. She’s social, happy, funny, snuggly, perfect. I think I blacked out from pure shock. After those 2 words were said, Taylor jumped to my side immediately. He was my support and my voice and I don’t think I’ve ever loved him more than in that moment.

We left the appointment with a handful of referrals, next steps, an MRI appointment, etc. The first few days after the diagnosis are a pure blur of emotions.

So why am I sharing this on Facebook? I’ve spent the last 18 days processing how I want our daughter’s future to look.

 As much as I want to.. I can’t keep her in a bubble and hide this forever. I am not ashamed of Cerebral Palsy. I don’t want sympathy looks and concerns. I don’t want my friends to be scared to share milestone achievements about their own adorable babies in fear of hurting my feelings. I don’t want this to be the only topic of conversation when we see friends and family. I don’t want to spend hours on my phone texting or talking about this. 

I don’t want comments like “oh she will be okay!” This isn’t okay.. but she is strong, she is a fighter, she is the happiest baby in the world, and above all she is fiercely loved.

Of course the milestone achievements are important. Yes I want to see my daughter walk. I am dying to hear her say “mama”.. but her CP diagnosis has made me realize that above all, I want to raise my daughter to be kind and to show compassion, just like our friends, family and community have shown us the last 18 days. 

I want her to use this diagnosis as a platform to inspire others. I want her to know that she is strong and can achieve anything she puts her mind to. I want her to know that everyone is fighting some kind of an internal battle and that her beautiful smile and showing kindness can make anyone’s day just a little brighter.

So please don’t feel sorry for us but instead celebrate our sweet girls accomplishments with us. We refuse to let Cerebral Palsy define Norah and to define us as a family. I refuse to let it define me as a mother. 

We don’t know exactly what the future will look like.. but what we do know is that this doesn’t define who Norah is and that CP is just a part of her journey and a chapter in her story. I cannot wait to watch her tackle this and show the world just how amazing she is.

And now that I have this very emotional and very dreaded post behind me, onto bigger and better positive updates about Norah’s achievements. I cannot wait to share her story with everyone we love, everyone who loves us, and everyone who loves our perfect daughter.DSC01770

~Be Encouraged Today~