Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Update on Tics!

Elijah's new tic is still around! He seems to be experiencing a LOT of tics lately, both vocal and motor. He has also been more argumentative with me at home and teachers at school. He has had more issues at school too! We had already increased one of his medications by 0.5 mg in the morning, but I went ahead and called the doctor after another phone call from the school. He is now taking 1.5 mg of this same medication three times a day. Overall, this is an increase of only 1 mg per day. Overall this seems to have helped with his behavior and with tics.

We go back to see this doctor around the middle of January. I am hoping things stay stable between then and now. It is amazing to me how his behavior is tied to his tics, but I know his tics get on his nerves and drive him a little crazy. I know when I have the hiccups for a long period of time, that I am a little snappy with people, so imagine having tics constantly. I also think his tics tend to increase around the holidays, because he is excited about them. He is also out of his routine, which is  never good.

I took him to the movies today and he had several loud tics during the movie. Thankfully, they were spread apart and didn't all happen at once. He does pretty good and I tap his leg so he knows he is being a little loud. Here's hoping these tics calm down for him when we get back into our routine after the holidays!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


We have been iced in for three days, so I started my Christmas baking a little early. Today we made a FULL batch of Christmas Sugar Cookies and decorated them. We even got fancy and used some decorating gel to fancy them up a bit. Jacob even helped decorate them! Elijah really got into it and my honey even sat down and helped out a bit.

This is a recipe that my sister got from her mother-in-law and we instantly fell in love with it. The cookies are not too sweet and the icing adds just enough sugar to the cookie, but again, not too much. I usually make 5-6 batches of cookies each Christmas. I take some to school with me and my itinerant kids and I decorate them. It is a good language activity!

My dad remarried and I have a brother and sister that are now 25 and 22 years old. They were eight and five when Jacob was born. Every Christmas, I would keep them over the break and we would make cookies. I have so many memories of making cookies with them. When Elijah came along, he joined in. Now my niece and nephew come over to make cookies with us over the Christmas Break. I try to take pictures and make it memorable!

Next weekend, I will be busy making the Sugar Cookies, Snowball cookies and a new recipe of mints that I recently found. As I get closer to Christmas I will start making pralines. I send a lot of this to Jacob's and Elijah's teachers as well as some of Jacob's friends. I also make them for the teachers I work with.

It has been nice to have this extra time to bake and not have to rush. It also gave us something to do and something to EAT! These cookies are awesome with a BIG glass of milk!

Here is the recipe if you want to give them a try.

Sugar Cookies


1 ½ cups of sugar

1 cup of butter softened (2 sticks)

2 eggs

3 TBS of buttermilk

1 tsp of baking soda

¼ tsp of salt

1 tsp vanilla

All purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, salt, vanilla and flour together. IT WILL BE VERY RUNNY! Once it is mixed, start adding flour. There is no set amount to put in, you just keep adding it until it isn’t so sticky and runny. Then put flour down where you want to roll the dough and spoon about 1/3 of the dough out onto the flour. ADD flour again this dough and KNEED it until the dough is ready to roll out and NOT stick to the surface. Roll it and cut your cookies, then roll again and cut until you are out of dough. Then start again with the next part of the dough in the bowl.

Bake for 8 minutes or until the bottom is brown.

Let cool and then icing.

Friday, December 6, 2013


We have been told all week that a massive ice storm was headed our way. It became clear by Wednesday, that it was REALLY going to hit. The school district I work in cancelled school for today, yesterday afternoon. The boys' school district cancelled around 9:00 last night for today. Well, the ice did arrive. We lost power around 12:45 AM, but it did come back on around 5:30 this morning.

A branch in our front walkway.
Elijah sleeps with a light on in his room, so he woke up and called for me. I got him a flashlight and he went back to sleep. While I was in his room, I heard a LOUD POP! It really scared me. It took me a few minutes to figure out what it was. IT was the trees outside cracking when the limbs broke off from the heavy ice. I heard several more of these popping sounds throughout the night, but none as loud as the first one.

When it was finally light enough to see outside, I stepped out to look around. There were several tree limbs in my front yard. I looked up and down the street and see a HUGE tree trunk split down the middle, with limbs in four different directions. I think that was the loud sound that I heard in the middle of the night.

I hope we can survive three days together, because it will be Sunday afternoon before it gets above freezing.

Our tree in the front yard.

Our neighbor's small tree.

Our second tree!

Tree split in four directions.

One of our bushes in the front.