Sept. 29, 2020

The Challenges and Blessings of Parenting a Child with Special Needs with Lisa and Kevin Kolbe

Walk for a moment in the shoes of special guests Kevin and Lisa Kolbe as they help parents of children with special needs navigate the challenges and celebrate the successes that come with a life of selflessness. 

The entrepreneur and educator duo are excited to share their story to encourage and educate you with their personal experiences raising Elias, their youngest son with special needs. 

From dietary discoveries to educational insights to intentionality in the home, this episode will leave you confident and refreshed as you continue to choose joy every single day.

Key Takeaways:

There is no one-size-fits-all guide to raising a child with special needs. The best guide is experience and the experiences of others.
Clear communication and scheduling are key to smooth and seamless family planning.
Teaching styles should be based on learning styles; not every child learns the same way.
Find little increments or "inch-stones" of progress to celebrate and maintain a positive attitude. 

Questions? Visit

Want even more content? Visit the Parent Pacifier YouTube channel.

Visit Kevin Kolbe’s website:

Check out Kevin’s YouTube channel:

Watch Kevin’s “Max and Elias” video: Max and Elias

What to Listen for:

[03:55] Kevin and Lisa’s professional and family background

[08:40] How do you schedule family life with a special needs child?

[20:46] Balancing a career and business with the responsibility of caring for a special needs child

[29:05] Creating intentional family time in the midst of the world’s distractions

[45:00] Importance of support groups for parents of children with special needs


“Your schedule is out the window the minute they're born… When you have a special needs child, sometimes day to day, there is no normal, necessarily.” [8:05]

“If you don’t make time for your kids, the world will.” [38:00]

“We always said that if you if you start something, you can't quit, you've got to see it through. Because it's just too easy to try one time, and say, ‘now, I'm just no good at this’” [43:10]

“I can talk to other friends about things about him, and they can be as understanding as they can be, but there's just certain aspects that you don't get, unless you've, you know, really been through it.” [45:50]

{"version":"1.0.0","segments":[{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":0.0,"body":"He pushed a button. Yeah, you know, it's you know, and it's truly a celebration finding those things. We call them inch stones, because it's just little bitty increments, but he's making progress. And it's just celebrating those little things. Otherwise you just get, you know, so discouraged if you're like trying to compare, you know, him to somebody else, or even, you know, this week to last week, but it's like finding those accomplishments, whatever small they are, and celebrating them. We don't\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":34.0,"body":"want people to feel bad for even for Elias. I mean, he's told us more about life, probably than then a lot of people. But it's okay to say, Hey, you know, can I have a little help here?\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":45.0,"body":"That was Lisa and Kevin Colby, work from home parents, with multiple children, some older and one younger with special needs. And whether you have a special needs child at home or not. This episode is meant to encourage you. Because we all have these struggles, especially when we have to make decisions between giving all of our focus to our work, giving all of our focus to family. And that's really hard to do when all of that takes place under the same roof. Looking forward to what we can learn from Lisa and Kevin story, and gain some really incredible insights from some really incredible parents. Let's get into the episode.\n"},{"speaker":"Bumper ","startTime":88.0,"body":"Welcome to working home parents helping you find stability between client calls, and potty training. Because we're all figuring this out as we go. And now your hosts, Amanda and Dan Norton.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":106.0,"body":"Hey, glad to have you listening with us on episode four.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":110.0,"body":"Yeah, it's been one week since we launched and the feedback has been great. Seems like people are really loving the podcast art the picture of the cover of our podcast?\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":120.0,"body":"Yeah, it's hilarious. It's totally accurate. us working and our son is in the middle making up a devious plan to distract us or to pull the chords of us working. It's hilarious.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":136.0,"body":"Yeah, it seems like a lot of parents identify with that. So we're glad with that a lot of our episodes have actually been pretty serious or heavy up to this point, including today's where Lisa and Kevin Colby go into really the struggles of parenting a child with special needs, and not just the struggles but the blessings in it that they have as well. And and what we can all pull from that. But we do plan on having some fun, uplifting and today's is definitely uplifting, but they have some fun episodes, where we share some of our stories, or we share some other stories of other parents, and maybe even yours, if you have a funny story or you want to share something about being a parent working from home, you can go to our website working home And there's a little microphone button on the bottom right of the screen, whether you're on mobile or on desktop, and you could send us a voice message. And maybe it'll even end up on the show. Maybe we could talk about it or be able to feature you. So if you're interested in that head over to working home parents COMM And you can hit that microphone button and send us a message.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":198.0,"body":"Yes, definitely. So let's jump into our conversation with Lisa and Kevin Colby. Highly said Kevin, welcome to working home parents podcast. Thank you so much for joining us today.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":211.0,"body":"Thanks for having us on here. Hey, it's so great to have you both Lisa. It's great to get connected with you, Kevin, Kevin and I know each other really well. And you both have such an incredible inspiring story, you know, with you as parents and what you what you've been through with your family and you're working from home. So I think this is like a perfect I would love for you to share your story or a bit of your story.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":235.0,"body":"Well, we've been married\n\n20 something years.\n\nI know it's not 30 and I know it's more than 25 I think it's 2828 years Yeah, um, we were both originally from Nashville, Tennessee and met and after we'd been married a year moved to to North Carolina thinking we'd be here a few years and 27 years later and three kids and a mortgage and two vehicles. Here we are. You know, I'll let Lisa share a little bit more about her background in education and stuff but you know, I worked in radio and then television for a long time. And a few years ago my position was was cut as the media business goes and I had a business on paper and my some of my my god gifts are just creating and and leading and things like that. So I just decided to or was actually called to I guess, to just start my own business and so I just held up businesses and entrepreneurs with online video and marketing, it plays into that what I get to do, and it's fun to do, which is how Dan and I met through through a lot of these guests. And then and Lisa is her background is education. And she has the degree to prove she's smarter than me.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":317.0,"body":"Yes, I did my anger undergrad in\n\nearly childhood elementary education, certified K through eight, taught for several years and went back as I was teaching and worked on my master's, got a master's in supervision and administration of education, which in Tennessee, they will pay you for that you get an extra if you have a master's degree in a field that you're working in, and they will pay you for that in the classroom. You don't have to actually be in administration, but I was thinking, you know, for down the road, but then when we moved to North Carolina, you have to actually be in administration to get that extra bonus. But once we moved here, I wasn't able to get on full time. Because of the Masters in the experience, then I'd be at a higher pay grade. So worked for as a sub for a couple years. And then we were ready to start a family. We'd already talked about that. When that happened. We were wanting me to be able to stay home, and we were blessed to be able to do that. So\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":390.0,"body":"yeah, yeah. So she so you're, you've been on for a long time.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":395.0,"body":"Yeah, cuz it was actually before Brandon, that. Yeah, we started staying home. And he's 22.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":401.0,"body":"Yeah, so we have three kids. Our oldest is 22. Got married in May, the gods and dimick wedding just like so many people this year, or whenever this place, but you know, they they roll with it. We absolutely love his wife. In fact, when they were dating, we told them that if he if he screwed up and messed it up, we would just keep her. We had a good long life with him. So we thought it was time to give somebody else a shot. Got a daughter, and then our youngest son has special needs, which has been a completely different world that, you know, we didn't know anything about. So, but yeah, it's it's been a blessing. And amazing that that, you know, we've been afforded the opportunity for Lisa to work at home and be a working mom, she always still to this day will work harder than me. And then, like I mentioned earlier, you know, when the position went away, and just decided to start my own thing, it was like, so I'll just work out at home. So I have a home office studio here. And we've been kind of changing the layout of the house a little now. So I have my own private space, rather than a walkthrough dining room. That was a whole nother thing, you know, you had to work with. And then, you know, all of a sudden, schools are online and stuff like that. So it's it's, you know, I don't know, I mean, with having I mean, you chime in but having a special needs child. You. I mean, you guys have kids, so you know, your schedule is out the window, the minute they're born. Right. Um, but when you have a special needs child, it just you don't know sometimes day to day, there is no normal, necessarily. And I'm doing air quotes for people listening because I'm very visual.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":509.0,"body":"Yeah, yes.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":512.0,"body":"Yeah, I could imagine how, how much that mean, with us with a three year old, it's difficult. It's like, where do we figure those things out? How do you how do you plan? How do you schedule around? Or how do you schedule just family, family life? Well, you know, one thing that has been a huge blessing is me working from home. Because I mean, we said, you know, our Elias, as we call him a little dude\n\nis our special needs boy, and he\n\nyou know, there's been a couple of times where he's had a surgery or something like that, and I don't have to worry about taking off, right, I don't have to worry about going in and, you know, trying to get I mean, there's still work to do. But it's it's really been a blessing to be able to work at home and adjust even my day, to where you know, I'm getting up with him in the morning and getting him ready and starting the feeding or whatever. And then Lisa will jump in at that point and take over. But I think she's got probably more of the brunt from with him being at home and then teaching and then just taking care of him mostly while I'm trying to do other other stuff.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":584.0,"body":"Most the time, I mean scheduling can be very interesting. He's tube fed. And so he gets five feeds a day and those are very scheduled on time and then with three of those he has his seizure meds, so those have to be at that particular time, it can have some fluctuation in it. But then he's got\n\nthree different therapies that he has every week.\n\nAnd so whenever there's something else to be scheduled, it's like okay, well let's look at what time is therapy is what time is feeding is okay, we've got this window here and you know, try to fit things around that as much as we can. We can feed him, you know, out places, but it's much easier not to have to do that. But,\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":631.0,"body":"I mean, Lisa, Lisa doesn't travel that much at all. I mean, she likes to is pretty much just a homebody, a homebody but but even in those rare times, before, you know, everything, the pandemic hit, that she might go somewhere and be like, please write everything out. I mean, you know, I've got it taped to the to the cabinet. I've got copies everywhere, Daddy, no, you know, yeah, I've got all these arms set on my phone, because it's just like, Oh, you know? And then when she would go away for like, a women's retreat, everyone's gonna be like,\n"},{"speaker":"Unknown Speaker ","startTime":664.0,"body":"you're amazing.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":670.0,"body":"Yeah, I can't, I can't imagine because that same thing happens to me. She goes out for a few hours at night. And it's just, he's just a toddler. And it's like, What? Wait, how does this work? How do we do this out? I'm not incompetent with it. But it's like, I definitely understand that I could even imagine even more so.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":688.0,"body":"So you're mentioned some therapies that he gets several times a week you said, right. So what kind of therapy says does he do and do the specialist come to the house or do you have to do them yourself teaching him as well as teaching your children education and stuff.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":704.0,"body":"They right now, he has PT physical therapy, and we used to go there.\n\nBut since he's been in the Halo,\n\nshe's been coming here. And he gets ot occupational therapy. And we did find a company that they do come here. And then our speech therapist used to come here, but she's doing telehealth right now. So they each come once a week, or the speech then online once a week. And then they do things with him that I try to continue throughout the week. So it's a little bit about so it's kind of teaching me and show me what to do. pt right now is mainly stretches before and then when he gets recovers, he's about to have spinal surgery. So when he gets done with that has recovery, then they'll start getting him back up again, he was getting in a gait trainer. Most people will call a walker, or trying to get him to take steps and you know, teach him some form of mobility. So those are the kinds of things they do in PT and working on reach. Which some of it overlaps with ot the occupational therapy, they try to teach him like if there's certain things they can't do, then try to teach him other ways. So if I can't hold a pencil the conventional way, then how is he able to grip? And how what exercises can we do to strengthen his arms to help the reach and those kind of things?\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":801.0,"body":"Now, we had some we had some fun moments, though, when was it? When Caitlin is the physical therapist? So before she started coming here, it's like, hey, let's do the the the tele teletherapy. Right that a few weeks in and so it took both of us and what I realized my role was holding the laptop and moving the camera. So we could get Elias in the frame. And then Lisa, and then Caitlin could see stuff like that. So my role was was basically just a laptop holder. It was very interesting, but it took it took us all just to kind of get that session and we were very, I was very happy. When I found out she would come to the house. You know and another thing about Lisa's background too is being a teacher is that so our oldest went through public schools and then our daughter when she was sixth grade we pulled her and so she was homeschooled all the way through high school which which fell on Lisa but it it That's her strength and her gift and so it allowed her to kind of adapt that so she had already been kind of in it's different but kind of in that homeschool mode to a to a degree course now it's just completely different with you know, trying to keep Elias active and do this the the screen time and stuff like that.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":883.0,"body":"Yeah, real homeschoolers would not do not like the virtual schooling being called homeschooling, just like that is not homeschooling.\n\nIt's completely different.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":894.0,"body":"Can you describe that because I think a lot of our listeners Yeah, like they don't a lot of them. Maybe working from home for the first time. And then there's kids are not in school. So what would you say is the major difference between like virtual learning and homeschooling? Because I don't know the difference? I\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":911.0,"body":"yeah. Well, virtual learning, you still have the teacher there, giving the assignments going through lessons. And that kind of thing, making the curriculum choices. homeschooling and that varies state from state, each state has its own laws and regulations in North Carolina.\n\nYou pick your own curriculum,\n\nand you go, so if I wanted to say, okay, we're doing science, and we're gonna talk about plants, then we can make a garden and you know, just learn that way, I don't have to get a textbook and go through a certain thing. Even High School is like the credits that she earns, I say, when she's finished enough to graduate, there are the only credits you had to have the guidelines is if she wanted to go to college, then there even they say even the high schools here, it's not really you've got to get this done. Their standards are what you would need to be accepted into college.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":982.0,"body":"So I taught her things like how to add shows to your Netflix queue. Order of the actors who played Batman, neither one of those I don't think ever showed on the test.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":997.0,"body":"line at all, you had to do what you had to take attendance, you had to have a copy of shot record, and you had to give an accepted achievement test once a year. Other than that, it was wide open. So planning lessons, what are we going to do today? Is this gonna be a school day? Are we taking a field trip or you know, and getting funding, we finally found a homeschool group that we kind of meet up with so there's that social interaction. And so there's just it's completely different.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":1026.0,"body":"Yeah, sounds more flexible, you know, and, and geared to whatever, however your child learns, they know there's different learning styles. I was actually, my first year of college, I was actually studying elementary education. And it was then that I realized, and I learned that there's different learning styles. And, and that was really intense. I'm like, wow, like, how does the teacher plan a whole lesson gearing to all these different learning styles, it's overwhelming. And then everybody learns differently. And some people may be, you know, a little behind, and then you're like, you feel like all that pressure to, to get them ahead. And I don't know, it just, that is what kind of steered me away. I'm like, I don't know if I can handle that stress. I need I'm in social work, which is also stressful.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":1075.0,"body":"It's hard on the teacher, and I think it's gotten even worse in the last several years, because that so much is put on them and keeping up with tests and benchmarks and dah, dah, dah, dah, and it's like, and that's why we took our daughter out is like her learning style. It just the school didn't work for her. And it was like when she came home and said, I'm trying as hard as I can. And I'm still not getting it, then why do I keep trying? Well, and the other things like\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1103.0,"body":"yeah, done well. Another things we noticed too, is that she was having frequent headaches. And and she's always struggled with anxiety and the headaches went away. And her confidence, her confidence just soared. And you know, and I and I realize not every You're right. I mean Amanda not every style fits every body. I mean, you know, our oldest son did fine. did great. Um, but we kept telling her that you know, there's there's nothing wrong with you. It's just the type school that Brandon our oldest went to that type of learning. Does it fit? You? It's not made for you.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":1148.0,"body":"But even with that he found out you know, I can just skirt and get by? I don't think he Yeah, he won't be. He didn't perform to his potential in high school.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1157.0,"body":"Yeah, yeah. But I didn't either. So I guess that was my legacy.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":1163.0,"body":"Yeah, I was definitely not a school person. I always say I had no school spirit. One of the things where Amanda and I are youth counselors and in our youth group at our church we we play what was the game we always play? Never have I ever so Never have I ever where it's basically you're in a circle and you have to say something that you've never done and whoever has done it has to get up and you guys sit in the chair or something right. So mine was always like Never have I ever had school spirit. Like because I've not a school person. My sister is a schoolteacher, she loves school. But absolutely, you know, stressful and especially stressful right now with everything going on for her. But that's where do you see there there is a huge opportunity when you can do homeschooling especially you're saying, like the practical learning that you can do that you just wouldn't get in a school environment is really cool. There's that. So having that opportunity if you're able to work from home, or at least have one spouse that does and then be able to do homeschooling in that way that that's such a great opportunity.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":1231.0,"body":"Yeah, yeah, we did a lot of homework.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":1234.0,"body":"That was my favorite class. I got to make mac and cheese. I got to cook because at home my parents would just, I'm so sorry.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":1242.0,"body":"Yep. Talking about working from home.\n"},{"speaker":"Unknown Speaker ","startTime":1244.0,"body":"Got our tickets.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":1246.0,"body":"Right? It is. Yep, exactly. How is it? Especially Kevin, for you? balancing like your, your own business? Right? And then being there and taking care of your son? How is that for you? Like, is it? Is it difficult for you? Do you feel like you're, you're able to give yourself to both of those Do you feel like it's hard to because that's one of the biggest challenges to working from home is that you feel it's often that you feel like you can't give 100% to each thing like you want to do you ever have you ever had a time where you've gone through that? constantly?\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1275.0,"body":"Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's a battle and and, you know, there's that. And, and, and what I struggle with sometimes is am I being selfish, you know, cuz it's like, I want to help, I need to help. I'm right in the middle of something. Probably before the year started, I was already trying to pivot my business to do more coaching and teaching and consulting anyway, and less hands on out there. You know, there's, there's like one of me, you know, there's a whole world out there, that's a way better than me. So I didn't want to compete with all those guys. But But yeah, I mean, there's, there's times where I'm, I mean, if I schedule a like, one of the things we started doing is, is making sure we were sharing our calendar, we're both on Google. And so Lisa would put all the appointments in whether they applied to me or not, and then I could see them, and then I would say, okay, the ones I really need to be at, even if it's just a telehealth thing, then let me know, and I'll make sure that's blocked out on my calendar. And then I had to learn to like, block time before and after. So I didn't get booked for a call or something like that. I learned the hard way. When people were trying to book me it's like, no, that shouldn't show open. Okay, does Okay, let me let me block that. But then there are those times where I mean, you know, so Elias went on a keto diet.\n\nbeginning of the summer. Yeah, it was\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":1363.0,"body":"it was April Yeah, we're supposed to do in March and they\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1367.0,"body":"are cold. And and the reason is, is because keto has so so he he has had high seizures are allied. Let me let me say this way he has seizures. There's no typical seizure, there's no typical day, he might go day not have any might go day to have two or three, they might last a minute, or, you know, a couple of minutes or whatever. But he was having them. And so he's on seizure medicines, but we kept hearing we tried different things like CBD oil and over the counter, and then it got for what he asked he has Linux gas syndrome is the technical name. And that was one of the things approved by the FDA. Um, but it gave him horrible side effects. He was in the hospital five times in two months. And so we said, okay, he's off that. And we kept hearing keto, keto. And so so he went on a keto keto diet. And since he's too fed lately, so mention there is a keto formula that we can add via to so again, you know, a guy straight\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":1430.0,"body":"up I still have to make Yes,\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1432.0,"body":"yeah. And yeah, well, and yeah, and that's something it is a lot easier than having to prepare the meals and stuff that kids who eat orally but and I'm probably getting getting off topic, but that is something else that a new dynamic that was was added to it. So the keto like that, like his formula before would come in boxes, you know, just imagine a little bitty like energy boxes. I don't know how to describe like, Sure, yeah. And so you know, they didn't have to be refrigerated and we could pop one in his tube and have it ready. But with the keto, we have to make it up. It doesn't live more than 24 hours. So that's been part of her routine now in the morning is she's having to mix this fresh batch that just gets us through the day. So that's added to the plate. And I don't say any of this as a complaint. It's just something we've had to do. But what happened though, is we kept hearing Kido was really instrumental in cutting seizures. And it has been I mean, oh my word since he since he's been on it, he might have had five Wow, it's amazing. Yeah. I say all that to say before that, you know, if I was in the middle of something now, it also, you know, my office was on our first floor, which is where most of the action was going on. And so if he was going to enact a seizure, I may have to drop everything I'm doing to help, you know, or something like that. So that has been a huge change in our, in our routine. I mean, he could still have them, but not as much. But yeah, there's, there's those times where it's like, I know, and I know, Lisa has felt that it's like, I know you, you need to be doing work things. And it's like, Yeah, but I, you know, I need to be helping with this and things like that. But I mean, when, when he had the halo put on and and if people are listening at Halo, just imagine a, a round looks, it looks like a round metal ring around his head that has he has 10 pins going into his head, because of his scoliosis has gotten so bad. And then he's in traction, that's making him straighter prior to the spinal fusion surgery, and the week, he was in the hospital for that, I had two shoots. And I edited both while sitting in the hospital room with her. And you know, that between the, you know, you got your headphones on, the nurses are coming in, plus I go and I try cuz she stays at the hospital, she won't leave. And so I go and give her relief, she can take a shower, or take a nap and stuff like that. So those are the, you know, the things and bring you food, but even driving home, man, I you know, I needed to get home and do some stuff, but you feel bad. But I think I think parents, you know, you do what you have to do. And you make it work. And and I mean, the the huge blessing we've had is me being able to change my schedule as as I can. Sometimes I couldn't sometimes I'd have to do the shoot and things like that. But I've also been blessed with clients that understand, you know, one of my best clients is also a friend and she's like, No, we'll do it. You know, don't worry about it. You know, I'm so sorry, this is taking a full day. And I'm like, No, no, you're paying me Don't apologize. You're my client.\n\nAlso mom, and she gets it.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":1638.0,"body":"But it used to be that I could take him places by myself get his wheelchair in and out, get him in and out. Then he grew and got a bigger chair. And I can't lift it out of the van by myself. So then it's like, Okay, if some money can't go with me, or if there's not somebody there that I can say, you know, can they come out and help me then almost had to have him with me. And so that changed about the time I think you started staying home? Yeah,\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1668.0,"body":"yeah. And then a lot of that works. Yeah. Funny how that works. Yeah. Coincidence? No.\n\nBut I am. But a lot of times, it will be like, how long do you think the appointment will last? And I'm what I'm trying to do sometimes is do I need to take my laptop?\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":1683.0,"body":"Yeah, you know, I think that's the biggest, the hardest thing, working from home when you have your own business, because you don't have set hours, you don't have these times, but especially in your position where it's like, you've got a son, especially if there's a lot of important hard stuff that needs to be done. That needs both of your attention, if possible. It's this internal battle that we face. And it's like I even face it myself. Not to the extent that you both face that in there. But But just like, hey, when do I make a choice between? am I sitting here and doing this work? Or when I could visibly see I mean, we're in a one bedroom apartment, My office is in the corner of our living room. So like I see everything. Yeah. And it's very hard to have that where Amanda is employed. So she has these set hours has to be and she's often on the phone with a lot of things. So there's almost like this mindset of Okay, her her things can't change, you know, but but my mind can change change around. So it makes it very hard when you're trying to make that decision of do I do this? Or do I do this? And I don't think it ever gets easier. And I think in your position that's that's got to be just even so much harder.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":1749.0,"body":"Well, and you know, I mean, even before, I guess, before the kids were kids, they you know, we always said that we want to set boundaries and parameters. And I mean, even when the kids were really little our oldest son and daughter, you know, we said look, we're always as long as we can ever control this knowing that one day they'd get older and would want to be around us we will always have dinner as a family. Whatever not dinner, maybe you know, and there's no phones at the table. And this is when we had a landline phone rings like nope, we're not answering it and then drove them crazy because they want to know who's calling it's like no matter you know. And we would do things as a family you know, we would have our time together we would you make sure we're going to church together we would have fun or we would go on vacations that You know, we weren't having to spend a lot of money just be together. But even now, with, you know, our oldest house, everything like that with lice is I try, there's been, you know, occasionally where I'm working on a project, I got to take a little longer, but I try and say, Okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna shut down by a certain time. I'm like, like, one of the times that a licensee, it's around 630. So it's like, okay, I'll try to stop by then. So then I can start feeding, even if I go back on my laptop for a little bit, you know, but, um, I, I don't try and schedule any client stuff. In the evenings, we try and just relax with television or whatever, it's usually me just falling asleep with the remote. And, but then we've even done things like, you know, I decided quite a while ago that on Sundays, I would just go like, social media dark on Sundays that I had to, and I don't, I just I don't, you know, I don't check it at all, at all. Um, and, you know, that's why I'm wishing people bladed birthdays on Mondays on Facebook, but it's just, you have to make those breaks. And we've and there's other things we've done, too, but, you know, parameters are good boundaries are good, you know, we wanted our kids to see that growing up, that, you know, it's okay to unplug and say no to things. You know, and, and that carries over into it to work sometimes, too. I mean, there was somebody that was really trying to schedule me for something a demo or something. When one week went, Elias was in the hospital, I said, I can't, I can't do it, you know, and, and they, I think they finally got it. These are awesome tips. I've been writing down what you're saying. I like what you first said about sharing calendars earlier with your spouse, I think that's such a good communication tool. When you have your own business working from home or you know, your stay at home mom, like just being, you know, open and honest. And saying this is where I need you. This is, you know, this is super important to be at or just being in good communication. That's huge. We also found once where I was actually doing my calendar wrong. And so like, like, once I had a live stream scheduled or something like that, and then you scheduled something, you said, Well, I didn't see it on your calendar. I'm like, well, it's right here. And then we realized, okay, women, women, I'm using my calendar wrong. So I had to change the way I used it, which, you know, takes like, what, like five extra seconds, and then now she can see my account. So I try, I tried to get better about blocking out time, you know, further in advance, you know, like I do a live stream show every other Friday with E cam. So that's on my calendar, and I've blocked times around it. So she can see it if she's trying to book something that I need to be a part of, or she needs to break or something like that. So it's huge. It's, it's, you know, it seems like such an easy thing. That once we finally did it, it's like, oh, this is snap. This is like, this is huge.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":1980.0,"body":"I also love what you said about setting those boundaries, such as a time to sit down as a family to have dinner, you know, I think a lot of us got so used to just me and him being on different schedules sometimes, you know, I wouldn't sit down and eat with him and I want Yeah, like I want our son to see that this is such an important time. If I come if I get off of work at five o'clock, and he still he's on the computer Finally, because he's been with my son all day, you know, I want him to stop you know, even if he just hopped on I want him to sit and you know, have that time so we could share a meal together. I love that. Even in quarantine right now we're still not able to do a lot of things. So just doing things that don't cost a lot of money. You know, doing things together as a family is huge. Making that family time really big priority is is really important. And now with quarantine I feel like it's giving us that opportunity even more you know to be home and\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2034.0,"body":"one you know other things that we did and I don't think we're I know other other parents do this too. But you know is that I mean still to this day our 22 year old son we will hey I love you I love you. And you know always saying that us saying that every every night in bed. I don't know how we got into that like the three little kisses right before we go to bed. Or if I fall asleep it's like I wake ups did I kiss you via\n\nbut it's\n\nYeah, it's good.\n\nAnd we're gonna we need to report back on one.\n\nBut, you know, always making sure that you know, the kids here love not just see it because we wanted them to know so we're always telling them and you know, and even Elias I mean, with his maybe limited understanding and learning. We explained everything to him, you know, maybe on a simple level but you know, constantly telling you know him and he's very expressive. He's very ticklish.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2096.0,"body":"You know, I think he understands a lot more than sometimes people give him\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2100.0,"body":"credits. Yeah, that's true. Yeah. Yeah. But I think that's, you know, yummy. Thankfully, our son doesn't ever he feels embarrassed. He's just not telling us. I mean, you know, he doesn't want his picture taken. But he, you know, it's still that, you know, we love each other and we enjoy. I mean, we don't hang out as much as we did is got new bride but you know we I think that was the other thing we did anytime\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2124.0,"body":"we talked though on the phone or when he's here before you leave while he says goodbye. He says I love you. Yeah,\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2130.0,"body":"yeah. And the other thing we did is we in, we always tried to make sure that we weren't spending too much time with one of the other kids. Now obviously, when allies came along. They knew that he's going to take more of our attention because he has special needs. But I remember every summer, Brandon and I would go on a fishing trip a trip like to the beach, you know, and then Ashton, I would take trips and then I would try it, you know, I try to do stuff with ally so it was a little different. But then Lisa would do cooking nights so they would get to pick and we knew every other Friday we were gonna have shrimp scampi cuz that's all Brandon would cook him scampi. And make apple Yeah, but it was good. But I think it's, you know, making sure you're also having that one on one time with your kids. You know, so one of the things that lice and I do, and it was a little harder to do with his Halo thing on, but we found a way as we cuddle every night. No, you know, he and I, he we were doing it after his last feeding. And now because he has to sit up while he's eating, you know, now because of the traction and stuff. But he and I will cuddle on the couch. And he would get to the point where well can I fall asleep, but he's awake. Um, I have to position myself where he doesn't fall off the couch. But he would he would start because he's not verbal, but he can make sounds because he was wanting to cuddle. And he would do that until I pick him up. They'd be like, Hey, you know, it's if you don't, you know, excuse me, if you don't make time for the for your kids, the world will period. Even even when they get older, you know, letting them know, just, you know, our daughter was going through something the other day, and we used to have our song growing up was Nicole Norman brave. And she had a test or something that day. And so I just sent her a text and I say remember this, and sent her the music video. And she's like, Thanks, Dad, I love\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":2251.0,"body":"you. That is so sweet. And good point. You know, even if you're working from home, we all use the excuse of being so busy, but using that time that you get as breaks to be there with your family and to do things like that know, exactly. Know, get to know your kids more, you know, and what they like what they don't like and and meeting their needs, you know, emotionally and, and everything spiritually, whatever. You know, that is so cool. Thank you for sharing those awesome tips.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":2282.0,"body":"Yeah, I love what you said there. If you don't make time for your kids, the world will. It's so spot on. That's exactly exactly what it is. You know, if you're if you're like Kevin and I were building our own businesses, it's very easy to let ourselves get sucked into that and, and let that dominate. You know, our lives, even though we're doing it for our families, right like that. Is there that baby motivation or that baby inspiration that we get when we've had our kids? And it's like, nothing more motivating, nothing more inspiring to like, finally get something going. And we go like, why didn't I do this years before when it would have been so much easier? Right? Yeah, um, but,\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2320.0,"body":"but there's a line of learning to write.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":2322.0,"body":"Yeah, and there's nothing like that motivation that you have from that. But in that same way we can get so sucked in to doing that and forget to spend that time and even like you were saying, Lisa is like, you know, he knows more than we than anyone probably thinks he does. Right. And I think that's true for most of our kids, especially if you've got toddlers and, and you know, little ones, too, that they probably know more than you think they do. And they're observing way more than you think. More\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2349.0,"body":"than you realize until you\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":2351.0,"body":"and I'm sure Elias as well. You know, the things that he's probably observing and absorbing that that many probably don't even realize that you would realize in that moment, that's so powerful.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2362.0,"body":"You know, I mean, we can always look back, I think as parents and say, oh, man, you missed an opportunity here. I didn't do something there or whatever. But, you know, I mean, I grew up, I don't have any brothers or sisters. And I when I was really young, I didn't understand the whole process. You know, and so I would tell my parents, hey, why, you know, just go get me a brother. You know, of course, I always wanted a younger brother that I could bully and boss around. So that whole concept it wasn't you know, I really, really wanted a brother. You know, I wouldn't want to follow me around and go You're so cool. Let me alone. That was my concept of having a brother and but I remember spending time together. I remember hanging out on the couch watching TV. I remember going on vacations, I remember doing things I remember them B being at the ballgames my mother who still doesn't understand anything about sports. All she knew when I was playing baseball was run, run, run, catch a catch, or catch it hit, hit hit, and it was always in threes. You know, thankfully, when I was trying to catch it as when she was yelling that, but I think, you know, even with our kids, we didn't try and push them into sports, but we tried to expose them to different things, music, we have music going all the time. And I think because it will Elias Elias responds to music. I mean, to the point where you'll see him beating sometimes with the beat, you know, we were watching. Oh, it was the the the country music, the Ken Burns documentary. And I forgot which which part it was, and you look over there, and Elias is beating his hand to the beat of one of the songs. You know, so, you know, she can play piano and she can sing, she was actually in a group and did what two CDs. Um, I can play Spotify, that's my musical background. But some, but we still have music going all the time. And, and, you know, going to concerts and movies and things that when we did, just to letting kids see other things out there, you know, and then around, we took him to see stomp. And this is when they were little and as it starts, they were like, Is this it? I'm gonna just just chill just and by the end of it, man. They're jumping in the aisle, and they're banging on the seat, you know? And things like Blue Man Group and stuff like that. And all of a sudden, they were like, wow, it's actually kind of cool, you know, but then realizing they're completely different. You know, our oldest is still an outdoorsy kind of guy loves making stuff does not like being on camera at all. At all. He's a behind the scenes kind of guy, our daughter, oh, you can't take enough pictures. She was a model and a star and other things like that.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2530.0,"body":"And even growing up I mean, of course, the always the Christmas play at church. You know, Brandon, he wanted to be involved. But he did not want to be up on that stage. Yeah. And there was one children's minister one time that was like really pushing Oh, yeah, the more you'll do it, the more. And so she gave him his big part. And he he did it. But he hated every minute of it. And I was like, I'm not pushing him like that again. Now he knows that's not where he's comfortable. So then, and at another church, the children's minister was great. She was like, Okay, what can What does he want to do? And I was like, you know, just behind the scenes, so she'd have him do lights. This scene, you turn this light on, you turn it off. And so he felt involved, he was a part of it happy, but he didn't have to be in front of people. She wanted the biggest role she could get. Yeah, I mean, you know, put me on that stage in front of everybody. And, you know, I mean, like,\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2587.0,"body":"he was more athletic than she was, but he she was probably more creative art wise than, than him of the target of the two oldest. And then, you know, we always said that if you if you start something, you can't quit, you've got to see it through. Because it's just too easy to try one time, and say, Now, I'm just no good at this. And there was only one time where we made an exception with our daughter. We got on she wanted to try basketball, but they put on our team that that was older because they didn't have enough kids for her age group. And, and she didn't have enough girls.\n"},{"speaker":"Unknown Speaker ","startTime":2621.0,"body":"Yeah.\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2622.0,"body":"And so they just did a big mix of teams. And so it's like kindergarten through fifth grade.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2626.0,"body":"And it was like, and after, after just a couple of games and practices. We took a picture, she was in line and you could see just she was terrified and crying on her face. I was like, so we gave her the option. If she wanted to stop. She could but otherwise, if they took piano lessons, whatever I mean, you got to finish it. If you're going to start a sport, you got to finish it, because otherwise, it's okay to get through it and decide, you know, maybe that's not where I want to go. But it's just too easy to you know, even quit before you try. We\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2655.0,"body":"found out that on the league they were on. They did the big tent tunnel form to run through with the smoke and everything. And I think she was wanting to do that more than actually playing again.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2667.0,"body":"Because they're cheering\n"},{"speaker":"Unknown Speaker ","startTime":2670.0,"body":"She sounds awesome.\n"},{"speaker":"Amanda Norton ","startTime":2671.0,"body":"I was gonna ask like what kind of resources that you could recommend for you know, children like Elias, you know, any resources that have been amazingly helpful for you guys, that maybe our listeners haven't don't know that are out there. And how did you get in touch with that?\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2690.0,"body":"Yes, probably the one we that was most beneficial was the cdsa with early intervention. They worked for Birth the three year olds once something is identified, and they come to the home and start early, and then they can start preschool when they're three, through special ed services, so that was probably the most beneficial thing. And it was actually our social worker that got him started in that when we first got here, and the other thing that's probably been most beneficial to me, is just a network of moms. The school that he's at, all the moms are the parents, but the moms especially are very involved. And before all this hit, we would get together and just go out, you know, for dinner every few months, and just having that support is has really been great. And you know, we'll get a text one day going, I'm having a horrible day. And then you know, it's just encouragement to each other and that kind of thing. So it's just knowing the parents that, you know, get it. Yeah, I mean, I can talk to other friends about things about him. And they can be as understanding as they can be, but there's just certain aspects that you don't get, unless you've, you know, really been through it that, you know, absolutely trying to work with him on a skill and he's getting it and he's getting in the next day. It's like, what, you know, and those frustrations, it's like, so there's having that group of people that really, really get it.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2784.0,"body":"Yeah, I think the key would be, I think this again, for any parent, but especially those that might have special needs, or something like that is just, you know, find support groups, even Facebook, or, you know, your church or somewhere like that school, like the the moms and stuff like that. And don't hesitate to see if you can join it, don't hesitate to ask questions. Don't hesitate to, to, to suggest things, you know, I mean, it's amazing. How much you know, it's just it's it, the whole special needs world is just is just crazy. I mean, things cost more sometimes, you know, because there maybe has to be more technology put into it sometimes. It's just, you know, and again, that's not a wine wine wine thing. It's just a reality thing, but also realizing that it's okay to try things and then we'll, we'll have an idea and somebody go, Well, how did you do that? I mean, I remember going to Disney, we finally saved up, we took the kids to Disney, you would think we just said oh, wow, you know, we're this, you know that we're going to live there. It was that exciting, right? Ice was young. And of course, we went in August, because we thought, you know, it won't be that hot. Right? You know? Yes, yeah, go to Disney World, you get the best rates. And we found out that year that the only hottest other place was the surface of the sun. research showed that. And then second was disney world and in August. But anyway, so we went, we had found this little pop up umbrella that screwed into a to a bracket on his wheelchair. And I don't know how many families stopped us and said, Where did you find that? Where we've been looking for something like that. And I don't know where it was Amazon or somewhere. But those little things that you don't even think about. So you know, I mean, it could also be just families need to start their own support group so they can have people be a part of it. And just don't be afraid to invite people in. So they understand. Not we've never we don't want people to feel bad for even for Elias. I mean, he's told us more about life, probably than then a lot of people. But, you know, but it's okay to say hey, you know, can I have a little help here? Can can let me let me suggest something. And it's just you learn through your kids too. Wow.\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":2921.0,"body":"Yeah. So my and that. And I think that even answered my question. So I would have been like, what would be one piece of encouragement that you could give to, you know, parents struggling with a child with special needs or a new parent in that?\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":2933.0,"body":"Well, I mean, thing, another thing we've learned to do is just celebrate just the little bitty I mean, it does is you know, somebody else, you know, he pushed a button. Yeah, you know, it's, you know, and it's truly a celebration. It's not just good job, honey, you know, and it is like finding those things. We call them inch stones. Because it's just little bitty increments, but he's making progress and it's just celebrating those little things. And otherwise you just get you know, so discouraged if you're like trying to compare, you know, him to somebody else, or even you know, this week to last week, but it's like finding those accomplishments, whatever small they are, and celebrating them. That's so\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":2983.0,"body":"good. I know that Kevin, you've made like a documentary video right? Was it with with a lie? Yeah, there was there\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":2988.0,"body":"was a video that I did call Max and Elias and it was Max was his buddy at school, fifth grade and Safety Patrol and it when I saw How max treated Elias and the other kids good. I thought, Man, I just need to do a video about that. So, I mean, one of the things that's on my do list one day is I do want to do some kind of short documentaries, something like that about his life, you know, tend to hopefully inspire others and teach other people but that when I'm just collecting now but yeah, that that's a video on YouTube on my channel called Max and Elias you know, you can share the link if you want but yeah, it was it was good to see Max, you know, and more people like man, we need to be like Max,\n"},{"speaker":"Lisa Kolbe ","startTime":3032.0,"body":"it clicked with him with Elias when he realized they were almost the same age. Yeah, I mean, it was like realizing wow, you know, not just some distant person over there but actually a kid my age just he's just in a wheelchair.\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":3046.0,"body":"There's like no big deal\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":3048.0,"body":"right? Well yeah, definitely check out the show notes at working on parents comm slash four you'll be able to see a link I'll include the link in the show notes and then check out all of Kevin's stuff he's got great stuff online if you're interested in building your business and doing video Kevin is an amazing resource and in the things that he can he can teach you and we'll share more of that in the in the link so your your YouTube channel is that slash Kevin homie? Yep, yeah, so you could you check that out go look for that video. And and see that And hey, if you want Kevin to make this documentary, just message him on like LinkedIn or not like a facebook or instagram or twitter and tell him you want to see the documentary cuz that's me. That's me. I yeah, I'd love to see that. Thank you both so much for you\n"},{"speaker":"Kevin Kolbe ","startTime":3093.0,"body":"guys know, thank you guys for doing this. When when Dan, when I found out you were doing this, I thought Oh, dang, this is so cool. And then you know, asking us that it was an honor to be on your podcast. Thank you. Well, I\n"},{"speaker":"Daniel Norton ","startTime":3105.0,"body":"hope you enjoyed Episode Four, with Lisa and Kevin Colby, what an encouraging inspiring couple. And just a reminder, All the links mentioned including the video from Kevin will be at working home slash four. That's where you'll find the show notes and transcription and more at working home slash four. I just want to let you know, I appreciate you for being a listener and supporter. So if you haven't already, remember to hit subscribe, and we look forward to talking to you in the next episode.\n"},{"speaker":"Bumper ","startTime":3141.0,"body":"Thank you for listening to working home parents find show notes links mentioned and more at working home\n\n"}]}