Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here I was Thinking

The last couple of days I have been experiencing some behaviors with Rita. She is usually the one that is very happy and flexible. She is the girl who is very easy going and usually listens very well.


The last couple of days, we have experienced a complete opposite Rita. She has been more defiante and throwing a little more tantrums. She has shown that she definitely needs more affection because she is sitting or laying on me everytime I sit down.

Well, last night (Friday) we went to the movies to see High School Musical 3. We did a girl's night out with all the Baxter girls. Rita had a hard night. She threw a tantrum in the theatre and acted very needy. I am not complaining about her, but trying to show how she is never like this.

I was thinking the whole time......this must be adoption related behaviors.

Well, today Rita ended up with a very bad headache and soon to follow a very high fever. It's the type of fever you know it's a virus. So, here I was thinking her behavior was adoption related and really it's virus related. All my kids are like this. As something is coming on, they have a really hard couple of days, and then BOOM - a fever or vomitting.

It's hard to sometimes decide if the girls behavior is adoption related, just plain being a child, or getting sick. I just do my best by listening to them and then try to decide and go with it.

So now that Rita has a fever, we will be watching for all the children and their fever that I am sure is coming. I do have 4 hours of sick leave built up. It has been 3 months that I have had minus sick hours, so of course as I get 4 then someone is sure to get sick. Oh well, that's what it is there for. :)


Friday, October 17, 2008

Parenting Tips

One of my dearest friend, Jennine, is doing a parenting tip post on her blog. She has some other fabulous moms participating by giving 3 parenting tips. You can go to her blog to see other parenting tips.

I have thought a lot of my 3 parenting tips that I could give and it was difficult but here are the 3 that I have chosen to share:

#1 Parenting NEVER stops!
It doesn't matter the age of your child, parenting advice, love, and encouragement never goes away. It's the same with God. It doesn't matter how old you are, God will always be there for you to listen to you, to give you advice, and to give encouragement by opening doors for you.

#2 Always end a difficult time with a child by reassuring your love for that child!
No matter how angry you get at your child for making the wrong decision, being defiante,or being disrespectful; always let your child know you love him/her.

#3 Be Involved with your child. . . .No matter what age!
I believe with always being involved with your child and his/her life. Adult life can get out of hand if you allow it. I have made that mistake often, but I do my best with always reminding myself about being involved with my children. I spend time talking to them, dancing with them, singing with them, swimming with them, etc.

#4 You are never to old for a kiss from MOM!
I just had to add this one because I think it is so important. I don't ever want my children to feel like they are to old to recieve a kiss from me. That is Mom's job to always kiss her children! :) I love the fact that Karleigh who is in the 6th grade, will still expect graciously a kiss from daily and nightly. I love that she doesn't feel like she is to old for one. :0)

Parenting is so hard and it is a daily committment to the children you care for. I am not the best parent, but I sure do try my hardest to be. The one goal I hope my children remember about me is how I was a good mom who cared for my children by loving them!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Ghana" Pick our Pumpkins

Sunday after church, we went to Schnefp's Farm. This has been a tradition where we go and pick our pumpkins each year. We started about 5 years ago. This year we went with our good friends: the Davidison family and my brother's family.

This farm has all kinds of fun things for the children to do:

1. We got our faces painted.

2. We rode the Merry-Go-Round!

Even Selina rode it with Mom and big brother!

3. Roller coaster - here we come!

***It's really exciting that I now have some children that LOVE riding the roller coaster. They rode it 5-6 times that day. I can't wait for Disneyland! :)

4. The big swings really got the workout! Most of the children rode this ride until we left. It seemed to be the most popular with our kiddos.

5. Finally, we made our way to the pumpkins. Each child got to pick out their own pumpkin. This was a challenge to take a picture. It was so dark, so I didn't know what was going to show up on the camera. :) We are going to decorate them a couple of days before Halloween.

Rita is the one who picked the biggest pumpkin of all! She hasn't even seen the movie "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown"!

This was a really fun but exhausting day. We all got home around 7:30 pm and ate dinner. Right after dinner, all the children went into their room and were out like a light within 10 minutes. I was shocked because in the call they all seemed to be wide awake.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Apology

As I look back at the last couple of months, I am very ashamed and embarrassed at how I have acted in some situations. I am not quite sure why I have treated the people I have treated badly or why I have been so out spoken when I shouldn't have. It's not like me at all!

I do have a strong emotional personality, but I have learned to tame it and be more loving and encouraging to people through God's help, of course.

I sit and think about:
What would make me say something to someone to hurt their feelings?
Why I am being so straight to the point?
What is going on for me to feel like I can treat people this way?

I think of "excuses" like PMS, overloaded at work, exhausted, etc. I do think those are contributors, but I don't want to except those as excuses to my behavior.

About a month ago, I had a friend ask me, "When are you going to be back to yourself?". I was shocked at that question. At the time, I didn't know what he was talking about. So after school one day, I asked him what he meant by that comment. He told me that I used to be happy and always smiling and now I don't smile and always seem to be tired. Yes, tired I am, that's for sure. So lately I have been really thinking about this and how I am now.

I usually am a strong person, but as I think back in the last couple of months, I am not sure where my strength has gone. I do have to say that with this fall break, I feel like I have gain some of it back. I have quite drinking Starbucks (which is huge for me), I have gone to the gym the last 2 weeks, I have become a better mom (in my eyes), I have become a better wife (again in my eyes).

Side note on Starbucks: I absolutely love drinking their frozen coffee drinks daily, but for me I would get a good booster of energy in the morning but at lunch time, I would fall flat on my feet. So then I would have to get a diet coke or something with caffine. So during my Fall Break, I stopped altogher with drinking Starbucks. I went through the headaches and tireness, but I can honestly say I feel so much more awake and clear headed since I stopped drinking it.

Back on topic. My friend, Jennine, wrote a post of forgiveness from the Oprah show the other day. I took time tonight to fully read it (go to Going Ghana Gone on my side bar for her blog). What sticks out to me from her post is the aggressiveness that you show someone/people when you haven't forgiven a person. She listed behaviors and ways to forgive. I am not sure who I need to forgive. Maybe I have a underlining person that I need to forgive. Maybe it's things from my childhood that I need to forgive. I don't know, but it is something I need to dive into more to see what and why I have acting in this manner.

As for now, I do want to apologize to you if I have offended you, hurt your feelings, not been respectful towards you, not been loving towards you, and/or been negative by my words or actions. Again, it is something that I am very ashamed and embarrassed about, but hopefuly I can make things right again.

Our pastor spoke last week on Holliness. The one thing he said that I have been really thinking about is being right with God and laying the burdens on him, so I can have light instead of darkness. When I tuck my children in at night and give them a kiss, I want to know I am in the light, not the dark.

My prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, please take this darkness out of my life. Help me to live the way you want and have planned for me to live. Lord, I ask for your forgiveness and Bless the ones that have forgiven me. Please help me to make things right with people I haven't treated well. Lord, I need your guidance and strength to get out of this dark part of the world, for some reason I am in, and show me the light that comes from only You. I love and adore you Lord. In Your name, Amen.


Last REAL Day of Fall Break

Today was my REAL last day of our Fall Break. I am taking a class that is tomorrow and Friday. The class is all day long. So today was it, my last day of Fall Break!

It was a good day to end the break. I went to one of my friend's college class and spoke to her class about teaching. Came home and ate lunch with the children. Then I went to social security to get the girls their ss card. After that, I went to my grandmother's house to pick her up for a dinner date. We went and ate Mexican food. I just love my grandmother. We ate and laughed so much. It was such a great dinner. Finally, I went shopping at Lakeshore (teaching store) all by myself. I spent an hour just looking at everything. I bought the kids somethings to do with writing and a sight word center for Rita and Racheal.

As I reflect back on this Fall Break, I really feel pretty good. I didn't get my house cleaned. I didn't get my house organized as well as I would like to have. I didn't begin a house project.

But.......I did play with the children!

Everyday I made it a point to go somewhere and do something as a family. We played at different parks, swam at a different pool, saw a movie, decorated our house for Halloween, BOO'ed people, bought my favorite lotion, participated in a hamster race at Petco, and played with our guinea pigs! It was so fun and relaxing! I loved every minute of it. I feel like I really connected with the children again. For some reason, I feel like I wasn't as connected as I wanted to be due to coming home from Africa exhausted and going back to work pretty quickly.

So I feel like I was a good MOM this time and I feel like I accomplished a lot with my children even though, if you were to come into my house, you would see a mess. :)At this point, I don't care as much because my kids and husband are happy because they had ALL of me!

Now, the tricky part of this is keeping it up with going back to work next week. I have been really thinking about how to jungle all this and my thoughts are I have to have discipline with the amount of time I spend at school. I need to set a time to leave work and actually do it! I will let you know at the end of next week, how that plan is going. If you have any suggestions that you would like to share, I would love to hear them. I want to stay a good MOM and not let my job to consume me. I am praying about it and I feel at peace about it. I feel like I am ready to go and tackle the field of being a full time teacher and a MOM! :)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Being a Christian in this World (a little whiny)

This is something that I have struggled with since I started my career in public education, which happens to be the same time I began my walk with God. I didn't really understand how the world sees God until I took the jump of faith. There are so many different faiths and beliefs. I have always respected the different faiths, but usually tried to stay around people and families that have the same faith as I do. What I mean by that is hanging around people who do believe in God, one way or another. I have a very difficult time being around people who don't believe in God. The people I know who don't believe are lost and go with the flow of this world (right or wrong). I also have a difficult time with people who say they are Christians but their actions and words show different. I am definitely not perfect at my walk with God. I slip off once in a while. That's why I struggle with this world.

I do my absolute best at trying to always think "What would Jesus say or do?". I honestly don't think He would want me to discount Him. In public education, they ask that you don't talk about God and share your faith with the students. On a level I can understand why, but when a child asks me what I believe I do feel compeled to share what I believe by answering their questions. I owe that to God to share what I believe. On another side, I do have that right because it is in the Constitution. I just get irritated when people ask for you (me) to not mention God because it may make someone feel uncomfortable. As I have grown in my faith, I have become to believe stronger and stronger that I am not going to tip toe around people because I may say something to make someone (who doesn't believe in God) feel uncomfortable or offend them.

I am done with this!

Rita and Racheal absolutely LOVE God! You see it in their eyes, you hear it in their words, and you feel it from their affection. I would never tell them to stop loving God and to be careful with what you say about Him because someone may be offended. I love that they LOVE God! They have brought that into our house and I have seen my bio children change and talk more about God in such a loving way. Jarett and I do talk a lot about God and what we believe, but sometimes I think our bio children think it's just "parent words". Now, that Rita and Racheal have been home, the talks and discussions are going on and they are awesome. It is so amazing to hear them talk.....and I love it!

Our life is all about God and we are doing our best to live that way. We will no longer hold back. If I offend someone by saying I will pray for you, or encourage someone by using God's words, than I am sorry for that person/people. But I won't change my faith or how I talk. At our house and in our world....Merry Christmas is Christmas not....Happy Holidays! :)

****This is something that has really bothered me for a long time, but even as early as last week, being asked to watch what is said about God because someone may be offended. I just can't do it any more. My faith is who I am! :)


Sunday, October 5, 2008


About 5 years ago, we have started a "BOO!" tradition in our family involving our neighbors and the staff at my school.

What you do is fill up 4-5 bags of candy, attach the directions, a Boo! sign. Then you decide who you are going to BOO!. Once the decision is made, you run up to your neighbor's door, place the bag of treats by the door, ring the door bell and run to hide. It is so much fun!

This year was the first time for Rita and Racheal. They had a blast! They want to do more, but now we have to wait until we get BOO'ed to do it again. We usually start it with our street and I carry it over to my school. It is fun to watch everyone get involved.

Now, we teach our kids that Halloween is an American holiday. We teach them that some people believe it is Satan's holiday. We do it opposite and say it is a day that we get to dress up and be anything we want to be (not dead though)and also spread the love of Jesus. We do give candy out but also things that remind people that God loves them.

Below is a video that show the kids in action with BOOing 1 of the homes.

Booing house #1 from Chalene Jarett on Vimeo.

Tonight was a fun night to introduce a tradition to Rita and Racheal.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall Break

Our district is on a modified school year, which means we get 2 weeks off in between quarters. Well this has been our first week off and boy, has it been so much fun. I usually am very tired the first couple of days of break. I think because I am so used to going and going. When my body figures out that I am not going so much, I have a let down. Anyways, we have kept it calm. Each day we have gone to a different park or swimming park.

Below are pictures or videos of what we have done so far.

Our cute boys!

Here are short clips of the kiddos jumping and skating.

Fall Break at Grandparents from Chalene Jarett on Vimeo.

Park ride 1 from Chalene Jarett on Vimeo.

This next video is of the girls being singers and dancers. It is so cute!

My Divas from Chalene Jarett on Vimeo.

It has been a very restful and calm start to our fall here in Arizona. Now our temperatures are still in the low 100's but next week we will be in the high 90's. I can't wait! :)