Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To Do List

One thing that I love to do is check things off a list.  If I'm real honest, sometimes I write things I've already done on a list just so I can check it off.  Silly, I know.  But it gives me a sense of accomplishment.  My email tends to be like my to-do list as well and when I'm able to move things out of my inbox, I feel like I'm accomplishing things.

So, in this whole Start Experiment and me really trying to make better use of my time, I'm working on being better about actually making lists that I can check things off of.  And I'm trying to keep my inbox as cleaned up as possible.  I've pretty well kept my inbox to under 20 emails and if I can whittle that down to less than 10 I might not know what to do with myself. :)  I have a to-do list for work things today and have gotten a few of those things done and hopefully by 5:00, I'll have everything checked off my list.

This helps in organizing my time.  Now on to organizing other areas of my life as well.  I love organization.  I'm not always totally organized, but boy life sure runs smoother when I am! One thing that I'm able to do at home to help stay organized is my laundry.  Since I've been getting up about 3 hours before the crack (which I'm now totally addicted to), I've been able to get a little laundry routine going each day that has helped me keep up with that.  I've also made my bed every day (except Sunday when I left the house before my husband was out of bed).  Now that might seem like a big "DUH" to some people, but I hadn't put major priority on that little chore.  I always feel like things are more tidy when my bed is made, so I've made a point to do that as well before I leave the house in the mornings.  I also love a clean sink!  Mine has dirty dishes in it more often than not, but I'm working on keeping that clean as well.  That dishwasher of mine is getting quite the workout!  There are still many things left to go, but I'm tackling them a little at a time.

Who has other organization tips?  I would love to hear other things that I can implement to make life run a bit smoother.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Week In Pictures

This past week has been a fun one around the Langham house.  Today, I was able to sleep in until a cool 7am....when the little two year old that is my son decided it was time to be awake....which means it's time for me or Daddy to be awake.  And guess who's still in bed.  But the other mornings this week, I've been up at 4:15am mostly.  I have to say, I'm QUICKLY becoming addicted to being up that early in the mornings!  I feel like I have SO much more time!  Jillian and I are still on love-hate terms, but you know, we're making it.

I take tons of pictures throughout the week and love looking at people's pics, so I thought I would share a few of mine from the week.

This hot fella decided to go see World War Z last Saturday.  He took Tanner, which is wonderful, because Mama had no. desire. whatsoever. to see that one.  Mike said it was awesome.  We have much different opinions on whether or not a movie is awesome.  But you know, when you're going to see a zombie movie, you have to wear a zombie T-shirt.  I'd say he at least rocked the T-shirt. :)

I have the WONDERFUL privilege to take Rachel & Porter with me to work during the week.  This is such a blessing to be able to have them there.  They are old enough to pretty well entertain themselves during the day, so there's not a ton of supervision that needs to happen.  They are also old enough to help with the day-to-day stuff that has to get done in the Preschool ministry.  Now, I'm not necessarily saying that we employ child labor at our place, but there's lots of "crafts and activities" that we have our kids doing.  They have become masters at using scissors!

One of the things I get to do each week is call through visiting families that have been assigned to me.  Most always these are families that have preschoolers that have visited on Sundays.  I love to talk to new people and help them any way I can, but I have to confess that sometimes this little list gets built up and I get that little overwhelmed feeling.  But this week, with all this START stuff going on, I've decided that I'm not letting loose ends overwhelm me.  I'm doing my best to stay under 20 emails in my inbox at any given time (which sometimes is nearly impossible), and then this list got cleared out.  I get a sense of accomplishment when I can cross things off the proverbial list.

Another AWESOME aspect of my job is that I get to visit new babies (and new mommies and daddies) in the hospital when the arrive.  I LOVE doing this!!!  Especially when they are families that I know well.  In this case, I was able to visit my friend Jill and her husband Brandon as they had precious little Elliott Brooke.  (sidebar: I will never complain about pain EVER after hearing Jill's labor story.  Seriously, not EVER!) This girl is a doll baby and was already rocking a big ol' bow and some chevron.  And I don't know if you can tell, but that little bassinet back there... that dude had a chevron blanket draped over it because Jill didn't want to be drab with the regular hospital blanket they put on there.  Um... I would have NEVER thought to do that!

One evening this week, I was walking out to get in the car and noticed a sight that is somewhat unusual  my neighborhood.  This dude was walking down the street with a backpack on his back, a guitar case to his side, and playing his guitar.  Just as normal as anything.  Now I wouldn't have batted an eye had I been walking in NYC because this was quite common when I was there (only most of the time, I did see the Cowboy and he was just sporting his skivvies, but still).  But seeing this on my street in Springdale - I had to capture the oddity of it.  He sure seemed to be enjoying himself though.

Oh this little man.  Boy does he test me.  Like, a LOT.  He is never still.  He's always exploring....most of the time in things that I wish he'd not explore.  He really is so smart and super hilarious, which he totally uses to his advantage.  But my goodness, I do love him!  How could you not when you get this.

Yesterday, I went to the airport to see off my friends, the Carneys, who are moving to Malawi to be the director's of Esther's House Orphanage.  I've known for a while that they are moving, but have been in a denial of sorts because I have known that I will see them once or twice a week.  Well, yesterday, there was no more, "I'll see ya Sunday".  Y'all.  That was difficult.  It's not like they are going for a mission trip and will be back soon.  No.  They are MOVING to Africa!  It was especially hard for this week family because we have been on such a similar journey with our foster kids.  They have 2 precious girls that they just adopted through foster care.  We all got our kids right around the same time and were at similar places all during the process until adoption.  So Lacey and I have bonded through that process even more.  But to know they will be in Malawi taking care of even more orphans and widows... let's just say the fact that I haven't been back to Africa in 14 years is about to change.  There's no more putting off going back.  There's always been a pull back to that place since I visited in 1999.  It was a life changing experience for sure.  For this girl who had never really been anywhere, it made me understand in a whole new way that Jesus loves ALL the children of the world and that worship wasn't just restricted to the USA.  God was evident even in the bush of Africa.  And I can't wait to go back.

I don't know who all will read this, or who would care much, but it's nice to be able to write a bit.  And if just for my extended relatives, this will be a bit more than 140 characters at a time to know what's going on with my crazy family.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Early Mornings

The past 3 mornings, I've gotten up quite a bit earlier than normal.  Sunday, I was up by 5am.  Yesterday and today, I rocked out of bed at 4:15am.  And mama is TIRED!

With a group of other people (my specific group is all people in ministry), we are working toward "starting" to make changes, do bigger things, facing our fears, etc.  My goal for this time of 24 days is to make the most of my time.  And get more things accomplished that I just don't seem to have time to do in the day.  So, one of the big changes I'm making is simply getting up way earlier.

On a good day, I'm usually up before 6am.  I totally love being up early in the mornings before my family and having lots of time to spend in my Bible and in prayer.  However, if I wait until 6am to get up to try and get that done, inevitably someone in my house will wake up early - and there goes my quiet time.  Or I just don't have near enough time with Jesus as I want and yet the kids still have to be at school, I still have to be at work, things still have to get done and the world still goes on, whether I've had some good time with Jesus or not.  And that simply will not do.

Then there's the dreaded exercise.  Y'all.  I really hate to exercise.  My husband enjoys exercising.  My best friend LOVES it.  Like, obsessively loves it. (we are super opposite in so many ways - another post for another time - but still the best of friends).  I don't know if I will ever in my lifetime begin to remotely enjoy exercise, but I'm also not ignorant to the fact that I need to exercise.  This is another area that if time didn't permit, I certainly wasn't going to make time.  It has totally not been on my priority list.  But with this whole Start thing, plus the fact that my husband would like to eventually take me to someplace that would require a swimsuit as normal attire throughout the day, and perhaps even a bit of conceit because I just wanna LOOK good, I have broken this bad boy out.

I hate her.  Honestly.  And I hate the whole time I'm working out.  The only time I like is when I get to fall down on the floor for just a second while I suck wind before nearly killing my abs.  BUT.  I do like how I feel because I've worked out. Notice I didn't say I like how I feel after I work out.  No no.  I pretty much walk like I'm 80 for a few days.  But I feel good that I've put the effort in and made it through.  So I'm making the effort.

Another thing that I want to try and get accomplished is laundry. With 6 people wearing no telling how many different outfits a day, we go through a few dirty clothes at our house.  I figure if I'm up that early anyway, I might as well start a load while my coffee is brewing and then can switch it over to the dryer after Jillian has thoroughly kicked my hiney.  I got 1 load done and another started this morning.  There's a certain feeling of accomplishment when you have empty laundry hampers.

Getting up 3 hours before I have to leave my house and having read my Bible AND worked out all before 5:45am has made me feel rather accomplished the past couple of days. And I like that.  I think I shall continue....

Friday, July 12, 2013

Back in Business

So, yeah.  It's been, oh, you know, a while since I've blogged anything.  Oh, I've thought about it plenty.  I just haven't done it in way too long.  Almost 2 years too long.  We've had a couple things going on in life that just have seemed to take priority.

There's a little venture that I'm on with a few other people that's about to START in a few days, and there are several little things that I want to get disciplined back into doing, and blogging was one of those things.

For any of you that follow me on any social media, I pretty much live on Instagram and Twitter.
You can follow me on Twitter:
You can follow me on Instagram:
You'll likely find out a lot more about me in 140 characters at a time than you will on here, but there are just some things that can't be adequately said in those 140 characters.

The most major thing that's happened in our lives since my last blog was that the foster child that we were able to bring home on September 30, 2011 is now a permanent member of our family.  Grady James Langham was adopted on 4/3/13 and we couldn't be more thrilled.  Although, I have to be honest and say I wasn't real thrilled with the green nail polish I found all over his foot and the girls' carpet this morning.....

But for the most part, I can't help but love this little stinker.  He has so easily become a part of our family and I can't imagine life without him.

Our friend Kelsey helped us capture the awesomeness of adoption day.  You can see our pics here and read about her take on the day and see some of our family pics she did last fall.  Cross Church also did a little story with us to help start the adoption part of the website.  You can read that interview here.  

Lots of other little things going on in life that I hope to write about later, but for now, at least this is my "Start".