Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hola from Danielle...

Talked with our girlie this morning...she sounds fantastic!
Here is her letter for the week ~ enjoy!
Last night we got out of an appointment and started walking down the street to our car, but decided that instead of driving somewhere else, we'd just walk a minute to a less active members home a few streets away.
On the way there we met a man who was cleaning his bbq with a big stick.
We said hello!
He said hello, but had very little English.
Then his wife came out and she had just a little more English than him.
They were very nice, but since we couldn't really talk to them we just asked about how the game went and figured we'd keep on walking.

"Do you want some juice?"
"Oh, that's okay..."
"OKAY! I will get juice! Come! Sit!"

So there we sat, sipping some juice on the porch.
Our new friends were from Argentina! 
We learned that Argentina just lost to Germany, but our friends weren't even mad! They were so happy!
After a minute their 12 year old daughter came out, and she spoke very well. She translated for us for a while.
As it turns out, her dad knew Mormon missionaries in Argentina about 30 years ago, and he kept saying things like,
 "I haven't been around a mormon for 30 years. 
Thank you so much for being here.
 I am so happy you are here.
 I love the Mormons. 
God blesses the Mormons. 
The mormons are the kindest, most caring people I've ever met. 
The mormon church is the closest to God." 
And he went on and on, thanking us for being in his home and asking us to pray and the whole bit.

The food was slightly scary, especially since I don't really like meat to begin with, and things like blood sausage, intestines, and "unique chicken" make me a little uneasy... haha.
But they were so nice!!!
We are going back with the Hermana's this week to start teaching them, and for homemade pasta :)
Well, we have to leave, because we have an appointment in just a few minutes, so we say our goodbyes, and walk outside.
Where is our car?
Ohhhh shoot....
So we walk collectedly around the corned, 
and then RAN LIKE CRAZY to our car.
Should you ever look out your window and wonder, 
"Why are those girls running like bandits in pencil skirts carrying super heavy bags and a plate of food?"
 the answer is, 
Sister Missionaries.
Sister Lytle

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy American Birthday from Danielle

This week Sister Liston learned about continents.
China is part of Asia. 
It is not surrounded by water. 
It's also not the same as Australia.
As it turns out, Europe touches Asia touches Africa.
We haven't gotten to 
"What is Africa/what does it look like" yet.
She is so funny!

Something cool I learned from a song this week: 
(Brace yourselves because this doesn't sound like much, but when it hits you, it'll be good)
The earth is BELOW our feet.
Think about it. 
(Thanks Mumford and Sons.)
The 4th was CRAZY!
We had 3 dinners back to back... and I'm still alive.

Dinner #1)
My very first steak! 
Not as terrible as I expected it to be. 
 "Tell your dad those Colorado people made you eat steak!" 
and then, during the prayer, 
"Thank you that my mormon girls could be here..." 
 Hahaha Judy and Jay are way too sweet.
Dinner #2)
Papusas! Yum!! Yvonne is a riot.
(At this point we are sooo full)
Dinner #3)
Hamburgers and potato salad.

The best part of all that? 
They took pictures after dinner #3 and sent them home to our moms.
Do I look like I've eaten 3 dinners?
"Indeed I did!"
Over eating is patriotism.
Love you!
Sister Lytle

Monday, June 30, 2014

Breaking In...

The latest news from Danielle...she is hitting her ONE YEAR mark!!!

A year ago today I was set apart to be a missionary.
That is so crazy! A year goes by soooo fast. 
I remember when I finally made it to Maryland, I was sitting in my first transfer meeting and all the returning missionaries were bearing their testimonies, and I remember thinking, "I'm never going to make it...."
My perspective has changed a little bit since then haha. I might ACTUALLY make it!

This last weekend, Abe was baptized. He was one of the very first people I taught on my mission. 
While I was in Hancock, two of the people in their family either had been or were baptized. And now Abe is joining the crew with others on their way! 
I wasn't able to make it out to the baptism, but I called him Saturday afternoon and we had some happy-tears time. It's amazing to watch how the gospel changes lives. I am so proud of him. 
It's true! Nothing fake could ever bring so much happiness. 

This week Sister Liston learned that Oregon is on the WEST coast, not the east coast.... 
Hahaha she makes me laugh so much. Turns out our friends vacationing the Oregon Coast aren't quite as close as previously supposed. 

On Thursday, 4/6 of our appointments involved being fed. 
In other words, all day was lunch/dinner. 
And yet I wonder why I've gained so much weight on my mission haha. 

The Hagedorns in our ward are currently planning out my 3/4 birthday. They are soooo funny. A few weeks ago was Sister Listons birthday, and I knew they were known for throwing birthday parties for the missionaries, and somehow I had to let them know her birthday was coming WITHOUT Sister Liston knowing about it. 
For those of you who haven't tried it: It's really hard to be sneaky about things when you're with someone 24/7 and share a phone. 
So I came up with an idea. 
"Let's go stickie the Hagedorn's door!"
So we wrote out some stickies and I had one begging for help planning out her birthday. I wasn't sure how I was going to stick it to the door without her seeing, but I had a few ideas. 
On our way up to their house, their daughter came running home from the bus and caught us! 
It was too perfect. 
We had her take the stack of stickies inside and told her to stick them to a mirror and NOT to tell ANYONE!

Several minutes later we get a text from Sister Hagedorn, 
"Did you break into my house?!??"


The best part?
Her husband works for the secret service. 

Love you all bunches!
have a happy 4th!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

In a Funk...

How can it be
that one can be
so crazy busy
they can hardly see straight,
yet feel a little "blah"
and funkish???

I am trying to wrap my head around this...

Is it that I am too busy?

Is it that I am doing the wrong things?

Is it that my heart longs for something more?

Is it that, dare I say these words,
I could be having a mid-life crisis?
that's certainly not it!
Not old enough for that.  ;)

Is it that I need to fill my own cup just a smidge?

Is it that I miss my simple life I had before all the crazy?

Is it that I need to stretch my horizons?

Is it that I have taken a very unintentional break from the things that feed my spirit?

Is it that many of my friendships are no longer being nurtured due to the busy schedules we all keep?  Both on my side and on theirs...

Is it that I just need to write more?  Think less?  Worry less?  Be grateful more?

Is it that I need to be more intentional in my life?

Is it that my kids are growing up way too fast and maybe don't need me in quite the same way they always have?

Is it that I really just need a little more time to hang out in one of my cute aprons, creating in my kitchen; whipping up new recipes and baking goodies to share...?

Is it that I don't find  make the time to do some of the things I love to do anymore?

Is it that I wish for some things that can never be?  Wishing to mend things that may not be "mended" in this lifetime... Am I resistant in accepting this?

Is it that I see my life flying by more quickly than I had planned?

Is it that I really have no control and my "plan" is something that happens only on occasion, when "real life" hasn't taken over instead?

Is it that I am not looking at the cup as half full?

Is it that I lack vision for where I am wishing to "go"?

Is it a need for escape into an amazing story that captivates my mind and stirs my thoughts?

Is it that I am too hard on myself?

Is it that I am still, after all these years, wishing to please everyone around me?   Only to realize this can never really happen.

Is it that I need to "Bloom where I'm planted"; that I should be content?

Is it that I have unresolved things that I need to forgive and forget?

Is it that I need to jump into being more productive?

Is it that I need more quiet time?

Is it that I long for more laughter?

Is it that I yearn for time building blanket forts?

Is it a need for the outdoors, the fresh air, the serenity?

Is it that I haven't found my "passion" and my "purpose" in this life?
Or is it that I am too afraid to pursue the passion that lives inside?

Is it that I am forever seeking and striving for acceptance?

Is it the fear of failure that holds me back from chasing those grandiose dreams?

Is it the lack of creative time I allow myself?

Is it that I am not quite who I think I am to become?

Or is it
that I just need another piece of chocolate and a good girlfriend to hang out with for an evening???

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A discourse on the events concerning May 19-25

The latest from Danielle!!!
Just look at that darling red-head of ours...
her smile just shines!

The photo below cracks me up...
when she sent it she wrote, 
"Weirdos live in Maryland...
I fit in here!"  
That's my crazy girl for you!!!

This week I made a new friend!
We were trying by this family for the billionth time (we've been asked to see them) and they "weren't home."
So we looked in the GPS.
The Martin family was in the building next to the one we were at, so we decided to go by. We needed to make friends with more of the active members in the area.
So we knocked on the door and Tyler answered and began interrogating us.
"Who sent you??"
"no one...."
"Did the Bishop sent you?"
(during the interrogation, 
we saw the family we had been TRYING to contact bolt out of their house to the car and speed away. Brats!)
And then finally he settled down and warmed up.
SUPER nice guy. 
We're totally friends now.

After the visit we called the elders to get the scoop on him.
Turns out he's pretty less active and hasn't been for a while. He came twice in January, but that's all.
So the next day we're sitting in church.
We're glancing around to see who all is there, and we saw Brother Martin, also sitting in church.
I was so happy.
We are best friends.
I have also become a professional painter.
Or something.
The story is, I paint a lot now.
Oh, and I got attacked by a dog for 45 minutes during a dinner appointment this week as well. It was lovely. I've decided I don't like animals very much anymore, haha. I've never been bitten or licked so much in my life. And it wasn't a small dog either!
But I live. So it's okay.
The Savior also lives.  
Being a missionary and teaching about Him everyday is the best thing in the world! 
The church is so true!

What 10-15 minutes a day can do for you!

A few weeks ago, I was running on empty!
No matter how I tried, there were simply not enough hours in my day to accomplish the never-ending list of things to be tackled.

I felt overwhelmed, discouraged and without hope.
The empty place I had come to forced me to turn inward and upward in search of peace.  I knew I could restore hope and the drive to keep on ~ but not at the pace I was attempting to keep.

Knowing that writing feeds my spirit, I decided to start my day intentionally.
My alarm goes off a little earlier to ensure some quiet time just for me.  I either head to my laptop or to pen and paper and write the thoughts that continually flood my mind.

I have found that without having deep intention behind this goal of writing each morning - it does not happen.
10-15 minutes will likely never magically appear in my day!
So, I have to sneak those precious minutes in!
before emails,
before fb posts/messages,
before checking the schedule for the day,
before starting another load of laundry,
before exercise,
before waking a single child,
before my shower,
before everything...
I sneak in quiet time for me!

The result ~
a happier, more productive, less stressed, more creative me.

My suggestions for you:
*  Just set your alarm an extra 15 minutes early...yes, it is less sleep, but you will feel more rested and way more interested in tackling all that lies ahead of you!
*Read, write, ponder, drink your whatever it is that fills your cup!
*Never feel guilty for giving to yourself first!  It is truly the only way you will successfully and joyfully be able to give of yourself.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Mother's Day...
turned out to be a pretty darn spectacular day!

I have to share some of the beautiful things that have happened to me this week. My boys spoiled me by cleaning out my closet, can you imagine?
Yes, they hung up all of my clothes,
organized my shoes
and cleaned up my big, nasty mess that has been accumulating.
My little girls did the sweetest things,
one painted a flower pot and then planted flower seeds in it for me.
The other painted a picture frame and put a little love letter inside.
My oldest son made me a metal rose in his welding/collision repair class.
My oldest daughter brightened my day by bringing her sweet little ones over and hanging a beautiful basket of flowers on my porch.
(And she shared a little secret...)  ;)  wink, wink...
And our missionary daughter sent me the sweetest card and then we all were able to gather together and talk to her over skype...what a perfect day!

All my kiddos gathered in the same room.  :)
Absolutely the best...AND I HAD MY MOM with me, too!
Yes, totally blessed!!!

I have to share some of the words Danielle wrote in her letter...
(IF you, as a mom, have ever wondered if you are doing it okay...
just wait, the reward is coming!!!
Don't be afraid to say no,
don't be afraid to follow your gut;
listen to your heart
and hold on for the ride...
they REALLY DO come around!!!)

Now ~ to share bits and pieces of her letter...

"People constantly ask me how on earth I left my mom and came out here.  I answer that in a few ways, but sometimes I tell them it's because there were missionaries who left their moms in order to find mine...and I am so dang grateful for them being willing to do that for us.
Even though I miss you like crazy, I'm happy over here.  Thank you for letting me come to Maryland, Mom.
I love you so very much!  I tell people about you all the're just too amazing not to talk about.  Thank you for all you've done for me.  Thank you for saving me so many times...even when I really didn't want to be saved.  I would be such a wreck without you.
I see so many girls out here whose moms haven't been the mom, but have stood by and allowed them to fail in really sad ways...and I'm just so grateful that you were brave enough
and loved me enough
to tell me "NO"
and make me mad
so that I wouldn't end up in the huge trouble I was headed for.

Don't get me wrong - you ARE my friend,
but more than that
you're my mom.
And I'm so glad.
SOOO glad you decided to be my mom before being my friend.

Time to sound like I'm 5,
but I really want to grow up to be like you.
You amaze me.
I love you.
I don't know how
(shoot...I'm making tear spots on the card...)
you do everything you do,
or how you manage to overcome ANYTHING,
but you are incredible to me.
I love you so much.

On a less teary note,
Today is Cinco De Mayo!
We're listening to ALL the spanish music I own
(and it's a pretty impressive collection!)
and taking pictures in mustaches
with our non-alcoholic beer bottles.
I'm telling you this
to reassure you
that I haven't changed a bit!
We're also going to Taco Bell for dinner...
Go BIG or go home, right?"

Can you see why I miss this girl so dang bad???
Isn't she just amazing?!

When I see those photos, I'll be sharing for sure!
She is such a hoot...

Well...I just had to take a few to write about my happiness in this life...
have imagined I'd be the MOM
to so many kids!
Nor would I have ever imagined
how truly wonderful they would each be.

that's about all I have to say about that.
wow  :)