Homeschool Conference!!!

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Time to write again...

It has been far too long for me...

This is a happy place that I've let slip out of my hands...

I have continued writing, but I have not allowed it to be a priority in my world...this, my friends, must change.  My notepads are filled, the note sections of my planner overflow, but the details of my heart and my deepest thoughts remain.

My goal will be to post again weekly, to pour those thoughts out, to dump my tears across the keyboard from time to time and to share those moments that I am ready to do a little happy dance.

MUCH has changed in this past year, much of it has been good, all of it has brought growth in one form or another...I am excited to take control of 2015 and to live a life of INTENTION.
No longer will I be putting out fires and living a life of reaction...I will be proactive and prepared.

By "putting this out there", I am committing to myself...
I am making my desires a priority and living on purpose!

Wishing the Merriest of Christmas' to you and yours!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hola from Danielle...

Talked with our girlie this morning...she sounds fantastic!
Here is her letter for the week ~ enjoy!
 
Hola!
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.
IT WAS AMAZING! 

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.
Adios!
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)
Steak. 
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.
#AmericanDream
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.... 
"Really?!" 
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?!??"

HAHAHA.

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?
NO!
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?"
"...no.....?"
(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.
FREAKING OUT!
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!
LOVE YA!

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!
First
thing
in
the
morning,
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 tea...do 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

MOM...WOW!

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 time...you'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...
I would NEVER, EVER, EVER
have imagined I'd be the MOM
to so many kids!
Nor would I have ever imagined
how truly wonderful they would each be.

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


Moving time again for Danielle...

My days in Eldersburg have come to an end.
They're sending me to SAVAGE MILL.
Ideal place to preach the gospel, eh??
 
But really, Savage Mill is a super nice area from what I've heard. 
It's in Howard county, which is the richest county in the country. 
So that's a little crazy! It should be fun though.

My new companion is super tall, and that'll be different too! 
I've always been the tall one, especially the last 6 weeks with my mini companion. All kinds of changes coming my way :) 
I'm going to miss Eldersburg a ton though! This has been such a great area, and I've made so many friends here. Saying goodbye to everyone will be tough (like always, transfers are never easy!) but it will be good :) goodbye doesn't mean forever. 
I swear, people here can smell transfers coming. Without even mentioning that they're getting close, people just know it's coming up. The past week EVERYONE and their dog has made comments along the lines of, "Well we know you'll be leaving soon." Haha those brats! 
We were over at Sister Kincaid's home a few nights ago, (her husband is the one who died recently, and I sang at his funeral) and she said, "Sister Ladle has been here for so long, she's family now. Even when you leave, you'll always be family." 
It kills me! 
I never guessed I'd fall in love with so many East Coasters. 
But I worry that it'll be *almost* as hard coming home as it was LEAVING home!  
 
COOLEST EXPERIENCE OF MY WHOLE WEEK!
One of our members invited two of her friends to church last week, and they both came. We talked to Brenda and Casey for a while and they were super sweet!
A few days later, Brenda told her friend that she had never felt so much peace in her whole life.
On Sunday, they were back in church. Afterwards we went and had lunch together and taught them the first lesson. It was so powerful... The feelings on love were so strong in that room. We basically all just cried through the whole lesson. It was amazing.
The church is so dang true!
LOVE YOU!
Sister Lytle

Among the savages...

This week has been so fun! 
I'm down in Savage Mill now, and I'm sharing an area line with Sister Stradling. Which is basically the best thing of my life! 
We have been hanging out with her and her companion all day! I've missed her SO MUCH. 
Sister Liston is great too. I really like her :) I'm way happy here. 

This week I played basketball for the 3rd and 4th times of my life. 
The first time was with a girl who had already played 3 tournaments that day, AND ran to the park to meet us there. It was 3 on 1, she was barefoot, in 8th grade, and she still beat us...awkward. 
At one point I was trying to block her and somehow wound up on the ground hahaha. 
The point is, my hair still looked perfect when I got back up. 
Win? 
I think so.  

While we were at the park, there was a big group of guys cussing up a storm about something, and they kept getting louder and louder, and then they were standing up and starting to hit each other, and then I accidentally yelled at them. 
Oops :S   
I don't know who it scared worse, them or us!
But they stopped, 
so that basically means I won the fight, right?

Then today, our zone got together at the church and played for a while. 
It was really freaking hard, but it was so much fun. 
"Get out of the way!! GET OUT OF THE WAY!"
"Okay, I'm moving!"
"No! Sister Lytle...not you! You're on my team!!!"
Haha, I bet Elder Day doesn't pick me to be on his team again next week. 
For some reason he assumed I was good, so they had 4 of us on the team, when both of the other teams had 5, and they had reeeally good players on them. Somehow, we still won. Maybe it's because everyone felt bad enough for me that when I had the ball they just let me throw it instead of attacking me haha. 
Well, I love you all a ton! I hope you have an awesome week! 
Wish me luck in Savage Mill, and hopefully I'll have more adventures to tell you about next week :)
Sister Lytle

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Power of Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, 
but words will never hurt me.”


I recall hearing these very words as a young child.  
I did not question their validity; 
I don’t know that I even gave them much of a thought.  
It was just something we would call out if we needed a boost of courage during an ugly moment.  
It would often end the dispute and all was well.  
As an adult, I take issue with this statement.

Words have lasting effect for good or otherwise.  
And once spoken cannot be taken back.
Words contain power; 
they have a force that penetrates deep within.  
When used correctly, our words build, support and encourage.  
When used incorrectly, the damage is far greater than any stick or stone could inflict.
Words can help us to achieve our best and highest aspirations or leave us feeling distraught and defeated.

All too often, we don’t consider how meaningful and impactful the words we share with the world may be.  
Are we building or demolishing?  
Are we cheering and sustaining 
or discouraging and condemning?  

This world needs a little more tenderness, warmth and affection…
and what better place to start than in our very homes?!

As we ponder the words that may come from our lips to the ones we most cherish in this world, we would do well to choose them wisely. 
In our home, I have the words, 
"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice",

displayed where I see them many times each day.  
There is a purpose in this.  
I cannot say that I have always thought before speaking, 
or that I have always chosen the very best words to share with those I love.  
There are times of high frustration that I speak and wish I could take back the ugliness that flew from my mouth, but I cannot.  
Knowing all too well the lasting effect of harsh words, I strive to be better and to share words of kindness and encouragement with our kids. 
The words spoken to us 
as well as the words we tell ourselves, 
have a lasting footprint on our hearts.  
And just as the quote above states, 
the words we hear directed to us become our inner voice.  
I wish for the inner voice of my children to be filled with all the positives this world has and be spared the negative, heartbreaking thoughts they would be better off without.   

When I think of how my words impact others, I draw in a deep breath, and choose biting my tongue near in half, if necessary, just to spare the negative effects of a nasty word during moments of strife and contention.
As a mother, I would like the power of my words to be for good – to boost our children, to enlighten, to inspire, to motivate and invigorate, to embolden and fortify them against all that life may throw their way.  
The last thing they need is a mother to use words that might kill the beautiful spirit they possess, or to belittle and deprecate the amazing power they have within.  
So I will be shouting out all the beautiful words that come to mind as I think of how lucky I am to be the mother of this amazing family! 
What words would you choose to share with your kids if you had but just a few words to leave them with???
Wishing you a month filled with powerful words that will create lasting bonds between you and your sweet families!
Hugs!

Stacey

(Written as DHSA President's Message for April)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Singing, Baptisms, Bike Riding and Trials.....

News from Danielle...she has been having a bit of a rough time, sometimes girls are not the very nicest, but she is happy and doing well.  Check out her happy stories below.  :)

It's the best week ever!
I have way too many good stories to tell, and I probably won't get to them all, SO I'll start with the happiest.
>>>>SISTER SCHNEIDER GOT BAPTIZED<<<<<<
It was such an incredible day.
Brother Schneider had kept the program a secret from his wife, and had planned it all out for her.
The chapel was totally packed. 
She had family from out of town come in, 
all kinds of friends, 
and basically the whole ward there to support their family.

Sister Shumway and I sang Come Thou Fount. 
(What I would have given to be there to hear my sweet girl sing this song!!!)

It was a really pretty arrangement, but Sister Schneider cried through the whole thing. 
Afterwards she asked if Andy had changed the song on us last second. We told her that we hadn't, that it had been planned for several weeks. 
A few days before her baptism, they watched a movie with that song in it and she told us how much she fell in love with it. 
How perfect is that?
Once all the talks and things were finished, we went into the font room, (which was too full to fit everyone,) and her husband, Andy, baptized her. 
The feelings in that room were so strong. 
When she came out of the water, her face was just beaming. 
They hugged and basically everyone in the room who wasn't already crying, started crying. And then they all clapped :) it was so sweet.

Truth- Sometimes being a missionary isn't very fun, or happy, or exciting. 
And sometimes you just want to go to bed forever.   :(
(This mom wants to hop on the next plane and go wrap her arms around her girl...but instead, I will love her from here and encourage and uplift her every chance I get...
but wait for it, 
her strength shines through!!!)
But after seeing their family grow together and know that they can now become and eternal family, it's all worth it.   :)
Every bad day, 
every mean person, 
every disappointment, 
so what? 
NOTHING could feel so good as the spirit in the church last Saturday. 
I'd do it all again just for that. 
The church is so true. 
I know it. 
(are you crying, because I sure am...she is just amazing!)

Some other crazy things from the week:
We rode bikes! 
It was awful... 
(one of those "not fun" things haha.) 
My dang bike was falling apart on me all day long! 
The front tire and handlebars like to turn in opposite directions. 
The handlebars also like to fall off. 
The seat isn't stationary. 
The chain sometimes likes to go on vacation. 
BUT I LIVED! 
One of the many 'pit stops' I had to take took place in front of a house. 
On that house was a porch. 
On that porch were some men. 
The following narration depicts our conversation:
"Yaaaall like ta party?"
*ignore*
(louder) "Yall like ta party?"
*super ignore*
"WELL EXCUSE ME! GET OFF OF MY PROPERTY!"
Bahahahaha. 
Silly guy thought I had intentions of STAYING on "his" property. 
 
We also met our mailman this week 
(while we were locked out of our apartment...oops
"I'm John, John Bytheway" 
Either he's mocking us, or in disguise. 
We're not really sure which....
 
Quann Quote of the week:
"Where's that brother with the 8 kids?"
"They ALL have 8 kids..."
 
"The trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them." -Elder Holland

So love this sweet girl...she strengthens me each time I hear from her.  Wow, do I miss her this week, must be because of Easter and knowing she has been struggling.  I love her testimony and her willingness to endure, stay true and keep pushing even during the hard times.  I think I'll go cuddle with my little ones, maybe that will help the ache in my heart a little.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Holy Magical Taco Bell!

The latest from sweet Danielle!
She sounded soooo great this week...just made my heart sing to feel the happiness in her emails.  Enjoy!

Transfer week!
Well, Sister Anderson was finally voted off the Island. 
And now, Sister Shumway is here! 
She is super fun. 
We're both redheads
and we get a lot of comments on that.
I think the ward is worried that we're going to cause trouble or something....

She is from Snowflake, Arizona, and we are having a ton of fun together!
We also got a new elder in our area. I managed to convince him I was from Canada. It was a pretty good lie, until I decided to tell him the truth. I'm shocked he believed me lol.

On to the good news: 
We got our car back!! We did fairly well without it for a few days, but it sure rained a lot this week! We were super grateful to have it back Saturday and Sunday though... that's when the rain was the worst. 
On Sunday the drizzle turned into a huge rainstorm, 
then to a huge snow storm, 
then to hail, 
and then back to rain... 
and I was so well prepared for it 
that I was wearing cloth shoes and everything. Haha. 
When I got home that night, they were so wet that they oozed every time I took a step and I had to ring my socks out :P

Miracle of the week! 
We were carpooling to Sykesville with the elders while our car was in the shop, and on the way home they decided they were starving 
(typical, they are always starving) 
and so we stopped at Taco Bell. 
Taco Bell is always a good place to go, 
but there's something special about this Taco Bell. 
Before we walked in I told them that EVERY time I go there, I wind up finding someone new to teach, or I meet someone important that gives us someone to teach. So they laugh and said yeah right. And we walked in. The cashier started talking to me and says, 
"There were some ladies in here earlier who were having a bible study. They go to the Church on Slacks Road." (THAT'S OUR CHURCH!) "I can't go this week cause I'm working, but she got my phone number and told me that she'd bring the sister missionaries over to my house. 
Are you the sister Missionaries?"

HOLY.
MAGICAL.
TACO BELL.

What did I tell those elders?
Did we find, or did we find?

I stinking love that Taco Bell. It's so nice.

Other than that, the General Women's Broadcast Saturday night was INCREDIBLE. If you missed it, watch at LEAST the last talk
You can find it on LDS.org. 
It was so good!
Have a happy week!
Sister Lytle

Monday, March 24, 2014

Punctuation Matters

This was a FANTASTIC MONDAY for this Mom!!!
I was able to email back and forth with Danielle for quite some time...she is such a crack up!  
She is not being transferred again, but is getting a new companion. 
She is happy to be staying with the families she is working with, sad to see her companion go, but also excited to meet a new companion.
Change is hard, but she is resilient.  :)

And she told me this was 
THE BEST WEEK EVER!
Read her news below:

Welcome to the week of all weeks!
This has really been one of the most eventful weeks of my life.
To start out with- 
I caught 
and killed 
a mouse 
that had snuck into our apartment, 
all by myself! 
It was terrible. 
I don't like mice...
but I succeeded and have taken back the apartment from the horrid vermin.
Sister Anderson was no help.
...Unless you qualify screaming her head off and pushing me off my chair (so that she could stand on it, instead of taking the chair NEXT to me) as being helpful :P

Then- March 22nd. 
The day that has been in my prayers for the past two months.
But seriously, 
every single prayer has included, 
"And please bless Sister Schneider that she'll get her answer to be baptized on March 22nd."
Every.
Single.
Prayer.
Even my food prayers.
Well, a week and a half before, she called off the date because she didn't feel ready yet, and we moved it to April 19th
Which was totally fine! 
But it did make me feel a little bit sad because we had PROMISED her that if she would set a date to be baptized on (3/22) that she WOULD get her answer to be baptized on that date.
So she set it and did EVERYTHING she was supposed to do. 
There was no reason she didn't have an answer.
But it was okay. We were just being patient.

"Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you."

So... 
we've been asking and she's been asking... 
and we were getting a little anxious over all this, 
cause it's a make it or break it. 
And this is kind of a big deal!
We knew she'd either get her answer and be baptized now, or else it was going to be a loooong wait for their family.
On Friday (3/21) we went to the DC Temple Visitors Center and did a tour. 
It was amazing... 
the spirit was so strong. 
I was in shock the whole time at how good it felt there.

The next day, Sister Anderson and I decided to go to Rita's for my first time.
(I am guessing Rita's is a restaurant???) 
Which was odd because we'd just eaten and it was still early, but... we went anyways. And as we got up to the window, the Schneiders pulled up!
Brother Schneider had to go next door to make some copies, and Krista talked to us for a few minutes. When he came back out he looked at her and said, 
"So, have you told them the good news yet?"
-WHAT-
--WHAT--
WHAT?!???!??!!!
And then she told us that she had decided to be baptized.
And we all started screaming and crying.

They're already planning on being sealed in a year.
When we asked her what finally did it for her, she told us, 
"Well it was yesterday at the temple, 
and I just knew I needed to be sealed to my family. 
So I needed to get baptized."

AMAZING.
Here's the tricky part.
We'd been praying for her to get her answer to be baptized on March 22nd.
She got her answer to be baptized, on March 22nd.
I need to start punctuating my prayers...
(Sooooo love the way this girl thinks!!!  :)  )

THEN, that night, 
I went to dinner 
and we were having 
ginger brown sugar chicken, 
AND I LIKED IT. 
I reeeeally liked it.
So weird.

3/22. Most monumental day of my life.
First time going to Rita's.
Sister Schneider's getting baptized
And I ate meat that I liked.

Pretty good, eh?
Well, lot's of other wonderful things happened  this week too... I wish I had time to talk about them all.
Here's a basic run down,
We met Sister Schneiders sister and mother (again) and they love us. She's such a little missionary already!
We went to Café Rio with the Schneiders!
Everyone and their dog came over to talk to us because they were so excited to see sister missionaries.
So excited, they even bought us our dinner!

Then we had someone hit on us in Walmart (story of our lives) and he told us that "thick girls are in. Thick is what get's you a husband. You going out tonight?" .... rudest compliment of my life. #DietsAreForRM's

Sister Anderson is being transferred :( 
126 days... all coming to an end.

And also- here's a highlight for the coming week- We have no car!!! Extra prayers would be appreciated. 
 (And after emailing with her today, they are supposed to get hit with another snow storm tomorrow!  I sent her a little package today and did my best to wrap up some sunshine to ship her way.)  

Love you all!!!!
SISTER LYTLE!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Here's our Missionary Girl...

A few photos from the 
Sisters Conference
that Danielle 
just attended this past week.
Let's see how good your eyes are...
Can you find her???
I'll give you a hint ~ 
She is not standing
but is in the row just in front of those standing
smack dab in the middle
in a white shirt.
Do you see her?

 And here she is in the middle again.
 Love that girls smile...
 And here she is with Sister Stradling...
I really think they will be friends for life
after serving together!
Loving her shorter hair,
she is just beautiful!

Just wanted to share some of
my HAPPY 
tonight.
Seeing her makes my heart smile!

16 Snow Days and counting...

Received this letter from Danielle middle of the week...
I didn't hear from her for several days
DUE to the SNOW, again!
But all is well and happy in her world.
She sounds as amazing as ever.

PLEASE take a moment and watch the video below that she has shared for you...

My hope is to one day live up to being just this kind of person.
It's pretty fantastic when you have kids who push you to be more and to be better.

Now on to Danielle's letter ~ 


16 snow days for the Carroll county schools... 

and mind you that doesn't even count weekends!
I'd completely lost track of how many snow days we've had, but someone reminded us on Monday night! Add in a few more (for the days the schools didn't count) and that's where we're at for the year! YUCK! 

Where is the springtime???

Hopefully it'll be just around the corner :) 
I keep hearing about how everything blooms in the spring, and I can hardly wait to see it all. They talk a lot about the cherry trees. 
Those are suppose to be amazing. 

This week has been pretty fun! 
We had Sisters Conference last week. 
There are 90 of us in the mission, which is a TON of sisters! 
Then we had Stake Conference.
AND THEN Zone Training this week.
All kinds of meetings! But they have been good. 

On Friday we are going to go to the DC Temple Visitors center and then have dinner at Cafe Rio! We are so excited to go. We're going with the Schneider family. Brother Schneider has been a member for 5 years, and their 9 year old is baptized, but Sister Schneider hasn't joined the church yet. The sisters tried to teach her when Andy first joined, but she wasn't interested in having them over, but within the last year, she's been coming to church every week and staying for all three hours. 
Sister Anderson and I have become really good friends with her, and she started letting us come over to teach her, and she is making so much progress in the gospel. A week ago, we taught her the Word of Wisdom (which she already knew,) and she had a lot of questions about Green Tea and why we couldn't drink it. But she decided that she would pray about it and committed to live it. Later on, we talked about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy, and she talked about how hard that can be at times, but she also committed to live that. 

WELL, fast forward a few days later: 
We went to Stake Conference with their family
 (her first time ever going to one!) 
and Sister Anderson and I were on kid duty. 
We had to keep them busy so that she could listen. 
It was fun :) 
but then afterwards we went to her mothers house to have lunch and do some yard work. While we were at lunch, her mom gave us this sparkling juice stuff, and then walked out of the room. Kamryn (their 9 year old) rushed over to us and told us, "DON'T DRINK THAT!" and then grabbed the bottle to show us that it had 3% green tea extract. Then she told us that she watched her mom check the labels of all the drinks in the house and dump out all of them that had tea in them. So cool!! Then later, we were out doing yard work and ran out of black bags. Her sister, who was also there helping, kept telling Sister Schneider that she should just go to the store and buy more,
"We can't go to the store on Sundays! We're Mormons!"
Her sister then agreed that, "Fine, I'll go get them."
"Ahh... I can see the blessings already."
Hahaha. She is so funny. 

This is basically one of the best videos you'll ever watch. 
So you should probably look into watching it.
It reminds me of the type of person I want to become and that one of the reasons Christ came was to be an example for us. It's super short, and it might even change your life. So for real, watch it.
Other than that, my life has been pretty great :) 
we're just waiting for the sun to come out 
and trying not to freeze to death in the meantime :) 
Love ya all! Have a great week! 
Sister Lytle