Homeschool Conference!!!

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

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

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