Friday, January 18, 2019

Teach and Fortify

Weeks ago I was listening to a beautiful talk by one of my 
very favorite Church leaders and Apostle,
"We must continue to teach and fortify fathers and mothers
 in their divinely declared roles with their children in the home. 
We must ask ourselves constantly if that extra sporting event, 
that extra activity or errand outside of the home is more 
important than families being together at home."

This year Christian and I have created heavy-duty scripture 
goals for our family.
We will be studying from several sources including:
It's a tall order and will take a lot of commitment and hard work 
from ALL OF US, but the Little Nies accepted the challenge,
and most importantly they accepted it--willingly.

Mr. Nielson and I set up a family scripture study plan, and
I bought all the manuals and books for each family member.
 I also acquired gobs of fun pens for highlighting and writing,
and a journal for them to record thoughts and inspiration.
Lottie used her new Polaroid camera and took photos of each of
us to glue on our "scripture packet".
Lottie's scripture journal is already full of doodles, and I don't think
Nicholas has even cracked his open yet.
But that is to be expected.
Each night after dinner and at the dinner table 
(with plates still on the table), we study.
  Some nights it's for 5 minutes, and other nights, when time has
allowed, we've lingered at the table for over an hour
 talking about a certain topic or question.
Christian and I know our study each night won't be perfect, 
and some form of failure is inevitable.
But our family wants and needs the
"profound blessings" that we know we can receive
 as we put Christ first in our home.
As a mother, my calling is to help my children 
have a relationship with Christ.
I can do that, and am committed to doing that.
I don't know all the doctrine of the Church, I'm not good at memorization,
or have scriptures just waiting in the wings of my brain,
like some people I know...(Mr. Nielson).
I am still studying and praying for those gifts, and 
I certainly don't have answers to all
my children's questions, but I do have faith and I know
what I feel is real, and I can get answers to my sincere prayers.
I have seen miracles come from obedience and commitment to the Savior.
And I can teach to that.

Nielson Family Scripture study 2019:
Monday- Preach My Gospel  & The Book Of Mormon
Tuesday- The Book Of Mormon
Wednesday- The Book of Mormon
Thursday- For The Strength of Youth & The Book Of Mormon
Saturday- Off
Sunday- Come Follow Me & The New Testament 

* * * * * * * * *
Spiritual Enlightenment:
(Good quotes about Family scripture study)

"I promise you that daily family prayer and scripture study
 will build within the walls of your home a security and bonding
 that will enrich your lives and prepare your families to meet 
the challenges of today and the eternities to come."

"The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes,
 where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece."

"Sabbath day observance, family prayer, family scripture study, 
service and activity in the Church, as well as patterns of respect
 and loyalty in the home, will have a great effect 
on our children and on their future. 
Now, the important thing is that we consistently work to do these things.
 We will not be perfect at it, and our families will not always respond
 positively, but we will be building a strong foundation
 of righteous traditions that our children can depend on. "

"Consistent, wholesome family traditions that include prayer, 
scripture reading, family home evening, and attendance at 
Church meetings, though seemingly small and simple, 
create a culture of love, respect, unity, and security. 
In the spirit that accompanies these efforts, our children 
become protected from the fiery darts of the adversary so 
embedded in the worldly culture of our day."

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Introducing Fern:
 the newest member of the Nielson home.
Fern is 8 weeks old and was given to Nicholas
just recently as a Christmas present.
Nicholas was shocked on Christmas morning
 since he had NO idea he was getting her, or even asked for a hedgehog.
He was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited.
She's is adorable.  We love her- that is, we love her when she's not sleeping.
Since Fern is nocturnal, she's spinning around on her wheel while we are snoozing.
We're kind of like ships passing in the night, 
but usually after dinner Nicholas pulls her
out of her house so we can all mug and play with her.
Last Friday we had two sets of sister missionaries over for
 dinner and Fern was the maid of honor.

Getting to know Fern:

Mr. Nielson and I hand picked her out of about 23 other little hoglets.
We chose her for her calm disposition, and because 
she nestled into my sleeve when I picked her up for the first time.  I melted.
Fern eats kitten food.
Fern is nocturnal.
Fern likes strawberries.
Fern poops a lot when she wakes up.
Fern lives in a heat controlled habitat in the boy's room.
Fern loves to be held.
Fern kinda stinks.
And as it turns out,
I think Claire likes Fern the most in the family:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Faith, Hope, and Charity

It's finals week in the Harlow House.
The Little Nies are finishing up the term which means
that testing has begun.
We've had our share of tears, exhaustion, frustration, 
Priesthood blessings, prayers, success, and stress.
And I wondered if we could get through our nightly family scripture devotional
with all the homework and studying that needed to happen.

But after dinner we split the Little Nies up into "companionships".
Claire and Ollie, Nicholas and Jane, and me with Mr. Nielson and Lottie.  
Each companionship was studying a different Christlike attribute
Each group paired off and had 10 minutes to prepare.
Mr. Nielson and I (Lottie too) went to the couch to discuss, but mostly
we listened and observed our children with their scriptures open reading
and discussing their feelings about the topic.

I was overwhelmed with peace and knew why the term
 "heaven on earth" was invented,
because I was pretty sure I was experiencing it.

When we all met together after the 10 minutes was up,
the Little Nies presented their thoughts beautifully, sharing what they had
studied and learned specifically the Christlike attributes of
faith, hope, and charity.
They even shared some great examples from
 their own little lives.

Then it got a little rocky when we ended and it was time now
for five people to shower and get ready for bed.
But I'd like to focus just on the good parts of the evening.

"Faith leads to action, including repentance, obedience, and dedicated service. 
When you have faith in Jesus Christ, you trust the Lord enough to follow 
His commandments—even when you do not completely
 understand the reasons for them."
* *  
"Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you.
Hope helps you conquer discouragement."
* *
"Charity is “the pure love of Christ”
You will come to feel a sincere concern for the eternal 
welfare and happiness of other people. 
You will see them as children of God with the potential of
 becoming like our Heavenly Father."