Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Deck The Halls

 The day after Thanksgiving I woke up
 with the intention to deck the halls 
of The White House but instead, my eye had a 
weird allergic reaction and swelled shut. 
So I took two Benadryl and fell asleep on the couch for most of the day.  
It was a little bit discouraging especially since my house 
was covered with half-opened boxes of decorations and Lottie was so excited!
On Saturday I woke up with my eye still swollen but not as much
 and so I resumed decking the halls.
With the help of all the Nies, we put up the lights, 
my Christmas village, our trees, pulled out my Christmas dishes, 
and put our wreaths on the outside windows of The White House.
There is a certain glow that happens in my home at Christmas time.
There is no way to explain it except by one magical word:
HYGGE.  Welcome, Hygge!
I use Bright Lab lights on my Christmas trees 
(and pretty much every holiday).
They are the cutest!! 

I welcome December's cold dark nights
and all the Hyggelit that I can create, but I am most excited to 
welcome more meaningful time with my family as we celebrate and honor
the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2020

 HAPPY DECEMBER!!!  But first, our Thanksgiving in review:

In the morning the boys played in the annual Turkey Bowl, 
and the girls (mostly me and Jane) cooked in the kitchen.
While the food was cooking or setting up,
 we lounged around the living
room reading and watching Netflix.
Dinner was served at 6:30.
And before we dug in, Christan blessed our beautiful bounty
and we talked about what we were most grateful for.
The Book of Mormon
Our home
The Prophet, Russell M. Nelson
Patience, hope, love, and grace.
After dinner, I passed around hot winter wassail with
our pumpkin spice and decadent chocolate pies.
We cleaned up dinner (kept the pies out),
 and watched Murder on the Orient Express
where I fell asleep for the whole middle part.
Winter Pear Salad with Kumquats and Pomegranate Seeds
Sweet Potato Casserole with marshmallow topping
Frog Eye Salad (compliments of Oliver)
Herb-Infused Mashed Potatoes
Savory Herb Stuffing
Janes rolls
Pies with Wassail

The End.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Home Church Week 36/Christian's 42nd Birthday

 Today we celebrated Christian, my husband, and the father of our home.  
The Nies ADORE Christian and Christian ADORES them.  
I read this quote by former Prophet, Howard W. Hunter, and thought of Christian:
 "Earn the respect and confidence of your children 
through your loving relationship with them. 
A righteous father protects his children with his time and presence
 in their social, educational, and spiritual activities and responsibilities... 
 Tell your children you love them."
Over Thanksgiving break, the Nies taught us how to play "Among Us"
which is a hot new phone/computer game (I actually don't really...know still).
It's set in space and there are these little space guys and you
can pick the color of your suit and your hat. You're supposed to do tasks,
and not get killed by the imposter.
Other than that, all I know is that I die every single game and that
my kids laugh at me, and I feel super old. 
 But Christian is an Among Us super-slooth and the Nies love it when he plays.
Christian's game name is "INXS" his favorite band, and his character
is a little yellow guy with a cowboy hat.  Claire made him a birthday card today
and painted his character on the cover.  It was pretty cute.
I made him a chocolate (extra dark) cake and we went around the dining room
table sharing our favorite "dad moments".
I told the kids about when we were dating and we rode a horse bareback
 at dusk in the mountains.  It was like out of a storybook.  
I'll never forget it.  Top 10 most romantic moments for sure!
Claire remembered his excited reaction when she received her mission call.
Jane shared about a time when she was about 10 and he
asked her to go to Costco with him before a big snowstorm was
predicted to hit.  Jane said they picked out and bought so many treats
and good foods to hunker down and wait out the Utah snowstorm.
Oliver remembered an epic Uno match while camping in the "hygge-mobile".  
Nicholas told us that everything he's ever learned by 
dad was while driving in the car: "Dad knows everything!".
Lottie told the cutest story about when he had picked her up from school
and she made up a funny word and they said it the whole way home
while laughing about it.  She could barely get the words out 
because she was still laughing about it.
I love Christian for so many reasons, but my favorite reason is that 
he works hard every day to improve as a husband and father.  
The very second he wakes up he reads his scriptures and communes with God.  
I love him and appreciate his example.  
He is kind and gentle, patient, and forgiving.  
I feel beyond blessed that I claim him as mine.  
We have taken some rough roads, been in some discouraging circumstances, 
and felt indescribable pain but we're doing it together and with 
each other connected to the Lord, we know we can manage anything.
Today in Home Church we sang CHRISTMAS SONGS!  I love this time of year!!
 I also read a letter that our Prophet, Russell M. Nelson sent members
of The Church about gratitude and his invitation to be part 
of the Light the World campaign.
We watched the 2020 Light the World intro video and
 discussed how our family can be a part of the light in this
often dark and confusing world. 
I love this time of the year and appreciate my children and their
sweet voices in my home which bring so much light and love.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving 2020/#GiveThanks

 A very Happy Thanksgiving from us here in The White House to you and yours!
Being away from family for all holidays the past three years
 has often felt lonley and yes, of course, we miss being with our people, 
but the memories we are making together and the closeness 
we feel as a little family is beyond memorable
 and honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way!  
We are happy and feel so incredibly blessed.
How grateful I am to the Savior who fills my heart with light and hope,
and how grateful I am that He has blessed me with a beautiful healthy family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

#GiveThanks/2020 Christmas Trees

 Today was a very exciting day for us Nielsons!   
Together with friends, we picked out our 2020 Christmas trees!
We drove to a darling little tree farm in the mountians 
near the North Carolina/Virginia border. 
We were the only three families on the whole farm!!
Growing up, my mom always had our Christmas trees up for Thanksgiving which made everything seem more magical and exciting. 
And the temperature on the farm was just right, 
not too cold and not too hot.
In my opinion, it's no fun looking for a Christmas tree in the heat
...but that's just me, and I'm a cold-weather type of gal. 


 We were missing Claire who was working the
 Black Friday sales at Banana Republic.
I am so thankful for good friends who have become our family, and
with whom we can share these fabulous holiday experiences.
Today the girls and I will be making our Thanksgiving pies 
and preparing the table.
These are the happiest of days!