Friday, January 30, 2015

Valentines Day hints...

This weekend I am going to be preparing for Valentines Day with the Little Nies.
Or also known as "Lovers Holiday" around these parts.
Here is what we have picked out:

These fun custom stickers to attach on
goodies bags for the Little Nies to give to their classmates.  
They come in three different colors.
Now we just need to decide what treats to put in the bags. (fun details!)
Other very fun personal Valentines gift ideas:
* * * * * * * *
It's not any holiday unless I have my gorgeous glass stars up.
Last year I had a custom thumb-print center made for a gorgeous red heart.
You can read about that, HERE
It turned out perfect and is so tender to me- especially since our thumb prints
are almost nonexistent from our burns.
 This year, I am loving this gorgeous "Love Star".
The center is a cool vintage plastic heart!  Love it!
Use code HEARTSTAR to get 20% off your order. 
{{Also, engraving is free if you want a name on your star}}
* * * * * * * *
I am also getting ready to unveil the love song that I dedicate to 
Mr. Nielson for the year.
This past year it was THIS SONG. (it was also my ring tone all year).
Do you have your song picked out yet?
* * * * * * * *

Spiritual Enlightenment: Plant His words in your heart.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Faithful mothers.

 (Me and my girls)
"My dear young women, with all my heart I urge you not to look to 
contemporary culture for your role models and mentors. 
Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow. 
Model yourselves after them, not after celebrities whose standards 
are not the Lord’s standards and whose values may 
not reflect an eternal perspective. 
Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. 
Listen to her. She may not be a whiz at texting; 
she may not even have a Facebook page. 
But when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, 
she has a wealth of knowledge. As you approach the time for marriage and 
young motherhood, she will be your greatest source of wisdom. 
No other person on earth loves you in the same way or is willing to 
sacrifice as much to encourage you and help you 
find happiness—in this life and forever."
(Me and my Mom)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I am an Abolitionist...

Tonight Mr. Nielson and I attended the premiere of the movie "The Abolitionists".
The film shows the inner workings of the sex trade of innocent young children (mostly girls) 
and the brave men and women who are trying to save them from slavery.
The film brought me to tears at every scene.  I couldn't contain the pain 
I felt for these young girls, children and babies!  
I openly wept in the theater.
I was honored to sit next to Ed Smart, who is the father of Elizabeth Smart
who has joined forces with the O.U.R foundation to help bring hope and 
support through her amazing example and story.
Mr. Nielson with the O.U.R. jump team on a recent sting.
That mission was in The Dominican Republic where they saved 26 children.

I feel so honored to know Tim Ballard and the other 
men and women who sacrifice so much
to free these children.  My heart breaks and I am overcome with so much
emotion when I think about the pain and heartache 
these children and young girls face. 

After the premiere was over,  I just wanted to get in the car and leave. 
 I wasn't up for socializing with anyone.  My heart felt like it had been pulled out of my chest.
Our car ride home was pretty silent.  
Mr. Nielson and I both had emotions and we were both not really 
quite ready to talk about them.
We held each other close in bed and thanked God for our blessings, 
for safety, for healthy children, a safe community, and the O.U.R foundation 
particularly for Tim Ballard for being so brave.
We also begged God to help us be instruments in His hands to help the innocent,
the sad, the lonely, and the lost.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lottie's firsts

Together Lottie girl and I snuggled on my sheep skin
rug in front of our fireplace.  Her gorgeous red hair was a beautiful contrast
to her flawless white skin.  
When I stop to think about it, she really is my best friend. 
I get to be there when she experiences all of her "firsts"
It's really so amazing! 
I am so thankful I can remember these memories.
Here are a few of my favorite Lottie firsts (so far).

-Watching her watch me peel an orange and the eat the inside together.
-When she was bedazzled at fireworks exploding in the sky.
-Tasting Dr. Pepper for the first time (on an airplane).
-When I painted her toes. ( I painted each toenail red and then she pointed
to pink so I removed the red and painted them pink.  Then she wanted purple, 
then gold, then we ended up with green).
-When she held my brother's little dog and wouldn't let go.
-Her first time in our hot tub outside under the stars.
-When she first saw and said "moon".
-Watching Mr. Nielson give Ollie and Nicholas haircuts.
-Eating snow.
-Turning on the disposal.
-Drawing a face with eyes, ears, and nose.
-Buckling her own car seat straps.
-Blowing her nose.
-Taking photos with my phone.
-Getting piggyback rides around the house from anyone and everyone.

{Isn't she so cute}

Monday, January 26, 2015

Broken bones

After church yesterday Claire broke her arm/wrist. 
I am going to blog about this whole ordeal in a later post. 
I am just so glad my 13 year old baby is OK!
(Bless your heart darling girl!)

Friday, January 23, 2015


"We must approach our Eternal Father with broken hearts and teachable minds.
 We must be willing to learn and to change. And, oh, how much we gain by
 committing to live the life our Heavenly Father intends for us."
I recently had a argument with someone I deeply love.
I was frustrated and mad.  I cried and was very hurt.
I stewed over the words which were spoken to me that day, and the pain 
I felt, and the more I thought, the more mad I became.
After hours of thinking up the best "comebacks" I was ready to confront
this person and lay it on...thick.
I went to this person to explain my thoughts and frustrations,
Just as I was about to let it rip, I felt something inside my heart.
 It was warm and soft and melted away all my pain.
I was able to convey my thoughts rationally and calmly.
 My heart was open to listen and understand.
Soon enough I realized I had totally been wrong on a lot of
 what I was sure I knew.
We had misread and mistreated one another because we both thought
we were right and knew best.

"... none of us likes to admit when we are drifting off the right course. 
Often we try to avoid looking deeply into our souls and confronting 
our weaknesses, limitations, and fears.
 Consequently, when we do examine our lives, we look through 
the filter of biases, excuses, and stories we tell ourselves in 
order to justify unworthy thoughts and actions".

I want to be teachable, I want to be the good change in all my relationships. 
I want to be the first to say sorry.
I know seeing myself with clear honest eyes IS essential and
 the first step in my personal and spiritual growth.  
But it all starts with my desire to change,
and I can do that.

Quotes from this post HERE

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Constant movement

The best thing for me and my health condition is constant movement.
So I make sure I hike each day.
I also constantly sweep my floors, and do the laundry.
I probably load the dishwasher four times daily,
 and wipe down the counters ten times daily.
But my favorite movement is mothering.
There is always someone to snuggle, a hand to hold,
 a storybook to read, a smile to see,
 a tear to wipe, a mouth to feed, a joke to hear, a story to tell, and so on and on.

In the burn center before I was discharged, my nurse went over
the daily physical therapy plan for me.  I was to go to the hospital
rehabilitation center and work for hours a day to get back the  
movement in my fingers, legs, arms, walk, and even my speech--
 pretty much everything needed therapy.
  I spent long hours at the center getting better, and one day I woke up and 
announced I was done.
While this therapy was healing me, I figured I could do all of these things 
just by engaging more in daily tasks at home--by being mom again.
I began simple chores like using my fingers to pick and
bag up baby carrots for the kids lunches.  
I unloaded the dishwasher sorting the utensils.
I practiced buttoning shirts (still working on that).
Even turning pages in books was a huge task (still is).
 I strengthened my muscles by lifting Nicholas, 
putting groceries away, and folding laundry.
It all came back and I believe it was because of my desire to be a mother.
I still struggle and hurt.  Daily tasks are still hard and frustrating.
I am still learning to be patient with myself and body.

But mostly I got better because I learned to love myself.
And when I loved myself, I loved my children and others more, 
and then my desire to serve 
my children and others was greater, and then I got better.

It's a pretty simple idea, not always so simple to master.
But possible.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Poopy trained.

Lottie is pretty much toilet trained.
This is great news for me.
I didn't push her or beg her or make her do it.
All I did was buy a 6-pack of princess undies
and a 6-pack of pony undies and TA-DA!! DONE.  

*Lottie's adorable Mexican dress HERE

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Birds and the Bees

(Oliver and Mr. Nielson together on frozen Utah Lake)
Last night, Mr.Nielson and I sat with Oliver;
It was his turn to hear "the talk".
We talked about sex, relationships, and the changes in his little body.
When Claire and Jane turned 10, they also had this talk with 
us- on our bench at the foot of our bed.
As we talked about how babies were made and
body parts and all that jazz,  
Ollie sat in-between us quietly with a toy motorcycle in his hands. 
 I couldn't help feel reluctant as we talked appropriately
 about these delicate subjects. He seemed too young to know this stuff.
(Ollie and Lottie after church)

But, I have realized that we as parents are in competition 
with the world about who gets to tell our children first about sex. 
 I am serious about winning.  This is my responsibility, thank you very much.

Mr. Nielson and I expressed our desire that Oliver acquire traits of courtesy, 
honesty, fidelity, good humor, (as opposed to crude language and jokes about sex that 
most the time happen at school),
and spiritual integrity as he develops and grows.
Our desire and hope is that he will respect this sacred understanding
 and respect his own body after hearing us;
his parents, who love and care for his happiness and success
more than anyone else on this planet.

As we talked to Ollie about intimacy, we made it clear to him that sex is good
 when done within a marriage relationship,
I think that is really important for kids to know.  
Sex isn't bad or evil or dirty- its the opposite- but it's all about timing.

I believe that in some ways, the example we set in our marriage
 and relationship is more important than
 that of us teaching and discussing this delicate subject to our children.
I believe when Oliver (and all the Little Nies) see Mr. Nielson and I 
interact one with another in a beautiful, loving, caring, and selfless way,
hopefully they will be influenced to gravitate to a normal and 
healthy relationship and marriage, as partners together.
Sex is so much more than bodies.  It's also about 
responsibility, pure love, charity, dedication, cleanliness, and family.

And that is how we talked to Oliver about the "birds and the bees".

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy MLK Day!

"Take the first step in faith.
You don't have to see the whole staircase, 
just the first step."
-Martin Luther King JR.
My morning hiking trail covered in fog.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How I know I am a child of God, by Nicholas

I asked each of my children how they personally
 know that they are children of God.  
Each Little Nie told me and gave me permission to share their very
personal thoughts on my blog about how they know they
are children of God.
(These thoughts are word for word)
By: Nicholas Jones
Age: 8
I know I am a child of God because I go to church and learn it.
I know because I read the scriptures with my family.
I know because I listen to my church teachers.
I know because Jesus is real, and I know he died for me.
I believe Heavenly Father sent Jesus to earth to be my Saviour.
And I know Heavenly Father would only do that because I am
His child too.

YOU are a Child of God too!!

(((Happy Weekend)))

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How I know I am a child of God, by Oliver

I asked each of my children how they personally
 know that they are children of God.  
Each Little Nie told me and gave me permission to share their very
personal thoughts on my blog about how they know they
are children of God.
(These thoughts are word for word)
By: Oliver Christian
I know I am a child of God because when I pray, I get blessings and
answers to my prayers.
I know I am a child of God because whenever I am somewhere
and have a bad feeling, the Holy Ghost tells me. 
I know I am a child of God because I know He created me and my family.
I know I am a child of God because the scriptures tell me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How I know I am a child of God, by Jane

I asked each of my children how they personally
 know that they are children of God.  
Each Little Nie told me and gave me permission to share their very
personal thoughts on my blog about how they know they
are children of God.
(These thoughts are word for word)
By: Jane Bronwyn
Age: 11 (almost 12)
I know that I am a child of God because it is taught at church, and I know
because it says so in the scriptures. I believe the scriptures are true.
 I also know because whenever I sing
"I am a child of God" I feel a warm and happy.
I know that I am a daughter of God because we have families and Heavenly Father
put us together so we can be happy and be taught the right way to live.
 I know I am a child of God because my earthy parents tell me and teach me
stories about Christ and about who I was before I came to earth.
It make sense to me.
I know I am a child of God and He loves me.
(Jane wanted me to add the smiley face)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How I know I am a child of God, by Claire

I asked each of my children how they personally
 know that they are children of God.  
Each Little Nie told me and gave me permission to share their very
personal thoughts on my blog about how they know they
are children of God.
(These thoughts are word for word)
By: Claire Elizabeth 
Age: 13

I know that I am a child of God because of all the wonderful experiences I've had.
I know because of my many church leaders who share their
very strong testimony, and also
from the lovely and terrific parents who love me.
And of course, because Heavenly Father sent Christ to earth to be my Savior.
I know that Christ lives and I know that from my personal
scripture study and very hopeful prayer.
I am honored to be God's daughter.  
I know I am a child of God because of all of the amazing details he puts into
each of His children.  It's incredible.
Recently, I was learning about the eye in health class.
My mom and I were discussing about how fascinating and detailed the eye is.
I know that God created the eye, and He created everything in our bodies.
I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and I believe in 
Him and have a testimony.
I know because I prayed and asked.
I had a special experience at Girls camp where we prayed and 
studied the scriptures for 20 minutes
alone near our camp site in the woods.
I studied the scriptures and wrote in my journal.  I thought about
Christ and my Heavenly Father and felt a very overwhelming feeling of God's 
love for me.  It was so amazing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

How I know I am a child of God

Last night Mr. Nielson and I discussed with the
 Little Nies the beautiful and very real 
relationship that we have with a very real and very 
alive Father in Heaven--or God.
If there has been anything more precious and helpful in my life as
 I progress and endure challenges and pain; it is the knowledge that 
God is in control, and that I am His daughter.
I know that God is the creator and Father of each one of us.
He is the Ruler and Preserver of everything.
He is perfect, He has all power and knows all things.
This knowledge blesses my life everyday, and gives me
perspective when I am in the midst of hardship but also when I am
experiencing the greatest of joys in life. 
God knows our names, hears and answers our prayers everyday no matter 
what we have done or if we think we don't deserve His love and attention.
I know He wants our individual happiness and safety- probably more than
anything else on this planet.
I asked each of my children how they personally
 know that they are children of God.  
Each Little Nie told me and gave me permission to share their very
personal thoughts on my blog about how they know they
are children of God.
I will be sharing them with you each day this week.

I hope you know for yourself that you too
are a son or daughter of God, our Heavenly Father.
In 2013, I asked the Little Nies "what they know to be true" and posted their
thoughts on my blog.
You can see them HERE.

Friday, January 09, 2015

The best experience of 2015....yet

There I was on new years eve, armed with my phone/camera. 
 The whole night I snapped photos of the party, the people, 
the table setting, the food, the kids, Mr. Nielson,
and the fireworks out my window.  
All before the big moment- midnight when 2014 slips into 2015,
and minutes away from the new year we all bundled up in our warmest garb 
and headed out to the front porch.  Sparkling cider in our glasses
(Lottie in dreamland),  we began the countdown.
Ten, nine, eight...then I realized my phone died. I panicked.  
How would I photograph the children ringing in the new year?  
How would I photograph the amazing sight of fireworks exploding 
throughout the valley, how would I capture my New Year's kiss with Mr. Nielson?
I was distraught.  The only photo I got was seconds before the
countdown and it was blurry and black. (above)
Three, two, ONE....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
The kids screamed, fireworks exploded, and in the distance 
I heard pots and pans banging somewhere in the neighborhood.
I looked at Mr. Nielson who had his bubblie glass
 pointed up to the vibrant gorgeous and very bright moon.
And in that moment, I lived in that very moment.
I wasn't concerned with photographs, or the best angle or
 lighting or anything like that.
All that mattered was right now.  
And right now I was smooching the first 2015 kiss to Mr. Nielson.
I was actually watching the fireworks pop out in the valley
 below me in all directions as far as the eye can see.
It was about 3 degrees outside and everyone had run in to continue 
the celebration near the roaring fire.
I stayed on the porch alone taking in every photo-free,
social medial-free moment of real life and real feelings.
I walked inside with a fresh take on living in the moment
and with the ones I love.
Sometimes the best memories are kept inside the heart.
 Just because they are not on your camera roll
doesn't mean they never happened.

 Spiritual Enlightenment:
Have confidence in God this year, this is HOW


Thursday, January 08, 2015

Fox Hill house swings.

Fun with the Fox Hill house swings!!
Lottie loves the swings best, I think.  Maybe that is 
because Mr. Nielson will spend hours pushing 
her back and forth back and forth.  They both are equally satisfied.
 (Claire also really wanted me to take a trrick photo of her
using my pano setting on my phone).
* Missing is Nicholas who also enjoys the house swings.  
He probably was upstairs in his room putting together
his 300,000,000 piece Lego set.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Happy Birthday Oliver Christian!! 10 10 10 10 10

 This little man turned   T E N  on January 2nd.
I will never forget when Ollie was born- on my bed- while we lived in New Jersey.
After he was delivered, New Jersey had one of the worse 
(best) snowstorms in history. 

Work was cancelled for Mr. Nielson for almost a week.  It was perfect.
Oliver always wakes up first in our home.  He comes downstairs, 
makes himself his own breakfast, and then goes into Lottie's room 
and gets her out of her crib.  
He then quietly brings her into the kitchen where he feeds and plays with her,
 and helps himself to another bowl of frosted flakes.
I love him.
The one thing Oliver wanted most for his special day was an IV pole so 
he can play hospital with his sisters in our basement.  
We have quite the set-up here.  Between all my old burn gear, Deb, and Dr. J
giving us some expired hospital supplies, seriously my kids have the best hospital around. 
(It's actually technically called "Fox Hill Hospital").
Oliver didn't want a cake this year, instead he wanted ice cream- 
with one of his best friends William. was only about 4 degrees outside.