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!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

#GiveThanks/Driving with Ollie

 Today I was so thankful for Ollie who drove me around to three 
different grocery stores and my eye appointment
where we had to wait for 45 minutes
to even get in to see the doctor.  He never complained once. 
Then he pushed our 600-pound cart full of Thanksgiving food and ingredients
 around the store (with a wonky wheel too) and all he asked for
 was a box of cookies 'n cream Pop-Tarts for his treat drawer in his room.  Done.
We must have laughed for 10 minutes straight while in Walmart
and I don't even remember why.
I have so much love and gratitude in my heart for my strong teenage son!
We had some really fabulous conversations and all I could think about was
that one day soon he'd up and leave on a mission and then to school, and then
he'd fall in love and get married and so these little moments together
running errands were like nuggets of gold in my life.
On the way home, we listened to Johnny Mathis sing Christmas songs
and talked about his 16th birthday in January and subsequent big first date!
I was also very, VERY grateful for Jane who held down the homeschool fort for
me while I ran these errands!
And now I'm (pretty much) ready for Thanksgiving!  Yay! 
Today on my social media I wrote about how
 grateful for my siblings on both sides and our big families! 
I'm grateful for their perspectives, ideas, 
and the support they've been all my life.
 They've helped shape my childhood and raise me and my own children.
 Families take work and patience, love, and forgiveness. 
I'm so grateful that the Savior helps heal families, 
He blesses relationships, and because of Him,
 I'll see Topher and Christian's sister, Charity again!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gratitude: a Prophet's Message #GiveThanks

 Last week we heard from our prophet, Russell M. Nelson as
His message focused on the importance of GRATITUDE.
 President Nelson invited "everyone for the next seven days—to turn social media
into your own personal gratitude journal. Post every day about what you
are grateful for, whom you are grateful for, and why you are grateful.
At the end of seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace.
Use the hashtag #GiveThanks. Working together, we can flood social
media with a wave of gratitude that reaches the four corners of the
earth...Second, let us unite in thanking God through daily prayer. Jesus Christ
taught His disciples to pray by first expressing gratitude to God and then
petitioning Him for the things we need. Prayer brings forth miracles.
Over my nine and a half decades of life, I have concluded that counting
our blessings is far better than recounting our problems. No matter our
situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting
 and longlasting spiritual prescription.
Does gratitude spare us from sorrow, sadness, grief, and pain? No, but
it does soothe our feelings. It provides us with a greater perspective on
the very purpose and joy of life"

My mind immediately thought about the precious existence of my LIFE!
Never a day goes by that I don't remember how close 
I was to losing it. My heart swells when I think about all
the angels who helped me live and heal.

I love this quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland:
 "We are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil.
 Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. 
Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods.
 Some of them gave birth to us...Indeed heaven never seems closer
 than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and 
devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the
 only word that comes to mind."

The photo above is my burn team angels surrounding and lifting
 me up from the 
Arizona Burn Center; Deb, Kelly, Connie, and my sister Page.
And I'm also grateful to whoever had the presence
 of mind to keep my toenails painted!

Friday, November 20, 2020

First day of 3rd Grade!! (again).

It was a BIG day for Lottie...she finally went to her FIRST DAY of in-person SCHOOL!!!!
She only attends two days a week and will Zoom the other three days.
We'll see how it goes.
She was really nervous- especially about having to wear a mask all day, and
I don't blame her, that would send me over the edge too. 
When I dropped her off, a masked teacher took her forehead temp 
and then gave her the thumbs up and walked away.  She looked at me and said:
 "Mom, I don't know what I'm doing.  
Where do I go?  I don't know what I'm doing."
As a strict rule per-covid, parents are not allowed to get out of our cars 
 to help assist children and so I helplessly watched her fumble around
 until we both had tears in our eyes.  I yelled out the window to her as the
carpool director waved me on:
 "Just walk in school and ask someone for help!  
You can do it! I love you so much!  I'll see you at 3:00!!!"
Then she turned her little head around and timidly walked inside.  
I couldn't wait for 3:00 so I could pick her up.
As I drove away from the carpool lane,
I found myself crying like I did when I dropped Claire off at kindergarten.
This was wrong.
But as it turns out she had a great day but said she didn't want to go back.
I mean how can school compete with home school?
It's been pretty awesome doing school sitting next to me and everyone
 at the table, while listening to music, eating snacks, and drinking tea
with breakfast on the cold mornings.
It sure beats waking up extra early, driving in the cold car, and having to say goodbye.
Seriously, how could school possibly compete with that?  Especially for a family of homebodies!
We'll give a week, I said.
If I didn't LOVE her teacher I'd have given it up already.
(I am soooo grateful for teachers!)
* * * * *
Spiritual Enlightenment:
I am SO looking forward to the Prophet's message today!!  
Happy weekend!  (Is it time to pull out the Christmas decorations yet??)