Archive for the 'Personal/Family' Category



Deacon/Teacher transition, and Happy Birthday

My oldest son turns 14 tomorrow. He will be ordained a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. A big step for a young boy. His first home teaching assignment will be coming soon.

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A Blogger’s Prayer

Heavenly Father:

I want to thank you for helping me to find and participate in the LDS web log community known as the Bloggernacle. I also thank you for the many outstanding people I have been able to interact with. I usually enjoy this little hobby, and I hope you approve.

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What You Don’t Know (about me) Can’t Hurt You

I got tagged by Naiah, and am pleased to tell you five things that you may not know about me.

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Baseball Grandma

We once visited my grandparents in Blackfoot Idaho on a beautiful sunny day. I was about 9 years old. I got a little bored and decided to snoop around. In their shed I found a baseball bat and a ball, so I decided to play with them in the back yard. I would toss the ball up a few feet in the air and try to hit it. After a while I decided that what I really wanted to do was practice hitting a pitched ball. All I needed was a pitcher.

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Support Your Local Mormon Artist: Kent L. Turner


There have been a lot of posts recently regarding Mormon Artists. I just happen to be related to Kent L. Turner (my wife’s brother) who was recently awarded an Artists Choice Award at ebay. You can view some of his stuff here and here. He is a very talented guy. Feel free to leave comments for him here if you like. He is aware of my blog, but has never commented yet. Or better yet bid on some of his art.

Continue reading ‘Support Your Local Mormon Artist: Kent L. Turner’

Baby Shower Expert

My wife is quite a woman. I wish you could meet her. Chances are that if you did meet her you might go away thinking that you found your new best friend. She has that effect on a lot of people. She seems to have a special talent for helping those who might otherwise not have any friends.

One of the unexpected results of this is that if there is someone in our ward who ought to have a baby shower, but probably won’t get one, my wife either steps in and does it or gets asked to do it. Over the years my wife has become a bit of an expert on baby showers.

A few years ago she created a web site called showers deluxe. It is a free site with ideas for games, gifts, recipes, etiquette, etc. It has had nearly half a million visits so far. It is not exactly a blog, but does have a guest book.
Anyway, she created this web site using html code with some help from a brother of hers. Yes, I am bragging a bit, but not about myself.

So if you ever need to host a baby shower and would like some ideas this would be a good place to go. My wife’s name is Becky, and she does read my blog sometimes. Partly to humor me. Feel free to leave her a comment. She will get it eventually but may not respond. Hope somebody enjoys the site and finds it useful.

World’s Greatest Dentist

As many of you know, I grew up in Rexburg Idaho. There is a family in my current ward in Michigan who has two daughters attending BYU Idaho in Rexburg. The other day the father of the family asked if I know of any dentists in Rexburg. I was pleased to inform him that the greatest dentist in the world lives and works in Rexburg Idaho. The man’s name is R. Lane Ward. And he is the greatest dentist in the world.
He was the bishop of my youth, and so I have a fondness for him. I have lived in a few different places, and every time I go to a new dentist, they look in my mouth and comment on the quality of previous dental work. Nearly every dentist I have ever been to has made a similar compliment.

My wife’s father was out of work for nearly all of her teenage years. One of the things the family had to do without was dental care during this time. When my wife and I got married she had not been to a dentist in years. One morning she woke up with a lot of pain in a tooth. After a few days we decided to send her to this dentist. He called me after the appointment and told me that I should have looked inside my wife’s mouth before I married her. I thought he was being funny. He was not. My wife needed two root canals, seventeen fillings, and wisdom teeth removed. All of it was highly recommended.

We did not have insurance that would cover this. We were extremely poor college students who did not come from wealthy families. This was a fairly large scale financial tragedy for us at the time. But what else was I going to do? We decided to go ahead and figure out how to pay for it all later.

The work was done, and we went to the office to work out the bill and payment. His daughter was working as the receptionist. Dr./Bishop Ward gave her a list of the work he had done, and she punched calculator keys like mad. When she was done and hit the equals button, the man grimaced. This was not a good sign. He told her to give us the student discount. She gave him a puzzled look, and he nodded to her. She clicked a couple of keys and hit equals again. He told her that since we were both students that she should give us another student discount. A few more clicks.

‘Again’, he said.
Click, click, click.
‘Again’.
Click, click, click.
‘Again’.
More clicking.

After about one dozen student discounts, a figure was arrived at. The hundreds of dollars that were saved, when given our pathetic financial situation, was one of the most charitable acts I have been privileged to receive. Dentists in many towns comment on the quality, (and sometimes amount!) of the dental work my wife has had.

So, this individual in our Michigan ward called this great dentist in Rexburg. The dentist saw his daughter that day. Wisdom teeth will be removed this Friday. I am sure the procedure will be successful.

If you ever happen to be in Rexburg, and need quality dental care, (or know someone who does) I am pleased to recommend that you visit Dr. R. Lane Ward who happens to be the best dentist in the world. I am not sure what his current policy on student discounts is, but you will receive the very best care you could ever get. Tell him Eric Nielson sent you. He may have a story or two to tell.

I’m Turning Into My Dad!

A few people express that as they grow older, they find themselves turning into their parents. In many ways I see myself turning into my dad.

I find myself being interested in many of the same things he is interested in. I am finding we have a similar attitude and approach to the gospel. I say the same kind of jokes he did, saying them over and over for years just like him. Basketball and chess. A certain ‘no-nonsense’ in formal settings, a certain silliness when informal. A kind of social inhibition at times. Pursuing amateur writing on gospel topics. A desire for a simple life. We have a lot in common.

I have been influenced by many in my life. But there is only one mortal individual that I see myself turning into. And that is my dad.

Mid-Life Crisis

I am going to be turning 40 this year. That is old. I think about this once in a while, and wonder what kind of an affect this will have on me. I am told this is a time when some have a mid-life crisis.
I was asked a few weeks ago by a coworker when I was going to have my mid-life crisis. In one way I took it as a compliment. Perhaps he saw me as someone who appeared to be reasonably happy, and had not seen me depressed for a significant period of time. At least he saw no obvious evidence of a mid-life crisis. The wikipedia defines a mid-life crisis this way:

A mid-life crisis is an emotional state of doubt and anxiety in which a person becomes uncomfortable with the realization that life is halfway over. It commonly involves reflection on what the individual has done with his or her life up to that point, often with feelings that not enough was accomplished. The individuals experiencing such may feel boredom with their lives, jobs, or their partners, and may feel a strong desire to make changes in these areas. The condition is also called the beginning of individuation, a process of self-actualization that continues on to death. The condition is most common ranging from the ages of 35-45, and affects men more often than women.

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A Genealogy of my Mothers

I have been one of many who have been blessed with goodly parents. This Mother’s Day weekend I have been thinking a little about my mother and her influence on me. I must admit it is a little difficult to break it down into specifics. On one hand I might well say that there is nothing in my life that was not profoundly influenced by my mother. On the other it is difficult to take all of that and specifically point to things which were directly a result of her influence. I hope that makes sense.

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