Monday, December 21, 2015

Jerry's and Gemie's 2015 Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

We finally did it!  We had a big Martin Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida this summer.  We sure had a fun time getting together.  This picture lies.  Two of our members had a wedding to attend and could not stay for the big family picture, so Summer Jackman, our photographer caught them separately and has photo shopped them in.  Can you even guess which two?  (It is Chris and Karen on the far left.)

The picture is also already out of date.  We have added another family member.  Sweet little Gemma joined us earlier this month.  She is the only daughter of Camie and Spencer (who already have 4 sons).  She makes 21 grandchildren for us.  We are tickled pink!!!

Another highlight for 2015 is that Gemie realized a lifelong dream and graduated in April with a Bachelor of General Studies (with an emphasis in Psychology) from Brigham Young University.  She couldn’t have done it without Jerry’s help.  In any subject requiring math skills, he was her tutor.  She graduated alongside Christopher (our seventh child) who also graduated from BYU with a degree in Exercise Physiology.

We feel truly blessed this holiday season.  We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Jerry and Gemie Martin 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The "Dallin Rules"

 (Or Should this post be titled "Dallin Rules?")

My four grandson's who live about 40 minutes away in Fate, Texas were visiting me recently.  Four-year-old Dallin wanted to play a game with me.   He chose Bingo.  "Wonderful,"  I thought to myself, "this will help reinforce his knowledge of numbers and a few letters."  I had been warned previously about playing games with Dallin.  "Watch out Mom," my daughter Camie (his mother) said, "Dallin cheats."  After playing several games with him, I've decided the problem isn't that he cheats, he just plays by a different set of rules.

Here is how the "Dallin Rules" work for Bingo.  We set the game up and I instructed Dallin to choose his card.  I had chosen  the first card I came to.  Dallin looked at every single remaining card rejecting them all in turn.  Then he finally settled on one that he had previously rejected.  "Whew,"  I thought, "the rest of the game should be a cinch."  Not, as I was to soon find out, if you play Bingo by the "Dallin Rules."

I showed Dallin how to choose one of the small colored chips (markers) and place it over the center square which read "Free."  Dallin turned the cage handle and out came a small ball on which was printed "G-47."   He had that number on his card.  I showed him how to select one of the small colored chips and place it on the correct square on his card.  Dallin decided that more than one ball should come out per turn. He had appointed himself the "caller."Around and around the cage went spewing colored Bingo balls.  I decided this was fair because we each had an equal chance to cover our card based on the numbers and letters printed on those colored balls.

Soon,the game was not exciting enough for Dallin.  He had B-12 which had just been called, on his card.  "Okay Grandma," he said, "close your eyes."  I obediently complied.  "Now open them."  Dallin instructed. "Now guess which color I have in my hand," said my grandson as he held up a closed fist.  I guessed it was pink,  "Now it's my turn to guess," announced Dallin.  He then guessed, "blue," whereupon he opened his fist to reveal a small blue chip in the center of his palm.  We continued playing this way for a time, with me  mostly making inaccurate guesses as to which of the six colors was on the chip he had in his hand, and then him guessing (with one hundred percent accuracy), which color he held.

At one point, Dallin noticed my card filling up with chips.  "Okay," he announced, "time for us to switch cards."  Since we were playing by the "Dallin Rules" I reluctantly surrendered my card and I took over his which had fewer numbers covered.  The game resumed.

With the addition of the guessing element in the game, we usually ended up forgetting which number was on the ball which had just been retrieved from the cage.  Several times I had to go over his card and match the numbers on the grid of his card, to the balls in the tray indicating which numbers had been drawn. I was finally getting smart enough to hold the most recently retrieved ball in my hand, waiting to place it in the tray until the chip had been placed on his card; when suddenly, the game was over.  By the end of that game, I was mentally exhausted.  I was also very glad that even Dallin had tired of playing Bingo by the "Dallin Rules."

Friday, January 9, 2015

Rock Me to Sleep, Mother

This morning in a dream my mother visited me.  I knew when I saw her that she had already passed to the other side of the veil.  I remember embracing her and feeling the comfort that only my mother can give.  I did not want that hug to end.  I told her how much I loved her.  Her presence seemed so real to me, I still feel many hours later, that her visit actually happened.  For hours after I awakened, I could still feel the peace her presence had brought me.  It has been over three years since I said "good-bye" to her.  I realize that I have not lost my mother at all.  She is still aware of me.  She is still my mother.  It reminded me of a poem I like.  This poem has been a favorite of mine for many years. All but the second and third stanzas express how I feel.

Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Ackers Allen

BACKWARD, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,         5
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—  10
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—  15
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between:  20
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I to-night for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Over my heart, in the days that are flown,  25
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures,—
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.  30
Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead to-night,  35
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!  40
Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,  45
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!