Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016

Merry Martin Christmas 2016

This year we are again so very blessed.  Here is a count of our blessings:

One wonderful living parent!!!  We are blessed to have Jerry’s 90 year-old mother Melba Martin still with us here on this Earth.  She is as mentally sharp and spunky as ever.  We are spending Christmas with her in Preston, Idaho this year.

Two new Grandchildren!  Cute and cuddly, Jordyn Gemie Martin joined our family on August 12th.    Jerald Lynn Martin (the 3rd with that name) could come any day now and we feel he is already part of the family.  (Is this counting our grandchildren before they are hatched?)

Three new homes:  Not for us, but three of our families got new homes this year.  The Boren’s moved to a new home within the same city (Lehi, Utah).  They love their pool and large back yard.  Justin graduated from medical school in San Antonio and he and Kara built a new home in Temple, Texas where he is doing his residency.  They are enjoying being first time home owners.  The Ronér’s made the move from the Atlanta, Georgia area to the Syracuse, New York area where they built a new home!  The children are missing their old back yard, but happy to experience snow. They are having a White Christmas!

Four callings:  Jerry (Sr.) was called in February to be the First Counselor in the Plano, Texas Stake Presidency.   He has also accepted a volunteer position as the District Chairman for the Golden Arrow District of the Boy Scouts of America.  Gemie continues to serve as the Stake Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for our Plano, Texas Stake.  She is gearing up for our Stake Emergency Preparedness Fair which will be held on February 25th.  She also volunteers in the Family History Center on Tuesday mornings.

Five extra "weekend days" each week!  That is what is supposed to happen when you retire right?  It was working for us.  Now we are so busy we wonder how Jerry ever had time to work and how Gemie accomplished what she did with eight children to chauffer all over Plano and a family of 10 to cook and do laundry for.

Six Hobbies:  Jerry loves coin collecting and can boast the best Lincoln Wheat Back Penny collection ever assembled! (Rest easy, it is in a safe deposit box).  Jerry also loves reading (Brandon Sanderson is his favorite author). He also loves to hike and is putting a lot of mileage on his new knee (which was replaced in January).  Gemie’s newest hobby is baking with sour dough.  She loves creating new recipes (sour dough and otherwise).  She also loves to sew and read but rarely finds time for either. 

Seven wonderful in-laws!  We have four terrific sons-in-law, (Spencer, Brendan, Neil, and Brett), and three fantastic daughters-in-law (Sara, Kara, and Karen)!  We are so grateful to these wonderful people our children chose to have as their eternal companions!  We couldn’t be more pleased to have them in our family!!!  

Eight Wonderful Children!  We are so lucky to have each child!  We appreciate each one for the way they conduct their lives.  Our children and their spouses have fun texting the whole group when things happen in their lives (like the new Christmas puppy that just appeared down in Temple, Texas)!  When our phones start buzzing non-stop, we know our children and their spouses are having fun in a group conversation! We love that they enjoy keeping in touch with each other and with us.  Camie, Alyssa, Kindra, Jenae, Jerald (Jerry), Justin, Christopher (Chris), and Adam—we love you fiercely!!!

Nine Wonderful Siblings:   Gemie still has all seven of hers: Loren (Bud), Marlene, George, Mark, Julie, April, and Marvelee.   We love our family reunions in Bliss Canyon (Moab, Utah) where four of them reside!  Jerry has two sisters: Sharan and Nadine who we love our visits with as well (we are also spending Christmas with Sharan this year).  We also have a wonderful sister-in-law Sallie whom we love to get together with and will also see Christmas day!  Sallie lives in Logan, Utah. 

Ten handsome grandsons: They range in age from Ryan who will be 14 in March to the littlest (as yet unborn) Jerald (Jerry?).  In between we have Benjamin (Ben) who is 10, Luke (9), Joshua (Josh) who is 7, Logan (6), Dallin (6), Trace (5), Seth (3) and James (almost 3). 

Eleven rooms of new windows.  We finally got around to replacing most of the windows in our home.  We love having no more cold and drafty areas in the winter!  We hope to see lower utility bills in summer and winter.  We wish we had done this sooner!

Twelve wonderful months of enjoying each other’s company.  I would say we can now finish each other’s sentences, but Gemie never knows what Jerry will say.  Jerry needs to finish Gemie’s sentences because she forgets what she is saying mid- . . .

Thirteen gorgeous granddaughters!!!  At 12 Brooklyn is almost a teenager.  Ashlin and Katelyn (Kate) both 11 are “Irish twins” having been born less than a week apart.  Then we have Bailey, Abigail (Abby), and Eleanor (Ellie) all 10.  Marin and Rachel are nine, but turn 10 early in the year.  Lilian (Lilly) is six.  Our other set of “Irish twins,” (born just two days apart) Addison and Brinley are three.  Then we have Gemma (the only girl in her family with four older brothers) who just turned one.  Last (but not least) is Jordyn who is 4 months old. 

As we contemplate our many blessings and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we count our greatest gift to be His marvelous Atonement.  We know His atoning sacrifice will make it possible for us to someday be reunited with Him and our Heavenly Father and all our beloved family members who are on the other side of the veil.  We often say, "Families are forever," and count on the prospect of being together for the eternities with our wonderful family to whom we have been sealed through Holy Temple ordinances. We know it is our Savior Jesus Christ who makes this possible for us.

We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy (and prosperous) New Year!

Jerry and Gemie Martin