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Christmas 2017

posted Dec 16, 2017, 1:03 PM by Christine Merrill

Dearest Friends and Family,

We are pleased to share with you

2017: The year of some big changes!

We changed from a family of 7 to a family of 8! We now fill our minivan! We did something we’ve been dreaming of doing for years - we didn’t tell anyone Christine was pregnant. It was fun to surprise our friends, and we are grateful that they remained our friends! One thing’s for sure, we’ll never do THAT again :) Jane was late, had a difficult delivery and was a gigantic 9lb 10oz. But we wouldn’t trade her for the world. She has the most beautiful smile you ever saw.

In October we changed church families! After 8 years of attending church in the Capitol ward (congregation of our church), Marriner was called to serve as the Branch President of the Washington DC ASL branch. (A branch is a smaller congregation). We have all been learning ASL on-and-off for the last 7 years, so the transition hasn’t been a complete and total shock. Actually, Marriner signs very well - he has been learning much longer than 7 years - and has dived right in. The rest of us are learning and seeing amazing blessings in our lives every week as we’ve jumped into the deep end after only having finished the tadpole class :)

What have all the kids done this year? Lige is 13 now and has been focusing a lot on advancing toward his Eagle Scout. And he gets the “Nicest and best teenager in the world” award, too. He spends his time playing piano, doing gobs of homework (ugh, middle school!) and reading Brandon Sanderson.

Ellis is 11 and became the Captain of the school Safety Patrols. This girl has leadership skills! She spends her time reading the same books as her brother, helping Mom cook, playing the trumpet, and avoiding the piano.

Lillian is 9 and is enjoying being the “brainiac” of her class. She’s matured a lot and spends a lot of time helping others in her class. She spends her time leading her younger siblings in pretend play and playing the violin.

Sam is almost 5 and is turning into a really smart, fun, and helpful boy. As always, we’re sad that kids go to school as soon as they get fun to be around! He’s a great reader. He spends his time jumping on furniture, playing outside and being excited about upcoming events.

Martha is 2 and is a big girl. She will tell you all the time. And she’s not a baby. That’s Jane. She spends her time jumping on furniture, too. And making really cute faces.

And Jane (7 months) has hair. Not very much, but waaay more than her siblings had at this age. She spends her time eating little things off the floor. Argh!

Thank you to all of you who have been such wonderful friends, mentors and family members to us. Again, we’d like to share our faith in our Savior and our love for His wonderful gift to us.

With love,

Marriner, Christine, Lige, Ellis, Lillian, Sam, Martha and Jane Merrill

Family Picture