“My favorite hobbies are swimming, laughing, sneezing, and jumping,” Marnie Payne (8) of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, said cheerfully. She smiled in her happy way and continued. “I also like to call up my friends and play with them. We jump on our trampoline a lot. And I like to read mystery books like the Nancy Drew ones.” Marnie also enjoys sports and consistently takes second place in cross-country running in her school district.
Marnie not only enjoys playing with her friends but also loves doing things with her family. She has five sisters—Stephanie (11), Melissa (10), Kristy (7), Brianna (3), and Kellie (2 months)—and two brothers—Cory (5) and Curtis (2).
Living near the coast on Vancouver Island, Marnie gets many opportunities to go to the ocean. “I hike to Witty’s Lagoon sometimes. You can see whales and sea lions there,” said Marnie. “Once when I was there with my friends Kara and Nina and my sister Stephanie, two sea lions came up not far from us and played for fifteen or twenty minutes. When we got out of the water, they swam away. Another time our family was at Witty’s Lagoon with Brother Bedesso from our ward. We put inflated inner tubes on each end of a big log we found so that it would float better. Then Dad, Brother Bedesso, Stephanie, Kristy, Melissa, and I all sat on the log and sailed in the lagoon. Later that day we caught a dogfish, which is a kind of small shark.
“I like to swim in fresh water, too,” said Marnie. (There are two fresh-water lakes near Marnie’s home.) “I like to wade in the water and put logs out to sail.”
“Our family goes to Sealand sometimes. There are three killer whales there, and we know that if we stand in a certain spot, the trainer will pick us to feed the whales. So Stephanie, Melissa, Kristy, and I have been able to feed the whales.”
Marnie does her share to help her mother, Linda, and her father, Doug, do the housework and yard work. “I help clean the house, and I put my laundry away and make my bed. Sometimes I take care of Kellie, and I make supper every Saturday. Well, not exactly every Saturday, but lots of Saturdays. In the summer I water the raspberry bushes.
“Each day Stephanie, Melissa, Kristy, and I draw sticks with jobs written on them to see who clears the table after supper, washes the dishes, and dries the dishes. One stick says that that person gets the day off. If you get three days off in a row, the next day you have to do the clearing, washing, and wiping all by yourself.”
Marnie, Melissa, and Stephanie are in the same class at school. “It’s a combined class with twenty-one other students,” Marnie explained. “Having sisters in your class is neat. We don’t always do our homework together, though, because we don’t always have the same homework. Sometimes,” she added, “being in the same class can cause problems. Like today: I expected Melissa to bring home her social studies book because she always brings her books home.”
“And Marnie usually ‘forgets’ her books,” Melissa put in.
“Well, we have a social studies test tomorrow,” added Marnie, “and not one of us brought our book home to study, because we all thought that someone else would bring hers.”
“In Primary Melissa and I aren’t in the same class, but sometimes our teachers let us sit together during opening exercises and Sharing Time. I like Primary. One of my favorite lessons that I learned in Primary was from a talk that one of our leaders gave. She said that once when she was little and had gone out trick-or-treating, some teenagers took her bag of candy away from her. Her brother saw how sad she was and gave her his bag of candy. I thought that was a good lesson.” And it’s a lesson that Marnie Payne lives by.