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Mother of the Year Goes to.... Not Me

Every morning I go to the gym to exercise. I love it because I have a lot of friends there (it's my adult interaction for the day...hahah...but seriously...), endorphins are released, I feel powerful and strong....etc. Fast forward to about 10 minutes after I arrive home.

Kids are fighting over who grabbed the box of cereal first.

Tears are rolling down cheeks from, "Cameron looked at me in a mean way."

Fights are breaking out between who has to be the flippin' monkey in the middle...

You get the idea.

So pretty much all the good I do at 5:30 in the wee early morning hours gets completely undone. (Perhaps I should schedule my workouts to after the kids leave for school instead?)

Anyway, today was no different. The kids actually all got ready on their own really well without any fights. They had a good 20 minutes to kill before we had to leave for school. They decided to play a game (but not the blasted Monkey in the Middle game...No! No! I banned that game [and 'jinx&#…

Sandy--Our Home

When I was three-years-old, my family moved to Sandy (Thanksgiving day, 1988). This is the place we all grew up. My parents bought our home for $100,000 as it was a foreclosure. I remember thinking it was so huge (it is—it’s 4800 sq. feet). And our poor little family barely had any furnishings to put in it. We all slept on the floor in the “big room” (living room) the first night there. I used to think my family was so rich that we could afford that. And although we were actually very poor, my parents made sure we never knew that.

Our house in Sandy only had dirt for a yard. And I remember one hot summer day having to roll out the sod and cover that whole third acre we lived on. It was a tough job, but not too bad when you had seven people in your family, plus the help of good friends and neighbors. My parents instilled a hard work ethic in each of us at an early age.

I have a lot of good memories of this house. One time my parents went to ward temple night, and the rest of us stayed back. We were in charge of babysitting Spencer. He was still potty-training at the time, and we were no experienced teachers in that area. When Spence said he had to go potty, we pulled his pants down and sat him on the toilet all satisfied that we knew what we were doing. Little did anyone tell us that you have to hold down the boy’s wee wee, though. Next thing we know, the bathroom door is covered in pee.

Our summers were spent playing in the small, circular, 4-feet deep underground pool we had. We’d also go rollerblading and bike-riding around the block with our friends. I remember the first time I learned what it meant to go “around the block.” I used to hear my older siblings say they were going to do that, and I thought the “block” was literally a red-brick rock that was special sitting in the middle of the road. I wondered why it was so cool to circle around a piece of rock.

We had some really good neighbors next to us. I used to take my mom’s daycare kids (or my friends) with me next door (to the south) to the Billingsley’s and help them do yard work because after we finished, she’d always offer me a bowl of ice cream. (To this day I still love ice cream, and it was obviously instilled in me at an early age). To our north was the Shakerin’s. And down the street were the Bateman’s (who were also our home teachers. Jay Dee had Down Syndrome and was so funny, even  though I could hardly understand him at the time). The Bateman’s had kids that always matched up with us Banks kids. And across the street was the Carter’s. I couldn’t stand Valynn & Rodney. She was plump and he was thin, and they always reminded me of that poem “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean, and so between the two of them, they licked their platters clean.” Valynn used a wheel chair when she wanted pity. She’d drive out to her mailbox in her car just to get her mail. And one time Tenille and I had to go help her clean her house. It was a pig-sty. Newspapers and dirt dishes covered her countertops and floors. Tenille and I spent 4-5 hours there cleaning, and all we got paid was a lousy $2 that we had to split. I was never too fond of her after that.

Our next-door neighbors, the Shakerin’s, had a boy named Sausan who was a few years younger than Spence. Mom used to babysit him. He was with us so much that he was like another brother to us. We used to get in fights with him—whether it was chucking cherries at him, or using the hose to douse him, or planting a sprinkler by the wall and luring him to come over. We loved to pick on him. One time we were running into our house and Sausan was chasing us. Spencer didn’t want him to come in, so he closed the garage door, and Sausan tried rolling underneath it. He got stuck, and we kept trying to get him out by pushing the garage button, but it just made the door push down tighter on him. Later on, when Spence played PeeWee football for Alta’s little league team, Sausan decided he wanted to, too. He came back in our high school’s rival colors, though—as a Jordan Beatdigger. We convinced him to make his mom change it to Alta. (Good thing we did, too, because he later played running back for Alta’s team and took them to State, and later on to play at the University of Utah). 

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