This is Robbie's Scouting Advancement Chairperson. She is amazing. She's been doing this for 26 years, and has helped hundreds of boys achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Each merit badge earned equals a treat from her—the favorite is an extra-large homemade slurpee. She told me she goes through 15 pounds of sugar each month for these. When they earn a rank advancement the boys get an entire cake or pie. Or they can save up and request one of her famous four-pound cheesecakes as a reward for 2 rank advancements. Robbie did just that, and Lois reluctantly posed with said cheesecake. It was the best we've ever tasted. I'm hoping to get the recipe and I'll post it here. It's not for the calorie-conscious. She told me it takes 8 packages of cream cheese and a pound of sugar. If any of us keel over, you'll know why. Totally worth it. Her treats are a microcosm of her life philosophy, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing 110%."
Here are a few more inspiring things I've learned about Lois: She was once secretary to President David O. McKay, and to Gordon B. Hinckley, but quit because she wanted to raise a large family. In addition to her own kids (six?), she has raised over 120 kids in her home daycare. She wakes up at 4:00 a.m. every day so she has time for her callings, job and family. She uses a constitution with all her kids and they each take part as prosecuting and defending attorneys or members of the jury when one of the rules is broken. They also do homework, learn to garden and to cook at her school. After visiting, I really thought my kids would be better off if I worked and sent them there.
At her funeral (hopefully not for a very long time) I imagine there will be hundreds, maybe even thousands of people there to pay tribute to her. She will not be loved and remembered for having a perfect body, great wealth or multiple college degrees. She is, and will be loved and remembered for giving service, even when it was incredibly inconvenient, and always going the extra mile. She loves people, and has changed so many lives for the better, including mine and Robbie's. I'd love to be a Lois Banks when I grow up. :)