Melinda Blankenship grew up near Springfield, Missouri as one of thirteen people in a three bedroom trailer (parked in her step grandparent’s back yard). With that many mouths to feed their family lived a “hand to mouth” existence and her mom and step dad did not have a particularly happy marriage or a healthy relationship.
Life was never easy for Jessica Diel. Growing up, Jessica’s single mom worked in nursing homes, restaurants, and ran six paper routes in Carthage with her children. But with six mouths to feed (and no child support whatsoever from Jessica’s father), all of that work provided the family with only a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. Still, even with Jessica’s mom constantly working, it was a loving, happy home.