Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cousin's Night... and Penne Rustica

Photo courtesy of Meemo's Kitchen

Well, it was Cousin's Night again, and this celebration we decided to skip the movies since nothing exciting was playing in our town. So we went to an Italian Restaurant called Coco Pazzo (I think). It was a lot of fun. Four of us meet often (though it usually runs about four times a year), and we just laugh, hug, and remember our grandma, our families... and it feels like heaven on earth. As young people I think we assume families are always going to be there. I believed I had an endless supply of aunts, uncles, cousins... and I have lost all but one great aunt, all my uncles... but we still have our original cousins... first cousins... and several wonderful extended (once and twice removed.. ones).... Tonight we had exciting news. One of us is to be a new gramma (not me, I'm afraid, but still very exciting).

We usually take a small little gift we've made or picked up... I took music CD compilations, and we had photos, Easter glittery ornaments, and the little cup of candy and Peeps with the news that our family would soon be receiving a little chick in the "incubator" again... How fun!

I had Penne Rustica, and I came home and googled the recipe. This one's from Macaroni Grill, but it looks exactly the same. It was delicious! We also had a honey/balsamic viniagrette on a salad... That was fantastic! Enjoy if you feel culinary... or just nip out to the local Italian Restaurant with some one you love! I highly recommend it!

Romano's Macaroni Grill® Penne Rustica®Recipe By Romano's Macaroni Grill®

Menu description:Imported penne pasta with shrimp, grilled chicken and smoked prosciutto baked under a golden crust of Parmesan cheese

For gratinata sauce:2 Tablespoons butter2 Tablespoons chopped garlic1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon chopped rosemary1 cup marsala wine¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper8 cups heavy cream

For penne rustica:1 oz pancetta or bacon18 shrimp, peeled, deveined12 oz grilled chicken breast, sliced4 ½ cups Gratinata Sauce, from the above48 oz precooked penne pasta3 Tablespoons pimentos6 oz butter1 Tablespoon chopped shallots1 pinch salt, or to taste1 pinch freshly-ground black pepper, or to taste1 cup grated Parmesan cheese½ tsp paprika6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Alternate For the Gratinata Sauce:Sauté butter, garlic, and rosemary until garlic begins to brown. Add marsala wine and reduce by one-third. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume. Set aside.For the Penne Rustica:Sauté pancetta until it begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add Gratinata Sauce and ½ cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until sauce thickens.In a large bowl, combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and pimentos and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.Yield: 6 servings.

Super Secret Version:Romano's Macaroni Grill® Penne Rustica®GRATINATA SAUCE3 Tablespoons butter2 Tablespoons minced garlic3 Tablespoons marsala wine2 Cups heavy cream1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese1/2 Cup milk1/2 Cup chicken broth1 Tablespoon cornstarch1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard2 Teaspoons minced fresh rosemary1/2 Teaspoon salt1/2 Teaspoon minced fresh thyme1/4 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I. am. not. my. father..... (or a plumber either)

Mom: "Would you please get the plunger and work on the kitchen drain?"

Mom: "Well, I brought it in, so maybe later."

(I always do stuff she suggests. I think I won't... but I do. So at 11:20 a full three hours after she went to bed, I began my "plunge" into the dark side of home repair. I plunged, I boiled water; I dipped water; I removed pieces of goo and clog; I stopped up the other side that DID drain. THEN I "googled" it on Wikihow. Oh... mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar. Yeah.. That was fun, but nada, zip, zilch. Boiling water. Okay. That made more to dip. By this time I had seven huge tupperware bowls of water and sludge. Finally... I decided to remove the trap/hookie thing under the sink. Wikihow said it could be done "easily and often with the bare hand." Uh... it can be partially removed easily with bare hands. The boiling water sizzled and spurted out of it... I finally couldn't re-attach it. I played out the morning's conversation and didn't much like the way it sounded in my head. Um.. yeah, I called my son at 2:45, and he just went home at 3:57. He gave up, too, but he did reattach the trap/crook thingie and tell me I'm checked off of Wikihow... No, really? I left Mom a note that said:

"Call the plumber." So, sorry... no "pink Saturday" post for me... But I'll spare you what color my post could be.... haahahahahaha....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Two roads diverged

Photo courtesy of fotolia

Well, what a day.... Another one... Missouri's expecting some snow over the weekend, and I think the old barometer is tuning up the creaks and crinkles on all us geezers!!! Today was kind of unusual... at least the last two hours.

I have a beautiful student named... "Celeste." (I'll call her that, anyway.) She does a great deal of sleeping in class, so I dropped her a little See-ME card... So we talked. Turns out she has a lot of really heavy things going on, as I actually already knew... And our "chat" turned into about 15 minutes of tears on both our parts. She's just wonderful, and some kind words made her cry.... which brought out MY waterworks... I am not sure we helped one thing, but I just re-emphasized how much she's loved... I tell you what... Soooo many young people have sooo much to deal with... It breaks the heart!

Then I was "drafted" to pinch hit with about 13 3rd through 7th graders for an after-school tutoring program called "Smarty-Cats." (We are wildcats). We did some grammar checking on the Smartboard... and they were so cute.. eager little hands flapping in the air when they thought they knew the answer (and sometimes when they didn't....!!!) It was the quickest 45 minutes I've ever seen... When the "real" teachers came to relieve me, one beautiful little red-haired girl came by my desk and whispered, "You shore are awful nice." ..... Aw...... I haven't worked with elementary much, but they are sure adorable....

Boy, is my room messy... I'm getting on Mom's nerves with it... I have it kind of stacked around the edges, but I really need a good snowstorm on Saturday so I'll stay home and work all day... We'll see...

Well, it's 2:15 a.m. My son just got off work but he's going home to finish the Web Page he's designing... He had to re-design the whole thing today because something just wasn't working out for the client... I think he's really exhausted, but he's sort of pumped, too... We work well under pressure..... but this old gal isn't as able to stand the crunch as I used to be... I totally poop out any more... At least that's my excuse for not tearing into this room at this hour... Snore! Take care....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For Gramma

This is an older photograph of mine about two years ago. I created this little tablescape in honor of my beautiful gramma on her birthday, August 11th, the last year I was at "home." She LOVED poppies. I have only four of the china pattern called "Edwardian Lady," but I love it. My mom had given me Gramma's chocolate pot, and I'd found the large mug at an auction. The photograph is one of Gramma and me on my wedding day. She had made my dress.

I toy with memories on a moment by moment basis... Sometimes they sustain me, cheer me, enlighten even... At other times, they verge on the haunt... the accusatory... the regretful.. But memories of my gramma are very special, very cherished, very solid. Just thought I'd share this special tablescape today. I am brewing up my Easter one for next week, but due to a DAY of computer/technical difficulties with my laptop cart, .... I am not up to the inspiration point tonight. Better to sip a glass of iced tea and cocoon in for a bit of telly and bed... Enjoy Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. (See my side bar and click to find that beautiful blog!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sometimes you feel like a wave; sometimes you don't.....

You know... it's always great when you see a friend, and you hear a big hello and see a friendly arm go up in the air... I love it when everyone waves at me from the annual parade... I enjoy the swingy feeling of my hair when the humidity is just right, and it gives me a little wave against my neck.... I think it's cool to sit beside the street outside my store and see how many people wave at me when I go back... I haven't spent much time on the beach, but I do recall the happiness a nice gentle wave brought to me when I lived in San Diego... BUT... there are certain things that shouldn't wave... and one of them is the top of the barn roof after a very windy March Madness day.... And I later discovered my roof at home was just as "friendly." We must have had a huge amount of gust.... Yuck.

Have a good week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday's Morning Trip with Mama

Moberly's Railroad Park/Keepsake Area...
An old mill anchors the newer structure to the working sector of Moberly...

Through the country through kind of a remnant village of Clifton Hill. Many beautiful homes once graced the streets, and some very pretty ones remain.... among some who have long since seen their owners... But the little depot is proud and cheerful.
Thomas Hill on a Stormy morning.....

Changeable weather, plenty of errands, and a love of driving leads us on one merry chase after another on our Saturday jaunts. Mom, bless her little heart, stays in ALL week. She's on a walker, as I've said, and she doesn't drive (mainly because her car isn't running after she's spent a fortune on repairs!). I get up bright and early on Saturdays, we sit a bit in a dimly-lit living room contemplating the temperature and what we need to do..., and we're off. Today was full. Stops at the Post Office, the bank, the pharmacy, our usual trip to Matt's Market where he brought out some groceries and told us "girls" to have a good day, our usual zip into Burger King to share an order of Cheezy Tots (have you guys ever had those? YUM!)...
Then through the country over Thomas Hill Lake to Highway 24. We caught the clouds over the lake, so the usual deep blue looks very muddy and angry. Fishermen were out there in the bluster, hoping for a big mudcat or something that fishermen hope for!!!! We stopped by Randolph Mercantile for me to buy a few more NECESSARY items (see prior post about that store). And we went to Crossroads Restaurant for lunch.... Home by 1, but such fun.
Tonight we will be watching THE APPRENTICE. I must say Mom's introduction to Dennis Rodman has been a SCREAM!!!!! How do I give her ANY background on that man?????? But first,.... today is going to be our Sunday lunch with my son. I'm fixing carrots, green beans, cheese biscuits, TatorTot Casserole, and.... we'll play Spinner. My dear friend actually told some mutual friends we played Twister every Sunday... ahahah... Can you imagine the visual on that one? (A woman in a walker, a daughter with ah... not the Twister body, and a six foot seven inch grandson... hahahaha.. S.p.i.n.n.e.r...... dominos and skill/strategy.... not flexibility, thank goodness.) Have a super Sunday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Look! Look! Look WHAT I did(n't)

Mom just laughed out loud when she came out and found my Spring/Easter centerpiece on the dining room table. "Roosters don't lay eggs!" she chirped... Yeah,??? Ya know... that fact never deterred me when I planned this out! I've been thinking about this ever since I bought the wreaths for my shop and Mom bought the big "guy" for me... (She still buys me a few things as if.... I had a home to put 'em in). So, he has "settin' room" for a spell.
Lovely day... I'll post our "Saturday Day Trip" photos later on or tomorrow. The weather started out grey and boring, but it has turned into one of those Spring days that make ya proud to be a Missourian.. We have to wait for Spring, but then.... it's so worth it! (So we say to those of you fortunate souls who've had blooms for months!!!!)
Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tabletop Spring Thursday

A little note for the first day of Spring... Happy Tabletop Thursday! Check out more at Between Naps on the Porch!

Foggy Monday... on Wednesday...???

What day is it anyway? I started the week with a BANG! Literally. And it went differing ways since then. I left home early Monday morning and began snapping fog pictures... lovely... layered fog literally oozed across the horizons, and it was mesmerizing. Then came the BANG. I blew a tire, and took a shot of the "evidence." While I waited about 45 minutes to an hour on the repair guy (I'm just not a tire changing type of woman, I guess... More of a spoiled, let Daddy do it kind), I took pictures of the sun rising through the mist. Here are a few. Have a wonderful Thursday! Hugs.

Retirement? Full or Half Day? Mt. Everest, anyone?

The past three weeks have been "crunch-time" for me. I am one of the world's worst decision-makers. I can't postpone and think through any kind of decision. I am a "do something even if it's wrong" kind of girl. And oh, so many many times in my life, it has been... very. very. wrong. This month I had to decide about next year's employment. In Missouri retired teachers are allowed to teach full time for two years. We draw both our salaries as full time teachers AND our retirements. Sweet. That two years is gone for me. Next year is where the ribbon hits the road....or however that saying goes. I have basically two choices: retire (which I really can't afford due to more than double insurance costs since I chose to retire seven years ago).... or teach full or half day. I believe I could find a half day school, but my school doesn't have an opening for half day next year. A move like that would allow me to draw half salary AND my retirement still... Teaching full time causes my retirement checks to cease with June's. Ah.. that's quite a chunk of "free/earned" money.... What to do? But I love teaching in the system I am "in" at the present time. I loved my five years at a different district, but what I really hate is change. It took me about two years to fit in there and has taken about these past two years to feel totally at home back in this school. I've taught in this school for 29 of my 34 years.... Most of my students are children of former students, as I've said before.. And that fact totally "floats my boat." So teaching full time gets me about 7,000 dollars less over the next 18 months.... than teaching half time... go figure? I think it sounds crazy, but I am going full time unless there would be an opening for half at my school... I told my principal today that with the $7,000 dollars I am "losing" I could have purchased a package to scale Mt. Everest. And honestly, no offense to the adventurous souls out there, but that sounds really, really HORRIBLE.... People pay good money to white water raft, safari in the torrid desserts and muggy jungles, bungee jump... parachute from the sky.... scale mountains, a la Everest or McKinley.... or K-12, 2 or 4.... Those all sound absolutely dreadful... so.............. I am opting to "spend" my imaginary, not earned money on the greatest adventure of anyone's life: teaching. I know in my heart if I quit, I'd be crying all summer because that's what I did seven years ago. I just love teaching. When I see a movie or learn a fact, I am immediately thinking how to incorporate that into a lesson plan.... I love my kiddos... I love my room. I love my subject. I love holidays at school... I love summer vacation and Christmas break and snow days... I love grading papers... Whoa@ Hang on there, Tex... It's late. I better calm down and get some sleep before I hear myself "love that first hour jabberwocky class!" (The students who did their own lunch count, attendance and sat quietly yesterday when nobody remembered to watch them... I had a flat tire yesterday and had called in.... Wasn't that wonderful of these kids?)... Yeah, I love them, too... I always did think money is overrated.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Early St. Patrick Celebration

Top of the Mornin' to Ya! These little guys had a blast at our Pre-St. Patrick's Day Sunday Dinner. I think it is supposed to represent Mom, me, and my son..... Kind of a motley crew here, actually. I made the usual salad with green peas, almonds, scallions, and craisins... plus lots of cheese and a few black olives. I love to make these thinner salads with lots of goodies on top.
Our tablescape was a bit eclectic today. A little blue onion, a little holiday (er... Christmas holiday), and the main effect was the pretty pink placemats and Briar Rose antique plates, which I didn't get a good shot.... Trust me, before the food was on the table, it was cool!
I made
Parmesan Chicken Hoagies.
1 large (this one was huge) chicken breast
1/2 c. water
1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese (I just used the kind in the shaker jar)
1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. Italian Dressing
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. cooking oil (olive oil works well)
6 Hoagie Rolls
1 can black olives
1 can artichoke hearts
leaf lettuce
Butterfly the chicken breast and pound thin. Sprinkle both sides of every piece with salt, pepper, and generous layer of Parmesan. Rub in. Cut into bite size pieces and saute in olive oil. Drain and put into baking dish. Mix water, ketchup, salt, pepper, remainder of Parmesan, Italian seasoning and pour over chicken. Bake, covered, for one hour at 350 degrees. Brown drained artichoke hearts in butter and garlic. Toast buns after slicing lengthwise. Layer cheese, lettuce, chicken, sauce, black olives, and artichoke hearts on hoagie bun....

I had made a huge gift of all the "green" I could find from the Men's toiletries, gimmicks, Oriental quick lunches... apple juice.... anything green.... It was a hit!

Have a great week..... I gave Mom a gardening magazine, two Paula Deen candles (they are amazing... and inexpensive at Walmart).... and some cocoa and crackers.... Mom handed out some "greenbacks"..... and it was a great day for Spinner.... Have a good week.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Way to Go, Antonio!

I met her in 1975. I was a new teacher, and she was a vivacious, busy, excellent senior. Since then we've been friends. But she's not the topic of the story. It's her son, about 11 years old or so. I have always been fascinated by positive thinkers. Maybe it's the fact I was brought up in a home rather sharply divided on that issue. While most, if not all, of our homelife could be termed "positive," there was a lot of time (still to this day) spent dwelling in the negative Never-Never land of "what if? Be so very careful? You'll fall...." type of world. It always amazed me to be around someone who simply verbalized the positive "thing" that might never happen as if... it truly would occur. This woman was that kind of person, even as a younger girl. She remained unmarried for a long, long time. And who could ever figure out why? She's beautiful, happy, busy, Italian-charming, and smart. So, she filled her life with cousins and parties, ballgames and teaching, happiness and hope. I once heard her state emphatically when there was absolutely NO boyfriend on the horizon at all, "I will be married and have children some day. I know my mother will have grandchilren. It's just not a possibility that it won't happen." I was impressed at the time.

About a year later she met someone, married, and the two of them had two beautiful children, a son and a daughter. I am privileged to teach their amazing, charming, good-hearted daughter who reminds me of her mother.... and I feel so honored. When her son was born, we learned he was going to be a bit different than the daughter, than the mother, than we'd expected. Antonio is autistic. I hadn't been around an autistic person, and I didn't understand the implications. For the first six or seven years, nobody communicated with him much although his family worked constantly and took him to specialists and monitored his diet closely. Again, instead of any morsel of self-pity I heard this woman announce matter-of-factly one day: "When Antonio learns to communicate with me, we'll have a lot of catching up to do." I kind of felt a little awkward as the room took a quiet turn. None of us felt that was going to be an option for our friend and her beautiful son. She gave up her teaching and became her son's advocate, tutor, mentor, and "coach."

During the first few years of Antonio's schooling, a breakthough miracle occurred. While to us, the behavior remained the same, we learned he could spell, could write to his mother, could actually communicate. I remember crying as she told me the story. I was so very grateful that she could talk to him. He wrote their Christmas letter, and I saw his fifth grade state tests. Somewhere in there, they could find this child and communicate an assignment. He could work it through and come up with solid work. But this news didn't truly permeate my mind. I didn't see a change really, so I decided it might be cooperation between him and his mother only.

Where am I headed with this? Well, here. Last night I was the reader at Academic Bowl, a kind of quiz-bowl type format for junior and senior high school students. During the second quarter I heard the coach say, "Antonio, go in for ....." I was puzzled. Antonio? Could that be possible? Ah... my dear blogland friends, let me tell you what happened. The coach explained to the visiting team (and to me) that Antonio was a special-needs child and he uses a computer keyboard to "talk" to his team and to me. He buzzes in on his own. The questions are read exactly the same when he is IN the game as they are when he is OUT. He does get five extra seconds to finish typing his answer... 5-count-them-seconds. That's it. And he was amazing. He was able to factor difficult math, spell complicated words, whip out the trivia fact that Leonard Nimoy played Spock on Star Trek... more and more information flew from his little hands...to the keyboard... to me. I was undone. I truly think I did an amazing job of covering the load of emotion this evoked. But I know my voice betrayed me a little. I hadn't realized how much I had wished to communicate with this little guy. When he actually answered a question that I had given for the first time, and then again and again, I was so completely honored and happy for his mother, his sister, his little self... and for me.

"Way to Go, Antonio!" the team and the coach encouraged. No sign of recognition flickered across his face. I believed he did have more of a happy look the whole night, but the same shell of autism is very much in place. Yet, a beautiful world opened up to me. I am so happy to finally believe he is "living well and dreaming big" inside his own beautiful exterior. I cannot explain this as well as I'd like, but being there last night and witnessing such a miracle, I will never be the same. I just have to breathe along with the rest: "Way to Go, Antonio!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just another manic... Tuesday....

Yeah... Photo courtesy of Corbis.com... You didn't think I actually snapped it at school, did you? It all began one dark and stormy night.. ah, last night was soooo windy and rainy, and my sinuses were having a big dance party, so I decided to take one innocent little Zirtec. It did say on the bottle that it might cause drowsiness. So what, thought I. I'd like to be drowsy... And I was... This morning was a shock to my system. It couldn't be that the sound I'd been "snoozing" for over half an hour was actually my alarm? Oh, it was? I'm up. Breakfast of Champions, Strawberry Special K. Off to the races. I had a plan. We were going to watch Sally Field on the computer in certain scenes that showed journalism.... from Absence of Malice.... to correspond with our journalism vocab.... Uh... what? no Internet again? Uh... no copier? Only one more lesson left in vocab books? Ah... a student saves the day with a plea to watch The Day After Tomorrow to go along with our Weather Words from last week. Yeah... sounds delightful.

Second hour: big, big deadline. No Internet, but the kids are typing happily and ready to print. Wait! What's that sound and smell? Burning paper? My new printer has eaten and barbecued a few sheets of Heather's homework. After crawling inside the copier, I discover burned paper and crisped assignments. I feel faintly ill, but luckily, thanks to Zirtec, I decide it was a bad dream. We assess the printer and decide to wait on a technician. Good call.

Not bad. The rest of the day was a sea of excellence until... duh duh daaaah! (fanfare of sorts) sixth hour arrives. We also needed the Internet to work on our State End of course exams. Faster than a sea of bullets, I switch gears to a crossword using terms they need to know. We are all at work... life is redeeming itself, then.... RING RING RING RING RING (get the picture?) a statewide tornado drill. They are off... shake em up flashlight, emergency bag, and class roster in hand. When the twenty kids return, there is no hope. I heard a veteran teacher ask the principal if we could just leave them down in the shelter for a while longer! hahaha... I hadn't thought of it, but it sounded delicious. Here they were to recount how deep the water was in the basement shelter.... (remember the rains?_)

At last, my free hour... but a student decided to come in and share a very accurate account of his latest bout with the stomach flu... excitement mounts...

Finally I'm home, and my mom is talking away to me when she catches ever so slightly.... a little snore... That dratted Zirtec again... hahaha... When I wake up, I'll post for today....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Right Gift

Sometimes the right gift just jumps out and waves its arms... and that's what happened Saturday when I saw this carpenter's box with the name NANA on it. One of my dearest friends is "Nana" to five beautiful grandchildren. Now this friend is kind, true, a real sister in the spirit who always can be found in my corner, so naturally this had to come home with me. I could have saved it until her June birthday, until Easter... until St. Patrick's Day, at least... but nah... I'm taking it to her tomorrow after school. I have trouble with gifts like this. I can never wait. Maybe that's why I have learned to procrastinate holiday shopping??? Yeah, that's probably it... Have a great week, everyone. I'm up for a few more hours with grades to figure and post online. Yep... the quarter ended Friday; grades due Monday, and Daylight Savings Time figures in, as well... We gotta know we're "loved." ha!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Share the Road!!!

An Amish Grocery Store
This came home with me....

New Franciscan Rose. We have the old from my gramma!!! What a cute idea with the egg in the cup!!!

We all coveted this Grand little Chick Chick.....
Well, most of you are accustomed to Saturday Road Trip Photos taken when Mom and I hit the highways and fly through Amish Country or motor over to our little grocery store with the wonderful owner... Today we shared our trip with a dear friend, and we had a blast--- AGAIN!!! We told her to get here at 9:30 (which if any of you know her, we were hoping to leave at 10:30). She made it fairly on time!!! We first did the little drive through for Cheesy Tots at Burger King. Our impromptu breakfast at the lake with all my geese was a big hit... My girls were swimming in the water, so nobody got introduced properly, but it was still amazing.
On to Randolph Mercantile (My Favorite Store) Open House (see above photos!!!) and then on to lunch at Crossroads Restaurant and home via Amish Country. A couple of stops for purchasing sharp paring knives (for Mom), home made fudge (for my friend),and a quick snap of this lovely laundry on the line (for us!)... Now it's time to snuggle in and watch for the rains and windy weather on the horizon... Tomorrow I'll show you my "stash" from Randolph Mercantile!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I went to a Baby Shower today!!

I'm usually not a "shower" person, but I sure had a good time today at a baby shower for a dear friend of mine... And for one of the games, we had to guess "how many baby safety pins in a little jar," and I guessed 117. There WERE 117. I won teething rings and pineapple hand soap!!! We got two prizes, one to share and one to keep. I thought I'd keep the teething rings for a little bit, but decided the pineapple handsoap was just too "sweet" to pass up! Have a good week. I guess officially in Missouri March came in like a lamb... a cold lamb, but still a lamb!!!! Brrrr... It's 23 degrees right now. Thank goodness for my heater because the furnace has quit down here.