As you might imagine...Kimmy made our Valentine's Days pretty special. She would always send the bambini to school with delightful treats, like cream cheese brownies!! I did manage to have them fill out a Valentine for each child in their classroom (thanks Mrs. Schrantz and Mrs. Rudzena for making this easy on us parents by providing the names of the children in your class!) and a small something for each teacher. And Mary and Emilio Montes just reminded me of the chocolate covered strawberries Kimmy would make...everyone LOVED those!!
And, Kimmy always got each child a nice Valentine and a special gift - this I remembered...and she helped the kids buy us something too...oops, didn't think of that! But, Andrea picked up the slack, helping the kids put together Valentine's for me and some cashews and Tazo Awake tea bags, so I can make my favorite iced tea and some new frames for my desks with photos of our family. Let me tell you, they were just beaming this morning when they could present their gifts to me! I probably could have not gotten them anything, they just felt so good about being able to give me gifts - it made them feel special
For dinner, Kim would typically make us shrimp scampi or linguini with clam sauce....it was a toss up, but we decided we would try the scampi!
Melt 2 tlbs spoons of butter in a sauce pan with 4 tlbs of olive oil.
Once white froth of butter starts to burn off, add 3 minced garlic cloves.
Let these simmer a few moments, but not brown.
Add 1 cup of your favorite pinot grigio.
Add shrimp and turn up heat.
As shrimp become pink, turn them over.
Add 3 or 4 sprigs of diced Italian parsley.
And some diced green onion, to taste.
As you are doing this, boil water for angel hair and prepare the pasta.
Once the shrimp is pink, mix in the pasta and serve! Like this:
After school, Autumn, Tonio, Lexy and Breanna exchanged Valentine's (look at the cute shirt that Lexy got Aut!!) and ran around crazy. Cody took advantage of the 80 degree weather and rode bikes with Alex. My neighbor, Tom and I had Peroni birra for a Valentine's Day treat while the kids played.
Unbeknownst to us, while we enjoyed our frosty beverages, Bella, sensing the time for revolution was right, armed herself...joining the regime of my sister, Sherri's, dog, the nefarious Mause, the Jihad expert. There will be no sleep here tonight...Today, I ventured back to work, after a 4 1/2 month hiatus...that team over at Barnes & Noble took such good care of me - the store looked fantastic, like I was never gone! It was good to be back and to see everyone and to drink Cafe' Americanos and black iced tea with two pumps of sugar! The Foothills Mall Barnes & Noble is such a fantastic building. One of the largest in the company, it is two stories and has majestic views of Pusch Ridge out of the second floor windows. And the team had done some great displays and were proud to show me all that they had accomplished over the weeks. And I still got out early enough to go get Cody!
During dinner, sweet little Tonio asked 'Dada, why did Mama have to die so young?'...I explained to him, that God needed Mama in Heaven...and told him how Mama knew she was very sick and was going to go to Heaven soon, and was not afraid, in fact, she was happy. We talked about how she was no longer in pain and she did not have cancer anymore. Autumn chimed in with a memory - one time, we were playing a game called 'Family Dinner - box of questions', a game that Mary, at Barnes & Noble got our family last year for Christmas and the kids love to play - the question 'What are you afraid of?' came up...we went around the table with our answers, and Cody said 'I'm afraid of dying'...Kimmy told him, ' I can understand that, and I hope I go peacefully, in my sleep, but you guys know, you will go to Heaven and there is nothing to be afraid of'...Autumn remembered that and commented 'Mama did go in her sleep, just like she wanted to!'. Just like that, Tonio ran from the table, grabbed the game and we started to play. Tonio asked the question 'Which teacher or coach has had the most impact on you?' Tonio quickly answers "Mrs. Schrantz! She is so nice to me every day!"...Autumn says "Mom and Dad - they have taught me so much", sweet right? Prompting Tonio to change his answer, "oh, yeh, me too! Mom and Dad!", to which sweet little Autumn replies "hey...stop stealing my answers or I'll throw my fork in your eye!"...and so it goes....
And I quote to the bambini:
"Everybody come take my hand. We'll walk this road together, through the storm.
Whatever weather, cold or warm.
Just lettin you know, you're not alone..."
PS What was my answer to the question at dinner? Jesus Christ. Taught me that I am not alone, and to love my neighbor and to be a better person and gave me the ultimate sacrifice, reminding me, that whatever pain I might feel, it is nothing compared to what he suffered...and gives me strength to be there for the bambinis...and Tonio said 'wow, that's a great answer...'