Perfect Lasagna

Now that summer is coming to an end, we are starting to want hearty, comforting food.  In my husband’s eyes, there is nothing more comforting than a big pan of lasagna.  I definitely think pasta is his love language!

There are so many great things about this lasagna recipe that make it perfect.  It is thick and rich, can be made ahead of time and feeds a lot of people!  Those three things make this one of my go-to recipes, especially when I need to take food to people.  It’s also great to serve company because all  the prep is done ahead of time and it frees me up to visit with my guests.

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Grand Slam World Series ~ Panama City Beach, Florida

After a busy travel baseball season, our 10U Southern Illinois Team Dinger finished with a World Series win.  The boys competed in a week-long tournament at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach, Florida.  The tournament was hosted by Grand Slam Baseball.

This was the largest tournament we have competed in so far.  There were 117 teams from 9 states with age brackets starting with 8U all the way up to 14U.  We played against teams from Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The week started off on Sunday with a skills competition in each age division and that was followed by an opening ceremony and parade at Pier Park.  While waiting for the parade to start the players also were able to trade team pins.  This was kind of like the equivalent to trading pins at Disney.  The kids really enjoyed it.  Our team won the “Around the Horn” competition for our age group!

After the skills competition we were able to get the kids out to the beach in their uniform for some pictures.  I love the way they turned out!  I’m so glad we were able to capture this once in a lifetime experience.

The tournament was set up as a double elimination tournament and every team was guaranteed 4 games with play through at least Thursday.  Each team had a day off on either Monday or Tuesday.  Our day off was Monday and we had our 2 pool play games on Tuesday.  Bracket play began on Wednesday.

Tuesday was a long, hot day.  We played a game, sat a game and then played our second game.  Luckily Frank Brown Park has awnings covering all the bleachers and a large section in the middle of all the fields plus several covered picnic areas near the fields as well.  I was surprised that coolers were allowed.  Most everyone brought snacks and just hung out at the park between games.  If you know me, you wouldn’t be surprised that I left and shopped a little and picked up Chick-fil-a!  Hey, it was my vacation afterall!

Wednesday started our bracket play which was just one game a day.  The only complaint I have is that we were scheduled to play in the afternoon everyday since we were the number 1 seed.  It was so hot, but it didn’t seem to bother the boys too much!  Thursday and Friday were the same.

Since we had won all of our games up to Saturday, we would have to beat three times to not win the Championship.  Thankfully, that was not the case.  We won our first two games on Saturday and we were crowned champions!

The players each received a ring and the team was awarded a 7 foot trophy.  It was the biggest one I’ve ever seen!  It had to be taken apart to get it home!

Overall it was a great tournament.  The boys played great and a lot of memories were made!  Here are the final statistics for SI Team Dinger for this tournament:

Our record was 6-0

The average number of runs scored was 10.33 with a total of 62.

The average number of runs allowed was 1.33 with a total of 8.

These boys played some good baseball!

Of course, it was not all baseball, they were able to have some fun too.  We enjoyed spending time at the beach and pool.  The coaches even took the boys to a movie one night.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone  had a great time and it was well worth the trip!

Stay tuned for my re-cap of the non-baseball portion of our vacation!




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