March is known for a few things nationally.  Spring break, St. Patty's Day, and snow disappearing in some parts of the country.  For the religion business, it's the drudge of Lent.  With the exception of feast days, March is the time when religious Americans renew their failed diet plans from January under the guise of religious commitment (except for the people I know whom are all sincere).  The garden club moves seedlings from window sills into the real life dirt ... at least around the Mason Dixon line and north of that.  We hear in Texas, are currently strutting our meteorological utopia pretending like August isn't real, and have had gardens revived since January.  The motto here is "summer is coming."

There is another way to mark the month of March and that is by observing the calendar of the sports fan.  March is madness.  The time  when we fill out brackets and wager $5, $10 and sometimes even $100 on 67 games.  Or if you are like us, the stakes are smaller.  A candy bar.  In this case a giant Kit-Kat. 

I fill out about 5 brackets.  Without fail, I pick Wisconsin to go way too far, bet against the SEC because i'm still bitter about football, and pick someone beside Duke, Kentucky, NC and Kansas to win it all, because those teams are the proverbial Yankees of college basketball.  

The Sibling Revivalry has twelves active members and becomes a bakers dozen when Nana seasons here.  We all make contributions both emotional and otherwise.  Those contributions range from dry wit (LeBAM : Mabel) to compliance (Wookie : Calla).  T-Rex : Trevor has a knack for extravaganzas.  Here's what I mean.  After the last second ticked off the conference tournament, I received a text from him on our group feed (affectionally named "The Lord's Army") asking "family bracket ... who's in?"  

The next evening we came home to our table filled with six brackets ready to be filled out.  I was tied up in church meetings that evening so Lindsay led the kids through the discerning process.  She explained the concept, the rankings and the point of filling out the bracket.  After an hour and 1,702 questions, the kids were finished.  As much as I'd love to share with you everyone's thought process, I'll fill you in on Mabel's.  

 

Lindsay reports that Mabel was meticulous, asking detailed questions about the teams records and where they were from for each game.  She took note of rankings and responded almost mechanically.  With a few exceptions (3 seeded UCLA over 2 seeded Kentucky) Mabel picked the smaller seed to win.  It turns out that was a decent strategy this year.  The more mysterious picks were made in the final four when the advantage of smaller seed disappeared.  Forced to make her decisions another way, Mabel opted for a strategy popular among five year olds every where, she picked the name she liked best.  

 

Probably because we drive through Kansas every summer and it's a form of mild torture, Mabel correctly selected North Carolina to advance to the final four.  This pitted Villanova against Gonzaga.  Interestingly, I used this same strategy as a kid.  This led me develop a passion for both Villanova, which sounded oh so close to vanilla to me and Syracuse because I loved orange flavored candy and the color.  To make things more interesting, sports fans will remember that the 1990's Villanova Wildcats featured the likes of Kerry Kittles who's last name was strangely close to Skittles, another big win for me.  But how great is the name Gonzaga!  So Mabel picked them to win it all, which was enough to win it all.  

After she was informed of the victory Mabel made one request.  She asked if in addition to the candy bar, the prize package could include a lottery ticket (yeah, we're real proud of our kids).  So T-Rex, being the pushover he is, expanded the prize package to include a $5 Lucky 7 scratch off.  Unfortunately, Mabel's luck is limited to sports betting.  

That's all for tonight.