Friday, May 31, 2013

The Home Stretch

Today was the first day at school that I felt caught up.  Normally, I have students for all four blocks that I teach.  Today, however, two of my classes were on field trips.  Thus, I had an hour and a half to get things done in my classroom.  I was able to finish grades for this trimester, clean the room, pack my books, organize supplies, and get ready for the end of the year.  When I left I felt I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I asked Brett if he also could see the light at the end of his high school tunnel.  He instantly replied, "NO!"  It is getting close, however.  One more day of classes and then a day of graduation pictures and rehearsal.  I then asked him if there is anything he will miss from his high school days.  That also was a quick response, "Drama!"

After last night I sure can see why!  At the year end drama dinner the seniors were treated to a slide show presentation that included their baby pictures.  Brett received a "not so minor" award for his role as Joe Scales in Cheaper by the Dozen.  It was a role he was meant to play and he just nailed it!  He was most proud, however, of his certificate for being "The Womanizer" from his last musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie.  It was completely out of character for him, but he did enjoy the role!

It probably won't feel as though high school is over for him until well into September.  The light at the end of the tunnel is there.  He just has to keep looking!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Field Trips

May is the month of field trips.  Meg asked me today why that is.  I don't have an answer for her.  I know that students attention spans have definitely shorten.  Maybe field trips are just the break they need before they start summer vacation.  Meg has two in the next two school days.  Her sixth grade class is going to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum tomorrow.  It is one of the big middle school trips as they must travel to Detroit.  Doug offered to chaperon and I know they will really enjoy it (once Meg gets over the shock of getting up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the chartered bus!)  We have been to the Village before and it is a lot of fun.

Meg's second jaunt is a behavior reward trip to Paige's Crossing - a small amusement park with miniature golf and go karts.  My students have talked of nothing else as they have to have zero write ups (excellent behavior) for the year to go, so some students are left behind.  Cameron's class went bowling last week for their reward trip.
 
Brett's AP class went to Chicago for a day last week as a reward for making it through the year in one or more AP or dual credit class.  They visited the Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier.  Brett had fun!  Cal's class does not have a big field trip.  Maybe the teachers are nervous about taking freshmen anywhere!!  Can't say that I blame them (Ha!), but they can go on the AP trip next year and so far Cal hasn't complained.

Thus, I don't have an answer for Meg, but it does make the end of the school year fly by.  I know that the students all enjoy it, so I will not ask anyone else her question.  Glad that have the opportunities to explore the world outside our community!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Honors Night

Tonight was a great night for our high school senior.  So, I will take this time to congratulate Brett on his accomplishments in high school - Graduating with Highest Distinction, Social Studies Department Award, Knights of Columbus Scholarship recipient, DAR Good Citizen Award, 2nd in the Senior Americanism & Government Test Program and Charles Wolf Scholarship recipient.  Doug and I were beaming with pride tonight.  Brett was tolerant of all of my pictures and helping him to tame his curls before the program.  Brett has worked hard in high school and I couldn't be happier for him.  It was very nice of the high school and local groups to reward his efforts for the past four years.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

My favorite unit to teach in FACS class is the recycling one. Most students already know a lot about recycling.  Their generation is reminded of it daily and there are recycling bins throughout their schools, homes and communities.  I put a little twist on it.  We start by watching the original pollution PSAs from the 1970's including "The Crying Indian" and "Woodsie the Owl."  They learn what PSA stands for (Public Service Announcement) and what a tagline is ("Give a Hoot - Don't Pollute.)  We discuss the changing trend from Pollution toward Recycling.  They can already tell me what and how they should recycle.  At the end of the unit they are required to write a report, create a poster, or make a PSA to be videotaped.

Many students really get into the PSAs with props, music, etc.  Other students create a twist on recycling - one talked about hunting and disposing properly of bagged animals.  We had one PSA all in Spanish and another with Zombies.  I try and never show the previous trimesters videos or the creativity stops flowing.  At the end, we take a day and watch the PSAs of the year.  It is fun to hear their reactions.  One group went completely out of the box and made a comic book.  It was quite clever and I appreciated their dedication to it.

Tonight Brett helped me by watching my FACS classes recycling PSAs.  He was able to tell me if they hit the mark, spoke clearly and seemed prepared.  We had a lot of fun discussing them.  Brett is a great critic and sees things that I sometimes do not (both good and bad.)  I appreciated his help and had a great time with him.  I will miss that next year, but I know that he will enjoy all the opportunities and freedom he will find in college.  Much as my 8th graders are ready for high school, Brett is ready for his new adventure too!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

The weather was not what we would have picked for Memorial Day, but we were still able to enjoy some family time.  Doug treated us all to eggs and pancakes for breakfast.  Brett, then, headed to the high school to practice with the band for the  parade.  Unfortunately, the rain caused it to be cancelled.  Brett was glad to have volunteered to march and enjoyed seeing his friends, so not all was lost.

Without an early afternoon parade to watch, Cal, Doug and Cam headed to the golf course.  With the gloomy weather they only saw one other golfer.  Thus, they were able to make it around fairly quickly.  My cousin's children were in town visiting my Aunt.  The rain forced everyone inside, so they texted to get together.  Meg, Cam and Matthew had fun playing Wii and Xbox.  Cam purchased NBA 2K12 yesterday and it was well used today!

My parents came over for steak dinner.  We decided to still hold the Heinisch family wiffle ball game beforehand.  A game of Hearts produced a lot of trash talking, but a lot of fun as well.  Doug's dinner was delicious and topped off with Mom's raspberry pie.  All in all, an enjoyable day even if it rained on our parade!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Music

I feel sorry for anyone that has to take a long car trip with the Heinisch family.  Our collective musical taste is as eclectic as can be.  Tonight on our way home from shopping we listened to Guns N Roses, Journey, Les Miserables, Justine Bieber with Will I Am, JaySean, a James Bond Movie Theme (Skyfall) and Def Leppard.  We all sang along or critiqued one another's music.

Brett enjoys playing songs that someone else can't stand.  Since his musical taste includes Tennessee Ernie Ford, National Anthems of foreign countries, and rap, he can usually pick something that someone else despises.  Meg is more main stream with Taylor Swift as a regular one on her playlist.  Cameron has been banned from playing Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from the James Bond movie Thunderball by majority rule.  Cal is more of a classic rock listener.  He will throw in some Metallica or Rolling Stones to the mix when he is with us.  Doug introduced the Beastie Boys to the rotation, and he and Meg enjoy "Fight for Your Right." I have been listening a lot to the Sound Track of Les Miserable.  Thus, Cameron can now sing along to "Do You Hear the People Sing."  One staple, Journey, is a group that everyone can agree to.

So, if you are planning on taking a car trip with us, think of an obscure song or one hit wonder.  Chances are that one of the Heinisch family has it on his or her iPod or iPhone.  Practice your singing and complaining.  Both will come in handy as we travel along!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Soccer Champions!

The LYC spring soccer season came to a close this morning.  Cameron's team played its way into the championship game by beating two teams pretty soundly.  This morning's match was against the "best team in the league" according to one of the soccer refs.  Meg and I were pretty confident that Cameron would be able to pull off a victory.  That is because the Heinisch family has watched Doug coach over the years, are used to his style of coaching, and believe that he is the "best coach in the league."

Doug's main goal in soccer for his teams (besides having fun) is to teach the players positions, how to hold them during the game, and how to pass.  These are skills that good players need to develop, and Doug believes that every child should play every position to learn as much as they can about the game.  Thus, during the regular season his best players have to play as much defense as offense.  Everyone that is capable takes a turn at goalie, and all players play an equal amount.  All get to take a goal kick, a throw-in and if possible a penalty kick.  I enjoy watching his teams develop, learn to play as teammates and most importantly encourage one another.  It is not that they do not want to win, but learning the game is the priority.

Tournament play is different.  At that point, Doug puts his players in the positions that they play best.  His strongest kickers take the penalty and goal kicks, the best goalies don the role as keeper, and those who have a strong arm take the throw-ins.  Everyone still plays the same amount of time and, win or lose, it is a team effort.

Today's team was ready for the challenge.  Everyone participated and encouraged one another.  If a player went down injured, they all took a knee.  When Cameron had a hand ball in goal that led to a score, no one got on him.  They just pulled themselves together and chipped one in to take the lead 3-2.  Even the boys that love to only play halfback, knew that they had to band together as fullbacks to stop a last minute charge from their opponents.

When the whistle blew there were a lot of cheers.  Cameron's team was victorious, and there is a new soccer trophy on the awards shelf.  Each one of the Heinisch children can now say that they have won a LYC championship tournament.  Over the 14 years that Doug has been coaching them, there have been a lot more loses than wins.  Today, however, we celebrate that the "best team" did win and know that another season of growing and learning can also be added to the trophy shelf.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Exhaustion

Memorial Day weekend is here.  We are all thrilled to have a three day weekend, but the activities of the week have made for a quiet night tonight.  Brett had to work on a group project after school.  He didn't get home until six.  He's already in his pajamas and lying down at 9 p.m.  Meg is relaxing while playing Wii.  She is elated to have zero homework tonight!

Cameron had a busy day at school with a bowling party all morning for a positive behavior reward in second grade.  That was followed up by a dance party in PE this afternoon.  Unfortunately, all of the activity and the high tree pollen count caused a severe asthma attack.  An afternoon at the doctor, two inhalers, one nose spray and two oral medications means that he should be able to play in tomorrow morning's soccer championship game.

I had a breakfast shower to attend first thing this morning.  After that 7th grade made scrambled eggs and toast, 8th grade picked their favorite - ramen noodles, 6th grade made bacon and toast, and 5th grade celebrated publishing their memoirs with a popcorn party.  I spent the afternoon cleaning my room and getting it ready for year end.  Needless to say I can barely stay awake at 9:30, but I want to hear how Cal's golf round went this evening.

Cal and Doug were out the door at 5:45 a.m. to play basketball with the teachers.  Cal will never admit to being tired, but I would be with his morning basketball, a full day of school and 18 holes of golf tonight.  Doug is thrilled to have a three day weekend.  He's planning the projects he will tackle tomorrow!  Tonight, however, I believe we will all follow Brett's lead!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Criminal Minds

Last night was the season finale of Criminal Minds, and Brett and I watched it together.  With Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame as the villan and a big twist in the end, the hype surrounding it was well deserved.  Doug refuses to watch the show as the crimes are usually pretty horrible.  I can't say that I blame him.  There are episodes that I cannot watch either, because they are too disturbing.  Brett took a break from it for awhile, as well, for the same reasons.

It's the characters that keep bringing me back.  I love their interactions with each other.  So, I'll stay loyal next year and tune in weekly.  I know there are episodes I won't be able to finish because the topic will be too intense for me, but just the same, don't plan anything for Wednesdays at 8 p.m. I am booked!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Toto, I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore

The Wizard of Oz made a lasting impression on me.  I was in preschool when I first saw it on television.  I have to admit that of all things to be scared of in the movie, it was the Munchkins that really got me.  I had never seen "little people" before.  It seems so silly now, with flying monkeys, wicked witches and the "All Powerful Oz" that I would focus on the Lollipop Kids.

I grew out of my fear of Munchkins, but I have never gotten over my fear of tornadoes.  The sound of the siren instantly sends a wave of terror through me.  I know that my fear began from the twister in the Wizard of Oz, but over the years other circumstances have added to it.  I remember clearly from my early elementary days having to stay in the basement while a severe storm blew through our town.  My grandparents and parents lived through the Palm Sunday tornadoes and their stories scared me.  I also heard the firsthand recount of my Uncle June and Aunt Vi's telling of being caught in a tornado at their lake house one summer evening.

It also didn't help that every time my brother wanted to get rid of me (I was five years younger and a pest, I know) he would yell, "Tornado!"  I, of course, would run to the basement.  I also misunderstood my Dad.  He said that before a tornado there is a sound like a train.  I thought he said that there was a train, so when I heard the train whistle I would, once again, head for cover.  When we bought our current home 15 years ago, I insisted that we only look for ones that have basements.

This latest round of tornadoes in Oklahoma adds to my fear.  Last night I listened to a teacher cry as she talked about her classroom that was hit the hardest.  She did what she could to save her third graders, but seven of her twenty students died in the storm.  The devastation is astounding.  Piles of rubble everywhere.  Cars tossed like Hot Wheels.  However, there are amazing stories of rescue and survival.  All remind me that life can change in an instant.   I will try and not fear what I cannot control.  It is hard for me to do, but on the bright side I did overcome my fear of Munchkins!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Anniversary

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home


These words could have be said by Doug twenty years ago today.  He has been the foundation of our family.  We rely on him in so many ways.  I appreciate his dedication to our marriage and children.  I couldn't ask for a better husband these past twenty years.

When Doug and I married twenty years ago, I do not know if we knew what life was all about.  He was 22 and I was 24.  When I think back, we were so young!  I asked him on Saturday if it felt like twenty years.  He said, "Yes, but in a good way."  I knew what he meant.  Good marriages do not just happen.  It takes a lot of work and dedication.  In those twenty years we have had our share of trials and tribulations, but overall it has been a joyous ride.  The four Heinisch children have made our lives complete and I wouldn't change a thing.  

I want to thank him for always standing by us and for helping us through anything that life throws our way.  My mother tells me time and again that if she had to pick a son-in-law, it would have been Doug.  I don't know if there is a bigger compliment than hearing that from a mother-in-law.  But then again, Brett once told me that he knows that his Dad is really Superman.  I agree with both of them.  Here's to twenty years and so many more!!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Cal!

Today we celebrated Cal's 15th birthday!  What an awesome young man he has become!  He came into this world fast and furious and has been on the go ever since.  He was the crankiest and most high maintenance of the Heinisch babies (his siblings would say he still is), but we love him just the same.  With his one of a kind personality he forever changed the dynamics of the Heinisch family.

Cal's dedication to sports is amazing.  He has had several health issues to overcome in his 15 years. I am impressed with his perseverance.  Ever the competitive Heinisch, he pushes his siblings to excel.  He has an awesome sense of humor and a dry wit that I appreciate!

 Cal is the most observant of the Heinisch four.  He is a deep thinker and extremely analytical.  He is more Musser/Parcell/Lakins than his siblings.  That makes him his own unique Heinisch and I wouldn't trade him for the world!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mosquitos & Allergies

I love May.  Spring has sprung, the weather is wonderful, the flowers are starting to bloom, everything is green and the end of another successful school year is almost upon us.  May is also the month of Cal's birthday and our anniversary.

There is, however, two complaints I have this May.  The first is the amount of mosquitos biting the Heinisch children.  Meg stopped counting at 23.  She is proud of the amount of bug spray she is donning.  She has even talked of making it her new cologne.

My second complaint occurs every May.  That is allergy season.   Doug can't stop blowing his nose.  No matter what he takes, he can find no relief.  Cameron was the same way last week.  He never missed a dose of his medication and used his inhaler regularly.  It helped, but he let me know that all cottonwood trees should be chopped down!

June is just around the corner and I know everyone will find relief.  The ground will dry out, the mosquitos will leave, and the bug bites will lessen.  The cottonwood will be gone and the noses will stop blowing.  School will also be over and summer will be here before we know it!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Celebration

Tonight Doug and I went to Chops Wine Bar in Fort Wayne to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary two days early.  It was a beautiful night to go out and we enjoyed the quiet evening of a very busy day.  It has been a blessed twenty years and today was a celebration in many ways.

Cameron had an early morning soccer game - the first of the tournament.  His team has played very well this season and won easily 5-1.  Cam's best buddy scored a goal and their rival team lost today, so I know there will be much talk of it at school on Monday!  Meg's team lost a hard fought game in which they made an amazing comeback only to fall a goal short!

I spent the day at the Northern Lakes Conference golf tournament.  Cal worked very hard all season just to make it to the Varsity squad.  Don't know who was more nervous on that first tee, him or me, but Cal played very well .  He shot an 85 which was awesome for a freshmen!  The team fell short, but a great day nonetheless!

Brett was happy to earn some spending money staining the swing for us.  He also helped at BINGO, which he really enjoys.  So tonight was not only a celebration of our marriage, but of being a family!  Wouldn't trade it for the world!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tattoos

Doug was expressing his thoughts on tattoos tonight.  Needless to say, he's not a big fan.  He's shared this opinion several times before.   Cal even chimed in with, "I know if I come home with one, I'm dead!"  Guess he's heard it as well!

I finally told Doug he was showing his age.  When I present my "What is Art?" PowerPoint all of the students agree that tattoos are art.  Doug said that he knows it is a different generation, but he still hates them.

I have to say that I do not care one way or another.  I wouldn't like it if they were covered head to toe with tattoos, but one wouldn't bother me at all.  I struggle more with piercings, especially gages.  Mostly, those bother me, because I am sure they would hurt!  In all honesty, though, I wouldn't get a tattoo either.  I am positive I would have a horrible allergic reaction or contract hepatitis if I did.

So, needless to say, neither Doug or I will be getting a tattoo soon.  Can't wait to see which Heinisch shows up with one first.  My money's on Meg!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Arts Festival

I survived my first Spring Arts Festival as a FACS teacher.  Wow!  It was a lot of work.  Everything had to be labeled with names and grades.  Participant ribbons were put on each project.  A friend of mine helped judge the winners in seven different categories.  Then, everything had to be carried down to the cafeteria to be viewed.

I had some great help from several 7th and 8th grade students which cut the workload today in half.  The Encore staff and administrators were very supportive.  The parents and students that came through tonight seemed pleased.  Thus, I will say the first year for me was a success.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Homework

Tonight, Meg, spent over an hour working on her math homework.  This isn't the first time and, unfortunately, it won't be the last.  It isn't because she doesn't understand the material, but because they aren't given time to do it in class.  Tonight's assignment was 25 problems, many of which had multiple steps, and all had to have work shown.  She is taking Pre-Algebra and will take Honors Algebra as a 7th grader.  It is a high school class.  I am starting to rethink that decision.  She is more than smart enough to tackle this challenge, but I hate to think what the commitment outside of class will be.

I know she is not the only student who resents homework.  One of my writing lab students this year penned a persuasion paper about eliminating homework in all classes.  When he handed it to me to proof read, he anxiously awaited my response.  He was surprised when I told him that I agree.  As a teacher I try to limit the amount of work I give.  I don't enjoy bringing work home after school, so I assume they do not as well.  Maybe I'm too easy on the students, but I think home should be for doing fun activities with your family or friends.  I also realize that a lot of students do not have anyone at home to help them.  Homework just seems like more of a punishment than anything else.  

I know my opinion falls on deaf ears.  I have complained about this since Brett was in first grade, eleven years ago.  So, I will do my best to support Meg along the way and try to find a way to grin and bear it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May

May is just kicking me in the butt!  With golf, early morning basketball, soccer, Prom, Academic Superbowl, awards programs, the Spring Arts Festival, Cal's birthday, Mother's Day and our anniversary, I can barely keep my head above water.  I will tred on through, try to be pleasant and keep a positive outlook.  Summer is just around the corner!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Parce

My Uncle Jim is here visiting from Southern Indiana for the week.  He is my Mom's youngest brother.  The adults all call him Parce and the kids call him Pi.  Parce because it is a shortened version of his last name and Pi from his Grandson..  No matter what he is called, the Heinisch children just adore him.

Parce stays with my Mom and Dad when he is here, so we see a lot of him.  Tonight Meg and Brett were quoting him from a conversation they all had over the weekend - something about finding a picture of him next to the word "Chump" in the dictionary.  They could repeat his words verbatim and spent quite a bit of time laughing about it, much as they would a scene from a movie they enjoyed.

This week, Pi, will be able to attend soccer games, golf matches and the Spring Arts Festival.  When he leaves Friday, all of the kids will beg him to stay.  Their collective dream is for him to move here. He's talked about it, but for now they will just have to settle for a return trip at Brett's graduation.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

It was a great Mother's Day here at the Heinisch Home.  After staying up until 3am waiting for the Prom kids to return I was thankful to be able to sleep in.  Doug made a wonderful breakfast and we spent a quiet morning at home before heading down to my Mom's.

My mother really liked the bracelets we gave her, and she loved the table runner Meg made for her.  We also threw in a gas card as she spends a great deal of time running the Heinisch children to their various activities.  Doug and the kids completely surprised me with new bar stools for our kitchen.  I have wanted them for years.  These are perfect and I appreciate Doug remembering that i wanted them!  Cameron made me a "My Mom is special card!" From that I found out that I am great at cleaning and am smart enough to do Algebra!

We spent the afternoon shopping and then went to dinner.  Brett had won a $50 Visa card at the after Prom, and he couldn't wait to get a new book!  Doug made one of my favorites, English trifle, and my parents and Uncle Parce joined us for dessert.  All and all, a wonderful day, so glad to be a mom four times over.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Prom

Brett and his friend Anastasia had a great time at Prom tonight.  They have been friends since she was born 17 years ago.  The evening started off with the pre-Prom game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.  They, then, patiently allowed her mother, Alexia, and I to take a multitude of pictures.  Our favorites were those of their light saber duel, prom dress, tuxedo and all.  Meg even got into the action as they banned together to take her down in the end.  Dinner was at a local favorite of Brett's - Pat's Chicago Dogs!

They danced, took pictures, voted for the Prom King and Queen, and discussed at length the use of forks with miniature cupcakes.  They are home now, changed for the after Prom, and catching up on YouTube videos.  I am glad they had a great time.  They will have stories to talk about for awhile!

Friday, May 10, 2013

You're a Mom

Today I made almost 100 pancakes with my 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.  I smell like a griddle and I am completely exhausted, but I think my students really enjoyed it.  I supervise them in the kitchen and am there to give instruction if needed, but the students are required to make their own pancakes.  That freaks some of the students out.  They are afraid of making a mistake or turning it too soon or too late.  I tell them that the worst thing that could happen is that they have to make a new one, but for my high achievers making a mistake is pretty stressful!  I long ago realized that most of my best FACS students are those that come from homes that are single parent, blended or dysfunctional in some manner.  They are used to having to fend for themselves, so they thrive in my classroom of "do it yourself and it's ok if you make a mistake" atmosphere.

My last class of the day is my 5th graders.  After I explained to the group cooking how to coat the pan with cooking spray, turn on the stovetop and when to flip the pancakes, one of my enthusiastic students said to me, "Mrs. Heinisch, how do you know all of this stuff?"  Before I could answer, he chimed in with, "Oh, wait I know. It's because you are a Mom, and Moms and Grandmas know everything!"

I was so proud when he said that!  Of all of the things I have done in my life, being a Mom and wife has been my favorite.  Gabe obviously has a high respect for Moms and I am glad that he holds me in such high esteem.  I know that I work hard to create a homelike atmosphere in my FACS classroom.  So very happy that one of them noticed!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Technology

Our school server has been down for several days.  My classroom has not had Internet and many of my presentations are currently unusable.  I was a little panicked at first, but actually it has gone very well.  I was able to use my Smart Board and salvaged a power point about nutrition for Tuesday.  Seventh and eighth grade had some research to do on vitamins and minerals, which they were able to accomplish with the information I had in the classroom.  That lesson took care of Wednesday.

Today's was a lot of fun.  We covered our kitchen and food safety standards.  It was great listening to their interpretation of what is safe in the kitchen.  The clip art and pictures that were part of the presentation were comical and the students enjoyed discussing them.

Tomorrow we are making pancakes, which they are all looking forward to.  So, we survived our week without a lot of use of our technology.  I am hoping it is back up and running before I start our recycling unit.  Nothing I can present could take the place of "Woodsie the Owl" or "The Crying Indian."


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Facebook

I first joined Facebook several years ago to keep in touch with a college friend who lives on the West Coast.  I liked it and am still able to keep up with him and several other friends from afar.  If I had my choice, however, I would make rules for joining.

The first would be "no political comments."  I do not believe that anyone ever changed parties from a political post on the Internet.  Secondly, do not share mottos or posters.  I know you think it is a cute saying, but I am tired of wading through fifteen "cute sayings" to check status updates.  My third rule would be no sharing news stories.  There were so many fake stories after the Boston bombings it was unreal.

I would also stop the ads, especially those claiming to give items away for a certain number of likes.  It is an advertising scheme.  Finally, re-read your post several times and ask yourself if you are positive you really want your words read by your friends, their friends, and the friends of friends before you hit enter.  If it would embarrass anyone, hurt anyone or is just plain boring than rethink it.  I like all of my friends, but I really don't need to know that they just checked the mail!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Meg

Meg knows everyone and everyone seems to know her.  She walked into my 8th grade class today to drop something off and several of my 8th graders got up to high five her.  She shouted at me across the room about the play she was writing with five of her friends in language and my class joined in on the conversation.  They had advice for her and comments about her casting decisions.

I picked Meg up from soccer practice tonight and she filled me in on the discussion she had with one of the biggest curmudgeons in the 8th grade class.  She thinks he is "just the greatest!".  We stopped by Cal's golf match and she was getting all of the Freshmen on "Nevermind" before she took off with one of her best friends to the driving range.  Tomorrow I am going on a field trip with her class.  One of the 6th grade autistic students is part of her group.  She has spent a lot of time with him this week, getting him ready for his "job."  She doesn't quite understand why others do not have as much patience with him.

I do not tell her, but I realize why.  It is because with Meg there is always a positive attitude and a lot of lively conversation.  She is full of life and there is never a dull moment with her.  Meg is friend to all and I just love that about her.

Monday, May 6, 2013

NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs are front and center in the Heinisch home right now.  This year Doug and Cal have a new member to add to their basketball watching crew.  Cameron has become the Miami Heat's biggest fan.  His favorite player is Mario Chalmers, the Heat's point guard.  I think that is kind of funny as most children Cam's age are following LeBron James or Dwayne Wade, two superstars of the NBA right now.  The high school basketball coach told Cam that it makes sense to him as Chalmers is the point guard, the play maker, and that is what every smart basketball player should aspire to beam.  Cameron has ordered the Chalmers jersey last week and counted down the days until it arrived, so he could wear it to practice in.

The best part of Cam cheering on the Heat is that they are Cal's least favorite team.  Cal is notorious for liking every team that Doug doesn't, so it is great that Cam is giving it back to him.  There are some heated debates, but so far no tears.  We will see what happens if the Heat loses to the Bulls.  Although Brett and I will be happy to have the TV back when the playoffs are over, for now it is fun listening to all of their banter.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lunch $

Every month I check the Heinisch children's lunch accounts.  I am ever amazed at how much lunch money they spend a month.  I am not complaining, but am always shocked.  They each have the option of packing their lunch, but for the most part prefer to buy it.  The older three usually buy an extra entree or drink daily.  I let them as only Brett is a good breakfast eater, so I figure they are starved by the time lunch comes along. 

This year federal guidelines for food served at schools changed drastically.  Brett and Meg have complained the loudest about this.  I noticed that there is not as much variety as there was previously.  In the scheme of things it is not a big deal, but I realize to a child at school, lunch is one of the biggest (and sometimes best) parts of their day.

Most of the stories I hear from the Heinisch children revolve around the cafeteria.  They tell me what they ate, who they sat by, the conversations they had, etc.  As I listen to them talk, I realize that our decision to keep the childern in school and forgo home schooling was a wise one for our family.  School isn't just about the subjects they study, but also finding independence and learning to socialize with their peers.  So, I will not complain as I add lunch money to their accounts.  I will be thankful that they have food to eat and friends to share their time with!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thanks for the help!

I traveled to Purdue to watch Brett's Social Studies Academic Superbowl compete in the state competition.  It is an all day commitment because of the two and a half hour drive.  I have been blessed to be able to attend each of the four years he has competed.   This year was completely different than the previous three.  Shortly after the midpoint break, it was obvious that two other teams were pulling ahead and that we were locking up third place pretty easily.  In other years it has come down to the last question determining our outcome, so this was very relaxing and I spent a lot of time enjoying the event.  I am proud of the boys.  They have worked hard all year.  Brett's goal is always to finish in the top three as those places earn individual medals as well as the team plaque.  He was thrilled to have a medal from each of the four years (and a tye dye shirt commemorating each of the events as well.)

I have to thank my parents for making the lives of the Heinisch children a lot easier today. Since I was in West LaFayette my Dad volunteered to attend Cal's golf invitational to support him.  My Mom kept Meg overnight so she did not have to get up early to go with Doug and Cam to his soccer game.  She then kept Cam so he could enjoy the new load of sand they got this week for the kids to play in.  Thus, he did not have to sit at Meg's game.  My Mom bought them their favorite Subway lunch and my Dad took them fishing once he got back from the golf match.

We were having friends for dinner tonight, so after soccer Doug spent the day mowing, cleaning and cooking.  When Cal called his Dad to pick him up at the high school and couldn't reach him because he was mowing, my Mom left a full cart at the grocery store to pick him up and take him home.  To top it all off she made a dessert for us to have tonight with our company.  That was a big help as I was two hours late getting back and only had time to make the beds before our guests arrived.

I know that she enjoys helping and has told me several times that she loves to be needed.  Today was a day that the Heinisch children needed her.  I know she will be happy to find out that that Meg and Cam's friend Julie ate two helpings of her dessert!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Countdown Has Begun

Now that May is here the Heinisch home has begun the end of the year countdown.  Weekend days are never counted as we only keep track of the school days left before summer vacation.  Right now the count is 21.  Once the Heinisch children subtract days for field trips, picnics, end of the year awards and such, the real count is well less than twenty.

I used to hate counting down the days of anything as I felt I was speeding up time or wishing the days away. This year, however, I am joining in their countdown.  I know that Brett is ready to be done with high school and to start the new chapter of his life.   Meg and Cam can think of nothing else than being outside now that the weather has turned to summer like temperatures.  Cal has never preferred life at school as there is way too much sitting for his constantly moving personality.  Thus, I will wish for them a quick, easy end to the school year, filled with a lot of fun.  They deserve a break and I am going to enjoy spending it with them.

Now if we could get Doug's boss to give him a summer vacation, all would be complete!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Awards

End of the year awards are approaching.  For the first time ever I will have to choose a student for one of these special distinctions.  I am struggling with the decision.  I have a lot of different FACS students that I think should be the recipient of the MVP of our 8th grade classes.  Whichever I choose will be worthy of the honor, but I feel as though I am telling all of the others that they do not measure up.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There are a lot of great students at our school.  I know that at times they are not recognized so I am happy they will be.  I wish it was easier to pick just
one!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Migraine

For the past twenty-four hours I have been battling a migraine.  It came on quickly and it was a pretty good one.  I didn't sleep well last night because of it.  I thought about taking a sick day today as I have missed very little school this year, but in the end decided to make it through as best I could.

I have struggled with migraines for over twenty years.  Unfortunately, Meg has inherited them from me.  I can usually tell when I am getting one as I lose my vision.  This time it did not happen, so I was completely unprepared.  I wonder what triggered this one - the change in weather, putting off dinner until very late, or the amount of things that are going on in the Heinisch home right now.  I am sure it is the later.  May is always busy, but this year it is filled with a lot of new situations - Prom, high school golf, Doug coaching at the high school, my involvement in the Spring Arts Festival, graduation, and the list continues.

I am sure a day off would help, but I will have a lot of days off in June and July.  Can't wait for a relaxing summer.  Not feeling a lot better tonight, but tomorrow should be a better day.