Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bloomington, Here We Come!

I spent a good portion of the morning and early afternoon getting ready to leave for Bloomington.  Cal had tennis practice and Doug had an away soccer game to get through before we could leave.  Meg and Cameron were a big help, and we were ready to pack the van as soon as Doug walked in the door.

The trip down was pretty uneventful.  Cal fell asleep and everyone else listened to music.  Brett was as ready to see us when we got there as we were to see him.  Doug, Cam and Meg made the trek up to his room to have a look.  They all said that Brett was more organized and neat than his roommate.  After that we all took a walk over to Buffalouies, a Bloomington orignial, for dinner.  It was packed and once we sat down the skies opened up to some much needed rain.

We made the hike back to the Union where Cal and Cam decided to take a break in the room.  The rest of us headed to Barnes and Noble and Target.  Brett and Meg each found a book that they were interested in and I braved a monsoon to pick up some trash bags, Crystal Light and Benadryl.  We stopped by Pizza Xpress for breadsticks and Brett joined us in our room.  

It was great to catch up with him.  He missed us as we did him.  We spent the evening asking him a lot of questions.  Brett has met a lot of other students and attended a lot of activities.  He is anxious about his classes as they seem a little too easy and undefined for him.  He gets along well with his roommate and spends a lot of time talking with different people in the dorm.  He attended the Bloomington Farmer's Market and saw a Macaw perched on a bike this morning.  He is signed up to volunteer at the Auditorium and has already lost weight from all of the walking he has done. He left close to 11 p.m.  I asked him to text me when he got back to his room.  He laughed, so I guess he really is independent of us now!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

You Can Sleep When You're Dead

Today started bright and early as I had to drop Cal off at basketball at 5:45 a.m.  Meg, Cam and I were early to school and had a full half day there with classroom projects and a bulletin board to take down and put up anew.  The afternoon was spent at an emergency library board meeting and paying bills.  Then back to school to take Cam and Meg to Goshen for piano lessons.  Meg had a friend coming over, so my Mom graciously said she would meet us there to bring Meg back to hang out with Graham.  I took Cam to practice putt and then waited for his lesson to finish before we made the 25 minute trek home.

Once we got there Meg and Graham were busy crafting.  Cal and Cam left with my Mom to eat dinner.  I got all of the laundry in baskets and had enough time to brush my hair before Doug came home from soccer practice and picking up Cameron's LYC team information as he is coaching that as well.  Once Meg's friends left she decided to head over to Grandma's as well.  We jumped back in the van to take Cal and Jayce to Wawasee's football game in South Bend.  Doug and I had just enough time to eat dinner before the rain and lightning hit.  We picked Cal and Jayce back up.  They decided not to wait out the lightning.  It was only half time and Wawasee was already down 34-0.  We made a stop for ice cream on the hour trip home and enjoyed listening to the boys conversation and antics of the week.

We made it in the door around 10:30 p.m.  I knew I was done for the day and headed straight for my pajamas.  Several times during this exhausting day I kept hearing my Paw Paw say, "You can sleep when you're dead."  That made me laugh and keep going when all my body wanted to do was lie down.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Tonight was the end of three tennis matches in a row for the high school team.  They are now 3-2, which means that they have tripled the amount of wins they had from last year.  In the Tuesday night match, Cal beat his opponent in two sets and played pretty well.  His picture was in the paper and a video of the girls volleyball team screaming his name as he was getting ready to serve was posted on a local news website.  The team actually won all five courts that evening which was a great feeling for them.  On Wednesday Cal played his best of the week.  His opponent was the toughest he has played so far.  Although he got out to a lead in both sets, he ended up losing 6-2 and 6-2, but he felt good about how he competed.

Thursday night was a different story for Cal.  He just never seemed to get started.  I know he was frustrated as you could see it on his face.  He lost in two sets and didn't look the tennis player that I know he is.  The coaches talked to him and gave him some tips for the next match and some things to work on.  When I talked to him afterward, he said, "I just started playing bad and I couldn't stop it, no matter how hard I tried."  The team won and there was a home volleyball game afterward, so that took some sting out of the loss.

As a Mom I had a hard time watching him on Thursday.  It wasn't because he was losing, but because it was obvious he was very upset with himself.  I am not upset, however.  High school sports are moments of greatness followed by moments of not.  He stepped up this year to play a third sport that requires a lot of practice and conditioning.  He has been a part of the Varsity squad that is trying to bring tennis back to Wawasee.  We are very proud of him for putting this much effort into it.  Three days of tennis in the 90 degree heat plus early morning basketball and strength training during the day would get to the best of us.  Tuesday is another match.  Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I was able to talk with Brett last night.  He sounded very happy which was music to my ears.  He had his second day of classes and was feeling a lot more comfortable with the schedule than the first day.  He had gone to dinner with friends, is signing up to usher at the IU auditorium tonight, met a Buddhist Monk, took his picture by the bust of Wendell Wilkie and saw some friends at mass over the weekend.  Thursday is the first home football game and the new student's get to lead the football team onto the field.  Although he is not an avid fan of the sport, he is signed up and excited to participate in this tradition.

I am thrilled to hear that he is enjoying his first week as a college student.  I knew he would and am impressed that he has found so much to do and met a lot of new friends already.  We are making our annual Labor Day pilgrimage to Bloomington this weekend.  When I reminded him of this, he said, "I'm sure I'll run into you."  That statement made me laugh.  I know he will be glad to see us, but happy that he is not waiting anxiously for us to get there.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Today I was able to finish cleaning the upstairs.  I know that is not as exciting to my family as it is to me, but we were able to find some lost clothes, move dressers, purge some unused items, hang pictures and dust.  The boys now have enough dresser space that they do not have to live out of their laundry baskets.  I realize that they probably still will, but at least they have the opportunity now to put the multitude of t-shirts they have in a drawer.

Meg did a very nice job cleaning her room.  The added incentive is that she can have a bonfire with her friends in mid-September if it stays that way.  My next goal is to make sure that we do a lot better job of keeping everything semi-picked up, so no one has to spend hours cleaning again.  That is probably wishful thinking, but I'm willing to give it a try!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Library Board

Tonight was my monthly library board meeting.  I have been president of the board for 4+ years.  I love the library and it has been very important to the Heinisch children.  Brett was still visiting it several times a week before he left for college.  All four attended story time and the eldest was a long time book club member.  Even Doug used to order books on CD to listen to on his long drive to Grabill years ago.

Today, however, I was tired and didn't really want to go.  I was in the middle of a project that I knew I would be able to finish if I just had a couple more hours.  It was also the only night this week that we didn't have other commitments.  Cameron had Cade over and Cal needed a ride to volleyball, so I could have easily made a lot of excuses not to go.  I can count on one hand how many times I have missed over the years.  So , I decided I wouldn't make this one.

On the short drive there, I thought that I would go ahead and let the other board members know that I would like to step down as president at the end of this year.  I have been an actively involved president during my tenure, even meeting with the staff and the landscaper this summer to decide which bushes stayed and which became mulch.  I love being involved, however, I have come to realize over the last few months that the board waits for me to make a decision on most issues and then tends to vote with me.  There is one naysayer on the board, but she just likes to be the antagonist.  No matter what is said, she likes to stir the pot.

As the meeting ended I was glad that I decided to go.  The library is an important part of our small community and I believe that we have a nice one.  I enjoy the board members (minus one.)  Randy and Cyndi were glad to talk of Brett's trek to IU.  We all laughed at the ribbing we gave Mike about getting married after several years a widower.  John was proud to introduce the new library circulation assistant.  With all of the budget cuts, hour reductions and closed libraries we were proud that ours has weathered the storm quite well.

So for now, I will stay in my current position.  Maybe one day someone else would like to take on my roll.  I will gladly pass the baton with pride, happy that we are a pillar of community activity.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

So Far So Good

Meg was able to finish her room today, clean her bathroom, complete her homework, write a letter to Grandma Heinisch and pick up the basement.  She may not have liked it, but WOW! did her room look better.  Now the challenge will be to keep it that way!

Cal and Cameron had a great day as well.  They both got to play golf - Cam with Doug and Cal with Sam and Jayce.  Doug and I were able to get several projects done, eat a homemade dinner and even take a walk.

The best news of the weekend, however, has been from Brett.  He's been to a concert, culture fest, new student service day (he helped at the food bank), watched Breaking Away, fame night at the library, pizza party, ice cream social, bought his books, met some friends, went on a midnight trip to Wal-Mart, visited the comic book store multiple times, attended mass and even stopped in an anarchist bookstore.  All of his texts have been upbeat and it sounds as though he is having a great time.  Classes start tomorrow and he said he isn't quite sure he is ready for that.  I am so happy that he is enjoying his first week.  I know there will be challenges ahead, but so far so good!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Room Clean Out

Today when Meg got home from spending the night at Gabby's she had a tall order in front of her.  She had to clean out her room.  I knew it was bad when before Brett left he refused to bring down her laundry for me as he couldn't tell where the laundry started or ended.  Meg's friend Graham even said that he had seen her room when they were talking on FaceTime, and she would probably be in trouble when I saw it.

She didn't get into trouble, but I did spend some time explaining to her that we have been very busy getting ready to take Brett to college, and I hadn't had time to stay on top of her.  However, now that he is in Bloomington, I have more time to check her room, the basement and anywhere else that she frequents.  Thus, she will have to work to stay on top of it.

Meg spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning her room.  She was able to get her dresser, the desk and one of her closets cleaned.  We also washed her bedding and remade that.  Therefore, she only has half of the room to do tomorrow.  I stayed up there and hung up some pictures in Brett's room and cleaned out his dresser as we are bringing one back from Mom's tomorrow that we had stored there. Therefore, I was able to keep her on task while I was working, so that helped.  None of the Heinisch children so far have shown signs of inheriting my organizing gene.  There is still hope, but somehow I think right now it is only me who relaxes by straightening closets!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

School Spirit

Last night Cal's tennis match was cancelled because of rain.  So he and some of his friends decided to go to the girls volleyball match.  When he got home he filled us in on the game.  The girls lost to a neighboring school that has beaten them 11 years in a row.  They played well, however, and made it a very close game.

The part we most enjoyed of his synopsis of the match was his description of the student cheering section.  I could tell that he had a lot of fun as he could barely talk, because his voice was so hoarse from helping lead the cheers.  His favorite part was after an ace when he, Jayce and Jake pretended to be bowling pins and another student "bowled" them over.

I was glad that he had a good time.  School spirit is something our high school administrators and teachers are really working to improve.   He said all of the "big wigs" were there and seemed to enjoy their enthusiasm.  Today I laughed out loud as I read the high school's daily announcements.  This is what was written for last night's game:

The student section was amazing at last night's volleyball game - keep up the good work of supporting your Warriors in all of the sports! "The volleyball teams would like to thank the fans and especially the great student section last night. The enthusiasm was awesome and we hope to see even more of you next week."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Good News

Last night on the way home from dropping Brett off at IU, we kept in contact with our friend Tammy who also has a son that plays Varsity tennis.  Cal had a match an hour away and we knew that we would not be home to cheer him, so Tammy said that she could fit that role. Cal was moved to number 3 singles and we were thrilled to hear that he won his first match 6-4 and 6-3.  Sounds like it was a long one, almost two hours, but he played well.  As an added bonus, the team won as well, only losing one court (number 2 singles.)  It was a good confidence builder.  Cal's coach told me at the beginning of summer, if they could win two matches, they would double their win record from last year.  So, now, just one more to go to reach that goal!  Tonight's match was cancelled because of rain, so we will have a busy week next week with three matches all in a row.  Glad that he decided to play and happy that the boys are doing well.

Heard from Brett a couple of times today.  After the last text I realized that I had finally relaxed.  I have been worried about him meeting people and finding things to do.  Last night he said, "Joined a bunch of people to watch Breaking Away at the film room in my dorm.  It's a great movie!"  Then he planned to head to the library for games and activities.  Of course, heading out in college is 10:00 p.m. I was asleep shortly after that.  Happy that he is enjoying his adventure.  Can't wait to hear more!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day

We were up bright and early to check in to Brett's dorm.  I am so glad that we decided to be there before nine.  Even with a fire alarm delay, we had moved him into his room and unpacked well before 10:30 a.m.  As we drove out to Target for a few items that we didn't realize we needed, the campus was bumper to bumper cars and wall to wall people.  We were able to get in and out of Target pretty easily, but I believe that Doug was correct when he said, "This makes Black Friday look like nothing!"

After our Target run we drove to the Union and decided to leave our van parked there.  We bought a banner for home and Brett picked up an IU lanyard and key chain.  We let him pick our lunch spot, so Yogi's it was.  They are notorious for slow service and did not change for our trip today, but since we had time to kill before the 2 p.m. induction ceremony it was the perfect lunch stop.  Once lunch was over we walked around a little more.  We had shown Brett where the student Catholic church is on campus as we expect he will be a frequent visitor.  He noticed a chalk drawing on the sidewalk inviting everyone to mass.  We made one more stop - picture time at Showalter Fountain - before heading into the auditorium for Brett's ceremony.

We had received many email reminders about the Freshmen Induction Ceremony, so we wanted to try it.  They said that it was a time honored tradition.  Neither Doug nor I remembered going, but we all wanted to see what it was about.  It was a nice ceremony, almost like a graduation.  We found out that this incoming freshmen class has the highest GPA ever in the history of IU.  The student body president gave a nice speech about getting involved.  Overall, however, I think we all felt that we could have skipped it.  Brett was ready for us to leave, so he could start doing what he wanted.  Thus, a quick hug and words of praise, and we were headed home.

As we drove, I thought of what a great son Brett has been.  I know that he will do well.  The first few weeks will be tough as he meets new people.  His roommate hadn't arrived yet when we left.  The guys on his floor reminded me a lot of Brett, so I know there are lots of friends to be made.  The one thing that makes me sad is that he won't be here with his siblings.  They really all seem to get along well with him and this will change that relationship.  I will miss him as well.  My afternoons have been filled with movie reviews, shows that we have watched, walks, and lunches together.  I am happy for him, however, as he is ready to spread his wings and fly!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

He's off . . .

Brett and I spent the afternoon getting ready for his big adventure.  Almost everything was packed already.  We just had to a few things to do.  I vacuumed out the van and we were able to easily fit all of his gear in the back.  That is incredibly different than when I left for college.  I took way too much stuff!!!  The nice part is that we are going to visit him over Labor Day weekend, so if he forgot anything we can bring it down.

Brett is more than ready now.  His summer to do list is completely checked off and he is seeking some new challenges.  He realizes that it will be a big adjustment at first, but is more than willing to try.  I love that they have several days devoted to the incoming freshmen and transfer students.  I hope by Sunday he feels comfortable there.  Proud of him for all that he is and can't wait to see what he chooses to do next.

Monday, August 19, 2013

To Change or Not to Change

Last week the high ability coordinator called me to propose a question.  Cameron was placed with another student in his third grade class that also was high in math.  That student ended up moving this year, so Cameron was the only one who would be in his math group in his class.  The coordinator wanted to know our opinion regarding Cameron switching third grade classrooms.  That would put him with students that he might be able to work with in a math group.  His scores are pretty high for a third grader.  In second grade he worked independently all year on Khan Academy, so the thought that he might actually have other students to collaborate with was definitely appealing.

Thus started to weekend of decision making.  All of us really like the teacher they originally placed him with.  We knew that she would definitely challenge Cam and for that reason we weren't sure we wanted him to move.  The teacher he would be moving too is also a great teacher as is the other one in third grade.  So then, we decided to think about the make-up of the students in the class.  Cam had friends in both and overall it is a great group of third graders.  We kept going back and forth, but finally Doug decided that we would go ahead and move him. 

So, today Cameron started in his new third grade classroom.  He said he had a great time.  His best friend is in there, so we figured the transition would be fairly easy.  They were both pretty happy.  I know that he would have been fine if he stayed in the original room as well, but this just seems like the perfect fit .

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Toy Story 3

This is the last weekend we will all be under one roof for awhile.   I believe that we all enjoyed Brett's presence and he had a great day as  well.  It started at the Knight's of Columbus picnic.  He had a chance to say goodbye to all and we had a nice lunch.  Parce was able to go along with us and even lost to Cal in a game or two of cornhole.

 Brett had a quiet afternoon writing a new story.  He finished his first one and I was able to given him some suggestions.  While he was writing, the guys all went golfing.  Cameron has now broken 60 twice, so he is pretty excited.  Meg and I ran to Target and the pet store.  Brett called a couple of times to ask for some plot and character suggestions for his story.  He also used the time to pack his clothes.

Mom invited all of the Heinisch children down for dinner.  Dad is leaving for a golf tournament tomorrow and he wanted to see Brett before he left.  By the time we picked them up, the guys were all involved in a tense game of Hearts.  Tonight I gave Brett a haircut and he helped Meg with her eye exercises.  They have really enjoyed doing that together with the highlight listening to "It's Raining Men!"  Brett continued his writing.  He asked for more plot suggestions.

As he was writing in the next room, Doug, Cameron and I were watching the end of Toy Story 3.  It was a fitting movie since Brett is the first one leaving, and just like Andy's decision to leave his toys to a little girl as he leaves for college, it pulls at your heartstrings.  As Andy drove off, Cameron said, "I think a better ending would be to just leave the toys in the attic."  I know that in his little world he is right.  Change is difficult and sometimes it would be easier if everything just stayed the same.  But then we would never grow as people and there would never be any new adventures to experience.  We will all miss Brett a lot.  Maybe even more than he will miss us, but we are all happy for him and can't wait to hear all about his new adventures!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Today was a typical Saturday for the Heinisch home.  Cal had early tennis practice as Doug did with soccer.  When they got home Brett, Meg and I left for Chimp's Comix in Warsaw.  They both found what they were looking for.  After lunch Cal and Doug played more tennis.  Doug then mowed.  Cameron and Cal visited Parce.  Brett read.  Meg had a swimming party at Gabby's with quite a few 7th graders.  They all had a great time.  I worked on laundry and explained to Brett one more time how to wash a load or two.

Tonight Doug's soccer team had a BINGO.  It was pretty disappointing.  Only five people played that were representing the team.  I solicited for over half of the door prizes.  Doug and Brett both had to work it.  We were disappointed that they had to give up an evening to work when so few players parents bothered to show up or help out.  The parent running it even texted Doug ten minutes before they needed to be there and said she wasn't coming.

Meg spent the evening cleaning her room.  I watched CSI Miami while I folded laundry.  Cal and Cameron went golfing.  There were able to finish up right as darkness set in.  I was very happy that Cal took Cam as he had been dying to go.  Sounds like they both played well and Cameron shot his all time low - 56!!

So a typical day at the Heinisch home.  Next week will be extremely busy.  Guess we will enjoy the pace of today!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Scrimmage and Shopping

Brett and I saved this afternoon to finish up his shopping for IU.  We hit Kohl's first where Brett picked out several new pairs of shorts and shirts.  That should get him through the fall.  We then stopped by Target for food for his dorm and Office Max for a planner.  Should have everything he needs now.  It has been very nice spending the afternoons with Brett this week.  I will really miss him, but I know that he is extremely excited to go.

Tonight we went to Cal's tennis scrimmage.  He played three different sets that were limited to thirty minutes.  For the first one he played number two Varsity doubles and for the last two he played number two Varsity singles.  I know that it didn't go the way he wanted as the boys were beat pretty soundly, but there is definitely potential for them to improve.  His tennis coach was very high on Cal's ability and work ethic.  He gave him a couple of tips during the scrimmage that made a difference right away.  Last year they only won one match.  Hopefully, they will best that this year.

We also went to the high school football scrimmage tonight.  The tennis team had to work concessions and Meg wanted to hang out with her friends.  There weren't a lot of people there, but we found a good group to sit with.  I am not sure how many more games that I will go to.  We are so busy it is hard to give up a whole evening to watch high school football.  I know that Doug will take any Heinisch children that want to go.  I will probably chose to stay home with Cameron for now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

To remodel or not to remodel . . .

Over the last several nights we have met with two different cabinet men about remodeling our kitchen.  When we started talking about this project it sounded fun.  Doug would like more counter space in the kitchen and I would like more cabinet storage.  As we discussed it we also realized that there is some furniture we would like to replace and carpeting in the family room that needs to come out.

Tonight, however, it didn't seem so fun anymore.  The salesman that came was supposed to talk us into the project, but he really didn't understand our vision.  We want something functional that looks nice and is updated.  He wanted to sell us high end cabinets and an island that would make our entrance to the basement limited.  As he handed us a rough estimate of the cost of his plan that was double our budget I had lost all interest in the project.

Luckily, last night's meeting was a lot better.  Syl had warned us that this cabinet man was a little rough around the edges.  I guess he wasn't as polished of a salesman, but he knew his cabinets.  He listened to our thoughts, threw in some great ideas and complimented our home several times.  I realized why Syl said he was rough, but I sure would rather have him remodeling our home than the salesman tonight.  We will wait until next week and get his estimate.  Hopefully, it will meet our budget and according to his time frame we would be finished by Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

High School Sports

Our local paper is published every Wednesday.  During the summer there is not a lot of news in it, even though we live in a lake community that grows by leaps and bounds in the warm weather.  Of course it could also be that I am not as interested in the summer stories that they cover as I am in the ones during the school year. 

Today's edition, however, was a great one as far as the Heinisch home is considered.  It is the week that covers all of the fall sports teams.  Both Doug and Cal were part of this sports spread.  Doug was featured as head coach for girls soccer and Cal as one of the contenders for a varsity tennis spot.  I am proud of both of them.  They have worked hard all summer and it is nice to see them receive some accolades for it.  

It does, however, also mean that this will be a very busy fall for us.  Meg is planning on playing middle school soccer and Cameron will be on a LYC team.  We also have planned two trips to Bloomington to visit Brett and are hoping to remodel the kitchen.  Somehow we will fit everything in plus work, homework, going to football games and maybe host a campfire or two.  That is how it works in the Heinisch home.  It can be exhausting, but always a lot of fun!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1st Day of School

Today was the first day of school for three of the Heinisch children.  Cal is a sophomore.  Meg is in 7th grade and Cameron is a third grader.  All came home happy with only a couple of minor complaints - "not enough friends in my class, going to be a challenging year . . ."  As the school year starts I hope that they have a fantastic year or at least sort of enjoy it. 

Brett and I walked to the local root beer stand for lunch when I got home from work.  It was nice to spend some one on one time with him.  He said that he appreciates school a little more than when he was in the middle of being there.  We included him in the first day of school  picture, because Cal, Cam and Meg were always in the middle of the pictures before they even started preschool.  I am glad that Brett's reflections upon high school are more positive than last Spring.  I know that is pretty normal.  I will miss him next week when he leaves, but am happy for this new chapter he is starting.

As for the rest of the Heinisch children, one went to tennis after school, another hung out with her friends at the high school girls soccer game and the youngest went golfing.  It was a good day over all.  As I told Cam when I picked him up, only 179 more to go!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Open Houses

Last night was the elementary open house at Cameron's school.  He wasn't all that excited to go in, but his teacher was great and by the end he was ready for school to start.  One of his best buddies is in the same class.  They haven't been together since preschool, so they were both happy.  I know that they will have fun. I have been told that third grade is the year of homework.  I hope that is just a vicious rumor.

Meg's open house and school pictures were this afternoon.  Meg was happier than Cameron going into it and had a great visit with Mr. Larson, her friends, and all of the middle school teachers.  We are crossing our fingers that this year will not be the year of homework for her.   She will have to miss a couple of days a month for her eye appointments, but hopefully they help and she will miss class less because of headaches.

My classroom is ready.  We had our teacher's meetings this morning.  I attended the two parent and teacher orientation meetings tonight, so I guess it is inevitable.  The school year will start tomorrow!!  I am sad that summer is over.  I had a lot of fun with the Heinisch family.  I pray that this is a great year for all!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

End of an Era

Today was an end of an era in the Heinisch home.  It was Brett's last day as a lector in our church and Cal's an altar server.  Brett will be leaving for college in ten days and won't be scheduled here anymore.  The good news is that he is planning on being involved in the student catholic church at IU.  Cal decided that he has served long enough and would like a break until he turns sixteen and can be a lector as well.  I am proud of both boys for their service to their church.  Ours is a small parish, especially in the winter, so they were always appreciated.

Both started as altar servers when they were fourth graders.  The adults in our church all know their names.  My absolute favorite moment happened one morning during mass when they were serving together.  They got into an argument behind the priest about what to take off of the altar first during communion.  Neither said a word, but their lips and hands were moving. They figured it out after a couple of minutes and I don't think that Father ever noticed.  When I questioned them afterward about what they were arguing about, they both looked puzzled and said, "You could tell?"  I had to laugh.  I guess they must have thought that they were well hidden, but months later, I had someone come up to me and said, "Hey, I know you.  You're the Mom of the two boys that got into an argument while they were serving.  I just love those two!!"

So, for now only Meg and Doug will be helping at mass.  Cameron still has a year to go until he can serve.  For now he will have to be happy handing out programs!  Proud of the Heinisch family for their involvement in our Parish.  I hope their faith only continues to grow and deepen, and their call to serve is a lifelong passion.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Today Doug's parents were able to come out for a visit.  They wanted to see Brett before he leaves.  The Heinisch children had a lot of fun with them.  Cal, Cam and Doug were able to play golf with Grandpa Heinisch.  Meg and I visited with Grandma Heinisch while they were gone.  Meg talked her into trying a new skiing game on the Wii.  It made for a fun afternoon for them.

Doug grilled steak for dinner and my parents came over to visit as well.  There were lots of stories and good conversation.  Meg was even able to do her eye exercises with her grandma.  Tomorrow they will be able to see all of the Heinisch children in action at mass.  Cal and Meg are serving, Brett is a lector and Cameron will help Doug as an usher.  I know that the Heinisch children really appreciated them making the trek out!

Friday, August 9, 2013


Almost every week I take Meg and Cameron to piano lessons at Mrs. Meek's.  She attends my parents church and has a son that I went to high school with.  Brett took lessons from her as well starting in second grade.  I always wanted to play the piano, but was never able to.  I was happy when Brett showed an interest.  We inherited Doug's grandmother's piano and it has been used for over ten years.  Brett has since stopped taking lessons when he became busy with drama and academic superbowl.  Meg also started in second grade.  Mrs. Meek likes them to be fluent readers before they start.  Cameron started a little earlier, but as most youngest children he does everything he can to keep up with his older siblings.

Besides their love of music I believe that another important reason that the Heinisch piano players enjoy taking lessons is because of the relationship they have formed with their teacher.  She follows their interests, listens to their stories, adjusts her schedule for them, and when they hit a rough patch with their music she finds ways for them to persevere.  This was apparent most recently as Cameron wasn't sure he wanted to stick with lessons.  He thought that his time might be better spent at the golf course.  Cal never took lessons, so that was also part of his argument.

I encouraged him to try for a little while longer and once we got there, Mrs. Meek took over.  She got out the electronic keyboard, helped pick a new song to try and away they went.  This week was different.  He was ready to go.  Meg was first and filled her in on their big adventure at Six Flags yesterday.  She listened, asked questions and by the end of the lesson had them ready for the start of school next week.  They know where her water glasses are, the dog bones for Lilly, how to handle the quiet dog, Izzy, and to keep the door closed so the cat doesn't get out.  As long as she wants to teach them, I'll keep making the 30 minute trek to her home.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Six Flags

At the end of the school year Brett had said he wanted to reach outside his comfort zone and try some new things this summer.  Thus, when family friends asked if we would like to meet at Six Flags, he decided to give it a try.  None of us are big roller coaster ride enthusiasts.  I loved them as a child, but vertigo sets in every time I ride one now.  Doug suffers from motion sickness and the last time he tried a day of them, he spend every other ride in the restroom.  I guess that is why none of our children had been to Six Flags in five years.  In fact that was only to visit "Wiggle Land" as Meg and Cam were obsessed with them back then.  Cal and Brett had not been to the park in at least ten years.  Sure, we have gone to King's Island and Walt Disney World, but any real roller coaster buff would tell you that those don't count.

So three of the Heinisch children rose early this morning to make the three hour trek to the amusement park.  Cal has high school tennis practice at 6:30 every morning and plays basketball with some of his teammates in the afternoons, so he decided to sit this trip out.  We met Alexia, Anastasia, Tasha and Tati before the park opened.  They have season passes, are experienced riders and served as our tour guides.  Anastasia and Brett are relatively the same age, as are Meg and Tati.  I wasn't sure how it would be for Cameron, but Tasha was great with him.  She encouraged him to try everything and he willingly obliged.  They all first tried a wooden roller coaster with pretty big drops.  Everyone loved it and the day was looking promising.

Meg struggled a little at the beginning as she also suffers from motion sickness and at times dizziness from her vision issues.  She sat the next one out,  but Cameron was right there with them again.  I panicked a little as I sent him off, but sure enough he loved it.  After that he was hooked and ready to try anything and everything the girls could suggest.  I know he didn't scream as much as loud as Tasha, but he sure enjoyed his day.

Meg rebounded very well and rode everything else that they did except for the Batman.  During that time I tried out the log flume with her, and she was able to ride Spacely Sprocket's Rocket with Alexia.  All three Heinisch children said that they had a great time and would definitely go again next year.  I am glad that Brett decided to try something outside of his comfort zone and took us along with him.  Great memories were made!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Today, Meg and I went into school to work on my classroom.  This is the third day this week for a total of 8 hours getting everything ready.  Doug helped on Sunday and I really appreciated that.  When they clean my room they move all of the sewing machines.  They are heaving and bulky, so I was very glad to have him there to arrange them for me.  Meg helped label some items for me and I believe I am now ready.  I didn't make up the seating charts yet as the class list will change several times before next Tuesday.

I would love to say that I am thrilled to be going back to school, but that would not be honest.  I love being a mom more than anything, so the thought of something cutting into my time from that is hard for me.   However, Meg read my 8th grade class list and I realized that last year was a lot of fun and it should be this year as well.  The one part I am dreading more than anything else has nothing to do with teaching.  It is the amount of homework that Meg will have.  It seems to me that they really pile it on in middle school.  High school classes allow for work time, so it was rare that Cal or Brett had to spend a lot of evenings working.  They also are more independent, so part of it could be an age issue.

Next week will be an adjustment for all and the following week Brett leaves for college.  I will enjoy our day at Six Flags tomorrow and our weekend at home.  School will come soon enough.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Today Brett and I were absolutely lost.  Our internet was out for 24 hours.  As we usually have very little problems with Mediacom and the cable TV was still working, we assumed it was our new router.  After twenty minutes of trying everything we could think of, I decided to call and check.  Sure enough, someone had cut a fiber optic cable and the entire state lost their high speed internet.

It didn't seem that big of a deal to us at first, but as the day drew on Brett and I came to realize how dependent we have become on the internet.  No, we are not using it all day, but when we need to check something or stream a video we are used to be able to do so immediately.  Thus, I had to postpone paying Brett's IU tuition.  Luckily, it was not due until the 10th, so I had some time.  I also could not watch CSI Miami on Hulu as I was folding laundry.  Brett has been writing a story and didn't want to wait until tomorrow to post it.  Thus, he ran up to the library to use their wireless internet.  It is so powerful that he only had to park next to it to get reception.

As the day came to a close Brett and I reflected on our day with no access.  It wasn't life altering.  We both survived.  We did still have our iPhones for emergencies.  Ultimately, we both came to the conclusion that we would much rather have the cable TV go out the next time and leave us the internet.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Raising Boys

I think I could spend a month typing posts entitled "Raising Boys." I realize that I do not know it all, but with the four (including Doug) that live in the Heinisch home I believe that I have gained quite a bit of knowledge in this category.  Monday was just one more of those life experiences that I chalk up to being a Mom of boys.

Meg and I were on the way to school to work on my classroom.  Brett and Cam were on their way to Grandma's.  Cal needed a ride to the high school to play basketball.  As he got in the van his phone rang.  The conversation Meg and I heard from his end was, "Yah, sandals, ok, I know what you mean. Sure, ok, got it, yah."  Cal then gets out of the van, heads to the garage, grabs a pair of sliders (shoes), throws them on the driveway, closes the garage door and jumps back in.

Normally, I do not ask him a lot of questions.  Over the years I have come to realize that boys in general like to initiate the conversation.  This time, however, my curiosity got the best of me.  Cal then briefly explained that Alex was going to Subway and didn't have any shoes.  Sure enough as we backed out, Alex was pulling in.  We dropped Cal off at the gym and as soon as he was safely inside the school, Meg and I proceeded to laugh.  Brett called later and said he got a pretty good chuckle out of it as well.

Over the years I have seen Cal and his friends borrow each others shirts, hats, socks, shoes, headbands, sweaters, shorts, money, books, jerseys, etc.  None of them seem to get caught up in who has what. Eventually it all turns up to the rightful owner.  The main goal is getting to practice, getting through practice and eating.  Somehow schoolwork gets done, jobs are worked and friendships are bonded.  So, if you see any of my boys wearing something unusual, know that I am just happy that they are dressed and where they need to be!  The rest will take care of itself!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Brett has been playing a lot of pool this summer.  He never showed much interest before, but this summer he has had a lot of free time and thought he'd join in Cal and Cam's games.  Since then he plays all of the time.  It has been great as we all have been playing a lot more.  Doug and I both grew up with pool tables and loved the game.  I would spend countless hours watching my Dad and his friends play in the basement in our home.  Doug and his friends would gather at his home on Friday and Saturday nights spending time playing pool before they would head out to other activities.  Doug is a great player and one of the few that I thought was better than my Dad.  We spent a lot of time at the pool table when I would visit him in DeKalb. 

Although we gained a cozy family room with a fireplace, the real reason that we added on to our home 13 years was to put an addition on to the basement for a pool table.  I am happy that the Heinisch children have been able to enjoy pool as much as we did growing up. I get updates from them all on who is winning and who scratched on the eight ball.  Doug is still the best pool player in our home, but we have been able to surprise him every once in awhile. 

So, if it is a game of pool that you are interested in, there is usually one taking place in our basement.  Stop by.  Someone is always ready to challenge you.  Just know that the games can get pretty competitive and you should probably brush up on your trash talking!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Garage Sale

Today was the last day of Brett's garage sale run for the summer.  He had one at our home in June and made $250 for college.  Once it was over he decided that we would pack up the items that didn't sale and have one at his Grandma's in August with the town wide sales.  I wasn't sure how we would do.  I thought that everything was pretty picked over, but he was optimistic.

At the end of today I was very glad that he decided to try it.  He was able to make $200 more to put towards his books for college.  We had spent some time over last weekend cleaning out the kitchen to add to the items he had for sale.  Doug and I also were able to downsize the amount of clothes we have accumulated in our closet.  Brett, Mom and I also invited several other families to contribute anything they wanted to sale.  We have found over the years that the more we have, the more we sell.

It must have worked as total we were able to bring in $453.  Cam, Meg and Cal were happy with what they made.  Our neighbor was able to sell a couple of pieces of furniture, Parce made almost $50, and Syl's daughter made him happy by clearing out some of the clothes and household goods she had stored in his garage.  All in all it was a productive three days.  We still have some sorting, organizing and donating to do.  We decided to store some of items in Mom's attic until we have one again.  It may not be next year, but as for this year we had a lot of success!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Favorite Child

Tonight Meg searched through my blog for stories about her.  She said that she knows that she is my favorite child, so their have to be a lot of posts regarding her.  I have to laugh when she says that.  She usually claims that she is the favorite because she is the only girl.  Truth be told all of the Heinisch children have told me at one time or another that they know they are the favored one - Brett for being the oldest, Cal for being the most athletic or Cam for being the youngest.  I don't know if they are serious or not, but I like that they all think highly of themselves.

I guess if they were all like Brett then he would be the favorite for being the first, or if I only cared which one of my children scored the best at golf it would be Cal, and if being the baby automatically made you the star of the family, then Cameron would steal the show.   But since they all have unique personalities there could never be a favored child.  Until I had four children I never realized that there would be enough love to go around.  I would panic when I was pregnant thinking there is no way I could love a new child as much as his/her siblings, but God makes it so easy to love them each individually.  I know that Meg cannot understand that yet as she is just a sister and daughter for now.  I can't wait for her to have her own children one day, so that she can understand why I laugh when she asks me who my favorite is.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cameron Takes on a New Personality

Tonight on the way home from Grandma's, Cameron let me know that he was very disappointed that he couldn't play golf today.  He even said, "I suppose you won't even take me, Mom."  I had to laugh to myself when he said this.  I explained to him that I wouldn't be able to take him, his Dad was at soccer and his Grandparents were resting.  He started to say something else, but then I stopped him and reminded him that he had played golf everyday since Saturday and spent the afternoon today with a friend where they went miniature golfing.  He argued that he didn't play Monday until Cal reminded him that he saw him when he was playing with Sam that afternoon.

I don't want to be heartless, but I learned from Cameron's hero that I can't cater to his every whim or we will never get through his teenage years.  I made so many mistakes in parenting before that I vow to not make again.  Thus, I did not drop everything I was doing and run Cam out to play nine.  I also did not cave when he said that he wanted to quit piano.  I would like him to learn that the world cannot revolve around him.  Sometimes the word, "No" will be said.  He doesn't have to like it, but he does have to learn how to deal with it.

I hope it works.  I hope it leads to a better relationship between him and I when he is 14.  I guess I will have to wait and see!