Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

For the third year in a row Brett headed to the movie theater for New Year's Eve.  The first year he and I saw Sherlock Holmes, last year he went to see The Grudge Match with Doug, and this year he, Cal and my parents watched The Gambler.  It was the first free day that we had to see The Night at the Museum 3, so Cam, Meg and I decided to meet him there when The Gambler finished.  The movie theater was mostly full and I am sure that we are not the only ones who think of seeing a movie on New Year's Eve.  Everyone who went enjoyed the movies, although Brett felt The Gambler was the better of the two.

Once we got home Meg and Cameron headed to Grandma Jane's for their shredded paper confetti tradition.  They had fun playing Drop Guts and pelting each other with confetti.  Cal had his friends over - Alex, Jayce, Parker, Harry and Stephen.  They played NBA2K15, knee basketball, poker, pool and a game of horse in the driveway.  Brett, Doug and I enjoyed the Twilight Zone marathon as well as playing games.  Doug made some awesome appetizers and my Mom sent cookies.  The food was appreciated by all staying in the basement as well as us.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the roar from the pool room when the ball dropped at midnight.

Overall, it was a great New Year's Eve.  We gave up going out long ago and have enjoyed the memories that the Heinisch children have created here and at my parents.  This year we even get to look forward to the four day weekend Doug gets starting tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Year - A New Library

When I think of how many changes have happened at the library during the past six months it seems almost overwhelming.  Our director unexpectedly retired, one board member moved, two board members had strokes, we started a large redecorating project and our bookkeeper quit this week and refused to help in any manner.  After last nigh'ts board meeting, however, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have a new, enthusiastic director starting January 5th, I will be the new treasurer and more involved in our bookkeeping, we have a full board, and the builders agreed to fix the children's department circulation desk and come up with plans for a new one upstairs.

It has definitely been a lot of work on mine and Gisela's part, and I am learning that there was some animosity toward the board from the former director that I did not know about.  We have, however, weathered the storm and seem to be heading for calmer waters.  I know we still have a lot to do, but we will get there.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Open Gym

Today started the official season for 8th grade girls basketball as we had open gym in the morning.  I thought we had a pretty decent turnout for the first day and this year we had 6th and 7th graders also.  Meg felt a little rusty, but she did a nice job.  One of the players Dad's is coaching 7th grade.  He was the boys' favorite Spanish teacher and I really liked having an extra person there.  I don't know how good we will be and I hate that we play Wawasee Middle School the first week, but other than that we should have a lot of fun and improve along the way.  Those are always the goals for me.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

No Luck

Today Meg, Cameron and I shopped all over Goshen looking for affordable fleece that we would like to make pajamas out of.  We had absolutely no luck.  JoAnn Fabrics had some great characters for their pants, but at $15 a yard it would have cost me $90 for three pairs of pajama pants.  We came home empty handed, but Cameron was able to buy some Pokemon cards, so he was happy.

Doug and Cal had no better luck while we were gone.  They decided to go to Wawasee to play golf.  The weather has been extremely balmy and Dad has played almost everyday this week.  The wind, however, picked up and they only made it four holes before they decided that they had had enough.  They had as much fun as we did shopping, so the day was not a total loss.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Windy City

Five of us left for Chicago this morning.  Our first stop was the Magnificent Mile.  Cam and Meg were sure that we could live in the Crate and Barrel store.  I totally agreed with them on that one.  We also checked out the Disney Store and the Lego Store before heading to lunch.  Doug wanted to try Gino's East.  Everyone really liked it.  Brett and Cam even tried deep dish pizza.  We had fun looking at all of the famous people who had eaten in their restaurant.  As we walked out we really appreciated the fact that we got there right when it opened.  There was a line to get in and it was only noon Chicago time.

We walked about a mile from lunch to the Art Museum.  We stopped at Niketown and to take pictures along the way.  It was windy and a little chilly, but for late December the weather was great.  I was nervous walking across the river, but we made it just fine.  The Art Museum was also packed, but we were able to navigate through it well.  We picked up a brochure that gave us the top twelve items to see and we made sure we hit all of them.  By far Brett and I enjoyed the Impressionist paintings the best.  We had saved them for last and they were worth it.  Everyone was pretty tired when we finished our tour, but we all enjoyed it.  We hadn't been to this museum in at least four years.

From the Art Museum we walked to the Bean and Millenium Park.  The Bean makes for some fantastic photo opportunities.  We stopped at Garrett's Popcorn and Dylan's Candy Store on the way back to the van.  We didn't have as far to walk back which was nice as everyone's legs were sore from standing.  We enjoyed seeing the Christmas lights and marveled at the amount of people on the sidewalks.

Our trip home was pretty uneventful.  We did stop at Portillo's for dinner in Merrillville.  Everyone spent time relaxing this evening.  Cal had Jayce, Alex and Korey over and they all had a lot of fun playing pool and poker.  Meg has made great use of her new iPhone and spent quite a bit of time on it tonight snapchatting, trying trivia challenges and watching Simpsons videos.  Brett, Doug and I watched Enemy of the State as he had never seen it and we all love Will Smith.  It was a great day for all in the Heinisch family.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Night with Books

Today we spent all afternoon taking down the Christmas and cleaning the house.  The Heinisch children would have preferred that we leave it up, but both Doug and I were ready.  We did get out the snowmen, so it looks a little festive in our home.  Jeanette had given me some ceramic polar bears and a small white tree a few years ago that looks great on our hearth this time of year.  That will have to suffice their desire for decorations for now.

After we cleaned the house Doug and I headed to Elkhart to look for a new Christmas tree for next year.  We couldn't find anything that we wanted, but all was not lost as we had a great evening out sharing desserts and appetizers at Lucheese's.  Once we got back we all headed to bed.  Cam and Meg decided to sleep in my room.  Brett gave me a book of Washington Irving's short stories for Christmas.  It has been so long since I could concentrate enough to read that I have been really enjoying it.  I was able to finish almost a hundred pages in it tonight.  Cam and Meg decided to read as well.  They took turns with the Peanuts collection that I just finished and Jughead.  Those were also both from Brett and we all enjoyed their humor.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Memories

Today Meg asked me if Halloween was still my favorite holiday.  After a Christmas like today I could understand her question.  I tried to explain to her why I favored Halloween as a child, but Meg could never comprehend my feelings and I hope she never does.  Christmas at our house growing up ceased to be magical after my brother died.  It was through no fault of my parents, grandparents or me.  We all tried to carry on, but Christmas was the one holiday that I always missed my brother the most.  I am sure that my parents and grandparents felt the same way, but I never asked them about it.  Once my grandparents moved to Florida we spent all of our Christmas breaks with them.  It helped, but I still remember Christmas as a lonely holiday.  I spent a lot of Christmas Eves praying that God would make our Christmas happy once again - a time where we would all laugh and our family would feel whole again.

Time marched on and many Christmas days passed.  My prayers had changed drastically over the years, and I spent Christmas Eve thanking the Lord for another year of health and happiness in our family.  I had actually forgotten that I had asked God for happy Christmas Days until last year at children's mass.  All of a sudden the prayer returned in my head and I realized that God had answered it long ago.  Our Christmas days were happy once again and even though my brother was still missing we had worked hard to build our own family traditions that included both Heinisch and Musser family memories.  This year when Meg said this is the best Christmas ever I realized that she is right.  Christmas is now once again my favorite holiday and I have thoroughly enjoyed it this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the Heinisch home we were decorating gingerbread house, attending children's mass, opening Godparent gifts and watching our favorite Christmas movies.  This has been our family tradition for as many years as I can remember and no one has grown tired of it yet.  We did skip Christmas light viewing as the last two years they have become fewer and farther between.  We added delivering Christmas cakes to our neighbors today, playing Christmas Kahoot and making homemade pizzas complete with anchovies.  All have become family favorites (well, maybe not the anchovies.)  Brett was glad to have broken his tradition of face planting in the middle of the aisle at mass and Cal starting something new by watching Star Wars Revenge of the Sith with us.  All in all it has been one perfect Christmas Eve.  I can truly say that "It is a Wonderful Life."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve Eve

According to Cameron today is Christmas Eve Eve and we took full advantage of it.  Brett, Meg, Cam and I finished our Christmas shopping after we picked her up from the Fitzgeralds and had lunch at Steak N Shake.  We were successful in purchasing the rest of our gifts and all of the food that we will need for the next few days.  Although it wasn't on our Christmas to do list we even took advantage of the 50 degree weather to get the van washed.

Tonight Doug made Christmas cookies with the Heinisch children.  Afterward I helped Cameron sew a Grinch t-shirt pillow.  He used it the rest of the night.  Meg and I also worked on her gift to Grandma.  It looked very nice.  We spent the rest of the evening watching Fred Claus and playing Christmas Kahoot.  Brett was pretty frustrated with us as we kept beating him at Kahoot.  He turned it around, however, and won the final round.  

Cal spent the day getting ready for Christmas in his own way.  He ate lunch at Mom's, played basketball at the community center all afternoon and went with a group of his friends to Columbia City for the high school game.  His Christmas Eve Eve was a little different in ours, but he enjoyed it just as much as we did.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Never Jump On a Moving Car

Today's life lesson for the Heinisch children was "never jump on a moving car."  No, none of them tried it and no one was hurt, but they sure talked about it all day.  The note of caution was from Alex as he told the story to Meg and Cameron involving Jayce, Sam and a moving car.  They got a good laugh out of it which I am sure was the intent.  I am glad that no one was hurt and everyone agreed not to repeat the maneuver.  

That is what I love about being the Mom of boys - so much laughter and fun to be had.  Today was one of those days.  Alex and Jayce were here as soon as practice ended and the boys were instantly in the basement playing pool, trash talking one another and swapping stories.  Meg and I hurried out to get everyone lunch while Cam and Jayce took Alex and Cal in pool.  

Cal had a doctor's appointment in town and I told the boys they were welcome to stay as we would be back soon.  Thus, I was not surprised when I got back to find Alex's car still in the driveway.  Meg warned us not to go in the toy room as Jayce was napping.  Alex was in the fridge finishing off leftovers as Cal headed to the basement challenging everyone to another round of pool.  

I realize that God made the Mom of boys because I get it - food a place to sleep and someone to laugh at their antics is all they really need.  There's hardly ever any drama and most of their activities are harmless.  I realize it is not the life for everyone, but Doug and I seem tailor made for it.  Therefore when Doug came home to find the cottage cheese he was saving to use in the macaroni and cheese tonight was half eaten he laughed and said, "Has Alex been here?  Next time I guess I will have to buy double."  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Meet Me in St. Louis

Today Meg and I finished the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis."  It has always been one of my favorites and she enjoyed it as well.  I teared up in the middle of it.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas tends to do that to me and Meg playing with Apollo made me miss Cosmo even more.  Overall, however, I am so much happier today than I have been in quite awhile.  It used to be that I couldn't watch movies or read much as I was so anxious that my mind I couldn't settle done enough to concentrate.  That is a horrible feeling and I do not wish it on anyone.  Thus, I have been watching as many movies as I can and plan to finish two books over break.

I also realize that I feel a lot better about Cal quitting basketball than I ever dreamed I would.  Everyone that has approached me about Cal quitting has been nothing more than supportive.  All that we have talked to realize that he really was getting treated poorly and they are proud of him for saying, "Enough."  Even his friends at school and other players have been extremely open about their opinions and not one of them have supported his coach or the program.  I also have noticed that Cal is so much happier than he has been in a long time.  The rest of the Heinisch children have always been happy and confident.  It is great that he has joined them as well.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Great Day First Day

Brett, Meg, Cam and I had tickets to see Shrek the Musical at the Round Barn Theater this afternoon.  We had great seats and really enjoyed the production.  We made it home just in time to pick up Doug for 5 p.m. mass.  It was a small crowd and a short service.  Afterward we went to Warsaw so that Brett could stop at the comic book store before it closed.  Dinner was at Mad Anthony's and we all enjoyed the conversation.  On the way home we drove through Center Lake Park to see their annual Christmas decorations and topped the evening off with a viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Cal did not join us on our adventures tonight.  Instead he spent the day hanging out with Grandpa and Doug.  He then headed to Fort Wayne to see IPFW play Valparaiso with Alex, Jayce and Cameron Adams.  I know that they will have a lot of fun.  He has a neat group of friends and we enjoy hearing about all of their escapades.

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's Here

We finally made it!  It's finally here . . . Christmas Vacation and we are all thrilled!!  Meg said it was one of the best last days before break ever.  Mrs. Collins subbed in her band class, she made gingerbread houses in my class, had a paper in third block, a Subway party with seven of her friends in my classroom during lunch, played foosball all of seventh block and ended the day with a celebration in Language.  She and her friends passed out gifts and said, "Goodbye until next year!"

Cam's day was equally as fun.  They had a Polar Express day complete with movie viewing, hot chocolate, games and plenty of food.  He even gave me a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy.  Cal headed to school ready for his last day as well.  When we got back home Alex, Gage, Aaron and Reider were all here playing pool.  When they left for the Warsaw vs. Wawasee basketball game he was dressed in a Santa suit complete with hat and beard.

Brett arrived around 6 p.m.  My parents left this morning to pick him up.  He had a great night at Straight No Chaser last night and was packed and ready when they got there.  They had lunch at Village Deli with Parce and hit the comic book store before heading home.  To no one's surprise his first stop was not our house, but the library.  He spent the rest of the evening after dinner catching up on some much needed Super Mario 64.

Doug was wiped out tonight as he had to get up at 3:20 a.m. this morning for inventory.  They were able to wrap up by 4:30 this evening.  He made it up through Rudolph with Cam and I and most of White Christmas.  I was so happy today.  On Monday I wasn't sure I could make it through the week, but I did.  It was definitely a busy one and I cut out some of the things on my schedule to shorten the to do list.  At 3 p.m. my room was cleaned, electronics were unplugged and I was ready for two weeks of very little commitments.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's Inevitable

Today Meg and the girls in her eighth grade class visited the high school in the morning.  The guidance department wanted them to see the career and technology education classrooms before they choose their class schedule for next fall.  Meg enjoyed seeing all of the different classes that the high school had to offer.  Her focus for electives were mainly in the culinary arts program.  While she was there Cal passed her in the hallway.  They didn't talk, but she thought that was great.

At lunch Alex Clark stopped by Milford school.  I was happy that he came into my room to say hi, although his deep voice gave me a start in the middle of the chaos of Christmas craft day in the 5th grade.  Meg and her friends saw him as well which got them all talking about high school and next year.  Her friends enjoy giving Meg a hard time about having a "crush" on Alex although she doesn't.

Tonight Meg had a band concert at the high school.  They combined with the high school and middle school.  She rode the bus over after school and hung out with her friends until rehearsal at 5.  The concert was pretty good and Meg really enjoyed playing "Do You Hear What I Hear?"  It's one of my favorites as well.

As we drove home tonight I realized that Meg will be a high school student before I know it.  I  have enjoyed her middle school days.  She has had a lot of success, met some great friends and had a lot of fun.  I hope that continues for her next year.  Either way it is inevitable, so I will just enjoy these last few months together at Milford School.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Straight No Chaser

Tomorrow night Brett gets to see Straight No Chaser at the IU auditorium.  They are an a cappella group of IU men singers that became a sensation in the late 1990s.  They tour the US and most of their concerts are sold out.  We became a fan of theirs many years ago when we saw their live version of "12 Days of Christmas."  It starts off as a normal holiday song and turns into a comedic medley of Christmas tunes.  The first time we saw it we couldn't stop laughing.

I have showed the video to all of my classes several times over the past few years.  We try to name all of the songs in their medley.  So far we have been able to recognize eight.  Knowing that Brett is going to the show tomorrow night makes me a little bit jealous.  I would love to go with him and see in person what we have watched online for years.  Excited that he gets to be a part of it.  Can't wait to hear all about the show.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pajama Day

Tomorrow is pajama day at Milford school and Meg really wanted to wear the new pajamas she made in FACS class.  They were made out of Minion fleece and matched her shirt perfectly.  We realized, however, to do so we would need to work on them last night as there was a problem when she was sewing her inseam.  Thus, we pulled out the ripper at 4 p.m. and went to work.  We also cut out an extra piece to put down the side as they were a little snug and by dinner time she had them all sewn back together and tried on.  The waist was the next issue, so we called Mom to see if she could help.  Meg also needed to study for the spelling bee and her Geometry test and Cameron really wanted to make a pair of pajama pants for himself as well.  I had found the coolest "Olaf" fleece at Wal-Mart and knew it would be perfect for him.

While Doug helped Meg study, Mom worked on a waist band for Meg's pants and I started in on Cameron's pants.  By 8:30 p.m. Meg had strung her drawstring and I finished hemming Cam's pants.  Everyone was well fitted for bed and pajama day.  It definitely was a project, but we had a great time working on them together.  I was almost as proud as the Heinisch children.  The pants may not have been perfect, but they fit, they were warm and they will be great for tomorrow.  Meg and I even talked about making Brett a pair for his birthday!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Sad Day in the Heinisch Home

Today started off bad and just kept getting worse.  First my keys ended up in Bristol with Doug, so we had to scramble in the morning.  We were late to school and my to do list for the morning was gone.  Then we realized that the only way to salvage Meg's pajama pants that she had spent so much time on these past ten days was to start over.  Nothing, however, compared to the news of the afternoon.

We had spent the last week feeding Cosmo baby food with a syringe and giving him his antibiotic twice daily.  For awhile we were sure it was working, but last night Meg started to realize that maybe he wasn't getting better.  I asked Mom to come up in the morning so he could get his medicine and to see what her opinion was.  She called the veterinarian and they could see him this afternoon.  We hoped he wouldn't need to go, but by the time Mom got back for his noon feeding she felt that he had gone from bad to worse.

Thus, she wrapped Cosmo in a towel and headed to the vet's office.  Even the terrible accident blocking State Road 13 didn't deter her and she was able to get him there.  They took him back immediately, but it was too late.  Cosmo had died on Mom's lap in the van.  We tried our best, but we couldn't save him.

I met Meg after to school to break the news to her.  She was very sad. We postponed our trip to buy more material to rush home to see Cosmo.  I don't think any of us were prepared for how sad he looked.  Cam, Meg and I all started crying.  They pet him several times and said goodbye.  The veterinarian had wrapped him in a blanket and put him in a nice box for us.  Meg also put in it his Santa hat and the rubber guinea pig that we bought at the zoo for Cosmo years ago.  He loved chewing it's ears.  We secured the box with Snowman duct tape and then Cameron and Meg decorated his "casket" with words of caring.  I don't know if I liked "squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeakers" or "Cosmooooooooooooooo!"  better.

I know he was just a guinea pig, but he was our guinea pig and we loved having him as part of the Heinisch family.  Meg hugged Apollo a little tighter tonight and we fed him some extra carrots.  Mom said that he kept looking in Cosmo's cage for his best friend to greet him when Cosmo was at his sickest.  Cosmo couldn't muster the energy to meet him.  I will miss the "squeaking" for carrots or watching Meg dress him as Santa.  Rest in peace little buddy!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Fun

Today we all shared in some Christmas fun.  First we all wrapped gifts for one another and started filling the space under the tree.  Cam cannot wait to see what "The Grinch" got him in the big box he saw.  Meg is sure she is getting an iPhone, but we'll have to wait and see.  Brett wanted to know which items we selected from his list of suggestions.  Cal didn't wrap, but he did pick out gifts for his siblings for me to finish up for him.

We spent some time after Meg's soccer game completing our shopping list and besides a very long checkout at Kohl's we had a lot of success.  Cal skipped out our adventure and instead went Christmas caroling at Miller Merry Manor with his friends.  He looked festive in his "ugly Bulls Christmas sweater" and elf hat.  I am so glad that Paula captured the moment on film to share on Facebook.

Last night I was able to get a good jump on the Christmas cards.  Today we got all of the gifts that need mailed ready to ship.  On Friday night I was worried that we wouldn't be able to get all of the Christmas to do list done, but tonight I feel a lot better about it.  This week will be a lot of work at school , but once Friday hits we should be able to relax and enjoy our break.  I have a stack of books to read and a list of movies to watch.  Brett will be here to enjoy it with us.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

End of an Era

This week Cal said goodbye to basketball.  He had definitely given this a great deal of thought and did not make this decision lightly.  Basketball has been a love of Cal's since he was in kindergarten and teamed up with "Onion Johnson" to beat Reggie Miller and I almost daily.  He loved playing on his LYC teams and took those games as seriously as any player ever could.  I still remember the time he and his team won the league championship tourney.  Once we got home he put his trophy on the shelf and brought me all of the other ribbons, medals and trophies he had ever received.  He said, "Mom, I don't want a thank you for participating award.  I want to earn all of my awards from now on."

Over the next few years Cal had some triumphs and setbacks in basketball.  Our entire family thoroughly enjoyed the weekend trips across the state when he played on his MBA team.  We also felt the sting of watching him deal with some "Bobby Knight" type coaches.  Through it all, the ups and the downs, Cal's love for basketball never wavered until this past year.  He hung in there longer than most and made some great friendships along the way, but Tuesday night Cal said, "Enough is enough."  The boy who played every day for nine months straight before he broke his ankle was done and we support him in making that decision.

I am proud of Cal for sticking it out as long as he did.  He has talked this past month of his interest in Physics and maybe even breaking family tradition and going to Purdue.  There's so much more to him than just being an athlete.  We always knew it, but are glad that he is realizing it as well.  When he left for soccer open gym Thursday night I thought of the quote below.  Cal has lived by it since he first heard it many years ago.  Thus, if you see him at tonight's game sitting in the student section cheering on his two best friends don't feel sorry for him and definitely don't chastise him.  Cal is not quitting he is just moving forward.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Field Trips of All Field Trips

Today I was able to go with Cameron on his fourth field trip of the year.  He was very excited to go and I enjoyed spending time with him and his classmates.  For me it was the field trips of all field trips.  We first went to see the second act of The Nutcracker ballet.  It was nice.

After that we headed to the Glenbrook Mall.  All students brought their own money and were able to order from any place in the food court.  I had Braxton and Cameron in my group and they both picked Chick fil-a.  We had fun eating, talking about the ballet and watching the people.  Once lunch was over we went to the carousel.  They each picked an animal on the top row and Braxton's zebra beat Cameron's gorilla by a nose.

Our next stop was the candy store and Toys R Us.  We toured all through the mall stopping occasionally to throw coins in the fountain or check out the quarter machines.  On our way back to the meeting place we checked out the candy store once more.  They each picked out their favorite Jelly Belly candies and filled a bag.

I had a great time today as I know Cameron did as well.  It was fun to spend time with him as I do not get a lot of alone time with him.  It was also nice to see him with his friends.  The next trip is the circus and I don't believe that either Doug or I are going to that one.  I definitely got to go to the best two so far.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kindred Spirits

About a month ago one of my students asked if he could come down and help me with any projects during recess.  I hadn't asked for volunteers and didn't have anything to do that day, but I told him if he still wanted to come down the next day I would let him.  I have had students in my room at recess before, but most want to come in groups or come in to work on their projects.  I never lack for volunteers when I need help, but this time I was caught off guard as it was the beginning of the trimester and these students didn't know that I would let them come in if they wanted to.

So, the next day I thought of a few small projects.  We are cleaning out the last of the sewing cabinets and still had some small items to sort.  I left some for him to do and sure enough he was ready to help.  The student didn't talk much at first.  I'd ask a few questions, but mostly we listened to music and sorted pins and needles.

Over the next few weeks I noticed that he came down more and more, so I came up with more and more projects for us to do.  I had asked him if he ever wanted to bring a friend down and play a game as he could do that as well, but he didn't have an interest in that.  The more he came down the more he began to talk about the vacations he took a couple of years ago, the cousins he liked and didn't like and his Christmas wish list.

One day I asked him if he knew that I had an older brother that died at thirteen just like him.  He said he didn't, and we didn't dwell on that fact, but it gave me an opportunity to tell him how much I missed my brother and wondered what he missed as well.  He knew exactly what he missed and loved telling me all about the time he spent with his brother.  It was fun listening to his stories and seeing his eyes light up when he talked.

I do not know how this little guy knew to ask me if he could come to my room that day, but I am sure glad that he did.  Although we do not talk about the sadness of losing a brother, I sure understand how he feels.  One day your life changes on a dime and after that there is always a part of you that just isn't whole.  I know that for him it feels great to tell someone about all of the fun you had being a younger sibling of a beloved brother.  Someday I know that he will no longer need to visit my room at recess.  Until then I will give up a part of my lunch hour to do projects with him.  It is the best way I know to honor both of our brothers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


If you have never suffered from anxiety you are lucky.  It is a horrible feeling - like you had triple the amount of caffeine in a Five Hour Energy drink.  Your mind starts racing and your whole body goes into a panic.  Usually, you know what is bothering you but not always.  Those are the worst times. You feel like a caged animal with no hope of ever getting out.  

Most outsiders don't have a clue that you feel this way, but those closest to you do.   You smile and carry on as those life is grand everywhere else, but at home your family walks around on eggshells worrying that at any minute your are going to break down.  Nothing they say makes it better.  You just pray it goes away.

That was me six months ago.  Through a lot of work and help from my family and friends my life is so much better.  I still have episodes of anxiety, but they are fewer and farther between.  I know now what to do and not to do.  I am much happier as I do not live in fear of having another panic attack.  I do not even have to say I hope it continues, because I know it will.  It's taken a lot of work to get here and sure don't ever want to go back.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I have heard many people talk about forgiveness.  Over the years I believe that it has been one of the hardest things for me to do.  A priest told me once many years ago that I was one who had a book on the shelf in my mind for each and every person who had ever wronged me.  At anytime I could take a book off of the shelf and recite exactly why I was mad at someone and why that person did not deserve my forgiveness.  It sounded harsh, but he was exactly right.

As I have grown and changed over time I realized that these books were not about hate or forgiveness they were a shield for me.  It was my way of protecting myself from ever getting hurt again.  It wasn't that I couldn't forgive, I just didn't want to forget.

It has taken a lot of work these past six months, but I no longer have books filled with those who have wronged me.  Instead I have books in my mind filled with the goodness of others and at times even myself.  It hasn't been easy, but I am so glad that I have been able to do what my priest wanted me to do so long ago - forgive and forget. That is why I always loved this priest.  He told you exactly what you needed to hear and gave you ways to heal.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Mom realized that Cosmo hadn't been eating much of anything the last two days.  Even his beloved green peppers sat untouched.  Last night Meg brought him to me and said, "Mom, look how thin Cosmo is."  We hoped that maybe bringing him back to our house would pep up his spirits and his appetite, but this afternoon when I checked on him his hay bowl was still full from last nights feeding.  

I decided that we may as well try the veterinarian and see what they thought.  They had an appointment at 5 p.m., so Mom took him and we met them there after piano.  He was thoroughly checked and the vet decided that it must be an infected tooth causing him the problem.  They prescribed an antibiotic and baby food until he could eat normally once again.  

We gave him his first dose tonight and he took it pretty well.  It had all been measured in syringes, so that made it a lot easier.  We also had a syringe for the baby food.  He didn't take to it right away and Meg wore a lot of it, but after awhile we were able to get a syringe full into him.  Hopefully, he will feel better quickly and the chubby guy in this Santa hat will regain his stature.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Shopping

Today after Meg's soccer game Doug and I went Christmas shopping.  We have been picking some items up here and there since my birthday and weren't sure what we needed and for whom.  My Mom also wanted us to get gifts for the Heinisch children from her.  Since we were going to South Bend we had time to get our lists organized and plan our shopping excursion.

Our first stop was Target and we were able to find some great stocking stuffers.  We then headed to the mall.  Doug got some fun gifts from his Dad for everyone.  I also found the perfect gift for Meg and Morgan.  The Footlocker was having a sale and we stopped there next.  Then it was off to Hollister to return Meg's pants and look there as well.  When we left the mall we realized that we were pretty much done shopping except for a few odds and ends.  We also had gifts for my Mom to give them.  Cal is always the hardest to buy for as his list is short.  I feel that we even have him covered now.

Doug and I decided to try out Evil Czech Brewery.  Doug really liked it and I did as well.  We will have to bring Meg and Cam there next time we are in South Bend. It was the perfect shopping day!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Getting Caught Up

I tried to catch up on all that has been going on this week.  Yesterday I was able to finish my grading which was a relief.  Today was the last day for 75% off all photo albums.  I finally finished our last one for 2013.  There were so many events that year with Brett' graduation, Cam's first communion, visits with Jeanette, a trip to Boston and the start of college that I had to make it into three different albums to fit all of the pictures in.  This one was the easiest as there were less activities and more holidays.

Meg and I finished watching Diary of Anne Frank today also.  It is such a sad story, but a beautiful one as well.  I finally have made peace with the fact that she dies knowing that if she did not the story would have never been told.

I also wrote our Christmas letter to add to our Christmas cards.  I thought that both looked good this year.  After Cal's game Doug, Cam and I were able to go grocery shopping.  That was much needed as well.  I would love to think that next week will not be as crazy as this one, but it seems like it always is.  At least I can say that we are never bored!


Cam, Meg, Doug and I headed to Manchester this evening for Cal's basketball game.  We weren't sure how it would go with his foot.  On Wednesday he had a severe infection in a blood blister on the inside of his right foot.  It was nasty to look at and hurt horribly.  Dr. Mulry was able to drain it and put him on an antibiotic.  It is a lot better, and I was happy to see that he could run on it tonight.

I showed a picture of it to his golf coach at halftime.  Of course he said that as long as it is healed for golf that all will be well.  Glad Cal is on the mend and got to play tonight.  Hopefully, this will be the last foot injury for him.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Program #1

Today was Cameron's Christmas program at school and he did not disappoint.  He was as animated as he always is and did a great job on his reading.  Mom, Dad and I attended the afternoon performance and Meg and Doug went back for the evening.  This is his last elementary program at Milford and he said he was ready to be done.  He was tired of singing the same songs and practicing.  I never would have guessed that as he was dressed up, played the recorder and danced to every song they sang.  My personal favorite was when he impromptu danced like one of the Peanuts gang when the music from a Charlie Brown Christmas began.

We have a break from programs next week as Meg will have hers on the 18th.  Her band is combining with Wawasee Middle and High School for their performance.  She isn't excited about it, but I know she will also do well.  Meg plans to opt of band next year, so this will be her last Christmas program.  She would prefer to have it at Milford, but she has the Spring Arts Festival to look forward to there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Absolutely Crazy

Today was an absolutely crazy day from start to finish.  I had an early morning meeting that was interrupted by a phone call from Cal.  He was really sick and needed help.  It took some maneuvering and help from my Mom, but by 10:15 a.m. he was at the doctor and getting the attention he needed.

Today was the beginning of sewing projects in three of my classes which is always exciting, but extremely tiring.  Everyone needs help all at once. The kids did great, however, and were patient.  That is a big improvement from last year.  As soon as my fourth block ended I had to race to the high school for a math meeting.  It was a lot of information, but I thought we accomplished some very important items.

I went from that back to Milford to check on Meg.  Cam was at chess club.  She helped me get my fourth block holiday research groups ready for tomorrow.  We headed home after that to check on Cal.  He was definitely better than this morning.  He should be able to return to school tomorrow.

I talked to Gisela at the library several times.  There were some issues with hours and the remodeling. We decided to look at those later this month.  I know she and I are both relieved that we will have a new director come January.

Doug was home at 5:45.  He has been swamped at work.  I spent three hours logging in receipts, paying bills and reconciling accounts for the Heinisch household while he made dinner and helped Meg with spelling words.  As I crossed off completed items in my new planner, Meg asked to see it.  I showed her that there was no room for anyone else to get sick.  The Heinisch children will have to schedule that in for some time next week or so!!  She laughed at me then asked if she could sleep in and have Grandma take her tomorrow because her throat hurt.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A New Heinisch Driver

Cal and Doug were at the BMV early this morning for his driver's test this in Albion.  He had been practicing parallel parking with Doug over the weekend and took some time to try a couple of more times this morning.  Most of the Wawasee students take their test in Albion as they find it to be the easiest to take and pass the test at.  Cal passed with flying colors although he felt his parking could have been better.  He and Doug were happy until they realized that they needed the last four digits of his social security number to get the license.  Some quick thinking on Doug's part got him the information he needed and they were off and running.

Cal drove to school and home from practice tonight.  As soon as he ate he was off to Grandma's for a Christmas sweater for Harry and then to the girls' basketball game at the high school.  I know that Cal is a good driver and will do fine.  This will be a new experience for us.  Two drivers and one truck.  It should be a fun ride.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Back At It

Today was a very busy day, but a good one.  There was a lot to accomplish at home, school and work.  Overall, everyone finished the night in a positive mood.  Cam finished some challenging homework, watched Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too with me and had time to defeat Mr. Sandman in Super Punch Out.  Meg cheered on Milford to a victory over Northwood and made it to soccer open gym.  Cal finished in first place in the American Legion Americanism test.  Brett was elected to a favored position in the Young Americans for Liberty.  Doug had a successful day at work and soccer and I was able to check a lot off of my to do list in my new planner.  I even made time to get Brett's white shirt ready to be mailed and help Cam with his homework.

I was not ready to go back to work or give up the fun of Thanksgiving.  Having Cyber Monday to look forward to tonight helped.  My shopping list is dwindling and I feel that we have gotten some pretty good deals so far.  I hope everyday in December goes as smoothly for the Heinisch family.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Children's Museum Part 2

After our last visit to the Indianapolis Children's Museum I decided to upgrade our tickets to a membership.  Cam and I really enjoyed our time there at fall break and I knew we would be back as many times as we travel to Bloomington.  We stopped by today on our way home and had a awesome trip.  They were decorated for Christmas and Meg and Cameron tried the Yule Slide.  We then went into the Jolly Days area.  Cam enjoyed the "ice fishing", but overall we have outgrown the North Pole aspects of Christmas.
With everyone else being busy with the Christmas area at the museum we had the run of the place elsewhere.  We were able to visit the Draconex skull that is on Cameron's new shirt.  They drew dinosaurs, rode the carousel, built a tower out of blocks, worked in the waterworks area,  and spent quite a bit of time in the Anne Frank exhibit.  It was a wonderful way to end our Thanksgiving break.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014


We left early this morning to take Brett back to Bloomington.  Doug and he wanted to tailgate with Parce and Chokey before the Purdue - IU game.  Meg, Cam and I headed to Noodles and Company on Kirkwood.  We have never been and Brett said it was worth trying.  After the tailgate Brett met backup with us and Doug went with Parce and Chokey to the game.  Doug had never been to the Old Oaken Bucket game and thought this would be a great opportunity to do so.

The four of us went shopping at Barnes and Noble.  Brett and I did some Christmas shopping and Cam and Meg found books that they wanted.  Cam has read five books in a series and wants to finish the last two before Christmas break.  Meg is taking a break from Harry Potter to read a book that all of her friends liked.  When we finished at "The Barnes" (as Brett calls it) we stopped at Target.  We found a really cute Santa pig decoration for outside our house, but decided that might be a little much for Doug.  Thus, we bought a Snowman and some packages that light up.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the movie theater watching Big Hero 6.  Brett and Cameron had really been wanting to see it as it is the latest creation from Disney.  We all liked it and by the time the movie was over Doug was done with the IU game.  He watched the ending of the game at Nick's.  IU scored in the last thirty seconds for the win.

We tried going bowling, but nothing was open in the Union.  Thus, we walked around campus, shopped at a couple of varsity shops and ate dinner at Buffalouies.  After that Brett headed back to the dorm.  He was exhausted as he slept less than an hour last night.  We went to Parce's to visit with him and watch more football.  We ended the evening with breadsticks.

Brett's time at home seemed so short, but we did do a lot.  The best part about his visit is that in less than three weeks he will be home for Christmas break.  We have already started talking about what we will do then.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

Four of us decided to forego Black Friday shopping to spend the day putting away the Thanksgiving and getting out the Christmas.  We were going to replace the Christmas tree this year, but didn't find anything we liked at Target.  Thus, we tried some blue lights on our white tree and everyone liked the look.  Cam, Brett and Meg put on the ornaments and it looks great.

We did retire the outside penguin this year and will look for something new tomorrow.  It stopped lighting up and the head kept popping off, so it is time for a change.  Cam and Meg also helped hang up the stockings, decorate the mantle, get out the Christmas decorations in the basement and put up trees in their rooms.  It was a big help to me as I had to also wash six loads of laundry today.

Doug was in charge of outside lights, the initial tree setup and our Christmas houses.  He was also very helpful in packing for the weekend, running errands and helping with any last minute items that came up.  After helping with the tree Brett went to the comic book store in Warsaw for their annual Black Friday sale.  He was looking for himself instead of gifts and was happy to realize that he still had money left from his job at Camp Mack this summer.

Cal had practice today, so he couldn't really help with the Christmas decorating.  He did partake in Black Friday shopping, however.  He, Kyle and Jayce headed to Goodwill after practice to catch their sales.  He was proud of the amount of clothes that he was able to purchase for $30.

By seven o'clock Doug and I were pretty much done with the decorating and the packing for Bloomington.  I was tired, but impressed that we were able to get it all done.  We are looking forward to taking Brett back tomorrow and spending the day with him.  It is a relief to know that we won't have all of the Christmas to get out once we get back.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here at home.  Doug and my Mom made the food with all of the traditionals including turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  We played Clue and several other games before lunch.  I was on cleanup duty when we realized that the garbage disposal was clogged.  Luckily, Dad could help us out and we were able to go ahead with desserts.  The guys all played pool after dinner and Doug was pretty pumped up that he predicted the Bears score correctly.  Made their loss seem not quite so tough to take.

Meg, Cam, Doug and I all went shopping in South Bend in the evening.  More stores were open this year, but Barnes & Noble was not one of them.  Thus, Brett decided to stay at home.  We got to Target first and couldn't believe the line.  Meg and I laughed while waiting as I said, "I don't even need anything from Target.  I just have to use the restroom."  We didn't venture into the electronics as it was a zoo there.  Cam did find a couple of pairs of pants that were 40% off and we bought our giving tree gift for church.

The next stop was the mall.  It was busy there as well, but easier to move around in.  Meg got some great deals at both Hollister and AEO.  Yankee Candle did not have the same sales as last year, but we did get some good gifts.  Doug did some Christmas shopping.  We then headed to Kohl's.  I bought an electric griddle for school and after my rebate it will be free!  We stopped for snacks at Dairy Queen on the way home.  Even with the snow we were back by 9:30 p.m.  We liked the earlier start to "Black Friday" this year.

When we got home Cal's friends were over playing Tripoly and watching football.  Brett used his free time to play video games.  He hasn't played in a very long time and was looking forward to the down time when he was here on break.  After he was done we decided to watch Usual Suspects while he worked on a paper for class.  Brett really likes Kevin Spacey and so do I.  We have all had a great Thanksgiving.  There is a lot to be thankful for this year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Grandma Jane


Today was Grandma Jane's birthday and she got to spend the afternoon with Cameron at his school.  It was parents and pies day and Cameron wrote my Mom this wonderful letter.  I was so impressed with it when they showed it to me.  He expressed his feelings well.  I was glad that he invited her.  He was also very proud of the gift that he got her - a frozen dessert maker.  Happy Birthday Grandma Jane - we hope you had a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An Injury Time Out

Tonight was the first high school boys basketball game.  Cal was unable to play because of his ankle, but he is already doing a lot better.  Nick thought he could return to practice when he feels like the pain is tolerable, which should be some time this week.  The other good news is that the pain on his feet is calluses and not bunions.  A change of shoes should make a big difference for him.  

Doug and I both went to parts of the game tonight.  Neither of us enjoyed the fact that Cal had to sit out, but it was a lot of fun watching him interact with the fans in the stands and the other injured players.  He has such a great personality and his friends seem to really enjoy being around him.  He went to McDonalds with them after the game and handled being "benched" very well.  

Cal has also taken a turn in his attitude towards studying and college.  He is genuinely excited about his physics class and doing well this trimester.  It has been so neat to see him develop into his own this year.  He has worked hard at it and we couldn't be more proud.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Library Board Revisted

Another day and another long library board meeting.  We started at 5:30 with second interviews and ended at 8:30 discussing our plans for a new humidifier.  I know we got a lot accomplished, but there is still much to do.  I told Gisela that I don't know who has learned more about running a library her or me, but it definitely has been a learning experience.  I am so glad that she took the position as interim director.  We would not be moving forward without her.  Hopefully, by the end of the year we will have a full board, a new director and progress on our remodeling project.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Today the Heinisch children had to serve and lector along with Doug as usher.  Cal did not want to read as he was still on crutches last night, so Brett filled in.  Everyone did a great job.  The younger two went to religion afterward and the rest of us headed home.  I am still in the midst of laundry, but I was able to complete all of the library work that I needed to for tomorrow.

My parents invited us to their church for a Thanksgiving lunch.  They have it every year and this is the first one that we have been able to go to in awhile.  The food was good and plentiful.  Everyone but me likes turkey.  Meg filled up on deviled eggs and she and Cam tried some pumpkin pie.  Cal has decided to ditch the crutches which is a good sign to me.  Brett enjoyed visiting with Mrs. Meek as he rarely gets to see her anymore.

Meg had to choose between basketball and soccer today as they were at the same times.  The soccer team really needed her as there would have been no subs if she hadn't had gone.  She felt torn, but did end up going to soccer.  Carl, Doug and I went along to watch.  They got beat, but it was a lot of fun to go to.  Meg played defense for most of the game and has really worked on being more aggressive.  Even with the one sub the girls were wiped out by the end.

Tonight we took Carl to Buffalo Wild Wings in Warsaw.  This has definitely become our Sunday night ritual and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Carl said that he had a good weekend and Doug and the Heinisch children were glad to visit with him.  It is hard to believe at times that Jeanette is really gone.  The children have created a lot of wonderful memories, and I know they will think of her when they look at her paintings.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I was up early this morning and worked on library items and laundry.  Doug was also up early as Cam had a chess tournament in Warsaw.  Cal had a basketball retreat last night so he wasn't home until the afternoon.  Brett and Meg took time last night and several hours today to come up with her Saint for confirmation and also to plan a lesson for FCA.

Doug's Dad arrived this afternoon shortly before Cam and Cal got home.  Cam had a great morning and afternoon.  He won four of his five rounds of chess and finished 2nd out of the 24 fourth graders participating.  He brought home a nice trophy and Evan did as well finishing in 4th place.  Doug said that both boys had a great time and spent the day hanging out, cheering each other on and playing chess together.  Cal didn't say much about his retreat, but I am sure he had a lot of fun.  He took several short naps throughout the day catching up from the lack of sleep last night.  His ankle is already a lot better and he was hoping to ditch the crutches.  We told him to stay on them as both the doctor and the trainer at the high school want him too.  I felt good about that.

We had dinner at home and then Brett, Cam, Meg and I went to Bethany Christian to watch their high school production of A Christmas Carol.  We all liked it a lot.  Doug and Cal stayed home and played cards with Carl.  The Heinisch family packs a lot into Saturdays, but they are usually a lot of fun.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Home, Sweet, Home

We left this morning after getting Cal, Meg and Cam off to school.  Cal was on crutches, Meg had honor roll breakfast and Cam forgot his homework.  We were able to get everyone where they needed to be and were on our way to Bloomington by 8:20 a.m.  Brett had not been home since August and we had not seen him since the first weekend of October.  Thus, we were all excited to see him and he was glad for the break.

We arrived at Oliver Winery close to 11:30 a.m.  Parce picked up Brett and they both met us there.  It was a little chilly, but we had a great lunch talking about Facebook, politics, IU and the Heinisch family's antics.  Parce headed to his apartment around 2 p.m. and we took Brett shopping at TIS, Target and Barnes and Noble.  Brett was able to find several Christmas gifts for his siblings, exercise clothes for himself and a book that he had been wanting.  We were also able to buy a new winter coat for Cameron.

Brett still had one afternoon class to attend, so we went to the Irish Lion with Parce.  It was great to spend that much time with him this afternoon as well.  Brett was ready at 5:30, so we picked him and his laundry up and got four orders of breadsticks to take home.  The trip back was absolutely crowded and we lost about a half hour of time driving through Indy.  Once we got north of the city, however, everything cleared out and we had a nice trip from there home.  Meg was excited to see Brett, even though he told her we had car trouble in Wabash and weren't going to make it back.  I felt sick from the drive, but happy to have Brett home.  It should be a great week.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Mom, I think I broke my ankle again!"

Those were the horrifying words that greeted me when I answered Cal's phone call this evening.  He and my Dad were already on their way to the hospital when he called.  We were just returning from Warsaw, so Doug and I were able to catch up with them before they got too far.  As we sat in the ER I started to evaluate the situation.  Cal had been complaining that the balls of his feet were hurting.  He thought they were blisters, but now they were slightly discolored.  Because of the pain he was running on the outside of his feet and that was how he rolled his ankle.

The ER doctor right away said that the pain on his feet were from bunions.  We felt better about that as it was a lot better news than the stress fractures that Cal was worried about.  She also said that there was no fracture on the x-ray and his ankle actually looked completely healed from last fall.  Thus, they put him in an air splint and gave him 800 mg of Ibuprofen.  He has to be on crutches until Monday and we will need to follow up with the orthopedic doctor next week.

Although this was extremely annoying for Cal and I know it hurt, overall this sounds a lot better than last year.   We are also more prepared for an ankle injury this year already having crutches, a boot and ice packs ready.  Cal still plans to go to school tomorrow morning and will meet with Nick after school.  My fingers are crossed that this is just a small hiccup for him early in the season.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Library Time

I was at the library for four hours tonight.  Gisela and I had to review a few items.  Then I was back for two different interviews.  We used Skype for both.  I had never used it before and was glad to have the chance to do so.  I will have to look into using it on my computer as well.  It would be a great way to catch up with Brett.

Our interviews went well and we had a new member join our board.  That was awesome as we have had two board members retire since August and another with health issues.  Overall, it is a really busy time, but I believe that we have a plan to move forward in the next couple of weeks.  It is actually starting to get exciting.  Stepping out of basketball for the month will free up so time to help the library.  It feels good to be of help to them and make a difference in the community.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day Off

I took the day off  as I had several appointments today.  I know that I would really like going back to being a full time Mom and wife, but for now I will make the best of it as my working pays for Brett's college.  I did get a lot done. It was nice to have some time to myself as well.  Tonight was packed as usual.  Cam had tennis.  Cal had basketball.  Meg and I went to the Milford vs. Wawasee 7th and 8th grade boys games and then headed to her own basketball practice.

After the craziness of the night Doug and I went to dinner.  It was a nice break and a chance to catch my breath.  I believe after our discussion that I am going to have to give up coaching the eighth grade AAU team.  I really enjoyed coaching on Sunday, and it was a lot of fun winning a game and watching everyone play.  Overall, however, I am just completely overwhelmed with all of our commitments.  The library really needs my help and there are two other coaches that help with AAU.  Thus, I believe that this will be my last week.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Meg has been playing indoor soccer with the high school team on Sunday afternoons.  The group has been a lot of fun and meets on Monday nights to practice at the middle school.  Meg has really learned a lot and should have a lot of fun next fall.  It will be a great way for her and the other incoming freshmen to meet high school students.  They should feel more comfortable when they start the school year.

Doug enjoys open gym as much as the girls do.  Several other coaches also participate in the scrimmages.  Doug comes home tired, but has a great time.  One of the coaches fiances play as well.  It brings the level of play of the girls up and makes them work hard.  Can't wait to see how they do next year.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Birthday Celebration Part 2

Today I celebrated my birthday with the entire family.  We all went to Buffalo Wild Wings.  I was especially glad that Cal joined us as he doesn't usually go out with us on Sunday nights.  My Mom made a delicious white cake with white frosting.  Cam did a great job decorating it and even found room for forty-six Hershey kisses.  After that I opened gifts from my parents and Doug and the Heinisch children.  Doug picked out the best gift for me - an electric fireplace for my bedroom.  It lights up and is small and portable.  I know I will get a lot of us out of it.  It has been so cold already.  We may be in for another long winter, but I will be ready!!  I think Cam was as excited about it as I was.  He sleeps in my room a couple of times a week.  Neither one of us will be cold again!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

To celebrate my 46th birthday Doug and I decided to shop for new living room furniture.  We have both talked about replacing our current set.  It has served us well for the last ten years, but it is definitely showing wear.  We plan to keep it as furniture in the basement and maybe even a chair in Cal's room.  We stopped in Warsaw at two different stores.  The first one had a set that we really like.  We could order it in purple and a pattern to match.  The second store did not have as much variety or color.  The furniture was less expensive, but neither of us thought it would last long in our busy family.  We are going to decide on Monday what we would like to purchase, but right now we are both leaning toward the furniture at the the first store.

After shopping for furniture we headed to Target in Fort Wayne.  They had a great deal on video games - buy two get one free.  We picked up some awesome Christmas gifts (once I got ahold of Brett and verified the systems we have.)  We stopped for a small  bite to eat and then headed to the chocolate store.  They had some phenomenal truffles and Doug bought me a box for my birthday.  We did some window shopping at Pier One Imports and found more Christmas gifts at Kohl's.

We topped off the weekend with dinner at Chop's Wine Bar.  The food was delicious and the dessert was one of the best we have ever had.  It was pumpkin/chocolate cheesecake.  I had such a wonderful birthday.  It was so nice to spend the day with Doug.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Get Smart

Tonight I took Meg and Janae to see the play, Get Smart, at the high school.  We met up with one of their other friends as well.  The play was pretty good.  Meg had trouble following along at first, but after awhile she caught on. One of my former students had several parts in the play and Meg and I both enjoyed seeing her.  Meg also ran into several freshmen from last year.  I had a lot of fun listening to the girls talk.  Overall, it was a great night.  Brett would have enjoyed being a part of the production.   

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Parent Night

Tonight was the annual high school basketball parent night.  Doug had promised me that he would go this year, but it just so happen to have fallen on the same night as county council.  Thus, I made the trek.  There was an open practice for parents beforehand and Cal told me that he didn't want me to go.  That was ok with me as just thinking about basketball makes me anxious.  

I did make it to the parent night.  It was long (over an hour), but shorter than last years.  I don't know if I learned a lot, but at least I had an ally (Sharon Boatwright) to sit by.  It will cost quite a bit less this year and they are still having the boys' retreat.  Those were both positives.  I don't particularly like the new alcohol policies, but it sounds like most of the parents do not.  They are way too lenient for me.  Cal keeps out of trouble, so it shouldn't matter.

I was proud of myself for going tonight.  I am even more proud of Cal for sticking with basketball after last year.  We have learned a lot about patience and perseverance from Cal.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Library Interviews

Tonight was our first round of interviews for a new library director.  I realized at the end that I had never sat on the interviewer side of the table before.   We still have a few more applications and interviews to go through.  I will feel a lot more relaxed during the next round.  It also helps that there were other board members and a library employee there with me.   I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge and experience since I joined the board almost ten years ago.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

Today was Veteran's Day and our school celebrated the day with schoolwide program.  Meg was part of the remembrance table ceremony once again and I was extremely proud that she was chosen to participant.  She takes the role seriously and understands the price that some soldiers pay for our freedom.

Yesterday I talked with classes about the concept of Veteran's Day.  I showed them a picture of my Grandfather in full army dress during World War II.  I explained to them that he is my favorite veteran and just because he didn't die during his service doesn't mean that he did not have to sacrifice for the freedom of our country.  I shared a couple of my grandfather's stories and explained his role in the 52nd Engineer Corp.
After my last class left for lunch I had some time to reflect on his my Grandpa's time in the army.  He did not enlist, but accepted his role once he was drafted.  He worked hard in the South Pacific and along the way created some great memories that he shared with my brother and I whenever we were with them.  The friendships that he developed during that time lasted a lifetime.  He gave up years of his life to serve his country and never complained to us once about that.  I am proud to say that my Grandfather is a veteran and today I was glad to celebrate the memory of his service.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Sports Awards

Tonight was the fall sports awards program at the high school.  Last year Cal wasn't interested in attending, but we strongly encouraged him to.  This year he was up for going, but wanted to leave as soon as it ended as he had a test in the morning.  The program was a little long for me, but overall it went very well for Cal.  During the big group presentation he was awarded a Warrior Watch for earning 4 varsity letters and 10 points total.  There were only two junior boys who earned that honor, so I was extremely happy for him.

After the presentations we were dismissed to the tennis awards portion of the night.  During this Cal was name a scholastic athlete and was given a plaque for Best Season Record.  Cal didn't say much about his accomplishments, but I know he was proud.  Tennis season didn't end as he had hoped, but tonight was a recognition of his hard work this summer.  His coach had a lot of great things to say about him, and I know next year will be different.  It's tough being a three sport athlete and dedicating time to each one plus doing well academically.  Cal has accomplished all of that and I couldn't be more proud.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

An Idea

For the past several years Cameron has attended Bright Time Camps at Bethany Christian Schools.  He has also played in several chess tournaments at their facility and has recently been attending their Friday night "Get to Know You" groups for prospective students.  Thus, we thought when we received an invitation to attend their Open House today we might as well check it out.

Meg went along with us on the visit as an objective student observer.  Meg really wants to attend WHS next year to see what high school at Wawasee is all about.  I asked her, however, to look for pros and cons as if she was going to attend Bethany next year.  We started off meeting the principal in the library as well as the admissions staff and several of the teachers.  Cam and Meg both noticed how clean the school was and how attentive the adults were.  Meg asked about their honors class and the principal took time to explain their philosophy with her.  We all listened intently and followed up with several more questions.

Once Meg and Doug left for soccer Cam asked the admissions director to take us on a tour of the school.  He remarked several times on what he liked and what he noticed as we walked the corridors.  Cam was definitely interested in hearing about their drama program and their chess club.  He even pointed out his name on the final tournament standing posted outside the gym wall from his chess victory a week ago.

As we walked out of the school Cam asked me, "Why were we there?"  I asked him his thoughts and he said that he believed that it was because he might go to Bethany next year.  I then asked him if he was interested in trying Bethany Christian for a year.  He immediately said, "Yes.  Can I go after Christmas?"
I know that we can't pull off a move like that as quickly as he may want, but it definitely has given us something to think about for 5th grade.  Maybe a year of private school to see what it is all about wouldn't be such a bad idea.  It definitely was a great first impression.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

All You Are is Clean

Last weekend I told the Heinisch children that all I wanted for my birthday on the 15th was a clean house - top to bottom.  Cal looked right at me, didn't miss a beat and said, "I really wanted to get you something different."  He did pitch in today, however, as did Meg, Cam and Doug.  I helped also and by 6 p.m. the house was dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned. 

I was completely thrilled as I will not have to clean on my birthday next Saturday and can just enjoy the day.  Doug and I are planning on shopping for new living room furniture.  We have decided that any new furniture we purchase will be our Christmas gift to each other.  We are also planning on dinner out as we haven't been to Chops in quite awhile.  My birthday starts off the holiday season in our family and we are looking forward to all of them.  Less than two weeks and Brett will be joining us.  Should be a great couple of months. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Night Out

Today was the end of the trimester for teachers.  I spent most of the morning in a meeting about math and the rest my day finalizing grades, cleaning my room and getting ready for trimester two.  Out of all of the trimesters I have taught this one definitely went the smoothest.  Part of that is experience as this is my third year and part of it is changing my hours.  The time definitely went by fast.  Next trimester I have Meg and her friends in block two which will make that block fun.  We also will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's in my class which makes the dreary days of winter a little bit brighter.

To celebrate the end of the first trimester Doug, Meg, Cam and I all headed to South Bend and a night of shopping and fun.  Our first stop was the mall.  Meg found some cute clothes at Hollister and almost bought a pair of Ugg boots until we realized that they were $149 and not $49 dollars.  We picked out four candles at Yankee Candle while Doug and Cam added items to Cam's Christmas list from Barnes & Noble.  The mall was packed as Santa was making his first appearance of the day.  The jingle elves, however, scared all of the Heinisch's away from joining the festivities.  We found them a little creepy. 

We stopped at Target for more Christmas ideas and then headed to Buffalo Wild Wings.  An enraged customer was there to greet us, but once he left we were seated and all enjoyed the dinner.  It was a great way to end a successful trimester.  By the end of the evening I was even energized enough to think about next week. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

End of the Trimester

The trimester ended for students today.  Cal and Meg have been watching harmony religiously this week to see what their final grades will be.  Meg was hoping for all A's and realized last night that she still had one assignment to finish in IT.  She hurried to complete it and turn it in this morning.  With that she should once again find herself on the Principal's Honor Roll. 

Cal has been riding the B- bubble for a couple of weeks in Calculus.  This week he has fluctuated from a 79.57 to a 79.68 to a 79.58.  He told us last night that he had it all under control, but from talking to his teaching he was in complete Heinisch panic mode this morning as he went to her for help during Warrior Time and scrambled to find enough of his homework passes to keep that B-.  He was right, however, as he did have it "all under control" and finished with a 79.52 - a whole .02 above what he needed to maintain the B-.  That leaves him with a 11.0 for the trimester - not too bad considering he has the Dual Credit/AP Calculus, AP US History, Honors English and Spanish III. 

I listened tonight as Cal, Alex and Jayce all talked about the end of the trimester - their triumphs and failures.  Alex trumped Cal in that he received a 79.5 in his math class being even closer to the dreaded C+.  Their conversation turned from grades to friendships to basketball.  I could hear them from my bedroom and got a kick out of their friendly banter.  Cal constantly chiding Alex for getting whatever he wants out of the fridge without asking.  Jayce and Cal trying to finish the chocolate milk before Alex could get any and secretly taking his pumpkin seeds every time he got up.  Alex heating up leftovers in the microwave while debating between eating Oreos and Peanut Butter cookies.  I realized as I listened to them talk just how much I love their friendship.  They are truly the best of friends and a great support to one another.  All too soon Alex will be off to college and their lives will change.  Until then I will keep buying Oreos and Chocolate Milk.  It is a small price for the comradery they have built together in our kitchen talking about the battles of life as a high schooler. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Diary of Anne Frank

Today I went with the 8th grade to watch the play Diary of Anne Frank at the round barn theater in Nappanee.  It was an abridged adaptation of the play that the advanced students had been reading in language arts.  The lead actress was a classmate of Meg's.  Although the play was short I thought it gave the students an idea of how incredibly small the attic was where Anne's family were hiding.   The characters also came to life for them which led to a lot of questions about the actors interpretation of the personalities of the Franks and Van Dams.

I felt that our students were very well behaved and listened intently.  Several asked me questions afterward and Meg instantly wanted to know if she could come back over the weekend and see the play in its entirety. I was glad that I was able to go along with the students on the trip.  It took some juggling of our schedules to allow me to go and I appreciate Mrs. Collins making an effort for me to attend.

Watching the play made me want to read Anne's diary again.  Meg read it last year.  She has remarked several times how sad it is that Anne died so close to liberation of her camp.  I tried to explain to Meg that the story may have never been told if Anne had lived, but I know that is little consolation.  It is hard not to think about what her life might have been had Hitler never come to power.  Meg has developed the Heinisch love for history and story telling.  I hope that never changes.  There is so much to learn from the past and so many stories to be told.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day

Today is the day that Brett has waited for all summer - election day.  His friend Curt Nisley sent him a nice postcard today thanking him for his work on the campaign.  I know that Brett is following the election results closely.  The Republicans have a chance to take control of the US Senate.  That would be a big change of events.

I took Meg and Cam with me to vote today.  My parents run the polling booth.  I appreciate that as I am the precinct chairperson and have to find workers for the polls.  They do a great job, earn a little bit of money and get to greet a lot of people.  The best part of voting today was casting my nod for Doug to remain as county councilman.  He is running unopposed, but it was still awesome voting for him.  Meg pushed the button as Cam watched.  I am proud of him.  He is a hard worker and a positive influence on our community.  He is also a great role model for the Heinisch children.

Monday, November 3, 2014

End of the Trimester

This week is the last of trimester one and we are all scrambling to have it come to a positive end.  Cal sits on a 79.58 in Calculus edging oh so near to a C+.  Meg has a B+ in Vocab and is trying to come up with a way to bring it up.  I have finals to give, food to cook, a room to clean and grades to post all before 2 p.m. on Friday.  I know that life will not end if Cal gets a C in Calculus or Meg does not earn all A's or my room is not complete before next Monday, but I hope that we will all end the trimester on a positive note.  Three more days - we can do it.  It will take some work, but we can make it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall Back

This is one of my favorite days of the year.  The day that we all set our clocks back an hour.  I actually set my back last night.  I always love the feeling of knowing that we get to sleep in an extra hour.  I used my extra time to get a lot more of the cleaning done.  It might seem like a waste to some, but we have been so busy and there is always a lot to do.  Doug was able to go to the grocery, jog, rake leaves and help me out when needed.  Cam and Meg had piano, cleaned the pigs and help me put the last of the Halloween away. 

We did do some fun things with our extra hour as well.  Meg started on the fifth Harry Potter book - The Order of the Phoenix.  Cam played NBA2K14.  Cal shot baskets.  Doug and I were able to get everything done and still have time to go shopping and to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings with Cam and Meg.  It was a great day to fall back an hour.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

One Busy Day

Today was a busy day in the Heinisch household.  Meg started bright and early heading to Bishop Dwenger for a confirmation retreat with her religious ed classmates.  Cam and Doug left for Bethany Christian for a chess tournament.  Cal's friends all spent the night after staying up late playing cards.  They were gone by ten and Cal left with Alex at 11 a.m for a buffet lunch and a day of watching football at Cameron's.  Brett helped at a pregnancy crisis center, went shopping, had lunch with a friend and got a haircut all before seeing the movie The Purge.

Meg texted several times during the day and said that she enjoyed the event.  Once she got home she had just enough time to eat dinner and rest before going to a haunted house/butter beer party at Gabby's.  Cam came home a first place winner in his day long chess tournament.  Doug decided to start on the leaves.  I had spent the day cleaning and picking up the Halloween.  We just finished as the Schwartz's came by to pick us up for dinner. We had an nice visit.  It was a busy day, but very enjoyable.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Tonight was an enjoyable Halloween for all in the Heinisch family.  Meg and Cameron went trick or treating with the Fitzgerald children for the fifth+ year in a row.  This year's co-ordinating theme was Star Wars.  Meg was Princess Leia, Cam was Obi-Wan Kenobi, Brooklyn was Darth Vader, Avery was Jango Fett and Shane was Luke Skywalker.  They made a great picture and got a lot of compliments on Facebook.  

Cal decided to get in on the action tonight as well.  He, Parker, Harrison and Jayce all headed out at 6 in whatever costume they could scrounge together.  Cal was a skinny Fat Albert, Jayce had the head of Patrick Star, Parker was a ghost and Harrison a baseball player.  The boys made it a little farther than Meg's group.  They not only hit our neighborhood and Fox Run, but also went to Wawasee Heights.  Both groups made it farther than I thought they would as the weather was not as cooperative as in the past.  The rain did clear, but it started to snow at 5:30.  

The weather didn't dampen their spirits, however, and all were back at our house trading candy by 8 p.m.  Brett called several times and had a great Halloween as well.  He met Parce for lunch and then went to see Blackula at the IU cinema.  Doug and I enjoyed the night also ending it with the movie "Psycho."  Halloween is a great holiday to enjoy with family and friends no matter your age.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Basketball officially started for the Heinisch family this week.  Cal began conditioning on Monday after school and Meg had AAU practice both Tuesday and Thursday night.  The girls' head basketball coach asked us to attend his practices this week, so that we could watch what he would like for the girls to learn.  It was helpful to me and so far AAU has gone well.  I have five players from Milford on the team.  That will really help us as they will learn the offense and get in extra practice.

I am apprehensive about Cal playing, however.  I know that he loves basketball and his teammates.  Last season was a rough one with his injury, however.  I don't want it to be like that for him again.  I will keep good thoughts going his way and hopefully this year will be everything that he wants it to be.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Smart Start

Every Wednesday we start school a half hour later, so that teachers can attend meetings.  The school has labeled Wednesdays as Smart Start and I know that the original idea was a good one.  The state took away the ability for schools to have half day teacher work days once a month and Smart Start was the next best alternative.

I struggle with Wednesdays, however.  I am not a meeting person, so sitting for an hour is extremely hard for me.  I also feel like my day starts a little off as I don't have any time in the morning to get ready for my classes.  Some of my students like Wednesdays as they get to sleep in.  Others still have to come to school at the regular time since their parents work.  That makes their day feel long indeed.

I wish I had an easy solution for teacher work days.  Until I do I will meet on Wednesdays and be happy that I can use the hours for professional development time in renewing my license.  Cameron loves it as he gets to sleep in and spend the night at my Mom's every Tuesday night.  That will be enough for now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A New Baby Boy

I co-teach with the special needs teacher in my seventh block math class.  We have worked out a great system and I believe that the students are really starting to grasp some of the challenging algebra concepts.  It also feels like we have become one big happy family.  I have several students who tell me that it is their favorite class of the day.  I have to admit that I enjoy it as well.  We watch Schmoop on math and work on problems together.  There are times that all of us get frustrated as it can get pretty challenging, but overall we usually walk out of seventh block happy and with a little more knowledge.

Yesterday at the end of class we spent a couple of minutes talking to Mrs. Blauvelt about the upcoming birth of her second child, a boy.  She was due on November 6th, but was hoping to go a little early.  Today she got her wish and welcomed a son early this morning.  I was so happy for her.  All is well with both she and her son.  I was sad, however, for our class.  We have really come to rely on her and it will be an adjustment with her gone.  We will survive and I know that the time will go by fast.  I am thrilled that her daughter now has a brother and her family is complete.  "Slope" can wait for her to return.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Doug's Family

Doug talked to his Dad this weekend.  I realize from their conversations that it has been really hard for Carl these past few months.  I had never really thought much about life in the Heinisch family after Jeanette's death.  We were so focused on making sure that everyone visited her and hoping that she would feel up to having visitors when we were there that we never talked about what would happen now.

I wish I had great words of advice for Doug, the Heinisch children or Carl, but I don't.  Losing someone you love is tough and there is no easy way to get through it.  Time makes it a little easier to deal with, but it can never erase the pain.  I am thankful for the time we had with Jeanette.  It wasn't enough, but she created so many memories with our family that we will have stories to tell for years to come.  For now I think Meg has the best advice, "When I get really sad Mom, I just try to think of something else.  I can still hear her voice and I like to think about that and the blanket we made.  Those were the happy times."

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Meg and Doug arrived around 8:30 a.m. this morning from DC.  They had a great time and Meg talked of nothing else.  She really liked the Holocaust Museum and the cruise.  I believe those were two of Cal and Brett's favorites as well.  She bought a wonderful picture of her and her group of friends boarding the cruise ship on the Potomac and a dog tag from the museum. She had texted me several times on the trip to let me know that she didn't want to come home.

Meg was sure that she wasn't tired and didn't plan on taking a nap.  By 11 a.m., however, the weekend had caught up with her and she was out.  I tried to wake her several times, but she wasn't moving.  Doug finally got her to get up and shower around 2 p.m. Brooklyn and Avery were at Teresa's so that kept her busy and awake the rest of the afternoon.   She did buy a purple DC sweatshirt that she is looking forward to wearing tomorrow.  It was an awesome weekend.  I am glad to have Doug and Meg home, but sad that Fall Break is over.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Movie Night

Cam and I got a lot done here today.  We were able to clean the guinea pig cages, the hermit crab cage, rake some leaves, wash three loads of laundry, buy groceries, and get him a new pumpkin.  I think we had the most fun with the pigs and the leaves.  We kept them outside while we cleaned the cages.  They loved eating the grass and checking out the leaves.  Cam had a pile big enough to jump in by the end of the afternoon.  The leaves are falling so fast that tomorrow we won't even be able to see where he raked.

Cal went with Alex to Fort Wayne to watch one of their friends run in the cross country semi-state.  They wanted to go to volleyball sectional semi-finals too, but they were at the same time.  After that he went to Cameron Adams' to watch football.

Tonight Cam and I went to the movie uptown.  It was Alexander and the horrible, no good, terrible, very bad day - based on the book of the same name.  We weren't sure what we would think of it, but we both really liked it.  After that movie we came home and started The Phantom Menace.  It was a great night for a movie night.

Meg and Doug left DC around 10.  They went to Mount Vernon today and tonight had a cruise along the Potomac River. They both texted when they left, but very different messages.  Doug was happy to be returning and Meg would love to stay.  Cam and I are glad they are coming home, but wish Fall Break was a lot longer.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Zoo Boo

Cam and I slept in this morning.  We were still talking about how much fun the haunted house was.  I even woke up in the middle of the night and swore I heard someone banging on the front door.  I had a haircut appointment this afternoon and Cal and Cam went to the doctor.  They both needed flu shots and Cal had to check in with Dr. Mulry about his medicine.  It seems to be working very well.  He will stay on the same dosage and just take it once a day in the morning.  That will be a lot easier with basketball starting.  I am happy that he is feeling so much better.

Parker, Jayce and Alex came over to play basketball and get ready for the football game.  Mom, Dad and I headed to South Bend to try trick or treating at the Potawatomi Zoo.  It was a long line to get in, but once we did we had a great time.  There were a lot of candy booths set up and Cam and Grandpa rode the haunted train.  Cameron dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi and the light from his light saber came in handy.  There were only a couple of animals out tonight, but we did enjoy the camel, lion and fish.
After trick or treating we stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  We were able to get a table as we were there later than normal.  We followed the football game on Twitter.  Wawasee lost in a controversial last second call.  That ended their season as this was the opening round of sectionals.  Cal and his friends played poker at McDonalds afterward.

We were home by ten tonight.  Cam and I were both exhausted.  Doug texted us several times today.  They went to Arlington, the Newseum, the Holocaust museum and toured the monuments at night.  Meg does not want the trip to end.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Children's Museum

Cam, Mom and I headed to the Indianapolis Children's Museum early this morning.  The trip was a little harrowing as it was extremely foggy and there was a train stuck in Sidney.  We found a way around it but traveled a little slower than normal.  We were there by 11:30.

Our first stop at the museum was the Dinosphere where we saw a dinosaur named Draconex Hogwartsia.  As we are halfway through Deathly Hallows Part 2 right now we thought that was really cool.  I bought us tickets to the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit, so that was our next visit.  I wasn't sure how much we would like it, but we were all completely impressed.  Cameron learned a lot about ancient China and he was able to mold his own warrior out of clay.  There were replica puzzles that we could work on and computer modules to paint our own horses.  We spent at least forty-five minutes in the exhibit and thoroughly enjoyed it.

We checked out the mummies next and then went to the planetarium to investigate the skies over Ancient China.  Cameron really liked this part as well.  We had lunch in the food court and then spent some time in the Science Works area.  That part is always the most crowded as everyone seems to enjoy building their own boats or damns and watching the pool ball machine.

Cameron wanted to check out the gift store before we left.  He found a really neat ball that changed color by flipping inside out when it is tossed in the air.  My Mom bought that for him and I got him two Terra Cotta Warrior replicas.  We also found a shirt with our new favorite dinosaur on it.

The last stop was the Haunted House.  We went several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This one was just as good.  The "ghouls" would follow Cameron around and then scream when we would least expect it.  It was so funny.  My Mom said she enjoyed watching us more than anything.  It was definitely scary, but no so scary that we couldn't handle it.

Our trip home was a lot less eventful.  We tried a new route and except for a couple of miles of construction it was great.  Cal got home a little bit after we did.  He and his friends went to the girls volleyball sectional.  Wawasee won in an exciting fifth set.  The boys all stayed here for awhile playing poker.

We heard from Doug and Meg tonight.  They made it to Gettysburg and DC today.  One of the busses had a small fender bender and the hotel messed up the room keys.  Other than those two glitches everything went well.  Meg texted me several times to tell me about all of the fun that she is having.  I am glad that she likes it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Break

Meg and Doug are off to DC!! The bus left at 8 p.m.  They were both and ready to go several hours before that!  Meg was so excited.  All she kept saying in the van on the way there was "I've been waiting for this day since I was in second grade when Brett got to go.  I never thought it would come!!"  She made plans to sit with Kaitlin on the bus and had a full backpack full of snacks and necessities for the bus ride.  She is concerned about sleeping on the bus, but I think she will be fine.  

Doug was almost as happy to be going as Meg.  He had his reading material ready and joked about falling asleep at 9:30 and watching Gettysburg the entire trip out.  I am so happy that Doug is going.  Cal and Brett have such found memories of their trip and I know Meg will too.  It is awesome that he gets to be a part of it.  Him being there also alleviates all of my anxiety in sending the Heinisch children on such a big trip.  

Tonight Cam and I are starting our Fall Break with Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows.  Cal is spending a quiet evening at home as well.  We are looking forward to just enjoying some downtime.  I already have everything graded for school and don't have to think about that until Monday morning at 7:30 a.m.