Friday, January 31, 2014

Rough Night at the Heinisch Home

Cal has had a rough twenty four hours.  He came home sick from school yesterday.  I was able to get him into the doctor at 2 p.m.  He was diagnosed with a sinus infection.  Not sure if that was causing the extreme nausea or a virus on top of the infection.  He did finally feel better by the end of the evening, even asked me to cut his hair, but by the end of tonight the feeling of euphoria was gone.

Cal once again did not get to play in the JV basketball game.  None of us are sure why that is now as he feels that his ankle is at 100% and the trainer cleared him three weeks ago.  Then Meghan invited him to go to Pizza King after the game, but broke up with him instead.  By the time he got home, he was furious with the way his day had ended.  I felt horrible for him.  Being fifteen is not easy.  Life can seem extremely unfair.  Cal is a good kid, however, with a great group of friends.  He will weather the storms of this week and persevere.  Proud of him for telling us how he felt, rather than sulking away in his bedroom.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Last week I watched in a panic as my 7th grade girls basketball team played possibly the worst game that I have ever witnessed.  It was as if we forgot everything that we had been working on.  I tried calling time outs, talking with the players and finally raising my voice, but nothing helped.  I was sure that I was the worst coach ever.  Doug, however, listened to my concerns and had some great ideas of what we could do to improve.  He offered to come in and help, so yesterday we took him up on it and I am so glad that we did.

Tonight we had a game at Bremen in which we started slow, but this time none of us panicked.  Thanks to the hard work the girls put in at practice and Doug's suggestions, we had a game plan.  Thus, our 13-2 deficit didn't turn into a slaughter.  Instead we fought back, played aggressive and lost a heartbreaker 26-23.  Meg even had a shot with 12 seconds left that would have cut their lead to 1, but it just rimmed out.  Our crowd was sparse, but those in attendance and the girls on our bench drowned out the cheers of the Lyons fans.  Not sure any of us had a voice when it was all over.

We followed this game with two quarters of a "B" game.  The girls once again came up short, but were aggressive and played hard.  I was so proud of both teams.  Win or lose, they did everything they were asked to do and had a lot of fun along the way.  I couldn't ask for anything more.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back to School

Only a delay today for the students of Wawasee Community School Corporation.  Several schools in our area were still out, however, because of the extreme cold, but we were back in session.  I have to say that even though many parents were on the Wawasee blog complaining about this decision and threatening to keep their children at school, most of us (including students) were ok with the decision to return to our daily routine.  The reality in our area is that winter can be cold and snowy.  Keeping everyone home for seven or eight days as several local communities did seems a little excessive to me.  When Alex came over yesterday, he said he had been out everyday since Sunday.  If he can drive on his dirt road in the country with a car the size of Doug's civic, then I believe the rest of us can manage the drive as well.

The bonus for going to school on days like today and last Friday is that we may still end up finishing the school year before June.  As of now, the school calendar has been changed and a teacher day has been given up, so that students are scheduled to be done May 30th.  No one will be complaining if that end date remains.  It has been quite awhile since we students have finished in May.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

End of the Road

Sounds like we might be actually be able to go back to school tomorrow.  Right now the red travel warning has been lifted and by noon tomorrow the wind chill advisory will also be gone.  We do have a delay to start the day.  That should help everyone ease back into the routine.

Two of the Heinisch children (and one Clark) are more than ready to go back.  Staying home was a lot of fun for them when we could go outside, but these last two days have been brutal.  Basketball practice was even cancelled.  Cam and I are still enjoying the relaxing schedule of snow days, and it has been great to have Doug here as well.  Cam completed a large Lego this afternoon, and I actually finished higher than twelfth at Mario Kart.  I understand the older children's desire to return to school, a routine, their friends and their own "normalcy."  It has been a good run, but I think we are at the end of the road here with snow days!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Honoring the Life of a 13 Year Old Brother

A lot of stories concerning the Blizzard of '78 have been posted on Facebook and reported on the local news over the past few days.  I know that this winter has conjured up many memories of that time for most Hoosiers.  I have read several of the posts, looked at the pictures and watched the news reports.  Even with all of these reminders of that time period, the only memory that comes to my mind is a faint recollection of walking to downtown Nappanee with my Dad marveling at drifts of snow taller than I was.  I couldn't tell you if we missed school or how cold it was.  I was nine at the time, so I should remember, but I don't.  I can, however, tell you everything about the winter of 1977.  It was a time of snow forts, snowball fights with the neighbors, sledding in the driveway and playing outside with our dog.

I didn't realize that I had no memories of 1978 until this winter.  It doesn't surprise me.  There is so much about that time period that I have blocked out.  Too much sadness after the death of my brother, Bunk, made this a challenging time.  One of my psych professors in college told me that I may never remember certain periods of my life.  My brain has deemed those memories too traumatic.  I am ok with that.  I cherish the memories that I do have.  I loved that winter of 1977 and the pictures that my Mom took of my brother and I in the snow.

Thus, if you look at my Facebook posts or call to see how we are doing during the winter of 2014, you will not hear me complaining.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the family time that we have had while being snowed in this winter.  There have been Legos built, games played, WII tournaments completed, spelling words practiced, calls to Bloomington enjoyed, and puzzles started.  I have seen the excitement of a fifteen year old as he reads the school closing list and finds Wawasee on it, and the fun that only a nine and twelve year old can have on a snow day.  The Heinisch children will have wonderful memories of this winter and stories to pass on to their own children that I am sure will include one involving their Dad, a mailbox and the snowplow.  Time with family is the best way that I know how to honor the life of a 13 year old brother that gave his sister some great memories during the winter of 1977.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Look


Doug decided that since he had extra time this weekend, he would paint the mud room.  We had talked about it since we remodeled the kitchen, but had been too busy to get serious about it.  We both wanted the color brown and this shade matched the cabinets well.  He was able to put the first coat on yesterday and the second this morning.  By the afternoon the mud room was complete and I was thrilled.  We also cleaned and reorganized it as well.  I don't know if the guinea pigs cared, but Cam was happy to have a color in the house that wasn't purple or yellow.  One nice part of being snowed in so much this winter is that our to do list has shrunk dramatically.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Since 5 pm yesterday afternoon anything and everything in our area has been cancelled.  Cal had practice yesterday, but once that concluded, the doors were shut and the school was closed indefinitely.  Cameron's basketball game this morning as well as Meg's practice and the high school girls basketball game during which my seventh graders were to be introduced at halftime were all cancelled before 8 am this morning.

The biggest disappointment for all of the Heinisch's came when we decided to postpone visiting Grandma Heinisch.  Most of the toll roads were closed, visibility was poor and the forecast predicted more blowing and drifting snow.  Thus we stayed bundled up inside the Heinisch home.  Doug did venture out between storms to go to the grocery.  He, Cal and Cam were also able to help shovel out my Mom and Dad.

Religion was cancelled for tomorrow morning and a multitude of churches had cancelled service as well by the time we ate dinner.  With the predicted forecast for the next few days I wonder how many more cancellations there will be.  There isn't much we can do to change this, so for now I'll enjoy all of the Heinisch family time together.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What a Day!

Cameron was disappointed as his trip to the Shrine Circus was cancelled today.  The windchill was too cold for the buses first thing this morning, so we had a delay.  Cam was not the only Heinisch disappointed by the delay as Cal was pretty bummed that we did not cancel.  Every other school in our area but one did not have school.  I was alright with it, however, as it is one less day that we will have to make up later.  Meg had her turn to be disappointed in the afternoon.  The ski trip for this evening was cancelled as well.  The good news for her was that she could now attend Gabby's birthday/slumber party!!

I called Brett several times in the last couple of days to see how he has been holding up in the below zero temperatures.  He said that it was so cold this morning walking to class that it physically hurt.  He skipped Bible study last night and drop in at church on Wednesday night as the walk was longer and it was just too cold.  He and I were able to get his housing arranged for next year.  He is in a single on the same floor that he currently lives on.  That should work very well for him.  He also used the cold weather time inside to watch American History X with a group at the dorm and had plans to see Captain Phillips tonight at the Union.

With Meg at Gabby's and Cam and Cal at Mom's, Doug and I decided to try dinner in town.  It was cold, but we enjoyed going out.  It sounds like the weekend is supposed to get even worse with blowing and drifting snow and a return to the frigid temperatures.  It has been the worst winters any of the Heinisch children have seen so far.  It makes our Spring Break trip to disney world seem all that much better!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Another cold and blustery day for all of us here.  School was cancelled and all of the Heinisch's were happy with that.  We have been so busy lately with basketball, birthdays and pre-calculus that I have really felt behind the eight ball in getting much done around the house.  I took full advantage of all of the added time today.

I was able to get Cameron in to see the doctor this morning.  He cannot seem to shake a cold or allergy that he first started with before Christmas break.  The doctor confirmed a sinus infection and he started on antibiotics and is already feeling better.  The doctor also gave him something for his extremely chapped hands.  I couldn't believe the difference in just one dose.

I also took advantage of the cancellation to get Meg over to see Mrs. Meek for a piano lesson.  She has a contest on February 8th and it has been hard getting her in with basketball.  The lesson went well.  Meg has some dynamics to work on in her song, but will get it down in time.

I also was able to get the laundry done.  That was a big accomplishment as there always seems to be an endless amount.  Tonight Cal was able to have Meghan over and the rest of us watched "The Man Who Knew Too Little" - a funny Bill Murray spoof with a play of words on one of our favorite Alfred Hitchcock movies - "The Man Who Knew Too Much."  Thankful for the break today and wondering if we will have another tomorrow as the weather looks just as cold!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Basketball Cards

Cameron didn't want a lot of gifts this year for his birthday.  He felt that he was being selfish by asking for too much.  Thus, he asked all of his friends to come and have fun on Sunday, but not to bring him anything.  His two closest buddies struggled with this request, but honored it.  I asked him if we could get him anything.  He said he would like money to use at Disney World during Spring Break.  I said that would be great, but how about his siblings.  He seemed ok with them getting him something if they really wanted to.

All three definitely wanted to give Cam a gift.   Brett had something for Cameron, but wanted to give it to him when we visit on the 22nd of February.  Meg chose Just Dance 4 for the XBOX as she knew they would have fun playing it together.  As Cam opened Cal's gift he looked a little funny.  At first he wasn't quite sure what to think as he pulled out a binder and what he thought was a package of paper.  He couldn't understand why Cal was giving him school supplies, but was very nice about it.  He started to thank Cal and then it dawned on him as he grabbed the last gift in the bag - a box of 50 basketball cards.  Cal's gift wasn't the dreaded school supplies (as if Cal would want to give him those), but instead it was a great lot of cards and a way to keep them organized.

Cam talked of nothing else today.  He couldn't wait to put them in order of teams, years and players.  There were NBA cards to divide into piles and a few college and coaches cards as well.  I had to laugh as Cameron displayed this love of organizing.  It was almost as exciting as the cards themselves.  I understand where he gets this love.  The older two boys let me organize all of their cards - Pokemon, Yugi-Oh, baseball, etc.  They loved trading the cards and playing games with them more than the organization of it all.  Cam, however, takes after his mother.  I had almost as much fun watching him as he had showing them all to me!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday, Cameron!

After I had Meg, the OB sat on the end of my bed and said due to the complications I had in giving birth to her that I would never be able to become pregnant again.  On the slim chance that I did, the doctor concluded that I would not be able to carry a pregnancy past twenty weeks.  After just surviving a very dramatic birth that could have resulted in the death of either Meg or I, I did not worry too much about having another child.  

Life in the Heinisch family continued and we enjoyed the three children that we had.  Doug and I both wanted a lot of children, but if all we could have was three than we were content with that.  Three years after Meg was born, however, I started to believe that I might be pregnant.  Even though I knew that was impossible, something inside of me told me that I was right.  A pregnancy test and a trip to the OB confirmed it.  Both Doug and I were flabbergasted.  We spent the next nine weeks visiting several high risk doctors and having blood tests and ultrasounds.  I tried not to get my hopes up, but at nine weeks there was a strong heartbeat and all signs were go.  We had not told anyone yet, but I know my Mom suspected something was up.  We wanted to tell Meg, Cal and Brett first.  I remember asking them if they were interested in getting a puppy or having another sibling.  All immediately said, "Another baby."  I was thrilled to tell them that they were going to get one.

It was a rough pregnancy with many trips to the doctors' offices and to the hospital several times.  In the last month Doug changed his work hours from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help out at home.  My Mom came up in the mornings, got the boys to school and took Meg until Doug got home.  All I could do was take care of myself.  My body had decided to stop being pregnant several weeks before it was safe for Cameron to be born.  With the rest and added medical attention I was able to make it to 34 and 1/2 weeks.  The amniocentesis came back clear, so the doctor decided to deliver Cameron before my body shut down.  Early in the morning of January 20th, Cameron Douglas Heinisch was born and our family was complete.  Cameron and I had some complications the first few weeks with my blood pressure and his body temperature, but we made it.

Cameron's love of life may be attributed to the fact that he wasn't supposed to make it.  Or it could be because he is well loved by all of his family members.  Either way he is so much fun to parent and I thank God everyday that my doctor was wrong.  Our little miracle has turned into an enthusiastic, intelligent, caring nine year old.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snow Delays and Winter Days

We had another two hour delay this morning.  Doug and I were not surprised as the roads were drifted partially shut in many places last night.  This winter has definitely been a true winter filled with lots of snow and cold weather.  Delays and bad weather throw the students into a kilter.  There are times that I think two hour delay days seem longer than normal.  The students are usually more energetic than usual and have a hard time concentrating.  Everyone wants to talk about the decision to delay or cancel, their trip in on the bus or the short class schedule.  By the time we all focus, the class is over.  I am not complaining, however, as I would much rather the students be safe than to come in on time.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Laser Tag

What a great day we had celebrating Cameron's upcoming 9th birthday.  First, he was the lector at 10:30 a.m. mass.  He always takes this responsibility seriously as he watched Brett lector for many years.  He did an awesome job.

At 2 p.m. his friends arrived ready for a day of laser tag in Fort Wayne.  First they had to pick a movie - the consensus was "Batman the Movie" from the 1960's television series.  All eyes were glued as we made the hour long journey to Ultra Zone.  They learned what to do with shark repellent and how to dispose of a bomb when there is a marching band and a family of ducks in the way.  Cal decided to sit this adventure out and hang out at Meghan's.  Meg was along for the fun and invited Graham to join us.

In the first game the eight of us were on one team.  We were definitely new to the game.  One boy on another team even said, "You guys are a lot of fun!"  That was his nice way to say - "You guys are too easy!!"  We did a lot better the second game.  Doug deserted us, however, and led his team to victory.  The last game was my favorite, not because we won, but because it was Doug, Meg, Graham and I against Cam, Braxton, Evan and Cade.  They boys were strategizing and put up a great effort.  Their enthusiasm was catchy and no one was ready for our games to end.

We had Batman to return to and a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings ahead of us, however.  The boys had a lot of fun at dinner.  They ordered wings, ate chili con queso and traded bouncy balls.  Cal, Meghan and her parents joined us for dinner.  On the way home the boys had the radio turned up and talked of who they all "liked" in the third grade.  I have the feeling that this conversation may have been spurred on by Graham and Meg since at the end it was decided that all of the third graders in the backseat were dating Meg.  (Cam was in the second row.)

As we dropped everyone off, I couldn't help but smile.  Today was a great way to celebrate the life of Cameron.  True to his personality, he asked his friends to come along, but not bring a gift.  He didn't want to be selfish.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


This afternoon Doug, Meg and Cam loaded up the van to head to Michigan for their first ski trip of the year.  They joined the Milford Ski club two years ago and have really enjoyed skiing together.  All of Meg's friends were there and it becomes a social event as much as a time to ski.  I never thought any of my children would love to ski or snowboard as much as they do.  It has been one of the perks of transferring our children to Milford.  Starting in fifth grade all students take a PE trip to Bittersweet and are given a lesson on how to ski.  Meg was hooked from her first snowboard run and pulled the other two right along with her.

I appreciate that Doug is willing to take them.  Meg is fine going off with her friends.  They navigate the hills and lifts well.  Cameron, however, needs an adult with him.  He did make it off of the bunny hill today, but hasn't quite mastered the tow rope yet. A multitude of snow, no broken bones and a lot of great stories made for an awesome day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

Today I remembered back to my second year of parenthood.  Brett was such an easy toddler, always happy and pretty low maintenance.  I was teaching part time and I was fascinated by parents who talked about how different their children were.  Being a mom of only one,  I couldn't imagine that at all.

Life continued, however, and three additional Heinisch children made me realize that I sure had a lot to learn back then.  Brett, Cal, Meg and Cam have a lot of similarities, but I am ever amazed at how much they differ.  Each one has a unique personality and together they make our family whole.  They are all influenced by one another, but have their own interests.  Each is also influenced by society and the life outside of the Heinisch home, but react to it very differently.

Today as I grew frustrated with Cal as he received another C on a pre calculus quiz and was written up in Spanish for "behavior that could be construed as being disrespectful to the teacher," I realized that Brett would never have had either of these two problems.  He did, however, have other issues that he had to deal with in high school.  Meg and Cam will as well.  They all are children that God gave us to help find their way in life.  There will be setbacks and none are perfect.  We will weather the storm with Cal this trimester and help him through whatever life throws at him just as we have with Brett and will with Meg and Cam.  Thus, there never really is a dull moment in the Heinisch home.  Wow - life would sure be boring if there was.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


On Sunday Cal said to me, "Mom, if you have no expectations, then you will never be disappointed."  I am not sure what we were discussing that prompted him to say that, but I had to laugh.  He did not get this philosophy from me, and I spent a good deal of time thinking about it this week.  After attending his parent teacher conferences on Monday, I realize that this quote explains his personality exactly. 

Every teacher we talked to about his academics said the same thing.  Cal is a great kid, talks a lot and could put a little more work into the class.  I am interested to see if Cal ever outgrows this philosophy or if he is content with wherever life takes him.  The fact that he wants to intern for the strength training coach next year makes me believe the latter will be true!!  


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Early to Bed . . .

I believe the activities of the last four or five days finally caught up with me.  Between high school parent teacher conferences, basketball and taking Brett back to IU, I hit a wall at about 8 p.m. tonight.  We had the 4:45 practice slot and once I got home and ate dinner I wasn't sure that I would ever get up again.  Cal and Doug wanted haircuts.  I mustered enough energy up to give them both one, but after that it was a lot of relaxing for me.  There will be no problem sleeping this evening.  It is good to be busy, however, so I will not complain. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Game Jitters

Tonight was the first game for our seventh grade girls basketball team.  I thought overall we did pretty well as we have only had four practices, several of the girls have never played before, and only Meg and Bethany played AAU.  Meg has been designated as our point guard for the starting five.  She had not played that position for almost a year as AAU plays her as a post player.  We started off well and then struggled for a good portion of the first half.  Once we met at halftime, we did a lot better.  We still lost by over twenty, but the girls did what I asked them to do and we know what we have to really focus on in practice tomorrow - defense and boxing out.  All of the girls got into the game, which I thought was pretty good.  One of our players doesn't even know yet that you have to dribble when you move with the ball.  I can't wait to see how much we improve.  Meg has a lot of potential and it will be fun to help her develop her skills.  I know that I have the only team that could be down 20-2 at half and still have a smile on their face with a plan for coming back.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Spelling Bee Champion

Today was the school wide spelling bee at Milford Middle School.  Meg had qualified before Christmas break by finishing in the top four of her class spelling bee.  Over break we decided to study one row of words a day and then study any words that she missed the week before the bee.  Our strategy must have worked, because today Meg was crowned the spelling bee champion.

I was very nervous as the spelling bee approached.  When I was in middle school the spelling bee was a very big deal to me.  I was the first one out in sixth grade, but was crowned champion in eighth.  I knew that it would be a lot of work for one of my children to win and I never wanted to put that kind of pressure on any of the Heinisch children.  Brett and Cal had both finished third during one of their middle school years without doing much studying.  Meg said all along that she just wanted to qualify, because then she wouldn't have to sit in the crowd and watch.  I am so thrilled that she took the time to study.  Today was definitely one of my favorites as I watched her hard work pay off.

This year more students went out early than in past years.  I believe it was a combination of more challenging words and nerves.  One of Meg's friends even missed the word lawyer by horribly miss spelling it starting with lo . . .  As I watched the bee unfold sitting in the middle of the seventh grade section, the excitement grew.  Quickly, Meg was one of only three 7th and 8th graders left.  Once the two boys went out and I realized that Meg would be named the 7th and 8th grade champion I relaxed a little.  After several rounds, Meg and two fifth graders were the only ones left.  The seventh grade had nicknamed one of the fifth graders "the dictionary" early on, and I could see why.  It was very obvious that she had studied and practiced.  As the bee continued it also became very obvious that Meg had studied as well.  Her friends were very impressed and wondered if I had "fed her a dictionary for breakfast."

It only took two rounds for the third contestant to misspell a word, so that Meg and "the dictionary" were left.  They then preceded to spell at least five more words a piece.  Meg easily spelled words such as lanai and prognosticate, but her opponent followed suit.  Finally, whether nerves kicked in or just an error in spelling, "the dictionary" missed ostracism.  Meg then received the word monochrome to win.  I felt like Snoopy in "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."  I wanted to jump up and down and cheer.  I knew Meg could easily spell that word.  We had joked about it and me mispronouncing it as I had so many other words when I helped her practice.  I remembered, however, that I was a teacher and must set a good example.  The seventh grade had already started to cheer when the fifth grader misspelled her word.  If they had to quiet down, then I had to set an example.  I also remembered how excited Snoopy was only to have Charlie Brown spell beagle "beagel."

Meg, however, did not disappoint any of us rooting for her.  She nailed monochrome in a very confident manner.  The crowd cheered and both girls shook hands.  I was so incredibly proud.  I had considered sitting out of the bee as I really struggle with watching it.  I feel horrible for everyone who has to sit down because they misspeak or just become to nervous to think.  I am so glad that I talked myself into staying.  I would have been proud of Meg whether she went out first or won, but it sure was a lot more fun winning!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

If I Could Be Like Cal

Today Meg came up from the basement and said, "Mom, Cam's in the basement playing basektball pretending to be a player returning from being out for a year with an ankle injury."  Meg and I both laughed.  We knew exactly why Cam was doing that and why he left the game early Friday night.  Cam absolutely idolizes his big brother Cal.  Don't get me wrong, he loves Meg and Brett dearly, but his hero has always been Cal.  So much so he couldn't stay for the Varsity game Friday night as Cal once again sat out of the JV game.  His little heart couldn't also take watching Alex get beat in the same evening.  He missed a great ballgame according to all that did stay, but he and I had fun playing with Apollo and Cosmo and catching updates on the radio.  One day Cal will be back out on the court and it won't hurt so much.  Just isn't a lot of fun right now.

This isn't the first time that Cam has made a comment that made me realize how much he looks up to Cal.  When I asked him what sports he wanted to play in high school, he said, "I know I'll play basketball and golf, but I think I'll play soccer my freshmen year and then switch to tennis my sophomore year."  I love watching their relationship develop.  Everyone needs an older brother to look up to.  I sure thought that my brother was wonderful when I was eight.  Glad that Cameron does too.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Back to B-Town

Today Doug and I took Brett back to Bloomington.  We were glad to get to spend that extra time with him.  It has been wonderful having him home, but as he posted on Facebook he had become "despicably bored!"  Doug and I could totally relate.  College is a whirlwind of activity with something going on at all hours of the day.  Even late at night there is always someone who is up and ready to debate the best movie of all time or share breadsticks with.  Brett told us today that when he first got home, he wasn't anywhere near ready to go back.  That definitely changed.

Our first stop was the winery, a favorite of all.  Doug was able to purchase a couple of bottles to put in his new wine fridge.  We ate a late lunch there, al fresco, and then headed to the comic book store.  Brett found a couple of items he wanted and as we drove onto campus, I asked him, "Do you feel home?"  He said, "You have no idea!"  Doug and I both laughed as we told him we definitely know how he feels.  Bloomington has always felt like home to Doug and I.  We are glad that Brett can relate.

Brett headed to his room to unpack and we went to Dick's to buy Doug a new treadmill.  Brett was ready for dinner by the time we were done, so we all went to Buffalouie's.  The Colts were playing the Patriots and I believe that Doug was the only one in the place cheering for Tom Brady.  Not much into football Brett and I enjoyed chatting and people watching.

As we headed back to the Union late in the evening, I relayed to Doug a story from earlier in the week.  Brett, Cam and I were driving in the van.  Meg asked to choose the playlist.  Her first choice was "This is Indiana" (a rap song about the IU basketball team) followed by "Small Town" (John Mellencamp's tribute to Bloomington.)  Brett laughed and said, "Mom, if these two don't end up at IU, I will be completely shocked."  I never thought that we pushed any particular school on the Heinisch children, but obviously they have inherited our love for B-Town. Whether it is the school, the town or the atmosphere, just being there makes life a lot more fun!!  Happy that Brett came to that conclusion on his own.  Don't know if he is right about Cam and Meg, but wouldn't be shocked either.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Basketball Season Begins

Meg and I had our first 7th girls grade Milford basketball practice last night.  There are twelve girls on the team - two of which have never played before, two that are lacking in skills or motivation, and one that tries very hard, but is struggling to keep up.  Thus, I have seven girls to work with right now.  Meg has been playing very well.  If that continues we may be able to pick up a win or two.  It is hard for any Milford team to compete as we are such a small middle school compared to most.  The high school coaches came tonight to help with practice and have a parent meeting.  It is nice that they are doing that.

I did have to laugh tonight at the beginning of practice.  The 7th grade boys had the practice time after we did.  They must have decided that I wouldn't mind if they watched.  I kicked them out.  Later when they came back with their coach to change, he had to tell them to stop peeking out the locker door to oggle at the girls.  Life of a middle schooler - got to love it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Back to School

We eased back into school this week with a two hour delay today.  I was afraid that we were going to have to cancel again, but everyone made it in safely.  Fortunately, we only have to make up one of the days of the three that we missed this week.  The entire state closed Monday and Tuesday.  Thus, they are providing a waiver for schools that apply, so that we can change legally to a 178 day school year this year.  We will make up yesterday's miss in February.

I am not a big fan of the snow day make up rule.  In general days that are added to the end are not overly productive.  Last year our middle schoolers went to Paige's Crossing one day and had awards/field day the next.  I do not think that the board of education was thinking of parents or families when that rule was passed.  I also do not believe that students learn a great deal more in a 180 day school year than 178.  Education has always been about quality, not quantity.

Thus, today I was glad that we returned.  For the first time in a long time, I did not dread the day back after break.  My classes were all asked to attend meetings for the upcoming ski trip - a relatively easy day for all after a two and a half week vacation.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Third Times a Charm

We were not overly surprised that school was cancelled again today.  The roads were still pretty icy. For the longest time we were the only school that still had a delay.  Once Cal found out there was a cancellation, he asked if Alex could come over before practice.  Of course I agreed.  Alex has been over a lot this past month and Doug and I really like him.  He is very polite and keeps Cal and Cam busy.  In fact there is a lot of his personality that reminds me of Cal.

Brett didn't sleep at all last night, so he went to bed a couple of times this afternoon.  He is reading a book about George Bush that he can't wait to finish.  Parce didn't head back, because of the ice, so he came up for awhile.  We even talked him into a game of Clue - only to find out that Cam accidentally put two rooms in the sleeve and no weapon.  Too funny!

Cal had practice again and wanted to go to Mom's afterward.  Cam and Meg followed along.  Doug and I went to dinner in town.  Renegade was open today.  The truck wouldn't start this morning, but had no problem tonight.  We have another delay tomorrow.  There is a big debate on Facebook about whether we should cancel or not.  Guess we'll find out in the morning!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snow Day Part 2

Today was the identical twin of yesterday - no school and no work.  LaMarr had wanted us to meet him for dinner last night at the Sleepy Owl, but we chickened out.  Today Parce and my Dad were supposed to meet him at the Notre Dame vs. NC State tonight, and they had to cancel as well.  The roads are ice covered right now.

Instead of playing IUopoly this afternoon we switched it up and played Clue.  Meg was the big winner.  Cal did not join us as he actually had practice today.  Not very many were able to make it, so they just scrimmaged.  He had fun.

A couple of more businesses were open today.  Thus we were able to get big pops and the Heinisch children ordered Pizza Hut.  Tried to watch the ND game, but it wasn't televised.  Instead Doug and I watched the history of forensic medicine  on PBS.  Cal will probably never stop giving Doug a hard time for that one!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Day

We found out early yestersay afternoon that school was cancelled for today.  We woke up this morning to learn that our county had over a foot of snow.  The wind also picked up and the temperature dropped drastically.  Thus, the wind chill made it feel close to 40 below.

Doug, Brett and I decided to watch Best in Show since Cal, Meg and Cam stayed at Mom's last night.  Doug was able to  work from home as Renegade closed for the day.  I finally finished the calendars for 2013 and the Christmas thank yous.  

Doug picked up the rest of the Heinisch children around 2:30.  Nothing was open in town, so no big pops today.   We played IUopoly with Cam and Brett, then settled in for the national championship college football game.  All in all a great way to spend snowed in.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Blizzard of 2014

Brett never believes any weather prediction, but even this time he had to admit that they got it correct.  The snow started early this morning and is still going strong tonight.  School was called off for tomorrow at 2:15 this afternoon along with almost every other school in the area.  Doug and the management at Renegade RV decided to close as well tomorrow.  By tonight most other businesses were also closed and several counties were in a state of emergency.  We have been running the fireplace all day, so if the power would go out we have a way to heat at least one room.

LaMarr was scheduled to fly in today.  None of us thought he would make it, but he got to Detroit and was the last plane in to Fort Wayne before they closed the airport.  He and his friend, Bernstein, rented a SUV and made it to Syracuse in about two hours.  Cal, Doug and Cam went down to Mom's to help shovel them out.  Thus, they were able to come up and bring Parce.  Vicky's birthday was today and they made it over as well.  We all had a great time visiting and catching up.  Meg was disappointed that Ann Frances didn't make the trip.

Everyone left here about 8 p.m.  Cal, Meg and Cam decided to spend the night at Grandma Jane's.  With a quiet house Brett, Doug and I watched a movie we had been wanting to catch - The Big Lebowski.  The guys loved it.  I thought it was perfect for them - action and comedy.  So the storm that was predicted came to fruition and so far so good.  I am going to go fill the tub with water before I go to bed, just in case we do lose power.  The wind is supposed to pick up and with a high temperature of only -6 predicted for Tuesday, we may still be home then.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Calm Before the Storm

We had a very quiet afternoon.  Meg and I ran into school.  She wanted to practice basketball and I wanted to get a couple of things ready for school on Monday.  Doug ran to the grocery in preparation for the big storm that is supposed to come through tomorrow.  The rest of the afternoon was spent picking up and doing some cleaning.

Tonight was Mom's night at the basketball game.  The Moms were asked to sit behind the bench to support the boys.  I was dreading it, as I don't usually sit with anyone at the games besides Meg, Cam, Jody or Doug.  Overall, however, it was alright.  Cal has been cleared to play, but they still didn't put him in.  Doug talked to the golf coach after the game.  He said that Barry doesn't feel that Cal's leg is strong enough yet, and he doesn't want to cause him long term injury.  We agree with that.  Cal could have helped his JV team tonight as they needed someone to score late, but not at the risk of permanently disabling him.  The Varsity got beat pretty badly.  I heard a lot of complaining from the Mom's, but I just don't see how we can compete against teams as good as the ones we are playing.  Two months and golf season will be on everyone's mind.  I can hang on until then and hopefully Cal will get to play in a couple of games by then.

Friday, January 3, 2014

So Much Fun

Meg and I had our first open gym for seventh grade basketball.  Six girls showed up and I thought it went pretty well.  Meg is a lot better at ball handling than the other girls on her team.  She practiced hard and I hope it continues.  I don't want to put pressure on her, but if she does well, we may find some success this year.

After lunch all of Cameron's best friends came over - Evan, Cade, and Braxton.  Cam was so excited that he set his alarm for 1 p.m. so he'd be ready for their 1:30 arrival.  The boys had nerf wars, played ping pong, wii and ate pizza.  My favorite comment of the day was when Meg said, "It's the third grade version of Cal, Jayce, Alex and Gage."  She was exactly right.

Gabby came over to spend the night.  I took them sledding at the high school.  It was very cold, but they made it 45 minutes.  I was impressed.  After the younger boys went home, Brett, Cam, Meg and Gabby all watched Dodgeball.  Doug, Cal and I headed to his girlfriend, Meghan's, for dinner.  They were having Gumbo and invited several people to join them.  The food was great and we knew everyone there either through Cal, swimming or soccer.  I was surprised that we had never met the Fretz's before as we know so many of the same families.

The funniest part of the night was when Meghan's brother, Brayton, left to pick up some friends.  He came back with a couple of other juniors and lagging behind was Jayce.  He had spent the afternoon with Cal and Alex at Hacienda and our house, so we all cracked up when we saw each other.

We were home by 10:30 p.m.  Gabby and Meg had moved on to You Tube.  Brett was reading and Cam was hanging out.  I am always a little nervous about going to parties, but tonight was actually a lot  more fun than I expected.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

There's Always Something Going On in the Heinisch Home

Today was a great day to live in the Heinisch home and definitely fit the tittle of my blog well.  Meg was supposed to have open gym for basketball today, but I had to cancel because of the weather.  Cal also had his practice cancelled.  I told the boys that if they shoveled the drive I would buy everyone lunch.  They did a great job and Meg and I had an interesting experience running to pick up food for all.  We survived McDonalds, however, and everyone appreciated the change in our lunch menu.

Cal asked if Alex could come over around 2:00 or so.  Obviously, the boys missed having practice because at 3:30 they went over to the head coach's home and shoveled out his driveway!!  Their next stop was my parents.  Dad said he'd pay them to take care of their drive as well and they figured why not.  The boys had a lot of fun and came home with money and cookies!!

I told Alex to stay for dinner and we'd order Chinese.  The Batistas came over as well and we all had a lot of fun.  Alexandria and Brett talked about college and then we played Jenga and Five Second Rule.  The boys all stayed downstairs playing pool and poker.  Cam joined us later for a couple of rounds of Just Dance 2014.  Jody even took a turn.  The evening ended around 10 p.m. and Meg, Brett and I agreed it was a success.  Break is flying by fast, but we are getting the most we can out of it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Twilight Zone

Every New Year's Day Doug and I look forward to the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel. It is also a day of cleaning, so the shows make the tasks much more pleasant.  This year was especially great because I saw at least five episodes that I had never seen before.  I didn't think that was possible.  Cal appreciates the marathon as much as we do and for the first time ever Meg joined us for a few episodes too.  Her language class studied "Monsters on Maple Street" this year, and she now has much more of an appreciation for the show.

Brett finds the show to be a little more creepy, but did watch one of my favorite ones with me.  In it a man dies while coon hunting.  When he gets to "Heaven" St. Peter won't let his dog in with him, so he keeps on walking.  The twist is that it was the devil trying to trick him into walking through the gates of hell.  He makes it to Heaven along with his dog.  Definitely a feel good story inside of a series that can be a little dark.

Cam is at the age where he wants to watch the show with us, but finds it a little too scary.  Cal was the same way when he was eight.  In fact Doug talked him into watching an episode that left him afraid of opening a closed curtain for months.  All in all, though, the Twilight Zone has been a Heinisch tradition for years and a great way to ring in the New Year.  Happy 2014!!