Monday, June 30, 2014

A Good Day

Cal and Cameron both had golf tournaments today.  Mom, Meg and I went to Cameron's.  He played at the South Bend Country Club.  We had never been there before.  It was a very nice course.  Cam said the greens were a lot faster than the ones he usually plays on.  There were four boys in Cameron's age group and it was a close match.  Cameron played well, but one of the other boys had him down by two going into the last hole which was the longest hole of the day. That was to Cam's advantage.  He hits the ball a lot farther than everyone else, so he was able to get on the green in four.  He had two nice putts to finish with a six.  The boy who was beating him struggled and ended up with a nine on the hole, so Cameron was declared the winner.  It was great to see him do well and Meg and I both had fun walking along.

Cal had his first Indiana Junior Match of the summer.  It was at the Round Barn in Rochester.  Dad took him to that.  He also played well and finished with an 81.  That was good enough to tie for 6th with Tristen, who was his playing partner today.  His finish earned him five points on the Indiana Junior leaderboard.  Not bad for the first tournament.  

We stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods after Cam's match and bought Doug's birthday gift.  I think he will really like it.  We then went to the mall to eat lunch at Chick Fil A.  Stops at Target, Gamestop and Hollister were also on the agenda.  By the time we got home Cal and Dad were back.  They had had lunch in Warsaw.

Tonight we finished watching a movie with Brett.  It was the 2006 remake of his earlier selection, The Wickerman.  It was fun to watch it with him.  The movie is a little corny, but worth our time, especially since we saw the original.  We also watched The Brady Bunch Movie.  It was a great end to a wonderful day.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cell Phones

We have all gotten so used to using our cell phones in the Heinisch family that we have started to take them for granted.  Whenever we need to know something or see what someone is up to, we just whip out our phones.  Cameron will say, "Can I use your phone?  I've got to check something."  Meg continually gives me her top ten reasons why she should get an iPhone.  Cal has his own Twitter account in which he constantly posts funny quips online with his phone.  Brett stays in contact with his friends, shows and current events all thanks to his phone.  We definitely have embraced their convenience.

Thus, today when my phone started acting incorrectly I panicked.  How could I survive with out its map and internet function.  Of course only a few years ago I didn't have an iPhone and I actually did survive, but I still wanted it fixed.  It took quite a bit of time, but I finally was able to solve my problem. I am proud to say it didn't cost me anything, except for my hard earned levels beaten on Candy Crush.  That's ok, however, as I can now play them all again!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Night Out

Tonight we met up with old friends, the Mishlers, to attend a craft brewing event.  With Sue's new job as principal at WMS and the Heinisch family schedule we haven't had time to get together with them.  It was as fun as always.  Sue is great to talk to.  Phil is really into brewing his own beer, so he enjoyed talking about that.  One of the brewers kept picking on him and we all got a laugh out of that.  It was also nice to get his insight into life at the high school and Sue's opinion of our community as well.  There aren't a lot of families around here with the same interests as us, so it was fun.

Meg had her first real taste at babysitting and that went well also.  Julie and Lexie enjoy spending time with Meg and Cam, so it was a great night for all.  They played games, caught fireflies, had snacks and she even taught them to play Drop Guts.  Mom and Dad stopped by to check on them, and Brett was home early from work in case there was a problem.  Hopefully, we can do all of this again sometime.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally, A Day Off!!

Brett finally had a day off from work.  He has definitely put in quite a few hours this summer and so far seems to enjoy it.  His check this week was for $576.  He was able to put $600 towards college.  That is awesome.  His original goal was to earn $1000 for college, but I am thinking he may end up earning $2000.  He had thought about buying a PS 4 with some of the money, but has decided against it.

Brett used his day off to finish the quiz portion of his summer class.  Right now he has an 84% with the paper left.  He just needs a C on it to get an A in the class.  He should be done with it by July 3rd.  He also talked to one of his professors about getting credit for his internship with Curt Nisley.  That would be great if it worked out.  Either way he has really enjoyed working with them.

Cal had his last basketball shootout of the summer.  I was there for the last game.  He played over half of the game and did a nice job.  The have learned a new offense which is more guard dominated, but this time Coach let him play one of the positions.  On the way home he said it went great and Coach Singrey talked to him a lot today.  It was a nice way to end the summer season.

After the games the five of us went to South Bend to go shopping.  Meg had money that she wanted to spend at Hollister and Brett always likes going to Barnes and Noble.  Cameron found a celestial map that he is going to use with his telescope.  Jeanette had suggested it and he thought it was a great idea.  It was great spending time today with Brett.  Glad he came home for the summer.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

More Summer

Cal played in the Optimist tournament today at Bent Oak.  Unfortunately, it was the worst round he had played all summer.  Thus, he didn't move on to the next stage.  He didn't seem too disappointed.  They stopped at Tony's in Goshen on the way home so Cal could try the Godfather.  It was one large hamburger, but he was able to finish it all.

I spent the morning running Cam and Evan to chess club, taking a walk and running errands.  I ran into the head basketball coach while I was out.  He asked me if Cal had been at golf all week and if he was coming tomorrow.  I was surprised he noticed and told him that Cal didn't think he'd be allowed to go since he had to miss practice.  He said that he still wanted him there.  I decided to stop back in and ask Coach Singrey first.  I didn't want to encourage Cal to go if his Coach thought differently.  We actually had a really good conversation.  He definitely wanted Cal to go with them and gave me his thoughts on what Cal could do to improve his game (strength training and speed.)  He thought the speed would come with tennis, so now the goal would be to get in the weight room.  Once Cal got home I relayed the message to Cal.  He hadn't planned on going to the shootout, but thought he would give it a try.

Cam went golfing with my Mom and Cal went to tennis.  Therefore, I went with Meg to 7 on 7.  I think it was her last one of the summer because of camp and vacation bible school.  They had to play Northridge, so they took their lumps, but the girls played a lot better.  Meg looked great out there and had two assists on goals.  I am so impressed with her soccer ability and her desire to work on it.

After soccer the team went to Buffalo Wild Wings.  I enjoyed talking with Sarah Schwartz.  The girls seemed to all have a great time.  Doug has really done a lot to help this team improve.  It was fun to witness that tonight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Golf and More Golf

Today was a pretty typical summer day for the Heinisch children.  Cam and Cal both played in a golf tournament at Timber Ridge.  Both played pretty well and came out on top.  Mom and Dad took them.  Cam didn't make it back for chess club, so Meg and I picked Evan up and took him to the middle school for Mary.

As soon as the boys got back from golf Dad and Cam blew up the kayaks for the first time this summer.  Meg joined them for an hour or so in the lake.  Cal decided that he wanted to play more golf, so I took him out to Maxwelton to play nine.  Evan came back over so that he and Cam could practice their chess skills.  He hung out here until 5:30 or so.

Cal went to open gym and Meg and Doug had soccer.  Since Brett was at work, Cam and I decided to hit the grocery store.  Cam decided that he like going.  That way he could pick out exactly what he wanted even if his siblings didn't like it.  I enjoyed his company.  Cal met up with Weideman after basketball and played another nine.  They didn't end up back home until 9:45 and then Cal was off to Mom's to spend the night so he could be ready for his golf tournament tomorrow.

Brett wanted us to watch a movie with him tonight, but they had an ice cream social for the staff.  He stayed for that instead.  It was a late dinner for the rest of us and a couple of Brady Bunch episodes to end the evening.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Rain has can cancelled the Heinisch family plans the past few days.  Cal made it one hole and the Optimist qualifier was postponed until Thursday.  He was bummed as he parred the first hole and was hitting the ball well.  Dad said that it was coming down in buckets and by the time they called it there was standing water everywhere.  Doug's soccer practice was also cut short tonight.  Doug would still have had practice, but the AD saw lightening.  The girls were disappointed as they like scrimmaging in the rain.

Today Cal and Meg both had tennis camp cancelled as well as it rained until close to 2 p.m.  I was glad to see the rain move on as Cal could go to tennis tonight and Meg and Cam could enjoy some outside time.  Cam even got to practice for his big tournament tomorrow.  Luckily, chess camp is inside so the rain couldn't change that.  It has also left our lawn green and our flowers blooming.  Tomorrow morning is supposed to be dry, so we should be able to get in one tournament at least.

Monday, June 23, 2014


The world cup is in Brazil this year and it has become a big topic around the Heinisch home.  Last night the USA played Portugal.  The US needed to win to get the automatic bid to the next round.  It was an exciting close game which ended with a goal by Portugal in the last eight seconds for a tie.  I enjoyed watching the game with Doug.  His passion for soccer is obvious.  He has even started a pool among his players with the winner getting a day off from running.  Cal went to Buffalo Wild Wings with his friends on the soccer team.  They had a great time watching the game.  Cal was probably the only one rooting for Portugal, but that is what everyone loves about him.

Doug coached soccer when we were in Bloomington and he has been coaching the Heinisch children since Brett was four.  At first I didn't really enjoy soccer, but as the children kept playing I could see the value in it as a sport.  Soccer is a sport that almost anyone can play.  There's a position for the slowest and the fastest.  Being co-ordinated is definitely a benefit, but you don't have to be the most skilled athlete to play.  There are eleven players on the field which leaves a lot of room for many players.  No one can be a ball hog as passing is a key to the game's success.  Finally, the coach and the parents are so far away from the field that players are less likely to hear any ridiculous comments from the stands or be ridiculed by their coach.  I wouldn't have guessed it when we moved out here, but I have to say that soccer is my favorite team sport to watch.  I am glad that Doug brought it to our family.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Brady Bunch

We hit the miniature golf course, Ben & Ari's in Indianapolis, on the way home from Cincinnati.  It is one of our favorites and we have stopped their many times on family trips.  All seven of us played and for the first time in awhile I was the big winner.  More importantly, however, is the amount of fun we had giving each other a hard time.  We showed Cameron the spot where he fell in the pond when he was a toddler and talked about the geese that chased after Meg one afternoon.  When we were done we grabbed lunch and were back home by three.  I am thrilled that we all went.  It was a fun family vacation and I am glad that Jayce joined us.

Tonight we are watching The Brady Bunch that we didn't finish on the way home.  Doug keeps telling me that I need to try out some of the fashions that Carol Brady is sporting.  I would much rather see him try to pass off several of Mr. Brady's.  Either way Meg and and I have enjoyed watching these shows.  We are not the Brady Bunch, but we can definitely relate to having a large close family.  So when Meg brings her boyfriend home from a neighboring school and finds out that he is just using her to steal Cal's playbook, we will know exactly what to do!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

King's Island

We picked Jayce up early this morning and were at King's Island a couple of minutes after it opened.  The drive felt a little long, but we had The Lego Movie, Dodgeball and even the episode of the Brady Bunch at King's Island to keep us busy.

After a photo stop at the Eiffel Tower, Cal and Jayce  split off from the rest of us to try all of the roller coasters they could get on.  King's Island opened a new one this year called the Banshee.  It is the longest inverted roller coaster in the world with seven inversions.  By the end of the day the three oldest and Jayce all tried it out.

While the boys were off by themselves, the five of us headed to our favorite part of the park - Planet Snoopy.  We have been to King's Island many times over the years.  We still talk about the first time we came when Planet Snoopy was all Scooby Doo and Hanna Barbara.  The Heinisch children's favorite was when it was Nickelodeon land.  Meg decided by the end of the day she was just going to keep calling the rides the same name as they were then.

We had a lot of fun in Planet Snoopy.  Doug can't ride a lot because of motion sickness, so that left the four of us to ride together.  I even tried a couple of the smaller coasters.  Doug did score bonus points with Cam, Brett and Meg by joining them on White Water Canyon.  We met up for lunch at Fest Haus.  It has large pizzas that we can share and is air conditioned.  The only downside was the music performance - a tribute to boys' bands over the years.

The five of them went to the Viking Furry after lunch.  Then Jayce and Cal were back out in the park again.  Meg tried the Banshee with Brett while Doug and Cam went on another water ride.  The Banshee gave Meg a headache, so she sat out with me for a little while.  That worked out well as Brett and Cam went on all of their favorite spinning rides including the Scrambler.  Doug then got creamed at the bumper cars as Brett hit him from the front as Meg got him in the back.  I was glad that I was taking pictures.

Around 7 p.m. the power went down in the park.  At that point they only opened up certain rides.  We took some time to shop and were able to ride Boo Blasters one more time.  Cal and Jayce waited at the Diamondback and were one of the first ones to ride it again.  Since we had done all that we wanted to and some of the smaller rides were closed for the night, we decided to head out to dinner.  There was a Buffalo Wild Wings between the park and our hotel, and we managed to finish off seventy boneless wings, a basket of buffalo chips, mozzarella sticks, and an order of chili con queso.

It was great listening to all five of the kids talk at dinner.  I know they had a great time.  They each had a story to tell and quizzed one another on their favorite rides.  We had two rooms, so Meg, Doug and I took one and the boys all took the other.  We were definitely tired, but we sure had a lot of fun.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Golf Tournaments

Early this morning Cal, Cam and my parents headed to Old Orchard to play in one of the Elkhart County summer golf tournaments.  It was Cam's third tournament of the season and Cal's first.

It rained the entire time, but they were able to finish Cam's group without a problem.  He struggled on the first hole hitting his drive in the water.  He kept it close, but in the end lost by one stroke.  He wasn't too disappointed as the boy who won plays at Old Orchard all of the time.

Cal's tournament was shortened to a nine hole event because of the rain.  When Dad caught up to his group there were four holes left.  Cal was four over and down by three.  He hung in there and finished the last four holes one under to win by one.  

I was proud of both boys for playing.  They are both now qualifiers for the end of the season Tournament of Champions.   It was great to take a break from basketball.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

7 on 7

Today Meg played in the second week of 7 on 7.  Doug's team looked  a lot better than last week.  Doug took only his returning players and three new members plus Meg.  He talked with his girls a lot about what they need to work on.  It seemed to have made  a difference.  Meg has really improved since last year.  I would not be able to tell that she wasn't a high schooler if I did not know.  She almost scored and had a lot of great passes.  I can't wait to see her play with the middle school team.

Meg, Hope and Meghan rode with Doug and I over.  They talked non-stop.  All seemed to have a great time and played well in the two games.  We decided to stop at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner afterward.  That was fun.  By the time we dropped everyone off and got home it was almost ten o'clock.  Brett was working on a paper and Cal and Cameron were at Mom's.  They spent the night so they could be up early tomorrow for their golf tournament. It was another wonderful summer day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The last two days Meg and Cam have been able to reconnect for a couple of their school friends.  First Cameron had Braxton spend the night.  He was pretty excited and the boys had a great time.  They went to Mom's to go swimming as soon as Braxton got here.  Meg decided to join them as well.  They had a diving contest and floated on the tubes.  At night they played a hide and seek game with the key Cameron bought at Disney World.  Doug would hide it and then they would search all over for it.  That entertained them for quite awhile.  Once Brett got home we all went to Joe's for ice cream.  Alexandria was working so Brett got to visit with her for awhile.  We are going to set up a night to play games soon.

This morning we picked up Preston to come over to hang out with Meg.  Preston is alone most days in the summer and he and Meg really enjoyed spending the day together.  After our Pizza Hut lunch we all went to Mom's to swim again.  We got Grandpa a new tube for Father's Day and it came in handy today.  The storm chased everyone out of the water, but they had swam for quite awhile, so it worked out well.

Our plan is for them to have friends over once a week in the summer.  So far we have kept pretty busy with camps and such.  Our next adventure is to take Jayce with us to King's Island.  Should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

Today the heat and humidity of summer hit us.  Last summer was extremely cool and very wet, so we are not complaining.  Cameron and Meg decided to swim at Grandma's.  They really didn't get to do that too much last year.  I begrudgedly turned the air on.  I love open windows and the summer breezes, but not at the expense of everyone sleeping.  

The heat didn't slow Cal down.  He still played basketball, went golfing and back to tennis.  I am ever amazed at his endurance.  Cam did get to play golf with Grandma as well.  Brett has been working a lot, so we don't see him as much as we did over his other breaks, but he got his first paycheck last week and the next one should be close to $500.  I am proud of him for his work ethic.  His boss has complimented him several times.  Meg did not have soccer tonight, so she spent the evening hanging out.  The end of the evening brought us to Joe's Ice Cream.  Alexandria works there and we enjoyed seeing her as well as the ice cream.

I love these days of summer.  I will not wish them away.  I wish we could always be on summertime.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Sometimes in life you try your best, work hard and it pays off.  However, there are times that you try your best, work hard and in the end you are taken for granted.  That was the theme for the day.  I wish it was different, but it isn't.  Now I have to figure out how to handle the fact that the fruit of our labor will not be sweet.  Instead we will belong to the group of unappreciated worker bees.  It will take some time to get over the hurt.  Life works that way.  I hope that in time it will all make sense.  Until then I will try to not let it ruin our summer.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Today we celebrated Father's Day.  The first order of business involved the younger two going with Doug to breakfast with Carl and Jeanette at Wawasee Cafe.  Next on the agenda was mass.  Today was a Heinisch day at church.  Both Meg and Cameron served and Doug was an usher.  Cal took a turn as lector for the first time today and was impressive.  Brett even started to clap at the end of the first reading.  I can see why.  He was nervous for Cal and was impressed that he did such a nice job.

After mass we all went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.  Doug then opened the traditional Father's Day gifts - an adjustable wrench, grill tools and candy.  By three Brett had to head to work and Meg went to Teresa's to play with Brooklyn and Avery.  Cal and I challenged Doug and Cam to a game of badminton.  We narrowly beat them in a heated match.  After that Doug and I went to dinner and Cam went golfing.  We all met back up to give my Dad his Father's Day gifts.  Meg picked out new squirt guns for him and an inner tube for the water.

As I reflect on the day I couldn't help but think how incredibly lucky the Heinisch children are.  They have hit the jackpot in the lottery for fathers.  Doug is patient, involved and ever strong.  He has been a wonderful role model for all of his children, especially the boys.  I appreciate all of the effort he puts into fatherhood.  I couldn't ask for a better husband or father of my children.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Cal and I spent the morning at Tristen's grandfather's funeral.  We had wanted to go to the visitation yesterday, but basketball got in the way.  It was a very long funeral service (two hours), but a nice one at that.  Cal talked on the way home about his feelings if Grandpa Cutes would die unexpectedly.  I know how he feels as I was devastated when Paw Paw died and I was well into my thirties by then.  I told Cal that he did not have to worry.  I can see me wheeling Grandpa into the basketball games when Cal's own children are playing, so he can let the coach have it.  

When we arrived at home Carl and Jeanette were here.  I know it was a lot of trouble to get out here because of the oxygen tanks and such, but we appreciated their effort.  We watched Sleeping Beauty in the afternoon until Aunt Jan and my Mom came to visit.  Jeanette was able to see Meg's new bedroom furniture and Carl enjoyed a nap in the hammock.  Meg and Cam always entertain them with the piano songs, but this time Cal was even able to join in.  That was a real treat.

My parents joined us for a steak dinner.  After some lively conversation the Heinisch children took turns with Grandpa Cutes and Doug at badminton.  It was such a lovely evening that made for a perfect night.  Today reminded me that life really is "a blink of an eye."  I will cherish the moments we have with our family for now.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Basketball and Golf

Cameron had his first Elkhart County Golf tournament of the year this morning.  It was at Meadowvalley in Middlebury.  He spent the night at Mom and Dad's, so they could leave early.  He practiced last night, so he felt he was ready.  From all accounts he blew his opponents out of the water.  They played five shortened holes and Cam shot a 24, seven strokes better than second place.  He brought home a nice trophy and a lot of golf stories.  His first stop was the golf course to tell Bob and Rena all about it.  Next he filled Alex and Cal in on all of his stories of the day.  The best part of the win is that it qualifies him for the end of season tournament of champions in August.

When Cam and Meg left for their sports camps at Bethany Christian, I headed to Bremen for Cal's first summer basketball shootout.  I was more nervous about Cal's adventure than I was about Cam's.  Besides open gym and pick up games with his friends Cal hasn't really played much since he broke his ankle.  It was excruciating watching him sit on the bench last winter.  I totally expected the same experience today as well.

Happily, I was more than wrong.  Cal started on the JV squad and was rarely off the court.  He looked great, led the first game in rebounding, was a leader on the floor and did everything that his coach asked him to do.  Barry relied on him to lead his squad, ran Titus and complemented Cal while he was in the game putting him as an example for the players on the bench.  All of this was a complete 180 degree turn from winter basketball.

I was proud of Cameron today for winning his tournament.  He has worked hard and it paid off today.  I was most proud, however, of Cal.  His ankle was a major setback last year.  He work hard and overcame a challenging situation.  The lessons he has learned will definitely help him later in life.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

7 on 7

Tonight Meg played in the first 7 on 7 soccer match of the summer season for Doug's girls' team.  They played two games and I was very impressed with Meg's soccer skills.  She has really improved in the past year.  She understands how to pass, where to be on the field and what she needs to do to help her team.

There were several other girls on the team that I felt really improved from last year as well.  They played in an indoor league over the winter and attended as many open gyms as they could.  Overall, however, I was pretty frustrated with the rest of Doug's team.  He had to leave for a county council meeting, so his new assistant coach was in charge.  With Doug gone the girls decided to change their strategy and reverted back to all of their bad habits of last year.  The midfielders stayed back and for most of the game there was only one person forward of the midfield line.  They made Meg play fullback which is not the position Doug normally puts her at.  Needless to say we got destroyed by an opponent that we should be able to play with.  One of the varsity girls even said at the end of the game, "Don't worry about it new players.  You'll get used to losing."

Doug talked to his assistant coach after the game.  She was a lot more positive about it all, but noticed a lot of what I did.  Doug was frustrated when I talked with him.  He will come up with a plan going forward and it will get better.  He has put a lot of effort into girls soccer.  I hope the girls realize that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Movie Time

Brett got off early tonight.  He has worked everyday the past week.  We decided to take advantage of his early arrival to catch a movie with him.

Brett had been wanting to see Maleficent since it came out on May 30th.  Cam and I thought we would like it to, so we headed to the 7:45 show.  We have all seen and enjoyed Sleeping Beauty.  The reviews had been mixed and with Angelina Jolie in it we weren't quite sure how it would be.  

From the opening scene we were all hooked.  The story was told from Aurora's perspective and it showed Maleficent as more than just a one dimensional evil fairy.  Cam and Brett loved it as much as I did.  Our goal now is to take Meg back with us.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Family Time

Meg, Cam, and I had lunch with Brett today at one of his favorites - The Root Beer Stand. The food was good and we enjoyed his company.  Brett has been so busy with work, school and his internship that we haven't spent as much time with him as the Heinisch children would like.  Thus, we started making plans so that we can enjoy his company.

Tomorrow night we are going to go see Maleficent.  Next week Cal and Brett are planning on catching the sequel to Planet of the Apes.  On July 11th we are traveling to Chicago to meet the Montavon family for a day at Six Flags.  Finally, we just booked our hotel rooms for Cincinnati next weekend, so we can return to our favorite Ohio amusement park, King's Island.

We are all looking forward to the trip.  Cal asked if he could bring Jayce and we are hoping that works.  Meg asked if she could bring a friend and then promptly invited Brett.  I know that Doug and I will be taking turns riding the rides with Cameron  We both struggle with rides that spin, but hopefully, we can handle it all.  No matter what, it will be a lot of fun getting away and spending time together as a family.

Monday, June 9, 2014

All Sports, All The Time

Today was a total sports day for the three youngest Heinisch athletes.  Cam and Cal started the day off at basketball camp.  Cal was a counselor and Cam was a camper.  From there Cal headed to the middle school for basketball practice and Cam headed home to rest.

After piano lessons Cam and Meg went to their respective athletic camps at Bethany Christian High School.  Cam is trying the soccer camp for 3rd to 5th grade and Meg is in their basketball session for middle schoolers.  I was proud of them for trying the camps as they did not know any of their fellow campmates.  Both had a great time and talked about their afternoon all the way home.

Cal talked Gage, Aaron and Jayce into playing golf this afternoon after practice.  He played them in a scramble - those three against him.  It ended in a 39 all tie.  After that we headed to the Spring Sports Award for the high school.  Cal had  a great night.  He was featured several times on the Spring Sports DVD highlight reel and earned his chevrons for being a three sport athlete and varsity golfer.  He also received a certificate for achieving the status of scholar athlete.  This is the sixth time he has received that honor in as many seasons played throughout his freshmen and sophomore year.  Cal was also given a plaque for being the Most Improved Player of the Year.  Steve felt that his improved play helped the team the most this year.  The hope is that they will make it out of sectionals next year.  It is the perfect goal for them to work on.

All in all it was a great day for athletics in the Heinisch family.  Summer has just started and there will be many more days like these ahead of us.  Hope the weather is as beautiful as today as well.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

Meg had been asking me to see the movie "The Fault in Our Stars" with her.  She had heard about the book from several of her friends and was anxious to see it on the big screen. We knew it would have some sad moments as the lead character is seventeen and is terminally ill with cancer.  Her doctor recommends a support group for teens with cancer.  She reluctantly joins and in doing so meets the love of her young life.

As the story unfolds and their love grows there are a lot of fun moments with typical teenage antics (egging the car of the girl who breaks their friends heart) and even a trip to Amsterdam.  There is also a lot of sadness as any story about terminal illness would bring.  As tears rolled down my cheeks I realized that I was not crying for the same reason the girl a few rows in front of us was.  Although it was very sad thinking of these two young hearts being ripped apart for no other reason than chance, I couldn't help but think of the parents.  That's who I identify with now.  I didn't understand at seventeen what it was really like to love unconditionally as only a parent can.  I can think of nothing worse than watching your child die.

I am glad that Meg invited me along.  She still felt The Blindside was sadder.  It may have been, but what I appreciated today was the reminder of just how precious life is.  There are no guarantees.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

So Long Sophomore Year

I spent a lot of time reflecting today upon Cal's sophomore year.  Meg, Cameron and Brett flew through school pretty easily this year with only a few minor hiccups along the way.  Cal's year was different.  Although he started out on a high with an outstanding performance on his tennis team, the broken ankle was a huge set back to his year in sports.  He followed that up with his first broken heart and then the disappointment of yesterday.

The bright spot in all of this has been the friendships Cal has developed this year.  He has created some bonds and a lot of memories that will be with him always.  The family favorite has always been Jayce.  It was awesome to see him and Cal grow this year through some pretty challenging situations.  As I watched them chest thump at the softball game Tuesday I couldn't help but grin.  Yesterday when they realized that Wawasee was not going to advance to regionals Jayce walked right up to Cal, put his arm around him, hugged him and said it would be ok.

Jayce is right.  That is what friends are for - to remind you that there is a tomorrow and they are always there for you.  Hats off to Cal's friends for helping him through his sophomore year.  Even with the broken ankle, broken heart and broken dreams, they were able to have a wonderful time.  The trash bag Tuesday crowd is always welcome in the Heinisch home.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Golf Sectionals

Cal's team teed off at 8 a.m. this morning.  They were all pretty pumped up to start and very optimistic about their chances.  They played with Triton and Northfield in threesomes.  Mom, Dad and Parce were there to watch Cal play.  By the time Meg, Cam and I showed up at noon, he was already on the 18th hole.  At that time I found out that Jayce and Kyle came to follow Cal around as well.  I thought that was just awesome, and they seemed to have a great time being his gallery with Parce.

Cal had some problems putting, but overall played well. He shot an 80.  Rasmus surprised everyone with a 36 on the front, but had some trouble on the back.  He still finished well with an 81.  Tristen shot a 79 with an eight on the last hole and Jeffrey came in at 75.  The boys were in second at the turn with a 151 and overall were looking pretty good with a 315.

As they were the first group off, we had to wait at least two hours for the other 11 teams to finish.  We knew they had a chance, so it was worth the wait.  Parce and Mom took Cam home with them as Dad had already left to play in the best ball.  Meg went to Brooklyn and Avery's for a little while.  Cal, Jayce, Kyle, Tristen and Jeffrey passed the time by eating Little Caesar's, telling stories and playing poison.  Mason headed home early as he did not have a great round which left only Rasmus and I to hover around the scorer's table awaiting the teams finishing.

In the end it was pretty disappointing.  Wawasee finished in the dreaded fourth place with only three teams advancing.  Columbia City shot an outstanding 299 to win the sectional.  Warsaw was at 308 and Culver Military Academy finished third with 310.  Tristen was inconsolable.  His beloved Grandpa died on Wednesday and he really wanted to make it out of sectionals in his memory.  When the team didn't advance, the boys only hope was to advance as individuals.  Tristen missed it by two shots and Cal by three.  Jeffrey does get to move on.  I was proud of Cal for congratulating him before we left.

I know today was very disappointing for Cal, but when Doug and I reflect upon the golf season we are very proud of him.  He improved over last year.  He worked very hard this week with the goal of helping his team.  He posted his best nine hole match score ever this year with a 36 and he finished third as an individual in the Bruin open.  All of this and he still has two more years to go.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

First Day of Summer

The alarm rang early this morning, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get up.  Last night we hosted the sectional dinner for the golf team and I had spent a lot of time cleaning my classroom and the house.  I was up and at the teacher breakfast before most, however.  It was a nice event with several teachers retiring and a lot of fun stories shared.

I headed to Milford after the breakfast to finish up my room and required checklist.  I got out a little past my 11:30 a.m time as I helped Mr. Voirol renew his license online.  The staff also met with Mr. Woodard for about a half hour.  He wouldn't come to the retirement breakfast, so we roasted him in his room instead.

After that my official start to summer began.  Cam was playing golf with my Mom, Cal was at Rozella with his team and Brett was at work, so Meg and I went to Maria's for lunch.  We had a surprise visitor when we got back as Parce was sitting in Mom's driveway.  We all hung out with him until Doug got home.

Cam, Meg and Brett visited with Parce until nine or so.  Cal went with my Dad to work on his golf game for tomorrow's sectional.  Doug and I were invited by his attorney to attend a private showing of the South Bend Civic Theater's performance of "To Kill a Mockingbird."  There were drinks and h'orderves to start and then the show.  It was fantastic.  For a small theater group they did an awesome job.  Intermission brought some great desserts and the evening ended close to ten p.m.

I was exhausted by the time I got home, but it sure was a wonderful start to our summer vacation!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Today was the last day of school for students and middle school awards day.  I am not a huge awards person, but it went pretty well.  Cameron's elementary awards were yesterday morning.  It was as long as ours today, which was a little much for him.  He sat there a long time to receive his 100 point AR trophy.  He was happy with that and vowed to read 300 points next year.

Meg's awards day was different.  She was up and down so often I think that she might have gotten tired.  She earned the physical education certificate, was recognized for being the spelling bee champion, was awarded a trophy for being only one of two students in the fifth to eighth grade to complete the honors reading program, was a scholar athlete and on the principal's honor roll for all A's this year.  I was proud of her and her accomplishments.  She has worked hard to overcome the issues she has had with her eye.  She deserved to be rewarded.

Cal's last day went well also.  He finished with all A's and one B (in chemistry.)  There are no awards for high school sophomores, but Doug and I were proud of him for rising to the challenge that we put on him academically.  He just made it in English and Health, but that's alright with me.  It was a tough year with the promise that junior year will only be harder.  Until then he can enjoy his summer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh What A Night!

Cal came flying in after school today to let me know that Mr. Perek had sent out a "strange email" to everyone.  It reminded the student body that trash bags were not appropriate attire for school.  I asked him if he had been wearing a trash bag when the email was sent.  The answer was a resounding yes!  He headed off for practice and I laughed about that all evening.

I know that Mr. Perek does not want to squash their fun.  He just wants to curtail it a little for more appropriate times.  Tonight at the softball regional was one of those times and everyone enjoyed their energetic spirit.  Those same trash bag wearing boys showed up early for the game with their chests painted and all of the green haired wigs they could borrow from Cameron.  The school had prepared for them as there were bleachers in left field reserved for the student body.  They had enough shirtless boys to spell "This is Our House!!"  Cal and Jayce led the cheers in between innings.  It was a lot of fun to witness and a great way to end their sophomore year.  Unfortunately, the girls lost 3-2 in a very close game.  They are a young team and it should be a lot of fun watching them next year, hopefully, with more cheerleading from the student section.

Meg also had a wonderful night with her friends.  Jacob and Jared had an end of the year/late birthday celebration.  There were eight boys and four girls.  They went swimming, played on the trampoline and shared stories of their wonderful seventh grade year.  Mercedes spent the night afterward.  The girls were dead tired, but full of smiles when they put in "Pitch Perfect" at 10 p.m.  Not sure they made it much past the first scene.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Furniture

Today, Meg's new bedroom furniture arrived.  The men had it set up in less than an hour and Meg and I spent the rest of the evening getting her room set up.  The furniture looks great and her new purple saucer chair matches perfectly.  There is finally enough room in her dresser to fit all of her clothes.  It should be a lot easier to put her laundry away.

Cameron was almost as excited as Meg.  His packaged arrive this afternoon as well - a new telescope.  It took us a little while to set it up, but once we did, he had a great time with it.  He even took it down to Dad's to show it off.

Out of the two new purchases I was with Meg, but it was fun to see both excited.  Meg's furniture is a little big for her current room, but eventually she will have use of the upstairs master bedroom and it should all fit perfectly.   For now she will enjoy the extra space in her bed and dresser.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Magic Tricks

Today I stayed home with Cameron while Doug and Meg went to our neighbor's son's graduation party.  Cameron really didn't want to go, and I was ok staying with him.  I used the time to catch up on some computer work, and Cameron spent the time practicing his magic tricks.  He had several of them to try, and although most did not work exactly as described, he had a lot of fun experimenting with them and I enjoyed watching him.

Cameron's interests are not always the same as his peers and he seems to relish in that fact.  Most of his friends do not play golf, try magic tricks, learn to lasso or order a telescope online.  Cameron is like his siblings.  They all march to their own drum and I love that about them.  We have rules about academics and work ethic, but overall they are allowed to follow their own dreams.  They may not always succeed, but their perseverance is ever present.