Thursday, July 31, 2014

Garage Sale

Today was the first day of the garage sale.  The Heinisch children cleared out a lot this year and we spent a good part of this week pricing and organizing the sale.  Last night I was in a panic that our sale would be a bust and we would have to load everything back up and figure out where we would store it all.  Boy was I wrong.  This was by far the best Thursday we have ever had at a garage sale.

Cal did the best out of everyone, but he had the most to sell.  This was the first year that he could really clear out his toys as Cameron was still using a lot of them.  His Rescue Heros, GI Joes, and Ninja turtles were big money makers.  Cal also cleared his room out on Sunday and sold many of his baseball cards, football jerseys and the golf balls that he and Kyle went hunting for this week.  By the end of the day Cal made close to $200.  The rest of the Heinisch children did well also as they each had brought in almost $100 a piece.

It started to rain around 4 p.m., so we brought a lot of the items in from the driveway quickly.  Even in the disorganization that ensued we had a rush of customers.  By the time we closed the garage doors I was ecstatic.  It was nice to make the money, but mostly it felt great to get rid of the boxes of items that we had decided to part with.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Civic

Doug called first thing this morning.  His 2004 Honda Civic was overheating on the way to work.  This isn't the first time that it has happened.  We have fixed the problem twice before in the Spring.  This time, however, we have decided that we are ready to price a new Honda.  He has loved the Civic.  It has served him well in the last ten years and has over 231,000 miles on it.  I was not as disappointed as Doug.  I am more than ready to move on.

Doug drove the car to Monteith over his lunch period just to get their opinion.  He was lucky to make it there.  The battery died just as he coasted into the parking lot.  I met him there with the truck.  Brett didn't have any obligations this week, so using his truck was no problem.  Once we got back to work Doug was able to talk with a salesperson at Gurley Leep Honda in Elkhart.  We knew that this day was coming, so we had an idea of what we wanted to look at.  We built a Honda
CR-V online and they believe they can get us a coffee color one in the next week or so if we want one.

Once Doug heard from Monteith we were sure that we were ready to say goodbye to the Civic and hello to a CR-V.  It will be over $500 to fix the Civic.  Gurley Leep will only give us $200 as a trade-in even if we fix it.  Therefore, Doug called the salvage yard and they could offer us $400 for it without any repairs.  Thus, on Saturday Doug will say goodbye to a decade of his little blue Honda and hello to the a brand new one.  I hope it lasts over ten years as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fall Sports

This week starts conditioning for fall sports.  Cal has tennis nightly and Doug started the soccer team's tonight.  Cal said that his hasn't been too bad yet.  Of course nothing compares to his freshmen year soccer conditioning week.  A marine friend of one of the coaches came in to work with the boys.  Cal and Kyle said that it was one of the hardest weeks they have had in sports.  

The soccer girls sold pancake breakfast tickets for their first hour of "conditioning."  Meg had a lot of fun with that.  The next hour was running and was a little more challenging.  Meg doesn't technically have to go, but it will put her in better shape for the start of middle school soccer season.

I am glad that Cal, Meg and Doug are enjoying getting back into the routine of a fall sports season.  I have to be honest, however, the thought of fall sports only makes me think of the beginning of the school year.  I am definitely not ready for a new school year.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bike Riding

Tonight I had a library board meeting, Cal started tennis condition, and Brett was at work.  Thus, Doug took Meg and Cam bike riding.  Cameron hadn't been on a bike all summer with the golf that he has been playing.  When they started off he wasn't quite sure about it all.  He was positive that you could "forget how to ride a bike," but low and behold he did just fine.  They road to the high school and through Fox Run before heading home.  Cameron told me that he was really glad that Doug took him.  He liked the new bike he was using and wants to go again soon.

I was glad that Cam stuck with it.  So far Meg has been the only Heinisch interested in riding a bike.  Brett and Cal learned how but never spent much time bike riding.  I loved riding when I was a child.  Many of my favorite childhood memories involve riding from our house to Grandma's.  I don't think that Doug was allowed to go as many places as I was, mostly because DeKalb was a lot bigger than Syracuse and Carl had a cousin who was killed riding a bike.  That won't affect Cam's enthusiasm, however, as he wants to go a little farther next time.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Garage Sale

Today we spent a great deal of time marking items for the garage sale.  The Heinisch children have chosen to get rid of a lot of their treasures.  We are glad to have the free space in the house, but wow, it is a lot of work.  Everyone has helped out so far.  Cal cleaned out his closet today and helped bring everything down from the attic earlier.  Cam, Meg and Doug all helped organize and mark items.  Brett definitely put a dent in his book collection and has them ready for sale.  Meg's trundle bed and dresser will be two of the bigger items that we have.  The money that Doug and I make will go toward their college fund.  The rest of the Heinisch family will get to keep at least half of their money with a portion of it going to the college fund as well.

Parce is coming up for the garage sale as well.  Cal texted him earlier and encouraged him to with thencaveat that he would get to see his favorite family member.  I am sure they can all argue about which one of them that is.  Meg even said to me today that a garage sale just isn't fun without Parce.  I hope that we do well and that the weather forecast holds true - mid 70s and dry are the best days to garage sale.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

They're Home!

We were at Camp Crosley this morning at 9 a.m. to pick up Cameron and Meg.  I was so glad to see both of them.  They had a great week and couldn't wait to tell us all of the stories.  Before we headed for home we stopped by the camp store.  They both had a lot of money to spend.  Cam got a shirt, sunglasses and a DVD of the week.  Meg had already bought a t-shirt, so she wanted a sweatshirt and a water bottle.

We found all of their baggage and loaded it into the van.  I loved listening to them talk on the way home.  They shared a lot of the same experiences and knew many of the same campers and counselors.  Both knew about the Italian camper in love with Gabby, talked about seeing Mr. Voirol, had stories of soccer, and a lot of fond remembrances of Mock Rock and the end of the week bonfire.  Cameron really liked two of his cabinmates, Carter and Alex, and thought his counselor was awesome.  Meg was so proud of the fact that a new friend plans to request her as a cabinmate next year and happy to have an involved counselor this summer.

I was so happy for Cam and Meg today.  They once again survived a great week of camp.  I am glad that we decided to send Meg to camp six years ago.  It is something that they will never forget and an important part of their childhood.  Both can't wait until next year.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Nice Surprise

I had planned on working on the garage sale today, but Cal asked me if I would take him golf shopping.  I jumped at the chance.  It is rare that I get to do anything with just Cal and I definitely wanted to take advantage of it.  He wanted to price a new driver and buy some better golf balls, so we decided to hit Dick's Sportings Goods first.  Cal asked if he could drive.  I was a little hesitant as I think that driving in Mishawaka can be stressful, but he was sure he could do it.  He has been driving home from all of his golf tournaments with my Dad, so I thought I would give it a try.

Our trip was a lot of fun.  We listened to music that both he and I could tolerate.  He is a big Eminem fan, and I have grown to like him as well, so that music was on the agenda.  Cal did a nice job driving and we were at Dick's in no time.  Cal was able to find a dozen golf balls that he wanted and priced a couple of drivers.  I told him that I would buy him a new golf shirt, so he picked out a purple and pink one that looked nice.  He also needed a new headband for tennis.  We found a bright yellow tennis ball color one that will match his uniform well.

Once we left Dick's, Cal wanted to see if there was a Dunham's Sports in town.  We found one by the Chuck E. Cheese that we used to visit years ago.  They did not have the golf clubs that he wanted, but I was able to buy new bean bags for our cornhole game and a washer game that will be perfect for tailgating.  We had lunch at Arby's before returning home.  Cal drove all the way back.  I told him stories about my youth, his grandparents and Parce.  Today was one of the best days of summer for me.  I realize that all too soon Cal will be off on his own and these days will be gone.  Glad he invited me along on his shopping journey.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Today was back to reality for the Heinisch family.  Doug was up at 5 a.m. to head to Renegade.  Cal had driver's ed early.  Brett had to work a longer shift than normal because of a couple of incidents at during the day.

I even had to go in to school.  Today was the day that we worked on the math standards for 8th grade.  Although I am not ready for the school year to start, it was a big help to me.  The one book I haven't taught out of is the blue pre-algebra one.  I now feel as though I know what is going on and the plan for the year.  We still have work to do, but most everything is set for the first trimester.  I wish I had had that for FACS when I started two years ago.  That would have been really helpful.  The new FACS teacher at WMS wants to get together before school starts to go over what I have done.  That would be a big help.

Cal passed his driver's ed class today.  He was glad to be done.  We are proud of him for completing it.  He can try for his license in November.  Someone at Brett's work accidentally cut a gas line while they were fixing a water problem.  That slowed everything down.  His boss wasn't there as well, so the day just didn't run very efficiently.  Overall, however, he has been pleased with how well Camp Mack has gone this summer.

Tonight Doug had soccer and Cal had tennis.  Thus, I was home alone for awhile.  I used the time to put laundry away, pay bills and work on a couple of other items.  None of it was too exciting, but for the first day back from vacation, it went well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


We left our bed and breakfast this morning.  We really liked it as it was quiet, a close walk to Saugatuck and had some delicious breakfast foods.  Today our first stop was South Haven.  Their town is right on Lake Michigan.  They had some great beaches that Cameron and Meg would love as well as some beach shops.  Doug found another winery to try and I shopped.

After South Haven we headed to Kalamazoo to check out Western Michigan and eat lunch at Bell's Eccentric Cafe.  The food was awesome and it was a great way to end our three days together.  The drive home was pretty easy.  Doug had driven it several times before on his way home from Bittersweet.

The boys had a great time with my parents.  They were able to go bowling Monday night and to the fair Tuesday night.  They took some wonderful pictures and had a lot of stories to tell.  Cal played in two golf tournaments.  He was disappointed in his finish in one, but not the other.  This ends his season on the Indiana Junior Tour.  He has one more golf tournament on August 9th - the Elkhart County Tournament of Champions.  Brett had a interview with a former Wisconsin state senator today for an article he is writing.  He loved that.

Tonight was a quiet one as Doug went to soccer, Cal had open gym and Brett was working.  I was able to get the laundry done and login receipts.  Tomorrow we will all be back to the grind.  It was a great mini-vacation.  Can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

President Ford and Lighthouses

We headed to Grand Rapids after breakfast this morning.  We decided yesterday that we would like to visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.  It had a lot of information and we were able to spend a couple of hours walking through the exhibits.  We plan to bring Brett back her one day.  He would like all of the memorabilia.  We picked him up a "Jerry in 76" shirt.

After the library we once again headed to New Holland Brewing Company for lunch.  We stuck with the same appetizer, but Doug tried a sampler of beers this time.  While we were there I got a text from my principal, Cindy Kaiser.  She was in Holland picking up a dress for a wedding and was eating lunch across the street when she spotted me. After lunch we started heading to the shops.  Low and behold we ran into the Bokharts.  What a small world!  They gave us a lot of great ideas of things to do while in Holland, so we thought we'd try a couple out.

My favorite was the lighthouses.  It took us awhile to find the one in Grand Haven.  It was a long walk out to it, but it was a lot of fun.  Next we went to the Holland beach to check out its lighthouse.  The lighthouse wasn't reachable by foot, but we were able to walk the long pier parallel to it.  We liked their beach better than the Grand Haven one, but their lighthouse was better.  Both afforded us the opportunity to take a very nice walk.

We drove back to Holland for dinner.  We tried the restaurant that we saw Cindy at earlier in the day.  Their mozzarella sticks were delicious.  We walked into Saugatuck once again for dessert.  Our first movie choice was a Russell Crowe, Leonardo diCaprio war movie that was too involved for late night.  Therefore we switched to an old standby - North by Northwest.

Monday, July 21, 2014


After breakfast this morning we decided to head to a couple of Michigan wineries.  I didn't try much of anything, but Doug did.  The first one had wines made of fruits other than grapes.  I did try a couple of sips and was surprised at how good they were.  The ones we tried in New York like these last year were way too sweet.  The next one on our stop was Fenn Valley.  It had the most advertisement for the area, but was pretty disappointing.  Doug didn't buy anything and the guy beside me said, "Oh, this is terrible" after one of his tastes.

We had some time before the Felt Mansion opened, so we decided to head to Holland, Michigan.  We were both glad that we did.  I kept seeing signs for Windmill Island.  Doug offered to check it out.  I loved it.  On the island they had a working Dutch windmill sent from the Netherlands.  We were able to climb to the fifth floor.  The terrace made me a little nervous, but other than that it was awesome.  We also saw a dance in which all of the girls wore wooden shoes.

After Windmill Island we headed to downtown Holland and stumbled upon New Holland Brewing Company.  Doug was excited to see that as they brew one of his favorite beers, Fat Tire.  We had an appetizer and dessert there and Doug tried a couple of their beers.  The food was delicious.

After lunch we went to the Felt Mansion.  It was the one place that I really wanted to visit while in Michigan and I hate to say it, but it was pretty disappointing.  It was a nice home from the 1920s, but nothing like the one we visited last summer in New York.  That was alright, however.  It was worth a try.  Once we left the Mansion we headed to the Dunes state park.  It was about a mile hike to the beach through the woods.  It was nice even though the temperature was close to 85.  We walked along the beach for awhile before hiking back to the van.

Next one our stop was the Saugatuck Brewing Co.  They had a beer sampler for Doug to try and an appetizer for me.  Doug really like it, but all we kept talking about was the horrible music the bar was playing.  It sounded like 1970s Soul Train.  It definitely was funny.

We spent the evening walking around Saugatuck once more.  It is a quaint little town.  Tonight we watched High Crimes, a Morgan Freeman thriller.  We had seen it several years ago, but didn't remember much about it.  We both liked it as it had a twist ending.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

And We're Off . . .

I believe that this may be the best week of the summer for the Heinisch family or at least one that everyone really looks forward to.  The fun all started when we dropped Cameron and Meg off at Camp Crosley this afternoon.  Cam has now been to camp four years in a row and Meg is there for her sixth year.  Meg moved up to teen village this year which is in a different section of camp.  Gabby and Alisa were in the same cabin as Meg this year and the three of them were chatting away as we said goodbye.  I never worry about Meg at camp as she loves it, is extremely social, and talks non-stop about it when she returns.  I am always a little apprehensive when we leave Cam, however, as he does not have a friend from Milford that goes with him.  This year it was a little easier to say goodbye.  First, he is one year older; second, he has really enjoyed it the last couple of years and third, this year he had a returning cabinmate waiting for him when he arrived.  They both remembered each other from years past and right away selected top bunks beside one another.  That was awesome to see.

Brett and Cal are going to stay at Mom's for the next three days.  Brett has to work and Cal has several other golf tournaments, but they also have plans to go to the fair and spend a night bowling.  My parents are looking forward to it as much as they are.  

For the fourth year in a row Doug and I decided to get away while everyone else had plans.  This year we tried a new place and headed to Saugatuck, Michigan.  We had heard a lot of positive comments and figured we might as well see what it has to offer.  

Just from our first night experience I think that we may have hit a homerun.  We are staying in a bed and breakfast that is about a half mile from downtown Saugatuck.  There are shops a plenty and several restaurants to try.  We were pleased to find that most places are open late.  Once we toured the town we decided on a waterfront restaurant.  The atmosphere was very nice as our table overlooked the river connecting Saugatuck to Lake Michigan.  The boats are a lot bigger than those on Wawasee and we enjoyed watching the water traffic.  There are more ice cream shops than any other type of store.  We walked through several of them before settling on one.  

Our bed and breakfast had DVDs for us to watch in our room, so we chose The Pelican Brief.  Doug fell asleep, so it was a good thing we have seen it multiple times.  I enjoyed watching it again.  I hope all of the days that we are here are as pleasant as this one!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Cameron and Meg finished their week long adventure in Vacation Bible School last night.  Cameron was a participant and Meg was a volunteer.  Both had an awesome time.  They were the first ones there and always came out with a lot of great stories to share.

For a Catholic church our parish is considered small.  Thus the Heinisch children know all of the children who attend religion classes or Bible school from the youngest to the oldest.  They have shared the same teachers and lessons throughout the years.  I had a lot of fun listening to them talk on the way home.  Meg's friend Aaron also helped.  He and Meg were in charge of the crafts.  I believe that their skits were the most entertaining, however.  Our favorite night of picking them up was when Meg jumped in the car and exclaimed, "Those little kids just love me!"  I love her confidence.

Next year there will be a new leader as our religious education director retired.  Meg said that she still plans on volunteering.  I hope it is as fun for them next July as it was this year.  Even if it isn't I know that they will look back on this experience with fond memories.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Elkhart County 4-H Fair


Today was education day at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, so teachers and students all got in free.  Cam, Meg and I decided to take advantage of it and spent the afternoon riding rides, trying the food and looking at the 4-H animals.  It had been several years since we had taken them to the fair.  They started out using their wristbands and rode the Crazy Mouse and several other rides.  I enjoyed watching them in the fun houses as they had to navigate the moving stairs, sliding floor and rolling barrels.  

We also tried some fair favorite foods - foot long corn dogs, elephant ears, snow cones and ice cream.  Meg and I got a kick out of Cameron's experience with the powdered sugar.  His elephant ear was extremely large and he was covered all over with the white powder.  Meg and Cam also tried a "fool the guesser" game.  They both told him to guess their weight.  Meg won, but the guesser was pretty close.  He completely blew Cam's weight, so both came home with new stuffed animals.

My favorite part of the fair is walking through the animal barns.  All of the animals are cute, but I think this year the best were the bunnies and pigs.  They decided that bunny fur is a lot softer than guinea pig fur.  We were home in time for vacation bible school.  Cal, Brett and my parents are going on Tuesday.  I hope they enjoy it as much as we did.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brett's Summer

Brett was in such a great mood after work last night.  I thought he would be exhausted as he had worked late the evening before and had to be up early for a meeting with the political team he has been helping.   He also had several articles to finish writing this week as well.  Doug and I both enjoyed listening to him talk about all of the activity he has been involved in since he has been home from IU.  Brett definitely has had a great summer so far.  He kept telling me that he could not believe that all of this really came to fruition from his farm bill article being published in the Warsaw Times Union last Spring leading to an invitation from a local businessman for breakfast and eventually an internship working with the Curt Nisley campaign.

In addition to his internship Brett earned an A in the political science class he took online this summer.  He has also had a large amount of success in his job at Camp Mack as well.  Today was their health inspection and his area passed with flying colors.  Brett worked an extra three hours the night before to help make that happen.  All of this and he has been able to meet up with several of his friends and still spend time with his family.

When the summer began we did not know where it would take Brett.  It has been awesome to see it unfold knowing he still has a month left before school starts.  He actually said to me earlier this week that he might have to go back to Bloomington just to slow down a little. I know he was joking, but there may be some truth in that statement.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Friends, Friends and More Friends

It was Cal's night to have his friends over.  Cameron, Jayce and Alex met him at tennis and then regrouped at our house.  When I left to pick up Cam and Meg from VBS the boys were all walking into town to get some food.  Alex decided to ride Meg's bike which made all of us laugh.  Once we left church Cam, Meg and I thought we would drive through town and see if we could find them.  Sure enough they were all at DQ with Meg's bike sitting outside.  We thought we'd prank them by hiding it at my parents.  We didn't hear from the boys for a little bit so Doug finally texted them with "missing something?"  By the time they read their text they had been looking for the bike and thought that they would walk up to the police station to report it.  Cam, Meg and I got a good laugh out of it and I think they did once they knew the bike was safe and sound.

The boys stayed up until 1 a.m. playing poker, making Vine videos, trash talking each other and playing ping pong.  Cameron Heinisch even got in on the action by setting up his own Twitter account and being a part of their escapades.  It was awesome to hear the laughter coming out of the basement.  Cal hasn't had friends over for awhile and I know they had a great time.  All of the Heinisch children have done a lot with their friends this summer.  I am glad that they are enjoying it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Driver's Ed

Cal started Driver's Ed this past Thursday.  He has to ride/drive with two others for three hours on six different days.  Cal already has his permit, finished the online class and has driven over 50 hours with Doug, Mom, Dad and I.  Thus, he is finding this extremely boring.  I don't blame him for that.  It is boring, but he will learn several things that we didn't think to teach him.  He also got in a car with a couple of boys that he knows and he should be able to get his license three months earlier than if he hadn't taken it.  By the time he gets home at 9:30 a.m. he has the rest of the day to do what he wants.  As I told him tonight, however, there isn't really much to say to make it less boring.  He does have a better instructor than Brett did and if he views it as a job, then maybe it won't seem so bad.  No matter what as of today he is halfway through the experience.  Then he can join the rest of us who survived Drivers Ed and have stories to share.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Party

Meg had her summer party tonight and it went off without a hitch.  She invited eleven friends and all but Graham and Mercedes were able to make it.  We started off with a scavenger hunt.  I had the girls plus Preston and Aaron.  It was a lot of fun and although I was sure our group would win, the boys destroyed us.  After that Doug cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for everyone.

Once dinner ended the games began.  First was dodgeball.  Marshal and Josh volunteered to take on everyone else.  The boys proved their worth by beating them three times in a row.  After that the girls wanted to try charades.  Not sure how that went but pretty soon everyone was back outside for a bonfire and badminton.  The egg toss was a big hit, especially for Preston.  He ended up with two eggs smashed upon him.  The night ended with a couple of games of Ghost in the Graveyard.

Doug and I weren't sure when Meg sent out the invitations that they would be able to keep busy for five hours, but overall they did a great job.  It is a wonderful group for Meg to hang out with.  I am sure they will all be back in the fall for a cookout before a football game.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sleeping In

This morning Cam, Meg and I all slept past 11 a.m.  I couldn't believe it when I woke up.  The trip yesterday most certainly wore us out, but everyone talked all day about the rides and the fun they had.  Brett had to work, so he was up earlier than the rest of us.  There weren't a lot of people to feed, so happily his day was pretty easy.

Spent the day getting some work done around the house.  Cam went golfing with my Mom and Doug went with Cal.  Cal shot a 36 on the front which sounds great to me, but he was disappointed as he was two under going into the last hole.  He did well this week also at his Indiana Junior tournament at Black Squirrel shooting an 81 to finish in the top ten.  Cam missed a tournament Friday to go to Six Flags, but he didn't mind.

Tonight Meg and Cam went swimming at Mom's.  Cal hung out there while Doug and I went to dinner.  We went to an Italian restaurant in Elkhart that has awesome desserts.  Mine was peanut butter pie!  Watched several episodes of Twilight Zone with Cameron before we headed to bed ending a much needed relaxing day!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Six Flags

Brett asked to go to Six Flags to meet the Montavon family one time this summer.  Today we were able to make that possible.  The drive up was pretty uneventful and we were able to meet them around 10 a.m. Illinois time.  Tatiana wasn't able to go because of softball and Cal had driver's ed, so it was just the five of them - Brett, Anastasia, Tasha, Meg and Cam.  Alexia and I were just along to hang out as neither of us really ride much anymore.

It was a hot, crowded day, but they all made the most of it and enjoyed being together.  They rode all of their favorite roller coasters and decided to leave the newest one, Goliath, for next years trip.  The wait for it for most of the day was three hours long.  It looked like for awhile that they wouldn't get to ride the Raging Bull either and everyone was bummed about that.  It finally opened up at 7 p.m. and luckily, they had run to get in line when they saw it doing a couple of practice rides and were one of the first ones to ride it.

We took Subway for lunch and ate at our vans.  Each of the Heinisch children picked out a snack for the day.  Meg and Brett liked the soft pretzels and Cameron had a funnel cake.  I did manage one ride - the double decker carousel.  It was our last of the day and although a little slow, everyone had fun.  Cam and I chose the pigs to ride.  Tasha and Meg picked the Ostriches and Brett and Anastasia were able to ride her favorites - the rabbits.

We left the park around 7:45 Illinois time and were on the highway by 9 p.m.our time.  The ride home was definitely more interesting than the one there.  The exit for the Indiana toll road was lined with barrels and challenging to negotiate with two lane closures.  There was a lot of construction as well.  First we took the wrong exit and then once we were on the right one we had to navigate a narrow bridge that was half removed with a great big spotlight facing us.  I told Cameron that it was the closest I have ever felt to being in a real live Mario Kart game.  We did make it through, however, and it was smooth sailing after that.  Happy to make it home alright and glad that everyone had a great time.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Soccer Camp

Today was the last day of soccer camp for Meg and Cameron.  Overall, they really enjoyed it.  This is the first year Doug has attempted to have a summer camp for middle school and elementary students.  I couldn't be more proud of his success.  They had almost 45 children sign up and all of the feedback so far has been positive.  Doug and his players ran the camp the first two nights and the boys' coach and players ran it the last two.  Even with the bill for the shirts the soccer programs should each clear $400.

Tonight I wasn't sure that Cam would make it through camp tonight.  Cade spent the night last night and they were going on five hours of sleep.  Meg had Preston over today and the four of them played badminton, went swimming and built sand castles.  We also rode over to Goshen for Chief ice cream and they sang and danced all of the way home.  Definitely wore everyone out, but they all made it through two and a half hours of soccer.  What a great week!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Zoo Day

Meg and I decided this morning that we wanted to spend the day at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.  Cam was up for it too, so we were off.  Cameron did not remember being at the zoo before, so for him almost everything was new.  :Meg pointed out that we follow the same every time, but it works well for us.

Our starting point was Africa and the sky safari.  We then headed to Asia.  The orangutans were out and we all enjoyed the rain forest.  Meg and Cam decided that they are old enough to skip the carousel.  Meg mimicked all of the sounds of the animals much as one of her least favorite radio commercials.  That was really funny!  Australia was under reconstruction, but the log flume was still open.  We also had time for the train ride, petting the goats and feeding the fish before it was time to head back.

We had a great time today.  As Meg said, "It sure beat watching T.V."  I had a lot of fun with Cameron and Meg.  I am thinking that we should try the Toledo Zoo next.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

For the first time ever I colored my hair tonight.  This is not the first time that my hair has been colored.  My Mom has been doing it for me since I had Cameron.  She does a nice job, but I thought it was about time that I tried it on my own.  I told the Heinisch children before I dropped them off to soccer and tennis about my plans.  They were sure I would end up looking like Greg Brady on the last episode of the Brady bunch (green hair).  I appreciated their support and promised I would return with a hat if it didn't work out.

Overall, it was a lot easier to do than I originally thought it would be.  My hair is pretty long right now and at first I wasn't sure I could get it all, but the outcome was a lot better than they predicted.  I was able to color my hair, wash it out and dry it before I had to pick up Cal.  I know it wasn't the biggest accomplishment of my life, but it felt pretty good to be able to do it by myself.  Now I won't have to bother anyone else to do it and maybe, just maybe I will try a different shade.  No one will ever know if it doesn't work out!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Injury Time Out

I have a minor injury to my lower mid section which has made the last week a little challenging.  It hurts no matter whether I am standing or sitting.  I cannot lift anything with weight to it, and it is painful to bend over.

Due to this fact Cam and Meg have had to help out more than usual.  Today was no exception.  They both went to the grocery with me as I needed to buy pop and I knew I couldn't lift it into the cart.  They argued the entire time about who was going to push the cart, who would load the cart and finally who would unload it.  

I asked them afterward if it was really as terrible as they made it out to be.  They laughed.  Of course it wasn't, but who would ever admit that grocery shopping with Mom could be fun!  They both ended up picking out a prize from Dollar General - sour worms for Meg and a pop gun for Cam.

Meg keeps telling me that she has it all figured out.  She said that I am not really hurt, I am just lazy.  Wish that was the case.  With their extra help, however, I am feeling better.  Hopefully, I'll be 100% soon!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Cameron and Cal have played a lot of golf this summer.  They both have had a lot of success with it and seem to enjoy being out there.  Even when they are not at the golf course, Cal is in the backyard chipping balls and Cam is following us around telling golf stories.

This summer Meg, Doug and I have decided to get in on the action too.  We have played nine holes together each of the last two Sundays.  We aren't as competitive as the boys nor do we have the equipment, but we have had fun.  All three of us improved in scores this week.  It as definitely easier to putt as we had some experience.  All in all we had a great time and I hope we can continue it.  Maybe Brett will even join us one night.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Beautiful Weekend

The weather this 4th of July has been just beautiful.  The days have been in the mid-seventies and the nights in the 50s and 60s.  We haven't had to have the air on at all and even put on a sweatshirt once or twice.  We have all enjoyed this very much.  It makes for great golfing, badminton and bonfire weather.  The mosquitos have been out, but not too bad yet.

All of this nice weather has reminded us of the 4th of July in 2012.  We went to St. Louis that year and had an awesome mini-vacation.  We stayed in a hotel near the arch (or as I said, "an arch and a half away from the block."  The fireworks that year were fantastic as they shot them off from the Mississippi River and they floated above the arch.  We were seated underneath them and ever since that time no other fireworks have compared.

That same weekend we also went to Grant's Farm, the Budweiser Brewery Tour and Monmouth Cavern.  The hotel we stayed at was not only close to the arch, but also provided free breakfast and dinner along with a pool for Cam and Meg.  The only drawback to that time was the weather.  Unlike this year it was 108 on one of the days.  Doug remarked about this several times today.  Since that time the 4th of Julys have definitely been a lot cooler.  Meg and I said that we would brave the heat and humidity to go back to St. Louis next year.  It may have been hot, but it sure was a great vacation.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

The guys got up early and played nine holes before breakfast.  Cam said it was one of his worst rounds ever, but both he and Cal enjoyed spending time with Carl.  Doug joined them as well.  Carl made breakfast once we got back.  We had time to take pictures in the corn before leaving.

The drive back was a little slower, but overall uneventful.  Cam finally got to see the movie Hairspray and said it was a lot better than he thought it would be.  Doug cooked an awesome dinner.  Mom made peach pie for his birthday.  Meg and Cam picked out a lot of USA soccer apparel for him.  Even though they lost Tuesday night, he still appreciated it.

Everyone played badminton and had a bonfire after dinner.  Cam, Brett and I got in a game of Qwirkle before the fireworks.  Brett destroyed us.  We watched the fireworks from Dr. Mulry's parking lot.  They were alright, but not quite the experience we had watching them under the arch two years ago.  It was a wonderful 4th of July.  With Doug's birthday added to it, it has definitely become one of my favorite holidays of the year.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Today we left for DeKalb to visit Doug's mom.  She has been feeling a lot better since her treatments have ended and we wanted to take advantage of this.  Brett, unfortunately, wasn't able to go with us as he had to work, but they plan to go back on the 19th when he can go.

The ride out was pretty easy and Cal and Cam made it to Buena Vista golf course by 5:45 p.m.  They were able to get in nine holes before dinner.  Doug, Meg and I went to Inboden's to pick out meat for tomorrow night's dinner and a couple of extras.  We had time to visit with Carl and Jeanette before the boys called.  Dinner was delicious and everyone had fun watching Doug blow out the candles on his red, white and blue birthday cake.  We had purchased a Germany soccer jersey for Jeanette to give Doug and he really liked that.

After dinner Cam and Meg played cards with Carl and Jeanette.  Doug, Cal and I went to Target and Barnes and Noble before bringing home beer nuggets for everyone.  It was a very enjoyable evening and a wonderful way to celebrate Doug's birthday a little early.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mixed Emotions

Today I spent the afternoon at a visitation for a student at our middle school.  He would have been an eighth grader this year.  Mary went with me and we stayed for a couple of hours in case any of our students came.  There were a few students that were able to be there plus all of his cousins.  Some I know from school and others I know from when Meg was a student at Syracuse.  We talked with them and hopefully made a difference.

This boy died of carbon monoxide poisoning.  His parents had been running gas generators in their home as their electricity had been cut off from lack of payment.  There was a lot of debate online about the cause of his death and why they would have generators in the home when they are not supposed to be inside.  I stopped reading the arguments as it finally dawned on me.  It didn't matter what he died of, the fact is he was a product of his environment.  No amount of arguing or blame could change that.

A lot of our students are a product of their environment.  They cannot change their circumstance in life and at twelve many fall victim to their upbringing.  The older Heinisch boys have had friends in the same situation.  It made me realize that birth is just luck of the draw.  No one gets to chose where they start their life from.  We talk to students about rising above the challenges that they face everyday, but in all honesty so many of them cannot.

I spent the second to the last day of school with this quiet young man trying to help him catch up on all of the missing work from his math class.  He couldn't find his book, didn't know where his agenda was to figure out which assignments were missing and was overwhelmed just trying to come up with a solution to this problem.  School was challenging for him.  I understood that then, but not to the extent that ended his life.  For our school to make a difference in the lives of the students we have to figure out how to help them while they are in school.  If a child goes home to a house without electricity and to a family that is struggling just to get by, homework will never be their priority.  Instead of laying blame we need to come up with a solution that works.  I don't have the answer right now, but hope that his memory will keep this problem foremost in my mind when the next school year begins.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Storm

I had a hard time falling asleep last night.  There were storms headed our way and I was concerned.  I finally nodded off when a little before 1:00 a.m.a siren blasted from my cell phone.  Both Doug and I jumped out of bed and grabbed our phones.  It was a tornado alert.  Our county was under a tornado warning.  We quickly got Meg, Cameron and Cal downstairs.  They all piled into the toy room.  The boys took the bunk bed and Meg the couch.  I told them to go ahead and sleep downstairs since we did not know how long the storm would last.  They were out within a few minutes.

Brett was already downstairs working on his paper for class.  He and I stayed up until 1:45 a.m.  By then the tornado warning had been lifted, but we had lost power.  I crawled back into bed and listened to the storm outside.  There was definitely a lot of wind.  I had a hard time sleeping, but finally drifted off.  Our power was restored at 4 a.m. which we later found out was a real blessing as some in our area are to be out for days.

This morning Meg and I drove around Syracuse looking for any signs of damage from the storm.  There were many limbs and branches down.  Some large trees had been uprooted and Doug even said that he had to drive under a tree to get to work.  Of all the damage, however, I couldn't believe my eyes when we pulled up to the high school.  The wind had taken out the fence and bleachers on the tennis court.  It had also blown down the fence on the soccer field and bent the end posts.  The concession stand was overturned as well as the band viewing tower.  Both soccer team dugouts had extensive damage with the roofs being thrown halfway down the hill behind them.  I believe it will be awhile before everything is repaired or replaced.

After looking over the destruction of this storm I couldn't help but feel lucky. We only had a few branches and limbs down in our yard and lot.  It will take a while for the town to clean up all of the damage.  I hope this is the last big storm of the summer.