Sunday, August 31, 2014

So Much To Do . . . So Little Time

We packed in as much as humanly possible today as this is a big festival weekend in Bloomington.  Cam and Doug began the morning playing golf at Cascades.  They started out slow, but by the end were pretty happy with their scores.  Once they got back the four of us met Brett at the 4th Street Art Festival.  We saw so many wonderful items as we walked through the booths.  I really wanted a glass water fountain, but wasn't ready to part with the money.  Instead Meg, Cam and I each picked out a beautiful matted celestial photograph that will look nice in our home framed.

We tried Nick's for lunch today and had a nice meal.  We debated, once again, the Heinisch children's choices for names for their own children.  There is always a debate when they are together.  It makes for a lot of fun.  After lunch Brett walked back to the dorm to read and study.  We walked with him as far as the Union while Doug went back to get the van.  Cameron found an awesome IU hat and the four of us headed to the IU vs. Marquette men's soccer game.  Cam and Meg were able to join a group of IU fans on the field to form a tunnel to greet the team as they ran onto the field.  It was a hot afternoon, but we did make it until halftime.  IU played well and ended up beating Marquette 1-0.

We picked up Brett and Parce after the game for a trip to Oliver Winery.  It was crowded and much to everyone's disappointment, they were out of bread.  We were still able to enjoy a picnic and Cam and Brett were able to get in a game of washers before we ate.  Brett did not have much interest in our next stop - garlic fest - so we dropped him off at the dorm.  Much as last year, the band was good and the crowd was interesting.  Once we had had our fill of the music and unique dancing, we picked Brett back up for a stop at Target and Barnes & Noble.  He needed a sleep mask and it was nice to be indoors for a little while.
Brett had to read at mass tonight and we were completely wiped out.  Thus, we grabbed breadsticks and were in at Parce's by 9:15.  Our routine was the same as last night only Cam and Meg discovered Gabby's See N Say.  I think "The Farmer in the Dell" was inbedded in our memories by the end of the evening.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

We're Back!

This afternoon Doug, Meg, Cam and I headed down to Bloomington.  I know Brett didn't have a chance to miss us before we were there again, but we were all ready for a getaway weekend.  Meg reminded me that they hadn't been in Bloomington since February.  The trip took a little longer than normal, but we were able to pick Brett up by 7:45 from his dorm.  Parce was generous enough to offer a place for us to stay, so once we unloaded, the six of us headed to Buffalouies.

Everyone was chatty while we were walking.  Brett had just eaten lunch there yesterday with RUF, but he was more than willing to go again. We all enjoyed the food and company.  Brett is working on a book he checked out from the IU library.  He had a computer issue that we were able to help him solve, and that made him feel better.  

After dinner it was close to ten.  Doug and Brett headed to Pizza Express for late night breadsticks while we walked back with Parce.  He has such a great location to Kirkwood - not too far, but yet far enough away that the student noise is minimal.  Meg and I blew up the air mattresses.  Cam and Doug were ok with the floor.  We stayed up late enjoying the breadsticks and catching up with Parce.  It was a great way to spend an evening.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Starting To Sink In

Doug said tonight that Monday was by far the saddest day since his Mom had died.  It was the day that it finally hit him that this is forever.  I felt terrible for him when he said this.  Doug is one of the strongest men I know, and I hate seeing him hurt.

This week there were so many Heinisch events that I wanted to tell Jeanette about - Brett's return to college, Cal's purple sweater and tennis victories, Meg's first goal, Cam finishing the 4th Harry Potter book and close to being done with the 5th, me hemming a sleeve with a whip stitch and Doug's tireless devotion to his family.  It was sad not to be able to call her.  I know she was very proud of her family and loved to hear of their accomplishments no matter how small.

Meg had a dream last night that we had to go to another funeral for her Grandma Heinisch.  She said she hated that part, but at the end Grandma was alive and well.  I told Meg that I had several dreams like that about Granny and Paw Paw in the weeks after they died.  I always chose to believe that it was their way of letting me know that they were alright and were still with me in spirit.  

I hope Meg finds comfort in her dreams and Doug's memories stay with him forever.  It has been a rough couple of weeks.  I think our trip to Bloomington this weekend will be a nice break.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tennis & Soccer Dejavue

Once again this evening Cal had a tennis match and Meg had soccer.  This time I was able to attend both.  Cal's team played West Noble at home.  They had already scrimmaged against them and I thought it would be a good match.  It was for Cal at least.  He had never played against their number one before as at the scrimmaged his opponent played doubles.  Cal and he had a very similar style of play with a lot of rallies.  Cal was serving well and that frustrated the boy he was playing against.  Cal got down 2-4 in the first set, but then rallied to win 6-4.  Cal won the second set 6-3.  His opponent was so demoralized at the end that Dad said he called two out that were clearly in.  Nevertheless, Cal earned the win.  Unfortunately, his team did not fare as well losing all four courts.

I had to leave after the first set to make it to Concord for Meg's game.  Like Cal, Meg played well, but her team was overmatched.  Concord won 7-0 and Meg was only able to get one shot on goal.  The team has a hard time right now getting open for her to pass to.  I know it will be different next year and she is getting a lot of experience at forward right now.  I enjoyed watching her play and sitting with Preston and Logan.  We had some lively debates concerning DC vs. Marvel Super Heroes.  We have a break from both tennis and soccer until next Tuesday.  Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cats & Purple Sweaters

Cal had his school yearbook pictures yesterday and he decided to make it interesting by wearing a friend of his purple kitty sweater.  When I first found out I asked him if he was serious.  He was and Doug and I thought, "Why not!"  It will be one long remembered.  His picture was taken by most of the student body at WHS today and except for one annoyed Vice Principal almost everyone could find humor in it.  I even heard from the photographers today and they were still talking about it at lunch.  This only makes me wonder what he is going to do for his senior pictures!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Tonight was a very exciting night in the history of the Heinisch family.  Meg scored the first ever Wawasee Middle School girls soccer goal.  She was very excited and we were thrilled for her.  It came off a corner kick early in the game.  The girls went on to lose 3-1, but it is a step in the right direction.  Meg said they were screaming like they just won sectionals.  She had wanted to be the first to score.  I am glad that she did!!  All of her hard work this summer paid off.

My parents were there when she scored and were equally happy.  Cam and I were at Cal's tennis match where he won his second singles match of the year bringing his total to 2-2 on the year.  The team did well beating Central Noble 5-0.  Cameron has enjoyed going to the tennis matches.  This one was a little long, however, since they had to squiggy the court before they could start.  We didn't think they would get it, but they did.  Jayce and Alex stopped by to say hi and play the iPad with Cameron for awhile.  That and the fifth book of Harry Potter kept him occupied.

Doug did not fare as well in the Heinisch family sporting events tonight.  His soccer team lost 1-0 to Manchester.  He was disappointed, but is staying positive.  Concord will be tough on Saturday as well, but he should have all of his players back for next week's matches.

Monday, August 25, 2014


I tried to remain calm all day today, but the hours just kept slipping by and there seemed like more and more to do.  I am nowhere near caught up from all of the happenings of the last two week.  I thought I was on top of everything, but as I paid bills and wrote thank yous, I realized that I was not even close.  It would be great to have another day or two off to catch up on everything.  So much of our life has been on hold this month.

Life doesn't wait however and from the email I received today about my math class, I realize that I had better be in bright and early tomorrow morning.  I appreciate everyone who said a kind word to us or helped in anyway (one of Doug's soccer mom's even bought Cam's drawing pencils for him when I couldn't find them last week.)  Soccer, tennis, library board, county council, laundry and homework are all calling and we will just have to come up with a way to get back to "normal."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Indiana, Our Indiana

Brett finally made it to Bloomington this morning.  We had planned to take him on Friday, but Brett wanted to be at his Grandma's viewing and funeral.  I am so glad that he was able to attend that and that he had such a great summer.  This was by far the busiest he has ever been with his job at Camp Mack, his internship with the Nisley campaign and his summer class, we rarely saw him.  We make some awesome memories, however, with trips to Kings Island, Six Flags and DeKalb.  He was also able to go watch the fourth of July fireworks with us, go bowling, catch up with a few friends and make a visit to the Elkhart County Fair.

It was so different checking him in this year.  He was in and out of the registration area within a few minutes.  He has his own room, so unpacking was no problem.  He already had an idea of what he wanted and didn't want to take this year.  Thus, it was only three trips from the van to his room and the guys were done.  I made his bed and hung up his dress clothes, but left the bulk of the unpacking to him.  Last year I did too much and he couldn't find most of what he wanted when he needed it.

We stopped at two different bookstores and then headed to Parce's apartment.  Parce is only about four blocks from the comic book store and Brett could walk there easily.  He is still unpacking as well, but the apartment looks great and is in a perfect location.  Not too far from campus, yet far enough away to have some peace and quiet.  There is a grocery store nearby and several restaurants.  He offered for us to stay with him if we come back next weekend and we may just take him up on that.

The four of us decided to go to Oliver Winery for lunch.  It wa a hot day for a picnic, but we had a wonderful time.  We caught Parce up on all that we had done since he saw us at the beginning of the month and we quizzed him on what he had been up to.  Parce was able to take Brett home for us and we were able to leave from the Winery.  I gave Brett a hug and took some pictures.  I know we will be down soon and he was so happy to be back at IU, none of us really felt sad.  Instead we were all excited for his new adventure.

Saying Goodbye

How do you say goodbye to someone who meant so much to you family?  How do you honor their memory?  Today we tried.  Jeanette's mass was full of scripture, song, prayers and a lovely homily about her life.  All of the grandchildren had a part in the ceremony including Brett as lector.  There were many tears shed although Cal will tell you that he and Uncle Phil were the rocks of the family, never showing emotion.  Jeanette had a lot of time to plan this mass and it was beautiful.  

As we walked outside afterward  I realized that I was emotionally drained.  There were so many people, which was a wonderful tribute to Jeanette's memory, but I wasn't sure I could greet one more mourner.  I did return after catching my breath, and the first person who came up to Doug and I was someone that I so wanted to see, Dan's friend Matt Gherke and his wife Krista.  We did a lot with Matt and Dan many years ago.  They were the altar servers when I was confirmed and for a moment time slipped away.  

I followed Doug downstairs to the luncheon celebration.  Carl's family did a very nice job decorating the tables with flowers and plants including the ones from Cam's teachers, Aunt Jan's family, the girls' soccer team and Wawasee Athletics.  Doug was already talking to another family that we hadn't seen in years, Kristy and Dave Nichols.  Kristy is by far my favorite of all of Doug's second cousins.  We did so much with them when Dave was a professor at Notre Dame.  I could have talked to her all afternoon.

We did visit with several more families, including catching up with the Montavons about Anastasia's first week in college. The trip home was memorable as we played songs, laughed and told stories.  Even the downpour through Chicago couldn't dampen our spirits.  

After the Heinisch children settled in at Mom's and we finished the unpacking to repack for Brett's trip to IU tomorrow, Doug and I had some quiet time to reflect.  I asked him my questions from above.  Doug didn't hesitate with his answer. He said that he had had a lot of time to think these past three years and he didn't want to sound like a cliche, but this quote from Rocky VI says it best, "Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward."  Doug continued with, "That's what my Mom did.  She took a hard hit, but she kept moving forward.  That's what our family will do too.  It is the best way to honor her memory."

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Wonderful Trubute

Tonight we attended Jeanette's wake.  What a wonderful tribute to her life it was!  There was a steady stream of visitors lasting almost four hours.  Everyone spoke highly of her, talked about her kindness and marveled at her brave battle these past few months.

We saw family and friends that we hadn't seen in years.  There were so many visitors that I had never met before.  The Heinisch children and my parents held up well.  It was a long night and they knew very few of the well wishes.  Ray, Linda, Maury and Emie kept them company for a good portion of the evening.  Cal scored big as the funeral home director was a former Culver Military grad.  He found a common bond in Cal and ended the evening by giving him an autographed Paul Azinger hat.

The Montavons were able to make it as well as the Knapps and most of Doug's cousins.  Flowers were sent by Cam's teachers, Aunt Jan's family, the girls' soccer team and the athletic department.  I thought that was lovely.   Monsignor Schwartz led the prayer service and time seemed to smelt away. Meg and I both cried.  We just can't believe that  Jeanette is gone.  I will not forget the memory of this night.  I am sure Doug and the Heinisch children will not as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Head Hits the Pillow

Tonight the activities of the week finally caught up with Doug and I.  He had to tie up lose ends at work, hold soccer practice and then come home to get ready for the next few days.  I spent a couple of hours at work typing sub plans and copying assignments for Monday and Friday's classes.  Five classes are a lot to plan for, but I have a good sub coming in and another teacher will take the pre-algebra class.

I headed to Wal-Mart after school.  Cam got a list of art supplies that he needs for next week and Cal lost his cooler.    Then it was off to Plymouth for a tennis match that storms postponed until Monday. When I returned home Doug, Meg and Cam had changed the guinea pigs and got a good head start on the packing.  I sorted several loads of laundry and helped finish  getting everything organized.

Jeanette's obituary was in the Warsaw paper.  That helped us to remember why we have been working so hard these past few days.  Both of us were ready to go to sleep early.  Doug was fast asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Blog

I started writing the Heinisch blog a year ago as a challenge put out by our corporation's writing coach.  I was teaching writing lab at the time and I thought why not try it.  My students were writing everyday, so I knew I could do it if I put my mind to it.  As the days went by and I added stories about the happenings in the Heinisch household.  I thought I would run out of ideas, but luckily, everyone "there is always something going on in the Heinisch home."

After a couple of weeks I thought I would mention to Jeanette that I was writing a blog if she wanted to check it out.  I didn't know at the time that it would become a mainstay of her reading.  Through my entries she was able to keep up on everything that we were doing.  When we would call her or visit we didn't have to explain what was going on, she already knew.  Her bond with the Heinisch children grew deeper throughout the year.  My proudest "blog" moment was when Carl told me how much my entry about Doug meant to her.  She even called him over to read it.

I don't know if she can still read my blog now, but I will keep writing about the Heinisch family.  She would be so proud to learn that Cal won his first number one singles match and that Cameron finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with a perfect on his AR test.  Most of all I want her to know that a friend of mine texted me today to let me know how sorry she was for our loss and that "she raised a wonderful man."   I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grandma Heinisch

It was a sad night in the Heinisch family as Doug's Mom passed away this evening after a three year bought with ovarian cancer.  Jeanette died quietly as Carl and Phil stepped out on to the porch to have dinner.  I wouldn't have expected anything different.  Jeanette put up a brave fight to the end and she never wanted to burden anyone.  I know it had to be hard for her to ask for help.

The last few years were challenging for Jeanette, but she never complained  to her children, their wives and her grandchildren.  In our presence she was ever happy and a joy to be around.  She was interested in everything that we had to share with her.  She spoke endlessly about the love she had for her family and how impressed she was that Brett called her every week when he was at IU just to check in and give her an update on his life.

As the week drew on and the end of her time grew near I realized just how much we would all miss calling her.  She gave great advice and as a former Home Ec teacher she always had a wealth of ideas for me or projects to try.  I love that I got to share that passion with her and Meg.  Every project we did in class my first year was one that she first made with Meg.  She enjoyed that so much and Meg will have those memories for a lifetime.

Jeanette also loved to read and discussed the Harry Potter and other series endlessly with our family.  Brett even gave her a copy of the Hobbit to read this July.  She hurried and read it, so they could discuss it on his return trip.  It was the last book she ever read and Brett was proud to have that moment with her.

Sports were also a topic that she was well versed in having three boys actively involved in soccer and baseball growing up.  A fighting Illini fan, Jeanette shared the excitement of their final four season with Cal almost ten years ago.  As we left last Sunday she made sure he had a copy of the games from their March Madness run.  Cal said that is still his favorite team of all time.

Cam had a special place in Jeanette's heart as well.  He was the last of the grandchildren and always the most easy going.  Cam hugged her and Carl tight when he left.  He still held out hope that this was not his last trip out to see her, but in her honor is finishing the fourth Harry Potter book this week.

I watched Doug cry on the way home from our last visit.  Unlike Cam he knew this was his last visit to see his Mom.  My heart breaks for the Heinisch family.  I know that Doug, Brett, Cal, Meg and Cam will get through the weekend, but life will be different without one of their biggest cheerleaders.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Doug and Cal both had their first matches of the season.  Luckily, they were both at home.  We could watch Cal play while Doug's team was on the field.  Manchester was delayed getting to the tennis match, so we watched almost the entire first half of soccer before Cal started.

I was very nervous for Doug.  I know that he has worked hard this summer to get his team prepared.  They had not scored a varsity goal since last August, but that all changed in the first five minutes of the game.  Doug's forwards had a break away and put the ball into the back of the net.  The crowd erupted and the vuvuzela was sounded.  I was so happy for Doug that I almost cheered out loud at the tennis match.  The girls played well for their first game and went on to win 3-1.  What a relief that was for them and Doug.  Memories of last season can already be erased.  They took pictures after the game and dumped a bucket of water on the assistant coach.  The JV did well too ending in a 1-1 tie.

Cal played impressive in his first match at number one singles.  I was so very proud of him.  He has improved a lot this summer and his hard work shows.  He did lose 6-3 and 6-2, but once he becomes consistent on his first serve it will be a challenge for others to beat him.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Brett is Getting Ready

Brett is mentally more than ready to return to IU.  He misses his friends, the social activities and most of all his church.  Today Cameron, Meg, Doug and I took him to South Bend to help him prepare for his return trip.  We stopped by the mall first.  Meg had a couple of stores that she wanted him to check out and they all found items of interest at Barnes & Noble.  Brett liked the first clothing store we drug him too.  He bought a pair of Vans with a scene from Star Wars printed on them.  Meg bought a pair of Sperrys for herself, and we then headed to Target.

The Target stop wasn't quite as exciting for everyone as we were there to buy supplies for the dorm, my classroom and Brett's classes.  Next, Meg and I returned a pair of her sliders at Dick's to get a pair for Brett.  He, Doug and Cam spent time at Kohl's picking out a few new clothes and more shoes for Brett.  Cam and Meg were rewarded with t-shirts for their effort - Meg's with a print of Lion King and Cam's had Star Wars.

On the way home we were able to find a couple of games the boys were wanting at Gamestop.  We then had dinner at Brett's favorite - Buffalo Wild Wings.  I had a great time today with the Heinisch trio.  I am glad that Doug was able to go with us.  We were surprised to see the truck across the street in the field when we got home today, but we know that meant Cal had been playing basketball in the driveway.  He was at the golf course by the time we got back.  We would have enjoyed having him along, but we all realize that a day of shopping is not his favorite past time.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I am teaching a Pre-Algebra math class this year in the afternoon.  This is the first time I have taught this class, but I helped in Mrs. Harris' quite a bit before I accepted a position at Milford.  This year the state changed the required standards taught for this class.  Thus, a lot of the material is not in our 8th grade book.  I worked this week on coming up with lessons for converting fractions to decimals and vice versa plus rational and irrational numbers.  I graded the quizzes today and overall I was pleased with the outcome.

Today I spent another four hours preparing lessons for next week.  Meg went in to school to help me laminate and cut manipulatives.  I have a plan for the upcoming five days.  I keep reminding myself that this is a marathon and not a sprint.  The end goal is for them to pass the ISTEP and show growth.  It's ok if we are not there yet.  I have faith that we will get there.  I just know it will take a lot of hard work, dedication and most of all, patience.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Little Women

Five years ago Brett's high school put on the musical Little Women.  It was the only play or musical in the four years that he was a student at Wawasee that I missed.  Brett did not try out for the play.  Instead he ushered several of the performances.  He told me over and over how wonderful the musical was.  I believed that he felt that way, but I couldn't imagine that one of my favorite stories could get much better than the book.

When I found out that The Round Barn would be preforming the musical before Brett left for IU, Meg and I decided that we would make time to go with him to see it.  She had read the story as had Brett and I and was curious to see how it would be as a musical as well.  I am happy to report that all three of us thoroughly enjoyed it.

The tale is a little different than the book and in a slightly altered order.  This did not detract from the characters or the storyline.  We all found ourselves saddened by the death of Beth much as when we read it for the first time.  None of us are still quite sure why Jo married Professor Baer instead of Laurie, but we excepted it in the end.

I am happy that I fulfilled a promise to Brett tonight.  It didn't matter to me whether I loved the musical or not.  He really wanted me to see it with him and I had a great time doing so.  I will miss him when he leaves next Friday, but I am ever so happy that he has found his niche at IU.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tennis Scrimmage

I went to West Noble after school for Cal's first tennis scrimmage of the season.  I was very nervous as I drove over.  I haven't watched Cal play tennis since he broke his ankle last fall.  I know he is a great player on his team, but I didn't know how he would move around the court.  Cal really prefers playing singles and one has to be able to cover a lot of ground in those matches.  

As I watched the first round unfold I realized that no one would even be able to tell he had broke his ankle.  He moved very well and dominated his opponent for the majority of the match.  His serve has really improved and he has become a very smart player on the court.  He played the number one position for the first set and then the number two for the next two.  He was the only player on the Varsity to win, and he looked great.  

I drove home tonight relieved.  I  do not care if Cal wins or loses, but I do care that he is healthy and happy.  He looked both tonight.  I listened to several of his teammates tell me how good they believe he is and how impressed they are with his work ethic.  Nothing could make me prouder than that.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Soccer Scrimmage

Last night Meg and I drove to Columbia City to watch the high school girls soccer scrimmage.  The weather was not the best for it as it was in the low 60s and rain, but the scrimmage went better than last year.  We could tell from it that the girls have really improved this year.  They ended up losing two to one.  We saw a lot of items that they still need to improve on, but there were some positives too.  I am hopeful that his year is better than last.  He loves coaching, but it is difficult to lose every game, especially when they only scored one goal on the Varsity level all season.

Meg starts soccer practice for the middle school team tomorrow.  She is really excited about that.  Her team also went scoreless and winless for the year.  She is positive that they will do a lot better this fall.  Can't wait to see them improve as well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for students.  Cam and Meg were up early and ready to go.  Most students seemed alright with being back.  We had some computer glitches in the corporation, but overall the first day ran smoothly at Milford.  I have four classes of FACS, then lunch and prep, followed by a pre-algebra class.  I have come to realize that it will take some work to get the curriculum ready for pre-algebra, but I don't believe I will be there much longer than I was staying last year as most days I did not leave before 1:30.

My classes were pretty well behaved for the most part, a little chatty as they were all excited to see their friends.  In my class I always have a written assignment of "Every Summer has a Story."  Most seemed to have a nice break with a lot trying out the newest rides at Cedar Point.  My eighth grade class is very large - 25 - but I know almost all of them, so it shouldn't be too hard to have that many.  We definitely won't all cook at the same time.

Cameron had a good day.  He couldn't believe that he had homework already.  Meg loved her first day, although, she said that she forgot about all of the students that she wasn't ready to see again.  Cal's day was interesting.  None of the schedules had been printed for the high schoolers, so the computer glitch became a serious problem for the guidance department.  The decision was made to keep all of the students in their Warrior Time classes for the day.  That was very long and very boring for a lot of the students.  I heard a lot of complaints from parents tonight.  I hope they follow up with someone who can make a difference.  It seemed like a waste of an education day to Doug and I.  Hopefully, tomorrow runs a little smoother for them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Teacher Day

Today was the first day back for teachers.  As Mary Brower said it best, "I think I am walking around in a fog of disbelief."  I could definitely relate.  I am not a big fan of teacher day as it is a lot of meetings.  We were done by 11:30 a.m., however, so I had a lot of time in the afternoon to work on my classroom.  I was very glad that Meg and I worked so hard last Thursday.  It made today much easier.  

At 3:15 p.m. student started arriving for open house.  I walked with Cameron and my parents to his new classroom.  He has dual teachers now - one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Braxton is in his class, so he is pretty happy.  After we set him up, I went with Meg to have her school picture taken.  Meg had so much fun tonight catching up with all of her friends.  I know it will be a great year for both of them.

At 6:30 we had the parent night for fall sports.  I would have preferred it on a different night, but I was able to be there for tennis.  Cal was the only player that did not attend the meeting, but I didn't see a reason for him to be there.  He was ready to get in a round of golf before dark.  I fell into bed tonight more excited for tomorrow than I thought I would be at the start of the day.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

DeKalb Visit

We were all up early this afternoon to head to DeKalb.  Jeanette hasn't been feeling as well and has a lot of trouble eating, so we wanted to make one more trip out before school starts.  We were there by 9 a.m. DeKalb time and had a great visit with her.  Phil was home from Atlanta also, so we were able to catch up with him as well.  I am so happy that all of the Heinisch children were able to go.  Brett had the day off of work.  

Carl is doing pretty well trying to keep up with the household duties and helping Jeanette.  Hospice is coming in daily and they have had a lot of visitors.  I know that none of this has been easy for Doug and his family.  Their faith is strong and I am impressed with their fortitude.  They have been a wonderful example for the Heinisch children.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Today Cameron had his last golf tournament of the year.  It was the Elkhart County Junior Championship.  Both Meg and Cal had won the championship when they were nine, so there was a little bit of pressure on Cam.  He held up well, however, and easily won, shooting a 22 for five holes, three better than his opponent.

Cal played in the same championship today winning two different summer tournaments to qualify.  Cal bettered his score from NLC by eleven strokes.  Doug and I were both able to be there for most of his eighteen holes.  Cal played very well and was only two over after 10 holes.  Unfortunately, his back started hurting (I am sure from all of the tennis and golf this week), and he finished the last eight seven over.  He finished second on the day with an 81.  He was disappointed, but we were all very proud of him.  He has worked very hard on his golf game this summer.  I thought he played well this Spring, but he is even better now.  He still has one more tournament left this fall.

After the front nine Meg and I took Doug to Gurley Leep to pick up his new CR-V.  It took awhile to get all of the paperwork done, but he was able to drive it home this afternoon.  I really like it.  He picked out a chocolate brown and it sits a lot higher up than his Civic.  I know Doug was sad to see it go, but I was pretty happy to see that new car pull into the driveway today.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grandma Brucker

Doug received some sad news tonight as he learned that his Grandma Brucker died today.  Dorothy was 101 and for the last ten years she did not recognize us.  Before that, however, she was an important part of our lives and Doug has told us so many stories of the wonderful times he had visiting her and Marion during his childhood.  As Doug, Dan and Phil were their only grandchildren they spent a lot of time with them.  Grandpa was very much into electronics, so he was the first to have the newest gadgets for the boys to try out.  They were always generously paid for any chores that they did at Grandpa's home and loved riding his three wheeler.

I first met Grandma and Grandpa Brucker when they came to visit Doug in Bloomington.  We all went to dinner.  Grandpa loved to eat and he loved to take everyone out to try different restaurants.  It was always a lot of fun.  Brett was the first great-grandchild and we visited them often during his toddler years.  As Brett has gotten older I am amazed at how much he looks like Jeanette's family - a daily reminder of Dorothy and Marion's generosity.   Cameron was even born on the day that Grandpa died (eight years later).  As it was a miracle that I had Cameron, I always figured that Marion was watching over us those last couple of weeks.

It is wonderful that Dorothy lived as long as she did and that she was such an important part of Doug's life.  I know that it was sad for Doug, however.  His last living grandparent is gone and a piece of his childhood with her.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Setting Up

I spent a good portion of today setting up my classroom.  I had cleaned it out pretty well in the Spring, so there was a lot less to do this year.  Meg came along to help.  I really appreciated it and got a kick out of her "why am I cleaning spiders off the window sill?  isn't that a custodian's job?" comments.  Dead arachnids aside the hardest part was putting up a new bulletin board background.  All in all I was there about five hours and Meg was there two.  I still have a couple of projects to finish on Monday, but I felt pretty good about it by the end of the day.  I also found out that I am going to make 80% pay this year, since I work until 2 p.m.  I am excited about that.  I wasn't sure how it would all work out.

Tonight we took Cam and Meg miniature golfing.  We went to Par-More which was one of my favorite places to go to when I was a child.  We had fun even though it is not in the best shape.  Cam and I won with Doug and Meg a shot behind.  Dinner was at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I am sad that the summer is winding down.  It sure has been a memorable one.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Shopping Spree

Meg and I left after her eye doctor appointment for South Bend.  Today was her day to pick out new clothes and soccer gear for school.  Our first stop was Dick's Sporting Goods.  It took us awhile, but we finally found cleats that fit her long, narrow feet and that looked good.  Meg also bought a new backpack there and for the first time ever her own pair of shin guards.  She reminded me that she has always used Cal's hand me downs before.  I took the opportunity of buy one get one half off sale to get a new pair of Nike flip flops.

After Dick's we headed to University Park Mall.  Lunch was at Chik-Fil-A.  We then used her 20% off at Hollister to buy new school clothes.  I decided that it is hard to buy clothes for Meg - not because they don't fit or look good, but quite the opposite.  Meg looks nice in everything she tries on, so it is hard not to buy one of each.  We did limit this trip to two pair of jeans, two sweaters, a skirt and a shirt.  The next stop on our list was Journey.  Meg wanted a pair of Van shoes and we found a cute pair of purple ones.  We decided that we would like to take Brett back to this store as they had shoes with a scene of Star Wars on them.

Our last store at the mall was Aeropostal.  Meg wasn't sure when she walked in if she wanted anything, but after looking a little more carefully we found another sweater, a jacket and a shirt that were half off.  All looked great on Meg and I know she will get a lot of use out of them.

Once we left the mall we stopped at one of my favorite stores - Pier 1 Imports.  I found an adorable owl chalk board and a glass pumpkin.  Shopping at Target was Meg's least favorite of the day, but I had several items that we needed for home.  We were in and out of there in about 15 minutes.  Both of us were tired on the way home, but we had an awesome day together.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

All Caught Up

Today was the day to finally catch up from all of the craziness of last week.  The week almost all seems like a blur to me.  I was able to log in receipts, pay bills, wash towels, pick up and bring the guinea pigs home.  As school starts next week and sports practices have begun it is a good time to get caught up.

Meg and Cam spent a good part of the rainy afternoon playing Wii.  I tried to get in on the action.  Obviously, wakeboarding is not my sport, but I can still hang in there with ping pong.  The years of pong definitely paid off today.  Once Cal got home from tennis Alex and Jayce stopped by and got in on the video game action as well.  I am not sure that Alex ever beat Cam at the three point challenge, but they all had fun watching him try.

Work for Brett is starting to slow down.  Tonight we were able to finally get his hair cut.  He is ready to be finished for the summer and take a week off before his semester begins.
I hate to see this summer end as it has been an awesome one.  For now we will have to enjoy the last few days.

Monday, August 4, 2014

School Shopping

Today Meg, Cam and I went back to school shopping.  For the first time in a long time we actually found everything we needed.  Cam and Meg's lists weren't as long as usual, and I just picked out some items that I thought Cal might need.  The aisles were crowded at Target, but mostly everything was well stacked.  At one point a young mother of four started to walk off with my cart instead of hers.  I mentioned it nicely and she offered to trade.  Her cart included a two year old, however, whose siblings were definitely ok with the trade.  That is when I realized how blessed we were to quickly move through the store with each Heinisch child able to read and pick out their own items.

We also ran into several parents who had to buy 16 dry erase markers, magic erasers and other miscellaneous school supplies that would really add to their total.  Luckily, the fourth and eighth grade teachers did not ask for anything extravagant.  Meg pointed out that the fifth grade list was half a page this year.  We will wait for next summer to worry about that.

Our big find of the day was the one item that Cal actually requested - a pair of size 13 Crocs.  Cam and I searched through the boxes of shoes at Kohl's.  I couldn't believe that we found them, plus they were on sale and we had a 15% off coupon.  Cal will be set for this year's Croc Tuesdays.  With shoe box in tow our mission was complete and we headed for home with enough time left in the day for the Heinisch children to pack their backpacks and binders.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

It's Over

When I finally sat down at 7 p.m. tonight I realized how tired I really was.  I had slept in this morning until 9:30 a.m, but it wasn't much help by the end of the day.  After lunch Doug and I went to Mom's to pack up all of the garage sale items that didn't sell.  We spent about two and a half hours sorting through everything, deciding what we would store where, and debating what items I would use at school.

Once we made a good dent in packing up we went back home to unload and reorganize a couple of boxes here.  At that point I was able to count all of the money and pay everyone.  The grand total for the three days was over $1750 with the Heinisch family clearing $1200 of it.  Jody, my Mom's neighbor, Parce, and Mom did pretty well also and everyone was happy with the cash they made.  Cal was the big winner of the Heinisch children pulling in $340.  That was the exact amount he needed to pay off his new driver and two dozen golf balls that he purchased last week.  Brett earned $150, Meg $160 and Cameron $120.  Doug and I did earn a little more than Cal with a total of $410.  We will put that amount along with $100 from Cal and Brett, $80 from Meg and $60 from Cam for a grand total of $750 going into their college funds.  Not too bad for a weeks worth of work.

The Wedding

Tonight Meg, Brett, Doug and I went to Nathan Schwartz's wedding.  This is the first wedding of a friend of ours child - one that grew up with a Heinisch child.  It was a beautiful ceremony and I caught myself tearing up several times.  I remember Nathan being a seven year old on Doug and Brett's soccer team.  It seems like such a short time ago.  What a reminder of how fast life really does move.

The reception was nice.  Brett really enjoyed the fact that it was at Camp Mack and he could be a participant instead of an employee.  The food was delicious and we enjoyed sitting with the Perek family.  The highlight for me was when Brett caught the garter.  What a fun experience that he will remember.  We also got to chat with his preschool teacher that we haven't seen in quite awhile.  She remembered Brett and we enjoyed catching up with her.  Life does move fast.  I love the present, but it is fun to reminisce every now and then.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Parce arrived Wednesday night with a car full of boxes for the garage sale.  The Heinisch children were excited that he was able to make it.  We all appreciated his help bringing everything out in the morning, and the entertainment that he provided throughout the day.  

Once the sale was up and going on today Cal and Cameron talked Parce into golfing with them at Wawasee.  Cameron was happy that he tied him with a 53 and they all had plenty of golf stories to share.  After golf Cal and Parce headed to Warsaw to check out the new Rally's.  Cal's directions were a little off, but they had fun all the same.  After lunch they stopped at Center Lake to take pictures of Parce's new "girlfriend."

I was glad that they did make it home safe and sound, especially since within a half hour or so of them arriving the rain started.  This time we decided to go ahead and close up as there was more rain heading our way.  Today was just as successful as yesterday and I even sold Meg's bed and dresser.  Can't believe how well the sale has gone this summer.