Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Middle School Soccer

Tonight was the first round of the middle school tournament and also the last night of the season.  The girls knew heading into the game that it would be a tough one as they drew Northridge.  Meg played well as center mid the first half of the game.  The ball didn't cross the half field line much so she never really got a chance to take a shot on goal.  She played defense well and contained her girl.  I have been impressed with her skills.  She has really improved in the last year.

The second half was not her favorite.  She had to play goalie and hadn't practiced that position in a long time.  It was tough as her teammates do not understand yet that they need to mark their players.  Thus, there were a lot of open shots on goal.  She made several great stops, but by the end of the game she was brokenhearted.  Luckily, the boys played second, so once she got something to eat and watched their game she was in a lot better mood.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

Tonight was the parent/teacher conference at the high school.  I was very happy with Cal's progress this trimester.  He has two B's and three A's, which is awesome since he is taking two AP classes, one dual credit and one honors.  All of his teachers enjoy him in class and say that he is doing well.  A couple had some suggestions of what he could improve on, but overall it is the best report I have had about him in a long time.  Even when he gets sidetracked in class he stops whenever he is asked.to.  We will encourage him to keep up on his reading in US History and to keep meeting with Mrs. Szynal about Calculus.  He still has 27 days left, but right now is on par to finish with a 11.0 out of 12.0.  We can't ask for much more.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Brett should really write this blog instead of me.  He is the one who really has a disdain for calculus.  He spent a lot of his senior year meeting with Mrs. Szynal and letting her know how pointless the math was, but working hard to understand it anyway.  Mrs. Szynal was great about meeting with him and learned to start her conversations with him "Brett, I know how you feel about the math, but let's get working on it."  She always said that she was amazed at how well he understood it for as much as he claimed to dislike it.

From Brett's experience we knew when Cal signed up for AP Calculus it would be a challenge.  He really wanted to take it, however, and we signed up for Dual Credit through IPFW as well.  After the first test none of us were sure if we made the right decision.  Mrs. Szynal had faith and Cal came up with ideas of how he could improve his knowledge of the subject.  He tried a couple of different ways to study on the next two tests.

It went better, but Cal still had a C in the class.  That is when we decided to try it Brett's way.  Cal agreed to meet with Mrs. Szynal three mornings a week and we agreed to support him.  I wasn't sure that this was the week to start this with tennis NLC, but Mrs. Szynal was more than agreeable and thoroughly explained all of the material he was struggling with.  We could start to see a difference as his quiz grade was 104%.  I was still nervous about the test.  He had it Friday morning after his long tennis match.  I didn't want to put pressure on him.  I knew if he did well he could possibly pull his grade to a B-.

Tonight Cal came downstairs and quietly said to his Dad, "My test grade posted in Calculus and I have a B-."  I wanted to cheer, but refrained.  I am so proud of his work in that class.  It would have been easy to just settle for a C.  He still has work to do, but he is definitely on the right path!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

State Bound

As soon as Cal jumped down from the bus after the last day of the NLC tournament we were off and running for Cobblestone golf course in Kendallville to watch the girls golf regional.  Cal didn't have his best day at the NLC and was ready to do something else after sitting at tennis all morning and a good part of the afternoon.  My Dad had headed over before us and from the texts we got from him and Beckie we knew that we would still have time to see the girls finish.  Cal has several friends on the team plus Jeffrey's the manager and Coverstone is the girls coach as well.

Cal headed out before me to see if he could find the girls.  I waited around the clubhouse to check out scores and orientate myself with the field.  By the time I walked down to Wawasee's finishing hole I could spot my Dad and Cal.  Wawasee's number two golfer was on the green and I realized that she had just four putted.  I felt bad as the girls had played very well on the first nine and I hoped that her putts wouldn't change that.  My Dad walked up and said, "Did you see that?"  It was at that moment  I realized that it was so much worse, not only had she four putted, but she also took three shots to get out of the heather and finished with a nine on the hole.  A par would have given her a 78.  An 83 isn't bad, but as I watcher tears stream down her face at the scorers table I felt sick.

Dad had to leave for a birthday party, so I stuck around with Cal to see how everything would finish out.  I had this awful feeling as I remembered how terrible fourth place felt to the boys last May.  With six teams left to come in the girls were in second place.  It seemed unlikely they would make it to state, but we all remained hopeful.  None of really knew what to say, but we made small talk as we hovered around the scoreboard.  After the next three teams came in Wawasee fell to third.  With Northwood one of the three remaining teams hopes started to fade.  Then a couple of the sophomores started to squeal and hug each other.  There was a rumor going around that the Panthers finished at 343 two shots off of third place and that they beat both of the two teams in their group.  No one would believe it until the scores would posted.  We waited and waited as the man with the marker took forever to tally the results.  Pretty soon, however, there was a cheer from the girls, lots of hugs, screams and photos.  It was exciting to watch.

As we waited for the girls to get their packets everyone talked at once.  The girls were so happy as were their spectators.  Cal made plans to go with the Moores to state next weekend and he and Gage took the opportunity to mock the girls photos and get one of their own hugging.  As Cal and I drove home I thought a lot about how life comes full circle.  Beckie and I were on the team that finished sixth in the state almost thirty years ago.  Who would have ever thought that our boys would be watching their friends qualify for the first time since those days so long ago?  It was amazing to be a part of it then and awesome to watch it today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Slumber Party

Cameron had hardly been able to contain himself all week.  Finally, Friday had arrived and he could stop counting the days.  Not only was there a field trip at school, but it was also to be his first ever slumber party.  Invitations had been handed out and plans had been made.  Now he only had to make it to 3:15 to get the ball rolling.

Cameron invited his three usual guests - Evan, Cade and Braxton - plus one newby, Jared Beer, Cade's cousin.  The boys talked non-stop on the way home.  They were not sure what to do first, but Cam let them know that it would be Nerf gun wars.  Everyone ran in, kicked their shoes off and headed downstairs.  There was a lot of yelling and cheering.  I only had to intervene once and that was when doors were slammed.  The boys had time to also play outside and have a treasure hunt before Doug got home from soccer practice.

Meg came down to my room during the day to let me know that there was no way she could be alone with five fourth graders and needed a friend to spend the night.  Thus, Kaitlin came over after soccer practice.  The girls weren't up for a cookout with the boys and spent their time walking through the neighborhood.  The boys, however, thoroughly enjoyed roasting hotdogs and make delicious hot "smoos".  

Our night activities kicked off with a trip to Wawasee Bowl for Glow Bowl.  Meg and Kat were definitely up for that and finished two games before the boys finished one.  They were home waiting to play Ghost in the Graveyard when the boys got back.  There was a lot of screaming, but also a ton of fun in our backyard.  By ten everyone decided to come in.  I heard the girls say "That was so much fun" as they came in the door.  There was no disagreement from the boys.  They were ready for wii and movies in the basement.  

Cam has a great group of friends.  I hope it stays that way for many years to come.  It was definitely an awesome first slumber party.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Best Match of the Year

Last night was the start of the tennis NLC tournament.  Cal played his first match against Warsaw.  It was a close match much as it was the last time he played against him.  Cal lost in a second set tiebreak in a hard fought match with all of Wawasee parents and players watching.

Tonight's tournament was to start 4:30 as well.  When I got there I realized that Cal had to play Northridge.  Since they had the longest drive his match was scheduled last.  I chuckled when I saw that.  Cal's matches always take a long time anyway.  I wondered if Warsaw knew what they were doing as they were hosting and couldn't leave until he was finished.

I spent a lot of the time waiting and watching other matches.  Cal doesn't particularly enjoy watching tennis, but I do.  He hung out with his friends sitting in the shade and peering under the windscreens to cheer his teammates on.  At 6 I thought I'd better go get a drink and a snack as he still hadn't started and we had no idea how much longer the wait would be.

Cal was finally called to his court around 6:45 p.m.  He had played Northridge before and lost in a long, close match.  This one started out much the same as there were a lot of rallies and several deuce games.  As the night wore on Cal found himself down 2-5 in the first set.  I hoped he would fight back, but he had already waited a long time to get started.  I didn't know what kind of stamina he had left.  Fight he did however, and before I knew it the lights had been turned on and he was serving to tie the set at 5-5.  Cal won almost every point in the next two games and found himself up 1-0 by 8 p.m.

By the start of the second set all of the other matches had ended.  The first three games found Cal down once again 1-2.  At that point his teammates all stopped hitting on the other courts and gathered round to help cheer Cal on.  Todd's parents started to head out as they had an early morning wakeup call, but they got their chairs back out of the car and settled down for however long this match would take.  Cal had really shaken his opponent by coming back in the first set.  Once his friends were there to yell "Let's Play Some Tennis" Cal fired up and went on to play the best match I had seen all year.

When the final ball landed out and Cal quickly called "No!" a simultaneous cheer followed.  I was so proud of Cal.  He had played well when he needed to and brought home the lone win of the two nights.  I snapped quite a few pictures as his teammates ran out onto the court to congratulate him.  I called Doug, Parce and my parents on the way home.  After that I just cried.  It did't matter to me if Cal won or lost.  I was thrilled to see him out on the court once again.  A year ago this week we were in the hospital with him wondering if he would ever be able to compete again!!  We can know say that he is officially 100% healed from the broken ankle and ready to play some tennis!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sports Parents

Last year at the Fall awards banquet our athletic director made a comment that the worst behaved parents are always at the soccer games.  Doug and I laughed about that as we thought there were a lot of sports where parents get out of control and soccer wasn't at the top of our list.  Obviously, we were wrong and were proved so this fall season.

Last week at the high school girls game our athletic director, Wik, had to toss an opposing team's father for screaming at and threatening our scorekeeper.  All the woman did was ask his daughter to close the gate behind her and to stop walking near the field during the game.  When the girl blew the scorekeeper off she touched her arm to get her attention and everything blew up from there.

Meg and I weren't at the game to witness this incident and Doug was coaching, so all of the information we were given was secondhand.  We were there tonight and were able to witness firsthand Wik's ability to clear out unruly fans.  A Northridge player received a red card early in the game that led to a penalty kick goal for Wawasee.  Twenty minutes later one of the parents was still yelling at the ref about it.  Wik went over and asked the crowd to refrain from yelling, the play was over and they needed to calm down.  One of the parents just went crazy screaming at him.  The next thing I heard was Wik's voice beaming, "You're going to talk to me like that?"  He kicked her out of the game as well as several others around her.  They didn't go quietly, however, and the resource officer at our school had to escort them out.  We all sat in disbelief.  I had been enjoying watching Doug's team and talking to the parents of his players.  There are some that are loud, but not belligerent.

After tonight I kept wondering how it will be for Doug's crowd next year.  Meg's middle school team has a lot of screaming parents.  They yell at the girls and the refs.  Most of the time they do not even have a clue what they are yelling.  It has made the games awful to sit at.  Since the parents are doing it, the girls have started in at each other as well.  It has made for an unpleasant and unsupportive atmosphere.  I hope all of this settles down before next year.  Doug hasn't had much drama from his team and I sure would hate to see that end.  At least I know that our AD takes it seriously and hopefully we won't have to listen to it next fall.  Screaming at children never make them play better.  I wish everyone could see that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let Her Go

I have been listening to the song Let Her Go quite a bit lately.  The lyrics are touching and the melody is slow and easy to listen to.  I do not know the group's intention when they wrote or performed this song.  It could be a loss of love or regrets in life.

I listen to this song, however, and believe  that it speaks to the heart of being a parent.  I think that from the moment we become parents we are constantly letting go.  We let go of their hands as they start to walk.  We hug them goodbye on the first day of school.  We watch as they go to their first movie with friends or drive away for the first time.

I listen to friends talk of what they believe the ultimate letting go is - sending a child off to college.  I know that it is such a sad time for most, but I just can't relate.  I think that every time we let a child go we encourage them to be who they want to be. Parents are the support system and letting go tells a child that they are loved and believed in.

To me there is a greater meaning to letting go than just watching a child start a life outside of our home.  That is what this song has made me think of lately.  It is the parent that has to "Let Her Go" forever.   I cannot imagine the loss of a child and this song makes me remember that my Mom, my neighbor and my cousin  all let their children go home to God.   So when I hear these lyrics, I say a little prayer for those mothers whose lives were changed forever, and I appreciate even more that letting go of the Heinisch children for Doug and I just means "I'll see you soon."

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why

'Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missin' home
Only know you love her when you let her go

And you let her go

Monday, September 22, 2014

Catching Up

For the first time in a long time I feel as though there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We got a lot done yesterday at home and today I was able to catch up on all of my grading.  By the time I left for Cal's match I felt pretty good about everything.  It has been several months since I have felt this way.  Everything has been a rush of business since we got back from Michigan with the garage sale, Doug's Mom, school starting, soccer, tennis, and Brett returning to IU.  I know that we never really slow down, but it is nice not to feel as stressed about my to do list.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Church Picnic

Today was our annual church picnic.  Cam and Meg said it is their favorite church event of the year.  This one was no exception.  After the cookout Cam and Meg headed straight to the games.  Cam was the first winner taking the prize of a two liter of Rootbeer.  Meg was able to ring a large bottle of Dr. Pepper and then Cam and Doug tried their luck at cornhole.  The big game of the day was the cakewalk.  Meg won first bringing home a delicious chocolate cake and Cam finally stopped on a winner as well taking the pumpkin pie.

The highlight of the party was the illusionist.  Every year the Knights come up with a magician for all to enjoy.  This one had a lot to live up to and met all of their expectations.  Once the party ended Doug took them all to piano.  It was a fun afternoon for all.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Day Off

For the first time since July Doug had a Saturday off from soccer.  There were no scheduled games and he told his players that they could take a break from practice too.  It sounds like they all decided to hang out together anyway with plans to eat dinner at one of their homes and watch the Grace College girls play.

We were thankful for Doug's day off and used it to spend the time together.  Cal had a tennis invitational in Merrillville.  Cam and Meg agreed to ride along.  We watched all three of his matches with him winning two to finish in fourth place.  We were all pleased with that, especially since he got off to a slow start.

Once Cal was finished we headed to South Lake Mall.  Cam bought his first pair of Vans.  They are red and match his "Hoosiers" jacket.  Meg tried some on, but didn't like the arches in them.  I had to stop at Yankee Candle and found the most adorable Halloween set of bottle candle holders with spider bases.  They all gave me a hard time saying "You can't go in there without buying anything."  In the end, however, they had to admit that the bottles looked great on our table.

After shopping we stopped in Valparaiso to play mini-golf.  It was a unique course with a large dragon facing the highway.  We realized once we got started that it looked ominous to the West.  Luckily, the rain hit just as we got on the road.  It definitely was a strong storm.  At one point we finally had to pull over.  My iPhone was reporting 70 mile an hour winds with hail.  Doug did a great job driving.  We only saw one slide off, a couple of errant garbage cans and several trees down.

All of us were relieved when we made it to Buffalo Wild Wings in Warsaw.  Cal's group ate in Merrillville and made it home safely ahead of us.  Our power was out for a couple of hours, but no serious damage.  We greatly appreciated Doug's time with us.  His season is drawing to an end, so it won't be long and we will be able to spend even more time together.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Quiet Evening

Cal and Meg were home after practice and dressed for lumberjack night at the high school football game.  Wawasee played Northwood, so the thought behind the theme was to "split the wood."  It must have worked as Wawasee won in a down to the wire thriller.

Cam wanted to go to Mom and Dad's.  He is not much into football, so he had no desire to go.  Cam and Dad played an alternate shot for nine holes and a scramble for the rest.  They had a great time.  After that Cam watched two of his new Halloween favorites with them - Toy Story Terror and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  We had watched it earlier this week and really enjoyed both.  Cam couldn't stop quoting the hedgehog in Toy Story or laughing at the girl dancing with Brah Bones in Sleepy Hollow.

Since all of the Heinisch children were busy, Doug and I decided to go to Lucchese's for dinner.  We hadn't been there in quite awhile and we really enjoyed it.  I always enjoy spending time with Doug.  We were back in time to pick up Cal and Meg from the game.  They obviously had a great time as Cal had even lost his voice.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Cal came home from tennis practice last night feeling sick.  His sinuses were killing him and his body ached all over.  We filled him with Singulair, Ibuprofen and Benadryl.  I wasn't sure that he would make it to school today, but he did.  He texted me afterward saying that he needed a long sleeve shirt for his match.  Knowing that it was 80 degrees and he was still cold I figured that there was no way he would play.  I was bummed for him as his match was against Elkhart Memorial, one of the weaker teams in the NLC.  I thought he would be able to win tonight if he felt 100%.  Doug ran home to get him a shirt before his soccer game and I headed to the courts after dropping Meg off at soccer practice.

Cal was warming up wearing a long sleeve shirt, his tennis shirt, shorts and his tennis warm ups.  I gave him his drinks and I heard his coach ask him if he was playing.  Cal instantly said, "I'm good."  The match started off very slow for Cal.  He missed shots he normally would have made and wasn't moving very well.  I prepared myself for a loss.  I felt disappointed for Cal.  I know he wanted to compete, but just wasn't physically able.

Cal lost the first set 6-2.  Jayce and Parker hung out with me in the upper deck hoping he would be able to play better, but knowing that he looked like he might not even be able to finish.  All of a sudden Parker said, "Can't you see that?  There is blood all over."  As far away as we were I had no idea he had a horrible nose bleed.  The manager ran downstairs to help him clean up.  There was blood all over his face, shirt and hands.

The coaches asked him if he could continue, and he said he could.  The second set started off much as the first, but at 0-3 something inside of Cal came alive.  He started hitting winners where he was missing before.  Serves fell in and Cal started moving to the ball better.  He rallied in that second set and before I knew it, he was in a tie break for the second set.  Everyone that had been watching with me had left by that point - Parker and Jayce had to go home for dinner, Dad and Cameron went to Meg's game, and Amanda headed over to the volleyball game.  I texted everyone to give them an update - Cal was heading into the third set.  His coach told him to take a ten minute break as that is allowed by the USTA rules, and Cal grabbed a drink.

As the third set marched on Cal and his opponent remained on serve.  Cal would stop in between points to bend over just to catch his breath and bide some time.  The Elkhart Memorial team started to chant loudly after each point trying to pump up their teammate.  This gave the sophomores, juniors and two of the seniors an incentive to gather by the fence surrounding Cal's court.  All other matches had finished and once again all eyes were on Cal.  Cal's fan support grew louder and louder as the points grew more intense.  Finally, Cal broke the Chargers serve and he was up a game at 5-4.  Cal's friends remained ever faithful and when the last point fell in his favor everyone cheered and charged the court.

I have never been more impressed with a high school student's determination.  Cal willed himself to stay in the match even though his body wanted him to quit.  I was incredibly proud of him.  As I snapped a picture of the group surrounding him on the court I could see a broad grin on his face.  It was his moment and he deserved the accolades.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Coming Up with a Plan

Last Spring I was really struggling to make it through the week.  Most weekends I would cry as I was just so sad and tired.  I was never really sure what was making me feel this way, but Doug and I decided that I did not want to feel this way forever.  Thus, we have been working together on a solution.  I have found out a lot about myself these past few months and what to do when I feel sad or anxious.  Although I am not a 100% , I do feel a lot better.  Meg and Doug have both noticed a big difference.  There are still bad days, but they are a lot farther apart.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cupcake Wars

Last spring my 8th graders had a free day and several of them wanted to watch Cupcake Wars in my classroom.  I had heard of it, but have never watched an entire episode.  Predicting a winner brought on some lively debate and by the end of the episode we were hooked.  Two of my students challenged me next year to let my 8th graders have a Cupcake War of their own.

I thought a lot about it this summer and decided why not.  There is actually no war to speak of.  Instead the contestants are trying to impress the judges with their baking talents.  There are three rounds and the prize for the winner is $10,000.  I had to modify the "war" to fit the timeframe and standards for my class.  I decided that a day of planning, a day of baking and a final day with 30 minutes of decorating would give them the feeling of being in a Cupcake War.  I also gave them parameters of what I would purchase (the cake mix and frosting ingredients).  Anything else they would have to come up with.

I wasn't sure what would happen as we started this adventure.  My current eighth grade group is not the one I would have chosen to start with.  They are a large class (25 students) and have several that struggle to stay on task.  Overall, I was extremely impressed with the outcome.  The groups stayed busy and focused for the most part.  They had a lot of great ideas.  The office staff, Paula, Debbi, Mr. Larson and I were judges.  Meg and I each guessed which group would be the winners.  I am happy to say that I picked it from the beginning.  All of the cupcakes turned out pretty well.  Two of the groups tried something new - melted chocolate center for one and creme brulee frosting for another.  Neither hit the mark, but I was impressed with their effort.

Days like today make it a lot of fun to be a teacher.  We tried a new approach and it worked plus the students learned something in the meantime.  Everyday does not end this way, but it was a good one none the same.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday, Monday

Monday is by far the hardest day of the week to get up for.  No matter how much I sleep I just feel like I am tired on Monday mornings.  Everything is moving in slow motion.  There is always a lot to get done for school and for the Heinisch children.  Once the day gets going, however, it gets better.  I still wish I was a stay at home Mom, but I know that my working is helping our family.  Brett will not leave college with any debt and that will make his life so much easier.  I do not work just for the money, but sometimes that is what helps me make it through.  I have adopted the philosophy of Day by Day.  If I focus too much on tomorrow and all there is to do, I just get overwhelmed.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Buffalo Wild Wings

tToday all of us were able to hit up one of our favorite restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings.  The Heinisch family's love of this restaurant started back when Doug and I were both students at IU.  There was a BW-3's within walking distance of campus and we both enjoyed going.  Back then Doug was more adventurous in his eating and tried the Wild wings.  Now we have our "use" as Meg would say.

Since school started we have decided to make it our Sunday night treat.  None of us are excited to start the work/school week, so we thought we would do something together the night before.  Cal does not join us, but today he did make it to Buffalo Wild Wings with his friends as well.  Tonight the four of us enjoyed delicious food and some great conversation a lot of which centered around Snap Chat and Meg's hilarious question on the way over.  After reading Cameron's golf card, she asked, "Who is Putts?"  Almost instantaneously she realized her error and we all had a great time coming up with a fictional last name for "Putts" Grandpa's new golf buddy.  I am still not looking forward to Monday, but it doesn't seem quite so bad now.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Today was a typical Saturday for the Heinisch family.  Doug had soccer in the afternoon.  Today's match was in Culver, so it was a longer day than normal.  I took advantage of the time to finish cleaning Cal's room.  Last weekend was spent getting Cameron's in order.  Now we have Cal's cleaned and ready to go.  I did find 13 water bottles under his bed and there was a lot of dust, but within four hours it was done.  Meg kept me company while I cleaned.  We watched the Disney version of the Little House on the Prairie series.  Meg was also able to get her room dusted and vacuumed as well.

Cal played in a golf tournament today in Peru.  It didn't end as well as we thought it would when we signed him up in August.  I am sure he was disappointed, but it is hard to play two sports at once.  It was nice that he and Dad got to spend the day together.  We ended the evening by playing BINGO to support the tennis team.  Doug worked and Jody went with me to play.  She and I sat with the Fretz's.  Jody and Joe both won.  I was the big loser once again.  In all of the years that I have played BINGO, I have never won.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Bruin Club

Tonight Cameron decided to try the Bruin Club.  It is sponsored by Bethany Christian.  They invite students who may be interested in attending their school to an evening of fun to get to know the school and other children a little better.  I wasn't sure how Cameron would like it.  He has liked all of the other camps he has tried there, so we thought we would give it a try.

I was thrilled to find out that he loved it.  They played several outdoor tag type games, such as frogs and flies.  He is more than interested in attending next month's technology night.  I don't know what the future holds for Cameron academically, but at least it is nice to know that he has options.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One Long Evening

Both Cal and Meg had matches at Northridge tonight.  We thought that would work out perfectly.  Mom and Dad rode over with us and we were poised for a competitive tennis match.  In a strategic move, Coach Rhodes moved Cal to Singles #3 and the Northridge coach moved his number 2 player to the third position as well.  We pulled up to the courts which led to the memorable comment from my Dad, "Are we going to have to watch through a fence?"  Cam pointed out the obvious to him as all tennis matches are viewed through a fence.  Just as Cal and his opponent took to the court the rain started.

The boys headed to the shelter and we drove the short distance to Meg's game.  Northridge is a powerhouse in girls soccer.  We knew it would be a tough game for the girls.  When the halftime whistle blew it was 7-0 the Raiders favor, so we decided to drive back over to see what tennis was up to.  The boys had started once again and Cal and his opponent were in a heated rally.  We stayed for the first set and then headed back to soccer.  The girls lost 8-0.  Meg said she was humiliated.  I hope she wasn't.  They have a great program - girls were one touch passing and held their positions well.  Meg could play on that team, but I am not sure her team had the experience or knowledge to play with them.

We made it back for Cal's second set.  He lost the first 6-2, but it was a closer than the score showed.  All of the other courts, except for one doubles, were all ready decided in Northridge's favor.  Cal rallied for almost two hours, but did end up losing in the second set 6-4.  It was great to see him play such a competitive match.  We left Middlebury around 8 p.m. which was close to an hour later than we thought we would.  Everyone was tired and hungry on the way home.  It was long evening, but one that I enjoyed being part of.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down . . .

On days like today all I can think of is Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.  That was a favorite of all of the Heinisch children.  They would watch it over and over.  It must have been a favorite of other families as well as Walt Disney World added a Pooh ride revolving around that story.  I know that on a day such as this I would love to grab an umbrella and float down the river as Pooh and Piglet did singing a catchy little tune.

The rain did come down today, but instead of Pooh and Piglet it felt a  little more like an Eeyore kind of day - gloomy and dark.  Doug's soccer game with Whitko was postponed which was disappointing as it is a game the girls have a good chance of winning.  One positive, however,  was that this is the first time in a long time that we were all home with no obligations.  Doug was able to make his famous macaroni and cheese and we finally had time to finish The Order of the Phoenix with Cameron.

The rain will stop by tomorrow's matches and games.  Our day will be hectic and busy once again.  For now I will be Christopher Robin and just see the positives of the day.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Paw Paw

Today would have been my Paw Paw's birthday.  Even after seven year there are still so many times that I wish that I could call him or stop by just to listen to his stories.  I have questions that I would love to ask him about his childhood, my childhood or just everyday advice.  The best parts of my youth were spent in his garage listening and learning.  Everyone thought he was a man of little words, but they were wrong.  He just had to be interested in what was being discussed and needed a quiet, attentive audience.

Doug reminds me of my Grandpa in many ways.  He too is quiet, but has quite a bit to say if you listen.  He is passionate about his family and ever patient.  He gives great advice, but doesn't chide you if you do not follow it.  He is strong and dependable, just like Crap Pa was.  

This weekend when Doug said to me, "Northern is playing Northwestern and my first thought was to call my Mom."   I understood exactly what he meant.  Still so much to say and ask, but the answers will have to wait.  Glad that we have each other to keep their memories alive.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No Words

My cousin, Jeannette, found out this weekend that the twin girls she was carrying had both died.  She was close to twenty weeks along and was so looking forward to their birth.  Although she has two adult sons from her husband's first marriage, these are the first children of both her and Mike's together. 

Words cannot express how horrible I feel for Jeannette.  I cannot imagine the sadness of giving birth to two beautiful little girls that will not be making the trip home.  Jeannette has a wonderful, supportive husband and a family that loves her, but I realize it is still going to be tough.  There are no words that will erase the pain she feels, although, I wish there were.  As a bystander all I can do is pray that in time she finds peace and knows that she is truly loved.  I would not wish the pain she feels on anyone, but especially not on such a sweet, caring person. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Rooms

For the first time in a long Cal and Cam both have their own rooms.  We spent all day today making that happen.  Brett had a lot of books and memorabilia in his room for us to move.  We transferred a lot of it to an empty bookcase in Cal's room and put most of his high school mementos in tubs for him to look through later.  He was appreciative of that as Brett realized that he had a lot of "stuff" in a small space.  He wasn't quite sure where to start.

Cam played golf this afternoon while Doug and I finished up the transfer.  He was thrilled when he returned.  There were only a few pictures to sort through and he and I were able to put everything up.  Cam has shared a room with Cal for at least four years.  He was ready to be on his own.  They have different sleeping hours and sound requirements.  Thus, they both should sleep a lot better.

Tonight as I was thinking about the last time Cam had his own room I realized that Cal has not had his own room since he was two.  That is when we gave Meg his room and moved him in with Brett.  Cal has never once complained about sharing a room with either of his brothers.  I am sure in his mind he is still sharing it with one as we moved Brett's clothes into his closet and books on his shelves.  Next weekend I will finish cleaning "their" room.  I think he will enjoy having his own space as well.  If not, I am sure one of his friends would love to share it with him until Brett returns.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Night Out

It was another busy day in the Heinisch home.  Cal had an all day tennis tournament at the high school.  The team did not fare as well as in years past. Cal has to always play the best of the best and it can get frustrating at times.  He definitely has improved this year.  I don't know if he can see that.  The players he is up against are tough.  Most play year round.  He did well, just couldn't get the win.

Doug had a soccer game in Goshen.  He also lost.  I am proud of Doug for not becoming frustrated.  He always sees the positive and is hopeful for a win against their next opponent - Whitko - on Wednesday night.  He and his soccer girls were asked to work the football game again, but Doug and I already had dinner reservations at Chops Wine Bar in Fort Wayne.  We had not been out in quite awhile with everything that has been happening in the Heinisch family.  Doug agreed to work for an hour and a half.  Nine of his soccer girls were able to help as well.

Doug and I had a very enjoyable evening.  We talked about everything that has been happening and all that we have going on in the next couple of weeks.  It was so nice to spend time with him.  I love having him all to myself even if it is only for a short period of time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Black Out

What a busy Friday it was for the Heinisch family.  Meg started the day off with the Camp Mack challenge.  During it the students run a two mile path through the woods of Camp Mack.  Meg finished a very respectable 20th overall.  I had a great morning working the challenge.  I was the one who told them which way to run when they met the fork in the path.  It was hot - close to 95, but most of the students were had a great time.

Next on the agenda was Cam's attendance at Braxton's birthday party after school.  He had a fantastic time playing games with his friends and making his own pizza.  He has such a great group of friends.  After I picked up Cameron I took Meg to the high school football game.  It  was supposed to be a night of rivalry and fun.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate as the storms hit right before the game was to start keeping the crowds out until the lightning strikes ended.

Cal and his friends took advantage of the theme "Black Out" to paint their entire bodies and write GET$ in gold on top of their "black" chests.  I know they had a great time waiting in line with all of their body painted friends.  After the lightning and storms started they moved the students into the gym for safety reasons.  That just added to the fun of the evening.

I was at home with Cam and Evan.  Neither of them had any desire to go to the game.  Meg was so excited to go as most of her friends had plans on attending.  As no one knew when the weather would subside or the game would start, Meg hung out with Doug and his soccer team.  They were to sell concessions, but instead perused the crowd looking to unload some of the popcorn that had already been made.

The night didn't end as everyone had planned, but the Heinisch children seemed to have a lot of fun anyway.  I may have not gotten everything done that I had planned, but it was a lot of fun watching Cal and his friends paint one another and listen to Meg and Cam talk about the evening.  The game has been rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  We will see what that change will bring.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Everything is Awesome!!

Tonight Meg scored the winning goal in the first ever Wawasee middle school soccer win.  The girls played Goshen and it was a close game that went down to the wire.  Meg was fantastic and everyone was cheering for her.  The team looks for her to score.  She had several opportunities and so many awesome passes.  I am thrilled for her.  She deserved to be the hero.  She has worked hard this year.  Several of her teammates have really improved as well.  That only bodes well for the girls high school soccer team.  I can't wait to see her play for Doug.

I was excited for Doug as well tonight.  Not very many people realize how much work he had to put into making this middle school team a reality.  I remember two summers ago him leaving work to sit in the Goshen middle school athletic office to ensure that he met with the athletic director's secretary before she left for summer.  The school wasn't too sure about adding Wawasee to their schedule.  They thought that our school would not be competitive enough for them.  I am thrilled that Doug persevered and that Meg proved them all wrong.  What an awesome night it was!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Brett's Good News!

Brett called this afternoon as I was walking out of school.  He had met with his advisor at IU and wanted to give me an update.  The first item on his agenda was studying abroad.  He can or cannot study abroad for his major and there are many opportunities for him to do so during the summer.  He has a plan to meet with the study abroad program in the next couple of weeks to see what he needs to do to make this dream come true.

The second item was not as pressing for him, but one he had questions about.  He would like to get a minor and wasn't sure if he would be able to do so easily.  The good news is that he already has enough credits to get a minor in global communications.  This led into discussion on his third question - when can he graduate? He and I had hoped that he would be able to graduate a semester early.  We were both thrilled to find out that he can actually graduate in May of 2016, which is an entire year early.

Brett still has to figure out if he wants to work right away and what career placement help IU will provide.  He has talked about going to law school, but is now thinking that he may want to work first for a political action group instead.  Either way I know he will do well.  I have been impressed with his work ethic.  That alone will take him far in life.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No Sleep

Last night I could not sleep, because I had so much on my mind.  I love teaching, but all of the changes to the curriculum have left the first couple of weeks unsettling for me.  I know many people flourish in an unstructured environment, but I just don't.  I feel in teaching that everything has to be planned.   Otherwise, the classroom is chaos.  I am always flexible with my students and I realize that sometimes situations change quickly, but this has been more than that.  I am not asking for rigidity, just an organized plan.  Thus, I was completely frazzled and just didn't think I could teach today.

I did make it through first period, however.  They are a great class to start the day with.  That really helped.  I also brainstormed with two other teachers to see what we could do to bring more structure to our day.  After that I was able to breathe a little, and the day went by as I had planned.  I felt that I had a better handle on my teaching objectives.  I also spent some time at recess with Cameron and that really helped.

The rest of the day went well even though I was running on only three hours of sleep.  Cameron and I went to Cal's tennis match where we watched him destroy his opponent 6-0 and 6-1.  Last year he had had an epic three hour match with the same player from Whitko.  Cal was markedly better than him this year.  I thought that was awesome to see.

Meg had a soccer game as well tonight.  Mom and Dad went to that one.  They lost 6-1, but Meg felt pretty good about it.  Another player scored the goal and Meg said that was fun to see.  She had to take a turn as goalie and felt that one of the goals she let in she should have stopped.  It has been six months since she played goalie, so I know she was rusty, but overall she had fun.

I was definitely wiped out by 9:15 tonight.  I still had laundry and such to get in the washer.  It was nice to make it through the day.  Didn't think I could make it when my alarm went off at 6:15 a.m. this morning.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Cam was up ready for some creek sliding today at Cascades Park.  Meg tried a couple of turns with him.  They each had garbage bags that they sat on and slide down the embankment into the creek.  Meg said that it was cold, but Cam kept it up for over an hour.  Once Meg was done sliding, we discussed Harry Potter and our favorite characters.

Meg wanted to stop at TIS today and look for an IU workout shirt.  We couldn't find what she wanted, but we did get a couple of other IU items that we needed.  Brett and Parce joined us at Crazy Horse for lunch.  It is only a couple of blocks from his apartment.  We all liked the food and it is a good alternative to our usual stops.  We said our goodbyes and were on the road by 1:30.

The trip home seemed especially long today.  I think that is because none of us were ready to return to the real world.  It was a fun weekend and a great end of the summer trip.