Friday, October 31, 2014


Tonight was an enjoyable Halloween for all in the Heinisch family.  Meg and Cameron went trick or treating with the Fitzgerald children for the fifth+ year in a row.  This year's co-ordinating theme was Star Wars.  Meg was Princess Leia, Cam was Obi-Wan Kenobi, Brooklyn was Darth Vader, Avery was Jango Fett and Shane was Luke Skywalker.  They made a great picture and got a lot of compliments on Facebook.  

Cal decided to get in on the action tonight as well.  He, Parker, Harrison and Jayce all headed out at 6 in whatever costume they could scrounge together.  Cal was a skinny Fat Albert, Jayce had the head of Patrick Star, Parker was a ghost and Harrison a baseball player.  The boys made it a little farther than Meg's group.  They not only hit our neighborhood and Fox Run, but also went to Wawasee Heights.  Both groups made it farther than I thought they would as the weather was not as cooperative as in the past.  The rain did clear, but it started to snow at 5:30.  

The weather didn't dampen their spirits, however, and all were back at our house trading candy by 8 p.m.  Brett called several times and had a great Halloween as well.  He met Parce for lunch and then went to see Blackula at the IU cinema.  Doug and I enjoyed the night also ending it with the movie "Psycho."  Halloween is a great holiday to enjoy with family and friends no matter your age.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Basketball officially started for the Heinisch family this week.  Cal began conditioning on Monday after school and Meg had AAU practice both Tuesday and Thursday night.  The girls' head basketball coach asked us to attend his practices this week, so that we could watch what he would like for the girls to learn.  It was helpful to me and so far AAU has gone well.  I have five players from Milford on the team.  That will really help us as they will learn the offense and get in extra practice.

I am apprehensive about Cal playing, however.  I know that he loves basketball and his teammates.  Last season was a rough one with his injury, however.  I don't want it to be like that for him again.  I will keep good thoughts going his way and hopefully this year will be everything that he wants it to be.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Smart Start

Every Wednesday we start school a half hour later, so that teachers can attend meetings.  The school has labeled Wednesdays as Smart Start and I know that the original idea was a good one.  The state took away the ability for schools to have half day teacher work days once a month and Smart Start was the next best alternative.

I struggle with Wednesdays, however.  I am not a meeting person, so sitting for an hour is extremely hard for me.  I also feel like my day starts a little off as I don't have any time in the morning to get ready for my classes.  Some of my students like Wednesdays as they get to sleep in.  Others still have to come to school at the regular time since their parents work.  That makes their day feel long indeed.

I wish I had an easy solution for teacher work days.  Until I do I will meet on Wednesdays and be happy that I can use the hours for professional development time in renewing my license.  Cameron loves it as he gets to sleep in and spend the night at my Mom's every Tuesday night.  That will be enough for now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A New Baby Boy

I co-teach with the special needs teacher in my seventh block math class.  We have worked out a great system and I believe that the students are really starting to grasp some of the challenging algebra concepts.  It also feels like we have become one big happy family.  I have several students who tell me that it is their favorite class of the day.  I have to admit that I enjoy it as well.  We watch Schmoop on math and work on problems together.  There are times that all of us get frustrated as it can get pretty challenging, but overall we usually walk out of seventh block happy and with a little more knowledge.

Yesterday at the end of class we spent a couple of minutes talking to Mrs. Blauvelt about the upcoming birth of her second child, a boy.  She was due on November 6th, but was hoping to go a little early.  Today she got her wish and welcomed a son early this morning.  I was so happy for her.  All is well with both she and her son.  I was sad, however, for our class.  We have really come to rely on her and it will be an adjustment with her gone.  We will survive and I know that the time will go by fast.  I am thrilled that her daughter now has a brother and her family is complete.  "Slope" can wait for her to return.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Doug's Family

Doug talked to his Dad this weekend.  I realize from their conversations that it has been really hard for Carl these past few months.  I had never really thought much about life in the Heinisch family after Jeanette's death.  We were so focused on making sure that everyone visited her and hoping that she would feel up to having visitors when we were there that we never talked about what would happen now.

I wish I had great words of advice for Doug, the Heinisch children or Carl, but I don't.  Losing someone you love is tough and there is no easy way to get through it.  Time makes it a little easier to deal with, but it can never erase the pain.  I am thankful for the time we had with Jeanette.  It wasn't enough, but she created so many memories with our family that we will have stories to tell for years to come.  For now I think Meg has the best advice, "When I get really sad Mom, I just try to think of something else.  I can still hear her voice and I like to think about that and the blanket we made.  Those were the happy times."

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Meg and Doug arrived around 8:30 a.m. this morning from DC.  They had a great time and Meg talked of nothing else.  She really liked the Holocaust Museum and the cruise.  I believe those were two of Cal and Brett's favorites as well.  She bought a wonderful picture of her and her group of friends boarding the cruise ship on the Potomac and a dog tag from the museum. She had texted me several times on the trip to let me know that she didn't want to come home.

Meg was sure that she wasn't tired and didn't plan on taking a nap.  By 11 a.m., however, the weekend had caught up with her and she was out.  I tried to wake her several times, but she wasn't moving.  Doug finally got her to get up and shower around 2 p.m. Brooklyn and Avery were at Teresa's so that kept her busy and awake the rest of the afternoon.   She did buy a purple DC sweatshirt that she is looking forward to wearing tomorrow.  It was an awesome weekend.  I am glad to have Doug and Meg home, but sad that Fall Break is over.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Movie Night

Cam and I got a lot done here today.  We were able to clean the guinea pig cages, the hermit crab cage, rake some leaves, wash three loads of laundry, buy groceries, and get him a new pumpkin.  I think we had the most fun with the pigs and the leaves.  We kept them outside while we cleaned the cages.  They loved eating the grass and checking out the leaves.  Cam had a pile big enough to jump in by the end of the afternoon.  The leaves are falling so fast that tomorrow we won't even be able to see where he raked.

Cal went with Alex to Fort Wayne to watch one of their friends run in the cross country semi-state.  They wanted to go to volleyball sectional semi-finals too, but they were at the same time.  After that he went to Cameron Adams' to watch football.

Tonight Cam and I went to the movie uptown.  It was Alexander and the horrible, no good, terrible, very bad day - based on the book of the same name.  We weren't sure what we would think of it, but we both really liked it.  After that movie we came home and started The Phantom Menace.  It was a great night for a movie night.

Meg and Doug left DC around 10.  They went to Mount Vernon today and tonight had a cruise along the Potomac River. They both texted when they left, but very different messages.  Doug was happy to be returning and Meg would love to stay.  Cam and I are glad they are coming home, but wish Fall Break was a lot longer.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Zoo Boo

Cam and I slept in this morning.  We were still talking about how much fun the haunted house was.  I even woke up in the middle of the night and swore I heard someone banging on the front door.  I had a haircut appointment this afternoon and Cal and Cam went to the doctor.  They both needed flu shots and Cal had to check in with Dr. Mulry about his medicine.  It seems to be working very well.  He will stay on the same dosage and just take it once a day in the morning.  That will be a lot easier with basketball starting.  I am happy that he is feeling so much better.

Parker, Jayce and Alex came over to play basketball and get ready for the football game.  Mom, Dad and I headed to South Bend to try trick or treating at the Potawatomi Zoo.  It was a long line to get in, but once we did we had a great time.  There were a lot of candy booths set up and Cam and Grandpa rode the haunted train.  Cameron dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi and the light from his light saber came in handy.  There were only a couple of animals out tonight, but we did enjoy the camel, lion and fish.
After trick or treating we stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  We were able to get a table as we were there later than normal.  We followed the football game on Twitter.  Wawasee lost in a controversial last second call.  That ended their season as this was the opening round of sectionals.  Cal and his friends played poker at McDonalds afterward.

We were home by ten tonight.  Cam and I were both exhausted.  Doug texted us several times today.  They went to Arlington, the Newseum, the Holocaust museum and toured the monuments at night.  Meg does not want the trip to end.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Children's Museum

Cam, Mom and I headed to the Indianapolis Children's Museum early this morning.  The trip was a little harrowing as it was extremely foggy and there was a train stuck in Sidney.  We found a way around it but traveled a little slower than normal.  We were there by 11:30.

Our first stop at the museum was the Dinosphere where we saw a dinosaur named Draconex Hogwartsia.  As we are halfway through Deathly Hallows Part 2 right now we thought that was really cool.  I bought us tickets to the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit, so that was our next visit.  I wasn't sure how much we would like it, but we were all completely impressed.  Cameron learned a lot about ancient China and he was able to mold his own warrior out of clay.  There were replica puzzles that we could work on and computer modules to paint our own horses.  We spent at least forty-five minutes in the exhibit and thoroughly enjoyed it.

We checked out the mummies next and then went to the planetarium to investigate the skies over Ancient China.  Cameron really liked this part as well.  We had lunch in the food court and then spent some time in the Science Works area.  That part is always the most crowded as everyone seems to enjoy building their own boats or damns and watching the pool ball machine.

Cameron wanted to check out the gift store before we left.  He found a really neat ball that changed color by flipping inside out when it is tossed in the air.  My Mom bought that for him and I got him two Terra Cotta Warrior replicas.  We also found a shirt with our new favorite dinosaur on it.

The last stop was the Haunted House.  We went several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This one was just as good.  The "ghouls" would follow Cameron around and then scream when we would least expect it.  It was so funny.  My Mom said she enjoyed watching us more than anything.  It was definitely scary, but no so scary that we couldn't handle it.

Our trip home was a lot less eventful.  We tried a new route and except for a couple of miles of construction it was great.  Cal got home a little bit after we did.  He and his friends went to the girls volleyball sectional.  Wawasee won in an exciting fifth set.  The boys all stayed here for awhile playing poker.

We heard from Doug and Meg tonight.  They made it to Gettysburg and DC today.  One of the busses had a small fender bender and the hotel messed up the room keys.  Other than those two glitches everything went well.  Meg texted me several times to tell me about all of the fun that she is having.  I am glad that she likes it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Break

Meg and Doug are off to DC!! The bus left at 8 p.m.  They were both and ready to go several hours before that!  Meg was so excited.  All she kept saying in the van on the way there was "I've been waiting for this day since I was in second grade when Brett got to go.  I never thought it would come!!"  She made plans to sit with Kaitlin on the bus and had a full backpack full of snacks and necessities for the bus ride.  She is concerned about sleeping on the bus, but I think she will be fine.  

Doug was almost as happy to be going as Meg.  He had his reading material ready and joked about falling asleep at 9:30 and watching Gettysburg the entire trip out.  I am so happy that Doug is going.  Cal and Brett have such found memories of their trip and I know Meg will too.  It is awesome that he gets to be a part of it.  Him being there also alleviates all of my anxiety in sending the Heinisch children on such a big trip.  

Tonight Cam and I are starting our Fall Break with Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows.  Cal is spending a quiet evening at home as well.  We are looking forward to just enjoying some downtime.  I already have everything graded for school and don't have to think about that until Monday morning at 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Today we found out that a teacher was very critical of one of the Heinisch children's behavior in front of his/her friends.  I was very disappointed to learn that this teacher never took my child aside to explain his frustrations.  Instead he did the cowardly thing and ripped on him/her instead.

I am concerned that this happened.  We do not try to control our children's behavior, but we would take any criticisms of them serious.  When I asked this teacher at conferences about my child's behavior in the class, I was told that there were no problems at all.  I know the Heinisch children are not perfect.  I would have prefered to hear this teacher's truthful opinion rather than being lied too and had my child be talked about behind his/her back.

I believe that teachers like these give all teachers a bad rap.  Students have a hard enough time trusting adults.  Bullies in the teacher world exist and they just make it even harder for students to believe in them.  We will have to follow up on this after Fall Break.  For now we will just take notes, ask questions, and help our child handle this adversity.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Grandma Jane's and Grandpa Cutes'

Lately, I have noticed that at least one of the Heinisch children spend the night at Grandma Jane's and Grandpa Cutes' several nights a week.  Last year it was primarily on Tuesday nights or the weekend.  This year, however, it can be any night of the week.  Sometimes there is a reason  - a dentist appointment - for example.  Other times it is just for fun.  

Right now the usual visitors are Cameron or Cal, but last night Meg asked to stay over.  She wasn't feeling the best and wanted to sleep in before coming to school for her digital citizenship final.  As I talked to my Mom today about it I realized how much they appreciated spending time with just Meg.  She is the one who asks the least and if they boys are there she does her own thing.  Last night my parents were able to visit with her, catch up on her feelings about Grandma Heinisch and just hang out.  

I am glad that Meg stayed.  All too soon she will be extremely busy and her time will be much more limited.  The memories that all of the Heinisch children have made with Grandma Jane and Grandpa Cutes will last a lifetime.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Gathering at Five Medals

Cam and I are still talking about his field trip on Friday to the Gathering at Five Medals.  I was lucky enough to be able to arrange a half day off and go with him.  Neither of us were sure what to expect as it was a reenactment of settlers life from the 18th century.  We were not disappointed, however, as we learned about animals that were indigenous to Indiana in that time period, the difference between a rifle and musket, toys of that time period, and how to fire a cannon.

I was in charge of a group of four boys and we had the best time walking from camp to camp.  They were all enthusiastic and attentive during the presentations.  Cam bought a lucky rabbit's foot, a bear claw necklace, and a ring toss toy that they all enjoyed the last half hour of the day.  The boys bought some rock candy and I bought them some kettle corn.

The field trip was a great experience for me.  I don't get to do a lot with Cameron by himself and it was fun to see him interact with his friends.  He asked some great questions and learned a lot.  The bus ride home was quick and we were back to school by lunch.  It was a short trip, but a lot a wonderful time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Burial

Today Meg, Cam, Doug and I headed to DeKalb for Jeanette's burial service.  We met first at Womack photography.  Carl had found a watercolor canvas that Jeanette had painted and wanted us to pick out the size of the reproduction we wanted for our home.  The first was a flower arrangement.  It was nice and we picked out a size for it.  The second, however, was my favorite - a blue painting that looked like an ice storm according to Cameron.  We plan to get that one as well.

Once we finished that meeting we all went to the Hillside for a traditional German lunch.  Addie recommended the chocolate cake, so we split a couple of pieces of that.  It was delicious.  We had time before the service to check out the DeKalb confectionery.  We each picked out several of our favorite candies.

The  burial service was at the St. Mary's cemetery.  It was small, only our family, Dan's, Kim's parents, Maury and Emie and Carl.  It was a nice service albeit short.  Doug, Meg and Cam all got a chance to fill the grave with the Earth.  My favorite part was when Carl took charge of the wheelbarrow making sure all of the dirt was put in just so.

Cam and Meg were pretty sad after the service, so we thought we would go to one of Jeanette's favorite spots - Inboden's.  They each picked out fruits and foods that they like.  Cam scored big when he found a type of candy that he saw in his puzzle - Turkish Taffy, banana flavor.  On the way back we stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings in South Bend and then did some quick shopping at Barnes & Noble, Dick's and Target.  It helped break up the trip.

Meg and Cam said that today made them sad.  They realized just how much they miss Grandma Heinisch.  They were glad, however, to have taken part in the service.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Middle School Parties

Tonight Meg had one of her infamous pre-game parties.  She invited thirteen of her closest friends and they all headed to our house after school.  They started off with girls vs. boys soccer, and then headed out through our neighborhood for a "picture" scavenger hunt.  I am sure all of the neighbors are used to it by now and seeing fourteen 8th graders running through their yards doesn't create much fear.  After the scavenger hunt they chose teams for dodge ball.  It looked to me like we need more dodge balls, but no one complained and everyone seemed to have fun.

Doug arrived a little after 5 with Little Caesars.  As they were eating we picked the scavenger hunt winners.  Everyone was "thrilled" with their prizes - vampire teeth, spider rings and googly eyed glasses.  It made for a great photo opportunity.  The egg toss was next and only a couple of mishaps occurred.  Doug started a bonfire and they moved on to smore making and ghost in the graveyard to end the evening.

At 7 we drove everyone over to the high school for the homecoming football game.  It looked cold to me, but they were all excited.  Doug and I went to dinner while they were enjoying the game.  We left the door open, so they could stop by and get their backpacks after it was over.  They all admitted it was cold, but they had a great time.  I received a text from one of Meg's friend's mothers later thanking me for having them here.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  They are a great group of kids.  I hope they remain friends for a long time.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Doctors, Doctors and More Doctors

I realized as this week started off I had scheduled a doctor's appointment for myself on almost everyday of the week.  I had an appointment Tuesday after school, my gynecologist on Wednesday, a flu shot this morning and a dentist visit this afternoon.  All went pretty well, although I am going to have to follow up with my family doctor from my discussion with the gynecologist.  I am having pain in my stomach at my belly button that he thinks is either a hernia or scar tissue.  I also have an enlarged thyroid.  Thus, I will make an appointment in the next month or two to see what the next step is.

It felt good to have accomplished so much in the afternoons without having to take a day off from school.  As I left the dentist the hygienist said to me, "well, you should be good for another 100,000 miles."  I sure hope so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Talent Show

This week is homecoming and there have been a lot of activities planned for the students.  Cal and his friends have been taking advantage of the week by dressing up for the spirit days and partaking in the after school activities.  Tonight was the annual talent show.  I have never been a big fan of it as some of the acts lack talent and at times the students can be obnoxious.  Usually, I don't go, but I am glad that I did this year.

Last week Cal told us that he and his group of friends were going to sing "Just a Friend" during the talent show.  At first I thought he was joking.  It is a horrible Biz Markie song from the 1990s that the Heinisch children love to play just to annoy Doug and I.  He has to be the worst rapper ever, which may be why the song became so incredibly popular.  As the week wore on I did realize that Cal was serious.  Several people stopped me to tell me that they couldn't wait to hear their group "The GOATS" sing at the talent show.

Thus, Meg, Cam and I decided to go.  We rode over with Jody and Alexandria and weren't sure what we were in for.   Melissa Possell was there as well as Sharon Boatright, so we could all wait in anticipation together.  They were the second act, so I didn't have too much time to worry.  Once Cal started I laughed out loud.  Instead of rapping the verses, the boys took turns reading them in dramatic fashion.  Then when they got to the refrain they all starting singing "You, you got what I need . . ."  I was in tears by the time it was over and they received a standing ovation at the end and came out for a brief encore.  I was so glad that I videotaped it all.  I posted it instantly to Facebook and Brett really enjoyed seeing it.

The rest of the talent show was hit or miss with some great acts, some not so great and others in between.  Cal was in the junior skit and had some funny parts that ended with another round of Biz Markie.  I appreciated the humor in the senior skit as they made reference to the "Trash Bag Tuesday" crowd several times.  All in all I am very glad that I went tonight.  It is evenings like these that remind me of what high school is all about.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Tuesday does usually turn out to be better than Monday and this week that was the case.  It was still very busy, but there was no early morning meeting, so I could get a couple of things done at school before students arrived.  I figured out how to solve the students' pajama pants problems and one was even able to finish a pair.  We are making progress in math.  That is always a good feeling.

I had a doctor's appointment after school that also went well.  Cameron started tennis lesson tonight at the racquet club.  He had a great time even though there were twice as many students.  Last night Cal organized a team for capture the flag.  They finished in the top four, so he was happy with that.  It was a co-ed team.  They were all dressed in matching blues and jean shorts.  Tonight he was part of the cheer block that helped the volleyball team to victory in an exciting five set match.  By the time the evening ended I forgot that there had even been a Monday this week.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Mondays are such a tough day.  It is hard to get out of bed after a great weekend.  Even though I had three days off because of Cal's wisdom teeth, it still didn't feel like enough.  We had an early morning meeting about test security today.  I am not sure that I could even pay attention through it.  There was an issue with a student in the afternoon that was deeply concerning.  By the end of the evening I was pretty anxious.  Tomorrow will be another day, however.  I will try to get some sleep tonight and hope that Tuesday turns out to be better.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

IU & Fall Break

This weekend was Brett's fall break.  Early in the semester I had offered to go and get him and bring him home.  Last year he thought fall break was a little boring.  This year, however, he said he was fine and didn't need to come home.  We talked to him several times during the weekend.  He started on some of his Christmas shopping and tried a new restaurant for lunch.  He was also able to get a lot of homework done, tests studied for and Netflix watched.  Today he attended a showing of the original Godzilla movie at the IU cinema.  I don't know if he liked that the best or the fact that he talked the head of the board of Governors into revoting on the "peeing in the shower campaign" by the environment committee.

I am so proud of Brett.  This weekend showed me just how much he has taken to the life he has created.  He enjoyed talking to us, but didn't need us to entertain him.  He had a lot of plans for the weekend and enjoyed the small break from school.  What a great year he is having.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Free Time

This is the first Saturday that we have all been home with no commitments in quite awhile.  It sure felt great.  Doug used the time to catch up on the yard work that he hadn't been able to get to.  I did laundry and worked on bills.  I actually had some time to read and started a new book - "Disasters and Mistakes" in history.  I can't remember the last time I read a book.  It felt awesome to get one started.

Cameron had Evan over for a good portion of the day.  I took Meg, Evan and Cameron to Fashion Farm.  We all enjoyed the pumpkins, mazes and hay ride.  They each picked out a pumpkin to take home.  Meg's was over 30 pounds.

After dinner Meg went over to Brooklyn and Avery's to hang out.  They have planned their Halloween costumes for the year - Star Wars characters.  Meg is Princess Leia and Cam is Obi Wan Kenobi.  They also spent quite a bit of time on SnapChat.  Cam worked on his candy bar puzzle.

Alex was over for part of the afternoon watching football with Cal.  Doug made potato soup and they all enjoyed that.  Alex had to leave for a commitment.  Cal took it easy the rest of the day.  His mouth is a little sore.  He started the antibiotic mouthwash today and so far his cheeks have not become swollen.

Tonight Cameron asked my Mom and Dad to come over to play cards.  We played Pit, Up You Yinny and Five Second Rule.  Everyone had a lot of fun.  We don't get a lot of weekends at home and we sure enjoyed this one.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Out of Here

This summer the dentist informed us that Cal would need his wisdom teeth out.  I was a little surprised by the news as he has never complained about them.  They said he would need them out soon, but it was not an emergency.  Their thought was that we could do it over Christmas break.  Cal was sceptical about it.  Since they didn't bother him he felt that they could stay in.  I was more worried about when we could schedule it and how much recovery it would take.  Since Cal participates in three sports it is challenging to schedule dentist and doctor appointments.  We knew Christmas break would never work if he played basketball and fall break is football sectionals and he will want to be at that.  

Thus, we decided today was the day.  Cal was in between sports, the football game was in Elkhart, and he would have enough time to recover before basketball practice officially started.  Cal didn't want to miss strength training so I chose the 10:15 a.m. slot.  He couldn't eat or drink after midnight, but he doesn't do much of either in the morning, so that didn't worry me.  Everything was set until last night.  I started having second thoughts - "maybe he will be out longer than the three days they said, maybe he would have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia, maybe I should wait until summer to have him do it . . . "  Doug talked me out of being anxious and rescheduling, so Cal, my Mom and I were at the oral surgeon's at 10:15 this morning as planned.

I had to sign a lot of paperwork and they had to check his blood pressure and fill out a health survey with him.  My favorite was when the nurse asked him if he smoked.  He said, "Yes!" in a dead serious voice.  The procedure went very well and within 20 minutes they had called us back to the recovery room.  The teeth were impacted, so I am glad that I didn't change his appointment.  They needed to come out and would have only gotten worse.  When we saw Cal he had ice packs on his cheeks and wasn't wanting to wake up.  We kept talking to him and within fifteen minutes he was sitting up ready to go.  

I was impressed with how well he did, but I guess it doesn't surprise me.  He is used to doctors, surgeries, injuries and pain.  It didn't really slow him down much.  The worst part for him was the gauze that we kept having to change.  Once that was over he was more than ready to move on to the next activity on his agenda.  The doctor said no to going back to school, but he said if he felt like it Cal could go the football game tonight if he didn't drive.  I wonder if when the doctor said that he figured there was no way Cal would want to go, but of course he did.  I decided not to worry about him.  I gave him all of the instructions for what he could and could not do.  I know he doesn't want to go back and will follow the instructions.  

Thus, Doug took him to Jeremy's at 6 p.m. for the hour drive.  He had just taken pain medication and took Ibuprofen for when it wore off.  According to everyone who saw him at the game you would have never know that he had surgery earlier in that day.  Cal lead the cheer block and looked like he always does at the games - full of school spirit.  He said his mouth was sore when he got back, but not enough to slow him down.  Cal is definitely one of the toughest people I know.  He gets it honestly as Doug is tough as nails.  It takes a lot to knock them down, but very little keeps them down.  It is a great trait to have.   

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Spell Bowl

When the school announced that they would be having a Spell Bowl team Meg was the first one to sign up.  I was glad that she chose to be a part of it.  Brett and Cal had both been on academic super bowl teams in middle school, but Milford has never had one.  Meg was able to talk Jacob and Jared into being a part of the team as well, so she had a fun group to work with.  They met several times a week and Meg felt prepared.

The competition was tonight at Edgewood.  Meg's team started off strong as they were tied for first after the second round.  Unfortunately, they started to slide after that.  The first two spellers earned twelve points for their team.  The next five only managed to spell eight words right total.  As Meg started the final round her team was in last.  Meg pulled them out of the basement, however, spelling seven of her nine words correctly and moving them into 4th place.

It did not matter to me if they won tonight or not.  I was so proud of all of the students for competing.  Academics seem to take a backseat to sports.  It was nice to have something that promotes education.  I am especially proud of Meg.  She took her role as team leader seriously and was able to be an important part of her squad.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bunk's Birthday

Today is October 8th and Bunk's Birthday.  Every year on this day the Heinisch children and I find some type of keepsake gift for my Mom.  This year's gift was found several weeks ago at Yankee Candle.  Meg pointed it out first and Cameron and I just loved it.    It was a spoof of the "Hear No Evil . . ." monkey statues that were popular years ago.  Instead of monkeys there were four skeletons each with a different saying.  Meg and Cam decided that Brett was "Speak No Evil" as he never swears.  Cam was "Hear No Evil" as he doesn't always hear us talking to him.  Meg was the "See No Evil" because of her eye.  Their favorite skeleton sibling, however, was the last one that they named Cal.  He held a sign that said "Have No Fun!"

My Mom loved the gift and our remembrance of Bunk's birthday.  Cal instantly protested when he saw it, stating that "he is more fun than the rest of us combined."  It will look nice on my Mom's mantle and matches the skeletons that we purchased from Yankee Candle years ago.  This day is always bittersweet.  My brother would have been 51 years old - "life is a blink of an eye."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Tonight Meg and I went to the first round of girls high school sectionals.  Doug's team drew Plymouth in the first round.  It had been awhile since we caught a varsity game.  It looked like we might not get to see this one as it poured down rain the entire time we were driving to Warsaw.  The weather cleared, however, right as we arrived.

Meg and I sat together the first half of the game, a little away from the crowd.  Several of Doug's parents were extremely loud.  We finally had to move completely away from them as they were screaming at the girls.  I don't like loud parents, especially if what they are yelling isn't what I know Doug wants his girls to do.  They seemed to quiet down or I just got used to it after awhile.  The first half was exciting and Wawasee played some great defense.  The score was 0-0 at the break.

There was a controversial call at the beginning of the second half which gave Plymouth a goal.  From our angle it sure looked like the goalie saved the goal, but the sideline judge did not agree.  The girls did not fold, however, and played very well.  One missed trap led to a second Plymouth goal and that is where the score ended.  Meg and I had a lot of fun.  She hung out with Olivia and I sat with the Schwartz family.

Although tonight's loss ended the girls season, Doug was very happy with this evening.  The girls improved greatly and he has a lot of interest for indoor soccer this winter.  I was very proud of him tonight.  He has worked hard to develop this program and it is definitely starting to show.  Next year he has all of his starters back except for one plus there are at least five eighth graders interested in playing.  I am sad that they lost as it would have been an awesome upset.  I am, however, glad to have him home a little more for now.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Tonight I decided to decorate for Halloween.  We had bought a new skeleton candy dish from Yankee Candle on Saturday and a pumpkin ginger candle which put me in the mood for fall.  Cam and Meg had talked about helping, but weren't overly interested until I got out the vinyl clings and the ghosts for the tree.  They both helped with those and we were mostly decorated by the time Doug got home from sectional dinner.

I found a couple of decorations that Jeanette had made for us - wooden pumpkins and a table runner.  It made me sad to think that not so long ago she was feeling well enough to carve and sew.  I am glad that we have these to remember her by.  Both Meg and Cameron recognized them right away.

Once the decorating was done Doug and Cam started on the candy wrapper puzzle we bought at IU this weekend.  We all watched "Something Wicked This Way Comes" while they worked away.  It definitely feels like fall today and looks like Halloween in our home.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Doug and Cam had talked about golfing this morning, but it had frosted so they changed their minds.  Doug took a walk through campus while we all got ready.  Parce was heading to North Carolina so we said our goodbyes as we left.  First on our agenda was Oliver Winery.  It was warmer today.  Thus, we were able to sit outside for a picnic.  One nice part of cooler weather is the lack of bees.  We had a lot of fun and a great visit with Brett.

After lunch we toured campus and shopped at several bookstores.  Each of the Heinisch children found something they wanted.  I also bought two books and Doug added football helmets to his Big Ten collection.  Brett decided to leave us at this point as he had several homework items on his agenda.  We walked through campus and found a couple of new fountains and sculptors that we hadn't seen before.  Just as we got to Showalter Fountain it started to sprinkle.  Thus, we headed to the van with Meg and Cam remarking - "How come everytime we leave someplace it starts to rain."

Luckily, this rain was pretty mild and we were able to make it to Warsaw in about three hours.  We had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  It was a great way to end a fantastic weekend.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


We headed to Bloomington after Doug's JV soccer game in Warsaw this morning.  Our plan was to pick up Brett and head to Memorial stadium to tailgate with Parce.  Cam, Meg and Doug talked about going into the game.  Once we got there, however, our plans changed slightly.  The wind was blowing pretty fierce and the temperature was in the fifties most of the afternoon.  Thus, we only made it through half of the tailgate and a lot of that was spent sitting in the van to stay warm.  We all still had fun, though.  Brett and Meg argued about songs and Cam and Doug played washers.  We finally decided to head to the mall, all of us except Doug.  He braved the cold with Parce and Chokey and by the time we were done shopping he was able to meet us at Brett's dorm.

Brett was more than ready to show us how clean his room was.  He had picked up, vacuumed and made the bed.  Of course I gave him a hard time about his method for storing water bottles, but other than that we couldn't really pick on him too much.  He was happy to have his fall clothes as the weather has definitely been cool this week.  Once we left his dorm we headed to the IMU for a game of Glow Bowl.  I am happy to say that I was the big winner, but Cam almost got me.

After bowling we walked down to Buffalouies.  They were quite busy, but we found a table.  The food took longer than usual, but we didn't mind.  After dinner we dropped Brett off and picked up some breadsticks for a late night snack at Parce's.  Thankfully, Parce had room for us once again and we set up air mattresses on the floor.  Doug fell asleep early, but the rest of us stayed up talking with Parce and listening to his tale entitled "Death by Beanbag."


Friday, October 3, 2014

Sewing Projects

This has been by far the busiest week of the school year.  With tennis sectionals, soccer games, conferences and library board meetings I was completely wiped out by the time today came to an end.  Without thinking about it I also scheduled my students sewing projects to take place this week as well.  It worked out great for the conferences as parents could check out their students progress or take home the completed project.  My favorite moment tonight was when one student's grandparents realized that he had made a body pillow well over six feet long.  They weren't sure how they were going to get it home, but my student was all smiles.  This year I added pajama pants as one of the options.  Only four students took me up on the offer to try them.  It has been a slow go, but hopefully, they will turn out as well as I had imagined.

We will finish up our projects next week and return to our regular routine.  I am always excited to start the projects, but am also equally happy to put away the machines for the trimester.  We still have our laundry unit to do and kitchen safety videos to make.  The trimester is going by fast.  I hope I can keep up.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Student Led Conferences

Our school switched a couple years ago to student led conferences.  During this time the students takes their parents to classes and show them the work that they have done so far this trimester.  They do receive a grade report, and in previous years there has been an out of school incentive for coming - roller skating, bowling, etc.

This year the school tried a different approach and students that made it to their classes received ice cream as a treat.  I noticed that numbers were down as only about half of my students came in when before I would get about 80%.  I don't know if the incentive made the difference or if parents are ready to go back to a more traditional approach to conferences.  I made sure I talked with the parents that wanted to talk to me or that I wanted to reach.  Meg had fun helping at the conference table and handing out ice cream tickets.  Overall, it was a long night, but productive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

So Disappointing

Cal's tennis team drew Whitko in the first round of the secontionals tonight.  They were all really happy as they had beaten them early in the season 5-0.  It definitely looked as though they had an easy path to the sectional finals as their next opponent would be Columbia City.  They only could field three courts, so technically only one of our courts would need to win for us to beat them.

One thought that crossed Doug and my mind was that the team has had a different lineup since they beat Whitko a month ago and hadn't won a match since then.  I don't know if the coach thought about that, but it became obvious that their lineup wouldn't be the one to beat Whitko tonight.  Cal was put in the number 3 singles position and beat his opponent in less than 30 minutes 6-1, 6-0.  The number one doubles won their first set, but ended up losing the second.  By the time they took the court for the deciding set it did not matter as far as the team was concerned.  One singles and two doubles lost almost as quickly as Cal won.  Number two singles went longer, but still never provided much of a challenge losing both sets 6-2, 6-2.

I was disappointed for the boys and especially Cal.  He had beaten Whitko's number one player twice before and fairly easily the last time.  His only chance of moving on was to go as a team or play the number one position.  He played well this season and had the best winning record on his team.  I know he was disappointed, but it must have been short lived as the first question out of his mouth when he got home was, "Mom, can you take me in at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow for basketball?"  Guess we are moving on.