Saturday, January 31, 2015

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Today was the piano ISMAA contest at Fairfield high school.  Meg signed up to play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."  She has been practicing it a lot. It was the last new song she played for Jeanette, so it meant a lot to her.  At the beginning of the week she was frustrated as her band teacher encouraged her to change the tempo and showed her that she had to use the pedal throughout.  On Monday Meg was not sure that she could make the changes, but by today it all came together.  She played it beautifully and I was thoroughly impressed.  She earned a silver medal and a whole lot of pride from both Doug and I.  I am impressed with how much Meg takes on and how well she does at all that she attempts.  From music, to sports, to grades, to spelling bees and religion Meg works hard at everything she does and is a well rounded young lady.

After piano we watched Cameron's LYC game.  I was glad that Cal chose to go as Cam really liked that.  I do have to say I didn't recognize Cal at first as his hair has gotten so long.  After the game we found out that Cam had a lot of fun at Evan's party, but woke up with an earache.  Thus, it was another day of rest on the couch for him.  He spent it watching the 1960s Batman until he finally crashed at 3 p.m.  Tonight as he headed to bed he said, "Well, another weekend of fun leaves me sick!"  Hopefully, he will make it to school on Monday.  He has one more day to relax.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Another Friday, Another Party

Tonight was Evan's tenth birthday party.  Cameron was excited to attend.  He bought him several packs on Pokemon cards and made him a special Pokemon card.  Mom took him to Evan's at 5 and from there they were headed to Sky Zone in Fort Wayne.  He has never been and I know he will really like it.

Cal went to the game with Korey and Harry, so Doug, Meg and I decided to spend the evening shopping and going to dinner.  Doug waited for our table at Buffalo Wild Wings while we looked for shoes.  Meg didn't find what she was looking for, but she did get a cute athletic wear outfit.

Dinner was fun and Doug only had to wait thirty minutes before he was seated.  From there we headed to Kohl's and Target.  I found a new pair of pajamas and a tablecloth for St. Patrick's Day.  Meg bought a new pair of pants for her recital tomorrow.  Doug finally found shoelaces.

Meg told me tonight that she had a lot of fun.  She said that a lot of people her age complain about their parents, but she doesn't feel that way at all.  I was glad to hear that, especially since we spend a lot of time with her.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Delay Day

We had a delay this morning and one on Monday.  Delay days always feel chaotic as we try to get in as much as possible in the shortened time period.  My 7th graders were disappointed as we couldn't make our spaghetti sauce.  Their class was only 30 minutes long and it takes 25 minutes for it to simmer.  I didn't have to alter my plan as much for the rest of my classes.  None of them were cooking and we almost got through everything we wanted to.

I told my students today that I didn't think we would have another delay tomorrow, but it started snowing this evening.  Cal said the roads were very slick on the way back from indoor soccer.  A delay will change my plans for several of my classes tomorrow, but I guess we will just have to wait and see if it really happens.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Library Board

Tonight was our monthly library board meeting.  It was long, but I thought it went well for our director's first one.  We are still in the process of remodeling and that took up a lot of time tonight.  We did agree on the new circulation desk and a couple of other construction recommendations.  I asked that we table the furniture discussion until February.  It was to much information to digest in one evening and we hadn't seen the furniture packet until that night.  I know I made the designer mad, but we had already been there an hour and still had a lot of library items to attend to.  This woman isn't very organized and tends to talk a lot, so no one complained when we decided to wait another month.

We were able to get through the rest of the agenda in another hour which I thought was pretty good.  Only a couple of minor issues arose and so far our new director is doing a great job and she and Gisela get along very well.  We have another meeting in a month that will hopefully return to the hour goal that we set many months ago.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bethany Christian

Cam spent the day at Bethany Christian on Thursday for an official visit.  He spent the morning in the 4th grade room and the afternoon in the 5th grade.  He said that he really liked it.  It was more "organized" and everyone was nice.  His only concern was making new friends.  I explained to him that it would be like camp.  At first he wouldn't know very many students, but within the first week he will have made a lot of new friends.  They had two specials a day.  Today was PE and music.  He liked that a lot.  He also likes how clean the school is.

I heard back from the director of admissions Friday.  Both the 4th and 5th grade teachers really liked Cameron and thought it would be a great fit for their classroom.  That did not surprise me, but I was glad to hear it.  We went ahead and started the application process.  Cam has to have an academic reference, so we decided to let Milford know that he would not be returning next year.  Cindy said that she was sad to hear it, but realized that we need to do what we feel is best for Cameron.  Doug, Meg and I think this will be a great experience for Cam.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Tonight was our third basketball game of the season.  We were overmatched in all three, but this time I could see improvement.  Edgewood is a good team and we played them as well as we could.  We had worked on key skills in practice and introduced a new play.  It did help a lot.

The girls were happy at the end of the game as they did a lot better than they expected.  I realize that we still have a lot to work on.  Our next game is against Jimtown.  We have a chance of beating them if we keep on improving.  Either way it was nice to look like a team that had a plan.  Doug texted me after the game and said he could definitely see a difference.  I don't know if anyone else could, but that didn't really matter to me.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Four Days of Fun

Well, Cam's four days finally caught up with him.  Wednesday was his birthday, he spent the day at Bethany Christian on Thursday, Friday was the party and the circus and Saturday he had basketball and ski club.  This morning when they called from religion to say that he needed to come home, I wasn't surprised.

He spent most of the rest of the day relaxing and actually fell asleep for awhile.  I had him stay home from piano.  I did have to laugh when I picked him up from church as he said "four days of fun" is more than I can handle.  He is right, but I know he enjoyed it.  Friday was probably the kicker as they had gone to the circus for the day before he had his party.  It's a lot of fun for the students, but that alone can wear them out.  The trumpet he bought and cotton candy he ate helped him stay pumped up for the laser tag party. The ski trip was a good incentive to make it through his LYC game - one in which he scored six points in a lopsided victory.  All in all, however, his little body couldn't take another day of it.  Good thing we had nothing planned for the rest of today.  He is going to sleep in tomorrow and maybe he will be able to make it to school.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


We left at 1 p.m. today for the ski club trip to Bittersweet.  Meg and Cam were both pretty tired, but wanted to make it another day of fun.  Meg spent the time snowboarding with her friends.  She had dinner with them while Cam and Doug met me in the restaurant when they got hungry.  Doug said that Cameron is officially better than he is at skiing, but he still needs to stay with him because of the ski lifts and help up if Cam falls.

I used the time to grade papers.  By the time Meg was ready to call it quits I had a lot of it done, but still had quite a bit to do.  We left Bittersweet close to 7 p.m.  Normally, we stay until 8 or so, but everyone was still wiped out from the fun of the birthday celebration.  None of us were moving much when we got home.  I know I was sound asleep when Cal, Jayce, Cameron and Alex arrived.  They had spent the day together watching college basketball at Cameron's.  Meg said they work her up, but I was out like a light.  The last two days finally caught up with me.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Tonight we celebrated Cameron's 10th birthday with his friends.  First everyone came here after school thanks to my mom.  She handled Cameron, Cade, Evan, Ryden, Chance and Braxton pretty well, but Cal decided they were too loud for him and headed over to Harry's by 4:00 p.m.  Once Meg and I got home from practice, she and Preston joined in on the fun.  Doug and I took all eight of them to Ultra Zone in Fort Wayne for an evening of laser tag.  We played three games and everyone had a great time.  My favorite game was when Doug, Preston, Meg and I were on a team against the boys.  We did defeat them, but it was close and a lot of fun!

After laser tag we headed back to Warsaw for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  The wait wasn't as long as I thought it would be as we didn't get there until close to nine.  It took awhile for the food to arrive, but they boys didn't seem to mind.  They spent the time talking about Pokemon.  We dropped Preston off on the way home and headed back to our house for the rest of the party.  The boys watched several movies and played ghost in the graveyard in the in the basement.  They had a great time and scared each other pretty well.  They did finally settle down to go to bed, but only after a night of fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Several senior boys posted some really negative words about the junior class on Twitter this past weekend.  I happened to run across the posts while I was looking at what everyone was posting about the NFL playoffs.  I was shocked as it wasn't nice at all and called out several of Cal's friends.  Cal did let us know on Monday that it was happening and he wasn't quite sure.

The junior class reacted by taking pictures of each other, stating their pride in being a junior and posting #juniorclassstrong.  The negativity did finally stop.  I am amazed at what gets posted. Hopefully, this is it for now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Cameron!!

Today was Cameron's 10th birthday.  He woke up this morning saying "the big 1-0!"  As an added bonus we had an unexpected two hour delay.  I believe that is the third year in a row that we have had a delay on his birthday!!

Once we got to school Cameron had another added bonus to his day - Evan gave him a new pack of Pokemon cards.  He was very excited about that.  He said that most of his classmates sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  I am not sure he was as excited about that, but it was a nice way to start the day.

Tonight the five of us went to Pizza King to celebrate with him.  We hadn't been there in quite awhile, so Cam had fun.  We opened gifts, sang happy birthday and ate the delicious white cake that he decorated all by himself.  I believe that Cameron liked all of his gifts and being the center of attention for the night.  He spent a lot of time playing with his Nerf "machine gun."  He was able to easily take out the balloon seen in the picture above.

It was a lot of fun to spend the evening with Cameron.  He is enthusiastic and always happy.  He makes our family complete.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Back to the Drawing Board

Last night was our second game of the season.  We did better than last week, but we still have a lot of work to do.  Doug and I spent about an hour working on ideas to help them.  Today I put the new thoughts into practice.  We have a new play and are working on aggression, defense and sprinting.  They liked the new play and we put a lot of work into it.  It's challenging to get through to them that they are playing at half speed.  We worked on that as well.  I hope it starts to fall in place.  No matter what, they will definitely learn a lot.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Junior

Today was Martin Luther King Junior Day.  I took the opportunity to discuss his life with my FACS classes.  Over the years I have come to realize that students really cannot understand segregation and integration.  The concept almost seems unreal to them.  We can discuss separate drinking fountains and racial discrimination, but in their lifetime the population of white people in the US has fallen below fifty percent.

Since I had the majority of the boys in the middle school today due to the swimming and ukulele schedule, I decided that the best way to show them integration was to view the movie "Remember the Titans."  From the moment we started it they were hooked.  I forgot what a great story it really is.  The boys can relate to football and practice.  There is also humor in it which makes the story even more enjoyable to watch.  Hopefully, we will learn and have fun.  Either way today at least sparked their interest.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Shopping

We found out this morning that Cameron had to read at mass.  We didn't know it beforehand and had gone to mass last night.  Meg, Doug and I decided to go to the beginning of mass to hear Cam lector.  He did a great job as it was a very long reading.  Cal stayed for mass as he wasn't with us last night as they all went to Cameron Adam's for the evening.

After lunch Meg, Cam and I went to piano.  Meg practiced her "Over the Rainbow" for the upcoming ISMA competition.  Cameron has been working on James Bond pieces, but wants to try something else.  We decided to order some new sheet music for next time.  They picked out "Let it Go", "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" and "Everything is Awesome."

After piano we went to Lowe's to get Meg a new ceiling fan for her room.  It was tough for her to choose as they were some really neat ones.  After we bought that we headed to Target.  They needed a couple of items and we needed to finish shopping for Cameron's birthday.

Once we got home we had one last trip to make.  We still needed wrapping paper and Dollar General had a lot to chose from.  Cameron is really getting excited about his birthday.  Can't believe he will be ten years old on Wednesday!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Night Out

Doug and I went to Fort Wayne tonight.  It has been awhile since we have gone to Chops and we were happy to have the chance.  They have some great food choices and a lot of variety.  We had one of our favorites as an appetizers - fried egg and asparagus.  I would have never thought of putting those two together, but they are a fantastic duo.  For the first time since we have been going Doug did not have the risotto.  He tried the "Smack N Cheese" and really liked it.  I had a new dish for me - waffles and Asian chicken.  I loved it.

The last few times we have gone to Chops we have had seats at the window facing the kitchen.  I don't know if everyone would like it there, but both Doug and I enjoy watching the chefs prepare the different dishes and then trying to guess what is being prepared.  It is a tight fit for two men, but they move around each other well and we have never seen a dish dropped.

To top the evening off we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery.  I had a small dish of their chocolate peanut butter perfection.  It was the perfect end to a lovely evening.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ski Trip

Tonight was the first ski club trip of the year.  Last week's had been cancelled because of the snow day.  Cam and Meg were excited about it and had everything packed ready to go last night.  They rode the bus up, so Doug could meet them there from work.  I got them Subway for the trip up as I know they want to ski as soon as they get there and not worry about food.  

Doug said that Cam did very well and may even be a better skier than he is.  They tried several hills and Cam only wiped out once.  Meg still prefers snowboarding.  She had a lot of fun with her friends and had a lot of stories to tell.  She did twist her knee, but it didn't slow her down too much.

It was a quiet night here as Cal went with Korey, Brock and Harry to the basketball game in Elkhart.  I used the time to catch up on laundry and all of our bills and receipts.  I realized that I hardly even turned the television on.  I did talk to Brett a couple of times.  He's had a great first week.  I made it up until everyone to came home close to midnight.  It was a great night for all.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Student Led Conferences

Tonight was the second of the year's student led conferences at Milford.  Doug was able to go with both Meg and Cameron this year.  He said that he really enjoyed learning about what they had been up to.  I am the one who is there all of the time, so I usually hear from their teachers at least weekly if not more.  It was nice that he could share in that as well.

Overall, however, we had a lot less students than in previous years.  In the past students were given a reward incentive to entice them to come.  Sometimes it was a roller skating trip, other times it was an adventure race.  This year's incentives were smaller and I think that some students decided it wasn't worth it.

I used the extra time to work on organizing my room.  My eighth grade helper is cleaning out the cupboards in my kitchen and I am deciding what I want to purge and what I want to keep.  I hope to label the cabinets so it is easier for the students to find what they need.  We made a huge dent this week and I feel a lot more confident that we will be able to finish before he goes to a new class in March.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Different Student

Monday night Doug went to the high school parent teacher conferences.  He met with Cal's calculus and AP history teachers first.  Both were incredibly complimentary of Cal and his turn around this trimester.  They felt that he was a different student and couldn't say enough nice words about his transformation.

The physics teacher also had several words of praise and also some study tips for Cal.  I was very happy when Doug gave me the news.  In the fall Cal's teachers were concerned about his lack of focus and interest in school.  They enjoyed him as a person, but felt he wasn't living up to his potential.  We are proud of him for taking the initiative to step up this trimester.  We knew he could do it as did his teachers.  Glad that he realized it as well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Lot of Work To Do

Today was the first girls basketball game of the year for the Milford teams.  At the end of the night I realized that we have a lot of work to do.  The 7th grade coach had some great ideas as did Doug.  Thus, we will start over tomorrow with some new drills and a positive outlook.  We got our new uniforms, Meg was the leading scorer on the team and I did have two girls come off the bench and play very well, so it wasn't a total loss.  Our game on Monday, however, is against a team that beat us badly twice last year.  With conferences and the ski club trip I am not sure how much time we will get to work, but we will make the best of it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Repeat Spelling Bee Champion

Today was the Milford school spelling bee.  It was supposed to be Friday, but with the cancellation they moved it.  Meg used all of the extra time off from school to study.  She would practice with me, Brett, Doug, my Dad and even with Jared via FaceTime.  I know on Friday alone she said she spelled words for two hours.  Even on the way to school we went through pronunciations of words on the "easy"side of the list to learn that mussed is a homophone for must.  

All of the extra studying paid off as Meg once again brought home the championship trophy.  That is not to say that she didn't have tough competition.  It was obvious at the end that four of the students had put a lot of time and effort into learning the words.  One misspoke on a letter, but when it got down to three it became intense.  I never watched Meg spell one word.  I could hear her as I paced behind the bleachers, but I couldn't bare to watch.  Meg didn't have to win to prove anything to me.  I know she studied and put a lot of effort into it.  I also know that one missed letter or a slip of the tongue and it is over.  

Jared did well also finishing runner up to Meg in the 7th and 8th grade grouping.  The second place overall trophy went to a 5th grader once again.  This girl had obviously studied as well, but when they got down to two Mrs. Fiscus choses words off of an alternative list of approved words that the students had not seen.  The 5th grader missed one and Meg spelled her championship word "parachute."  I was elated and very proud of her.  Ever since she won last year she wanted to win again - off to the county bee!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Back Home Again in Indiana

Brett had been anxious to get back to school  for a couple of days now.  He had done everything that he wanted to do over break and realized that Bloomington is a lot more fun than Syracuse.  He did have a political workshop in Columbia City yesterday with a large group of young people interested in political campaigns.  He really enjoyed it and that helped get him through the weekend.

We left at 7:30 this morning to make sure we got Brett to Bloomington before the ice storm hit.  We had no problem on the way down and were able to meet Parce at Buffalouies at 11:40 a.m.  We all enjoyed the conversation which was mostly about movies.  From there Parce walked home and we took Brett to the comic book store.  We said our goodbyes at the Union.  Brett wanted to buy his books for the upcoming semester and we were worried about the weather.

The trip home was pretty quiet except for Doug cheering for the Packers over the Cowboys.  The rain began as we got to 37 and didn't turn to snow until 4 p.m.  It was scattered until we got to North Webster.  We were glad to make it in before the roads got slick or it became dark.  Cal was back from Buffalo Wild Wings and Meg from her soccer game.  Cam had fun playing in the snow with Grandpa.

I always miss Brett when he leaves and am so glad to have him home on breaks.  I am happy, however, that he really looks forward to getting back to Bloomington.  As Parce told him, "Welcome back to civilization!"

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Winter Warm Up

OK, so the weather wasn't that much warmer, but it did reach double digits.  I moved practice to the afternoon so the wind chill advisory would be over.  Eight of our twelve showed up which I thought was pretty good.  We had relays and played four on four.  Some of the girls did very well.  I have a couple of that are just standing and watching.  I need to figure out how to get them to be more aggressive.

Tonight the girls were introduced at halftime of the high school girls varsity game.  We had six players for that.  We watched the first half, but it was 36-14 at the half and that was about all we could take.  Meg had a lot of fun talking with her teammates.  I would have preferred to do something else this evening, but am glad that Meg liked it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Another Day, More of the Same

The weather predicted for today also came to fruition and once again we had a snow day.  I wasn't too surprised since most other schools in our area cancelled last night.  We did a lot more of the same - played games, watched tv and studied spelling.  Cam mixed it up a little bit by learning a new magic trick.  My parents were here for Monopoly in the afternoon.  After two hours Cal and Brett called it quits and Dad was already out.  I filled in for Cal and Dad for Brett so Cameron could finish the game.  My Dad created history by being the only person to lose twice in one game.  Cameron did go on to win although I gave it a good try.
Tonight we talked Doug into taking us to Buffalo Wild Wings.  It was still cold and windy but a lot better than yesterday.  Cal went with Korey to the Wawasee v. Northwood game.  It was one of only two games in action tonight.  All of the rest had been postponed.  Wawasee lost, but the boys had fun.  They were home by 11 p.m. and in our basement playing knee basketball until well after midnight.

I believe Meg was disappointed that they did not have school today.  She and Jared had been studying for the spelling bee and were ready to get going.  With the storm predicted for Sunday night I hope that we don't have another cancellation.  The thought of it all makes me nervous, but no matter how it ends up I know that she did her best in studying.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Snow Day

To top off the three delays we have had today we had a snow day.  It was actually more of a "too cold" day as the temperature with wind chill never climbed above 0 degrees.  We tried to go to a movie this afternoon and do some shopping, but once we got north of Milford the wind was so strong that there were white out conditions.  We decided that it wasn't worth it and turned around.  I knew it would be dark before we left and I would really have had a hard time navigating the roads with the drifting snow.

The day was not a loss, however, as Brett, Cam, Mom and Dad play Monopoly.  Meg and I watched "If I Stay."  Cal had Alex and Jayce over for awhile.  Doug couldn't make it to county council because of the roads, so he helped Meg with her spelling words, exercised, worked on a puzzle with Cam and watched "Taken 2" with Brett and I.  The only bitterness of the day was Meg, Cam and I getting beat at Disney Scene It.  I guess "Minnie the Pooh" is not a Disney character, so I wasn't as much help as I thought I'd be.  I know Cal could of helped us, but he just enjoyed our stupidity instead.

Tomorrow will already start with a delay.  I am going to be surprised if they do not cancel.  The wind is howling and the snow is supposed to start again.  Most of the schools around us have cancelled, so we will see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Very Wise Decision

I was very nervous when Cal decided to quit basketball.  I wasn't nervous that he made the wrong decision, but that he would become mournful about it.  I am so happy that that is not the case.  He seems happier now than I have seen him in awhile.  He and his friends go to the community center at least twice a week to play against others.  They have had a lot of success and it gives them something to talk about.  He has also gone to all of the games to cheer on his friends and become an important part of the Wawasee Cheerblock.  On days he is not playing basketball or going to games he is weight lifting, hanging out with friends, studying or going to soccer open gym.

After listening to last night's game I am even more glad that he quit.  Some decisions have been made that are hard to support and it would have been challenging to sit through the games watching the aftermath.  Everyone that has contacted me since Cal left the team has been more than supportive.  They did not like seeing him sit on the bench knowing that he could be a lot bigger contributor than he was allowed to be.  Proud of him for making a tough decision and so very glad to see him smile again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


The official start of middle school girls basketball was yesterday and we had a good turn out.  I will have twelve girls playing and one manager.  We are greatly improved from last year since five of our players participated in AAU.  We can run plays now which will be a big help and we have a starting five that should be able to compete at some level.  My goal is to win two games this year as we only won one last year.  I think we actually have the potential to win one or two more, but we'll see how the year goes.

I know that Meg is excited and nervous all at once.  She likes being the ball handler, but also gets nervous about it.  This year we have a couple other girls who could play the point if they have to which will help if she gets tired, overwhelmed or in foul trouble.  I am surprised at how many sweatshirt and shirt orders we have gotten so far.  I was worried that we wouldn't have our 36 for the discount, but we are way over that now.  Now if we can just get our jerseys all will be great!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back to School

Today started with a delay because of snow.  It was a nice way to start as it is always hard to get up on a Monday morning after a break.  It did mess up the Ukulele schedule but overall it was an easy way to get started.  Students were pretty wound up for a Monday morning.  A lot of them said that they could not even remember their schedule let alone their locker combinations.

I started taking my lunch to school which should give me a lot more time to get ready for my math class.  It will be a long couple of months as basketball will be everyday after school until March 5th.  I am glad that we have plans to go to Florida for five days in February.  That will break up the winter for us.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Follow the Child

After I received my teaching license I returned to school to earn my Montessori certification.  I worked in Montessori schools for several years before we moved to Indiana.  What I loved about the Montessori approach is Dr. Montessori's philosophy "Follow the Child."  It means that we are not teachers as much as we are facilitators.  We provided opportunities for children to learn and discover and as we observe them they will lead us in finding the best way to educated them.

Montessori did not have standardized test scores to worry about, so my teaching cannot always "Follow the Child."  Our home life is different, however.  Doug and I have never consciously talked about making this philosophy our home motto, but over the years it has easily become the mainstay of our parenting.  It is a commitment and  is not always easy to do.  

When Cal really wanted to play soccer his freshmen year and we wanted him to play tennis we listened and discussed it with him and let him lead the way.  He had a great time playing on the soccer team, met a lot of friends, and proved that he is a versatile athlete.  The decision to play tennis the next year was his own as well and a great one for him.

Brett has always marched to the beat of his own drum.  Sometimes I envision him in another family - one that has a set idea of how each child should be or what activities they should be a part of.  Brett would have been miserable and I believe a lot less successful.  It doesn't mean that it was always easy for Brett, but he has been allowed to follow his own interests and even listen to his own music - Civil War ballads and all.

Meg is the one who is involved in the most.  She plays two musical instruments, four sports, and is an all A student.  We do not make her study for the spelling bee, but we do help and encourage her along the way.  She picks what she wants to succeed at and puts her best foot forward to do so. 

Cam changes interests almost monthly.  Currently, he is spending all of his time on Pokemon.  Thus, he has four new decks, has learned all of the rules, has championships amongst his cards and gets advice from his siblings who too once shared his love of Pokemon.  This isn't his first obsession.  I know there will be a new one in a month or two.  One day he will pick his favorite activity, but for now he enjoys taking it all in - chess, golf, basketball, legos - he's loved them all and may find many more in his lifetime to pursue.

Tonight as I was sitting at Mad Anthony's listening to Brett talk about his current book on Nixon, Cal quizzing his Dad on sports trivia, Meg rehashing the events of indoor soccer, and Cam challenging everyone to Tic Tac Toe I thought about Maria Montessori.  She was right.  Follow the child - it makes life so much more fun.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Going Make This Place a Home

Today was spent mostly in the Heinisch home.  Cam was supposed to go to a chess tourney in Hammond, but the ice put an end to that.  Doug and I talked about going out to dinner, but decided we would have more fun at home.  Cal walked around the house not sure what to do, but kept himself occupied with football.  Brett got out of the house for awhile by helping at the Knights' BINGO.  Meg, Doug and I went to mass, but for the most part we spent the day at home just enjoying some free time.

Meg and I were able to finish her Olaf pajamas to match Cameron's.  She also beat her Dad at Air Hockey, a proud accomplishment.  Brett spent a lot of time with his new video game and Nixon book.  He has been giving us updates on the 2016 political candidates and has decided to look into getting a masters in Economics on his way to becoming a professor.  Cal and Doug talked about colleges that they would like to visit - Purdue and Penn State are top choices right now.  Cam beat us soundly in Wii party and then spent quite a bit of time working on his cereal puzzle.  I enjoyed watching the Hitchcock thriller The Wrong Man.  It was not quite as intense as last night's movie selection which is more my speed.

No, we didn't go anywhere or do much today, but it was a good day.  The reality is that next week we will return to our normal routine.  I will miss the days of Christmas break.  We have had a great one!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Sledding Fun, Toboggan Run

Today we made it to Pokagon state park for our annual New Year's tobogganing.  We usually go on the 31st, but since Doug worked until 1 p.m. we decided that today was a better choice.  Brett, Meg, Cam and Doug had a great time.  We got there before they opened so they were able to make two runs before the line got too long.  They made it one more time before calling it a day.  It was the perfect day for it as the weather was beautiful.  This is our fifth year of going and a successful one it was.

After the park we headed to Fort Wayne to Glenbrook Mall.  Everyone had Christmas money to spend and we had a few returns to make.  We ate lunch in the food court.  Meg hadn't been there in a long time, but she still remembered the apple tables.  After lunch we made stops at the candy store, Hollister, GameStop, Yankee Candle and Barnes & Noble.  Next we made our way to Target.  Cam still can't find the Lego he wanted, but once again scored big on the Pokemon cards.

Cal stayed home so that he could play basketball at the community center with his friends.  He had fun and brought Nick back with him.  Doug made homemade spaghetti for dinner and we played Pass the Pigs.  Brett had been wanting to watch "Seven," so that was the movie for the evening.  It is very intense for me, but has a lot of twists and turns to keep one interesting.  When I wake up with nightmares tonight I may wish I had watched Tangled with Cam and Meg instead.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Into the Woods

While Doug and Cal were watching football and Cam was with Evan, Meg, Brett and I went to see Into the Woods.  We had been looking forward to it as it was Disney's December release.  Overall, we liked it although it was a little long.  We all had suggestions on how to make it a little more time manageable - less songs, change the ending, less quests, etc.

It was nice to get out and go to a movie, however.  Once we got home Doug wanted to go to Buffalo Wild Wings.  We waited until closer to 7:30 so Cam and Evan could finish their Pokemon game.  Cal decided to go to Mom's instead.  The service wasn't the greatest, but we had fun.  Doug was able to watch Oregon destroy FSU and still make it home in time to watch Alabama and Ohio State.  It was a nice way to start 2015.