Friday, July 31, 2015

A Better Day

Today was a lot better day at the garage sale.  We sold everything that I was worried about having to store if it didn't sell.  By the end of the day it was a lot more cleaned out and we were able to organize everything better.  This year Doug did make a suggestion that really helped.  We sold all of the clothes for a quarter except a small table that were individually marked.  It saved a lot of time marking them and I believe that we sold a lot more.

Tonight Meg had her last day of conditioning week.  The IHSAA changed the rules just last week so that players could use equipment this week, but Doug had already planned on conditioning and felt that they needed it.  There was an incentive to make at least four practices and do well in the runs.  Doug ranks the players based on this and then they get to pick their uniform numbers for new players or shorts sizes for returning players depending on where they were ranked during conditioning week.  Meg is hoping to pick number 11, but she'll have to wait until next week to find out.

Cameron spent the night at Evan's last night.  They hadn't seen each other since Cam's slumber party at the end of June.  They played Wii and made Butter Beer.  He really enjoyed it.

After soccer Meg went with Kaitlin to the movie Paper Town and back to school shopping.  Since it was just Doug, Cameron and I we decided to go to Mad Anthony's.  Cal had to work.  Once we got back we packed for Bloomington.  It was a busy day, but productive.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to School Pool Party

Today was the worst day we have ever had at a garage sale, which was disappointing.  There were some highlights to the day, however.  The first was when Meg and the Fitgeralds showed up via boat.  Rich pulled into the boathouse and Brooklyn suggested that they tie it to Dad's dock.  Rich was confident that it would be fine, but after a little while I heard, "Hey, the boat's in the middle of the channel."  Dad grabbed the kayak and Rich headed out to get it.  Cameron offered, but I didn't want him to try it.  They finally got the boat back to the boathouse and lo and behold it wouldn't start.  Dad ran everyone back to the Dicks.  Rich did get it started later, but only after Dad posted it all on Facebook.

Cameron claimed the second highlight of the day.  Tonight was the Back to School Pool Party for incoming fourth and fifth graders at Bethany Christian.  It was held at his teacher's house and I was thoroughly impressed with it all.  I left to shop for school supplies while he was there, but came back a little early to see how it was going.  He had pizza for dinner and enjoyed swimming.  He met a few new students and enjoyed seeing his new teacher.  I was completely impressed with her.  Her classroom is set up in a Montessori fashion and works with each student individually.  The more I talked to her the more confident I became that we have made the best decision for Cameron.  My favorite quote from him after the evening was, "Everyone at Bethany Christian is just so nice.  I am going to have to get used to that."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Never Again

Today as we worked on the garage sale I vowed "Never Again."  I have said that before, but this time I do mean it.  It is a lot of work to get ready for and since we have it at Mom's I have to rely on Doug to bring everything there and the Heinisch children to help.  With conditioning week for Meg, Cameron having golf tournaments, Cal working and Brett in Bloomington I didn't have the help I normally do and it became overwhelming.  Thus, I will remember next year that this will be the last of the garage sales for quite awhile.  Maybe if we move, or I stop working then I will rethink it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The 4-H Fair

This morning we were up and off to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.  Cam and Meg had a lot of fun last year and wanted to try it again.  The rides weren't open yet so they enjoyed a soft pretzel and snow cone while we checked out the merchant tents and young McDonald's farm.  The more we walked, however, the more the heat started to get to Meg.  It had been an extremely cool summer with a lot of rain, so none of us were ready for the heat and humidity that returned this week.  Cam wanted to ride several rides, but Meg realized that she wouldn't be able to.  I was worried about her getting a migraine especially with soccer conditioning tonight.

Therefore, I decided that it would be best to take her home to rest and cool off and Cameron and I would return at 6 p.m. when Grandpa Cutes had to work.  I was glad that we did as she was able to make it to conditioning without a problem and Cam and I were able to talk Grandma into coming back with us.  Cameron had a great time trying the rides.  The Crazy Mouse ride was probably his favorite, but he also rode a swinging boat and several fun houses.  In addition he had a great time playing the carnival games.  He won a cheetah at the balloon dart.  He played the color game multiple times, but no luck there.  We did have time to also check out Grandpa's booth at Doors and Drawers and ran into Mike Pancoast as well.  Dad talked us into bringing Meg's Tinkerbell to the glue booth and there were actually able to fix it.  I had tried several times and so had Mom.  Thus, we were really impressed when Cameron tried to pull the wing back off and it held.  We toured the animal barns on the way out and Cam found an elephant ear that was delicious.  Although it didn't start off that way, it definitely turned out to be a great day at the fair!! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Big Winner

Cameron played in the last Elkhart County Junior tournament of the summer.  He hadn't played much as he was in camp all last week, but that didn't detour his confidence.  The first three holes did however as he had a couple of bad breaks and found himself three down.  That is when fortune hit.  Cameron chipped it in for birdie from twenty yards off of the green and everyone cheered.  After the fourth hole the score was even and the match became a little more intense.  Cam held it together however, and found himself still tied for the lead with the last hole remaining.  A couple of great shots and Cameron was declared the winner by one stroke.  He was ecstatic and my Dad was more than proud.  With this win he not only got the best trophy he had ever seen, but he also landed a spot in the tournament of champions!  Not too bad for a ten year old playing against a group of eleven year olds on their home course.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Still Trying to Catch Up

Cam was still exhausted this morning.  After church I talked him into a Mountain Dew and he felt better.  Meg spent time yesterday catching up with her phone and her friends from around here.  She was so excited to tell everyone about all of her camp adventures.  She even saw some of the Camp Crosley kids at church this morning.

Cam and Cal were able to play golf today.  It was a hot one.  Doug went running first thing in the morning to avoid the humidity, but he was still soaked when he got home.  Meg unpacked, talked to Brett and texted her camp friends.  Doug helped me with the garage sale.  We got a lot done, but there is still much to do.  Meg and I will be back tomorrow to set up more.  Hopefully, we'll make a good dent in it then.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Best Week Ever"

We were at Camp Crosley by 9 a.m. this morning to pick up Meg and Cam.  We were one of the first ones there and thrilled to see them.  It has been strange to have them gone all week, and I really missed them.  Cam was ready to go when we got him.  He had had a lot of fun, but his allergies/asthma really bothered him, so he needed a break.  Meg also had fun, but had absolutely no interest in leaving.  We weren't surprised as that is her reaction every summer.  We spent time at the camp store before we left to pick out their new shirts.  

On the way home they both talked non-stop about everything that they did.  I don't think Doug or I said much at all or even needed to ask questions.  They filled us in on everyday and every activity.  They hadn't seen each other a lot, so they had a lot of questions to ask one another.  There also was a new pond with some awesome activities that we couldn't wait to hear about.  Meg got a lot of phone numbers of her cabin mates and promised to text one as soon as she got home.  

Unpacking is always daunting, but this year it was a lot easier.  Meg did a great job keeping her items organized and dry.  This made the process go faster.  I still washed everything they take to camp and dried what I could just to get rid of the cabin smell and make sure no insects followed them home.  They both had food and candy left.  Their new shower caddies worked very well for them both.  

Glad that we have been able to provide this experience for them.  They have both enjoyed it very much over the years.  There is always something new each year and I know they will remember going for the rest of their lives.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

"We're Just Talking"

Cal had a girl here today that he is "talking" to.  She was very nice and also quiet.  They spent a couple of hours watching Netflix and hanging out.  I had asked Cal last week if he had a girlfriend as it seemed that he did, but I hate to pry.  He said, "No, he and HM were just talking."  I finally asked him to tell me what that means.  I had heard Jayce say the same thing and I didn't understand the difference.

"Talking" is when you like someone and you are texting them, hanging out in groups, spending some time with them, but not quite ready to call them a girlfriend or boyfriend yet.  I think Meg has tried to explain that to me before as well, but in middle school they all just say they are going out with someone, so it isn't used as much.  Whether dating, talking or going out the boyfriend/girlfriend thing is one of the hardest parts of being a parent.  I am always afraid I am going to say the wrong thing.  I don't want to hover over them, but don't think I should completely leave them alone either.  Since Cal is seventeen I decided today I would be home but just not intrusive.  I used the time to watch a very exciting video on our new electronic grade book.  Believe it or not Cal and his friend did not want to join me in this endeavor.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quiet Day at Home

Today was a quiet one here.  Cal spent most of the afternoon at home and finally went to play golf with my Dad at 3:30.  I stayed home all day as well catching up on laundry, paying bills, working on library financial items, and working on our own finances.  Doug had 7 on 7 tonight, so it was 8:30 before he got home.  Once Cal was done golfing he played basketball with Jayce and then headed to Mom and Dad's.  Thus, I had a lot of time to myself and a lot of time to think.

What I pondered about most today was how different our life would be if we only had Brett and Cal.  We knew it was a possibility if we stayed in the suburbs of Chicago that we would only have two children.  Expenses were quite a bit higher there and we would have wanted to send our children to private school.  The other possibility that may have left us with only two children was the difficulties I had getting and staying pregnant.  Once we had Cal we knew it was a long shot to have more.

I don't really think about that much anymore.  We are all thrilled that we were able to have more.  I do realize after today, however, that our life would be a lot quieter with only Brett and Cal.  Neither Cal nor I talk much unless something important comes up.  I try not to bombard him with questions as he doesn't like that.  Cal's also at an age where he likes to be on the go a lot, so he isn't around as much as Cam and Meg.  With Brett gone and Cal ready for his senior year it would be a different household if the younger Heinisch children weren't here.  Glad that we do not have to adjust to an empty nest next year.  I love spending time with Doug, but it's nice to have the Heinisch children here as well, even the quiet ones!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


We went shopping after breakfast this morning in Saugatuck.  The shops are the best that we have found in all of the cities that we have visited.  We were able to find shirts for Cam and Meg, fudge, popcorn and Bears cards for Cal, fudge, jelly and taffy for Mom and Dad, Bloody Mary mix for Doug and a wooden advent Christmas house for me.  There was so much more we could have purchased, but these were our favorites for now.

We stopped in South Haven for a little while as well.  It is nice and has a long pier with a lighthouse just like Grand Haven.  We walked to it and enjoyed the view before leaving Michigan.  We debated on the way home over our choices for lunch.  We weren't quite sure where we wanted to stop, but finally settled on Lucchese's in Elkhart.  Doug loves their salads for lunch and they were quite good.

We stopped to pick up the van at Monteith on our way home.  The rotors needed replaced as the van was shaking every time we stopped.  Glad to have it back to normal.  We saw Cal before he headed out to play basketball and go to Applebee's with his friends.  He liked the gifts we brought him.  Doug had soccer tonight and I unpacked and went to the grocery store.  Stopped by Mom and Dad's to drop off their goodies and to show them the pictures posted on Camp Crosley's website.   Hate to see these days end, but it was nice to spend so much time with Doug.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Windmill Island

We left this morning after breakfast and Doug's phone calls from work for Oval Beach on Lake Michigan.  Last year when we were in Saugatuck the owners of the bed and breakfast we were staying at did not recommend this beach.  They talked us into another one that was further north and a long walk through the woods to get to.  They liked it better as it was free to park.  Everything I read on the area, however, rated Oval Beach as one of the best on the Lake.  After our morning visit we totally agreed.  It was easy to get to and parking was near the beach leaving a lot more time for walking along the water.  It did cost $8 to park, but the pass was for all day and we planned to come back after our morning stroll.  It's always challenging to walk on the sand, but we really enjoyed it.

After the beach we headed to Holland, Michigan.  They have several breweries that Doug likes.  Before we were seated we founded an awesome Mad Hatter ale shirt for Brett.  The lunch was delicious.  We ordered two different appetizers to share.  We could have gotten by with just one, but enjoyed trying both.  We walked up and down the area shops after lunch.  We didn't buy anything, but it was fun looking around.

Once we got back to our van I asked Doug to go with me to Windmill Island.  It was one of my favorites from last year and I really wanted to go again.  I am so glad that we did.  It is such a beautiful area with an original Dutch windmill.  We saw the Dutch girls dance and toured the windmill.  I don't like heights, but the view was awesome.  In the Spring they have fields of tulips, but this time of the year is beautiful with flowers as well.

We stopped back at Holland to try another brewery.  I have eaten a lot of hummus on this trip.  My favorite is still the one at our first stop in Grand Rapids, Founder's Brewery.  We stopped back at Park House Inn before heading to Saugatuck and Oval Beach.  We spent the evening walking along the beach and watching the sunset.  I have never watched a sunset on the beach before and this was breath taking.  There were a lot of people there with the same idea.  It almost felt like fireworks.  We waited quite awhile for it and it was over in just a few minutes.  Well worth the wait, however, and the perfect end to a wonderful day!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Victorian Homes Are My Favorite

After we dropped Cam and Meg off at camp we left for Michigan.  We had debated all summer about where to go and the best places to stop off during our three day excursion.  I had made reservations in Petoskey for one night and even reread Hemingway's biography about his time on Walloon Lake, but since Doug got rear ended on Friday and my brakes were a little shaky we thought the five hour drive might be too much.

Therefore, we changed plans and headed to Grand Rapids first.  They had several different breweries all within walking distance of our hotel that Doug wanted to try.  I don't really drink much, but enjoyed walking along and sampling different appetizers and desserts.  Our hotel was in the perfect location and we had a great night.  The only drawback to Grand Rapids was the multitude of panhandlers.  I didn't feel comfortable going out after dark, but the hotel had a bar and delicious desserts so we were able to hang out there for the evening.

Today we found two beautiful Victorian homes to visit in Muskegon.  They were on the same lot and shared a barn in between them.  The two families were influential in making Muskegon a bustling town on the lake in the mid to late 1800s with their lumber mill.  They also donated money back to the town to help build hospitals, schools, firehouses, etc.  The two houses were extremely different.  The couple who built the first was in the retirement stage of life.  Their home was extremely ornate and exactly what I would love to have if I owned a Victorian home.  The second was built by a younger couple that had seven children.  It was beautiful as well, but more practical in layout and design.  We didn't know anything about the Hackley Hume House before our visit, but were extremely glad that we stopped.

After Muskegon we traveled down Lake Michigan to Grand Rapids.  I wanted to get Meg and Cam something to send them while they were in camp and I was afraid if I waited it wouldn't get there in time.  We found the perfect candy store and bought several different types of candy to try.  The post office promised us it would be there no later than Thursday.  After shopping we were able to walk out on the pier opposite the lighthouse.  It was mostly fishermen, but it provided a great view of Lake Michigan.  We found a place to eat at before we left for Saugatuck.

We pulled into our bed and breakfast at 4:30 this afternoon.  We picked a suite this time and it was wonderful.  It had a little sitting area and a small balcony.  We walked down to Saugatuck after we settled in.  The town was just as quaint as I remembered and we had a relaxing evening with dinner, shopping and ice cream for dessert.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

And They're Off . . .

Today was the day that Cameron and Meg had been waiting for all summer - Camp Crosley.  They talked about it all week and couldn't wait to see what cabins they were going to be in and who would be there from last year.  We were earlier than normal, so the anticipation only grew as we waited to check in.  Cameron moved up to Explorers this year and was excited about that.  He was placed in the Iroquois cabin and was pleased to find out that it was connected to the community boys shower.  We helped him make his bed and put all of his camp items away.  He was ready for us to leave, so we took pictures, gave him a hug and headed to the Teen Village.

This was Meg's second year in Teen Village.  She was placed in Oneida camp with Gabby and Alisa.  She was the first one there except for the girls who were staying two weeks.  One of them Meg knew from last year.  Doug helped Meg make her bed as well since she picked the top bunk.  She also was ready for us to head out, so another quick picture and a hug and we were on our way.

I have spent a lot of time with Cam and Meg this summer, so it was strange to leave without them.  I won't worry about them, however.  They absolutely love going and we have never picked them up without smiles on their face and stories to tell.  Every year Meg says, "I'm staying two weeks next summer."  I am interested to see if that is her reaction this year.  Cam has always had a fabulous time too, but except for the first year when he only stayed three days he has always been ready to go home.  I do not wish a quick week for them, but I will be happy to hear their stories when we pick them up.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Packing, Packing & More Packing

Today is almost the day Meg and Cam have been waiting for all summer.  It is the day before their week at Camp Crosley.  What that means at the Heinisch home is a day of packing.  The first priority was to finish all of the laundry.  That was harder than it sounded as the washer would not drain properly.  We are assuming that was because of all of the rain and a full sump pump.  Eventually it did, however, and we were able to get everything gathered.

Meg and Cam were both very helpful today so it only took a couple of hours rather than the full day that it used to.  Meg actually did almost all of hers herself.  I would give Cam items off of the list to go get and he would be off while I packed what he brought me.  My favorite moment was when I asked Cam to get his toothbrush and the holder we use for camp.  He came back with Cal's ceramic toothbrush holder.  It was a true Brett moment.

While we were packing, Cal spent the afternoon playing golf with Caleb.  They were supposed to go tubing with Maddie, but the lake is under a speed warning as the water is unusually high this year.  Cal spent yesterday at the zoo with a girl that he is talking to.  He was happy with his day and was proud of the yellow and green shoes he found at Goodwill while they were shopping.

Brett called this afternoon several times.  He drove down to New Albany to be a part of Todd Young's announcement for Senate.  He had a fantastic time, met a lot of new people and saw some he was already friends with.  Brett learned that Todd Young's wife is the niece of Dan Quayle.  He enjoyed talking to her.  Brett is very hopeful that he will get an internship with Todd Young this fall.  That would be an awesome experience for him.

Tonight we took Cam and Meg to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate their week at camp.  Another storm blew in.  I could not believe it.  This one wasn't quite as heavy as last nights.  After dinner Meg wanted to play Kemps.  She and Grandpa beat us, but I can see why everyone likes it.  It is fast moving and a great game to play with large groups.  We all enjoyed it.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Tonight Cal had to work and Meg went with Kaitlin to a church function.  That left Doug, Cam and I at home to figure out what we wanted to do.  After cooking out in a thunderstorm one of us suggested cards.  That was when Cam called Grandma and Grandpa to see if they wanted to join in.  We talked about a few different games but everyone decided that they wanted to play Hearts.

It has definitely been quite awhile since I have played.  We used to play all of the time when the Heinisch children were younger.  The only difference between now and then is less swearing from my Dad and more interesting strategies from everyone.  Cam did get made once when he had to eat the Queen but overall it was a friendly game.  We should have gotten mad at Doug.  He not only ran them to let me Dad win he also beat us in a game of Pit afterward.  Either way it was a fun time on a rainy evening.  I am glad that we made time to play.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

7 on 7

Meg has played all summer with the high school Varisty girls on Doug's 7 on 7 soccer team.  She has made every game and will only miss the last one of the summer season.  Doug really likes this league as it gives his team a lot of opportunity to play.  I thought Meg did very well for an incoming Freshmen.  She knows the Forward position extremely well, looks to pass, shoot or dribble past a weaker opponent.  I know she will be an important part of the JV team and I believe they have a chance to win several games.

Tonight she had to play Mid-Field.  Meg understands that position, but it is definitely not one of her favorites.  Doug wanted her to have experience at it this summer so if she is ever needed to play Mid-Field she will be ready.  She let me know after the game that it wasn't her favorite, but realized that her job is to help Doug and her team where needed.

My favorite play of the evening came in the second half of the Concord game.  The Wawasee girls really do not like the Concord teams.  They feel they play dirty and belittle them.  At one point Meg had a shot on goal and the goalie came out of the box and shoved her down.  Meg got right back up and shoved her back.  That was when another Concord player started laughing.  Meg thought about decking her and in all honesty I would have supported that.  Glad that the next time we play them there will be refs.

After the games all of the girls, coaches and a few of the parents went to Buffalo Wild Wings.  The service was slow, but I believe that everyone had a good time.  It was boneless Thursday which is one of our favorite nights to go.  Cam stayed home and went to the Minions movie with Grandpa Cutes.  It was a fun outing for him complete with DQ Blizzards and a new Spongebob episode.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Here Comes the Sun

The golf course was finally open today so Cam and Mom were able to play 18 holes.  It was sunny almost all day, but not hot yet.  This has definitely been the wettest summer I can remember.  When Meg and Doug went to soccer Cam and I decided to clean up the sand toys.  It has been a long time since he has played in the sandbox and we thought it was the perfect time since Doug just cleaned the swing set.

While Cam was cleaning (and soaking himself) I spent about 45 minutes picking up sticks and limbs that had fallen in our yard.  I had a very large pile in the fire pit and an equally large one added to our wood pile in the lot by the time Cam was done with the toys.  He and I then went for a walk/bike ride around the neighborhood.  We found one dog to pet and Cam only fell twice - once because his shorts got caught in the seat.

By the time we got back Doug and Meg were pulling in.  They had a lot of fun at practice.  After dinner we all played croquet.  We had to talk Meg into playing with us and she ended up winning.  Doug tried to burn the sticks I piled up but they were still too wet.  It was nice to have a sunny day.  The weatherman is calling for sun the next few days, but I will believe it when I see it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Trip to the Zoo

Yesterday Meg said that she wanted to do something fun today.  She hadn't really decided on what, so once I got ready I asked Cam what he thought we should do.  His suggestions were good ones - bowling, the Fort Wayne Zoo or Chuck E. Cheese.  We woke Meg up at 11:30 a.m. and told her that she had to choose one.  After some thought the zoo was the pick of the day and we set off at noon.

It was a beautiful day which was much appreciated after all of the rain we have gotten.  The zoo was the least crowded I have ever seen it and we were easily able to get through all of the exhibits and ride our four favorite rides.  For the first time ever I took a turn on the sky ride.  There was a Grandma there with three of her grandchildren and the attendants would only let her take two.  Meg offered for one to ride with them, but Meg had to be sixteen to do so.  Thus, I offered to go with the six year old.  She was a cutie and we had a lot of fun.  I was extremely nervous, however, as I do not like heights and I felt like the little girl could slip out of the ride at any minute.  I did finally insist she hold my hand when she decided to try and touch the top of the trees with her foot.  It reminded me so much of Meg at that age.

We toured Africa and Asia before we rode on the carousel.  Cam was happy to get the Giant Panda as his animal.  We didn't eat lunch before we left so we all decided on snacks.  I had popcorn and they had pretzels.  We were happy to see the lions awake, the baby orangutan swinging from the trees, the prairie dogs eating, and the seals swimming before we rode the train.  The last ride of the day was in Australia and is my favorite - the log ride.  We all wish it had a drop like Splash Mountain, but it is still fun to be ride on.  

To end the trip the three of us had Dippin' Dots (another first for me) and walked through the petting zoo.  None of us were sure why there was a honeybee exhibit, but Cam and Meg did have fun brushing the goats.  I love summer because of days like these - an impromptu trip to the zoo and a whole lot of fun.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

"I thought it would be a dull afternoon . . . "

"I thought it would be a dull afternoon until Grandpa asked me to go night crawler hunting and had to have his car towed from a ditch!" said Cam on the phone when he called me from the golf course.  With all of the rain the golf courses were closed for the day and my Dad decided to take Cameron night crawler hunting at Maxwelton.  Cameron suggested parking at the clubhouse and walking, but by Dad was sure that he could just park along #10 and they would be fine.  After Cameron got to the pond the car started sliding into the ditch and Dad couldn't get it out.  Cam said that five people stopped by to help, but it needed a tow truck.  After 45 minutes and 34 night crawlers they were on their way.  Meg and I made sure to drive by several times honking and laughing once we made sure they were all ok.  As Cam said later - "There is no dull day with Grandpa."

The day did start off dull with a severe storm in the morning, but after lunch the sun came out and the rest of the day was a good one.  Jayce and Alex were over for part of the afternoon.  They decided to go play at Wawasee around 2 p.m.  Cal went to tennis at West Noble once they were done.  The truck isn't working right now and he's been borrowing Mom's van while we wait for Monteith to let us know what is wrong.

Meg and I met Doug at 7 on 7.  She had a lot of fun playing tonight.  The teams were pretty evenly matched, so the games were a lot more competitive.  Doug only had 9 girls for the game, so Meg was one who substituted in various positions during the game.  She had several shots on goal and scored twice.  She was happy with that performance.  

An evening storm hit again once we got home.  It was more powerful than this morning although we did lose a big limb earlier.  It was over by midnight and looks like it might be a beautiful day tomorrow.  That would be very nice after all of the rain!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Mass

We started our day at 9:30 a.m. mass.  Meg and Cam were altar servers which always leads to a fun morning.  Cam tripped three times during mass.  Luckily, nothing was dropped in the adventure.  Cal was the lector and did a very nice job.  Doug was an usher.  I love that they are all part of the service, but I have never wanted to volunteer at church only because I don't like being up in front of everyone.  Even this week someone who is only here in the summer stopped Mom at the golf course to tell her that he knew her grandchildren from church.  It definitely feels like everyone knows our family.

Tonight Meg had Preston and Clayton over.  After pizza we dropped them off at The Minion movie.  They had a lot of fun and laughed almost the entire time they were together.  Most of their stories revolved around band, but they were a riot to listen to.  We took Cam golfing and once the movie was over everyone had Joe's ice cream.  Cal even had to spend with friends after work as he and Caleb headed to McDonald's once they closed.  It was another great summer night.  We will all hate to see them come to a close next month.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Mini Golf Champ

After a day of working around the house, exercising, playing golf, doing laundry and figuring out what was wrong with Cal's truck we decided to head to South Bend for the evening.  Meg, Cam and I were still bitter over the beating we took in mini golf on the way back from Galena and challenged Doug to a rematch.  Thus, our first stop was Putt Putt.  It was close and came down to the last hole.  Doug had a three stroke lead and had a four to end the round.  The three of us all had twos and tied with 43's.  Doug beat us by one.  At least it was a lot more respectable this time around.

We went to Barnes & Noble after mini golf.  I wanted to check on a Hemingway biography and to see when the new Harper Lee book was to be released.  I found the information I was looking for about Hemingway and Walloon Lake.  The sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" comes out on the 14th, so I will have to order it online.  I am hoping to take it with us to Michigan.  I assume Brett, Doug and my Dad will want to read it as well.  Brett texted me today to let me know that he had been reading that it is rumored that Truman Capote really wrote the books.  That would make sense since he is one of the main characters in the book and concerns a lot of detail about his life.

We had dinner at Scotty's Brewhouse.  Doug received a gift card there from his boss.  The last time we ate there I wasn't quite sure about it, but tonight we all really like it.  There was plenty of food and everything was delicious.  We even had quite a bit to bring home for Cal.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Being Nice

This past month I have realized that being nice shouldn't mean being mistreated.  Meg tried to tell me this a year ago and I didn't listen as well as I should have.  My thought was always that we can't hurt others feelings and should be nice.  I have learned, however, that being nice doesn't mean inviting others to events just to ensure you do not hurt their feelings.  It is OK to leave someone off of the list that isn't nice in return and there is a graceful way to do so.

Meg understood that before I did and I wished I would have followed her advice.  I think Meg would have had to put up with a lot less drama the past three months or so if I would have let her decide who to invite when or where.  She knew better who was her true friends and who wasn't.  She knew she didn't have to invite someone just to be nice.  She just had to be quiet about her invitation list and be sure to respect other's feelings when they found out that they weren't invited.  Being honest would have been the best policy rather than encouraging a friendship that just wasn't a good one to begin with just to be nice.

I am frustrated for Meg that she has had to deal with the cattiness that goes along with being a girl.  She didn't do anything to deserve the way she has been treated.  Jody told me that it is a lesson that every girl has to learn - some girls are just mean - and the earlier Meg learns how to deal with it the happier she will be in the long run.  I am proud of Meg for how she has handled it all.  She has found out who her true friends are and enjoys getting together with them.  I am ever impressed with her confidence.  It may be a little rattled right now, but overall she is still the same beautiful person that she always has been.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Starting to Pay Off

It has been a long year working with the library board.  Having a director retire with short notice, a treasurer and another board member have strokes, the bookkeeper abruptly quitting all while in the middle of a remodel was quite a challenge.  I have spent more hours at the library and helping the library than I had ever planned.  There were a lot of times that I was extremely frustrated and wanted to abruptly quit as well.

This week, however, I finally felt like I could see some of that hard work pay off.  The last of the furniture was delivered, we found out we received the $30,000 Dekko grant to finish our remodeling in the meeting room and the County Council approved our request for an additional appropriation of $71,000 from 2014's budget to pay a bill from December that was sent to the wrong email.

I realize that I have been a huge part of the above items happening.  Can't wait to see the new courtyard.  It will be a beautiful addition to the front of the library and a constant reminder of the effort I have put in to make our library a better place.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


We had Direct TV set up on Sunday afternoon and have been enjoying it ever since.  The best part so far for Cameron and I is the Game Show Network.  I forgot how much I enjoyed it when we had it briefly years ago.  My favorite game show has always been Match Game.  They have that every morning along with some other oldies such as Press Your Luck, Card Sharks and $20,000 Pyramid.

Cam has been getting his fill of Family Feud and Deal or No Deal.  With the new DVR he can even record episodes if he has to leave before it is over.  He did that tonight and was able to watch someone lose a $1,000,000 once he got home from vacation Bible school.

GSN isn't the only part of Direct TV that we have been enjoying.  The record feature is also very nice to have.  We recorded a movie to watch later and love that we can now watch it on any TV.  Watching Wimbledom was completely different this year as well as we could get every court instead of just the main match.  There was even a channel that had the post match interviews.

When we decided to switch I really didn't think I would care.  I thought more of Doug and Cal when I was setting it up as I knew they would really like the sports package and the NFL Sunday Ticket.  Doug has even found a western channel that he watches nightly.  I am completely surprised by how much I am enjoying these new found stations, however.  I still don't watch a lot of television, but it's nice to know that when I want to I should be able  to find something that I like.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Typical Summer Day

It was a typical summer day at the Heinisch home, but that doesn't mean that it was boring.  Meg had Kaitlin spend the night last night and they slept in until noon.  The enjoyed playing Just Dance, walking around the neighborhood and catching up on everything they had been up to this summer.  Cam was up early as Mom and Dad took him to his first ever Indiana Junior Golf Tourney.  It was in Wabash and except for a rain delay he was happy with his performance.  He finished fourth out of six and earned four points on the junior individual totals.

Alex came over early as his work was cancelled for the day due to weather.  By noon Jayce had joined them and once it stopped raining they headed to Wawasee to play nine.  Alex left after golf and Cal and Jayce spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get Apollo to "beef up" by feeding him bananas and carrots.  They gave up the idea after they realized that a guinea pig can only eat so much.

We dropped Kaitlin off when Meg had to leave for soccer camp.  This year she got to help run the camp.  Tonight she had Cade and Cameron in her group and was pleased with that.  Cam liked it a lot better tonight since Cade was there.  He was exhausted when I picked him up as he had walked eighteen holes and played two and a half hours of soccer today.  Although both Meg and Cam had fun tonight, I believe their favorite moment might have been when Cal and Jayce dropped Cam off.  During their exit to tennis they spent several minutes honking at the senior girls.

Jayce did spend two hours with Cal at tennis tonight.  We were hoping that he would decide to play in the fall, but he would rather stick to basketball.  Jayce is strongly considering joining the golf team next Spring, however.  After soccer camp we headed to Buffalo Wild Wings for traditional Tuesdays.  It was more crowded than we thought it would be as it was after nine, but it was a nice way to celebrate another successful soccer camp for Doug.  This was his second year being in charge of it and they had close to 30 participants.  Tomorrow and Thursday the boys' team will run it.

I spent my day working at the library.  I am trying to get Kim up to speed on all that happened in the past and figure out what we need to do to remain compliant with the state regulations.  I was also able to weed the backyard, clean the bird bath, and do some grocery shopping.  I got a kick out of the fact that Century Link called me at 4:45 to see if I still needed my internet installed.  They were only 24 hours behind.  I politely declined.  With all that said I don't know if it was the most exciting day of summer, but the Heinisch family made it enjoyable even with all of the rain.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Internet Saga

A couple of weeks ago we were having problems with our Mediacom cable and internet.  There were several outages a day and the picture on the television would glitch and scramble after 7 p.m. almost nightly.  Doug called and asked for a repair.  It was no problem scheduling a service appointment, the issue was it was two weeks from when he called.

We decided that this was unacceptable, so we started the process of looking for new television and internet providers.  My parents had Direct TV, so we started there.  It took several hours to search through all of the plans and figure out the right one for us.  We finally found one we wanted to try and were happy that their current promotion included the NFL Sunday ticket.  In addition since my parents referred us we each got $10 off of our bill for the next ten months.  We set up an installation appointment for a day that Doug would be here and were happy to find out that we didn't have to wait two weeks for that.

Direct TV suggested that we switch to Century Link for internet service.  They also were running a promotion that would make it cheaper than Mediacom as well.  We did not have to set up an installation appointment as they would send the equipment to us and we just had to plug it into a phone jack.  It sounded  easy, but Doug and I both were skeptical.  We obviously had good reason to be.  The box arrived in the mail, but the DSL light would not turn green.  We called and were happy to find out that they could set up an appointment the next day to look at the wiring in our home.  Once again it sounded too good to be true and of course it was.  Today I waited from 1 to 8 p.m and no one ever came.  I called several times and they promised me the technician would call me back, but we never heard from them.  My favorite part was the last time I called and they said they could not answer my questions as Doug's name was on the account and not mine.

Thus, Mediacom will be here to stay for awhile longer.  Even with the glitches and two week wait for a service appointment I have never had to wait 7 hours for a no show.  The good news is that we were able to get Direct TV installed yesterday.  Cameron and I have been the most impressed so far.  We can now record our favorite shows, watch all the Wimbledom we could want and have the Game Show Network on two different channels.  Today was not a total loss I was able to use the time at home to get all of the laundry done, weed the front yard, update our library accounts, and fix the bird feeder to keep the squirrel out.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Birds

This summer we made a bigger effort than normal to put out the bird feeders and keep them filled.  I even bought a bird bath for them to use.  Meg doesn't like that the birds wake her up early now, but they have really been enjoying the feeder we have on the front tree.  We still haven't gotten any finches to come, but we are working on it.

I noticed the squirrels were getting into one of the front feeders a few weeks ago, so I bought a long wire to hang the feeder from and so far it is working pretty well.  Today I saw one was in the barn feeder as well, but so far he hasn't been back since I scared him off.  The barn feeder was in the backyard until this weekend.  I was filling it a lot, but never really saw many birds on it.  I thought maybe they were coming in the morning or the wind was knocking out the feed.  I knew a squirrel couldn't make it up the metal pole, so I wasn't quite sure what was eating all of the birdseed.  Today Doug figured it out.  As he was watching from the living room he saw the chipmunks climbing up the pole.   Once we moved it to the front they thought the safer bet was to just eat the feed that the birds knocked to the ground or was spilled when we filled it.

To be fair to the squirrels and chipmunks I have not completely forgotten about them.  Doug drove two nails into a tree stump we left in the backyard several years ago when we had a dead tree removed.  From there he added squirrel corn and both the squirrels and chipmunks have been enjoying that.  It has been fun to watch them all enjoy our yard as much as we do.  Now if I could get the finches to come it would be perfect.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July

The 4th of July is one of the Heinisch family's favorite holidays.  Not only is it Independence Day it is also Doug's birthday. As his birthday is always a holiday he has a few days with us to celebrate and relax.  I've enjoyed them all, but today was one of my favorites as all of the Heinisch family were under one roof.  After lunch we were able to finally give him all of the gifts we had been hiding around the house - Meg had a Cubs shirt to give him and Cal had a Bears one as well.  Doug had been wanting some running shorts and Brett was happy to make that his gift to him.  My favorite gift was the heavy duty, non kink, 100 foot hose.  What Dad wouldn't want that for his birthday?  Cam and I made that our gift to him.

In the afternoon Doug and Cal were able to hang out and play some tennis.  The rest of us went with my Dad to see the musical Grease at the Round Barn theater in Nappanee.  Both groups had a great time.  Cal, Brett, Cam and I were also able to play a game of Jedi Unleashed, one of our favorites from years gone by that Cameron never really got a chance to enjoy.  The older two boys and I used to spend every snow day playing it together.  Brett, of course, destroyed us, but agreed to a rematch for tomorrow.

We invited my parents for dinner and had pork chops and hamburgers topped off with the delicious cake above.  I promised to save a few pieces for Cal when he got home as he had to work tonight.  After dinner we all played croquet in which Doug won for the first time this summer.  Meg, Cam and I had purchased some fireworks on an interesting trip to Wal-Mart last week.  They all had fun setting them off and no fingers or toes were lost during the evening.

It was awesome to spend the day celebrating Doug and doing what he enjoys best - family time.  The next couple of months will be very busy.  It was great to have one day all to our own.

Friday, July 3, 2015


We left Galena by 8 a.m. Illinois time this morning.  We decided that we wanted to get an early start as we would have to drive through Chicago to get home.  I am really glad that we did because we hit stopped traffic about 5-6 miles from the Illinois/Indiana line.  Thankfully, Doug has driven this route so many times before he knows how to get around the Region without driving on the interstate.  It was slower than normal because of the stoplights on US 30, but quicker than the heavy traffic we kept seeing our map app.

We decided last night that we wanted to stop in Valparaiso  before we made it home.  They have a miniature golf place that we really like.  We also wanted to try the Barnes & Noble to see if they had the same dinosaur encyclopedia book we found in The Field Museum.  Meg and Cam wanted to eat lunch first at Portillo's.  We had gotten lunch there on Wednesday in DeKalb and they knew this was their last chance to have it in awhile.  Much like the interstate Portillo's was packed, but the service was fast and it was nice to get out of the van for a little while.

Miniature golf was a lot of fun although I believe it was the worst I have ever played.  Cam was close to the lead for most of the round, but the last two holes were killers and he finished in third one stroke behind Meg.  Doug was the winner of the day and I was a distant last.  We were happy to see that Barnes & Noble had Cam's book and it was quite a bit cheaper.  He enjoyed giving us facts on the way home about dinosaurs and early animals.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet.  By the time we got home Cal had already left for work.  He worked last night too and will work Saturday and Sunday.  He still seems to really enjoy it and I am glad that he is busy.  Doug cooked out and we had a bonfire while waiting for Brett to return.  He walked in a parade tonight in Garrett, Indiana in support of one of the congressional candidates in our district.  They had dinner and he really enjoyed being a part of it.

Once Brett arrived we debated going to the fireworks.  No one was too interested, so I watched them out of Meg's window while Meg and Cam caught up with Brett.  Glad he is home.  I love listening to the laughter coming from the basement.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


We started our day at the home of President Ulysses S. Grant.  In keeping with the tradition of making the most out of a Heinisch vacation we were part of the first tour of the morning.  The tour guide was unique, but the house was completely furnished and full of Presidential and Civil War facts.  From there we continued our Grant tour by visiting The Old Market Place.  Galena was a bustling Mississippi River town a hundred and fifty years ago and The Market Place was the spot to be.  We found more Grant memorabilia, Cam and my favorite was a Union vs. Confederate chess set.

After the Grant tours we continued our trip down history lane by taking a ride on the Galena Trolley Tour.  Cam and I were both looking forward to it when we started planning the trip and it did not disappoint.  We learned quite a bit about the history of the small town and were amazed at the views.  The tour was an hour long and we decided to eat lunch afterward.  There were several choices in town within walking distance of our hotel, but Doug really wanted to try Gobby's an Chicago style pizza place.  The food was excellent.

Once we had lunch I was more than ready to shop.  Galena has quite a few quaint shops along main street and we found a few that caught our interest.  Everyone picked out shirts and sweatshirts at the Galena t-shirt shop while Doug tried a couple of wine tasting spots.   Meg and Cam picked out two excellent shirts for Cal and Brett and then we decided that we had to stop at Poopsies.  Just the name sound interesting.  They found an awesome pop ball game that I know they will have fun with once we get home.

Once we realized that we still had several hours left in the afternoon we decided to drive to Dubuque, Iowa for the National Mississippi River Museum.  I had read online that they had a special Titanic exhibits with actual artifacts from the wreckage.  The exhibit was awesome.  We all received boarding passes when we arrived and were relieved to find out that we survived the trip.

The big hit of the night was our next stop.  We drove from Dubuque to Chestnut Mountain south of Galena.  They had advertised an alpine slide to ride that everyone was interested in trying.  Cam, Meg and Doug bought unlimited passes and enjoyed the carted ride to the bottom multiple times.  Unlike the toboggan run at Pokagon State Park they could ride the ski lift up and it carried the sleds for them.

Dinner was at Durty Gurty's.  It had interesting decor, but the food was delicious  After such a jam packed day an early evening back at the hotel was just what we were ready for.  This has been a wonderful vacation and we were able to fulfill Meg's main requirement - finding something historical to do this summer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Day with the Dinosaurs

When we decided to go to Illinois for a mini vacation this summer we knew that our first stop had to be The Field Museum in Chicago.  Cameron has read the Jurassic Park books, seen all of the movies and conquered the video game.  We couldn't wait to take him to see the ultimate in dinosaur fossils - Sue the T-Rex.  We met her, watched a 3-D movie about her life as a dinosaur, learned how she was discovered and spent quite a bit of time in the Exploring the Planet Earth exhibit.  Cam knew a lot of dinosaur facts already, and filled us in on what we didn't know.  While we were there we also visited exhibits on Ancient Egypt, the Underground Adventure, China, Mammoths & Mastodons and the Vikings.  We were there four hours and took advantage of every minute of it.

After our day with the dinosaurs we stopped in DeKalb to see Carl.  He showed everyone the latest wooden bowls he was making and talked about creating something the Heinisch children would love to have when they are married.  From there we drove to Galena.  We checked into the DeSoto House Hotel, Illinois' oldest operating hotel dating back to 1855.  The nameplate on our door is Philip Sheridan, civil war general, that stayed in Galena over a hundred and fifty years ago.  

Once we settled in we walked downtown and found Galena's Brewing Company for dinner.  Everyone decided on appetizers and Meg picked out her favorite from her trips to Bittersweet - Bosco sticks.  Cameron scored big with everyone when he ordered the two pound soft pretzel to share.  Brett even said he would have endured the five hour trip just to try it.  After dinner we tried the local ice cream parlor.  Doug, Meg and Cam wanted to walk to Grant's Park from there.  I took two steps on the bridge and I wasn't sure I could do it.  It was several stories above ground and felt to me as though it was moving.  It wasn't, of course, and as long as I held on to Doug and Meg & Cam agreed to walk in the middle I was able to make it across.  It was a lovely park with statues, benches and civil war memorabilia.  I am still not sure it was worth the "death defying hike", but I am glad that we did it.