Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trick or Treat

Today was the day that most children look forward to all year and the Heinisch children were no exception.  Meg and Cam had planned their costumes week before and made them on Thursday.  Cam has really been into the television show "We Bare Bears" lately.  Thus, he and Meg wanted to go as Grizz and Panda.  Cam bought a panda hat and bear gloves at Target.  They each got a new white t-shirt and used fabric paint to spell out "#Save Our Cave on the front.  They also made signs with the same slogan on Meg's and "This Cave, Our Cave" on Cam's.  It was an unique idea and I was proud of them for making their own.  Cal did go to Goodwill today to look for something new for himself, but decided to go with his standby the Woopie Cushion.

Brooklyn and Avery came over to trick or treat with Cam and Meg.  I do not know how many years they have gone together, but it has been a tradition for some time.  Brooklyn and Avery dressed as the Doctor and Marty McFly from Back to the Future.  Jayce, Cameron, and Harry all left with Cal at 5:30 to start their trick or treating even though it was earlier than the advertised time.  Cal had a white kitchen trash bag and said as he left "I'm not coming back until it's full."  Both groups did come back within an hour and a half happy with the candy they had already received.  Cal's group added Sam and took off for more.  Meg decided she was done.  It had rained and they had a full bucket of candy.  Cameron wanted to hand out candy and enjoyed that until the time for trick or treating ended.

Once Brooklyn and Avery came back over they played Five Nights of Freddy in the basement until Cal and his friends came back.  Doug made nachos for the boys and those were much appreciated.  The boys added Nick and Stephen before the night was over.  They watched football and hung out in the basement for most of the rest of the evening.  While the girls were reading Meg's writer's notebook and talking, Cam decided to watch Night of the Living Dead with Doug and I.  Cam made the movie a lot more enjoyable by mimicking the zombies as they "chased" the living and pointing out the flaws in the plans of those trying to escape from the undead. Earlier in the evening I heard one of the Heinisch children say, "This has been the best Halloween ever."  Glad that we could be a part of that.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Cam, Ryden, Preston and Meg all went to see the movie Goosebumps tonight.  Cam had already seen it with my Dad and liked it enough that he wanted to go again.  Preston had wanted to see it as well, so tonight they were finally able to make it to the uptown theater.  All of them really enjoyed it.  Meg said there were only about 20 people total at the movie.  I thought there would be a lot more as it is Halloween weekend.

While they were at the movie we went to dinner in town.  It was loud at Huntington's, but not as crowded as I thought it would be.  Cal had HM over to play Monopoly.  I think they had a good time until Cam and Ryden started playing Five Nights at Freddy's in the basement.  Preston scared them so much that Ryden screamed really loud.  Overall, everyone had a great night with friends.  Glad we could have them all here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin Carving

Tonight Cam and Meg carved their pumpkins.  Meg made hers a cat and Cam picked one out of the book Godmother Jen sent us a long time ago.  Both did a nice job.  It always takes awhile, but each year it gets easier to finish them.  I bought a new spiral candle holder to put in them.  It worked even better than I thought it would.

Once we were finished Cam and I watched "It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and "Fat Albert's Halloween."  Meg is waiting for Saturday night when Brooklyn and Avery are over to watch them.  I love the scene in Charlie Brown when Linus says, "You didn't tell me you were going to kill it" when Lucy cuts into the pumpkin.  I also love the name they give Fat Albert on Halloween - Super Fats.  It always reminds me of Cal's fifth grade Up, Up and Away program when he wore his afro and red sweater.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Meg has been swamped with homework since we have been back and she only missed a day and a half.  She was actually glad that tennis was cancelled tonight because of the weather so that she could work on it.  Meg is a very conscientious student and prides herself on doing well in class.  Culinary Arts has been frustrating for her in this regard as it is a lot of paper work for an elective.  She has learned to try new foods, however, after taking the class.

Cameron only missed a couple of hours on Monday, so his work load wasn't much of anything.  He stayed after school today for chess club and had a lot of fun.  He played a 7th grader, and even though he got beat, he was proud of how he did.  Doug was able to pick him up for me as he was driving through Goshen at the time he was finishing.

Brett had to turn in his work before he left and only had one test to study for when he got back.  He has done very well academically this year and enjoys his 60's class a lot.  The Tsars class wasn't as exciting as he thought it would be, but he still has done well.  Brett likes to take the two and a half hour classes once a week.  I couldn't stay focused that long, but he said he does alright.

Cal changed his schedule for next trimester so that he could drop AP Biology.  He feels better about it as he will not get lower than a C in it, so he can be done with science.  He has an A- in AP Stats and a B in ACP English.  They have all been a lot of work, so next trimester should be a little easier.  He is also going to intern for Mr. Szynal next trimester.  He is excited about that.

Doug received good news today.  The project he has been working on that needs approval from the Canadian government finally was approved.  This has taken up a lot of his time over the last seven months.  I have been impressed with his patience in dealing with the situation.  My favorite moment was when he received a call about Canada while he was in the Canadian country in EPCOT.

I am almost completely caught up from being gone.  Next week is the end of the trimester and I have had to shop a lot for my class.  That has been time consuming, but at least there is no grading.  I should have some time on Friday to catch up even more as the 8th grade will be in jail.  Although it has been a lot of work for all of us this week getting caught up, it sure was a fun vacation and well worth it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Still Trying to Catch Up

I finally finished all of the laundry tonight and put away everything from the trip.  I bought a new wallet to match the purse I got last February.  Meg bought a lot less than she did on previous trips, but still found some nice shirts.  Cam bought the most and had fun showing all of his treasures to my Mom.  I let he and Meg sleep in yesterday morning as I knew it would be very hard for them to go to school on only a couple hours of sleep.  They were still tired today, but not as much as they would have been.  Meg was even able to make it to tennis last night and Cam went to Evan's and played chess.  We gave Cal his shirt and hat before he left for work last night.  He really like them.  I wish he would have gone with us, but I realize that it probably wouldn't have been as much fun for him.  I know he would have liked trying the food with Doug.  Maybe he will go next time.

Monday, October 26, 2015


After a short 5 and a half hours of sleep I was up getting ready for school.  It was definitely an exhausting day, but well worth it when I think of the wonderful time we had.  I made it through school alright and then had to go shopping for my class.  Mom picked Cam up for me and I really appreciated it.  I spent the time getting started on our laundry and unpacking.  I found that if I kept moving I did fine.

Unfortunately, I had a library board meeting tonight.  It ended up being two hours long.  Somehow that has to change or I am not going to be able to stay on the board.  I was in bed by ten tonight more than ready for a good night's sleep.  Still can't believe all that we did in a five day period.  Glad we got so many pictures.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Last Day

We had breakfast at the Innkeepers Club this morning before we left for Disney's Hollywood Studios.  We arrived at the park 15 minutes early and were glad that we did as they let everyone in before the park actually opened.  We were one of the first in line for Toy Story Mania and only had a short wait.  Brett decided not to join us and tried Rock N Roller Coaster one last time, but it was closed for the day.  Instead he rode Star Tours and then met Cam at Twilight Tower of Terror.  Meg and I went shopping at the Tatooine Traders.  We had been there earlier and saw a Storm Trooper ugly Christmas shirt that we knew would be perfect for Cal.  We also found a Boba Fett hat that we knew he would like.  Once we made our purchases and Cam and Brett rode Star Tours one last time we all headed back to the Boardwalk.

We finished our packing and marked our bags for the airline and those that we were going to use as carry-ons.  We ate lunch at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival one last time as well.  It was all delicious and everyone had their favorites one more time.  We decided that the Mexico ride should be our last one as it was our first one when we arrived.  Doug even joined us this time.  Meg and Cam really wanted to stop at the Innkeepers Club one more time, so we hung out there for a little while before we needed to catch the Magical Express.  Meg and Cam had spent the week watching their favorite Disney Classic Cartoon channel that they can only find at Disney World.  It wasn't on in the lounge today in lieu of football, but I think they had gotten their fill earlier.

The Magical Express was late, but we were all on the same one.  Orlando airport is very big and it always takes awhile to get through security.  We found a place to eat some dinner and then waited with Brett at his terminal as he flew out twenty-five minutes before we did.  His plane was over booked and I was afraid that it would be delayed, but it left five minutes early.  Our plane was completely full again, but left on time as well.  I tried to sleep, but it was too bumpy.  I never found myself scared, however.  Watching Pride and Prejudice really helped as well as being able to track our flight on my phone.

We were able find our luggage fairly quickly.  Luckily, Meg recognized one of the bags that had lost its green H duck tape mark.  We were extremely fortunate that our shuttle was parked outside the baggage claim area waiting on passengers.  We caught that quickly and were in our van within ten minutes.  The drive home was uneventful, just tiring.  We stopped in Westville for something to eat and pulled into our drive at 12:45 a.m.
We definitely maximized our fall vacation.  It was exhausting, but well worth it!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fantasia Mini Golf & Downtown Disney

We started the day at Fantasia mini-golf in the hope of beating the crowd.  Even though we were there shortly after the course opened we still had almost a twenty minute wait.  Everyone wanted to play the Gardens course as we played the Greens last time and they like the Gardens a lot better.  It was definitely hot, but we had a great time.  Everyone had one or more hole in ones and an equal amount of maximum stroke holes.

We walked back to the Boardwalk for snacks and then on to EPCOT.  Brett tried lamb in Morocco for lunch while the rest of us had samples from other countries.  Doug gave Meg some sushi.  I was impressed she took a bite, but it definitely was not her favorite.  Cam's new food was buttered chicken in Africa.  He also liked the egg rolls in China.  While we were searching for food, Brett spotted Daisy.  Cam did not have her signature yet and we waited only a short while for her.  We decided that we would try the Disney Visa character spot as well and were glad to find Pluto there.  Cam saved one last spot for Mickey Mouse on his hat.  Thankfully the line was short and we were able to meet him as well.

After EPCOT we rode the bus to Downtown Disney.  They made some changes to it, but our favorite stores were still open.  Because the bus ride takes awhile we only spent a little over an hour there, but found some great souvenirs and had time to visit Goofy's Candy Co. as well.

Our last adventure of the evening was Magic Kingdom.  It wasn't as crowded as the Halloween party, but there were definitely a lot of people at the park tonight.  Cam and Meg found LeFou's brew at Gaston's Tavern and we checked Jungle Cruise off our list.  Brett was happy to visit Philharmagic  one last time and we did some shopping at the Emporium on our way out.

I noticed that tonight we were all extremely tired, but we still made it out past midnight.  Cam and Meg have said several times that they are not ready to go back and I would agree with them.  It will be sad leaving tomorrow afternoon.  I am thankful that we have a late flight.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

We left for Animal Kingdom this morning early as it was open before the rest of the parks.  We really enjoy going to this park, but it definitely is only a half day experience for us.  Besides our favorite rides - Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, A Bug's Life, and Kilimanjaro Safaris we decided to give Festival of the Lion King a try.  We had not seen it in several years as they changed the venue and just reopened it.  It was as good as we remembered and left us ready for our last adventure - Kali River Rapid Ride.  For the first time in forever I joined in the fun.  Meg kept telling me that whoever sits with Cameron will get soaked.  I claimed that I wouldn't be the one and agreed to sit beside him.  I would love to say that Meg was wrong, but she was absolutely correct.   As the first drop started it looked like we would be in the clear, but a quick turn and we went down backwards and took the brunt of the wall of water that hit our boat.  We rode back to the Boardwalk soaked, but full of some great stories.

We stopped by the Innkeepers Club for snacks after we changed and then headed to EPCOT.  We have found that touring the countries for lunch is the best time to be there as the crowds are a lot smaller.  Once again we all found some delicious food to try although we skipped the Mexico ride this time as the line for that was the longest I have ever seen.  After lunch we wanted to rest at the hotel before our big adventure of the night.  Meg and Cam used the time to swim at the Luna Pool.  It is not as big as Storm-A-Long Bay, but it is a very nice pool and they enjoy the clown slide.

Tonight we had tickets for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  It had been at least ten years since we have attended.  Cam wore his Obi-Wan-Kenobi outfit and we were impressed with how many people young and old were dressed in their favorite Disney or Star Wars characters.  We rode several of our favorite rides while we were there, but for the most part we focused on the Halloween events.  We were able to trick or treat all over the park and eventually stopped as our bags were full.  The Halloween show was a bit hit of the evening.  It starred the women of Hocus Pocus and at first we weren't sure if we would like it, but once the Shadowman arrived we all knew it would be a great night.  Brett's favorite character, Oogie Boogie was the next to arrive and started off a list of villains that we all liked.

Once the show was over we made way to the parade.  Once again it was a wonderful event albeit a little slow moving.  The villains were a bit part of the parade as well as many other Disney characters.  I talked everyone into going to the Haunted Mansion after the parade.  It was as creepy as ever and afterward we took a family picture complete with ghosts.

As we walked through the park we ran into a long line for Sally and Jack Skeleton.  Cam didn't want to wait to meet them, but Brett did.  We knew it would be about an hour, so we split up and Cam and Meg rode Goofy's Barnstormer before we went on a one way treat trail to Tomorrowland.  They rode Space Mountain and then met Buzz Lightyear.  Cam was excited to get another signature on his hat.  From there we met back up with Brett.  He was thrilled to have met two of his favorite characters.  Meg and Brett split up from us and went to Big Thunder Mountain.  Cam then had his best character experience of the night.  He got to meet Cruella deVille.  She was my favorite of the evening as she was funny, flamboyant and larger than life.  Cam had a great time with her as well.

We met backup with Meg and Brett in Adventureland.  Before the night was over we also had pictures with the Genie and Jasmine.  The Genie is supposed to be one of the hardest characters in Disney to find.  We walked through the shops on the way out thrilled with our experiences of the night and happy that we made the decision to return to the party.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

So Much Food, So Little Time

We were all able to sleep in until 9 a.m. this morning and that felt very nice.  We had breakfast reservations at Cape May Cafe at 10:30 a.m.  It was a character breakfast and we all appreciated the buffet.  Cam loaded up on Mickey waffles while the rest of us tried assorted pastries, eggs and bacon.  While we were eating Minnie, Donald and Goofy all visited our table.  We got some wonderful pictures with them and Cam added two more signatures to his Kermit hat.  He had met Mexico Donald yesterday.  

After breakfast we checked out of our hotel room and went to the Boardwalk.  We decided that it would be easiest to carry our own bags and I was very glad that we did as our room was ready upon arrival.  We had requested the exact same room as the last two trips - 3257 and were thrilled to find out that they had honored our request.  There was plenty of room for all of us and a wonderful balcony overlooking the Boardwalk.  

Our next adventure led us to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Our fast passes included Twilight Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania.  Meg, Doug and I decided to sit out of Star Tours.  Brett and Cam loved it as they were being chased by Boba Fett, and we would have enjoyed that, but the ride causes us severe motion sickness.  We decided instead to join them on Rock N Roller Coaster.  It was as fast as I remembered, but no one got sick.  After Muppets 3-D and a funny comedy show we all went back to the Boardwalk for dinner at the Inn Keepers Club.  

Doug left from their for the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.  The four of us went to Fantasmic back at Hollywood studios.  We had been listening to the finale music for the last six months and had fun dancing along with the show.  Cam bought a light up sword and wore his Mickey sorcerer's hat.  

After it was over we stopped once again at the Boardwalk for desserts and hot chocolate for Cam.  Then we met up with Doug at Ireland.  He had been hanging out with the Schwartz family.  They had toured the countries and watched a lumberjack show.  We all watched Illumninations before they went back to the hotel.  We stayed for the Extra Magic Hours and were able to ride both Soarin' and Test Track.  Brett really wanted to try Living with the Land and we were glad to make it before the park closed.  The ride, however, got stuck at the exit and they wouldn't let us off.  It ended up being very comical as Doug argued with them to let us off and they kept coming over the microphone telling us that "Living with the Land sponsored by Chiquita is experiencing technical difficulties.  Please remain seated."  After our fifteen minute wait we decided that Chiquita may not want their name associated with technical difficulties anymore!  We did make it home and in bed before midnight.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Beach Club Resort

Our plane was right on time and we left Midway at 6 a.m. this morning.  The flight was pretty uneventful except that it was packed.  Cam played on the iPad while he listened to his iPod.  I downloaded the six hour BBC series Pride and Prejudice and watched the first two episodes.  Meg tried to sleep and Doug slept off and on the entire flight.  I couldn't believe how well I did on the flight.  I wasn't really anxious at all which was a big improvement form February.

The Magical Express was ready when we got there and we were at the hotel by 11 a.m.  We decided to try the Beach Club Resort for our first night at Disney World.  It is across the lake from the Boardwalk Inn and is said to have the best pool out of all of the resorts.  We did really like Storm-A-Long Bay.  The pool had a sandy bottom.  There was a pirate sip slide, a lazy river, a hot tub and a whirl pool.  We spent almost all afternoon at the pool.  Cameron really enjoyed it and he and Meg even joined in one of the poolside games.  He had to try and drop a scoop of ice cream onto a cone in her mouth while she was lying down.  Needless to say it fell splat on her forehead.

Brett arrived just before our room was ready.  He had time to eat lunch and relax a little bit before we checked in.  Our room had a small balcony and the resort was closer to EPCOT via the walkway.  There also was a nice marketplace to refill our mugs and buy snacks.  Overall, however, we decided that the Boardwalk Inn was our Disney resort of preference even if the Beach Club had a wonderful pool.  Meg and Cam spent the rest of the day saying, "Boardwalk for life" while Brett chimed in with "Boardwalk represents."

We went to EPCOT to check out the food and wine festival during the afternoon.  Doug tried escargot and I had baklava.  The Heinisch children stuck to their favorites - German pretzels, but each vowed to try something new this trip.  We rode the Mexico ride first and also were able to fit in Nemo, Figment and Spaceship Earth before catching the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

For the first time in a long time I decided to ride Big Thunder Mountain with everyone.  It was a lot more fun than I remembered.  I sat out of Space Mountain, but did enjoy the Dwarf Mine Ride and Splash Mountain.  We also took Brett, Doug and Cam on the Little Mermaid ride as they had never been on it.  Everyone liked it a lot better than they thought they would.  It always reminds me of how much Meg was scared of Ursula and would hide her little figure in the closet.  We decided to head out about midnight as we were all exhausted, but were still able to see Mickey's Philharmagic and ride Winnie the Pooh, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Pirates of the Caribbean before we caught the bus back to the resort.  I was impressed with how long Cam and I made it up tonight as we slept about five hours between the two of us the night before.  Good thing we have breakfast reservations at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and not any earlier.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

And We're Off!

Today we left as soon as Doug got home for the Hampton Inn at Midway.  Doug decided a couple of days ago that he didn't want to get up at 1 a.m. and drive to the airport.  He was afraid that he would be too tired to drive or that we would have car trouble on the way, so he booked a room where they provided shuttle transportation to the airport as well as let us park our vehicle.

I had everything packed and ready to go when he got there.  We left at 5:15 and stopped at Portillo's for dinner in Merrillville.  Traffic was light on the way and we arrived at the hotel before nine Chicago time.  Our first room wasn't quite suitable to me as the carpet was still wet from when they cleaned it, but the second room was nice and we all decided to go to bed early and watch the Cubs game.  The hotel was definitely close to the airport as it was within three blocks.  Whether it was excitement, nerves or Doug's snoring both Cam and I had a lot of trouble falling asleep.  By the time I got up to shower Cam had just drifted off.  Hopefully, we will be able to sleep on the flight.

Monday, October 19, 2015

More Good News

Today Cal received more good news from IU.  Not only was he directly admitted into the Kelley Business School he was also given an academic scholarship for $16,000 to be spread out over four years.  Cal was pretty hyped up when I told him and we couldn't be more proud.  As of right now Cal is definitely most interested in IU and these two pieces of information have increased his interest more and more.  No matter what he chooses we are proud of him for making it this far and will support him in his next step.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


We spent the majority of the day packing for Florida.  The first step was laundry.  Once we got a good jump on the that we all headed to Target to pick up the last minute supplies that we need for Wednesday.  We also bought the items that they needed for their Halloween costumes.  They have decided to be Grizz and Panda from We Bare Bears.  It is Cameron's favorite show right now and they want to make shirts that say "#SaveOurCave.

I was finally able to cut Cam's hair once we got back.  It was the most hair I have ever cut off of him.  He didn't really want a haircut, but I know it will be cooler on vacation for him as it is supposed to be close to ninety most days.  He went to Mom's tonight as he has the day off tomorrow and she didn't want to come up early in the morning.  I don't blame her.  I am planning on taking Meg when I leave.  Cal needs to meet with his Biology teacher, so that will give him time to do so.  She likes going in early as most of her friends are already there, so it works out for everyone.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fashion Farm & Notre Dame

Today I took Cam, Evan, Preston and Meg to Fashion Farm.  It was cold and windy, but not as bad as I thought it would be.  We started in the pumpkin patch.  This year's theme was story book.  The favorite exhibits were "The Blustery Day" with Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore and "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown."  Once again the president pumpkins were a big hit and we made sure to take one of Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt for Brett.

After the pumpkins they toured three mazes.  I am not sure one counted as a maze as the corn was so short that even Evan could see over it.  I chose to skip the hay ride.  It was too cold for me.  I know they had fun as they were still talking when they returned.  Everyone chose a snack and pumpkins and gourds before we left.

Doug and I headed to the Notre Dame vs. USC game after I got back.  Jeannette invited us to go as her CFO had given her six tickets.  We had a lot of fun although the tailgate was a lot more colorful then we would have expected.  Jeannette and I figured that we would have stories to tell for years to come after that experience.  The game was a close one and Doug really enjoyed it as he had never been to Notre Dame stadium before.  We left after the third quarter as Notre Dame had gone ahead and we wanted to be home by midnight.

While we were at the game Mom took Meg, Preston and Cameron to the fish fry at their church.  After it was over they decided to go to the haunted house in North Webster.  Meg had gone the night before with Caleb and had a great time.  Dad went with Cameron and they loved it.  Meg and Preston thought it was lame, but I know they had a good time as well.  Evan was working it, so he didn't go with them.

Cal spent the day with Hannah Marie.  He came back home for awhile to get money and to let Mom know they were going to dinner and then carve pumpkins.  He got home close to the same time as we did.  As it was late Cam and Meg stayed at Mom's and we headed straight to bed.  It was an exhausting day, but everyone had a wonderful time.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gathering at Five Medals Revisited

Today I was able to go with Cameron and his fifth grade class to the Gathering at Five Medals.  It is a reenactment camp from the period of the revolutionary war until the 1820's.  This is the second year in a row that I was able to go with his class and once again I was very impressed with it.  Cameron and I were more prepared this year for the amount of merchants and items being sold.  There were many of the same tents and a lot of the same demonstrations.  We all like the cannon and musket shooting.  They reassured us that there were no bullets just gun powder.  The cannon was loud, but all of the students enjoyed watching it fired.

Cam had a great group filled with his friends - Conner, JJ, and Gabriel.  They waited on each other, pointed out the parts they found fascinating and had a lot of fun.  We were able to tour the Woodland Indian tents before lunch.  The class had been studying them and they enjoyed witnessing their life first hand.  By the time we toured their tents the boys were also colored with the remnants of the rock candy they had purchased at the candy tent.  Cam's teeth were completely purple.

Everyone had a sack lunch and I loved watching them trade foods and remark on each others lunch choices.  Cameron said that if there was a "best lunch" award he would definitely win it as his Grandma Jane packs the best lunches.  I would agree as she even made me a peanut butter sandwich complete with fruit and a black jack for a treat.  After we ate we had about an hour to make any final purchases and revisit an encampments that we wanted to.  The boys did some trading until we realized that Conner's rabbit fur was missing.  Luckily, Cam remembered the last place we saw it and when we went back to check another group heard our inquiries and let us know that they had it.  We felt blessed to have it back.

Cam and I left from Five Medals for home happy that the day had been successful even though the weather had been interesting - one minute rain, the next hail all along with a lot of sun, wind and cool temperatures.  He loved reviewing his purchases - a shell necklace, copper leaf, bird whistle, fire starter and wooden tomahawk.  I was very happy when I drove home that we had made the choice to switch Cam to Bethany Christian.  I was impressed all day with how well behaved his class was compared to some of the other schools.  I was also glad that Cameron has adjusted so well.  It has taken a lot of work on his part but it definitely has been worth the effort.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It Gets Easier, but Never Goes Away

Last night at Cam's conferences we learned that Cam has been having bouts of sadness when hymns are sung during chapel that remind him of Grandma Heinisch's funeral.  They don't last for long and each time a teacher has been there to support him.  He has told us each time it has happened, but the teachers wanted to make sure knew about it.

Once it happened the first time I thought about the last year and the Heinisch children processing Jeanette's death.  Except for Meg the boys really don't talk about her very much.  I never gave that much thought until Cam started talking about crying when he heard "Here I Am" at chapel.  I also noticed that Cam thought long and hard about putting her picture in the book he was writing about his life.  When I asked him about it, he said it was just too sad to think about his Grandma.

This has been a good reminder that time helps, but doesn't heal the heart of some wounds.  Jeanette meant a lot to all four of our children.  They miss her and it is hard to think about life going on without her in it.  I know it will get easier for them, but that sense of loss will never go away.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good News All Around

This morning Cal received some awesome news.  He was admitted early to the Kelley School of Business at IU.  That is incredible news as they only accept a small percentage of freshmen early.  They have such a fantastic program and their career services program is second to none.

More good news followed this afternoon when we went to Cameron's conferences at Bethany and met with his 5th grade teacher, the band teacher and the music teacher.  All had wonderful things to say about Cameron and how happy they are to have him as a student.  Mrs. H was afraid that he was not being challenged enough, but Cam said that he is very happy academically.  He has also started to meet more and more friends which has made school even better.  He comes out everyday happy and can't wait to tell us his three positive things for the day.

The good news continued as Meg told us all about her day.  She made it through both of her tests, earned extra points in Spanish and survived another day of swimming.  Today was her first open court for tennis this fall and she said that she played very well and beat the junior she was paired against.

Brett's good news came last night as he was able to usher for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and could stay for the entire performance.  It has always been one of his favorite musicals and he was thrilled when called after it was over.  I am thrilled that all of the Heinisch children are happy and fulfilling their own dreams.  As a parent I couldn't ask for more than that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Enough is Enough

Sometimes enough is enough and today I realized that more than ever.  I am not one to complain unless I can help change a situation, but I think I have finally found a situation that I cannot fix.  Thus, I am stuck with the alternative of saying "It is what it is" or leaving this unhappy set of circumstances.  I really haven't decided what I am going to do.  It is nice to know that my parents, the Heinisch children and Doug will support me no matter what I decide.  That makes all the difference.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Meg and I were finally able to get in to have our hair cut this afternoon.  With soccer every day and on Saturdays it has been impossible to do.  Meg didn't want too much cut off, but finally settled on an inch.  In the end we couldn't even tell and she said it felt a lot better.  Since swimming started in PE this week, she was glad for the extra conditioner that Amanda put in her hair.  Swimming hasn't been her favorite PE activity and the constant turning of her head has made her dizzy.  Overall, however, it hasn't been as bad as she envisioned.  It isn't like it was at Milford where she would have to ride back in the bus in the middle of January with wet hair.

I also got my haircut.  My inch was a little more noticeable as my hair is shorter than Meg's.  I am too nervous to go any shorter, but maybe one day.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Smoke on the Mountain

This afternoon Dad, Cam and I all went to see the musical "Smoke on the Mountain" at the Roundbarn Theater.  We were all a little skeptical about it when it started, but after the first fifteen minutes or so we were hooked.  It was a 1940s Baptist revival complete with songs and humor.  The second act was even funnier than the first and we couldn't stop laughing at the preacher or the girl signing the songs for all of the deaf audience members.

We all really wished that Brett could have seen it too.  He would have loved it.  While we were there they announced the musicals for next year.  I didn't catch them all, but I know I am excited for Fiddler on the Roof and believe the Heinisch children will really like The Miracle Worker.  My Dad said Forever Plaid is one of his favorites and it is scheduled to be there as well.  Doug thought it would be a great idea for us to renew our season tickets as we all seem to enjoy it so much.  Even a musical that we knew nothing about turned out to be extremely entertaining.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Haunted Houses

We picked Brett up at 9 a.m. for the Bloomington Farmer's Market.  I love the sights and sounds of all of the vendors.  We started in the craft area and there were several items we would have loved to buy, but they were a little pricey.  We did find a great deal on bell peppers and zucchini.  Brett bought a bees wax candle as well.  Our last stop was the food tents.  Everyone found something great for breakfast from pretzels to scones.

After an enjoyable morning we dropped Brett off at the Union and headed to Indy.  We had promised Cameron we would go to the Haunted House at the Children's Museum once soccer and tennis were over and it was opening weekend.  We made it there by lunch and explored the dinosaurs, Anne Frank, and science lab exhibits before the Haunted House opened.  We thought about going to the special exhibit featuring the Ninja Turtles, but the line was at least a hundred people long.  Instead Cam and I just peaked in the doorway.  We aren't big fans of the Turtles anyway, so that was enough for us.

The Haunted House was a pirates theme this year.  It was very well decorated and scared Cam and I quite a bit.  We made him go first and Meg swears that one time Cam screamed and it was only a palm tree.  Cam was positive that it was a person.  I thought the creepiest part was walking through the long black hanging pipes.  Meg said hers was the spinning tunnel.  We all loved finding out our pirate names while we waited to get in.  The boys were all "Squidlips Barth."  I was "Old Barth" and Meg was "Deadman Barth."

We were home by 7 p.m. tonight, but Cal was already gone.  He went to a Halloween party at Hannah Marie's Aunt's in Churubusco.  They also went to a haunted house.  Cal said it wasn't too scary, but I know I couldn't have handled it.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Cam, Meg, Doug and I left school and work at noon today so that we could get ahead start on our trip to Bloomington.  The ride down was uneventful and we were very glad that we left early as traffic was already heavy.  I slept for a good portion of the trip as I haven't been sleeping very well this week.  We stopped at Oliver Winery and Brett met us there.  We had a great time catching up with him and enjoyed our picnic.  By the end Cameron had improved his frisbee skills greatly.

After the winery we went to the mall.  Meg found a pair of tennis shoes at Dick's.  Cam got a new Wii game and I found some great candles at Yankee Candle.  We also stopped at Barnes and Noble and did some window shopping.  We checked into the Union after shopping.  We were able to get a lane for bowling and Cameron greatly improved his score from last time.  We walked down to Buffalouies after bowling for a light dinner.  It was after nine by the time we got there, so it was very easy to find a seat.  Ice cream was next on our agenda and then a walk back to the Union as we were all pretty tired.  Doug walked Brett back to his apartment and then got breadsticks at Pizza Express. 

 It was a very full day and we were glad to visit with Brett as we had not seen him since Labor Day.  He has been busy with his internship and classes.  I loved listening to the three of them talk and give each other a hard time about everything.  At one point Cam started singing a song from Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Brett joined in with a different one.  We are probably one of the few families that could do that and I appreciate us all the more for it.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Birthday Presents

Every year on October 8th the Heinisch children and I give my parents a birthday gift in memory of my brother Bunk.  I loved the flowers and butterfly that we picked out this year and I know they were proud to give it to my Mom.  It's a small token, but one that has become a tradition.  Losing my brother was a huge loss in my childhood.  Remembering his birthday gives me a chance to honor his memory rather than dwell on his loss.  I hope it also brings a little sunshine on a day that I am sure is bittersweet to my parents.  He was by far my favorite person as a child.  Would have loved to see the adult he would have become.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

That's Fantastic!

Yesterday Cam was struggling with how to deal with classmates that continually talk and are loud.  I told him that instead of being annoyed with them, he should be super positive boy.  That way when someone walked up to him and said, "My coyote can eat your cobra."  He could come right back with "That's Fantastic!"  or "I can't believe that!"  or "That is awesome.  I am so glad that I know that!"

Thus, we spent the rest of the evening trying out our new found philosophy on everything we did.  "Dad, that's the best bonfire I have ever seen."  "Meg, I love all of your stories."  On and on we went until Meg finally said, "Stop, that is annoying!"

I asked Cam if he tried it out on anyone today and he said he did.  I asked him how his classmates reacted and he said that they just kept right on talking.  I then asked him if it made him laugh to himself instead of being annoyed.  That's when he understood the philosophy and how to turn a negative into a positive. . . and I think "That's Fantastic!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

Today Cal received his acceptance letter from IU.  I am very proud of him.  He is still not 100% sure if he is going to Bloomington or not, but definitely is leaning towards it.  I like the idea of him going there, not just because Doug, Brett, Parce and I did, but because they have a great business school.   Cal also knows the layout of the town and has Parce there if he needs someone immediately.  We love to visit the area and would have no problem coming down to see him.  It is an exciting time in his life and I am sure just a little scary as well.  Can't wait to hear what Cal decides.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Golf Continues

Both Cal and Cam made it to the golf course this evening.  The weather at the end of today was just gorgeous and with very little wind it was the perfect night to play.  They also got to spend time with their grandparents as well.  Cam even beat his Grandma on nine.  Pretty soon snow will end the rounds of golf for the year, but it is always great to get in one more.

My parents took advantage of the warm weather yesterday to visit the cemetery.  They posted some beautiful pictures of all of the flowers they put on Grandma, Grandpa, Peggy, Bunk and Dolly's graves.  It is very nice that they take the time to decorate.

Doug and I were also able to get outside this evening.  We walked up to the high school.  Once we returned Meg and Cam were ready for a rematch at ping pong.  Tonight I was able to beat both of them.  I am sure that will end soon enough.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Fall by far is my favorite season of the year.  I love the colors, the decorations, the holidays and so much more.  The weather turned cooler this weekend and we put up our Halloween.  Doug started looking up soup recipes and I bought a pumpkin fragrance Yankee Candle.  Thus, I would say we are ready.

Plans have been made to attend the Children's Museum haunted house, Fashion Farm, and for the first time in a long time, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World.  That may be the best part of autumn this year.  I have already been watching the live feeds of the parade and checking the weather for our trip.  I do not believe anyone will dress up at Disney this year, but we will still enjoy it all the same.  Coming back won't be so bad either as we will still have pumpkins to carve, costumes to make and trick or treating routes to map.  Bring on the festivities.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shoot Out

Today was the JV soccer tournament for the NLC.  It started at 9 a.m. on a very breezy, cold morning.  I was there when it started, wrapped in two blankets.  Meg was able to play the entire game today as there was not a varsity game to follow.  She started at center forward and played extremely well.  Her passing has improved greatly this season and she has really worked on being more aggressive the last few weeks.  Today that showed as she took down another player and got into several shoving matches along the way.

The first game pitted Wawasee against Plymouth.  Wawasee controlled the ball quite a bit in the first half, but couldn't convert with a score.  Meg finally scored in the second half, but she was called offsides and the goals was called back.  Plymouth beat Wawasee 4-0, but the game was closer than the score.  After a ten minute break play between Wawasee and Warsaw started.  Wawasee came out more aggressive than their opponent and looked the better, but a dropped ball ended in a score for the Tigers putting them at the lead 1-0 at half.

Cam and I had to leave at the end of the half so that we could make it to a birthday party of his classmate in Goshen.  After stopping at Wal-Mart to pick out a gift we called Doug to see how the game was going on.  He answered quickly to let us know that they were going to penalty kicks.  Meg had scored when Haley was shoved down in the box.  She said that she never even asked who was going to take the kick.  She walked up ready to score.

Once I got home they filled me in on the end of the game.  Wawasee and Warsaw both made two of their five penalty kicks to push the game to sudden death.  Meg was the third kicker and made her second penalty  kick of the day.   Sudden death went to the second kicker and Wawasee finally put the game away.  Meg said that she could not stop screaming.  Cam and I were sorry that we missed it, but he would have never made it to his party had we waited.  We enjoyed listening to the play by play from Doug and Meg, however.  I know it is something they will remember for quite awhile.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sectional Runner Up

A year ago Cal walked off the tennis court, looked at me and said, "Mom, I think I'm done."  At that point I couldn't blame him.  His junior year of tennis had been extremely disappointed for several reasons and was only topped by the fact that they lost in the first round of sectionals to a team that they had beat in the regular season 5-0.  I had watched his frustration all season and although I wanted him to play his senior year, I understood how he felt last fall. 

Cal spent the winter playing indoor soccer with his friends at the middle school and talked to the coach in the Spring about playing that sport in the fall.  We told him we would support any decision he made.  We encouraged him to practice both in the summer and decide in August.  Personally, I had resolved months before that I had watched his last high school tennis match.  

Much to our surprise Cal did not need to take all summer to decide.  In May he sat down in the living room chair, looked at both of us and said, "I've decided that I am going to play tennis."  Both Doug and I were thrilled.  We love soccer, but Cal is an awesome tennis player and the team needed him.  Thus, he began practicing with the team as soon as golf ended.  

When Cal made that decision I silently made one too.  I promised myself that I would not miss a game, match or even point of his senior year.  Cam and I traveled all over Northern Indiana to see Cal play and we enjoyed it thoroughly.  His intensity on the court was incredible and he improved greatly from the first serve against West Noble at the scrimmage to the last one tonight against Warsaw.  I know he was disappointed with the outcome of the evening, but we couldn't have been more proud.  He played an awesome match just coming up short in the end.  How fitting it was that in his last high school match his was the lone court still playing, still competing, long after his teammates were done.   

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tennis Sectional

Tonight was the first round of tennis sectional for Cal.  Doug and Meg had a game at Northwood so they could not attend.  Unfortunately, I had student led conferences and couldn't be there either.  I was bummed as I had attended everyone of Cal's matches this year, but conferences are part of our contract so there was nothing I could do.

Dad, Mom and Cam agreed to go and cheer the boys on.  They had a great draw as they received the bye and only had to beat Tippy Valley to make it to the finals.  After last year's disappointment, however, none of us were taking it for granted that they would win, but we were extremely hopeful.  On the way to school today I made Cam promise that he would cheer as loud as he could and keep me updated on their progress.

In the end there was nothing to worry about.  Cal won easily 6-2, 6-1 as did the number 3 singles and both doubles.  Number 1 singles went to three sets and escaped several match points before pulling out the win for a 5-0 sweep.  Doug and I were both thrilled when we got the text.  With the win we would all be able to attend the sectional final on Friday.  Even Mom, Dad and Carl made plans to be there.