Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

For the sixth year in a row we took the Heinisch children to Pokagon State Park to go tobogganing.  Cal and Brett didn't join us, but this year Kaitlin did.  The first two trips were the best as it wasn't crowded yet.  The last one took over twenty minutes, so they decided to call it after the third time down.  We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch and were home in the early afternoon.  We took Kaitlin home and everyone started on the final round of Christmas Take Down.  Meg and Cam tackled the basement with Doug's help.  He worked on the outside as well and I finished the ornament sorting and tree.  By the time my parents came over to play games we had everything put away and all of the snowmen out for winter.  We also swept and rearranged the living room.  It felt wonderful to be done.

Cal went to Aubrey's tonight and Meg went to Gabby's for a party.  Before they left I gave the four of them the Star Wars pillow slips that I had made complete with new pillows.  Everyone seemed to like them and I was proud of myself for making them.  Brett and Cam stayed home with us and played games most of the evening.  Mom and Dad came up at 7 to join us.  Doug made several appetizers and Mom brought black eyed peas and cornbread.  It was a wonderful way to finish 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Take Down

We left this morning for piano and talked Brett into going with us.  Our caveat was stopping at Olympia for lunch.  He enjoyed catching up with Mrs. Meek and we all liked the new chair that her children got her for Christmas.  I used the time to work on organizing the Christmas ornaments.  I brought both tubs and finished just as they completed their lesson.  We picked out music to work on next week - Cam found four Willie Wonka songs and Meg wanted Lord of the Dance and Beauty and the Beast.

After piano we stopped to pick up the calendars.  They looked very good.  I am glad that the power came on last night so that I could finish it.  Unfortunately, our luck struck out with Olympia again.  They were closed and do not plan to reopen until the New Year.  Brett and Meg decided that they would eat at Maria's instead and Cam and I picked Penguin Point.

Once I got back from lunch I started taking down the Christmas.  Brett was disappointed, but I usually start on the 26th.  It is such a long process that I hate prolonging it.  I took a break to take Meg to tennis.  She hit well and has really improved in the six weeks that she has been taking lessons.  Team tennis starts on the 9th.  She is looking forward to that.

Doug decided to make a couple of recipes tonight from the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival book that we bought him at Disney World this fall.  One was from Germany and the other Morocco.  They were both delicious.  He brought home Little Caesars for everyone else.  Kaitlin came over after tennis to spend the night. Cal and Stephen went to the Notre Dame girls Game with Hannah-Marie's and Aubrey's families.  They had a lot of fun.  Since our plan was to stay in I worked the rest of the evening on the Christmas.  I still have a lot to do, but made a good dent this evening on it all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ice Storm + Neighbors Tree = No Power for 24 Hours

Doug left this morning and we were still without power.  By the time I went home to get clothes to take a shower, REMC had arrived.  Unfortunately, to fix the pole we would have to sacrifice one of our pine trees.  I was sad as we had planted those and they provided a great fence to the neighbors yard.  Their plan was to work all afternoon and hopefully we would have power by early in the evening.

Meg and I showered at Mom's and then drove to South Bend.  She had gift cards to spend and it was the perfect day to do so.  We had lunch at Noodles & Company before shopping at Kohl's.  While she spent her gift cards we also looked for a dress for semi-formal.  She picked out a navy blue one that looked wonderful on her.  After Kohl's we headed to the mall.  Meg spent all of her money at Hollister and American Eagle, but decided to save her Journey's money until Spring.  We stopped at Shoe Carnival on the way home, but did not have any luck finding navy blue shoes.

Dad and Cal spent the day in South Bend as well.  They had afternoon tickets for the ND vs. Liberty men's basketball game.  The game time was changed, however, so they had an extra couple of hours to kill while waiting.  They went to dinner, toured campus and checked out the bookstore.  They both had a great time and ND won easily.

Once Meg and I got home we were pleased to find out that we had power!!  We picked up our clothes and such from Mom's and everyone headed home.  Brett and Cam spent the day there.  Brett made headway on his job searches and Cam played the Wii.  We talked Doug into going to dinner and stopped at Target on the way.  Meg found her blue shoes and the boys found video games and accessories.  Dinner was long tonight as it took quite awhile to be seated and to get our food.  We had fun, however.  Cal was home when we got here and much to our surprise the internet was even working.  What a great evening it was!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ice Storm, Downed Tree & No Power

This morning we woke up to an ice storm.  Doug said that it really started after he got into work, so he had no problem getting there.  Cal left Cameron's around 9 a.m. which was also before the roads became icy.  It took me awhile to get to the Brower's as North Webster was worse than Syracuse by the time I left.  We grabbed Meg on the way home as well and I decided to cancel piano.  Everyone was disappointed as they really wanted to go to that and Olympia for lunch, but they understood as it was not nice outside at the time.

Around 12:30 I sat down to work on my photo calendar and realized that the internet was out.  I was disappointed as I had set aside time to do so today, but that didn't compare to the next outage that we encountered.  Around 1:30 Cal, Meg and Cam heard a loud crash and realized that the tree in the yard diagonally from us had come down in the ice storm.  We were floored that it fell as it was one large tree.  Unfortunately when it did it also took out the power lines with it.  The weight of it all broke the utility pole in our backyard in half as well.  Thus, our power outage began.

I called Kosciusko REMC right away, but I knew that this was going to be a bigger project than just a downed wire.  Our neighbors hoped that since it was a live wire that we would move up on the priority list, but as the afternoon wore on I became more skeptical.  Cal and Brett stayed here while I went to North Webster for Meg's haircut.  We thought about cancelling, but the roads weren't too bad.  Cam headed over to my Mom's and by 4:30 Brett, Meg and I had joined him.  I took all of our portable chargers and the laptop also in case we were going to be out of power for awhile.

Doug took Meg to tennis tonight and exercised there.  I folded laundry in the dark, which wasn't too bad until I had to match socks.  Cal and Hannah Marie went bowling as it was one of the few places open.  I had a library board meeting this evening.  We had to transfer money before the 1st of January and our director was going to be unavailable the next three days.  We were nervous for awhile that we would not have a quorum, but thankfully Randy drove in from Fort Wayne especially to be at it.

Once the evening became dark we realized that we were not getting power tonight.  The Heinisch children all ate at Mom's, and Doug and I went to Huntington's along with everyone else who was without power.  We played cards at Mom's until ten and then Doug returned to stay at our house.  He had showered at the racket club and we left the fireplace on, so staying here wasn't too bad.  The rest of us spent the night at Mom's.  We were thankful that they had electricity and did not mind the company.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Quiet Day

Yesterday was exhausting, but it was nice to have a quiet day at home.  I spent it working on a sewing project and starting on the laundry.  The one positive about teaching FACS is that I have learned how to sew.  I haven't tried anything elaborate yet, but maybe next year.

Meg went to Preston's for the day and then to Kaitlin's to spend the night.  Cam was invited to spend the night at Evan's tomorrow night, but Mary asked if they could change to this evening.  Cal dropped him off on his way to spend the night at Cameron Adams.  Brett spent the day playing his new PS4.  Therefore with everyone occupied we decided to head to Fort Wayne in the late afternoon.  We found the candles I was looking for and calendars for everyone.  Chop's is closed on Sundays so we tried Biggi's for dinner.  It was packed, but we found a table and enjoyed a nice meal. I was very thankful tonight that we were able to visit DeKalb and still enjoy a nice quiet end to the wonderful four day weekend we have had.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Brett, Meg, Cam, Doug and I left at 8:45 a.m. for the Art Institute in Chicago.  We visited there a year ago and I was happy that they picked to go back this year.  Cam once again grabbed the program which gave him twelve different pieces of art to find on his journey through the museum.  He had a lot of fun looking for all of them.  It stated that they could be found in an hour, but we took a little longer than that.  My favorite section as always is The Impressionists.  Everyone else seemed to like it as well.  Brett's main focus was the religious section.  We definitely found the paintings there fascinating.  After a trip to the "gift museum" to buy Cam a book, and several Impressionists items, we left for Naperville.

We met Carl and a friend of his at Maggiano's.  We had a nice visit and a delicious lunch.  Cam gave him the gift basket of chocolates with a description of his adventures at The South Bend Chocolate Company.  Carl appreciated the photo album that we made complete with pictures of Jeanette and the Heinisch children.

Our last stop of the night was the Montavon home.  All of the Montavon and Heinisch children had a great night together playing Just Dance and going laser tagging.  We hung out with Kevin and Alexia while they were gone and finished the evening with dinner for everyone from Portillo's.  We left South Elgin at 8:30 Illinois time and had a quiet ride home filled with Christmas movies.  It was a long day, but everyone was happy to have spent it together in Illinois.

Friday, December 25, 2015


We had a wonderful day celebrating Christmas with the Heinisch children.  We talked Cameron into letting everyone sleep in until 9 a.m. which was much appreciated.  Cam did not let anyone make it to 9:01 as he woke everyone up and came flying down the stairs.  There were a lot of gifts to open highlighted by a PS4 for Brett, NBA Pass/Shaq jersey for Cal, Gift Cards for a day of Shopping to Meg, and a Wii U for Cam.  I loved my new sewing basket, sweaters and Renoir puzzle.  Doug did not ask for anything this year, so we had to had to come up with our own ideas - I believe he was happy with his Goldeneye DVD, fitbit, Race for Your Life Charlie Brown, Penn State shirt and Ice Breaker book.

After a morning of unwrapping and setting up new gifts, my parents came over for a second Christmas celebration.  Each of the Heinisch children received games, pajamas and money.  They had gifts for my parents as well with the main prize of two tickets to see Johnny Mathis in May.  We spent the rest of the afternoon playing games and eating a delicious ham dinner.  I definitely was exhausted by the time they left in the early evening.  It has taken a lot this year to get ready for Christmas, but it was a lovely day.  We topped it off by watching Meet Me in St. Louis and enjoying a quiet evening..

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

As Cam walked around the house singing "One More Sleep 'til Christmas" I thought about how precious Christmas Eve has been to the Heinisch family.  From making Christmas cookies with Doug to Children's Mass to opening gifts from Godparents and watching "It's a Wonderful Life," not much has changed at our home on this blessed Eve in over a decade.  I appreciate this year that all of the Heinisch children participated in each and every one of these activities.  I realize that in years to come our family dynamics will probably change.  That is why each time Doug cooked with Meg and Cam or Cal started a sentence with "Hey, Dad, did you know . . ." I smiled.  Brett will more than likely be in a new home next year and Cal's adventure in adulthood will have just begun.  Christmas Eve may be spent with others, but I won't worry about that just yet.  I believe that the memories that we have created on Christmas Eve will stay with the Heinisch children forever.  Even if all they can talk about in years to come is Brett face planting at Children's mass, Cam splitting his pants while taking the picture around the tree, Meg's years of putting Baby Jesus in the manger or Cal giving Brett his favorite Christmas movie - "Christmas with the Kranks" it has been a wonderful life and I will forever smile when I think of Christmas Eve. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oh, the Weather Outside Is . . .

The weather this week has reminded me of the years that we spent Christmas in Florida.  Some days were rainy and others hot, but most were in the 60's.  Because the weather has been so mild it hasn't really felt like Christmas.  We have been trying, however, to make it seem so with days of wrapping presents, making crafts, and watching Christmas movies.  Today Cam and Meg even made a gingerbread train.  I loved listening to them debate about who was doing what and where each piece of gingerbread and candy would go.

This evening Doug and I went to Chops for dinner and to buy one last gift.  I am happy he is off of work for the next four days.  I know everyone else is too as Cal kept asking when he would be home.  After we got back Cam and I finished his table runner and stocking for Apollo.  I even decided to make a gift for each of the Heinisch children for Christmas Eve.  It has definitely been a busy week, but a fun one.  I hope it is a Christmas they will long remember.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gathering of Friends & Family

Once I got through working at the library and Meg's doctor appointment, today became all about family and friends.  Cam started it off by having Cade Beer over.  It had been quite awhile since they had seen each other and the boys seemed to have a great time hanging out, talking, playing games, watching Garfield and learning magic tricks.  By dinner time they were the same old friends they had always been.

Meg went to Kaitlin's after her appointment to spend the night.  They had plans to go to the boys' basketball game together and meet up with Gabby.  She came home with them afterward and from the brief FaceTime call I got I believe the three of them were having fun.  Cal also went to the game.  Hannah Marie went with him and they came back for here for pizza afterward.  Once he took her home he decided to meet up with Jayce at Jeremy's to play cards.  I appreciated the fact that he was home by 1 a.m. and let me know when he was on his way.  Brett went to see the movie Krampus with my Dad.  I am not sure that either thought it would be any good, but they ended up enjoying it and being scared at the same time.

Jody and Paula came over after the game.  We had pizza, appetizers, wine and a lot of catching up.  I don't go out much, so it was nice to visit with them.  There was a lot of discussion, mostly about our children, but there were also a lot of laughs as well.  Doug decided that it would be a perfect night for him to wrap gifts.  Although I think that most of us were up until 1 a.m. I know we each enjoyed our night with friends and family.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I've Got a Golden Ticket

Meg had a private tennis lesson this morning.  Afterward we met Brett and Cam in Milford and headed to South Bend.  Cam wanted us all to tour The South Bend Chocolate Company with him as he thoroughly enjoyed it when he went with his class.  Once we figured out where to go we all enjoyed the tour very much.  We were able to see how they made the chocolates and taste some samples.  The movie at the end was kind of corny, but otherwise we had a great time.  After the tour we used our "Golden Ticket" to shop in the candy store.  We bought several items to share with Doug and Cal and some gifts for others as well.

From the Chocolate Company we headed to the mall.  I was about out of candles and still had coupons to use at Yankee Candle.  Meg helped me there and the boys went to Game Stop and Barnes and Noble.  Meg found a gift for my Dad at the bookstore and I was able to use my 30% off.  We went grocery shopping at Target afterward and met Doug and Godmother Jeannette at Noodles & Company.  Meg had a small gift for her and she had Meg's to open on Christmas Eve.  We had a very nice visit with her.  She is 14 weeks pregnant and we are all praying for a happy, healthy delivery in June.

From Noodles & Company Meg, Brett and I went home.  Doug took Cam to the Notre Dame basketball game.  Cal spent the day with Hannah Marie in Warsaw.  She opened her giant dolphin and he said she really liked it.  The rest of the evening went by quickly as Meg and I wrapped gifts, finished her crafts and watched A White Christmas.  Brett worked on job applications.  He has already heard back form one Republican party that is interested in his resume.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Today was an exciting day for everyone.  First Meg got to play indoor soccer against the second Wawasee team.  She had been interested in doing so since she found out there would be two teams.  Meg played very well, scoring two goals in the first half and making some fantastic stops as goalie in the second half.  Her team won 7-1.  This was the first game that I had stayed and watched.  I was impressed with how much the girls have improved.  Doug did not care who won or lost.  He was just happy that he had enough for two teams.  The more girls that work in the off season at soccer, the better his team will be in the fall.

While we were at soccer, Cam and Brett went bowling at the alley next door.  They were able to get in three games in an hour.  Cam is interested in having his birthday party there after trying it out.  It would be great place since he wants to invite both his friends from Milford and Bethany Christian.  After soccer the five of us went to see the much anticipated "Star Wars:  The Force Awakens."  Everyone has been talking about it and the reviews have been positive.

We all liked it, but one key part was extremely disappointing to me, Meg and Cam.  That skewed our opinion a little.  Cal went to see it with Jayce and Alex tonight as well.  The three of them had watched Star Wars movies most of the night last night and also were looking forward to it.  Cal loved the movie.  The part that I did not care for he felt was necessary for the story line.  I know he is right, but sure didn't like it.  The best part of the movie for me was the tie in to the original - A New Hope.  All of the characters were back along with answers to what happened to everyone after Return of the Jedi.  The ending of The Force Awakens definitely has me highly interested in the next one.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Wrapping

Today was all about wrapping Christmas presents, making Christmas crafts, and waiting for Brett to get home.  I'd love to say that we are finished wrapping, but we're not quite there yet.  As we were organizing and wrapping I realized that I was several gifts short as well.  That made me a little anxious, but we still have six days and I should be able to get it all done.  We did make headway on the crafts and I am confident that those will be finished well in time for Christmas.

Brett made it home without too much traffic.  I-65 was the only slow spot.  He enjoyed his week at Bloomington and is looking forward to being home.  Last night he saw Mary Poppins again.  Cal and Doug spent the day in Indy.  Doug's boss bought tickets for them to go the the Crossroads Classic.  They saw an awesome IU vs. ND game.  IU was down most of the game, but made an amazing comeback and ended up winning.  Cal was thrilled as the ND fan behind him was obnoxious.  He quieted down once IU came back.  Butler beat Purdue, so all in all it was a good day for them.  They were home around 9:45 tonight.  It was nice to have everyone all together again.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Break has Arrived!!

It's official.  We are now on Christmas break!!  The day was an easy one as far as school was concerned.  A lot of my students wanted to go to the gym and watch a basketball tournament.  The rest of us made gingerbread houses and played games.  I found R2-D2 cookies at Lance's and bought some for each class.  Those were a big hit as the movie opened last night.  My math class finished their required work for Algebra 1A, so we celebrated by eating snacks and watching Elf.

Cam got out at 2:30 this afternoon.  Mom and Dad were in Goshen meeting Dad's sisters for lunch, so they picked him up for me.  Meg and I went back to Milford so that she could say hello to Mr. Troyer and give Mr. Larson his Christmas gift.  It was a nice way to end the day and I couldn't have been happier to have made it through a busy, hectic week.

Doug and I went to dinner when he got home.  Mom and Dad then came up to play cards with Cam, Doug and I.  Preston was over for awhile.  He and Meg watched movies and played cards with us as well.  Cal went with Hannah Marie to the basketball game in Warsaw and was home early.  All in all it was a fantastic way to kick off break!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

No Sleep Til Break

Last night I was up at 3 a.m.  This is becoming routine for me through the week as I have been averaging 4 to 5 hours a night on school nights and then having horrible migraines on the weekend.  I realize that I cannot keep doing that.  Today I decided to go ahead and get up at 4 as I did not want to stay in bed hoping I would fall asleep.  That was only making me more and more anxious.

Thus, I did get a lot done.  I was able to catch up on my blog, transfer pictures to my new computer and complete all of the Christmas cards.  I also had a busy day at school making food with my students, shopping for my class, finishing pillows with my Warrior Time and reviewing math concepts with my algebra class.  At nine tonight I told Doug that I was exhausted, but I sure got a lot done.  He said, "I would too if I had been up for almost 20 hours."  That was reality for me.  This has to stop or my body will wear out.  I am hoping that Christmas break will bring me a lot of rest, so that the second half of the year is a lot more peaceful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Intern

Cal has an internship at the high school as one of his classes this trimester.  We found out yesterday that he may have too much down time during it and would benefit from being busier.  Since a lot of his friends have internships during the same class period, some of the teachers and the LRC staff have complained about them being loud in the copy room or distracting others.

Thus, I asked Cal if he would rather come to Milford and intern for the second half of the trimester.  I wasn't sure that he would be interested, but he was more than ready to give it a try.  I know Cal likes to keep busy and feel productive.  Mrs. Blauvelt said that she would take him on as his intern and several teachers said that they could use his help.  I know I always have items for him to do, so we will give it a try and see how it goes.  At least our LRC staff will not complain about him as Mrs. Haines loves his personality.  I am thankful that he has this opportunity and appreciate the my co-workers supporting him in this endeavor.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I had an appointment today, so I took the day off from school.  I spent several hours of it still working on school related items - shopping for my class, taking groceries in to school and grading papers - but it was nice to get a lot of Heinisch family items accomplished also.  My favorite part of the day was taking Cameron to school.  I do not get to do this often and I love his enthusiasm for his new surroundings.  He has definitely been a lot happier this year.

I also came up with a plan of how to handle the rest of this school year and thoughts for next.  The five classes and two Warrior times have been challenging to stay on top of.  I feel better today about the second half of the year and have hope for changes for next year.  Since I was already off for my doctor's appointment I was able to get in and get a haircut as well.  I had two inches cut off.  I am not sure it is noticeable, but it feels healthier.

In between grocery shopping, the doctor's visit and my haircut I was also able to clean Cal's room, put laundry away, wash towels and change bedding.  I have been working on pictures and got a lot accomplished there as well.  Cameron came home with a large red spot on the white portion of his eye.  Since it was close to his iris and was concerning him I called the doctor.  They were able to work him in at the end of the day.  I appreciate Meg going with us to keep us entertained.  Cam's eye is a product of the cold he has and should be fine.  Doug and I were sure that would be the result, but felt better having someone confirm that for us.  I realized today that teaching and being a support to the Heinisch family is challenging.  I definitely hope to change that situation next year and for now will focus on one day at a time.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mean Girls

I have never understood why some girls can be incredibly mean to each other and not care that they are hurting others.  Even more fascinating to me is how these girls have friends.  I understand not liking everyone, but the name calling, backstabbing and gossiping that some girls spend their energy on is amazing to me.  My Mom would tell me that they do it because they are jealous or insecure.  She may be right.  My goal would be to raise a generation that does not feel threatened by one another and accepts others for who they are.  I know there are people out there like that and I believe Doug and I have raised the Heinisch children to feel confident and secure in who they are.  Maybe the majority of people are nice, caring and excepting of others.  It could be that the mean girls just get a lot more attention.  It could also be that I am more sensitive to it.  I do realize that boys are not always nice, but it just feels different with girls.  My hope is that all children feel good inside and grow up to be productive, positive members of our society.  It may be a tall order, but Christmas seems like the perfect time to make this wish.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Senior Year Semester 1 is Done

Brett finished the first semester of his senior year this week.  It has been a busy one for him as he not only had several challenging classes he also had an internship three days a week.  Brett made it through, however, and was glad that all of his professors decided to end a week early.  He turned in his last paper on Friday and hopes to earn a 3.5 this semester.

He spent this weekend doing what he loves best - meeting for dinner with friends, going to mass and watching movies.  He also planned a haircut and some housecleaning.  This coming week he will finish his internship, start the job search process and have time for Straight No Chaser, dinner with Parce and Mary Poppins.  He definitely is not in a hurry to come home as last I heard he was staying until the dorm closes Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chess Champ

Cam finished first in the 5th grade division of the Goshen chess tournament today.  He also placed third in the 4th-6th grade section of the tourney.  His two friends, Kayden and J.J., also placed in the top ten.  Thus, Bethany Christian, was well represented as there were over 50 players in their age group.  Doug remarked afterward that he was very impressed with the amount of knowledge that Cam has gained this year in chess.  He realizes that this is a direct result of Cam having a chess coach at Bethany to teach him strategy and provide resources for him as well.  Cam also pushes his other classmates by challenging them to matches. has been a great tool also.  Since Cam is only 10 we have no idea what his interests will be later on, but for now Doug is enjoying being the "nerd chess Dad" that watches every move Cam makes.

Friday, December 11, 2015

White Elephant Party

Tonight Meg had her squad, fam, cliche, friend group over for a White Elephant Party.  Doug made meatballs and nachos for them and Mom made desserts and deviled eggs.  Everyone said the food was great and from the laughter that was coming from the basement it sure sounded like they had a lot of fun.  The gifts included a Minnie Mouse bath set, candy, a stuffed Emoji "ice cream" and Kaitlin even regifted Meg's white elephant present from last year - a framed ornament with a baby picture of Meg.

I am so glad that Meg has found a fun group to hang out with that support her.  Kaitlin and Meg have been together a lot lately and have developed a wonderful friendship.  Meg has been friends with Caleb since preschool.  I am glad that they have reconnected in high school.  Meg and Aaron have been friends since their early days of religion class.  Even though the church dissolved the high school group this year, they still make time to be involved in one another's lives.  Meg has been friends with Gabby the longest and shares so many wonderful memories from camp, school and many nights of sleepovers.  As I sorted through pictures this weekend to download to our new computer I believe that Meg has spent the most time with Preston over the past three years.  What an awesome group she has connected with.  I hope there are many more nights like tonight over the next four years.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Arts Festival

Tonight was the Winter Arts Festival at Milford.  Somehow it was decided that we should have two festivals in the same school year which meant a lot of extra work for me.  I had to tag and have judged all of the projects from 1st and 2nd trimester in a short period of time.  I did have help from several students and Mrs. Horsmon, but it was still a lot of work.  The comments from parents and students were positive, however, as the pillows made a great impression on everyone.  I had one student made a life size pillow out of pajama pants and a t-shirt.  I also had one go above and beyond on his pajama pants.  It was nice to showcase all of their work.  I am just overwhelmed thinking about doing this again in May.

Meg and Preston had fun at the festival bothering Mrs. Skow and the band students.  They made it about ten minutes or so before she kicked them out.  Asking her to take a selfie with them was the final straw.  They stayed and watched the band play and then were helpful carrying pillows back to my room.  Doug was also able to help as his county council meeting was over early.  I appreciated him stopping by very much.  I was thankful that Mom and Dad could take Cam and Meg to tennis tonight.  I appreciate everyone chipping in on such a stressful evening.  I also was able to get an hour of math papers graded and updated while sitting in the cafeteria which put me ahead for tomorrow, all the while singing "One Day More" in my head!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Brett Meets the Governor

Today Brett had the most exciting experience of his internship career.  The office took him and several other interns to an opening ceremony of the I-69 addition.  While there he was able to meet Governor Pence and have his picture taken with him.  Brett said that no one enjoyed a celebration of a road opening more than he did today.  He has wanted to meet the Governor these past three years and has been close several times.  What a great way to end a gruelling semester of classes coupled with an internship.  He has gained so much knowledge and made wonderful memories as well.  We are very proud of him and his accomplishments.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Oboe Soli

Cam had his first band concert tonight and we were thoroughly impressed with how well he did.  He had a soli (a two measure solo) in the middle of Good King Wenceslas.  The beginning band played about six songs and Cam was front and center.  He has worked very hard on learning the oboe and is already talking about taking lessons in the summer to further his musical knowledge.  

We also heard the beginning orchestra, and intermediate band and orchestra tonight.  All played well.  Each child was dressed in white shirts, black pants and black shoes. They looked very nice.  Cam loved performing and we celebrated by having dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Mom and Dad drove us over and we met Doug at the concert, so we could come home together.  I was glad that Meg decided to go as well.  We had fun picking out the differences between her band experience at Milford and Cam's at Bethany.  We were definitely all impressed.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Three Hour Delay

Today we woke up to what seemed to be good news - a two hour delay.  Cameron did not have one, however, but it was late start for him.  Thus, he did not mind going in.  It wasn't foggy at all in Goshen, so the trip over was no problem.  On the way, however, I received a text stating that we would now have a three hour delay.  This was the first one we have had since they were implemented in August.  I wasn't quite sure why one was called, but a lot of other schools cancelled and I definitely didn't want that.  It must have been worse in other locations.

I had a meeting at school at 10:30 a.m. so I made sure I left early.  I had no problem getting there, but the rest of the day was not as easy.  The delay changed the schedule greatly for the students and they just couldn't adjust to it.  By the time school started they were extremely hyper and never could seem to calm down.  The newness of the delay system and the fact that they would have to be in school until 4 p.m. reeked havoc in their brains.  Thus, it was hard to accomplish much.  We did get a lot done, but I spent most of the day feeling as though I had drank 10 cups of coffee.  By the time 3 o'clock rolled around I was more than ready to get Cameron and calm down a little bit.  Meg and Cal said that the high school was pretty much the same.  As chaotic as it was I would much rather have gone to school today than make it up later.  This is the third day we have had fog.  Guess we will see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pictures and Memories

Yesterday was Jeanette's birthday.  She would have been 71 years old.  It was fitting on that day that I worked on the photo album from 2014 that featured her in quite a few of the pictures.  Cam looked at the book to help review it for me and said, "It doesn't make me as sad as it used to to look at pictures of Grandma Heinisch, but I still miss her a lot."  I know he speaks for all of his sibings in that statement.  Doug and Meg have both noted that it will never be the same in the Heinisch family without her.  I couldn't agree with them more.  Glad that I was able to finish the book.  We picked it up today after soccer.  It looks fantastic and will provide our family with a lot of wonderful memories of their time with her.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

West Lafayette

Cal asked us on Tuesday if he could go to West Lafayette to watch a Purdue basketball game with Hannah Marie today.  We waited to make sure that the weather was going to be alright and once we saw it would be close to 50 degrees we ordered them tickets.  They left around 10:15 this morning and made it there in plenty of time for the 2:15 game.  They parked at the library and walked around campus before they went to Mackey Arena.  Cal said that Purdue started off slow, but won easily in the end.  They had milkshakes close to campus before heading back home.

Brett was also in West Lafayette today as he had a meeting with the IU YAL and Purdue YAL group.  Brett is the documentarian this coming semester and went along to learn his position and meet with others.  Once he returned he ushered at the auditorium for Chimes of Christmas.  He said that it was very good and enjoyed both events today.

Doug and I went to Fort Wayne after mass tonight.  He had to lector and Cam and Meg served.  We both love going to 5 p.m. mass.  There were not a lot of people there, but more than 8 a.m.  Cam spent the night at my Mom's.  He and Grandpa Cutes got out the Christmas train and worked on magic tricks.  Meg ate dinner with them and then went to Kaitlin's for the night.  Doug and I stopped at the Jefferson Pointe mall before having dinner at Chop's.  We have discovered eggnog cheesecake.  It is fantastic.  We were back by ten, so Doug could watch the Big Ten Championship football game between Iowa and Michigan State.  I fell asleep, but he said it was a good one with MSU winning on a last second play.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sewing and More Sewing

Today Mrs. Horsmon came in to judge the projects for the Winter Arts Festival.  The office needed the names a lot earlier than normal and we have missed several days of class due to students being pulled out for different programs and such.  Thus, today was a flurry of sewing and tying and tagging for the Festival.  I am happy to say that we completed a lot more than I envisioned that we would.  I believe I stood for five hours straight, but by the end of lunch we had every project tagged and judged.  I was even able to take Rachel to Subway as a small token of my appreciation of her help.

I found out at the FACS meeting Monday night that I am the only one in the corporation sewing with students.  I was pretty proud of that fact and felt that we have some great projects to show at the festival next week.  It was exhausting, however, and I spent a good portion of math class working on problems while sitting as much as I could.  I was thrilled when 2 p.m. rolled around today.

Ryden came over after school today to spend the night with Cameron.  They had a lot of fun playing Nerf guns, learning magic tricks and watching We Bare Bears.  Meg went to the basketball game with Kaitlin and Gabby.  She texted around nine and wanted to spend the night at the Fiscus'.  Doug took her over for me.  Cal went to the game with Hannah Marie.  Not sure what the theme was, but he left he wearing a Woopie Cushion costume.  Glad that everyone had a good time.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Junior Tennis

Cam started back taking tennis lessons tonight.  We were very fortunate as they are at the exact same time as Meg's.  I was able to drop all of them off and look for printer ink as we ran out last night just as Meg was printing her project for Honors Algebra 2.  By the time I got back Doug had finished exercising and we were able to watch them end their lessons.  Meg has really improved her serve and has been working on her footwork and net play.  Cam worked hard as well and only had one minor incident when he tried to kick a ball.  In a split second he was flat on his back with a banged up elbow.  He said that it didn't feel the best, but it was funny.

We went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings after tennis.  Tonight was boneless Thursday.  We brought Cal home some as well.  We also stopped at Shoe Carnival on the way back.  Meg needed a new pair of boots.  They had a sale - Buy One Get One Half Off, so I bought a new pair as well - black fur lined ones, so my feet do not freeze in winter.  We finished off the evening by completing the cereal puzzle we had been working on.  It was one of the more challenging ones I have ever done.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Wednesdays have become quite busy days for all of us.  Cal starts off his afternoon by playing basketball at the community center.  Tonight Rieder came home with him to get ready.  They have decided to get up a team for the Sunday league starting in January.  Cameron is also busy right after school as he has chess club.  He has started to play more students than just his classmates and is enjoying it very much.

While Cam is at chess I take Meg to piano and then pick him up for his turn.  They are both working on Christmas songs right now and have put a lot of effort into them.  I love listening to them play during this time of the year.  Once piano is over we head home for dinner and then Doug and Meg take off for tennis.  It's worked out very well so far as he exercises while she is there and Cam and I watch television or work on a puzzle or such.  Wednesdays are definitely one of the most tiring days of the week, but everyone seems to really enjoy their activities.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What an Awesome Surprise!

Today Cam got into the van to give us his three positives of the day.  I knew he would be happy as his teacher, Mrs. H was back from her Thanksgiving trip, but there was even more to his day.  She surprised them by taking the class to the South Bend Chocolate Company for a tour and some chocolate treats.  They have been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and this was a great tie in with the story.  Cam loved it and couldn't stop telling us all that he had done.  He even brought home his hairnet to show everyone.  I didn't know he was going, so I was surprised as well.  I love all that they are doing in his class.  Sending him to Bethany was one of the best decisions we have ever made.  Today was proof of it.