Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Quiet Weekend???

In the history of the Heinisch family I cannot remember very many quiet weekends.  This one I believe would qualify.  In saying that it does not mean the weekend was boring, more that we didn't travel anywhere.  Friday night started off in a big way for Cam as he went to a birthday sleepover.  Meg, Doug and I stayed home watching Hoodwinked, making a blanket and working on the Renoir puzzle.  We talked about going out to dinner, but Doug made steaks on the grill instead.

Cam was home by 10:30 Saturday morning in plenty of time for Meg's Saturday afternoon tennis matches.  The three of us went to watch her.  She played very well once again and held her own against one of the top players from Whitko.  Doug and Cam left from tennis to go to mass.  For the first time ever Cam had to serve alone.  Doug was an usher and said he would help him if he needed to, but Cam did well on his own.

Meg did not get done with tennis in time for mass, so we met them back at our house.  From there we left for Fort Wayne.  Meg and Cam wanted to eat at Noodles & Company and there is one by the Jefferson Pointe Mall.  Neither of them had been to an outdoor mall before and the idea fascinated them.  After eating we shopped at Barnes & Noble first finding several books on everyone's list.  We then bought a few candles at Yankee Candle to add to my collection.  Our last stop was Dick's Sporting Goods.  Meg needed clothes for tennis and they had a Nike skirt that she liked.  We were home by 10:00 and spent the rest of the evening reading.

Sunday was laundry day once again.  I was able to finish two movies that Mrs. Blauvelt gave me to watch.  Cal took HM with him to the Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest basketball game.  It wasn't much of a challenge for Notre Dame, but they had fun.  This was Cal's third ball game this weekend.  After last night's he, Jayce, Alex and Cameron went to IHOP for all you can eat pancakes.  They returned around 1 a.m. after eating their fill.

Doug and I went to Target tonight to finish our grocery shopping and then to Kohl's to buy Valentine decorations.  We stopped at two different places for dinner as the first one did not have any low carb options.  We talked to Brett on the way home.  He went out with four different friends for four different meals this weekend.  He also worked on homework, spent time job searching and was mass coordinator.

Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe it wasn't as quiet of a weekend as I thought.  Either way it was a relaxing one.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New Friends, New Experiences

Cameron did not have school yesterday as it was his snow makeup day.  Bethany also did not have to use it, so he spent a quiet day at Grandma's making tea, working on his magic tricks and reading.  I had planned on staying home in the morning with him, but we had statewide testing today and I had to be there for that.  Instead I will be off next Friday with him as he gets two days off when the teachers attend a Mennonite conference.  With the two hour delay it worked out just as well.  

When I got home at 2 p.m. Cam was already packed for his overnight adventure.  He had been invited to Andre's birthday/slumber party.  Meg rode with me to drop him off, since Andre lives about ten minutes away from Doug's work.  Cam was excited to go and they were all happy to hear that he was spending the night.  I barely got a hug before he was off for a game of carpet ball. 

He came home this morning tired, but happy.  Besides carpet ball they also had several Nerf gun fights.  Cam chose to sit out of Five Nights at Freddie's.  I don't blame him as that game can get pretty scary.  He had pizza for dinner and tried to stay up as late as possible, but by 1:30 a.m. he gave out.  

As I register Cameron for Bethany's next year 6th grade class I feel ever more blessed that this experience has been such a positive one.  He has made a lot of new friends, feels challenged in school, likes his teacher and has had a lot of new experiences this year.  Can't wait to see what next year has in store for him.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

What a Difference

This morning we had a two hour delay.  It was called after 6:30 and I was already up.  Therefore I used the extra time to look up pre-diabetes and see what information I could find.  There was a wealth of information on the internet and I was surprised at how many of the things I had been doing that were actually increasing my sugar levels even though I was losing weight.  I eat a banana everyday for breakfast.  According to what I read I should eat almonds with it as that will help my body digest the sugar slower and help reduce the symptoms I am having.  I also learned that I should not eat anything over 50 grams of carbohydrates.  That eliminated the Lean Pocket I had ever day for lunch.  I had cut out fat and fiber from my diet as the gastroenterologist recommended that to help me with my stomach problems.  He was right.  It helped me digest my food more quickly, but it also was putting the sugar into my body too fast.

After reading all that I did I thought I would try a few tips.  I couldn't believe the difference.  Although I did not feel perfect today I felt a lot better.  I did not have as many vision fluctuations and was not as lightheaded.  I plan to buy a book tomorrow that will have more tips and maybe some recipes.  I know I will tire of meat and vegetables, but if they help I sure will continue on.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


I had to take a full day off of school today as I had an appointment with Dr. Howard.  I usually hate to miss math class, but the only time they had was 11:15 a.m.  I also missed Cal coming into school, but Mrs. Blauvelt and Mr. Larson said they would keep him busy.  Mom drove me to Warsaw.  We stopped at Wal-Mart beforehand to pick up some items I had ordered.

Dr. Howard wanted to take a biopsy of my uterus to make sure there wasn't anything wrong.  I have been having a lot of problems the last few months and with my family's history of uterine cancer he thought it would be better to be safe then sorry.  It was definitely unpleasant, but after having four children I decided it really wasn't that bad.  I took Ibuprofen as soon as I got to Mom's car and the rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  I was even able to make it to Cam and Meg's tennis without any problems.  It will take at least ten days to get the results back.  I am not worried, just glad to be done with the test.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ski Trip

Today was the 7th & 8th grade ski trip at Milford.  For the first time in a long time I chose not to go.   On Wednesdays I have to take Meg to piano and then pick up Cam from chess for his piano lesson.  Since the skiers do not return until close to 6 p.m.  I could not participate and instead stayed back to help with the students that chose not to go on the field trip.  Only 11 of the 35 students not going came to school, but we kept them busy.  We made muffins, watched and analyzed Eight Below, and made an iMovie in the library.  I enjoyed helping with these projects as Paula and Terri stayed back as well.  They are always fun to teach with.  I appreciate their friendship very much.  It makes the days at school a lot better and they usually keep me laughing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I have found out this week that my glucose levels are too high and I can now be labeled as pre-diabetic.  The good news is that it answers the question on why I have been feeling so poorly.  The worst part of all of this is the vision issues.  I have learned to adjust to it, but I sure do not like it.  I talked with the doctor today and she gave me a lot of tips on what I should be doing to follow up on this.  I have an appointment on Thursday the 4th to get more details from our family doctor.  At least I feel as though we have made progress over the last couple of months.  My doctor today let me know that I should stop assuming that I am not really sick.  I have a tendency to believe that it is all in my head.  It never is, but I just guess that I always assume it is nothing.  Next time I will act quicker.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Make-Up Day

I cannot remember the last time that we were able to have a snow make-up day off in January.  In fact most years we had already missed school in November for fog, so we knew months in advance that we would not have the day off.  This was not the case this year.  As of Thursday the 21st we had not any snow days and were free to miss Monday from school.

I was glad as this weekend was a very busy one.  I didn't feel the best yesterday from all of the activity, so I appreciated having a day to get a lot done.  Cam and Meg both made it to the dentist.  I set up an appointment for Cal in February and a follow up one in March for Meg.  Both have minor dental issues that Dr. Mayden wanted to spend more time on.  I was able to drive Cam to school and afterward Meg and I spent some time at the grocery store.  We decided to try their deli hot foods for lunch and some pasta salads as well.  She and Cal were happy with our choices.  I spent a good portion of this afternoon folding laundry and watching Sense and Sensibility while Meg worked on homework.

We picked Cam up at 3:30 and then headed to Target.  They each had purchases that they wanted to make and I needed to buy the items on my grocery list that Lance's did not have.  I finished the evening at the library board meeting.  Doug did not have soccer because of school being closed today.  Thus, we had a nice quiet dinner at home.  It was a good day and I would take a lot more like it!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

What a Day!

Doug and Cam were out the door this morning at 5:15 a.m.  There destination was the individual state chess tournament at Pike High School in Indianapolis.  Cam's opponents were a lot tougher than he had played previously.  This was the first tournament that he had to use notation for each move as well.  It was a great learning experience for him and he wasn't too disappointed with his 1-4 finish.  He left with a finalist trophy, a new chess t-shirt and plans for next year.

Meg and I spent the afternoon at tennis.  Her team played the toughest one in the group and Meg held her own very well.  She has been working on hitting it harder and today it really showed, especially in the singles match.  She was pitted against a junior from Warsaw who was their #1 doubles player last year.  After an hour of play the match was called at 9-5 in favor of Warsaw.  Meg was the last one on the court and played the best I have ever seen her.  One of the parents for the Warsaw team told us afterward that everyone from their team was impressed with Meg.  It was a great match to watch.

From Warsaw we left for South Bend.  Doug and Cam planned to meet us there as we had tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters at the Purcell Pavilion.  Meg and I stopped at Noodles & Company for dinner and thought we were going to be very early.  With all of the traffic that was not the case, but we still made it in plenty of time.  Doug and Cam arrived about ten minutes before it started.  Everyone really enjoyed it, especially the live action, slow motion, replay.  We saw Jackie and Anna there as well.  Their family was seated across the stadium from us.

We decided to leave after the third quarter.  We were all exhausted.  Cam purchased a headband on the way out and Meg found a shirt she wanted.  We made it home by 10:30 just as Cal was pulling in.  The girls team went to double overtime to get their first NLC win of the season.

I was so impressed with Doug's commitment to his children this weekend.  It has been a whirlwind of activity since Cameron's birthday on Thursday.  He has been there for every part of it.  I know I couldn't have driven to Indy then to South Bend and back home in one day, especially after the birthday party last night.  He did it without complaining and had fun along the way.  I was tired enough just trying to keep up with Meg's schedule.  It's exhausting being a Heinisch, but well worth it.

Friday, January 22, 2016

End of an Era

Tonight was Cameron's birthday party with his friends.  We invited friends from Milford and Bethany combining for a total of eleven boys.  Meg and Kaitlin decided they would join us as well.  We chose Signature Lanes in Elkhart for the adventure as we thought it would be easy for the Bethany friends and we could pick up the Milford crew.  Cam had bowled there several times before as Meg's soccer is right across the parking lot and really enjoyed it.

The evening went off very well.  All of the boys and teenage girls seemed to have a lot of fun.  We ordered pizza for everyone and had a Spongebob cake made from Lance's.  It looked fantastic and tasted just as delicious as always.  Cameron's gifts centered around a Star Wars theme with Legos, games, Nerf guns and more.  Cam made treat bags for all and each participant received a coupon for a free game of bowling on a return trip.

The night flew by quickly and Cam was still excited about it all by the time we got home.  I was happy that so many of his new friends could make it.  We also met several of the parents.  I realized on the way home tonight that this was also the end of an era for the Heinisch family.  We told the older boys that fifth grade would be the last of kid birthday parties.  They can still have friends over for cookouts, slumber parties and such, but eleven seems the perfect age to finish the large group birthdays.  It definitely was a great one to end on.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy Birthday Cameron!!

Eleven years ago today Cameron was born and the Heinisch family was complete.  As Cam was the child that the doctors said that we would never be able to have I am ever amazed at God's difference in opinion.  Cameron brings an enthusiasm to our family that is contagious.  He is excited about everything that he or his siblings do.  He is equally friend and annoying little brother all wrapped up into one.  I cannot image the Heinisch family without him.  He is positive, caring, intelligent and goofy in equal parts.  I am ever thankful that God brought him into our lives.  As we celebrate the unique individual that he is I say a silent prayer that his personality never changes.  Happy 11th Birthday Cameron - You are loved more than words can say!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I went to the eye doctor today as I have been having trouble with my vision.  There are times that I cannot see well and it feels as though I am in a fog.  Other times I can see just fine and have no problems.  I assumed it was a light issue or a migraine issue.  Either way I thought he would give me some tips and a new prescription.  I was wrong.

As I described my symptoms to Dr. Kauffman he stopped and said, "I can check your eyes, but I can't give you a prescription.  Your eyesight should not be changing this much in a day."  He then asked me about other symptoms - light headed, nausea, dizziness, excessive thirst and frequent urination.  I have all of those, but assumed they were related to my headaches.  The doctor did not feel that was the case.  Thus, I am fasting tonight for twelve hours so that I can have blood work done tomorrow to see if I have diabetes.  I had not thought of that before, especially since I have lost 25 pounds, but it would make sense.  My Dad has diabetes on his side and I do have a lot of the signs.  I am praying, however, that this is just one more test that will be negative.  I will know soon enough.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Public School

There is a lot of debate about the value of public school among educators.  I have to be honest.  I have never thought it was the best option for our students.  In saying that however, it is what the government has decided is appropriate for the learning of children, so I will support it as such.  That is why I stayed as an educator at a public school even though we decided as a family that Cameron's educational needs were best met elsewhere.  I know that in a public school I can help students grow, learn and reach their potential.

I still struggle though with the makeup of public schools, however.  That hasn't changed for the past 15 years.  It isn't about the public school system in our community, but public school in general.  The true consumer of a school is a student/parent.  Teachers, however, answer to the principal, who answers to the superintendent, who in turn answers to a board, who eventually answers to the state.  I would love for that to change drastically.  I believe that parents are many times left out of public education through no fault of their own or the schools.  It is the government makeup that has created this situation.  I guarantee parents would not ask for more standardized testing.  As much as I love teaching students I realize that no matter how I try I can't change the state involvement in the public school system.  Instead I will try to work with it and hope it benefits my students as the same time.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr

Today was Martin Luther King Jr day.  As we always have school on that day I usually plan a lesson involving a theme that was important to Dr. King.  I do not focus on segregation and integration.  Most students cannot understand either of these.  Even I grew up in post Martin Luther King Jr. America.  I have heard words of racism, but have never been separated by race, color or religion.  I have shown Remember the Titans to the 8th graders, however.  It is a movie that they can relate to - a high school football team vying for a state championship, and also shows a clear picture of students caught in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960's.  It opens the door for conversation.

Today we focused on what I believe is Dr. King's legacy - "Change."  All of us dream to make the world a better place, but he actually did something about it.  He didn't just talk about it.  I encouraged the 6th graders to illustrate his dream or come up with one of their own.  As our class time was shortened by the two hour delay most students did not finish.  I know, however, that their ideas of dreams and changing the world will look great on our bulletin board entitled - "Changing the World, One Dream at a Time."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Team Tennis

Cameron started team tennis today and did very well.  He has never played a match before, so I was worried about him playing #1 singles on his U12 team, but he did an awesome job winning 6-3.  Doug and I were impressed with the consistency of his serve as that is the most challenging part of a young player.  He also played boys doubles and mixed doubles as well.  He looked pretty tired by the end of the two hours, but he said he really enjoyed it.  He did hit his partner in the back when he was serving during one game.  She didn't seemed too bothered by it and Meg and I got a chuckle out of it.

Meg played yesterday as well and we are equally impressed with the improvement she has shown in the last few months.  She only had one match - girls doubles with Kendra.  She had a lot of fun and hits her ground strokes well.  She gets along well with the coach and her teammates including the boys team.  Everyone loved giving her a hard time about only playing one match and needing "five hours to get ready for semi-formal."  I am really looking forward to watching her play this Spring.  It should be a fun season. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Semi-Formal 2016


Today was the day that everyone had been waiting for since it was postponed in November -
Semi-Formal.  Meg was super excited as this was her first dance and I believe by the time Cal got dressed he was equally ready to participate.  Meg and I spent quite a bit of time on her hair and makeup after tennis.  She looked very nice as she left for Gabby's.  Paula made the four of them - Meg, Gabby, Kaitlin and Bethany - chicken cordon bleu and served it at her home.  Doug and I met them there at 7 to take pictures of all of the girls.  Everyone looked lovely and seemed to enjoy their photo shoot. Doug, Meg and I picked up Preston at 7:30 to come back to our home to take pictures.  He matched her well and even bought her a bouquet of blue roses to match her dress.  Meg and Preston let me take their pictures and came up with some fun poses along the way. 

I wasn't sure until yesterday if we would be able to coordinate taking pictures of Cal and Hannah-Marie.  They were meeting at her house and Cal was also driving Harry and his date.  They were more than willing to let us in on the fun, however, and in between dropping Meg off at Paula's and picking her up we followed Cal to Hannah-Marie's home for their photo shoot.  They looked lovely as well and we took some great pictures before they left for Oakwood.  My favorite may have been the photo bomb by Flower the Labradooodle. 

Doug and I dropped Meg and Preston off at the high school at 8 p.m.  I was more than ready to sit down and eat a quiet dinner with Doug by then.  We went to the Channel Marker and made it home in time to download pictures before both couples returned to our house.  From listening to them talk I know that they had a wonderful time dancing and hanging out with friends.  I am glad that the evening was everything that they hoped it would be.  I appreciated being part of it all. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Dark Side

A couple of weeks ago Mrs. Blauvelt said to me, "Oh, we should have ordered you a Yoda teaching shirt, so we can all wear them on the same day."  I totally appreciated her saying that, but I knew in my heart that I could never wear the same shirt as everyone else.  I wanted to participate with them, however, as these are some of my and Meg's favorite teachers at Milford.  That's when I decided that I had to represent the dark side.  I found the perfect shirt at Kohl's with Darth Vader in a duel with Luke and once the day was chosen I was all in.  The students loved the shirts and caught on immediately that the shirt fit my personality immediately.  So glad that they asked me to participate and understood that the non-conformist in me had to be my own person.  My favorite line of the day, however, was when Meg looked at the picture of us on Facebook and said, "Mom, you're just like Cal.  You have to be you!"

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Goodbye Colonel Brandon

Twenty years ago Doug and I were living in Naperville.  As Brett was less than one and we were new homeowners we lived on a fairly tight budget.  Thus, money for entertainment was not a necessity and we did not go out much.  There was, however, a dollar movie theater less than a mile from our house.  Since Brett loved to nap in his car seat we could take him along and enjoy a night out at the movies.

It was at this movie theater in 1995 that a whole new world was opened to me.  I was an avid reader as a child and adult.  Period pieces written by female authors were my favorite.  When Doug mentioned seeing a movie called "Sense and Sensibility" based on a book by Jane Austen I had never heard of it or the author.  (I still can't believe no one had suggested her books to me.). Never one to turn down a Hugh Grant movie, I was all in.  I sat at the theater that night mesmerized by the story line, characters, costumes and so much more.  As the movie completed with a lovely wedding scene I realized that for the first time ever it was not Hugh Grant or his character Edward Ferrars that stole my heart that day.  It was another actor quite a bit older than me, but absolutely brilliant in his role as the noble, sensitive, caring Colonel Brandon. It was that day so long ago that a love for Jane Austen and Alan Rickman began.

I had seen Alan Rickman before in the 1988 Die Hard as the ill fated Hans Gruber.  He was a fantastic villain in that movie as well as another favorite of mine Robin Hood Prince of Thieves in 1991.  He played the Sheriff of Nottingham opposite Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner and made himself hated by all.  I loved him in these movies, but nothing comparedl to his role as Christopher Brandon.  It was the first time I saw him as something other than a villain.  In 2003 he also starred in Love Actually along with Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson.  For me it was his closest role to the Colonel in Austen's story.  Thus, I was absolutely shocked and devastated when he committed adultery in the story.  It was years before I would watch the movie again.

My children know him best as Snape.  I love that JK Rowling wanted him to play her tortured soul in the movie.  Severus Snape starts off as a villain and become so much more.  He is a favorite character to many and namesake to one of Harry's children.  His portrayal of the Half Blood Prince is spot on.  Just as Harry did, I hated him, loved him and cried when he died.

With all of these great movies and characters, however, it is Colonel Brandon that I mourn for.  Thank you Alan Rickman for opening the door to Jane Austen for me. You will be missed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Semi Formal

Today Cal told me that he needed a gold tie and a black shirt for semi formal.  I was in a little bit of a panic.  I had asked him several weeks ago what he needed, but at the time he didn't want anything.  I was sure that it would be impossible to find anything for him.  I have not been shirt and tie shopping since Brett was a senior.  I was positive that no one would have a black shirt let alone a gold tie.  I am happy to say that I was completely wrong.  Kohl's actually had black shirts in several different styles and sizes.  I found two for him to try and four different styles of gold ties.  I decided that since I was already buying him a shirt and tie I might as well get pants and a belt too just in case.  He was pleased with what I brought home and I plan to take back what he doesn't need.

We had purchased Meg's dress several weeks ago and found the perfect pair of shoes shortly after.  Thus, it may seem that Cal waited quite awhile to tell me that he needed a shirt and tie.  I have to be honest.  I was glad he gave me this much notice.  I figured I would be driving around like crazy on Saturday afternoon looking for what he needed.  Therefore, I was thrilled that not only did he let me know several days in advance, but it looks like we have him covered.  Now all I have to worry about is Meg's hair.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

White Knuckles

We woke up this morning to several inches of snow, cold, blowing and drifting.  Wawasee and Bethany Christian both had two hour delays and several schools closed.  Doug called once he got to Bristol and told me to take Cameron, so we headed out in plenty of time to get to school.  The drive was nerve wracking.  There were drifts on CR 29 and the van caught a patch of snow that made us slide.  At one point Cameron noticed that we were following someone going 25 mph and questioned if that was necessary.  For the first time ever I told him, yes it was.  It took an extra 10 minutes just as Doug predicted, but we made it safe and sound.

Once I dropped Cam off I headed to Milford.  State Road 15 was clear, but there were white out conditions at several open fields.  I was worried about the overpass, but there wasn't enough snow to cause any problems there.  The entire time I drove this morning I thought of our trip home from the Westview basketball game last Valentine's Day.  I became even more thankful for Sharon and her bus driving skills.  It also gave me better perspective.  As bad as today was it was nothing compared to the blizzard that afternoon.

Meg and I picked Cam up from school.  CR 29 still wasn't plowed well, but we made it without any problems.  We already had scheduled piano, so we decided to try it.  Doug picked Cam up from there at 4:45 for tennis in Warsaw and by the time Meg and I left the roads were a lot better.  We made it to Syracuse on State Road 15 and US 6 driving the speed limit or a little under for the first time today.  Thankful for the break from old man winter.  As Meg said on the way home, "I always forget how bad winter is until it comes back."  We survived it, however, and now we're one step closer to Spring.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Star Wars Phantom Menace

I decided that I wanted to watch all of the Star Wars movies from start to finish again.  There is so much information, characters and scenes that I do not remember and after seeing the new one I thought it was time to do so.  I asked everyone else, but only Cameron seemed interested in watching them with me.  We started Phantom Menace last night and finished it today. 

I really like the series.  I was a huge Star Wars fan when it first came out.  This movie was so well done, but unfortunately Cameron and I were so distracted by the fact that we do not like Jar Jar Binks that it was hard not to criticize him every time he came on screen.  The rest of the characters are fantastic and this movie really sets the stage for the next five movies.  Our plans are to watch Attack of the Clones next.  Cameron does not like that movie as well, but he feels that it gives out so much information that we can't skip it.  I have only seen it once, so I am looking forward to starting it Wednesday night. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

End of Indoor

Today was a bittersweet day for Doug and Meg.  It was the end of indoor soccer season.  Both of them enjoyed it and I could tell from today's game that Meg has really improved over the last two years.  Just as we have with each game all season we head to Buffalo Wild Wings where the conversation generally turns toward what they thought about the game and what Meg needs to work on.

Cam and I do not usually sit through the entire game, but today's was only 25 minutes long so I asked him to watch.  He didn't mind as he won another frog for his crane game collection.  I had fun watching Meg play.  What I love most about soccer season whether it is indoor or outdoor is the bond that Meg and Doug have formed through it over the years.  It is no secret that Meg would spend her time with me over Doug.  We have more in common through our years at Milford and being the only girls in the Heinisch Family Frat House.  It's nice that she has stories to share with him and memories that will last a lifetime.

In saying all of that I am glad that one season has ended as team tennis has just begun.  It makes our life a lot easier with both Cam and Meg playing on different teams.  Plus Doug and Meg still have Monday night soccer and soon enough the high school season will begin again.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Follow the Child

Over 20 years ago I spent the summer in Evanston learning about the teachings of Maria Montessori.  Although I only taught at Montessori schools for four years the knowledge that I gained those three months have been highly influential in our idea of parenting.  Montessori believed in fostering a child's interest.  We believe in that approach in raising the Heinisch children.

Yesterday was a moment of celebration in the "Follow the Child" philosophy.  Earlier this year Meg had decided to focus only soccer and tennis and forgo playing high school basketball.  We listened to her reasoning and shared our thoughts with her, but the decision was hers to make.  On the way home from her first USTA high school match yesterday she told me how happy she was that she made that decision.  She lost her first match as singles, but it was a highly competitive one.  She came away with thoughts of what to work on at her next lesson and highlighted what she did well.  She easily won her mixed doubles match as she and Nate were significantly better than their opponents.  Victory was fun as always, but once again she learned quite a bit in playing - where to stand, how to communicate, and how to stay focused.  The more she talked, the more I realized how proud she was of herself for working at tennis and participating with her team.  One of Maria Montessori's key philosophies - self worth and pride.

Fifteen months ago Cameron walked out of an open house at Bethany Christian and said to me, "Why did we come today?"  I asked him what he thought.  He said, "To see if I would like to go to school here."  When I told him he was correct, he looked at me and said, "Can I start tomorrow?"  He knew what he was lacking and knew what he needed to be successful.  He had found it at Bethany in the camps he had participated in.  He knew in his heart that they would help him foster his interests and yesterday he succeeded in reaching a personal goal that he had set.  He finished fourth at the individual regional chess tournament and is headed to state on January 23rd.  Cam's knowledge has not only grown in chess this year, but in many other areas as well.  Although moving to a new school is never easy, the benefits of having smaller class sizes, increased technology and more teacher attention has far outweighed the insecurities of transferring.

As I reflect on the successes that both Meg and Cameron had yesterday I realize that it is not about showing off their accomplishments.  It is about following their interests and helping them reach their full potential.  Gaining confidence and learning what is best for oneself is a life lesson I can't teach them.  They have to be given space to learn it for themselves.  Love being a Montessori Mom.  Can't imagine raising the Heinisch children any other way.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Much to everyone's disappointment there was not a two hour delay this morning.  Last night the weatherman talked of freezing rain, but the temperature stayed in the 40's.  That made for a dreary day, but it started off well.  Brett and I enjoyed a quiet breakfast at Maria's before he left.  We talked about Star Wars, movies and politics.  It was very nice to spend time with just him.   He stopped in Shelbyville to see the people he worked with this summer before returning to Bloomington.  He was happy to be back and already had dinner plans.

Today was the end of J-Term for Cameron and he really enjoyed it.  They divided the day into three sessions.  In one they learned about technology and the future, the second was healthy eating and the third was about diversity and overcoming adversity.  It was a great way to start after break.  When he is in 7th through 11th grade they will take two classes during that time period and everyone seems to really enjoy it.  Seniors spend time the two weeks job shadowing.  Just one more perk of being a student at Bethany and we are very happy he is there.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

PS4/WiiU Kind of Night

Tonight Brett wanted to finish out his visit home by devoting time to his new PS4 and hanging out with Meg and Cam on the Wii U.  There was a lot of arguing and yelling, but everyone seemed to have a great time.  I know that they have enjoyed having him here and it was a fun way to spend his last evening.  Tomorrow morning will be devoted to packing. It has been a wonderful break and I am glad that he shared a lot of his time with us.  He said that he can't believe how fast it has gone by, but he is more than ready to return to Bloomington and his friends.  He has kept busy, but he definitely has a lot more to do there and I don't blame him for feeling that way.  I know that we will miss him, but we plan to see him in five weeks on his 21st birthday.  Much to my surprise, he even thought he might try some wine.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Party of Six

Tonight the six of us went to dinner at Mad Anthony's to say Goodbye to Brett before he leaves on Friday.  I appreciated that everyone was more than willing to go.  I love spending time with all of them together.  It doesn't happen often, so I appreciate it even more when it does.  I believe that all of the Heinisch children had a good time.  The food was delicious and there was a lot of conversation.  It's hard to believe that this will be the last Christmas break that everyone is here for this long of a time period.  I am excited for Brett and Cal, however, as they embark on their new journeys.  I believe that both will be successful wherever life takes them.  Brett has already been getting calls about the applications he has sent in.  One of the positions is in Texas.  That would be an awesome place for him to live and for us to visit.  Until they both make decisions on where they will be headed I won't make any travel plans.  Instead I'll just enjoy the time with them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Intern

Today Cal started his internship at Milford.  He will be there for an hour each day.  Mrs. Blauvelt is in charge of him, but he will be helping anyone and everyone that needs him.  He spent today working on a bulletin board for her and grading papers for Mrs. Fiscus.  He said that he liked it and had fun.  I hope it goes well for him.  The teachers appreciate having him there and I like spending time with him.  Milford is definitely a lot smaller than his middle school experience.  I think he would have liked it there, but Cal usually has fun wherever he is.  Since Cal has this internship, Meg has decided that she would like to intern for Mr. Larson when she is in high school.  I believe that she would love it!  Guess we'll have to wait a couple of years to see if that is possible.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Two Hour Delay

Today started off with a two hour delay for Wawasee.  I was surprised as only one other school in the area had one.  I drove over to Mom's at 6:30 a.m. to get Cam's lunch and I thought the roads were fine.  Cam had school as normal.  The Leininger's took him which I appreciated very much.  By the time we left for school the snow had really come down and I thought it was worse than three hours earlier.  I made it in, however, and the first day went about as well as it could.

Brett spent the day in LaGrange county working for Pam Galloway's campaign.  He enjoyed it and is starting to have luck on his job search as well.  Cal played basketball after school and Meg went to soccer.  While she and Doug were gone Cam and I watched a movie with Brett.  His feet were still numb from walking in the snow, but I am glad that he was able to participate.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Choice

I woke up this morning in tears.  I didn't sleep well and I knew today would be a struggle.  I had a choice.  I could be sad all day that school started again tomorrow or I could try to make the best of it.  I am glad to say that I chose the second one.

After finishing the laundry and getting everything in order for tomorrow Brett, Cam and I went with Doug and Meg to Goshen to watch her play soccer and do some shopping.  We had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and were home in time to watch Singing in the Rain.  Doug and I have a plan for finishing the second half of the school year.  I just need to stay positive and take a break from time to time.  It will get harder, but if I focus on goals that are not school/work related - finishing another book before Spring Break, losing seven more pounds - it should help.  All I can do is do my best.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Close to Shore

Brett gave me the book "Close to Shore" at the beginning of break as a belated birthday gift.  The book had looked very interesting to me and every time I picked it up at Barnes and Noble I thought about getting it.  It definitely did not disappoint.  I loved how it told the story of not only the shark attacks of 1916, but also the history of the Jersey shore at the time.  It also gave me a glimpse into the life of a great white shark.  The book Jaws was even based on the attacks.  I finished "Close to Shore" this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It has been a long time since I read a 300 page book that quickly.  I believe I am not ready to take a turn at Anna Karenina.

Cam and I spent the afternoon in his bedroom.  I have not helped him thoroughly clean it out in quite some time and it desperately needed it.  I could not believe all that we got done in under three hours.  He can now open his drawers, use his white cabinet and see the tops of the dressers.  We took out two boxes of unwanted items and a bag of garbage.

Doug and I went to dinner in Fort Wayne tonight.  They had a new spaghetti dish that I really liked.  We topped it off with the eggnog cheesecake.  I am sure that it will soon be replaced on the dessert menu, but we certainly enjoyed it.  Brett and Cam played Monopoly with my parents ending in a draw.  They then talked Meg into watching Christmas with the Kranks with them.  All involved agreed that it was the worst Christmas movie ever.  Cal spent his evening watching IU basketball and working on a 1977 Star Wars puzzle that was given to Doug many years ago.  What a great treasure to find in our basement.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

We survived 2015 and everyone seemed to have a fun time ringing in the New Year!  We spent quite a bit of time in the afternoon picking up.  Doug tackled the basement and I spent my time upstairs.  With the PS4 in Cal's room I always have Brett to visit with while I am cleaning.  That's a bonus.

Cal left for dinner with his friends in the early evening.  They had a lot of football to watch.  Mom and Dad came over to play cards once again.  We taught Cam to play 31 and enjoyed that.  Meg and Brett watched Teen Beach Movie 2 while we were playing.  According to them it was one of the worst movies that they have ever seen and they thoroughly enjoyed ripping on it.  After their movie Dad, Cam, Meg and I played Head Bands Act Up.  It was hilarious and everyone will long remember my Native American dance!

Cal came back after dinner with Harry, Stephen, and Jeremy.  Jayce, Cameron and Alex all joined later and the boys had a lot of fun playing Risk and ping pong.  Once my parents left Cam hung out with them as well.  Doug and I watched more of The Twilight Zone.  The SyFy Channel decided to show them in order from the beginning of the series until the end.  We DVR'd a lot of them which will be great when we are looking for something to watch.  Cam came up around 1 a.m.  Doug was asleep long before that.  I read for a while.  The boys in the basement were still going strong long after I turned my light off.  It sure sounded like they were having a great time!