Sunday, February 28, 2016

What a Beautiful Day!!

It was absolutely gorgeous here today and reminded me of late Spring.  Cameron even noticed that there was a lot of snow already gone from all that we had these last few days.  Everyone took advantage of it and Cal was able to get a group together for basketball at the LYC.  Doug and I took a 45 minute walk after he jogged, and Cam got the guinea pig cage cleaned without having to traipse through drifts of snow. 

We also had time to clean the basement.  Doug started at 9:30 this morning picking up and vacuuming.  Cam, Meg and I joined after lunch.  I organized and washed the bedding while they dusted.  It looked very nice when we were done and thanks to Doug's hard work we were finished before 3 p.m. 

Meg had a friend over this evening and my parents came down to play Trumpet and Hearts.  Afterward we all watched parts of the Oscars.  Mad Max won the majority of the awards at the beginning.  I didn't even remember that was a movie this year.  Cal was disappointed that Star Wars wasn't nominated for much.  Doug used the time to work on the Darth Vader puzzle.  Cam and I almost made it up to the end, but by 11 p.m we zonked out.  It was a great way to end our winter break!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

State Qualifier Part 2

Cam participated in the team chess regional for Bethany Christian today.  He, JJ, Kayden and a six grader all played very well.  Cam won four of his five matches and beat some tough opponents.  Cam was the #1 board and team leader.  They competed in the 6th grade and under portion of the tournament.

I had been getting several updates from Doug throughout the day.  To qualify for state they had to finish in the top ten out of the twenty-four teams registered.  I knew from Doug that they had been in the 9th or 10th position most of the day.  He said it would come down to the last round and he was right.  Cam's team did not win a game at the end and finished with 2.5 points overall.  This put them in a six way tie for 10th place.  Chess has an elaborate set of rules for it's tie break system all of which came out in Bethany's favor.  They had scored enough wins against ranked opponents to beat out the other five teams and earned the final spot in qualifying for the state tournament in March.

Doug and Cam were pretty happy when they called.  From what they were told last year Bethany finished 23.  Cam has really worked on his chess game this year and has a great coach.  Proud of him for his accomplishments ~ now on to state!!!

Way to Step Up!

Tonight was senior night at the Wawasee basketball game.  Cal planned on going and supporting his friends.  I had mixed emotions about it all.  He didn't, however, and left around 6:30 or so. The Wawasee game began as usual with the starters being introduced.  I notice that a video of Cal was posted on Twitter by the athletic office.  He had positioned himself at the end of the student line and was chest bumping and high fiving the seniors as they came through.  He looked to be having a great time and the video of him with Jayce was priceless.

 It was also Special Olympics Night where the students of Wawasee coach and ref a game between two Special Olympic adult teams.  It has been successful in the past and everyone that has watched the games or participated has been appreciative of the students efforts.  Tonight the leader of the student group came to the crowd and said that one of the teams was a player short and wanted to know if anyone would like to help out by playing.  Cal was the first one up, raring to go.  They had a uniform for him and shortly after he took the court I received several texts letting me know what he was doing.

By the end of the halftime exhibition I received video, pictures, and a lot of compliments from those in the crowd.  They were so proud of him.  Not only did he step up to help out, but he made some nice passes to his teammates and worked with them very well.  The picture above is my favorite of the night.  It shows how much fun he is really having.  I was so proud of him and happy that others could see what an awesome young man he has grown up to be.  By the time he and HM arrived at our house they could talk of nothing else.  I was so afraid that senior night would be a challenge for him to get through, but in the end it turned out to be the highlight of the season.  Couldn't ask for anything more.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Virtual Learning Day

Wawasee cancelled last night, but Bethany did not until this morning.  They had sent several emails yesterday letting us know that it was a strong possibility that they would have a virtual learning day instead of a snow day if needed.  Cam woke up at 9:30 to find out that his first assignment of the day was to make a cup of hot chocolate and get ready to learn with Mrs. H.  He did have work to do in all of his classes except for computers and PE.  Some revolved around reading and others on building sculptures in the snow.  I had to listen to his new oboe piece and sign a sheet.  He also had to take pictures of certain activities and video himself clapping the rhythm to his music.  He finished and submitted everything by 3:30.  When I asked him if he liked doing a snow day that way, he said, "Definitely!"  What a great way to engage the students and keep their school year flowing.

Meg and Cal had a traditional snow day.  Meg is more than ready to go back to school.  We did get out to go to tennis tonight and had we know how back State Road 15 and Milford-Syracuse road were we would have never gone.  The snow plows have seemed to ignore our part of the county, so once the seven inches started to melt they left it as slush.  It then froze and now it is drifting.  On one part of our drive Cameron asked if we were even on a road anymore.

We did make it safely to tennis.  The roads in Warsaw were a lot better.  We had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and then took US 30 to State Road 13 for the return trip.  That was a lot better.  Wawasee has a two hour delay already.  Cameron does not have school as it was a scheduled day off.  Can't envision having school tomorrow, but we will see what the morning brings.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Snow Day #1

We woke up this morning to find out that school had been cancelled for the day.  They waited until 6:40 a.m. to call it, but it was definitely the right one.  It started snowing at 7 a.m. and never stopped.  Cameron did have school, but I emailed his teacher and the office to let them know that we wouldn't be bringing him.  Our fear was that they would close early and it would be hazardous for me to drive back to Goshen.  We were correct in our assumption as they decided to close at 1:30 this afternoon.  Cam's teacher sent his homework via Haiku so he was able to catch up.

We spent all day indoors, but had a great time.  We played Disney Scene It plus watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I also used some of the time to clean areas that I haven't had time to work on.  By the time Doug got home I had organized two dresser drawers, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned the kitchen, picked up Cal's room and washed a load of towels.

Cam tried going outside when Cal was shoveling, but only made it 20 minutes.  The wind was pretty fierce and he didn't like how it felt on his face.  Doug's work closed early, so he was here by 3.  He still worked at home, but did watch the movie with us.  He shoveled at least twice tonight.  Cal spent the day with HM.  They met some friends to go sledding at the high school, ate lunch at Burger King and then went back to her house to build a snowman and hang out.  Her parents invited him to dinner, but we asked him to be home by 7 as it was still light enough to drive and we didn't know how it would be after dark.

Brett called this afternoon.  Bloomington did not have any snow, only rain.  He was in line for his Mumps vaccination while I was talking to him.  They have had five confirmed cases this semester and we couldn't find record of his booster shot.  The doctor said it wouldn't hurt him to have another, so he joined the long line at the Union.

I wasn't quite ready for trimester three to start and today was a perfect way to help me get motivated. The nice part is that they have already called school off for tomorrow.  Thus, I will have one more day to readjust to the last 13 weeks.  The only negative is that Cal and I will have to reschedule our dentist appointments.  I don't think he minded at all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Quiet Before the Storm

Today was a teacher work day at school.  We did not have any meetings which was nice.  I was able to get a lot done and my classroom is prepared for the last trimester of the year.  I have to be honest, however, I am not mentally prepared yet.  I hope I catch a second wind before tomorrow comes.  Meg and Kaitlin came over to Milford for awhile.  They were hoping to see "T-Money", but he must have taken the afternoon off.  Instead they visited with Mrs. Fiscus and Mr. Larson.

Kaitlin went home after Milford and Meg and I picked up Cameron.  Everyone was exhausted once we got back.  Doug and I took a walk when he got home and that helped.  We then had dinner at Huntington's.  There is a storm warning out for tomorrow, so we were glad to get out before it hits.  I am hoping that it doesn't happen, but it sure looks imminent.  We will see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Snow MakeUp Day #2

Friday was the end of trimester 2 at Wawasee high school, so today was a snow makeup day.  It is the first time that we have ever gotten it off.  Since Tuesday is a teacher day Cal and Meg have a four day weekend.  Meg and I made the most of it today as we went to lunch at Steak 'N Shake in Goshen and then spent the afternoon shopping.  We had a lot of fun especially at Michaels and Kohls.  Neither Meg nor I will try on reading glasses again or talk about it while I am drinking Diet Dr. Pepper.  Needless to say half of my pop ended up on my steering wheel.

Meg found some capris that she needed for Spring and I bought a white sweatshirt that I had been looking for.  From there we headed to Mrs. Meek's for piano.  It has been nice the last two Mondays without school to drop Meg off for her lesson while I pick up Cameron.  In another month Meg won't be able to take lessons because of tennis.  We were a little early, but that worked out well.  Mrs. Meek was ready for Cam when he got there.

After piano we picked Preston up in Milford and dropped Cam off to Mary for a night of chess at the River.  Doug was home early, but I had to leave for the library board.  Doug picked Cam up at the middle school and once Preston left he and Meg ran over to Kaitlin's.  Once they got back, Cam said, "How many friends is Meg having over this weekend?"

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Day Trip

Meg, Cam, Doug and I drove to Merrillville to meet Carl and his friend Marina for lunch.  Doug chose a place called Aladdin's Pita which featured Middle Eastern food.  We all tried several different types of humus with pita bread.  They were delicious.  Cam and Meg decided on grilled chicken kabobs for their entree and seemed to enjoy them.  Neither would touch the grilled half onion, however.  It was a great restaurant to try and we had a nice visit.  We did some shopping in the grocery store afterward and they each found chocolates to buy for the way home.

Next on our stop was Valparaiso.  I wanted to go to Barnes and Noble and everyone else agreed.  I found several Blu Rays that I liked.  After that we did some shopping at Yankee Candle.  It was the last day of their big sale and I loved the fragrances we picked out.  I was down to my last candle in storage, so I appreciated being able to stop there. Our last stop of the afternoon was Dick's.  Meg needed shoes for tennis and we found ones that she liked in her size.  I even had a $10 reward certificate to use.

We made it home around 6:30.  Cal arrived shortly after we did.  He went with HM, Aubrey and Stephen to Bittersweet to try his hand at skiing.  He definitely was sore when he got home, but he was glad that he tried it.  He had never been before.  Brett left around 12:45 today.  He picked Alex up in Milford and was home in plenty of time to unpack and get breadsticks before mass.  We were glad to have him here and he seemed to enjoy his time with us.  He took Cam and his friend from Bethany Christian, Caleb, to see Kung Fu Panda 3 on Friday night.  Meg was supposed to be at a birthday party for Kaitlin in Fort Wayne Saturday, but Kaitlin ended up with the stomach flu.  Thus, Brett got to visit with Meg more than we thought he would when he got here Thursday night.  Besides the visiting and his meeting with the RNC, Brett even managed to write, edit and submit a five page paper for one of his classes.  All in all I believe that everyone had a fantastic weekend.  Doug even reneged on his promise of waiting a year to start another puzzle and began the Darth Vader one tonight.  We will see how long that one takes.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Spring Cannot Be Too Far Off

Today and yesterday were absolutely beautiful.  It felt close to 60 degrees and the sun was out all day.  Doug took advantage of the weather in the morning to cut up the pine tree left from the December ice storm that knocked out a power line.  After Cam's tennis match we took a walk around the neighborhood.  It was gorgeous.

Cal and his friends spent the afternoon at the LYC playing basketball.  Meg walked over to Tess' for awhile.  Cam and Doug played basketball and before Meg left they kicked around the soccer ball.  Doug grilled steaks and pork chops once Brett got home.  Brett did not spend the day outside as he had to drive to Grand Rapids to meet with Republican National Committee.  Michigan's Republican party is interested in hiring him, but he has to pass their tests first.  He was thankful for the beautiful weather as well as it made the drive a lot easier.

The wonderful day was capped off by a great night.  IU beat Purdue in Assembly Hall to stay on top of the Big Ten standings.  It was a good game and made for a fun evening.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Could You Step Out of the Car?

Last night was an adventure for Brett.  He left to come back home for the weekend around 5:15.  Alex decided to come back as well and asked for a ride.  I was worried about them coordinating their schedules, but all seemed well at 6 when they called.  They had stopped by the winery so that Brett could purchase some cider to bring home.  At that point I suggested to Brett that he let Alex drive as he is more seasoned in bigger cities and they could come through Indy that way.  I had also suggested that they put the wine in the trunk.  That way if a police officer stopped them, he would know that they weren't drinking.  Never did I think.

All seemed well until 9 p.m. when I got a text from Brett stating, "We just got pulled over."  I was surprised, but not concerned until I texted him several more times and did not hear anything for about 20 minutes.  Brett finally texted back and said, "Alex was speeding and the dogs could smell drugs."  What?  Alex and Brett and drugs?  No way!  By this time everyone in the house caught on to what was going on and we waited to hear back from them.

Finally Brett called and much to our relief there were no drugs in the car.  I was not concerned about the boys, but thought maybe someone had put something in the vehicle to hide out for later.  Brett said that it was quite the experience.  He definitely never needs to be patted down again.  The police officers thoroughly searched the car and even went through both of their laundry baskets.  From the conversation Brett had while they were waiting the cops said that it could have been Brett's laundry that the dogs smelled as someone in his dorm smokes marijuana and it could have lingered.  It also could have been a dollar bill that they got at a local fast food stop.  Someone could have used it to snort cocaine and there would traces of that still on the money.  Either way the boys were relieved and even the speeding ticket that Alex received didn't dampen the mood.  They also learned that no one under 21 can transport alcohol in a vehicle unless a parent is with them, so Brett drove the rest of the way home.

We were all thankful when Brett arrived safely around 10 p.m.  By then Alex had posted the following on Twitter.  Cal's response made Doug and I laugh the rest of the evening.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Great Day!

Today we found out why my vision is distorted and blurry at times.  I have dry eyes for sure, but I also have small cataracts on both lens.  They are not enough for surgery yet, but they are distorting my lens and have changed my vision.  They also cast a shadow which makes it harder to see at night.  The good news is that these are manageable.  I will use medication for dry eyes and have my vision tested in two weeks.  The ophthalmologist also looked at my optic nerves.  Since they are not inflamed I do not have MS which was the first fear.  He also does not believe that I have a brain tumor, but will check my field of vision at the next appointment.  If I pass that test I do not have to have an MRI!!  I was very glad to hear that.

In addition to this great news I was also able to attend Cameron's field trip today.  The fifth grade has been studying matter and molecules and decided to explore Science Central for some hands on activities.  I thought it was a wonderful adventure.  They learned about the stages of matter and "walked on the moon."  Cameron rode a bike that was perched at least two stories in the air.  There were fun mirrors and several exhibits to try.  I believe his favorite was the slanted room.  It made for some great pictures as it was hard to travel up and down without falling.  I was thrilled to spend time with him.  He has made great friends at Bethany and they have fostered his learning in a way that I had hoped for.  It was an awesome day for both of us and thankfully Cam's asthma is finally a little better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Can You Pick Up Cameron?

Cameron headed to school today packed full of medicines for a sinus infection.  It all was a little too much for him, however, as they called me by 8;30 to have Grandma come and get him.  Once he got to class his chest was tight and the inhaler wouldn't help.  After he threw up they decided it was best for him to go home.

Mom had no problem going to get him.  He was back at her house by 9:30 with a page of math to work on and a book to read.  They said that he could come back for chess if he wanted to as they have their regional tournament next Saturday, but he just wasn't up for it.  He spent a lot of time resting, doing card tricks, watching TV and reading.  I hope tomorrow is better for him.  I know the antibiotic they gave him is strong, but if he can keep it down, it should really make a difference.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We did it!!

It took Doug and I almost six weeks, but we finally finished the "Two Girls at the Piano" puzzle tonight.  It was by far the most difficult puzzle I have ever worked on.  Doug showed the most patience as when it became extremely challenging he kept at it.  I absolutely love Renoir as a painter and this is one of his best.  In saying that I do not believe that I will trying another one of his artworks as a puzzle for quite some time.  Brett said that it was fitting that the puzzle was difficult to complete as it he had a horrible time finding it for me for Christmas.  I do appreciate him giving it to me, however, and I enjoyed the time I spent with Doug working on it.  Cal and Cam said that we could start the Darth Vader puzzle next as they found that one to be even more difficult.  Luckily, my Dad gave us a slightly simpler one.  I'd start tomorrow night on that one, but Doug said he is waiting awhile before getting another out.  Maybe he will change his mind by the weekend or Meg will suggest another family movie night.  That's when we made the most progress.   

Monday, February 15, 2016

President's Day

Wawasee was off for President's Day today.  Cam still had school, but at least I was able to take him.  Meg spent the night at Kaitlin's, so it was just Cal and I here in the morning.  I spent the time picking up the house, folding laundry and catching up on some computer work.  I even had time to grade all of my math papers from school.

Once I picked Meg up we decided to go to Maria's for lunch/brunch.  Meg had her usual - hamburger and fries - and I tried scrambled eggs and bacon.  It was nice to catch up with her after such a busy weekend.  I changed piano to this afternoon so that Meg could easily make it before I picked up Cameron.  He had a good day, although, his asthma is still bothering him.  He said that having visit day on President's Day was a great idea.  They were packed with 5th and 6th graders interested in Bethany next year!

Piano went well and we timed our trip to arrive at home just as Doug pulled in.  There was no soccer tonight because of the day off from school, so Doug made spaghetti.  Cam and Meg wanted to watch Prisoner of Azkaban.  Doug and I used the time to almost finish the Renoir puzzle.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentines Day

Today was Doug and my 26th Valentine's together, and it was definitely one of the quietest ones.  We stayed home for most of the day unpacking from yesterday, cleaning the house and doing laundry.  We did step out for lunch at Mad Anthony's around 2 p.m.  Mom and Dad came up then to hang out with Cameron.  We had given the Heinisch children their gifts before we left.  Each one got a book that they had wanted and Ghiradelli's with $20 hidden in them.  Meg wanted a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet.  Cam is reading a series based on the Thorn rooms at the Chicago Art Museum, so we got him the second one.  Cal started reading Stephen King, so we bought him my favorite collection of King's short stories that include Shawshank Redemption.  Doug found a beautiful pair of amethyst earrings for me.  He also gave me a Jane Austen blu-ray.  Cam and Meg picked out Doug's gifts.  He now has new Rubbermaid containers for lunch and Spectre on blu-ray.

Preston came over at 3 p.m. to hang out for the afternoon.  Cal left around then to take HM to South Bend.  They ate dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  He didn't get back to her house until after 8 p.m.  He said the roads were bad.  They had Doug's CR-V with new tires, so they made it without a problem.  Cam headed to bed early with one of his new books and Meg went to Kaitlin's to spend the night.  Doug and I spent the end of the evening working of the Renoir puzzle and watching Casablanca.  It may have been one of the quietest Valentine's we have spent, but it definitely was a lovely day.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy 21st Brett

Cam woke up fever free this morning, so he, Doug, Meg and I started off for Bloomington.  As a surprise I bought Goosebumps for him and he watched it most of the way down.  We met Parce and Brett at Oliver Winery by noon.  Parce invited Brenda and Chokey to Brett's celebration and we were all glad that they came.  Brett tried his first wine and shocked everyone by chugging it down.  After that he went more slowly with samples and decided that the ciders were his favorite.

Once Doug and Brett were down taste testing Oliver's set us up in a room to have lunch and try some more wine.  Doug bought two of his favorites and I even had a glass.  Parce was entertaining as usual and everyone had a great visit.  My favorite moment was when Brenda stood up and asked everyone to sing Happy Birthday to Brett on his 21st.  His reaction was priceless.

After the winery Brett opened his gifts.  He then decided he wanted to go shopping.  We stopped at the College mall.  Brett found a game he wanted at Game Stop and Cam found one at Target.  From the mall we went to Barnes & Noble.  I bought a book to take with me when we go to Houston.  I am almost halfway through Anna Karenina with a plan to finish it by then.

Our next stop was the union.  We had planned to go bowling, but they were packed with families with the same idea.  Meg, Brett and Cam wanted to walk down Kirkwood from there.  Meg found a Star Wars Hoosiers shirt and Cam purchased a mug that said, "They didn't have my name - Indiana University."  He was pretty proud of that.  We ate dinner at Buffalouies as that was Brett's choice.  He wanted to try a beer and Doug got him a Bud Light.  It definitely wasn't his thing.  He decided that he would stick to the ciders after that.

While we were at the union I saw that there was a winter storm warning for Bloomington and Indy in the morning.  Doug and I talked to everyone and decided that it would be best for us to head back that evening.  We had planned to take Brett to breakfast in the morning, but didn't want to get caught in a storm.  Parce was sick anyway and we hated putting him out.  Cam had a horrible asthma attack once we left Buffalouies, so we knew it was the right decision.

We did stop by Parce's before we left to thank him for the offer to stay and visit for a little while.  Doug bought breadsticks for the ride home.  Cam started running a fever again - 101.  We filled him with medicines and had him use his inhaler.  He started Jurassic Park, but within 45 minutes he was out for the rest of the ride home.  We made it back by 11 p.m. in time for Cal to fill Doug in on the All Star Dunk contest.  Although I was sad that we didn't get to stay for breakfast with Brett, I was thrilled that we were there to celebrate Brett's 21st birthday.  It was a special day for all of us.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Flu Round #2

Cam woke up with a fever this morning.  He wasn't feeling the best yesterday, but it became dramatically worse today.  He really wanted to go to school today as it was his Valentine's Day party and he was bringing Jello Jigglers, Kool-Aid Bursts and wall walkers.  He decided to take Ibuprofen, his inhaler and cold medicine and lay down for awhile to see how he would feel after that.  At about 9 a.m. my Mom called and said he really wanted to go to school, so I told her that he could.  She sent in his medicines with a note of what to take and when.

Meg and I picked Cam up at 3:30.  He made it through the day and had a great Valentine's party.  We got him an Icee, brought him home and he spent the rest of the night on the couch.  We rented The Bridge of Spies from My Vudu and he hung out with us while Meg and Cal went to the basketball game.  After dinner Cam overheard Doug say that he wouldn't be able to go to Bloomington if he was still running a fever.  That perked Cam up.  He decided to take a cold shower and it seemed to do the trick.  By 9:30 his fever had dropped drastically and he was zonked out.  I hope that this is the end of it, but we will see what the morning brings.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Can See

This last month has been challenging.  I have been having a lot of problems with my eyes and headaches.  I have seen the eye doctor and he felt it was the complications of diabetes.  My family doctor disagrees.  He said that my glucose levels are high, but not high enough to warrant eye trouble.  He is more focused on the migraines.  After a lot of tests, cutting down on my carbohydrates, and a considerable amount of prayer I believe that I may have figured one of the problems.  I realized yesterday that my eyes are extremely dry.  Thus, I made an appointment with Grossnickel's and bought rewetting drops.  It definitely has already helped.  I plan to still keep my MRI appointment for Monday.  Dr. Mulry has been on me for years to do that because of the migraines.  I am positive that nothing will come of that test.  I am also sure that the ophthalmologist will say no more contacts. That will be an adjustment, but if the double vision stops for good I am willing to try it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One Crazy Day

Meg texted me as soon as I got to school.  Her fever had spiked to 103 and she wasn't sure what to do.  Cal had suggested that she have Grandma take her to the doctor.  Once I got ahold of her I agreed and they made an appointment for 11:30.  School was busy but went on as usual with my 7th graders trying their hand at homemade spaghetti sauce.  The sixth graders were disappointed that their ski trip was cancelled today.  There was enough snow for skiing, but too much for the busses to travel to Michigan.

As the time approached for Cal to arrive at Milford my phone rang.  I thought maybe Cal wasn't feeling well, but instead he was calling to tell me that he was in a ditch and wasn't going to make it.  This also occurred at 11:30.  We kept trying my Dad to come and get him, but he didn't answer.  As soon as the bell rang for Warrior Time dismissal I hurried out the door to find Cal.  The roads were slick, but I got there easily.  He was pretty far in the ditch, but wasn't too shaken.  It looked as though the only damage to the truck was a broken driver's side mirror.  He said that someone pulled out in front of him and he tried to brake.  When he realized that he couldn't stop and was going to hit the car, he decided that the ditch was a better option.  He definitely made the right decision.  I agreed with him that the woman should have stopped to see if he was alright.  I got him back to school by 11:45 and Doug called the tow truck.

I then headed to the doctor's office to see how Meg was doing.  When I got there the doctor had just gotten into her room.  He did a thorough exam on her and concurred with our opinion ~ a sinus infection.  He prescribed antibiotics and she decided that she would go back to school for the last two periods of the day.  Meg missed yesterday and was concerned that she would have a hard time catching up.  We did cancel tennis for this evening.  I felt she needed to get several doses of her medicine in her before she tried exerting herself.

I picked Meg up from school and Dad got Cameron for me.  Chess was cancelled for the night, so we decided to have him get his meningitis vaccine.  We had to wait about 15 minutes or so.  We then stopped at the library and CVS before heading home.  This was definitely one crazy day and I was more than ready for a quiet evening at home.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I used to be really upset about Cal quitting basketball.  This was not because he quit.  I don't blame him for that.  I was upset because a coach took his love away for the game by humiliating him continually.  Sometimes he did this with words, other times gestures and in what ended up the most hurtful way - ignoring him.  Cal was supported by all who knew him when he quit.  His friends and family rallied around him.  They knew how much he loved playing basketball and didn't want to watch him be treated poorly anymore.  It was unfortunate that those who could have made a difference in Cal's life, however, chose to ignore the situation and ultimately allowed it to happen.  That was what upset me.  How could any adult watch a child be treated in this matter and just not care?

I have long gotten past being upset with those who could have made a positive difference in Cal's life, but didn't.  It doesn't hurt anymore when I read how the team is doing or hear his friends talk about the game.  Paula and Jody told me that I should go to a game sometime and see for myself how much fun he is having.  I don't know if I will ever do that, but I do know Cal has adjusted to life without high school basketball.  He still plays at least three days a week and looks forward to intramurals at IU next year or just pick up games at the rec center.

I knew I would one day get past the hurt of this situation, but never thought I'd find a silver lining in it all.  Yes, he learned a tough lesson in life and this will make him stronger in the end.  That isn't what put a smile on my face last week, however.  It was when Cal came to school and asked me if I had talked to Doug about their Friday morning game with the teachers.  I hadn't asked Doug yet, but I could tell from Cal's voice that he felt good about the day.  They almost always have a story to tell each Friday ~ a three point hook shot to win that just missed, etc. ~ but this day was special for both. For the first time Doug said that they played on the same team and won all five of their games.  Cal took a lead role and played very well.  Doug went on to say that he knows his days of playing Friday morning basketball with Cal are winding down.  Next year he will be off on his own and playing with the adults on Fridays will be very limited.  That's when I realized that I don't have to sit in the crowd for basketball to mean something special to Cal.  The memories he and Doug have made are priceless.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Flu Round 1

Doug and Meg both made it to soccer last night even though they were not feeling the best.  By the time they got back, both were running a fever and ready for bed.  They definitely looked the part of two people with the flu.  I hope that is not the case.

Cam and I spent the quiet night at home watching the third Star Wars movie "Revenge of the Sith."  Cal even joined us for the last forty-five minutes.  The more I watch that movie the more impressed I am with it.  It brings all six movies together and leaves the viewer wanting more.  Glad that the boys enjoy watching them as well.  I love hearing what they have to say about the series, their favorite characters, scenes and more.  It brings a new perspective to it and reminds me of my love of the first movie almost forty years ago.  Cam and I still want one that tells the story between number three and four, but for now we will enjoy the seven that are already made.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl 50

I am not a big fan of football and do not watch any games during the season.  That being said I do enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.  Our family starts the afternoon at the Knights hall for tacos and wings.  They always have a lot of activity going on and everyone enjoys the food.  Afterward we hang out at home getting as much as possible done before the game starts.  This year that included Cal and HM watching The Shining.

My favorite part of the game is always the commercials, although this year I did not seem to like as many as in years past.  Meg watched with us until the halftime show was over.  It was very good this year.  All of us like Cold Play and they were great.  Doug and Cal are in it for the game and Cam just enjoys the entire festivities of the day that included homemade guacamole.  Cal informed us all that over 71 million avocados were estimated to be sold this weekend.

The game turned out to be a good one and not the blowout that everyone was predicting.  I know a lot of people in this area were cheering for the Broncos as it is rumored to be Peyton Manning's last year.  They should not be disappointed if he retires now with his second Super Bowl ring.  I enjoyed the pregame show with the parade of former MVP's, but my favorite part of the day was just hanging out with the Heinisch family.  That's what makes the day special for me.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


In general Saturdays have become the days that the Heinisch children get to hang out with their friends.  Today was no exception.  Cam and I started the morning at the library.  Yesterday he went in to check out some books on magic card tricks.  While he was there they asked to see several of his tricks and then told him that Saturday was "Take Your Child to the Library" day.  Cam wanted to try guessing the number of gummy bears in the jar they showed him, so we made sure to stop in before tennis.  We also spent time looking for a new book series and even got to see the Blue Tongued Lizard and an albino Hedgehog before we left.  Once tennis was over Ryden came over to spend the day with Cam.  They entertained each other with more magic tricks and a Nerf gun war before we got home.

When I dropped Cam off to Mom I picked up Meg for her tennis matches.  She only played doubles today, so we were able to leave early.  She and I wanted to go to the visitation for Gabby's grandmother.  We were there for almost an hour before we had to leave to meet Meg's friends that were coming over.  Meg agreed to take Cam and Ryden to Kung Fu Panda 3 for us.  Everyone said the movie was better than the second, but not as good as the first.  We picked up Kaitlin and Pizza King after the movie.  Kaitlin liked her Nerf cross bow that Meg gave her for an early birthday present.  They all played Five Nights at Freddy's before Doug had to run everyone home.  Kaitlin decided to spend the night and they spent the rest of the evening catching up on their favorite television series.

Cal spent the day with Jayce.  They had tickets to the Notre Dame game.  The game was at 7 p.m., but they decided to leave early as it was the ESPN Game Day game.  Unfortunately, for the boys their UNC shirts did not help them as Notre Dame upset #2 North Carolina in the end.

Doug and I also caught up with friends today as well, although neither were planned.  I saw Kristina at Paula's mother's visitation and spent quite a bit of time talking to her.  Doug went to a visitation as well as his former boss and friend's mother also died this week.  He spent time with them before meeting us at tennis.  It may have not been the most pleasant of circumstances to see friends from long ago, but it was nice to share memories of long ago.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

First Run of the Year

This year has not been the year for skiing.  The winter has been much more mild than previous years and Bittersweet opened late and had to close a few days recently.  We made it, however, and Doug, Cam and Meg had a lot of fun.  It was icier than usual, so they stayed away from the more challenging hills.  Meg was afraid Cam would wipe out.  He was able to negotiate the Creeping Myrtle, however, once he got off of the ski lift.  That proved to be the biggest challenge of the night for him.

While they were skiing I had dinner with Mary.  It was nice to visit with her without a lot of distractions.  She was ready to go out when Doug, Cam and Meg came in for a break.  After they had a snack and were back on the slopes I took some time to read Anna Karenina.  I had planned to get far ahead in it this evening, but once I finished my daily pages Meg came back in and I spent the rest of the evening with her.

We left close to 9 p.m. and stopped to eat on the way home.  Everyone had a great time and we made it back before Cal got home from Buffalo Wild Wings with Jayce and Cameron.  There is one more ski trip scheduled for us on February 20th.  As of right now it looks like we will have snow.  Cam and Meg are already looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Another Doctor . . . More Tests

Today I was finally able to see my regular family physician.  I have had multiple tests done over the past few weeks, but Dr. Mulry has been gone and I haven't been able to talk through them all with him.  We spent about a half hour going through the eye doctor and gynecologists opinion and their lab results.  Dr. Mulry disagrees with them.  He believes that I am having problems with my blood sugar and carbohydrates, but not enough to cause the vision issues.  With my history of migraines he feels that they are the chief cause of my blurred/double vision.  After the eye test he did today and the fact that I almost fell off the table when he spun the light in my eyesight I would tend to believe he is correct.

Thus, they took three tubes of blood and scheduled an MRI for my head.  At first I was frustrated as I thought maybe we could alter my diet or try medicine and it would help.  The more I thought about it, however, his approach makes more sense.  Until we get all of the results back I will continue to watch the carbohydrates that I eat and try medication for my headaches.  Of all the symptoms the vision is the worst and that is what I would like to correct.  I have always had a problem with migraines and maybe now we will find out what is causing them or at least a way to prevent them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Island of Misfits

Last year I noticed I had more and more students stay in from recess to hang out in my room.  Two years ago it was mostly just Meg and her friends, but it grew the next year considerably.  One day last year Roger stopped me and said that he noticed I had become the room where all of the "misfits" hang out.  He didn't mean it in a negative way and after that I always thought of my room as "The Island of Misfit Toys" from Rudolph.

No one rides an ostrich or shoots jelly from a squirt gun, but we definitely have our Charlie in the Box and the train with square wheels.  My room isn't really for the "misfits" but instead has become the safe haven for those who just need a break from the world.  I have my regulars, but on any given day a new face or two will show up.  Some become regulars and some are just there for a couple of days before they are ready to face middle school again.  I have games that they can play, a quiet place to do homework and for those who want to feel productive I even have copies they can make or crafts to do.  Sometimes they just need an ear and reassurance that they will make it through.

Since Cal has been coming to Milford I have noticed him in my Island of Misfits more and more adding to my theory that we are all just "misfits" trying to negotiate life.  They enjoy having him there and spend quite a bit of time helping him complete his project of the day or asking him questions.  One didn't know a lot about football and wanted his opinion on who would win the Super Bowl.  She listened to all of the information he had to say and helped him finish the circles he was cutting out for Mrs. Blauvelt.

My favorite moment with Cal joining our group happened today.  I had him take down my bulletin board in the hallway while I was getting some items ready to laminate.  As I left for the teacher's lounge one of my 6th graders had decided to help him.  When I got back I noticed the board wasn't quite done and they were gone.  I looked in my room and there they were discussing the art of making paper airplanes and how to get one to fly as far as possible.  After a few attempts and some tweaking to their project they were both back out in the hallway working on the bulletin board.

They finished before the bell rang and both were off to writing lab.  As Cal arrived to the cheers of "Shaggy" you're here, the 6th grader came back to tell me he had hidden his airplanes in the secret spot in my desk where he hides all of his treasurers.  That made my heart smile.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog's Day

Today we celebrated Groundhog's Day.  I have to laugh every year as we listen to the report from Puxatony Phil.  I am not sure that most people realize that whether he sees his shadow or not he predicts the same thing.   Legend has it that if he sees his shadow he runs back into his home and we have six more weeks of winter.  Thus, winter will end around March 14th.  If he doesn't see his shadow, then supposedly he stays out and we will have an early Spring.  I can't remember many Springs starting before March 14th, so either way we still start Spring at the same time.

It is a fun legend, however, and my students enjoy learning about it every year.  I do not mind the winter this year as it has been fairly mild.  Hopefully, it stays that way.  Several other states have had blizzards.  Glad that Indiana was not on that list this year.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tennis Conditioning

Tennis Conditioning started this evening for Meg.  She will have it every Monday and Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:00 until the season starts in mid-March.  She said that it went well and overall she did not feel that it was too challenging.  Soccer is a lot of running and indoor without subs this winter prepared her for the challenge.

I have been used to her riding with me to pick up Cameron, so it was strange to go by myself.  He had a good day and was glad to share it with me.  They are having a read-a-thon at school for the month of February to raise money for the library and playground equipment.  He plans to read 65 minutes a day for the month, which will be great.  He already clocked in 80 minutes today.