Sunday, July 31, 2016

Harry Potter at Midnight

When Brett and Cal were younger we started the tradition of attending the Barnes & Noble midnight release of the newest Harry Potter book.  It was a lot of fun.  There were a lot of Harry Potter activities and the sorting hat would put us into houses when we arrived.  There were always hundreds of people there many dressed as their favorite Harry Potter character.  The boys enjoyed the events very much and Cal would usually fall asleep on the way home holding the book.  He was also usually the first one to finish reading it, although many times Doug would read the book out loud to the two of them before bedtime during the next few weeks.

As the last book in the Harry Potter series was released in 2007 Meg and Cam never got to experience the midnight release parties.  Thus, when we heard there was a new J.K. Rowling book - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - we knew we had to attend the midnight festivities with them.  It worked out well for us as we were able to stop in South Bend after our day long trip to Michigan yesterday.  Walking into the store it was like stepping back in time except with different Heinisch children.  There were Harry Potter activities, a sorting hat, lots of fans dressed up and even a whomping willow in the middle of the store.  We counted down the time to midnight and cheered when the clock struck twelve.  Doug predicted we would be in the van at 12:35 from our previous experiences and he missed it by only one minute.  No one feel asleep on the way home,  but other than that it was reminiscent of years ago. Cal even asked today to read the book first.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


We have tried for the last two summers to take Meg and Cam to Michigan to visit some of our favorite stops and haven't been able to make it work.  We finally had a free day today and decided to make the trip.  I was very concerned at first that it would be a wash out as it started pouring around 9:30.  God must have smiled on us, however, as it stop at 11 and never rained again.

Our first point of attraction was Windmill Island.  Cam and Meg enjoyed it as much as we have in the past.  Since the flowers were in full bloom, it was advertised as peek week.  The best part was that the kids were free.  After we walked through the gardens and listened to the organ we toured the windmill.  The history of it and learning how a windmill worked were definitely highlights.  I have now been there enough that I am no longer nervous walking out on the balcony.

Once the tour was over we went to lunch at New Holland Brewing Company.  This is Doug's favorite restaurant in Michigan.  Cam and Meg liked it as well.  We were able to find Brett a Headless Horseman t-shirt to add to the Mad-hatter one we bought him last year from the brewery.   We shopped in Holland after lunch, but didn't buy much except for some fudge to try.

We drove from Holland to Saugatuck.  We first rode the chain ferry across Saugatuck river.  We took a walk before riding back.  From there we spent a good portion of the afternoon shopping.  Meg, Cam and I all found shirts that we liked and Doug bought a few bottles of wine.  We got popcorn for everyone at the Sugar Rush, and ice cream at Kilwin's.

Oval Beach was our next stop.  The water was cold, but nothing like New Hampshire.  Cam was the only one who wanted to go swimming, but we stood at the shoreline tossing a ball to him.  One benefit from a cloudy day was the small crowds.  After Cam swam we went to South Haven next to walk along the pier to the lighthouse.  With only a couple of hours of daylight left the sun peeked through the crowds for the first time today.  What a beautiful way to end a wonderful day.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Back to School

Today's focus was back to school.  We decided, however, that before we went shopping we should have lunch at Olympia.  It was delicious as usual with Meg adding a chocolate shake and Cam a GHS sundae to their meals.  After lunch we headed to Target for back to school shopping.  Cam was able to find all of the supplies on his list and Meg picked up some folders and such.  Our next stop was MC Sporting Goods.  Cam found a pair of Nikes to replace his worn out tennis shoes.  Meg looked for soccer cleats, but they didn't have the ones that she wanted.  We had just enough time to run into GameStop before piano.  Cam found two games that he had been looking for.  Unfortunately, one was missing the disk, but they were able to order it for him.

Piano went well.  Doug picked Meg up from there for soccer practice and Cam and I went to his back to school party at Andre's.  It was a pool party.  I was afraid they would have to move it inside because of the weather, but the rain was very light and the students didn't even seem to notice.  I stayed at the house mostly reading in my van.  I am nearing the end of my book and really want to finish before I start school.  I did get out several times to check on him.  He was having a great time.  It is amazing the difference a year makes.  Last summer he was unsure of his new classmates, but not now.  We are blessed that he has adapted so well.

Once we got home everyone decided to eat dinner at Oakwood.  It was crowded, but we got in right away and were able to eat outside before the storm rolled in.  It was nice to unwind after a busy day.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Elkhart Count 4-H Fair

Today was a busy day with soccer and tennis.  We did, however, find time to squeeze a couple of hours in at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.  We had elephant ears, soft pretzels, ice cream and pizza for lunch.  We toured the animal barns and commercial buildings before the midway opened.  Meg and Cam both rode the Crazy Mouse and played several games - each coming home with a new stuffed animal.  We all had a lot of fun, but I believe that this may be our last trip for awhile as the costs have increased tremendously.  Our two hour excursion cost over $100.  We decided that next year we would much rather go to King's Island instead.  Now we just have to convince Doug of that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Indiana Juniors

Cam participated in his last Indiana Juniors of the summer.  It was held at the Round Barn golf course in Rochester.  He and my parents left early this morning armed with a new driver and a lot of practice.  It all paid off as he finished with an 82 giving him a second place finish.  He was thrilled as the top three earn medals and points on the leaderboard.  He is now 14th overall in the 10-11 year old boys' age group.  Great to see his hard work pay off.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Soccer Conditioning

This week is the week that all soccer players dread - conditioning week.  Meg has been going to tennis in the morning as well.  Thus, she is completely wiped out by the time she gets home.  She has performed well, however, in the mini olympics that Doug sets up for the girls during conditioning week so far.  The girls seem to enjoy the competition and it makes it more interesting than just running for time.  I have also been going to help Doug time the girls.  I am one of the soccer assistants this year as are several others.  Hopefully, Doug finds that beneficial to his team's success.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Library Board

Tonight was my last library board meeting.  I was appointed to the board over a decade ago and have spent the majority of my time as president with the last two years as treasurer.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the library and am most proud of the recent remodeling we have completed especially the outside landscaping and the meeting room.  I feel confident in our new director and have always found Gisela to be an awesome children's director/assistant director.  I told both of them that I was resigning from the board, but not from the library.  I still plan to help, but now only as a volunteer.

The actual meeting was pretty uneventful.  Afterward, however,  the library director made me raspberry cheesecakes which were delicious and gave me a very nice note of appreciation.   I thought it was strange that no one on the actual library board thanked me for my years of service.  In fact the only time it was addressed that I was leaving was when one of the them told me that I had to train the new treasurer.  I did not respond to that as I had offered to do so in June, but no one took me up on it.   With soccer, school and Cal leaving for college I won't have time now.  Needless to say it was time to be done.  No matter how I feel about tonight I will always be very proud of all that I have accomplished in the last ten years and look forward to the new challenges that life has to offer me.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

New Pets

It was very hot today.  Because of the weather and all that we have going on I decided to change my FitBit goal to 10,000 steps.  I had done well with the 12,000, but it took a lot of time.  It will definitely be a lot easier to make my goal.  Many times I can get to 7,000 just doing housework.  Plus I will still be walking about five miles a day.

Cam and my Dad played golf this afternoon.  Doug and I worked more on getting the house in order after all of the laundry from camp.  Meg rested a lot.  She has still been telling us camp stories.  I am thrilled that she had a great experience.  Once Cam got home we left for Goshen.  He and Meg wanted to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Afterward we stopped at Petco to check out the fish and hermit crabs.  We found two crabs that we liked and they each got two new fish.  The crabs adjusted immediately to their new home.  Each crawled into one of the hermie's huts and were found in the food bowl later.  The fish weren't sure at first, especially the one that we have had for almost four years.  He lost his buddy in June, so figured it was time for new friends.  We will see who survives the night.  At least they all had plenty to eat once Meg's figured out there was food.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

They're Home!!!

We were at Camp Crosley at 8:45 this morning, but had to wait until 9 to pick up Cam and Meg.  I was more than ready to see them, but knew they would be sad about leaving camp.  Cam made it out of the cafeteria just as Meg came walking up the hill.  They were happy to see us as well, although, I believe that Meg would have stayed another week if she could have.

They both told us stories all of the way home.  They saw each other a lot and knew a lot of the same people as their activities overlapped.  Cam kept a notebook/journal of his daily activities.  I appreciated him reading that to me as he was pretty detailed about his adventures.  They both liked their cabin mates and their counselors.  Archery was their favorite activity and they also did a craft class.  Meg was adorned with friendship bracelets and Cam made several items to bring home as well.

I spent almost all day doing laundry and helping them unpack.  After lunch Cam went golfing and Meg spent some time snap chatting with her camp friends.  While Doug and I went to mass she met Kaitlin over at Grandma's.  Cal was out looking for Pokemon in the afternoon.  He had found some bargains at the Goodwill half price sale earlier in the day.  Everyone met here for dinner.  Doug grilled steaks and hamburgers.  While we cleaned up the kitchen Cal, Cam, Doug and Dad then played corn hole.  The rain started, however, which moved everyone inside.  Mom, Dad, Doug and Cam then played Hearts.  We took Kaitlin home around 10 p.m.  She and Meg haven't really seen each other in three weeks because of their camp schedules.

It is always a lot of work getting everything washed and put away from camp.  It was well worth it, though, to have them home.  With Cal working it is pretty quiet here during the day.  Glad that everyone was able to be together this evening.  It was a lot of fun catching up.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Week of Socializing

Last night I went with Paula to Terri's 31 party.  I actually needed a couple of items and was glad that she was having one.  It was nice to see her as well.  I ended up ordering a new lunch bag for Meg, an overnight bag for us and a makeup bag for me to take to school.  Once we left there we went to the Barbee Hotel to meet Maria and Jody for dinner.  The food was pretty good and I enjoyed visiting with everyone.  We talked mostly about our children leaving for college and cleaning out our houses.  The hardest part for me working is the fact that I do not have as much time to organize at home.

Doug was at soccer the last two nights, but tonight he was finally able to join me for an evening out.  Paula had told us that the new winery in Leesburg was having music and a food truck.  We thought that sounded great and met her, Mary, Ken and Maria there once Doug got home from work.  The wines were sweeter than we were used to, but we still enjoyed trying them.  We didn't try the food truck, but those who did liked it.  I would love to take Meg and Cam back out there.  They would like bringing a game along, a couple of friends and Bourbon Street Pizza.

Everyone headed their separate ways after the winery, so Doug and I decided to grab a hamburger at Huntington St.  It was wonderful to spend some time with him.  I have gotten home late the last couple of nights and he was busy as well.  It has been a lot of fun catching up with so many people this week, but I am ready for Cam and Meg to be home.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ready for Visitors

I texted my cousin Jeannette last week to see if she would like a visitor today.  Her new baby, Joshua, was a month old today and she was ready for company.  I stopped at Noodles & Company on the way up to bring lunch.  We chatted while Joshua ate and napped.  He isn't quite on a schedule yet.  In the next couple of weeks that should change.  I had always heard that around ten pounds most babies start sleeping through the night and life gets a little easier.

While we were there I was also introduced to Huck and Ava.  They are both rescue dogs.  I don't think that I changed Ava's day, but I sure did Huck's.  He was uncomfortable with me being there the entire time and would give me a worried glance every couple of minutes.  It was a little different then the reception I usually get from Flower.  I didn't take it personally, however.  Glad they chose to rescue them.  Every dog deserves a good home.

While I was there a storm blew through.  It was so humid today I wasn't surprised that we got one.  Just thought it would be later.  The weather knocked out their electricity.  They were prepared with a generator, however, and it didn't change their plans for the afternoon.  I left after the rain.  I wanted to get home before Cal left for the night.  He hung out with Dad after work.

I was happy to be able to visit Jeannette this week.  I know that having a baby after she lost the twins wasn't a sure thing.  I am so glad that God blessed them with a son.  He won't replace the girls, but he will make life at the Pancoast house a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Old Friends

Tonight I went to dinner with one of my best friends from high school.  We met our freshmen year in gym class and bonded quickly over the injustice of having PE first period.  We hadn't seen each other in a couple of years and may not have gotten together if Prince hadn't died this Spring.  As soon as we heard the word we started texting about all the memories of making up "When Doves Cry" videos in the back of the golf van on the way to matches.  During our texts we decided that we needed a night out this summer and I'm glad we set a date.

We ate at Oakwood.  She hadn't been there since one of our friends married there almost twenty years ago.  The food was good, but the conversation was better.  We have a friendship that doesn't matter whether we see each other once a week or once a decade, we pick up right where we left off.  We have so much history together that we never run out of things to talk about.  We set a time to meet again in November.  Soccer will be over then and our family life should calm down a little.  I'm already looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Calm Before the Storm

Doug and I went to Fort Wayne tonight to do some shopping and go to dinner.  I found some candles that I wanted and we ate at my favorite restaurant - Chops Wine Bar.  It was a very nice evening, and I enjoyed it very much.  All the way home, however, I kept thinking to myself about the next couple of months.  It will be crazy as soon as Cam and Meg get home with soccer conditioning, tennis, piano, oboe, and golf.   We also have to start preparing for school to start, setting up my classroom and packing Cal for IU.  I know we will get it all done, but it seems very overwhelming right now.  Last Spring was one of the busiest times of our lives.  I will try to remember that this is not on the same level as that and enjoy nights like this evening, even though they will be fewer and farther between.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Windy City

Doug and I left for Chicago after we dropped off Meg and Cam.  This is our sixth year of taking a mini vacation together while they are at camp.  We spent the first two in Bloomington.  The third year we toured the Finger Lakes in New York and then visited Michigan the past two summers.  Doug could not take as much time off of work this year because of our trips this Spring and Summer, so we wanted to go somewhere that a couple of days would work.  

I had always wanted to stay at the Palmer House in Chicago, so we started there.  It was featured in Devil in the White City and has a rich Chicago history.  It had been remodeled since the 1870s several times, but still had retained its early beauty.  We walked through he hotel admiring the portraits and memorabilia from days gone by.  Bertha Palmer was sisters with the daughter-in-law of Ulysses S. Grant and several presidents had visited the hotel over the years.  It was also within an easy walking distance to all that we had wanted to do on our visit.

Sunday night we ate dinner at the Grillroom Chophouse.  It was across the street from the Private Bank Theater where we had tickets to see The Book of Mormon.  The food was delicious and our server was fantastic.  We made it in plenty of time before the 7:30 opening.  I had been warned that The Book of Mormon was vulgar.  I would agree with that.  It had some really funny parts, however, and we both enjoyed it.  We only had a block and half walk back to our hotel.  It was after ten and we could not believe all of the people still enjoying the hotel lounge.  It was different from our trips previously when everything seemed to close at nine.  

Monday we walked up State street to The Corner Bakery and Cafe.  We chose a table outside across from the Trump Tower.  The food was good.  Not sure how I felt about all of the birds eating the leftovers from the table beside us, but they left when the busboy came out.  From there we walked up Michigan Avenue to do some shopping.  I loved The Hershey Factory Works store and Dylan's Candy Shop.  I found some great items for the Heinisch children.  My find of the day, however, was from the Disney store.  Can't wait to hear how Gabby and Meg like their new shirts!  

We stopped for a late lunch at a local brewery once again eating outside.  The weather was beautiful with just enough wind to keep us form getting too hot.  From there we walked through Millennium Park and took our picture at The Bean.  By the time we got back to our car my FitBit had buzzed as I had reached my 12,000th step.  

We left close to 3 Chicago time.  Traffic was pretty light for mid-day.  We stopped at South Bend to eat dinner at Bonefish Grille.  Doug had a gift certificate that we wanted to use.  We were home well before eight and saw Cal walking by the high school.  He had to work overtime and was out looking for Pokemon.  This summer our trip was shorter than normal, but still a lot of fun.  It has been great taking this time with Doug every year, especially as our life will soon become crazy with the start of school, soccer and Cal leaving for IU.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

And They're Off

We spent this morning finishing Cam and Meg's packing for camp.  As this is Cam's sixth year and Meg's eighth we have gotten pretty good at getting ready.  They both help a lot too which I really appreciate.  Meg was feeling better this morning.  She tried NyQuil last night and that seemed to do the trick.  She also slept in.  Her voice was almost back to normal.  She was more than ready to go back and was on the phone most of the morning texting Gabby about their plans for the week.

Cam was happy to go as well, but wanted to catch The British Open (or The Open as it is now called.)  We all thought that Mickelson was going to win.  He birdie the first hole and Henrik Stenson bogeyed.  We were positive that would be the break Phil needed to pull out the victory.  Stenson, however, proceeded to play the round of his life shooting a 63 and winning by two.  Cam was ok with the outcome.  As much as he was pulling for Mickelson he knew that Stenson's story was a good one as well - 40 years old, never won a major and the first Swedish male to win one.  By the time we helped Cam carry his supplies to Munsee cabin his was ready for his adventure.

We took Meg to her cabin next.  She was in Wyandot this week which was closer to the lake.  I liked her counselors and the girls were excited about starting week two.  I always feel a little sad when I leave camp, but not this time.  They have always had such great experiences.  I know that this week will be no different.  I will be very glad to see them on Saturday, however.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

And She's Back . . . For 24 Hours

We picked Meg up this morning at 9 a.m.  Her first words were, "I'm not ready to go home.  This was the best week at camp, ever!"  Guess that means it was a good time!!  She had also noticeably lost her voice.  She said that it happened from all of the singing that they did on Thursday night.  They were "Christmas caroling" the other cabins and her voice started to wane from there.  She didn't mind.  I told her some rest would help, but she was so incredibly excited to tell us everything that she did that she wasn't ready to try my advice yet.

While I got her laundry and bedding washed for next week, Meg filled us in on all that she had done over the week.  There were a lot of great stories and only a couple of items that annoyed her.  She definitely said that this was her best week ever and really enjoyed her counselors.  She tried soccer and archery, but had plans to add Mission Impossible and friendship crafts next week.  She and Gabby decided that they needed wolf shirts for week two and luckily Gabby was able to find them at Walmart.

Meg spent a lot of time on Instagram and Snapchat with her new found camp friends.  I finally talked her into lying down and resting around 3.  Her throat hurt as did her stomach.  Once Cam and Doug finished golfing we all went to Target and Buffalo Wild Wings in Goshen.  Meg did feel better after she ate and we were able to find the rest of the supplies they needed for camp.  I was very happy to hear that she had a wonderful time.  I never doubted that she would.  Glad that Cameron will be joining them next week!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

VP Pick

Today Donald Trump announced his Vice Presidential choice for running mate.  Although it was not a surprise with all of the news coverage in the past few days, it wasn't until this week that speculation had even surrounded current Indiana governor, Mike Pence.  From a Trump perspective it is a logical choice.  Pence is a Christian Conservation who is a favored son of the right wing side of the Republican party.  Despite the argument from the liberal left, Pence has worked hard as Governor to balance the budget, increase spending in education and promote the policies of the pro-life movement.

I consider myself a Republican, but not a far right conservative.  I do not believe in abortion for me, but it is not my place to judge others' choices.  I am not against gay marriage, but believe that it is a states right issue not a federal one.  I don't really care how public bathrooms are labeled - men, women, child, family - I just hate using them in general.  Economies are cyclical, so I don't worry too much about that either.

I do care deeply about two top political issues that in my mind top all of them.  Those are the philosophy of government handouts and the insurgence of ISIS.  I do not believe in free college education for everyone and forced healthcare.  The theories may be nice, but in reality the only way to get someone to appreciate what they have is for them to earn it.  It's easy to give up on something or become apathetic if it is free.  I have witnessed this first hand.  There needs to be a reason to succeed.  Free college makes it too easy.  There would be nothing lost in quitting school or slacking in classwork.

I also believe that that forced healthcare initiative has made it challenging for businesses.  Businesses are not evil, they have to make money or they cannot exist.  By forcing businesses to pay for health insurance for all employees working 40 hours just made them cut the amount of time employees worked.  Our substitute teachers at school now can only work 4 days a week instead of their typical 5.  They are already underpaid.  Obama's healthcare initiative did not help them gain access to health insurance, instead they had their weekly earnings lowered.

Nothing above, however, compares to the threat of ISIS.  Democrats and Republicans will probably never agree on government assistance.  I can accept that.  I do believe we are raising a generation of people who rely too heavily on handouts, but what scares me the most are the attacks in the Middle East.  They have become far too commonplace.  The targets have gotten larger.  Just this week someone drove a truck into a crowd of thousands killing close to 100 and injuring 3 times that many.  I want a president, vice-president, secretary of defense, etc. who will eliminate this threat.  I believe that this faction was created on Obama's watch and while Hillary was Secretary of State.  They have had their chance and in my mind have created an environment where these attacks will continue.  I am willing to take a chance on a Republican ticket, even if it is atypical, because right now I believe that they have the best chance of controlling the situation.  If I am wrong, I accept that, but status quo is unacceptable.  We are putting out fires after they occur.  We need to be proactive and preventative.  I just don't believe that the Democratic party is willing to do this.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


For Mother's Day I had asked Doug and the Heinisch children for a FitBit.  I knew several people who had one including Doug and I thought it would be the perfect way to keep track of the steps I take in a day.  As school was still in session I wore it there and was surprised to see how many steps I took while working.  I now understood why I came home tired on cooking lab days.  Out of my goal of 10,000 on those days I would typically have 8000 by the time I left.  Several other teachers had FitBits as well and they would invite me to daily challenges and such.  That made using it a lot more fun and gave Meg a reason to make fun of me for being a FitBit Mom!!

The more I used my FitBit the more I really liked it.  I realized that there were days before I had it that I would have stopped exercising because I had other things going on, but once I saw that I still needed to make my goal I would get up and get moving.  The easiest days to make my goal was golf tournament days.  The hardest were when we were traveling.

The day after Cal's graduation I changed my goal to 12,000 steps and except for two days while we were driving to New Hampshire I have met that goal everyday since.  I also changed my Weight Watchers Fit Points to 99 a week instead of the small amount I had set before.  I would love to say that I have lost 10 more pounds doing this, but as I have noticed in the past the more I exercise the more my weight stays the same.  I had excepted that.  Needless to say I have lost 25 pounds in the last year which is awesome.  I am more active and I feel better.  Yesterday I walked to the post office and then to Mom's all on a hot, muggy afternoon and felt great afterward.  That's what it is all about - I look better and feel better.  For that I am thankful for my FitBit and the support of those who gave it to me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pokemon Go

Over the weekend Cal told me about a new app that he was going to try called Pokemon Go.  It was geared toward people of his age that grew up playing Pokemon.  The player has to walk to different locations looking for Pokemon to appear on the app.  They then "catch" the Pokemon and add it to their team.  I noticed that he's been out walking a lot more looking for the Pokemon he needs.  He's been on Twitter talking with his friends about the ones he has caught and the ones he still needs.

I think it has been great.  The game gets him out and about and is something fun to do after work.  Thus, I was surprised that adults were on Facebook criticizing those playing it.  Adults can definitely play the game, but the audience is more Cal's age.  In fact IU has been posting all of the Pokemon's caught on campus.  I do not understand being critical of something just because a person's of the wrong generation to appreciate it.  With all of the arrests made lately for underage drinking I have no problem being positive about something that really doesn't appeal to me personally.  Thus, I say "Go Pokemon Go!!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

$2 Tuesdays

It was a great day for Cameron.  First he played in the Raccoon Run league and won his first ever match play.  He stayed and played 9 extra holes.  He finished with an 89 which was also his first time breaking 90.  Then we stopped at Walmart on the way home and found out that it was $2 Tuesdays at Ben's pretzels.  He had his while we shopped for a couple of items throughout the store.  We also bought his favorite fruit - plums.   Our last stop of the day was more for me, but he did get to pick out our new birdbath which I was able to assemble right before the storms hit tonight.

The only down part of today for Cameron was the cancellation of soccer.  Doug moved his camp into the gym, but Bethany had to cancel because of the lightening.  The storms finished by the time Doug got home, so we were still able to go to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and enjoy traditional Tuesdays.  The wings were hot, but Cam was still able to finish nine of them.  Thankfully, we ordered extra ranch and the refills of root beer kept coming.  He ended the evening watching the new Spongebob that premiered this week.  It was an awesome day to be an eleven year old!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Youth Golf

I loved playing golf when I was in high school.  There were always summer tournaments to look forward to and new girls to meet.  I started playing competitively at an older age then the boys.  Thus, parents were not as involved as when Cal, Cameron and Meg started out.  The tournaments that they played in expect the golfers to keep their own score and to know the rules of the game.  I have never worried about my children posting an accurate score as I know they were taught by my Dad and there is no one that I believe knows the rules better than he.

Yesterday, was one of those days when Cameron learned that not all golfers know the rules and not all parents play fair.  He played in his first buddy tournament which was a two person best ball.  His partner was also a student at Bethany and Cameron was very happy to have someone he knew to play with.  They shot a 51 which wasn't too bad for their first time together and at Elcona Country Club.  It was a challenging course with lightening fast greens.

They finished early and waited for the last four teams to finish.  As the scores were read and Cameron realized that they finished third he was proud of their effort and ready to receive his medal.  That was until a parent stepped in and said, "Wait a minute.  My son didn't have a 7 on number 16.  He actually had a 5."  The person running the tournament said ok, and changed the score from a 52 to a 50.  Cameron and my Dad stood dumbfounded.  First, parents are not allowed to keep the score.  The two hour orientation and the five paragraph email I received every week from the tournament chair states that very clearly.  Second, the boys were supposed to keep each other's scores.  They kept their own.  Lastly, once the scorecard is turned in and signed they would be disqualified for admitting an incorrect score.

This sounds like sour grapes, but it is not.  Cameron was bummed that he didn't finish third, but fourth out of 8 with a weaker team was still good.  It was the lack of rule following that really bothered him.  He played fair and kept a correct score.  He knew the rules and the tournament director did not back him up.  Unfortunately, that is part of youth golf.  I learned that well with Cal.  It gets a lot better when the golfers get older.  Parents aren't as involved and the tournaments are run a lot better.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Camp Crosley Week 1

We picked Gabrielle up at 1:15 for camp this afternoon.  Alex was singing the National Anthem at the South Bend Cubs game, so Paula wasn't able to take her.  The girls talked the whole way out and were so very excited.  They relived the highlights of all of their past summers at camp and kept remarking how they could not believe that they would be staying for two weeks.  Each year they talked of trying it, but always changed their minds when we registered.  Not this year, however, as they knew it was probably their last chance to do so and were more than ready to give two weeks a try.  Each decided that they would come home next Saturday and return on Sunday.  They thought they would need the time to recoup and get their laundry done.

They were one of the first girls in their cabin and picked top bunks that were side by side.  They were happy that one of the girls that they did not particularly care for last year was in a different cabin this summer.  We stayed long enough to take pictures and help them get a few items set up.  Doug and I hugged both girls before we left.  They wanted to recreate one of the favorite pictures from one of the first years that they went to camp.  It turned out great!  Glad they thought of it.  I will miss Meg a lot over the next two weeks, but I am thrilled that she has this opportunity.  She will talk of nothing else when she gets home.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Birthday Parties X 2

Cameron had a big afternoon.  He was invited to two different birthday parties.  Both boys were in his class at Bethany Christian and they were each named Kayden/Kaden.  They also asked for the party goers to bring a swimsuit, Nerf gun and a water squirter.  What a coincidence.  Plus one was from 2-5 and the other started at 4:30 and they were only 6 miles apart.   That was close enough to Doug's work that he could drop Cam off and get a few hours of work in also.

Cameron had a great time at both parties.  The first included almost all of the boys from his class.  They had Nerf wars and Super Soaked each other.  Kayden like the Nerf pistol that Cam gave him.  Cam decided to skip out on  the pizza, so he could get to the next party on time.  That one was larger, but less boys from his class were invited.  It was more of a neighborhood party and was combined with his younger brother's birthday as well.  Cameron said that it was a lot of fun as well.  They concentrated on Nerf wars and playing in the backyard.  Cameron said the food was delicious.  Each had a different cake.  One was more traditional and the other was an ice cream cake.

Doug got in almost four hours of work today while shuttling Cam around.  I really appreciated him taking Cam as that allowed me to work on laundry and get my teaching materials moved over to my new room.  Meg was a big help with that.  Doug and Cam called on the way home.  Cam was very happy with his afternoon.  He was one of the few boys from his class invited to both parties, so he was excited about that.  We decided to have a cookout as soon as he and Doug got back.  My parents joined us as did Cal.  He had spent the afternoon playing golf with Nick LeCount.  Meg finished up her packing and hung out with us as well when she wasn't on FaceTime with Kaitlin.

Everyone had a wonderful day.  I am thrilled that Cam was invited to his parties.  It was great for him to see his friends from Bethany Christian.  In just one month they will all start 6th grade.

Friday, July 8, 2016

At The Zoo

Meg reminded me last week that we had not take our yearly trip to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, so we decided that the first free day that we had with no chance of rain would be our day.  As the forecast looked hot and muggy, but rain free we headed out this morning.  Mom said she would watch Flower for us while Cal was working so we did not have to rush back.  We had a fantastic time first starting as always in Africa with the sky ride.  We saw a lot of animals along the path and the giraffe was even eating lettuce from visitors' hands.  While there we were able to find soft pretzels for lunch and refillable drinks for the hot day.

Our next stop was Asia.  Cam was happy to get a panda to ride on the endangered carousel and to find a red panda on the trail.  Afterward  we saw the sea lions resting just as they did in Finding Dory. We then were able to ride the train without much of a wait before going into the newly remodeled Australian area.  We had enough ride passes to board the log flume twice and except for the cheesy crocodile hunt and me "tripping" a toddler it was a lot of fun.  We tried the new Stingray touching pool next.  It took them awhile to get one, but each did.  According to them the stingrays felt strange to touch.

For the first time since I can remember no one wanted to go through the petting zoo or to feed the goats.  Instead we each got ice cream for the ride home.  So glad that Meg made the suggestion to go.   It was the perfect day for it and we had a wonderful time.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I grew up in a family that loved watching golf.  Every Sunday in the winter the TV set was turned to NBC for the weekly tournament.  Inevitably my Dad would fall asleep with it on, but if I even attempted to turn the channel he would wake up instantly and say, "Hey, I'm watching that."  Although I loved playing golf, especially, in high school and I knew all of stats of the professional golfers on tour,  I never quite developed the enthusiasm for watching it as my family.

Instead my love of sports viewing revolved around tennis, especially the majors.  The French and Australian were always harder to watch because of the time difference, but Wimbledom and the U.S. Open were a must every year.  Yesterday I was reminded of why I love watching tennis.  As I was unpacking and catching up on laundry I was able to witness one of the best matches of the year.  It involved Federer, who was vying for an 18th major and the oldest to win a slam title, and Cilic, a lesser known 9th seed.  When I turned it on they were in the 4th set.  Federer lost the first two sets, but won the 3rd.  They were on serve and rallies were getting intense.  Cilic had two match points, but Federer held on to force a tie break.  It was back and forth with the crowd definitely favoring the Swiss legend.  In the end he prevailed winning the tiebreak 11-9 moving the match to a 5th and deciding set in which Federer won fairly easily.

It was a match for the ages and reminded me of why I love that the three youngest Heinisch children play tennis.  Long rallies and heated battles have ensued on all of their courts.   Action and intensity, who could ask for more in a sport.  So glad to be a tennis Mom - (not sure I could handle it, however, if they were on the professional tour!!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Sense of Pride

A little over three years ago we visited the Boston area for Brett's senior Spring Break trip.  He really wanted to see the history of the New England area and wasn't sure when he would get a chance to do so again.  As we drove home yesterday from visiting him I just couldn't believe that we were back as visitors to his new life.  He has adjusted well to living on his own and was able to give us highlights of life in New Hampshire that we would not have been privy to before.  He was comfortable with the area he lived in and gave us a tour of the local sites, favorite restaurants and retail shops.  As we parted ways in Vermont he talked of the other places that he would like to visit while living there and the beauty of the area.

I do not know where life will take Brett after November.  He has talked of several different ideas of what he wants to do next.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about this adventure when he took it on two months ago.  After visiting him I can feel nothing but pride.  He has navigated life well on his own and whether he decides to go to grad school or move to Alaska, I know that he will be just fine.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


We started the morning at Niagara Falls.  It was the perfect halfway stop on our way home from Brett's.  Normally, Doug likes to get on the road as early as possible, but I had really wanted to try The Maids of the Mist boat tour around the bottom of the falls.  The last time we were there we only went out on the observation deck and then walked along the Niagara River by the American Falls.  It was also 38 degrees that day, so we weren't going to try any boat trips.

Today was totally different as it was in the upper 70s and sunny by the time we got to the boat.  We had left our hotel early enough to catch the first tour of the day at 9 and were very glad that we did as the line was extremely long by 10 a.m.  Maids of the Mist was well worth the hype.  We got a close up view of the falls with plenty of time to enjoy both the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.  We appreciated the blue ponchos they gave us as we definitely would have been soaked had we not worn them.  It was hard to see at times because of the mist and the bright sun, but we had no complaints.  It was an awesome experience and I would do it again if we went back.

We did take a little bit of time to walk along the trails and shop in the gift store.  Even with all of the activity we were able to get back on the road by 10:15 a.m. which was several hours earlier than we had planned.  With a seven hour travel time and light traffic around Cleveland we were home by 5:30 p.m.  That gave us plenty of time to unpack the van, cook dinner, water the plants and mow the front lawn.  Cam even got a game of Pay Day in with my Mom and badminton with me.  There will still be laundry to do tomorrow and household chores to catch up on, but for now it was nice to be home and to see Cal.  We had hoped to bring him home a "Silent Cal" shirt from the Coolidge homestead, but alas they did not have any.  He seemed happy, however, with his Vermont State puzzle and maple sugar cotton candy.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday Doug

Today we celebrated Doug's birthday at the home of the only US President born on the 4th of July - Calvin Coolidge.  His homestead is located in Plymouth Notch, Vermont which is about an hour and a half from Brett.  Last week Brett had let me know that there would be a celebration at the Coolidge home in honor of the day and we were glad to have attended.

The local historical society has done an excellent job preserving Coolidge's birthplace and boyhood home.  The church he attended was on the same block as well as the one room school.  We even visited a cheese factory that began operating in the late 1800s.  We walked to the graveside for the wreath ceremony and had a barbecue picnic for lunch.  It was a wonderful place to visit on a lovely day!

From Coolidge's homestead we headed west and Brett left for Concord.  It was fantastic to see him doing so well in his new environment.  He really enjoys his job and loves the New England culture.
We are impressed with all that he has done since graduating two months ago.

We stopped in Killington, Vermont next.  Doug and I had visited there twenty years ago.  On that trip we climbed to the top of Killington Mountain.  We didn't quite have time for that this afternoon, but we were able to hike to and around Thunder Brook Falls.  The scenery was gorgeous.

Our last stop on this vacation will be Niagara Falls.  We are hoping to catch the Maid of the Mist tour in the morning before making the last leg of our journey home.  It should definitely be warmer than the last time we were there.

Loved spending Doug's birthday in Vermont.  We appreciate him everyday, but none so much as today.  Always an adventure when he is behind the wheel.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lobster in Maine

We started a little later this morning as we all needed to get some much needed sleep.  Thus, we picked Brett up at 9:15 a.m. for the next day of our New England adventure.  Our first stop was the lighthouse at Needle Island in Maine.  The website said that it was the most photographed lighthouse in Maine and after visiting it we could totally see why.  The lighthouse was on an island that visitors were prohibited from, but we were able to walk out on the rocks to take pictures and enjoy the ocean and the view.  Although the rocks were a little hard to navigate we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  We even stopped at the gift store and bought a print of the scene.

We did not venture too far for lunch as there was a lobster house only a few steps from the lighthouse.  One of our goals in visiting Brett was to eat lobster in Maine.  Doug got the whole meal while Brett and I tried the lobster roll.  Cam decided to also go with seafood but played it safe with shrimp and chips.  Meg avoided it altogether ordering fettuccine alfredo.  Hers was good, but not the typical Maine food.

We drove through York before we left Maine.  We all decided that we would love it if Brett moved there next, especially in the summer.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We stopped at Long Shore Beach and enjoyed a walk along the oceanfront.  After that we headed to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  We had heard that it was full of New England history and that the John Paul Jones home was a must see.  Of all that we have done so far, it was the most disappointing.  He only stayed there twice and there was nothing in the home that was original.  In saying that the home did have a lot of Portsmouth history and collections from locals which we enjoyed.

We next navigated our way to  Hampton Beach.  It was completely packed and we weren't sure that we would be able to find a place to park.  We were patient, however, and eventually Meg found us one.  We were glad that it was at a metered spot.  It only cost us $6 total for 3 hours.  Other lots were asking for $40 a vehicle.  This time we changed into our swimsuits as we planned to stay longer.  Meg and Cam took turns jumping in the waves in the ocean.  Brett and I took a long walk.  Once we got back he and Meg buried Cam in the sand while Doug and I walked along the shore.  They ended up burying Cam up to his neck and I grabbed the camera for pictures.

Cam had been asking all day to play mini-golf and we found one fairly close to the beach, but yet far enough away to be out of the traffic and masses of beachgoers.  Cam was sure that he would beat us as he did the last time, but Doug and I prevailed redeeming our last match.  We decided to eat in Concord.  By the time we returned only the chain restaurants were open.  That was ok with everyone as there was a Buffalo Wild Wings just blocks from Brett's house.  The food was good and the conversation was even better.  It was a lovely day.  So glad that we got to spend it with Brett.  He lives in a beautiful part of the country.  It has been one awesome visit.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Off to Massachusetts

Today was our day to spend in Massachusetts and we made the most of it.  We started at the Salem Witch Museum.  It was one of our favorites from three years ago and Meg and Cam wanted to experience it again.  It is not my favorite part of history, but a story that should be told.  The presentation is excellent, but definitely creepy.  Once it was over we walked to the cemetery.  The victims of the witch trial were not buried there, but they had memorial benches for each of the nineteen accused witches.

From Salem we drove to Boston.  Traffic was pretty heavy and the city was a lot more crowded than our visit in March of 2013.  This didn't alter our plans, however.  We first started at The Boston Tea Party.  This is a relatively new museum and has a lot of live action interaction for visitors.  Meg had a speaking part in the beginning and Cam was a doctor that erroneously diagnosed one of the Patriots as dead.  We each received a feather for our disguise and had a chance to throw tea into Boston Harbor.

Once were were done at the Boston Tea Party we drove to Cheers.  It was just off the Boston Commons and the Freedom Trail so it was the perfect lunch stop.  The restaurant was packed, but we were seated fairly quickly.  The food was excellent and we got to eat in the set bar just like the show.  After Cheers we walked along the Freedom Trail.  We have done it several times before.  It has never been this crowded.  We were still able to navigate it fairly easily.  Our favorite stops were the cemetery where Paul Revere was buried, the Old North Church and Bunker Hill.  I had no problem getting in my 12,000 steps today and we had an excellent walking tour of Boston as well.

We ate dinner at the Barley House in Concord tonight.  It is famous for the amount of Presidents and Presidential hopefuls that have stopped at it on their campaigns.  Brett and I read the quotes on the wall and were impressed with those who have been patrons.  Meg and Cam wanted Frozen Yogurt afterward, and then we dropped Brett back at his home.  It was a day filled with adventure and  we were all exhausted at the end, but it was also a wonderful day full of new memories that we all enjoyed.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Concord, New Hampshire

It was a long day today in the van, but totally worth it.  We left this morning from Ohio around 8 a.m. and arrived in Concord at 6 p.m. this evening.  Brett had walked to The Centennial Hotel to meet us and showed up just as we pulled in.  We were thrilled to see him and his first order of business was to hand Doug his Father's Day and Birthday present - local bottles of wine made in New Hampshire.  We loved the room that we were put in.  The Centennial is a 1892 mansion that has been modernized as a hotel and restaurant.  It was the perfect spot for us - history and convenience.

We all walked to downtown Concord once we unpacked.  Brett showed us his favorite spots - the Statehouse, the Barley House, a local bookstore and the comic book store.  We tried one place that he had never been to, but wanted to - The Granite State Candy Store.  We all picked out candy for later this evening.  Cam also bought a Where's Waldo Book for the car ride to Boston tomorrow from the bookstore.  Brett asked us to try a local pizza place for dinner.  The three of them went with the cheese pizza special and Doug and I had a specialty chicken pizza.  Both were delicious.

After dinner we all walked back to The Centennial.  Doug ran Brett home while Cam and Meg started Full House on Nickelodeon.  The only down part of the day was that I knew I would not meet my 12,000 steps.  Seeing Brett happy and doing well, however, was totally worth it.