Monday, October 31, 2016

This is Halloween

 I don’t remember Halloween ever being on a Monday, but it was today.  I really thought they’d have Trick or Treat over the weekend, but most local towns decided to keep it on the 31st.  It worked out well for our family as both Meg and Cam had friends over to walk the neighborhood.  Meg invited Preston and Gabrielle and Chance and Evan joined Cam.

Both Meg and Cam decided to make their own costumes tonight.  Meg was a basketball hoop wearing her IU net hat.  Preston was the baller wearing Meg’s IU jersey and Cam’s IU crazy hat.  Gabby completed the trio by being the the overzealous fan complete with IU striped pants borrowed from Meg.  

Cam and his friends looked great as well.  Cam went as a detective complete with trench coat, magnifying glass, detective hat and pipe.  Evan was a wizard from Harry Potter and Chance was the Operation Man from the board game.  Doug walked with them, but said they will be fine to go on their own next year.  The boys were thrilled that they were also able to play Pokemon Go at the same time.  

We received a picture from Cal in his Halloween costume.  He enjoyed the weekend as Cheech Marin from Cheech and Chong.  His outfit was complete with suspenders, a mustache, cigar and yellow crop top.  I got a kick out seeing it.

Mom, Dad and I stayed at our house handing out candy.  We really didn’t have as many trick or treaters as I expected.  Sounds like other neighborhoods were packed, however.  Once the older three returned they asked Mom to take them to Dairy Queen for free cones.  Preston and the ice cream cone paper were the topic for the rest of the night.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Miracle Worker

Doug had to work today.  The auditors have given him a lot of work to do and he wanted to get a start on it.  He thought he’d be there until 4, but was able to leave much earlier than that.  He used his afternoon to work on items around the house.  He did some raking, but with the warm weather the leaves are mostly still high in the trees.

Cam had religion today.  Mom took him as he spent the night there.  Meg stayed at Kaitlin’s.  She had had a Halloween party last night.  Meg had a great time ding dong ditching throughout town.  I picked her up after I got Cam from religion.  She had a take home Pre-Calculus test that she needed to complete.  

Cam, Meg and I went to see the Miracle Worker at Amish Acres in the afternoon.  It was excellent and we all enjoyed it.  They did not know a lot about Helen Keller and were impressed with her story.  We picked up Doug afterward and headed to Warsaw.  We stopped at the shoe store first.  Cam needed basketball shoes and Meg and I both needed boots.  They had some good deals and Cam won a $4 off coupon by naming five candy bars.  Dinner was at Buffalo Wild Wings.  We were home in time to watch the Cubs win game 5 of the World Series.  They are still down 3-2, but live another day.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Chess Time

Chess season started today for Cam as he had his first tournament of the school year.  It was held at Bethany and he and Doug spent the day there.  Cam moved up to the rated class and played well.  He ended up with three points and won a trophy for being first in the under 500 rated groupings.  He even won the 500 to 700 group as well as their first place winner only had two points.  At first he wasn’t sure about his decision to move up, but winning the last two matches really helped boost his confidence.  He has beaten all of the six graders in the novice section, so it was time for him to make the jump.  Tougher competition will only make him better.

Meg and I stopped by Bethany to check in on Cam and Doug around 11 a.m. Doug had to work concessions for the lunch rush.  We talked to Mary for a little while and then went shopping.  Meg found a dress for semi-formal that I really liked.  We even found shoes to match.  We were back at Bethany in time to see Cam get his trophy.  They had to serve at 5, so we took off as soon as Cam’s group was announced.  Doug stayed for a little while to help clean up.  We all made it to church in plenty of time.

Doug and I went to Chop’s for dinner tonight.  It was delicious as always.  We even tried new foods.  It was strange coming home as we had no children in the house.  That is definitely rare.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Jack O' Lanterns

Tonight was the perfect night to carve pumpkins as we really did not have much going on.  We waited until after Doug got home.  He worked late again, but made it to the Bethany fish fry to pick up our take out order.  

Meg and Cam did an awesome job with their pumpkins.  Cameron used the Disney stencils I ordered to make a Donald Duck jack o lantern.  It looked just like him once the candle was lit.  Meg made her own design complete with big eyes and a mustache.  We decided to keep them inside until Halloween night to ensure that they survive pumpkins smashers.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mail Problem Solved

Brett has not been receiving any mail for the last two weeks.  I had sent him a package at the beginning of October that reached him without any problem, but lately they have not been as fortunate.  Mom and a friend of Brett's each sent him a package that he seemed to be caught in the dead letter office.   Mom tried to track down hers and the post office kept telling her that it was undeliverable.  Brett and his roommate finally decided to visit the post office to see what the hold up was.  They were told that their names had to be on the box or they would not receive mail.  Not sure why that wasn't the case earlier, but at least they had an answer.  The postal worker told Brett that they did not have any packages for him at that time, but fortunately today they showed up.  Brett was happy to get his presents and my Mom was relieved that she did not have to file a claim.   Glad that they were able to figure out the problem before Brett left for home.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Trying to Catch Up

I feel like I have been playing catch up the last two days both at school and at home.  There was a lot of laundry to get done, soccer shoes to order, souvenirs to put away and packages to get ready to mail.  School wasn't quite as bad as I anticipated, but with Red Ribbon week we have more to do.  I definitely have been very tired these past few days.  I feel like my adrenaline is gone.

Meg's tennis was cancelled because of weather and Cam was free tonight, so we headed to Fashion Farm to pick out pumpkins.  It was freezing, but they each found two that will make perfect Jack O' Lanterns.  Doug worked late again, but he and were able to go to dinner together once he got home.  Cam and Meg visited with Mom and Dad for an hour or so before we picked them up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Back to Reality

Cam and I were both up early so that he could make bell ringers this morning.  I was impressed that he wanted to go as we were pretty tired from our trip.  His first day back after Fall Break was actually yesterday, but we decided to pull him out so that we could enjoy one more day at Disney.  Mom brought up caffeine and donuts for breakfast.  That really helped.  Cam stayed after school for chess.  I met him in the cafeteria afterward for the basketball parent meeting.  Cam will play on the C team this year and is very excited about it as most of the 6th grade will be on the team with him.  Mr. Willems will be his coach again and the assistants will be the same as soccer. Cam likes that practices are not every night of the week, so he should have time for piano, chess and maybe oboe as well.  We are hoping that his team gets to play Milford 6th grade.

Cam and I were both home by 6:30 which was earlier than Doug.  He has a lot to do at work and will be very busy this week and next.  Meg also kept busy tonight.  She has a make up chemistry test tomorrow morning that everyone has told her is impossible.  She had a precalculus test before she left that was difficult as well.  Academically this has been one of her more challenging trimesters, but so far she has held up well.

Monday, October 24, 2016


We got up early again this morning.  We wanted to drop off our luggage at the baggage check in, so we could make it to EPCOT when the park opened.  Everyone wanted to ride Test Track once more.  We had no problem getting on.  From there we headed to Soarin'.  It had changed quite a bit since our visit last year.  They added a third screen and updated the movie.  Cam and Meg were excited that we got the top row and we all liked the changes.  We also rode Figment before heading to the countries for lunch.  We each picked a favorite food to eat and then finished our trip with a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour.  It is always our first ride and has lately become our last one as well.

We stopped at the hotel lounge for snacks and lemonade before the Magical Express arrived.  It took an hour to get to the airport and Doug used that time to sleep.  Meg, Cam and I were bummed to be going home, but remarked several times about all of the fun we had.  The only good part about going home was the fact that Halloween is close and we can look forward to carving pumpkins and trick or treating.

The plane was full again heading back.  We got A boarding passes which meant that Cam, Meg and I could have a row together.  Cam and I watched Aladdin on the MacBook and Meg watched Beauty and the Beast on her phone.  Her ear has really been bothering her since we flew down and flying back did not help.  I am sure that she has fluid in it or it is infection.  We'll see what the doctor says this week.  The plane arrived on time and our luggage was first off the conveyor belt.  Our shuttle was at the pick up area within five minutes.  By 8 p.m. we were on the road home.  We only had one glitch in our return trip.  We just passed Westville when Cam threw up.  Luckily, we had a bag for him.    It just isn't a successful Heinisch trip unless someone gets sick.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

One Awesome Day!

As the parks were very crowded yesterday we debated for awhile about the best plan for today.  I believe in the end we came up with a great one.  We started first thing at Hollywood Studios.  The park opened at 8 a.m. and we were one of the first groups through the gates.  Doug, Meg, Cam and Brett ran to Rock N Roller Coaster and got on with no problems.  I stopped at the Twilight Tower of Terror to pick up a souvenir that Brett wanted.  By the time I got to the ride they were just finishing.  Cam’s face in their picture was priceless.  

After the roller coaster Doug and Brett walked to EPCOT.  It opened at 9 and they wanted to ride Test Track and Soarin’ before the park became crowded again.  I stayed with Cam and Meg.  They wanted to meet Chewbacca and Kylo Ren.  We enjoyed getting our pictures taken with both although the later scared me.  He definitely played the part of a villain well.  The new Cargo Bay was a nice addition to the park.  We met a Sand person and bought our favorite souvenir of the trip.  

While we waited for them to personalize Cameron’s purchase we decided to check to see if we could get on Toy Story Mania.  To our surprise there was no wait.  It was a lot of fun and for the first time ever I actually won.  We then stopped to get our picture taken with Olaf before catching the bus to EPCOT.

Doug and Brett were just walking off Spaceship Earth when we go there.  We headed straight to the countries as everyone was hungry and Brett wanted to ride Gran Fiesta.  Getting there at 11 and on a Sunday helped with the crowds.  There were lines, but nothing like yesterday.  We all tried different food this trip, but Brett, Meg and Cam still found the German pretzels to be their favorites.  After lunch we stopped at the EPCOT World Traders.  Brett found a pair of pajamas and a gift for a friend.  We picked up a couple of items for Cal as well.  

After EPCOT we headed back to the lounge for lemonade and trail mix.  Brett wanted to go back to Hollywood Studios to see if he could catch Star Tours one last time.  It was only a 30 minute wait, so he and Cam decided to ride.  Doug, Meg and I walked through One Man, One Dream - a small history museum of Walt Disney’s life.  The boys made it on the ride, but by the time they got done it was almost an hour wait.  They were pleased with their success.

Brett packed his bag back at the Boardwalk while Doug, Meg and Cam went swimming.  I stayed in the room to help if he needed it and to visit a little while longer.  I have really missed having Brett around and enjoyed his time with us.  The Magical Express picked him up at 5.  Meg, Doug and Cam stopped back by to give him a hug before he left.  

Once the shuttle departed we left for Disney Springs.  It has changed dramatically since we were there last.  We did make it to our favorite four stores and bought some great gifts for everyone back home.  We made it back to the lounge for desserts.  Doug then ordered a pizza on the boardwalk for everyone while I packed.  Meg and Cam enjoyed their favorite Mickey cartoons.  It was another wonderful day at Walt Disney World.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kingdoms Times Two

It was an early wake-up call, but we made it to Animal Kingdom before 9 a.m. this morning.  We were disappointed that Dinosaur was closed, but happy to find out that Primeval Whirl was open.  Usually it is reversed when we are there.  It was our first ride of the day and I decided to try it.  I haven’t been on it in years and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was afraid that the spinning would make me nauseous, but I felt fine afterward.  Cam, Meg and I also went on Triceratops Spin before leaving Dinoland.

We had fast passes for Expedition Everest.  Doug decided to sit out as a couple of the rides got to him yesterday.  I had no problems with this one as well.  We then rode the Kilimanjaro safari.  There were a lot of animals out and about.  I had read that the morning was the best time to see the animals and that was correct according to this trip.  We were then able to catch the Festival of the Lion King and It’s Tough to Be a Bug before they rode on the Kahli River Rapids.  I like the ride, but got soaked last year.  It was too chilly for me today for that.  Luckily, they didn’t get too wet.  

We headed back to the hotel after the Rapids.  We decided to tour the countries of EPCOT again before catching the monorail to Magic Kingdom.  Both parks were as crowded as I have even seen them.  We navigated through them pretty well even with the large crowds and the monorail did not have any delays today.  That was much appreciated.

We let Brett chose our agenda at Magic Kingdom since we had already been twice before on this trip.  We were able to get a couple of Fast Passes which helped.  We also caught some shows that we had seen in years.  The Country Bears Jamboree was well liked by most of us, but the Tiki Birds was much worse then any of us remembered.  

Doug left the park around 9 to head back to the hotel.  The Cubs were up 3-2 in National League Championship and a win tonight would put them in the World Series.  We stayed at Magic Kingdom and by the time we left at 11 p.m. we were able to ride everything except for Space Mountain and Peter Pan.  We even found a shop that we had never visited before and was able to do some shopping before the bus arrived.  Doug ordered us a pizza which we appreciated very much when we arrived back at the Boardwalk.  He had eaten earlier at the ESPN club.  The best part of the evening for him, however, was the fact that the Cubs won 5-0 putting them in the World Series for the first time in 71 years.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Visit From Brett

Brett arrived around 11 this morning.  We were all thrilled to see him.  We had spent the morning enjoying the hotel while waiting for him.  Meg and Cam wanted to swim and the Luna Pool was as fun as always.  Doug joined them as well until his Dad arrived. He is living less than two hours from Orlando for the next few months and had time to meet us for lunch.    The seven of us ate at the Big River Grille along the Boardwalk.  The weather was gorgeous and the food was very good.

Once they left we walked over to Hollywood Studios.  It was packed, but we were able to ride all of our favorites (Twilight Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, the Great Movie Ride, and Star Tours) except for Rock N Roller Coaster.  We also tried some new shows based on Star Wars and took Cam to see Indiana Jones.  He had never seen it before and really liked it.  

We walked back to the lounge to eat dinner and to rest for an hour.  Doug headed to EPCOT from there and we walked back to the Studios for Fantasmic.  I was afraid that we wouldn’t get in as the park was very crowded, but we found a seat and the show was a good one as usual.  We were also able to watch their new fireworks show on the way out.  

We had desserts at the lounge before spending the rest of the evening at EPCOT.  Everyone was able to try a few new foods and Cam even got a root beer float.  We stayed for Illuminations before returning to the Boardwalk.  It was another busy day but very nice.  Brett was the first one asleep as he had been up since 2 a.m.  I was impressed that he made it as long as he did!!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Be Our Guest . . .

It was a late night last night, so we decided to sleep in at least past 8 this morning.  Once we were up and packed we stopped at the front desk to see if our room at the Boardwalk Inn was ready.  We were thrilled to find out that it was.  Therefore, we dropped off our luggage and had breakfast in the lounge before heading to Fantasia mini-golf.  

We were surprised to find out that it was only a ten minute wait.  Normally, it takes at least 45 minutes to get on.  Everyone had a good time and Doug was the winner once again.  From mini-golf we walked back to our room to get everything we needed for our trip to Magic Kingdom.  

We took a tour through the countries in EPCOT before we caught the monorail.  It took longer than usual to make it to Magic Kingdom as both of our monorails were stopped several times.  We arrived in plenty of time, however, to make our 2:15 reservation for lunch at Be Our Guest.  We had never eaten there before and were impressed.  The food was delicious and the decorations were those of the movie Beauty and the Beast.  My favorite part was trying the cupcakes.  I even had the “grey stuff” and it was delicious.

We spent the afternoon riding rides.  The park was crowded, but I had Fast Passes for Space Mountain, Seven Dwarf Mine Ride and Peter Pan.  At 7 p.m. the Halloween party began and we opted to wait in line for Gaston.  He was well worth the wait and as full of himself in life as he was in the movie.  Cam also met several other characters on his list besides Gaston - Belle, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, and Lotso.  Those added on his hats with Chip and Dale from this morning were great finds.  I decided that the creepiest one of the night, however, was Captain Jack Sparrow.  Meg and Cam didn’t think so. however, and enjoyed meeting him.  

Besides the characters we also spent time Trick or Treating, riding a few rides and watching the parade.  We started the Halloween show, but there were technical difficulties and they cancelled it.  No one was too disappointed as we saw it last year.  Instead we decided to go shopping for Halloween items before heading back to the hotel.  It was definitely a fun day even though we were thoroughly exhausted when we got back to the hotel.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Made it!

We were up at 3 Chicago time to catch our early morning flight.  It was packed with travelers going to Disney.  Luckily, Meg and I were able to find two seats together as were Doug and Cam.  The flight was full, but quiet.  I watched the new Jungle Book on the way down and Cam watched Peter Pan.  Meg worked on bracelets and listened to music and Doug slept.

We caught the Magical Express as soon as we got to Orlando Airport and were at the Boardwalk at 11 a.m.  Our room wasn't quite ready, so we headed to EPCOT for lunch.  Meg and Cam held out for a German pretzel, while Doug and I tried several different items.  Cam did taste sushi for the first time and they both tried Doug's Brazilian dish.  As is tradition our first ride of the trip was the Grand Fiesta in Mexico with Donald duck.

We made it through all of the countries and were back at the hotel close to 1.  Meg and Cam enjoyed watching Classic Mickey cartoons.  We had Fast Passes for Mission Space, Test Track and Spaceship Earth.  The park was so crowded that even Figment had a 20 minute wait.  We didn't mind, however, as that is a family favorite.  We left EPCOT close to 5 and took the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

It was crowded as well, but thinned out over the evening.  Another family tradition was met as we ate dinner at Cosmic Ray's.  Cam and Meg have now been there so much they have Sonny Eclipse's jokes memorized.  The park was open until 1 a.m. but we didn't quite make it that long.  By the time we left the only rides we did not make it to were Space Mountain, Peter Pan and the Seven Dwarf Mine Ride.  We have FastPasses for those tomorrow, so Cam was ok leaving around midnight.  Meg explained to him that we had been up for 20 hours and it was time to get some sleep.  She was correct!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

On Our Way

What a difference a day makes.  The students really bought into my philosophy of taking ownership of their own learning and we had an extremely productive day.  We also have a plan for those days when we aren’t as productive.  I was able to write my sub plans, enter all grades, make copies, pick up my room and leave by 3:35.  

We finished the rest of the packing when I got home.  Cam was able to sweep the back porch and I took out all of the garbage.  Doug was home around 5:15 and we were out the door by 5:30.  We made hotel reservations at the Hilton by Midway and were there by 7 Chicago time.  

We ate dinner at Giordano’s.  It was delicious.  We watched part of the Cubs game, but the Dodgers started running up the score and we decided to give up on them.  Everyone turned off their phones by 9:30 as we had a 3:40 a.m. wake up call.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A new Day - A New Way

Today was a struggle at school.  It didn’t go the way I wanted it to.  It took me most of the evening, but I finally came up with a plan to help my students and make our class more manageable.  We will start tomorrow and see where that takes us.  I keep forgetting that this is the first year that I have taught 6th grade math.  There are gong to be curves thrown at me once in awhile.

While I was thinking of a plan for tomorrow I spent my time packing for Florida.  We had to go pickup Meg’s glasses after school and the rest of our supplies so that we could finish getting ready.  Doug mowed the lawn and ran errands.  By nine we were finally able to say that we were finished.  

Meg was still going strong on her studying, however.  She has a Precalculus test tomorrow and one in Chemistry as soon as we get back.  Cam stayed at Mom’s again.  They are going to go golfing when they get up and then cash in the change in our Minion bank.  One more day - I believe we are ready.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Unpack to Repack

We left this morning for home thankful that the van was fixed.  Doug was even able to get Cal’s car to the shop and they had the tire fixed before we left as well.  The van ride home was uneventful.  We didn’t have to stop for anything so we made it to our house by 1:30.  Mike was there waiting for HM.  She and Cal enjoyed the weekend and spent a lot of time with us.  We were glad that she was able to go.

We spent the rest of the day getting unpacked and starting the packing for Florida.  Doug wanted to mow, but it rained all afternoon.  That was a surprise to us as it had been hot and sunny when we left Bloomington.  

Meg spent her day studying and then went to youth group.  It was the first one that our church has offered in awhile and she said it was a lot of fun.  There were only seven middle/high schoolers, but they are hoping to grow as the weeks go on.  

Cam and my Dad played golf even though it drizzled most of the time.  He decided to spend the night at Mom and Dad’s as his fall break started on Friday.  It would be awesome to have a week off like he does.  

Doug and I went to dinner in town.  We are excited about our upcoming trip, but realize that there is still a lot to do to get ready.  His work will pick up when he gets back, so it will be the perfect time to go.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Parce!!

Saturday October 16 - We left early this morning for Bloomington.  Parce and Chokey were celebrating their birthdays at the IU vs. Nebraska game.  As we left at 7 a.m. we were able to beat the traffic down.  I was grateful for that as our engine and VSA light came on south of Kokomo and we were concerned that there was a serious issue with the van.

We made it, however, and met Cal at his dorm before 11 a.m.  He and Hannah-Marie decided to walk to Kirkwood from there and Doug took us straight to Parce’s.  We had found a Firestone dealer that was open on Saturdays and Doug dropped the van off after we unloaded it.  We were going to borrow Cal’s car, but he had a flat tire.  

While Doug walked back, Meg, Cam and I walked to the Farmer’s Market and the glass pumpkin festival.  The pumpkins were beautiful, but too pricey for us.  We made it back to Parce’s as Doug, HM and Cal showed up.  Cal had a coupon for a free t-shirt and Hannah-Marie got her first IU apparel.  From there they decided to walk to the game while Meg and I drove with Parce.  

Parking was a zoo and we couldn’t get a spot close to Chokey’s, but we found one across from the stadium.  We had to wheel the cooler and carry a few chairs quite a distance, but we made it.  There was a lot of great food at the tailgate and we were even able to visit with Pam, her Dad and her roommates from college as they had spots very close to Chokey’s.  When we got back Jackie and her children and Mike, Jeannette and Joshua were all there as well.  

Doug, Cam, Cal and HM went to the game while we walked back to Mike and Jeannette’s car with them.  They dropped Meg and I at the mall which we really appreciated.  Meg and I wanted to do some shopping while we were waiting for the van.  We had time to go Dick’s, Hot Topic, the Varsity Shop, and Yankee Candle before Doug called to say the van was ready.  I had Googled earlier what the problem may have been.  The internet was correct.  It was the spark plugs.  Thankfully, they were able to fix it before they closed at 6.  

Meg and I walked over to the shop to pick up the van.  I also made an appointment for Sunday morning for Cal’s tire.  I couldn’t believe they would be open then.  What a great find.  Meg and I were back at the game before halftime was over.  There was no one there to check parking passes, so we drove around a few barricades and made our way to Parce.  Once Doug went back into the game, we helped pack up and clean up the tailgate.  We dropped Parce at his vehicle and headed back to his apartment.  We had enough time to get Polar Pops before the fourth quarter started.  

The game was actually an exciting one.  Nebraska was ranked 10th coming into the game.  IU had a chance to beat them, but in the end lost 22-27.  Meg and I picked up Doug and Cam at Yogi’s as we couldn’t get to the stadium.  HM and Cal opted out of bowling, but Parce joined us.  It was a lot of fun as usual.  We then went to Upland Brewing Company for dinner where Cal and HM met up with us.  

We made it back to Parce’s to watch the last three innings of the Cubs vs. Dodgers game.  It was intense for awhile, but the Cubs pulled out a win on a grand slam pinch hit home run.  What a great way to end a fun day.! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

It is Done!

It took me eleven hours this week, but I was finally able to sort through everything in Meg’s old room.  I had a pile that went into her new room and a pile for Cam’s room.  I ended up with a full bag of trash and a couple of boxes of garage sale items.  I wasn’t sure when I started if I would be able to fit all of Cal’s and Brett’s belongings in the one room, but I made it work.  

Doug helped me finish up tonight.  He hung up some of the posters that they had, vacuumed and helped with making the bed.  It is now a functional room and Cal will have a spot when he comes home if he doesn’t want the basement.  We will still need to paint it this winter and order a new mattress and box springs, but that can wait.  The bonus to cleaning was that I finished Gotham Season 2.  It definitely held my interest and made the cleaning seem a little less daunting.  

While Doug and I were cleaning Cam and Meg spent their time getting ready for the high school game.  Meg wasn’t sure if anyone would be able to come over before the game, but ended up with a houseful.  Preston, Kaitlin, Gabrielle, and Genevieve all made an appearance and appreciated the Little Caesar’s Doug picked up.  They had fun at the game, but the highlight for them may have been the bottle flip challenges in our kitchen or visiting with the two Mormons that showed up at our door.   I got a kick out of that as the scenario reminded me of the musical we saw this summer - Book of Mormon.  I really wanted to ask them if Johnnie Cockrun was truly in their “Mormon hell dream.”  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Day of Rest

My throat had been hurting a lot this week.  I knew that it was probably allergies, but decided to take the day off anyway to give my voice a rest.  I was surprised when I looked back at my absences so far this year.  Besides the day I took off to take Cal to IU and the half day for a dentist appointment I hadn’t missed any other days.  

I would love to say that I stayed in bed all day resting, but that wouldn’t fit my personality.  I did manage to rest my throat and pick up some medication at CVS that really helped.  I also limited my diet to soft foods.  That made a difference and by the time I picked up Cam and Meg I felt ready to stop at the doctor’s office for our annual flu shots.  I am sure Meg and Cam wished I wasn’t up for it, but overall the shot wasn’t too bad.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Conference Time

Cameron had a 2:30 dismissal this afternoon to allow teacher’s time to get ready for their conferences.  He does tomorrow as well.  Mom picked him up for me and was back in time to get Meg from the rainout at tennis.

We scheduled Cam’s conferences for this evening and were able to meet with all five of his teachers.  They had all positives to say about his progress so far this year.  Doug stressed to Cam afterward how proud of him we are.  I focused on the strengths that his homeroom teacher pointed out - kind, caring and empathetic.  As I told him later intelligence is a gift, but being a kind and caring person is a choice.  We are proud that he has followed that route.  Going to Bethany has definitely encouraged what we already teach at home.  We couldn’t be happier. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Soccer Party

Tonight was Cam's end of the season party.  It was very nice as Mr. Willems invited all of the soccer players as well as the parents and their siblings.  Food consisted of salty snacks. sweets and fruit.  Mom made brownies for the event and Cam noted that next year we will have to bring double the amount as they were the first ones gone.

After the snacks Mr. Willems talked about the season and each of the teams.  He had a stat sheet for each of the games and a lot of positive comments.  Cam purchased an extra pair of blue socks and an old jersey with shorts.  It was a great way to end the season and we felt blessed that Cam had been a part of the team.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Quiet Evening

I heard Meg say to her Dad when we got home - "It was strange not to have soccer practice."  He agreed 100%.  It definitely was quieter tonight and I thought today how nice it will be to have a break for a little while.  We did keep busy after school, however.  Meg broke her glasses last week and we finally had the opportunity to stop at Walmart and order a new pair.  They even had ones that fit her current lenses which will get her through the next couple weeks and make a great backup pair.

Cam stayed busy as well.  He had his first middle school basketball open gym.  He said it went well.  He and Meg then had piano lessons.  After dinner we finished hanging up the shelves in Meg's room and can now officially check setting up her room off of our to do list.  She had quite a bit of Precalculus to keep her busy the rest of the night.  Cam was back outside working on his basketball skills once Doug put up the new net.  I  know they missed soccer, but it was nice not to be going 100 miles an hour until bedtime.  A little quiet now and then never hurts.  Not sure that they agree!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall Break

Cal came home Thursday night for Fall Break and for the first time since he or Brett went to IU it reminded me a lot of when I went to college.  Cal rode home with Caleb, his roommate, and arrived around 9:30 p.m.  He dropped off his laundry, said hello and headed straight to HM's.  After visiting with her, he then stopped by my parents.  They were already in bed, but happy to see him.  By the time he came home both Doug and I were sound asleep.

On Friday Cal was up at 5:30 a.m. to play basketball with the teachers and then spent the day with friends.  He ran into Mom and Meg after school and told them he was going to Hannah-Marie's to carve pumpkins.  He texted me later to let us know that he was over at Alex's and wouldn't be home for dinner.  I heard from him at 11:00 to say he was on his way home, but I fell asleep before he made it here.  Doug was also asleep on the couch, but woke up to talk to Cal about the Cubs win.  Cal had to laugh as in the morning Doug didn't even remember talking to him as he was too tired.

Cal came in to my room early in the morning.  He was hoping for his laundry to be completed.  He was thrilled that I had gotten the majority of it done last night and had clothes for the day.  He left with the Lamle's for HM's volleyball game.  Afterward he hung out with them.  He let me know later in the day that he was going back to Alex's, but wasn't sure when he would be home.  Heard form him again around 12:15 a.m. to let me know that he was spending the night there.

Cal was home Sunday morning before 10 a.m.  I was able to help him with his absentee ballot, car insurance, and immunization record.  Doug made brunch for all of us and HM spent the afternoon here.  I had time to finish his laundry and wash what he wore this weekend before Caleb arrived at 3 to take him back to IU.  We were all here to give him hugs and tell him we would see him soon.  Even though it was a whirlwind of a visit, we all enjoyed seeing him no matter how briefly it was.  Glad he to hear how well he is doing at IU and adjusting to college life.  These two months have flown by.  Soon it will be the holidays and he will be home again.   

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Happy Birthday Bunk!

Today would have been my brother's 53rd birthday.  It is a day that has always been bittersweet.  I want to celebrate his life on this day and honor his memory, but I can't seem to do that until I cry first.  I've gotten used to being an only child, but that doesn't mean I don't miss him or wish he was still a part of our daily life.

I do find it interesting that my cousin, Billy, posted that he had a dream about my brother last night.  I assume that is Bunk's way of staying in touch.  He and Billy were very close growing up and I know it was equally hard on Billy when Bunk died.  I don't dream about Bunk that much, but I see him often staring back at me in my mirror.  I remember the first time it happened.  I was in fourth grade and I looked up from brushing my teeth and he was there.  I know that it was my eyes and the way they looked that made me think of him, but the first time it happened I was a little nervous about it.

Since then I have been accustomed to seeing Bunk in my eyes or my children's expression.  It is a nice reminder that he was a part of our lives and still is in so many ways.  This morning I had several pictures come across my Facebook memory feed.  There were quite a few that I had posted of my brother on this day over the past several years.  The ones that came to my attention, however, were not those of him as much as the ones of my children.  For so many years I would have someone comment on the fact that Cal never smiled in any of our family pictures.  As I looked at the ones I had of Bunk, I realized that he wasn't smiling either.  In both cases I don't believe it was because they were sad, just serious at the time.

I love to think that Bunk passed that trait on to Cal and many more to the Heinisch children.  He couldn't be a part of their lives on this Earth, but I know that he is ever present in our family.  So today I wish my brother a very Happy Birthday in Heaven.  I wish that he had more time with us.  Until we meet again I will cherish the memories of our time together.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Oboe Boy & Food Drive Girl

Tonight Doug and the JV coach took the soccer girls out to Trick or Treat for canned goods.  He had a pretty good turnout with over half of the team participating.  Once they finished for the evening they took everything to the food pantry in Syracuse.  While they were there they toured the facility and learned about the hungry in our community.  It was a great experience for the girls.

While they were doing that Mom, Dad and I took Cam to his band concert at Bethany.  Cam was in beginning band last year, but got to bypass intermediate band and move to the middle school one this year.  He has been practicing a lot and they all sounded great.  We stayed for the orchestra concert as well.  They were equally impressive.  I was very proud of Cam tonight as he has worked hard to improve his oboe skills this past six months and it definitely shows.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's Over!

Meg and Doug completed their soccer season tonight in the semifinals of the Warsaw sectionals.  They played Northwood and felt good about their chances, but in the end lost 4-0.  Meg was sad to see her Sophomore season end, but was proud of how she played.  She worked on being aggressive and trapping the ball.  She had a nice run at goal with a great pass to the left forward, but they just couldn't connect.  She sat the last seven minutes of the game so that all of the seniors could finish on the field together.  Even though she wasn't quite ready for it to be over, it will only be a short month off before the indoor season starts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It's Done

It's official.  The bathroom remodel upstairs is complete.  We weren't sure the plumber would be able to finish tonight, because of a glitch with the shower head.  At 7 p.m., however, he wished us a good night and told us everything was ready.  As soon as dinner was over I finished cleaning the new bathroom and set up the shower rod and curtain.  Meg moved all of her bathroom supplies into the cabinets before she had to get ready for bed.

The bathroom project took longer than I thought it would, but we have been busy with soccer, school and trips to Bloomington that I didn't really notice.  The new cabinets and shower/tub fit the space so much better than the previous ones.  It is not only more functional, but it is also so much better to look at. Now if we can just keep the towels off the floor.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Halloween Is Ready

Doug and Meg had sectional dinner after practice tonight and Cameron decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather by going golfing after school.  Thus, I decided to get out all of the Halloween.  There was more than I had remembered, so it took quite awhile.  It was fun, however, as I love October and the beautiful colors of fall.  I did have less than years past as I put some in the garage sale pile this summer.  I also filled a tote with decorations that I no longer wanted, but thought that Brett might want if he moves out on his own.

Cam called it quits after five holes.  He wasn't having his best round and had homework that he wanted to complete.  He and Mom picked up Penguin Point for our dinner.  Once he was done with his homework he helped put the basement decorations up.  My favorites are the Miller Lite bottles we still have from the first year of our marriage.  They were specially decorated for the holiday and look great with candles in them.

Meg and Doug enjoyed their dinner and were home close to 7.  I had just finished putting everything out.  Doug found a couple of items that I couldn't place and dusted our bedroom for me.  We celebrated the Halloween season by starting the movie Psycho with Cam.  What a great start to the holiday.

Monday, October 3, 2016


There was a story posted on Facebook last week about clowns hiding in the woods attacking people in our area.  The post was a joke and if you clicked on it, it would say, "You've been clowned."  Somehow the students at Wawasee have come to believe that the story is true and the clowns are living in the woods behind Burger King.  Cam and Meg spent quite a bit of time this weekend laughing about it with Preston and Cade.  They even decided that Ronald McDonald was the king of this cult of clowns.  Cade had a plan.  They could all dress up as clowns and when they saw the cult they could say, "Hey."  

Although, the Heinisch children realize that the story is a hoax, my students and some of Meg's friends were convinced otherwise.  It didn't matter how much I tried to persuade them that there were no clowns living in the woods they just wouldn't believe me.  Meg said that she did the same at the high school, but too many stories were floating around that she couldn't disprove all of them.  With all of the stories I am very interested in seeing how many trick or treaters this year are dressed as clowns.  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Cleaning Out

We spent quite a bit of time cleaning the upstairs this weekend.  Doug rearranged a lot of the furniture so that Meg could move into her new room.  He also switched Cam to Cal's twin bed to give Cam more floor space in his room.  Meg started on her dresser and clothes and I helped Cam with his.  Both got rid of quite a bit.  There is still plenty to do in both of them rooms.  Our goal is to have them all organized before we leave for Disney World.  I would love to get Meg's old room done as well, but that may take a lot more time.  Right now we have it full of everything upstairs that was Cal and Brett's.  Neither like sleeping up there anymore, so I guess I do not have to be in a hurry.  I would, however, like to get it done before Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fashion Farm

Cade and Preston came over this afternoon to join us on our annual pilgrimage to Fashion Farm.  I wasn't sure if we would get to go as the weather called for storms most of the day.  The threat, however, only stopped the hay ride from operating.  Thus, we started with the mazes.  The corn this year was high enough that they couldn't see over it which made it a lot more fun, especially when the younger boys went for round two and Preston jumped out on them.  They forego the straw maze as they could see over the bales, but went through the straw tunnel without flashlights.

Next on our agenda was the Pumpkin Fantasyland.  This year's theme was Super Heroes.  I thought they did a nice job.  Not quite sure how Dolly Parton fit into the theme, but she does seem to make an appearance every year.  Afterward the four of them ordered ice cream and then headed to the pumpkin stand.  I believe that may have been their favorite part of the day.  Each picked out a decorative pumpkin and a few gourds.  We decided to wait until later to buy carving pumpkins as I was afraid they would rot before we made them into Jack O'Lanterns.

In the evening they all went to see Storks.  Doug and I ate dinner at Kelly Jae's while they were gone.  Mom picked them up for us and by the time we got back they were out playing Ghost in the Graveyard.  Preston and Cade both stayed until close to ten.  It was a long day, but a lot of fun.