Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

Last night Doug and I went to Kelly Jae's to celebrate all of his hard work these past few months.  It was nice to spend the evening with him and talk about 2017.  We originally talked about taking the Heinisch children shopping and out to dinner.  Those plans fell through when our sink in the kitchen dropped from the granite.  Doug called a plumber, but he wasn't able to fix it.  He was able to take care of our toilet upstairs that would not flush properly, however.  Doug tried the granite company next, but they only had a recorded message.  Syl told him to call Dale.  I was so glad that Doug did.  Dale agreed to stop by on his way home from Plymouth.  He was able to reattach four of the clips and showed Doug how to do the last two.  It was well worth the wait as the sink was fully usable by 6 p.m. last night.

Today we left for Fort Wayne around 11:15.  Cal decided to hang out with HM instead, but the rest of us were ready for a day of shopping.  Doug wanted to go to Jefferson Point Mall.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, but very windy.  We had lunch at Biaggi's which was delicious.  Brett has become a lot more adventurous and tried crab stuffed haddock.  The rest of us had pasta dishes without any complaint.

Once we finished lunch we scoured the mall for GameStop.  Luckily, Brett was just there a couple of weeks ago and could find it for us.  Cam had a gift card to spend and Brett wanted to trade in some games.  The line was long, but it moved quickly.  Once we finished there we headed to Barnes and Noble.  I had given Cal the book Carrie for Christmas, but he already had it as a short story inside another Stephen King book.  Instead he wanted Misery and we were able to purchase the last copy.
I wanted to stop at Yankee Candle as they were having a huge year end sale.  I picked out six candles that should work well this Spring.  We also had time to stop at Kohl's before heading home. Meg had a gift card to spend and Brett needed dress clothes.  Target was our last stop before heading back.

As it was still the afternoon we decided to try Tippy Creek Winery.  Brett had gotten Doug a bottle of wine from there for Christmas and wanted to go back.  We had fun trying some wines and were able to play Outburst while hanging out.  Meg, Cam and I gave them a good run, but Doug and Brett were the winners.  The video of their animal sounds was a favorite of Meg's.

Hannah-Marie and Cal drove in shortly after we got home.  She had a gift for me that I greatly appreciated - two winter Yankee Candles.  It was perfect timing as two of mine were almost at the end.  They finished off our leftovers while I ran Cam over to Evan's.  Gabrielle had texted Meg while we were at the winery and invited her over as well.  We all played games here for the rest of the evening.  Cal and HM joined us until he left for a class of 2016 reunion at Caleb Glon's.  Brett decided to give up on the games after beating Doug and I at Sequence.  Dad, Mom, Doug and I then played Euchre.  I forgot home much I loved playing that game.

Brett rejoined us at 11:30.  We had to wrestle the remote from Doug as he fell asleep ten minutes before the ball dropped.  He did wake up in time to switch it for us.  It was a nice end to 2016 even if it was quieter than normal.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Done Deal

It's official!  Doug's company has been sold.  He was more than pleased this afternoon when he got home from work.  He was the only one who had to go in as there were a lot of accounting details to finish up and money to transfer.  He didn't mind as the the purchase should benefit him as well.  It also sounds as though Doug's title many change, but his duties and such will remain the same.

Doug has now been at Renegade RV longer than anywhere else he worked except for PVC.  It has been a good fit for him and works well with his soccer schedule.  He also is able to help take or pick up Cameron as he drives right by Bethany on his way to Bristol.  Life works in mysterious ways.  Early this Spring Doug had an interview with Pollywood.  We thought that would be a nice fit as it would have been close to home.  In the end staying at Renegade was the best option.  My Mom always says that everything happens for a reason.  She was more than correct in this instance.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Friends & More

So much fun at the Heinisch home this break.  Today was more of the same.  Around 4 we picked up Cade and Preston to hang out for the day.  Doug had to work, but on his way home he was to pick up pizza for everyone.  Aaron stopped by after practice.  He, Meg and Preston had planned on going out to a movie, but we had to cancel that as a snow storm was predicted for later in the evening.  They had fun anyway playing ghost and the graveyard with the boys and laughing non-stop.  Cade and Cameron spent a good deal of time trying to complete the water bottle challenge on the stairs and playing Wii U.

Jody and I were able to connect tonight as well.  We had wanted to go out over break and this was the only night that I didn't have a family commitment.  We caught up on life and enjoyed talking.  It has been a sad week reflecting on the Conrad's accident.  It was nice to talk to someone who understood exactly how I felt.

We were home early and I was glad to see that Cal and Brett were here as well.  The snowstorm prediction had come to fruition and the roads were slippery.  Brett tried to go to a prayer vigil, but the weather detoured him.  Aaron and Preston had to leave early because of the weather, but were still here until close to ten.  Cade planned on spending the night, so that worked out well.  While I was out Doug had time to exercise, work and clean up some of the Christmas.  I greatly appreciated that as I had started on a lot of it, but also had laundry to catch up on.  It may not have sounded like the best day ever in the Heinisch family, but it was an enjoyable one for all of those involved.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


We made it to Newman Center by 9:30 this morning.  The wedding was at 10 and Doug wanted us there early.  It was almost surreal when we walked into the church.  We had not been to mass there since Jeanette's funeral and a flood of instant memories returned.  There were definitely differences, however, from that August afternoon in 2014.  Poinsettias decorated the church instead of peace lilies and a photographer was busy taking pictures.

We greeted Maury and Emey before taking a family photo.  Pictures of the grandchildren were taken next as well as one of Carl and the boys.  We met the priest and Brett practiced his readings.  As we took our seats in the pews behind Carl the pianist started Cannon in D for the processional.  I watched Marina walk down the aisle and then turned to Meg.  It was at that time that I saw the tears rolling down Meg's cheeks.  I soon joined her with tears of my own as did her Aunt and cousins.  I thought of the two little girls running through the house last night looking for their beloved "football" poster.  It dawned on me as we sat in that church watching their Grandpa get remarried, that they weren't really looking for their poster or crafts or even photographs.  They were looking for their Grandma at least in spirit.

The girls had found her spirit in mass today and that was when the tears started.   I couldn't blame them for crying as memories of my own beloved Grandfather came back to me and the tears I shed at his funeral.  It was the shared conversations, the stories he told, the support that he showed me and my family, his love  - that was what I was crying for.  It was what the Heinisch grandchildren felt today even though they did not all show it with tears.

The wedding mass continued with the priest giving a nice homily talking about family and never forgetting the past.  Carl talked of the spiritual connection that he felt with Marina and the hole in his heart that she helped fill.  He also talked of joy and the commitment of marriage.  Tears came down even harder at that point for some.  As we headed to the luncheon afterward Doug, Cal and Cam talked about their favorite memories of Grandma Heinisch.  Meg and I still had tears to dry before we were ready to join in.  Brett had done such a wonderful job with the readings today,  I finally asked him how he could stay composed through it all.  He summed up the feelings of the day perfectly with "I am truly happy for Grandpa Heinisch.  Until today, however, I did not realized how much I missed Grandma Heinisch."  Being happy for one person while your own heart is breaking, that is the true definition of bittersweet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

You Can Go Home Again!

It was a very busy day for all of us.  We had to make it to piano, oboe and pack for DeKalb.  Doug wanted to leave as soon as he got home from work and we did our best to be ready.  He ended up staying a little longer than he thought, but we had everything done by the time he pulled in and were on the road by 5 p.m.

Traffic was light on the way to DeKalb.  Our plan was to make it there by 7:30 central time so that we could join Phil, Carl, Marina and Dan's family for dinner.  We had no problem making it there on time.   It had been over 2 years since the last time all of the Heinisch boys and their families were together at Carl's home.  I didn't really think about that until we sat around the table eating pizza and sharing stories.  So many shared memories - not all remembered by each member of the family, but fun to hear just the same.

The guys headed to the basement to play pool after we ate.  Addie and Meg spent the rest of the evening searching through the house looking for crafts that they worked on when they were last together.  They were sad to find none of them - especially a beloved "football" game that they drew on poster board with their feet and toes as stencils with Grandma.  The bonus for them though was the photographs that they found from Dan, Phil and Doug's childhood.

After several hours of catching up and a lot of laughter (and trash talking from Uncle Dan), we headed to the Hampton Inn on the other side of DeKalb.  Carl had paid for two rooms for us, which Meg and I really appreciated.  Cal tried the fitness room, Doug ironed, and Brett, Meg, Cam and I played Oregon Trail.  Meg talked about her Grandma Heinisch a lot once the boys went to their room.  She found it sad being in the house, but was happy that everyone was together again.  Jeanette would have loved knowing that all of the Heinisch grandchildren were measured on her wall and we got each and every one of them to smile in the picture on the stairs - priceless.

Monday, December 26, 2016

No Words

Yesterday was a wonderful Christmas.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy their gifts and had a lot of fun playing games.  Once Cal left for the Lamles, Doug, Mom, Cam and Brett decided to play Hearts.  Before Meg and I headed to the basement for a round of Missile Command on my Atari I decided to open the kitchen window.  The weather was warm for Christmas Day and our house had heated up from all of the afternoon cooking.  With the windows open our house began to cool off, which I appreciated, but it also brought an unsettling sound - sirens.  I remember telling Doug that it didn't sound good.  I even said, "I hope it's a fire."  That may sound insensitive, but over the years there have been a lot of accidents on Bowser road.  From past experience I have come to realize that those can be quite serious.

As the night wore on we continued the game playing trying out Grandpa's new Wheel of Fortune board game and Meg's Oregon Trail card game.  I noticed that several hours had gone by and the sirens continued.  At that point I became more nervous.  Cal had left just before they started.  I texted him and he answered almost immediately.  I was glad to hear that Hannah-Marie loved her moose complete with hunting cap.  I was also relieved to know that he made it there safely.  At that point Mom and Dad headed for home and the rest of us grabbed the Wii remotes for a game of Mario Kart.  Mom did text me to let me know that it was as I feared, a bad accident.  Bowser road was closed.  I then decided to put my phone down and just focus on the game.

I left my phone on the table for the next couple of hours.  After my normal defeat at Mario Kart, Doug and I started the 1950s version of A Christmas Carol.  I decided to text Cal back as it was past 10 p.m. to see his plans for the rest of the evening.  He had already sent me a message.  I read it over and over, before I shared it with Doug - "Stephen and Kim Conrad died."  I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach.  I had just spent the week teaching with Kim.  She filled in for one of the 6th grade teachers who was out on an extended leave.  We had talked and taught together just like when I volunteered in her room or subbed at Syracuse elementary so many years ago.  Kim went Christmas caroling with our students at the nursing home on Tuesday and listened to their research presentations giving positive feedback all along the way.  In between class periods she let me know that she really had to get on one of the classes.  I wasn't surprised knowing the dynamics of the class, but enjoyed listening to her demonstrate her teaching style with even the most challenging students.  I spent the rest of the night sitting in disbelief thinking of our conversations over the past week.

Cal must have felt the same way as he came home shortly after Doug called him to get the details - someone drag racing came up the hill at Crazy Corners in the wrong lane and hit the Conrad car head-on.  I couldn't imagine a worse way for their family to end Christmas Day.  As the evening turned into a new day Brett, Cal and Meg shared stories and memories from that time period.  It was nice to hear them talk.  Some of the memories they shared were familiar, some were new.  Meg stayed up talking to me the longest.  It was well after midnight when she looked at me and said, "Mom, I've been thinking.  That could have been any of us."  She was right.  Life can change in a blink of an eye - what a tragic reminder.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

Now that none of the Heinisch children believe in Santa, we can actually set a rule that no one gets up before 9 a.m.  Everyone seemed to appreciate that this morning.  Cam did set his alarm so he didn't sleep too late and it only took Doug ten minutes or so to get Cal out of bed.  The Heinisch children always start with their stockings and enjoyed the candy and oranges that were left for them.  Cam was the elf this year making sure that everyone had a gift to open at the same time.  "Santa" gifts were first this year and much appreciated - iPhones for Brett and Meg, a Star Wars Lego for Cam and a BB-8 drone for Cal.

The Heinisch children enjoyed opening the rest of their gifts as well especially the ones from their siblings.  Cal and Brett insisted on buying their own this year with their own money.  I went out on a limb and got Doug new outside running clothes for cold weather and a popcorn popper.  He liked them even more than I thought he would.  He hadn't given me many ideas, so I was glad.  Doug and the Heinisch children scored points with their gifts to me - a Fantastic Beast plush blanket, a book about real princesses, a sweater, crochet set, pajamas, a FitBit and more.  I appreciated their thoughtfulness.

Mom and Dad came over around 1.  My parents enjoy giving everyone money and hiding it in their gift.  They did a great job with Cal's as it took a hint from me to help him find it.  After gifts we had a delicious ham dinner made by Doug and desserts baked by Grandma Jane.  The rest of the afternoon was spent playing pool, watching NBA and trying out the new board games.  Cal left for HM's late in the day and Mom and Dad went home around 8 p.m. or so.  It was a wonderful day to enjoy with family and celebrate the birth of Christ.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A New Tradition

On Christmas Eve there are so many traditions that the Heinisch family has come to enjoy.  The morning always starts off with cookie baking with Doug.  After that there are usually last minute gifts to wrap and then time to get ready for children's mass.  We have a new priest this year, but mass remained the same with the children gathered around the nativity.  After mass we open Godparent gifts.  Following the gifts we start a light dinner of summer sausage, cheese and crackers while watching It's a Wonderful Life.

Today was followed the same pattern of Christmas Eves of the past except for the one new tradition Cameron started.  While demonstrating a baseball stance in Super Mario he leaned back a little too far and took out the Christmas tree.  That ended the game for awhile, but thankfully only a couple of branches were damaged and no gifts were lost.  After thinking about it, this actually may not have been a new tradition.  Brett face planted at Christmas Eve mass a couple of years ago and Cam ripped his pants while kneeling for a picture by the tree last year.  Maybe falling down is a Heinisch family comedy tradition.  No matter what it made the day even more memorable.  All too soon they will be off with their own family making their own traditions.  Therefore I will enjoy this day all the better.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Miles Lab

Doug had the day off today and wanted all of us to try a restaurant that he had been hearing a lot of positive reviews for - Miles Lab.  It was in Elkhart close to NIBCO field where Meg plays 7 on 7.  The decor reminded me of Maria's in North Webster, but the menu was different.  Everyone at Doug's work raves about their hamburgers, so three of us decided to try one.  Doug's had a fried egg and bacon on his.  Mine was more traditional with just bacon and cheese.  Cal was the most adventurous trying fried egg and peanut butter!!  We were all three happy with our choices as were Meg, Brett and Cam.  She had the grilled cheese, Cam the grilled chicken and Brett had the best fish he has had since returning  from New England.  My favorite part of lunch was listening to the Heinisch children remininse about Christmas gifts over the years.

After lunch we all stopped at Target for some last minute shopping.  We made it home just as the drizzling freezing rain started.  I was glad that we were in town for the rest of the night.  Doug made dinner for everyone and Cam, Meg Brett, and Cal watched Rugrats Santa Experience and Garfield's Christmas.  Afterward Cal headed over to HM's.  I still had laundry to finish, but we even put a Christmas flair on that as Meg and I watched "Meet Me in Saint Louis."  Later in the evening Brett, Cam and I played Blockus and Sequence.  Doug tried to make it up through A Christmas Carol, but only I did.  Cal was home before it was over and he and Cam enjoyed more Mario Super Sluggers.  What an enjoyable way to spend the day before Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day One is A Lot of Fun

Cal took advantage of Hannah-Marie's first day of vacation by taking a trip with her, her niece and Alex to Chicago.  It was the first time he had taken the train and he said it worked well even though he was out the door before the rest of us were up.  Doug did have to work today and had a productive day.  He had inventory yesterday and tied up a lot of loose ends today.

Meg and I went to Amanda's to get our haircut after lunch.  I have gotten a lot of nice compliments on it since I have cut it shorter.  The only downside was that I have to get it cut more often.  After our haircuts I dropped Meg off at the bowling alley for a surprise birthday party for one of her friends.  I spent the rest of the afternoon playing games with Brett and Cam.  Cam and I finally figured out how to beat balance boat expert level.  The three of us also finished my favorite Christmas special - A Year Without a Santa Claus while playing Jedi Unleashed.  

Doug picked Meg up on his way home from work.  She had a great time, but wanted to go to tennis tonight.  Her foot was a lot better.  She couldn't run sprints, but she could do tennis drills without a problem.  Doug and I went to the new Italian restaurant in Warsaw while she was at her lesson.  It was very nice and we enjoyed the change of pace.  Brett and Cam picked up Meg at tennis and then went to Steak and Shake for dinner.  They had a lot of fun.

We all beat Cal home but not by much.  He had a fantastic time.  They went to the Bean, ate lunch at Gino's and did some shopping.  He was pretty proud of his new Space Jam shirt.  I was glad that they had fun and made it home safely. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Christmas Break officially started at 3:20 today and I couldn't be happier.  The school day went well with a breakfast in the morning and Christmas math through the day.  Now, however, the entire Heinisch family can spend some family time together and relax.  We began our vacation by finishing our Christmas shopping.  I still needed one more gift for Brett and Cam, Meg and I found it pretty easily.  Meg and I then bought food for the weekend while Cam was at tennis lessons.  I had time while he finished up to grade the last of my papers for the week.  I do not plan on doing anything for school before January 3rd.  That was a nice feeling.

Meg did not stay for tennis tonight.  Her foot is better, but not well enough to run on it.  She actually has had to walk on the side of her foot which has bothered her ankle.  Today she fell down the stairs in school because of it.  Without tennis she was able to join Brett, Cam, Doug and I at the bowling alley for trivia night.  My parents met us there as well.  It was a lot of fun playing together.  The questions all revolved around Christmas categories.  We had the lead going into the final question.  We were positive about our final answer - the hometown for A Christmas Story.  Doug picked Gary and we were sure that was it, but it actually ended up being Hammond.  It made sense when we heard it.  None of us were too disappointed, however, as we still finished 3rd and received a $5 gift certificate and more plastic cups.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

One Day More

One more day until Christmas break and I am definitely ready.  It is hard getting ready for Christmas and still have school.  We've done pretty well with it and Meg and Cam helped finish up the rest of the shopping tonight after piano.  Their reward was a Ben's Pretzel.  As a Christmas bonus the employee gave them an extra one in addition to the one they bought for Brett.  Cal wasn't up for pretzels as he and HM decided to go see Rogue One tonight.  They thought it just as good as Brett and Cam did.  I can't wait to see it.  Another good reason for Christmas break to hurry up and get here.  One Day More!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Snow Day

Today was technically a snow day, but it was really called for extreme cold weather.  The actual temperature set a record low and the window chill doubled it.  Cameron already had the day off as his Christmas break started on Friday.  I had taken the day off to get Meg to a doctor's appointment, so it didn't make much of a difference to me.  Meg appreciated getting to sleep in, but she actually only wanted a two hour delay.  She had a vocab test in English and a quiz in Chemistry that she just wanted to get over with.  In the end, however, she was glad for an extra day to rest.

Cal spent his afternoon lifting, eating lunch at Grandma's and playing basketball with his friends.  Meg, Cam, Brett and I went for a late breakfast/early lunch at Maria's.  I was afraid it would be closed, because of the weather, but it was actually packed.  The food was good and we enjoyed hanging out together.  On the way home we stopped at CVS for a few items.

Meg's doctor's appointment was at 3.  We ended up being there close to an hour and a half, but we got a lot resolved.  Dr. Clouse increased Meg' iron tablet to 65 mg.  She also took a look in the ears that have still been bothering her.  She said they were plugged, so the nurse did a treatment on them.  Each one had a part of an ear plug stuck in them.  The water washed them out without damage and instantly Meg could hear better.  We had taken her in before for the same problem, but they were sure that it was an ear infection.  Glad to have that problem resolved.  She also treated Meg's Planter's Warts on her foot.  They have increased over the past year and it was time to take action.  She put medicine on them to freeze them off.  By the end of the evening Meg's foot was in a lot of pain, but hopefully this will work.

Doug had to work at home tonight, but he was still able to join us for dinner.  Brett, Cam and I played a game of Pay Day while he was working.  We all then watched the Judy Garland movie - "In the Good Ole Summertime."  It was based on A Shop Around the Corner.  It wasn't quite as good, but worth a try.  It will be hard going back to school tomorrow, but at least there are only two days left.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Friends Weekend Continutes

Last night we got home to find Cal, Alex, Jayce and Cameron Adams hanging out at our house.  Cal had texted earlier to see if it was alright with us.  I appreciated the text but that group is always welcome here.  They have been hanging out here for years and we just really enjoy that group and their friendship.  Meg called me earlier in the night to fill me in on all of their antics - the boys picking on Alex, Cameron wanting Grandma's number to have her make monster cookies, a loud game of pool, etc.  She enjoyed listening to them and was sure that they were louder than her friends (not possible).

By the end of the night Nick LeCount had joined the group.  For old times sake Cal had him park in the new neighbor's driveway.  The boys never got their cookies, but Doug did make Chex Mix and Jayce was happy to find strawberry milk in our fridge.  Cam stayed up with them until midnight and Brett even joined them for awhile.  Glad that they boys have remained friends over the years and that they still enjoy hanging out here.  They definitely keep the Heinisch Home full of life and I hope they continue to meet here for many Christmas' to come.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Crossroads Classic

I went with Doug to Indy today to watch the Crossroads Classic.  We weren't sure we would be able to go because of the weather.  It started snowing last night and central Indiana had an ice storm.
I-465 was shut down and motorist had been stranded for over 8 hours.  As the forecast called for warmer weather this afternoon we thought we would try it.  It wasn't as bad as we had expected.  It was slow going until US 30, but after that it was definitely better.  We made it to Indy in less than 3 hours and were able to park right next to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  We were in our seats before Purdue and Notre Dame tipped off.

I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this game, but the second half was very exciting.  ND was up by 14 at half.  Purdue came back to take the lead late in the game.  It went back and forth, but Purdue finally was able to put the game away.  I also enjoyed watching Caleb Swannigan play.  Cal played against him in 8th grade.  What a neat experience.

We walked around in between the IU and Butler game.  The Fieldhouse was very nice.  We stayed for only the first half of the IU game as we were nervous about the roads.  We were both glad that we made this decision.  By the time we got to Kosciusko County the roads were covered and the temperature was dropping.  We were able to listen to the game on the way home.  IU was down at half by double digits and made it a game in the end.

It was wonderful to spend the day with Doug.  Cal has gone with him the past two years.  I offered him my ticket this year, but he said he was ok letting me go.  I am sure that soon enough Cam will want to go along too.

Friday, December 16, 2016

White Elephant Party

Tonight was Meg's annual White Elephant Party complete with ugly Christmas sweaters.  She invited her best friends - Kaitlin, Gabby, Preston, Graham and Aaron.  Genieve was the only one who wasn't able to make it.  They at pizza and told their favorite stories.  Afterward they retired to the basement and from the sounds I could hear I know they had a lot of fun especially playing truth pong.  There was an incident on the stairs and a snow challenge complete with short shorts, but all in good fun.  After the party Meg showed me the White Elephant gift that she received from Preston.  He found a hodge podge of items from his house including his 7th grade agenda.  She said that it was her favorite night of Sophomore year.  Glad to hear it went well.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

End of Season Party

Tonight was the end of season party for Cam's basketball team.  They celebrated with a carry in dinner after the A and B game.  Cam really enjoyed it and we appreciated Mr. Willems' positive remarks at the end.  I am glad that Cam has had fun this season.  I still find it hard to watch middle school basketball.  Cal's career did not end the way he wanted it to nor did Meg's.  They both were part of unsupportive programs.  Meg enjoyed basketball, but adjusted to her decision to quit pretty quickly.  Cal put a lot of time into the sport and the program.  It was very difficult to watch him being mistreated.  It is one of those memories that I will probably never resolve.  I usually do not think about it, but watching Cam made me realize how fresh that wound still is.

In saying that I am happy for Cam.  He has worked hard and has improved.  There will be open gyms for him to attend if he wants to this winter.  My favorite part, however, was watching him interact with his friends before and after the game.  It was the same this evening.  It is also nice to know that Cal is back playing with his friends and enjoying all of the intramural opportunities at IU.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Semester 1 is Done with a 3.72

Cal finished his first semester at IU with a bang.  He had two A+'s, two A's, an A- and a B+ which gave him the GPA of 3.72.  I am incredibly proud of how hard he has worked.  I know it wasn't easy.  The Kelley business school is tough and he made a commitment to himself to do well.  Even this tweet couldn't dampen my mood.  I will gladly do all of his laundry with the success he had.    He has second semester planned and is ready to relax.  Happy to have him home for Christmas break.  Our family is now whole again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Cam had a game against Stanley Clark today and it was definitely close. They ended up losing by 2, but had a chance in the end.  Cam scored and definitely has showed improvement.  He wanted to stay for the B and A game.  It was Silent Night, which actually ends up being the opposite.  He said he had to leave the gym for awhile as it was too loud.  When it was over Mr. Miller read the Christmas Story to all the students.  What a neat experience.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Two Hour Delay Days

Two Hour Delay Days are absolutely crazy at school.  I don't know if it is because students get to sleep in or because their schedule is different, but they are definitely more hyper.  I know on those days I usually come home exhausted.  I also do not have much of a prep time, so I am working at a lot faster pace to get everything done.  

Both Meg and Cam had activities cancelled this evening.  Meg's tennis lesson and Cam's basketball were tragedies of the weather.  Meg had a lot of homework, so she didn't mind.  Cam's game was rescheduled for tomorrow so he was ok with it as well.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Snow In

I don't know if we were officially snowed in today, but we decided to count it as one.  Doug's soccer team wasn't able to play because of the weather and by the time the evening rolled around a two hour delay was already called.  I was glad for a day at home to work on laundry, Christmas cards and gift buying online.

Yesterday Brett, Meg and I finished a lot of the Christmas shopping together by taking a trip to the Glenbrook Mall.  I couldn't believe all of the shoppers, but except for the line at Hollister we weren't slowed down too much.  We also were able to eat lunch at Chik-Fil-A and stop at Kohl's and Dick's too.  I had a lot of fun going with Meg and Brett.  They too were able to finish their Christmas lists.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Big Couple of Days for Cam

Yesterday was Christmas craft day in the 6th grade at Bethany Christian.  It was a wonderful event in which Cam made practical Christmas gifts and learned a few skills along the way.  My favorite was the hot chocolate mix.  Students had to measure the ingredients and put them in a canning jar layer by layer.  It will make a great gift and taught the students how to measure and follow a recipe.

Cam also had a basketball game last night.  The C team played Lakeland Christian Academy's 7th and 8th grade team.  It was a good game and Cameron scored.  The boys definitely have improved over the season.  We used his Culver's gift card for dinner to celebrate his success.

Today Cameron played in his third chess tournament of the season and finished 1st in the under 600 rated section.  He had really been working on his chess this past week and it paid off.  Doug said that the two that beat Cam were ranked higher.  One won overall and the other won his division.  What a great couple of days for Cam.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Company Christmas Party

Last night was Doug's company Christmas Party.  It was held at Elcona Country Club.  Some of those attending were the same as in the past, but the group has definitely changed over the years.  The conversation at dinner revolved around RV's, hunting and snowmobiling.  Those are not my usual topics, but I did get a kick out of the debate about the best restaurant to eat gizzards.  I couldn't join in on that subject either, but it did make for a lively debate.  We were home a little later than I thought we would be.  Snow started falling so we drove a little slower.  It was a nice evening.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

More Basketball & Tennis

Meg had tennis and Cam had basketball last night.  Fortunately, Doug was able to pick up Cam and then take Meg which I really appreciated.  He worked out while Meg played.  The competition she was playing against was pretty tough.  That will really help her in the long run.

I had planned on working on Christmas but instead did school work.  I like teaching math, but the workload has been overwhelming.  I spent at least three hours last night writing plans and grading papers.  I have't figured out yet how I am going to change that. I know I can't keep that pace up long term.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chess, Piano, Band, Wow!

Yesterday I dropped Meg off at piano lessons at 4:45 and then ran to Bethany Christian to pick up Cameron from chess.  He has been playing more and said that it is helping.  Basketball and soccer have eaten into his chess time, but that should change soon.  Cameron had his piano lesson after Meg.  They have both enjoyed playing Christmas music.

Once the lessons were over the three of us stopped in at Ben's Pretzels.  There wasn't a lot of time for dinner, so the pretzels made for a good snack.  I was sure that I could eat two of the pretzel breadsticks this time, but only made it through one.  

Our next activity of the evening was Cam's band concert.  He moved up to middle school band this year and they start a little later.  Cameron's group sounded nice.  My favorite song was "Do You Hear What I Hear?"  We also stayed for the orchestra.  That was a little long, but they also played well.  Brett, Doug, Mom and Dad were able to meet us at the concert too.  Glad that everyone could make it.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Goodbye Apollo - You Will Be Missed

It was a sad day in the Heinisch home as Apollo died this morning.  We knew that he had stopped eating a week ago, but were hopeful that he would rebound.  Cam wanted to take him to the vet, but Doug said that Apollo was getting old and that a vet visit probably wouldn't change much.  I knew he was right as that was the way with Cosmo, but it was very hard watching him dying.

It really wasn't too many days ago that Apollo was still squeaking for carrots.  Once he stopped I had become worried.  Last night he had a raspy voice.  I was hoping that meant he had a cold, but I guess not.  I did give him some hay and he actually crawled over and ate it before he died.

Cam took the news pretty well.  I had covered him up in the morning with a towel.  He lifted it to check and make sure, but Apollo was already gone.  Meg said that she could have cried if she would have let herself.  I felt the same way.  We will bury him this weekend.  Sad to see him go.  It was a great five years.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Tennis Starts

Tennis starts this week at the racquet club for both Meg and Cameron.  We have decided because of this that we will step out of the lessons in Middlebury with Meg's tennis coach.  It was a longer drive and right after school which made it difficult for us to do.  She went tonight and has one more lesson.

Cameron joined the Monday tennis group this week in Warsaw.  Normally, he will go on Wednesdays, but this week he had basketball.  He said afterward that he really liked it.  I watched him for awhile after I got back from Walmart.  It looked like a good group for him to play against.  We got home before Meg and Doug left for soccer.  He had picked her up from tennis first.  Unfortunately, no one else showed up at soccer.  Therefore, Meg and Doug worked out for awhile before heading home.  Doug is cancelling the next two Monday nights and will try and resume after Christmas break.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday! Sunday!

So glad that we went to Chicago yesterday.  The weather wasn't as great today.  It definitely would have been cold walking through the zoo today.  We did have a productive day.  Cam made it to religion after he, Doug and Brett went to mass.  I did laundry and started on the Christmas cards.  I also had school work to do.

Meg had an indoor soccer game in Elkhart.  It was the first one they have had in quite awhile as many of the girls have been cancelling.  After soccer she went to youth group.  There weren't a lot of students at that either, but she had fun with Aaron and Andrew.  She has really enjoyed having Father Andrew be involved with their group.  He has been a nice addition to our church.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chicago for the Holidays

Our first stop in Chicago this morning was the Field Museum.  I had wanted to take everyone to see the Terra-cotta Warriors ever since I heard they were exhibited there.  The display was even more impressive than the one Cam and I saw at the Children's Museum several years ago.  There were many more Warriors and a lot more information on the Qin dynasty.  We also toured the Underground Adventure, the dinosaur timeline, a 3-D movie on Egypt and the mummy's tomb while at the museum.

Afterward we headed to Superior Street for Chicago deep dish pizza.  Gino's had a line out the door, so we decided to try Giordano's.  They were busy as well with an hour wait, but their system allowed us to head to Michigan Street to do some shopping at the Hershey store and the Disney Store before they texted us to come back.  As we had already ordered our pizza, the wait time at the table was minimal.

We drove to Lincoln Park once lunch was over.  We had time to go to the Chicago History Museum before it closed.  Doug had wanted to visit there and we just haven't been able to find the time.  Everyone enjoyed the history of Chicago especially the exhibits on the Chicago fire and the stockyards.  Our last stop of the day was right next door - the Lincoln Park Zoo.  We hadn't planned on going when we headed out this morning, but at the museum I remembered they were opened at night to display their Christmas lights.  It was fantastic.  The entire zoo was lit up with traditional lights and ones featuring animals.  They even had chimpanzee lights swinging through the trees.  It was a little chilly walking, but there was a hot chocolate stand that we all appreciated very much.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Oboe Lessons

Cam was able to reconnect with his oboe instructor tonight.  Mr. French was impressed with how much he had improved since his last lesson three weeks ago.  Cam’s oboe had been out for repair and it helped quite a bit to have it fixed and returned.  He has also been practicing a lot.  They have a band concert next Tuesday and the songs have been challenging.  Cam feels good about where he is at now.  He also purchased a tuner which should make practicing a lot easier for him.  Music has been a great experience for him at Bethany and we are glad that he is taking advantage of all that is offered to the students.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Night at Home

Tonight was a rare night at home without commitments.  Doug had time to exercise and made chicken curry.  As a special twist he even made turkey curry.  I did not try it, but Brett said it was delicious.  Meg spent the evening studying and Cam unlocked Funky Kong on Mario Kart.  I enjoyed time at home and was able to get a good start on the laundry and Christmas cards.  I really like our card this year.  It was a very eventful 2016 and our card reflects that.  Hopefully, 2017 will be just as wonderful.