Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve

Last night we got home in time for Doug to put one more coat of paint on the bathroom walls.  Today while he was working on the bedroom I pulled all of the tape off the bathroom walls, touched up any areas that we missed and thoroughly cleaned the bath.  We had bought a new gray shower curtain, rug and towels yesterday on our shopping trip that I put up as well.  By the time we got done, the bathroom looked fantastic.  I would have never thought of gray/silver as an accent for purple but they looked fantastic together.  Doug spent the morning putting the second coat on the bedroom.  We both thought that it looked very nice.  I can't wait to see how it goes with the new carpet.

We spent part of the afternoon playing games with Cam and Brett.  HM came over to hang out with Cal, and Meg went to lunch with Aaron.  Later in the evening Doug made meatballs, queso dip and several other appetizers for dinner.  Cam had a little bit to eat before Doug took him to his friend, Breece's (Chip) in Goshen.  Chip had invited all of the 7th grade over for a New Year's Eve party.  At first Cam wasn't going to go as we said we'd have to pick him up early since Doug hates being on the roads late on New Year's Eve.  Chip's parents invited Cam to spend the night so we agreed that he could go.  Meg had invited Jackie and Gabby over for the evening.  Doug and Meg picked up Jackie after they dropped Cam off.  By the time they got back Gabby had just arrived and the girls were ready for a night of Vines, Just Dance 2018, the snow challenge and sparkling apple cider.

Cal and HM played games with us until 9:30 or so.  She wasn't feeling too well, so she decided to go home early.  Cal met up with some of his high school friends which left Brett, Doug and I at home to play games and watch the Twilight Zone marathon.  We had a lot of fun especially when the girls came down to do the snow challenge.  A slippery floor and a missed video made for the most hilarious moment of the evening and a great way to ring in 2018.  

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Break From Painting

We had planned on going to Grand Rapids today to take the Heinisch children to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and to stop at Holland, Michigan on the way home.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate.  The lake effect snow showers had hit that area hard and we didn't feel safe driving two and a half hours into it.  At first we were going to cancel our day out altogether, but after looking at the weather forecast we decided that driving east would work out alright.

We left around 10:30 and stopped a bistro that Doug wanted to try.  The food was very good and everyone ordered something different.  I'd like to go back another time to try their brunch with the endless mimosa.  Once we left we toured the area and saw several other restaurants that we might want to eat at another time.  We then spent the afternoon shopping at various stores.  The Heinisch children still had Christmas money to spend although none of them bought too much.  We had fun together just the same and were glad for some time off from painting and cleaning.  

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Day of Cleaning and Painting

I was glad that Meg and Cam had friends over today.  That kept them entertained while Doug painted our bathroom and bedroom.  I helped by cleaning as much as possible for him, feeding everyone and getting supplies for him when needed.  He started in the bathroom.  With all of the trim it took him close to five hours.  We had picked out a light purple and we both really liked it when it was finished.

The morning was consumed with painting the bathroom.  The afternoon was taken up by a first coat of paint in the bedroom.  We picked a dark gray that was labeled cement.  Once Doug painted the first wall we realized that it would be more blue than we thought, but we both really liked it.  It took Doug all afternoon to complete the bedroom, but it looked fantastic once he got done.  He will need to put a second coat on later this weekend, but round one was done in time for dinner.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Little Mermaid

We had matinee tickets for The Little Mermaid at Amish Acres this afternoon.  Since we had renewed our season passes and bought ones for Grandma Jane and Grandpa Cutes, we had five free tickets to use.  Brett definitely wanted one as did my parents.  I offered two to Cal and HM, but they weren't as interested.  Therefore, I let Meg and Cam invite a friend.  Cam decided to ask Evan since he wouldn't be able to go to his house for New Year's Eve this year.  Meg invited Preston with the declaration that they had talked everything out and were never going to fight again.  (Even Preston laughed at that one.)  

I believe that each of us thought that it would be hard to bring a show that takes place in the ocean to the stage.  There were parts that were a little awkward, but overall we all enjoyed it.  It followed the Disney version and added a few more songs as well.  Everyone's favorite performance was by the actress playing Ursula.  She did a fantastic job and the best part was that we could give Meg a hard time about being afraid of the "scary octopus."  

We made it home just as the snow started.  It has definitely been a cold, snowy week.  I appreciated even more that we went to Chicago on the 23rd.  Ever since that day the weather has been miserable and the predictions have been for extremely cold temperatures and more snow.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

After Christmas Shopping

Meg had open gym this morning.  She wasn't quite ready to get up and get back in the swing of practice, but she made it.  They had to go to the Goshen College Rec Center as they boys had the Bethany gym and the middle school was being updated.  Meg said that it went well.  Only seven girls came, but it was a productive time as they learned a new offense.

Brett, Cam and I picked her up afterward.  We had made plans to do some after Christmas shopping at the UP Mall.  Everyone had Christmas money to spend and were ready to get out of the house for awhile.  We stopped first at Noodles & Company where the majority of us got lunch.  Brett preferred Chick-Fil-A in the food court, so he just enjoyed an orange drink while we ate.

The mall was surprisingly packed.  South Bend was under a lake effect advisory which I thought would keep the shoppers away.  It definitely did not.  Meg was happy to learn that Jacki's family also decided to do some after Christmas shopping.  She met up with her and they were able to visit several stores together.  Brett and Cam focused mostly on Hot Topic, Game Stop and Barnes & Noble.  I followed them around and was even able to talk Brett into buying some new shirts and jeans at American Eagle.  Our last stop of the day was Yankee Candle where I used my 6 for $60.  Our home will smell awesome these next few months.

We made it home in time to go to trivia night at Chubbie's.  Cal and HM joined us as well.  Meg decided to sit out and catch up on her reading.  The bowling alley was packed which made it difficult to find a table for nine.  We did finally come up with a place to sit.  The questions were challenging tonight and unfortunately we finished in the dreaded fourth place position.  It was fun, however, spending time together even if we did lose.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Take Down

I told the Heinisch children last night that we would have to take down the Christmas today as we had plans to paint our bedroom over the weekend in order to get new carpet on January 2nd.  Each one of them looked at me and said, "Good try Mom.  It wouldn't matter if we were getting new carpet or not.  You always take the Christmas down on the 26th."  I couldn't argue with them.  I definitely like to take it down as soon as Christmas ends.  In the same manner I love to put it up the day after Thanksgiving.  That way the decorations were up for a month and everyone got a chance to enjoy them before the holiday.

Just as in years past the taking down went faster than the putting up did.  We did leave two tubs out.  One was for the extra items including the movies that we still wanted.  The second was for the outside decorations.  Winter had definitely hit hard and from looking at the forecast we knew that we wouldn't get the outside items put away for quite some time.  I also set out all of the snowmen.  They seemed especially appropriate this year with the amount of snow and cold that we have had.

We were able to take a break today and go to see the movie Jumanji.  It was a remake from the Robin Williams one that came out in the 1980s.  It was completely different, but just as entertaining.  The Rock and Jack Black were the main stars and the movie was extremely funny.  It was also packed.  In fact I was afraid that we weren't going to get a seat.  Everyone else must have had the same idea that we did.  Even with a full theater it was a great way to spend Boxing Day.  

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day

What a wonderful Christmas morning we had at the Heinisch home.  For the first time ever all of the Heinisch children agreed to open gifts at 10 a.m.  Thus, everyone had a chance to sleep in if they wanted to.  Doug used his extra time to exercise and get started on Christmas dinner.  Once everyone was ready we opened the Christmas stockings first.  There was plenty of candy to be had by all along with Buffalo Wild wings sauce to share.

After the stockings were opened we moved on to the gifts.  Cameron played elf the most and everyone was happy with the amount of and the presents that they received.  Brett was happy with the books and video games that he opened.  Cal also received several gifts that he wanted including an iPhone and a few surprises including an Oladipo shirt.  Meg also received an iPhone from Santa as well as a robe and pajamas.  Cam's Santa gift was a BB-8 Lego.  He also received the game Cantan and several video games that he had been wanting.  Doug thought that he was opening a weed eater, but instead found himself the proud owner of an IU tailgate tent.  I loved my gifts and had a lot of fun setting up the Google Home Mini.

My parents arrived close to 1 p.m.  We opened gifts first and my parents enjoyed all that they received including a gift from each of their grandchildren and 2018 season tickets to Amish Acres.  Doug made a delicious ham dinner for everyone.  After the clean up we played games the rest of the afternoon including Meg's new favorite - "Speak Out."  It was a great way to end a wonderful Christmas day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

The Heinisch family Christmas Eve traditions have not changed much over the years - Christmas cookies with Dad, wrapping gifts, children's mass, opening Godparent gifts and watching It's a Wonderful Life.  This year, however, there was one major alteration.  The Heinisch children decided that they were old enough to attend mass other than the one geared for children.  I wasn't surprised when they stated it.  Ever since Father Hire had died the children's mass just hadn't been the same for them - they missed his camel stories around the nativity.  We did all attend another mass together today which  I appreciated very much.

Every year since I can remember Meg has asked for a white Christmas.  Unfortunately, her wish has not always been granted.  This year, however, she was awoken to falling snow which had started early in the morning.  By the afternoon there were winter weather warnings everywhere in northern Indiana.  None of us minded as we planned to stay in anyway and it made for a beautiful setting for our Christmas Eve activities.  The cookies Doug, Brett, Cam and Meg made were delicious.  Brett and Cam's gingerbread train was up and running before dinner.  The gingerbread house that Meg and I worked on did not fair as well, but it made for a hilarious story.  Cal, Meg and Cam enjoyed opening their godparent gifts and Brett joined the group when they all opened their presents from Carl.

We hadn't watched very many Christmas movies before today, so having White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and A Shop Around the Corner playing made for a great backdrop during the afternoon.  Doug put in "It's a Wonderful Life" as soon as we finished his delicious lasagna dinner.  Meg opted out of the first hour of the movie, but did join us and the boys for the last half.  She made it down just in time for our favorite movie quotes - "I know people don't like me, but that's ok, because I don't like them either." by Mr. Potter and "Why did we have to have all of these kids anyway?" by George Bailey.  Everyone headed their own way after movie except for Doug and I.  We enjoyed a glass of eggnog, watched A Christmas Carol and waited for Santa to arrive.  As the Heinisch children have gotten older he has arrived earlier and earlier every year.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas in the City

We left early this morning for Chicago with all of the Heinisch children in tow plus Hannah-Marie.  Our first stop of the day was the Adler Planetarium.  I had been talking about visiting it for several years, but something always changed our plans.  I had not been there in twenty years and it had been more than that for Doug.  No one else had ever visited it and we were happy to finally have the opportunity.  We were even more pleased when we found out that I was admitted free as a teacher and we also received a discount for everyone else's admission.

The Planetarium had changed quite a bit from Doug and my last visit.  We enjoyed walking through the astronaut exhibit and learning more about the planets.  There were also areas to explore about astronomy in the past and a science lab to walk through.  The end of our visit was spent in the 3-D theater watching a film on the dwarf planet Pluto and it's surrounding area.  We all found it extremely interesting.

After the Planetarium we walked through Millennium Park.  There was an awesome skating park where we enjoyed watching others on the ice.  We then took pictures at the Bean before heading to Giordano's.  We fortunately made it in just before the crowds arrived and were seated immediately.  The pizza was delicious and we enjoyed the conversation around the table.  After we ate we walked up and down Michigan Avenue.  It was crowded, but that didn't stop our fun.  We did some last minute Christmas shopping at the Disney Store and Crate & Barrel.  Cal found an awesome Michael Jordan shirt at the Nike store and everyone picked out candy at Dylan's Candy Shoppe.

Once the shopping was finished we drove to the Lincoln Park Zoo to enjoy their Christmas light display.  Cal and HM were not able to go with us last year and were impressed with all of the animal lights and displays.  Meg was able to meet up with a friend from camp who lived in the city.  That was a wonderful surprise.  We made it through all of the park taking breaks to warm up with hot chocolate and some inside shopping.  The weather was cold, but bearable enough to spend two hours enjoying the decorations.  We were all thankful for a warm car to drive home in and appreciative of our day together.  It was a fantastic way to kick off the holiday weekend.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Sleeping In

In the last year I have had a hard time sleeping.  I would fall asleep fine, but would then wake up after 5 hours or so.  It made for a long day, but I became used to it.  This morning, however, was an exception as I slept past 9:30 a.m.  I was completely surprised, but thrilled to have the extra rest.  It had been a challenge to physically get through the past week.  I must have been so glad to know that I would be starting a two week break that I didn't move all night.

Cam and Meg slept in as well and we all enjoyed a quiet day at home.  Cam remarked several times that he couldn't believe that Christmas was only three days away.  We got out of school so late that we hadn't had much time to watch Christmas movies or listen to Christmas songs.  The nice part of having a late break was the fact that we would have a full week off after New Year's to enjoy the season as well.  Father Andrew said in his homily last weekend that the Christmas truly is from Christmas Eve until January 6th, so this year we will celebrate a true Christmas enjoying the festivities until the epiphany.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Shortest Day of the Year (But the Busiest)

Oh what a day!  Glad to say that it went well, but wow, was it busy.  Meg stayed up late last night studying for finals, but was up early and ready for school in plenty of time.  Cam had several finals as well, but didn't need to study as much.  They both were worried, but knew they had done their best to get ready.  My students didn't have a test as we took it yesterday.  There were several, however, that needed to finish today.  There were also projects to work on in my advanced classes as well, so it was a busy, productive day in 6th grade math.  Even with all of the work that we completed we did have fun as well.  We finished our stop motion movie - Nightmare Before Christmas - in block one and then had a Christmas party during Warrior Time.  The students held it together pretty well.  Having locker clean out and CPR thank you card writing at 2:30 helped a lot.  

As soon as the walkers left I headed straight for the door.  Tonight was our night to feed the girls basketball team and we had to be at Bethany by 4 p.m.  Doug had cooked the chicken and Mom made the noodles.  She put it all together for us and Cal carried the roasting pan to the car for me.  Brett road along to help carry in food and Doug met us there.  We made it just as the girls showed up to eat.    We were done and ready for Cameron's game by 4:40.  

Cam's team played well and led for quite a bit of the game.  Unfortunately, Clinton Christian came back in the fourth quarter to take the lead and hold on for the win.  Cam stayed for the "Silent Night" 8th grade game and enjoyed it very much.  The rest of us moved on to Meg's game once Cameron's finished.  My parents and Cal and HM joined us for the JV game.  Meg played well in a loss to Whitko.  Varsity did win a close, intense game.  Doug ordered pizza for all of us once we got home.  It was such a relief to be done with a long, busy day.  It won't set in that it was the last day before break until at least tomorrow.  Happy to have made it through, however!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

One Day More

So much for Christmas music today.  Instead the song I kept on repeat on my phone throughout my school day was - "One Day More" from Les Miserables.  I realize that getting through the last day  of school before Christmas break doesn't quite compare to preparing for a revolution, but it sure does feel like it.  Through pure adrenaline and the power of music I was able to accomplish everything I needed to at school and at home in preparation for the anticipated day.  One day more - I can do it!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Internship Applications

Brett and Cal have been spending time since they have been home filling out internship applications.  Cal applied for one through Kelley that would take him to California for a week at Spring Break.  He said it was a long shot as a lot of business students want that one.  He felt that it will be harder for him to get a summer internship as well as most businesses take juniors.  He said he would try, however, and if it doesn't work out he may just stay in Bloomington for the summer and take iCore.

Brett spent most of the first part of the week working on internships in D.C.  So far he has applied for over forty of them including ones through Indiana's Congressmen.  SPEA sent him links to one at the Governor's office as well.  He plans on moving on to those next.  His goal was to complete as many as possible over break.  SPEA requires an internship to graduate.  I will keep my fingers crossed that each of them gets the offer that they want.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Shopping

I had an early morning appointment in Goshen but was home in time to take Brett and Cal to lunch in South Bend.  We decided to try Cheddar's and really enjoyed the food.  After lunch we spent the afternoon Christmas shopping making stops at Target, the mall and Kohl's.  We each found last minute gifts that were still on our list and had a lot of fun in the process.  I love spending time with Brett and Cal together.  They have so many shared memories and stories to tell.  I do not pine for the "good old days", but do enjoy reminiscing about their childhood.  Today was a great day for that.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

To Build a Church

As soon as Meg finished being a lector at church she spent the rest of the day studying for finals.  They technically don't start until Wednesday, but all of her church history was due tomorrow.  That included a paper, a speech, poster and a hand built church.  We decided the best approach was to encourage her as much as possible and be available if she needed any help.  Fortunately, Brett was able to give a lot of advice on building a church out of Legos.  She even had moving doors and pews complete with an altar.  I ran out and got her a poster board and a rubber cement.  By 10:15 at night she had all parts of her final project done and even had time to study Calculus.  It was a lot in one day, but a great way to learn how it will be when she attends college.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Day of Victories

Today was the Bethany Holiday basketball tourney.  Meg's team started the morning at 10 a.m. against Trinity Christian.  The game quickly became lopsided in Bethany's favor. Thus, Meg played a lot of the second half.  We were impressed with how well she did.  She has truly become a leader on the court when playing with the JV.  She talks to her teammates, passes the ball well and has greatly improved her defense and rebounding.  It was a lot of fun watching her play.

After the game, the girls stayed and watched the boys' game.  They then hung out at Kassy's until the evening championship round.  While Mom, Dad and I went to her game this morning, Doug and Cameron headed to Indy instead.  They had tickets to the Crossroads Classic featuring IU, Butler, Notre Dame and Purdue.  The first game was between Butler and Purdue.  The game wasn't too exciting with Purdue winning easily, but Cam and Doug had excellent seats near the Butler band.  The second game pitted IU against Notre Dame.  Cal and I watched the game totally expecting IU to lose.  In fact with four minutes left Doug and Cam decided to head home.  ND was up by 8 points and had the ball.  They figured it was over and so did we.  IU had a different thought, however, and soon tied the game with seconds left.  Cam and Doug weren't too disappointed.  They listened to a very exciting overtime on the way home in which IU held on to win.

It was a fun game to watch and I was glad I had Cal home to watch it with me.  I was also happy that it ended before I had to leave for the Bethany game.  That game was closer than the first game, but Bethany was able to prevail beating Lakeland Christian Academy by ten.  Meg was happy as she and HM were not fans of one of LCA's players.  The Bruins took a nice team picture afterward and then stayed to watch the boys play.  I left for home after the game.  Doug and Cam beat me there.  Brett stayed in all day enjoying his first full day of Christmas vacation.  It was a great day for all.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Semester 1 is in the Books

Cal took his last final this afternoon and with that the boys were finished with the fall semester.  It was a tough one for Brett.  Adjusting to grad school and becoming a TA had their challenges.  It took a lot of work, but he made some real progress this past month and finished the semester with a 3.2.  Cal faired quite a bit better.  He started the semester at Kelley strong and finished with over a 3.6.  We were proud of both of them and happy that they were on their way home by 3 p.m.

Neither Doug nor I were home when they arrived.  Cam had a game in South Bend that both Doug and I attended.  It was a fruitful one for Bethany as both their A and B teams won.  Cam played in both games and shared in the victory chest bumps afterward.  The team stopped at McDonalds on the way back to school.  Doug met him at Bethany and I headed home.  I was anxious to see Brett and Cal.  They had arrived safely and were excited to start their three week break.  Can't wait until Meg, Cam, and I are on Christmas vacation as well.  It should be a fantastic family holiday season.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wawasee vs. Bethany

Tonight was the game that Meg was most anxious about when she first saw the basketball schedule.  She did not have a great experience with Wawasee when playing soccer against them this fall and did not want the same situation in basketball.  She had thought about sitting the game out, but neither her coaches or Doug and I wanted her to do that.  Plus, Hannah-Marie would be on the Wawasee side and we knew that she would look out for Meg.

The JV game started off well for Meg until she saw two girls walk in to the gym during the first quarter who had made Meg's life miserable at Wawasee both on the soccer field and in the classroom.  They had both quit basketball, so there was no reason for them to attend the game especially since it was an away JV one.  Meg started to panic when she saw them and asked to come out of the game.  Her coaches handled it perfectly.  KP came down and sat by her until she could catch her breath.  Then Brent put her right back in.  I was nervous for her, but once the Lamles arrived and I realized that we had friends in the crowd it was a lot easier.

Meg played very well in the JV loss.  The varsity game was a lot closer with Bethany leading the majority of the game.  Turnovers and missed free throws turned the game toward Wawasee favor in the fourth quarter and they held on for a victory.  Meg played the last minute of the game, just enough  to be a part of the team and to allow me to get pictures of her and HM on the court.  Hannah-Marie had played well and we enjoyed watching her.  The girls got pictures together after the game and overall it went a lot better than I would have expected.  

I drove Meg home after the game.  She was still rattled, but glad at how she had played.  The reality for her was that the girls that had made her life miserable at Wawasee could no longer bother her.  She had played further in a sport that they both had quit and after a two year hiatus was still on par with the juniors on JV at Wawasee.  The game was also a great reminder to me that Meg had taken a huge chance this year to make her life better.  She has thrived at Bethany both in the classroom and in sports.  We couldn't be more proud of her.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No Practice

Meg's basketball team did not have practice tonight as the band, choir and orchestra had a rehearsal for their Friday night Christmas performance.  As Meg was not involved in music this year, she had a free night to work on homework which she appreciated.  Although, dismissal was at 2:30 she didn't leave Bethany until 3 p.m.  She had math corrections to work on with Rene.

I was glad that she left Goshen early.  We had let her drive to school this morning since the roads were clear.  The projected snowfall for today wasn't supposed to arrive before 4, so we decided to have her try it.  Thankfully, Meg was home well before any flakes fell.  By the time I drove to Goshen at 4:15 to pick up Cameron, however, snow had already covered the roads.  We made it home without incident.  It just took a little longer than normal.  Unfortunately, for those of us wanting a snow delay tomorrow the snow quit way too early.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Day of Craziness

I spent all of yesterday getting ready for the winter storm that never came to fruition.  As we now have elearning days at Milford we have to have lessons online for students on all snow days.  Thus, I had to have four 30 minute lessons prepared and ready last night just in case the 3 to 5 inches of blowing and drifting snow developed.  I also had to make sure that Meg and Cam had everything at home in case they had their own virtual learning day.  Once Doug got home we then had to talk through what we would do if there were delays and/or cancellations as we weren't ready for Meg to drive on snow covered roads just yet.  During our discussion we even had to tell Meg and Cam to shut off their alarms so they could sleep in if given the chance.  

The one scenario that we had not prepared for was of course the one that occurred.  In fact in the three years that Cam had been at Bethany there had not been one time that Bethany had a delay and Wawasee did not, but that was exactly what happened this morning.  Doug and I were up before 6 and got the message at the same time.  It took a couple of minutes to talk through an alternate plan, but we decided the best option was for Doug to stay home in the morning and take Cam and Meg to school.  I would go to school and if there was an early release I would have to leave to pick them up.  

As I drove to school I couldn't believe how little snow we had gotten overnight.  The roads were completely clear and I had no problem getting to work.  That was not the case in Goshen as Bethany ended up cancelling school along with several other schools in Elkhart County.  Once Doug heard that he headed to work.  Since he could work from home, it was a lot easier for him to stay with Meg and Cam.  As Meg said later, "It's pretty hard to teach thirty children while sitting in your house."  I did think that I would have to take the afternoon off since they were home, but they actually did very well on their own.  My Mom brought up lunch for them and they spent the majority of the afternoon working on their assignments from Bethany.  By the time I got home at 3:30 they were ready to run to Dollar General for some "after school snacks."  

We spent the rest of the night at home.  Doug made it back after six and said that he had no problems on the roads.  He had work to do on his computer, so after dinner Cam and I decided to play Balance Boat on the Wii.  Meg also had homework to catch up on, so she decided not to join us.  She and Cam had played Mario Party earlier in the day.  It had been quite awhile since Cam and I played my favorite game.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to end a snow day.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Shaking My Head

Sometimes others make decisions that have left me shaking my head and wondering why.  I don't usually second guess them and only rarely ask them their thought process in making that decision.  I do not believe that I know everything or understand all possible outcomes to every question asked.  Thus, in general, I usually walk away from others without argument or even mentioning my differing opinion.

That changes, however, when a decision someone else makes directly effects me, especially if it takes away from what I value most - time with my family.  It is hard for me to respect someone who does not understand this. As I deal with a current situation I have found myself extremely frustrated for this very reason.  I do not see an easy way to resolve this problem as the person I am working with lacks organizational skills, and therefore, has made life challenging as we solve a common problem that should not even involve me.  One consequence to this situation is that I no longer feel obligated to help this person which will make my life a lot less complicated.  

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gift Wrapping Galore

Meg had a wonderful day today.  She spent the night with Jackie after the game yesterday and this afternoon she went with her family and Macinsy to Michigan City for a day of shopping to celebrate Jackie's 15th birthday.  She texted several times throughout the day to let us know what she was up to.  She was thrilled with all of the deals that she found.  They all ate dinner close to the outlet malls before heading home.  Doug picked her up in Goshen and Meg shared all of her purchases with me when she got back.  I was glad that she had fun and I enjoyed listening to her talk about her day with Jackie and Macinsy.

While Meg was out for the day, Cam and I used the time to wrap gifts.  He got all of his done fairly quickly, but it took me quite a bit longer.  In fact between laundry and gift wrapping there wasn't time for much else this afternoon.  That was alright with me.  Our tree was looking pretty bare.  It definitely seemed more festive by the end of the evening.

Doug spent a good portion of his day working, but he found time to set up the elliptical we ordered from Nordictrack.  He was able to try it out early in the evening and was pleased with his new piece of exercise equipment.  I can't wait to use it as well.  Walking still bothers my ankle and this shouldn't be as hard on my joints.  There was one disappointment of the day.  IU lost in the finals of the collegiate cup for soccer.  The game was so well played until the sudden death period.  One of IU's fullbacks tried to dribble out of the goal box and Stanford made him pay for it.  It had been such a great game.  It was tough to watch it come down to that.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Our Chess Star

Today Cam had a chess tournament in Goshen.  It was an all day affair beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.  Cam started off well winning his first three games.  One was against Kayden Mayer a fellow Bethany chess team member.  Cam said it was a close match, but he got out to an early lead and was able to hold on.  His fourth match was a close one as well, but ended with Cam on the losing side.  Therefore, he went into the final round in fourth place pitted against the third place opponent.  That game was the longest one of the day for Cam.  His opponent was a very deliberate player unlike Cam with his speedy pace of game.  At the one hour mark the head of the tournament brought out the clock. Cam was already up a chess piece by then and within ten minutes he finished him off with only a king and pawn left.

We had to leave as soon as he finished his last round to go to Meg's game at Lakeland.  Thankfully, Kayden and his mother stuck around to find out how Cam did.  They texted us to let us know that Cameron finished second after all of the tiebreaks were figured into the scoring.  We were thrilled.  Cameron was impressed with how well he did knowing that he hadn't been able to attend all of the chess club meetings that he wanted to even though he has been going to the first half and then to basketball practice.  He said at the last lesson he learned a new move with his pawn that he used on his final opponent and that was the difference in the game.  We were impressed.

Unfortunately, Meg's team did not have as good of a day as Cameron.  By the time we got to the game the junior varsity was in the second quarter and found themselves down 18-2 at halftime.  Meg played point guard in the fourth quarter and they did a lot better.  She was able to score six points in their loss and was the high scorer of the night.  Varsity lost big as well as did both of the boys's teams.  It was a rough night at Lakeland.  A day off tomorrow should help rejuvenate their spirits.

Friday, December 8, 2017

It's Friday, Friday, Friday . . .

Every Friday morning our vice principal plays a really annoying song called "It's Friday, Friday, Friday . . ."  It's loud, electronic and grates on most people's nerves.  Students, however, are immune to the irritating noise, especially the elementary children.  As soon as it comes on they scream, dance and sing along.  Although I can't agree with their sentiment for the song, I sure could dance along to the fact that it was Friday.

Today was no exception.  It had been a long week at work and our nights as a family were filled with constant activity, so there wasn't much time for rest.  In my math classes today I spent quite a bit of time working with students on retests and finishing homework.  My Warrior Time was hectic as we had to find time to finish the blankets for our Make an Impact project, and every spare minute in-between classes, at lunchtime and during my prep period was spent grading papers.  By the time 3:15 rolled around I was completely exhausted, but satisfied with the fact that I had finished everything that I needed to and could spend the weekend at home working on Christmas cards and gift wrapping.

Tonight my parents picked me up at 4:15 for Cameron's basketball game.  The boys got off to a slow start against Millersburg and just couldn't recover.  Cam was disappointed in another loss, but he has improved this season.  He stayed for the A game while Doug and I ran errands.  He was happy to show us the basketball he had won in the relays at practice.  Doug made a light dinner for everyone - summer sausage, cheese, crackers and queso dip.  It made for a great feast while watching the IU men's soccer game.  The Hoosiers made it to the Collegiate Cup which is the final four of soccer.  The game was a good one with IU scoring late off a corner kick.  North Carolina put a nice shot on goal with less than two minutes left.  It was just off the mark and IU held on to win 1-0.  They will play in the finals Sunday.  We're looking forward to spending the afternoon watching what will hopefully be their ninth national championship.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Great Night for All

Tonight was Doug's annual Christmas party.  This year it was held at Villa Macri's in South Bend.  Doug has worked at Renegade Rv for six and a half years, so we have gotten to know a lot of the employees and their spouses that attend the Christmas party.  I used to really dread going to these events, because I felt awkward.  It was nice not to have that feeling anymore and to be able to hold conversations with several of those in attendance.  The food was also delicious which made it even better.  Doug has worked hard this past year and his boss has recognized that on several occasions.  It was nice to reflect on a successful year with those that helped make it happen.

The only downside to Doug's party was that we had to miss Meg's basketball game.  Mom and Dad texted us several times to let us know how wonderful she was playing.  She played two quarters on the JV and three on the Varsity.  A good portion of the time she played point guard.  She scored five points in the Varsity game and made an and one.  She called us on the way home to let us know how happy she was.  We were glad to hear that.

Cam made a big step today in his road toward independence.  He went to practice after school, then stayed for Meg's game.  He hung out with his friends, ate snacks from the concession stand and cheered his sister on.  He waited for her at the ping pong table in the lobby afterward for a ride home all without help from his grandparents or us.  He liked being able to do his own thing and we were proud of his ability to take care of himself.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Family Sick Day

Last night Cam and Meg were both feeling under the weather.  Thus, we told them that they could sleep in and see how they were doing when they woke up.  Cam was the first one up.  He texted me at 9 a.m. and said that he just wasn't up for school today.  Therefore, I told him to take DayQuil, rest and see how he was feeling later.  I knew he was bummed, as he really wanted to go.  Meg was up next and said that she was much better than last night.  I was glad to hear that.  She took her time getting ready and had breakfast before she left.

Cam headed upstairs when she left.  He read for awhile and rested in bed.  Around 11:20 he came back down to say that he was thinking about trying school.  I told him that it was up to him.  He wasn't running a fever, but the drainage from his sinuses was making his throat quite sore.  He decided that he would go to school for the afternoon and try practice.  He promised to use his inhaler and sit out if he felt bad.  I dropped him off at Bethany at 12:15 just in time for band.  He took a second dose of DayQuil with him to take at 2.

While they were at school I spent the afternoon Christmas shopping.  I was able to find several items that I needed, but still have a couple to purchase.  Overall, however, I have checked off almost all of my list.  I arrived home close to 3:30.  Doug called and said that he would pick up Cam from practice.  I was glad to hear that as Meg had late practice and I would no longer have to run back to Goshen.

Cam came home and said immediately that he felt terrible.  His throat was so sore that he could barely swallow and his asthma was really bothering him.  We started talking through what to do about tomorrow when it dawned on me to take him to MedStat.  I knew that it would be hard to get into our family doctor tomorrow.  I had a meeting in the morning that I really needed to attend, so I couldn't be home until after 11:30 a.m.  Thus, urgent care seemed like the best option.  I was so glad that I took him.  There were several patients ahead of us, so our wait was about 45 minutes or so which wasn't too bad.  They were extremely attentive when we got back into the room.  They thoroughly checked him out and also did a strep test.  Since his lungs sounded clear and his strep test was normal they decided to treat his nose.  We left with directions to drink clear liquids, avoid all dairy and to take Mucinex DM.  Cam and I took off for CVS as soon as we left MedStat.  He was hungry when he got home, so Doug made him some spaghetti and a peanut butter sandwich.  He took his Mucinex and we were amazed that within an hour he was already feeling much better.  His plan when he went to bed was to go to school in the morning.  I was so happy to hear that.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Wearing Out!

Our schedule the last month has just been crazy and today it finally caught up with both Meg and Cam.  She had a game at Lakeland Christian Academy.  Mom and I were able to catch three quarters of the junior varsity game before we had to leave for Cam's band program.  Meg played very well and the girls won their first game of the season.

Mom and I met Dad and Doug at the band program.  Doug worked until after 6 p.m.  Dad picked Cam up after practice and they went to Hopper's for dinner.  They both enjoyed it.  Cameron's band did an excellent job and the kazoos we ordered came in handy during "The Chipmunk Song."  We all thought they played very well.  Cam rode home with me and I could tell that he wasn't feeling very well.  He said that his throat was killing him and his nose would not stop running.  Once we got home he took some NyQuil and went to bed.  He decided not to go in the morning and see how he was feeling when he woke up.

Meg didn't get home until after ten.  She also wasn't feeling the best.  Homework and basketball had gotten the best of her and she decided to stay home as well.  I went to bed at 11 p.m. and before I fell asleep I thought to myself, "What am I doing?"  That's when I decided to get up and write sub plans.  I ran to Milford close to midnight to drop them off.  It was a lot easier to go to sleep when I got back knowing that I would be here in the morning when they needed me.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Only Two Games This Week

Cam's team only has two basketball games this week.  That hasn't happened since the season started (except for the week of Thanksgiving when they only had two days of school.)  The team played well and were tied at halftime.  Unfortunately, they ran out of gas and came up short in the end.  Cameron did well especially on defense.  He had several blocks and rebounds.  He played the majority of the game and was definitely tired at the end.

Cam and I stayed for the A game.  The boys were up quite a bit at halftime, but only scored three points in the second half.  Meg came to part of Cam's game.  She then met Gabby for dinner at Hacienda.  She had a lot of fun and went straight to her homework when she got home.  Doug made chicken in the crock pot which he had ready when Cam and I got back.  He has been swamped at work and was up until 11 p.m. getting as much done as possible.  We appreciated him getting the chicken ready before he headed back to his computer.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

And the leaves, leaves, leaves came down, down, down . . .

It was the fourth straight day of 50 degree weather and for December 3rd it was fantastic.  Doug spent the majority of his time in the yard working on leaves.  He said that he thought he had gotten most of them last weekend, but as he wasn't home when it was light out this week he hadn't realized how many more had come down.  The rains have held off the last few days, so the leaves at least were dry, easy to rake and burned almost immediately.  I was outside for part of the afternoon as well.  It was so nice to work without a coat.

Meg and Cam spent a quiet day resting and catching up on homework.  Cam did make it to religion this morning.  They ate dinner at Grandma Jane's while Doug and I ran to Goshen.  We had some more Christmas shopping to do and stopped for dinner before heading home.  I was overwhelmed at the beginning of the week thinking about all of the shopping, Christmas card writing and other holiday items that needed to get done, but after the weekend I felt really good about where we were at.  Meg decided after dinner to stop by Kaitlin's.  It had been quite some time since they had talked and Meg felt it went very well.  We were glad to hear that.  Cam spent his night playing games with Grandma and Grandpa.  We were all sad to see such a wonderful family weekend come to an end.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Christmas Shopping

Meg had a basketball game at Lakewood Park Christian school this afternoon.  It was Varsity only, which made for a short afternoon on the court.  We had decided since the school was so close to Fort Wayne that we would go Christmas shopping after the ballgame.  The weather was gorgeous once again which made shopping easy and enjoyable.  We stopped at several stores before we made it to Jefferson Point Mall.  We all loved walking around this outdoor mall as it was decorated for Christmas and the crowds were light.  We each found items that we needed for friends and family and I felt like we made a dent into our shopping list.  There were some fantastic sales as well which always makes shopping more fun.  We stopped at DeBrands on the way out of the mall to pick out some after dinner truffles.

We decided to eat at Biagi's as it is next to the mall and Cam and Meg really enjoy their Italian food.  We made it to the restaurant just ahead of the crowds and were seating immediately.  We each tried a different pasta dish and all were delicious.  The truffles made for the perfect dessert on the way home and we were all happy with our day of Christmas shopping.

Friday, December 1, 2017

First Fridays

Meg texted me late last night and asked if we could do something together as a family tonight.  I was definitely up for that, but wasn't sure what we should do.  We had plans to go Christmas shopping tomorrow night together and I knew Cam and Doug wouldn't want to do that two nights in a row.  Therefore, I was excited when I saw on Facebook that Warsaw was having a lighted parade that led to Center Lake for their First Friday activity.

The parade started at 6:30 and I was worried that we wouldn't make it as Meg and Cam had practice until 5:30.  They pulled in, however, just before 6 and we were able to head out the door almost immediately.  Downtown Warsaw was packed, so Doug dropped us off.  We caught the parade just as it turned the corner from Mad Anthony's.  I had talked to Paula earlier in the day and she said Gabrielle was going to be in it and we enjoyed seeing her dance by.  There were a lot of trucks all decorated and lit up for the holidays.  The parade was longer than I expected with Santa and Mrs. Claus making an appearance.

We had dinner at Mad Anthony's after the parade.  It was packed, but we were seated fairly quickly.  We walked through the Christmas lights at Center Lake Park on our way home.  We had never been able to walk through them before, but with the unseasonably warm weather we had no problem making it to each scene.  The park was beautifully decorated and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

JV Full Time

Meg told us last night that she was going to play four quarters of JV tonight and be available for one Varsity instead of the 3 quarters/2quarters that she had been playing.  At first she was disappointed, but after watching her tonight we all realized that it was the perfect fit for Meg and for her team.  Meg played almost the entire game and only sat out at the end when she asked for a break.  She handled the ball well and worked hard on defense.  She was able to showcase her skills and in turn gain experience and confidence on the court.  That was what she was lacking from missing basketball the past two years.  We told her several times over the past few days how proud of her we were for getting back on the court.  It has been a great avenue for her to make friends at Bethany and to build a relationship with the coaches/teachers.  Whether she played 40 minutes JV or 40 minutes Varsity we have never cared.  We were just so happy to see her find success and fill good about something that she used to love.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

No More White/Gray Carpet

We went last weekend to look at new carpet for our bedroom.  When we first added on to the house I picked out white carpet as I loved the look of it, almost like there was new fallen snow on the ground.  I remember the owner of Brouwer's telling me that I wouldn't like it after awhile.  He was proved right.  No matter what we have done it just won't stay clean.  Thus, our lovely white carpet has now turned an ugly shade of gray as Brett pointed out to me over Thanksgiving break.

When we got to the Brouwer's I wasn't sure what I wanted.  Doug had suggested laminate like the living room, but I felt it would be too cold.  Therefore we checked through the carpet samples displayed and we both came to the conclusion that we wanted to forgo the light, plain colors such as beige and try something bold.  I don't believe that the salesman believed us when we said that we were looking at purple or orange, but he did once he brought a brown sample to us and I said that I really was serious about our color choice.  He then led us to a rainbow of samples and Doug and I finally settled on two different shades of purple.  We brought both home for everyone to look at and although Meg, HM and I all liked the lighter shade, we went with the darker purple.  Doug and I knew the color would last the longest.   We also decided to go with the platinum level.  It was a little more expensive, but it should wear the best.  Today the carpet layers came to measure.  The plan is to paint over New Year's Eve weekend and have the carpet installed that week.  Can't wait to see what it looks like!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Music Concert

Tonight was Cameron's annual Christmas music concert featuring both the Agape Bell Ringers and the middle school choirs.  Bells did such a wonderful job playing tonight.  The director chose traditional carols as well as some new ones.  My favorite was "We Three Kings" as the students played kazoos as well as their bells.  The choirs were nice, but the songs were a little slow for my Christmas musical taste.  Cam said that he preferred the Agape Bell Ringers as well.  

It was tough getting up three days a week at 5:40 a.m. to make it to rehearsal, but well worth Cam's time.  He has grown in his musical ability and enjoyed himself as well.  They meet tomorrow for an end of the season snack and then will take a break until late January.  Cam said he will miss it, but will enjoy his extra half hour of sleep each morning.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Back At It

Back to school and work today meant for some tired bodies at home this evening.  It was wonderful having a five day break and I missed being home all day at school.  Brett said that he was struggling to get back into the swing of school as well, but did make a dent on the work he needed to do.  Cal had time to set up his new television, so that made going back to Bloomington a little better.  Meg and Cam were tired tonight from a full day of classes and basketball.  Cam even had a game against West Noble.  Doug and I made it to that, but by the time we got home we were wiped out.  Hopefully, a good night's sleep will bring more energy to all of us for tomorrow's another busy day.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Happy Birthday Grandma Jane

Today was Grandma Jane's 74th birthday.  Originally, we had planned to celebrate with everyone at lunch, but with the boys leaving early we had her come over last night for gifts and desserts.  The boys each picked out a nice present for her and they enjoyed giving it to her.  Meg couldn't be with us, however, because of basketball practice.  Thus, Meg took over her gift today and Grandma Jane loved it.  Meg made her a Minnie Mouse lap blanket.  It took Meg a little while to get back into the swing of sewing, but once she got going she finished the blanket easily and it looked very nice.  She's hoping that when she has more free time that she can sew more.  Either way, Meg enjoyed making the blanket for her Grandma and was glad that she liked it.  Happy Birthday Grandma Jane!  We appreciate all you do for the Heinisch family.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Wonderful Saturday

Today was such a wonderful day.  Everyone made time to do what was important to them.  Brett, Cam, Doug and I played games.  Cal spent the day with HM, and after practice Meg went with Jackie   and McKenzie to Hacienda and to see the movie "Wonder."  The only disagreeable part of the day was when Cal suggested that he and Brett leave in the evening for Bloomington.  He was right as the boys would miss traffic by driving at night, but I was sad to hear that we'd be saying goodbye a day early.

Before they left Brett and Cam were able to complete their plans for the day.  They had dinner at the root beer stand and then went to see the movie "Coco."  As Cal and HM had dinner plans as well Doug and I decided to go to Huntington's for a night out.  It was nice to reflect upon such a wonderful week with our family.  By the time we got back the boys were all here and the packing began.  Cal was impressed that Doug was able to get his new television into the Civic as well as all of their laundry and Brett's groceries.  The boys left before 10 p.m.  They hoped to be back around 1 a.m. I tried to stay awake and follow them on Find My Phone, but a little after midnight I had to call it a night.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Christmas Decorating

Today we got out all of the Christmas decorations.  Meg and Cam worked on the Christmas tree.  Brett decorated the basement and Cal stayed out of everyone's way.  Doug set up our Christmas village and worked on the outside lights.  It was 50 degrees which made it a lot easier this year.  I spent my time getting out all of the additional sets that we put out each year including the decorations and stockings on the mantle, the Santas and  the Christmas crafts that the Heinisch children have made over the years.  For the first time ever we finished it all in one day and before dinner.

Tonight we celebrated my birthday with the entire Heinisch family and HM.  Antonio's was the restaurant of choice and we each ordered a delicious Italian dish.  It was great to have everyone together.  We've seen a lot of each other this past week, but haven't sat down for a nice quiet dinner with all of us.  It was wonderful to hear all of conversation and laughter around the table.  I love that the Heinisch children enjoy hanging out with us.  HM has been a willing participant in our family dinners as well.  By the end of the evening I felt blessed beyond belief.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was Thanksgiving and we had a lot to be thankful for.  All of our children were home to celebrate the holidays together.  Meg had switched to Bethany and had found academic and athletic success there.  Cam had enjoyed a first quarter of good grades, victories in chess and a great friend group.  Cal had found his second year to be even easier than his first and with a job had paid for all of his extra expenses for the semester.  Brett had a fantastic spring and summer in D.C. and was in full swing of grad school.  Doug enjoyed his new found workload at Renegade and I could finally walk without pain or a limp.  The meal that Doug made was just icing on the cake of a fantastic fall.

My parents were able to join us for the afternoon and after we ate the guys all headed to the basement to play pool.  The only negative of the afternoon was that our sink dropped while my Mom and I were cleaning up.  Fortunately, Doug remembered how to fix it from a year ago when it last happened and before we left for Black Friday shopping it was up and running again.  Target was a little harried this year as their wifi did not work, they did not have maps and we couldn't reach each other by phone.   Even with the chaos we were able to find Cal a television and Brett a blu-ray player, both drastically reduced.  Cam and Meg each bought several gifts for family and friends and by the time we left we felt a little less stressed.  The mall was crowded, but not as much as our first stop.  Meg found some great deals at Hollister and Bath and Body Works.  I made my required stop at Yankee Candle.  The boys tried to get into GameStop, but it was wall to wall people.  Doug used his time to find a spot for a bit to eat.  The place of choice was Bar Louie's and we all met there after we finished our shopping.  It was a nice break and we all enjoyed a snack or two before heading home feeling blessed from a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Friends giving, Trivia Night and More

Doug had to work this morning, but was able to meet Brett, Cam, my parents and I at Linway Cinema to watch Murder on the Orient Express.  It was a remake of one our favorite Agatha Christie stories and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Although it was mostly the same, the accents were easier to understand and the main character was fantastic.  We were all glad that we got the chance to see it on the big screen.

After the movie Doug and Cam headed home.  Cam had invited Samuel over for the afternoon and he arrived just after they got back.  The boys had a lot of fun playing basketball and board games.  Meg also had friends over this evening for her own version of "Friendsgiving."  She had a good turnout of both Wawasee and Bethany friends at her gathering.

While Friendsgiving was happening in our basement, Doug, Brett, Cal, HM, my parents and I met for dinner at Chubbie's.  Tonight was their weekly trivia night and we felt like we had a good chance of placing in the top three.  While we were eating and participating in trivia, Samuel and Cam were bowling and eating pizza.  In the end everyone had fun and we were the proud recipients of a $7.50 gift certificate for a second place finish.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We Made It

Today was the last day of school before Thanksgiving break for Cam, Meg and I.  I was so happy when I walked out the door this afternoon.  It had been a challenging couple of weeks and it was nice to know that a five day break was in store.  Cam and Meg felt the same way, although theirs didn't officially start until later in the evening.  Cam had a game at Goshen after school and Meg had practice.  Both enjoyed their evening.  After Cam's game he got to dress for the A game.  As the boys were in complete control of the game Cam got to play in almost a quarter of it.  He did well and enjoyed being a part of a win.  Meg also had fun this evening.  After practice everyone went to the Varsity boys' game.  The boys lost, but the student section enjoyed it anyway.  She went with the junior class to Culver's for an after game snack.

Cam hung out at my Mom's after the A game.  He played games with Grandma and Grandpa.  Doug and I took Brett to Huntington Street.  We had wanted to take him since he turned 21, but just hadn't had a chance.  He liked it and we enjoyed visiting with him.  It had been a stressful start to the first semester of graduate school and he was starting to feel better about it all.  Getting the rough draft of his 15 page budgeting paper was a relief.  It won't be too long until the semester will be over and he can enjoy a three week break.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Homework and Rest

Brett and Cal came home last Thursday ready for a week of catching up with family and friends.  In addition to their time socializing they had plans to finish homework and rest.  Cal hadn't been feeling too well especially with his allergies.  We debated today going to MedStat but decided instead just to try some over the counter remedies and rest.  I couldn't talk him into trying the Netty Pot, but he did feel better by the end of the evening at least enough to have Jayce and Kyle over to hang out.

Brett has been using his time to work on a 14 to 20 page paper for his budgeting class.  He was halfway through by the end of today.  It has not been his favorite activity, but he felt great about the progress he made.  It has a due date of December 7th, so he should have plenty of time to finish and edit it.  With all of the work for budgeting he even made time to apply for a few summer internships as well.

It is a blessing to have both Cal and Brett home for the week.  With them here our family feels complete.  They add to the non-stop activity that has become the norm in the Heinisch home.  The conversation never stops and the topics change continually.  Thanksgiving was always a wonderful holiday for us, but it has become even more special over the past few years.  Looking forward to Wednesday when we can all officially start Thanksgiving break.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday - A Day of Rest?

Sunday wasn't quite a day of rest for the Heinisch family, but it was a little less jammed packed than Friday and Saturday.  Brett and Doug started their morning at 8 a.m. mass before taking Cam to religion.  Next Meg, Cam, Brett, Cal and HM all joined my parents at their church for a Thanksgiving  luncheon.  They enjoyed the food and then headed their separate ways.  Cal and HM went to Fort Wayne to shop at Costco.  Meg and Cam had to clean the guinea pigs and Brett needed to work on his budgeting paper.  Doug and I kept busy with laundry and yard work throughout most of the afternoon.

I did get out of the house to watch the Bethany play.  It was a good as Meg said that it would be.  Brett, Cam and I all enjoyed it.  Doug had dinner ready when we got home.  We really appreciated it as he tried something new - two different chicken dishes.  Both were delicious.  We ended the evening watching Shawshank Redemption with Brett while catching up on computer work.  It was a nice weekend with our family, but definitely a busy one.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's Just Not My Thing

Cameron had a basketball tournament at Central Noble this morning that Doug and I both went to.  His team ended up finishing fourth out of the four teams.  He wasn't disappointed as their last game was extremely close.  The A team faired better finishing as tournament runner-ups.  Cam stayed to watch them play while we headed home.  We had a couple of hours to work on laundry and leaves before we left for Meg's game in South Bend.  Brett offered to spend the evening with Cam after he picked him up at Bethany.  They ate dinner at their favorite fish place in town and played games until we got back.  Cal was busy with his friends and HM's game.  Meg did very well tonight.  She had several opportunities to score and made some great passes.  It was a varsity only contest and she played well over ten minutes.

I was happy that Cam and Meg had the opportunity to participate in today's games.  They have enjoyed being a part of basketball this season and that has been fun to watch.  Overall, however, I realized today that being a sports mom just isn't my thing.  I felt guilty coming to that conclusion, but after Doug and I talked I felt a lot better.  From what we discussed it made sense that I wouldn't love sitting in the stands of a sporting event.  First of all, I loved playing sports as a child, but I don't live vicariously through my own as they play.  Second, I haven't been as social since I started working again.  I get a lot of interactions with students and teachers everyday, so I do not look for more social activities in the evening.  Most of all, however, the negativity that occurs at the games has been more than I can handle.  So for now Doug and I came up with a solution that should work for our family for the time being.

Friday, November 17, 2017

New Strategies

This trimester I have implemented some new teaching and behavior strategies in my classroom for my afternoon classes.  Today we put one of those into place and I felt it was a success.  I was exhausted, however, after school from standing for three hours.  We had plans this evening, so I wasn't able to rest at home after such a long day.  I was able to sit down, however, as Cam had a ball game at 4:30 at Bethany.  Brett rode along to keep me company.  Doug agreed to stay for the A game after Cam's.  He likes hanging out with his friends while watching.  Doug, Cam and Cal then went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Brett and I ate at home and then went to Wawasee High School to watch "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."  Gabrielle had a main role and I wanted to see her in it.  She did a nice job and I knew several of the other students in the play as well.  

Meg did not go with us as she went with Jackie after practice to see Bethany's play.  It was an original  written about a Holocaust survivor.  The play write and the survivor both came to Bethany to meet the cast members and to speak to the student body last week.  Meg was impressed with the performance and had a lot of fun with Jackie.  They even went to dinner and did some shopping beforehand.  It was fun catching up with her when she got home.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

They're Home

Tonight Brett and Cal arrived home from Bloomington.  They were both glad to be home.  Cal missed his last class of the day to beat traffic.  He heard later from friends that many of them were stuck on 37 for well over an hour, so he was pleased with his choice.  Cam had a game at Wawasee Middle.  Once he and I got home from that we all ate dinner together including Hannah-Marie who stopped by after practice.  Everyone talked non-stop and it was wonderful to hear.  There were shared memories going around the table as well as some new stories.  I could have listened to them talk all night long.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Forty-Nine and Counting

Today was my forty-ninth birthday.  Turning a year old has never bothered me, so I enjoyed the students asking me how old I was and trying to figure out which teachers were older.  I wasn't at school long today to answer their questions, however.  I had to leave during team time for physical therapy.  It was there that I received my first birthday present of the day - I was released from therapy.  They gave me a lot of exercises to do at home and reviewed them with me.  It will be awhile before I can do walking lunges, but I will keep working at them.  It was amazing to think about how far I have come in just two months.  This summer I never thought that I would walk normally.  I was thrilled to be proved wrong.

I spent the rest of the afternoon at a high ability math meeting.  It went well and we accomplished a lot.  I came home to a quiet house.  Meg did not have practice tonight.  She decided to use the time to go to Milford school and visit Mr. Larson.  I called her at 4:45 to remind her to head home.  She had talked for one hour!!  Cam had practice.  Doug picked him up and the four of us left for Bella Vitale in Warsaw around 6 p.m.  The food was excellent and we enjoyed visiting together.  My parents met us back at our home afterward for dessert and gifts.  My Mom brought two of my favorites - chocolate cake and cookie dough ice cream.

I enjoyed my presents this year.  Meg gave me a print of "Jugglers at the Circus Fernando."  Cam's gift was a blu-ray copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Doug scored points with a sweater, pajamas and a butterfly necklace from Morocco in EPCOT.  My parents found some nice kitchen towels for me along with orange slices and my Dad's favorites - circus peanuts.  Cam opened them immediately.  Cal had told us earlier in the week that the flavor of circus peanuts was banana and Cam wanted to check to see if that was true.  He confirmed that Cal's information was correct.  Even with the rain and 40 degree weather I had a wonderful birthday and felt blessed beyond belief.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

There's No Way to Make Bleachers Comfortable

Tonight I sat on the bleachers at Bethany for over four hours.  Cam had a game against Lakeland and Meg had two against Central Noble.  No matter what I tried there was just no way to make those seats comfortable.  The ones in the middle school gym were the worst.  They were made out of plastic and just don't sit well.  I have noticed that a lot of schools have switch to those from wood ones.  I definitely was not a fan.  Fortunately, the majority of the night was spent in the main gym with the old style bleacher seats.  Both Meg and Cam's team came up on the short end tonight in the win column.  Meg earned high point honors for the junior varsity this evening, however.  It definitely reminded me of her middle school days.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Teacher Day

Friday was the end of the trimester, so today was a teacher work day.  I started at a math meeting at Wawasee High School.  It was supposed to be a vertical planning session, but it didn't feel overly productive.  Our group tried to stay on task, but others decided to follow their own agenda.  It helped to ask our 7th and 8th grade teachers questions about their standards and rules in their classroom, but I was glad when the meeting was over.

I spent the afternoon working in my classroom. This year has been challenging because of the number of students in 6th grade.  We have over 80 right now and this has typically been the time of year when we get a lot of move-ins.  I have found it difficult to manage that many students and continue to hep them grow academically.  I appreciate that my own children do not have to be in classrooms of this size.  Cam's entire grade was only 29 students to start the year and they have two of sections for each subject.  Thus, he rarely has more than 15 in a class.  Meg's class sizes have pretty much been the same as well.  All educational studies have shown that the best way to improve education would be to reduce class size.  Most agree that twenty-two should be the maximum a teacher should have to run a classroom effectively.  I would love to see that implemented in our district.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Leaves and More Leaves

Today Doug spent the majority of the day working on the yard.  It looked as though most of the leaves were down and he made a huge dent in them today.  I wish I could have been more helpful, but I have never been great at the leaves.   Without soccer I thought he would have more time, but his workload at Renegade has picked up tremendously since August.  I did appreciate what he got done today as the yard looked a lot better.

I spent my day working on laundry, giving haircuts and cleaning the kitchen.  Lately, I have felt that I overwhelmed with our daily schedule.  Basketball has added quite a bit to our plate.  My classes at school are the largest that I have ever taught.  Those two items combined along have made it a lot more challenging for me to keep up with it all.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Can't Win Them All

Cam spent his morning and early afternoon at Bremen elementary playing in a chess tournament.  He started off slower than normal and ended up finishing in the middle of the pack.  He was disappointed with his first loss, but overall was glad to have the experience.  Evan and JJ were there and Cam enjoyed hanging out with them.  He even joined in the Brower family gin rummy game.

Meg had a tough day on the basketball court as well but didn't take that to heart either.  West Noble had beaten up on them since she was in 6th grade AAU.  She knew it would be a difficult game.  She did get to play a lot and did well when she was on the court.  She said that a lot of the girls were upset after the game, but she was just happy to be a part of a supportive team.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Another Day, Another Game

Today was the last day of trimester one at Milford.  It was a long week as my students had tests to finish and I had grades to put in the grade book.  I was able to finish it all by 4 p.m. today which I was very thankful for.  Today was also our Veteran's Day program at school.  It was one of our better ones as the speaker was one of Milford's former PE teachers.  I never make it through the white table ceremony without tearing up and today was no exception.

Tonight both Cam and Meg had games.  Cam's was at Elkhart Christian Academy while Meg's was at home against two different schools.  Since it started at 5:30 p.m. and Meg's was at 6, we decided to split up.  Doug went to Cam's game and I went to Meg's.  We thought that Cam's would be an easy win, but that was not to be.  ECA had a player who was taller than Doug.  Bethany lost by quite a bit and Cam was pretty frustrated.  He felt better by the time he got back to school especially after watching the A team win by double digits.

Meg played on both the JV and Varsity tonight.  The JV played Goshen's 9th grade.  Doug was able to make it to the second half of the game.  The girls started slow and at halftime found themselves down 15-1.  The break must have regenerated them and the girls put on an impressive comeback losing 21-19 in the end.  Meg played the majority of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter.  She has definitely improved and looked a lot more comfortable on the court.  The Varsity played ECA and controlled the game from the beginning.  Meg also played in that game coming off the bench for seven to eight minutes in the second half.  We didn't get to talk to her much as she went to Jackie's after the game to spend the night.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bethany vs. Milford

Tonight was Cam's game against his former classmates at Milford.  When I left school several of the Milford players asked me who I would be cheering for.  I told them Bethany.  They gave me the raspberries and I made sure to "boo" them as well.  I did enjoy watching the game as I know all of the boys playing.  Cam guarded Ryden most of the game and held his own.  Bethany did not win, but the game was close for the first three quarters and I was impressed with how much the Bruins had improved since last year.  It wasn't the overwhelming defeat that we suffered then.  Cam even scored the first basket of the day on a put back offensive rebound.  He also dressed for the A game tonight, but he never got in the game.  Cam was more than ok with that as the teams were big.  Milford won that one as well, but not as easily.  I was pleased with how well Bethany did against the 8th grade especially since they had to play a 6th grader at point guard and two seventh graders on the wing.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Physical Therapy

Today I was able to go back to physical therapy for my ankle.  I had to miss last week because of my wrist.  It was a little more challenging as I was afraid of falling.  He gave me a walking stick to hold.  That helped a lot.  I exercised on the bike, did lunges and worked on balance.  My ankle has not hurt in ten days.  I do not feel as though I need to go to therapy anymore for my ankle.  The PT wants me to go one more time next week just to make sure.  I never thought that my ankle would stop hurting.  I know that I will always have to do exercises to keep it painfree.  I don't mind, however, as I have gone from cringing with every step to hardly noticing any difference between my left and right foot.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

First Varsity Point, First Varsity Win

Tonight Meg had a game at Jimtown.  My parents drove Cam and I to it.  He had had practice after school, so we had to hustle to make it on time.  Doug met us there.  Jimtown was young and showed it in the first quarter.  Bethany got up to a 13 point lead quickly and held on from there.  Meg got to play a lot in this game and it was fun watching her.  In the fourth quarter she had an awesome move to the basket that just rolled off the rim.  She was fouled on the way up and earned two shots at the charity stripe.  The first one also rolled around and fell out.  Meg took her time on the second attempt and was pleased to have finally scored her first Varsity point.  

Meg rode home with us after the game.  My parents picked up the truck at Bethany for her.  We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  I enjoyed listening to Meg talk about the game.  She was proud of the point she scored and was happy with her decision to play basketball this year.  We were pleased that she has taken advantage of all that Bethany has to offer.  It has helped her make friends and to connect to her new school.

Monday, November 6, 2017

On to Northwood

Cam had a game at Northwood tonight.  I had never been to their middle school before.  It was in Wakarusa, so I decided to stay at school and drive from there.  Our 7th grade played their 7th grade B team.  It was a good game for the first half, but then size won out.  Cam didn't feel that he played his best.  He said that his back was hurting.  Even though he felt that way he still played the majority of the game and had a lot of great rebounds.  He enjoyed playing defense the most.  He said that was easier as he didn't have to think as much.  No matter the score I had fun watching him.  It was a long day at school and it was a nice break from that.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sleeping In

Last night Jackie and Macensy spent the night with Meg.  They walked in around 10:30 p.m. laughing and carrying a pizza from Little Caesar's.  They had a lot of fun and were able to sleep in until 10 or so.  The girls then went with Meg to 11 a.m. mass.  Cam slept in as well.  He was exhausted from his trip to Bloomington yesterday and was glad that religion had been canceled this morning.  I also slept in but was still up by 7:45.  Today was daylight savings time and we had set the clocks back an hour last night.  It felt good to have that extra hour of sleep especially after such a busy Saturday.  Doug appreciated it as well even though he had to get up and got to work this morning.  He originally thought he'd have to work all day at Renegade, but by 1 p.m. he was able to finish up what he needed there and could come home to work.

I really appreciated having him here as we had had a very heavy rainfall.  We had standing water in our backyard and flowing water through the front ravine.  The neighbor's driveway was completely flooded and we had water come in through the toy room and one small part of the pool room.  Doug did a great job soaking it up and I kept the towels dry and ready to be used.  It stopped after a couple of hours and the rain ended.  The flooding did change Meg's plans for the afternoon.  She was supposed to meet a group of friends at Maria's in North Webster.  Doug followed her to South Shore golf course to evaluate that road.  Once they got there they realized that it state road 13 was impassable.  Thus, Aaron stayed in North Webster and had lunch with one of their friends there, and   Meg and Izzy went to Chubby's.  It wasn't quite what she planned, but she enjoyed it just the same.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday is Here

Doug and Cam left this morning at 6 a.m. for Bloomington.  They made it to Brett's apartment at 9:30 this morning.  They talked to him for about an hour and then headed over to the game.  It was misting a little when they got there so Cam sported a Maid of the Mist poncho for awhile.  They had a great game to watch at least for three quarters.  IU even led for awhile.  During the last ten minutes the Badgers pulled ahead and never looked back.  They met Brett at Mother Bear's for dinner afterward.  It was a pretty good walk to the restaurant from the stadium and the place was packed, but the pizza was delicious and they enjoyed visiting with Brett again.

While Doug and Cam were gone I caught up on school work.  Cal kept me company while I was working in my room.  He even watching Dirty Dancing with me.  He had never seen it before.  HM came over at lunch time.  She had taken the SAT this morning.  Meg and I went shopping in Goshen once they left.  We ate a late lunch at Hacienda and then bought Meg a new coat at Kohl's and some better boots for me.  We had time to stop at Target before I had to drop her off at Bethany.  I then came home to finish a few items on my to do list before leaving for Argos.

Cal had stopped by to say goodbye to my parents before he left for Purdue.  He planned on spending the night at Cameron's before going back to Bloomington.  Monteith had replaced the starter in the Civic so he had no problems driving it.  Mom, Dad and I drove to Argos for Meg's first official basketball game.  Meg dressed for both JV and Varsity.  She played well for her first game.  The JV struggle against the Argos defense, but the Varsity did very well.  In fact they almost came back to win losing 33-35 in the last few seconds.  By the time we got home Doug and Cam were already there.  It was a busy day for all, but a lot of fun.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Not Much Better

I was able to work the last two days with the splint on, but my wrist and thumb still hurt tremendously.  I didn't realize how much that I used my left thumb until I injured it.  The hand is still swollen and now is black and blue.  It was hard to type at school, but I made it work.  I kept using ice and it did help  I was glad for the weekend so that I could rest it.  

I went to AK Hare after school for a much needed haircut.  It had been awhile, so I had her trim it more than usual.  It was short, but Doug thought it looked nice.  Earlier in the day Doug had said that he and Cam were going to leave for Bloomington tonight.  IU was to play Wisconsin tomorrow and they wanted to see the game.  Since they were busy, I invited Cal, Meg and HM to go to dinner with me.  They all agreed and by the time we got ready to go Doug and Cam had changed their minds.  They decided to go out to dinner with all of us tonight and then travel to Bloomington in the morning.  We appreciated their change in plans, but let them know several times that they weren't on the original invitation list.  

Mad Anthony's was the eatery of choice and we were surprised to get seated as quickly as we did as it was First Friday's in downtown Warsaw.  The food was great and there were a lot of laughs around the table.  Cal probably got picked on the most.  He had decided to order jambalia shrimp pasta.  The waitress had told him that it would be hot, but he was sure he could handle it.  It was just as promised and about half way through he had to ask for a to go box.  We did not let him forget it the rest of the evening.  

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cam's Season Opener

Tonight was the season opener for the Bethany boys middle school basketball.  Cam is playing on the B team this year.  He started in tonight's game and played the majority of it.  We were impressed with his improvement in defense and rebounding.  The boys struggled against the size and speed of Concord, but they did hang in there for the first half.  Cam stayed to watch the A game while Mom and I went shopping at Aldi's and Target.  We picked him up at Bethany afterward.  He was happy with how he did.

The best part of the game was sitting by Cal.  He had come home last night and thought it'd be fun to tag along with Dad to the game.  It had been awhile since he had seen a middle school game and his commentary was hilarious.  Every time Cam had the ball he'd yell, "Get a haircut!"  Another time one of Concord's less skilled players traveled down the lane.  Cal helped the refs by shouting out, "He's walking."  He and my Dad left after the B game.  They wanted to catch Hannah-Marie's season opener as well.  Dad said he was just as funny there.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Nasty Fall

Yesterday at school I took a nasty fall.  I was walking from Betsy's room to mine and the carpet by the front doors tripped me up.   The corner of it was upturned and caught my left foot completely knocking me to the ground.  In catching my fall I injured both of my wrists and thumbs.  They both hurt immensely but the left one would not stop throbbing especially the thumb.  I talked to the nurse at school and showed her where it hurt.  She thought that it could be broken.  I kept ice on it for four hours while I finished out the day at school.  Once I got home and showed it to my Mom and Doug my hand had become extremely swollen.

This morning I tried to get into Dr. Allen's office to have someone look at my thumb, but they didn't have any appointments before ten a.m.  They also did not have a way to x-ray it.  As it was a workman's comp claim, the school had to be involved in deciding who I could or could not see.   They did finally agree that I could go to MedStat instead.  They were able to get me in at 8 a.m. and had an x-ray tech on staff.  By 9:30 I was on my way out the door with a splint for my wrist and directions to follow.  It was not broken, but severely sprained.  I will not be able to use it at all for the next five days and it will take up to 5 weeks to fully heal.  I spent the majority of the day resting.  It didn't feel much better, but at least I had a plan of action.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

It was a cold Halloween night but a fun one for Cameron.  He invited Evan to go trick or treating with him.  Cam dressed as a Panda and Evan was a soldier.  They made it through every house in our neighborhood and all of those in Fox Run.  They came back with their bags full and a lot of stories to share.  Several of the homes they stopped at thought that Evan was actually a hunter pursuing Cam, the panda.  Cam said that he forgot his gloves, so Dr. Edington gave him a pair.  They were gone for over an hour and a half, but still had time to play a game of chess before Evan had to leave.  

It was a busy night for trick or treaters at our house.  I really didn't think that we would get very many as it was cold and Halloween was on a school night.  I was definitely wrong as the doorbell rang all night.  I was solo for the evening as Meg and Doug went to the Bethany Fall sports award.  It was long, but Meg seemed to have a good time.  Doug was proud of the awards that she won.  Meg earned her letter and also a certificate for being named to the Indiana High School Soccer Coaches' All-Academic team.  What an awesome accomplishment for her first year as a transfer student. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Basketball Scrimmage

Tonight was the girls basketball scrimmage against Goshen.  Meg played in both sessions.  It was a lot of fun seeing her back on the court.  She was nervous, but we know the more that she plays, the more confident she will become.  We have told her many times over the past month that we do not care if she plays a minute or the entire game, we just want her to enjoy herself on the court once again.  That was taken away from her at Wawasee because of the treatment she received by the coaches at the high school.  Although it wasn't quite the same situation that Cal faced it took away her self esteem.  It was nice to know that the effects of that were not permanent.  My favorite part of the night occurred when I realized that she had chosen to wear the number 42.  It was Cal's number.  What a wonderful way to keep the Heinisch basketball tradition alive and to honor her favorite player.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fashion Farm

This morning Brett, Meg, Cam and I headed to Fashion Farm after religion was over.  The three of them debated the entire drive about the theory of having religion for one hour and forty-five minutes. It definitely seems like a long time to me.  Cam doesn't enjoy it as much as he used to in past years.  I can't really blame him for feeling that way.

It was cold at Fashion Farm, but we still had fun.  Fantasyland was decorated with "monster" pumpkins.  Brett, Meg and Cam tried several of the mazes, but were disappointed with the tunnel one.  It was no longer dark as the top was taken off.  We picked out two large pumpkins and some gourds to take home.  We also bought some pumpkin donuts and pumpkin ice cream. We decided while we were driving home that this might be our last trip to Fashion Farm.  It just wasn't what it once was.

After lunch we started on our way to Amish Acres.  We had tickets to see Mousetrap, an Agatha Christie play.  Brett was going to follow us there, but when he went to start the Civic, it wouldn't turn over.  Cal had had problems with it earlier and so did Brett, but they were always able to get it started.  Doug tried for awhile as well, but decided the best course of action was for Brett to take the CR-V and for us to get the Civic fixed.  Cal was planning on coming home on Wednesday, so it would work out just fine.

Knowing that problem was solved we left for Amish Acres where we all enjoyed Mousetrap.  It was a murder mystery and each time I thought I had it figured out something would change.  In the end Meg was the closet to figuring out the murderer.  After the play Brett left for Bloomington.  He had enjoyed his week.  Meg and Cam spent the night carving their pumpkins while we watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."  Both pumpkins turned out well. It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Chess Champion

Cam had his first chess tournament of the year.  The home court advantage must have helped as Cam finished tied for first in the reserve section of the Bethany Chess Tourney.  He had told us going in to the day that he was going to win.  He obviously felt confident.  Due to the tiebreak system he brought home the second place trophy, but he didn't mind at all.  Cam was just glad to have performed well.

Tonight we all went to mass.  Cam was a server.  Doug was supposed to lector, but had to cancel as he got a call at 4:15 stating that one of the buildings at Renegade was on fire.  He left for Bristol and thankfully, Brett was able to step in for him.  After mass Meg left to hang out with Aaron.  Cam and Brett went uptown to watch "IT."  This was the third time that Brett had watched it and the first for Cam.  I was nervous that Cam would be too scared to make it through the movie, but he did just fine.  He said that it was scary, but he could handle it.  Brett enjoyed listening to Cam's comments throughout the movie, especially when he would say, "Don't do it!  Don't go in there."

Doug stayed at the fire for several hours.  It was a fairly decent size one.  He will have follow up work to do, but was able to make it home for dinner.