Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Good Talk

Meg met with someone tonight that gave her some great ideas that will help her in the future.  She felt very good after the meeting and we had a nice conversation afterward.  I am proud of Meg for trying to resolve a challenging situation.

Doug was busy with Cam tonight.  They had basketball practice from 5:30 to 6:30 at Bethany.  It was their last practice as Sunday is the tournament.  They play at 4:20 against one of the Wawasee teams.

Brett worked on his grad school applications most of the day.  I have been doing a load of laundry each day for him so that he can stay on top of the packing.  He has everything organized in the basement pool table room - one pile for the garage sale, one for D.C. and one for storage.  So far it is going well.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Already Thinking About Spring Break

I spent some time today organizing our Spring Break trip.  Now that we know that Brett will be in D.C. we can finalize some of the plans that we had made earlier.  We should be able to spend the first weekend with him touring the sites of the nation's capital.  On Monday Doug will drop us at the Baltimore/Washington airport and Meg, Cam and I will fly to Florida.  Doug will then head back to work and we will spend the week at the Boardwalk at Disney.  He will fly down and join us there on Thursday of that week for a long three day weekend.

To be able to do all of this I had to change our hotel reservations in Alexandria, Virginia and add 7 day park hopper passes to our Disney reservation for Meg and Cam.  Doug and I still have our annual passes to use.  Meg, Cam and I talked about trying Universal Studios for a day, but decided against it.  Instead they got water park and more with their tickets and we will go to Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Disney Quest.  Doug isn't as excited about all of those, so we will go while he is not there and should also be able to play a couple of rounds of mini-golf as well.

I went over our fast pass selections with both Cam and Meg.  They liked our choices.  I told Cam that we would let Dad pick what we do when he's there.  Cam replied, "OK, so all EPCOT, right."  It's not quite that bad, but it is definitely Doug's favorite park and I know we will be there for part of each day the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday that he is with us.  They have added new food booths to the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival that will be happening when we are there.  Doug was happy to here that.

We are all getting excited about our adventure and happy that we get to include visiting Brett.  Cal's Spring Break is different than ours, but he said he would love to go back to D.C. in the summer if Brett is still there.  Hopefully that will be the case.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


I love my home, but it was hard coming back today.  We had had a great time in Bloomington as a family and I wasn't ready for that to end.  I knew that there would be a lot of laundry to do, unpacking and then packing for Brett's move to D.C.  It will be a very busy week, but I am excited for him.  He will enjoy Washington and all that it has to offer.  We now just need to get him there.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

State Finalist

Cam and Doug were up early and on their way to Pike high school in Indy before the rest of us were awake.  Today was the individual state chess tournament and Cam was competing in the 6th grade varsity competition.  The day was a long one with eleven hours of chess, but Cam had a great showing.  After the first three matches he was in 6th place.  The competition got harder as the day wore on and at 6:30 at night we heard that he would finish 20th earning him a place in the top 20 with special recognition at the awards ceremony.  We were all proud of Cam.  He has worked hard on his chess skills this winter.  He also had a lot of fun as JJ, Evan and the Slabaughs were there as well.  He didn't get to hangout with them as much as in previous years as they competed in the JV sections and several of his matches were over an hour, but it was great to be part of a group.  He had a lot of stories to share when he returned to Bloomington.

While Doug and Cam were at chess for the day the rest of us kept ourselves occupied.  Cal showed up at Parce's around 10:30.  He and I caught up before we left with Meg for lunch at Noodles & Company.  Brett met us there.  He had gone to breakfast with a friend, but had some down time before his next "date."  Lunch was a lot of fun filled with discussions of politics and Lemony Snicket.  Cal headed back to the dorm after lunch and Meg, Brett and I went shopping at the different IU stores.  Meg and I found some great IU wear and Brett was able to make a few purchases at the comic book store.  Cal met back up with us at the union.  He wanted to work out and then play basketball with his friends.

Brett left us shortly after Cal did.  He had plans to meet another friend at Hartzell's for ice cream.  Meg and I walked around campus and stopped at T.I.S before borrowing Cal's truck to go to the mall.  We shopped at Target first looking for Brett's birthday gifts.  Our next stop was Yankee Candle.  Meg laughs every time we go in there as the same woman is working and she is just as crazed about the candles as I am.  Once we ran everything back out to the truck we were able to walk the mall picking up a few more items for Brett's birthday.  Our last shopping stop was Barnes & Noble where we found some great presents there as well.

Our plans were to eat when Parce and Doug got back, so Meg and I thought we'd better stop for a snack.  Brett called as we pulled in to Chik-Fil-A.  He had had a fantastic time catching up with his friend and was on his way to play pool at the Union with another one of his IU classmates.  Meg grabbed some chicken tenders and I stopped at Hartzell's for ice cream.  We got back to Parce's around 5:30.  I had papers to grade and she had homework to do.  Cal met up with us there.  He had gone to Mother Bear's with his friends and was planning on hanging out with us for awhile.  We all watched the Blindside until everyone arrived.

Brett was the first one back arriving around 8.  He had met other friends for dinner at their house.  He enjoyed it immensely and they dropped him off afterward.  Parce came in about ten minutes later and had just enough time to grab a beer before Cam showed up with his trophy.  Doug drove everyone to dinner at Upland Brewing Company.  It was still crowded at nine, but no one seemed to mind waiting.  It gave us a lot of time to catch up with Parce.  Dinner was fantastic and we were back at the apartment by 10:30.  Doug, Cam and Brett were the first ones out.  Cal left to go find Jayce.  I talked to Parce for awhile.  Meg watched Glee on her phone and everyone called it a night well before midnight.  It was a jammed packed day full of family, fun and friends - can't beat that!

Friday, January 27, 2017


Today was crazy getting everything ready before we had to leave for Bloomington.  Brett had to fill out his internship agreement and application while also working on housing.  Doug helped out quite a bit with the housing.  I had found a group that only rents to interns and is near the Capitol which is where Brett will spend quite a bit of time.  Freedom works had recommended this company as well, so we tried them first.  They could give us rates for Brett for housing through May 20th.  He will have roommates and the place will be fully furnished which fit his needs perfectly.  By noon Brett had filled out the application for that and once I got home from school we paid the deposit by PayPal and also scanned his internship agreement to send to his new boss.

While helping Brett I was also able to finish the packing for the weekend.  Meg and Cam were both home, so they helped as well and by 5:15 we were all on the road.  Traffic was light for a Friday night and construction work in Martinsville was stopped for the evening.  Thus, we were able to pull in to Mother Bear's at 8:45.  The campus restaurant hasn't been as crowded since they opened a second location west of town, so we got right in.  Everyone but Brett ordered pizza.  He prefers their breadsticks.  The food was good and we enjoyed the lively conversation at our table.  Cal decided not to join us as Cameron Adams was in town.  We told him that was no problem.  Parce is in Columbus working until tomorrow night, so it was just the five of us.  Glad that we got to have this time with Brett before he heads out next weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


I talked to Brett on my way to pick up Cameron today after school to catch up on his progress with grad school applications and to see if he had gotten any responses from prospective employers.  At 3:15 he let me know that he had finished his MBA applications for both IU and Purdue and was finishing up the ones for Purdue's economics master's and public relations at the school of SPEA at IU.  At that point he hadn't heard any news from the resumes he had sent out for employment.  I know he had been feeling pretty down about the lack of responses he had been getting and the first interviews that he had had that had not turn in to much more.

All that changed when I called him back at 3:30 to remind him that someone needed to take Meg to the dentist as I was taking Cam to oboe.  He asked me if I had read his text.  I didn't even realize he had sent one since I had just talked to him.  That's when he blurted out the best news we could have gotten - he got the internship in D.C. with Freedomworks that he had really been wanting and could start as soon as he could secure housing and move to D.C.  He will be working with their director of public policy and legislative affairs.  They will pay him hourly and give him a stipend for a metro card for transportation.

We were all ecstatic for him.  He has worked very hard in his search for employment and this will put him in D.C. until at least May.  I had spent some time last weekend looking for housing for interns and Doug will follow up on that tomorrow.  Brett spent the rest of the night as happy as could be.  We are very proud of what he has accomplished so far and already have plans to visit him in March.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Grading & More Grading

I spent a good portion of my evening grading papers and filling out data reports that I started at our last Smart Start.  The nice part was that I could do this and still watch Cam play tennis while catching up with Meg.  I got the majority of the data and grading done there as the racquet club has wifi for members.  After tennis Brett, Cam and I met Grandpa and Grandma at the bowling alley for trivia night.  I was able to finish the rest of my grading there.

Although I had a lot of success catching up with schoolwork, we did not have as much with our trivia answers.  In fact for the first time since we have been going we actually finished dead last.  It seemed like we just kept talking each other out of the correct answers.  It was fun, however, and I am sure we will be back next week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ND Basketball

Doug's company gave him four tickets to the Notre Dame vs. Virginia basketball game this evening.  Doug really wanted to go and I was glad to get to spend the evening doing something besides working or running errands.  Meg and Cam picked Noodles & Company for dinner which was fine by me.  I really like their chicken noodle soup.  The game was a late one, but we made it through 2/3 of it.  It was fun and they they had a great halftime show.  Notre Dame was losing when we left, which made Meg happy.

Brett went to see Split tonight with Mom and Dad.  It has gotten pretty good reviews for a movie about a schizophrenic murderer.  Brett liked it more than they did, but they all had a great evening.  Once the movie was over they went out for dinner.  I was glad that they were able to go.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Patriots Day

Right after I brought Cam home from school Brett and I left for the movies.  Patriots Day came out over the weekend and we really wanted to see it.  The movie was about the Boston Marathon bombing and starred Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon.  We both thought it was fantastic although hard to watch in spots, especially the bombing scene.  We didn't recognize as many Boston sites as I thought we would.  We had visited Boston two weeks before the bombing occurred and had walked through the park where the injured were taken.  

I couldn't help afterward feeling in awe of the job that the Boston police department did in finding the bombers.  Within four days both brothers were apprehended.  The movie captures the officers hard work and perseverance even though one of their own lost his life in the manhunt.  We both highly recommended it afterward and Brett wrote a wonderful blog post about it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tennis & Basketball Sundays

Cal came home late last night to spend the day at home.  He enjoyed Purdue, but was ready to get back to Syracuse.  HM was over early to see him and they had fun catching up.  The big debate of the day was whether Fred on Scooby Doo could be called Freddie or not.

The weather was beautiful again and I was able to get in my 10,000 steps.  It has been such a blessing to have the sunshine and unseasonably high temperatures in January.  It will help make winter go by even quicker.  Brett hung out at home most of the day.  Cam had basketball in the afternoon and scored two baskets.  He was pretty proud of that.  I missed seeing him play as Meg had tennis, but that was fun to watch.  She also played well.

Cal left before we got home.  He took the truck back so that we could get an estimate on the Alero.  He was hit last weekend and the front passenger side was damaged.  It doesn't look to bad, but we'll see what Bud's says.  With everyone busy, Doug and I decided to go to Huntington's for dinner.  We definitely haven't been able to spend as much time together with all of the Heinisch children's activities and Doug's work schedule.  It was nice to talk with him tonight.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Happy 12th Birthday Cameron!!

Today we celebrated Cameron’s 12th birthday and it couldn’t have been better.  He started off spending the morning at a classmate’s party.  Cam had a great time at the party complete with a scavenger hunt, birthday cake and more.  

By the time Doug brought him home Meg, Grandma Jane and I had the house decorated with balloons, streamers and a Pokemon table cloth.  With the weather begin unseasonably warm for January (60+ degrees) he and I decided to go Pokemon hunting.  Meg joined us and we walked for over an hour, talking and enjoying the sunshine.  Meg said it felt more like her birthday than Cam’s because of the weather.  Cam was pleased to find a Pokemon that he had not captured before - Jigglytuff.  

After our walk Doug, Brett, Cam, Meg and I headed to the winery.  Brett always enjoys going and Cam likes playing the games that they have.  Today we tried an old game to us, but a new one to them - Scattergories.  It was a lot of fun and Meg, Cam and I squeaked out a win in the end.  

We let Cam chose where we would eat and he wanted to order Bourbon Street pizza and eat at home.  Everyone else was happy with his choice.  After dinner Mom and Dad came over.  Cam was impressed with the IU cake that she made especially since they had just beaten Michigan State.  Cam opened his gifts and was surprised by a few of them, especially the Scooby Doo Mansion.  That led to a big debate on why they left out Fred and if he was actually called Freddy in the series.  

After cake and ice cream Doug, Brett, Mom, Dad and Cam all played Hearts.  As is usually the case everyone goes after Dad and Doug and my Mom comes out the winner.  That did not change tonight, but they had a lot of fun playing.  Once Dad and Mom left I challenged everyone to a game of Mario Kart.  The outcome there was the same as always, but I enjoyed trying.  

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day celebrating Cameron than just spending time with him.  It was a great family day filled with a lot of fun and beautiful weather.  Meg reminded him tonight that this will be the last year of his preteen life.  I hope it is a great one.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Celebrating Cam

Tonight we celebrated Cameron's birthday with his friends.  It was a day early but no one seemed to mind.  Cam decided that he wanted to invite some of his Milford friends to go along and they were all in for a night of fun at Sky Zone and Buffalo Wild Wings.  Meg and Kaitlin agreed to join us, but as loud as they were in the van on the way up they may have reconsidered that part of the way through.  

Sky Zone was a great place for four twelve year olds.  The could jump, flip and play all the dodge ball that they wanted.  They each even got a pair of orange socks to wear.  The boys stayed busy the entire hour.  Meg and Kaitlin took a couple of breaks.  The place was packed by the time our adventure was over, but that did not change the amount of fun all of them had.

We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings in Warsaw on the way home.  Fortunately, it had thinned out by the time we got there.  We decided to let the boys sit at their own table and we enjoyed a quiet evening with Meg and Kaitlin.  They boys had a great time laughing, telling stories, and sharing their favorite wing sauces.  Paula and Gabrielle were eating dinner out as well.  The girls invited Gabrielle over afterward.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Internship, Grad School & More

Brett has spent quite a bit of time researching what he would truly like to do with his life after college.  He enjoyed working for Right to Work, but most jobs in the political science realm require a masters or more experience then he has.  He decided to branch out and seek employment in other fields as well.  In addition he also is looking at additional masters programs that he enter at IU or Purdue and has decided that law school is sounding better and better.

Today he had an interview with Freedom Works.  They are based out of D.C. Brett has followed their politics for quite some time and thought they would be interesting to work for.  The interview was for a paid Spring internship.  He felt the interview went well and we strongly encouraged him to pursue it.  The timing would be perfect as he could start grad school when it was over.  Crossing my fingers for him.  He has definitely worked hard to find something that would fit his niche.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


For Christmas I gave Cal the Stephen King book "Carrie."  He likes King's writing and I did not see it on his shelf upstairs.  Unfortunately, I did not realize that he already had the story.  It was in a collection of books written by King that Cal took to IU.  He decided that he would exchange it for Misery - definitely another good read.

Thus, I picked up a new copy of Misery at Barnes & Noble after the holidays, but instead of taking Carrie back I decided that I would read it.  I hadn't read a Stephen King novel in quite some time and I thought the movie Carrie was good, so last weekend I picked it up and found it to be very interesting.  The book tells the story as a commission on telekinesis.  The events of the end of the movie are already known at the beginning of the book.  I actually like that better.  It is not quite as scary that way.  It is also a quick read which I appreciate as well.  Glad I decided to give it a try.  It gives me something to look forward at the end of the school day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Long Day for Cam

Cam woke up several times early this morning vomiting.  He felt that his sinuses were the issue and asked if he could sleep in for an hour or two before trying school.  Mom said that would be ok with her, so she waited here while he slept.  By the time I called at 9:50 a.m. he was feeling a lot better and was ready to head in to school.

Cam made it through the day without any problem and felt pretty good when I picked him up after chess.  He even went to piano and basketball practice without getting sick again.  We started him back on his Singular tonight and are hopeful that tomorrow he is 100%.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Cameron was off today to celebrate the life of Dr. King.  He also hadn't been feeling well, so I stayed home with him.  We enjoyed relaxing, playing games and working on my Mario Kart skills.  Brett was here with us too, so when I left for an appointment he played Axis and Allies with Cam.  What a great day off for him to catch up on much needed recuperation time.

I did leave my students assignments regarding the life of Martin Luther King Jr.  Normally I focus on the history of the Civil Rights movement.  Since I am now teaching math I changed it up a little bit.  I gave them ten research questions all that celebrated his life and asked them to use their math skills such as "Dr. King married Coretta Scott.  What is the sum of the year they got married to the number of children they had divided by the number of brothers and sisters Dr. King had?" Hope it goes well for them and they learn a little along the way.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Great Day for Laundry

Saturdays have become laundry day at the Heinisch household.  Normally I will take whatever help I can get with household chores, but laundry is one that I just cannot relinquish.  I realize that I am too particular with how it gets done.  In saying that, however, it is not something that I love as it takes a lot of time to sort, wash, dry and fold.  Several years ago I was feeling overwhelmed with this chore, realizing there wasn't a way to speed it up.  No matter how I did it, laundry was just time consuming.  One day Brett stopped into the laundry room and said, "Mom, I know doing the laundry isn't fun, but what if you found a way to enjoy it - like watching your a good movie or new TV series while doing it."   I am not much of a television watcher, but thought why not give it a try.  Since that time I have spent countless hours doing the laundry while watching many of my favorite movies.  I have even watched a couple of TV series including CSI Miami and Gotham.  The best part is that many times a family member or two will join me.  Over Christmas break Meg and I thoroughly enjoyed "Meet Me in St. Louis" all while finishing the multitude of loads that a family of six can produce in a week.

When this Saturday arrived I looked around for one of my favorites and saw the Blu-Ray I had bought last winter - "Robin Hood Price of Thieves."  I had been wanting to watch it, but really wanted someone to view it with me.  Doug said that he would, but I knew that he did not enjoy it as much as I did, so I never really asked him.  Thus, with Meg sleeping in and Doug and Cam at a chess tournament, I asked Brett if he wouldn't mind joining me for this beloved movie.  He was a willing participate in helping me "enjoy" laundry time.  He was working on job applications and could easily do that from his laptop.  We started the movie with the intent of watching part of it, taking a break and finishing it later.  The longer the movie played, the more we wanting to keep watching.  It was as good as I remembered.

As the movie came to a close Brett said, "That was a lot better than I expected, Mom.  Thanks for asking me to watch it with you."  I was glad that I could share my love of Robin Hood with him even more so since Alan Rickman fantastically played a demented Sheriff of Nottingham.  Taking a break from laundry, I decided to check Facebook to see Doug's post about the regional chess tournament that Cam was participating in.  It was there that a memory from a year ago today made me call Brett back to the laundry room.  On January 14th, 2016 my post read - RIP Alan Rickman.  I hadn't realize conscientiously that he had died a year ago today, but something must have told me as I just finished one of my favorite movies with him and  I had also spent the morning reading the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hating his beloved character Snape.  Of all of the celebrity deaths of 2016, his was the one that touched me the most.  Glad that we could honor his memory today with some of his best work.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

State Qualifier

Doug picked up Cam right at 8 a.m. this morning.  Cam had a fantastic time at the lock-in.  He played in the ping pong tournament and made it past the first round.  He also participated in a dodge ball tournament and played board games.  The night ended with the social music experience which he very much enjoyed.  6th grade boys slept in the middle school hallway and Cam said he did finally get to sleep around 2 a.m.

Cam and Doug headed to Chandler Elementary for the state regional chess tournament immediately after pick up.  I didn't know if he'd be able to make it, but he said he felt great.  He did ask Doug to bring a Mountain Dew for extra help waking up.  This year Cam was moved to the varsity section of the tournament.  His rating has jumped to 811 and everyone over 750 had to move up.  I was nervous for Cam, but he wasn't.  He was sure that he would be able to compete.  He was right as the first opponent he beat was over 1000 points and tops in the 6th grade division.  The rest of his day went well and by 1:30 Cam called to let me know that he had finished 3rd in his division and qualified for state.  

Doug and Cam were more reserved than I was about his accomplishment.   I think they may have had more confidence in his position than I did.  I was worried about his lack of sleep and having to participate at the varsity level.  Excited that Cam made it through the last twenty-four hours with quite a bit of success.  He has worked hard this past month on his chess skills and it certainly paid off today.  

Friday, January 13, 2017


Tonight was the first middle school lock-in for Cameron.  It has become a Bethany tradition and Cam couldn't have been more excited.  He had talked about it all week and had his sleeping bag and pillow ready well before we had to leave.  He had signed up for a ping pong tournament, but talked most about the "social music experience."  Technically it was to be a dance, but Cam loved quoting the original e-mail.  He even had a girl ask him to the "dance".  He decided that he would go stag instead. We arrived at exactly 8 p.m. and the parking lot was packed with parents dropping off their students.  Doug walked up with him, but he said that he was ok signing himself in.  What a great adventure he will have!

While Cam was out, Meg had Preston over.  They spent the evening playing Wii and watching movies.  Doug and I went to dinner at Kelly Jae's.  It was late by the time we ate, but good just the same.  I have been exhausted this week and Doug has been getting up by 5 everyday, thus 8 o'clock felt very late to us!!  It was nice to go out and start the weekend on such a positive note.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Conference Night

Today was student led conferences at Milford, so we were required to be there until 7 p.m.  It sure makes for a long day as we do not get a break in between teaching and the start of conferences.  Meg came over around 4:30 or so to work on a paper for English.  That helped break up the night and I was able to help her when students were sparse.  While she worked on her homework one of her fifth grade teachers remarked to me on what a beautiful young lady Meg has become.  She had many other wonderful words to say about Meg which were much appreciated.  Meg has changed a lot since 5th grade, but only in appearance.  She is still the independent-minded girl that she has always been.  She empathizes with those that are persecuted by their peers and could never be called a follower.  She still loves participating in sports and is a friend to many.  These attributes will serve her well in life beyond high school, but they sure can make it tough to navigate those years.  Thus, I really appreciated her teacher's words tonight.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tennis & Trivia

Cam and Meg were back at tennis tonight.  Meg's foot is almost completely healed and she had no problem playing.  I was impressed with how much Cam has really improved this winter.  He is hitting the ball a lot harder and deep into the back court.  He had a lot of great rallies and seemed to really enjoy it.  They will start Sunday tournaments this coming weekend.  I don't know if he will be able to make it because of basketball, but will start as soon as that is over.

I did not stay for Meg's session as Cam wanted to get back for trivia night.  Doug was at the racquet club exercising, however, and he said that Meg has really improved as well.  Having girls and boys to play against that hit the ball harder than she does has helped her immensely.  She is excited to get the season started.  Meg will also play on Sunday afternoons which should help her skills even more.

Cam, Brett and I went to trivia night after we unpacked the groceries.  Brett and my Dad have been going for a month or so now.  Last week the entire family joined them.  We thought that would bring us victory, but we failed miserably.  This week it was only Mom, Dad, Brett, Cam and I and we were first going into the last round.  Unfortunately, we did not know that Ohio was the only state to have a non-rectangular flag.  We did still finish in third and took home a $5 gift certificate for our efforts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snow Day

Today was a complete shock.  The news talked about freezing rain overnight, so when we had a delay I wasn't too surprised.   I was floored, however, when I found out at 8 a.m. that school was cancelled for the day.  I couldn't believe it.  Cameron didn't even have a delay.  I drove him to Goshen at 7 a.m. We had to go slower than normal, but overall it wasn't too bad.  We spent an extra five minutes on the road.  Coming back was a lot better and I was home well before 8.  Thus, I never expected our school to cancel.

I don't know why it bothered me that we didn't have school, but it really did.  I would have much rather had a three hour delay.  I hate making up school days.  It's like someone giving you a day off when you didn't ask for it and then taking away a day you had planned to be gone.  This snow day now makes it so the students do not get a four day weekend in February.  Instead they go to school on a Monday and then get Tuesday off for a teacher day.

I realize that the roads may have been worse south of us.  I know it may be challenging to make the call.  I wish we had a plan in place for students to have a virtual learning day.  I would much prefer that.  Then our calendar never would change and plans could be made and kept.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Parent Teacher Conferences

Tonight was the second high school parent teacher conferences of the school year.  I met Meg at the front doors at 3:30 so that we could check in with her teachers.  I do not have any concerns as Meg has all A's right now most of which are above 95%.  Meg wanted to go, however, as she had a couple of questions for her teachers.

We were there for an hour or so and all of her teachers had nice comments for us.  She has a plan now in Chemistry which will help her going forward.  We addressed a concern in health that shouldn't be a problem now.  I found out that Meg is very talkative in some classes and not in others, depending on who is in her class.  She excels academically in all classes and is a very conscientious student.  I was not surprised by either of these findings, but  I was immensely proud to hear how hard Meg works academically.

Meg had just enough time after conferences to eat Subway and finish her homework before indoor soccer started.  She and Doug left around 7 p.m. They were both pleased with the turnout.  Doug had decided to invite the boys' team to participate with them as the girls' commitment has waned this winter.  Only two girls were there, but with the boys and coaches they had 15 total and enough to scrimmage.  Hopefully, that continues as it was a great workout for both Meg and Doug.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

And He's Off!

Cal left tonight at 5 p.m. to return to IU.  He was not quite ready to go back.  He had had an awesome break visiting with friends, hanging out with HM, catching up with family, lifting, playing basketball and just relaxing.  He wasn't ready to give that up and start studying again.  I don't blame him as the schedule in college can get very intense.  He made it back without a problem, however, and was ready to start the new semester by the time he unpacked.

I was sad to see him go.  Our time with him seemed to just fly by.  Everyone had a great time playing the Wii, Axis and Allies and giving each other a hard time.  I know that we will see him again in a couple of weeks.  That time will pass by quickly just as break did.  Then soon enough Brett will be off on his own and our family dynamics will change once again.  I'll just keep enjoying them both for the time being.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Baby, it's cold outside!

Today was cold as was Friday.  The temperature stayed in the single digits and the windchill was below zero.  It was this way the week of December 19th as well.  Usually the extreme cold doesn't appear until later in January, so this has been different from what we are used to.  I have learned to just admit that I am going to freeze and layer up.  Last year I bought leggings to wear under my jeans.  They have worked well so far this winter along with the thermal shirts that I wear under my sweaters and the two pairs of socks.  Doug bought me the warmest pair of pajamas that I have ever owned this past Christmas and I have been putting them to good use these past few weeks.

The one upside to all of the cold is that we have not had a lot of snow or ice to deal with.  Usually that causes more weather problems in late December and early January than the frigid temperatures.  Meg also pointed out that this was the first time in four years that we did not have a delay or cancellation on the first day back after break.  I keep hinting to Doug that we would be a lot happier living in the South, even if it was just Tennessee.  I have not had much luck with persuading him so far, but maybe these cold temperatures will to sway his opinion.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Tough One

It was hard to go back to school yesterday.  Our break was shorter than normal and filled with activities.  We enjoyed them all, but there wasn't a lot of down time.  Meg mentioned over and over Wednesday night when we were at trivia night that she definitely wasn't ready.   At least we were able to enjoy some family time all together before schedules started to get hectic once again.  Cal and HM even joined us.  We all had a lot of fun, even though we lost disastrously.

My students at school agreed with Meg.  The first question I was asked yesterday morning was, "Mrs. Heinisch, can you tell me why we are coming back to school for only two days."  Of course, I did not have a good answer for him, so I let him know that it was just to enjoy math.  Teaching has become challenging lately and I have had a hard time keeping up with the workload.  Yesterday I had a terrible experience that made it difficult to stay focused and return today.  I did make it, however, so that I could be there for the students who count on me everyday.  Whether it is a goodbye before they get on the bus, or a fun game of math Kahoot, or to watch them win the spelling bee, or even answer the questions I am unable to, I know that they rely on me to keep life normal.  I try to remember that even when I am feeling overwhelmed or unappreciated.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Search Continues

Brett arrived home in mid-November excited to have completed his first true work experience in his given field.  As Right to Work had not promised him that he would be rehired when the new Congressional term began, Brett started almost immediately looking for a new position.  At first I was anxious about his search.  He was in the same place last winter and wasn't quite sure where to look or what he wanted to do.

His experience this year has been completely different.  Brett has gained a lot of knowledge in the job search process.  He knows where to look and what interests him.  He has been able to fill out 15 applications a week and has had multiple interviews.  Everyone that he has come in contact with has told him that he has a fantastic resume.  He even had a second interview yesterday.

I have backed off worrying about him and his future.  I know it is challenging to remain positive in his situation, but Brett's done well with that.  I do not wish for him to hurry and get a job.  Instead I hope for him to find a job that he loves.  Until then we will all enjoy having him close to home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Tough Choice

Jody texted me late last night with "Are you up?"  As we have gotten into the routine of staying up later on Christmas break I definitely was awake.   I called her as soon as I could to check and see what she needed.  After our conversation we both realized that we were going to pass on going to the Conrads' memorial service today.  We had the best intentions of being there, but we both realized that we just couldn't do it.

It was a hard decision, but neither of us have been sleeping since the accident happened.  We both could remember supportive words that had been said by Kim to us and stories she shared.  The thought of losing two family members in one tragic accident had not left my thoughts since Christmas Day.  It would be such a hard situation to overcome.  I cannot even imagine how the Heinisch family would function.

I did drive by the high school several times today on my way to pick up Cameron.  The parking lot was packed.  I was glad that others could handle the sadness that today brought.  It will definitely be awhile before our community heals.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Back to School

Cam was up early this morning and ready to start J-Term.  He was off for two weeks and wanted to catch up with his friends.  He definitely has become more social as of late.  His friends have always been important to him, but have become even more so.  That includes his friends from Milford and Bethany.  He is in several group chats and a Google hangout.  The other night I called him down to watch a movie, but he was busy with a video chat.

J-Term at Bethany is a two week period in which students take only two classes.  Cameron felt he was lucky as he got both of the two classes that he wanted - Axies and Allies & Survival Challenge.  He spent time over break preparing for the first and enjoyed playing today.  He also has to do a research project on World War II and picked the Army Corp of Engineers.  I had suggested it as most people do not know a lot about this group of special soldiers and also because Grandpa was a proud member of the 52nd Engineers.

When I picked Cam up today he was happy with day one of J-Term.  He designed a bedroom in Survival Challenge and learned how to purchase furniture for it.  He was the Axies Power in the game and was proud of his attack on the Allies.  To top off his great first day back, he was able to go to chess as his club started again.  Life at Bethany works well for him.  Couldn't ask for more than that.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Twilight Zone Marathon Day 3

Today was the last day of the Twilight Zone Marathon on SyFy.  It is played every New Year's Eve and it must be successful for them as they added in an extra day this year.  We, of course, thoroughly enjoyed having it to watch.  Not only was the third day added, but this year on New Year's Day viewers could also vote on Twitter between two episodes.  SyFy would then play the one with the most votes.  Cal, Doug, Cameron and I enjoyed discussing the winners.  Last night Cal and Cam even camped out on our bedroom floor with me into the wee hours of the night catching as many as possible.

Tonight the ones that were not chosen as the fan favorites were aired.  In these Cam found two of his absolute favorites - "Talking Tina" and "Five Characters in Search of an Exit."  It amazes me every year that we see one or two that we haven't seen before.  I love that each year someone always remembers to say, "Hey it's the episode where the guy wakes up and he's the same, but everyone else is different" to which another family member questions, "Which one is that?"  That's when we all chime in with "I don't know, they are all like that" referencing Seinfeld.

We weren't planning on starting a New Year's family tradition when we began watching the Twilight Zone marathon many years ago, but it sure has turned into one.  I have loved listening to each of their ideas on which was the best episode or which one scared them the most.  Eventually Doug and I will be the only ones left watching as the Heinisch children move on to their own families.  I am positive, however, that it will be something that they remember for years to come.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cleaning Out

Meg came home around 8 this morning and headed to bed.  Doug picked Cam up at 10 and he went to bed as well.  Cal got home in between the two and fell asleep on the couch.  It was the first time I could remember everyone taking a nap on New Year's Day, but at least I know that they all had a lot of fun.

Doug and I took advantage of the down time today to get a few projects done around the house.  We want to clean out the house this winter and the first priority was the storage room in the basement.  Doug worked on it off and on all day.  I was able to help when I wasn't working on laundry and bills.  Our goal was to get everything out of the room and reorganized before it went back in.  That included the holiday items, the garage sale boxes and all of Brett's items he has packed for when he moves out.  I was impressed with what Doug got done.  By the end of the night he had everything sorted.

We had talked about going to dinner, but decided to stay in tonight.  Cal went to dinner at Hacienda with friends.  Meg, Cam and Brett all ate at Chubbie's while bowling with my parents.  The nice part of staying home and cleaning was that we got to watch all of the Twilight Zone marathon that we wanted to.  That is by far my favorite part of New Year's Day besides spending time with our family.