Friday, March 31, 2017

Washington D.C.

The weather was cool and rainy today, but that didn't damper our moods.  Everyone was thrilled to see Brett.  He left eight weeks ago and we have missed hanging out with him.  We had a great time catching up with him at "We, the Pizza" a favorite lunch stop of his.  The food was great and the conversation even better.  Brett talked a lot about the events he has been able to attend or help at since he has been in D.C.  He has acclimated himself to the area well and after we ate we started on a tour of the nation's capital.

Our first stop was the National Mall and the Smithsonian Castle and American History museum.  Our favorite exhibits were Dorothy's ruby red slippers, 1969 Bert and Ernie puppets and the Presidents hall complete with Taft's car and Cleveland's overcoat.  Meg and I split off from the boys to go to the Natural History Museum while they went to Air & Space.  Meg and I took pictures of the Hope Diamond to show everyone.  After the museums we walked to the U.S. Capitol and then by the fountain that Brett passes by everyday on the way to work.  Both were impressive, and we couldn't believe how short of a walk Brett had to his office.  I asked him if he had gotten over how awesome it has been for him to have this experience, but so far the awe has not worn off.  Seeing him here just kept reminding me of what a fantastic position he found.

We decided to tour the monuments tonight.  We weren't sure we were going to be able to, but the rain held off for quite awhile, so we thought we'd give it a shot.  On our walk we stopped at the FDR memorial, Martin Luther King Jr's,  the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall and the World War II memorial.  All were impressive, but my favorite this trip was the MLK one.  His was the newest and I hadn't seen it in person until now.  The night air was cool, but the rain held off until we were almost finished, so it wasn't too bad.  Brett picked Nando's for dinner which was close to his home.  Everyone loved the chicken and it was nice to sit down and relax for awhile.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Last Day of School Before Break

Today was Meg and my last day of school before break.  It was definitely a busy one, but easy to get through.  My students had tests to finish, presentations to give and surface area packets to grade.  I also chose this day to be observed by my principal.  I didn't want to have to do it after break as we will be swamped with JA interviews and getting ready for our visit to BizTown as soon as we return. Midterms are April 12th as well and I wanted to save time for students to retest if they needed to before grades are due.  All went well with my observation, finishing tests and helping a handful of students finish up their math projects.  Betsy and I even had time to place students with interviewers and create a spreadsheet for that during team time.

Meg was also able to finish up several lose ends at school.  She completed her Pre-Calculus test, took a midterm in Spanish and placed pictures on the tennis page for yearbook.  She texted me multiple times during the day letting me know that she was more than ready to be on vacation.  My favorite text was "We're learning about Pedro the 1st in history and I have the 3 Caballeros song stuck in my head"  She was definitely ready for the Gran Fiesta in EPCOT.    Her next several texts were interested.  She had stepped on a piece of lead in Miss Justice's room and she and Aaron spent quite a bit of time trying to get it out.  In the end they felt successful and were able to stop worrying about Meg losing a foot.  

Cameron didn't have to wait for Spring Break.  He was officially done yesterday.  He and Mom had planned on playing golf, but the weather did not cooperate, so instead he hung out with Grandpa taking him for money every game he could.  Doug left work early as he accomplished a lot yesterday and was at a good stopping place.  He was able to pick Meg up from practice.  There was supposed to be a match, but the weather ended the idea of that early in the day.  

The weeks between Christmas break and Spring Break are always long.  About a month ago I wasn't sure that I could make it.  Glad to say that I survived and can now enjoy a relaxing trip to D.C. to see Brett and then on to Disney - the Happiest Place on Earth.   

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Packing & More Packing

I spent some time packing for our Spring Break trip yesterday and was able to finish up tonight.  This trip was a little harder to pack for as we are really going on two separate vacations - one to D.C. and one to Disney World.  We decided the easiest way to do it was to pack a suitcase with clothes for Meg, Cam/Doug and I for Florida and then do the same for D.C.  The weather will be different in the two areas with D.C. in the 60s and Orlando in the upper 80s making the bags drastically different - one with long sleeve shirts and pants, the other with shorts and t-shirts.  The only bag that the two trips will have in common is the toiletries bag.  That should keep us organized and make for a smooth trip to the airport on Monday morning.

As the Heinisch children have gotten older we have been able to travel more.  They are great about packing their clothes and planning their travel bag for the van or airplane.  We used to have to have a movie for every hour that we were driving.  They have become more content with just having their phones or iPads, so only taking a couple now makes for more room in the front.  The toiletry bag used to be one of the hardest for me to pack.  I decided a few years ago to buy a nice bag from 31 and have it supplied with almost everything we would need for a trip - shampoo, tooth brushes, medications, razors, etc.  That has made a world of difference.  Now I can grab that and just add in a couple of essentials that I do not have duplicates of - glasses, a curling iron, etc.

Packing is definitely not one of my favorite activities, but I have gotten better at it over the years.  The best part is knowing that we will soon be on the road to an adventure.  This is one that I have been looking forward to for months.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Appointment Day

I took today off from school as I had several appointments.  In between them I was also able to buy some new shoes to help support my feet, stop by Cam's science fair and to do a little packing for the week ahead.  My favorite part of the day was the science fair.  I did not know when I set up the appointments that the projects would be displayed today, but I was thrilled when I found out.  Cam worked all week on his results- tap water vs. purified water and it was great to see his board with all of the others.  A lot of the students focused on food and taste testing, but there were others as well - sports, cooking and behaviors.  I was impressed with so many of them.  It reminded me of the inquiry based learning projects my students worked on in FACS the past four years.  Cam was proud of the red ribbon he earned and already had plans for his project next year.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy Birthday Backroads!


Today was the 74th birthday of my Dad or "Backroads" as Cal and his friends have affectionately nicknamed him due to his ability to take backroads everywhere and get lost at least a 1/3 of the time.  In thinking about it he actually has had many nicknames over the years - Muss, Motts, Muffer - but the one that has stuck the longest has been Grandpa Cutes.  Since my Mom always called my Dad "Cutes", Brett thought that was his name and when he was eighteen months old the moniker "Grandpa Cutes" was born.  I honestly never thought it would last as long as it has.  I figured when Brett got to school age he would drop it and we would move on to Grandpa Musser or even the less formal Grandpa Bill.  

By the time Brett entered kindergarten, however, Cal was a toddler and at that point the name Grandpa Cutes had no chance of leaving.  The boys knew my Dad as no other and until Cal and Jayce started calling him "Backroads" I never heard any of the Heinisch children call him anything else.  As strange as the name may seem to others, the name just seems to fit my Dad.  

We celebrated his birthday yesterday since Cal was home.  Meg and Cam gave him his family favorites - sour cherries and circus peanuts.  Cal's gift was outside the norm - a Milford basketball jersey complete with name and number.  My Dad had one from years before, but somehow it came up missing several years ago.  We still aren't sure if Cal loaned it to Stephen and it was never returned or if the washer ate it.  Either way we were pleased to be able to replace it.  My Dad's proud of his alma matter and we were glad to help him "be true to his school."   

As Doug stated later in the evening, "You're Dad is the youngest 74 year old I know."  Whether it is his good health or his ability to relate to the Heinisch children, my Dad is young for his age.  We appreciate that about him as well as his love and support for our family.  Without him life would definitely be boring - who else would change the wrong flat tire or use Diet Pepsi for divot repair.  He's told me many times over the years "Life is a story"-  he's definitely provided us with many.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

What's Mine is Yours . . .

Cal headed back to Bloomington this evening.  He didn't bring much home and didn't take a lot back - except for one prized item - his 1970s box fan that was bought at a garage sale for a $1.  It was a great purchase as nothing cools a room off quicker than that fan.  As he left he asked if it was ok for him to take it.  He said that his at school was working fine, but a friend needed one and since no one was using it, he thought he'd help him out.

Of course, Doug and I said sure.  We learned a long time ago that possession has no boundaries with Cal.  If a friend was in need he was usually the first one to offer help even if it meant giving away something of his.  He definitely fit the quote "shirt off his back" very well, and we are proud of him for adopting this philosophy.

There have been times that Cal's need to help his friends came at the expense of his siblings' personal property or Doug's.  Usually, Cal was able to recover the "gift" when I explain the significance of the item.  I can only remember a couple of things that left the Heinisch home never to return.  His siblings have gotten used to looking through his room or asking him if they have seen a "misplaced" charger, game or article of clothing.  Meg's even been know to raid Cal's closet on dress up days to outfit her friends as she knows that he doesn't mind lending a hand to a good cause even if it is just a floral shirt for Hawaiian day.

Even though Brett, Cam and Meg enjoying giving to others, they haven't totally adopted his communal style or his frugality.  He was the Heinisch child who spent the least, was always looking for a bargain, earned his own money and didn't seem to want for much.  He was conscientious about money and a big shopping day for him was a trip to Goodwill.  Parce asked me not too long ago if I thought his philanthropic behavior would change once he had a job and was living on his own.  I really don't think it will.  Cal's a giver - part of that is personality and part of that has been learned.  Doug and I have been volunteering and helping out in this community for as long as I can remember.  Cal just chose a different way to give back.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

It's Great to Be a Parent

Today was a busy parent day, but a wonderful one.  First, Doug left early in the morning for Cam's team state chess tournament in Hammond, IN.  His team qualified a month ago and Cam was excited to be going for the second year in a row.  Doug spent the day listening to him talk about his rounds and watch him play pick up games with his friends.  Cam played as the number one seed on his team against some very challenging opponents.  He was proud to call me on his way home to say that he finished with 3.5 out of 5 point on the day.  He felt that he could have even earned 4.5 points, but one round cost him that distinction.  To celebrate he and Doug stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner on the way home.

Cal was home this weekend arriving early in the morning.  He decided to leave at 3:00 a.m. from Bloomington and was here in bed by 6 or so.  I wouldn't have recommended him driving through the night, but he said it went well and there definitely was very little traffic.  After he slept he went to see HM and then had an interview with Tippy Country Club.  Jayce had recommended him as a bag boy and he was proud to let us know that he had been hired.  He will be a lot happier working there than at a factory this summer, so I was pleased that he was able to secure this position so early in the Spring.

Meg celebrated her birthday with Aaron and Preston today.  I took them first to Ultra Zone to play a game of laser tag.  From there we went to Jefferson Point Mall to eat dinner at the food court.  Meg chose Chick-Fil-A and the boys had Panda Express.  They spent the rest of the evening going from store to store making several purchases along the way.  It was fun listening to them laugh and I am glad that they were able to spend the day celebrating Meg's 16th birthday.  After shopping everyone came back here to hang out until 11 p.m. or so.

Doug and I didn't see much of each other today, but that was alright with us.  All too soon the Heinisch children won't need us anymore and our days will be quieter.  Until then we will cherish every weekend like this one.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beauty & The Beast

The discussion around the live remake of Beauty and the Beast has filled the internet this past month. Brett joined in on the ban of the movie, but not for the reason that others had.  Several were upset that the character LeFou came across as a homosexual.  That did not bother Brett.  What he was most upset about was that in his opinion Disney was remaking a beloved animated movie solely to make money.

He definitely may have been right, but I was not worried about that or LeFou's sexual preference.  I loved the Disney story of Beauty and the Beast and very much wanted to see the 2017 live action version on the big screen.  Meg also wanted to see it.  Aaron wanted to go with her and they set a time after practice tonight to go.  I talked Doug and Cameron into going as well and everyone was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful of a movie it was.

Meg said several times afterward that it was not quite the animated version, but that she enjoyed it very much.  Doug and Cameron agreed with her.  I believe that I may have liked it even more than they did, and overall we all gave it a huge thumbs up.  The first thing I did when I got home was to text Brett to tell him that he was missing out.  He didn't agree with me, but it finally agreed to watch it when it came out on DVD.  I explained to him that the set was awesome and the characters were bigger than life.  In Doug's review he pointed out that Gaston and LeFou weren't quite as good as they were in the animated version and neither were the inanimate objects in the castle, but overall it was better than anyone of us expected and I would love to watch it again.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Tonight was the second Academic Super Bowl meet of the year and the first with all of the math team members available to participate.  Wawasee has hosted the conference match for the past several years now and we appreciated having it close by.  Meg had to go to a tennis scrimmage first to support her tennis teammates.  She wasn't able to participate as she had to have five practices in.  Instead of playing against West Noble, Meg instead practiced with the managers.  Since she wasn't playing, we didn't go to the scrimmage.  Doug, however, met her there and took her to the Academic Super Bowl meet.

The math team did well.  For the first half Preston was paired with Evan and Clayton.  After question 13, a break was called for substitutions.  Meg took over for Preston at this time and helped her team to answer eleven of the final twelve questions that they were asked.  Wawasee did not have much of a chance of beating Northridge as they blew by everyone answering 24 out of the 25 questions correct.  They did, however, catch up to the rest of the field and in the end finished in a tie for second place by answering 21 questions in total.

Doug, Cam, Mom, Dad and I were all in attendance to support Meg's team.  Aaron even made it back from the tennis scrimmage in time to sit in her cheering section.  We were all extremely proud of their math team.  They represented Wawasee and Milford well.  Miss Justice is hopeful that they will make it to state.  We are as well.  That would be an awesome achievement.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy 16th Birthday, Miss Meg!

Today was Meg's 16th birthday and she had a fantastic day.  Aaron decorated her locker and brought her donuts.  Graham made sure the alcove was covered with post it notes spelling out Happy Birthday to her and Preston gave her a cactus and a charm bracelet.  All day long she received snap chat birthday wishes from her friends and Mrs. Short even let the Yearbook class order pizza to celebrate the day.

Although I received several text messages from her during the day, we didn't actually see her until after 6 p.m.  She had tennis practice after school and was happy with her play.  The four of us went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and then came home to enjoy cake and ice cream.  Mom and Dad met us here to watch Meg open gifts.  Meg enjoyed her new tennis outfits from Doug and I and the money Grandma and Grandpa gave her tucked inside a new wallet.  She was surprised to find a couple of items that she hadn't asked for - a statement of faith necklace and a purple polka dotted bath towel.  She didn't let anyone at school sing to her, but we didn't hold back as she blew out her candles.

It was a fun day for Meg and enjoyable for those of us who celebrated with her.  As I read back through my memories on Facebook I realized that Meg hasn't changed that much over the years.  She has grown older and more beautiful, but on the inside she has remained the same.  This post from 3 years ago still holds true today.  Happy Birthday Meg, we are so incredibly proud of you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Uncle Phil

Today was Phil's 44th birthday.  Since we had been in DeKalb, I had thought a lot about him these past few days.  With Jeanette's death and his move to Atlanta, we don't see him as much as we used to.  Even though this is true, the Heinisch children still think the world of him.  As soon as they hear that he may be in the area they make plans to spend time with him.  They speak of him often and really appreciate the notes of encouragement that he sends.

Doug called him tonight to wish him a Happy Birthday and to catch up.  We have a box of memories to send to him from our weekend adventure and hope to get together with him some time this summer.  All of us wish he lived closer, but for now phone calls and notes will have to do.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Week of Laughter and Friends

In November Cal asked us if he could go to Florida for Spring Break with a group of friends.  I remember instantly my mind started racing.  I trust Cal and his decision making skills, but the thought of him and his buddies driving through the mountains late at night instantly made me panic.  As Cal explained his plans to us he focused on the money he would be spending, the place that he would be staying at and the friends that would be going along.  The more he talked, the more we realized that this wasn't just a passing phase.  He really wanted to go and was hoping that we would help make this possible.

We asked him to gather more information and to check in with us at Christmas break and we would give him our thoughts.  He did just that and when he asked about his trip again, we decided to be completely honest and lay out our fears about him going on this adventure.  At the end of our conversation we realized that he was on the same page as we were and was even able to instantly alleviated one of our concerns with "Mom, we're on the first floor, so no one is falling off a balcony."  

As the date for his trip drew nearer, he returned home to pick up Michael.  He was excited to have a break from school and looking forward to some fun in the sun.  This was his first trip on his own.  He and his friends had big plans and couldn't wait to get started.  Cal's carful decided to leave in the afternoon which helped alleviate some of my concerns about driving through the night.  They also coordinated with Cameron Adams to stay at his Aunt's in Alabama the first night, therefore, breaking up their time on the road.  

Cal texted multiple times throughout the week.  He was having the time of his life.  Even though the weather wasn't quite what they had planned, they were still able to enjoy the beach and most of all each other's friendship.  Their week was everything that they wanted it to be.  As proud as I was of him for making it through a Spring Break trip on his own with incident, I was even more proud of myself as I did not spend every moment of the week worrying about him.  Only the all night car ride home brought a little bit of anxiety.  Glad to say they are all safe and sound in Bloomington ready to finish the semester strong.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Trip to Illinois

We left yesterday for Illinois after Cam's band concert.  Our mission was to make it to DeKalb to eat dinner with Doug's family and to also sort through items that were not going to make the move with Carl to his new town home.  There wasn't a lot on our list to keep, but I had promised Jeanette the last time we visited her that we would find room in our home for her miniature tea sets and Meg wanted to look through all of the art work and blankets that she had made with her over the years.

We found several more treasurers while we packed up the tea sets and art work including Jeanette's wedding dress, her baby book, a glass unicorn, a ceramic bunny and two bronze bears.  We also discovered several boxes of pictures and mementos that she had saved for us specifically.  We decided as a family to keep all that we wanted, plus items that we thought others in Doug's family might want later.  It wasn't about the items as much as it was about the memories.  It was sad to search through her prized possessions and to remember once again that she wasn't here to tell us about each piece especially those from the Holmes and Brucker family.  My favorite moment of the night was when we found the Macarena Monkey that Brett and Cal gave her.  Both boys called dibs, so it will now find a prized position on a shelf in the basement.  After dinner we settled into the Hampton Inn in DeKalb to watch basketball and relax.

Since yesterday was especially hard on Meg we thought that a trip to Science and Industry was in order today.  She had been asking to go and we haven't been there in several years.  The first stop for us was the U-505 submarine tour.  The story was fascinating and the tour was well worth our time.  I am not sure that any of us wanted to be submarine captains after it, but we enjoyed the history lesson.  From there we went to the coal mine.  Doug said that we had taken the tour before, but I didn't remember it.  It also was very interesting and we learned a lot.  That being said, none of us were ready to be coal miners either.

Once our scheduled tours were over, we made our way through the rest of the museum.  Meg remembered the airplane that hung from the ceiling.  We walked through that and then got tickets for the math exhibit.  While we were waiting for our scheduled time we ventured toward the whispering chamber.  That was a neat experience as we could hear each other perfectly from at least 25 yards away.  The math exhibit was worth the wait although I will personally never walk through the maze of mirrors again.  The exhibit focused on the Golden Ratio which I loved as we just finished our projects on that subject in 6th grade math.

As much as I like everything that we did today my favorite part was walking through the fairy castle. It was absolutely beautiful and the history behind the making of it was extremely interesting.  Meg said to me as we looked through the rooms, "I like the castle, but it's a little too gaudy for me."  I, of course, loved it just for that reason.

Cam made a stop at the museum store to buy a puzzle cube before we went to lunch at Giordano's.  The pizza was delicious and the wait was minimal.  We were disappointed to find out that The Hershey's store had closed, but that left more time for walking to The Disney Store.  We drove out of  Chicago around 4:30 tired, but happy with our day.  It was the perfect way to offset the sadness of last night's adventure.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Cameron participated in his first band contest since he started playing the oboe.  He practiced a lot this week and felt ready for it.  Meg couldn't believe that he wasn't more excited.  She loved every one of the band contests she participated in during her middle school years.  On the way over she filled the van with stories of playing in the band and the fun she had.  For her it wasn't as much about perfecting the clarinet, but more of hanging out with her friends.

We dropped Cam off at 1:30 and headed to Kohl's and Target to fill time before his 2:30 performance.  We arrived back to Goshen Middle School just as the group before him finished.  We found seats on the right side of the auditorium so that I could watch Cam play.  In every other concert that he has had I have chosen the wrong seat and ended up with my view of him blocked by his teacher.  This time he assured me that he would not change seats and thankfully he was correct.

The band played three songs and sounded great.  There was a wind instrument that squeaked several times during the first two songs.  Meg and I assumed that would lead to them earning a silver, but it was the only major flaw that we heard.  Once they finished we met Cam outside the gym and started on our trip to Illinois.  Cam felt pretty good about how he played and thought that they had performed better than their preview concert on Tuesday.

About an hour into our trip I decided I'd try emailing Ms. Good to see how they finished.  She quickly responded with "Gold."  We were happy for Cam and his classmates.  They had really improved since December and it was obvious.  Meg couldn't believe it as her two years at ISMAA only produced a silver and a bronze.  I am proud of Cam for playing a challenging instrument.  He has worked hard this winter to improve his skills and it paid off today.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today was St. Patrick's Day and for the first time in a long time Doug and I spent it at home.  He made corned beef and cabbage and we enjoyed a delicious dinner and a quiet evening.  Cam hung out with us and I almost beat him at ping pong losing 24-23.  Late in the evening Doug and I turned on A Quiet Man.  What a great way to celebrate the spirit of the Irish and their beloved saint.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy 54th Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa

Today was my Mom and Dad's 54th anniversary.  When I think about how many years that really is, it is amazing, especially knowing that it was pretty tough with Bunk dying.  My parents are survivors and that says a lot.  As Rocky so famously said, “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward."  

My parents kept moving forward and the Heinisch family appreciates that.  Tonight to celebrate Cam and Meg took them to dinner at Maria's.  Meg said they even tried not to bicker (Meg and Cam - not Grandma and Grandpa.)  The older boys may not have been able to attend dinner, but both reached out to them on social media to wish them a Happy Anniversary.  

My Dad posted this picture below.  Our family has grown since it was taken in 1987, just like their love for one another.  Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!  Glad that the Heinisch children could help you celebrate!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

So Much Stress, So Little Sleep

We have had several situations arise that have made this week extremely stressful.  None of them are related to the others, but putting them all together has made it challenging to sleep.  I have no problem falling asleep as I am exhausted, but then I wake up between 1:40 and 2:40 a.m. and struggle to fall back asleep.  Unfortunately, I can't resolve any of the situations in the middle of the night, but my mind won't stop racing.  Even when I do fall back asleep I wake up every hour or so in a panic.

The stress and the lack of sleep have made the week feel even longer.  One nice part of all of it is that I usually have a text or two from Cal when I wake up.  He is one a different sleep schedule than we are this week and is usually up in the middle of the night.  That used to be Brett, but now that he is working he follows a more typical routine.  I know this week will pass and we will eventually have resolutions to the issues that have arisen.  Until then, I will sleep when I can and rest when needed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Band Concert Time

Tonight was the middle school band concert at Bethany Christian.  Meg, Doug, Mom, Dad and I were all in attendance.  The band has really improved since December and we enjoyed listening to them.  Once Cameron's group finished the orchestra preformed.  They also played well.  The only disruptions of the evening revolved around my Dad's bad Cadbury Egg joke and his phone going off in the middle of a moment of silence.  Doug laughed about both the rest of the night.

To celebrate Cam's evening we all went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  We ran into the Mishler family there.  We hadn't seen them in quite awhile and it was nice to catch up.  The restaurant was pretty sparse as it was later in the evening than the usual time we go out.  Meg enjoyed reminiscing about her days in band and Cam was pleased with how well they played.  Saturday is ISMAA and he feels confident about it.  Meg was positive they would score well.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Winter in March

We woke up to snow this morning, but it arrived too late for a delay.  I was bummed as I definitely would have taken the extra sleep.  Doug called on my way to school to let me know that the snow increased the closer he got to Goshen.  Mom agreed as it hit her on 15 just before Bethany.  The winter weather continued throughout the day, but it didn't change our plans for piano after school.  The roads were clear by the time Meg and I left Milford to pick up Cam.

The weather has definitely been strange this winter.  February was just beautiful with record high temperatures, but March so far has been the opposite.  I don't like the snow and cold, but it's a lot easier to deal with January weather in March as it can't last forever.  Spring is only a week away.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Week of Fun in the Sun

Cal came home Wednesday night to visit before Spring Break.  He only had one class on Thursday and had arranged with the professor to take their daily quiz after break.  His purpose in coming home was to visit with us and HM before he left for Florida with his friends and also to pick up Michael Seamon.  They left Friday morning to drive back to Bloomington to pick up Austin and Nick.

The four of them left by 2 p.m. Friday afternoon and made it to Cameron's family in Alabama well before midnight.  It was a great spot to start their vacation and by the next night there were twelve boys from Wawasee enjoying their first day of Spring Break at Panama City Beach.  Cal texted multiple times to tell us how happy he was to have a break from school and to hang out with his friends.  I was thankful that they all made it safely to their destination.  I know I will worry about him this week, but Cal has proved to have a good head on his shoulders.  Can't wait to hear about all of the fun they had.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bethany Friends

Last night Cam invited Caleb over to hang out for awhile after school.  They had a great time playing ping pong, having Nerf gun wars and catching up on their week.  Caleb will be moving out of the country next year as his father has completed his missionary education.  We were sad to hear that they would be leaving, but have been thankful for the friendship that Cam and Caleb have had these past two years.  It made the transition to Bethany so much easier and for that we will be forever grateful.

Today Cam hung out with more of his Bethany friends.  Conner's science experiment revolved around video games and a bucket of ice.  He need willing participants and Cam was happy to volunteer.  The objective was to see if the distraction of playing video games increased the amount of time that the boys could keep their foot in the ice.  Not sure what the data proved, but I know that Cam had a lot of fun with the experiment.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wolf Pack Pow Wow

Tonight was the annual Pow Wow at Wawasee High School and Meg had talked of nothing else the past few days.  She invited her friends to play on a volleyball team and they all looked great in their wolf pack Wednesday shirts.  I would like to say that there outcome was the same as Cal's when he won the team championship by beating the varsity volleyball team last year, but as Meg noted - "they scored six points solely because of the other team's missed serves."

Even though they didn't win, she did have as much fun as Cal always did.  Her favorite moments revolved around the pillow fights on the balance beam with her friends.  We watched all of the videos with her when she got home.  It was fun to hear her laugh and tell stories.  It was a great event and I appreciate Wawasee High School providing this annual event for their students.  It has definitely been a memory maker for the Heinisch children.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Tough Decision

Meg has spent a lot of time this winter working through a problem that has arisen in her life.  She did nothing to cause this issue, but it has been affecting her daily.  Today she made a decision that will change her path in life and we are proud of her for trying something new.  Change is hard, but with support, encouragement and a lot of prayer anything is possible.  Meg's ability to step outside of her comfort zone to make her life better is admirable and we are very proud of her.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Goodbye Coach

Several months ago Doug talked to me about coaching soccer next fall.  With the added commitments to his work responsibilities since the company was bought by Rev Group, he was concerned about the amount of time he would have available to coach soccer.  As the weeks went by we realized that his work load had increased and it would no longer be feasible to continue as a high school varsity soccer coach.  It was a tough decision for him, but even with our family's support and help it just wouldn't work.  This week he told his team, turned in his keys and put in an official letter of resignation.  He was sad to say goodbye, but knew it was for the best.

It will be strange not to have Doug coaching a sport this coming school year, especially soccer.  He has been coaching soccer since we first started dating in the in early 90s.  From those weekly games at the YMCA to now, Doug has made youth soccer an important part of his life.  When we moved to Indiana he began coaching at the LYC and later became president of their board, all with the main objective to grow the soccer program in our community.  He loved playing the sport when he was younger and wanted to share that experience with others.  He brought years of experience to a program that needed guidance and was proud to watch the enthusiasm for soccer increase over the years.

As the Heinisch children entered high school Doug decided to turn his support to Wawasee's soccer program.  He started as an assistant on the boys' team and thoroughly enjoyed coaching Cal and his teammates.  When both the boys and girls head coaching position came open the following season, he was offered his choice of either position.  As Cal had decided to move on to tennis his sophomore year,  Doug made the switch to the girls team.

It was a rough first year.  He inherited a team with only 11 members which was just enough to make a varsity roster.  To help the program grow he became instrumental in the start of a middle schools girls and boys soccer team.  He also spent countless hours recruiting players at all levels in all grades at the high school level.  He added a summer soccer camp that both the boys and girls team shared responsibilities for.  He offered open fields in the offseason, signed his team up for a 7 on 7 league in the summer and encouraged them to play indoor soccer in the winter.  He knew that the only way the team would improve would be to increase the amount of soccer they played.  His hard work paid off as the program tripled in numbers and the girls this past fall scored more goals in one game than they did in all of his seasons before.

I asked him this week if he had a favorite memory from coaching soccer.  He could name many including the LYC championships that he coached the Heinisch children to, the time Cal got tired of defending against a Camargo's fancy moves, so he picked him up and threw him out of bounds, and the reaction of the high school bench when Cal took a shot to the face from close range and never flinched.  His favorite moment of all, however, occurred in the last regular season game this year.  Meg had control of the ball outside of the box with her back to the goal.  She faked one way, spun around and scored on a shot to the corner of the goal from 20 yards out that the goalie had no chance at.  It was a great way to end a fantastic run.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Great News!

Brett texted me at lunch to let me know that he had held the elevator door open for Greta Van Susteren today.  He even got to tell her his trademark "Have a nice day!"  I was impressed.  Now Cal can say that he has been on the Greta show and Brett can say that he has met her.

The best news, however, happened later in the afternoon.  The internship coordinator stopped Brett on his way out to ask him if he already had plans this coming summer.  Brett said that he would be available and that is when he was told that Freedom Works would like to extend his contract and keep him until August.  Brett was thrilled and so were we.  He also told us that a lot of the people he works for were hired after they had their internship extended to a second session. That would be fantastic!  We are extremely proud of his hard work and are glad that they have recognized it.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Academic Super Bowl Season

Meg decided several months ago to be a part of the Wawasee Math Academic Super Bowl team.  They have met every Monday and Friday morning bright and early to review problems.  Meg has enjoyed it especially since her friends, Preston and Clayton, are also part of the team.

Tonight was their first invitational and was held at Warsaw High School.  Meg rode the bus over with the teams and Doug and I met up with her later.  She had texted me on the way over that she was positive that they would only get two questions right out of the 25.  Preston and Evan were at Deka state, so only Meg and Clayton were available to be on the math team.  I had more confidence in them than she did and Doug and I were impressed that they answered 19 out of the 25 questions correctly.  That was good enough for fourth place.

Meg stayed to watch the English and Interdisciplinary round.  She texted us on the way home to let us know that Wawasee had finished 3rd in the all around bringing home a plaque for the school to display.  Although I was in bed when she got home I was happy to hear about all of the fun she had.  It reminded me a lot of when Brett was a part of Academic Super Bowl.  It was a great experience for him and I am glad that Meg has found the same enjoyment in it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


We left Bloomington close to 10 a.m. this morning after we stopped by Cal's dorm to see him for a couple of minutes.  We had a great time this weekend, but had tennis to get back to.  The trip was an easy one as there was very little traffic and the sun was out.  We stopped once to take a quick break and pick up Arby's.

We were home by 1:30 and had more than enough time to unpack and start the laundry before Doug took Cam to tennis.  Meg and I hung up her laundry after I got everything else put away.  She  drove to tennis and did a great job.  We first stopped at my school to pick up a couple of items I needed to work on.  She then drove us to Walmart.  She needed another Wolf Pack Wednesday shirt for the Pow Wow and I wanted to get a few necessities.  We were at the racquet club in time to watch Cam win the final game.  There was a pizza party for the players, so Meg was able to eat before she played.

Doug stayed with Meg while I took Cam back to Syracuse.  He decided that he wanted to play games with Grandma and Grandpa, so I dropped him off there.  I had several items to finish before the week started again.  Doug and I talked about going out to dinner, but I was just too tired.  We agreed to go out Wednesday night instead.  I really wanted to go, but the weekend wore me out.  It was worth it, however, as we had a great time in Bloomington.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March in Bloomington

We woke up early ready to start our day.  I graded papers and Doug jogged and worked for at least an hour before we walked out the door.  Cal stopped by to join us for lunch.  Cam and Meg wanted Noodles and Company, so we got them an order to go.  The rest of us chose picnic foods at Kroger.  Parce calls the Kroger closest to him the "Ghetto" Kroger as it is not quite as nice as the one by the college mall, but compared to anything near us the "Ghetto" Kroger beats them all.  We picked him back up for lunch at the winery.  It was still a little chilly, but the sun was out, so we could eat outside.  Cam brought lawn jarts and played with Cal and Doug losing decidedly to both.  He and Meg took a walk around the pond after they ate their "noods."

Once we finished lunch we dropped Parce back off at his place.  The Heinisch children wanted to go shopping, so we went to Target, College Mall and Barnes & Noble.  Doug joined up with us later as he wanted to get the oil changed in Cal's car.  Cal found two new swimsuits.  Cam bought a Rubik's game and Meg purchased some necessities.  I had several coupons for Yankee Candle and stocked up for the Spring. Cal thought about getting a new Stephen King book, but decided against it.  Instead Cam purchased a chess strategy guide.  Once we were done shopping we went on a walking tour of campus.  The trees were budding and the Spring flowers were starting to poke through the ground.  When we come back at Easter, everything should look gorgeous.

We talked Parce into going bowling with us at our favorite bowling stop.  Meg and I took him on our team and we beat the guys by 16.  Cal and Cam didn't care which team they were on as they spent the entire time trash talking each other.  From there we went to dinner at Upland Brewing Company.  There was a wait to get in, but not too bad.  Dinner was good and we all tried something new.  Cal left us after dinner as he had friends to meet up with.  Doug and Parce decided to go see the band "Soul Street" at the Players Pub.  I dropped them off at 8:30 and got breadsticks for Meg and Cam.  We hung out at Parce's playing games and watching Star Wars Revenge of the Sith.  Cam's new Rubik's Race game was a lot of fun.  I picked Doug and Parce back up at 10:30.  They had a great time and have plans to see another band on Easter weekend.

Friday, March 3, 2017

On Our Way

This was a long week for several of us, but we made it through.  It was easier to do so knowing that this afternoon we would be leaving for Bloomington.  Cam had chess practice right after school, but agreed to leave at 4:30 so we could be on the road by 5.  Meg and I got everything packed and in the van by 4:15 so that we fill up with gas and buy Burger King before Doug and Cam got home.  They arrived right on time and we were on the road at 5 p.m. ready for a weekend at IU.

The sun was out today and it made the trip down a lot easier as we were past Indy by the time it set.  Traffic was light and even with stopping once we were able to reach B-town by 8:30.  Parce called as we rolled into town to say that he was just leaving Columbus.  He and Doug had talked about going to see Hairbangers Ball at the Bluebird, but they started at 9 and they weren't sure they would make it.  Instead Doug, Meg, Cam and I went to Mother Bears.  Since the restaurant opened a new location west of town we have had no problem getting in and were seated within 5 minutes.  Cal had told us that he would be busy Friday night, so we didn't see him either, but we still enjoyed the pizza and Meg and Cam's conversation.  Parce was home by the time we got there.  Meg and Cam filled him in on their week at school until all of us decided it was time to get some sleep.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Two Time Champions

Tonight was the annual Kiwanis trivia night at the community center.  Doug rounded up his usual teammates - Ron Schwartz and my Dad.  With Cal at IU they had to find a forth.  Luckily, Bob Carlson was available.  He was on their original winning team, when they could have five players.  They had a fantastic night.  Doug said that they answered all of the questions correctly except two and were in the lead going into the final round.  Even though they did not know the first question,  he texted us close to 9 with "two time champions".  He now has a first place medal to match the one from three years ago.

While Doug was at trivia night, Cam, Meg and I went to see "Honk" at Bethany Christian.  It was a musical about the story of the ugly duckling and we all enjoyed it.  Our favorite scene involved a tap dancing frog.  We have seen several of their plays and musicals now and have never been disappointed.    Cam tried out for the middle school play this afternoon.  He said that he would be happy if he got a part, but if he did't that would be ok too as he has middle school tennis going on at the same time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb?

We had been having the most beautiful weather these past ten days.  I know that we had set temperature records for February and had had several days close to 65 degrees.  I was able to wear capris and Cam forgot he even had a winter jacket.  That changed today.  The first of March brought in some more typical winter weather.   It started off with a bang around 1:30 in the morning.  A thunderstorm warning had been posted before we went to bed and before 2 I heard hail hit our bedroom windows.  No one else woke up which surprised me as the power even went out for a short time.

The rain had cleared by the time I left for school, but the cold weather predicted for the afternoon arrived right on time.  It was windy and around 30 degrees when Meg and I left Wal-Mart with our groceries.  By the time I took Cam home from tennis the snow had just started falling.  Doug and I went to dinner when he got home and the snow was stuck to the road by then.

The return to cold weather doesn't make me feel sad.  It's March, so it won't last too long.  Just as I learned in first grade when studying the months - If March comes in like a lion, it will go out out like a lamb.