Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

April 4-13 Trip to Utah

April 13, 2021

Well, I headed to Utah for about 10 days. My oldest nephew Matthew was getting married. Small wedding only a few people due to many factors.
I missed going to CrossFit everyday but I did try to do workouts. If you’d like to see photos of my Utah trip and you would like to check out what type of workouts I did everyday, go over to my facebook page


Surprise Ending to another Quarantine Day

May 28, 2020

It’s been a few days since I’ve been able to post anything. Life has all of a sudden become a little busier! Lots of fun.


Thursday was just another quarantine day – work, home, walk, dinner (thank you Olivia for the million dollar spaghetti), and then a decision for an evening walk to Stocks Park.




Oh, and how could I forget…I brought home Gracie’s sign that had been on Academy Lane with those of her classmates. She and I placed it out front of our house for all to see. I’m still so sad for this Senior class and all the things they are missing. Still trying to do what we can to make them feel special.

While we were eating dinner, the kids and I decided we would go for a walk to Stocks Park. However, Noah said he had some stuff to finish before he could go anywhere. He will be finished with his last exam tomorrow so a few final study items tonight I guess.

Finally, around 9:00 we decided we better hurry up and get ready to go if we were going to walk to the park and take an photos. It was already starting to get dark. So everyone got around and we were finally on our way around 9:15 p.m.

As we approached the park, Grace decided she had to use the restroom. So, we headed to the port-a-johns in the middle of the park. Little did she know someone was in the park waiting for her! PERFECT she had to use the port-a-pots! Someone came running from the back of the park and stood behind the port-a-pot. When Grace came out, I told her, Noah, and Olivia to hurry up and go back over to the bench by the pond so I could still get some pictures before it was completely dark. They hurried over, got on the bench, put their arms around each other – I turned on my video… (it’s a little dark, but you can still see it.)

SURPRISE!! Victoria had come home for graduation weekend!! Ok, so we aren’t really having graduation but we thought it would be fun for her to come home for a few days and we will try to make the weekend special.

So much fun! Now we’ll see how tomorrow goes when we surprise Grandma!

Oh…total miles walked today…4.2




Another Weekend….Quarantined

May 25, 2020

What a busy, long weekend it turned out to be. The weather was finally really beautiful!

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Got up on Saturday and spent time chatting with Rowan. It’s always fun the way we take pictures of each other and all the filters she finds to play around with. Always a fun way to start the day.

Today, Grace and I worked on things while enjoying the deck. We took some boxes of “stuff” outside for Grace to sort through to locate certificates and school photos. I worked on finishing up Brendan’s facebook page. Brendan is running for Hillsdale County District Judge so Victoria and I are working on social media, website, etc.

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Victoria called so I decided to go for my walk so we could talk without others listening to us 🙂 I ended up walking up West Street to where the bike trail starts on the left. I don’t recall ever really going that way before. It crosses Fayette and then it goes down to the cemetery and behind the recycle place. It was actually a really nice walk. Total miles for this walk 2.83.

I finished up Brendan’s facebook page and published it. It was fun to watch the numbers of people the page was reaching. It was also fun to watch how many people each individual post was reaching.



After we finally ate dinner, the kids and I went for a brief walk.

Total miles for Saturday…4.8.



Sunday I walked about a mile (forgot to turn on my app) while talking to my sister. Then I sat on the deck enjoying the beautiful sun and relaxing atmosphere of my deck. Finally, Grace, Olivia, and I fixed three of the deck chairs. They needed extra webbing added to them. We did a great job on them and they turned out good!

We then got ready to go to a graduation party. It was so nice going to the party. People were very mindful of one another but we definitely did hug people. It was SO GOOD to see people!! It was especially great to see the kids and how happy they were being with one another. It was really great! Total of 2.6 miles walked today.



Monday, Memorial Day. Got up, walked 1.51 miles and then talked to Rowan. Wow, the filter she used today, I’ve never seen anyone be a toaster before…


Moved the houseplants out to the deck for the summer. I will have to take photo tomorrow so you can see it. It looks so cool out there in the summer. Then we got around and left to meet family at the lake. So much fun to see everyone and enjoy the outdoors and each others company. The kids had a lot of fun.


Stayed out there most of the day, came home so the girls could change clothes. Then we ran to Litchfield to the cemetery and to stop and see the new trampoline at Rowan’s house.

A long busy day but it was so nice to be with people. Hope everyone has a great week.

Almost forgot…total walking miles today…3.5.

Friday Fun

May 22, 2020


A busy Friday…since I was the first one up, I got to take Oliver for a walk. We walked around the block only 0.70 miles but it was good. I think it took forever to do because dogs think they have to stop at every tree! What the heck? He doesn’t really go that much!

We are helping Brendan with his campaign for District Judge so printed off the button logos, went to the chiropractor, stopped at Walmart, and ended up at Grandma’s house in Litchfield. She has had no clue about Victoria coming home.

Oh, I have to back up and say that Rowan really wanted to know how Grandma was going to react about Victoria being home. So, I told her to take something to Grandma’s house and pretend like she needed to show it to her and stay and visit for a little while as we would be there shortly. So, off she went to Grandma’s house.

We got there and I went in to see where she was in the house. Rowan and she were in the family room, she was talking, and wrapping some gifts. She noticed I was there and I told her we had to run to Litchfield to drop some stuff off at Brendan’s so we thought we’d stop and say hi. Grace came in and started talking to her. Then Oliver came in and was all over the family room, even tried jumping on Rowan on the couch! Grandma never saw a thing. Victoria and Olivia came in and stood behind the couch! It was great! I recorded it…

So much fun! We stayed for a little bit and visited and then we stopped at Brendan’s house. Talked to them for a few minutes and then Brendan, Victoria, and I ran out to the Galloway’s house so Victoria could meet Sara since they have been communicating quite a bit on campaign items.

We finally headed home. We were all exhausted, ate a very late lunch, listened to the Governor (say a lot of nothing), and then we took naps.

The girls then got up and made dinner – Olivia grilled chicken, Grace and Victoria cut up vegetables for grilled veggies. It was all very good.



Decided we should have dessert so off for a walk to the ice cream store. Such a nice evening for a walk.

Oliver was a bit confused when Noah went up a tree! He stood there for awhile trying to figure out where he went!

Finally made it to the ice cream store…

Oliver likes ice cream as much as everyone else 🙂

We walked home and watched TV for a little bit. Oliver was tired so he took a nap and the girls worked on making buttons for Uncle Brendan.

Fun and busy day…walked 3.7 miles today.


Another Day (#67) in Quarantine

May 21, 2020

At work this morning and it was a bit depressing. I put the Senior diplomas into the diploma covers. Makes me sad to think about we don’t really know when Grace will get her diploma. Heard the Governor will be speaking at 10:00 a.m. makes me feel really anxious. What will she do now? Make us stay home until June 15??

Listening to the Governor this morning is just always so weird. She is opening up hospitals, car dealers (by appointment), retail (by appointment no more than 10 people in a store at a time), vet offices (her dog really needs a hair cut) (REALLY, I NEED A HAIRCUT – do I need to go to an animal office to have it done??), gatherings of 10 or less takes affect immediately.

Also, what does she mean by opening these things up but then says, Short-term temporary extension of the stay-at-home order will likely be necessary, you will hear more in about this in the coming days.

What about, in the coming days, I will tell Michiganders about what they can do to celebrate Memorial Day.

First of all, do you realize Memorial Day is Monday and this is Thursday and people usually leave on Friday afternoons to celebrate their weekends. What coming day is she talking about?

I’m sorry but listening to her just gets me more and more confused. Help me here…

We have always been able to go to Walmart (100s of people in a day) but we can’t go to a mom and pop shop that is lucky to see even 10 people in a day?

Retail by appointment? How does this work? Anytime I want to go to a shop I have to call them and tell them I’m coming? What if I’m not sure what time I will get there? 

We can go outside for recreation (boating, golfing, etc.) but stay home.

We can now go buy a new car. But people are not working and they are making more money than when they were working so we are able to use the government money to get a new car?

We can get a new car but we can’t get a driver’s license?

I am so absolutely confused…how can we do all of these things but yet we are still under a stay-at-home order? How do I shop, buy a car, get vet services, etc. if I’m at home? All of this is totally screwing with ones thinking capability – how do you decipher all of this???

How is it legal for one person to make all of these decisions? No legislature to approve anything because we are in a pandemic.

Now that we can gather in groups of ten or less, perhaps we will now be able to resume our 2020-2021 admissions? Hopeful that by June 1st we can get the rest of our prospective students in to take the necessary assessments. Enrollment is looking positive for next year.

Finalized end of year certificates since there is no Moving Up Ceremony. Again, I have to say that it is so sad to miss all the fun end of the school year events.

Finally heading home for the day.  Wonder if I will have to do school tonight? I’m kind of tired so I hope not…

Arrived home and talked to Grace and Olivia for a few minutes. Olivia and I ran to the store I had forgotten to pick up Pat’s medicine. We went in and bought a few things. Came out and ran into Mrs. Budd – I was sure to tell her there was more than 10 people in there – 39 to be exact. But hey what does that even matter? Any number of people could be together at the store before now but today you can no gather with no more than 10. Ok again, doesn’t make sense??

Before I could get to the car, I ran into an old friend, Liz. Her father just recently passed away and went right over to see her. I asked if I could hug her and she said, “Sure!” We hugged in the parking lot (I am sure people thought we were crazy not following social distancing.) but I am sorry. I know exactly what she is going through losing a parent. We talked for quite awhile and then another hug good-bye. It was so great to see her!!


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Got home and then headed off for a walk while Grace was making dinner. Talked to my mom on the phone as I walked 1.56 miles. Got home dinner was ready (spaghetti) and then during dinner we decided we were going for a walk after we were done.

I asked if the kids wanted to go back to the park. I thought after the stress and sadness of the day it might be fun to just go play at the park. Noah said he had time for that and the girls were game so off we went once dinner was cleaned up.

We had fun taking photos, kids climbing trees and just wandering all over the park.

So much fun climbing trees, and just having fun. Walked back home and as soon as I arrived had a phone call from Rowan. We talked only for a few minutes because she had to go to bed. We had just enough time to take a few photos and have fun together.

Worked on a few projects and then heading to bed. Hope everyone had a nice day.

Total walking miles for today was 5.4.





“Teached” Again

May 20, 2020

Today was nothing exciting – just work. Too quiet at the school. Graduation is supposed to be next weekend and we don’t even know when it will happen at this point. Closer we get the sadder I get.

Home after school, took a short nap and then up for dinner. Just as we sat down, Rowan called it was time for class. I asked if we could do class a little bit late as we had just sat down for dinner. She said that would be fine we would begin at 6:30. Sure enough 6:30 she called back. However, Delores was giving an excuse of why she could not attend class tonight. The kids and I thought it was terrible she was trying to skip school.

Grace quickly got me a blank sheet of paper that I was supposed to bring to class. Rowan got started right away showing me a little review of math (not much – she quickly erased it) and then she said we were going to do our sentences. I was instructed to write down whatever she said.

I heard her mom and dad in the background talking to Uncle Jim. I asked if Jim had school today? She said, “No, but he will get teached later on.”

On to the sentences…nothing too exciting but here are a few samples:

The elephant got out of the world cage.

My mom bought five dollars worth of clothes.

We love going to Nick’s house to play.

Not sure where any of those came from but at least they were easy. She then said we could dismiss class for today. Guess I was just “teached” for the day.
(Ok, I have to wonder if this program has some Miss. Condict control in it…every time I try to write teached it auto-corrects to peached. Then I think of Miss. Condict and her saying, Peachy…)

However, before we ended the video chat, we had to take some photos together…

IMG_9088Olivia and I then went for a 1.47 mile walk. It actually was further than either of us thought we were going to go.

We got home, I worked on some computer jobs and talked to my friend Lisa for a bit. It is always so good to talk with her. She had a rough day so hopefully it helped to just talk for awhile.

I’m going to work on a facebook project and then head to bed.

Talk to everyone another day.

Was “Teached” Tonight

May 19, 2020

Guess instead of a play by play of the day, I’ll just start with the best part of the day. Rowan called about 37 times while we were eating dinner, and taking care of a few things. I finally called her back and she couldn’t talk right now but would call me soon. I told her that I was going to be going for a walk. She said to just wait a few minutes and she would do a video chat to go on the walk with me. She had to finish getting ready for bed and get stuff set-up because she had an idea of what we could do while I was walking.

I got my shoes on and Rowan called. Ready to go. Outside I went and she proceeded to tell me she was going to teach me some math. She had her whiteboard and dry erase markers while standing in front of a mirror as she said she would use that for the larger problems.

As I was walking the video kept cutting out so finally she said she would have to wait for me to get home. She stayed on the line talking to me but turned off the video since it wasn’t good anyways. Hurry up Aunt Teresa are you there yet? I’m walking as fast as I can I’ll be there in a minute.

Got home sat down and she was ready. She also now had Grandma on the video chat. I mean, she had Delores join the class too. She told us to get a piece of paper and write down the same as she did. We worked on math for quite awhile – I’m still not really sure what i was doing but she finally said we were done and it was now time for phonics. We had to tell her what different words had in common. Then, she said a sentence and we had to write down exactly what she said. This was great! Here are a couple of sample sentences:

I bought 5000 legos at the lego shop. 

The Wheel of Fortune is the best thing to play with your family, friends, and cousins.

I caught my dad eating my Hershey bar. 

From those sentences, I learned…

that she absolutely loved when we went to her house on her birthday and Grace, Noah, and Olivia played her new Wheel of Fortune game with her, and some other cousins that were visiting.

her dad obviously stole one of her candy bars! He got busted!

At the end of class, she excused Delores and told me to stay for a few minutes after class. She then told me what a great job I did on my work today and I was being a very good student. We will do class again tomorrow at 5:30. What??? I didn’t sign up for this…I think I am now enrolled in a new school!

Sometimes it’s now good that she is so smart. She has now figured out that even she can do school over video so I think her student count just increased.

She is so much fun. I so enjoy her calling and talking whenever she feels like it.


Walking wasn’t great today but here’s the map of my brief walk with Rowan. I only walked 0.94 miles to make my total mileage of the day 2.8 miles.



May 17, 2020


Got up in time to do a quick walk before it rained. Only, walked 0.65 miles but got home right before it rained.

IMG_9037 Then I made myself breakfast (cheesy eggs with ham) with some coffee. Just as I finished I heard from my friend, Rowan. My good morning call, but I told her I wondered what had happened to her since she missed our walk this morning.

Decided today I needed to work on some things to get ready for graduation. Yes, someday we will have a graduation for Grace and we will have a party. Her classmates will also really graduate someday. Therefore, we worked on the rest of the pictures we needed for Grace, worked on gifts for the graduates, found a few things to use at Grace’s party. Felt good to get a little bit of an actual start. Not nearly as far as I was with the other kids at this point, but at least we have started.

Nothing else too exciting today. We had Grandma come down and have dinner with us. Dinner included sweet corn, which was really tasty and Grace and I decided to try the facebook instructions we recently saw for cooking the corn – leaving it in the husks and cooking in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Here’s what happened…

After dinner consisted of a game of Apples to Apples between Grandma, Grace, Olivia and myself. I don’t think I have ever played this game. Must have been good though as I won 🙂

Finished the evening with a dish of sherbet. Nice day but only ended up walking 2.2 miles today. As my kids always say, you really should have one day where you sort of rest.


A Rainy, Stormy Friday Turned Beautiful

May 15, 2020

A bit rainy this morning but then it turned into a very nice day! 69° and sunny.

Arrived at school and still no students but look who was there…

Another quiet day with no students….I feel sadder every day. Sure wish kids were around here.


After work went home, and then I went for a walk with my friend Lisa. Felt that was better to talk to her while walking instead of sitting on my butt. So, we walked for 1.68 miles. Then, just sat on my deck talking. It is always so good to talk to her.

One thing we talked about was being yourself. People need to realize they should always just be themselves. A quote by Lisa’s dad, (wish I would have known him – he sounds awesome!)

Life is not a dress rehearsal.
Do what you want and don’t put up with shit.

Dinner was courtesy of Olivia this evening – homemade chicken potpie. During dinner, I asked who was going on a walk with me (usually I don’t have any volunteers and they already knew I had gone on a walk so I didn’t think anyone would say anything)? Noah said he was going and we are going to Stocks Park. The girls said they would go too. I said, “Oh, so your mom can take photos of you?” (They all hate when I want to do that.) Noah said, “Sure.” Awesome!!

We left and headed towards the park. On the way, Noah said, “I saw a mallard swimming in a puddle today.”  I was SO confused. Just how do you see this from your bedroom?? Then, I noticed the back of his shirt was dirty…Noah, how come your shirt is dirty? He then went on to tell us that he had gone walking on the trail today. Went down behind the Birzer’s house, over behind the Market House, just wherever and he climbed trees as he went. Oh my heavens! I was so thrilled my son, left the house on his own, got fresh air, enjoyed himself and now wanted us to go to the park too.

IMG_8766Arrived at the park and just had a great time…

Noah and Olivia tried walking on balance beams..

I took some pictures of a pretty tree, a cool old building, and some lilacs.

Climbing trees and just taking photos…

Then, what a special treat…running into friends. Katie Van Havel, Hannah Cote, and Gretchen Birzer. LOVED seeing them!! We made sure to take an appropriate photo since we are in Quarantine 2020 and have social distancing measures in place…


But wait…where is Noah? I guess he decided that extra social distancing was required with all these girls…he went a bit far 🙂

Finally headed home and decided we really should support the local businesses…so had to stop at the ice cream store as we walked by it.

Ended at home after walking 1.85 miles. Total walking miles today (my walks plus just normal walking at work, etc.) 5.5 miles.

Just A Simple Thursday

May 14, 2020


How nice to see these little babies on the way into work this morning. They heard me coming so they started running fast! So funny to watch them. One little guy even fell over he was trying to run so fast. They are so cute but oh what a mess they make all over the sidewalk!

Just another day of school with no students. Worked on a number of projects, sent information about classical schools to a number of people across the country. It is so interesting right now all of these people who would love to have Hillsdale Academy nearby so their children could attend or would love if we offered an online homeschool program.

IMG_8722After work talked to Oliver, I mean, Victoria. We did watch Oliver playing with a milk jug. Funny how much fun he was having with the thing! 

I also did a messenger video call
with Rowan.




Noah made dinner….Ramen…a recipe he got from a friend. Basically Ramen noodles with a bunch of stuff in it. He had never made it before but it turned out really good.

Grace and I then went for a 2.59 mile walk. Walked from home to the Academy for me to pick up a paper I left at work. It was really nice out walking.

Kids are playing a game, I’m writing and then working on a new facebook page for my brother’s run for District Judge. Talk to you again tomorrow.



Just another evening…

May 12, 2020

I took last night off from walking. My legs were really hurting after the 5K on Sunday and then CrossFit yesterday. I just came home yesterday and rested with my feet up. Just doing all the walking throughout the day, I still walked 7,760 steps (3.2 miles).

This morning I did a tough CrossFit workout and then off to work. Nothing too exciting. Just getting work done.

After work, came home talked through Brendan Sanger for District Judge with Victoria.

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Grace made dinner – copy-cat KFC mashed potatoes, chicken, corn and gravy. Very tasty.

Then off to meet a friend and walk for 2.95 miles. It’s always great to have someone to walk and talk with.


Quick game of Skipbo with Grace and Olivia – I finally won! Then, off to bed.

Good Night everyone.


WineRun 5K

May 10, 2020

This morning Victoria and I participated in the Wine Run 5K. My 8 year old niece, Rowan joined us. How fun for us all to do this together even though we are in different locations.


Started the race with a couple sips of wine (I really thought I should figure out how to drink it during the whole race – but V said it wasn’t a good idea)

Ok fine…best time I ever had in a 5K and best pace. Even surprised myself jogging in the cemetery – but hey no one is there to laugh at your running…I’m sure some of them were rolling in their graves as I went by but at least on the surface they were all straight-faced. I guess a cemetery really is a good place to run   (check out the green on the map)

Discovered I am also an overachiever as I went 3.21 miles instead of the required 3.11. So time of 52:04 and 16:12 pace. Last time I did a 5K it was a 53:40, 17:16 pace.

Finish line for a medal, glass of wine and picture with Victoria Heckenlively (who of course finished before I did).

Now inside for a brunch cooked by Noah Heckenlively, Grace Heckenlively and Olivia Heckenlively.