Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Goodbye Old Year, Hello New December 31, 2008

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 1:45 pm

Each December as the old year winds to a close I take some time to reflect on it and decide if the old year has been good to me.

2008 was definitely a year of health woes for my family.  My mom went through a total knee replacement, my dad’s gout became almost unbearable for him and kept him “chair ridden” for weeks at a time, Zach dislocated his knee and spent weeks in physical therapy, Tyler spent the night in the hospital due to an asthma attack, and his girlfriend Monica went through serious brain surgery.

All that alone would make you think 2008 was the most terrible year and that it’s time to usher in the new year.  But then to be fair, you also have to take a look at the highlights of the year and not just the lowlights.

2oo8 was also a year that blessed us with Tyler’s graduation night and party where we were able to spend time with family and friends.  It gave us the opportunity for Jeff and I to be healthy enough ourselves that we were able to help out my parents during their rough time and Zach and Tyler through theirs.  We were able to spend a lot of time this summer doing the things we love like boating, fishing and camping.  Zach was able to advance in Boy Scouts through hard work and perserverance and Tyler was able to add another truck (3 vehicles now!) a motorcycle and a snowmobile to his collection of toys.  And Jeff and I were able to practice our faith through masses, church activities and Bible studies.

So all in all, was 2008 a good year?  I would have to say yes.  Will I be happy to see it go?  Again I would have to say yes.  I’m anxious to start 2009.  There’s a lot of uncertainty… you never know what trials are ahead of you in the new year, but there’s a lot of hope too.  I’m excited to make this year the best ever for my family. 

As you reflect on your 2008 I hope you are thankful for last year’s blessings and may you have a safe and Happy 2009!


Highlight Reel December 20th-26th, 2008 December 27, 2008

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 2:46 am

Saturday- had to work which is unusual for me to work a weekend, but I got a lot accomplished. Our Boy Scout Patrol had plans to go sledding but for the second weekend in a row the weather was bad so we ended up postponing it. We will try it again next weekend.
Sunday- Today is my husband’s 45th birthday. Happy Birthday Jeff! You are my rock and I love you!

Monday-Spent 6 1/2 hours straight bent over a countertop wrapping presents and making pasties for Christmas Eve.  I was never so happy to fall into bed…

Tuesday- picked up a couple more presents even though I had swore I was not going to!

Wednesday- crazy day at work.  Came home and got the house and table ready for company then went to Christmas vigil mass.  After mass my parents came over for pasties and we chatted and listened to Christmas music.  My grandparents were not able to make it and I missed having them there for our traditional Christmas Eve meal.

Thursday- a very hectic day.  Started at my house, went to my parents and had dinner, went to Jeff’s mother’s and visited with family and went back to my mother’s for supper.  Finally crashed back at our place around 8pm.

Friday- Does everybody have to spend their gift cards the very next day???  Work today was crazy nuts.  I think the day after Christmas is way more stressful then the day before (and customers are crabbier too!)


I scream, you scream, we all scream for Snow Cream!! December 22, 2008

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 3:25 am

Well, we got dumped on again! Another snow storm hit the Brainerd area this weekend. Sledding for the Boy Scouts was cancelled and the roads were to cruddy to go anywhere. When life gives you snow what do you do? You make snow cream!!

Rumored to originate in ancient Greece but more of a tradition in the northern US and Canada, snow cream has less calories then regular ice cream.  Not only are the ingredients simple and easy to assemble, making snow cream is a fun way to make memories on a snowy afternoon.

Zach and I decided we would make this old time treat today.  We ate our fill and still had enough to share at my husband’s birthday celebration this evening.  My mom even tried it although my dad was hesitant.  I think he was afraid that we picked the spot where the dog peed!  When you make snow cream it IS important to use fresh clean snow.  Our dog had been in the kennel all day and I went way to the middle of the yard where nothing had been since last week’s snowfall.

If you decide you’d like to make memories of your own the next time it snows check out the Favorite Recipes tab at the top of the page… and enjoy!                                                                                    



Highlight Reel December 13th-19th, 2008 December 20, 2008

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 10:53 pm

Saturday-  Had a special Christmas Fun Day catechism class from 9am-noon today.  We made cookies and had pizza.  Zach had the flu so he stayed home with Tyler.  That evening I went to my cousin Janeen’s annual Christmas party.  It’s always a great time.

Sunday-  We cancelled our Scout ski day at Powder Ridge because we knew the snow was coming in so it was a free day for me with no committments.  There was so much I could have got done at home (cleaning, decorating, wrapping presents, etc.) but I didn’t do any of them.  I watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Zach instead and then watched the Wild game,

Monday- we had our Boy Scout Christmas party.  I taught the boys how to make waffle cookies (last year they learned how to make lefse) and they had their gift exchange.

Tuesday- Zach was still feeling ill.  He stayed home from school so we had a quiet evening at home.  We watched the original Grinch cartoon.

Wednesday-  I worked two hours extra today so I didn’t get home until late.  Then the family watched the Wild lose again!

Thursday-  I went to Kohl’s after work to do some Christmas shopping.  I got the 30% off coupon this month.  How come I only get that when I’m too broke to buy anything for myself??  Then I hurry, hurry hurried to bible study where we studied 1st Samuel tonight.

Friday-  Zach still feeling icky.  I’m going to try to get him in to the doctor and see what’s going on with that stomach of his.  After he went to sleep I went to the Little Falls Wal-Mart and searched out the deals there.  They mark down their merchandise sooner then we do because they don’t sell it as fast.  FINISHED my shopping!!  Then watched to Wild WIN!


Highlight Reel December 6th-12th, 2008 December 13, 2008

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 6:31 am

Saturday-  Did some Christmas shopping this morning .  In the afternoon I made peanut butter fudge, pecan shortbread trees and Zach and I pulled some saltwater taffy.  After a hearty lasagna supper we watched the Wild game.

Sunday-  Church, catechism, more baking.  Tyler’s girlfriend Monica came over to lend a hand.  We also got the tree up but it’s not fully decorated yet.

Monday-  Scouts tonight watched the video A Time to Tell about sexual abuse and molestation.

Tuesday- Book club.  Discussed A Christmas carol by Charles Dickens.  One classic a year (in October) is plenty for me… I do not like Dickens.  But thanks to Brenda for offering her home to us.  Everyone brought such authentic food based on the book.  We had figgy pudding and ham and even roasted chestnuts!

Wednesday-  Bernice, Lori and I went to Karens for our Christmas get together.  She’s tired of fighting the cancer and says she just wants to go “home”.

Thursday- Bible study tonight was on the book of Judges.  We also had a little side discussion on the book of Ruth as well.

Friday-  Zachary had a birthday party at an indoor waterpark and while he was there I went to my grandparent’s to celebrate my Aunt Bonnie’s Birthday party.  Happy Birthday Bon Bon!


A Time to Die

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 6:23 am


I spent an evening with my friend Karen the other day who is in the final stages of cancer.  She confessed to me that she is not fighting it this time.  The cancer is winning and she knows she’s fighting a losing battle.  She told me she is ready to go home to heaven. 


How does one decide that now is the time to die?  What an incredibly difficult decision for one who had so much more they wanted to do and see.  Karen had really looked forward to a full and exciting retirement.  She wanted to travel and do more things with her friends.  We were both excited that my days off and hers would finally match up so we could get together more often and talk. 

Before she retired and she got the weekend off and my weekend wasn’t filled with my kid’s activities we would get together at my house.  Sometime she would bring food out, sometimes I would cook.  I’d mix up a pitcher of iced tea and we’d sit on the deck in my swing and talk all afternoon.  We never ran out of things to say.  She’s a great listener and has always been a great support to me when I went through a few trials in my life.

Unfortunately retirement didn’t go the way it was planned.  A few short months before retirement she had a major heart attack that left only 20% of her heart and the cancer took over after that.  Now instead of planning trips, she’s planning her funeral…and deciding that she is ready to die.

I selfishly want to beg her to hold on.  She might be ready to go, but I am not ready to lose her.  Yet I know the decision is not mine to make.  The decision is Karen’s and the Lord’s.


Highlight Reel November 29th-December 5th, 2008 December 7, 2008

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 12:44 am

Saturday-  Went to town to run errands in the morning and spent the afternoon working on sending out requests for Eagle congratulation letters.  Started cooking for tomorrows Court of Honor and watched the Wild game against the Nashville Predators in the evening.

Sunday- Church in the morning, spent afternoon cleaning house and getting the outside of the house ready for winter and in the evening we went to Zach’s Boy Scout Court of Honor.  Zach was awarded his Life Scout badge tonight. 

Monday-  Movie night at scouts tonight.  It’s always a nice relaxing night for the scouts who have spent the last couple of months finishing up merit badges and getting ready for Court of Honor.

Tuesday-  Candy making night!  Janeen and I got togther after work this evening to make candy for Christmas.  This is a 10 year annual tradition for us. 

Wednesday- I had Lector training at church tonight.  Zach and Jeff delivered the rest of the wreaths and then we all came home to watch the Wild game.

Thursday- Bible study tonight after a week off because of Thanksgiving.  We discussed the book of Joshua tonight. 

Friday-  Zach and I went to Wal-Mart tonight to volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army.  Mark (assistant scoutmaster for Troop 43) and his two scouts Andrew and Eric volunteered their time as well.  This is always a great time.  I truly enjoy greeting the people and witnessing first hand thier generoisty even in these tough economic times.