Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Highlight Reel February 21st-27th, 2009 February 28, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 8:26 pm

Saturday- We had our Mardi Gras party and had a great time. The beads and masks were fun!
Sunday-Had a relaxing day. Monica and Gracie came over for the day and visited.
Monday- Scouts tonight focused on Scout skills. I actually finally learned to tie a bowline and another knot which the name escapes me right now.
Tuesday- went to the Tri-Parish council meeting tonight. We had a guest speaker form the Faith Formation committee that had some interesting things to say.
Wednesday- had my IEP meeting with Zach’s case manager today. It was not what I was hoping for and once again very frustrating.

Thursday- Bible study focused on the Return.  We had read Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther (which is a beautiful story).

Friday- Went to my my friend Lori’s for her son Aidan’s 4th birthday party.  We had pizza (cheese! in honor of her Catholic friends that were there-Thank you) and watched him run through the jungle of helium baloons she had brought home.  It was fun also, to see Amy our friend out of the Book Club context.


FrUsTrAtIoNs PaRt II

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 8:13 pm

I had my IEP meeting with Zachary’s case manager this week.  Needless to say questions didn’t get answered and my frustration with this whole thing is worse then before. 

My main question during the meeting is how can we get his aide to be more effective for him.  Now, I’m not knocking his aide, she’s a very nice person.  However, every time Zachary needs assistance she’s assisting someone else.  I found out that in most classes she is being shared by 6 children and in art class she has to take care of 11 different students!  So while I vowed I would contact the school district and get this whole thing figured out Zach’s case manager handed me his updated IEP to sign.  I looked over the 8 pages and found under the services and modifications page where the PCA/Paraprofessional is listed he had Zach typed in for 240 minutes of direct assistance 5 days a week.  Huh?

If Zachary is sharing an aide with anywhere between 6-11 other students per class how much direct assistance is he getting?  My answer- nearly none.  I wouldn’t sign the IEP.  I mentioned again my concerns and again he didn’t have the answers for me.  I asked him to draw up a new IEP and I would take a look at it.

Yesterday I received the new IEP.  On the services and modifications page there was a change.  Zachary has still listed as receiving 240 minutes of direct assistance but this time it was not listed as a PCA/Paraprofessional it was listed as academic support.  So now the aide we fought so hard to get for him is no longer even in the equation!  My blood is boiling and I will not be signing this IEP either.


Highlight Reel February 14th-20th, 2009 February 20, 2009

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 5:29 pm

Saturday- Happy Valentine’s Day! For Valentines Day this year we did the traditional at home surf and turf meal. We don’t like fighting the crowds at restaurants so several years ago we decided to just do it up special at home. Our meal this year consisted of steak with crab sauce, crab legs, salad, baked potatoes, heart jigglers, chocolate dipped marshmallow fondue, and strawberry shortcake.
Sunday- After church we went out to the breakfast buffet at the Sawmill Inn before taking Zach out to Ski Gull for the Scout Ski Day.

Monday- Scouts tonight had a change of course since the person who was going to work on knife safety with the kids forgot he was supposed to be there so we worked on basic scout skills instead.  We realized the boys REALLY have to brush up on their knots.

Tuesday- We had my mom’s birthday party tonight.  It was a fun evening with the parents and grandparents.

Wednesday- I’m finding my sleep schedule is still screwed up from the overnighters I did a few nights back and I am still very tired.  Jeff, Zach and I did take some time to play Deal or No Deal though and after Zach crashed on the sofa I read for a while.

Thursday-  We had Zach’s 9th grade parent orientation/career planning meeting tonight.  It’s amazing the amount of things they have to keep in mind when choosing their classes for 9th grade so they will align with their goals and career choices for when they graduate.  No wonder kids are so stressed out these days!

Friday-  Enjoyed the beauty of the snow falling down and already wishing it was gone.  I continued to get things together for my Mardis Gras party tomorrow night.  It should be a good time.  Now if I can only find some Zydeco music around here…




Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 5:18 pm


Dealing with the school system lately has become a point of frustration for me. Anyone who has a child with challenges/special needs probably knows what I am talking about. Zachary is in a waxing cycle again with his Tourette’s. Because of this, school is becoming harder for him to deal with. Boredom or not enough activity in the classroom is leading to behavior issues.
My frustration is in the fact that the teachers want to focus on the negatives and punishments for these issues instead of asking what they can do to help or utilizing the tools we have given them to deal with it. Zachary has his own aide that goes to each class with him but during the times when problems arise I ask him where his aide was and he always says she was helping another student. We fought for over a year to get an aide for him, but she is not being a help to him.
I’m sorry if it seems like I am complaining (and maybe I am) but I just had to get this off my chest before I come to the main point.
People are too quick to judge. Usually if there are behavior issues with a child there is an underlying reason. Larger class sizes have made it harder for the teachers to get to know each student they deal with on a daily basis. One wonders how they can effectively teach a student if they don’t know the student or which particular teaching style works best for them.  I believe instead of judging a child so quickly people need to take a step back and determine what else may be going on in this child’s life.  I can guarantee this approach will work better then sending them out of the class to behavior lab for behaviors they can’t even control.


Highlight Reel February 7th-13th, 2009 February 14, 2009

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 11:27 am

Saturday- I babysat for a while and then we went to Lonnie’s house where the Boy Scouts dug out a snow quinzee and erected a teepee. It was really cool! Check out the previous blog to see their work.
Sunday-Taught my catechism class today and then while the guys went fishing I enjoyed a few hours of silence. Later Tyler’s girlfriend Monica stopped by and we played cards.
Monday- Boy Scouts tonight was our last night working on leadership. Now we start with High Adventure!
Tuesday- Book club tonight was good even though the book was bad. We ate at Renata’s. It’s definitely not as good as Olive Garden but it’ll do in a pinch.

Wednesday-Watched the Wild while assembling meeting packets for the BIG One on Thursday.

Thursday- went in to work 2 hours early to work on the movie mods before the meeting and then spent the rest of the day at the Super 8 in our big FYE ’09 Safety Meeting.  It was a very focused productive meeting and I so appreciated everyone that came and provided feedback.  Bible Study this night was finishing up with the Divided Kingdom and 2 Kings and we are now moving onto the period of the Exile.  Things will be looking up in salvation history soon!

Friday- still fighting the migraine I came home with Thursday.  I picked a friend’s son up at daycare since her and her husband were out of town for a funeral.  Zach and Aidan watched a movie while I worked on budgets for the year. (which REALLY didn’t help my headache!)


The Snow Quinzee

Filed under: Boy Scout Bluster — Angie S. @ 11:23 am

Saturday the Boy Scouts had a lot of fun as they attempted to build their first real stay-all-night-in snow quinzee.  A couple of weeks earlier two of the assistant scoutmasters had spent some time pushing some snow into a pile and adding some wooden supports so later the roof wouldn’t cave in on the boys.  Then they let it harden. 

The job of the boys today would be hollowing out an area inside large enough to sleep in.  The boys were busy by the time I got there with the camera.  They were several feet in where the front door was and were also attempting to dig out a side entrance which would open into a teepee they had erected that they would be building a fire in.  The weather was beautiful and the rosy cheeked scouts were having fun.  They would dig out some snow, send it out on a sled to be emptied elsewhere and in between all that they would throw a few snowballs at their unsuspecting friends.

Not all of the scouts were able to spend the night in the quinzee but I’m sure for the few that were able to it was an experience they will never forget.  Boy Scouts is such an awesome program because of all the skills and life lessons it teaches these boys…and the Assistant Scoutmasters who give of their time so freely we appreciate as well.   Thanks Lonnie, Steve and Mark for the wonderful memories!



Highlight Reel January 31st-February 6th, 2009 February 7, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 7:02 am

Saturday-  Spent the day with family.  Played games with Zach and visited my parents for a while.  We also watched the movie Flywheel.  It was a low budget film but it wasn’t bad.

Sunday-  Jeff and Zach went fishing.  They didn’t fair well.  Even though they caught some they released them all and came home with nothing.  I’m thinking they better start bringing home some fish since lent is coming up!

Monday-  Spent my lunch break at my grandparent’s house.  I try to visit with them at least once a week.  They don’t get out as much as they used to especially during the cold winter months so a visit-even a short one- breaks up their day a little.  Then on to Boy Scouts in the evening where we are still working on teaching them leadership skills.  Next month’s theme is on High Adventure so that should be a little more exciting.

Tuesday-  I came home with a HUGE migraine so I did absolutely nothing (except write a blog post at 4am!)

Wednesday- A flipped out day at work. I worked almost 3 hours past the end of my shift just to get everything entered in correctly before I left.  I’m in charge of accident files at my work and we had 3 claims filed that day.  In fact I had all 3 claims in the office at the same time!

Thursday-  Got a call from the school nurse at around 9am this morning that Zach was not feeling well.  He had been so sick over a month ago that when he threw up he tore his stomach lining.  We are still dealing with the after effects of that.  I think it was too much pop this week that did him in.  Normally I keep very little pop in the house.  So when it was there I think he went a little overboard!  Bible study tonight is still on 2nd Kings.  We are learning about the bad kings in the Northern Kingdom who turned away from the Lord and built alters and Asherah poles and the good kings in the Southern Kingdom who stayed truer to God.

Friday-Zach helped me make meat and potato pie for supper and we each kind of did our own thing.  He’s becoming more independent and able to keep himself amused more often which was a struggle in the past.  His Tourette Syndrome has caused him to cling to us which we are trying to break him of. (Click on Favorite Recipes tab at top of this page to view this super fast recipe)