Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

A Visit to the Fire Station March 30, 2009

Filed under: Boy Scout Bluster — Angie S. @ 12:17 am

fire20truck_fullLast Friday the Boy Scouts in our troop got the opportunity to visit the Fire Station to work on our Fire Safety Merit Badge.  What a great experience that was.  First off I would like to thank Mark and Kevin for being our instructors that night.  I learned so many things I did not know and I’m sure the boys did too because they were very quiet and attentive for the 2 1/2 hours we were there.  Some things I learned:

**1 in 4 homes do not have a working smoke detector  (change batteries twice a year and blow the dust out of it with compressed air or a vaccuum cleaner monthly)

**Fire is very hot (I knew this part!) and the temperature can be as high as 2000 degrees near the ceiling of your room while only 300-400 degrees near the floor.  Always stay low.

**Fire doubles in size every 30-60 seconds.  This doesn’t give you much time to get out safely.

**Keep all interior doors shut.  There is a huge difference between a room left open and a room with a shut door.  Get in the habit of closing doors when you leave.

**Smoke from a fire is not like what you see in the movies.  Smoke from a fire will make your room blacker then night in just a few minutes.  Even though you know your home this utter blackness can be very confusing.  NEVER go back into the burning building once you have left it.

After the class we got to go out to the garage and look at the different types of fire trucks, the hovercraft, and watch one of the fire fighters slide down the pole.  Soo cool.  I must be a kid at heart because I found some of this to be as exciting as some of the kids did!  When we were done for the evening I gathered their merit badge worksheets and gave them all an atomic fireball to suck on on the way out (I couldn’t resist that one!).  Thank you Brainerd Fire Department for a super fun evening.


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

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 12:01 pm

Saturday-  Zach slept in soo late because we had stayed up until 3am to watch Twilight that we didn’t do too much.  We did go over to my parent’s house and played rummy in the afternoon and then Zach and I played it in the evening too after we had watched Twilight…again.

Sunday-  went to church and catechism and then Zach and I went to St Cloud shopping but didn’t come back with much.  That night I went to check on how my dad was doing (he’s sick with some kind of miserable flu bug) and mom, Zach and I played cards for a while.

Monday-  We had Boy Scouts tonight.  We played Boy Scout Baseball trivia and had good long meetings with our patrol.  Lots of fun stuff coming up- camping at Huntersville and a bike trip in April, a camping trip, a hiking trip and a canoeing trip in May as well.  Can’t wait!

Tuesday:  I went to the Tri-Parish council meeting.  Jeff got to stay home and watch the Minnesota Wild in my place  😦

Wednesday:  Went to mass, soup supper and Stations of the Cross then came home and read for a while in the tub.

Thursday:  At Bible study we finished Luke tonight and spent a long time talking on the Passion narrative.  We have already decided on our Bible Study for next fall…I am so excited!  Tyler spent the evening at home-that was a switch- and I went to mom’s and played cards until midnight.  I won!

Friday:  Rushed from work to get to my tax preparer’s and then home to make supper.  Saw Jeff for about 5 minutes before Zach and I headed into town for the Fire Safety merit badge class at the fire station.  After that I came home and printed up some iron on transfers and made basketball jerseys for our March Madness party tomorrow night.


Twilight Release March 21, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 9:30 am

Yes…I was that crazy.  I attended the Twilight party at Wal-Mart.  What a nuthouse!  I have always told my children if they read a book and it turns into a movie I will either take them to the theater or buy the movie on video for them as a reward for reading.  As a result, I own all the Harry Potter movies and Eragon and a few other’s they’ve read.  Thus I found myself at the Twilight party. 


When I got there at 11:00 pm they had a table set up with a black frosted cake and red (like blood) punch.  They were also giving away a little gift package that had a few things in it but I was wandering around the store so I didn’t get one.  As it got closer to midnight I wandered back to the area where they had they pallet of videos and books shrinkwrapped and sitting on the salesfloor.  The crowd of people (mostly young teenage girls) that was kind of milling around before had started to get serious.  There was a group surrounding the prebuilt movie display about 3-4 feet back from it. 

My friends Sharon and Sarah were there so I started talking to them.  I looked up once to see thetwilight_movie_poster-7184 group of girls surrounding the movies were now plastered right against the display and they were not moving.  Knowing there was going to be total chaos at midnight when they took off the shrinkwrap I decided it was so not worth it standing there any longer.

So off I went to the electronics department where there were also going to be movies but for some reason no one else thought of that so I was first in line back there.  I was watching my watch…it was a few minutes to midnight.  Bill the electronics associate had my movie in his hands just waiting for the clock to strike 12:01am.  All of a sudden I heard a bunch of screaming from the middle of the store (yep-total chaos!).  Bill rung up my movie and bagged it, I paid and walked right past the group in the Twilight area that was still grabbing for movies.  I walked right past the checkouts where people were already standing 20-30 deep in line to pay and right out the doors chuckling.  Suckers!!!


Highlight Reel March 14th-20th, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 8:51 am

Saturday-  I worked today which was kind of weird since I don’t work weekends normally, but inventory is coming up so all management was scheduled.  After work Monica followed me home and she went to church with us and when we came home we made venison and roasted red potatoes for supper,  Then we played 35 and Pass the Ace and I lost both.

Sunday-  I got to sleep in since I didn’t have to teach catechism due to the fact the kids are on spring break and then I had to work the evening.  Jeff and Zach went fishing with Todd and Jake.

Monday-  We had Boy Scouts tonight and the Webelos visited our troop to learn knife safety and more about knot tying.  Our Mighty Eagles Patrol also finalized plans for our upcoming patrol night.

Tuesday-  Happy St Patricks Day!  There is not a spot of Irish in me but since I’m a holiday freak we still did the whole Irish meal with corned beef, potatoes, irish soda bread, peas, green Jello and Shamrock Pie for dessert.

Wednesday- Last of 10 straight working at Wal-Mart so I’m thankful to have the next 4 days off.  After work today I rushed home to make Tuscan Soup ( see Favorite Recipes tab at the top of this page) since it was my group’s turn to serve at the soup supper at church.  Then I went to mass and served at the supper but I skipped out on Stations of the Cross because I had a migraine and couldn’t function anymore.

Thursday-  Ran some errands this morning (library, bank, groceries) then relaxed for a while before going to my parent’s house to play a few games of rummy with them.  Jeff was running late so Zach made supper for him while I ran off to Bible study.  We worked on Luke 6-19 tonight.  Next week we cover the Passion.  When I got home Zach and I watched an older Disney film called Follow Me Boys about Boy Scouts in the 1930’s.  We found it really true to the scouts and a lot of fun so we are going to share it on our next Scout movie night.

Friday-  I must have wore Zach out last night because I didn’t think he was ever going to wake up this morning!  That’s okay though because I knew he was going to be up late running a station at Cub Hibe.  We had 9 boys from our troop show up to teach the Cub Scouts how to properly build fires.  Since we were at the Armory we couldn’t actually light them but I think the Cubby’s learned a lot.  While Zach was doing that I went to Wal-Mart for the Twilight release and then I picked Zach up and we went home to watch it.


I’m a Microfinanceur March 19, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 3:36 am




   Whenever possible, I have always believed it’s better to give somebody a hand up rather then a handout.  Don’t get me wrong charity is wonderful and I do donate to many organizations, but if you can help support someone who’s trying to better their life I think it will make a bigger difference in the long run.  Which is why I have just made another loan to Kiva.

A couple of years ago I was introduced to a wonderful website  Kiva helps entrepreneurs in developing countries find funding for their businesses.  A person can donate as much or as little as they want and all the money will be repaid to them at the end of the loan repayment term.  Then you are free to have the money repaid back to you or reloan it to another entrepreneur.  My last loan was to  a lady named Luma Lelena who was trying to raise her children and a grandchild  by working on her banana farm in Samoa.  She needed a Kiva loan to buy fertilizer and pest control agents so she could expand her farm.  I helped finance that and she has repaid me in full.

The loan I made tonight was to a father of 5 from Tajikistan.  Ikrom Kurbonkulov is a plastering contractor who needs to supplement his income by maintaining a farm on the side.  In addition to his sheep and goats Ikrom would like to add cattle.  My loan and loans from several others will help him accomplish his goal of being self sufficient.

I strongly encourage you to check out this website. This is a reputable organization.  In fact I found out about it when it was nominated as one of CNN’s Heroes.  In these tough economic times it’s not always possible to financially give money to every charity that comes along.  But this is a unique way to give, help make a difference and still get the money back.  It’s a win-win situation.


Cards March 15, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 4:22 am






There are some things that certain families have always done.  It’s in their blood.  For some it’s sports or fishing.  Others it’s gardening or performing.  For my family it’s playing cards.  There is not a get together on either my mom’s side or my dad’s side that does not include breaking out a deck of cards and a pile of coins.  We are not high stakes gamblers but we do play EVERYTHING for money.

My dad will sit for hours and play solitaire.  I’m over at my mom’s several times a week to play a game or two of cards.  Our favorites are card games like 10 penny, rummy and 35.  My aunts and uncles like a rowdy game of poker.  There’s been many a fun time had over a deck of cards. 

  There really is something timeless about playing cards.  They are not faddish, they never go out of style and they can be enjoyed by young (old maid, go fish, crazy 8’s) and old (bridge, cribbage, canasta) alike.  I think it’s pretty telling that one of my mom’s most cherished treasures is the deck of cards her grandma used to play with.  I think it’s the thought of how many times her grandma’s hands have held the same deck she holds.  There’s almost something prayerful in it.


Highlight Reel March 7th-13th, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 4:06 am

Saturday- I spent a very quiet day at home waiting for my son to wake up. He had stayed up all night at a church lock-in and when I brought him home he stretched out on the couch and zonked out. Later our family went to a mass that was said for my first son who died 20 years ago today.  After supper we went to my parents house to play 35 with them.  We had a great time and I even came home a little richer!

Sunday- Jeff and Zach went fishing with Todd and his boys, Tyler and Monica went to a big tool store in Wadena and I stayed home and enjoyed the quiet and caught up on some of my reading.

Monday-  Boy Scouts tonight was all about practicing our fire building techniques.  Our boys will be teaching this station at Cub Hibe so we want to make sure they have it down.

Tuesday-  Tuesday night was Book Club but I opted not to go because of the weather.  I was really hoping it was going to be cancelled so I wouldn’t miss out on my one social event just for ME!  Oh well…

Wednesday-  Jeff had to fix the blower motor in his truck today.  With windchills dipping waaaay below zero it was not a good time for that to go out.  Later we picked up dad and went to mass, soup supper, and Stations of the Cross.  Zach talked to Deacon Marks about his ideas for his Eagle Scout project which consist of expanding the church library, making new bookshelves and pamphlet racks and doing a book drive.

Thursday-  Bible Study tonight was the first of 3 sessions on the Messianic Fulfillment that focuses on the gospel of Luke.  The story is getting better and I’m thrilled with the timing of the study which will put us in the bible at the Passion the week before Easter.


Relaxed in the tub with lots of bubbles!!   ooOO00OOoo00   (those are bubbles for those of you with little imagination)