Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Highlight Reel April 18th-24th, 2009 April 24, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 7:05 pm

Saturday- Zach stayed up to late with friends last night which caused him to sleep until almost noon today!  After a trip to town to pick up my book club book from the library I came home, did a bunch of laundry, and put supper in the oven on timer cook so it would be ready when we got home from church tonight.  Tyler helped Monica pick out and set up her new laptop, Zach went to spend the night with Brett, and Jeff and I watched Twilight.  Jeff wanted to see the movie everybody had been talking about.  He must have liked it because afterwards he spent the next 1/2 hour quizzing me about what happened in the second and third book!

Sunday:  Taught our second to the last catechism lesson for the year.  Then we went home where my friend Mark and his boys were waiting for us.  From here we traveled to the St Cloud Regional Airport where the St Cloud State Aviation Ambassadors were holding an event to teach the youth about Aviation.  The Boy Scouts got to learn about aviation, tour the airport,  use the airplane flight simulators, and work on their aviation merit badge.

Monday- Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go  😦   All good things must come to an end.  Vacation is over.  After work , a walk with Janeen in the sleet, and Beef Lo Mein for supper we went to the Red Roof Inn with the Boy Scouts to go swimming.  We invited the Webelos to come tonight to experience some of what we do as Boy Scouts and hopefully they will cross over form Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and join our troop.

Tuesday- Tri Parsh council meeting tonight and after that I attended another meeting for the new subcommittee on Adult Faith Formation.  Then Zach and I went to mom’s to play a game of cards before Zach’s bedtime.

Wednesday- I met Jeff and Zach for lunch and after work I headed to the Wal-Mart in Little Falls for something I had to pick up that we didn’t have here.  When I got home I put Italian Stuffed Shells in the oven while Janeen and I went for a 2 mile walk.

Thursday- We had our last Bible Study for tonight.  We finished up the book of Acts.  I will miss our weekly conversations and am already looking forward to next fall.  Thank you Henry for your sense of humor, thank you Carrie for the beautiful bracelet you made me, and thank you Caroline for the gorgeous necklace you gave me!  After bible study Zach and I brought cheesecake over to my parents house.

Friday- After work I went home to pick up Zach and we went to Janeen’s.  Zach brought his bike and he biked while Janeen and I walked in the rain.  I told her I would melt but she didn’t believe me!  Then we went back in to town to meet the Boy Scouts at the church and give them the worship bulletins for Sunday morning.  Zach and I are unable to go camping with them in Huntersville this weekend so we are kind of bummed about that.


Airport Day April 20, 2009

Filed under: Boy Scout Bluster — Angie S. @ 12:08 pm

Last Sunday the Mighty Eagles Patrol of Troop 43 got the opportunity to visit the St Cloud Regional Airport for an event hosted by the St Cloud State Aviation Department.  This was a super fun day that the department did a great job of putting together.  From noon until 3pm the Airport was open for the youth of the area to get some hands on experience in.

Our patrol got to go to Ground School where we learned the difference between piston, turbojet and turboprop engines.  We learned about lift, thrust and drag, airfoils, ailerons, elevators and rudders.  We learned about the different pilot certificates and some career opportunities in aviation.

The boys also got the opportunity to perform a preflight inspection of a Cessna 152 airplane.  They learned how to check the fuel that’s stored in the wings.  They learned how to sump the plane and check the oil.  They got to check the aileron hinges and see if the altimeter was working and many more things.

Then the patrol got to try out the flight simulator.  They learned that there is more to steering the plane then just turning the yoke.  They got to try their hand at takeoff, flying (a few tried barrel rolls!), and landing the plane.  Eric even got to try landing the plane on the runway at night.

We got to tour the airport as well.  There were many different planes out in the general aviation area of the airport for us to take a look at.  We got to sit in a Blackhawk helicopter and the boys did parachute jumps without the parachute.  We got to take a look inside some of the hangers at the shiny $15 million corporate jets parked there.  We also got a chance to hang out in the pilot’s lounge and watch some of the Twins game on the big screen TV while we warmed up. 

All in all it was a quality program put on by SCSU which allowed our Boy Scouts to really get a feel for the opportunities available in aviation and for them to earn their Aviation Merit Badge.


Highlight Reel April 11th-17th April 18, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 8:02 am

Saturday- In the morning Zach and I went to my mom’s house as is our tradition to color Easter Eggs. Then a final trip for groceries and home to start cooking for The Easter dinner.The menu: Ham, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Stuffing, Cheesy Vegetable Casserole, Cucumbers in Cream, Glorified Rice, Fruit Salad with OJ Reduction, homemade dinner rolls, deviled eggs, vegetable/relish tray, carrot shaped cheeseball, Jello bean eggs, ressurection cookies, banana cream pie, strawberry cream dessert, apple pie (okay, I bought this), and punch.  After Easter Vigil Mass (which Tyler made it home from work in time for) we came home to make Resurrection Cookies.

Sunday-  I had my parents, grandparents, aunt, and Tyler’s girlfriend and her daughter over for Easter dinner.  After dinner we talked for a while, celebrated Zach’s birthday a little late, played Michigan Rummy and then had supper.  It was a nice quiet afternoon.

Monday- Boy Scouts tonight focused on finishing thier leather projects.  We also talked about starting the cycling merit badge this summer.  Can you believe this entails a 100 mile bike ride?  I better start getting in shape real fast!

Tuesday- Finally got over my exhaustion from being sick and doing the whole Easter thing.  It was so nice today that when I went out to my mailbox I just kept going and ended up going for a walk.

Wednesday- I brought my vehicle in for repair.  My 4 wheel drive switch broke so half the time I think it was running inbetween 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive.  Anyway, it was fixed in a matter of hours and I was only charged for the part.  This is the second time this auto repair place has fixed my car and not charged me labor!  If you live in my area and need the name of a repair shop let me know!  Later Zach and I went for a short 2.5 mile bike ride.  We should have started earlier it was already getting dark when we left.

Thursday- Made some new business cards for our Scoutmaster to hand out as a recruiting tool and typed up some information to hand out at our Spring Court of Honor. Bible Study tonight was on Acts.  Our study is almost over, only one more session to go  😦

Friday- Went to town to get Jeff’s paycheck, cashed it then went the other way to go shopping in St Cloud.  Picked up some materials at the Scout store and went to Savers to load up on short sleeved shirts for the summer.  After I got home I spent some time in the sun on the patio.  Later Zach and I met Jeff in town for pizza and then I came home to work on the computer the rest of the night.


Master Web Designer Extraordinaire April 16, 2009

Filed under: Boy Scout Bluster — Angie S. @ 1:40 pm

For the last two weeks I have been working on setting up a new website for our Boy Scout Troop.  Our old free website was bought out by another scout data entity and suddenly they wanted to charge us $89 a year for using it.  Although the website had many wonderful options, as a non-profit organization that uses all it’s fundraising dollars to help the boys get to campouts and summer camp at as little cost to them as possible, this price was a little to steep.  I began the search to find another free website.  I searched for days and could come up with nothing.

I considered buying software and designing my own, but I guess you still need to find someone to host it and the price for that at $49 was still too much.  One day on Facebook I noticed an advertisement at the side of the screen for a FREE Scout website.  I clicked on it to see if I could find the catch and there wasn’t one so I immediately signed up.

I have had so much fun putting this together and I have learned SO much.  I actually know very little about computers but I was able to get this website up and running because this site is so easy to work with.  It allows our Scouts to sign in and see different information then what the general public sees, I am able to post notes and blogs, add pictures of our events, send out automatic e-mail reminders about events the day before they happen, and send an automatic text message out 2 hours before if there is an unexpected change of plans or venues.

My son Tyler  just shook his head when I told him he could add web designer to my list of talents, but I’m quite proud I was able to give this a try and succeed.  Thanks My Scout Link for a fun experience!  Check out our Troop website by clicking here.


Resurrection Cookies April 12, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 10:10 pm

Any who knows me knows I’m big on tradition.  One of our traditions on the evening before Easter is to gather at the table as a family and make Resurrection Cookies.  This is a recipe I found many years ago when I was trying to teach my children that Easter meant more then the Easter Bunny and a basket full of candy.  They enjoyed it so much and I found it so meaningful that we have done it every year since. 

Start by gathering all your ingredients together so that there are no distractions once you get started.  You will need:

1 cup pecan halves

1 tsp. vinegar

3 egg whites


1 cup sugar

zipper baggie

wooden spoon



mixer and bowl

parchment or waxed paper lined cookie sheet


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Do this right away, do not wait until you are half done with the recipe.  Place pecans in zipper baggie and let the children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3. 

Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 tsp. vinegar into the mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30. 

Add the egg whites to the vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.  Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.  Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.  Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him.  Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.  Fold in the broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the lined cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.  Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66.  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16:20 and 22.  GO TO BED!

On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  Read Matthew 28:1-9.


The first year that my children rushed to the oven for the cookie before even attempting to look for their Easter baskets I knew I had succeeded in making the point I wanted to make.  Try this with your family next year, young or old.  I think not only will they be amazed (the hollow cookies are kind of cool) but I believe it could become a very cherished tradition for your family as well.  Happy Easter!




Highlight Reel April 4th-10th, 2009 April 7, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 5:35 am

Saturday: Went shopping, went out for lunch, went to church in the evening.
Sunday: Taught catechism in the morning, went to a really nice Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony and luncheon for Andrew from our Boy Scout Troop in the afternoon, babysat in the evening so Tyler and Monica could go to the newest Fast and the Furious movie.
Monday- Zachary’s 14th Birthday! This morning I did my traditional Birthday Ballet for Zach (long story!). In the evening Zach and I went to Scouts where they started working on their Leathermaking Merit Badge. They are making leather book covers for their Scout books.

Tuesday-Made Zach his favorite meal for his birthday since we couldn’t do it the night before.  Zach watched the movie Bedtime Stories while I watched the Wild game.

Wednesday- we spent the evening cleaning for the upcoming holiday.  Love entertaining…hate cleaning!

Thursday- Didn’t feel well, didn’t make it to Holy Thursday Mass.

Friday- Still didn’t feel well so went to the doctor.  I have strep throat.  Would blame it on the two other Bookies that had it, but haven’t seen them for a while!


Highlight Reel March 28th-April 3rd, 2009 April 4, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 3:05 am

Saturday- We had a full day today.  From 9-noon we had a special lenten catechism class.  I used the Resurrection Eggs to go over the Easter story.  The kids were very excited to take their turn opening each egg to see what was inside, then they each read the Bible verses that went along with that egg.  After catechism Zach and I spent the afternoon making homemade soft pretzels and homemade cheese sauce for the March Madness party we were going to be attending later.  We went to church and after church we went to Mark & Kris’ where we had a lot of fun at the March Madness party.  We didn’t get home until after 1am!

Sunday- Zach and Jeff went fishing for 10 hours (I’m not kidding-it really was 10 hours), Tyler went to a friends to work on his pickup and I got a few hours of peace and quiet.  I did some housework, put a meatloaf in the crockpot and went to mom and dad’s to play cards.  In the afternoon I baked homemade bread while I worked on the meal menu for April and Easter dinner and in the evening I watched the Wild game.

Monday-  Zach and I went to Boy Scouts tonight where the boys practiced for the Eagle Scout ceremony on Sunday.  Afterwards we came home and watched Bolt.  Cute movie-LOVED the cat!

Tuesday- Snow coming down pretty good today so they closed school 2 hours early.  Zach and Jeff watched the movie Baitshop while I did some work on the computer.  I think I’m finally caught up with my scout stuff.

Wednesday-  After work I came home and made a cake for the soup supper (more on that later!) and after Stations of the Cross I came home and started to set up the new website for our Boy Scout Troop.  Finally at about 1 am I logged out and went to bed.

Thursday-  Jeff, Zach and I went to Saint for supper and then I went to Bible Study where we studied the first 8 chapters of Acts.

 Friday-Watched a very exciting Wild game!