Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Big, Boisterous Family September 30, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 10:52 pm

Jeff’s Uncle Larry arrived this last weekend from Oklahoma for a visit with his family in the area.  Mom Simmonds wanted to get all her kids together to see him before he went back so she invited us over Tuesday evening for a potluck supper.  She picked up some Kentucky Fried Chicken and others brought cheesy potatoes, pasta salads, coleslaws, buns and the like.  Jeff requested I bring Snicker Salad and Mom S. made dessert.

Because it was on a Tuesday night there were several who couldn’t make it because of work schedules or living out of town, but you couldn’t tell it by the activity and noise level in the house.  This is part of what makes this family fun.  There is nothing we do together that is low key and quiet.  The kids were riding around and bunny hopping the scooter, riding in the wheelbarrow and wrestling around all evening.  Seth was puttering around with the toy tractors and Raegan was splashing in the sink (and totally drenching Teresa) during her bath.  Sarah got the giggles while she was getting tickled and the men in the living room kept raising their voices as they tried to top each other’s tall tales.  I’m sure I even squealed once or twice when Kristi kept sneaking up behind me to pinch my butt!

I remember being so overwhelmed when I started accompanying Jeff to family functions when we were dating.  My family is so small that even when we’re trying to be loud we are not very noisy.  I wonder if Larry was just a bit overwhelmed as well?

But now that I’m used to it I look forward to events when the whole family gets together.  I’m no longer overwhelmed and i enjoy the craziness of this big, boisterous family.



Highlight Reel September 19th-25th, 2009 September 25, 2009

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 10:45 pm

Saturday-  Zach was at Parker Scout Reservation for the Merit Badge weekend.  Tyler was staying with a friend in Sauk Rapids and I had the house to myself.  I finished my book in the morning before I even got out of bed this morning.  About 10am I headed for Kohls with my 30% off coupon and spent entirely too much time and too much money.  I did pick up a couple of Christmas presents and shower gifts though so it was worth it.  After church I met Jeff in town and we went to Babe’s for supper then went out to Parker to pick up Zach.

Sunday- Zach started catechism today.  We watched the Vikings game and then went to the Pizza Ranch for supper and fishing at the Little Falls Dam.  We had a lot of fun watching the ducks.

Monday-  Janeen came over to tell me all about her trip to Florida (although she forget to bring her pictures) and then Zach and I went to Scouts where we worked on rank advancements and getting ready for Fall Court of Honor.

Tuesday- Monica and Gracie came out to spend the evening with us.  I made Salisbury Steak with potatoes and gravy for supper.  We went for a walk, stopped in to visit my parents and in the evening we headed into Kohl’s to pick up a few things.

Wednesday- Jeff went fishing all day with Ryck.  Zach and I went over to mom & dad’s to visit for a while.  Tyler came home sick from work.

Thursday- went to St Andrews on my lunch break to pick up my Bible study materials.  In a few weeks I will be starting a 24 week study on Matthew.  I’m very excited about this.  This is the second study I have facilitated and I’m loving it.  Tyler felt better today which is great.  A few people he knows has had this and it’s a real quick little bug.

Friday- Mark hosted our patrol night at his house tonight.  We were supposed to have a campfire but because of the rain we ended up having tacos inside instead.  When it did quit raining for a while the boys went outside and played football until it started raining again.  Then it was inside for videogames.  Us parents got a lot accomplished talking about our plans for the upcoming months.


Duck! September 20, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 9:53 pm

This afternoon we had to abandon plans to take the boat out fishing because it was just to gusty.  Instead we decided to head to Little Falls and try some fishing at the dam.

Zach and I head to the dam often.  We like to watch the water roll over the rocks and listen to the crashing of the waves when they drop from the cement waterway.

Jeff went with us today and when we got there and were getting the rods from the back of the car we saw three different flocks of geese fly over us.  We watched them fly over the river in their southernly direction.  When we looked down at the river however we saw something equally fascinating.  There were ducks all over.  They were standing on the shore and on the rocks.  They were swimming and diving for food and some were even frolicking in the water leaking from the dam.

While the fishing tonight wasn’t that great (I lost my lure on the first cast, Zach caught two rock bass and Jeff caught one) we did have a very enjoyable evening enjoying the weather, watching the ducks and marveling in the sunset.



Highlight Reel September 12th-18th, 2009 September 18, 2009

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 10:00 pm

Saturday-  Spent the day at the College of St Scholastica in Duluth for the 4th Annual Catechetical Assembly.

Sunday- Lazy day at home which was nice since I am still recovering from being sick last week.

Monday-  Boy Scouts started for the year.  We have 5, possible 6 new Scouts joining us this year.  Our Troop is really growing!

Tuesday- Went to the Tri-Parish Council meeting.  We had only about half the members show up, but we got a lot more accomplished with less people.  Go figure!

Wednesday- Evening at home with my guys.  Rented the 5th season of the Office (I love that STUPID show!) and we all lounged around.

Thursday- Zach and Jeff threw around the football in the yard while I made supper.  Then Zach and I packed for the Boy Scout Merit Badge weekend he’ll be leaving for on Friday.

Friday-  Came home after work to pick up Zach to go into town for supper before he left for his merit badge weekend at Parker Scout Reservation.  He will be working on 2 merit badges this weekend.  Citizenship in the World (which is required for Eagle) and Computers.  Zach spent the entire ride in trying to decide if he wanted to eat at Burger King or Wendys.  He finally decided on Wendys but we were unable to eat at either place because the power was out throughout the town.


4th Annual Catechetical Assembly September 15, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 10:39 pm

005I had the privilege of being able to attend the 4th Annual Catechetical Assembly put on by the Diocese of Duluth at the College of St Scholastica last Saturday.  The speaker this year was Christopher West who spoke about Theology of the Body.  Theology of the Body was a series of 129 talks that Pope John Paul II gave between 1979 and 1984.  According to the Theology of the Body workbook, TOB is a “biblical reflection on the human embodiment as male and female, particularly as it concerns the call of the two to become one flesh.”

Christopher West has devoted over 10 years to studying the talks given by Pope John Paul II and spreading JP’s message to people in terms that are easy to understand.  His humorous, high energy approach mixed popular media (songs and movies) into his lecture to make a fun afternoon.  Mr West had the crowd humming, singing and laughing throughout the day.

During breaks, those assembled had the opportunity to walk around and shop some of the booths set up.  There were booths set up with material from Mr. West’s ministry as well as catholic bookstores, and other ministries in the area.

On the way home, the group from Brainerd stopped (as per tradition) at the Black Bear Casino for a buffet dinner before arriving home at about 9pm.

Next year the theme for the assembly will be Social Concerns.  I encourage you to go if you have the opportunity.  Brian Pizzalato and his staff from the Diocese of Duluth always puts on a great assembly.


Highlight Reel September 5th-11th September 11, 2009

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 8:14 pm

Saturday-  Zach and I went to the Charles Lindberg State Park and Interpretive Center.  For one of his merit badges he has to go visit a National Landmark.  How convenient to have one so close to us.  It’s been a while since I have been there and Zach never has.  In 2002 they redid the museum and I think they did a really good job. We happened to get in on a Living History Day where they had characters dressed up as Charles grandma, housekeeper, and tenant farmer/handyman.  They all acted like the year was 1918 and even asked us if we all came in on the train!   Later, after Mark called to invite us for an overnight campout Sunday night I figured I’d better get the plum jelly canned.  I ended up with 9 jars of plum jelly and I did 7 more jars of apple butter.

Sunday- had to call Mark to opt out on the campout.  Had a fever of 102.6 and felt lousy.

Monday- still sick.  We didn’t get to do our traditional Labor Day picnic.

Tuesday- called in sick today.  really struggled with that one because calling in sick the day after a holiday means you lose your holiday pay.  But when just taking a shower completely wore me out, I knew it was no use trying to make it to work.  Went to the doctor where they drew 3 vials of blood.  Will know more later today.  Zach’s first day as a freshman!  He was very excited this morning to begin school.  That won’t last long!

Wednesday- Doctor’s office called today to tell me I’m normal.  My family laughed at that.  I decided to take today off as well just to get my strength back.  I’m going back to work tomorrow for sure though.  I’m going crazy sitting here at home!  Zach came home from school and changed into work clothes.  He was on his way to help my dad clean out the gutters.  I have to give that kid credit.  He sure is a helper and I know his grandpa really appreciates having him around.  Now, if he would only do something about that room!

Thursday- headed back to work today.  I probably should have taken today off too because I still felt horrible but I didn’t have a fever anymore so I made it through the day.  Zach however, came home and went right to bed with a fever.  Tyler stayed overnight with a friend because he didn’t want to be in a house full of sickies.

Friday- Zach woke up just fine today, thankfully.  After school we did our traditional 1st day of school thing that we didn’t do Tuesday because I was sick.  We had  chicken noodle soup at moms and this year my back to school cake was in the shape of a combination lock.


Homemade September 10, 2009

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 12:23 pm

This year I spent a lot of time making homemade jellies and apple butter.  There is a certain amount of accomplishment taking something wild (chokecherries, plums) or something that you (or in this case my dad) has grown and peeling, dicing, cooking, straining, and jarring it until it’s a new product for your family to consume. 

I can see the appeal of people who want to give up the rat race of urban life and get back to nature.  Although I like making the jellies, the butters and the homemade cheeses, I think that is where it would end for me.  The idea of having to chop firewood in order to stay warm or milking goats for fresh milk sounds like too much work.  I do like my modern conveniences.  And while I could easily give up the TV (except maybe during hockey season) I don’t know that I could give up my laptop so willingly.

So, I will stick to the country cooking and harvesting (hazelnuts are almost ready) but I will keep my modern lifestyle as well.  It suits me just fine.