Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Christmas Day 2010 December 26, 2010

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 12:54 am

What an amazing Christmas Day this has been!  Tyler got up early to pick up Monica & Gracie and bring them to our house for Christmas morning.  It was such fun watching my little Gracie girl open her presents.  She was thrilled with her Disney princess Barbie dolls and played with them most of the morning while we opened our gifts.

Then, at the end of the gift opening Tyler pulls out a whopper of a gift and proposes to Monica!

From there we went to my mom’s for more gift opening:

Then of course, the food.  Mom outdid herself like always-

Finally we get to finish the day with Grandma Simmonds-


Christmas Eve or Oh Holy Night

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 12:17 am

I never realized how important the family traditions had become to my boys until we spent this year without most of them.  This year has been an incredibly hard year on our family, especially my mom.  She has spent weeks at a time caring for first, her mother, and now her father. 

Traditionally on Christmas Eve we spend the evening after mass with my parents and my grandparents when we could.  The last few years because of health reasons my grandparents had been unable to join us but we still had my parents.  This year we spent a quiet evening alone.

Traditionally on Christmas Eve we eat pasties and snack after Christmas Eve mass.  This year we had the pasties for supper, went to mass and came home just to go to bed early to prepare for Christmas Day.  (Well, SOME of us got to go to bed early, right Jeff?)

Traditionally we take pictures in front of the tree.  This year no pictures.

Zach had a long face when I initially told him Grandpa & Grandma wouldn’t be with us on Christmas Eve, but he adapted well.  Next year we’ll get back in the groove again.

Yes, it just didn’t seem like Christmas Eve to me, but it was sorta nice anyway.


Highlight Reel December 18th-24th, 2010 December 25, 2010

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:52 pm

Saturday- Christmas shopped early in the morning & wrapped presents in the afternoon.

Sunday- Forced Jeff to go Christmas shopping with me this afternoon.  Then we went & visited Papa and my mom for a while.

Monday- Christmas party at Scouts tonight was fun.  After the presents and the food the boys went sledding and snowboarding.

Tuesday- Today was Jeff’s 47th Birthday.  Happy Birthday honey, I love you!  I invited Dad over for country fried steak, mashed potatoes & hamburger gravy, corn and cake & ice cream for Jeff’s birthday.  And because we hadn’t had a chance to celebrate Dad’s birthday last month due to health issues with Papa, etc., I had a cake and present for him as well.  After we sang Happy Birthday to Jeff, I brought out another lit cake and we sang Happy Birthday to dad.  After he closed his jaw, and amidst protests of “it’s not my birthday” we got him to blow out his candles too!

Wednesday- Put the pastie meat in and Jeff took it off.  Not feeling well went to bed early

Thursday- Suddenly overwhelmed by all I have left to do.  Had a mini emotional breakdown, then moved on.  Finished making the pasties.  Those are really a lot of work!   Then went into town, finally finished buying my last gift and stopped and visited Mom for a while.

Friday- Not a traditional Christmas Eve by any means but any Christmas Eve I can spend with the ones I love is one that will be cherished.


Scenes from a Bookie Christmas Party December 17, 2010

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:57 pm

Tuesday night the Bookies Book Club had their annual Christmas party.  We had barely got home from a doctor’s visit in the cities so I didn’t have time to whip up a fancy appetizer, but I did make up a wok full of bean dip and quickly molded some homemade gummy bears.  Amy was our hostess for the evening and we started out discussing our Christmas read The Christmas Sweater by Glen Beck.  As Christmas reads go it was fairly typical and predictable fare, but in December we don’t really go thinking we are going to have a great discussion worthy book review.  No, we go for the FOOD and PRESENTS!!

The food did not disappoint.  We had broccoli chicken alfredo, cheesy potatoes, salads, ham & cheese bites, meatballs, bean dip, cheeseballs, quinoa, salami and cream cheese spread, punch, homemade buttercreams, and lots of cookies.  After reviewing the book and nominating one for next month (that would be The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton at almost 600 pages) we got to the gifts.

Each Bookie brings a gift valued at $10 or less.  This year we drew numbers.  The person with number one got to pick the first gift and open it.  The person with # 2 could either steal from #1 or pick a different gift.  The person with #3 could steal from either 1 or 2 or grab a different gift and so on and so forth.  There were some great gifts!  There were homemade chocolates and jelly, homesewn reusable grocery bag, santa platters, christmas ornaments, digital photo keychain and gift cards to Kohls and Caribou and many others!  We had a lot of fun sharing Christmas memories of bad or awkward gifts we had received over the years (many coming from the hubbies!)

It was a great evening with a group of women that have become like friends and family over the years.  I wish each of them a very Blessed Christmas!


American Ninja Warrior houseparty

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:32 pm

Having fun at the American Ninja Warrior houseparty!


Highlight Reel December 4th-10th, 2010

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:32 pm

Saturday- I was busy today (oh yes, Jeff and Zach helped too!).  We made: Berry Shortbread Dreams, Mouse Cookies, Mounds Balls, Cathedral Window Candy, homemade marshmallows, peanut butter fudge, waffle cookies, and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.  Add that to what Janeen & I made: Ritz dipped, dipped pretzels, gourmet pretzels, peanut blossoms, wreath cookies, spritz, peanut butter balls, mint truffles, cookies and cream bon bons and I think we have a pretty good assortment.  We also had time to put some venison jerky in the oven and dehydrator before we headed to Janeens for her annual Christmas party, which was a blast like always.

Sunday- didn’t want to wake up today since I didn;t get to bed until 2:30 in the morning.  But get up I did and we got Zach to catechism on time, cleaned up the house from the remainder of the cookie making mess the night before and got cooking again for our house party this afternoon.  I was hosting an American NInja house party and so I went with a mixture of American & Japanese (Chinese actually) food.  I made General Tsao’s chicken and mini hotdogs in buns.  I made a big pot of beef lo mein and also had chips, pop, japanese rise candy and candy sushi rolls I had made.  Alvin also brought some macaroni salad to share. 

Monday- After work I picked up Zach, Andrew & Austin.  We checked out the new pawn shop location before I took Zach to driver’s ed.  Then Andrew & Austin hung out with me until we went to scouts.  We went to the Salvation Army thrift store because I was looking for an ugly sweater to wear to the bookies Ugly Sweater Christmas party.  I did find an ugly sweater there but it was a little too tight.  Andrew found some hockey skates and Asutin scored some golf clubs for 98 cents each.  Then we headed to another thrift store where I did find a sweater that had an atrocious combination of colors in it.  We also walked around ythe mall before heading for scouts.

Tuesday- Getting tired of hanging around fr 3 hours while Zach learns how to drive

Wednesday- Today while Zach was at driver’s ed I went over and visited with Papa for a while.  Dad was sitting with him while Candy was shopping.

Thursday-  Happy 63rd birthday Bonnie!  Sorry we had to miss it but I hope you enjoyed your supper out and cake afterwards.  I had Bible study on Acts 13-14  tonight.

Friday-Zach went to his friend Eli’s and spent the night.  Oh, heavenly peace and quiet!


Highlight Reel December 11th-17th, 2010

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:28 pm

Saturday- Big snowstorm in the twin cities but we only got about an inch.  I went into town early to get a little shopping done while Zach was still sleeping in at his friend’s house.  Although I didn’t get near enough done it was a great start.  Yes- I said start.  Scary, huh?  Later, Papa went into the hospital with a bad case of the stomach flu.

Sunday- Jeff, Zach and I headed for St. Cloud to get some more Christmas shopping done.  Coincidently we saw Jeff’s brother Greg in Scheels and were able to visit with him, Bev and Jason for a while.  That was pretty cool! 

Monday- I headed to the hospital to see Papa today and he had been released a little earlier. Yay! Zach’s last week of drivers ed. Yay! 

Tuesday- We left before 6am for an appointment with Zach’s surgeon in the cities.  We got stuck in traffic starting near Rogers and spent 50 minutes traveling only 5 miles.  FOUR HOURS later- we arrived at the hospital 40 minutes late for our appointment.  He first had a functional test with a therapist which went pretty good.  His numbers, times, etc were pretty close from one side to the other.  His balance and form were not as impressive.  He was a little shaky but he passed the tests so all was good.  Then his surgeon reinforced what the therapist had said and told us we did not need to come back again.  Then, per tradition, we stopped at Olive Garden on the way home to celebrate.  We got home in time to get Zach to the test for driver’s ed and I hurried back home to make goodies for the Bookie Christmas party.

Wednesday-Chills kept me bundled up on the couch tonight.

Thursday- I took Zach over to the permit testing facility where he wowed them all with a 32/35 on his test and exited with the application to bring to the DMV for his permit.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to get the grin off his face.  It was so cute!  After getting his yellow card he got in the car and said “technically mom, I could drive home.”  And I told him technically he was right but it wasn’t probable.  But I’m such a pushover that after we got out of town I pulled over so he could drive us home.  Once home I locked myself in my room to finish my Bible study assignment for that night and Zach and Jeff put up the Christmas tree.

Friday- Finally!  It was a rough and stressful week and I was thrilled it was Friday until another department manager told me some managers were being scheduled for the weekend so I checked and sure enough, my assistant manager scheduled me without even telling me.  I talked to my c0-manager and she said since he didn’t ask I didn’t have to come in.  I might go in for a few hours though.  Haven’t quite decided yet.  The fam and I spent the evening watching several episodes from season 3 of The Big Bang Theory.  Sheldon cracks me up!  It’s not near as good as my favorite series The Office, but it will do in a pinch when the Wild aren’t on.