Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Highlight Reel May 21-27, 2011 May 30, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 12:02 am

Saturday- Zach at Order of the Arrow Enclave, Mom is bored!

Sunday-  I picked up Zach from his Order of the Arrow Enclave Weekend, we went home so he could shower before we headed to my brother-in-law’s house for my nephew Eric’s confirmation.  Jeff had purchased for him (all on his own, I was so proud) a beautiful leather Bible.  Eric really loved it.  Jeff did awesome!

Monday- Zach’s Spring Court of Honor was tonight.  It was one of our better ones.  Zach received his Safety Merit Badge and his Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge (his last one required for Eagle!) and he also received his Ad Altare Dei religious emblem.

Tuesday- I attended the Adult Faith Formation meeting at St Andrew’s Church.  We talked about upcoming religious classes and offerings for the upcoming summer and Fall.  I will be starting a Bible Study on Revelation in September.  Yay!  This one will be a real eye opener for me as I have not read Revelation much since it’s so confusing. 

Wednesday- Jeff temporarily fixed the mower so we were able to make it limp along long enough to mow the lawn.  It always looks so nice before those darn dandelions pop back up again!

Thursday & Friday- not much shakin’


Project 52 Update- Week 17 May 25, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:27 pm


I have been finding out a lot about myself since I started Project 52.  I have always been a list maker.  I love to make lists and cross things off it.  But I have discovered I was a tad too ambitious when I initially made my project list.  I put quite a few “weekly” items on my list.  Goals I have to try to accomplish every week like take an outdoor walk weekly.  Now that may not sound too hard to most people, but my goal was to do it even during the cold Minnesota winter.  Well, umm,  that didn’t happen!  It can get pretty cold here in January!

There are also goals like Have 3 Tyler days this year.  That’s a day that I spend wit my 21 year old, just him & I.  Of course it never ocurred to me that he might not want to have a Mom day!  He’s always so busy with his girlfriend, friends and job, there just isn’t much free time left for dear old mom. 

I haven’t given up completely though.  I will continue to sporadically track my progress and update it here (more for my accountability then anything) and I do want to do this again next year.  My goals will definitely be smaller (not all of them because I still want to feel as if I had stretched and accomplished something) and not so many weekly or monthly projects will end up on the list.

To cap it all off, here is how I am doing:

1.  Try 1 new main dish recipe a month.  (This month I made Baked Penne using the stash of Philadelphia Cooking Creme I purchased with all my coupons.  It was very good!)

2.  Try 1 new dessert a month.  (My guys are always complaining I don’t bake enough)  In May I tried a new “easy” rhubarb cake recipe.  It had very good flavor but I do not think that was the way it was supposed to look when it came out of the oven!)

3.  Make a crockpot meal once a week (It’s such a timesaver!)   Baked Penne in the crockpot for our Boy Scout Spring Court of Honor

4.  Stick to my weekly grocery budget (I’m trying the new cash envelope system for this)   Some weeks I do good, some weeks I just TOTALLY blow it.  Last week was good $48.00.

5.  Add to my savings monthly  -Still subtracting!

6.  Pay off all hospital/doctor bills by April 1st  (I explained in an earlier post that I was expecting my insurance company to pay more on Zach’s physical therapy then they did.  We are unfortunately left with a huge bill for this that we probably won’t have paid off by August 1st!)

7.  Take an outdoor walk weekly (Even in this cold Minnesota weather) NOPE!

8.  Do the 50 mile bike ride with Zach.  Now that Zach’s knee is healed, mine is not.  It’s almost there yet and hopefully by the end of the week I will try to get on the bike and try a mile or two to see how it feels.

9.  Do a girl’s camping trip or weekend with Janeen.  (We’ve been planning this for years and never do it)   Yay!  We did this one.  We went to Granite Falls and stayed at the casino there.

10.  Take mom out for margaritas.  (Can you say “happy hour”, mom?)

11.  Host a Bunco night

12.  Wash the outside of my house  (It’s awful, it really is)

13.  Lose 20 pounds  (I must have read this wrong.  I thought it said gain 20 pounds.  My bad.

14.  Go ice fishing with my hubby (He likes to fish- I don’t.  and I HATE the cold!)  I went summer fishing with him last week do I get half a point for that?

15.  Shoot bow with my hubby  (He really wants me to do this so I will)

16.  Do 1 date night a month with my hubby.  (I’m hearing all the time on Facebook how all my friends have such a good time on their weekly date nights.  I’m so jealous!)          Went out for supper in April, working on going to the theater for May.

17.  Read 100 books.  (Last year I read 86 I KNOW I can hit 100 this year)    Book 29/100 read.

18.  Do an independent Bible study.  (Started this but it’s a loooonnnngggg one)

19.  Read 1 inspirational book a month.  Read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

20.  Pull 1 book a month off my personal bookshelf and place it in my TBR pile.  (I have a lot of books I’ve purchased because I sincerely want to read them, so why do I keep checking out stacks from the library?)  For May I started In the Woods by Tana French but I put it aside about 50 pages in for a library book that I received an overdue notice for.  I will get back to it though.  I’m liking it!

21.  Go through clothes in closet and give to charity.  (I’m not a clothes horse but I have run out of room)  I brought home boxes.  Half a point?  Maybe?

22.  Blog on book blog once a week.  (I enjoyed book blogging but I quit when life got crazy and I just haven’t gotten back to it)  Misseed last week byt I posted last on May 15th.  Doing better, but I have to finish a book if I want to review it!

23.  Plan at least 2 meals a week from my pantry.  (I get such great coupon deals and I have been stockpiling.  Now I have to use it.   I made Baked Penne using the Spaghetti Sauce and Philadelphia Cooking Creme I had on hand and one night we had Pork Teriyaki with the rice and teriyaki  mix I had.

24.  Add $5.00 to my Christmas fund weekly  (doesn’t sound like much but it will add up, trust me)  Whoops!  I forgot about this one completely!

25.  Find new website for Boy Scouts (the one I have been using now wants to charge us so I’m shopping for a new free one)

26.  Update the new website for Boy Scouts once a week during school year

27.  Paint my living room  (I’m afraid of color.  I like open, clean white but I’m ready to stretch)

28.  Redo wiring/cabling on my TV/home theater/ DVD recorder/satellite.

29.  Install new garbage can roller system under sink

30.  Fill in potholes in driveway (it’s like riding a bucking bronco all the way up to my garage)

31.  Go to 3 movies at theater this year.  (we never go, it’s pitiful)

32.  Get flower beds cleaned out by June 1st  (last year I think I got to them sometime around the 4th of July!)  This one is not my fault!  At least not all of it.  I took a week off of work to get this done but I messed up my knee and spent most of it on crutches.

33.  Get flag back up on flagpole.  (pulley system broke- I miss it)

34.  Get back to weekly training topic at work.    This has not been happening.  Since I inherited a third department I feel like I have no extra time for anything  😦

35.  Hold 2 training meetings at work this year  (see #34)

36.  Go on 1 pilgrimage with my church  (I’ve missed some good ones due to expense or having to take time off from work.  One of the day trip pilgrimages would be fun.  Walmart will not close down if I ask for the day off!)

37.  Have Janeen and Al over for a card night.

38.  Have Janeen and Al over for a BBQ

39.  Treat mom & dad to a Dutch Oven meal.

40.  Hold a coupon class for the Janeen, Lori & Janelle (they’ve been begging!)

41.  Bring treats to work for the holidays to thank my associates and show them they are appreciated (I’m thinking Valentines, St Patricks Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas.  I used to do this several years.)  I did Valentines but forgot St Patrick’s day and Easter

42.  Visit Papa twice a  week.  (Some weeks I do good, other weeks it’s hard to catch him home!  I guess that’s a good thing that he can get out and do things though!)

43.  Get Kevin started on religious emblem.  I not only started with Kevin, I have another boy starting too!

44.  Do the Safety merit badge with our patrol.

45.  Get Christmas shopping done early.  Done by December 1st.  (I hated all the last minute scrambling this year.  So stressful!)

46.  Do 1 freezer meal a month.  (It doesn’t take any longer to double a meal and freeze one for later)   

47.  Keep up with the Motivated Mom’s chore list.  (It’s been helping me break down my duties so housework doesn’t seem so overwhelming) 

48.  Donate to one new charity this year.  Donated my weekly lunch budget to Feed the Poor.  I fed 420 children and it felt great!

49.  Participate in the March of Dimes Walkathon (I have only missed 1 in the last 21 years!)  Janeen and I did this together on April 30th!

50.  Have 3 Tyler days this year  (a day with just my firstborn.  I never get to spend time with him)

51.  Have 3 Zach days this year  (can’t leave out my youngest)

52.  Have a Pamper Me day  (I need a day for just me.  Just one.  That’s all I ask!)

All in all, I still feel good that I have been able to cross some of it off my list.  I’m glad I’m doing this even though I’m not always successful!


Congratulations Arrowmen! May 22, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 3:51 pm

Congratulations Andrew, Dan & Zach for making it through Ordeal weekend!



Order of the Arrow Induction May 21, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:13 am

Last evening  Mark D., Angie S., and Loren M. traveled to Parker Scout Reservation to watch Scoutmaster Dan, Andrew and Zach S. get inducted into the Order of the Arrow.

The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America,  These boys were elected into the society by their peers.  The induction of new members is called the Ordeal because the boys are presented with a four-part challenge to be completed during the weekend. The four parts are as follows:

  1. Spending a day without talking (opportunity to turn thoughts inward, self-reflection)
  2. Spending a night alone under the stars (to show self-reliance)
  3. Give service through arduous labor (self-sacrifice)
  4. Go for a day with scant food (practice of self-denial)

These practices are designed to be extensions of what a boy has already experienced in Scouting as well as an opportunity for personal growth.

The other unique feature of The Order of the Arrow is the use of Native American inspired ceremonies as part of the induction process.  A public calling-out ceremony takes place at a camp or  at the weekend enclave.  The other induction ceremonies (pre-Ordeal and Ordeal membership) are kept private to keep an element of mystery and surprise for the new members.

Central Minnesota Council’s Naguonabe Lodge is named after the first civil chief of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa; the lodge has sought out and received acknowledgements from the descendants of Chief Naguonabe to continue the mission of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouting experience.

(This information was taken from the Order of the Arrow Parent Information letter)


Highlight Reel May 14th-20th, 2011

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 10:21 am

Saturday- We went geocaching in the afternoon with our Scout patrol.  We had so much fun that we checked a GPS out from the library, used Jeff’s fishing GPS and as a family we went in the evening and found some more!  Zach had a blast checking out the swag that was put in each cache and we left some of our own.  Check out the pictures in a previous post.

Sunday- First, went for a nature hike.  Then we all got in the car and took a trip to the Mississippi and had a picnic and fished.  We didn’t catch anything we could keep but it was a lovely afternoon. (and evening, we would have stayed later but at quarter to nine Jeff thought he should probably get home and get to bed!

Monday- What a gorgeous day.  I had to get Zach to Scouts early for CPR training.  It was too nice of a day for me to sit there and watch,  I brought my lawn chair along and set it up in the parking lot and read for 3 hours!

Tuesday- Today was a day from hell at work.  Everything that could go wrong did!  Was thrilled when it was time to punch out.

Wednesday- I got home from work today and was barely out of the car and Jeff was raring to go fishing.  He found a spot with some big crappies earlier in the day and wanted to bring Zach and I there.  We went out and nary a bite.  Jeff kept calling me a black cloud.  We pulled up anchor and he took me back to shore because I had an event at church to go to.  While I was at The Evening of Reflection for Women, Zach and Jeff went back out and caught their limit.  I guess I am a black cloud!

Thursday-  Knee is feeling really good today.  I think I’m cured!  Visited Mom & Papa after work and then before I went home I stopped off and visited Dad too!  It was another beautiful day so I grilled up some burgers and we packed for Zach’s camping trip this weekend.

Friday- Went to Parker Scout Reservation this evening for Zach’s “Calling Out” into the Order of the Arrow which is the National Honor Society of Scouting.  It was a native american influenced ceremony with chiefs in headdresses and drums and it was pretty cool.  Too bad it had to rain through the whole thing.  We were all soaked by the time it was done!


Geocaching 101 May 14, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 9:55 pm

Today I went geocaching for the first time.  This is something I have wanted to do for a while but every time I brought it up to Zach the response was lackluster at best.  A couple of months ago when we were tossing around ideas of something to do for a patrol activity I brought it up to our scout patrol.  The library had advertised a geocaching class for beginners and then you could finish out the day at Crow Wing State Park looking for caches.  They bit.

The afternoon started out rainy, windy, and cold.  We went to the library for our class:


where we learned to use the GPS units.


At the library they had a few easy caches hidden so we could to try out our newly acquired skills.

 From there we went to Crow Wing State Park, traveled the trails,




Stopped and checked our coordinates a time or two,



Before solving the mystery and finding all the caches!


We ended the afternoon with a picnic lunch we had packed.  It was a fun new experience and something we will definitely do again.  And this time I don’t think I’ll have to twist Zach’s arm to do it!


Highlight Reel May 7th-13th,2011 May 13, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:38 pm

Saturday- Zach stayed at a friend’s house last night so my morning was kind of quiet.  In the afternoon we attended an Eagle Scout ceremony and then we visited Papa & Mom for about an hour. Supper was grilled by Zach.  We had pork chops and wild rice-yum!  Tyler spent the afternoon spearing suckers that he will smoke in his smoker later in the week.

Sunday- Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers (and fathers that have to be mothers too!)  I had a wonderfully relaxing day!

Monday-We went to Scouts tonight where Zach FINALLY finished the last merit badge needed to make Eagle rank.  Now all he has to do is figure out what project he’s going to do.

Tuesday-My wonderful bookies got together to review the book Room.  I loved this book and the review was great.

Wednesday-Jeff spent the afternoon fixing the mower so we could finally mow down all those darn little yellow weeds all over our lawn.  I really detest dandelions!  Then it was off to a meeting at church concerning Zachary’s confirmation next year and what he will be expected to do (service hours, homily notes, letter to the bishop, interview with a priest, 2 retreats, ministry reflection report…)  Things are definitely a lot different from when my brother and I were that age.  First thing Zach has to do?  Choose a sponsor.  On the way home we swung by Crow Wing State Park to check to see how high the river is.  If it stays high we will have to cancel the raft making/float down the Mississippi that the Boy Scouts are planning- for safety reasons.

Thursday-  Tyler and I spent the morning comparing music accounts.  I think he was quite surprised that his old mom is so hip.  He laughed in surprise at some of the same songs he had loaded on his iPod!  This woman still likes to rock…and not only in a wooden chair!

Friday- My first day back at work.  Thank goodness I was able to spend most of the day sitting due to mod prep work because by the end of the day my knee was pretty sore.  Tyler gave us a scare when he called to tell me he was sitting in the hospital with Monica.  It seems she rolled her vehicle 2 1/2 times today!  Luckily, no one was with her.  They took some x-rays at the hospital, but everything checked out good (except for her Trailblazer which is totaled.)  Zach is spending the night at Eli’s house again.  I’m starting to think he doesn’t like spending time with me anymore!