Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons

A busy and grateful year


This is probably going to be a pretty rambling post, but it has been a long time and I am out of practice. I figured that if I don’t take at least a part of my Christmas vacation to update my blog, I might as well shut it down. So, what has been going on lately? For me, it has certainly been a busy year.

For one thing, this has been the best year I have ever had in my web consulting. A big reason for having such a successful year is my partnership with the Communications Group. They are a great bunch of folks (I love them like family) and they have sent a tremendous amount of work my way this last year, for which I am very grateful.

One of the big projects I got from TCG is a large Flash-based training program for the Arkansas Department of Human Services. It is by far the largest Flash project I have done and it has been great for learning the ins and outs of of Flash CS3. This project has been consuming me for the last six months or so and I think I am finally getting close to wrapping it up.

It’s funny how sometimes projects can seem like they will never end until you get right to the end, especially when the client keeps finding things they want to tweak and change. The training material in this project includes descriptions of each of the DHS divisions. The project has gone on long enough to see one of the director-less divisions get a new director (which required changes) and another division’s director die (which required the removal of the deceased.)

Several target end dates have been missed lately: At first, the target was Thanksgiving but more changes were requested to be made; then we were hoping to wrap it up before Christmas, but then a couple more changes were requested. Now, hopefully, we’ll get to wrap it up by New Years Day.

Another reason it was such a successful year was a partnership started with Brown Engineers, also a great group of folks I consider extended family. Funny thing is one of the principals, Dee Brown, attended the same high school as me and was just a year behind me. We didn’t know each other well during high school but he has become a close friend of mine over the last year. Hopefully more will come with my relationship with BE, but that is all going to be in God’s timing.

Besides having the best (and busiest) year ever in my consulting business, it has also been quite a busy one in my family. I had never had to deal with sick parents before but that all changed this last year. Between my mom’s severe stroke back in May and her slow (but steady) recovery and her diagnosis of lung cancer and chemo treatments, it has been a roller coaster of a year. I spent more nights at the hospital than I care to remember this last year, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve my mother.

She has been there for me for over 40 years so it has been my chance to step up and be there for her, whether it was sitting with her at home giving my dad the chance to go to work or spending the night at the hospital to keep her company.

Looking back, I certainly have been blessed a lot this last year and there is a lot to be grateful for, in spite of the tough times. God has grown me a lot this last year, for which I am very thankful.

That’s it for now. Hopefully, more to come.

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