Sandie Simply Says

April 20, 2009

Spin Cycle: Mind Your Manners

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 5:47 am
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This week’s Spin Cycle assignment is all about manners. Want to know more about the Spin Cycle? Visit Jen at

Living in the South, manners have taken on a whole new meaning. My friend, Ginger, once blogged about the fact that Southern women don’t get mad. I believe this is in a large part due to the fact that everyone is so polite down here. Even when they insult somebody, it’s done politely: “Bless her heart, she has the face like a horse’s butt.” Who can get mad at that?

I remember the minute I realized I was in a different world down here. My husband and I had stopped at a gas station just inside the Georgia border. I had to use the restroom, so I went insde. A man had walked out the door a several seconds before I got to the door. When he saw me approach the door, he stopped, walked 3 steps back to the door, and opened it for me. I was in shock! Especially since I’d just moved from an area where holding a door open was almost unheard of.

I think the biggest thing that sets Southerners apart from anyone else in the country are the ma’ams and sirs. I grew up in the midwest. Ma’am and sir were just not words that were used often. And depending on who you said them to, could even be taken as an insult (“I’m not OLD enough to be called ma’am!”). Getting used to being called “ma’am” all the time, took some time. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m not shocked every time I hear it. And I’ve long since stopped being insulted by it (or could it be that I reall AM old enough to be called ma’am now?). Teaching my kids to use ma’am and sir is a whole other ballgame though. I just hadn’t done it.

Alyssa picked it up a bit when she started school. Her first grade teacher was a bit of a stickler for it, but I’ve noticed over the last couple of years her usage has declined a bit. Angelina, on the other hand, has just picked it up. Every time we ask her to do something, we’re answered with “Yes, ma’am!” (Doesn’t matter if she’s talking to me or Tony, the answer is ALWAYS “yes, ma’am!” We’re working on correcting that one!). I find myself hoping this is something she keeps up after we move. It just sounds right and will be a great legacy from our time here.


March 2, 2009

So many emotions, so little time

Filed under: General,Spin — by Sandie @ 9:24 pm
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I got a phone call from the personnel office today. It went something like this:

Her: Hi, Sgt Rios! I’ve got your assignment RIP right here!
Me: My what????
Her: Your assignment RIP.
Me: Excuse me???
Her: You didn’t know?
Me: No! Where to?
Her: I’m sorry! I thought you knew! You’re going to Aviano! (For those that don’t know, Aviano is in Italy.)

And that’s how I found out the next 2-3 years of my life will be drastically different than what I originally thought! One issue we still need to get straight: they didn’t give Tony an assignment (normally the Air Force tries to keep military couples together. Generally, when one gets an assignment, the other will get one at the same time. Not sure what happened here!). I need to make some phone calls tomorrow to find out what we need to do.

Meanwhile, I have so many emotions I’m feeling. For one: I HAVE TO SELL MY HOUSE!!!! YIKES!! Luckily, the housing market here isn’t as bad as in some areas, so we shouldn’t have our asses handed to us while trying to sell it. However, this house is nowhere near “For Sale” condition and we don’t have long to get it there!

Also, this really couldn’t come at a worse time for us. Ashley and Amanda will both graduate while we’re over there. Air fare is expensive. Air far for 5 people is something I don’t even want to think about. Missing either of their graduations isn’t particularly appealing either. 😦

It’ll be my first “real” job in my current career field. And I’ll be in charge (well, there’s a Captain that’ll be “in charge”). I’ll be way out of my comfort zone. And chances are highly likely that I’ll “get” to deploy while I’m there.

And then there’s the one emotion I wasn’t really expecting: I don’t want to leave here. Never in a million years did I think I’d say that, but this place has grown on me. We’ve built a good life for ourselves here. We’ve got good friends, a great church family, love the schools/daycare. I’m not ready to leave.

We haven’t broken the news to the kids yet. I don’t know what we’re going to tell them. Angelina and Amber won’t care. Alyssa is going to have issues…especially since it means moving further away from her best friend who moved to San Antonio two years ago.


I was just over at and noticed that this week’s Spin Cycle is about adventures. And if moving half way across the world to a country I’ve never been and who’s language I don’t speak with 3 kids, a dog, and a husband doesn’t qualify as an adventure, I don’t know what does! So, I’m making this my Spin Cycle post too…which will hopefully get me back on the Spin Cylce wagon!).

January 18, 2009

Hannah Montana Rocks!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 10:39 pm
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At least for a bunch of 6-8 year old Brownies!

We had 14 girls and 8 moms at the sleepover. Amazingly enough, we made it through the ENTIRE night and did not have a SINGLE major blow up! There were a couple of minor tiffs between the girls, but nothing that wasn’t resolved quickly with some redirection. There were, however, a few fits thrown. Some small, some not so small (one girl I think really needs to learn that 1) the world does not revolve around her and 2) she can’t always get her way, but I digress!).

I was in charge of the food. All week I was stressing out thinking we wouldn’t have enough food. As it turns out, I was wrong about that! I ordered 8 large pizzas and 2 orders of cheesesticks from Papa Johns. We also had popcorn, nachos, soft pretzels and cupcakes. Oh and I bought a vegetable tray at the last minute (had to feel like we weren’t giving them complete junk!). The only thing we completely ran out of was the veggie tray!

We had a fun-filled evening for the girls with plenty to keep them busy!

They made autograph books:


And body glitter:


We played the Rhythm Cup Game:


And Spoons (I forgot to take a picture of the Spoons game in action).

We had a piñata:


I know, I know…we had the lame pull string piñata. I figured it was much safer since we were inside and there was no way we were going outside (it was 16 degrees out!).

The girls gave each other manicures:


And makeovers:


And we had a TON of door prizes:


Eventually, we all settled in for a Hannah Montana marathon:


The girls all fell asleep sometime around midnight and a few of them were up at 6:30 the next morning! Nobody slept past 7:30 and we were cleaned up and out of there by 9:30. The night went well and everyone had fun. The moms all decided that next time we’ll rent a couple hotel rooms somewhere. We’ll lock the girls in one room and the moms will be in another…with alcohol!

As an aside, I’m amazed that Alyssa is smiling in every one of these pictures. Those who have known me for awhile can vouch for the fact that she almost never smiles in pictures! I never even had to ask her to smile (normally I have to bribe her), she did it willingly every time!

November 4, 2008

My night in heck…

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 4:09 am
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My evening started out normal enough.  I left work around 2:30 so I could get to my 3 pm class at the gym.  Had a good workout (today was ab lab…I’m hoping to finally get rid of this baby-belly, though I’m thinking surgery may be the only cure), got ready for my Weight Watchers meeting, and then headed out to pick up the girls from daycare.

Arrived at daycare to find Angelina in the “office.”  Her second trip of the day.  Earlier, she was hitting and pushing her friends.  She was there this time for hitting her teacher.  She only does stuff like this when either her father or I are out of town.  Last time Tony got to deal with it, this time I get to.  Blah.  So, I take care of Angelina and walk back to get Alyssa…who throws a fit because I’m there to pick her up and I’m too early.  Grrr!  Off to get Amber next…at least ONE of my children was happy to see me at pick up!

Finally, I get my brood herded out the door and we’re on our way to my meeting.  Now, let me explain, my Monday night meeting is in Butler.  About 45 minutes away from my house.  It’s a small town with a population of approximately 1,800 people (though there may be even less by now).  The people there are great and are 100% what keeps me going out there every Monday night.  Anyway, I swing by Burger King on my way out of town (kids gotta eat, right?) and we’re off.

The drive out is mostly smooth.   Right up until we get about 5 minutes away from the church my meeting is held in.  That’s when Amber starts crying.  She’s hungry and she wants out of the car. Now.  I speed down the road, arriving at the church in about 3 minutes.  By this time, Amber has worked herself into quite a frenzy.  I stop in front of the church and Amber throws up.  This is when I realize I forgot the diaper bag at home.  Luckily, I had a shirt to change her into and she didn’t get anything on her pants.  So, I hop out of the car, clean Amber up as best I can, change her shirt, gather my brood and the 10 million things I need to take inside, lock the car doors, and herd everyone inside.

I get Amber situated with her food (which makes her a VERY happy camper!) and start to set up for my meeting.  That’s when I realize I forgot my flipcharts in the car.  So, I go grab my keys.  Crap! I locked my keys in the car!

And this brings me to what I love about small towns: everyone knows everyone.  My receptionist, Ginger, called David, who called someone else, who sent Steve to unlock my doors (turns out Steve works for the Butler Police).  Steve can’t get it unlocked, so he calls someone else (who works for the sheriff and I should mention the sheriff’s office said they wouldn’t unlock the door).  He can’t get it done, so a THIRD guy comes over and they FINALLY get it unlocked! YAHOOOOOO!!!  Luckily, we had a plan B: one of my members is married to a guy who OWNS a body shop.  Good thing to keep in mind if this ever happens again!

Thank goodness the rest of the night went smoothly.  I might have had a nervous breakdown on the side of the road had something else gone wrong!

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