Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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The Excitement Builds

I did the coolest thing this week. Really, the COOLEST!

I met my new (first) grandson, Woody. And I had so! much! fun!

We all met at the hospital where #1 Son and #1 DIL will be delivering. #1 DIL’s mom and dad as well as her Doctor Sister were there. They’re such interesting people, I was very entertained while we waited. And waited.

And finally, we got to go into the room with all the equipment. It’s been a long time since I had babies, and in those days, it was unusual to have an ultrasound. They were available, but most people only had one if there was the possibility of a problem. Or if your doc owned his own machine, and he needed to pay for it. *grin*

But these days, they’re regular as clockwork.

There were two chairs in the room, and since I have a play hip, I was offered one, but I turned it down. I couldn’t sit. I was too excited! Meeting my grandbaby here! 😀

I’m sure everybody has been through one of these. I’ve even been through one, but this was the first one I’d been part of where we were looking for something as fantastic as a baby. And guess what?

woody

Here’s Woody!

Isn’t he adorable? Okay, it reminds me of an x-ray, but he’s on his way! He weighs about 12 ounces right now and is about the length of a banana.

The technician couldn’t get his profile, because he kept looking at the camera. (The boy is just like his daddy! Never wants to miss a thing.)

While we were there, I couldn’t help remembering, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven . . .

And the best part: Your eyes saw my unformed body;” Psalm 139. Our eyes saw him, too! 🙂

Of course, “How precious are your thought about my grandbaby, oh Lord! How vast the sum of them! You love him even more than all his parents and grandparents combined.” 😉

Naturally, I came right home and knitted hard. I’m making him a giraffe.

capThe beginning stages.

melonWhere I am now. (Looks kind of like a squash, gone wild.)

giraffe

 This is the picture in the book. Hopefully, it’ll be ready by the time he’s ready to play with it. LOL.

When I got to the stuffing part, I thought, “Oh, those plastic beads might weigh too much for the little guy.” So I stuffed without beads, but it looked as if I was going to make a misshapen Big Bird instead of a giraffe, so I unstuffed and added plastic beads.

Did you know plastic beads can make their way out through knitting, no matter how tightly knit it is? Okay, I’m not that tight a knitter, but they kept falling out. So I shoved a plastic bag in there and filled it with the beads. The stuffing is on top, and he’d have to work really hard to get to the bag, so I don’t think it’ll hurt him. Or the giraffe.

BTW: When we went for the ultrasound, both #1 son and DIL were wearing converse tennis shoes. Next on my knitting list: Knitted baby high tops. Red ones. 🙂

3899764262_172334eabaThe boy has gotta have something to walk home from the hospital in! 🙂

We’ll see if I can get everything finished in time.

“And He took Woody in his arms, placed His hands on him and blessed him.” Mark 10:16–a grandmommy’s version.

Since I’m like the last one of my friends who has kiddos to get grandbabies, I need your advice. What did (do) you do to get ready for them? Knit? Quilt? Pray?

Please share!

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Babies are Springing Up All Over

Have I mentioned that the Spess Clan is growing with leaps and bounds? We got two new additions just recently and wow! Those nieces of mine did a fantastic job!!!

260277_586836311348945_527513799_nThese are Kendal’s two children. AKA–Sister Cindy’s grandchildren. (Well, two of them.)  Aren’t they adorable???

954820_597685926930650_1539731043_nHere’s Cindy’s granddaughter with her daddy. The love just radiates, doesn’t it?

happy babyBeautiful Kendal with her baby girl.

941829_590261407673102_455470_nI don’t know that I’ve seen a happier baby e-v-e-r! I makes me grin just to see her pictures. (I haven’t had a chance to love on her yet. But when I get my great-aunt time, look out!)

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This is her great-grandmother holding her. Her granddaddy is there in the background.

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This is Niece Ashley and her crew. (AKA Brother Jeffrey’s grandchildren.) Aren’t they sweet, sweet, sweet?

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My brand new great niece. Couldn’t you just love on this baby for hours?

1010564_10101266488429002_1191482151_nProud Brother Jeffrey. Don’t you love his smile?

998344_10101266187851362_945497399_nAunt Laura getting in some baby time. 🙂

1044903_10101266106070252_1006852547_nI love this picture of the exhausted daddy. Having babies is hard work!

But here’s my favorite picture of the entire bunch. (BTW: All the pictures are from Facebook. LOL)

1044126_10101266103595212_43243435_nYou can’t see expressions. You can’t really see who it is in the picture. But this is a picture taken when Ashley’s getting close to delivering, and Ashley’s Mama is praying with her.

Does it affect anyone else the way it does me? It brings tears to my eyes.

I saw a picture a few years ago of a friend of mine, praying with her daughter and her bridesmaids just seconds before her wedding. I cried over that one, too.

Why?

Well, I’m a crybaby, for one thing. 😉

But the real deal is, these Women of God were in the midst of absolute chaos (and if you’ve ever been almost to deliver a baby or in the hustle and bustle of a wedding, you know what I’m talking about) and they stopped everything to simply pray. To stop the turmoil and simply talk to the Father.

They know what’s important in this world.

And it’s beautiful.

Ps: None of these pictures are mine. They belong to the mommies of these beautiful babies.


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Bullet Dodgers

I told you the story about finding my baby bunnies the other day. Remember? They are just so cute. Adorable, in fact. I checked on them several times the day I found them.

The next day I was out with my leaf rake, moving the hedgerow of dead grass I’d removed from my gardens (I kinda fell down on the grass removal job in the record-setting heat last summer) when I heard a weird bird call. Kind of, “Eee. Eee. Eee.”

I didn’t pay much attention, but glanced over that way to see what kind of bird it was. No bird that I could see, but I noticed a collar of some kind around part of the bunny nest.

I didn’t have my glasses on, but it really looked like a collar. Who’d put something like that around a bunny nest? I looked closer.

A black rubber collar with rust on it. Ack! That was no collar. That was a snake. AND HE WAS EATING MY BABY BUNNIES!

G-Man had gone to work, so I whacked that snake with the only thing I had at hand–My leaf rake.

Snakes don’t like being whacked, even on the back with a light leaf rake. Just one smack, and that bad boy came up out of the hole, head first, then the rest of his nine foot long body.

I might be exaggerating a little (probably closer to five feet, since if it was a rat snake, they rarely get longer than that) but he looked nine feet long when he started toward me! I squealed and started to run for the patio when I remembered the baby bunnies.

Poor babies! I just knew he’d go back and make a snack out of them, so I stayed where I was, kind of running in place while I whacked evil snake man again, right on the head. That turned him around. (Thank goodness!)

He ran to the edge of the garden, where he tried to go under the weed barrier fabric. (Imagine trying to work with Mr. Snake crawling around under there. Heebee-geebies anyone?) Since I had a rake with a loooong handle, I pushed him out, and gave him another whack for good measure.

I didn’t kill Mr. Snake. In the back of my mind, I kept hearing my dad tell me he was probably a good snake. (Is there any such thing?) The kind that eat rodents and keep bad snakes chased off the place.

Mr. Snake got away from me. He crawled up into the pyramid-trellis thingy that my over aggressive vine is growing on and hid from me in all that foliage.

Clever snake. I gave the pyramid-trellis thingy wide berth for the rest of the day.

That night it rained. Hard! Do the words, Toad Strangler, mean anything to you? How about Gully Washer? Well, we got a lot of rain!

I wrote on my book yesterday morning before rushing off, but I thought about those babies all day yesterday at work. Did they do okay in the rain storm? Would they have washed out of their hole and been lost, unable to find their way home since their little eyes weren’t even open?

When I got home, I called upstairs to my man, “Have you checked on the babies since you’ve been home?”

“No. Do you think they were able to tread water in that storm last night?” he teased.

“Oh. Don’t even say that.”

I ran out to the garden, and couldn’t find them. At all. They were gone! No hole. No fur. No babies. I was so upset, I couldn’t believe it. Had they been buried alive?

I used my little garden scratcher, hoping mulch had just washed over their nest, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. No babies. 😦

“Gary! Come help me. I can’t find the babies.”

He came out and took the scratcher from me. “Their hole was over this way.”

(Have I mentioned I have a handicap? I’m directionally challenged.)

We He found the babies who, I’m sure, breathed a collective sigh of relief. He moved the mulch and dirt that had washed over their hole and opened it up so Mama bunny could get in and feed them.

I told him I’m sure the Bunny Family would appreciate us so much, they surely wouldn’t eat our garden plants this summer.

“Right.” I think he might have snorted.

To not even have their eyes open yet, the little guys have already dodged two bullets. How cool is that? 🙂


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Garden Blessing

Finally! My garden is cleaned up and ready for spring. I know, just a few months AFTER the rest of the world, but I have an excuse. That boy scout in need of his help-a-cranky-old-lady badge I was hoping for never did show up.

I took me all day yesterday to finish cleaning them up. Well, most of them, anyway. 🙂 So there I am, on my knees. The day is beautiful and where I live is fairly quiet, so naturally I’m praying while I work. Family. Friends. People God has reminded me this past week I’m supposed to be praying for.

And while I’m dragging out dead grass and praying, I find a hollow in the ground.

What? I used my handy-dandy garden tool thingy and under some dead grass I see fur. Ew! Did something die there?

No, but a weird hole has washed out. Why? I wondered. Then I hollered for G-Man and my camera.

Something is in that hole. But what? Mice? Rats? Oh, please not gophers.

Can you see them? God blessed me with a nest full of bunnies. I can’t see all of them, but there’s at least four there.

 Can you see those eight ears in there? LOL!

I know, they might not be a blessing next week or next month, but for today, they blessed the socks right off me.

God’s handiwork is amazing!

Now, if I can just get a few more garden plans taken care of this weekend!


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I’m Named After Basketball Shoes

I promised my friend, Larry Lawrence, I’d tell how I was named after a pair of basketball shoes. Okay, Larry, this one’s for you.

🙂

My mother’s name was Mary Sue, but when she was in school, everyone called her Sue. Grandma didn’t like it, but there you go.

Now, my mama was a very pretty little girl.

And according to people in the know, she was even prettier when she got older.

I’m not sure how old she is here, but she’s a teenager.

When she was in school, she played basketball. In those days, basketball shoes were made out of canvas. Not leather. And apparently the thing in The Ford school at that time was to write your name on your shoes.

Always being ahead of the others, Mama wrote her name and my daddy’s name on her shoes. (This was before they were married and, of course, before I was born.)

Then one day, they were playing an out of town team. (I imagine a tournament when several teams were there, but I’m not sure.)

Anyway, when she wasn’t playing, Mom left her basketball shoes sitting somewhere, and went to talk to her someday husband. A boy who’d noticed her good looks saw her shoes, picked them up and carried them to her.

“Are these your shoes?” he asked, flirting with her according to my dad.

“Yeah, they are.” Mama glanced at them and nodded.

“Betcha I can guess your name.” Even though my dad was right there, the boy kept flirting.

“You can?”

“Yeah.” He pointed at what was written on her shoe. “I betcha it’s Sue Carol.”

“Nope.” In my mind, Mama glanced at Daddy, giving him a sweet smile as she answered. “But that’s what I’m going to name my first daughter.”

She did.

And they lived happily ever after.


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Know What This Is?

Know what this is?

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Here’s another view.

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I’ll bet you know now. Right?

I’ve been going through pictures, because #3 is getting married in just a few weeks, and he wants them for the nuptial slide show.

I’ll share a few with you. They won’t be very good quality. Some because they never were, and the rest because I didn’t scan them. I took a picture with my iPhone. Faster. 🙂

ImageCan you imagine? This sweet baby is getting married in a matter of days?

I don’t know why I let him grow up in the first place. Or any of them. Sometimes I wish I could have stopped time and just lived with my babies at that young age forever. But then I realize all the wonderful times we’d have missed later.

Since there’s no way I could give those up, I relive the times in my head. Pictures help. (Even with my photography.)

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Ignore the thumb. 🙂

This is #3 after fishing with his bigger brother in the Deer Creek pond. (Deer Creek is the neighborhood we lived in at Pryor Creek.) #3 caught two or three little fish that day because he couldn’t cast very far. The only fish biting were at the edge of the pond.

His older brother could cast his line out to the middle of the pond, where the fish weren’t biting. But bigger brother liked casting more than he wanted to catch anything. Brad made the big haul. But they were all too small to keep. 🙂

ImageDanny “holding” Baby Brother Bradley. Or, Baby Bradley trying to escape.

Brad never wanted to be a baby. He wanted to do everything his brothers did. He walked early, talked early and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep him in a diaper. The brat wanted big boy underwear, like his brothers, so I let him potty train himself.

He grew up so fast.

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Two Year Old Brad fishng in the Illinois River.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. I have it framed and hanging in my family room. What a happy time that was!

The first year we lived in Pryor Creek, Gary’s dad and his wife, Mattie, came to visit and we all went to the Illinois River (near Tahlequah) for the day. We canoed, picnicked and fished and had a fantastic time.

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The same day in the Illinois River.

The boy couldn’t fish all the time, and his splashes didn’t get us very wet. That night we were exhausted. Good exhausted, but pooped!

As disorganized as I am, I still found lots of pictures of Brad all through his growing up years. School pictures, soccer pictures, his preschool Easter egg hunt when the entire class wore bunny ears made of construction paper.

The one picture I wanted but couldn’t find is of my mother, holding him when he was first born. We were at our home in C-Town. Mama is holding Brad and has the phone propped on her shoulder, talking to #4.

We need that picture. I’ll keep looking.


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Got a Kick out of These Boots

Have I mentioned I love babies?

Is this guy cute or what?

One of the guys came in at work and kindly left his boots by the backdoor. Someone decided to try them on for size. 🙂

 It won’t be long before he fills them out, I’m afraid.

He’s just a cutie patootie, isn’t he?

 This is him with his mama. She’s a great parent to the little guy!

One day, we went  out for a few minutes and ended up at our church’s play area.

 That’s the day we decided we LOVE to go down slides.

Well, my guy liked going down them. I loved catching him. LOL. Almost couldn’t get him to quit so I could take him back to the office.

When he’s older, he won’t remember this day. I doubt I’ll ever forget.