Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Father’s Day–a Great Way to Spend a Weekend!

Wasn’t this a great weekend?

On Friday, my critique group came to C-Town to have a yummy lunch (Dari Diner–oh, so good!) I love having them come to my stomping grounds. Fun!

Then Saturday, a couple of friends I’ve known all their lives (literally) got married. I borrowed this pic from their Facebook page.

10466893_10201967561261164_1336497916_nAren’t they adorable? I love it when people who should be together finally get together! Best wishes, Ronnie and Jana Kay!

Then my kiddos came out to celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day. While we were getting ready for them, I found this

tiny-giftsI know it’s only a toadstool, but the bright color in the middle of those dead leaves grabbed me. Beautiful!

I warned the kids I wanted a family picture while they were here, so I took this picture of Minerva as a test shot.

Minerva's-tea-partyAlthough they weren’t thrilled to get to do it, I got several group pics. (I doubt I’ll get another one right away.)

This one is what I’ll probably finally have framed to hang over my fireplace.

fam-big-picAfter a little work with some Adobe help. 😉

But this one is my favorite. (It might end up over the fireplace.)


We had a wonderful dinner from Joseph’s in Drumright, Oklahoma. Then we played a game that had us all laughing so hard! I don’t remember the name of it, but DIL#1 and #2 got headaches from laughing so hard.

Not sure what that’s a sign of, but I think we need to play more games.


Then on Sunday after church, we went to Deb’s (She’s the perfect hostess!) for chicken and noodles. One of Dad’s favorite meals.

Another-dollThis is Deb’s youngest granddaughter. She’s SO cute! (Love the way she says my name.)

Canaan-DollyThis is Melanie’s older daughter. Aren’t they adorable? This one sang me a song about being a scarecrow.

love-that-face!Don’t you love that face? (This was right after she yelled, BOO!)


And here’s my final Father’s Day celebration of the year. Dad and Brother Jeffrey. Handsome dudes, aren’t they?

I gave Dad a card for Father’s Day. It says he could write a book about raising perfect children. LOL!

And then, I had to have a picture of them with Deb who’s so good to have us in her home.

dad,-deb-and-jeffDad, Deb and Jeffrey.

A dad is so important in a person’s life. Whether they’re biological fathers, steps, adopted or borrowed, everyone needs someone to teach them how to live life the right way.

My dad, Carol Spess, made it easy to understand how our Father in Heaven loves us unconditionally, because he loves his children that way. He says his dad taught him, so maybe it’s genetic. Or it could be a learned thing, passed from generation to generation.

For some people, it has to be learned by watching someone not so perfect and seeing what not to do. But where there’s a will . . .

A good parent (mother and/or father) is essential. And, luckily, I had both!

So, how did you celebrate your dad?



Let’s Party!


Image via Wikipedia

#1 Son’s birthday is coming soon, and that got me thinking about Birthday Parties We Have Known.

These days, parents all seem to be trying to outdo each other in the party department. A big deal for our boys was once going to the pizza place where they have the game room and dancing critters, although it petrified our youngest.

Now a party isn’t a party unless you take the kids to a place where they can shoot each other with paint balls or hire a limo, fill it with kids and drive around the Big City. (No matter how many kids there are, when they start serving champagne on those trips, I’m in!)

We had lots of birthday parties over the years. Parties where we took the entire soccer team out for pizza and a movie. Theme parties, where all the kids came dressed like a cowboy. We even had slumber parties for which I’d rent several movies for the boys to watch and hopefully doze off–and no one got any sleep.

But my favorite party, the party that will live forever in the soft place of my heart, was one year when my youngest son was turning three or four.

We had been in Pryor Creek for a couple of years, and Brad went to

a babysitter while I worked at our pharmacy. Bradley’s best friend in the world–Little Brad–went there, too. (Little Brad was a year younger, thus the “Little”.) The Brads liked each other so much, for a while they thought they were brothers.

So it was early in April and our Brad’s birthday rolled around. We sent out invitations, and the morning of the party–which was going to be a cake, ice cream and games–rolled around and I heard from one invitee’s mom after the other–“We can’t come, we’re going to be out of town.”

–“We can’t come, our kids throwing up . . . ”

–“We can’t come, we have an appointment.”

Even his little female buddy had to be out-of-town and just came by as they left to bring him a gift.

I was heart-broken. Here my sweet little boy was turning four and he was going to have only one guest at his party. At least his best buddy would be there, but it still hurt.

So, like any self-respecting Spess Girl, I called Mama. I never was much of a whiner, but when something that sad happens, what else can you do?

Mom was as upset about it as I was. “What time’s the party?”

Surprised by the question, I told her. Then she said something that will always live in my heart. “See you in a little bit.”

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning (say that five times fast) in early April. Everyone in the world has something planned for that kind of day, and I’m sure Mama did, too, but she didn’t hesitate. She just called all her C-Town kids and told them to dress her grandchildren. She went to the drugstore, bought several gifts and had them wrapped. Then she picked up every grandchild she had in C-Town and headed for Pryor Creek, an hour and a half away.

When they came in the door, I nearly cried. Brad had his best friends in the world surrounding him (cousins are friends, too, in our family) and his best buddy, Little Brad. He opened one present after another. Lincoln logs, pickup sticks, puzzles, Tinker Toys–all the great kids’ toys.

And he had Grandmommie with him–the best present of all.

Someday, when I have grandchildren, and I keep praying that I will (hinting here, kids!) I hope I can be at least half as great a grandmommie as my mama was. I had a wonderful example, and I plan to give it my best shot.

So–what’s your favorite kind of party for kids? (Yours, your kids or grandkids.) Expensive and glorious or cake, ice cream and home? I’m really curious to know.