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I needed a gift for my pastor and his wife and wouldn’t you know it, the baby is nearly 6 months old and I just got around to doing this.

It’s a taggie blankie, flannel squares of cuteness!

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I found these squares at JoAnn, in a charm square bundle. What could be easier? Oh look! Here they are! I sewed the squares in strips then joined them – yes, this isn’t a “tutorial” so much as a sharing- but you get the idea!

So after I sewed the squares to make the front and back of the blankie, I sewed strips to make little tags. While this was a bit tedious- measuring, cutting, sewing, turning them right side out- it was worth it to coordinate! You can use ribbon- most people do- and I will probably go back to that in the future.

Anyway, I pinned the “tags” inside and then pinned the front and back together. See that tag in the corner? I had to remove it at the end. It made the corners pucker.

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It’s simple and sweet- a nice little “something” to celebrate a ManCub!

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Thanks for visiting! Be blessed!
Kathy Bo

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Crafting typically brightens up the world of not only those who create sweet handmade items, but also those who receive such treasures.

But there comes a time when making something is the only thing you can do to offer support and comfort.

The situation is that I’m close enough to a neighbor family that I (along with many, many others) was devastated by the loss of their precious newborn child. But like many neighbors, not so close that I was “needed” for hands-on during their darkest hours.

It’s one of those times that privacy, rest and quiet are the greatest needs. Primal needs. The last thing they needed was to have a parade of folks in and out of their home asking what they could do. We did all we could; the ones who babysit kept the toddler. The ones who walk dogs walked their dogs. The rest of us joined those helpers by praying.

When I was asked to make a card to share on behalf of the neighborhood, I put my whole heart into it, because finally, FINALLY, I could “do” something “hands-on” for this precious young couple.

Powerless. That’s how we all felt- and still feel. There are no words. And so amidst the days of constant prayer and an unbelievable amount of tears, I went into my studio and sat down.

The young mommy loves bright colors, so I tried – really tried- but nothing came together. Likewise, a stoic sympathy card would not express what we as a community felt because just days before, we would have hoped to send cards of congratulations on the birth of this sweet little one.

No, it needed to be soft. Gentle. Not sympathy. It needed to offer support for this little family who desperately hung on to hope and their unwavering faith in God throughout every moment.

And so I made this.

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Psalm 42:8 is stamped on the front. It offers encouragement and said just what I felt it needed to say. “By day The Lord directs His love. At night His song is with me.”

The colors are soft and quiet. Respectful. Gentle.

I was finishing up the card when I received a text.

Do I have room at my house for family members who are flying in for the service?

Of course I do.

As I was making an envelope to go with the card I thought of the guest room, meals, comforts for weary travelers. Suddenly I have a lot to do.

Hug your kids.

God bless you and yours.

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The long-awaited gift

(Photo: Savannah Morning News)

This past Father’s Day, The Boy and his wife Emily came to visit my husband John. His gift was a book they had selected special for him.

I was in the kitchen but they wanted me to be with him when he opened it. I sat down in my recliner. “No, mom,” The Boy urged, “Sit here, beside dad.” I got up and sat beside my husband on the sofa.

“OK,” Emily said. “You can open it.”

John isn’t what you might call an aggressive gift opener. He looked at the gift, turned the package over and began gently tearing it open. I thought the two kids were going to burst. I also thought it must be a really great book for so much anticipation on their behalf.

“Dad, open the card. The CARD!” Emily reached over and patted her excited husband’s arm. Gee whiz, The Boy was really into this whole gift-giving thing. Marriage was serving him well, indeed!

John opened the envelope and pulled out the card. The front of it said, simply, “Grandpa.” I didn’t notice. Besides, if I had, I wouldn’t have said anything. It wasn’t polite to point out that they’d picked the wrong type of card.

I once received a card congratulating me for a promotion I’d received at work. “Congradulations!” it said, complete with an illustration of a black graduate’s cap and gold tassel. I didn’t point that out either.

So John opened the card. “Read it with him, mom!” Obviously I wasn’t doing this right. It was dad’s card, not mine, so I was going to wait my turn.

I leaned a bit closer so I could read the handwritten note.

“For Father’s Day we wanted to give you something special so we made it ourselves: your first grandchild! Y’all are going to have a grandbaby in February.”

I have no idea what John did once he read the card. I was too busy bolting from the sofa, yelling and hugging the kids. I would later discover another note on the card. “To mom, even though it is Father’s day, this is your gift, too.”

We’ve spent the last few months eagerly anticipating the current ones, the time that we can actually see that we have a real grandbaby on the way. Our beautiful Emily is radiant and our son beaming. They promise as many children as God allows, and we cannot wait for the gifts our Lord has for our otherwise somewhat small family.

At some point, John says it was the evening of Father’s Day, I began enjoying a renewed interest in babies. I’ve held them, asked the moms tons of “baby” questions and even offered to babysit for a neighbor.

“We need the practice,” I assured John when he almost fell over. It is known by those closest to me that I don’t “do” babies. Well, maybe so, but I’ve never been a grandparent-in-training before, so it is time to make a change.

This week John and I have been invited to accompany The Boy and Emily to the ultrasound. The rule was placed before us: we are not allowed to exclaim if we think we know what it is because they don’t want to know. They want to be completely surprised at the time of delivery.

No problem. In the event Ninja Man can decipher the secret code, he and I will keep it secret. It won’t be easy and February might seem a long time from now, but it’s the least we can do for this precious couple who are experiencing one of the most blessed gifts of life and, in turn, making us grandparents for the first time.

Proverbs 23:25 says, “May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!” We can’t wait for that special day in February when we will receive this new blessing of God’s grace on our family. God is so good.

Kathy Bohannon is a Georgia Press Association award winner and regular contributor to Effingham Now. E-mail her at kathy@bohannonink.com.

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