If there's no sun out anywhere else, it's because it's centered right here in our back yard.
The gang arrived Saturday night pretty late, and we sat up til almost two, just talking and hugging children. Sunday was nice, with a LONG afternoon with the whole family outside, brandishing bubble wands, water hose and sidewalk chalk. We just walked and talked and answered questions and named every flower-gonna-be in the garden. Our Kit arrived wearing a (genuine) clip-on-your-belt foxtail, which she's not relinquished, even beneath her Hannah Montana Granny-gown. Her Daddy made a several-hours' trip back to a powwow they'd attended becaused she wished so hard that she'd bought one.
We hadn't seen them since November, but Kit leapt out of that car with a frog-legs-and-arms -around-me hug that would gladden the heart of anyone. She's also discovered all the routes amongst and around and over every limb in the arbor, for the best route to several vantage points as high as she can go (she'll be six on Saturday, tall and lanky and agile as a gymnast). You can find her there most of the time she's not romping on the lawn, riding the bike, or pushing one or the other of the littlest ones in the big plastic car-with-a-handle. Chris got lots of pictures of a totally green view, with only her tiny face, her long fairy-braid hair revealing her fairylike little ears, and that foxtail hanging over the limb to show that she's up that tree.
We had a really good time at supper on Sunday, with everyone here we could gather up---two tables of us (guess who the BIG kid at the kid's table was?) Chris did a gorgeous ham on the grill, and we ate indoors---baby carrots and green beans and buttered rice and fresh cucumber pickles and hundreds of celery sticks with peanut butter/honey for dipping in.
Lunch Monday on the patio---leftovers and sandwich makings and some ELEGANTLY wonderful chicken paillards from Caro's kitchen ---they made marvelous warm sandwiches between soft bread. And tiny upside-down lemon-frosted cupcakes from Sam's---they look as elegant as little Individual Iced Cakes, and have a wonderful tangy flavor---like a Gucci version of Hostess Orange Cupcakes.
DD is delighted to be sharing her 24/7 companionship with these little ones; she and Caro and DDIL went out for their annual Girls' Night Out last night (always very tame---dinner and lots of talking, and it probably wouldn't DO to know about what), and now DD is off in search of party decorations and favors for Saturday's Birthday Lunch on the lawn.
Gracie (almost eleven), went with Chris on his service call down to Bloomington, and they'll be back for supper---it's hard to reconcile that round little egg of a baby girl who lived here with us for a year-and-a-half with that tall, slender, beautiful young lady with the stick-on French manicure and the i-Pod in her ears. She's very into crafts, and so Caro gave her a flower-making kit and our dear neighbor is teaching her to knit---both VERY well received.
And little Cal---he's just a delight---he wielded the tiny yard broom with a will yesterday, as Kit and I snipped great chunks from the zealously-growing hedges. No need to watch out for where he went---he was right there, working away, with a constant patter of "I working. I working. I WORKING?? I working." He's a peanut-butter-and-jelly man, loves sharks and dinosaurs, and is right now communing with the Care Bears on one of their adventures.
Yesterday was also an exhausting-but-lovely day. We played outside from Can til Can't, got everyone's faces and hands washed, and after the three Ladies left for their restaurant, we all walked out and around the blocks for Chinese. I don't know WHERE Kit PUT those three bowls of egg-drop soup, and Cal LOVED his first "bik"---a deep-fried, sugar-rolled pop-a-can biscuit---so named by his biggest sister when she was his age.
We came home to a quiet time on the patio, more of Sunday's bubbles, quick washes and into pajamas, a little bedtime snack of sweet red strawberries, and they three went to bed. Cal needs more persuading than most, I was warned, but I sat down on Gracie's bed with him in a big lap-hug, and he gave a deep sigh, relaxed and collapsed heavy and warm against my chest. Out like a light, and didn't wake til eight this a.m.
Couldn't we ALL use a big welcoming soft lap now and then---one that we could collapse on and just fall blissfully to sleep, knowing that we and everything else was being taken care of, and that they would lay us gently into a soft bed, pull up a downy blanket and turn out the light?
Cereal and bananas and more strawberries for breakfast, and outside with all the dogs for a little while until it started to rain. Hope it's more like Sunday on Saturday than like today. Figure that one out.
I've got supper ready for when everyone gets home, and it's been a wonderfully relaxing day, with homemade mac-and-cheese for lunch (side of PBJ sandwich for Cal) and some games and books the rest of the afternoon. I'm just folding clothes and waiting for everyone to get home.