Anna gave us our tasks: Kathie tackled the border along the sport court, where the barbecues and food tables will be set up. Laurie started edging and weeding the perennial beds near the back door. And I weeded the rockery and shallow rock steps that lead to the upper lawn, then pulled grass out of the flower beds.
It was so nice to have this time with my sisters, talking as we worked, and enjoying being with Anna and her girls. I haven't seen the Vashon family since Christmas, and the little ones have grown like the proverbial weeds.
Ella flitted among all her adult relatives, sharing her bouncy personality and bright smile equally. She's like a butterfly, never still for long, always on the move. But when asked, she willingly sat down with her baby sister, Vivian, and kept her entertained.
Laurie spread a quilt on the grass in the shade, and the baby was happy to chew on whatever was in reach. I can't say she wasn't distracting... being in reach of a baby and not picking her up? That's hard to resist! Especially when she reaches up with both hands and gives me that serious, "I'm watching you" gaze. She looks so proud of herself when she pulls herself to her feet, then sits down with a diaper-padded thump, smiles and waves her hands.