So I woke up from a nap last Tuesday (yes, I woke up from a nap - don't judge) and had a message on the answering machine.
"Grady and Sarah, this is Matt. We're leaving Orlando and driving to your house to stay until Saturday when we can catch a flight to Philadelphia. We'll be to your house around 10:00 or 11:00 tonight."
What's a hostess to do?! Kick it into high-gear and get some beds ready for the company en-route to my home! Oh yeah, and maybe vacuum the house and wipe down the bathrooms.
Here's the short story: My in-laws were in Disney for a week and their flight home was cancelled due to the snowstorm that hit the East coast. They rescheduled for three days later and then that flight ended up being cancelled due to the second snowstorm that came through. So, rather than spend an extra week in a hotel with two toddlers, they opted to drive to our place and stay until they could catch a flight home to Philly. Whew! Crazy for them... but a fun chance to us to see them.
Our house is by no means big, but thank you Jesus that we have the space to kind-of-sort-of make them comfortable while they were here. Grady Lee was thrilled to let his cousin sleep in his bed so that he could use a sleeping bag. And both boys were a huge help in rearranging to toy room to turn it into a guest room... though they were just confused at first, thinking I was actually getting rid of the toys.
All four cousins had a great week of playing and running and laughing and screaming through the house.
And, since we were limited in transportation (another long story), my SIL and I got creative: after two trips back and forth, we legally got all kids to the nearest Chick-Fil-A to run and play on the playground. You know, desperate times call for desperate measures! Sometimes you just gotta do what you just gotta do in order to get kids out of the house.
The weather wasn't the greatest, but we found an afternoon to venture outside and take a walk. Pretty pink shoes and clean white mittens didn't stop my nieces from climbing on boulders and throwing rocks into the creek.
We decorated Valentine's cookies... and I'm still finding the random sprinkles and glitter crumbs in my kitchen.
Puzzles and Candy Land and Play-Doh and books were fun for everyone. Four toddlers under the age of four, all learning to share, actually came together without major incident. (And, props to my usually very bossy and defiant three-year old for being quite well-behaved last week. Sigh of relief for me!)
On our last night together, the kids gathered around the computer to talk to Nana for a few minutes. I'm sure my MIL missed being here with her four grandkids, but this was a simple way for her to see all the kids together.
After talking to Nana, we made popcorn and put in a movie... one last hurrah before saying goodbye the next day.