On Saturday, I saw something I hadn’t seen in quite a while: my kitchen counter! It was amazing!
Here’s the background: A couple of months ago, I got an e-mail from an old college friend in Ontario, who said that he and his family were planning to vacation in the Maritimes this summer. They wanted to stop in to see us. Great – that’s exciting! However, our house is a disaster most of the time – only relatives are allowed to see it in that state! I realized that we would have to do some serious “rallying of the troops” in order to accomplish our mission of convincing our guests that they made the right choice in staying at our house instead of in their tent at a campground!
Did I mention we’re procrastinators? Brad and his family were scheduled to arrive on Saturday afternoon…we started cleaning Thursday night (yes, the Thursday two days before THE Saturday!). After about 4 hours, I couldn’t believe how much I’d accomplished (although I was the only one doing anything productive at the time)…it really doesn’t take that long once you get down to it!
Jim had the day off on Friday, so I took the day off too (you can do that when you’re self-employed). We got up early, Jim dropped the kids off at school (half-day for the younger ones – last day, high schoolers had to go and pick up report cards), and arrived back home. Jim had volunteered to do the bathrooms…he set about scrubbing and washing blinds in the bathtub…he looked very cute in his teal rubber gloves! I started on massive amounts of laundry. It wasn’t long before it was time to pick up the kids at school…off Jim went again. I put some Jann Arden on, and continued my cleaning. I love having the house to myself – I can play my music without any kids whining “What’s this crap?”
When the kids got home, I got them started sorting through their stuff in various rooms. Anna and Brianna cleaned the kids’ bathroom downstairs, which was a jungle of girls’ paraphernalia – makeup, hair products, nail polish, ponytail ties, headbands, hair dryers, and straighteners. Hope carefully went through the things that were piled willy-nilly in the corners of our dining room, laying them out on the table for their owners to pick up and put away. Devin had to work for his school’s tech crew on Friday (for graduation exercises), so he was excused from housework that day.
By Friday night, we were starting to see some real progress…why hadn’t we done this before? I stayed up until midnight drying clothes.
Saturday morning, we got up early again…I decided it would be a good idea to do our last minute grocery run first thing, since I wasn’t sure what time our guests would arrive. The kids cleaned while we were gone, and Devin helped put away the groceries when we got back home. I picked up some dulse (dried seaweed) for the Ontarians to try, and a local paper since I knew Brad was a news junkie (they brought us a bottle of wine, and some local beer from Cambridge).
I folded the huge pile of laundry, and the kids actually put it away right away (we will, however, need to have a sock-sorting party – I don’t sort socks, especially since the girls like to mix and match them, which creates more “orphans” later).
We continued cleaning right up until our guests arrived about 3 in the afternoon. Brad and I were glad to see each other (it had been six years), and I was happy to finally get a chance to meet his wife and daughters. Jim and Christy drove the kids into town to the midway (they came back in time for supper). I enjoyed showing them our garden (we had fresh salad with our BBQ).
I had decided to put Brad and Christy in Anna’s room…it was great to see her floor when it wasn’t covered in dirty clothes! I’m sure Brad appreciated the Twilight posters and the pink zebra print comforter too! Hope had blown up the double air mattress and set it up on the floor of her room for the two girls, who got to stare at multiple images of Justin Bieber on Hope’s walls (she gave them a lot of her extra posters – she only collects Justin!).
Brad and his family left after a big breakfast on Sunday morning (and a photo session in the back yard)…it was fun to see them…I hope they’ll come back again when they can stay longer!
I’m hoping we can keep our house in the same shape it’s in (and keep working on it to make it even better)!