Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Twenty One Friends

A week ago, a crazy amount of fun descend upon our house.

My sweet cousin Chelsea just graduated from High School, and planned a celebration vacation in Florida with a few friends. They made the very long drive from Pennsylvania to Florida, and arrived at our house the evening before their resort became available. Twenty one of them. Seventeen eighteen year-olds and four parents.

And good grief, you would think the circus was coming to visit, because my children could not wait for them to arrive. We started tracking them on Google Earth in North Carolina, and followed them all the way to our house. My uncle regularly sent travel updates, and then we would cheer with every "Welcome to ___" each new state.

They came just in time for dinner, Bryan's delicious grilled burgers and some sides. Bella wanted name tags for everyone to help her remember all the names. And I requested that the kids grab my camera and take a few pictures. Here are a few from our fun evening...

The Hostess, looking a little scary...

The Chaperons...

Our house was bustling with noise and laughter and smiling faces. And our children were in big kid heaven. They completely had a blast playing with those big kids, and the big kids were so kind to entertain them.

That night, they all went to sleep, scattered all over the floors of our downstairs. The chaperons enjoyed the kids' queen beds, and our little family of five rocked a sleepover in "mom and dads room".  The next morning, Bryan and I had a class to go to, so all five of us were out of the house before 8am. We tiptoed out, and left twenty one people all sleeping soundly in our home.

That afternoon, to be very honest, I wasn't quite sure what the state the house would be in when we got home. To my huge surprise, we came home to a completely cleaned-up house. The furniture had been moved back from where it came, blankets were folded and piled, the kitchen was clean, and then there was this...

...twenty one thank you notes. Oh my heart smiled. What a wonderful group of kids. What a blessing they were to our family. And how thankful I am that we were able to host them for that night.

Later that week we went to visit them at their resort. And again, we had a great time.

And at the end of their trip, they all went back to Pennsylvania, except for this one. My sweet cousin Chelsea is staying with us for a week and a half, and we are LOVING our time with her!

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