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Kidding Around

Even though I was still in that early morning daze, I was both-ered that the dream seemed much too real. Grandkids and not so grand dogs all wanted to be fed. Every room in the house was in complete disarray. Folded clothes stacked on the dryer begged to be put away and dishes waited in the racks to be unloaded.

Just as I flipped my pillow for a cooler fluff, I heard, “Nana, I'm hungry.” Then a duo of voices questioned, “Can we go out-side?” Another voice chimed in, “Where's my unicorn?”

In the background, I heard the sound of a dog scratching at the door while another one incessantly woofed. Offering a quick hug, the hubby rolled out of the bed and grimaced as his feet met the floor.

“Coffee,” I muttered. “Intravenously-with lots of sugar.”

We were starting our fifth morning with grandkids. The two granddaughters were dropped-off on Friday-our second born son, the Army guy, and his wife were going on a cruise, their first…and their first vacation without kids since kids. Knowing the stresses facing military families, they truly deserved the time together and we assured them we were ready, willing, and able, or so we hoped, to take care of the girls for the week. We'd already planned for the two grandsons to join us mid-week. However, the boys came a day earlier to avoid having to stay with a babysitter when their mom went back to her teaching job.

That dear man-of-mine pulled the bedroom door closed be-hind him so I rolled over and sunk my head deep into the down pil-low. As I try to do each morning but admittedly often forget, I prayed for strength and guidance. And, this time I added a request for at least a double-dose of patience-okay Father, make that a triple. Of course, I also asked Him to watch over the little ones and keep them safe and well. And, to please keep their parents safe-PULEASE. After a few more requests and a huge thank-you for happy and healthy kids, I said my Amen and struggled out of bed.

Pouring a cup of coffee-the IV wasn't really an option, I headed out to the front porch to my beloved porch swing. However, before the first sip, I was confronted with two fence lizards-one crawling up the arm of the oldest granddaughter and the other one placidly perched on the shoulder of the youngest grandson.

By the time my cup was half-emptied, I was staring at a snack-sized sandwich bag filled with two rubbery-looking sack-like thingies. The two oldest grandkids were certain they had found snake eggs. Thank goodness whatever the gross-looking things were, they were empty. Meanwhile, the two youngest ones were calling from under the Douglas fir, beckoning me to come see their collection of locust shells.

Listening to the quartet of mayhem as they raced through the young pines in the front field, as the dogs provided back-up music, I reminded the hubby, “We can do this.”

And, we can and we are-and how could we not. After all, in this age of tech-savvy kids, how great is it to sit at the kitchen table and play a game of dominoes-especially, when the five-year-old thought playing dominoes meant lining them up and watching them clatter down the row. Interestingly, she turned out to be a darn-good domino player.

Last night, they got the monopoly game out and created their own makeshift mini-version of that old-time favorite. And, the huge box of Lincoln logs that our sons used to play with has garnered the attention of the next generation. By mid-day, the kitchen floor looked like a pioneer village.

Drawings and pipe-cleaner creatures cover the dinning room table; and most of our wildlife books have become bedtime favor-ites-after an evening snack of chocolate milkshakes and popcorn.

How could I not cherish watching and listening to the two eleven-year-olds lying on the huge saucer-shaped float in the pool while they shared their knowledge about dolphins and whales. Or seeing the two younger ones huddled in a makeshift tent fashioned with beach towels and lounge chairs.

Maybe I do feel like a short-order cook and the house is defi-nitely in need of an extreme makeover but watching the strengthen-ing of family ties truly soothes my soul and fills my heart with joy. And, hopefully their time together here at the Knott House will fuel warm memories of happy times in the days and years to come. Be-sides, the sound of laughter along with the enthusiasm of youthful explorers almost counters the messy kitchen and stepping on the handlebars of a Matchbox motorcycle.

Yep. I truly love watching the four of them together. My heart melts when the older ones care for their younger siblings; and I adore seeing them snuggled around that man-of-mine while they challenge him at checkers. What could be any sweeter than the sounds of their laughter and youthful giggles or those spontaneous hugs they so readily offer? Reckon there's any chance they could stay another week? KNOTT MUCH.