@Ophelia Ahh, here we go, the missing piece of the puzzle: "Both visits, we smiled through gritted teeth and kept saying "nooo! It's cool. No worries!".
I get the feeling these subjects were not broached with the families DURING their visits. That's unfortunate, because it seems that sixty seconds of honesty here could have negated a lot of the drama.
I don't have kids myself, but I'm thinking this might be a case of "Idle hands are the devils playground". The harsh reality is that these children are houseguests too, so meet them half way. Make sure the agenda includes some kid-friendly activities, and be sure that they have appropriate outlets for play as opposed to destruction. Things I have found successful in hosting my friends' children: nail painting, temporary tattoos, pillow/blanket forts, sidewalk chalk, making special "mocktails" for them. (Kids are drawn to lavender lemonade like bees to honey).
For the record, I'm an antiques geek with white upholstered furniture. If I can host kids successfully, anyone can.
@Megasus I am unreasonably obsessed with Hell on Wheels.
You MUST Google tabouleh! If you don't find a recipe you like, I will post my mom's.
A surefire way to mitigate needle dropping and prolong the life of your tree: get rid of your cats, they are revolting.
Jane, please review Eyeko mascara! I recently started using their "Curvy Brush" mascara, and I am very, very impressed. (There is also a "Skinny Brush" version). I've tried just about everything out there, and (for my particular lashes), this is the best.
When are we doing Montgomery Clift?! I am ready for Montgomery Clift.
@Lue-dog inside the van I'm usually not this optimistic, so please forgive the cheeriness. Now that you've given us a bit of context, I'm thinking things could work out well here! As you admit, the current living situation is "non-ideal". You (finally!) have an opportunity to try something new on for size. What you have the potential to gain here is far more significant than what you might lose.
@Veronica Mars is smarter than me This is the exact habitation situation my significant other and I currently enjoy. Yes, it really is as nice as you'd imagine.