Kent and I have always opened our house to anyone who needed a place to stay.  I think the first one was my sister after her freshman year in college.  She was not getting along with either of our parents and asked to come stay with us for the summer before college started again.  Kent and I were a young married couple and having her stay with us was a blessing as we worked when the kids were asleep.  Having her there was an extra hand to help out with the two kids we had at the time.
The second guest was kind of strange to all who knew us.  We had moved to Oklahoma. Nine -Eleven happened while we were in Iowa visiting and  scared us to death.  We had four children at the time. One was a new born.  We didn’t know the future of our country, but decided we wanted to be back in Iowa close to family.  While we were here visiting, Kent had let a guy that worked for his company stay in our home in Oklahoma. He was an immigrant from Mexico.We had decided to move back to Iowa, Kent brought Daniel back with us.

Although I found the situation odd, it was nice to have an extra hand around the house.  Even though Daniel was several years older than us I thought of him as our child.  He didn’t speak much English.  He was a great help around the house and was a wonderful cook.  He lived in the basement and was just happy to have a family here in the states.  Having grown up in a Mexican family myself I had a major problem having an immigrant live with us, let alone work for the company Kent was working for.  After quite some time we talked our guest into going home to his family in Mexico.  We bought him a bus ticket and returned him to his anxious family, down south.
Shortly after Daniel left, our nephew moved into the basement.  He had graduated from high school and like so many young people was wanting to get out on his own.  He didn’t stay long, but we were happy to have been able to help him out. One time I was sitting in the living room nursing our youngest son.  The kids and I were watching tv when in walked an elderly man.  I thought who in the world is this man? Who has Kent invited over now?  He had just walked in and sat down on the couch. I figured Kent had invited him over and forgot to tell me. The kids and I were quite dumbfounded and I was a little scared, feeling vulnerable as I was nursing a baby. Our older son ran upstairs and told his dad what was going on.  Kent came downstairs with a baseball bat trying to be prepared as he didn’t seem to know who the guy was either.  Kent came to the living room, realized the man was not a threat and started asking him where he lived.  The man said, “here and asked Kent where he lived?” Kent said, “here.” We quickly realized the man did not know where he was.  We called the police department and they came to take the man back to the vets home on the other end of Salem street.
The home front has been fairly guest free until Kent left.  Shortly before Kent left, our oldest child and our youngest grandson moved  home.  We had no room for them, but have made things work with a little rearranging.
So at the moment, we have a four bedroom home.  I have three minor children here.  They each have their own rooms and then there is the master bedroom which I typically sleep in.  We also have a very small room off the living room that had once been a school room, turned kids hangout room turned bedroom for my oldest. The baby sleeps in a room that had once been our office. We took the desk out of the room and put the baby bed up.  It’s a good size room, just oddly shaped. It makes a decent place for a two year old to call his room.

Then a friend of one of the kids noticed we had an empty field that he apparently thought needed filled.  He had a bus he had redone and his parents were wanting said bus to not fill their driveway any longer.  He asked if he could “rent” the field and live on the hill in his bus.  With Kent being gone I have welcomed an extra  young man who was able to provide a bit of income and help for the homestead. We weren’t using the field anyway so it has worked out nicely.
Then I got the “call” it was from my dad and step mom.  They had decided now would be a good time to join us here in Iowa.  My dad is from Iowa and has convinced his wife of 41 years that they should move on up here from Kansas City to get to know the grand kids better.  They arrived a few weeks ago staying only a few days in order to find their new home.  After a week of searching they found a nice condo in which they moved into Sunday morning.  I called them Saturday evening to see when they would be getting here on Sunday morning.  I got a “surprise” they would be arriving at my house within the hour.
While this was all a surprise, I was able to quickly adjust a few things to make room for our guests.  The girls had a friend staying the night and so did Noah. Makala’s beautiful best friend stopped by with her and as always calls me mom. I love for her to call me that endearing name, I often remind her I am not old enough to be her mother.  I had my first born very young and she happens to be a few years older than my first born.  After getting step-mom and dad settled in my room, I laid down in one of the girls bedrooms.  Not long after jumping into bed I had a child climb in with me.  She was laughing, she said, “our house is kind of like full house.” And proceeded to laugh about what our house has become since dad left.

The girls are having a slumber party in the camper. We have made arrangements for everyone else here.  The house is a mess, not the way I like things.  My car has been borrowed from Noah and his friend, not really my preference. Noah doesn’t have his license yet and my car is the only one with full coverage so I thought it best it be the one driven since his friends car was broke down. While I am having an issue with the adorable 2 year old grandson destroying full rolls of toilet paper, by pushing them into my tub and turning it on. Our yard needs mowed and we have a lot to accomplish before the weather gets cold,  we have a full house.  A happy house. And I am thankful all my family is nearby. And glad that we are all able to find humor in the crazy dysfunction that we call life.