A House Full of Family and Friends and Loving It!

I’m the happiest woman in the world right now!

My boy, Josiah, came home for Labor Day weekend with four of his Marine friends.  My house is full of friends and family and this mom couldn’t be happier!

Breakfast all guys

They arrived on Saturday morning.  I was warned that they would eat me out of house and home, but I told myself that I was up to the challenge!  (Oh yeah, Baby . . .Bring it on!)


Saturday morning started with a super hearty stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, complete with 22 pancakes, homemade applesauce, a mountain of sausage and bacon and 16 eggs.  I wanted to spoil them and make enough so that they could eat until their hearts were content.  And boy, was I shocked when I observed them eat EVERYTHING…like no crumbs left!  Some of them looked like they wanted to eat the plates. :o)

Here are the cast of characters:

There’s Sharone, the conversationalist, from Texas…


The 6 foot-three, cowboy-boot wearing Phil, from Wisconsin…


There’s meditative and reflective Frankie, from New Mexico….


And lastly, there’s “good time” Oscar, who hails from Arizona.


These are a great group of guys.  They are very well mannered and a pleasure to have around.  Just the kind of guys I’d expect my Siah to have as friends.

After breakfast and good times and laughing and lounging around the living room while hearing their military-life stories, they all headed to Coney Island and then to Times Square for some New York style fun and sightseeing.

The next day, we all headed to church where I once again had the pleasure of having multiple rows filled with (all but one of) my children and their friends.


Can you believe that most of these people (minus two girls) slept at my house….slept at my Little House on the Freeway?  Where I have one bathroom?!  Geez, Louise!  They slept all over the place: on every available couch, two to a bed, including inflatable beds with limited walk space.  It was awesome!

Everywhere you looked there seemed to be a person laying about and sleeping; sucking up each others oxygen, just like in one of my favorite books of all time When the Relatives Came. It’s a must read if you have little kids; and it seems to define my life.  I absolutely adore it.

I couldn’t be happier to have my son home again, and the fact that he brought his friends along is an added bonus! Kids just seem to come with friends, and mine come with a lot of friends!  It’s always been that way – and this sleep deprived momma who’s been cooking and cleaning all weekend and operating on fumes (and coffee!) couldn’t be happier.


There was a time when I loathed my Little House on the Freeway, and for years I resented my husband for buying it. I  kept telling my self that “any year now” we’d be moving on out and up to the suburbs.  I was literally waiting for my life to begin.  I kept waiting for a more “appropriate” home, for a larger home, for a home where the kitchen wasn’t in the bathroom.  Heck, for a home with more than one bathroom!

I kept waiting and holding my breath for that spacious formal dining area that would accommodate my large family so that we could finally sit comfortably around the table (without lapping it!) and accommodate guests during the holidays.  (Seems that in my home we are always bursting at the seems . . . whether it be at the table, in the bathroom, or in the bed!)

But you know, the Lord eventually opened up my eyes and showed me that we are experiencing the best times ever – in this little itsy-bitsy-house on the freeway – at our jam-packed table (yes, the one in my kitchen!) that “should have” been larger – it IS serving to create the best memories ever.

How does that happen?  

How could that be?

I thought it had to be bigger and grander.  I thought it had to meet my expectations.  I didn’t realize that the Lord plants us where we belong – that we should bloom where we’re planted and that I should be eternally grateful for my husbands more than sufficient provision for our family.

I still remember the day we closed on our home.  I was nine months pregnant and and depressed over buying it.  It just so happened that our realtor’s mother, who was a born-again Christian, stopped by sometime around the time that we closed.  As we sat in my new and unwanted home, I told her my angst and expressed all of my doubt and reservation.  She consoled me and then preceded to pray; and boy, did she ever pray!  She prayed (appropriately) long, and she prayed hard.  (Just imagine she prayed like the lady from the movie War Room.) Let me just say that she meant business as she prayed God’s blessings over our new home and spoke about the manner in which it would be used – to glorify our great God.  I totally sensed the Holy Spirit as she prayed and I was moved to tears.  (Where did all of that come from?)

I will never forget that moment and from time-to-time I reflect back on her prayer.

Look at these three lovely beauties.


I took this picture right after church.  I believe there are some future wives in this picture. Yes, I’m a meddling, matchmaking-mom who’s enjoying family and friends and the blessings of a full house – as if you already couldn’t tell from the super-elated look on my face. . .

Family picture

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  1. Tiffiney,

    I have been enjoin your blog for a coupla months, but i just found and read this post. I loved it and your heart in it. Then, i saw that *When the Relatives Came* was one of your favorite books that pretty much sealed the fact that we must be kindred spirits!!!! Lord BLess you!!! ~tammy

    • Tammy, if you are a “When the Relatives Came” lover like I am, then we are full-on-buds! I just love that book.:-) Welcome to the family life celebration. It’s great to have you here!

  2. Aww! That’s thrilling! I’m so happy for you, Tiff!! How did you feed everyone? ( I guess they are a few meals “out-on-the-town”? I’m always studying how Mom’s serve crowds!
    Ps I love “When the Relatives Came”!! Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite children’s authors!!
    Enjoy! Have fun!! See you soon, Lord willing! You are setting a great example of hospitality for your kids!

    • Hey Alisa! Cooking for this crowd hasn’t been a problem at all. Probably because my family is pretty “large” to begin with. :o) I’ve basically been doubling the recipe for everything – and them some. :o)

      Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so I can really get down with that. I haven’t made lunch at all yet (thankfully!). After church, I made wonton tacos (Josiah’s favorite) as an appetizer. Then I made a seafood dinner for 15. That was a bit tricky…especially since my seafood can be a bit hit and miss but it worked out well.

      Tonight we’re having baked ham and mac and cheese with broccoli, corn and cornbread. Not very original, but at least I won’t be frying chicken over the stove. They leave tomorrow morning (boo-hoo) and though I love having them I’m ready to be done with cooking. Matter of fact, I wonder who’s making me breakfast tomorrow…McDonalds? :o)

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