Monday, October 19, 2020

Make Room

Last Monday we were a household consisting of one husband, one wife and one settled shih tzu.

This Monday we are a household consisting of Two husbands, Two wives, one settled  shih tzu and FOUR rambunctious, joy-peddlers aged seven, five, three and one.  The FL Smiths have temporarily moved in with us.  

You may be wondering, "What's Happening?!"  Well, how fortunate I am to have a blog where I can share with friends, family and those mildly interested. :-)

Meagan and Nathan sold their first little starter home in August; within 48 hours of listing.  Oh, happy day!  The date for closing was set far in the future - Oct. 21st.  Thus, the real estate agent explained they would have ample time to locate their new home and close on both properties the same day.  

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men.  

Smiths did indeed find a home that will perfectly suit all their current needs.  It's a new build in an area that will be better located for them between school, work and church.  Being a new build means relief from the allergy issues that have plagued Meagan and Grayson in their older home.  No repair projects for Nathan.  A bedroom fit for one little princess growing up with three brothers.  And plenty of bike riding space for Noah.

One tiny glitch.  Their new house won't be ready for closing until mid to late November.  What to do?  Move in with Mom and Dad, of course. 

Yes, my head is still spinning a bit. But how thankful we are for the RV days that trained us.  If 400 square feet is big enough to house five adults and two dogs, 1500 square feet is MORE than enough to contain the Hawleys and Smiths for two months.

Noah came running out to my car on moving day, "Noni, guess what!  We're coming to have a LOT of sleep over nights with you and Papa!"  His bright eyes and beaming smile told the full story.  What could possibly be better than LOTS of sleep over nights with Noni and Papa?  Nothing, sweet boy.  Nothing!

Fortunately, Frank and I have spent this year moving toward a more minimalist household anyway.  Now all of the extra spaces we had opened up have become the very nooks and crannies into which we are stuffing the necessities for a family of six.  

In addition to that, Meagan is a brilliant mom.  She knows what constitutes a necessary item and what can be stored for two months.  Bunk beds and storage cubes were set up in the office/playroom.  Two cribs were configured into the decor of the guest room.  All decorations that tend to attract little hands have been put away or out of reach.  

Boxes are still everywhere and I literally climbed over two beds in order to reach my coffee maker Saturday morning.  But we're in!  We're all in and have slept two nights under the same roof.  

Frank and I typically drink our first coffee of the week sitting on the screened porch softly commenting on the weekend and the lovely dawn.  Gracie squeezes between us on the love seat and drifts back to sleep.  

Today, it was quite different.  

Noah (7) came out first.  Then Madi (5) found us.  They are both incredibly verbal children.  They also are certain that Noni and Papa want to hear each of the thoughts pinging around in their beautiful blond heads. Andrew (1) only wanted to snuggle.  Meagan found us all five squeezed onto the love seat with Madi and Noah at least taking turns while talking ninety to nothing.  Andrew was dozing and Gracie located an uninhabited corner where she could hide.  

Two adorable items will make you smile, too.

Madi: "So, Noni they took both cars and combined them into one that can fly."  (Note:  Noni totally missed the part of the story explaining who "they" are and why one of the cars had wings.  But backing tracking with questions is NOT a smart tactic, I 've learned.)  "Then when they got done, they. . .  (long pause while the precious princess pondered what could possibly be the opposite action of combining.)   . . . they un-binded them and they went back to normal."  Brilliant, don't you think?

Noah: "Noni, look at this tassel on your pillow.  It's a mustache.  Oh wait, now it's a rocket.  Now it's a bell; a doll wig; a flower; a firework; a....."  The list went on for about three minutes.  I was amazed at the imagination of this kid as he just kept turning and re-shaping the tassel to show me all the things his seven year old eyes could envision.  Brilliant, don't you think?

I can't do a caption for this and I HOPE it's the proper size.  (Still learning the new format.  Sigh!)  Frank and I try to do birthday lunch with each child but we had missed Zach and Madi's special days this summer.  So, we took all three on Saturday.  What a full, fun "lunch event" it was.

Frank knew that if we were going to get the Christmas village up this year, it had to happen before the Smiths moved in with us.  So Spencer came to lend a helping hand.  We snapped this picture of our very own "Elf on the Shelf."  

 Here's a picture of the finished product.

Meagan ran errands for a while so I could enjoy a quiet morning and get this post online.  The call just came that they are heading back this way for lunch and afternoon naps.  Better get up and get moving.  

One more thought in closing.  I mentioned that Frank and I had already been making room in our home although we had no idea why it would be needed.  If we had not done the work to make room, we wouldn't have been able to open our arms and have them filled with all this sweet love for the next six weeks.

Has this post brought a nudge to your own heart about making room?  Maybe it's your home and maybe it's your heart.  Let me encourage you, don't miss the blessing that you'll be able to embrace once the room has been made.  Just a thought for you today . . .

Blessings for your week!

How about you?  Have you shared your home with another family at some point?  What tips of wisdom can you offer?  Where would it do you good to make room?  Please share with us in the comment section.


  1. When each of our children married both couples were in the process of building homes. Our daughter and her husband lived with us for ten months. Our son and his wife also stayed with us for a short period of time while their home was being finished. Of course neither couple had children, but it was still a good experience having them there. The only thing that might have made the situation more exciting would have been for both couples to be there together.

    1. Ah, Cathie! You made me smile to think of having THREE families under one roof. And you're right, it's a great time for making memories. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It will be a wonderful time for making great memories.

  3. Sheri,

    This post made me smile and also raised my admiration quotient for you and Frank which was already pretty high. Blessings to all EIGHT of you!

    1. We're managing just fine. But all prayers are appreciated! LOL

  4. My mom came and stayed with us several times for weeks at a time when she was recovering from chemo and radiation. It was a challenge just because of the health issue but it was incredible getting to have her with us. My kids were 10-1/2 and 9 so really remember that special time that they got to spend with their grandma! How wonderful that you are able to help the Smiths out like this. Noah and Madi will probably remember it forever! :)

    1. You're right, LeeAnne. Time with family is more of a gift than we tend to realize at the time. Thanks for sharing.

  5. My son and grandson live with me, happily tripping over each other at times. I love it!

    1. "..happily tripping over each other.." Such a perfect description, Guerrina!!

  6. Ahhhh...Adult family under one roof! Tis indeed a wonder... glori... splen...Tis a thing!
    Several years ago my sister left an abusive, narcissistic, porn-addicted "pastor" and needed a place to stay.
    "It would just be 'til I get a good job and can get my own place. It should just be a couple of months. A year tops!" she confidently asserted.
    Of course we said yes. At first there were minor differences that didn't seem to matter, then they started mattering and finally they started annoying. No one at fault, just differences. After supper one night my wife was clearing the table and my sister was clearing her throat.
    With much humility and timidity she quietly says,
    "Well, I guess it's been a year."
    I tried to match her tone without revealing my relief by simply replying,
    With the raised eyebrows that Grubbs are famous for she replies,
    "Well, I guess I start apartment hunting on Monday."
    "Well, I'm glad we had this chat."
    "Me too."

    1. Dialogue (however limited) keeps it possible, right? :-)

  7. You are making cherished memories. Coincidentally, our son and daughter-in-love and two grands will be spending only a "couple" nights with us next week as they are also moving. Not quite like a couple months for sure. But I do plan on enjoying this time together.

  8. A little bit envious!! My kids and grands are in GA, TN and IN. Enjoy every moment!! Love you and praying for you, my friend! ❤️����

    1. Martha, you've been a great model for loving grands whether near or far. Thanks for your example!

  9. You two are amazing! I so admire your ability--and willingness--to adapt. While I'm sure this time of all being under one roof will hold its challenges, I know the memories made will be treasured.

    God's extra grace to you all until you're "un-binded" again!

    Love, Deb Mantik

    1. Grace is the right word! Glad He is lavish with giving it. LOL