I spent the entire late afternoon and evening rearranging the kid’s rooms. Our last student moved out the day before we went away to the cottage (we don’t own one, we were given a week away at one, this was our second year there). My daughter got her room back which meant that Q got his room back too! No more sharing with his brothers!!

We have had students since our oldest son was 9 months old… He will be 12 this year.

At first it was fun, having an international student in our home. We got to know many people from multiple cultures and some times there were more than 1 student at a time. We’ve had students mostly from China, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. I even had a chance to practice my rusty Japanese!!

Then it became a way to earn some extra income when times were tight. In our last house, we had 2 students at all times. My husband is a Pastor and with 3 children and a wife and after working for 10 years there, he was still making under $30k a year. I worked part time at a credit union to help make ends meet but during my maternity leave with our 3rd child… things were very tight, there were moments that we went weeks in between pays from the church.

We moved into the house we’re currently in back in 2005. This house is much, much bigger than our last. Don’t think we came into a ton of money… although hubby’s pay did start to increase. We purchased this house with my hubby’s parents, they paid for almost half of the down payment (we had a good chunk for a payment too, we had flipped 2 houses prior and done well with them). To continue the help in living here, each month they pay for a third of the mortgage and half of the utilities. This is a very economical way to live in a larger house! However… I was once again on maternity leave with our 4th child and so to supplement our income, we took in more students.

It started to get really draining on me over the last 2 years. We took in a student and he was OK, a little loud but OK. Then the college called and they had another student that needed a new home that night, they said it was an emergency, made it sound like the student was in danger. So we took him in. All of our kids were displaced, albeit temporary… 2 months later, we asked them both to leave. They were so loud – talked so very loud and slammed doors and ran up and down the stairs well past midnight. One of them… twice I caught him smoking in his room! The other spat his dinner on his plate, he was disgusted with my Shepherd’s pie. That was one of the final straws! We decided to take a break from students. Enough was enough.

At one point, there were 12 people living under this roof!

Unfortunately, the college kept calling with desperate pleas for homes for more international students. We fell for it every time.

But now…I am so done!

The kids are happy to be in their own bedrooms tonight, sleeping in their own beds. I am happy too. I’m glad to finally be in the place in our lives and in church that we don’t HAVE to have students. The church has grown enough for my hubby to be paid better than he was 7 years ago and I work from home. I am enjoying it immensely, making more money than I did when I worked outside the home! Plus… we still have a man from Jamaica who lives with us, but he’s not a burden, he’s been here since the summer of 2006, wow time flies!!

I’m happy not to worry about if someone will like my cooking or not…


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. as you know we have had several exchange students live with us to, I think it stems out of a childhood where if there was room to squeeze another body around the dinner table or to make a bedroom made for 1 hold 2-3 or enough room in our basement for our dad to make another bedroom for another person….it happened! we were taught to open our home and we have both followed that example!
    having said that…. for now… we are SOOOOO done 2! it is SO nice to not worry about another body and another person to drive around etc….
    I also think…cuz you know I love to tell people what I think!!… that the fact that you guys have made it on so little for so long and still been able to keep your priorities straight is admirable!

    LOVE ya!!!

  2. You must have a very small need for privacy and you must be a good cook. I have considered this many times for income sake but have yet to be able to part with my privacy on a long term basis like that! I'm happy for you that you're done!

  3. I think we're done too…it's hard on C as she gets really attached and then very upset when they go…and our last one made us realize we have to be very careful. Who knows, hubby might change his mind when we get another phone call.

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