Ours has long been the sort of home that our children's friends sort of gravitated toward. When the kids were younger, it was items like the trampoline and eagle's nest that made our house fun. As my children are now seventeen and older, though, our house still remains a place where we have "extra" kids who hang around.
And I'm fine with that. While at times the chaos of our busy house makes it hard to write (let alone think), I know that there is a reason why particular kids spend more time at our house than their own.
Yes, this means our food bills are a little higher, or that the television is running almost 24 hours a day, but I suppose this is our lot in life. We have long been foster and adoptive parents, and I think ours is a home that appears "safe" to kids who have problems at their own homes.
We don't ask questions of our extra guests (usually!), and we tend to cook for 8-10 people every meal. If that many show up, great. If not, you can bet that someone will be eating the leftovers late night, the uneaten food no doubt acting as nutritional supplements to the steady diet of fast food most kids consume.
And I think we are blessed in one sense: our children, despite their occasional teenaged crankiness, spend a lot of time around the house. By welcoming their friends and feeding those who show up unannounced, we have created something much more important than a kitchen sink that fills up 2-3 times a day.