You can have all of those people, two children, a bard, and a carriage driver. The House Carl and Steward are the only defensive options you have though, unless your spouse is capable. I am always coming home to piles of dead draugr, wolves, and the occasional giant.
My spouse is always a follower. Usually because "lover's comfort" is too awesome not to have at all times. = )
But yeah. Your steward and your spouse can be the same thing. However, they are usually not.
1) Have a follower... uh, follow you. 2) Approach your house 3) Say 'yes' when they ask to be your steward. = )
Worth noting, it's generally a good idea to pick a follower who is fully 'capable' by default. For example someone who defaults to armor and a weapon, rather than clothing and a dagger (for example Ogol, the (bad ass) Orc defaults to clothing).
This allows them to more effectively defend. Hope this helps. = D
If you have Dawnguard DLC, bring one of the Dawnguard war dogs home and the kids should adopt it, give you another npc that can help guard your place.
Seem to have gotten lucky so far and have never came home to a major attack, the few that have happened I was home for a visit ahead of time and beat back the two dragons and a giant (three separate times) as I was leaving for my next mission.
I believe you only get one steward. If you make your house carl the steward it limits your ability to defend the homestead. I might be mistaken on this, but I am pretty sure its like marriage... one shot.
Cool. So Rayya is my Housecarl and Steward now by default, right? If I get a follower to become my Steward, what happens to Rayya? Does she stay as my Housecarl or leave?
Also, if I've already told her to furnish stuff, will that continue to happen or will it glitch/stop?
No. Steward is a different thing, and no one defaults to that position. Even your housecarl needs to be told to be steward.
If you get another person to become steward she should remain there as well, as your housecarl.
If she is your steward the only way to get rid of her (without killing her) is to tell her to move to another house, to be steward there. In that case, she's no longer gonna live in Falkreath. You will be able to get another steward there though.
Aww well crap! She's been my Steward for awhile. Guess I'm short one person. I'll try the dog adoption thing after I find some kids and get married. Maybe I'll marry Mjoll since she brings Aeron. Is there any other 2 for 1 deal with NPCs like that? Maybe a Conjuror, even...