It's true: Absence totally makes the heart grow fonder. As Miley traveled across the country on her Best of Both Worlds tour, "I would just be like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm really starting to miss home!' It was hard," admits the pop star. So when Miley took her final bow in January and headed back to the Cyrus family's six-bedroom Italian-style villa in Toluca Lake, Calif., "it was so great to be home! Just to be able to sleep in my parents' bed and hang out with Dad, that was, like, the coolest ever."

Just as cool? Chillin' with her siblings—Brandi, 21, Braison, 14, and Noah, 8. Even though her parents, Billy Ray, 46, and Tish, 41, gave Miley her own wing of the house, which includes her bedroom and a sitting room "where I don't have all my junk and my friends can just hang out," Miley isn't much for privacy lately. "On the road I would be locked up in my room doing my own thing," says Miley. "Here I keep my doors open all the time to make sure my family can come in when they want and are welcome to be there."

Quality time with the siblings means Miley giving Noah a makeover or going on bike rides with Braison. "We play video games and just hang out at the house," says Miley. "I've been gone for so long that whatever rocks their boat I'll do!"

Well, there is one exception: She doesn't like talking about w-o-r-k. Since Miley usually spends Monday through Friday filming Hannah Montana with her dad, at home "we try to forget we even work together, so when we're hanging out with my other brothers and sisters, it doesn't feel like I spent the entire day with my dad and they didn't get to see him," says Miley. Adds Billy Ray: "I don't even bring up Hannah Montana unless she does."

Instead, the "Ready, Set, Don't Go" singer will wander through the house strumming his guitar while Tish listens to music (or sneaks in a nap!) and the kids battle it out on Guitar Hero or take a dip in the pool. "It's rare that we're all home at one time, so I love everything about it," says Tish. "It can drive me crazy though, because there's clothes everywhere. We usually are all unpacking!"

On the rare occasion that Miley's brother Trace, 19, isn't touring with his band Metro Station, he'll pop in to give the family a peek at his latest tattoo: For his father, he inked some lyrics to Billy Ray's song "Hey Daddy" on the same arm he has a tattoo of Tish's favorite flowers—purple orchids. "It's weird because most brothers will go buy their mom flowers," says Miley. "Trace comes home and it's like, 'Mom, look what I did!' "

For family fun time, things get a bit more conventional. "We're a big go out to eat kind of family," says Trace. "We're always going out to different restaurants, and we always go to Pinkberry." But the Cyrus family's favorite destination? Their 500-acre Tennessee farm, where they lived before packing their bags for L.A. in '05. "Any time we celebrate a holiday, we try to go back to Nashville because that's definitely our home. That's where it feels right," says Trace. "But as long as we're together, that's what matters." Miley seconds that. "I try to spend as much time really focusing on my family, you know?" she says. "It is really good for me to be at home. I'm having a blast."

the scoop ON THE CYRUS SIBLINGS

NOAH, 8
Miley calls the smallest Cyrus "Shadow," and it's no wonder: Noah wants to be an actress just like her big sis. Along with appearing on Hannah Montana, the third grader will star in her first film, Mostly Ghostly, this fall. "She is a little Miley," says Tish. Billy Ray agrees: "Noah's a mixture of Dakota Fanning and Miley, but she has her own little spirit." Just not her own show—yet. "We're getting calls for Noah to audition for series, and we won't let her go," says Billy Ray. Why? "We're afraid she's going to get one! Our plate is full."

BRAISON, 14
"He's just like Billy Ray," says Tish of her youngest son. "He's the sweetest guy." But not a pushover. Before, "Miley would pound on him," says Tish, but now "when she sneaks up behind him and smacks him, she runs because he's taller and can get her back!" Luckily the ninth grader loves whaling on his drums more than beating up his sisters. Says Trace: "He can be a rock star one day!"

BRANDI, 21
The oldest of the Cyrus brood, Brandi provides backup for Miley onstage and off. During the Best of Both Worlds tour, Brandi—who lives in Franklin, Tenn.—played guitar with her sister's band. And when Miley was grounded on the road, "Miley had somebody to run to," says Tish. "Brandi soothed the situation."

TRACE, 19
That Cyrus family keeps cranking out the singers. Last year, Miley's brother Trace stopped working in malls and started the synth-pop band Metro Station with best friend Mason Musso (yes, as in Mitchel's brother!). Now the group is touring with Good Charlotte this summer. "He's a rock star!" says Miley. "It's great." Trace is equally in awe of Miley. "Every time I see her perform," he says, "it blows me away."