The Week We NAILED it With Hospitality

I thought you’d appreciate knowing that when it comes to hospitality – we totally nailed it this week. (Nailed rhymes with failed. There might be a connection there.) Details? Oh yes. You do want to know these details. Maybe. 

First, as you recall, we hosted 15 teenage boys last weekend. Crazy as that sounds, having them here was the least eventful of everything else I am about to share with you. Oh yes. The boys all trooped into our house on Friday and Saturday nights after fun times at the church building with youth from four different states. They kicked off their shoes; they crowded into our kitchen where Matt and I stood throwing out cheap junk food for an hour and a half each night; they went outside and played football in the snow at midnight.

By Sunday afternoon when everyone left for their homes – my floors were covered in mud and dirty towels. The sink was overflowing with dishes. I was going on about seven hours of accumulated sleep over the course of three days.


This is when our new guests moved in. Sunday afternoon. When I was a zombie and there were no clean sheets or towels.

This time, instead of bunches of teenage boys, we were hosting a young family with two little ones. We’d planned it. I’d warned them about what they’d be walking into. They were extremely gracious. I got them settled (sort of) then excused myself to pass out in bed for a couple hours.

Fast-forward a couple of days. Young Family was still here. Young Husband began feeling a major allergic reaction. Upon checking more thoroughly in our guest room – we realized that mold was becoming a problem on a wall where we had recently had a leak. Oh my stars. We were slowly killing our guests.

Bleach was our friend (even though we hate bleach – we hate mold more). The wall became livable for the time being until we can find a moment to knock it out and replace it. Enter: more guests.

Young Family’s brother moved in along with his girlfriend. YF’s Brother camped out with our boys upstairs in their room. Girlfriend got guest room downstairs. We liked Girlfriend immediately (a good thing too, because YF’s Brother is like a son to us).

Girlfriend is low maintenance and sweet. This is probably why she did not mention the complete lack of hot water for her shower the first morning she was here.

Matt discovered it later that day when he was washing his hands in the downstairs bathroom and the water in the sink never got warm. He went to the basement to investigate. Sure enough. The hot water heater had a leak in the tank. There was nothing that could be done. It had lived its life. Time to buy a new one.

So let’s see. Mold. Cold showers. What else did we offer our guests this week?

On not much. Just a HUGE police investigation next door that revealed a Meth-Lab in the works. Wha??! I am so serious. That place was hopping for hours on Tuesday – with guys in Hazmat suits, firemen standing by in case of explosions, you know – just another day in our quiet neighborhood in small town Nebraska while we sit around sipping hot cocoa with company.


When all was said and done, I’d say we’ve all still had a wonderful time visiting. Somehow I’ve caught up on sleep and laundry (which of course, doesn’t mean anything because there is no such thing as “caught up on laundry”). If nothing else, I’ve done my best to provide our guests with great food. I mean, if all else fails, feed people Apple Crisp and Blueberry Pancakes, right?

Anything exciting happen in your house or on your block this week? I’m voting for a few laid back days at our house next week. Please??


  1. Paige says

    Laura, I LOVE reading your posts; it is like chatting with a friend who laughs in all the same places while still striving “onward and upward”. I think you win the prize for MOST stuff happening while practicing hospitality. Hope all the repairs happen quickly. Whew! Let’s see…here in VA…. our basement which never floods, flooded with this last rain and the sump pump kicked on and on. My husband and I thought nothing of value was on the floor. But I just had this “baaaad” feeling that something wasn’t right (thank God!) so I went down to the basement at 1 a.m. (seemed like a fine hour to investigate) to find cardboard boxes of family photos sitting in 2 inches of water! Of course, I worked until 4 a.m. like a crazy person to salvage everything, which miraculously, I did. Luckily, my box packing strategy must have entailed putting lots of totally “unlike” items together, as I discovered cooking pans stacked UNDER all the photo’s …..which saved the day! Don’t you just love it when life works out like that!


  2. Sandy H says

    That kind of craziness makes for the best stories ever! At least you didn’t have to evacuate! Thanks for sharing your crazy-good-wouldn’t-have-it-any-other-way- life?!?!?!?! ???????????????????????????????????


  3. Charlotte Moore says

    We ca laugh now but I am sure you were not laughing as you cloroxed your walls. Oh my, you had your hands full for sure. First of all I could have have handled that many people to start with. I am much older than you but still even at your age I couldn’t have done all th

    The dishes alone would have gotten me. I am a wash as you go person. Can’t do sink full and counter full. HA!!!

    Do try to get some sleep and much needed rest.


  4. Molly says

    You are too much! When I saw the title of this post I knew it was a must read. I want so badly to be a “good” (read Martha Stewart-esque) hostess and something inevitably happens to throw a big ole monkey wrench in those plans. But you’re right, when all else fails, just feed ’em! Good food covers a multitude of hostess-ing indiscretions ;)


  5. Amy says

    There is never, ever a dull moment at your house! I was still thinking having wild turkeys in your yard was “big.” Ha. It got much bigger!


  6. Cassie says

    Totally laughed out loud when I read your post!! Maybe you should have hit up the meth lab in the week before they were busted…the lack of sleep wouldn’t have been such a problem then….lol. Great post (even though I’m sure it wasn’t great to live through all of it).


  7. Paula says

    Wow! What an experience. I love your life’s stories, it makes me feel ……..well……right at home. What a humble woman you are. You are a blessing!


  8. Kimberly says

    Awwww…. I am SO sorry you all had to go through all that! Prayin’ for a MUCH calmer week and beyond! And for the meth-makers to get the help they need and find Jesus…and I’m thanking the Lord that no other harm came to you guys through them.

    What I’m thinking, also, is that you have modeled for your guests that real hospitality doesn’t have to be perfect, and never will be no matter who is involved, and it will still be a huge blessing to people. You’ve done your “hospitality-ees” a big favor!! Now it will be much easier for them to reach out to others and bless them!


  9. Kimberly says

    Oops–forgot to answer your question. I’m having really bad side effects from medicine and our disabled daughter started a new medicine, and so did my Wonderful Husband, who’s having side effects of his own.

    Not the best week in our history, but our kids are begging us to make your heart-shaped pretzels, and that would pull things out of the ditch around here. :-)


  10. pat says

    Wow you sure had alot of “happenings” in and outside of your home! Hopefully this next week will be nice and calm(minus all the regular stuff) Happy Valentines Day to you and yours!!


  11. Sheri says

    Wow…that is quite crazy. Love that you share the real things going on. We drove to my parents (2 hours away) met my parents and sis at a swim meet. My sis flew into to visit. My oldest son swam in swim meet…did well in first 3 events but then felt sick. My second son had to stay home cause he was sick. So, we went back to parents with one sick kid and 2 non sick kids. Hung out and ate dinner….6 adults, 3 kids in a 2 bedroom condo. Then, drove back home on Sunday for Super Bowl. Then in middle of night my daughter got sick…Tuesday I got sick. But, we made it to Saturday…everyone healthy and a day of catching up on the house. Other than still 5 loads of laundry needing to be folded.


  12. Ingrid says

    Wow, that is one crazy weekend. At least now you have a lot of stories, as do your guests, that will be funny in due time ;)


  13. says

    Goodness! That sounds crazy! We were supposed to have guests, but it fell through last minute. I love hosting, but I am terrible at remembering to give my guests (and self) personal space. I have to remind myself that being a gracious host doesn’t mean being physically present with them all the time. We will have various family visiting over the next few weekends though. I am excited! :)


  14. BUSY MOM IN AL says

    We have had mold too! Don’t use bleach, it doesn’t KILL mold, and it will come back!! You need something called Sporicidon. (there are other brands also, we chose this one because they use it in hospitals.) Buy it by the gallon!! We use it and it kills mold for 6 months. It actually smells good. We just reapply it about twice a year and we also bought a dehumidifier. It makes a world of difference!! Our windows used to get all wet with the humidity. Now, they don’t. Hope you can get rid of it!!


  15. Jenn S. says

    HI Laura, Pat yourself on the back! I don’t think I would’ve kept my cool through all of those issues. We had a long Presidents’ weekend of company from WA and the mom is gluten free/dairy free, so that was my main challenge. They used to live in CO, though, and the kids still wanted to go to Casa Bonita! Good times!


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