VVDDP – 2014 Edition

Before I begin to tell about our annual gathering I wanted to share how much 
I love preparing and creating for these types of events. 
 If I had endless amounts of money and time I would spend it 
creating opportunities for people to join together.  
The clincher is I’d want it to be for free for them.
 (I know, I’m living in a dream world right!)
Spending the day yesterday in my kitchen was wonderful for me.  
This year I didn’t have alot of time to plan and prepare like usual.  
In fact, I “winged it” and took easier routes than in past years.
It turned out lovely and it was less stressful in some aspects.
Sometimes it’s ok to use “not homemade” and it still impresses.
But honestly, impressing my friends wasn’t really the goal at all. 
It was about coming together. 
(and for some of them this is the only time they see one another each year)
There were conversations about Route 66, current job situations, 
family updates, old car talk, and laughter galore.
This event brought me back to the fact that I need to entertain more.
I need to not allow busy schedules and lots of time to pass before I invite others to our home.
This has my “invitation and date open” mindset on! 
Whom will be the next to come enjoy some time together!

NOW!  For your viewing, our 2014 VVDDP event!
Let’s start with the table decor.  There is this great fair trade store in Lindsborg, Ks
 called CONNECTED that sells the neatest stuff!  
I found these hearts there and knew it was a must for this years gathering!
I chose one heart for each couple.
On each heart there is a word, I chose the one that I see in their relationship 
through my eyes.  They got to take their heart home with them as well!

I placed the extras with the centerpiece.

(click on the links to find the recipes from the original source)

Not the most beautiful plating, but get get the picture! 🙂 

Flat iron Steak (2 ways)
My hubs did a super job grilling. It was tender and delish!
(Cookbook Just Mini Desserts Vol. 2)
Coconut Creams
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Pizzazz
My favorite was the Coconut one. Really good!

At dinner, I usually try to keep the conversation going, although with this group it’s not really needed!  I had found a conversation starter on Pinterest and decided to try it.   Before everyone arrived I gave Milton the task of finding pennies with not so close years on them.  Then we placed one at each person’s plate.  We went around the table and they had to tell things about that year.
It was fun and interesting to hear about the person’s life.  
Sometimes it was difficult to remember that far back for some of us! 🙂
This led to one of the guests wanting us to tell of one good thing from 2013!
(SEE chain reaction, isn’t it awesome!)
So we went around the table and got to go back in time a short way and 
feel those great feelings once more.  Milton said this one and I said the 
Oklahoma weekend trip my hubby planned last year!
Two years ago we began a tradition with our gathering.  We play a game and whomever wins get a prize.  The winner of the current year must organize the game and prize for the following year.
This couple won last year, so they created the game for this year!
This couple is pretty FUN and they did a GREAT job!
It was called 
“I know you by heart”
3 parts to the game
#1 – Blind fold the ladies, line the guys up, and we had to figure out 
by scent which man was our spouse. Then it was the guy’s turn!
#2 – Blind fold the individual and figure out which opposite 
sex was your spouse by feeling their hands.
It was extremely difficult NOT to laugh when playing!
#3 – Then we were asked twelve question, six that pertained to the ladies, and six for the men.
Every time a couple got something correct, they got a point.  Couple with the most points won.
This couple won a FABULOUS prize!
It was a box of envelopes with date instructions, a monthly date calendar, and other items for dates.
The LOVE shadow box is for the couple to take something from each date and display it.  
The box will be full by this time next year!  I’m totally jealous they won! Watch out next year!

Good friends, Good food, Good times!
One of our usual couples wasn’t able to attend! They were missed!
Thanks to our friends for such a wonderful evening!
Until next year!

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