Let me start with this picture of Scott, just because he's adorable.
Okay, now that you saw my adorable son, what else do you want to hear about?
To give you little history about the Sweetheart Supper, it started in 2006 with my mom and I serving ladies who didn't have someone else to love on them on this love-filled holiday. Now an annual event, the Sweetheart Supper has grown from 11 ladies in my home to 35 ladies in the church basement turned 4-star restaurant. Invitations are mailed out on the first of February inviting the ladies to join us. This year I mailed invitations to 60+ ladies. With such a big invitation list, I was thankful to also have many of my friends and church family volunteer to help out. Every detail was accounted for to make it a special night for the 35 ladies who came out.
Some ladies drive themselves. Others opt for a handsome guy to pick them up at the door and escort them into the church. Tracy's luminaries added festivity and color to the walkway leading up to the church. In the hallway, the ladies were greeted by a variety of people who removed their coats, hung them up and led them down a lighted path to the main room.
The first course, made by Sharon and Jennifer was a jello salad course adorned with fresh fruit.
As the ladies were finishing up their salad, several people were in the background dishing up the main dish. Alan made the Salisbury steak with a yummy gravy with a hint of mustard flavor. Tracy made the twice baked potatoes and California style vegetable and I believe it was Diane who baked the dinner roles.
While some were in the kitchen washing the first set of dishes, Jon, Steven and Ben were playing some a-maz-ing background music and I chatted with a few of the ladies.
Once the ladies were served the main course, we tried to sit the children down for supper before it was their turn to serve the dessert. That didn't go near as well as I had hoped. But then again, my daughter pushed every button I had with her incessant whining.
. The ladies continued to be spoiled. While Pastor, Jeff and others re-filled drinks, some members of the church choir came in and performed for the ladies. That was followed by a piano duet by two of my favorite high schoolers, Ali and Mitchell.(just wanted to add here that these are two of my favorite ladies. I usually see them across the counter at my office. The sweet doll on the right if my buddy Albert's wife. Albert came to my office like clockwork once a month to do business. Of course, there was no business I could help him with but I made a point to sit in the chairs and chat with him each month. My sweet doll recently lost the love of her life after 62 years of marriage. And though my heart aches for her loss, I was so glad that she came out and joined us this evening. The lady on the left is my grandma's age. She's a wonderful Norwegian baker who taught school for many years, never married, and has a chocolate lab that my husband treats. These two ladies are perfect reasons of why I do this every year. They deserve to be loved and spoiled for an evening)
Of course, the dessert is usually my favorite course of the evening. No doubt, if Kara has anything to do with it, it will be simply amazing. This year the kids were quite distracted with their own desire to eat dessert and had a hard time serving others first. They did it though and now I know for next year to let them sneak dessert before hand so they will serve dessert with more joy and understanding.
(the ladies still commented that they enjoyed the children even though this one was whiny and needy the entire night. She may have sweet-talked her grammy into giving her ringlet curls to wear with her sparkly pants but her attitude was neither sweet or sparkly!) The ladies below were much more fun to be around:
When the ladies had the dessert plates picked up, Jodi (who planned our entertainment for the evening) had one more trick up her sleeve. As a teacher, she had her students make Valentine's cards for each lady. Ms. Luella showed me her Valentine and made sure I even saw the back which read: "somebody loves you". How precious! They were the cutest things. Well maybe not as cute and Andre who passed out the Valentines:
Bringing smiles to their faces and joy to their hearts was such a blessing to me:
We ended the evening with the traditional flower vase given by the anonymous donor. In addition to that, the women's ministries committee in my church also gave them a Mary & Martha gift certificate. Each of the ladies can redeem this certificate for 2 hours of service in their home cleaning, dusting, cooking, etc. What a sweet gesture from the ladies in the church. Here's another of my favorite ladies having her rose wrapped by Diane before she heads outside. With less than two hours with the ladies, I think we all had a Happy Valentine's Night!
There was so much going on at the church that I'm not sure I even know of everyone who served at this event. What I do know is that I couldn't have pulled it off without each person who worked in the planning process, who worked in the kitchen, who picked up ladies, who washed dishes and cleaned up, and those who prayed for the invitees. I'm especially thankful for my very own Valentine who took time to carry around the camera and capture the night in pictures for me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everyone who served to help make the Sweetheart Supper super successful.