Friday, March 31, 2017

Kinley's Talent Show Birthday

Kinley turned 8!
It is still so hard for me to even believe that I have an EIGHT year old.
Seems unreal.
We had traditional waffle with candles for breakfast and celebrated with just immediate family, pizza and cookie cake that night.
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Her party was the next day and as soon as the kids went to bed we started party prepping.
If you know me at all, you know I always let my kids decide on their birthday party themes. If they come up with it and plan it, I try my best to implement their vision. Sometimes the themes are totally random (i.e. Ninja Turtle-Golf, Frozen Swim Party, Rainbow-Rollerskating, etc) I definitely help give parameters as far as budget and location, etc. They can't go crazy but, as they get older, they pretty much decide.

This year, Kinley hit me with the biggest challenge yet...she wanted to do a Talent Show birthday party. At our elementary school, you can't participate in the school talent show until 3rd grade so she decided she wanted to provide a talent show opportunity for her friends.
This was a LOT to ask her friends.
This meant that they not only had to determine whether or not they could attend, but also had to prepare an act in advance for the birthday party.
She even decided on the wording for her invitation..."Kinley's turning 8, and we think you're great! Come show us your talent!"   There wasn't much out there as far as Talent Show Birthday Party invites go, so we just had to make it ourselves.
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Well, her friends (and their moms) were SO amazing at participating in this for Kinley. Each participant RSVPd with their choice of talent and their mom sent me a "headshot" photo of them and their song choice for their act (if needed).
I wanted to make it special for each person so I used their headshot and created our own Playbill with the order of acts, their picture and a little description of each girl and who they are to Kinley.

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I had NO idea if this was going to work at all but, as we started transforming the backyard into a stage, it all started to seem to come together. I knew the party was going to be during the day but once we got the plastic tablecloths up to black out the back wall, the plywood stage, plastic table cloth curtains hung and balloons up under our deck lights, it started to look so magical.
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The day of the party, we rented chairs for seating, borrowed Ali's professional grade speakers and microphone and borrowed the Nordell's electric keyboard and before the party even started the little siblings were LOVING taking the stage.
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Kinley had been picked up from school by Ali and taken to Sweet & Sassy to get her hair and makeup done for the show as her birthday gift from Aslynn. It was perfect. She walked into the party, ready, beautiful and SO excited.
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The Wall of Stars turned out so cute! I printed out a 5x7 headshot of each participant and hung it in our photobooth. IMG_9906 Kinleys bday

We also had concessions for the show and free tickets to use to "purchase" snacks and drinks. IMG_9833

Speaking of food, the cake, the CAKE! Mendy, of course, did amazing and it turned out perfect.
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The kids arrived at 6 and got to eat and practice before the show started at 7.
Kinley REALLY wanted a finale number with all the show participants and we practiced that just a little.
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Around 7 we started the show.
Kinley went first and wanted to begin the show like we begin most public events, by singing "The Star Spangled Banner."
She thanked everyone for coming, asked them to stand and put their hand over their heart and face the flag and sang it with just accompaniment, perfectly.
It made me a little teary.
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Then we went in alphabetical order, by last name for the show.
Praise the Lord that I had Mendy video with her camera because I never want to forget this party.
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Every. Single. Act. was incredible.
There was SO much cheering and encouragement and audience participation.
Every person felt so praised and loved and celebrated.
It was magical.
Not one cried.
Not one didn't perform because of nerves.
Everyone loved their moment to shine and it was incredible.
I had the job of manning the music and sat in the corner of the stage and had the best seat in the house.
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Like I said, the audience was roaring.
Singing along.
It was so much fun.
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Because this is my blog about my kids, I have GOT to talk about how incredible Kinley was as emcee.
She introduced every friend and their act.
She was witty and encouraging and precious.
She would say things like:
'Wow, thank you for telling us all those incredible facts about animals! I learned so much!"
"Man, don't I have some talented friends!"
"There's no way I could do that!"
She was dynamite.
She also jumped in to lead the charge and support her friends.
She started dancing and singing and clapping and doing yoga moves for every friend as they performed.
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And her vision for a finale song was great.
It went off without a hitch.
They sang "So long, Farewell" from the Sound of Music and it was so, so cute.
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At the very end, we brought out her birthday cake and sang happy birthday.
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The party went a little over but some stayed a little to play and open presents and enjoy music on the patio for the rest of the evening.
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We love this birthday girl so much! Kinleys bday

We lived on a high from this party and watched the video for days and days.
We even made a DVD of the whole show for all the participants. Kinleys bday

It was just so much fun!
We absolutely LOVED every second of it which I could never have dreamed up myself,
but Kinley did.
Happy birthday sweet girl.