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Friday, August 17, 2012

7 Quick Takes - Birthday Bash!

On Wednesday our family celebrated our 5th annual birthday bash with 130 of our friends and family.  Instead of having 7 separate parties for the children, we combine them into one mega-party and go all out.  Using the 7 Quick Takes format, here is a peek at this year's celebration.

(1) T-shirts
We buy shirts on sale ($2.50 each) and Todd makes an iron on for the front (5th Annual Kraft Birthday Bash) and the back (child's name and birthday) so that the birthday kids are easy to pick out in a crowd.
Here's the front of this year's shirt...
and the back!

(2) Carnival Games
We have a carnival set up in our backyard and the neighbors graciously let us spill over into their yard as well.  Throughout the year we pick up prizes as they go on clearance (Target dollar aisle when it's 70% off if a favorite place to look!) to keep the budget down in that area.  Each child gets a bag with 30 tickets inside that they can use at any of the carnival games. The fishing game is always a huge hit!


Here's Haley and Eleanor getting the sucker pull ready - another crowd pleaser!

(3) Food
This is kept really simple and requires no cutlery.  I have sloppy joes or hot dogs along with carrot sticks, watermelon, and chips.  I also have two big drink containers - one filled with water and the other filled with lemonade.

We have the food set up in the garage.  There are a few tables and chairs, but folks take their food and sit on the lawn or in chairs they bring along to watch the magic show.

(4) Cake
I order two full sheet cakes from Sam's Club for $37 a piece.  This is a super tasty cake and is the best price I can find anywhere.

Esther really wanted to stick her finger into that big frosting balloon!


(5) Strolling Magic
This is the second year we had Magician Matt Dunn attend the party.  He did some strolling magic during the carnival which was a hit again.  More than one mom came up to me and said, "Your magician stole my watch!"  The kids loved being able to be up close and personal with a "real, live magician".  It was pretty spendy, but a favorite and memorable addition to the party.


(6) Magic Show
Magician Matt Dunn did a magic show after supper.  He has a very dry sense of humor and had us all laughing out loud.  He did an excellent job utilizing volunteers from the audience and including our children into his show.

Here's the guests all finding a spot to watch the magic show.
They loved being part of the show!
(7) Food Shelf Donations
Each year we ask that our guests bring a donation for the food shelf instead of a gift for our family.  This year we collected  606 pounds of food!  Over the past 5 years of birthday bashes our friends and family have blessed the local food shelf with 2,400 pounds of food!  Isn't that amazing?!?  It is such a wonderful thing to have the children bring the donations to the food shelf and know that their celebration is helping other families in need.

That's what 606 pounds of food looks like in the back of Big Blue!
Waiting for the staff to add up the total pounds of our donation.
And of course I need to mention all the generous souls who volunteer to help us with this wonderful event.  We couldn't do it without all of them.  We thoroughly enjoy this celebration and look forward to it all year long.  Eleanor asked me today, "Mommy, how many more days until the next Birthday Bash?"  I'm sure that isn't the only time I'll have to answer that question!

God Bless!

Heather :-)