One day in December, Trisha, our wonderful art teacher, brought a flyer to me and said, “We should enter this shadow puppet contest” and of course I said, “Let’s do it.”  So earlier this month Trisha and I got the kids together to make story boards and puppets.

Then Trisha set up the overhead with a sheet and we were off.  The kids practiced for a few days and then one afternoon I video taped the performances.  Then I took all of their craft home, did a little video edit here and there, set some of my favorite music to the motion of the puppets, got frustrated, said some choice words and after literally three days of editing, I finally got our entries in fifteen minutes before the midnight on Sunday night deadline – whew!

Then I took a breath, sat and watched them all, tears streaming at all the beauty that we had made together.  The next day, the kids watched their work on YouTube and this beautiful, amazing work that we did became something else.  Their first experiences of having their work viewed by people from all over the world.  There are hundreds of views of these lovely shadow puppet shows and we couldn’t have been more proud and thrilled.

And then we got an email from Orange Moon Toys and Owly Shadow Puppets:

“We were surprised and impressed with the shows that came in, and after spending the last few days reviewing the entries we have chosen your group of shows as FIRST PLACE!!  We loved the mermaids and fox and creature and boats and friend!  We were very pleased to see kids of this age really making their own puppets and shows.  They are unique and full of childhood creativity–we hope you had fun making them!”

“So what do you get? Each child will be able to choose 2 puppets!– one from Orange Moon Toys and one from Owly Shadow Puppets…  AND you will receive $50 to share.  (We suggest art supplies or a pizza party!)”

And best of all:

“The Chicago Children’s Museum would like to show your videos during a special performance night in March.”

We are so excited.  These shows really did take on a life of their own.  I can’t wait to hear what the kids are going to say.  If you tell them, please post their reactions here (or have them do it), so that we can feel the excitement from your house to ours.

Look what we do together every single day, isn’t it just spectacular!

Enjoy the rest of your break.

Hugs and kisses.

*And if anyone wants to organize funding to send us to Chicago to see the performance, feel free!

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