Bird and I decided we wanted to take a trip to California before we started back with school. He had some time off of work, and everything really just fell into place to allow us to go. We opted to keep it a secret from the kids because we wanted to really surprise them. So, we meticulously planned out an adventure...
On a Thursday night, the older two kids spent the night with my parents so we could have the time to get everything ready and pack without them realizing what was happening. They loved this part.
On Friday, I waited until around dinner time to go get them. We had dinner with my family, and then it was adventure time! (Skip to the video at the bottom if you'd rather just watch how it unfolded!)
First, we gave the kids a gift. Inside was a new puzzle (something my kids love doing), and we had them put it together. They realized there was a message on the back while they were working on it, so when it was done, we flipped it over. It read:
It's time to have an adventure,
So get ready and let's begin!
You love to play Wii with Grammy.
Now let's see how fast you can win!
We all proceeded to the living room where it took about a minute for Isaiah to beat Grammy at a mini game. Then, she pulled out an envelope with a card inside. This card said:
Now that you've won your game,
It's time to find an Aunt
Who will turn the music on and up
Cause it's a party, and it's time to dance!
They found Aunt Kara, and we all danced away. It was so much fun to get all our wiggles out! When the song was over, Kara gave them another envelope. The card inside read:
If all that dancing has made you hungry
And you really want some kind of treat,
Go find Grandpa! He is waiting
With a sweet treat to eat!
They ran and found grandpa waiting with ice cream sandwiches for everyone to share! This was a sweet and welcomed surprise, and it was so funny that the kids thought THIS was the climax to this whole adventure! Of course, he then gave them their next card, and it said:
Now that you had something yummy
And you had some food that was real,
Go with Grandma to the back porch
And make us a play-dough meal!
This thrilled both kids, but Izzy especially loved it. She would sit and play with play-dough for hours at a time! They made pizza and hamburgers and pancakes, and then Grandma gave them their next card. It said:
Playing play-dough was so much fun,
But it's time to tell everyone "bye!"
Put on your shoes and have a peek
In the black thing Mom and Dad drive!
They quickly put their shoes on and ran outside! They found their last envelope taped to the window of our truck. They tore it open, and we read it together. It said....
Our truck is packed with clothes and snacks
And a way to watch some shows.
We even included your Mickey Mouse ears,
So where do you think we should go....?
It was hilarious how long it took them to figure it out. We stuffed our truck with all kinds of new things (and I will do a post soon on how to successfully travel with small children), and they were so enamored with everything, they couldn't even think of Disneyland!
The next morning, very very early, we headed to California for a week! We spent time with friends and family, saw princesses and Carsland, spent time at the beach, and made some of the best memories as a family. This was, by far, one of the best experiences for us as parents!
But I think the biggest achievement in all of this was my ability to keep it a secret for weeks...
If you'd like to watch our adventure, here you go!