Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There is nothing better than a surprise.

I realized something this last weekend that I feel I should have realized a long time ago... like a long long long time ago.  Nothing is better than a surprise.  For years I have been trying to elicit excitement from my children by telling them all about whatever it is I am planning for them and have failed miserably.  If I say we are doing something fun, they automatically jump to the most fun thing they could ever imagine, "Are we going to Disneyland?"   If I say I will get them something for accomplishing a goal its always some crazy response like, "Are you getting me a pony?"  Because of this I have just decided to tell them straight out, in vivid detail, just what it is I am planning. This has not worked either. They just complain because its not Disneyland or a pony.

Well this spring break we told the kids that we weren't going to go anywhere because dad needed to save his days off if we were going to take two vacations during the summer.  They all murmured a little and slumped onto the comfortable couch deciding that this is where they were destined to spend the next 5 days.

Little did they know that we were planning a few activities and they wouldn't be able to turn into a couch potato just yet.  Even though I was thrilled that we were not going to be spending the weekend fighting over the Playstation, I was very hesitant to tell the kids about our plans.  Dreading the all too familiar, "Ugh, that's not fun."  So I told Brenden, "Lets not tell the kids.  Lets keep it a surprise."  Brenden was completely on board.  He loves having opportunities to mess with the kids.  haha.

So that is how our Surprise Spring Break came to be.  The first night of spring break we treated it like a normal weekend.  A few snacks, a redbox movie, nothing special.  But in the morning the kids found a plain white envelope taped to the bathroom mirror.  It said nothing more than "open me" on the outside and there was a mysterious clue inside.

It read, "Welcome to Surprise Spring Break.  Your dad and I will be surprising you with different activities through out the weekend.  The first surprise is at 12:00.  Get dressed and meet by the door at noon and be on time."  They loved it!

We did a number of things throughout the break all preceded by a mystery envelope and even though none of them were Disneyland, it felt like it to the kids because of the element of surprise!  Pure genius!  I know a number of the activities we did would have gotten a lack luster response if we had just told them  "Hey we're going to the library."  But instead we got so many, "This is the BEST Spring Break ever!" that I had a perma-grin the whole 5 days.  The kids loved it, we loved it and it will definitely go down as a family memory.

List of what we did:

1.  Lego Movie (in the cushy recliner seats)
2.  SubZero Ice Cream ( we sold this one as mad scientist meets desserts)
3.  Natural History Museum  (This one was just really awesome.  Entertained all the kids for over 4 hours)
4.  Chocolate Tasting at the Museum  (This cost a dollar a person and we got to learn about how chocolate is made and taste different types of chocolate from around the world.  Amazing!)
5.  Johnny Rockets (Can't go wrong with singing waiters and hamburgers)
6.  Game Night and Desserts (This was Sunday night so we didn't want to go out)
7.  Library (exploring for new adventures)
8.  Boondocks  (Bowling, games, and pizza)
9.  Shopping Spree at the Dollar Store  (Just one of those things my kids love)
10.  Going out for Lunch  ( We never do this so it was fun)
11.  Visit to the Pet Store (My Lillie loves animals so any opportunity we have to visit the pet store is a dream to her).

We didn't have to spend a fortune and everyone was happy.  I just had to remind my self to take it all in.
 This doesn't happen very often!  Totally grateful for this years Spring Break and the cuties I got to spend it with!

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