Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jolly Holiday Surprise Adventure | The Surprise - Part 1

December 6, 2014

** I have been so excited about this trip that of course I had been packed for weeks. But the night before the trip, we attended my niece's birthday party and then came home and had the kids go to bed early!  And then final preparations were made by Joey and I, including getting the bags in the car and the "treasures" hidden and such.  We were so excited that I don't think we really got any sleep!  Let the Adventure begin...

We woke the kids up at 6:00 am with a "Merry Christmas!" They were so confused but we told them to go get in the shower and get dressed. They were not too enthused about getting up so early on a Saturday morning.  They got ready and sleepily arrived in the living room to this:

That actually woke them up pretty good! Presents under the tree!  But we had them eat some breakfast, before we got started. 

Every year it has been our December tradition to have a daily activity. For years we have used an advent calendar that I created out of a over-the-door shoe organizer. (It has 24 slots, perfect for our daily activities to go in the pockets).  But this year, I got a great Black Friday deal at Deseret Book and purchased a new Shadowbox Advent Calendar that I have been eyeing for a couple of years:

So we had the kids sit down on the couch and we pulled out the note that was in the "6" Box. Our note said: "Grimoires of Grand Adventure" (Joey had been giving the kids some vocabulary words in the previous week, so they would understand some of our messages.)

We then instructed the kids to take the gifts out from under the tree and untie the bow. We made sure that they wouldn't uncover the brown paper over the cover of the storybooks. I decided that I wanted to film each time we read a part of the books, so I filmed while Joey read to the kids and they followed along. Joey and I were both pretty emotional as we were actually starting off on this grand adventure that we had been planning for so long.  The second page of the book instructed the kids to go on a treasure hunt.

Our video of the reading of this first part of our Storybook:

JJ and Beth excitingly took their books (which had pictures of where the treasures were) and headed out.

The kids gathered wrapped gifts, gold coins, and slips of paper with messages on them. They were having a great time collecting everything and when they got to the end of the hunt, they piled all of their treasures into the living room. Joey and I happily watched them as they opened the gifts of games, coloring books, activity books, crayons, treats, and more. 

We then had them take the slips of paper to the table and try and put them in the right order.  After a little while (and some help), they were able to do it:

Then we read the final page of Part 1 in the Storybook:

After reading the page, it took a bit of prompting to help the kids figure out what they needed to do.  In the treasure hunt, one of the wrapped gifts included a special decoder that Joey had one of his friends make.  (Joey had 4 made so we all have one so we can send each other coded messages and stuff. It's so awesome!) To figure out how to use the decoder the kids had to use the message on the slips of paper above.  The answer was 13.  So they had to set their decoder to the number 13 and then they could decipher the message on the left side of the page. 

Once they found the cipher they went right to work decoding the message!

And the message turned out to be:
Take the things you found and get in the car.

So we helped the kids get all their stuff into their backpacks and we put on our coats....

The Adventure Continues in another post. :)

The Smith Family's Jolly Holiday Adventure
I'm so excited to share my family's magical Christmas adventure of 2014 with you!
To see all the postings in this series go HERE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress,         Blogger...