Yesterday was D-Day.
It was the day my three older children were going to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The best part was, they had no idea where they were going.
If you read Friday’s post, you know all about it, and you probably know that keeping something like that a secret was quite the trick, especially since I announced it to thousands of my closest friends on the internet first, including everyone we hung out with at church on Sunday.
But it worked!
The kids woke up giddy and clueless. Throughout the morning, as they languished over their schoolwork, they threw ideas back and forth like popcorn.
Maybe we were going hiking! Or camping! But wait–I hadn’t asked anyone to pack, so we couldn’t be going far.
No one had noticed the three neat piles of clothes on the table in my room, and no one had thought twice when Nana brought two extra suitcases over “because she was cleaning out,” and no one saw me lug three suitcases into the back of the van while Jeff suddenly decided to show the kids the pictures Jonathan took with his camera. Nope. No one had seen any of that.
So of course, we couldn’t be going anywhere overnight! Too bad, because that would have been fun.
Meanwhile, the suggestions continued. Maybe Grandma and Grandpa are coming to visit? Maybe we were going to Beachwood, a little vacation place we sometimes visit in the summers, or perhaps up to Whistler, British Columbia, where Nana and Papa have a timeshare. Or maybe it was family day at Ft. Lewis and we were all going to drive down there?
“It’s going to be better than anything you’ve ever done,” Jeff said casually as he walked through the dining room. “It’s going to blow your head off.”
Five sets of eyeballs grew round like moons and five jaws dropped like meteors.
What. could. it. be?
Thankfully, the Fairy Godmother had finally finished all of her secret preparations and had even managed to get a shower so the magic was flowing. Besides, two parents (who shall remain nameless) had finally had just about all they could take of pure excitement and raw childhood glee, so for the love of Peter Pan, it was time to go!
The clues were in place. The question was, how long would it take them to figure out where they were going?
The first clue was right outside the front door.
The night before, I created a balloon banner in Mickey Mouse colors. I dizzied myself blowing up a bunch of balloons, then Jeff blew up a few more. I secured them to a line of dental floss to create a banner. We have yards and yards of dental floss from various Army trainings Jeff has done in which he always seems to acquire a little pack of dental floss. The Army is fastidious about dental hygiene, you know.
Meanwhile, back in the Glover house, I floss about as often as I sleep in.
Good thing there are other uses for dental floss.
Dental floss is perfect for creating a balloon banner because it is strong, lightweight, and practically invisible in between all of those balloons. To create a banner, just tie the floss around the ends of the balloons, trying not to crowd them too much (a mistake I made). If you crowd them, the banner will end up very bunchy. It worked out just fine in this application, but it was very fat and that would have made it more difficult to string up against a wall.
I tied one end of the balloon banner to the railing with black streamers so the kids could “open” the balloon banner when it was time for the adventure!
Under the balloon banner, I placed the first clue, an envelop inscribed with the words Once Upon a Time…
I thought Pooh should hold it.
When it was time, we released the children onto the deck (mad chaos!) and let them read the clue.
The letter inside the envelope contained a poem in squiggly font. It read like this:
Shake a hook,
Kiss a queen,
Go somewhere you’ve never been.
Make a wish,
Dare to dream,
Fly to places yet unseen.
Ride a carpet,
Chase a star,
Doesn’t matter who you are!
Count to three,
Jump right in!
Let the adventure begin…
I made that up myself.
They stopped and looked at each other. Then Faith read it again. What could it mean?
“That’s all Disney stuff!” Jonathan said.
“Are we going to Disney?” Faith asked, wide-eyed.
“No, we couldn’t be going to Disney. We’d have to got to the airport for that,” Jonathan said. “Maybe we’re going on a cruise.”
And here I thought they wouldn’t dream big enough.
The three older kids jumped in the van while Jeff took the twins on an adventure of their own. We were headed for our first stop, which I knew was Nana’s house, but they didn’t. All they knew was they were going to get another clue when they got there.
On the way, they chatted about their clues and came to the following conclusion:
All the clues in the poem pointed to Disney. We were going to see a Disney parade! No, wait, Jonathan hates parades. We were going to see a Disney movie at the movie theater! The kids had never been to a movie in a movie theater, even though their friend, Caleb, had been to dozens and they weren’t at all jealous. Peter Pan was a particularly strong theme, so it seemed logical that we were going to see Peter Pan in the theater! It totally fit the clues!
Also, the balloon banner was made of red, white, and black. The black was for the pirate in Peter Pan, duh, and clearly, the white and red were meant to represent the colors of the Japanese flag. The kids’ dear friends, Kiri and Moira, are half-Japanese, so obviously we were going to pick them up on the way and take them along too! What fun!
But the car did not go to Kiri and Moira’s house. It went to Nana’s house, where Clue #2 was waiting.
Come back tomorrow to find out what happened when the kids opened Clue #2, and discover some more fun Disney crafts to do with your own family!