Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Trip 2015 - Part One

For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to spend (almost) a week in Florida with Philip's family (without telling the kids ahead of time about our plans!!)

The plan was to not say a word about the trip, pack all the bags (even the kid's carry ons) get them into the van...and start driving... all without the kids having a clue what was going on.

It worked fairly well.    I almost spoiled the surprise about a dozen times in the weeks and days leading up to the trip (on Thanksgiving day), and Philip had a couple of doozies himself =)

How we made it work was having our bags all laid out in the (locked) guest room downstairs and stealthily sneaking things down there when the kids weren't looking.   I got the bulk of the packing done while they watched a movie the night before our trip.

Thanksgiving morning came.  We had breakfast, the kids got dressed, Philip and I got the last stuff put in the van (hidden under a blanket in the back, out of sight), and we told the kids we were going to go somewhere.   *When they had previously asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving, I said, "We're celebrating as a family". =)

After driving for a short while, we exited at the airport, and Keenan pipes up excitedly, "Who are we picking up at the airport??"

We just pulled up, got out, walked around, opened up the back...and handed the kids their carry ons.   They were soo confused and excited!!   "Wait, What??  What is going on!?  We're GOING somewhere??"

 Confused kids waiting for Daddy to get back from parking the van

When Philip got back, we did video of them finding out where we were going.   They were SO excited!!!!

 Here they are after finding out =)

We had a Perfect travel day - no delays, no problems (except Caleb having an accident while he was asleep on our first flight...and not having extra pants in his carry on...and not finding ANY pants for sale at the airport).

 The kids on the tram at the Orlando airport
(Notice Caleb is wearing Moriah's leggings)  =)

 My big helpers grabbed our bags off the belt and we headed out to meet up with Philip after he picked up our rental...

Jeep Renegade!   So fun!

We got to Mom and Jeff's just in time for last minute dinner prep before a Wonderful Thanksgiving meal!

 The kids table (super happy to be together again!)

 The adult's table

 A rare sweet moment of brother snuggles on the couch before bed

 An epic boy's monopoly game underway

 ...while the girls make some artwork

 ...and the parents watch a movie on the comfy new couch =)

 Watching a Christmas movie in the kitchen before the big breakfast on Saturday morning

 Jeff and "Mount Bacon" (this was 12 pounds of bacon that he grilled!)

 Other breakfast deliciousness

 There was a family dance party after breakfast

 Matt leading the way with "Watch Me"

Next up:  Family photos!

 Matt, Jessica, Reagan, Hudson and Adilyn

 The whole crew!

 Just the ladies

 Mom and Jeff with the grandkids

Isaac, Jeff and Mom
(Isaac is so grown up!)

 Jess, Mom and I

 Crazy town

 Hudson's birthday was on Saturday so he and Keenan are both eight right now! =)
(They played at least Three different monopoly versions)

Yesterday afternoon the couches were divided for the football game - Ohio State fans on the left and Michigan fans on the right.   Unfortunately Ohio State won =(

Will be back soon with our early Christmas festivities, cookies and much more!


Wendi Kitsteiner said...

How fun! Here is the last memory I have of Isaac:

Kathleen said...

Oh such fun memories! Thanks for always taking such awesome pictures Joia!

Mark and Rebekah said...

What an AWESOME surprise!!! I love surprises, and I think this is one of the best :) I'm glad you were able to keep the secret, although I know it must have been hard :)

Love the family pictures.

And Philip picks out really cool rental cars :)