so here's how it works. we are going about our normal day. the kids are playing and have no idea anything is about to happen. we grab our "surprise ride" song, turn the volume on the stereo way up and hit play. the kids then have 30 seconds (or 5 minutes at this point in our life) to get their shoes on and get in the van. they have no idea where we are going or what we are doing. all they know is that it's going to be fun and they have to go quick.
the ride doesn't have to be anything expensive or extravagant (though i really want to do this and while we're driving around the block tell the kids to pack their bags cuz we're going to disney the next day! or some other fabulous vacation spot would be fine too!) it's just something fun with the family. all of us together - and who ever else is in the house - friends included.
we haven't done too many yet but here's one of our latest ones. we headed off to chuck-e-cheese. oh yes, one of their favorite spots. and since saad was home he got to come too. (saad is the saudi arabian student who is currently living with us). not sure they have chuck-e-cheese in saudi arabia and though i think it was a bit overwhelming (isn't it to most of us at times?) i think he had as much fun as the kids. skee ball was his favorite. check him and pete playing ...
my favorite part of the night though was after mia and asher had picked out their prizes for the night. we realized we had another ticket coupon that was pretty nice sized. since the kids had already gotten fun things pete suggested they find someone else to give it to. mia jumped up, grabbed the ticket and took off looking for someone with asher right behind her. no complaining, no wanting to keep it for themselves. off they went. they came back with HUGE grins. and mia explained to me she had found "a little girl who didn't really have any tickets at all mom. so now she can get a really good prize." oh MELT my heart!!
so anyways, that's surprise ride. it's not about going somewhere fancy or crazy or expensive. it's about being together as a family and just enjoying each other. surprise! we love you! let's get in the car and go be together and have fun!