Saturday, March 14, 2009


We have been talking about having our favorite 5-year-old, Cade spend the night with us for so long now. I think the conversations started around the holidays, which were packed with parties, shopping and a long list of other festivities, leaving us no time to plan the perfect sleepover for our Cade-man. Fast-forward three months and we finally put a date on the calendar.

Sunday afternoon while Jon was at softball practice, I decided to reconnect to my crafty-side and make Cade an invitation for our sleepover. I ran up to CVS and grabbed some construction paper and markers and for the next few hours (yes I said hours) worked on his extremely professionally made invite. (I honestly can't believe how long it took me to cut out some letters, glue them and write out the rest. My skills were seriously rusty!)

I put the invitation in a homemade envelope, addressed it to Cade, put a real stamp on it and dropped it in their mailbox Monday morning on my way to work. Later that afternoon, I got a call from Cade. He was so excited he could hardly catch his breath. He told me the mailman must have just dropped his invitation off and that he would make sure his tummy was rumbling when we picked him up on Thursday. When I hung up the phone, I realized that I was probably just as excited as he was! Being an Aunt is the BEST! I couldn't wait to work on my idea for our night together.

Originally, Jon and I thought we would take Cade to eat and then go fly kites and play at the park. At the time of our brilliant idea, it was sunny and 80 degrees. I wore flip-flops to work on Tuesday. However, everything changed on Wednesday. It was rainy, cloudy, windy and freezing (for us Texans). Our park idea was no longer an option. That's when I had the idea of a Scavenger Hunt! A Scavenger Hunt would give us something fun and different to do without sitting inside playing all night. I had so much fun gathering supplies from Hobby Lobby and Target, thinking of clues and mapping out our hunt! I think I actually went a little overboard, but hey, that's what Aunts and Uncles are for right?...spoiling, giving unlimited amounts of sweets and making our time together memorable. Here's our sleepover at a glance:

When we picked Cade up at 6 pm, he saw our car out front and ran outside, full speed, with his rolling camo suitcase in hand. He had everything ready to go, including his pj's, pillow and fireman umbrella and flashlight just in case.

We loaded him up (in Shannon's car for car seat purposes) and headed to our first destination...Chick-fil-e!

After some nuggets and fries, we asked Cade if he had ever been on a Scavenger Hunt before. He said he hadn't (which we expected) so we tried to explain that we would be finding clues that would lead us to different places and finally to a sweet surprise! I don't think he totally got it at first, but we definitely had his undivided attention! I gave him his first clue and the hunt was ON!!!

CLUE #1: What do you, momma and bubba all love to drink? (Watch out for a brain freeze!) Go to this place, buy a drink and you'll find your next clue.

After a few guesses, he figured it out...SLURPEE! He told us you buy Slurpees at 7-11. We said okay, I guess we're headed to 7-11 and he said, "We're really gonna go there!?"

When we arrived at 7-11, we told him it was time to search for clue #2. He looked all around and finally found it in a big clear slurpee cup next to the machines!

CLUE #2: Where will you go on Easter Sunday? When you get there, it's time to start hunting for your next clue!

Cade got the Easter egg hunt part pretty quick, followed by the church. We paid for our yummy Coke slurpees (hot chocolate or coffee would have been more weather-appropriate but I don't think Cade hits up Starbucks as often as me) and got situated back in the car. Cade kept asking, "Are we really going to the REAL church?"

We pulled up to the church and all sprinted up to the front doors. Cade couldn't believe we were the only people there. After we told him he had to find 12 eggs, he started running around everywhere! He loved it! We helped him find the last few and counted them on the couch. When we counted all 12, he opened up his eggs to find Airheads, Hot Wheels (I had to tape the eggs together because they wouldn't quite fit) M&M's and quarters.

The eggs were a little tricky to open, so every time he opened an egg with M&Ms, they flew out and scattered all over the floor! (Cade got a kick out of it!)

When all 12 eggs were accounted for and opened, he played Hot or Cold with Jon to find his next clue.

CLUE #3: On your first day at this new place, don't forget to bring your pencils, paper and backpack! Find the math helper and add up 4+2+6+8. Give your answer to Uncle Jon for your next clue. You're getting closer to your sweet treat!

After reviewing the clue a few times, he decided we should go to his "Kindergarten School" and look for a calculator. When we pulled up to the school, there were tons of people around. I then realized it was open house and was happy our calculator had a clever hiding place. By this time, it was starting to get dark. We were happy Cade was so prepared for our sleepover. He fished his flashlight out of his suitcase and we started our next hunt. We looked by the front doors of the school and near the flagpole. Then we thought maybe we would find the calculator out by the school's marque. So we all three ran through the parking lot (holding hands) and across the big grassy "field" to the marque on the corner of the street. Cade immediately found the calculator with his flashlight! It was hard to miss!!!

We calculated the math problem together in the car and gave it to Jon for the next clue.

CLUE #4: "Who loves you baby?" Go to the persons house who says this and find what you put over your eyes to protect them from the sun. Bring them to the person who loves you baby for your final clue.

At first he said Kori and Jon, but when I read, "Who loves you baby?" again, he quickly shouted "Mimi!" He knew right then we were on our way to mimi and papa's house to find some sunglasses. And he found them!!!

(He wanted to bring his calculator in to show mimi and papa.)

He brought mimi the sunglasses and she read him his final clue.

FINAL CLUE: What is sweet, cold and comes in lots of flavors? Can you guess?


We said our goodbyes to mimi, papa and Jer-Jer and drove to our final destination...Marble Slab!

Cade decided to go with Cotton Candy ice cream with sprinkles on a sprinkle-dipped cone! Yummm! It got a little messy and sticky, but he ate it like a champ! When he decided he had had enough, he told me he was thirsty. I said I would get him some water, but he wanted his Slurpee from the car. I couldn't believe he wanted to wash down his cotton candy ice cream with his coke slurpee, but against my better judgement, I gave in. I mean, that's part of my job right?

The Scavenger Hunt was a BIG hit! Cade kept saying, "Remember when we were on that huge hunt!"...and "How did that stuff get to all those places?" I think he had a super fun time and so did we!

We left Marble Slab and headed home. Cade couldn't wait to see what we had planned next!

At home, we all changed into our pj's to get comfy for the next phase of the sleepover. We put WATER in our crazy straw cups and continued the festivities.

After changing, I returned to the living room to find our coffee table opened up and Jon and Cade sitting on top of it. I still have no idea why they were sitting on the table, but whatever! Cade showed us his warm fuzzies from school and home. Jon and Cade counted 87 (I think) warm fuzzies!!! He gets them for being good and he's super proud of he should be. He also brought some school work to show us. He's learning about the letter X, so we read a little book he colored that used a lot of X words and a handwriting practice sheet. Both were extremely well done!

Then, Jon and Cade read through his new Spiderman pop-up book he brought from home...very cool! (Jon loved it!) The final activities were Candyland and the movie Inspector Gadget. Cade decided to play Candyland first. In case anyone cares...I WON! (I know it's bad to beat a 5-year-old, but it just happened. I couldn't cheat to loose!)

After my victory (I know, I'm sad) we made a pallet on the floor in front of the TV and turned on Inspector Gaget. It's a terrible movie, but Cade loved it! He wached the whole thing and was even able to pay attention through uncle Jon's snoring. When it was over, he was still wide awake at 11:35 pm. I guess that's what happens when you fill kids with slurpees, ice cream and candy. I quickly thought of a back-up plan to encourage sleep. We put Shrek2 on Jon's computer and watched it in bed! Once the lights were all off and he was snuggled in bed watching the movie, it didn't take long for him to slip away into a deep sleep. And when I say deep, I mean snoring up a storm, unconcious deep.

The next morning we woke up and Jon and I took turns coloring with Cade while the other one got ready for the day. Jon and Cade colored boats in water and Cade and I worked on coloring all the places we went on our Scavenger Hunt and all the things we found.

Then it was time to get his teeth brushed, clothes changes and suitcase packed up to go home...but not before some more SUGAR!

DONUTS and chocolate milk...

Cade is such a special little guy. He is smart, inquisitive, fun, sweet and hilarious! He had us laughing all night. I can't believe he's already 5 years old. I feel like I was just babysitting him and giving him his bottle before bed a few years ago, but its been FIVE! It would be sad if five wasn't such a blast! There are so many fun things we can do with him now and sleepovers are just one of the things we're adding to the list.

We love you Cade! Thanks for sleeping over at our house this week and helping us with that crazy hunt! You were such a good boy and we can't wait to have you over again soon!

I will say, the next day I felt like I was back in middle school and just got home from an up-all-night sleepover with my friends. Tired, full of junk food and ready to watch movies all day on the couch in my pajamas. Unfortunately, instead of heading home to veg-out on the couch, I was off to work!
It was so worth it!!!


  1. What a blast! The pictures are great! You and Jon really are the best Aunt and Uncle in the world!!!!!

  2. OMG! What an AMAZING aunt and uncle you are! Everything you did was precious and I know Cade ate up EVERY moment! And, this is just proof that you'll be a great Mommy one day! Well done! ;)

  3. seriously... how much do you guys charge :)

  4. I am SO impressed! Way to put those note writing skills to good use :) You want to keep Cambell sometime or is this just for the nephews?? Just kidding... but seriously?