Category Archives: 1st Grade

Summer Fun

Alan’s second-to-last week of summer break was jam-packed with fun activities.  It was a true representation of what a great summer weekend should be like.

On Friday night we returned to the baseball field to hit balls for the first time since before Alan’s surgery.  Alan was hitting mostly everything I pitched to him and ran the bases several times.  He was thrilled to get back on the field.  Afterwards, as we were packing up, Alan happened to see Ella from Mrs. Russo’s class at the park with her Mom and sister.  Alan stopped to play with them for a while on the playground, and then they chased fire flies together.  Ella also gave Alan an orange wristband to go with the friendship rock from earlier in the year.  After going home, we played chess and also continued to work on a car that Alan, an engineer in training, started to build out of a box. 🙂

On Saturday we began the day at The National Sports Collectors Convention (The NSCC).  After lunch, Alan and I stopped by the annual summer carnival at Golden Gate Gardens and participated in a cake walk and played a ball toss game together.

Afterwards, I took Alan to his friend Josh’s house to play for a couple hours.  Somehow the day was still just beginning though, as the highlight of Alan’s day was going to see Tyler and Carleigh.  First they played in a bounce house at Katie’s graduation party (where a photo was snapped of all the cousins), and then they played at Grandma Debbie’s house.  They ended up having a good four hours together in the two locations.  Alan let his cousins drive his “box car.” 🙂

On Sunday morning we headed back to The NSCC, before spending the rest of the day at the Indians game.  Lastly, we closed the weekend with one final game of chess!

Next weekend — the final one of summer break — figures to be another fun one too!

1st Grade Memories

Alan’s first grade year at Millridge is now complete.  We had a lot of fun together along the way, highlighted by the three classroom parties, Alan’s family day during his week as the featured student, and of course the memorable Field Trip to Progressive Field!

In addition to those special events, these are some other memories that will stay with me for a while:

Special Memories

-The hug Alan gave me when we took a photo together after presenting his “All About Me” poster rivaled the one I wrote about in the Kindergarten Memories post one year ago.  Same kind of feel.

-I loved our hang-out time at McDonald’s — where we went after almost every Millridge event together.  We loved going there and reminiscing about the funny things that happened at school.  Even yesterday, Alan was laughing about the time during the Progressive Field Trip and Mrs. Russo jokingly told me that Alan was a troublemaker.

Praise for Alan

-During Alan’s Parent-Teacher conference in October, Mrs. Russo said she specifically requested Alan in her class because of his reputation from Kindergarten as a great student.

-In a May email, Mrs. Russo thanked Veronica and I for “raising such a wonderful boy.”  The next day she thanked me again at Progressive Field Day.

-That being said, it was not a surprise Alan was 1) the first Student of the Month honored in his class and 2) the “WOW” award winner for this class.

Challenges Overcome

-We survived a few different challenges this year, including a stretch from Oct. 13 – 19 in which I prepared all of Alan’s meals and was responsible for him getting to school.  It wasn’t easy to keep him fed when he relies on his grandma’s cooking, but, with a rice cooker, we found a way to get by.  I loved having the chance to write him notes and leave them in his lunch bag though.  And I loved driving him to school every day.

-Alan also struggled through three bouts with strep that contributed to 16 absences this year.  Fortunately none of the absences ever came on event days, though we had some close calls.

-Going into the year my biggest concern was how Alan would respond with his core group of friends from Kindergarten – Grady, Noah, Brady, and Xavier – split up into different first grade classrooms.  But he made new friends within his first grade class pretty quickly and the rest was history.  I think inviting his whole first grade class to his bowling party early in the school year ended up being beneficial in that regard.

Overall, it was a rewarding year for both Alan and I.  Now it’s onto summer break and gearing up for second grade!

Last Day of 1st Grade

This morning I continued the tradition of taking a photo of Alan at the bus stop on the last day of the school year.  And Alan continued the tradition of not finishing chewing his breakfast in time. 🙂

At school, the kids had an all-grades awards assembly in the morning.  Alan received the “WOW” (What an Oustanding Worker) award for his class, which went to the student that “best demonstrates a positive work ethic in the classroom and always gives 110%.”  Alan’s name was called during the assembly and he came to the front of the gym.  There he took a photo with the other first grade recipients.

From 11am-12, the school had an outdoor picnic for the kids featuring hot dogs and chips.  Parents were invited, so I was there too.  Alan ate his lunch with me on the playground equipment that he named the “speed rover” (shown in the Spring Book Fair post).  De’Onta, Ella, and Brooklyn later came over to join us.

When Alan was eating a popsicle on the swings, Ella — who has tended to make her way into my photos of Alan this year — invited Alan to play with her.  Alan described it as “nice, but also annoying” that she wanted to play with Alan the whole time and didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

After the picnic I went home, but then met Alan at the bus stop.  I waited for him while he finished building the Lego fire station that he bought with a $140 piano scholarship that he just received at the Music Settlement.

Then we hung out at McDonald’s and talked about his last day of school.  He told me about the 5th grade “clap out” ceremony and commented that it’s always a little sad when school ends.  He’d probably be fine going to school year-round if that was possible.

ABC Countdown – Week 6

“ABC Countdown” recap from the past week:

Monday was “Walk Day.”  Alan and his class walked laps around the outside of the school.

Tuesday was “eXchange Autographs Day.”  Alan’s class brought in white shirts and the kids took turns signing them for each other (pictured above).

Other notes about Tuesday:  In the morning, the first graders had their field day outside (despite the AM rain).  Then in the afternoon, the kids visited each of the second grade classrooms to prepare for next school year. 

Wednesday was “Year-End Clean Up Day.”  Alan packed up his desk belongings and took home a heavy backpack.  He wore his baseball shirt to class, which he was very proud of.

Thursday was “Zip Up and Zoom Home Day.”  It was an eventful Last Day of 1st Grade!  Alan brought home the last remaining item from his desk – his pencil box.  He loves his pencils (all themes and colors), so I bought him an electric pencil sharpener for home use this summer and beyond.

Alan’s Favorite Activities

First grade – Part IV – edition of the Top 10:

-Visiting playgrounds and parks – especially now that the weather is warm!

-Doubling up on batting practice and playground time on Friday nights at the Mayfield Community Park.

-Tracking results of the NBA playoffs on a bracket print-out.  Alan watched some of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals from Grandma Debbie’s on Saturday, including when LeBron made a three to put the Cavs up by 20 on the Celtics.

-Championship races!

-Making forts with Tyler and Carleigh at Grandma Debbie’s!

-Learning baseball team logos using a set of mini batting helmets and the following map:

-Thinking about cars he’d like to buy when he’s older.  Alan currently wants to own a blue Subaru, a red Chevy, and a gray Kia.  He’d also like to buy Grandma Debbie a black Porsche.

-Playing badminton – Alan’s latest new sport

-ABC Countdown at school!  Alan’s really looked forward to each daily activity over the past month.

-Making race tracks on Grandma Debbie’s coffee table every weekend!

ABC Countdown – Week 5

“ABC Countdown” recap from the past week:

Monday was “Rock Star Day.”  Mrs. Russo was absent, so this activity actually got moved to Tuesday.  Alan’s class listened to their favorite Kidz Bop songs!

Tuesday was “Show and Tell Day.”  Alan brought in his newest Lego – a coast guard rescue boat and jeep – which he just bought last Friday night (pictured above).

Wednesday was “Take a Break Day.”  Alan said his class took more study breaks than usual during the day.  During one break, the kids painted with their art docent (pictured below).

Thursday was “Unhealthy Snack Day.”  Alan brought in Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos.

Friday was “Video Day.”  Alan’s class watched Finding Dory and ate donuts that Mrs. Russo brought in for the class (the kids voted on a donut party for their latest class reward).  Alan ate a glazed donut.

One other note about Friday:  Alan delivered a card to Mrs. Russo that he made for her (pictured below).  He’s enjoyed first grade so much!

ABC Countdown – Week 4

“ABC Countdown” recap from the past week:

Monday was “Mismatch Day.”  Alan wore one long black sock that he normally wears for ice skating, along with one of his regular white socks.  That was his choice.

Tuesday was “Necklaces and Neckties Day.”  Alan wore his new green and blue tie (pictured above).

Wednesday was “Outside Day.”  Alan and his class read outside in the courtyard during normal classroom time.

Thursday was “Popcorn Day.”  Alan and his class went to Progressive Field for a tour and then to Squire’s Castle for lunch!  After the field trip they ran out of time in the school day, so the class had to eat their popcorn the next day.

Friday was “Quiet Read-in Day.”  Alan brought in Ten Tiny Dinosaurs, which he got at the Spring Book Fair after school on Wednesday.  He read inside the classroom on the reading carpet.  And ate popcorn!

One other note about Friday:  While unrelated to ABC Countdown, Alan performed on the piano during Music class.  He proudly played “Clair de Lune” for the whole class!

Progressive Field Day

Alan’s end-of-year field trip was to a familiar place:  Progressive Field!  Alan, along with the entire first grade, took a school bus to the ballpark this morning for a tour.  Luckily, parents got to join too!

After dodging some early rain drops, the kids started their tour under mostly sunny skies.  The first stop for Alan’s group was the Home Plate Club – a spot Alan had never been inside before.  Then it was onto the elevators and up to the press box, where Alan had a bird’s-eye view of the grounds crew preparing the field for the Indians’ upcoming homestand.

After seeing the Infinity Club and the dining room for the all-you-can-eat club seats, it was back down the elevators to the lowest level of the ballpark.  While waiting for everyone to get downstairs, the kids got a little restless.  So one parent kept them occupied by encouraging them to do wall push-ups. 🙂

Before long,  the kids entered the playing surface from behind home plate.  It was Alan’s first time in that spot since he was in the Kids Starting Lineup last year.  Then it was off to sit in the Indians dugout!  He had walked past the dugout many times but had never been able to go inside previously.  Just as the kids were getting up, there was an Andrew Miller sighting!


The final stop on the tour was at the batting cages in between the clubhouses.  It reminded Alan of the batting cages at the Wildcat Fitness Center — only larger.

After the tour concluded, Alan’s class took a group photo and then lined up to board the buses.  Meanwhile I picked up some pencils and pens for Alan at the Team Shop.

But fortunately that wasn’t the end of the field trip!  For lunch, the first graders got to visit Square’s Castle in the Metroparks, where they had a picnic.  The kids ate their lunches on blankets and then played afterwards.  Alan and I played with a kickball for a bit before he went to join a zombie-chasing game at the castle with Grady, Colin, and Brady.

After fun time was over, Alan took the bus back to school.  I picked him up there and drove him to McDonald’s — our customary stop after sharing time together at school.  🙂

Spring Book Fair

This evening Alan and I went to the spring book fair at Millridge.  Alan wanted to get a book where he could practice telling time, so he picked out PJ Masks: It’s Time to Save the Day!  He also chose Ten Tiny Dinosaurs – another book in the counting series that he enjoyed from the previous book fair!

Afterwards, since the weather was so nice, Alan played out on the playground.  He showed me his “speed vehicle” that he pretend-drives with Xavier during recess (below, left) and went down the highest slide (below, right).


ABC Countdown – Week 3

“ABC Countdown” recap from the past week:

Monday was “Hat Day.”  Alan wore his navy blue Indians hat with a red block C.  It’s his go-to hat for school occasions.

Tuesday was “Icy Treat Day.”  It was a nice weather day, so Alan ate an orange popsicle (his favorite flavor) outside with his class while writing in his journal.  He said he wrote about his favorite recess activities.

Wednesday was “Jammie Day.”  Alan wore his Brutus Buckeye pants and a shirt with a motorcycle on it.

Thursday was “Kindness Day.”  Alan said his class did something special for the teachers at school.  He said that included making crowns for them.

Friday was “Laughter & Lemonade Day.”  It was another nice weather day, so the first grade classes went back outside (pictured above).  Alan said he tried lemonade, and he told the following clever joke to his friends:

Q:  Why did the cookie go to the doctor?

A:  Because he felt crumby!

ABC Countdown – Week 2

“ABC Countdown” recap from the past week:

Monday was “Drink Day.”  Alan brought in water because milk wouldn’t have stayed fresh long enough.  He’s not a fan of any other drink right now.

Tuesday was “Exercise Day.”  Alan wore his brand new athletic pants to school, and the whole first grade did calisthenics in the gym during afternoon recess.  They also had a relay race, which Alan said his team won!

Wednesday was “Favorite Book Day.”  Alan brought in Ten Tiny Ninjas, which he got back in December at the book fair.  Alan said he shared the book with all his friends and they loved it too.  He said Jonah enjoyed it the most!

Thursday was “Gum Day.”  Alan did not want to participate since he does not like gum.

Friday there was no school.

ABC Countdown – Week 1

As the school year winds to a close, Mrs. Russo’s class is having an “ABC Countdown to Summer.”  Starting on Wednesday, April 18th and continuing through Thursday, May 24th, each day the class will have a special activity that coincides with a letter of the alphabet.

Here’s the recap from this past week:

Wednesday was “Art Day.”  Mrs. Russo put The Lorax up on the smart board, and the class drew him.  Alan’s work is shown in the photo above.

Thursday was “Bubble Day.”  Despite the chilly weather, the class went outside and played with bubbles during afternoon recess.  Judging by the video Mrs. Russo posted, the kids had a blast.

Friday was “Comic Book Day.”  Alan is a book guy, so he didn’t have any comics to bring in from home.  But he read some comics on one of the classroom’s Epic tablets.

Alan’s Favorite Activities

First grade – Part III – edition of the Top 10:

-Playing MBBL baseball! (Practice kicked off this past Saturday – photo above)

-Texting.  Yes, it’s true.  Particularly with Dad, Mom, Grandma Debbie, and Shane.  Alan loves sending emojis!

-Playing cards with Grandma Debbie, Tyler, and Carleigh

-Hiding rocks in the snow outside the Golden Gate Gardens apartment and creating a “treasure map” to document how to locate them

-Hanging out with friends – Josh, Noah, and Brady in the past few weekends alone

-Championship races on the Super Ultimate Garage racetrack! (still a huge favorite)

-Dancing to Kidz Bop music at school — and later watching the classroom videos that Mrs. Russo posts on Twitter

-Racing cars down our long hallway

-Ice Skating and Swimming

-Building train cities! (photo below)

Hands-On Learning


March was a great month for learning through technology for Alan and the rest of Mrs. Russo’s first grade class.  On March 5th Alan went to the Mayfield Innovation Center for the long-awaited first field trip of the year (picture on left).  Then today Alan experienced Google Augmented Reality (AR) for the first time (picture on right; Alan, in green, is visible on the small screen).

Xavier’s Birthday Party

Alan was back at Wickliffe Lanes today for the first time since his 7th birthday party.  The gang got together for the second weekend in a row – this time to celebrate Xavier’s birthday.  There was plenty of bowling again, but this time the kids found a fun arcade game that really grabbed their attention (I believe they were fighting aliens).  Once Xavier came over with a few dollars, they enjoyed that game more than anything else.  While bowling though, Alan picked up a spare!


Brady’s Birthday Party

Alan’s winter birthday party tour continued today at Brady’s house.  Brady invited over Grady, Xavier, Anton, Liam, and Alan to celebrate his 7th birthday.  The kids ate popcorn and watched Cars 3!  Alan even got to build a pillow fort, which he loves doing.

According to Alan, Brady is his very best friend.  They play together every day at recess and, on occasion, they swim together and play together at Brady’s house.

One School, One Book Night

Millridge Elementary has finished reading Fenway and Hattie, and to celebrate, the school hosted a party tonight.  The event was centered around a dog show that featured dogs up for adoption from a local animal shelter.  Alan had a front row seat for the show (and appeared to catch the dog’s attention in the photo below).

Kids also had an opportunity to make dog toys and dog blankets for the dogs in the show.  It ended up being more of an activity for first grade parents, though, as Alan used the time to get re-acquainted with Anton, Xavier, and Noah — almost the whole gang of friends from Mrs. Feldman’s Kindergarten class!

Alan didn’t leave the event empty-handed.  Before the night was out, Alan took home three new stuffed dogs.  🙂

Alan’s Favorite Activities

First grade – Part II – edition of the Top 10:

-Getting balloon animals at Tribe Fest!

-Playing LBJ league basketball

-Championship races on the Super Ultimate Garage racetrack!

-Reading Fenway & Hattie chapters nightly with different family members

-Making new creations with Tinker Toys!

-School parties (followed by Alan & Daddy hangouts at McDonald’s)

-Playing Chutes and Ladders

-Ice Skating and Swimming

-Playing Florida Speedway (Cars 3) with Tyler and Carleigh at Grandma Debbie’s

-Building (and re-building) “3-in-1” Lego sets

Valentine’s Day Party

Today Alan and I got to spend Valentine’s Day together at another great Millridge party.  The kids ate cookies, made bead bracelets, and then passed out their valentines to each other!  There were some unique valentines – particularly one that came with heart glasses and another that came with a mini stuffed animal.  Alan handed out Cars  3 valentines.  He decorated his valentines bag by drawing a picture of him swimming with Mom and playing baseball with Dad. 🙂

After the party, Alan and I went to our favorite hang out place — McDonald’s — and also read another chapter in Fenway and Hattie!


Student of the Week

The week of January 29th through Feb 2nd was Alan’s week to be the featured student of the week in Mrs. Russo’s class!

On Monday, Alan turned in his “Emojis About Me!” poster, in which he revealed his favorite subject (tie: gym and library), animal (Lulu), hobby (learning music), holiday (Christmas), food (Chinese bean sprouts), and sport (tie: baseball and basketball). Alan also worked in stickers/mentions of some of his other favorites, including parents, cousins, swimming, Cars 3, the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage, and Tribe Fest!

On Tuesday, Alan brought in one of his “Lava Crawler” Lego vehicles (pictured on the far left below) for show-and-tell.

On Wednesday, Alan brought in one of the books we bought at last fall’s book fair – Ten Baby Bears – to share with his class.

On Thursday night, Alan compiled 100 loose Lego pieces as part of a homework assignment to collect and bring in 100 items in honor of the 100th day of school (Friday)!

On Friday, Alan’s big week culminated with his parents visiting class to help him present his poster.  We shared pictures and told stories about Alan.  I made sure to bring pictures of Tyler, Lulu & Rosie, the Super Ultimate Garage, Alan meeting Jose Ramirez, and Alan in his LeBron jersey. Then the class presented Alan with a “star student” book that they made. It was full of nice comments about Alan, which he loved to hear.

Alan was all smiles with his arm around either Mom or Dad the whole time.  When I took out my camera, some of his friends, especially Ella, wanted in the pictures too!

Afterwards I got to take Alan to lunch.  He picked McDonald’s of course – our favorite hang out spot!

One School, One Book – Year 1

The national “One School, One Book” program has made its way to Millridge.  To promote literacy, as well as community, the whole school will be reading Fenway and Hattie on the same reading schedule.  Trivia questions related to the prior night’s reading assignment will be read over the daily morning announcements.

Alan is excited the main character in Fenway and Hattie is a dog.  He learned of this when a dog was brought into a school assembly today to kick off the program.  🙂

Dance Party

Alan has taken a new interest in music these days, particularly Kidz Bop songs.  His favorites are “Fight Song,” “Thunder,” “Just Like Fire,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” “Best Day of My Life,” and “Feel It Still” — all of which he’s heard during 1st grade dance breaks, which are a variation of more traditional stretch breaks.

Recently we purchased and downloaded all of these songs to our iPhone.  We had our own dance party – featuring the “dancing water speakers” pictured above – right before Ohio State’s Cotton Bowl victory tonight over USC!

Holiday Party

Today I met up with Alan at the holiday party for Mrs. Russo’s class.  The class made ornaments after unwrapping a new book as part of a book exchange.  Earlier in the day the class sang songs in the gym – including Alan’s new favorite, “Joy to the World.”

I’ve already got my new ornament up on the tree!


Winter Book Fair

This evening Alan and I went to the winter book fair at Millridge.  Alan read all about Legos, but ultimately we bought Ten Tiny Ninjas and Ten Baby Bears.  Before we left, Alan told me he wants to go to all the book fairs at Millridge (there are three per year).

While we were at the school, Alan showed me the first grade rock garden outside the drop-off/pick-up door!  Alan’s rock is the green one with black stripes.

Alan’s Favorite Activities

First grade edition of the Top 10:

-Anything and everything related to Cars 3!

-Saturday nights with Tyler and Carleigh

-The Haunted Hot Rod episode of Mickey and the Roadster Racers

-Swimming at the MHS pool

-Lulu & Rosie…and Lacey too!

-Learning to read

-Collecting Indians, Cavs, Browns, and Buckeyes cars & trucks

-Building with Legos

-Playing Memory Match Game & Go Fish

-Building with Tinker Toys!

Cassidy’s Birthday Party

For the second year in a row, Cassidy’s birthday party was held at Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Alan and I loved it because we got to play air hockey together.  Later on, after the kids ran out of tokens, Alan, Xavier, and Josh entertained themselves by running through the play area and hanging out in their cage hideout.  They had so much fun that they closed the place down for the second year in a row!

Thanksgiving Project

For his Thanksgiving homework assignment, Alan disguised a turkey as a construction worker to avoid being spotted on Thanksgiving.  It was a throwback to the same preschool homework assignment for Mrs. Davisson’s class, when Alan also disguised a turkey as a construction worker.  Alan’s interests haven’t changed since then!

Student of the Month

Congrats to Alan, the student of the month representative from Mrs. Russo’s class for November!  Alan, along with the other five first grade winners, was invited to lunch with the principal, as his reward.

I was thrilled to see Alan’s smiling face come through on my Twitter timeline while at work this afternoon. Best post I’ve ever seen on social media. 🙂

‘Guys Only’ Week

Alan and I had extra quality time together this week with Veronica going out of town!

Throughout the week, we reviewed schoolwork together (Alan loves sharing his take-home folder contents), and we read Alan’s new library book, Zak’s Lunch.  We listened to Alan’s favorite CD in the car during every morning drive to school. And we certainly made time for fun, including playing our favorite games at home and playing with Alan’s glow-in-the-dark toys under the covers before bed.   It was both a fun and productive week!

Mrs. Russo posted the following picture from class on Tuesday.  Alan told me the class was playing a math game on their tablets.  Alan’s wearing his Cavs championship shirt in the photo, since it was Cavs Day at Millridge.  That night Alan and I watched the Cavs beat the Celtics at the Q to open the new season!

Fall Weekends

To Alan’s delight, fall weekends this year have been following a similar formula to last year.

Friday nights again involve parties with me.  Saturday afternoons involve music lessons at the Musical Settlement and Chinese & Martial Arts class at the Cleveland Public Library.  Best of all, Saturday nights involve visits to see Tyler and Carleigh and sleepovers at Grandma Debbie’s house!

Sundays can include trips to the Wildcat Fitness Center to practice basketball, visits to see Tata & Papa, or playing “Go Fish,” the Cars 3 Memory Game, or fidget spinner battles with Daddy.

On Monday mornings at school Alan has to write in his journal about what he did over the weekend.  Alan said that he enjoys writing about playing with Tyler the most. 🙂


(Pictured is a Chinese lantern craft that Alan made for his Mom).

Fidget Spinners

Alan now has a fidget spinner for each of his favorite teams.  After picking up a Cavs spinner at Giant Eagle a couple weeks ago and an Indians spinner at the Tribe game last week, we got OSU and the Browns at Kohl’s this week.

Alan takes his fidget spinners to school and has “fidget battles” with his friends before the morning bell rings.  During these battles, each participant spins their spinner and then bangs them into their opponents’ spinner.  The person whose spinner stays spinning the longest is declared the winner!

In other news, Alan lost his right front tooth today!  The new left one has not grown in all the way yet, so Alan says his mouth feels funny without any front teeth.

1st Annual Father Figure Walk

Today Alan and I walked to school together on a chilly day as part of Millridge’s 1st Annual Father Figure Walk.  We parked at the Fitworks at the corner of Wilson Mills and Brainard and walked to school along the planned route.  At the end of the walk, I received a nice thank you bag from Mr. Bradic.  There was still a little bit of time remaining for Alan to play on the playground before the morning bell, so Alan took advantage.  🙂

Bowling Party

Today Alan had his first birthday party with friends! It was a bowling party at Wickliffe Lanes.  Among the attendees were his best friends Xavier, Cassidy, Grady, Brady, and Noah, as well as first grade classmates Kilian, Jonah, De’Onta, Kiara, Luke, Logan, Ryleigh, and Valentina.

Alan led off the lineup of 7 kids on his lane, while Xavier led 7 more on the other lane.  Alan’s bowling highlight of the day was picking up a spare!  Around the bowling, the kids had pizza that we picked up from Pizza Hut, chips, and of course cake.  Alan’s friends had fun when Alan was blowing out the candles.

At the end of the party, Alan passed out Cars 3 party favor bags, which he and I had fun organizing on Friday night.  Alan had also picked out a Cars 3 balloon on our way to the party to enhance the Cars 3 theme at his table.  🙂


It’s been a great week celebrating Alan’s 7th birthday!

Happy 7th Birthday Alan!!

My favorite guy turned 7 today!

Alan got to sleep in today since there was no school on his birthday due to Rosh Hashanah.  Later he went to the beach with his Mom to walk by the water and fly a kite.  It was the second straight year Alan had the day off on his birthday.  His class celebrated with him yesterday by making birthday cards for him in class.  And Alan gave all his classmates a Cars 3 pencil and sticker to take home.

Stay tuned for Sunday’s post, as the fun will continue this weekend!

Donuts With Dad

Today, before school, Alan and I attended one of our favorite events — Donuts with Dad!  Alan and I had our milk and coffee (but no donuts) together at the same table as Cassidy, Xavier, and their Dad.  Then we had our picture taken by the school’s photographer, Mr. Ketchum.  At Alan’s request, I wore my Ohio State shirt and Alan wore his Cavaliers championship shirt!  After getting our picture taken, we met up with Grady and his Dad — and ended up in Mr. Bradic’s photo (below).

Open House

Tonight at parent orientation I learned about all the fun that’s in store for Alan in Mrs. Russo’s first grade class this school year!  I also got to see Alan’s desk (it’s very neat) and some of his work that was hanging in the hallway outside the classroom.

He also left a note for his Mom and I to find tucked away in his desk.  Look at that beautiful handwriting! I enjoyed writing a note for him to find tomorrow as well.  🙂

Ice Cream Social

This evening Alan and I headed to the annual ice cream social at Millridge.  The social — the unofficial kick-off to the school year — has become one of our favorite annual events.  Alan got to enjoy another orange popsicle while spending a lot of quality time on the playground!

Alan spent the most time with Brady (pictured above) on the swings, slide, and rock climbing wall.  He also saw Kindergarten friends Brooklyn, Tony, Noah, Piper, and Colin, as well as new classmate De’Onta.

Pretty soon it’ll be time for open house and Donuts with Dad!  We know what to look forward to now as Millridge veterans.

First Day of 1st Grade


Today Alan started his journey into 1st Grade!  He went to the bus stop about 15 minutes early because he just couldn’t wait to get to school and see all his friends.

Two years ago he had to adjust to a new school.  Last year he had to adjust to a full school day and riding the bus.  But this year there were no major adjustments.  I could tell it was ‘business as usual’ for him now.  He’s becoming a pro at this back to school thing.

As for how the day went, Alan described it as “Greeeaaaat!”  He went on to explain how his class had not one, but two recesses.  Clearly it doesn’t get any better than that!

Popsicles with the Principal

Today Alan got ready for 1st grade at “Popsicles with the Principal.” This new event involved students coming into the building on the final day of summer vacation to check out their classrooms and drop off school supplies at their desks.  And of course the Principal was on hand to pass out popsicles to the kids!