Alan wasn’t the only one who found gifts in his stocking tonight. I also had a couple Winter Workshop gifts from Alan waiting for me! This year he made me an ornament and a wooden snowman. I absolutely love both!
Grandma Debbie’s gift from Alan, which she received last week at the family party, was a set of four charms that Alan designed himself. Grandma Debbie put them to good use on two of her purses.
Alan’s Christmas resumed in the early hours of Saturday morning after returning home from New Orleans. Alan’s plane landed just before midnight and he made it back to Mayfield at about 12:30am. After sleeping on the plane, though, Alan was wide awake and ready to see what Santa left for him — a Cars 3 Super Mack Truck!! Super Mack, which transforms into a motorized race track, was exactly what Alan told Elfie he wanted, keeping Elfie’s stellar track record as a messenger alive.
Alan also received gifts from me in his stocking, including the 6th book in the Dog Man series: Brawl of the Wild, an Ohio State book for kids called Buckeyes A to Z, a Hot Wheels monster truck ornament, a gingerbread man ornament, a pack of Topps baseball cards (Alan was excited to get a Cody Allen card!), a Buckeyes mini jet, a Cavaliers car, and three “C” baseballs (including a green one that Alan placed in the living room next to his favorite baseballs from 2018). Alan stayed up until about 2:30am reading his new book and then telling me about his New Orleans trip (more on that in a separate post) before finally calling it a night. 🙂
With Alan set to travel during Christmas this year (December 24-28), we got the apartment ready for Santa tonight before he left. It was important for Alan to get the new train set up and running so that Santa (and Elfie on his way out) could see it in action. Alan also made a card for Santa, which he set up next to the hot chocolate for Santa and carrots for the reindeer!
The Christmas fun kicked off for Alan last night when he had a sleepover with Tyler and Carleigh at Grandma Debbie’s, and it continued today with the family party!
Alan was excited to share last weekend’s new toy — the Hot Wheels launcher — and open up plenty of new toys as well. His favorite gifts were the Nerf gun from Grandma Debbie (he can never have enough Nerf toys!) and the electric train from Robbie and Jill (which came in a large, heavy box).
The party was held at the same time the Browns were closing their 5-2-1 home slate in 2018 with an exciting win over the Bengals. The photo of Alan with his arm raised above actually captured his reaction to the Brown’s 2nd touchdown of the game!
As usual, the cousins had a great time playing together. When it came time to leave, they wanted to take pictures together. Carleigh had already put her hat on and preferred to keep it on for the photos. 🙂
Note: This year the party was held a little early because Alan is traveling to New Orleans Dec. 24th-28th. Alan was very happy that he didn’t have to miss out on the fun.
Second grade – Part III – edition of the Top 10:
-Reading Dog Man books! After Alan was so excited to buy one of the books at the winter book fair, we ordered the other four books in the series. They arrived tonight and Alan couldn’t wait to start reading them! Some are being kept in his reading box at school, and others are being kept at home.
-Decorating the apartment for Christmas.
-Setting NFL match-ups with mini-helmets. Similar to what Alan did with baseball bats, he’s now pairing up football helmets to reflect weekly match-ups. He’s learned all the teams this year.
-Finding Elfie every morning.
-Drawing pictures of race cars. Alan also recently bought “emoji” markers that he took to school to use with Brady to label race cars. He loves them. Both the Dog Man books and the new markers are a hit with his classmates!
-Browns games. Alan has enjoyed following the Browns in addition to Ohio State this season. The Browns played this past Saturday night against the Broncos in Denver for a special Saturday night game. Alan followed on Gamecast as we drove from Luke’s house to Grandma Debbie’s. After the game ended on a Jabrill Peppers 4th-and-10 sack, Alan called me to celebrate. I loved getting that call from him!
-“Lexia” sessions. Alan is up to Level 14 now.
-Swimming at the Wildcat Fitness Center. I’ve been meeting Alan at the pool more frequently lately.
-Science experiments at school. Gravity and motion have been two recent subjects.
Tonight Alan was thrilled to add another chapter to what he calls his “annual tradition” of visiting Luke and Amie. He loves going there around the holidays, especially because he always receives awesome gifts there.
Alan brought his Lego 3-in-1 motorcycle — the highlight from last year — to play on the British gas station toy that he’s loved ever since his first visit. This year’s favorite gift was a Hot Wheels launcher. Alan played with it for two hours, laughing with joy the whole time.
Afterwards, he brought the car launcher to Grandma Debbie’s house for his Saturday night sleepover so he could share it with Tyler and Carleigh there.
On two separate Saturdays this month, Alan has been invited to work on crafts at the apartment main office. First he made a snowman out of two plastic pumpkins (check out the batman hat!) on December 1st. Then today he mixed together paint to decorate an ornament.
The snowman has been sitting outside our door all month, under the sign that Alan picked out to decorate the front door, while the ornament is hanging on our tree. We look forward to holiday arts & crafts like these all year long!
Elfie’s back, and Alan is on his best behavior! Elfie has been showing up in some new spots this year. Once he blended in with Alan’s winter workshop gifts from years past. Another time he showed up next to the bathroom sink, ready to take a swim! Alan may have whispered the idea to him after hearing some stories about Noah’s elf at school. 🙂
This year we bought a special envelope for Elfie to use to transport Alan’s letter to Santa back to the North Pole. In Alan’s letter, he asked for a Cars 3 Mack truck and race track!
At Alan’s request, this year we put up Christmas lights for the first time. We have them on the living room and bedroom windows, and Alan loves them! He got the idea from our upstairs neighbor.
Today Alan made holiday gifts for the family at the annual Millridge Winter Workshop. This year I opted to attend Winter Workshop instead of the Holiday Party and got to follow Alan & the rest of Mrs. Harris’ class through all 4 workstations. Alan made a couple ornaments, designed some charms, and made a wooden snowman. I might know what the gifts are, but he hasn’t yet told me which one will be for me!
Lately we’ve been making regular Sunday visits to the library to make sure Alan has enough to read for the week. Judging by today’s selections, Alan is ready for Hanukkah and Christmas!
Alan’s Christmas tour continued at the Meekens’ today for our annual Christmas get together with “Uncle” Luke and Amie. Luke’s legendary gifts for Alan over the years — ranging from blocks to Tinker Toys to Kinects to Legos — always encourage Alan’s creativity. This year the gift was a Lego 3-in-1 motorcycle that Alan built right after opening it!
Alan woke up this morning to find the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage under the Christmas tree! It’s the largest gift he’s ever received – from Santa or from anyone else. He talked about it for weeks and had Elfie deliver the request to Santa early in December.
After both Elife and Santa came through for Alan last night, we assembled the garage and parked Alan’s cars on it — including the Indians, Browns, Cavs, and Ohio State cars and trucks that Santa put in Alan’s stocking.
We played all morning until it was time to open presents with Tyler and Carleigh at Grandma Debbie’s. The Hot Wheels theme continued there, as Alan received a Hot Wheels Roto Revolution toy from Grandma Debbie! Alan and Tyler faced off and mastered the game in no time. Grandma Debbie’s upstairs study is now home to the most [heavy duty] toys in one place that require D batteries.
Before the day was over, we took our annual photo on the stairs (after a one year hiatus when Josh wasn’t able to come home for Christmas). Merry Christmas!
Alan’s gift from Daddy this year was Alan’s first real hammer. Upon receiving it tonight, Alan used it to hammer in the nail that was used to hang a new clock above the TV! The hammer happened to be the perfect size for Alan’s Cars 3 toolbox. 🙂
Alan’s first activity of winter break was making his annual donation of toys to Goodwill.
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!
Today Alan decorated this cookie at our apartment complex’s holiday gathering for kids. Alan chose Grandma Debbie as the lucky recipient! It was her early Christmas present.
Elfie’s back! Alan found Santa’s little helper and left him a note for his next trip to the North Pole. Alan’s letter to Santa this year contains a request for the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage. We’ll see what happens on December 25th!
Alan lost another tooth today (bottom right, 2nd from center), so we wondered if Elfie and the Tooth Fairy would meet each other tonight. 🙂
Today Alan brought home the best gifts Daddy will receive all year long. It’s Winter Workshop time once again at Millridge, and Alan made a candle holder and a Rudolph decoration. Love them!
For Alan, this Christmas weekend was a characterized by cousins, friends, fun times, and a straight haul of Paw Patrol, Miles From Tomorrowland, and Lego toys!
Friday, December 23rd:
Alan started the day on Friday by making his annual visit to see Luke in Streetsboro, where Alan’s first gifts of the weekend were Legos and books! But I think Alan enjoyed playing with Luke more so than receiving the Legos. 🙂
Later in the night, Alan had a sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s. We tried out the new Paw Patrol table we got for doing homework and played Alan’s favorite game: “Go Fish!”
Saturday, December 24th:
Alan and his cousins got together to open toys, chase each other around, and have a blast at the family party on Saturday. Alan received all the toys pictured above thanks to his grandparents, Papa and Tata, and Robbie and Jill. Included in the haul of toys was a Paw Patrol train set, various Miles from Tomorrowland vehicles, a Lego fire truck and police car, and an appropriately-timed John Glenn space shuttle toy from 1998 (one of Daddy’s favorites)!
Following the party, Alan went home and starting putting together his Legos. He also made hot cocoa for Santa and put out carrots for the reindeer before going to sleep. We kept the Christmas tree lights turned on so that Santa could find his way. 🙂
Sunday, December 25th:
This morning Alan woke up to find that Santa gave him an Indians car and an Indians van (as written on his Christmas wishlist at school), as well as the Paw Patrol race track pictured above. He got everything that he wanted from Santa! After assembling the race track, we finished putting together the remaining Legos from yesterday. Then it was off to open presents with his Mom!
There will certainly be a lot of new toys for Alan, Tyler, and Carleigh to play with at Grandma Debbie’s house in the weeks and months ahead!
This week at school it was Alan’s turn to be the featured “Smartie” of the week! As part of the fun, he got to wear a crown, be the boys line leader, and lead calendar activities all week. He also got to present his “All About Me” poster (see 12/5/16 post) to the class and have his parents come in and read to the class!
We came in to school this afternoon and read two of Alan’s favorites: Hot Rod Hamster and Ten on the Sled. Alan turned the pages while we read. He also called on students during the interactive portion of Hot Rod Hamster. Afterwards I shared facts about Alan — including his love for baseball and the Indians — to the rest of the kids.
It was quite an exciting day overall for Alan, since the kids wore their pajamas to school and watched Polar Express together. At the end of the day, I was presented with another Christmas gift from Alan: the Rudolph artwork pictured below. 🙂
Guess who’s back? It’s Elfie! And he’s got a message from Alan to deliver to Santa tonight! This year Alan would like an Indians van and a Paw Patrol train set from Santa. Alan also wanted to let Santa know that he’s going to make coffee for him and leave out some carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve. 🙂
Alan’s winter workshop gifts for me (tool belt) and Grandma Debbie (ornament) were much appreciated. Thanks Alan!
With the holidays coming up, Alan decided today that he wanted to donate some toys to kids who don’t have as many as he does. 🙂
Alan’s fun continued through the weekend as he got to do all of his favorite things. He got into more “trouble” with Tyler, showed his new Paw Patroller to Tyler, put together Legos with my friend “Uncle” Luke (Legos were this year’s gift after Tinker Toys were last year’s), and played his favorite parking garage rescue game with Robbie and hide-out game with Jill.
Due to the mild winter we’ve been having, Alan and I also got to play baseball at the park on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day(!). Figuring this luck won’t last forever, Alan and I did buy a soft football this weekend to play with outside when it does eventually start snowing. Alan is getting more comfortable with playing catch!
Before Alan went to sleep last night, he put out hot chocolate and pretzels for Santa and carrots for Rudolph (pictured above). Alan told me it was the best way to show Santa that Alan believes in him. Alan also told me he planned to tip-toe downstairs at midnight to see Santa, but unfortunately we both slept through the night and missed him.
When Alan woke up this morning, the food was eaten and Alan found the Paw Patroller from Santa under the tree! Santa knew it was exactly what Alan wanted from the letter that Alan mailed to the North Pole a couple weeks ago. Thanks to Elfie (pictured below), Santa received a good report on Alan’s behavior this month. 🙂
Alan is as happy as can be with Tyler and Carleigh in town for the holidays! Today the family met to open gifts on Christmas Eve. Alan even got to see Mariah and Dominic. The group of cousins had fun playing a modified game of pool (video).
This year Alan is understanding the Christmas holiday for the first time. He’s been learning about it in school, and he understands that Santa will leave him gifts under his Christmas tree if he’s a good boy. He has been so excited to open presents and has been asking every day if it’s Christmas yet. Today Alan was so excited to finally get to open presents with Tyler and Carleigh! He also enjoyed seeing both of his uncles while they were on holiday leave from the marines/army.
We also started a new “Elf on the Shelf” tradition this year. Alan named his elf “Elfie.” Elfie watches Alan from a different spot every day and reports back to Santa on whether or not Alan has been good that day. Alan loves to check first thing every morning where Elfie has moved to…just as long as I go to look with him.
Today Alan’s class put on a Christmas program for their parents. The kids sang 3 songs and presented their parents with a card and gift they made themselves. The program lasted about 15 minutes. That was all the kids could handle preparing for at their young age, but it was still a lot of fun. I definitely felt proud to see Alan performing!
Pictured below is Alan signing our card, as well as a close up of the gift he made.
We might’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving tonight, but Alan has already moved on to his favorite holiday…Christmas! Today he decorated his very own Christmas Tree for the first time. As pictured above, he was very proud of his accomplishment!