I have created this site so that my son, Kieran Edward Bignell, will be able to easily find me, his father, Rob Bignell, and so that he will know that I love him, that I always have, and that I always will. Against our wishes, we have been torn from one another's lives and kept apart, separated by distance and time. But one day, Kieran will seek me. Kieran - I am here for you. Come to me.
Do you remember your Kitchen Science kit? I got it for us at the Minnesota Science Museum in August 2013, and we used it to create a mini-volcano!
I assembled all of the materials needed to make the volcano then guided you through creating it. You were so wowed when the "lava" came pouring out of the cone that you wanted to do it again! And we did.
There were several other science experiments in it as well - such as making a mini-rocket, a lemon-powered clock, fingerprint kit, and so on, but as of this entry, we have yet to do them. Maybe we'll do them when you're a little older this summer!
Today's entry is less a memory than a marking of where you are today - because later in life it will be a memory!
One of your favorite activities this winter is collecting stickers of sportstars in sticker albums. I've already written about the NFL sticker album. Now that the football season is winding down, though, you're getting interested in basketball - and so you've been collecting NBA stickers!
You have the "2013-14 Official Panini NBA Sticker Collection Sticker Album". I mention the official name because I know that years later remembering the title of something, even of a really important book in one's life, can be difficult.
You've also told me that your favorite teams are the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Oklahoma Tornado!
For Christmas 2013, Uncle Chris and Aunt Susie got you the Don't Rock the Boat game. We played it for the first time during our visiton Dec. 28!
The game was a pirate ship that balanced on a stand; each player in turn placed a penguin (dressed in pirate garb) on the ship. The object of the game was to not have all of the penguins spill off the boat. It was sort of like the Don't Spill the Beans game we once had.
I remember that you weren't too excited about the game on Christmas Day, but you sure had fun playing it on Dec. 28 (And I did, too!).
One of your Christmas presents that you received for 2013 is the Scooby Doo Mystery Mine game. It's sort of a "sequel" to the Scooby Doo huanted house game we had at the green house in Lancaster, Calif.
We put together the game on Christmas Day, though it didn't stay together as well as the haunted house 3D game, so I'll have to do some taping and gluing to make it all work. We played it a couple of times with your cousins Rebekah and Bryan.
One of the cool things about the game was the miners cart that roll down a track, setting off traps that could knock down the tokens (requiring you go back to start). Everybody wanted to roll the miner's cart down the track!
I so enjoyed our time together on Saturday (Dec. 28, 2013), Kieran! We had lots of fun hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa's playing games and enjoying one another's company.
You also got to meet Aunt Sandy and Uncle Mark, who you hadn't seen since you were an infant. They gave you $10 in half-dollar coins, a snow owl Christmas ornment, and a rocking horse ornament that I squirrled for our own tree when we get our own house!
Among the many games we played (some with Bryan and Rebekah) were: Monopoly Empire, Hi-Ho-Cherry-O, Don't Rock the Boat, Clue, and Life. You also played some Scoooby Doo video games on my compter.
At the end of the day, we went to the Dollar Tree and got some NFL stickers, NBA stickers, an FBI playset, football cards, glue and Scotch tape. We finished the evening with a meal at McDonalds!
I had so much fun with you at Christmas yesterday, Kieran!
You got a ton of presents. Your favorites, you said, were the Matt Flynn Oakland Raiders jersey (which you wore the rest of the day), the Lego sets (you received a police/robber/ATM set and a Star Wars set), and the Imaginext Eagle Talon castle!
You also gave me your first gifts ever for Christmas - a star ornament and a holiday picture frame, both of which you made in school. I shall place the star ornament on top of our Christmas tree forevermore!
On my Facebook page I recently posted a retro photo of myself - my first grade picture, taken in autumn 1972 for my elementary school picture. I was 6-3/4 years old.
I posted the retro picture because my cover photo is of you ... from autumn 2013 during our visits, when you were 6-1/2 years old.
We look a lot alike - even have the same early Beatles mop top hair cuts, don't we?
When I was six, I lived on a small farm east of Elmwood, Wis. I attended Elmwood Elementary School. My first grade teacher's name was Mrs. Rhiel. I shared a room with my brother, and the room was turquoise,. My favorite football teams were the Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers! I loved to watch Star Trek, and would catch each weekday after school from 4 to 5 pm on WKBT-TV out of La Crosse, Wis. My best friend in school was Ronald Wolfe. When my parents went out for the evening, usually our next door neighbor, whose name was Hazel, babysat us.
I am very proud of you and love you more than anything, Kieran!
Do you rmember your I Can Do That! card game? It was a Dr. Seuss game in which you had to draw three cards and do silly things, just like the Cat in the Hat would.
If you succeeded in doing the task, such as "Take giant steps around a chair with the fish under your right arm," you got to keep the cards. Whoever had the most cards at the end of the game won. But the fun of the game was in doing the silly stuff rather than trying to win!
When I told Grandma Bignell about the game and how much fun we had playing it, she bought one for your cousin Rebekah. Fortunately, you got to play it with your cousins Rebekah and Bryan and me during a visit to Grandma and Grandpa Bignells in December 2013!
Here is my email sent
to you on June 8, 2013, in case you do not receive it:
How are you doing today? I’m doing fine, though I miss you
more than anything! I am looking forward to seeing you in just two weeks, on
June 21. We also should be able to start seeing each other every other week
How has your first two weeks of summer school gone? What
stuff is the teacher covering in our classes? Have you read any interesting
books in class? Are many of your friends back in summer school, too? Do you
have new classmates for summer school? So many questions, I know! But you are
the most important person in the world to me, so I want to know everything
I purchased some new fun “Star Trek” stuff for us to play
with when we get together. Some of them are the Lego characters. Another is a
set of models of the spaceships from the show. The models snap together, and we
should have a lot of fun building and playing with them. Have you seen the new “Star
Trek” movie yet?
There are a whole bunch of great movies coming out this
summer that I’d bet you love to see. “Monsters University” (the follow-up to “Monsters
Inc.” – remember when we used to go on that ride at California Adventure?)
comes out on June 21. “The Lone Ranger” (Remember when we used to play Sheriff
Jack and the Deputy?) comes out on July 3. Finally, “Disney’s Planes” (It’s
like “Cars” except the main characters are airplanes!) comes out on August 9.
Hopefully, you will get to go to each of these movies, as they all sound like
lots of fun.
Now that’s summer here, I bet you’re enjoying spending time
outdoors! I didn’t receive a response to the email I sent to you last week, so
I will have to ask again how the bicycle riding is coming along? I bet you’ve
got it down already! If not, don’t worry – you’ll get better with practice. Be
sure to wear a helmet when you go bicycle riding, though; if the bike crashes,
and you don’t have a helmet on, you could get hurt!
I will be outdoors a lot as well this summer, hiking trails in
the Northwoods. My latest hiking book is doing well, so I’ve decided to write a
follow-up to it. There are some neat trails that go over ancient volcanic rock,
to waterfalls, and past beautiful lakes and rivers in the Northwoods. I always
liked going hiking with you in the Angeles National Forest when we were
together and sure wish we were allowed to be together this summer to explore
all the neat places Minnesota and Wisconsin have to offer.
I found a new book you might like to get from the library!
It’s called “Interrupting Chicken” by David Ezra Stein. It’s all about this young
chicken who keeps interrupting everybody! Do you know of anyone who interrupts
someone? It’s not very nice of them, is it?
Well, that is all for now. I miss and love you very much and
can’t wait to see you on June 21!
A short entry today, but one I want to share with you - photos of our Easter 2013 together. The basket included: a stuffie bunny rabbit with a soccer ball that you named "Ken"; a bag of Army soldiers; a Jake and the Neverland Pirates book; a Batman puzzle; Cars bubble solution and wands; and several pieces of candy, including Peeps and Cadbury carmel eggs and Tic-Tacs!