Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Your Don't Rock the Boat game

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!).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Your Scooby Doo Mystery Mine game

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!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day 2013 together

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!

Here are a whole bunch of pictures from our day together!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Photos from Christmases past

Merry Christmas, Kieran! I am looking forward to spending the day with you and making great memories that will last the rest of our lives!

Here are pictures from our previous Christmases together:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Our similar haircuts at Christmastime!

I found this really old photo of me in one of Grandma Bignell's photo albums and was struck by how similar our hair styles are! This photo was taken in the early 1970s, probably when I was in seond or third grade. I guess my mom decided I needed a really short haircut, too!

Anyway, we're at my Auntie-I and George's, my great aunt and uncle, who raised Grandma Bignell when she was a teenager. Their house was in rural Fall Creek, Wis., and this is their living room at around Christmas time, I remember that Uncle Chris (the littlest boy in the photo; my back is to the camera) received the black puppy dog toy for a Christmas gift. It could be wound up and then would move, bark, and wag its tail!

The photo is a bit aged, because the carpeting in their living room was a pale pink, and here it looks orange. Years later, when they replaced the carpet, my parents put it in my bedroom, because I only had a wooden floor in it!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

One year ago today: Christmas presents!

One year ago today we spent the day together opening Christmas presents!

Among the many presents you received were a Go Fish card game, tub of Legos, Imaginext superhero action figures (including CatWoman), PlayDoh, U.S. puzzle map, Transformers, and Hot Wheels cars. You took most of the gifts back to your mother's place, though I kept a couple for our next visit.

I wonder what you'll receive this year for Christmas?

Here's a whole bunch of photos of our time together!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two years ago today: Our day at Legoland

Two years ago today, we spent the day at Legoland!

It was Christmastime, so Legoland was decked out for the season. I remember looking at all of the displays of famous landmarks made from Legos and how they were decorated with Christmas touches, like wreaths on the "doors."

You also got to meet Santa Claus, who was in the shape of a Lego character. The temps were a little cool for San Diego this time of year, so we had to wear pants and hooded sweatshirts to stay warm.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our visit!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our set of 101 cookie cutters

Do you remember our set of 101 cookie cutters? They were plastic, and we picked them up at Walmart then used them to make sugar cookies for just about every holiday and season!

Christmas by far was the most popular time, with us usually making a couple of different batches during the holidays. Our cookie cutters included Christmas trees, gingerbread men, bells, candy canes, snowmen and stockings.

We also made cookies at Halloween (ghost, haunted house, bat, black cat, pumpkins), Easter (duckies, cross, Easter bunny, Easter egg), and Valentine's Day (three sets of hearts). Letters also came with the set so I could spell out our names!

I usually mixed and match them for different seasons; for example we the footprint, the moon (for the sun) and the fish for going to the beach! I love you and miss making cookies with you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Two years ago today at Legoland

Legoland, Nov. 27, 2011.
Two years ago today we spent the day at Legoland enjoying their Christmas celebrations. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and you'd been with me for quite a fun weekend since Thursday morning.

The highlight was a great play area made of artificial snow! We got to throw snowballs, make snowmen (with Lego pieces for the nose/eyes, of course) and then go sliding down a little snow hill.

What was really great is that it was 72 degrees and sunny that day! So you were playing in shorts and T-shirt in the snow! I bright along gloves, though, so your hands wouldn't get cold!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recall your B. Meowsic Keyboard?

Do you remember your B. Meowsic Keyboard you received one Christmas? I wanted to encourage your interest in music and so got it for you.

You really liked it - but not for the reason I purchased it! The keyboard had different tunes that could be played, and there was this one Spanish-lyric tune that you absolutley loved to play over and over, but it drove me nuts! You also liked to speak into the microphone, but not to sing along!

Still, I wanted you to keep the keyboard as I tried to interest you in the different sound that each key made so that I might show you how to play a tune. That either was a little advanced for your age, or I didn't quite know how to teach that skill (probably a little of both!).

I think, though, that the keyboard did contribute a little to your interest in understanding and playing music. As I got you other keyboards, your interest was piqued, and you seemed to remember skills learned on the B. Meowsic!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Remember your Thomas the Train PJs?

Do you remember your Thomas the Train PJs? You had two sets of them - one red and the other blue - that you absolutley loved to wear!

The PJs certainly must have been comfortable and warm; the material had an almost felt-like feel. But I think you really liked to wear them because you loved Thomas the Train!

We had tons of Thomas the Train toys and Thomas the Trian DVDs. We went through a period when you were two or three years old of when treated to a toy you always wanted a Thomas the Train engine or car!

Above is a picture of you wearing the red PJ set on Christmas morning 2010!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Remember your Fisher Price barn toy?

Your barn toy
When you were just 1 year-old, you received for Christmas a Fisher Price barn toy. It was a neat playset with animals that when placed on certain spots in the barn or attached silo, made their sounds; for example, the pig would go "oink oink" when set in the pig pen.

My barn toy!
The predecessor to this toy was one of my favorites to play with when I was preschooler! Back then, though, the barn was smaller and didn't make any noises. It also came with wooden people and a plastic tractor. Sometimes I'd stretch out the cow's legs, have him fly through the air, and call him "Supercow"! I love playing with people and took them on all kinds of adventures, just like you enjoyed playing wiht your action figures.

Probably because you didn't grow up on a farm, after a while the barn toy wasn't as exciting as the firehouse or other playsets you had. But sometimes we would take it out and with other farm toys we had set up a small farm with animals. We used a small foldable doll house as the farmer's house!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Do you remember baking cookies?

Do you remember all of the cookies we baked when living in the green house in Lancaster?

We used to make sugar cookies from scratch. You would help me roll out the dough, press the cookie cutter into the dough, sprinkle flour around the dough so it would roll and cut easily, and then putting sprinkles on the frosted cookies after they came out of the oven!

For each season, we made different kinds of cookies. I always like to make cookies for fall/football opener, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter.

All of your clothes, your hair, your face, and your hands would be absolutely covered in flour and frosting and sprinkles when we were all done, so I always had you take a bath afterward! Then when you got all clean, you'd get to enjoyed the warm, freshly frosted and decorated cookies!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recall your Star Trek Pez dispensers?

Do you remember your Star Trek Pez dispensers? They were a set of eight dispensers of the major characters from "Star Trek: The Original Series": Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov with the USS Enterprise.

I bought them at World Mart in Santa Clarita, I believe. They came with Pez candy, which after you ate up I didn't replace so as not to spoil your dinner! You didn't seem to mind, though - you were more than happy to play with the dispensers as if they were action figures.

Later, I got actual action figures of all the ST:TOS characters for you at Christmas 2011. Unfortunately, I don't have all of the dispensers or action figures any more, but I'm certain one day when you're older you'l be able topurchase them as a collector, should you wish.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My letter to you from Jan. 19, 2013

Here is my email sent to you today, in case you don’t receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? I’m doing fine, though I miss you very much. I miss not being able to spend time with you and talking to you on the phone every night like we used to do .

I am very excited, though, that we will see each other in just two short weeks on Feb. 1. When we get together, we will have two big days to celebrate: Valentine’s Day and your birthday! Grandma is whipping up some fun Valentine’s Day sweets for you, and all of us – me, grandma and grandpa, Uncle Chris-Aunt Suzy-and-your-cousins-Bryan-and-Rebekah – all have bought birthday presents for you. They all miss you, too, and though you may not remember them because you were so young the last time you saw them, they all remember you! They can’t wait, either, to finally see you again.

How was your first week back to school? I bet seeing your friends again after a couple of weeks off was a lot of fun. When I was a little boy your age, it also was a lot of fun to find out what all of my friends got for Christmas and some of the neat places they went during their winter break.

Do you enjoy the snow in Minnesota? You always liked it when we went up to the mountains together after a snowfall. We’d go sledding together and throw snowballs. Sometimes we’d stop off for a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Although the winters do get long in Minnesota, one nice thing about them is you have lots of opportunities to drink hot chocolate!

I am glad you’ve enjoyed the games, toys, art supplies and books I’ve been bringing to our visits. Playing with and reading to again has been a lot of fun for me, too. What games should I bring next time? I was thinking some card games like Old Maid or Go Fish. Email me to let me know which games you’d like to play.

You may notice that these questions were the same that I asked the previous week. Unfortunately, your answers to them were not sent. So, I am repeating them in hopes that your mother will correct this problem by resending your answers (as well as your emails to my last three weeks of emails to you).

Have you read any good books lately? One good Valentine’s Day book you might like to find at your school or city library is “Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love” by Dan Pinto. We read it together a couple of years ago, and you liked it a lot. You might recall that’s about a hedgehog who looks for someone to be his valentine, but no one wants to hug him because hedgehogs have prickly hair. Will he find someone to give his Valentine card to? You’ll have to read the book!

That is all for now. I love you very much and can’t wait to see you on Feb. 1!




Saturday, December 29, 2012

My email sent to you Dec. 29, 2012

Here is the email I sent Dec. 29, 2012, in case you don't receive it:

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I miss and love you very much!

I hope you’re enjoying winter break from school. Sometimes winter breaks can get awful long as you don’t get to see and play with your friends every day, but having free time to play with your own toys is fun, too.

What did you receive for Christmas? Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Chris and Aunt Suzy, and I had lots of fun picking our Christmas gifts for you. We still have a couple left to give, and I’ll be sure to bring those when we get together next Friday – which is in just six days!

I bet you’re having fun playing in the snow. Have you made a snowman yet? You always enjoyed going out into the snow in the mountains when we lived in California. We’d go sliding, make snowmen, and toss snowballs.

What do you plan to do for New Year’s Eve? A lot of people stay up until midnight so that they can say they were awake during the first minute of the new year. That’s staying up really late! Last year on New Year’s Eve, we went to the fireworks at Legoland. It was held at 6 p.m., and you fell asleep in the car on the way back home!

Have you read any good books lately? I have. It was “The Big Snow,” by Berta and Elmer Hader. It’s all about how geese, rabbits, deer, raccoons and chipmunks in a forest got ready for the first snowfall of winter. There are some very beautiful illustrations of animals in it. I bet your school library has the book; if not, your local city library probably does.

Well, that is all for now. I can’t wait to see you on Jan. 4, and in the meantime I look forward to receiving your email responding to mine.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas photos through the years

Christmas 2011
I am very sad that we do not get to spend Christmas together this year. We've had lots of fun Christmases together through the years, and I've included some photos of them (The link takes you to the 2011 photos).

We always started our holiday season by putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house on Thanksgiving day. You always liked to help with that, especially putting the ornaments on the tree. Once the tree was all finished and the lights turned on, you'd stare at it in awe of its prettiness.

We also went to lots of different places to celebrate the holidays. Among them was Disneyland, of course, but in 2011 we also did Legoland a couple of times. Legoland was neat because it created a a special snowy area to play in - and we's go into it wearing shorts because the temperature was 72 degrees in San Diego!

I love you and miss you very much - Merry Christmas, Kieran!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My email to you from Dec. 22, 2012

Here is my email to you sent Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, just in case you do not receive it:

Hi Kieran,

It was so good to see you yesterday! I had a lot of fun and am very happy you enjoyed all of the presents from Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Chris and Aunt Susie, and Santa!

I received your email as well yesterday. It was a little odd, though, as it appeared to be written earlier in the week though the date stamp was Friday night.

Thank you for the birthday wishes. I remember very well the night that you were born, and based on what Grandma and Grandpa have told me, the days we were born were very similar! I had to drive through snow to get to the hospital where your mother was, and so did my dad have to drive to the hospital to where my mother was! It also was nighttime when we drove, so it was very dark.

I appreciate that when we were together you sang the songs you did in your Christmas program. You have a wonderful voice, and I’m very impressed that you were able to remember all of those words! I am sorry I was not able to be at the programs this year, but hopefully I will be at them next year. I bet getting on the stage to sing was a lot of fun!

It is great to hear that you like the snow. You always did when we went into the mountains after a snowfall. Do you have your own sled? My school had a sledding hill behind it that we always got to use during recess, so every year I got a new sled. All of my classmates and me always decorated our sleds with magic markers, drawing cool flames or airplane symbols on them.

I’m so glad you and your classmates brought toys to the TV station. There are many children who are less unfortunate than we are and so get very little or even nothing at all for Christmas. You helped to make many other kids’ Christmas very special rather than a sad day. Giving always is more fun than receiving, though it may not seem like that at first. I wish I would have known about your school’s plans, as I would have donated toys, too, for you to deliver.

You have a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you receive all that you ask for. I miss you very much and can’t wait to see you in just a couple of weeks!



Friday, December 21, 2012

It was so good to see you again!

Opening Transformers present, Dec. 21, 2012.
I had so much fun with you this afternoon, Kieran! I'm glad we had the opportunity to play, and I'm so happy that you liked all of your presents.

The Hot Wheels cars you liked so much were from Uncle Chris and Aunt Susie. The got one more present for you, but I ran out of room for it in the tote I was carrying and I need to get batteries for it! I will bring it when we get together in January. The Imaginext superheroes, game cards, and Christmas cookies were from Grandma and Grandpa.

I really enjoyed hearing you sing the Christmas songs you did for your school program. You have a great voice, and I'm very impressed that you could remember so many words!

In a few days, I will post our Chistmas pictures online with this other set of photos, which are of our Christmases past.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My email sent to you on Dec. 15, 2012

Sledding in the Angeles National Forest,
December 2010.
Here is the email I sent to you on Dec. 15, 2012, just in case you do not receive it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? I’m doing well though I miss you quite a lot and every day. I am very concerned, though, that I haven’t received an email responding to any of my three previous emails. Please confirm that you received this one with a response and have your mother send the previous emails as they have not arrived.

I am very excited because I get to see you next Friday on Dec. 21! We should have lots of fun playing games and playing with toys as well as reading a book or two, and just plain catching up on all that you’ve been doing. I’ll also be bringing lots of Christmas presents from me, Grandma and Grandpa, your Uncle Chris and Susie, and one or two that Santa left at my house for you!
Have you enjoyed all the new snowfall? It’s great for building snowmen and snow forts. When I was a little boy, we’d go sledding during winter. My school had a big hill behind it that we could take sleds up and slide down. I bet you remember the times we drove up into the mountains and went sledding together – my schoolmates and I used sleds just like the one we used.

What do you plan to do for Christmas vacation? While getting an extra day or two off of school was fun, I always missed my friends when I wasn’t in class and so wished for vacation to end! What do your friends plan to do during vacation?

Are you having a big Christmas party at school? I always liked the Christmas parties when I went to school because we exchanged presents, and everyone brought in fun foods that their mother’s or father’s made. It was neat to taste cookies and bars and other sweets other kids’ parents baked!

Have you read any good books lately? I bet you have, knowing how much you like to read and have stories read to you. This past week I read “Reindeer Christmas” by Mark Kimball Moulton. In the book, two young children and their grandmother find a hungry and lost baby deer in the woods. So they take in the fawn, feeding and nursing it back to health. Except when the deer grows up, they find it’s not exactly a deer! Can you guess what the baby deer grew up to be?

That is all for now. I love you and miss you very much and can’t wait to see you on Friday – and to get those missing emails!