Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts

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!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remember playing 'Scary Monster"?

With today being Halloween, I thought I'd share my memories of playing "scary monster" with you! When we were in the green house in Lancaster, you would pretend to be taking a "nap" on the sofa and then say, "Dad, Dad, I think I hear something!"

I'd say, "There's nothing there!"

"There was, there was!" you'd say.

"I'll go check and show you that everything is okay!"

Then I'd go into the hallway where you couldn't quite see me, and I'd say really loud, "There's nothing here. Now you go back to taking your nap!" I'd start walking back to you and go, "Hey, what was that noise?" Turning around, I'd go, "Oh my God, what is that?"
Then I'd make loud monster growling noises and go "Aggh!" and pretend to slam myself into the wall and slide down it.

A second of silence would pass (You'd be peeking over the sofa to try to see what was happening.), and then I'd start walking with a limp like a zombie toward you, making monster growling noises and saying, "Now I can eat that little boy!"

You'd jump off the sofa and run screaming into the kitchen, where you'd break out in laughter!

Happy Halloween, Kieran!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In Disneyland four years ago today

Four years ago today we spent our day at Disneyland!

The whole place was decked out for Halloween, which was cool. It was our first exposure to Disneyland decorated for Halloween.

You were a the right age to be really interested in meeting characters. You got to meet Pinocchio on Main Street USA!

One young Disney girl taking pictures in Fantasyland thought you were the cutest thing and you two talked and talked! At above right is a picture she took of us together in a teacup!

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

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!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My email/letter to you for Sept. 28, 2013

Here is my email/letter that I sent Sept. 28, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I’m doing fine, though I miss you like crazy! I sure wish we could get together this weekend. The good news is that we will be getting together next weekend – either Friday, Oct. 4 or Saturday, Oct. 5.

Are you enjoying first grade? I bet you are. You always have been very curious about the world and are very intelligent, so I’m sure you enjoy school. What are you learning about in reading, math and music class (That was three questions in one, wasn’t it?). My favorite classes in school were reading and social studies. I liked reading stories and learning about different places in the world. Interestingly, that’s what I do for a living today – I read and edit other people’s stories and write about neat places that I hike.

September is almost over, and that means we’re into football season! Have you watched many of the NFL games on TV? They last a long time, don’t they? I usually read a book during commercials and between plays because the games last so long! Unfortunately, my favorite teams, the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers, are not doing so well so far – they each have 1-2 records, meaning they won a game but lost two. But the games they lost were very close.

My old high school’s football team has been having a really good season, though – they’ve won six straight games, and no one has scored any points against them. That’s unheard of! Does your school have a high school football team? If they do, have you gone to their games yet? I always enjoyed going to high school football and basketball games with my father when I was your age.

Halloween will be here in just four or so weeks! What kind of costume do you want to wear this year for Halloween?

Do you remember all of the Halloween costumes you've worn through the years? I've made a list of them for you:
 >2007 (8 months old) - Pumpkin
 >2008 (1 year old) - Elmo
 >2009 (2 years old) - Doctor
 >2010 (3 years old) - Luke Skywalker
 >2011 (4 years old) - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
 >2012 (5 years old) - Fireman
 >2013 (6 years old) - ?

Sometimes you wore different costumes in a year as we attended different Halloween celebrations during October. What's listed above is what you wore on Halloween itself while going trick or treating.

I’m sure where we’ll meet next weekend – either at the family center on Friday or somewhere else on Saturday. If we can meet on Saturday and the weather is good, we’ll go to Como Park Zoo like you had asked.

Well, that is all for now. I love and miss you very much. You have a great week at school, and I’ll see you in just a few days!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

My email sent to you on Nov. 10, 2012

Here’s a copy of my email sent to you on Nov. 10, 2012, just in case you don’t receive it:

Hi Kieran,

I had fun seeing you, too, and am glad you liked the toys and candy. I will bring the Battleship game and some Christmas presents from Grandma and Grandpa Bignell the next time we get together.

I’m glad you got a chance to “vote”! Did you know that you actually voted for President Obama when he ran for office in 2008? I took you to vote with me and let you push the “buttons” on the screen for the candidates I wanted to vote for! Voting is very important and something we should do every election, so I’m glad you’re getting into the habit.

I can’t wait to see your Ninja costume pictures. I bet you looked cool! In the past, you’ve gone trick or treating as a Jedi knight, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a doctor, Elmo and as Tigger (when you were a baby).

Speaking of Jedi Knights, I believe I mentioned that three new “Star Wars” movies will be coming out. The first one will be in movie theaters 2015, or three years from now. That’s a long time to wait, isn’t it?! A “Star Trek” movie comes out next year in 2013.

I’m glad Como Park Zoo has refurbished its kids’ area. When I was a little boy your age and went there, they had a cool kiddie roller coaster. My cousin Barry always got sick whenever he went on it, so his dad would take me instead. I always held my hands high up in the air when we went over bumps. In fact, I think your mommy and I went on that kiddie roller coaster together just before they closed it down.

I am a little concerned about this bully Logan you told me about. You should tell your mom about him so she can bring it up to the teacher or principal at your school, okay?

I had fun building and playing Bioncles with you on Friday. I hope you take them on lots of adventures! And I can’t wait to see your new skateboard. You always liked to watch the older kids do skateboard tricks when you were a toddler and we went to the park in Santa Clarita.

I love you and miss you very much! Have fun this weekend!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

My email sent to you on Nov. 3, 2012

Here's a copy of the email I sent to you on Nov. 3, 2012, just in case you don't receive it:

Hi Kieran,

It is wonderful to hear from you! I hope you are doing well. I love you and miss you very much!

I am very glad Mom has got the email all worked out.

Freeze tag is a very fun game to play! I played it in school, too! We also played dodgeball and kickball a lot. I bet you are very good at freeze tag!

The guinea pig sounds like a fun classroom pet. What does the guinea pig eat? What color is it?

I used to go to the Como Park Zoo, too, when I was your age. They didn’t have a Minnesota Zoo back then! I always liked to see the chimpanzees and the giant tortoises. I heard that the carnival rides have been remodeled and are now open again. They have penguins, now? Cool!

I bet the Halloween party at school was fun. Which costume did you decide on?

Skippy Jon Jones books are the best. His group of imaginary Chihuahua friends is very humorous. Speaking of a book about presidents, there is a big election Tuesday! Who do you think will win?

That is all for now. Write back soon!





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween costumes you've worn

Halloween 2009
Do you remember all of the Halloween costumes you've worn through the years? I've made a list of them for you:
>2007 (8 months old) - Pumpkin
>2008 (1 year old) - Elmo
>2009 (2 years old) - Doctor
>2010 (3 years old) - Luke Skywalker
>2011 (4 years old) - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
>2012 (5 years old) - Fireman

Sometimes you wore different costumes in a year as we attended different Halloween celebrations during October. What's listed above is what you wore on Halloween itself while going trick or treating.

Monday, October 29, 2012

One year ago today: Brick or Treat!

One year ago today we attended the Brick or Treat Halloween celebration at Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. You went dressed up as a Jedi knight, and I let you carry a fabric sword as a light saber!

Among the highlights was going through the Legoland candy line, where you got to get all kinds of free goodies at different stations. At each station you had to say "Brick or treat!" We then looked through it all in the middle ages part of the park where you got to run about on the big wooded castle playground.

We arrived late in the afternoon, stopping along the way at the Barnes and Noble in Temecula, where we read a lot of Halloween books. That's because we stayed for the Halloween fireworks that were held that evening!

Here are a whole bunch of pictures from our visit to Brick or Treat.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My sixth email sent to you!

Here is a copy of my sixth email, sent to you today (Oct. 27, 2012), just in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

Hope you are doing well. I am doing fine, though I miss you like crazy and can’t wait to see you!
Which brings me to some good news: We should get to see each other in just a couple of weeks, the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 9! We will get to spend a couple of hours together. I have a fun afternoon of games and toys and books for us. Would you like me to bring anything special for you?

I did not receive your email responding to my last email (from Saturday, Oct. 27). Perhaps your mother sent it to the wrong address when she changed the email name. Hopefully you will be able to send the email to me Sunday (Oct. 28). Also, I have yet to receive your emails to my second and third emails to you. Perhaps you could resend those, too?

Have you decided if you will be Anakin or a firefighter for Halloween? Your cousin Rebekah is going as a witch for trick or treat. Your cousin Bryan, however, is in seventh grade and too old to go trick or treating, so he doesn’t have a costume. Is your school planning a Halloween party? What are some of the costumes your friends plan to wear?

I wish I could be with you this Halloween. Last year we had lots of fun at Halloween celebrations, going to Disneyland, Legoland, Sea World and the pumpkin festival in Santa Clarita. We even got to see the Halloween fireworks at Legoland! Here are a whole bunch of pictures from our Halloween celebrations we went to last year.

This afternoon I got to hear a Beatles radio program, “The Beatles Year,” that we sometimes listened to Sunday mornings last year on our way to various places. The program told how the Beatles came up with some of songs from their CD “With the Beatles” and then played those tracks. When we first got the CD and listened to in the car, you thought it was called “Breakfast with the Beatles” – which actually was the name of a radio program we sometimes listened to – and you would get frustrated with me because you asked to listen to “Breakfast with the Beatles” but I’d tell you the radio show wasn’t on. You’d say “It’s not a radio show!” Eventually we figured out you really wanted to her the CD “Meet the Beatles”!

Have you read any good books lately? This week I read “Oh No, Not Ghosts!” by Richard Michelson. It’s about a brother and sister who after going to bed at night keep hearing strange, scary sounds – like the floorboard going creeeeeak – and see something wriggling, sniggling, and slithering in the shadows. Except they don’t want to wake up their daddy, who is sleeping in the other room, because they don’t want him to know they’re scared. Guess what was making the sounds though? It was their daddy snoring!

Well, that is all for now. Be sure to have your mother recheck the email address and resend your emails! I love you!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween 2011 at Disneyland

One year ago today we spent the day at Disneyland enjoying all of the Halloween sights and sounds!

Among the highlights was going through the Haunted House, which was decorated for "The Nightmare Before Christmas". The rest of the year, you never liked to go to the haunted house because it was too scary, but at Halloween you always loved it! I think "The Nightmare Before Christmas" stuff made it less scary.

The other big highlight was getting to meet Jack Skellington and Sally, characters from that movie. You wore a black T-shirt with skeleton bones on it, and Jack told you how much he liked your shirt!

You also got to meet Woody from "Toy Story" that day when we went over to his ranchhouse and colored some bat puppets! Later that evening, we drove back to my place in Encinitas.

Here's a photo album of our day at Disneyland!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My response to your second email

Received an email from you on Friday and wanted to print my response to it below, just in case you don't receive it. I sent it to you today.

Dear Kieran,

It is so good to hear from you! I miss and love you very much and am glad you let me know how you are doing.

I do have one favor to ask of you: Could you ask your mother to remove “Dingle Fritz” from the name she has assigned me on her email. “Dingle Fritz” is not a very nice word and inappropriate for an email between a son and his father. I hope it is not a word you use in school or with your friends or to refer to your mother. Okay?

You must have had only half a day of school today – I see your email was sent at 1:40 in the afternoon! I hope you enjoyed your time off of school!

Playing football and tag with your friends and classmates sounds like a lot of fun. What position do you usually play when playing football? When my friends and I played football in school, our punter always kicked the ball backward so that it went behind him! When I told my Uncle George this, he suggested that we have our punter stand backward so that the ball went the right way. So we tried that – except he actually kicked it correctly, which meant the ball still went the “wrong way”! After that, we just decided to always go for it on fourth down.

Anakin or a firefighter for Halloween – that would be a difficult choice! Whichever you decide, I know you’ll look good in it. Maybe you could send a picture of yourself in your costume – surprise me with which one you choose!

If you have to wait until spring to learn to ride a bicycle, that’s okay. By that time, we hopefully will be able to see each other, and I can help teach you how to ride the bicycle (Now I better go out and remember how to ride one myself – It’s been a long time I’ve been on a bike! Don’t worry, once you learn, it’s something you never forget.).

What are you doing this weekend? Have you gone to the Minnesota Zoo yet some weekend? I like the jungle part at the zoo.

A guinea pig sounds like lots of fun in the classroom! Whenever we used to visit pet stores together, you always liked to watch the guinea pigs. Do you get to help take care of the guinea pig? When I was in kindergarten, our classroom had a salamander. I always liked the way his home in the glass cage was decorated with lots of green plants and rocks. It looked like a miniature jungle!

Have you read any good books lately? I just read “Time Train” by Paul Fleischman. It’s about all of these different places where you can find dinosaur bones – like Utah and Pennsylvania – and shows what those places used to look like when dinosaurs lived there.

Well, that is all for now. I miss and love you very much!


Here's what you wrote to me on Friday:


I go to school all day. Like playing outside, sometimes we play football or tag.

For Halloween I'm going to go as Anakin from Clone Wars, or maybe a fire fighter, I haven't decided yet.

Not sure if I'll learn how to ride a bike right now, maybe in the Spring.

Lots of different things to do on weekends so they fly by.

We have a guiena pig at school. So that is really exciting.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Remember reading 'Goodnight Goon'?

One of your favorite books last Halloween was "Goodnight Goon." It was a parody of "Goodnight Moon," a book you had as an infant/toddler.

In "Goodnight Goon," all kinds of monsters and scary things are making noises, keeping up a little boy at night. But he makes them all be quiet and go away!

We usually read the book when we stopped at book stores on our many trips to and from San Diego. I loved reading books to you, and always enjoyed having me read them to you. Since we only got to see one another on weekends, I could only read books to you one night a week, so we usually spent an hour or so at the the bookstores, making up for lost time.

I wish we were together this Halloween so I could read it to you. Don't worry, though, my attorney and I are working very hard to ensure that we'll be together next Halloween (and almost certainly before then!).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Comic II from 'Darth Vader and Son'

You might remember from a few days ago that I told you about the book, "Darth Vader and Son" that I purchased for us. Here's another comic from it that I think you'll like!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My fourth email to you

I'm posting my fourth email to you, sent via email to you today, in case you don't receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? Hope all is going well from you. I haven’t received any of your emails since Sept. 24; I’m hoping that you could resend them to me.

I would love to hear how kindergarten is going. Do you go to all-day kindergarten? I only had to go to half-day kindergarten when I was your age. Hopefully soon you’ll be able to show me your classroom and introduce me to your teacher and friends. It’s very important for parents to be involved in their children’s schooling.

Today I’m listening to a radio program about the Beatles, called “The Beatles Years.” Sometimes we would catch it on the car radio Sunday mornings when I lived in Encinitas. The show today is about all the big things the Beatles did during the month of October.

I bet you remember the Beatles concerts we went to. Of course, they weren’t the real Beatles, but they looked and sounded a lot like them, didn’t they? They’re called “tribute bands.” There are lots of Beatles tribute bands where we live now in the Twin Cities, and once you and I are able to see one another again, I’ll take you to see some of their shows if you should like.

I bought you (well, really “us”) a new book a couple of days ago while shopping in downtown Hudson: “Darth Vader and Son,” by Jeffrey Brown. It’s a series of comics about what Darth Vader would have been like as a dad if he had raised Luke Skywalker as a little boy!

Besides being very funny, the book seemed really special to me as we both like “Star Wars.” You might also remember that one Halloween we went trick or treating together with you dressed as Luke Skywalker and me as Darth Vader. And I’m certain you'll recall all of the great light saber battles we had in which you were Luke and I was Darth!

Some of the comics might not make too much sense until you’re a daddy yourself. That's okay - I'll be sure to save the book for you to enjoy with your own little boy one day!

How is the bicycle riding come along? Have the training wheels come off yet? With school and the colder weather, I bet you don’t have as much time anymore to ride your bicycle except on weekends. There probably will be some warm days yet before Halloween sets in to ride your bicycle. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

What costume do you plan to wear for Halloween this year? Is your school planning a Halloween party? I always looked forward to my school’s holiday parties because you got to eat lots of different cookies, bars and cakes that the others’ kids parents made but that my own mom didn’t!

Well, that is all for now. I look forward to hearing from you and receiving your other missing emails.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Recall going to Brick or Treat?

A year ago today we went to Brick or Treat at Legoland, the theme park's Halloween celebration in Carlsbad, Calif. You went dressed up as a Jedi knight! Tons of other parents pointed out your costume to their kids they were so impressed!

The first highlight of the evening as doing the Brick or Treat, in which all of the kids walk through scary Legoland scenes and get free candy and other goodies at various stations. After that, we went off to play at the huge castle playground.

The night ended with us watching the Halloween fireworks! You always wanted to go the Disneyland fireworks shows, but they were really late and a long drive from where we lived in Encinitas, but Legoland was only four miles from my place!

Here are a whole bunch of pictures from Brick or Treat!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fireworks we've seen together in the past

Lat night was the Fourth of July fireworks, and I was very sad that we weren't able to be together for them. This was supposed to be my year to have you for the Fourth of July.

We've seen a couple of fireworks shows before - most notably the Halloween fireworks at Legoland in 2011; we also saw the New Years Eve fireworks on Dec. 31, 2011, but a fog rolling off the ocean made watching really difficult (remember how they gave us 3-D glasses to wear so that the fireworks would look like exploding Lego bricks?).

You always begged me to take you to the Disneyland fireworks, and I promised I would when you were older - the fireworks were late at night,  and I'd knew you'd be too sleepy to really enjoy them, plus getting out of the theme park is very difficult after the fireworks, making for an extremley long night for both of us. How I wished last night that I would have taken you to those fireworks at least once...

But don't worry, Kieran - we'll see lots of fireworks in the days ahead, I promise.