Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts

Friday, December 20, 2013

Attending your Christmas program

Dec. 19, 2013
I enjoyed attending your school's Christmas program last night, Kieran! You and your schoolmates sang very beautifully!

Getting to talk with you after the program in your classroom also was a lot of fun. I'm so glad you showed me around the room and some of the projects you worked on!

Hopefully during the weeks and months ahead, I'll be able to attend more of your school events and get to enjoy finding out about all the great work that you're doing in class!

Here are a few pictures I took of the program.

P.S. Congratulations on your great work on the Brazil booklet!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Saturday outing to the aquarium

Getting our picture taken at the Sea Life Aquarium
Grandma Bignell and I had so much fun with you Saturday at the aquarium and Mall of America!

Here is what we did:
>>Lunch at Rain Forest Cafe (where we played Go Fish and you had a cheeseburger)
>>Sea Life Aquarium (follow the link to photos!)
>>Snack at Johnny Rockets (Oreo ice cream malt and French fries)
>>Lego store (where you made three figures)

Leaving was very difficult. I wanted to stay and keep having fun with you!

Today, I am planning our next outing - hopefully the weather will be good for Como Park Zoo!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Your visits to the state of Iowa

You've been to Iowa couple of times in September and October 2008.

The first time, you entered on I-35 from the Minnesota border then took I-80 to the Nebraska border! All of us stayed overnight in Des Moines. I recall that we stopped at a travel center or wayside there, and you played on rocks they had in a landscaped area.

The second time, we did the same route in reverse but didn't stay overnight. I think we ate at the Cracker Barrel in Des Moines, but I could be wrong on that. Uusally when traveling through IOwa, that's my restaurant stop!

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from our quick trips through the state - sorry!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

States that you've visited so far

As you've gone through these pages, you've probably noticed that you've been to a lot of places. So today I've made a list of all of the states you've been to (and tried to include the dates you were there, if I could remember). The list doesn't include states you flew over in an airplane - you had to actually touch the ground and go into a building that was sunk into that state's soil!

Here's the list:
>>Arizona (Sept. and Oct. 2008)
>>California (Feb.-Dec. 2007; Sept. 2008-May 2012)
>>Colorado (Sept. and Oct. 2008)
>>Iowa (Sept. and Oct. 2008)
>>Minnesota (Dec. 2007; Sept. and Oct. 2008; May 2012-current)
>>Nebraska (Sept. and Oct. 2008)
>>Nevada (Sept. and Oct. 2008)
>>Oregon (Aug. and Sept. 2007)
>>Utah (Sept. and Oct. 2008)
>>Wisconsin (Dec. 2007-Sept. 2008)

You've been to 1 in every 5 states so far, and you're only six!

Friday, January 25, 2013

States where I've lived!

You've probably noticed from all of the entries recounting my life that I've lived a lot of places! Here's a list of all of the state's I've lived in:
>>Wisconsin (1965-1989, 1991-92, 1994-2002, 2012-current))
>>Minnesota (1989-1991)
>>New Mexico (1992-94)
>>Iowa (2002-2005)
>>California (2005-2012)

Through the Army, I underwent training in the following states (I didn't include Wisconsin or New Mexico as I was attached to those units located there.):
>>South Carolina, Fort Jackson (1983)
>>Georgia, Fort Benning (1983, 1984)
>>Minnesota (1986)
>>Nebraska (1987)
>>California, Fort Irwin (1988)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My email to you from Jan. 12, 2013

Here is the email I sent Jan. 12, 2013, just in case you don’t receive it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? I love and miss you very much and can’t wait to see you on Feb. 1, in just three short weeks. Unfortunately, I’m still not receiving the emails your mother is supposed to send. Perhaps you could please have her resend your emails responding to mine from Dec. 22, Dec. 29, and Jan. 5?

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.

Thank you for the watercolor painting you made of the letter Y eating a gumball. I have it hanging over my desk. If I ever go to chew a stick of gum, I make sure I stay clear of that letter Y!

Have you read any good books lately? I have. I recently read “If I Had a Snowplow” by Jean L.S. Patrick. The book is about a young boy who imagines how he might help his mom if his toy trucks were real. He starts in January using his snowplow truck to clear a path for the car and ends in December using his toy truck to deliver lots of presents to his house. The book starts out,

“If I had a snowplow, you know what I’d do? I’d crash through the deep snow, just for you!”

That is all for now. Have fun at school, and I look forward to seeing you in just 21 days! I miss you very much!



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My very first job after college

After college, my first big job was with the newspaper in Red Wing, Minn. I was offered the job in April, about a month before I graduated from college, and I actually started before I'd finished taking my final exams!

I got my very first apartment in Red Wing. It was very large - two bedrooms - and there was a small farm with horses next to it (the apartment building was at the city's edge). In the morning when I'd wake up, I could hear the horses neighing in the background while I enjoyed breakfast.

At the newspaper, I covered Wisconsin news for the paper, which meant writing about Pierce and Pepin counties, where the Red Wing paper was circulated. I also was a copy editor once a month, working on Friday nights editing and designing the Saturday edition.

Interestingly, I can't seem to find any pcitures of my time in Red Wing!

Monday, December 10, 2012

My teaching, journalism internships

While in college, I studied journalism and English but also took many courses about teaching. My college degree actually is a Bachelors of Science in Education.

This allowed me lots of flexibility when I graduated. With my journalism and English majors, I could go into communications - such as newspapers, magazines, book publishing, public relations, etc. With my education degree, I could teach English or journalism to grades 7-12.

In fact, I spent a semester of my college years (Sept.-Dec. 1988) teaching English and journalism to high school students! I did my "student teaching" at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minn.

I also did an internship at a newspaper. The summer before I student taught (June-Aug 1988), I worked as a copy editor at the Duluth (Minn.) News-Tribune.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Places you've lived

Although you're only five years old, you've lived lots of places!

Here's a list of them:
g Crescent City, Calif. (birth to Sept. 2007)
g Eureka, Calif. (Sept.-Dec. 2007)
g Knapp, Wis. with Grandma and Grandpa Bignell (Dec. 2007-Sept. 2008)
g Santa Clarita, Calif. (Sept. 2008-Feb. 2009)
g Lancaster, Calif. (the "green house") (March 2009-March 2011)
g Palmdale, Calif. (April 2011-May 2012)
g Plymouth, Minn. (May 2012-current)

Where will you live next?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My years working as a teacher

You probably remember from a past entry that I mentioned I was a teacher for a few years. When I first went to college, I earned a degree in education so that I could teach English and journalism to grades 7-12. While in collegeat the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, I taught for several weeks at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minn., under Joe Adams, the head of the English Department there.

I decided to go into journalism after graduating but then went back into teaching. From 1992-94, I taught at Deming High and Middle schools in Deming, N.M. My first year there, I was named teacher of the year at the middle school thanks to an essay written by one of my best students ever, Chris Martin Briseno.

I then moved back to my home state of Wisconsin and taught at Merrill Middle School. I mainly taught English to eighth graders. During that time, I earned a master's degree in education at UW-Stevens Point. In 1999, though, I went back into newspapering.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Jobs I've held in journalism, teaching

In a previous entry, I mentioned that these days I work as an editor and a writer. That's been my career for most of my life!

When I went to college, I studied journalism so I could work at a newspaper. My very first job was as a newspaper reporter in Red Wing, Minn. I covered Wisconsin news. I met your mother while I worked in Red Wing.

For several years, I also worked as a teacher. I mainly taught English but also journalism to grades 7-12 (and mainly eighth and ninth graders at that) at a school in New Mexico and one in Wisconsin.

But my heart was in writing and editing, so I went back into journalism and worked at several newspapers and magazines for several years in the 2000s. The biggest newspaper I worked for was The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif. I also was the top editor at two newspapers - the Prescott (Wis.) Journal and The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City, Calif. (You were born when your mother and me lived in Crescent City!).