Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My email to you for May 18, 2013

Here is my email to you for May 18, 2013, in case you do not receive it:

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing? I’m doing fine, although I miss you very much and wish we could spend every day together. The good news is that we get to see once another again in just six days, on the afternoon of Friday, May 24! I can’t wait to see you again!

I put together the Star Trek transporter Lego kit for us to play with when we get together. It’s really cool. One side is the transporter room. You can put your Lego guy on the transporter pad; when you press a button, a blue light flashes, and the pad spins around to the back side, which is a scene from the planet he just beamed down to! There are some more Star Trek Lego characters I can pick up at the toy store, so I will make sure that we have some of them to put together and play with on the transporter kit!

We used to have lots of great Lego kits to play with when we lived in California. A few were from Harry Potter, a couple form Pirates of the Caribbean, and most were from Star Wars. Not only were they fun to put together but to later incorporate into our playtime with all of the neat Lego figures we had. I still have most of the Lego figures and will make sure to get them out for you once we’re back together again.

How is school going? You’re almost done with kindergarten and will soon be a first grader! What interesting books have you read? What are you learning about in math (I was so impressed that you could add 52 and 5 to get 57 when we were last together! I couldn’t do that in kindergarten!). Are you still studying oceans or have you moved on to a different topic in science?

I don’t remember too much about was taught when I was in kindergarten, but I do remember playing a lot. We also got to do a lot of arts and crafts stuff (like painting) that I didn’t have the materials for at home, so that was a lot of fun. I recall that for “aprons” to keep the thick paints from getting on our clothes, we wore our dad’s used shirt backwards so that the button side was on our back. It worked! Most of my friends and I had paint all over our dads’ shirts – but not on our good school clothes!

Have you read any good books lately? I have. It was called “Who Was King Tut?” by Roberta Edwards. The book is the nonfiction (or about real people and events) story of the famous Egyptian pharaoh King Tut. He also is known as the “boy king” because he ruled all of Egypt even though he was a boy. The book told about the mummy’s curse – it was said that bad things would anyone to who disturbed King Tut’s tomb (where he was buried). So did bad things happen to the scientists who found King Tut’s tomb? You will have to read the book and find out! You probably can find the book at your city library or a bookstore – be sure to look for it when your grandmother or mom take you there!

Well, that is all for this letter. I shall see you in just six days – on May 24. I love and miss you very much!



Saturday, April 20, 2013

My email to you for April 20, 2013

Here is my email to you sent April 20, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I am doing fine, thought I miss you dearly! The good news is that we get to see one another again in just a few days – on Friday, April 26! I am looking forward to seeing you again.

How did your concert go on Sunday? I’d love to hear you sing the songs you performed that day. What were the song titles?

When we were together, you always liked to sing in the car when we were listening to Beatles CDs. Your favorite CD by far was “Please Please Me,” which was the Beatles’ first record. Among the songs on it that you’d liked were “Boys,” “Misery,” “Anna” and “A Taste of Honey.” You also liked to listen to their greatest hits from 1968-1970 and to their CD “Revolver.”

Given that you enjoyed playing the piano so much during our last visit, I shall have to see if there is a Beatles song I can teach you on the piano. They wrote many of their songs on a piano even though they later played them only with guitars and drums. Pianos and keyboards do appear in some of their songs. Their songs are quite complex, though, so maybe we should start with something simple and work our way up to them?

What kind of things are you learning about in school? You must be up to letter W, I bet! Are you still studying the oceans? We used to live very close to the Pacific Ocean and went to a lot of aquariums and beaches there. I bet you have a lot to contribute to class given all of your great experiences. Have you told your classmates about the Aquarium of the Pacific?

Speaking of ocean animals, did you know that the Minnesota Zoo has new penguin chicks? One was born on March 2 and the other on March 21. There are very furry looking! You actually can watch the penguin chicks on your computer (Just like Curious George once did!); the zoo has a webcam that shows them during the day and early evening. Just click onto the word “webcam” to see the penguin chicks! Be patient with the link, though; it takes a few seconds for the webcam to start.

I bet the penguins like our wintry weather. Having lived almost your whole life in California, I bet you’re wondering where the warm weather and sunshine is! It’s about this time of year where we used to live in the desert that the days were getting too hot to be outside; we could only go out to play in the morning and the early evening. Don’t worry, spring soon will be here!

Have you read any good books lately? I have. The book was called “My Spring Robin,” by Anne Rockwell. It tells the story of a girl who goes for a walk one day and sees a robin. She then notices other signs of spring’s arrival. What signs of spring do you think she sees? Perhaps you can find the book at the city library when your mother takes you there to check out books or for children’s activities.

That is all for now. I miss and love you very much! I will see you on Friday!



Saturday, March 16, 2013

My email to you for March 16, 2013

Here is my email to you for March 16, 2013, just in case you don’t receive it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well. I’d doing fine, though I miss you very much.

How is school going? I did not receive your email to me last week, so I did not get to hear from you how you are doing in kindergarten. Please have your mother resend the email to me so I can catch up on your schooling.

Tomorrow (Sunday, March 17), you will have to make sure you wear green. Why? Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day! It is a very important day for people who are Irish. Though we’re not Irish, we still celebrate the holiday out of respect to those who are and because it’s a lot of fun!

Do you get spring break at your school? The school where your cousins Rebekah and Bryan go has spring break in just another week. During spring break, they get the whole week off from school! Schools often have spring break so that parents can take their children on vacation, and then the kids don’t have to miss any school.

If you could go on vacation, where would you go? Some people travel to lots of fun places like Disneyworld in Florida (We used to go to Disneyland in California.). Other families travel to scenic or historical places where they can enjoy nature or learn about our past. Places like that include a national park, such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, or Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital. Other families don’t travel at all but spend their vacation in their own house, enjoying their time together playing games and watching movies and maybe going to fun places that are nearby, like a mall.

After St. Patrick’s Day and spring break comes Easter on March 31. Do you have big plans for Easter, like going to an egg hunt or maybe out to eat for Easter dinner? I am going to Grandma and Grandpa Bignell’s for Easter. Your Uncle Chris, Aunt Suzie, cousins Bryan and Rebekah, Aunt Sandy and Uncle Mark all will be there. We are having ham and prime rib for dinner. All of us wish you could be there with us for Easter sinenr.

There sure is a lot of snow on the ground – much more than we had in California! Do you like playing in the snow? Have you made a snowman or snow angels yet? Have you gone sledding? When I was a little boy your age, I always liked to go sledding down snow-covered hills and then have hot chocolate afterward. You might remember that we went up into the mountains near our house in Lancaster and went sledding and had hot chocolate afterward – it was the first time you ever had hot chocolate, and you loved it! You had so much fun going up and down and down the hills and drank so much hot chocolate that you slept the whole drive back to our house.

Once the snow starts to melt in a couple of weeks, the wind will start to pick up as spring arrives. That makes for great kite-flying weather. Would you like to fly a kite?

Well, that is all for now. I love and miss you very much and can’t wait to see you again on March 29!



Saturday, February 16, 2013

My email sent to you on Feb. 16, 2013

Here is my email sent to you today, just in case you are not allowed to see it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? I’m doing fine, though I miss you terribly. I can’t wait to see you again on March 1!

Did you have a great Valentine’s Day party at school? Did you to exchange valentine cards and have fun snacks? What kind of valentine cards did you hand out? When I was a little boy your age, I always wanted to give out “Star Trek” valentine day cards, but they didn’t sell any…highly illogical, if you ask me.

How is school going? What kinds of things are you learning about? Kindergarten today is much different than what it was like when I went to school. Back in my day, most of our time was spent playing with only maybe an hour or so actually doing school work. We also had nap time. I didn’t always like nap time because it interrupted my playing!

When we did art projects, especially painting, we had to wear “aprons” so we didn’t get paints on our clothes. Do you know what we used for “aprons”? We got to wear one of our dad’s old shirts that he no longer wanted! We’d put the shirt on backwards so that it entirely covered the front of our clothing.

Have you had a chance to visit places like the zoo, museums or amusement parks in Minneapolis-St. Paul? I would love to hear about your adventures. I have not really done any of that as I’ve been going to lots of book stores and coffeehouses where I promote the books I’ve written.

I bet you are very excited about next week as it’s your birthday! I can’t believe you’re six already! Do you have a birthday party planned? Last year we celebrated your birthday at Chuck E Cheese in Lancaster. You might recall that you received a Transformer and an art supply set for gifts. We had lots of fun playing all of the games. When we are together again, we’ll have lots of fun celebrating your birthdays. Grandma and Grandpa Bignell always throw special birthday parties for their grandchildren in which they invite over the whole family, make a special meal, have a big birthday cake, and exchange presents. Your cousin Bryan just had a birthday a couple of weeks ago. He turned 13 and got a wallet, Legos, cash and cards galore.

Before closing this letter, I want you to know that I love you very much. I always have loved you and always will. I know this is a very difficult time for you, and I am working very hard every day to resolve this situation. I always have enjoyed our time together and look forward to the many, many fun days we have ahead together.

One way to help us through this time is for us to exchange emails. Unfortunately, I have not received any emails from you for the past seven weeks. I know you want to write emails back. Perhaps this week your responses to my emails will be sent to me as you wish.



Friday, November 16, 2012

My family's house near Elmwood, Wis.

You might recall a few entries ago that I mentioned I went to kindergarten, first grade, and most of second grade in Elmwood, Wis. Well, I just found a picture of the house I lived in outside of Elmwood (see photo at right)!

The photo was taken from the living room and shows your Uncle Chris (on the left) and me sitting at the kitchen table. The front door is beyond us.

The house was very small - just a kitchen, living room, master bedroom, bathroom and bedroom with a half-basement. My family lived there from March 1971 to March 1974.

I shared a room with Uncle Chris. It was painted a light, turquoise blue. We also got very few television stations - two to be exact!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where I went to kindergarten

Do you know where I went to kindergarten? When I was a little boy your age, my family lived on a small farm, and I went to kindergarten in Elmwood, Wis.!

Kindergarten was only a half-day, and I went in the morning. We had a class of 25 children, and there were two teachers. My best friend, Ronald Wolfe, who lived next to me, walso went to school there. Unfortunatley, I don't remember the name of my kindergarten teachers (Though I think my teacher was Mrs. Thompson.)! That's pretty bad, isn't it?!

I do remember my first grade teacher's name, though. It was Mrs. Rheil.

I liked going to school in Elmwood. My dad took me to lots of high school basketball games there. We had a very good team that won a lot of games. Our team name was the Raiders, and our school colors were red and white.

In second grade during March, my family moved to a new farm, outside of Knapp, Wis. (Grandma and Grandpa Bignell still live there!). At that time, I stopped going to Elmwood Elementary School and went to Knapp Elementary School!

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.



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, September 10, 2012

Have you made any good friends?

Now that you're off to kindergarten, I'd like to ask about your friends. You've probably made some while in daycare or playing around the neighborhood; once in school, young boys and girls have a tendency to quickly gather together in groups of like-interested children. What are their names? What are they interested in? What kinds of things do you like to do together?

I remember my own father asking me the same question when I first went off to kindergarten. I recall being a little anxious about the question, as if it were some measure of my worth as to whether or not I'd made friends or not with other children.

But I don't mean to make you feel anxious. Now that I'm older and a dad, I understand that my father wasn't judging me but simply taking an interest. Just as I once did, you're closing on a point in life when your friends' ideas and perspectives will become more important to you than your parents' views and opinions; it's a natural part of growing up. So knowing who are your friends tells me if I did a good job or not raising you - if you've selected friends who are good to you and keep you from getting into trouble, then I've done my job well; if you've chosen friends who are mean to you and get you into trouble, then I've done poorly. Knowing who your friends are isn't a measure of your worth - it's a measure of mine!

So, tell me about your friends...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wish I could be there for first day of kindergarten

This week you likely began kindergarten, Kieran, and I want you to know that I'm sorry I wasn't there to see you off on your first day or to find out at the end of the day your thoughts and feelings about this first big day in your education. My not being there was not my choice; I fought in the courts to be able to see you earlier this summer but was denied because of lies told about me. I am continuing to fight, however, through the courts for us to be together and have a good attorney now who should be able to reunite us at long last.

The first day of kindergarten may not be something you remember, but it certainly is an important day. As a news reporter, I covered the first day of kindergarten a few times, even interviewing the children. It perhaps was more of an emotional day for the parents dropping off their children, as mom and dad finally realize their child is taking his first real flight from the nest.

You'll learn a lot in kindergarten, and it'll be a lot of fun for you, of that I'm sure. You'll have the opportunity to make new friends, some of whom may last a lifetime. Be sure to get lots of sleep and to always eat a good breakfast before heading off to school - that'll always make the day go smoother!

Soon I'll be able to see you again, and when I do, I want you to show me your kindergarten classroom and introduce me to your teacher and all of friends. Okay? Okay!