Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Our Holidays are nice, relaxing and WHITE so far. The one bump in the road has been that Justin's parents have not been able to travel yet. We are hopeful they will arrive in Overland Park tomorrow to spend some time with our family.

We started Christmas Eve with baking some cookies.... I let Jackson get ahold the jar of peanut butter for some odd reason....

My Parents soon arrived from Warrensburg and we headed out to our local Community Center/ Recreation Complex where they have an awesome open gym set up. Justin and I could not decide who had more fun... Jackson or us! It was a great time running and jumping.

We attended Christmas Eve mass as a family as well. As we walked out of church we quickly realized the weather reports of a "blizzard" were true. Normally they like to talk drama... but they were right on this time! UGH!

So we headed home to enjoy my family's tradition... LOBSTER on Christmas Eve. My Dad is from Massachusetts so we really enjoy getting live lobsters and steaming them ourselves. They really were fabulous this year. Jackson was not sure what to think.... he kept calling them "BUGS"

Of course no Christmas Eve in our home is complete without reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and putting out some cookies for Santa! Christmas morning we woke up and enjoys gifts and relaxing times. Jackson got some great new toys.

Jackson and Justin enjoyed some fun out in the snow, although it was just too cold!!!

We feel so lucky this year. We are very thankful and so happy we have our new home to celebrate in! We cannot imagine what the next year holds for us.... but we are so excited. Right now we are just hopeful the snow stops so we can enjoy some fun with the rest of our family. Although it is nice having Mimi and Poppy trapped here.... I have gotten so much more done!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Treats

This year we are fortunate to have a kitchen that is fun to bake in! So we invited my mom up to help with a little Christmas baking cheer! I felt very Martha Stewart- minus the criminal record of course.

My mom and I made our traditional Gingerbread People and also added some new treats- chocolate covered pretzels, peanut butter blossoms and sugar cookies! Jackson helped some as well. He loves walking around asking for cookies now! We then delivered them to some of our neighbors! Jackson of course just wanted to walk right in and take off his coat to stay for awhile.

We hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crown Center Trip

In my attempt to start new traditions I thought it would be a great idea to make the trip to Crown Center for a afternoon full of holiday fun. Apparently the rest of the midwest thought so as well. It was so crowded....

Regardless we enjoyed some fun showing Jackson some neat stuff.. There is a huge Gingerbread Village display which has several trains going through it. We also played at the Crayola store. Some of the other events we hoped to do were just a little too crowded.

In other news Jackson has a growing vocabulary. See below some examples...

Jen: Good morning Jackson how are you?
Jackson "Good"
It was so funny to hear as he has never really answered this question before.

Every time we go upstairs or down stairs...
'Mon Chewy aka Come on Chewy... he must make sure Chewy goes everywhere with us. Along with telling us to sit on the couch or in chairs. He also really tries to ask for things and likes to put his arms in the air and speak some foreign language to debate us. He also has started to stick out his bottom lip to pout. Little does he know I was the queen of temper tantrums and he is not going to have a chance.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jackson Goes Ice Skating

Yes- Jackson is 23 months old and we thought it would be fun to take him ice skating!! Justin loves everything winter so he was excited to take Jackson out to a small ice rink today.
Jackson seemed to really like it... but he got tired pretty quick. By the end of the skating trip he was at least able to walk in his skates. He thought it was funny to run in place as Justin held him just above the ice.On the way home Justin commented that he hopes Jackson plays hockey.... Really? Maybe we should encourage him to swim with sharks too...

We are very excited to be spending a fun winter weekend together. We have some other fun activities planned... so stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Song

I found this song today and can't wait to teach it to Jackson...
(to the tune of I'm a little teapot)

I’m a little penquin short and stout.
I flap my wings and waddle about.
I wear a coat that’s black as night.
But my tummy is soft and white.
I’m a little penquin black and white.
I like to waddle across the ice.
When I reach the water, I dive right in.
I hunt for fish, as I swim, swim, swim.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

O' Christmas Tree

The Van Gundy family bundled up this morning to search for the perfect Christmas Tree! Growing up each year my family cut down a Christmas tree at a huge Christmas tree farm in Warrensburg. Last year we skipped putting up a Christmas tree so this year I was sure we made up for it! After searching through a local Christmas tree farm for the traditional Scotch Pine.... we ended up bringing home a Balsam Pine shipped from Wisconsin! It is a beautiful tree measuring 9 feet and with a fabulous pine scent. We also enjoyed a tractor pulled hay ride which was Jackson's favorite part of the day. Justin's parents (Mimi and Papa) were able to join the fun as well.
Later in the day Jennifer's big brother and his three little girls came over to spend some time prior to thier trip back to MN. The cousins all helped decorate the tree. Jackson loved the ornaments, aka BALLS. Jen also took the three older cousins on a trip to see christmas lights!

The holiday season is going so fast and we hope to sit back and relax in the coming days!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We have so much to be thankful for this year! We enjoyed Thanksgiving 2009 with lots of family! Josh, Alison and Maxwell visited us from Baltimore, Justin's parent's from Jefferson City, Em and Ben from across Missouri as well as Jen's parents from the Burg! What a great time!! We had a houseful!

Jackson was sure sad to have a quiet house this afternoon. thanks everyone for making the trip our way!

Tom the Turkey after his trip to Brazil....

Justin's Family
Jen's Family....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Visit from Auntie Em and Uncle Bennie


Last weekend Justin's youngest sister and her boyfriend, Ben came to visit us. Jackson really loved having the company. It was great to show Emmie and Bennie our new house and loved spending time with them.

We are preparing for Thanksgiving this week! We are very excited to have Justin's entire family visit our home. We may also have my entire family as well. It should be a fabulous time. We are so lucky to have such great families. I have developed a new respect for my mother. My mom always hosted Thanksgiving at our home for about 20 plus people each year as I was growing up. I never knew how much work went into all the preparing! I have lots of help so I will try not to complain!

Jackson is growing more and more each day. The things he says and figures out amazes us. We still struggle with sleep... but his personality makes up for it. He is talking about pottying all the time, although I know we are not quiet ready. He is also learning how to get things with the help of his step stools, is a con artist able to steal food right off your plate and is sweet as can be as he runs around yelling "Hug" to try to hug everyone including animals.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

What a great few days here at the Van Gundy home! The weather has been perfect, Jackson has had a blast and we could not be more happy in our new home. It is really starting to set in!

Friday Jackson and Justin joined me and lots of other creatures at my office for a Halloween get together. It is so fun as the group of little people is growing.

Here is a picture of Jackson, Logan and Baby Dalton (along with me, Sara and Kelli).

On Saturday the fun started bright and early and did not stop all day (well almost all day). We attempted to get an H1N1 Flu vaccine for Jackson but the rest of Johnson County, KS was there so we did not wait in line. We then headed around to see some freinds to show off the Monkey Boy! We also went to Home Depot as they were having a Safty Fair (we knew there would be a Fire Truck so we could not pass it up). We were also able to get a Child Identification kit done for Jackson (completing at least one good deed for the day). Jackson saw some other "friends" at Home Depot as well.

Here is a picture with Homer- The Home Depot Mascot (do they really need a mascot?)

Also here is the Chick-Fil-A Cow. Jackson really loves to hug everyone these days.

We later enjoyed some fun time outside in the leaves. Jackson was a huge help to Justin as Justin used his newest toy a leaf blower! Then it was time for nap. Jackson decided he only wanted to take part of his nap in his own bed. He then snuggled on the couch with Justin.

Of course we carved pumpkins! We also enjoyed trick or treating with the Garlichs! Jackson loves Mason and Brody. He also has a special relationship with Alli. He talks about her often. Alli is one of my closest friends who took care of Jackson from the time he was 4 months old to 9 months old when I first went back to work. It is so fun to see! The boys did great trick or treating. Jackson got a sucker at the first house we went to and he sucked on it the rest of the night!! We also purchased a fire pit. So true to my love of bond fires we hang out in the driveway handing out candy to Trick or Treaters by the fire! What a great end to the night!

Mason, Brody, Jackson and Chewy before we headed out to Trick or Treat! Also a family picture.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Busy Fall Day

Jackson and I enjoyed a very busy Saturday. Justin has the flu so Jackson and I enjoyed our fun packed day just the two of us!

We started our day with a Halloween Party at our church! Jackson was a little unsure of the costumes and craziness, luckily after a few donut holes he was ready for fun. Below is a picture of Jackson with Jackie- she is 20 months old and had the same costume. They seriously looked like twins from the back- it was crazy! They were the same size with the same blond hair! We hope to see them again!

No Fall day is complete without some fun in the leaves. It was perfect weather outside so we enjoyed running through the leaves!

Later in the afternoon we had a few friends over! Including a scary lion (Logan) and a sweet little one (Dalton), also another friend of friends little Audry! It was really great to chat up with friends. We then headed out to NIGHT AT THE LIVING FARM at Deanna Rose. It was a fun event. We took a "non scary" hay ride and enjoyed running around Deanna Rose at night.

Hopefully Justin feels better soon. Tomorrow will be another crazy day with Mom and Jackson time for sure!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Traditions....

My parents bought a bunch of land and built a new house after I left home... how convenient. This weekend our family was really able to enjoy some of the best things about living in the middle of nowhere outside of a small town- a bonfire and parade!!!

We started a new tradition this year we are hopeful to do year after year and add family and friends. We headed to Warrensburg for UCM Homecoming. It is a fun event the whole town gets excited about. They have a huge parade on Saturday morning with lots of marching bands and floats! It was a lot of fun and not too chilly!

Later in the day on Saturday we built a bonfire! My dad and Justin had trimmed back some trees so we needed to burn some brush. We were able to enjoy some smores also! Jackson was a little unsure of the goey marshmallows but he enjoy running around and throwing his marshmallow stick to the ground. The next project for my dad is to build an official "campfire pit" with logs around the bonfire circle and all. Justin has plans to go camping with Jackson one day! I have plans to sit and enjoy drinks while watching Justin try to figure out how to set up a tent and get Jackson to sleep in it all night- the future should be fun!

Of course, no trip to Warrensburg is complete without a tractor ride. Jackson enjoyed some tractor rides on the small tractor as it was just too wet for the big one. It was a fun weekend for sure. Lots to look forward to as we start new traditions!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We made the most of a wonderful cool October morning today. We visited KC Pumpkin Patch in Gardner, Kansas. It was so much fun for our family. We ventured out last year but Jackson was not able to do much so we really enjoyed all the activities this year. The list of fun stuff to do goes on and on.

We first tried the Giant Pillow. Jackson was a little nervous at first then he loved it!

Jackson then enjoyed visiting some farm animals and playing in a corn box with tractors.

We also enjoyed a tractor drawn wagon ride and also another tractor drawn ride. It was hard to explain to Jackson why he could not ride up front on the tractors like he does with Poppy. He also asked for Poppy a few times. Justin commented we should bring him to a Tractor Patch instead of a Pumpkin Patch.
Justin also shot some paintball guns, we went down several fun slides and even enjoyed a funnel cake. It really was a great time. We of course brought home a few orange friends to carve on Halloween.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plaza Art Fair

We love, love, love Fall in Kansas City! All the little festivals and events are so fun. We headed out to the Plaza Art Fair this weekend. There is some fun art, but mostly we enjoy the fabulous food and drinks! Just a fun Sunday outside for us!!

Jackson loved throwing pennies into the fountain!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gone Fishin'... kinda

Last weekend Jackson and Justin had their first fishing trip, kinda! We took a trip to Deanna Rose for the Apple Festival. A trip to Deanna Rose is always fun for us. This time Justin got a bucket of worms and a fishing poll for he and Jackson to share! Jackson wasn't too interested until Justin caught a fish! Jackson decided to try and pet the fish! It was funny!

The newest thing in our home is Jackson talking so much! He will try to repeat about everything we say. He is even starting to put together 2 words. He is singing along with us, telling us when we wants things and even talking back!! He is also running to give kisses to us before bed and full of lots of hugs.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bragging about Alison

I was lucky enough to marry into an amazing family. Each member of Justin's family has been so great to me. They are each "special" in a different way. The list of ways is really too long to mention.

Most recently Alison, Justin's younger sister, but not the youngest, has started to write for the Baltimore Examiner. I just wanted to post about her articles because they are great. She is a great cook with some simple ideas. My goal is to make one new recipe a week- I learned that from someone wise:)

Click here to see her articles.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Baltimore Trip 2009

We just returned from a fabulous trip to Baltimore! The best part was visiting Alison, Josh and Maxwell but we also got to see some neat stuff along the way!!! Jackson did pretty well on the 2 and half hour flight and enjoyed seeing all the planes!


We also enjoyed a fun day at Port Discovery Kids Museum which is by far the coolest place we have been to play with Jackson! We also enjoyed a trip to the Tot Lot which is this huge random playground in the middle of this neighborhood of row houses. Also a fun outdoor concert and excellent food!

Jackson and Maxwell played pretty well together except when Jackson would hit Maxwell and take every toy he wanted to play with!

After the boys went to bed we enjoyed fabulous dinners each night- Fajitas and margs, Crabfest 2009, yum Pizza and fabulous wings!!!

Please check out the fun video of the boys in the Jackson Live section to the right!
Also for click here for more pictures!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Madness at the Van Gundy's

On Thursday my brother and his family of five arrived from Minnesota. His wife, Gretchen along with their three girls; Carlie (5); Kenzie, (2); and Camrie (1) all crawled out of the van ready to enjoy fun times at our new home. It was a little bit of madness for sure. We enjoyed some time hanging out as well as trips to the park and Deanna Rose. We really had a great time. My parents also came up to hang out for the day on Saturday. Their family just left this morning and the silence is odd.

Jackson did pretty well sharing toys and seemed to really love all the chaos! I am not sure how anyone handles more then one child at a time! What an experience!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love of the Grandpas

Jackson has a special love for his two grandfathers.

Poppy Wilferth AKA Pop Pop
Jackson loves being outside with Poppy on the tractor or with the dogs. Jackson also loves all of Poppy's toys. He just always goes to Poppy!

Papa Freddie Van Gundy AKA PaPa
Jackson loves going on walks and rides with Papa Freddie as well as helping him with projects. He is happy to be around Papa Freddie anytime!!

This weekend we enjoyed a quick last minute trip to Jefferson City to visit Justin's parents. We don't make it to Jefferson City very often but it is always a relaxing time. We were able to walk around downtown, see a train, enjoy some flowers and play play play while we were in town. It was a great visit.

We have lots of fun planned over the next few weeks! My brothers family is coming to stay with us then we head East to Baltimore to visit Justin's sister and her family. Good Times!