Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jack's photo shoot pictures for the Gigi's Playhouse calendar are online:
He starts at the bottom of page 6 and is all of page 7. All these kids are adorable. A big thank you to Metamorphosis for providing the photo shoot.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making New Friends

Jack hanging out with his new friend Skylar at the photo shoot for next year's Gigi's Playhouse calendar.

Dinner with Aunt Andie!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Go Northwestern!

Jack sporting Grandpa's Northwestern Cap.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rancho Jack Bowlathon

Hello friends and family!
This is the second year where will be participating in the Bowlathon to support a great organization - the National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS). We would like to invite you to support this by either joining us at the Bowlathon or by pledging money to support us.

We hope that those of you in the Chicagoland area will consider joining us! The three of us went last year (Vicki, Dave and Jack) and it was a lot of fun.
Event Details:
24th Annual NADS Bowlathon
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Stardust Bowl
37 East Lorraine
Addison, IL

Each registered bowler must collect at least $100 in pledges. Children can register individually or bowl as a partner with a registered bowler. They will have some bumper lanes (and if we have enough kids bowling we should be able to get our own bumper lane for Team Rancho Jack).
To register and collect pledges online - go to and click on "join this team" or else you can go to to download hard copies.

This year, since Jack is still kind of little for bowling, and since I am carrying around a bowling ball with me 24-7 we are going to let Dave be our registered bowler, but will all be in attendance. We hope to have a big group and will bring some snacks and treats. It is a very festive day celebrating special kids like Jack and their families and we would love for you to share in it with us!
For some photos from last year's event go to:

Please go go to donate online. If you would prefer to send a check, please send it to:
The van Alphens
5804 Ridgewood Dr.
Western Springs, IL 60558

Please note - there is an option for your company to do a corporate match. For those Gartner associates pledging, please note that I will be submitting our entire amount collected through the Gartner matching program, so don't worry about doing that step.

We appreciate any support for this worthwhile event and as always, feel so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family in our lives!!

Vicki, David and Jack van Alphen

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jack Gettin' A Haircut

We need one of these cars for home!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jack Trying Out For The World Gurning Championships

Believe it or not, yes there is a competition for this. A gurn is a distorted facial expression, and a verb to describe the action. A typical gurn might involve projecting the lower jaw far forward and up as possible, and covering the upper lip with the lower lip.

Gurning contests are a rural English tradition. They are thought to have originated in 1297 at the Egremont Crab Fair, named after the crab apple, when King Henry III granted the fair a Royal Charter. Crab apples are bitter, and so in celebration of the event, people pulled faces. Gurning was born.

The competitions are held regularly in some villages, with contestants traditionally framing their faces through a horse collar— known as "gurnin' through a braffin'." The World Gurning Championship takes place annually at the same crab fair in Ergremont Cambria. Those with the greatest gurn capabilities are often those with no teeth, as this provides greater room to move the jaw further up. In some cases, the elderly or otherwise toothless can be capable of spectacular gurns covering the entire nose.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SpongeBob SquarePants

Rancho Mom and I have noticed Jack putting his hands up to his nose and fiddling his fingers. For a while we couldn't figure out why he was doing this. It wasn't any sign language that we have seen before. Than one day we we're watching one of Jack's favorite shows, SpongeBob SquarePants and noticed Jack, on cue, playing his nose like a flute just like SpongeBob does at the end of the shows intro. Watch this...

Then from out of nowhere...the Dark Knight appeared.