Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seven Months

Clara turned seven months old on Pioneer Day.  Since Pioneer Day was observed on July 25th this year, I felt okay about taking her seven month pictures on the 25th as well.  This little seven month old (still can't believe that!) can sit pretty well on her own, but definitely loves to lay down and roll, pivot and turn to get where she wants to go.  She also still enjoys standing.  Clara keeps sleeping great and no one can believe it when I say she's down for the night at 7:00 (and usually not up again for about 12 hours).  She loves eating her solid food (not picky at all so far), playing with her [stuffed] puppy and knows two signs (milk and dog).  She loves to giggle and coo and has a bright smile that fills our home with sunshine.  We just love our sweet Clara Jane!

Monday, July 11, 2011

iPhoto Faces

iPhoto has a facial recognition feature that usually works pretty well.  You tag faces in your photos as you go, and pretty soon, iPhoto has a good idea of who each person is in any given photo.

Apparently I've taught iPhoto that anything small and cute that Spencer is holding must be Clara.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Puppy Love

While my sisters were in town with their kids and my parents' stash of toys was strewn around their house, I found a cute old stuffed animal of mine. I reclaimed it and took it home for Clara.  She immediately fell in love!  This little pup can make her giggle and smile, and her daddy does all the perfect puppy sounds to solicit her little squeal.

Friday, July 08, 2011

All Wrapped Up

Is there anything sweeter than a freshly bathed baby wrapped in a towel?

Maybe, but I can't think of what it could be.

Harmon's Lagoon Day

For the past four years, we've been beneficiaries of my dad's employment at Harmon's.  More specifically, we've been able to enjoy their annual lagoon day for employees and their families!  In addition to discounted tickets, Harmon's rents out several pavillions for two days each summer where unlimited soda, popcorn, watermelon, cotton candy, popsicles, creamies, and brownies are available on a come-on-in-and-take-what-you-want basis throughout the entire day.  Hot dogs, brats and burgers are available for purchase as well, but for a very nominal fee (50 cents to $2).  It's so nice not to have to worry about bringing your own food or paying ridiculous amusement park prices for lunch and dinner.

We've made it a Madsen family tradition to attend Lagoon Day, and this year it was the capstone to our long weekend family reunion at Bear Lake and Fourth of July festivities.  Conveniently, Harmon's Lagoon Day falls a day or two after the 4th.
Clara was a trooper!  She napped and smiled the day away in her stroller.

Harrison, Noah, and Little Spencer map out their day

Olivia and Emma share a ride on the Baby Boats 

Grandma Margie keeps Clara company while I go on a few rides myself

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Clara's Fan Club

We are so blessed to have family nearby.  Since having Clara, we have suddenly become quite popular and our local family loves to visit all the time.  It is a new experience for us, as well as for [both sets of] our parents and [Aunt] Carol to be a short drive away from a sweet new little family member.  I grew up typically seeing grandparents and other extended family for only a week or two in the summer, so this will be a totally different experience for Clara.  Going a week without seeing all four grandparents and Aunt Carol is a rarity!  Not to mention the Great Grandmas, second cousins, and Great Aunts and Uncles we see frequently.  We are thankful that she is surrounded by so many who love her so much and are wonderful influences in her life.
Grandma Carol reading Clara a story
Grandpa Bob and Grandma Carol take a look at a book with Clara
Grandpa Brent heading out with Clara (back in Feb)
Grandma Margie hanging out with Clara at Lagoon

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Bear Lake Weekend

My parents decided it was time that our family have an "official" family reunion.  So they went all out and rented a beautiful cabin at Bear Lake.  We all met up on Thursday evening, got settled and enjoyed dinner together.  We played cards late into the evening and then headed to bed.

On Friday we met up with my Uncle Richard and Renae at a beach on the Idaho side of the lake.  My uncle owns a boat, so we were all able to go out on it and enjoy the lake.  Because of the record snowfall and spring runoff this year, the water level was up about 11 feet from last year.  Driving along the perimeter of the lake, there were treetops poking out from 10-20 feet from the shore.  Luckily there was still plenty of beach and nearly 100 yards of super shallow water for the kids to enjoy.  The little kids busied themselves, splashing and digging, while groups of 8 took turns on the boat.  When we arrived at the beach, Clara was happy and fed, so Spencer and I decided to take the first turn on the boat.  We also wanted to water ski and the water is the calmest in the morning.

We all had a turn to ski or ride the tube, but I only had my flip, not my camera -- so no photos.  I was pretty pleased that I was able to remember how to water ski since it had been 15 years since my first and last water skiing trip.  Luckily, I got up on my first attempt.  If I hadn't, I'm not sure I would have been patient enough with myself to try for very long.  Did I mention the water was freezing?  It was about 64 degrees.  It honestly took my breath away when I jumped into the lake.

Friday and Saturday were pretty similar - beach time, boat rides, a few sunburns, kite flying, bike rides, lots of good food, family time, raspberry shakes, pool, ping pong, marshmallow roasting, and movies back at the cabin.  We had a great time!  Thanks again mom and dad!
Our sweet little sailor
Olivia and Sam

Grandma and Grandpa brought peas from their garden - yum!
Clara went for a little dip in the lake
Captain Noah
Emma in her own little tub she created in the sand
Big Spencer, Little Spencer
Uncle Richard and the cool rainbow kite (which sadly met a watery grave)
Clara took a little nap in the shade and comfort of Daddy's lap
Noah and Emma digging together
S'mores at the cabin firepit
Evans Family Photo (and matching sandals to boot!)
Those cheeks are just so kissable - who can resist!?
Day 2 hanging out on the beach
Olivia and Emma
Olivia, the fashionista (Clara benefits greatly from Livi's great sense of style)
Family Photo on the Beach - unfortunately Clara was napping and Nathan and Becky were in SLC taking it easy after an unexpected surgery the day before 
Clara and Olivia
Noah and Harrison enjoying cones at Le Beau's

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

4th of July

The 4th of July happened to be right in the middle of the Madsen Family Reunion (just our family - not the big extended family from the July reunion) - after Bear Lake and before Lagoon, so everyone was still in town and could celebrate together.
 We headed to Kaysville to watch the parade.  Parades are always fun, and the kids loved snatching up candy that was thrown our way.  A few years ago my dad participated in creating the winning float for the parade (and was the one to come up with the winning theme, "Neighbors helping Neighbors" to represent their stake) so of course none of the floats quite measured up this year. ;)  But it was still fun to participate in the festivities and enjoy a humid morning together to kick start the holiday.
Waiting for the parade to start

Patriotic Cousins - Rachel and Clara (oldest and youngest)
In the afternoon we had an all-american meal of fried chicken, mac and cheese, potato salad and watermelon from the new Harmon's near my parents' house.  We headed home before the fireworks began, but it was still a fun day to remember the great country we live in!
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