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Kladder Update: 4th of July Fun & Family

Lake Bella Vista Fireworks.jpg

Our return from Disney World two weeks ago has been a whirlwind of one fun thing after another including lots of golf, BBQ parties and entirely way too much time in the pool.  

Our life in Michigan welcomed us back with open arms and (oh-em-gee) RIBS! at the annual Scholten Rib Party which is a tradition that's lived on since Jeff and his friends graduated high school. It's a staple of our summer and is something we look forward to every year. Not only are the ribs fantastic thanks to the hard work of Mr. Scholten, but it's a chance for us to see friends (and their kids - some of which we met for the first time this year!) who've since moved outside of Grand Rapids. 

That same weekend we finally found time to enjoy the pool at Watermark. How we made it to July without even considering it an option impresses even me - I mean... come on with this weather just screams 'go to the pool!!" The Watermark pool has a fantastic kiddie pool with zero entry on one side, a slide on the other and water buckets that pour over your head. Thomas keeps busy walking along the edge of the pool while Natalie likes to float in the deep end with Jeff with the occasional trip down the slide. It's a man on man defense for sure. 

And then began the week long celebration of our beautiful nation, America! We began in Rockford with the Kladder family for the annual Lake Bella Vista party. This year we had 36 people which is an additional 20 to our family of 16. It was a full house including a yard full of tents for the overflow - not actually sure the neighborhood association allows tents but maybe rules don't count on a holiday? We grilled burgers and brats, took the kids water tubing, lounged in the cove on our larger than life floatie and played our usual bags tournament. The party was capped off by the Lake Bella Vista fireworks. Each year we load onto the boats and head out to the middle of the lake to get the best view. Post Disney, all fireworks to Natalie are now Tinker Bell... we saw LOTS of Tinker Bells and she was thrilled. 

Then we packed up and headed south to meet my family for the Annual Schoolcraft 4th of July Parade. It's about as traditional as small town parades get consisting of tractors, horses, a couple marching bands, small businesses handing out dum-dums, beauty queens waving (a Natalie favorite) and folks running for city council passing out ink pens. Friends of ours live on the parade route which makes for the perfect place to watch from. Thomas found a shady spot next to his buddy Anna and snacked on crackers. Our apologies go out to Anna for the mess he made in her wagon and our advice for next time is to eat your crackers faster - you're lucky he didn't get a finger. 

After the parade we strollered over to the local American Legion for the BBQ Chicken Dinner fundraiser. They had live music and a blow up obstacle course for the kids as well. Nat about burned her feet off on the molten-lava-hot plastic and abandoned ship directly after this picture. 

The rest of our time has been spent on the golf course and hanging out in our friends pools - remind me to send you guys fruit baskets at the end of the summer. And by fruit baskets I mean bottles of wine and liquor. We appreciate you, your cocktails with fresh rosemary and your magical pool cleaning robots. 


  • GT's Kombucha - I'm 100% on the Kombucha bandwagon. No clue if it works but it's certainly giving me the whole 'feel good' it brags about. I also really like the taste. Right now the Gingerade is on sale at Costco! 
  • The movie Blade Runner. Jeff and I watched it last week and I LOVED it. If you find yourself home some night with 2.5 hours to spare, we recommend it. 
  • Outside Coffee Co. - Joined a friend there for coffee last Friday morning and thought it was adorable. I noticed they took a little long to make the coffee to order but their whole food truck in a patio atmosphere is really unique. Check them out. 
  • Attitude baby bath products! I was recently introduced to Attitude care line of baby products now sold at Meijer and love it. They have shampoo and body wash, bubbles and even diaper cream. It's all natural, worry free and smells great. They also have household cleaning products.