Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Family Visit to the Ocean!

On Day Two of our whirlwind Oregon side-trip, we drove several hours south to Grant's Pass, Oregon, to meet Jake's new boss at his new job. The scenery was lovely, it was just hot and cramped with all the kids in the car for that long...okay, very! Sophia doesn't nap well in car seats, and Fanny roars as she goes. But I was glad that Jake was able to have a face-to-face meeting even though we live so far away.

Then that evening, Rudi Booher suggested that we do a quick half-day trip to the ocean the following morning! We readily agreed. Visiting the ocean while in the US ranked pretty high on the boys' priority list, right alongside visiting the zoo (which we did in Memphis)!

 The Beaty Family on the Oregon coast
First thing Monday morning, we piled into their 14 passenger van. First, we visited their lovely coffee shop (see yesterday's post) and then continued down country roads to the shore.
  Rudi at the wheel in beautiful Oregon

 We pulled over to watch a herd of elk alongside the road
 Arriving after the pleasant hour drive

Our kids made a beeline for the water! Pretty excited!
It was SO perfect for our kids to experience the ocean for the first time both with other kids they already know and love AND in Spanish! Rudi and Carla said they were glad their kids had the chance to speak Spanish again.

Sophia got right to work playing in the sand

She LOVES playing in water, in dirt, grass, sand... She's a nature lover, like her daddy!

It was chilly and windy, so Jake created this shawl out of her blanket. I tried dipping her feet in the water, since she so enjoyed the creek we played in two days prior, but she hollered! It was just too icy cold - for me and her! It made my feet go numb after only seconds. Only the kids ventured in!
 Joel with a special find
It was fun to watch the seal floating near the coastline, checking us out above the waves.
After being in the water a bit, we played on the sand dunes. I was holding Sophia and trying to keep blowing sand out of her face so there are no pictures, but it was lots of fun! Taking 10 kids to the beach, 4 of whom have never been, is quite the experience.
We are so grateful to the Boohers for hosting us for the weekend, even as they are busy serving other people (as usual) AND getting ready to move back to Bolivia and adopt siblings. We had a wonderful time and look forward to getting back together again in landlocked Bolivia come October! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oregon Side Trip

We took a whirlwind trip to Oregon in early September. Rudi & Carla Booher and family had insisted that we visit them in their US home, and we were happy to be close enough to oblige! It was only a four hour drive from Jake's parents home, our Western Washington "home base".

Our first stop, however, was... Well, at some gas station between two points on our journey, where we got stuck after a diaper change! "Fanny", Jake's 1969 Ford Fairlane (a VERY COOL car, if you're a guy :)  ), sometimes gives us fits since it sits unused while we're in Bolivia. Here we were waiting for it to cool off...and then a jump-start (from a man who spoke Spanish)...before hitting the road again! (By trip's end, Jake had figured out how to get us going without jump starts every time. Cool!)

Sophia doing some modeling while we cool off, too! Oregon was experiencing unusually high temps for the season (mid 90s) and we had no AC.
Next stop: Brownsville, OR! We were meeting up with the Baker family, other Bolivia friends currently in the states. Although I've known them for over 10 years, this was the first time we've been together in the US. After a while I realized that I kept wondering why everyone around us was speaking English, ha! With this sort of scenery, should've been hard to forget we weren't in Bolivia... 
The kids had a blast cooling off in the creek! We only had a half hour - they could've played hours.

I think this creek was part of the Calapooia River, if we remember correctly
At first, Sophia was having fun with the pebbles on the bank, but Jake said to let her test the water.
And... She loved it!! She threw a little fit when it was time to leave.
Sophia loving the water!  

It was so nice to chat with Linda Baker again, this time about our adopted children.

A bit later, we made it to the Booher family's AMAZING home!

Booher family restaurant! As usual, they had a crowd for dinner

 Our boys loved the creek and zipline at the Booher kids' grandparent's house!
We were put up in the Boohers guesthouse and really enjoyed our time at their Sunday morning home fellowship, as well. That's a place where one doesn't feel out of place for having a big family! :)

High on our list was visiting the coffee shop that helps support the Boohers while they're in Bolivia. We filled up the place trooping in with the 10 children amongst us!
It's a actually a drive-through coffee shop!

Rudi loaded us up with goodies and scone samples before we were on our way to...the ocean!
See the note at the bottom?
Stay tuned!