Monday, September 07, 2015

Rachel's Big Crazy Family

It's o.k. I can call them that - she does. People come in and out of your life fairly frequently in the military  ministry. There are always those you know will be life-time friends. Rachel and I began emailing before we left Japan. Matt and Rachel had us over for dinner before we'd attended our first chapel service - they attend The Home Church in Lodi.  Rachel and I "clicked." I'm a homeschooling Mom of nine - she's a daughter in a homeschooling family of 9. I arrived here missing BreAnne and Krista and Rachel was an adopted daughter - just the right age.  Note - of course I still miss BreAnne and Krista, witness the 8 hour trips to OR.

Matt and Rachel have invited us- three years in a row- to come to their home for Labor Day. She said we'd get to meet her big, crazy family. I think there were 56 people there today.  We've met some of them before when we went to Matt's ordination.  Matt is from a family of seven children, Rachel is from a family of nine children.  It was a glimpse of the future for us to spend the day surrounded by these siblings and their children.....and it was enjoyable spending time with Rachel's parents and Matt's mother.

Go Joy!
 Stephanie and kids were in attendance as well. It was fun for our kids to have a chance to connect again.
Nolan and Elise

Stacia and Clara
 Bonus - Eliana time after the real grandmas were ready to pass her on. I held her a long time, long enough to miss lunch - but it didn't matter. I took a photo of her long, long eyelashes (which have developed in the two weeks since I've seen her), but Rachel said it's a photo only a grandma would love. I cropped it to just the eye - but even I admit that was a freaky photo.  I did take a couple of Michael holding her - he was patient enough to wait through grandmas and me. LOL
Michael & Eliana
 I loved this moment with Elise, Joy and Clara....watching Elsa on the iphone.  
 In the absence of a photo of me with Eliana (and really that's a CRIME! We already have one of her with Michael ::snort::), I submit this one - taken the moment after I said, "Michael, I found the tables!" Note the domino effect.

We picked up the remainder of our things at Matt and Rachel's. It's all going to fit - just one more good organizing session and one more trip to either Airmen's Attic or St. Vinnie's with food we can't haul. I really need to be thinking of what we need for 3 - 4 days....I had hoped to shop once a week, but I am not sure I have enough room for a week....we shall see.  

It was a fun day. Stacia ran into one of her friends at Target. This brought the realization  she isn't going to see her friends very much when we're "in the trailer." I pointed out that she will see them more than she would have if we'd pcs'd.  Not much comfort - but all I had at 10:00 p.m. Being a military child has hard moments. It just does.

The Valley of the Rogue State Park

The Valley of the Rogue State Park is right off of I-5 in Oregon between Medford and Grants Pass. It sits along the shores of the Rogue River - known for its white waters.   We were looking for a spot with open sites for this weekend and landed here. It's a big park and there were two sites left when we reserved - side by side actually.

A  loop provides 14 tent sites and 6 yurts. B/C loops supply 49 full-hook up sites. We stayed in B loop (which is integrated with C loop). Sites are packed in fairly tightly. The D and E loop mirror the B/C loop and offer 46 full-hookup sites and 2 yurts. B/C loops contain the campgrounds' laundry facility. D/E loop sports a pet friendly facility. We never made it over to check this out.


Note the pull through spots  form a "ring" around the inner circle of sites. In the future we will select a back in site on the outer rim of B or D loop. E and C loops are tight circles surrounded by the outer rings of B and D.


The outer edges of both B and D loops give easy access to the self-guided River's Edge Trail and to the river itself.  If you can snag a spot on the far, outer side of either loop your site will back onto the trail. In the future we will try for D18,16,15  or  B21, 19, 18, 16, 15.  The second page of this brochure has a good map of the campground.


F Loop presents 55 water/electric sites only. We've stayed there with some dear camping buddies about a zillion years ago. The spaces are wider and you aren't packed in as closely. However, they are close to I5 and so there is much more road noise.

Valley of the Rogue offers free showers, nice bathrooms, JR ranger program, interpretive lectures, river access, River's Edge Trail and a laundry room - at a state park! Laundry is $1.25 to wash and .25 to dry (though I have no idea how long the cycle runs).

This is a nice park in a beautiful area. We visited on Labor Day weekend. Every spot was filled. It was a bit crowded for our taste - even so the park was surprisingly quiet.

You can reserve a campsite here. There is an $8 reservation fee. Tent sites are $19.00, water/electric sites are $26 and full-hookups are $29 a night. Yurts are available for $40-50 a night.