04 December 2011

Kodiak Delivery

There have been a bunch of new babies in MAF lately.  Where are they all coming from?  Well, it is no coincidence that the Kodiak's have started coming into the hangar looking a little pregnant.  MAF recently acquired a couple Kodiak's with pods which may or may not have to do with where the MAF babies are coming from.  Either way here is a video to clear things up.

03 December 2011

20,000+ Mile Road trip en route to INDONESIA!

Our "bun" fresh out of the oven - 7 days old!
This year has flown past as we spent 4 months on the road (from 4.5-8.5 months pregnant) traveling 20,000+ miles!  Due to our insane traveling life, Gracie has been in 24 states before the "bun was even finished in the oven".  And now our "bun" is out of the oven, 2.5 months old and ready for her next big adventure, Java, Indonesia for language school!

What have we done since our sweet Gracie was born September 24th? Training... I (Nan) have been learning to balance being a wife and new mama! I am so thankful for the jobs God has given me. Will has enjoyed getting his hands dirty in the hangar as he works side by side with MAF instructors: Doug and Steve.  He is learning MAF standards that he will implement once on the field. He furthered his maintenance knowledge at Spokane Turbine Center, working on PT6 engines.  It is exhilarating knowing that each day is drawing us closer to serving in Indonesia.  

Cozy in my Ergo after a walk
Where are we living? Well we have been "homeless nomads" since we packed up our apartment March 31st.  But since October 8th, we have been blessed to stay at the MAF apartments in Nampa, Idaho! It has been LOVELY to have a cozy little one bedroom apartment, with a charming fireplace... a place to call our own for 2.5 whole months!  We are grateful for our home here...

AND we are so close to our support goals!  Our outgoing (one-time) support has been raised! We are so thankful! Now we only have $1,300/month left! That is only 13 people at $100/month or 26 people at $50/month or... well you get the idea, we are so close because of many of YOU who have decided to join our journey! Thank you to everyone who has partnered with us to serve God in Indonesia! . If you would like to be a part of our team please go to our MAF page.

Weighing in on the MAF mailroom scale
One of our biggest highlights is our sweet baby girl, Gracie Jane. She is growing so much each day! Her current stats are: the 78% for her weight and the 82% for height. The doctor said she is growing perfectly. Gracie had her shots the other day in order to prepare her for Indonesia. Due to the shots, she became a little cranky for the first time in her life! But this weekend, she is back to her giggling, cooing, sweet self. Our precious baby girl has blessed us with sleeping 8-11 hours a night. We couldn't be more thankful to God for His gracious gift.

Thank you everyone who is following our journey. Hopefully soon we will be updating you from Java, Indonesia!

In the arms of HIS grace,
Will, Nan and Gracie Jane

Smiling at my Papa! I <3 him!

21 November 2011

Training at Spokane Turbine Center

Our group including  Ken Smoll (our instructor) who was definitely not afraid to represent the Packers.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to get training on the PT6 turboprop engine at Spokane Turbine Center.  The PT6 is what is used on both the Kodiak and Cessna Caravan which is primarily what I will be working on when we get to Papua.  Being familiar with the operation of piston engines since the age of 15 it was great to learn about the PT6, which in non-tech terms is a jet engine with a propeller strapped to the front of it.

One of the pleasures of the training was building friendships other guys in MAF, three of which I will have the opportunity to serve with in Papua.
As a side note Nan and Gracie enjoyed me coming home smelling like jet exhaust too.
Inside peak at the PT6A engine 
 Spokane Turbine Center did a great job at explaining the ins and outs of the PT6.  One of my favorite tidbits of information about this engine is the fuel metering pin only moves .080" from idle to max power.

Art class at STC

Some people learn better when they are doing something with there hands.  Our instructor there at STC understood this and gave us some pipe cleaners to help us “listen.”  These are just a few of the creations from Jonathan Blomberg

We were given all kinds of little things for completing the course at STC one of which I was anticipating greatly.  What was it you ask?  A belt buckle.  Yes, you got it…a belt buckle.  No, I do not have a collection of belt buckles, but this thing is so sweet it almost makes me want to start one.  The picture here shows the excitement of the Kodiak belt buckle. 


When we were going through the Hot Section Inspection portion of the class we had the opportunity to take apart the Accessory Gear Box (AGB) which as you can see is comprised of several gears.  It kind of reminded me of a mechanical comprehension test.  If the center gear turns clockwise which way does gear “C” turn?  

30 October 2011

Will's Kodiak Training, Motherhood & Indonesia...

Our Newest MAF Staff
A little snapshot of our days as of late...

Our journey has been amazingly crazy!  Our sweet Gracie seemed to have her days and nights flipped for the first month of her life... It was sometimes hard to remember if the day had ended or just begun.  However, our Gracie has given us a bit of, well... grace.  She has began to sleep 5-7 hours at a time!  In saying that, it isn't without us waking up to her constant stream of noises. Daddy says that Gracie is a bit like her mama, always chattering, even if no one is listening.  Even now in the midst of her nap she is making gasping, giggling and gurgling noises just to make sure I know she is present.

Daddy & His Baby Girl
Will is doing an amazing job as a super dad! He is learning to balance his new growing family and the added component of Turbine training.  After 9 months of raising support, Will is LOVING getting back in the hanger and learning more about the airplanes he will be working on in Papua, Indonesia!

Enjoy a little walk at MAF with our Gracie Jane

At the beginning of October we traveled to Nampa, Idaho at MAF headquarters for a few weeks of training and are now in Spokane, Washington at Spokane Turbine Center for Will's Kodiak training.  After STC we will head back to Nampa, Idaho until December 22 for the remainder of Will's standardization (maintenance) training at MAF. It is encouraging to see Will's growing excitement as he looks towards using the skills God has given him so that God's grace can be brought to the people of Papua, Indonesia!

Going to Indonesia is becoming more tangible as our support is developing. We still need about $2100/month in order to get to language school in Indonesia by January 2012. But, as we have learned so boldly these last 9 months, "with God, all things are possible..." and that His timing is perfect. We are hopeful to join our friends that we have started this journey with in language school on the island of Java in a few months. If you would like to support us in this journey please go to our MAF page.
Our Family at MAF Headquarters

Thank you to everyone who is prayerfully and/or financially behind us. We cherish having your partnership as God uses us and others to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Papua, Indonesia!

In the arms of HIS grace,
Will, Nan and Gracie

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15 October 2011

Endometritis, Mastitis and Blessings

Our love...
We could not be more blessed during this season to have our new little gift Gracie Jane. It has not been without a few road bumps and challenges, but the joys FAR outweigh the difficulties. Gracie has given us reasons to smile even as we are abruptly awakened at 1, 2, 3, and 4 am... It is incredible to watch how God has brought a new beautiful gift into our home!

Over the last few weeks we have had some rough moments! I developed a severe case of endometritis and mastitis which landed us in the ER for 4 days straight. But God was good and we received excellent care at OHSU. We left last Thursday and were able to pack up and hit the road for training at MAF on Saturday around 5:00 a.m.

Daddy did my hair
We are learning a lot about complete dependence upon God. And learning that we are weak without HIM, especially the days we are running on zero sleep. We tease that God makes babies so cute to keep us sane :)

So for now, we are finishing up Orientation at MAF this week (October 17-21). Then Will begins maintenance training in Nampa (at MAF) and Spokane (at Spokane Turbine Center) until December 22. Our hope is that the remaining 35% of our support is covered by new supporters so we can leave for Indonesia in January for language school. If you would like to join us on our journey to Indonesia please click here! We would consider it such a blessing to partner with you!

Thank you for your love and prayers throughout this journey!

Will, Nan and Gracie

Two Weeks Old

02 October 2011

She's Here!!!!

Gracie on day two of her life.

If we were not so busy changing diapers and trying to sleep when we do have free time we might make this entry a little better, but for now we wanted to just get the basics out there about Gracie's arrival.

She came on September 24 at 7:27am after Nan made it through 21 hours of labor yet only 25 minutes of pushing.  20 inches long and 6lbs 14oz.  She has really tough jungle feet already.  When the nurse pricked her foot and squeezed the blood out she didn't even cry.

Best quote of the whole time while in the hospital when Nan was in extremely super active labor.
Nan: "I am going to have words with that woman!!"  Will: "What woman?"  Nan:  "Eve!"  What made it funny is that she was mad at her like she knew her personally.

Being parents is so awesome and we cannot believe that God is actually letting us borrow this wonderful baby girl for a time.
Nan and Gracie about to leave the hospital

Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed for Gracie to come to us safe and healthy.  We are grateful beyond belief.

19 August 2011

Getting Closer...

We are now just about at 70% of our support goal which has been encouraging especially as we get closer to being parents.  I have said it before, but we truly have had such a great time in this season with all kinds of people.  For instance last weekend we had the opportunity to go up to Enumclaw, WA to share about the ministry of MAF.  One of the first people we met at dinner, before we headed to the Saturday night service, was a guy by the name of Rob.  I love Rob.  He flew C-82s back in the day, which is the plane that was in the original Flight of the Phoenix movie.  It did not take much talking with Rob before I found out that about twenty years ago he walked around the perimeter of the United States to raise awareness and funds for MAF.  But it gets better.  He went on to tell me that during the time he was walking around the U.S. he got a new knee and heart valve.  Wow!  I couldn't believe it.
The more we hung out the more I realized what a heart Rob has for the Lord as well as MAF.  It was such a treat to have met Rob and have him introduce us as we shared our hearts before the congregation there in Enumclaw.  We left on Sunday encouraged and with several more life long friends to share this journey with.
With Rob

So what are we doing now?  Well, we are a little ahead of the game, but we are preparing to pack our crates which will be kept in storage for about a year and then shipped to Papua via sea freight after we complete language school in Java.  It is so much fun putting our lives into 270 cubic feet.  It's a big puzzle using all of our worldly possessions.  We technically don't have to be packing yet, but because Gracie is due in four weeks, and we will start training at MAF the first week of October and then I (Will) will get more technical training on the planes I will be working on in Indonesia through the middle of January.   If we don't do it now it might be a little more difficult with a newborn...or so I've been told.
So what kind of picture could we give you to look at without actually having our crates yet?  The plan of how we will cram our stuff into four wood boxes.  The fourth crate is the only important one, but to give you an idea of what the first three look like I have included the schematic of crate #1.  Oh, I will include crate #3 as well because it has our oven, which will produce some awesome eats.
Crate #1

Crate #3

Crate #4
Last week we took a break from packing and visited the Nike Hangar "Nike Air" thanks to a good buddy of mine who provides superb maintenance support for the Nike fleet.  Our tour included the hangar bathrooms, the machine shops, and two G5s all of which were cleaner than an operating room.  This picture is going to double as a belly update pic.
Phil's G5

04 August 2011

Everything's great except for Frank

Nan getting hydrated and coming back to life

While at the doctor on Tuesday, Nan was able to get a couple liters of IV fluid pumped into her after a bug wasn't allowing her to keep anything in her body.  Then she was whisked away in a wheel chair as I followed to the labor and delivery floor for a quick tour of where our baby girl will come into this world.  After being monitored for a little while at "Triage" we were released being advised of the importance of a liquid diet after having an empty body.  So what does my beautiful wife request when we are on our way home?  Pizza.  We didn't do it, but it did put a smile on my face and then I knew she was definitely feeling better.  Another clue of when I know my wife is feeling better after sickness is when she goes into white tornado mode.  What is white tornado mode?  It's when my wife cleans and organizes kind of like right now as I am typing.  Don't worry, I do all the heavy lifting.

Gracie at 32 Weeks

While at the doctor on Tuesday, we had an ultrasound and found that Gracie was a bit low on fluid so we went back today, now that Nan is hydrated, to make sure she's good to go.  Well, she was still a little low, but still in the normal operating range.  If you are still reading this entry its more than likely because you just want to know who Frank is and what he has to do with anything.  Well, it is the type of breech position which Gracie is in right now.  We really want a natural birth as much as possible so for her to come out bottom first would definitely not be helping mom out much.  She has several more weeks to grow and move around still, so we are not too worried. 

Two more tidbits of information we found during the ultrasound is that Gracie already has extremely chubby cheeks at 3.5 pounds.  I am willing to bet two of her pounds are in her cheeks.  Although we didn't get a good still picture we briefly saw her in 3D to verify the chubbiness.  Another characteristic she has thus far is hair on her head.  Considering both Nan and I needed a haircut upon delivery it didn't really surprise us much.

One last note.  Today to avoid all the construction traffic at OHSU we decided to take the $57 million dollar tram that goes up the hill to the hospital.  If anyone is on the fence about coming to visit after we deliver it would definitely be a good excuse to come ride the tram.  If you visit us you get free tickets too so there is no excuse.  Take a gander...
The 12 ton car

View looking over the Willamette River

View from the top

Another view from the top

01 August 2011

Safely in Vancouver, WA

Note:  12,000 miles not driven on motorcycle
After 12,000 miles of driving in the car we realized yesterday that we actually could have made it to Indonesia...but they still have yet to put that bridge in. As we finally settle in back here in Vancouver, more than ever am I genuinely thankful for everything that people have done and are doing for us.  As we prepare to bring Gracie into the world and go to serve the people of Indonesia we cannot do it alone, so we thank you for your support no matter what role you have played.  Also, the fact that we arrived back here to Vancouver safely is a blessing considering all the miles of road we covered with baby in womb.  As you might imagine the bathroom stops were frequent, but being with the most beautiful girl (soon to be two) on the planet made for some memories I will never forget.

Yesterday after church we moved all of our possessions from a friends garage in Hillsboro to the home of our friend in Vancouver.  Here we will sort, pack, and inventory our belongings preparing them to be put in the crates that I will make.  After the crates are constructed and filled they will await shipment to Indonesia.

Please pray for Nan.  As I write this she has got some kind of a bug that has made her pretty sick.  Please continue to pray about what your role may be as we look for prayer and financial partners.  

Recently we have been meditating on Acts 20:24...

"But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God."

18 July 2011

Starbucks CHALLENGE!!!

We are so blessed to be on this journey that God has designed.  We are getting closer by the day to Papua, Indonesia, but still need your help!  In order to get to Indonesia we still need a team of people to join us! Would you prayerfully consider joining our team so we can meet the practical and spiritual needs of the people in Indonesia? 

We are so thankful for our supporters! 
Current day our monthly support is at 42.7%. We still need supporters for $3,727/month! Our one-time support is at 62.1%! All we need is $11,104.70 for our one-time support! 

STARBUCKS Challenge: Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us for $2.50 a day? (this would be $75/month) This is less than the average cost of a Starbucks coffee drink!  We ONLY need 50 more coffee drinkers to reach our monthly support by August 27, 2011

If you would like to support us please follow this link Helping the Grant's Serve the People of Indonesia!  

In order to get to Indonesia for language school by January 2012, our pledges need to be in by August 27th!  Would you help us? Thank you for following God's story in our lives! 

Will, Nan & Gracie Jane

14 July 2011

Update from Royal Oak, MI

Getting current
Last Friday we managed to scratch a little bit of time out of our day to go visit the Henry Ford Museum. It's the home of the chair Abe Lincoln was shot in, the limo JFK was assassinated in, the bus Rosa Parks was in when she refused to give up her seat, and several other interesting exhibits. Being related to Eli Whitney I (Will) enjoyed the model of the cotton gin and was amazed to find out Eli Whitney Jr. made guns with Colt. Another interesting find at the museum was the Chrysler Turbine which was a Chrysler produced car in 1965 with an Italian turbine engine.
The Chrysler Turbine

Fuel for dad

About a week ago we had a baby shower here in Michigan which was great for Nan as she was able to catch up with her girlfriends and me to meet them. Among some of the presents received was some coffee for dad as I am already not sleeping quite the same as before, but its all preparation for this next season of life.

29 Weeks!

20 June 2011

Syracuse, NY to PA and My 1st Father's Day

At Hope Print House in Syracuse

A day after my first Father’s Day and I still cannot believe how God continues to show up in our lives.  We have explained to many of you that due to being on the road for three months we would not have any doctor’s visits to check up on Gracie.  It seems that lately the more opportunities we give to our good Lord above, the more He keeps working and we really could not be any more excited…especially me (Dad).
We are currently in Pennsylvania staying with some family friends who just so happen to have an ultrasound machine to look at Gracie…ON FATHERS DAY!  I mean are you kidding me?  My first Father’s Day and I get to see my beautiful daughter sucking her thumb while still inside my bride the most beautiful woman on the planet.  I am in awe.  In the video you will see a straight on shot of Gracie with the umbilical cord going straight down the middle of her face.  
Ever since finding out we were pregnant we have held Gracie with open arms not worried about what may or may not happen.  Many doctors will not see us for a one time check up because of the liability that comes with seeing a pregnant lady one time, but somehow through our friend in Michigan we were able to get an appointment for the crucial diabetes check which is a total blessing.

On Saturday we made the trek down I-81 from Syracuse and we were reminded of how awesome it is that so many of you are praying for our safe travels as we continue to cover many miles of road.  It was about noon as we witnessed a head on collision just 100 yards in front of us.  Doing 70 mph it was only a few seconds before we passed the scene and pulled over to check on the passengers of the two vehicles.  After all of the victims were taken care of and there was nothing more we could do, I cleared some debris from the freeway (including beer cans) and we were on our way.  Still shaking from the nature of the scene I prayed for all the people that were injured.  It was a prayer of praise.  I praised the Lord that no one amazingly enough was killed and for keeping us from being a part of the accident.  Again, we cannot thank you enough for your continued loyalty in surrounding us with prayer.
As I grow older I have become more appreciative of learning about my family.  Shortly after leaving the accident scene we met up with one of my dad’s friends who reminded me of my grandfather making gunstocks for Abercrombie & Fitch back in the day and a few other stories of my dad.  It was such a great time so I definitely needed to put up a picture of the two of us.
Thanks so much! Know you all are in our prayers as well... 
Will, Nan, and Gracie Jane

09 June 2011

In The D!

Well, we have been to Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and now Michigan.  We have been spending so much great time with so many friends, new and old that we have not had time to blog. 

 One of the highlights of our trip came when we were able to visit mom Grant in El Paso on mother’s day.  It was so great to see mom, the new house, and help in the process of getting settled.

As we continued our journey east we settled in to the city of Austin.  Now if anyone knows me at all they know that I am not a huge fan of Texas the state or the football program, but as we met people and caught up with family we began to fall in love with the city.  The sun, the people, and the food (Rudy’s BBQ, Chuys, and Freebirds to name a few) were all part of the amazing experience of Austin.  We both agree that we will be going back there when we come back into the states.
Getting a Rudy's BBQ hand washing experience!

As we traveled over to Louisiana and up to Missouri we were able to see a little bit of the damage that had been done by the tornados, which was a first for the both of us.  We also managed to go over the Mississippi River and not through it.  As we think of all the disaster in the area and all the miles of road we have covered it truly has been the Lord’s protection to get us safely here to Michigan.

So does anyone know where Panera Bread started?  Well, I did not know either until going through St. Louis.  In the picture you will see that Panera was in fact started in St. Louis.  I have this thing I do with coffee there now that it is summer and blazing hot.  I buy a coffee, fill the cup with ice, cream, sugar, and then pour coffee on it.  About eight cups later I am ready to hit the road again.  So now I am sure you wondering “Wouldn’t you just have to hit the bathroom just a few minutes down the road?”  Well, yes but I will anyway because of the ever growing baby girl riding shotgun.

In St. Louis I was able to meet more of Nan’s family which was so great!  Among others I met the original “Jane” which is where Nan gets her eyes…and a few other characteristics ;)
With Grandma Jane

 It has been such a blessing to see so many great people, have so many great conversations, make a ton of new friends, and be able to share how Christ has brought us to this point in our lives.  We are honored to have the partnership team that we do so thank you so much for all of your prayers and financial support!  
In the Detroit area celebrating a cousin's graduation

07 May 2011

Gracie, Papua, and Texas Bound...

Recently there have been a couple notable updates in our lives.  First of all, we are having a GIRL!  As one of my great friends puts it and still makes me smile "Welcome to the scary club."  I (Papa Grant) plan to keep her distracted with animals, airplanes, and two languages to learn ;)  Nan on the other hand  just cannot wait to dress her up.  Although, we have no idea what it takes to raise a girl we know we will be surrounded with a lot of great mentors.
Gracie about to suck her thumb

The second big news which was totally unexpected was finding out our assignment to Indonesia.  We knew it was going to be either Kalimantan or Papua, but really did not expect to find out until we arrived at language school.  We will be serving in Papua!  We are so excited to finally be able to start researching the area.  A snapshot of how Mission Aviation Fellowship serves in Papua, Indonesia...

38 MAF missionary families, two short-term staff, and more than 80 Indonesian staff members serve from six bases in Papua. Thirteen MAF aircraft, as well as three email hubs and communications networks, multiply the effectiveness of some 65 agencies and hundreds of churches ministering in Papua.

Finally, we just wanted to leave you today with a couple of photos from our road trip thus far.  Thank you everyone for all of your prayers and financial support.  Please pray for more partners as we head toward our goal leave date of January 2012.

A trip to Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City, UT.  Also seen on Man vs. Food

With mom in El Paso, TX