Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New beginnings

As I'm learning to be better at updating (and viewing) our blog...I realized that the posting I wrote a month ago never actually posted. It stayed in draft mode! Oops...I guess that's the balance I need to learn! Here is the previous update and the most current will follow....so I apologize if some of this info is old news or redundant! October: As most of you already know, I (Bethany) have the privilege and blessing of staying home with Holland. He will turn one at the end of this month! How times flies. Holland has brought about many changes for us and is the best blessing we could have received. It is amazing to watch him grow and learn new things. I never anticipated the excitement Granger and I would have watching him learn and explore this new world for him! Becoming a parent has opened up so many wonderful and challenging adventures! Going anywhere no longer allows flexibility to just throw on a coat and jump in the car. It requires bags and diapers, and food bags and extra clothes, strollers, pacifiers (which are a must!), pack'n'play's, and more! I'm not meaning that as a complaint, things that I never thought about that I now have to plan for! Since I am staying home, I have had the opportunity to start focusing on how we can help grow the Young Life ministry that we are a part of in Kenai. Granger and I have been helping lead the Kenai Young Life team since spring of 2010. This has been a big blessing for us, but has also been challenging. Working full time, being active members of our church, and doing Young Life keeps us very busy. It has been challenging being a volunteer area because most of the people involved work full-time. We are in the process of trying to raise support to allow me (Bethany) to spend more time focusing on developing key components of the ministry that will help strengthen it. Our hope is to develop three main areas in the ministry. 1) Raise up a prayer team to meet regularly to pray for teens in our area 2) Develop a committee to come behind and support the ministry 3) Build a base of people in our area who are committed to supporting the ministry financially. We hope that you will help us pray for these foundational components to be developed to help the Young Life leaders in Kenai be able to continue reaching the teens in our area. Granger has started a Master's program. He is studying to become a Teacher of the Visually Impaired as well as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. This is a two year program and has kept him very busy. He is doing a great job finding a balance between working, going back for his Master's degree, Young Life, church, and family!
November: Holland is officially 1 and learning so many new things each day. His new favorite thing is to have his mouth packed with food signing for more!! He's a little bundle of animation. You know what he is feeling by looking at the look on his face. He's very expressive and knows how to entertain a crowd! He is solely walking....crawling is the thing of the past with this new found freedom! It's faster and easier on the knees. He's also starting to get tall....things once "out of reach" are now becoming reachable! This poses all sorts of fun chasing games with items that he should not have!! He loves phones, in fact, it is hard to get a conversation in without him screaming to be in control of the phone, in which he usually pushes many buttons, and often hangs up on people. Some of his new words include, mama, dada, hi (that's his favorite), ball, uh-oh, wow. Next week we have his one year check-up. He seems to be growing well, and becoming quite the picky eater (a little too familiar to his mother!) We had our Young Life banquet at the end of October and it was a success. We had new faces that were able to come and learn about the ministry. We were able to get caring adults on board and commit to helping the ministry financially. We are in the process of getting together a Prayer Team/Committee/Leader interest meeting on the 14th. We pray God will bring those who are passionate about teens and want to help reach them and come around our leaders to support them. God is truly doing great things in Kenai and we are excited to see what he has in store for the youth here. We so appreciate all of your love and support and hope that we will get to see/talk to you all soon! We are planing on going back to Michigan the week between Christmas and New Year's. Dad Klunder has officially retired and we have the privilege to go back and celebrate with him! :) I'm so thankful for my dad, who worked so hard, not only as a minister, but as a cement man, coach, and whatever else he needed to do to provide for us.He is a great example of what it means to be a faithful follower of Christ, a loving husband and father. I will always be his little girl! :) Thanks dad. We love you more than you'll ever know!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Time's a tickin' quickly!

Time sure does seem to speed up these days. Especially being back at work full time and trying to be a good mom. Granger has been able to stay home with Holland the last 5 and a half weeks, which he has loved. We often joke about who is going to get to stay home, but we all know who will win that battle! :) We are so enthralled with Holland and can spend hours just watching him learn new things. His latest milestones are: grabbing toys that you offer him and bringing them to his mouth, playing with toys that are near him (both on the table when he's in his high chair and in the "circle of fun," rolling over from front to back, and giggling. We attempted feeding him cereal, which is a learning process. It's harder than you might think getting the food from the front of the mouth to the back to swallow...still working on that. He has also tried drinking out of a sippy cup. He also has no idea what it is. The top is not soft like the bottle so he can't just gum it to get the water. Trying to teach him to suck it instead of gum it is comical. Holland also has learned that it is much better to sleep in mom and dad's arms....or in the backpack as dad walks around, instead of sleeping in his crib! He does ok at night, thankfully, but nap time has become a bit of a struggle. It is amazing how much Granger and I love this little guy! We both look forward to him and he always has a smile for us. He has been such an incredible blessing. We continue to seek wisdom for how to best raise him. We never thought that parenting would come with so many decisions...from "Do we let him cry it out?" to "When should we start letting him eat cereal?" These sound so silly but those who are parents can relate I'm sure to wanting to do what is best for your child but really having no idea. We are grateful that we don't have to rely on our own strength and understanding, and pray that God will give us the wisdom we need to help raise Holland the way he wants us to. As Holland continues to grow, so does his clothes. We have officially changed over his wardrobe from 3 month to 6 month clothes, with the exception of his 3-6 month stuff. He is a long and skinny little munchkin. In other areas of life, we are on Spring Break now, which I'm super ecstatic about because that's 9 days in a row where I get to snuggle my peanut all day! We are 2 days out from Nana Klunder coming for a month to be with us. We are glad that she is able to come and help care for Holland as we are at work. I know she is excited to spend time with Holland and I'm sure she'll be surprised with how much he has grown. On the Young Life front, we are in the process of setting up the 3rd annual Dodgeball Tournament in Early April. Life seems to go by so fast these days it's hard to keep up with everything. Sometimes it feels as though you throw 10 balls up in the air and catch about 7. We hope you enjoy these photos and videos of Holland as we love to catch his moments of exploring his world and learning new things. Here is a video of Holland trying to attempt drinking from his sippy cup. Here is one more video of Holland liking the idea of being tickled. He is not actually ticklish at this point, at least he doesn't react yet. It's more of the sounds and gestures he thinks is funny!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How fast they grow!

Our sweet, little Holland is changing so fast. Everyday it seems like he has something new to show us. Each new little face, sound, or look melts our hearts! I can't believe how much he has changed and become more alert in just under 3 weeks. Time is already going by so fast. Holland's newest development is he is starting to find his voice and will make a smile and a sound together. He also squeezes his lips together into this little kissy face, which is utterly adorable. He is starting to be awake and alert for longer spurts. He looks all around just taking in the environment. He continues to sleep a lot, which is a good thing for me at this point, cause I get a few naps in here or there too!! :) When Granger gets home from school he likes to scoop him away from me and take him downstairs to snuggle with him on his chest.

He's growing so fast!

Wow...tomorrow marks 12 weeks since we were blessed with our beautiful baby Holland! He is growing so fast, each day brings something new. Sometimes I swear I can hear him growing in his sleep!! Holland is such a blessing. He is a great baby, who loves to give us smiles. He is just starting to giggle a little bit. Granger can really get him giggling. I caught a little on video. Holland giggling It's amazing how our lives have changed. Holland adds such a wonderful (and sometimes exhausting) component to our lives. We estimate he is close to 14 pounds now and I have under three weeks left before I have to go back to work and Granger gets to stay home for a while. I am dreading it and he's looking forward to it!! I told him he is not allowed to do a countdown in front of me!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

And two becomes three....

We are so excited about the arrival of our sweet baby boy. Holland Douglas Nyboer arrived at 4:36 on Monday, October 22, 2012. He weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz. and he was 22 inches long. Holland won our hearts the moment we saw him. Granger and I love being his parents and can't believe he is finally here. My mom arrived 2 days before he was born so it was perfect timing!!
Our new life as a family of three is off to a good start. There is a lot to learn when becoming parents but we are figuring it out. I continue to heal and figure out how to meet Holland's needs. At Holland's one week check up, he was already back up to his birth weight which the Dr. was really pleased about. He continues to sleep a lot and needs to be woken up every time I want to feed him. He is a pretty laid back kiddo so far (just like his daddy)! Holland makes the greatest faces and continues to entertain us. Granger is back to work and my mom and dad (who got in on Thursday) leave on Monday night. It will be interesting as we try to do this on our own. My mom has made all the meals, cleaned our house and takes Holland so I can sleep a little during the day. We would not have been able to do these first two weeks without her. We are also very blessed that our church family and other friends provided meals for the first week, which was awesome to not have to worry about cooking! Granger loves coming home from work and taking Holland downstairs to take a nap on the lovesac with him on his chest.
As exhausting as parenthood can be, we are so blessed that God chose us to be Holland's parents! We continue to pray for wisdom as we learn how to be Godly parents to our precious boy. At 12 days old, it is amazing how much he has changed and continues to change daily. Thank you to everyone who have been praying for us, provided a meal, and all the words of encouragement. We love having such an amazing support system, both near and far! :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

New and exciting life moments

Our lives have been busy and full of changes since our last post. Yes, I realize a lot can change in one year and 2 months! So first and foremost, we are going to be parents soon!! Our lives are about to change and our family is growing!! We are expecting a little boy October 21, 2012. We are very excited and eagerly getting everything set for the arrival of our little guy! Also new to our family is our kitten, Spurr. She is an active, crazy and adventurous cat. She is fun to have around and has been a great source of entertainment. Another school year is right around the corner. Granger is starting his 5th year of teaching (3rd at Kenai) and I am going to start my 3rd year of teaching, still out in Sterling. My title is changing a little this year as I am only going to have intensive needs students. All of my resource students have gone to another special education teacher that was hired. This will be such a great blessing this year, as I was stretched very thin last year. We have been in our house for 2 years now. It seems like it has flown by! We are continuing to make improvements and change things around. Granger and some buddies have completed a rock climbing room in one of the basement bedrooms. It is a great little bouldering space. After 2 years, we finally got a kitchen table that has more than 2 chairs. So now when friends visit it is a little easier to fit everyone. We has a great, and very busy, summer. Granger, Donny and Braxton attempted Mt. Spurr again at the end of May. They made it about half way up and made the smart decision to turn back due to "sketchy" conditions of the snow bridges. I'm sure they will make it to the summit someday. We continue to help run Kenai Young Life and took 10 high school students to Castaway camp this summer. After almost missing our flight (one leader did actually, after breaking down in Anchorage) we made it to camp. Camp was amazing. The weather was high 90's to 100's. A bit of a shock for the Alaska kids to say the least. Camp was the experience of a lifetime for some of our kids. They all seemed to have a great time and 5 of them decided to make a decision to follow Christ! It was truly an amazing time. The last day of camp, one of our kids had a medical emergency and needed to stay in the hospital, in Fargo, North Dakota, for a few days. Granger stayed with him and I continued on with the kids to get them back to Alaska. I continued on to Michigan after camp to spend time with family. Granger joined a few days later and we were able to celebrate the marriage of Caleb (Granger's brother) to Calla. The wedding was beautiful and it was great to see family and friends. After the excitement of the wedding we spent one day with the Klunder's to have our annual Klunder Family Fun Day! All 17 and a half of us gathered to spend one (hot) day together. Let me tell you, having 7 kids ages 4 and under, there is never a dull moment. Seeing our nieces and nephews was very precious time, as we have only met 3 of them once before. Time goes very fast and the kids change so quickly! The Klunder family continues to grow and we can't wait until our little guy can meet the families! After our exciting time with the Klunder's, we had the opportunity to go to Canada with the Nyboer's. The Nyboer's have a cabin in Lake of the Woods, Onterio. We road tripped it up with 8 out of the 12 Nyboer's. While at Chinook, we relaxed, fished, and played games. The weather was beautiful (and hot). Granger got to water ski, which he hasn't done up there in years. Our time with family these days is so precious and we enjoyed every minute of it. Finally, we make our way back to Alaska. We rested and started preparations on our house before the school year approaches. A week later our friends Chad and Julia came for a visit. We were very busy showing them the beauty Alaska has to offer. The weather didn't cooperate most of the week but we still got out and enjoyed the beauty and adventures. It was very fun to show them our town and spend time with them. Now we are finishing up the last of our projects on the house/nursery before the school year starts. We are anticipating a great year and only have 10 more weeks until we get to meet our son!! I will start updating this more to keep you up on our changing life!! :) lots of love, Bethany, Granger, baby boy, and Spurr :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The adventure continues

The amazing adventure continues. School is not even out and our summer is booked! 10 more days of school and Granger is done with his 4th year of teaching and I am finished with my first. School has gone well for both of us this year.

We stay busy between church, Young Life and school. This summer, both of our families are coming to visit. I guess I should start from the beginning. Right after we are released from school Granger is going on a bear hunt with some guys from our church. He is very excited about the potential of getting a bear for our wall! ;) When he gets back he leaves again to climb Mount Spur (for the third time!). This time they will make it!

Just about the time Granger returns a few days later I leave to visit the family in Michigan. I am very excited to have some sister time! Living in Alaska definitely has its perks, but it is far from family, which makes it hard too. After I get back the Nyboer's come for a visit at the end of the month. We are excited for their visit and can't wait to give them a great Alaska experience.

The day the Nyboer's head back to Michigan, we are taking 16 kids to Young Life camp in Oregon.

Once we come back exhausted :) (in a good way), we will prepare for the Klunder clan to arrive. This is going to be a unique experience because all of my siblings and their spouses are coming and leaving the kids with the in-laws (minus the buns in the oven!)We are looking forward to all of our summer visitors.

On the days that we don't have visitors or adventures, we will most likely be fishing, hiking, camping, and hopefully getting in shape! :)