Friday, April 24, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop


Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Your Host:

Susannah1Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

This Week's Cohost:


From Bisons to Buckeyes is a platform for one young wife to inspire other young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in their lives. This blog is a place for married millennials to find marriage tips, ideas for dating your spouse, and advice based on biblical principles. In a world that's constantly telling us our marriages are bound to fail, From Bisons to Buckeyes believes that a happy, godly marriage is possible with a little work.


Last Week's Most Viewed Post:


The Best of Baby

Susannah's Blog Post Pick:


A Lot of Little Bit of Love
My Mum is Homeless and I Feel Helpless

Charlene's Blog Post Pick:


Queen K Smith
First things First: You are Enough

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Real Life Cheaper by the Dozen

Time for another installment of answers from the Ask Me Anything questions.  This time it's all about my family.  It was amazing to me how many of the newer readers didn't know that I have eleven brothers and sisters and how many of my older readers had questions about my family.  Of course, I try to be careful when I blog about others so I won't be able to fully answer all your questions but I'll do my best!

Gardner Family Picture

Anonymous asked:  Can you share your siblings' adoption stories?

I wrote a few blog posts chronicling the adoption stories of my siblings a while back and I'd love it if you'd like to go back and read them...
1.  Rebekah and Deborah
2.  John
3.  Andrew and Dinah
4.  Julia, Philip, Nathanael, and Leah

Another Anonymous asked:  I am fascinated by your family's story - I'd like to hear occasional updates on how your brothers and sisters are doing!

This is a hard one to answer while still being respectful of my brothers and sisters.  Being honest, there are issues some of my siblings have in relation to their adoptions and lives before coming to our family that are impacting them still to this day.  I don't want to sound like adoption is easy or that my siblings don't have emotional baggage but that's also not for me to share since those are their stories.  That being said, I'd love to let you know what they're all doing with their lives right now...  With the knowledge that I'm only sharing the good things and the aspects of their lives that they would be comfortable being made public.

1.  Peter (bio brother) has been married to Megan for two and a half years and their expecting their first little one (surprise gender!) in about a month.  Peter's a elementary school teacher in Western Washington and Megan is involved in all sorts of music (she even sang with Josh Groban while he was on tour!!!)

2.  Aaron (bio brother) has been married to Katie for a year and a half.  They just recently moved to Western Washington because Katie got a great nursing job.  Aaron's currently looking for work and they're loving that they live near Peter and Megan again!

3.  Rebekah (and her three kids!) live in Wisconsin.  She recently began a job as a TSA agent!  We definitely don't see her or her kiddos as much as we'd like!

4.  John lives in Nevada and works in a store on a military base.  Here's another sibling that we don't see enough.  Seriously they all need to move back to the PNW.

5.  Deborah and her boyfriend, Nate, live in Spokane and are expecting little Matthew any day now!!!!!  Deborah's going to be a SAHM and Nate has a great job at a water treatment plant (or something like that...  Sorry I don't know exactly what your job is, Nate!!!)

6.  Julia lives in Georgia and is modeling and waitressing down there.  Once again, why do my siblings move away????  It's real dumb.

7.  Andrew is finishing his Sophomore year of college in Washington.  He was a cross country star in high school (think top ten in the nation) and got a GREAT scholarship for school!  Unfortunately, he got injured at the end of last year and had to have surgery.  He's recovering well but hasn't been able to run as well as he used to.  He's currently studying nursing but is thinking about moving his focus to sports medicine.

8.  Philip is a Senior in high school.  He's in the Developmentally Learning Challenged program so he'll be able to stay at the high school until he's 21 in a work training program.  He's currently doing an unpaid work training program at Albertsons but he's interviewing for a paid job with the Spokane Indians this year!  He's such an awesome guy I'd be surprised if he didn't get it!  He's another great runner and loves being a part of the high school's cross country and track teams.

9.  Nathanael is a Sophomore in high school.  He just got his first job being a ride attendant at a park downtown!  He's another great athlete but he focuses more on soccer than running.  (Stinking kids being good at sports!)

10.  Leah is in sixth grade.  She and Dinah are homeschooled and they really love it.  Leah is a GREAT little hip hop/jazz dancer and has such great rhythm.  Leah is growing into such a great young lady and it always makes me sad to see her and realize that she's not my baby sister anymore.

11.  Dinah is also in sixth grade.  She and Leah are best friends!  Dinah is SUCH a creative writer and has one a few writing competitions.  I don't know how she comes up with her creative ideas and her expressive way of writing!  Dinah's also an incredible little ballerina and has been cast in Spokane's professional Nutcracker performances for the past three years.  This past year she was cast as the lead angel!

Breenah asked:  Can you tell me how you haven't gone crazy with 11 siblings?

Oh Breenah!  You don't get it.  My siblings are WHY I'm crazy.  ;-)  But, being real, having so many siblings can be tough!  It's pretty easy now since I don't live at home and just get to enjoy my time visiting with my brothers and sisters but that wasn't always the case.  When our house was the fullest there were 10 of us kids living at home.  (By the time the last three adoptions happened my older brothers were already in college)  That's a FULL house!  Thankfully, my parents' house have six bedrooms so there were plenty of places to put the siblings who got along and the ones who didn't.  With as many strong personalities as there are in my family you better believe there were siblings that didn't get along well.  (Of course I got along with ALL my siblings ALL the time...  cough*NOT*cough)  I'm so thankful to my parents that they knew that I, as an introvert, needed my own space and, for most of my Jr. High and High School years, allowed me to have my own room.  (Thanks again, mom and dad!)  I don't know what I would have done if I had needed to share...  Gone even more crazy than I am, I'm sure!

Ashley asked:  As an adoptive mama I would love to know more about your siblings adoptions!! And as a mama who wants at least 4 kiddos tell me more about growing up with 11 siblings!!

See the first question regarding my siblings adoptions.  And regarding being one of 12...  I don't know any different and I LOVE it!  As loud, crazy, difficult, and insane being in such a large family can be, I wouldn't change it for the world.  Sure, it makes some things difficult...  There was no money for college or a wedding budget, I didn't get my own car, I often was roped into babysitting...  But it all was 100% worth it!  When Nate and I discuss how many kids we're going to have I can't even imagine having fewer than four and, if Nate lets us, I'd probably actually want six.  (Some of those being adopted)  I'm totally and completely for big families!

BONUS QUESTION:

Anonymous asked:  Who is your favorite brother and why is he so awesome?

Well, since Peter is the only brother who reads my blog...  I'm going to have to say that Nathanael is my favorite...  Or maybe John...  Or Aaron...  Or Andrew...  Or Philip...  And they're awesome because they're NOT PETER!

Want to read more Q and A about my family???  Here's a post I wrote about two years ago answering readers' questions

Did this post spark any questions in your mind?  You're still free to Ask Me Anything!
It's all fair game!

  • Growing up in Taiwan
  • Nate's and My Marriage
  • Biblical Passages
  • The Way Nate and I Parent/Are Planning on Parenting
  • Aspects of My Faith
  • The List Goes On...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Smiles and Giggles Galore - Caleb's Five Month Update

20150417_115313_LLS (1)

I still can't believe I have the privilege of being Caleb's mom.  He's an amazing little man and I am amazed that God gave him to me to love on and raise!

Weight: ???  We haven't gone to the doctor this month so I don't know how much he weighs right now. (Up from 17 lb 4 oz at 4 months)

Height: ???  We haven't gone to the doctor this month so I don't know how long he is right now. (Up from 26.3 inches at 4 months)

Caleb has stayed pretty proportionate in his height and weight these days.  Nate and I always laugh about how he has the chubbiest little legs.  When he sits in his bumbo we have to squeeze him in so he'll fit.  It's kind of adorable.

Sleep:  Caleb's sleep has gotten a lot better.  On his 4 month birthday we decided it was time to put him in his own room to sleep.  He started sleeping so much better once we did that.  I think he's kind of a light sleeper and Nate and I were waking him up with snoring, wiggling around in bed, etc.  He's gotten to the point where he's only waking up once a night typically!!!!  The little guy typically goes to bed around six thirty and gets up around six. (Thankfully Nate's so great and gets up with him until he leaves for work at seven thiry-ish.  Yeah, I'm a loved woman!)  Naps are still an issue and I still need to hold him in order to keep him asleep.  I've reconciled myself to the fact that this is something he needs but, since it won't be forever, I need to enjoy the time I have cuddling him now. 

Likes:  Chewing on everything, playing with his toys, rolling over, Batting at the toys on his play gym, Being smiled at, Mama's boobs, Daddy, Kisses, His swing, Being swaddled, Riding in his carseat and stroller, Bouncing to music, Bath time, Chewing on his fingers and mama and daddy's fingers

Dislikes: His teeth hurting, Tummy time, After 7pm, Pacifiers, Bottles (yeah, bummer!), Being hungry while in the car, Being held by anyone except mommy or daddy when he's tired

Clothes:  Caleb is still in size three diapers but is wearing pretty much all 6 month clothes.

Milestones:  Caleb's started belly laughing!!!  The first time it happened was with his grandpa and it was absolutely adorable!  Since then Nate and I have been able to get him to do it a few more times.  He's also begun rolling onto his tummy.  It's basically his favorite thing to do.  The problem is that he only rolls from his back to his stomach and then decides he doesn't like his tummy and cries until we turn him over onto his back again.  It's a little exhausting and I'm ready for him to learn to roll from his tummy to his back.  We've also begun putting Caleb in the church nursery during the service.  He does pretty well.  Most weeks the nursery workers say that he cried a little and slept a little but we're glad that he's learning to be in situations away from us.  I miss him a lot while he's in the nursery but I'm so glad I can focus on worship and the sermon a lot better now.  We think Caleb's started teething because he drools like crazy, chews on EVERYTHING, and gets fairly fussy.  He really enjoys it when we massage his gums and I'm pretty sure I can feel a little tooth under the gums.

One WeekOne MonthTwo MonthsThree MonthsFour MonthsFive Months

Dearest little love, You are SO precious to me!  I love you like crazy and absolutely cannot even imagine how I lived life before you.  I love spending my days with you - watching you grow and getting to know you more and more.  It's so fun to see you learn and explore!  You're so smart and so funny.  I love your giggles and the fact that you're starting to belly laugh.  I think you're going to be quite the clown as you grow up.  Your personality comes out more and more each day and it's fabulous to get to know you better.  Just know that, no matter what, your daddy and I love you so very much!

Read More
One Month
Two Months
Three Months
Four Months

Friday, April 17, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop


Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Your Host:

Susannah1Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

Last Week's Most Viewed Posts:


Purposeful and Meaningful
Everyday We Get That Chance

Susannah's Blog Post Pick:


Just a Little Bit Louder

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


Friday, April 10, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop


Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Your Host:

Susannah1Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

Last Week's Most Viewed Posts:


Sharon Sharing God
Jesus - Meek and Mild??

Susannah's Blog Post Pick:


Encouraged at Home

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


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