All Posts By

Marie Klein Burtt

In which Marie resumes blogging

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school No Comments

Yesterday, I was sitting. Reflecting. Thinking.

I haven’t been great at posting anything since getting to the USA. Not that I haven’t had time. Okay yes, I have been busy. But really I could have found time.

But my wandering, dreaming, creative personality has a hard time sitting still. I’ve never been great at “putting down roots.” and I realised something — after spending the last seven years traipsing over Eastern Europe, learning languages, learning to appreciate new cultures, learning to enjoy chicken heart soup — a “home assignment year” seems very much boring. Especially when we have move date “guesstimates” but nothing set in stone. That in itself is quite faith building!

The girls started seeing a wonderful counsellor in October. What a blessing and find she is. Her office is five minutes away, covered by insurance and she works so well with them. We’ve been digging deep, because our kids have some deep sadness and fears. We’ve been uncovering loss, death and fear. We’ve been discussing transitions and traumas. We also did some academic and behavioural testing (through school and the counsellor) and both girls were considered 2E. If you have heard of that, great. If you haven’t, great. I’m not going to go into it a lot, because this is the internet and that is their story. I’m digressing with a point. 😉 In Romania, it was suggested that Addy has ADD and I guess she was diagnosed “officially” although we never received anything. She’s known this and we’ve talked about it and she’s quite okay with the entire thing. We tease that we knew what we were doing when we named her ADD-y. 😀 Did you know it is all called ADHD now? There are three types and she is falls in type 2, possibly type 3 combined ADHD. I’m going to keep digressing because it will all makes sense in the end, ha! While discussing this with the “professionals,” the next statement caught me off guard. “Most likely, you or her dad has ADHD. Have either of you been tested?” I diligently read through some of the paperwork, “NOPE that is in no way her dad. He’s pretty much the polar opposite.” Then the next question, “actually let’s do this. I will ask you quite a few questions. ADHD in adult women looks very different.” Ten minutes later…? “Well, I would say the ADHD genetic link comes from you. I am going to send you home with quite a few resources to read. ADHD in girls and adult women looks very different than the ADHD we are used to hearing about.”

And now I have a great excuse for digressing. :-p

I’m joking. Actually it has been life changing! So many pieces of my brain make sense to me finally. So many of my “character flaws” that I really disliked make sense to me. Actually some pieces of me that I thought were “negative” I’ve realised aren’t really that negative. Different, yes. But also able to be used as my strengths!

The counsellor also gave Christian and I the Enneagram test. (We have also been blessed to be in counselling since December!) At the end she laughed and said, “there should be a category for resistance to categories.” Christian of course fit neatly into the boxes and received logical printouts. In the end we agreed that I am often a seven but when I am struggling or grieving I don’t become a struggling seven — I actually morph into a four. Christian and I read a million descriptions from a faith-based and secular view point. He even agreed, “honey you aren’t the ‘unhealthy 7’ ever. You really become the four instead.” He is this perfect little “2 wing 1.” But I already knew that I married perfection. <3

I was going to post more but if I am truly going to resume blogging while living here temporarily in the USA, I better break it up. I will end with this — we are homeschooling this year. It is an adventure. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my kids. We are also reading “The Girl that Drank the Moon” as one of our read aloud books and each chapter begins with, “In Which…” which is how my children now like to start conversations (hence the title of this blog). 😀 Also, no matter how hard it is to furlough, that USA library set up is pretty fine. 😉

addy’s baptism

By addysengrace, america, family, ministry No Comments

this little person is amazing. she turned ten years old in the midst of chaos and getting a new brother and sister. she hasn’t handled it perfectly but she’s been trying!

she also asked us if she could be baptised. we decided we loved the idea because the pastor that does the baptisms was a missionary for seventeen years, raising four third culture kids and really understand our family’s unique challenges!

then she asked for a feast afterward. 😂😍😁 we ended the evening with a christmas concert!

soooooooo nervous!

another kid getting baptised

a little wet 😂

special guests 💛

i realised this was her first concert! then when she begged to sponsor a child and was handed a ten year old girl from ethiopia…how could i say no? “i will write her in amharic and we can meet next year!!”

thanks for turning ten, following Jesus wholeheartedly and bringing a smile to my face every day, addy grace!

Christian + BAM conference

By america, christian, He Writes, ministry, travel One Comment

A blog by Christian about his time at the BAM conference.

Do you know the first time in scripture the phrase “filled with the Spirit of God” is used (depending on your translation)? Exodus 31:3. God fills Bezalel with His Spirit … in order to work. God’s Spirit is connected with our work.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Business as Mission Conference in Philadelphia. The theme intrigued me, as our new venture will be to create a for-profit business in Ethiopia. I wanted to learn how business can be used as mission, and there was a lot to learn.

Many times, and this has been true in my life, the church has distinguished itself from business. Business is about money, and church is about God. There is a sacred-secular divide. There is an unspoken idea that business owners are *only* about making money. It’s about the bottom line. Business can’t ignore the bottom line of profit, but it can expand and have more than 1 bottom line. In fact, they have 4.

Profit. Obviously, if the company isn’t making a profit, it’s going to fail. Profit is important. It’s good even. But it’s not singular. Making money just for the sake of making money isn’t our God-given purpose.
People. A Business as mission cares about it’s people. Suppliers, employees, customers, and government officials. We ask ourselves, “Do I love my team/suppliers/customers/regulators as I love myself?” Business that ignores people and society is not doing mission.
Planet. We are called to be stewards of the Earth. We’re called to subdue it, not destroy it. Yes, we are supposed to use the things of the planet for our benefit, but not *solely* for our benefit. A business that destroys the planet is not glorifying God.
Eternal Purpose. This is the spiritual aspect. We need to be investing Spiritual Capital in people. We need to demonstrate a true relationship with Jesus and pray to the God of the harvest.

There were a few speakers that really stood out to me. One is a businessman in China. He has been working there for over 30 years, and has a manufacturing company brining in over $1 million every month. He also hires disabled people as a significant percentage of his workforce. He prays over his equipment and staff daily. He’s focused not just on revenue and profit, but also on the wellbeing of his people and their spiritual welfare.

We also heard from Shane Claiborne, who ministers in inner-city Philadelphia. He encouraged us to care about the poor. He shared stories of how they’ve ministered in their community with urban farming, providing low-cost housing, and non-violent activism.

Every speaker had great insights, from how we are seeing the lowest level of worldwide poverty ever in history, how we are combating human trafficking (a 32 Billion dollar “industry”), and how the church’s job is shalom – the flourishing of creation.

It was a great experience, and I’m glad I went. I was left with a few nuggets that I keep mulling over:
What will I personally do with my economic, social, and spiritual “capital”? Where will I invest it?
Remember that Jesus’ yoke is easy: the closer we are to Him, the easier the load for us.
I’m reminded of a comment from my missionary friend, who wasn’t at the conference: “Business can never be mission unless work is worship.”

Let’s remember that whatever we do today, we do it for His Glory.

A few pictures…

Marie went to college with Mike and Shannon. We lived in Moldova with them. To say that Marie and the girls were a little jealous is an understatement.

When you meet a mutual friend of your good buddy from Thousand Oaks. 🙂

Sight-seeing with new friends from the UK and Romania.

Philadelphia is beautiful!

Just a little liberty bell.

This is what you take when your wife says “please take more pictures!” :-p

Ended the week with another visit, this time friends from SoCal, plus we were able to present at their church!

life without dad

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school, travel No Comments

Whelp. We are three weeks into this USA homeschooling adventure and so far so good. It is weird not having kids go off every morning and come home every afternoon. There are some parts we really miss: the ease of uniforms, knowing that no matter what we are all ready for the day at 8am, and friends! On the other hand, there are some parts that are really nice: less stressful mornings, getting carried away and doing geography or science all day long and it doesn’t matter! And of course we are making friends. It just takes time and energy especially when you miss your other friends. We started gymnastics (Addy goes 5x a week and is finally…calm. Ha!) Mercy has karate twice a week and loves it, plus her Sensei said she is a nature and has the perfect personality for karate. We go to AWANA on Sunday afternoons at the church literally next door, Sierra Grace. Plus we will be going to field trips and activities through our school, Inspire Charter School.

Christian had his first week of solo traveling for Hope Takes Root (brand new site coming SOON!). He was able to attend a very interesting and helpful conference called BAM in Philidelphia. It was everything and more: inspirational, helpful, challenging, a networking opportunity, the list goes on! He is still traveling so I will have to wait until he gets home to get all the details. More to come. 😉 He was able to start the trip by visiting our friends, Mike and Shannon (and their boys) in Titusville. We spent a year in Moldova with them and they are some of our most awesome+like minded friends. The girls and I tried not to be too jealous! He is now spending the weekend in Harrisburg with other friends, originally from Thousand Oaks. He gets home early Tuesday morning.

It started well but included a little bug. Whoops.

Thank goodness it was short lived so while big sister had a middle school activity (what the goodness?), this little person and I went on a date.

Yesterday we tackled the shopping. We went to a USA mall which confused the girls (“where’s the grocery store, mama?”) to get my phone fixed. Then we did Sprouts and WalMart. My children think the Sprout’s cart is hysterical. Then we found Ursuletul Tedi which made their day but they wanted to know why tedi was spelled “so weird.: :-p

And let’s be honest. Everything is new or interesting. Why did Sprouts need to tell me my corn syrup came from corn? Does corn syrup every come from beets or wheat? And what in the world are boiled peanuts? Did I just miss this growing up or has the South, USA come to California?

first day of school!

By addysengrace, america, family, mercyadoniyah, school No Comments

Today we started our 2018/2019 school year “officially.” I say officially because we tend to “do school” every day all day and all year long. We are blessed with slightly exhausting lifelong learners. (They might get that from their mama…or maybe dad too!)

You might notice they aren’t in an official grade. Technically they are enrolled in year 3 and year 5 in their UK program and grade 2 and grade 4 in their California charter school. Homeschooling is really going to fit our needs this year as we conquer 3rd to 6th grade math and 1st to 3rd grade English language arts. 😀 Transitioning from a completely different education system is interesting and unique!

A few quick photos for you to enjoy:

One month

By addysengrace, america, family, mercyadoniyah, travel No Comments

We passed the one month mark of being in America. I’d be lying if I said it was smooth but this past month was definitely filled with grace!

We hit some milestones. Both girls allowed themselves to be sad and grieve instead of forcing themselves to stay “angry” about all the changes. Both girls when asked the question, “are you enjoying home?” went from angrily replying, “my HOME is in Romania” to explaining, “I like my California home but my real home is in Romania.” Baby steps. This is an emotional step in the right direction as we allow them to process their feelings in their own timing.

We also took a whirlwind road trip to celebrate Grandma Ducky’s bday and see our good friend Katherine and her son, Josh (9). We stayed with our Auntie Barbara and Uncle Steve and even managed to see a couple special people like Auntie G and Great-Grandma Ruth. We didn’t mention to many people that we were down there and we promise we will be back SOON for much LONGER. We really wanted to see Katherine since this is the first time we have seen her since 2008 (she is a missionary to Cambodia). But we had to hurry home because we started school today!

the goodbyes are the painful part

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

as our departure gets closer, the reality is setting in. we have been trying to simply enjoy each moment. here are few of my favourite photos. <3 bulgarian day trip fun!

our last community group, including gluten free chocolate cake and a beautiful wooden puzzle of romania with the names of everyone in our group. <3 park fun with good friends.

special dolls and special skirts.

our last sunday. <3

life as we know it

By addysengrace, adoption, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, travel No Comments

I apologise that we have been so quiet. It has been an interesting few months, with lots and lots of…busy-ness. We have been writing our newsletters somewhat regularly. If you want to know exactly what we have been up to, it is probably easier to read our last three newsletters.

1: adoption
2: ethiopia
3: summer plans

But if you don’t have time, here is a short summary of life in the Klein-Burtt household. 😉
1: started praying about life changes (God works in quiet and mysterious ways!).
2: started an international Colombian adoption.
3: officially decided to move to Ethiopia and start a new ministry+social enterprise with Hope Takes Root (run by Marie’s brother and his wife, Aaron and Cacey).
4: began planning a USA furlough that will include laying the ground work for our new ministry in Ethiopia, finishing our Colombian adoption, traveling around and speaking at churches and even starting Amharic language lessons!

That is the shortest version ever — so if it doesn’t make sense, definitely read our newsletters! We are in the throes of packing and it is definitely emotional plus a lot of work. One minute we are laughing and talking about our new brothers or sisters or living with Grammie and Pops or life in Ethiopia and the next minute we are crying or feeling angry as we process this transition and loss. Keep us in your prayers as we walk through this crazy life transition.

One last thing before some awesome photos. 😉 Please be sure to follow along with our adoption — we would love nothing more than to walk this journey with you. This is our page telling about it and this is our fundraising site. We would be more than blessed if you wanted to share it via Facebook, Instagram, word of mouth, whatever!

And finally, pictures of our summer family vacation! We have been planning and looking forward to this trip for about 15 months and it was well worth the wait! We spend 10 days in Italy with family — five days on the edge of Lake Como and five days in Venice. Personally, I fell in love with Venice. Such a crazy cool city.

We made it!

But oh so tired.

Beautiful Lake Como

Getting right down to business. :-p

These three were so excited to be reunited.

Swim day!

Quick stop over in Milan.

Venice is beautiful!

Murano and Burano adventures

Cutest weirdos

Gelato every day!

Our last dinner in Italy.

Headed to the airport in the early hours of the morning.

fund raising here we go!

By addysengrace, adoption, america, christian, crafts, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, romania, travel No Comments

Our Adoption Store

We wil be selling various handmade goods to raise money for our adoption! All donations will go through Lifesong for Orphans, an organization that takes 0% of what you give. We are very excited to start off by offering you these hand-drawn greeting cards by Marie, Addy, and Mercy!

Suggested donation: $3 for 1, $5 for 2, $7 for 3 + postage.

You are {always} welcome to donate more 🙂 . Please email Marie [marie{dot}burtt{at}gmail{dot}com] with which cards you want and how many. Then go to our mySTORY to donate.

birthday trio by Marie

car trio by Mercy

thank you by Marie

forever friends by Marie

leaves duo by Addy

kitty by Mercy

outdoors trio by Marie

kitty and fish duo by Addy

Other ways to help:

  • Share our mySTORY giving page
  • Donate handmade goods for us to sell
  • Buy coffee! 50% of your purchase goes towards our adoption plus 100% of profit goes to orphan care

new blog look+adoption fundraiser and more!

By adoption, crafts, family, ministry No Comments

Whelp…here it is…thanks to the handsome husband that took my creative drawn images and turned them into the website I imagined. Ten years of marriage folks, and we have finally gotten to the place where I can describe something I designed for him to create. Success.

Anyway, back on topic. I hope you enjoy our new blog look. The pages are new! fresh! or something like that. Don’t forget to read about our adoption and then for fun read our life story (or something like that) here and here.

As for the adoption, our first fundraiser is being done by my sisters Casey and Cacey (my sister-in-laws, yes my brother’s married women with the same name, yes both of them are quite awesome). The simple version: here is a link to shop for really cool jewelry and 10% will go to our adoption.

The longer story is cool too. 🙂 Noonday Collection was started by a woman that was raising funds for her adoption from Rwanda, but quickly became a business that would alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship. You can read the entire story here.

Last but not least, we are working away on creating our own handmade goods to sell and 100% of the profit will go to the adoption! Be on the look out for greeting cards like these featuring the artwork of myself, Addy and Mercy. 🙂

 

goodbye autumn, hello christmas

By addysengrace, bucuresti, crafts, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

EB73852D-C37C-4243-A80F-A1284F651DD3

3147DF3A-1B8C-4C65-871A-1DE701DBBCCC

77278DF8-4E1A-47D6-A895-06D9C9332970when you want pumpkin purée but they don’t sell it, you buy a gingantic pumpkin, bake it, blend it and freeze it!

 

73626247-11B7-4982-B7D4-9E237DB831D1

80227F76-0715-4568-A997-85C809471FF1pumpkin cookies…pumpkin cake…the possibilities are endless!

 

E9F56F40-A341-419C-9F06-F6B8ECC0F5D7

52F4C7D0-1B7D-4EB8-A360-6184DBA7B91Dmaking bone broth or turkey soup tends to turn into a science experiment. we like to break open all the bones, rebuild the spinal cord, you get the picture.

 

B2C239AA-C156-460D-ADF9-9E130608EC2D

57AED227-C4CE-43E5-9B1C-0E606EEB5060

AD900DAC-3982-4169-902E-DDB60DC27E79the last of the pumpkin activities. 🙂

 

0CE1B12B-A5B8-4FC1-9609-D63FE8BFE6BA

234872C9-6310-43DD-B515-86D44C623128random successful “tofu” made from chickpea flour and our awesome thanksgiving veggie turkey!

 

BB4B7AD4-7D87-45F2-89F1-CE7643A7D3A2

D3AB8158-20C7-4680-9C23-A6F4AAEC274C

AEDB77A5-ABC5-44A6-B9DF-10861D2A5046

AAB5CE57-A51D-4E42-BE67-7C2C3B1D7880

48A7CF76-20BC-492D-AA73-92B772D8DFC6coffee filter turkeys from here.

 

4E4957F3-BACF-4EB0-8781-255125BB6044

74C21DE3-F6F7-4768-A60F-C85610104B30

918080B4-F269-483B-A371-617D11E583D4

E52118F1-5DAC-44AA-BD3A-AFDE38DC2D53you can find tutorials all over the internet but the idea is simple…dribble or drip paint on pieces of paper and scrap it off using a credit card or something similar. after ours dried, we cut out christmas trees, glued them on greeting cards and decorated them with anything and everything.

 

9FB32AE2-8F53-499D-B0A4-D05573CE1555

12050042-C6EC-45AC-9D07-05394CF0569F

F5EAD43E-A28A-49BF-ABB3-9B4FC65BC8CA

B64014D1-1826-4F96-B5F4-0AD5C6843F81there is never a reason to not paint paper in my opinion. 😀 seriously though, the craft possibilities are endless. we cut our paper into strips and have numerous crafts planned.

 

1723DA42-6E20-4BF4-AD9A-7E1F2AFDD045

EC8662D1-DFAE-4F94-ADC2-D616ECA14D8C

C5BA9A38-C59D-4852-B396-569DDABAD9A1

B33F7EFC-4474-48EF-9DA8-FAA4F88B0398

CEB25FF4-780A-46CF-B20C-893EA41AA654one of our crafts using painted paper strips, pretty simple yet fun (inspiration found here).

 

29A4DA09-2FEE-4063-860C-008D3659CB74we actually bought a legit piece of clay, softened it, shaped it into ornaments, let them dry, pained them, sealed them and made them into gifts. it was a fairly lengthy process that i would put away occasionally. both addy and mercy were happy with how they turned out!

 

autumn projects

By addysengrace, bucuresti, crafts, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

as much as i do enjoy autumn crafts, including halloween and thanksgiving…i have to confess that really my goal is to start christmas crafts. :-p but because we need to experience all things, we did a couple autumn crafts and we are going to do a couple thanksgiving crafts. 😀

IMG_0521

IMG_0527

lego challenges are the best…they are suitable for any age because you can make them easy or hard or in between. you can give your kid a step by step picture (just search on pinterest for lego challenges) or a picture of the finished product or you can simply describe something. for this one, i saw a “mosaic fall tree” floating around, so i showed it to them one time (extra challenge!) and told them to work as a team. this can actually make the project even harder because at 6 and almost 9, they have very different opinions, ha!

 

BF8F847B-3982-49D5-94DB-A15D02245F5C

IMG_0370

IMG_0371

IMG_0511

this is a great one for the million leaves your children might be collecting or a great reason to go on a treasure hunt and collect leaves. you could twist this project a million different ways. i told them to make “something that resembled a person plus a scenery and tell me a story about it afterward.” both kids enjoyed this one. one of these days i am going to start recording their elaborate stories because they are getting good at creative writing!

 

C5942241-8D67-4613-8A8B-A0EF3E7C7976

B907F648-DC8C-496E-A783-E7A2D84C6909

79E04035-8F55-4479-AB22-77F616431511

A23ED307-F47C-4DDD-8270-9098C94EEDCB

2095F1BF-ABDB-4DC0-98BE-A0C6E2C84B86

0A1018DB-DB62-4883-A17C-3B004440EA00

2BF0DCB5-2263-436E-A3A7-D95EC4A16DE9

F4FAE797-47CE-4482-9EB2-E3DA641B003E

01990DF1-28E6-4E84-BCF6-93BFB868A5DF

7A04D661-F641-4F8E-8B94-1214C01C8A86

we truly had an everything fun filled party on the 31st. halloween is not quite the same holiday here but we enjoy celebrating the non gruesome or freaky version. and my kids love nature so halloween-ish + nature-y themed foods only make sense. we used apple slices (tossed in lemon juice), nut butter, strawberries, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds and goni berries to make monster faces. we used hard boiled eggs (notice ours are small cause they are quail) and sliced black olives to make eyeballs. bananas, coconut powder and skewers made ghosts. we used an eggplant and skewers and grapes to make a huge spider plus plums, toothpicks and raisins to make little spiders. mandarins with celery greens became pumpkins and i can’t remember what else. we also decorated pumpkins but went with painting, glueing and glittering them (pumpkins here aren’t for carving but are very thick walled..think hours of cutting!). plus history needed to be revisited with it being the 500 year anniversary of martin luther mailing his 95 thesis to the church door…so we read, colored and reinacted monk life.

 

6D0CE064-9EFD-49D7-B1B3-9C144AEE7DD6

E60A482C-82F9-4896-AEA9-D1AE1CF4512E

C56F0A1B-0378-4A2A-87C6-396EFE96BCF9

A61138AB-9D3D-4B0B-A3C8-B045AF17B6D6

another simple but longer process project…leaves using contact paper. just cut a square and tape it sticky side up and cover it with tissue paper (red, orange, yellow, green) in any way you like then place another piece of contact paper sticky side down to seal it all together. after that trace and cut different fall leaves and tape them to your windows! my 6 year old is magical with scissors so she did most of the cutting. (random fact. when she was little, we noticed giving her scissors and something to cut calmed her and stopped a tantrum!)

 

stay tuned for a couple (three to be exact) thanksgiving crafts but be more ready for christmas crafts…cause yes we have already started!

no joke. this is currently happening:
E7C5237D-2BB0-4B2A-AB53-12A05F5BC12B