with love from sleeping beauty and cinderella ♥

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

i married an only child.


there is nothing wrong with marrying an only child.


although there is always the chance that they don’t do kids well.


but i didn’t need to worry.


i married a natural. ♥


dear hubs,


thank you for being an amazing, caring, silly, loving, passionate, driven, concerned, protective, fun and completely awesome daddy to our princesses. we love you so much and are so thankful the Lord gave you to us! thank you for being our prince charming.


love forever,


marie {aka mama}, cinderella {aka addy} and sleeping beauty {aka mercy}


p.s. happy father’s day!


goodnight baby girl

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

tonight i laid my baby girl down to sleep for the last time.


yeah, yeah, i know. tomorrow she will only be a day older.


but she will be one.


and mamas out there know what i am feeling tonight.


i don’t know if mercy is my last baby or not…which is why i am so thankful that my own mama has been reminding me from day one to enjoy every moment {even the exhausting parts} like they are my last.


so whether or not i have another baby to rock to sleep someday, tonight i took my time snuggling and kissing my baby girl. because i know tomorrow she is going to wake up a little older.




goodnight, mercy girl. see you when you are one!


p.s. sorry for the fuzzy phone pictures.
p.p.s. i do realize she is wearing christmas pjs. they are surprisingly thin. and they still fit. so why not?
p.p.p.s. check back tomorrow for a special photo montage of the birthday girl!
p.p.p.p.s. but a little video to hold grandma and grammie over for now


happy birthday, grammie! ♥

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

this is a fun time to have grammie and pops visiting. they got here on mother’s day. before they leave, we are celebrating mercy’s first birthday. and today, we celebrated grammie’s birthday.

we started the morning with eggs, potatoes and fresh fruit.


the girls are really into all the fruit options right now!


addy has a thing for cherries.


and mercy has a thing for strawberries.


pops has a thing for grammie. ♥


then pops and daddy stayed home with the girls so grammie and mama could have a date on the town. it was a blast and included a coffee date, introducing grammie to the market, almost losing grammie to a jam packed bus and a few other exciting events.


we ended the day with soup and bread. and then a candle in a little goodie called chocolate zefir.



grammie may have been attempting to introduce mercy to chocolate before her first birthday. oh grammie.


she wasn’t into it at all. whatsoever. can’t you tell?


this one loves zefir.


happy birthday grammie. thanks for being an amazing mother and grandmother. we love you and are so thankful that you are here in moldova with us on your birthday.

addy grace klein burtt

By Family, Kids, Moldova

warning, these pics are kind of old!


here’s the background details. in early november, addy and i went in to a home depot to buy some small tiles to make into photo coasters. she started to climb one of those large orange metal stair/ladder/things. i told her, “addy get down! that’s a no-no!” she actually went to obey without an argument and on the last step caught her shoe, tripped and fell face first into a pile of tiles. let’s just say it was a bloody mess. of course it left a lovely green bruise and two decent gashes (one is hidden in her hair line). nothing like a good memory for her birthday! i kept putting off her three year old pics but finally took these four days before christmas. and since our christmas to january was a somewhat hectic blur, i never did anything about them! i remembered them last week and decided to post them.


the bruise is a good three year memory i think. the dress was mine. ♥ i’m also wearing it in my three year old pictures. i will have to get grammie to scan the picture for me. addy was a blast in these pictures except towards the end she jumped off a stump and cut her hand. we had to end the photo shoot with an angry birds band aid. the good news is that addy gets hurt less and less these days (but the bad news is that mercy now gets injured regularly).




how did this kid get so gorgeous?


little binky gap going on there…


mama’s brown eyed girl


this is how most good photo shoots end, right? one injury:

and a complete boycott against smiling

p.s. i don’t normally see family resemblance…i just don’t have an “eye” for it. but i look at these two pictures and all i see is my brother aaron in them!

mercy the obedient child…not really!

By Family, Kids, Moldova

hi. my name is mercy adoniyah. i am nine and a half months old. i have skinny legs and a buddha belly after i eat a full meal. daddy put this disposable diaper on me and if you can’t tell i am really into wearing it plumber style. ♥

in other news, although i love saying “tickle, tickle, tickle” while chasing my big sister throughout the apartment…when my mama tries to record it, i refuse to say a word.

i also have six teeth and am working on two more. i refuse to show a soul or a camera which is making my auntie doh doh very unhappy. ♥

see you next week!

flashback mercy

By Family, Holidays, Kids

sarah reminded me that we never really did anything with these pictures. we haven’t even touched them up, but i think they look really good just the way they are. this was the funnest (??) photo shoot i have done with sarah and now i realize we are a great team. i have tried taking mercy’s eight month and nine month photos on my own and oh. my. goodness. impossible? maybe. mercy’s next few months (years?) of her life might be documented in blurs of motion. i’m not joking. i don’t understand how something so little can move so fast.

on that note, here she is in all her six month adorableness. when climbing out of a metal bucket took time. when crawling was a little slow and methodical. when she sat still. those were the days of easy picture taking. 🙂

p.s. she is nine months tomorrow. how is that possible?

my oldest is actually cinderella ♥

By Family, Kids, Moldova

she is cinderella.

and if you call her anything else…

you will probably get this reaction.

on a side crunchy note…i’ve been trying to figure out addy’s hair. her hair is still fluffy like a baby, fragile, delicate, whispy and at times, even frizzy. i hate the idea of using special shampoos or conditioners or anything in her hair. i finally found something that is really working. she gets a bath on friday morning and i rinse her hair with either water, vinegar or a little shampoo. then we towel dry and blow dry her hair. i rub a little grapeseed oil in the palms of my hands and work it into the ends of her hair. throughout the day, i keep combing it and you will see the oil work its way up. it should be completely gone by saturday but if it is still there just comb a little corn starch into the top of her head and the oily look will disappear. her hair is becoming softer and silkier before my eyes plus grapeseed oil should help her hair to grow. we do it once a week and she says her hair is turning golden like tangled!

international women’s day

By Family, Holidays, Moldova

we interrupt the typical thursday is about mercy post to being you a special holiday post…

today was international women’s day which is a pretty big holiday. the markets were unusually quiet. there were less maxi-taxis on the road. and i actually think we didn’t get mail today. it used to be a holiday for all working women but i believe it is also somewhat of a mother’s day meets valentines’ day.

i had a great day. i woke up to flowers, a card and special coffee. later on i got a completely awesome set of christmas matryoshka dolls that i had seen at the souvenir piața. in case you are wondering, christmas related gifts are as romantic as it comes in my book. ♥

i went to the piața with teresa and found something at the second hard that i will blog about later. (it’s a gift, so i can’t show pictures yet!) we decided to go into the grocery store for no reason in particular and to our complete amazement we found 100% pure coconut oil. we were very excited because we had finally found it at one farmacie and the price was about 80 lei (almost $7) for a time bottle (100ml, maybe 200?). these containers of coconut oil were 500ml and only 60 lei ($5!). who knows if they will ever get it again, so we bought all they had, ha!

later in the afternoon, christian asked if he could make something particular for dinner. it was sweet that he was willing but cooking is still a lot of work for me and i didn’t really want to throw that one on him. we decided to switch things up a little and go out. where did we go? of course, we went on a family outing to mcdonalds for the first time. strange as it may sound, mcdonalds is pretty stinking classy ’round here. we are talking u.s.a. prices and bmw and land rovers parked in the parking lot.

we had a blast. for the record, addy is distracted not sad in these pictures.

christian enjoyed a cheese burger, fries and coke. addy enjoyed a kid’s meal (possibly her first?) of chicken nuggets (minus a little nugget), fries and an ice cream cone. i enjoy a salad called the mediterranean and a coffee.

mercy was supposed to enjoy this…

but in all honesty, she enjoyed this…

and this…

and this!

yep, my almost-nine month old snatched one of her sister’s french fries and devoured it. i cringe a little because i find the french fry gross but i have to laugh remembering that addy also snatched a french fry and ate it three years ago, when we were visiting moldova for the first time. the ice cream…well okay fine i willingly gave her a bite. seriously, how can you not feed that pitiful face. she just knew our food tasted better than hers. which is completely true.

then we came home and got ready for bed and even managed to lose power for absolutely no reason (everyone else had power) and christian got to go ask oleg, our fifth floor neighbor for the keys to flip our breaker. ah, joys. we also realized we have one tiny flashlight and zero candles. guess what we are buying tomorrow?

happy women’s day, to all the amazing women in my life.

love, marie ♥

where is 2011 going?

By Family, Kids, Moldova


It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through February. Where did January go? We brought in the new year happily asleep except for hearing the occasional gunfire or holler. I’m pretty sure many pregnant women brought in the new year sleeping just like me. 🙂


Then Grammie came for a cooking vacation. Basically she cook and I was on vacation. Actually she wanted to cook for everyone and I just reaped the benefits! We did sneak a Disneyland day in there and a few other fun activities. It really seemed like a short trip but I think she was here for an entire week.


Daddy, aka Christian has already gotten really old this year. 🙂 We ended January (and started February) with lots of celebrating. We drove to Modesto (thanks Jim and Cindy for the use of your home!) the Saturday before his birthday and had a great dinner with Christian’s family, my family and our NorCal friends. Grammie and Pops followed us home. Sunday we went to Sharkey’s after church and were blessed to have even more friends and family fill the entire restaurant to share a birthday lunch (am I married to a popular guy or something?!). But the grand finale didn’t start until Monday, when Christian and I were blessed to go on a four day cruise to Catalina and Mexico. Grammie, Pops and Auntie Doh watched Addy and I am very thankful for them – – I don’t think I could have left my baby girl if the three of them hadn’t been watching her! She did great and we got more sleep than imaginable. We were pretty much old people cruisers – – we ate when we felt like it and were in bed by 9pm every night. We had the most awesome tiny room down the middle of the ship (windows cost extra!) and it was perfect for us!


All that to say, January is over and Christian and I find ourselves thinking the strangest things – – such as, “that was our last January in the states” and “that was Christian’s last birthday in the states” and well, you get the picture! This is a weird year for us – – it’s like everything we need to figure out and sort out needs to get done. Every month brings us closer to the “big move.” Every decision we make is weighed now – – because we won’t be here that much longer and that makes a difference!


A lot of friends have asked us about our timeline. I thought I would give a basic one and add more details later. March, April and May are baby-preparation months. We figure it’s going to be a little hectic after the baby comes, so we are trying to get everything done before then. We are slowly transitioning our responsibilities. We are getting finances and such in order. We are going to be having garage sales and Lord willing, raising money to cover our moving costs. And then hopefully, baby will make his or her appearance in May or at the very latest, June. Since Addy was two weeks late, I have to keep reminding myself that this baby could be a June baby.


We figure June will be a lot of recuperating and adjustments – – but we are going to be blessed to have Auntie Doh living here, Grammie coming down to help and Christian having a much more flexible work schedule this time. Addy seems to be doing so well with the idea of a new baby coming. She loves to lay her cheek against my tummy and talk to “her” baby. She has come up with many name suggestions, including some really great ones like “Strawberry Shortcake,” “Spiderman” and “Beef Jerky.” Pretty much she is full of suggestions.


July and August will be packing and selling and selling some more. We may have found flights that allow us three bags per person, which would be a total of (9) 50 pound bags. Hopefully that is enough or even more than enough. However, we’ve never moved our family overseas before so it may be harder than it sounds! I have been gaining as much advice as possible from other friends that have moved their families to other countries. Lots of “take this” and “don’t worry about that”.” We will end August by moving into my parents’ house (thanks, Mom and Dad).


September will be (Lord willing) a month to travel, see some far away family and maybe even attend a few preparation classes/courses for new missionaries. We aren’t exactly sure what it will look like because we are still planning it but hopefully it will include a few road tips and plane rides. Christian is also going to fly over to Moldova in October (take some of our stuff) and get things set up – – things like renting our apartment.


Then it will be the holidays and we will spend the rest of October, November and December with our family and friends in NorCal. We will probably take one last trip back to Thousand Oaks in December to see our church family before we leave. And then it will be January and we will be moving to Moldova with a three year old and a seven month old.


All that to say, I think 2011 is going to disappear fast – – and I have mixed, excited and bittersweet feelings about it. That however, would be for another post!


Happy Valentine’s Day from Christian, Marie, Addy and BabyB <3

baby’s ultrasound pictures

By Family, Kids

okay, so they are a month old now (or maybe more?) but at least I am posting them, right?! these are baby #2’s twenty week ultrasound pictures and pretty cute if you ask me. 🙂 they also look so much like addy’s ultrasound, it’s amazing!








christmas 2010

By Family, Holidays, Kids

Christmas was perfect this year – – full of fun, food and family. Baby B did make me a little sick right around Christmas Eve but I managed to enjoy a few delicious goodies. I can’t believe that tomorrow we are heading back down south. It’s been a pretty wonderful December!

The Oaks_20101201_000142
Success! Addy really wanted to sit on Santa’s lap but was too nervous the first four times so I (being the good mama that I am) kept trying until she finally felt brave enough to sit on his lap. She was very proud of herself afterward!

Our amazing Christmas tree and maybe my last Leland Cyprus (since next year we will be living up north).

Craft: Cranberry and Popcorn Garland
Picking out the cranberries.

Putting them on the thread and needle.

Eating the extra popcorn.

Putting it on her little Christmas tree!

Craft: Making Marshmallow Creme Fudge
She was a BIG help with this one, can’t you tell?!

Craft: Making Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Crushing the candy canes into crumbs.

Filling the center of the cookies with candy cane crumbs.

Craft: Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, Oreo White Chocolate Balls and everything else dipped in chocolate!

Craft: Advent Wreath
Showing off her work.

Showing off Mama’s work.

Most mornings, we eat oatmeal for breakfast. This morning, all Addy wanted was hot chocolate!

A little girl with big attitude!

Christmas Program: Addy’s angel debut!
Olivia was wondering why she didn’t have a lolly pop.

She was actually pretty offended that she wasn’t allowed to stand on the stage with the “big girl” angels.


Christmas Eve:
“I’m two!”

Grandma and Grandpa Burtt

Great-Grandma Dine, Daddy, Addy, Grandpa

Christmas Morning:
Ready and waiting – – where are all the sleepy heads?!

Oh, there they are!

Grammie and Pops fixed up a doll house for Addy, making it look brand new. I was especially excited about this idea, because a doll house isn’t something we will be able to take to Moldova but she will have one until we go. Grammie bought a new doll house family that will be able to go to Moldova with us!

This was her reaction to pretty much everything she opened.

Thank you to our friends, the Rohrers for these beautiful matching stockings!

That’s chocolate in her mouth that you can see.

I am actually quite good on the trike and Addy enjoys a good bike ride with mama!

Cousin Spencer got a fire engine that makes NOISE from Grammie and Pops.

Emma doing a little dance with her tambourine and Uncle “T.”

There were even more crafts but I don’t have pictures of all of them. The one thing I learned is that a “one day” craft might take two or even three days when you are working with a toddler’s attention span. The key is to have FUN and be creative. Oh and making a mess is good too.

I hope all of you had a great Christmas.
Happy New Year!