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!

a moldovan easter weekend

By Holidays, Kids, Moldova

we had a pretty good easter, all things considered. i had planned on getting more things accomplished but in the end, we did what we did! i started matching dresses for the girls six days before easter. bad idea. i got the flu thursday night and it took every ounce of my energy on friday and saturday. needless to say i still need to finish their dresses (which are really cute by the way!). addy and i did some strings/glue eggs (similar to something i saw on pinterest) except that the balloons here are actually somewhat possessed and our garland is going to be really cute year round stuff instead. {pictures in a later post, promise!} addy and i also made some cool crystal eggs from a website my mom sent me although i just realized i haven’t taken any pictures of them yet. oh well, maybe those will be in a later post also. we also dyed eggs. psycho eggs. with crazy dye. seriously it was an experiment.


we had these eggs. but i read around on the internet and some people actually prefer to dye brown eggs. the website i found said to give them a diluted vinegar bath before coloring them. i followed the instructions and my eggs became splotchy. everything i read said pat the eggs dry, don’t rub them…but i am not sure they were talking about my eggs.


this was the dye. it was liquid. it squirted all over my hands and my hands became deep, maroon red. i was a little worried and it took washing the dishes all day and the next before the dye came off (lucky christian!)


addy thought coloring eggs was a blast. she kept talking about making the eggs pretty and keeping them forever. the eggs came out…interesting. they were obviously extremely splotchy. some turned deep dark colors and some not so much. the good part is that i also found those shrinky-dink thingies and we added those. those make all eggs look better.


sunday morning…mercy does not seem to have inherited puffy morning eyes quite like addy did. this is also a quick glimpse of dada without coffee. okay that’s a little mean…he was also getting sick. he’s not normally that sad/serious/scary looking with or without coffee!


i don’t know who thought giving a three year old candy upon waking was a brilliant or fun idea. i really plan on rethinking our easter traditions for next year. i don’t go overboard…i found these hollow chocolate eggs and addy also got a mini package of skittles. but really, what was i thinking. here’s come chocolate, addy…but no, you can’t eat it yet.


{side note, they box said “egg of gold” and it was obviously hollow with something in it. i was thinking maybe there would be little “gold” coins in it…but no, there was this piece of white chocolate in the shape of…an olympic symbol? what is that thing?


this is mercy opening her box. she really likes boxes.


this is mercy after receiving a centimeter-sized taste of the white chocolate inside before giving it to dada. she also really likes sugar, obviously. shocking.


this is a three year old that has been told they don’t get to eat a bag of skittles (miniature or not) and a chocolate egg (hollow or not) for breakfast. it went over quite well, if you can’t tell. then christian took the girls into their bedroom while i tried to figure out something better.


and it came to me. i can’t credit another source but i probably saw this or something similar somewhere. maybe i saw it on a blog or pinterest, who knows. it was brilliance either way. the eggs are in cups due to the psycho-ness of the egg dye. this egg dye might stain skin for days but it practically wiped off our eggs. just plain weird if you ask me!


i cut a peice of paper into eight squares and drew (is that the right word? i’m losing my english!) the fastest drawings known to man. so don’t judge the quality. i actually know how to draw when i don’t have two children staging a revolt in the other room.


i hid the eggs in said locations. i went in and told addy, “you won’t believe it. our breakfast is lost! someone stole it and hid it throughout our house. here are the clues and you have to find our food so we can eat.” she just wasn’t digging it at first. she was still thinking about miniature bags of skittles and hollow chocolate eggs.


and then she found the first egg and she was hooked. she came bolting back, “mama! i found the treasure! give me another clue!”


that wonky little picture? it’s our vacuum, obviously.


she go so into it, she would “read” the clue…”go to the vacuum and somewhere is the treasure egg.”


she searched high and low and would laugh each time she would discover the hiding spot. she would also “oooo” and “ahhh” over each egg even though she had seen them all many times before.


i’m telling you, it was my moment of God-given brilliance and redemption for giving my kids candy before breakfast and then not letting them eat it.


the closest one is our heater. there’s a video at the very end of her looking for the final egg (under the heater).


a very proud and accomplished treasure-hunter! after a fun breakfast, showers, pretty outfits and such, we headed out of town where we spent the rest of the day with three other families from church. this is the view from the house we were at.


it’s amazing what just a few weeks of rain can do…do you see the little white buds on those trees. they are so close to being in full bloom.


four families can actually put together quite a spread!


that’s our ever talented teresa…do you see the double plates in one hand serving job going on there? yup, talent!


the kids’ table: cristi and ludmila’s oldest – cristinel, steven and teresa’s oldest – aiden and our oldest too.


eating a mushroom like a big girl.


then these two played outside. i swear with their love-hate relationship, they just might end up married. they were “rowing” a boat obviously. they are a year apart in age but elias is almost as tall and has a few pounds on her!


a (kind of) long video of addy finding her last egg. should you choose to watch it…please ignore all the towels on the kitchen floor (our fridge leaks) and the messy condition of our home…i was still getting over the flu!


the blood story

By Kids, Moldova

i was going to post a few photos of what addy has been doing this past week but today she sat down on the sofa next to me, opened a (romanian!) bible and started reading. for those of you who don’t know, the blood story is pretty much the salvation story (creation to resurrection) that we tell her. it’s a little longer than our normal videos. i confess the slight shaking in the middle is me laughing. mercy is sitting on my lap playing with an (unpeeled but washed) banana that she somehow bites the end off!


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!

a thought provoking scripture this morning

By Bible Thoughts, Moldova

i know today is friday (well in moldova at least) and later on today i plan to write a post about the three year old we call addy grace. but while it is still thursday in the states, i thought i would post a scripture that hit me this morning.

Mark 10:28-30

Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property…

Along with persecution.

And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.

i know following Christ is full of blessings. i know following Christ is peace and happiness and joy. i know Christ loves me and cares for me and will always be right here, taking care of me.

but don’t forget that there will be persecutions along the way. it doesn’t mean Jesus has forgotten about us. sometimes it means we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing! sin makes it impossible not to be persecuted as followers of Christ.

trials don’t always mean we are doing something wrong.

sometimes they mean we are doing everything right.


yay mercy

By Kids, Moldova

mercy has been a champ this week. she’s been teething, getting her top (right side) front tooth. or so we thought. she’s also been fighting a fever, ear ache and snotty nose. all possible symptoms of teething or a bug. then low and behold i am playing with her and making her laugh and i look closer…only to find that she is cutting ALL FOUR OF HER TOP TEETH. i didn’t even know that was possible. no wonder the kid has been such a grump. ♥

we were blessed with a washing machine. then we were blessed with a new and improved (non-leaking, non-earthquaking) washing machine. what i didn’t realize is that the front loading washing machine was most definitely created by a mother. i was able to make dinner and clean the kitchen while mercy laughed, giggled and danced with our clothing. (side note: please appreciate her adorable cloth diaper bum in jeans!) here is just a little piece of the fun:

today we discovered that whenever you say, “yay mercy,” she will respond by smiling brilliantly and clapping for herself. she only claps for herself. she doesn’t clap if you say “yay addy” or “yay dada.” we tried. she has very high self esteem. 🙂

hope you enjoy these two videos of this quickly growing (at least mentally!), goofy kid! she sure makes us smile and laugh.

learning how to craft in moldova

By Moldova

i did a little bit of successful crafting ’round here and wanted to share it! it feels good to feel the crafting urge come back. (insert long story.) this is a wreath i made that i gave as a house warming gift.

purchase the most hideous wreath at the second hand that you can find…

is that a potato?

make yarn pom poms (i read different blogs and this is the closest to the method i used):

let this cute thing make pom poms too!

make a zillion pom poms, planning on making this wreath:

wrap wreath in ribbon and discover that you really like the look of the ribbon:

start tying pom poms on the wreath:

search high and low for your pom poms and discover they are currently in use:

realize you like this look instead, with some ribbon showing…but that it needs a little something more:

make a few felt flowers. i am sure there are a zillion tutorials online but i actually just watch my sister, sarah make these and did what i remembered her doing. i used a hot glue gun that isn’t pictured.

take a picture before giving as a gift!

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