so not chia

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chia seeds seem to be one of the new, hip, cool health foods right now.


you can’t get chia seeds here in moldvoa {that i know of}. if you really feel like sending me some, be my guest, ha!


but you know what you can get? basil seeds. {the kind for eating.} and even though right now, you are wondering if i am crazy – – they pack a healthy little punch!


so i bought some and had no idea what to do. i soaked them and was so stinking intrigued. i may have told addy i had a cup full of eyeballs. now she is asking me if we are going to eat eyeballs for lunch.


their texture is something like tapioca or boba tea or even sushi fish eggs {just without the taste of fish!} i have no idea if they compare to chia because i have never tasted chia.


but i created this little beverage and dang it, i like it.


harmless looking basil seeds:

add water:

eyeballs emerge freakishly fast:

add stevia and kefir to taste:

crazy or not, i liked it. christian tasted it and shuddered. we came to this conclusion – – if you like boba tea or tapioca pudding, you would probably like basil seed kefir. but if you think the texture of tapioca is somewhat disgusting {like my husband} than this is not the health beverage for you.


addy like it though. and mercy. they are cool like that.


just life

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I am working on a few different posts but nothing is quite ready yet. I thought in the meantime I would do a little mini “newsy” posts. I’ve seen these on some of the blogs I follow and I enjoy them.


1. In family news – – Addy is pacifier free. True, she still occasionally asks for it, but she is free from her own addiction. She did fall off the band wagon about two weeks into the “zero mimi” phase and we found her curled up under the kitchen table with an old mimi discovered while cleaning house. I’m stinking proud of her though since to this day I still remember trying to stop sucking my thumb!


2. This is a blog by my friend Gina and this post should be read by all parents. It really helped me to stop and think.


3. I found this blog and it is full of natural, healthy recipes and tips for the kitchen. I have just started soaking all our grains, nuts and seeds before eating them. Does anyone else do this?


4. What I really want to do is sprout our legumes and nuts. A few sites I have been reading include this one and this one and this one. Do you have any experience in this area or any sites to recommend?


5. I now know THREE women pregnant with twins. Um, where was this twin “sickness” when I was pregnant? More babies for less pregnancy? I confess I am a tad jealous! Yet not jealous enough to miss pregnancy. Don’t worry there.


6. We are only using raw, organic honey and stevia these days and I just ordered these seeds from Amazon. I can’t wait to see if they work. I was reading that you can just put a fresh stevia leaf in a mug of tea or coffee and it sweetens it!


7. I just successfully made raw nut butter for the girls. I am pretty excited that it turned out. I was reading this blog post about it but I ended up learning a lot and changing a little so hopefully I will blog about it in detail!


8. I don’t have a lot of time to just sit back and read a blog. But when I do have a little time, this one and this one seem to be favorites.


9. This video will make you cry but it’s worth watching and reading.


Annnndddddd that is it. On a reflexive note, I have been struck by how many of my friends are going through a painful experience right now – – death, loss and disappointment. I find that I hurt when my friends or family hurt. I think that is both a good and a bad quality. I am trying to use it for good and become a prayer warrior out of it.


For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17


P.S. Please take note of the large quantity of oatmeal on Mercy’s bib. She is very much opposed to help if you couldn’t tell.






six months {part two}

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six months.



ha, i am a poet.


seriously though i can’t explain the first six months in the life of a newly uprooted missionary {family}. there were times when everything was a breeze. and there were times when i didn’t think i could keep plugging along. there have been times when our bodies have threatened to shut down completely but thanks to the Lord and a whole lotta prayers we have been able to continue down this road.


if i have learned anything in six months this one seems to be at the top – – the prayers of our family and friends are one of the most important pieces to this puzzle called missionary.


so on that note, thank you for praying for us. thank you for sending us mail, packages and emails. thank you for posting scriptures to our facebook pages. i know we don’t answer them as often as we would like but please know this, they mean a lot.


keep praying for us. summer will come to an end. the church will launch this fall. and then the holidays will be here which we know will be another challenge in our journey!


we love you all very much and are very blessed to call all of you our team!


love, christian, marie, addy and mercy


and a few videos from our first two weeks here:




six months {part one}

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six months ago today, we began our trek – – move to moldova. stay tuned for a longer reflection on wednesday!

yeah. i don’t have any other pictures until two days later in moldova. i don’t even remember taking my camera or phone out once. however my mom sent me these pictures from the airport:

i can’t believe it has already been six months and i can’t believe it has only been six months. ♥

oh my.

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it was that day. you know. that one. it almost started rough. oh wait, it kind of did. it could have been worse. oh wait, it was pretty bad.


yet it was a really good day.




i think not.



so if you missed something along the way, i am single parenting. christian left around 3am on thursday morning and will be gone until monday night/tuesday morning. i knew it was going to be a little rough, with him leaving four days after grammie and pops left.


addy is going through a phase. i call it “wake-up-and-get-in-bed-with-mom-and-dad-every-night.” so because she was in my bed, i turned my alarm off. because christian is gone, i am sleeping somewhat poorly. consequently we all woke up around 6:30a.


grrr. i really like getting up at least an hour before my girls. it really helps my emotional status. however i am reading a super amazing devotional my mom got me called “Jesus Calling” and i am continually reminded to allow the Holy Spirit to orchestrate my day. so with a deep breath, i drank two seventeen cups of coffee and read my bible outloud to two starving children.


that’s right. i made them wait until 7:30 in the morning before feeding them. worst mother of the year in their books. ♥


consequently you have exhibit a, where i allowed my children to pull out every spice i own in an effort to keep them entertained which somewhat allowed me to make us them breakfast.


you might think i am over reacting but mercy cannot ever ever ever be left alone. she is crazy child. she can make anything dangerous. exhibit b would be my feeble attempt to go potty for the first time this morning. this is a childproof obviously very dangerous room.


do you people see what i am up against? hello, the child is a peanut here. the child is twenty eight inches tall. she is a seventeen pound one year old. that table is almost as tall as her. she was standing on it laughing wickedly by the time i got in there {i should mention, due to the fact that addy was yelling, “mama, sissy is doing something very, very naughty!”}


i moved them into the living room and attempted to make microwave oatmeal for myself.


our microwave is quite possibly possessed. i’ve never changed the power level yet some days it defrosts and other days it incinerates. the other half of the missing oatmeal became microwave paint.


i really, really wanted a shower this morning. but the kid can’t be left alone. so i came up with thee brilliant plan-o. i buckled her into her booster seat {i almost left this in california? um, hello dumbo!}. i set her in the middle of the living room and pulled out a tub of toys and a tub of books. i assigned addy the job of “entertain sissy.” can you guess who was thrilled with this plan and who was slightly less than happy about it?


i took man’s fastest shower. and woman’s.


i rinse my hair with diluted apple cider vinegar. i mention this because just as i was pouring it on my hair, a forceful stream of water began spraying me in the face to where i couldn’t breathe. i opened my eyes without thinking and got vinegar in my eyes. oh yes, the shower faucet exploded mid-shower. think broken fire hydrant spraying straight into the sky. now think broken faucet spraying straight into my face.


about half way through, addy did yell {we were talking back and forth} “um, mama…she’s pooping.” but i didn’t think much about it. i mean, the kid eats mostly solids so if you must know the truth, she poops mostly turds. yup, major blog tmi.


but i was not prepared for the stench that greeted me upon reentry into the living room. it was not good. i am sorry to post a poo picture. but seriously people…this is poo. almost to her neck. and that was just one of the four ways it managed to escape her diaper.


the kid hasn’t had a blow out in over six months.


i’m gonna go with too many cherries. and strawberries. and apricots. and plums.


oh seasonal fruit that i will never again see until next summer.


i’m considering feeding her white rice tomorrow.


it’s a six month outfit and it’s getting a little tight on her. i’m considering chucking it.


amazingly, i was composed. i was calm. i was cheerful.


i’m gonna have to say it was a God thing.


so I did what any responsible mother of two in a house smelling like poo would do.


i left.


i loaded up baby carrier, child, stroller, child and purse. i managed to wear mercy and get the {collapsed} stroller and addy on the bus but with recent rain, mud and a very full bus, it was not easy {think muddy wheels of the stroller coming into very close contact with not thrilled people}.


we exited el bus-o {a little spanish ya know} and walked all the way from one end of “main” street to the other end. we found a sweet old lady that we tried talking with and i ended up buying little hats for $3 each.


hats are very important on children here. i’ve been chewed out more than once for not keeping my child’s head covered.


this adorable thing slept.and this one chatted with me while we ate apples and cucumbers together. when did my baby start chatting with me? {yes, that is apple showing. i think it’s cute.}
how can i have a bad day? how can i be grumpy? i get to spend my days with these two. the Lord has been showing me that it really is all about perspective.


and yes, i do let my mostly gluten free children consume the occasional mcdonald’s ice cream cones. i really think they are more air than gluten. and they get soooooo excited about them.


then we walked home. i considered the bus but i had found a great deal on a {large} pack of diapers and wasn’t sure it was possible to actually facilitate a bus ride without another adult. it was an amazing walk.


i really needed it.


i don’t know how far it is, but it is a pretty long walk. if my google maps guess-age is correct, we walked at least 4-5 kilometers or over 2.5 miles. it was awesome.


we got home and i laid the girls down. they slept. and slept. and slept.


then we met up with our friend anya who is taking care of steven and teresa’s oldest two while they are in arad with christian.


we took them to the little soviet-era amusement park for a fabulous $8 spent entertaining four kids {aiden, elias, leah + addy}.


mercy’s entertainment was completely free.


i call it: the sun.


yeah she’s cool like that.



so yeah, we definitely miss our dada around here. yet with the Lord’s help we had a really good day. ♥

quick catch up

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here is the picture post i meant to get done before grammie and pops got here. better late than never, i guess! i realized i can’t blog about grammie and pops’ visit until i post these pictures.


♥addy grace, three and a half years old and mercy adoniyah, eleven months old♥



saving memories

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i am not a very strong person.


i think i used to be. but i am not anymore. i guess that’s not such a bad thing.


we gave addy the middle name grace because of the passage in 2 corinthians 12:9, “and He said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ therefore most gladly i will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. therefore i take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. for when i am weak, then i am strong.”


but sometimes i wonder how the Lord is planning to use me.


because i feel just that helpless. useless. weak.


i felt bolder with my parents here. weird, huh?


i’m thirty years old but i found myself a little more confident with them around. i think it was just knowing they were there to help at any moment. if christian and i needed to take a quiet walk outside, they would be there to watch the kids. if christian and i were completely exhausted from that thing called parenting, they would step in and support us and back us up. when i went to the market, my mom was there to smile and throw her own english into the mix of my broken romanian and help even the stoic russian woman laugh a little.


and strangely enough, it was very, very, very comforting.


they also encouraged. they fixed things {toilets and outlets} and sewed things {birthday outfits and fitted sheets}. they encouraged us with a morning devotional and time of prayer. they cooked. they did dishes. they changed diapers. {okay that’s a lie…grammie changed diapers. but pops helped distract the diaper-changee if that makes it any better.}


sorry for the ramble. i probably shouldn’t be writing a blog post right about now. i’m mentally exhausted. i’m emotionally spent. i’ve cried my weekly monthly yearly amount of tears.


so keep that in mind if you find this post melancholy, depressing or just downright strange.


i actually just wanted to post a handful of my favorite pictures from the past two weeks. the rest will come later but these make me smile and i need a smile right about now.


dear grammie and pops,

you made the past two weeks amazing. we loved every second of it. please come back.

christian, marie, addy and mercy ♥




the fastest two weeks of my life

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the last two weeks of mercy’s pregnancy {the two weeks i was overdue} were the slowest two weeks of my life. ever.


the past two weeks?


not so much.




yet as hard as today is, i can say without a doubt: it has been worth it.


“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”



{just a little late}

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so i keep meaning to post this adorable-ness i call my youngest princess. christian and i took the girls to the park a few days before grammie and pops got here and took lots of pictures. here is mercy’s eleven month pic {and the rest will follow soon, hopefully!}


two days to grammie and pops!

By Kids, Moldova, Uncategorized

i love this kid.


she made me a mom.


she perplexes me.


she confuses me.


she makes me giggle outloud at random moments.


she’s the hot water to my tea bag.


she’s been the greatest factor of my sanctification so far.


i really love this kid.



on a side note, we are one week mimi-decreased. i am so proud of her. last week she had her mimi in her mouth for oh about 92% of her day. today she had it in her mouth for about 42% of her day. she diligently takes it to her “safe spot” the second she wakes up from her nap or nighttime and doesn’t go get it until it’s time to go to sleep again. you have no idea how much work it has taken to get to this point. {i take that back. some of you know exactly how much work it has taken.}


yesterday she told me, “mama you should use less english and talk more in romanian like everyone else.” {must you rub it in, child?}


today she asked me to nurse her doll.


i said to her, “grammie and pops are coming. what do you think they should bring you?” she replied, “gypsy.” {gypsy is their dog.}


she can’t wait for her grammie and pops to get here on sunday. she has everything planned out, including seventeen trips to mcdonalds for vanilla ice cream cones.


this morning i was brushing her hair. she said to me, “Jesus died on the cross. he was dead for three days. while he was dead the dragon came and attacked the princess. but the prince killed the dragon. and there was blood. and then Jesus rose again!” i said, “isn’t that blasphemous?” she replied, “no mama! that’s the princess and the blood story. {that’s the biblical version of princess and the frog, i guess.}
if you had asked me if i could love being a mama this much, i would have told you no.


i’m so glad i was wrong. ♥

my pensive one ♥

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tuesday the first of may was international worker’s day (aka labor day). we had a church picnic and it was a blast. watching my two girls at the picnic, i found myself so intrigued and amazed at how different the Lord has made my daughters.


we got to the picnic and mercy was immediately serious. i set her on this blanket and she didn’t move. mind you this kid can move. fast. but suddenly surrounded by new faces and a new location she had no intention of exploring.


she just sat there for over thirty minutes analyzing that green shovel.


after lunch she did crawl around a little with liam but she didn’t go exploring like normal.


a little later i tried taking a few pictures of her and dada but we could not get her to crack a smile. nothing. and she definitely wouldn’t let dada take her pacifier out of her mouth.

okay she cracked a little smile trying to get her mama to hold her.


the crazy part of it was that after being there for almost five hours, she finally felt comfortable and started smiling and being sociable. she just needed time i guess.


and that is what makes her completely, amazingly, sweetly…


unique ♥

{goodbye mimi}

By Kids, Moldova, Uncategorized

they say a c-section prevents that early nursing bond and might make it harder for a newborn baby to learn how to nurse.


they weren’t talking about you.


you were forty-five minutes old the first time i nursed you. you sucked. and sucked. and sucked. you didn’t want to stop. we had the best nurse named meredith. i remember the next day you still wanted to nurse, for hours at a time. i was feeling exhausted and didn’t know what to do. she smiled and said, “well i don’t think we need to worry about this little one getting confused about nursing.” she opened a package with a yellow pacifier and put it in your mouth. you closed your eyes and fell asleep. i breathed a sigh of relief, closed my eyes and fell asleep too.


i have never regretted giving you a pacifier. your personality needed that kind of comfort. you slept through the night at an early age, sucking contently on your pacifier. you sat through church as a baby, sucking contently on your pacifier. you made it very clear that you needed to suck on something to comfort you.


you personalized your pacifier. we called it a “binky” but around a year old you decided it would be called a “mimi.” you settled one one specific brand. we learned to keep “spares” in numerous places (cars, purses, friend’s houses). you would become attached to a specific design (aka the pink pirate) and use that one until it literally disintegrated.


we probably spent your college fortune on pacifiers. i boiled pacifiers on a regular basis trying to keep them sterile. i actually think it kept you from picking up germs because your hands never went in your mouth when we were in public, thanks to your pacifier.


like i said earlier, i have never regretted giving you a pacifier. i am thankful you were able to tell us what you needed.


but baby girl, i have to tell you something. and i wholeheartedly know that you are not excited to hear what i have to say.


your mimi needs to go.


i’ve considered taking it away twenty-five hundred times since you’ve been born.


it’s not because of what others have said. yeah, everyone has an opinion about whether or not you should have a pacifier anymore. but i don’t even care.


the fact of the matter is, i’ve taken all things into consideration and i have come to the conclusion that your mimi has to go.


and it’s not pretty.


i don’t have a method. i’ve tried everything and none of it really seems to be the “magical” trick. and honestly at the rate we are going, i might change my mind tomorrow and give you back your mimi.


but that’s what parenting is, huh? it’s daily trying to make the best possible decisions for your children. and i’m constantly reminded that no one else really knows the entire story.


so i am just going to ignore all the crazy-ness.


drink another cup of coffee.


pray you don’t hate me.


and put yet another bandaid on your five millionth faked injury that you keep getting, trying to get your mimi back.


i love you, princess addy grace cinderella.


hang in there. i’m pretty sure it gets easier.


warning: pacifier overload following. and these are only the ones from my old phone!