more christian in moldova update

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{By Christian}

Briceni, Moldova – Days 5-9

It’s about a 3 hour drive from Chisinau to Briceni, at the northern tip of the country.  It’s a fairly scenic drive, out in the countryside.  Without the different street signs, Moldova could be mistaken for the midwest, or maybe even parts of central California.  There is a lot of corn and grapes grown here, along with other tree fruit.  The orchards are endless, and the soil is dark.  It’s a perfect place to grow things.  Right about here, I would typically insert some correlation for how it’s a perfect place to plant a church, but we’ll see about that in the future 🙂

Steven and Teresa have been ministering in the village of Briceni for about 6 years.  We drove up to their house to move their things back to Chisinau.  They definitely don’t have a lot of furniture, especially by American standards, but it is a fair amount.  I’d hate to move it alone, that’s for sure!  This move from Briceni to Chisinau is one of the primary reasons I came over here to visit.  I wanted to help them physically and practically, and also get a lay of the land from the area I’ll probably be living.

We spent Monday and Tuesday packing up the house and getting the big furniture out to the garage.  The plan was for a truck to show up Wednesday morning to take all the stuff to Chisinau.  At around 8, this little van comes to the house.  It was like the European equivalent to a Chevy Astro.  Totally not going to work.  Maybe we could get the couch and a few chairs, but the refrigerator is not going to make it!  Steven was frustrated, and I was thinking we’d just have to make multiple trips – like 8.

Steven and Teresa’s friend Anya got smart.  She called the furniture company in town and asked them about moving.  They said they do it all the time, and they have a big truck, and they’ll be there at 2.  We unloaded the van and waited for the truck.  At 2:30, it showed up, and it was a real truck.  Like U-Haul status.  We had the furniture out of the garage and into the truck in about 15 minutes.  Then we spend another hour and a half loading the rest of the stuff from the house.  It worked great!

The driver came and got the truck and told us he’d be in Chisinau at 7:30 in the morning.  We got in the car to go, but we had a lot of stuff people.  Steven and Teresa in the front, Elias in his carseat, Aiden on my lap, and Anya and her nephew on her lap.  Plus the back was full of stuff we’d need for the night.  Oh yeah, and it started raining on the drive.  Not like a summer sprinkle, mind you, but full-on pouring.  We got to the apartment, parked, and sprinted through the rain and the mud to get inside.  Then we prayed the rain would stop for the morning.

It did.  The truck got here at like 8:15.  Just before that, our helpers arrived.  Steven has recently befriended some people from a church in Chisinau.  We thought like 2-4 guys would show up to help us unload.  8 people came!  We had the whole truck unloaded in just over an hour!  We were and still are praising God.

Anyway, it’s been an exciting couple of days.  Tomorrow, we go back to Briceni to go on the church’s annual camping trip (Camping in Moldova!).  Then Sunday we’re back in Chisinau, were Steven is going to teach at the church that helped us move.  Then Monday, I fly back to the States and my family.

I’ll keep you updated when I can, but I doubt I’ll get Internet while I’m camping 🙂

christian in moldova update

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{By Christian}

Chisinau, Moldova – Days 1-4

I’ve been off the grid for a bit, as Internet was sketchy on my travel here, but I am here safely, and I’ll give you some updates.  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures.  Maybe I can upload some when I get back to the States
I left Tuesday morning at 1am from LAX (my flight had been delayed over an hour).  I landed in Chisinau, Moldova, on Wednesday evening at 6pm.  With the 10-hour time difference, I had a 33 hour trip, with about 4 hours of sleep.  I haven’t pulled that kind of day since college!

I’ve been with Steven and Teresa and the boys, staying at Cristi’s house in Chisinau with his family.  Our three families will be the church-planters, when my family comes in January.  It has been a blessing spending time here, and I expect Cristi, Steven, and I to have a long-lasting ministry together.

We’ve been spending our time working on Steven and Teresa’s new apartment: painting, wallpapering, and getting things ready for them to move in.  It is very interesting to see poverty and riches in such stark contrast. One minute, you’ll be standing next to a dilapidated wall, and the next you’ll almost be run down by a high-end Mercedes or BMW.

Thursday night we had a Bible Study in a village outside the city.  Steven led worship, Cristi taught a short study, and I got to share my testimony and what God is doing in my family’s life (through a translator, of course!)  That night, it was plain to see that these people love Jesus, and the ministry here can thrive.

Today (Saturday), we’ll be finishing up the apartment, and tomorrow drive back to Briceni to pack Steven and Teresa’s house up.  We’ll move them to Chisinau on Wednesday.  If you get a chance, please pray for safe travels and that all the work would be completed quickly!

Thanks, and I’ll check back in later!

christian + moldova

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so christian left for moldova on monday evening and arrived on wednesday afternoon. i decided to take him, even though it was a late night trip for me. we had five bins going over with him that i had packed. each one weighed under 50 pounds and was filled with clothing, books, etc. we decided to send as much as possible with him because american airlines *only* charges $150 per extra piece of baggage (after one free bag) and when we go in january, lufthansa charges $200 per extra bag.

monday night we had dinner, put addy to bed, i nursed mercy and we left (with auntie sarah babysitting of course!). we left early, ready for any “glitch” that might come up. when we were getting there, we were trying to decide if we should do curbside drop off or just park and get a luggage cart – – but those bins were really big and we had five. we decided to pull up to the curb and see what we could find. christian immediately found a young man (skycap?) with a flat bed type luggage cart. they loaded the bins and headed in while i went and parked the car. when i got back inside, christian had just gotten to the counter. the ticket agent checking him in was friendly and chatty. while i was parking the car, they had weighed one bin at 49 pounds and then the ticket agent told christian, “i’m pretty sure they all weigh 49 pounds.” on top of that, after checking a few things on his computer, he told us that we actually had to pay turkish airlines fees instead of american airlines fees because christian switched to turkish before leaving the country. what a praise when we found out our fees came to $225, not $510!

at that point, the skycap who had stayed there with us said to christian, “check it out – – i’m gonna take you somewhere it will be easy to x-ray the bags. i’ve gotcha all the way.” he took us to the far end (first class area) where he helped send all the bags through the xray machine and on the other side, he secured each bin with eight zip ties. what a blessing! finally he loaded them all up again and took them to the other side of the ticket counters where they were sent with oversize baggage. christian had the opportunity to share a little with him about what we were doing and he was very receptive.

after that, christian and i walked over to the international terminal and enjoyed some coffee and frozen yogurt before i decided to head home. christian called me about thirty minutes later saying that he had gone through security without an issue. mind you, he had quite the carry-on luggage – – two laptops, two routers, a nebulizer, our wii and all the wii accessories just to name a few things. he had to go through security at lax and jfk and both times everything went through flawlessly. when he got to jfk, he planned to sleep but changed his mind and took the subway to see the freedom tower (memorial for 9-11). from what he told me, turkey was a pretty quiet layover and by that point he just stayed in the terminal because he was tired. the only “unexpected” cost of the entire trip was going through chisinau. i guess the customs official told christian that those bins were full of things christian was going to sell and make a profit so he would have to pay a “tax” of $50. oh eastern europe, we’ve missed your “fines” and “taxes.” 🙂

hopefully christian will blog about his entire trip when he gets home. i have been able to talk to him a few times on skype and he seems to be doing great. they have been staying in chisinau getting steven and teresa’s new apartment ready and then will head back to briceni on sunday to get everything and move into the chisinau apartment on tuesday. he should be nice and tired when he gets home, just in time to move us up north!

the days are going faster and faster it seems. we move up north in twenty days. weird.


happy one month, baby girl

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here is mercy’s one month post, slightly late because i had to upload the pics. but better late then never, right? 🙂


dear mercy,

i can’t believe you have been here one month. it’s been a beautiful and wonderful blur. in the blink of an eye, my love for addy multiplied into a love for you and addy and i can’t even imagine life without both of you. thanks for being such an easy baby and a snuggle-y one too. <3

love lots,


seconds after birth

her newborn onesie (a few hours old)

almost outgrown newborn onesie (one month old)

she’s so alert already

giving mama a piece of her mind

kisses make everything better

hopefully a few more catch-up posts are coming soon!

a letter to addy before she was born

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a letter i found on my laptop this morning. it feels pretty appropriate to have a good laugh on the “eve” of my due date!

written five days after addy’s due date:

Dear Addysen Grace,

Sunday was your due date but it came and went and you stayed safely inside my tummy. On Monday we took a long walk and went shopping with your Grandma Klein and your Auntie Dora and then I went to yoga class but you still did not come out. On Tuesday, Dad and I went to our doctor appointment and Dr. Fischbein said nothing was happening yet and I was a little discouraged. On Wednesday I had reflexology that is supposed to induce labor. Then I took another long walk and I drank a total of EIGHT ounces of castor oil. That was a very long night and yet still you did not come out. On Thursday I had more reflexology and I will confess I spent part of the evening crying…but oh no you decided to stay in a little longer. On Friday we walked all the way from our house to the Westlake Promenade to see the tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. I ate an entire cup of habanero salsa and almost threw it up before we walked back home. And guess what? Even that didn’t make you come.

I’m starting to wonder, will you ever come out?


moomoo’s birthday celebration (kind of!)

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moomoo (aka grammie klein) and i took addy to disneyland for the first time when she was six months old. since then, moomoo has been with addy to most of her disneyland trips (and there have been a lot). today is possibly addy’s last disneyland trip as a california resident and also moomoo’s birthday – – so it only seemed fitting to celebrate moomoo’s birthday all day long!


happy birthday moomoo! we missed you today!

sewing stuff

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my mom taught me to sew when i was in junior high and high school. i only wished i had paid better attention and appreciated it more! when i was pregnant with addy, i really wanted a sling called the peanut shell but i didn’t want to spend $50+ on it. i looked online, downloaded a few tutorials, borrowed a sewing machine and yes finally made my own. i think it cost me about $10. i can’t find a picture of me wearing it, but here is a picture after a walk (the sling is black and white). addy would sleep forever in there while i would wear her around the house and get everything done!

after that, christian and my parents bought me a really nice janome sewing machine for my birthday and i started sewing. i think i had to call my mom during every single project in the beginning. most of my ideas come from browsing the internet and looking at other tutorials and projects. just recently i have also started browsing clothing stores and “stealing” ideas. my latest interest is “refashioning” (beneficial come moldova, i hope!)

i have been wanting to do something with my sewing as i am finally transitioning from beginner seamstress to intermediate seamstress and that is where the idea of selling on etsy came into play. we are also working on saving money that will go towards moving to moldova next january. this seemed like the perfect way to take a hobby and turn it into something that makes a profit. addy helped me come up with a name – – strawberry shortcake is her favorite tv show and mary poppins is her favorite movie, hence “strawberry poppins.”

another cool aspect of my etsy store is that you are not only supporting us as a family going on the missions field, but you are also supporting foster/adoption awareness. i wanted to make sure i was giving 10% back, which goes to an organization started by my brother and sister-in-law, called hope takes root.

if you haven’t checked out my facebook page or etsy store, please do. if you would like to help share my store with others, i now have business cards and would love to send you some to hand out! i have been blessed already by the encouragement and support from my friends and family. a friend of mine, gina has a fun blog to follow and she even wrote a little something about strawberry poppins (thanks, gina!).

back to sewing i go!





Easter festivities!

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Whew, what a week! Pops and Grammie and Auntie Dora came down on the Monday before Easter. I had not found time to even think about nesting but with Grammie here to get things done and Dora here to entertain Addy, you would not believe what we accomplished. Basically, baby can come anytime. Well, technically anytime after May 6th. We found newborn baby clothing and washed them, got out all the newborn diapers, put the cradle together, made new summer swaddle blankets, finished a few random sewing projects and lots more. Here are a few pictures from the week.

Addy, Dora and Mama dying eggs:

We went to Aunt Debbie’s house for dinner and Colton taught Addy how to search for eggs:

Showing off her hard work and pretty outfit on Easter morning:

Thirty-four weeks pregnant – – just a month “or so” to go!

Family pictures:

Addy and her Pops:

The next time Grammie and Pops come down, it will be for baby’s birth. Come on baby, aren’t you anxious to meet us the way we can’t wait to meet you?!

Oh and one last thing. If you want to see the Resurrection Story through the eyes of our kids and youth, you have to watch this video. It’s powerful!


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my baby girl is tactile. i can’t deny it. all the signs point to her being tactile and i know first hand what a tactile child is like. why? because i am was one. 🙂 today, we started with finger painting on a cool big piece of paper i found when i was cleaning out the garage. we ended with? well, you can see for yourself. 🙂

the pictures of her wearing sponge bob boxers are after i washed her off and while i was mopping the kitchen floor. i told her, “addy go get some clothing on” and this is what she picked out. i love this kid.


special thanks to:

moomoo for letting me be just that creative as a child

grandma for buying us a serious amount of art supplies

our amazing land-lady for being really smart and putting vinyl floors in our house

dohdoh for bringing home a costco size box of wet swiffer sheets

daddy for cleaning the house every week so that we can make a mess!


Moldova Letter #2

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Here it is, our second letter! Now we wait until new baby comes before we take pictures for our prayer cards. One step at a time, right?! I have never been so excited nor felt such a PEACE about building our support team. God is faithful and I am reminded of that daily. Even watching Him prepare the way in Balti before we are there is such an encouragement! If you are interested in supporting us after reading this letter, follow the link on the right side of the blog (titled “Support Our Mission”) and we will contact you. Thanks also for all the encouragement already! <3


Dear Friends and Family,

We wanted to update you all on our plans for moving to Moldova. The next step in our family’s endeavor is to build a support team. Like we mentioned in our initial letter, that team will support us not only physically but also spiritually and emotionally. We want to apologize if this letter seems impersonal. We are just trying to contact all of our loving friends and family at once! We hope each of you will want to support us in any of the following ways:

Emotional support is, quite simply, encouragement. Not only are we leaving family and friends, we are also leaving the culture, language, and way of life that is familiar to us. While we know that God has called us to go, we also know that all missionaries find themselves discouraged at some point. Our desire is that part of our team would be those with the gift of encouragement – – those who love sending letters, emails and packages while following our blog and constantly sharing with others the work that is going on in Moldova.

Physical support is the financial aspect of a missionary’s well being. It is also a key aspect, because quite simply, we don’t have the means to support ourselves in a foreign country just yet. When we get to Moldova, we will need to focus immediately on important details such as learning the language! Supporting us financially allows you to also be a part of our mission to better the Moldovan peoples’ lives. The easiest way to make an impact is when a team of family and friends commit to giving a monthly amount that is feasible for each of them.

The last aspect of our support community is spiritual. We believe that the commitment to pray for us is vital to the success of our mission. We know that God is going to move in the country of Moldova and in the hearts of the people there, and we would ask you to join us in seeking the Lord for this mission.

What does this actually look like? We invite all of you to follow our family blog ( and our ministry website ( For those of you that feel called to support us financially, our sending church is partnering with Shepherd’s Staff, an organization that will facilitate the logistics of our mission. If you want to join our prayer support team, we will be sending our weekly prayer requests via email. As for emotional support, we would love to build a closer relationship with you through email, facebook, twitter and any other way we can connect.

Please get to know us better and contact us if you have any questions!
Christian’s contact information –; 805-234-1105;                   ; twitter: cburtt
Marie’s contact information –; 805-807-7413;                                ; twitter: marieskb

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy letter!


Christian, Marie, Addy and new baby 🙂


only addy

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baby should be here in less than ten weeks – – which basically means in two months addy will have to share everything (doh doh, the camera) with new baby. in honor of being an only child for a few more weeks, here is a post of just addy. 🙂