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busy.

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DSC_2415we have been busy. no excuses. just the truth.

 

we are studying romanian language furiously. the more conversations we have, the more we want to learn and understand. addy is doing great in school but now she comes home with…homework! i want to be able to help her, so on top of my language class i am learning kindergarten terms, instructions and vocab. plus i embarked on doing my devos in romanian. see, i wasn’t joking when i said busy. (and yes, i am aware that i am a true over achiever and i am okay with it. there is a reason my body wakes up naturally at 5am every.stinking.morning.)

 

then a very, very special person came for a visit. our grammie+boppy. it was a pretty crazy, whirlwind trip but we wouldn’t have traded it for anything. my mom has now visited moldova THREE times. that’s right, three. i can’t explain how much it encourages me. i think it has something to do with one of my top two love languages being quality time. just having her in our home is a gift all in itself. it was a little rough of a trip for her. she got here without a problem but then we promptly got her sick, giving her first a moldovan FLU followed by a moldovan COLD. i am just thankful she said she will keep visiting us, thank you Jesus!

 

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while my mama was here, we took a trip to romania. we took the overnight train, one of my preferred methods of travel with kids truth be told. we had a reason for going. which brings me to another reason for our busy-ness and another reason for this post.

 

ahhhhhhem.

 

we are moving.

 

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i am not quite sure where to start nor how NOT to bore you beyond tears. so here is just a little, hopefully! actually it will probably be a lot. fair warning, right?

 

i have always had cross cultural ministry on my heart. just ask my parents. i loved “it’s a small world” at disneyland, dreaming of living in different countries. i read books about different people groups. i loved national geographic. when i was 17 years old, i had the privilege to travel to romania with my dad and bring my youngest sister {dora} home. when i was in college, i returned to romania on a missions trip. two years later, i returned again, this time helping a friend/missionary.

 

so when the Lord brought christian and i together and he didn’t exactly see himself living overseas…well, i was a little confused. but the Lord made it pretty clear that the details would work themselves out. when we took addy {three months old} to visit moldova and romania, i thought maybe the Lord was calling us to overseas missions. but He wasn’t. although after that trip we did decide to quit our “career” jobs and enter the realm of “full time” ministry.

 

the next two years were a blur of church, ministry, fostering three of our beautiful daughters and a lot of crazy moments in between. oh yeah and mercy was born. and then the Lord did something. something crazy. something i had forgotten about, maybe even given up on.

 

he gave us the desire to move overseas.

 

huh?!

 

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our first thought was moldova. we knew other missionaries there and we knew that they were starting a new church in the capital, chisinau. so we prayed, we talked to godly men and women and we decided to move to moldova. we didn’t decide on a specific length of time, but we did know that we wanted the church to be up and running.

 

we arrived on january 18th, 2012 with a three years old and a six month old. i don’t actually remember those first two months. it was a record cold winter for eastern europe. if you think i am exaggerating, read this article. it was painfully cold for a couple of former-socal residents.

 

we came alongside a group of moldovans, romanians and americans and helped start harvest metanoia chișinău. we went back and forth between romanian and russian and decided to learn romanian, which now we can see is a confirmation.

 

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and now it has been (almost) two years. during these past two years we have been living life in a new country and helping the start of harvest metanoia chișinău. it hasn’t always been easy but it has always been good because we have had Jesus with us every step of the way.

 

and we have learned a lot. i really can’t explain it any better. we’ve learned about ourselves. we’ve learned about our marriage. we’ve learned about our family. we’ve learned what it means to be a missionary. we’ve learned what it doesn’t mean to be a missionary. we’ve learned things we wanted to know and things we didn’t.

 

but last year the Lord reminded us of a passion he gave both of us a long time ago: orphans.

 

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so we prayed. we thought. we prayed. we pursued a few open doors here in chisinau but they became closed doors which left us confused. so we prayed some more. during that time we took a trip to bucharest and we hung out with our friend sarah. we found ourselves asking about her organization, anchor of hope (in bucharest) and what kind of ministry she was doing.

 

then we went back to moldova and didn’t think a lot about it. honestly, i don’t know if we prayed about it right away or not. but eventually we found ourselves praying about it without even trying. it just kept coming up. we would chat and find ourselves talking about anchor of hope and bucharest. we would be praying and find ourselves praying about it. so we mentioned it to a few family members and left it at that.

 

during that time, we were struggling with another issue: mercy’s health. remember, mercy just ate MILK when we moved overseas. now, at two years old we have learned a lot about her little body: it is very sensitive. she is allergic to wheat, gluten, corn, soy, citrus, chocolate…you get the picture. but it gets even more confusing. our youngest is extremely sensitive to pesticides. which is a problem in a country where the amount of pesticides used in not regulated. that means i have to peel everything she eats. we have to buy only specific import foods. she can’t eat grains grown in moldova either. or go out to eat. or eat at someone’s house. the list goes on and on.

 

and there came this point where we started to ask ourselves if it was wrong to stubbornly keep mercy here while her health was being sacrificed. we were confused to say the least. the one thing romania has that moldova doesn’t have? a selection of allergy-specific foods. options like gluten AND corn free foods, organic (aka pesticide free) and more.

 

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we decided to take some time and devote it to fasting and praying. we laid everything out before the Lord and asked for some direction.

 

long story still long? we are moving to bucharest, romania. we will try and fill in more details with time. for now…we are headed to california for christmas and then sometime in the spring we will move to romania. our furlough this time is pretty important. last time we were home, the trip was definitely focused around sarah’s wedding. this trip is focused around connecting with each and every one of our supporters and churches. we need to share our new vision that Lord has given us! we will keep you posted with the details of where we will be and when.

 

so for now, please keep us in your prayers! prayer for our preparation and time in the states and prayer as we prepare to move to romania. we have formed a lot of wonderful friendships here in moldova plus our girls have boybest friends. we definitely covet all the prayers we can get!

 

p.s. here are the (same) details in our newsletter.

 

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then we made play dough?!

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i can’t believe i have never made play dough. it just never entered my mind. it seemed…difficult. when play dough is so…cheap? because you see, i am not brand loyal. i like to chuck my play dough. i buy the cheap-o the $1 target section stuff. i let them do whatever. a few plays into it, i throw it away as it becomes…grody. is that a word? it should be.

 

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but yeah. i just figured buy it cheap and toss it fast. but here comes the weird part. play dough costs a pretty penny here. really?! not even real stuff or import stuff. like these little chunks of slightly dry something claiming to be play dough for four dollars. a normal amount, the amount you might get for $2 at target costs 6 or $7. really puts a damper on the whole play dough experience.

 

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and then pinterest and its talk of delightful smelling play dough. as if my children might become smarter by playing with scented play dough. yeah, that part didn’t really catch my eye. i confess, the moolah caught my eye. seriously like two. stinking. cups. of. flour. really? do you know how much flour costs here? um. it’s almost free i swear. no but really it’s cheap.

 

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so i read three different recipes and could not commit. i tend to do that. i wanted it all. i wanted the good smell. i wanted fast. i wanted the sparkles. i don’t have kool aid. i think i read this and this and this.

 

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and then i did this: mix 2c flour, 1/2c salt, 3tsp cream of tarter, 2 tubes of blue glitter, 2tbsp cinnamon together. add 2tbsp oil, 2c water, a couple splashes of vanilla extract and a whole lotta pink food coloring. stir and cook on medium heat (and be very confused) while it thickens and then kind of pulls away from the pot and you run out of strength to stir (like your arm is stinking tired). turn it off and leave it for a while. pull it out of the pan and knead it and it becomes perfectly smooth.

 

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seriously. i plan on making this from now on. we have a LOT of sparkles and a LOT of food dye and i have a LOT of scents planned. okay that is a lie. i don’t plan on making it smell all that delicious. i don’t really want my kids eating gluten-filled play dough!

 

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{p.s. check out mercy’s mouth. she is totally saying, “opa!”}

 

 

one year ago.

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my big girl started the new school year today. crazy! she is now in the five year old group {her age appropriate group} and we are so proud of her. look at how much she has changed! {side now, i promise you these pictures are only one year apart. to the day. even christian and i were amazed and kept checking that they weren’t two years apart!}

 

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and as for this one? i can’t even comprehend how much she has grown up in just a year! my baby is a talking, running, potty-trained toddler. sheesh!

 

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and of course, pinterest and all its ideas…mercyfirstday

addyfirstday

these two rock our world.

 

 

 

september.

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when we left the usa last april, after sarah’s wedding…grammie was not able to go to the airport with us. she has just had foot surgery in norcal and we were flying out of socal.

 

saying goodbye (she looks good two days after surgery, huh?!)
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sooooooo in addy’s tears, grammie showed addy a song, “see you in september.” she told addy to sing it every time she missed grammie. addy sang it a lot.

this morning, we were walking to church and talking about how different the weather was. (there is autumn in the air!)

 

i asked my girlie, “addy, do you know that we got back from america in april. then it was may. then june. then july. then august. do you know what today is?”

 

“august?” she replied?

 

“no. today is the first day in september.”

 

she almost stopped breathing, i think. she gasped a little. she immediately teared up. she whispered, “see you in september?” and then shrieked, “my grammie is coming!”

 

it was possibly the most beautiful thing ever.
IMG_4636even i can’t believe she’s coming. just one more week (and so much to get done) and grammie will be here. and then, oh the plans we have for her!

 

see you in september, grammie. see you THIS months!

 

 

happy love day

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“i don’t even remember before you,” i told christian last week.

 

“is that bad or good?” he looked confused.

 

i laughed. “i really need to think through these compliments. i mean it is like you covered up all my bad memories. i have you and i have childhood. i don’t have baggage or crappy memories or anything in between. you are my memory.”

 

and then he got. and he agreed.

 

i met christian on a friday night. i echoed famous last words to my roommate, “he’s not my type.” but i didn’t even know my type. honestly, i had a crushed spirit and a confused sense of trust. i had yet to date a man that believed in ME and liked ME.

 

and him? well he was in love and he decided he would prove it. he had no idea what he was getting into, hehehe.

 

less than seven months later we were married. i don’t know how he did it. somehow he had proved that he was in love with me, just the way i was. i didn’t need to become something different for him. somehow he had proved that he would be a faithful, forever partner. somehow he had become my best friend.

 

this is one of those situations where i can look any person in the eyes and tell them without a smidge of pride, “i am SO.GLAD. that i was wrong.”

 

because he is totally my type.

 

i am not sure if he knew what he was getting into when we got married. he fell in love with a traveler, my husband that hates to move or travel. he fell in love with a hyperactive, always moving, always going, 220% optimistic and very, very stubborn woman.

 

but i guess God knew what he was doing. christian and i have some pretty opposite strengths and weaknesses. now that we have learned to work them together, we know how to conquer some pretty tough stuff. we have some pretty opposite personality traits, too. and yet i watch us become closer and closer every day, best friends inside and out and i watch our “opposites” become “wholes.”

 

marriage is such a crazy, cool thing!

 

we’ve done a lot in six years. we moved apartments more than christian wants to remember. we’ve bought and sold cars. we changed churches, cites, countries and more. we’ve parented bio and foster kids. we’ve laughed. we’ve cried. we’ve stared at each other stinking.mad. we’ve said “i’m sorry” a lot. we’ve held hands every step of the way.

 

who knows what comes next. i don’t even care. i have my best friend standing beside me. he believes in me and i believe in him. everyone else might think we are a little crazy but we think we can conquer the world.

 

Anniversary-Large from Marie Burtt on Vimeo.

 

p.s. we were married the same weekend as my parents, only thirty-two years later. they were married the same weekend as my grandparents (i think thirty years apart). we decided to dance to the same song my parents danced to. today is actually my parents’ thirty-eighth anniversary and sunday is christian’s and my sixth anniversary. my parents have been my inspiration, proving a marriage is built on commitment not feelings. they have been my conviction, reminding me that marriage takes sacrifice and dying to self. they have a crazy cool marriage. happy anniversary, mama and daddy!

mercy+july

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two. my munchkin is two. whew. she is two years old with every ounce of her being.
IMG_1332she puzzles me daily. but honestly this kid has brilliant comprehension. she follows directions in english AND romanian.

IMG_1334she knows all her animals and colors in english AND romanian.

IMG_0797but when it comes to talking?

IMG_0831she opts out.

IMG_1347a little confusing if you must know the truth.

IMG_0980we seem to be understanding each other better every day. for instance if we teach her the ASL sign for the word she is trying to communicate, she will never again forget that sign.

IMG_0879take my word for it.

IMG_1186she signs “marshmallow” 2,498,379 times a day.

IMG_0566whose brilliant idea was it to teach her the sign for marshmallow?!

IMG_0588oh right, me.

IMG_0590but i digress.

IMG_0943i love her with my heart.

IMG_1299she went from a crib to a bed without getting out a single time.

IMG_0353she potty trained in a day. {that might be where the marshmallow addiction came in.}

IMG_1098someday all too soon, she will leave the clingy stage. someday all too soon, she won’t STOP talking. then she will start arguing. before i know it, she won’t want snuggles and kisses and cuddles TWENTY!FOUR!HOURS!ADAY! and you know what? i’m gonna miss it. so for now, i am going to snuggle my spirited two year old with every ounce of my being and thank the Lord for such an awesome gift.

 

addy+july

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a few random pictures i found on my phone of addy. my feisty, determined, spirited, goofball four-going-on-twelve daughter.

 

grammie sent us back to moldova with a ballerina outfit and kit. addy now puts shows and performances on for us. mercy is the ticket master. ahhh yes, your average first born/second born setup.
IMG_0857addy has a sense of humor. this was her getting ready for school. “hey mama, i put my tights on my babas!” <-- yes, babas are the child approved term in a household that nursed the babies, fyi. IMG_0594contrary to popular belief, addy doesn’t ALWAYS smile beautifully for the camera. she can in fact have a bad day. typically it comes from not getting to wear a princess dress to school. some days mama has to overrule and put her in {adorable} plaid purple leggings. but hey, i am just the mom!
IMG_0645mastering el wink-o.
IMG_0816i cut my kids’ hair if they ask. i just don’t think it is worth my fight. addy has always wanted short hair until last year. now she is on a rapunzel kick.
IMG_0678i think i’m gonna like it.
IMG_0924birthday presents for sissy {thanks emmy!} with a few goodies for addy too.
IMG_1166it says things like “i love you sebastian.” sebastian and addy go to school together. okay i am gonna be 100% honest. we aren’t trying to “encourage” their relationship, but his mom lauren and i MIGHT be planning family vacations already. no use in avoiding it, if it is inevitable, right?!
IMG_1167headed out on a little date with my girlie.

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just a little date

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mermer has a little friend. we call him juju. he is her best friend, so of course his mama and i pretend he is her suitor. love. it is love. we are sure about it!

 

this is juju. a few weeks ago he spent the evening with us. those eyes, huh?
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the week before last, juju and mermer had a little date at the mall. they let us mamas tag along and enjoy a coffee and a few moments to chat. aren’t they adorable together?!
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and lastly, a video of mercy with a book she bought for him.

happy birthday from drewgie+casey

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i have lots of little videos from mercy’s birthday shenanigans. so i figured, why not start with the most recent? the first one is the best. let me explain a little. i really need to remember that my youngest daughter is not a morning person. she doesn’t even wake up from her naps quickly. she wakes up somewhat similar to her father and very different from her mother and older sister. this is at least the fourth time i tried getting her to open a present immediately after waking up. ask sarah. her birthday skype date was filled with quite a few tears as well. someday i will learn my lesson: mercy does NOT talk upon waking. in addition to that, she does not appreciate being asked to speak upon waking.

the rest went a little better. ha!


the minnie romper is now a prized and favorite article of clothing. score!