family day

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we try and make one day a week a family day. sometimes we work around the apartment. we definitely go slow in the morning and typically go somewhere after nap time. IMG_0683bus ride (and addy’s photog skills)

IMG_0693then we found a really cool place called “baby park” recommended by our language professor. it was completely awesome and definitely the best find for the money. most of the bounce houses set up around the city during the summer cost 10 lei for 10 minutes, but this place cost 30 lei for an hour, or 50 lei for both kids for an hour.




IMG_0709mercy loved this car and its, um, car phone? obviously mercy doesn’t quite understand it and made it a true cell phone.






afterwards we came home and made chocolate milkshakes (made from the “unhealthy” ingredients of kefir, pure cocoa powder, stevia and frozen bananas). i have to confess, they were somewhat amazing.



and finally a few videos. first, addy decided she wanted to go on the 5 years+ inflated slide. it was big, really big. enjoy the various clips and the failed attempt to record her coming down. she make have had a tiny freak out at the top before she calmed and came down. don’t worry, she went five more times after conquering her fear. she is such a dare devil like her mama was.

and mercy, calling her boppy from her mobile phone. kid

happy fourth!

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don’t worry. we may be expats but that doesn’t mean we don’t get in the spirit. we like any reason to dress up, ha! thanks to grandma ducky we even had the right attire. i should add that it is weirdly pouring rain here in moldova. in july. i’m loving it! but anyway, check out this adorable american spirit going on here. 🙂
happy birthday, america!

happy father’s day you sexy man.

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Addysen's birth 053_2you marry your husband, promising to stick together through thick or thin, good or bad. you hope they will be a good father but you don’t really know. you just know you are in this thing called marriage together and if the Lord gives you kids, hopefully you will learn how to do it together.


well i married an only child but one of the things that caught my eye was his willingness to learn. i have watched him become a father over the past five years and i have been amazed, awe struck, impressed, challenged and comforted. i have watched him go from doing the awkward baby hold and the all too slow diaper change to the brush one child’s teeth while holding another child on the toilet and stay balanced on one foot. or at least that is how it feels somedays.


i have watched him reevaluate his actions, humbly, when things aren’t working.


i have watched him read, research and asks questions, desiring to become a better father.


i have watched him bond with each one of our kids in a unique way.


i am a very blessed woman. i am so thankful to co-parent our home with him. he has no stereotypes, no agendas or attitudes. he sings, bathes babies and cuddles. he pretends to be in the princess stories.


he teaches his children hymns and rap songs.


i love you, honey!




a little interview with addy…
me: how old is your daddy?
addy: 16! old!
me: what color is his hair and his eyes?
addy: um, brown and brown.
me: what does he like to wear.
addy: a shirt!
me: what does he like to eat?
addy: bread with cheese and ketchup? wheat and gluten?
me: why is daddy smart?
addy: cause he loves me!
me: what does he work hard doing?
addy: homework.
me: what does daddy always do?
addy: sing to me and mercy.
me: what makes daddy happy?
addy: when i am a big girl.
me: if daddy could take a trip ANYWHERE, where would he go?
addy: the grocery store! with me!
me: what do you love daddy to do?
addy: tickle me.
me: if you could buy daddy ANYTHING in the world, what would you buy him?
addy: a birthday cake!
me: what is your favorite thing about your daddy?
addy: he gives hugs and kisses ALLLLLL the time!


happy father’s day, christian. we love you!



happy second birthday, mercy adoniyah klein burtt

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dear mercy adoniyah,


i love you. you are giving mama a few gray hairs but all things considered, it hurts how much i love you. you helped me believe i was strong – – strong enough to give birth to you on my own. you also taught me i know nothing, when all my tried and true methods that worked on addy completely failed on you. that is how much i love you.


you have had a crazy two years, baby girl. you were born and spent three months in southern california, a month in montana, three months in northern california, thirteen months in moldova, two months in california and two months back in moldova. you have traveled more than some adults and you are only two years old. you have already been to canada, germany, romania and ukraine.


your have your own personality. you love your sissy. you want to do everything and yet, you have your own mercy-personality. it is a personality that mastered crawling at four months old yet refused to walk until sixteen months old. it is a personality that will refuse to eat the potatoes in your soup no matter how many goodies we try to bribe you with, yet will gobble bites of grammie’s potato in america, well, because she is your boppy and you decided her potatoes were worth eating.


some call it stubborn. some call it strong willed.


i don’t care what they call it, baby girl. you are driven, dedicated and motivated at two years old. you are going to do amazing things for the kingdom of God using this amazing personality God gave you.


you don’t talk, because…you don’t want to.


i love that about you.


last week, we were playing a matching game together on the ipad and i discovered that you can identify all your animals when i ask you, in romanian AND english. but when i ask you what a horse is named, you proudly say, “giddyup!” even though i know you could say “horse” or “cal” if you wanted to.


you have memorized every single sign your dohdoh has ever showed you. my guess right now is that your intellects are visual, musical and kinesthetic. don’t worry, mama was a teacher so she won’t let anyone tell you “how” you should learn!


you are still kind of small for your age. don’t worry, some very awesome women throughout history weren’t so big. you can’t help it that your foot is a size four at two years old. and height? who cares if you never get very “tall.” i hope you always know that you are perfect and Jesus designed every little detail about you. especially those killer chocolate eyes contrasted with that crazy-mind-of-its-own blond hair.


you don’t smile until you are ready. hehehe. no shallow, fake-ness here. you analyze, soak it all in, think and then speak, well react that is. if you can keep doing this as an adult, you have already learned something many never will.


you love minnie mouse. i don’t know where that one came from but you find minnie mouse anywhere. you also point at strange women wearing minnie mouse shirts, yelling, “minnie!minnie!me!me!minnie!” you love to give snuggles, really good ones.


anyway, i could go on and on but that is enough for now. i am so amazed at you and what you have done this past year. your daddy and i are proud of you and can’t wait to see you grow another year. thank you for all the snuggles, silly kisses and doggie licks.


happy 2nd birthday mercy adoniyah!


last year, i managed this: your one year post


a few of my favorite blogs about you:


birth announcement

newborn pictures

your birth story



first christmas and here


you and daddy

you and sissy

you grow

you turned one

more dancing

your second christmas


a toddler


On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12&13



i love you, daddy

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my dad really is one of my heros. we got to spend a lot of time together this past trip to the states. he and i (alone!) took the girls to disneyland. we had so much fun. i remember being a daddy’s girl but i never dreamed that at thirty-one years old, my dad and i would be such good friends.


i love you, daddy.


from last year cause we are a little over loaded this year and well, this slide show is almost current, right?!

my soap box for two minutes.

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Disclaimer: most of my blogs are fun, silly, light, encouraging or educational. I don’t think I have written a blog post like this but it has been eating away at me to put in writing. Don’t think I have never made these mistakes – – I have. But together, we really need to stop. We really need to start acting like Christians. How are they going to know us by our love if we don’t have any?! So here goes my soap box.


I am going to be completely honest here. Sometimes, the worst witness of Christianity – – is other Christians. For serving a God of LOVE, we stink at loving. For serving a God of FORGIVENESS, we stink at forgiving. For serving a God of GRACE and MERCY, we stink at showing others grace and mercy. And what’s worse? We treat our brothers and sisters in the Lord horrible. It is simply embarrassing.


Facebook is what made me realize just how bad it has gotten. I can’t take it anymore – – the judging, the gossiping, the tearing down – – all publicly and without a thought or a care. When I started paying attention, I couldn’t believe how many people on Facebook feel the need to “deal” with other believers publicly and un-Biblically. Why?


God loved before He judged.


He created Man and Woman in His image with every tender care and loving thought. He gently breathed into us, chose our eye color and our hair type. He picked out freckles and crooked teeth and different feet. He loved us as He made us. He loves us. He will always love us.


We pulled away. We chose to sin. Hence, we are all sinners. Done. You, me, your friends that you are ticked off at right now, and most definitely my two year old and my four year old. Sinners.


But He loves us.


He watched us struggle. He watched us fight. He gave us laws, simply to show us that it was impossible to fix ourselves, alone, with laws. We failed miserably and things just got worse.


But He loves us.


He sent himself, in His Son. A baby born to an unmarried woman. Awkward. Do you think Jesus lived a peaceful childhood? How would you like to be the obviously illegitimate child between a young woman and a carpenter in the days of the Bible?


But He loves us.


He spent His time here on earth proclaiming a new way, a way out of the confusion and exhaustion of empty laws and blind rituals. He pointed to Heaven, to God through Himself.


Because He loves us.


And He misses us.


He allowed men to nail His body to a cross. Stick a needle in your finger, it hurts. He died even though He didn’t have to. He was showing us something.


Love. And forgiveness. He was showing us grace and mercy. Love.


And many, many of us have accepted that free gift of salvation, choosing to follow after Him, walking towards eternal life in Heaven with Him.


But we don’t love. Yet He loves us. We need to stop.


If you profess to be a Christian, you have to stop judging. You have to stop assuming. You have to stop pretending to be God. And please, for pity’s sake, stop airing out your dirty laundry on Facebook. Stop gossiping on Facebook. Stop openly judging or critiquing your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Start loving.


Matthew 18:15
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.


Matthew 7:3-5
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.


Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”


1 John 4:7-21
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


It isn’t that hard. Do you see those key words in Matthew 18:15? If he sins 1, against you then 2, go and tell him between you and him alone. But before you do that, make sure you read Matthew 7:3-5, Matthew 18:21-22 and 1 John 4:7-21 and see if the Lord doesn’t change your heart.


Maybe, just maybe if we give love, forgiveness, grace and mercy a try (instead of judgment, criticism, assumption and gossip) maybe then Christians will start making a difference in this world instead of doing our Savior a disservice.


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it is the little things…that seem silly, but they are not really. like being able to buy special gluten free food you wouldn’t buy every day. our friend aliana (and her mama and her daddy) sent us a care package with gluten free mac&cheese. i think it was mercy’s first time having it and addy definitely didn’t remember the last time. it was completely a hit.



the taste…


the response, num!num!


the taste…


the response, wow! mama, i like this!


love you, sis

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yesterday i realized i remember 25 years ago, as clear as day. weird? yes.


i remember my mom telling me she was pregnant. i remember praying and praying for a sister. i remember going to the hospital to meet her and being so, so proud because i got to hold her in the birth announcement picture. i remember i wore a special white barrette to meet her. (do you even remember when hair clips were called barrettes? exactly.)


and when she didn’t come to moldova, i remember being devastated. confused. angry.


but God knew better and brought her a stud, we call hunnybunny. and no, he probably doesn’t like that name but addy named him hunnybunny and you can’t change a four year old’s mind. at least mine, that is.


so now we live a confused relationship of two continents, oceans and sky. i always know what time it is in california. she has things set to moldovan time. i know that 5am AND 4pm are wake up times. voxer and skype link us throughout the day. we can skype for an hour, but say nothing. she has babysat my children via skype while i showered, i confess. during the past seventeen months, we have been in america once and she has been in moldova twice and while it doesn’t get any easier our relationship hasn’t changed.


the word i think of is thankful.


thankful that she keeps up her part of the relationship. thankful that she is willing to spent dollars to fly to moldova TWICE. thankful that she trusted the Lord enough to stay in thousand oaks and meet her stud muffin, {hb}. thankful that she loves me for who i am.


i struggle a little with fear of man, honestly. my sister has never judged me. she doesn’t criticize me. she doesn’t tear me down. she builds me up, encourages me and gives me strength. she goes the extra mile. she takes the first step. she makes things beautiful. she empowers me.


okay if you must know the truth, i asked God daily that our futures would someday include serving alongside each other, living close by. i am a dreamer by nature and i know it’s possible.


i love you sis. i miss you. i am counting the days until i see you again.



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sarah was living with us when we found out we were pregnant with mercy. we were also fostering and it was a pretty rough time for all of us. she carried more than her share of the responsibility. she periodically quoted, “baby mama” to me throughout my pregnancy, pretending to be my birth coach. sorry if you don’t care for birth pictures – – but in the end, she became just that. i knew my sister was strong. i knew she was compassionate. but i had no idea she would be the world’s most amazing birth coach ever (sorry, christian!).



i thought that moving overseas when mercy was so young would mean mercy would not be as close to sarah as addy is. honestly, i don’t think that is true. mercy and sarah have a different relationship but it is one of the closest skype relationship i have ever seen. i love that sarah makes it a point to skype each of her girls. one of their newest things is to have a skype “school” while addy is at kindergarten. dohdoh is teaching mercy sign language, which seems to be my quieter child’s preferred method of communication. i love it.



mercy still talks about her dohdoh’s wedding. every time she sees a kiss on tv, she says “dohdoh kiss!kiss!”

mercy (mai2013) from Marie Burtt on Vimeo.

to dohdoh, love from addy

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Addysen's birth 116
they have always had a bond, these two. when addy was born, we were living in socal and all our family was in norcal. one minute sarah was up north, doing her thing…the next minute she was living down south. she was the only person that every baby sat addy for at least her first year. she had a car seat and a diaper bag in her car because she always has addy with her. they slept together. snuggled together. shopped together. giggled together. even across the ocean, they have a bond. sometimes just the two of them skype. something tells me addy is gonna want to spent summers with her way cooler auntie someday. it really is love.




dear dohdoh,
i want to send you some muffins for your birthday. but it will be surprise. i love you. eat some donut cookies i think. i will come and see you soon in a couple days. i have to go to school first.
happy birthday. i am going to have a star wars birthday. what are you going to have? a princess one or a chocolate one? maybe play some games. i think you are going to be the cupcake girl.
dear dohdoh, happy birthday.
i love you. from addy

happy twenty five.

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my sis is twenty five. technically she is still twenty four in california but in moldova her birthday has started.


we love her fiercely.


we miss her something awful.


so here are four posts dedicated just. to. her.


happy birthday dohdoh-sarah-sisterwife. {ps. isn’t she the cutest dang sexy thing to walk this earth?!}



they love each other

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latest obsession: funny faces


they do each others’ makeup




spring is here!



waiting patiently while we get ready for church on sunday mornings



and yes, i bring you proof that my children are not always happy. that they are not quite perfect. that there are in fact times when they completely refuse to be photographed.


i bring you exhibit a:

and exhibit b:
you know you feel a little better now.