school ♥

By Kids, Moldova

three and a half year ago, the Lord gave christian and i this amazing little baby girl:
yesterday we dropped this little person off for her first day of school:
p.s. stay tuned for a special post on saturday in honor of our youngest turning one!

happy birthday, grammie! ♥

By Family, Holidays, Kids, Moldova

this is a fun time to have grammie and pops visiting. they got here on mother’s day. before they leave, we are celebrating mercy’s first birthday. and today, we celebrated grammie’s birthday.

we started the morning with eggs, potatoes and fresh fruit.


the girls are really into all the fruit options right now!


addy has a thing for cherries.


and mercy has a thing for strawberries.


pops has a thing for grammie. ♥


then pops and daddy stayed home with the girls so grammie and mama could have a date on the town. it was a blast and included a coffee date, introducing grammie to the market, almost losing grammie to a jam packed bus and a few other exciting events.


we ended the day with soup and bread. and then a candle in a little goodie called chocolate zefir.



grammie may have been attempting to introduce mercy to chocolate before her first birthday. oh grammie.


she wasn’t into it at all. whatsoever. can’t you tell?


this one loves zefir.


happy birthday grammie. thanks for being an amazing mother and grandmother. we love you and are so thankful that you are here in moldova with us on your birthday.

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. ♥

{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!


sisters ♥

By Kids, Moldova

my only regret as a child that i can really put my finger on…is that i wish my sisters and i had become closer sooner. my prayer for my girls is that they would learn at an earlier age than i did just how special they are to each other.

addy was reading…mercy noticed her and came crawling (i know, i know, she sports a pretty cool headband look). yes, they are reading a pop-up “night before christmas” book. and yes, mercy has eaten part of addy’s book in the last picture. over half of our board books are missing pieces that have been consumed by our youngest child.

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!