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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Current Events

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The Girlfriend Cometh

Petya, age 20, has a girlfriend. She lives far away, but is coming to visit next week during her university break. Our son, in his own inimitable style, is preparing. We need to work on the guest room. Lots of cleaning has taken place in the room that became a catch-all, as well as an…

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Monday Mottoes – #173

Right now, I’m living with some half-hatched, larvae-like kids and I’m sure they’d say the same about me. Happily, things started turning around on Friday when they decided to get with the program and have a nice holiday dinner on the eve of Russian Christmas. Girls helped with the mushroom and onion piroshki, slicing, dicing,…

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Russian Christmas

Russian Christmas Eve begins tonight on January 6th, with the actual holiday on January 7th. Orthodox Christians celebrate this date as the birth of Jesus due to a difference in the Gregorian and Julian calendars. So Russians sing carols house to house, enjoy a meal of 12 different dishes and attend church. In our family,…

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Holiday Chocolate Overdose

We were once at the vet’s when a pooch was rushed in who had found some holiday chocolates, gobbled down the box on a low table, and then had to have his stomach pumped lest he die. I am that dog. Well, not really, only mentally. You see, every year people purchase tons of chocolates…

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Monday Mottoes – #172

It was New Year’s Eve, not the late, late hours before midnight, but definitely after dinner. My son and I headed to the gym in an effort to stem the spread of calories from an indulgent holiday dinner. Not that the meal was so over-the-top, but, let’s just say it was definitely more than our…

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S’more-like Dreidl Desserts

I was perusing an issue of Woman’s Day magazine and came across the most amazing recipe, perfect for a Hanukkah dessert or snack. They looked like small dreidls, or the spinning tops, generally played with during the holiday. The ingredients made me think: S’mores on a stick! Here’s what you need to gather: thin pretzel…

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Daughter-in-Law-to-Be Gifts?

This is a category I have not yet explored. Our 20-year-old son seems fairly serious about a certain young lady. Now that the holidays are here, I hear that her family has a symbolic Chrismukkah stocking hanging for him in their home. She is coming to visit us soon and I consider what we might…

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Monday Mottoes – #171

Blank pages spread before us for 2017, what will we write? What will we imagine or dream? Does the inspiration come from outside of us, or deep within? What’s a priority, what deserves our time and attention? Is it God speaking to us, our mate calling out for attention, the boss asking for more, or…

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When Mama Falls Sick During a Holiday

The other day at a holiday gathering, a friend of mine commented that she has never seen me sick. “I mean, really, after 20 years, I can’t remember a time— ” she marveled, wondering what was my secret? Naturally, I thanked the Lord and spoke of washing one’s hands upon occasion, and not touching the…

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Adoptive Families and the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The time when we believe all will be merry and bright and instead, it often turns to miserable and broken. This is not just among adoptive families, any family might have an overload of stressful emotions during the go-go-go holidays, but adopted kids often bring their own issues to…