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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…!

Home & Family

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Remember, Pressure Can Be Positive

I know a whole lot of people going through a whole lot of things. The pressure is practically killing them. It’s emotional, intellectual, financial, and spiritual stress. Which is generally just another word for fear. There are business deals in the balance. A marriage on the rocks. Cars breaking down.  Kids gone awry and astray….

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Money Talks with Minnie the Moocher

Minnie the Moocher was a 1931 jazz song about a woman who begged for a living. In our family, it reminds us of Sashenka, 16-going-on-3. All she talks about is money and I wonder if it may be our fault. We don’t talk about finances non-stop. And we are not poor. So we try to…

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Valentine’s Day — Sweet or Sour?

I wish I were referring to going out for Chinese. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Although Chinese food on any day is not such a bad idea. Personally, Valentine’s Day might not be ideal for a night out— restaurants are packed and couples are trying so hard. Exhausting. Yet, I remember one Valentine’s dinner distinctly…

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Monday Mottoes – #177

Time is the great revealer, the one measure by which we pull back the curtain of life and discover what really matters. Apart from priorities and a ladder of values, time slips away like wisps of fog as a storm rolls in. Have you ever noticed: the storms of life seem to settle and cast…

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Helping the Persecuted

Right now, all around the world, there are those who are suffering for their views, their faith, their ethnicity. It’s pretty rough. Persecution may range from the loss of employment, outright harassment, beatings, rape, imprisonment and death. Something has to be done. Someone has to speak up. Enter our kids. The four of them, with…

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Viewing Reality Undercover-Style

Our kids have a new favorite past-time that teaches lessons to last a lifetime. I’m a firm believer in reality therapy, that the facts can speak for themselves, for those with ears to hear. So here we are, watching several episodes of Undercover Boss, where CEOs wear disguises and don’t tell their employees that it’s…

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Monday Mottoes – #176

With about a week until Valentine’s Day, our thoughts turn toward love and all of its ramifications: romantic love, lifetime love, sacrificial love. For some, love means pain, or romantic movies involving tears. For others, love holds the fairy tale ideal of there always being laughter and no real problems. For professionals, there are those…

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Big Babies: Get Over It

Every day, or most every day, I have the thrill of assisting four kids, ages 16-20, push and pull their way toward maturity. Lest that not translate: it’s mostly me pushing and pulling. Kids today have a unique way of not wanting to grow up. Used to be, back in the day, back in MY…

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Monday Mottoes – #175

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in stuff? Maybe your office desk, or bedroom dresser drawers, or kitchen cabinets, or clothes closets overflow with an abundance that can barely be tamed. I know. I joke that we will be featured on the “Hoarders” TV show one day. But it’s not funny. Too much stuff…

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Overscheduled: Kids Who Are Too Much in Demand

Our oldest is pushing his boundaries. We feel he might be pushing himself over the edge. Here are a few of his commitments (to which he wants to add): Works 3 days/week. Studies in university 3 days/week. Has congregational duties 5-6 times/week. Texts long-distance new girlfriend multiple times/day. Takes home occasional work from job. Visits…