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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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Monday Mottoes – #101

An older family friend asked if our teens could help her with a few projects around her Victorian-era home. No real skills nor power tools required—just pulling waist-high weeds, rearranging porch furniture and bagging tree debris left behind by other, less-than-ideal helpers. “Would you like to help Miss _____ with some outdoor garden projects?” I…

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Sandwiches for the Homeless

We got together with friends to provide sandwiches for a homeless shelter. Schools, corporations, congregations do stuff like this. Why not us? Everyone was assigned a job. I was the one with the idea, so I became the de facto supervisor. One family volunteered their home. One guy volunteered to price the food items. Some…

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Monday Mottoes – #100

Our oldest son is home and I can breathe a sigh of relief. He journeyed solo to and from New York City, had many wonderful experiences, and all is well. Petya got to spread his wings and be independent, while enjoying a great group of older teens. I got to thinking about how kids express…

volunter1

Teen Job Search – Plan B

Mashenka can’t find a summer job. She came to it late, starting to look almost at the end of June. Many schools and universities already had flooded the market with applicants. It’s not like she needs to work. But some summertime responsibility could be a good thing. Being around others might force her to enunciate,…

nyc1

When “LOL” is Overrated

As anyone else, if I’m making a joke while texting with friends, I might insert lol, laughing out loud. Just so that they know I’m teasing them. Benedetto never teases except in person, so he never uses lol. Yet, anyone who knows us would say that he is more laid-back and I’m more serious and…

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How to Extract a Picture of My Son

Fact #1: Petya is in NY. Fact #2: I am not. Fact #3: I will need a photo of him soon or I will not be able to stand it. How do I persuade my son to take 10 seconds out of his busy day and send his sweet mother a pic or two? In…

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Check-in from NYC

Our eldest has spent the last five days in New York City and is about one-third through his trip. Naturally, I’ve received about three photos total of him since he’s been there and it’s hard to argue for anything more since their group is not allowed to be on the phone or texting more than…

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Monday Mottoes – #98

It’s unreal. It’s absolutely unreal. I just dropped our first-born, or make that first-adopted, off at the airport and I’m sobbing. When it came time to say goodbye, my lip started trembling and I could barely whisper my parting words. He did the intelligent thing: smiled, hugged me and walked away toward security. I love…

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What We Did for Summer Vacation

I just might need to vacay, after all. Instead, I’m forging ahead, accomplishing a bunch, and managing the troops. My family, on the other hand, thinks that it’s summer and we should be having FUN. How to do that in near-100-degree heat, with responsibilities up the wazoo, is not my forte. Personally, other than my…

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Parents Who Snoop for Safety’s Sake

Are you a snoopy parent? Some are, and some aren’t. That doesn’t interest me as much as why some do, and why some don’t. My husband and I have assisted a wide variety of parents who come to us in some form of tears or anger. I understand. Been there myself. This is the no…