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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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How Did the Kids Fare While Home Alone?

This was the first time we left the kids for a couple of days on their own. Before, they’ve stayed with family friends, or maybe we left them for a few hours overnight, but this time, it was really two-and-a-half days. Never mind that we were sequestered on a mountain with bears and turkeys—our thoughts…

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Are You Swamped, Too, or Is It Just Me?

I am over-involved. My “Just Say No” button has broken. I have no off switch. I am swamped. Some would say slammed. I don’t like slammed. “I was so slammed at work.” No, too uncultured for me. Sounds like somebody’s hitting you. I was swamped, inundated, overwrought, if you must. In essence, too much to…

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More Wisdom Teeth to Go

Our teens love any kind of takeout food. Apparently, they love takeout teeth, too. Petya had his wisdom teeth removed, then Pasha, now it’s time for Mashenka, who turns 18 in another month. Straight down the birth line. So today’s her day. We drove most of the night in order that she could be in…

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Genius Mode: Learning the Language of Learning Disabilities

As homeschoolers, we apparently have very few rights. We pay taxes and ask nothing of the government, but when, for the past seven years, we sought some type of evaluation of our second son Pasha’s needs, one would think we had come down with leprosy to dare to ask for such a thing. Our family…

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Spets Shkola and Special Ed

Other than our oldest, who had not yet been shipped off to orphanage boarding school (the Internat, not to be confused with the internet), our other three kids experienced the Russian spets shkola. This would be similar to a special ed school where mentally-challenged and some physically-challenged children were gathered. However, in the Russian orphanage…

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Concrete -versus- Abstract Thinkers

Our second son, Pasha, may have some brain issues that affect the way he thinks. These could stem from fetal alcohol exposure and one of the areas it impacts has to do with concrete versus abstract thinking. Literal as opposed to theoretical. A figure of speech or else meaning exactly what is said. He generally…

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International House Hunting

I love TV shows like “House Hunters International”. It never ceases to give me a good laugh when Americans don’t realize that, what we imagine to be normal, is rarely the case in the rest of the world. Living abroad, you might not have a car… and a place to park. You probably won’t have…

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Monday Mottoes – #133

Four people in one week. Four lives. Four families turned upside-down. As a friend, I try to reach out, give a hug, make a meal, send a card or e-mail, offer a word of encouragement. They are gone, suddenly, all four a surprise. Depending on your theology, they are either gone for good, or yet…

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On Orphans and Rescue Dogs

Just recently, a number of acquaintances have passed away and as I searched my own photo archives for any possible pictures of them for their loved ones, I came across photos of our kids when they first came home. Amazing. Shocking. Night-and-day. All were cute, even in the Russian orphanage. Their hair and clothes appeared…

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A Foodie Family

Riding in the car, we took a country drive, in order to go for a walk. Our family does stuff like that: drive to walk. It was close to 5:00 in the afternoon, the weather had turned cold and misty, a nice change from unseasonably hot. One son was ready to leave work, the other…