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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…!

Homeschooling & Education


Reality Shows I’d Like to See

We all know the winning combo of winning reality shows on TV: Big characters. One-of-a-kind personalities. Access to places or situations we would otherwise not see. But that’s where our ways part. Recently, many reality shows have gone down the freak show pathway. The more bizarre and outlandish they are, the better, it seems. I’d…


Mouth-Watering English

A tantalizing fragrance filled the house. Something delightful for dinner was in the oven.  Our youngest, Sashenka, aged 14.5, tried to guess what it might be. The kids’ English still lacked in 101 ways, speaking like my grandmother, straight off the boat from Russia. Often, I refused to help them, making them work for words…


The Farce of French

My middle two children are studying French. It’s done through a very good DVD course with textbook and workbook. Unfortunately, I am the classroom quizzer and Pasha and Mashenka don’t like it one bit. The first exhibits shut-downs, the second, meltdowns. I learn that they follow their video-instructor’s every hint as to what will be…


What to Do Without College

I often consider our second son, Pasha. As an older adoptee with definite signs of Fetal Affects Syndrome, I wonder if college is in the cards for him. So far, high school has proven hard enough, so that would look like a no. What can he do with his life, then? I’m not the kind…


Why Do Families Homeschool?

On a bad day, I wonder that myself. It would be so much easier to plunk them down on the school’s doorstep and entreat, “Do something with them.” Unfortunately, I think that my kids may be lost forever—educationally, emotionally, spiritually, or socially if that were to occur. Don’t get me wrong. These are not hothouse…


Travels with Mama

I’m going on a roadtrip, not by myself and not with the whole family. This is where it gets tricky. This time, I’m taking the oldest (18.5) and a family friend in his early 20s. “Mama, does he know how we travel?” our other teens (18, 16.5, 14) ask. “How do we travel?” I echo…


Monday Mottoes – #79

One of the greatest turn-around stories I’ve ever heard comes from one whose work I don’t exactly admire, more due to personal taste than any lack of talent. Instead of focusing on her work, I admire her as a person of courage and tenacity, a woman who was once down-and-out and yet had a dream…


Monday Mottoes – #78

Are you a dropout? Not necessarily from school, but from certain aspects of life? Do you find it easier not to engage with a spouse, a boss, a child, so you avoid them? Do you stay away from certain social settings? Have you lost a job and then, after repeated rejection, given up even looking…


Comportment, Conversation and Conviviality

I believe I belong to a different era where graciousness and civility rule. The family was able to pass through Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, on our way south and partake of some of the genteel gems from a time long ago. We started with the milliner instructing us as to 18th century fashions. She told how,…


Museum of the Bible Coming Soon

Washington, DC, is set to get another museum in the next couple of years: the Museum of the Bible. Scheduled to be built two blocks from the National Mall, and three blocks from the Capitol, the 430,000-square-foot museum will house 500 world-class artifacts, from ancient manuscripts and papyri, to cuneiform tablets dating from Abraham’s time….

The Daily Dilbert