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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…!

Spirituality

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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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The 49-cent Nepalese Human Sacrifice

I have traveled the world many times over and I know from observation and participation that what you believe just might save you. It also just might kill you. The latest news story from Nepal this week involves a distressed father with an ill son. A Hindu “holy man”, who appears from his photo to…

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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…

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Monday Mottoes – #99

As we approach our 100th Monday motto, it may be time for a Sashenka-ism. That would be a phrase uttered by our youngest daughter, often that makes no sense whatsoever. We can always blame it on the fact that English is not this Russki’s first language, or the fact that she marches to her own…

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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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Generations of Genocide

A former Nazi officer, known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz” and now in his 90s was sentenced by a German court to four years in prison. His crime included counting the cash of new arrivals at the death camp of Auschwitz/Birkenau located in Nazi-occupied Poland. An old man, 90-some years old. We will not ascribe…

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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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Monday Mottoes – #97

Maybe you have children who are going through a growth phase, or you remember your legs aching as a young person and your mom saying they were growing pains. Most growth—whether in terms of career, education, relationships, finances, sports ability—you name it, some stretching is involved. And we don’t like it one bit, right? The…

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Saying Yes to Life

Around the world, news reports make even the strongest of us want to despair. Where’s the world’s culture headed?   I think of young Yazidi and Christian girls offered as sex slaves to ISIS fighters who demonstrate a knowledge of the Koran and in our own American culture, cross-dressers hailed as brave heroes. Then in the…

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Friends Encouraging Friends

So many changes in so many friends’ lives. All of them good, all of them breakthroughs. It’s special to be able to cheer them on to victory, to be there in good times and bad. Isn’t that what life is all about, to give someone else an encouraging word and to rejoice with them when…