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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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In the Middle of a Miracle

Things happen and we sometimes find ourselves needing a miracle. Make that a mega-miracle! I mean, a miracle is a miracle, right? If it’s something that’s basically very difficult, if not impossible, in the natural realm, well then, we might as well aim high-! I am in the middle of a miracle. That’s when you’re…

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The Beauty of Bing

Some days, it’s simply too tempting. The computer opens to Bing and sure enough, there’s a fabulous photo just waiting to take your breath away. No fair. How can I get any work accomplished on the computer when such spectacular animal or landscape pictures stare back at me? I consider the photos to be on…

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The Architect and the Archaeologist Reconnect

My husband, Benedetto, has a friend from long ago. The two of them knew each other as struggling, young professionals in Israel 40 years earlier. Both arrived as recent college graduates and were seated together one day at the long, laminated tables of the one-of-a-kind, Jerusalem Old City eatery popular among travelers of the time:…

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Monday Mottoes – #124

Here’s a happy thought for a Monday morning: Life is going to knock you down or try to knock you down. The longer you lay there, on the ground, shaking your head in shock, the easier it is for the next guy to come and bulldoze right over you. Get up. Get up and dust…

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Ashley Olsen, Amanda Knox, and Italian Incidents

For many years, my husband and I were a fixture on the Italian scene. Locals often assumed that we lived there because we popped in and out for a few-day-getaway, or work-related visits. One thing that always concerned us was the behavior of American kids abroad. Maybe university or art-school students, their risky lifestyle choices…

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The Importance of Family Meals

It’s a proven fact: family meals will change your life. You know, eating together in blissful harmony. Not only does it beat grabbing a takeout taco, a stale salad, or a big burger, all the studies show it will benefit your family well-being, as well as your body and brain. For adoptive families, I believe…

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Monday Mottoes – #123

Education need not be complex to be excellent, in my opinion. My husband and I believe in advanced degrees and lifelong learning and teaching our children every opportunity we have. That’s not so different from hundreds of years ago when education was serious and minds well-exercised. Today I’m considering John Wesley, an Anglican minister, who…

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S’Rozhdyestvom Khristovim!

Walking through the forest, the trees appear bluish-silver-grey, punctuated by peeling birch bark white-with-flecks-of-black in the dark of a cloudy, snowy night. Lights from the dacha at last can be glimpsed as we arrive back from caroling at our neighbors’. The snow crunches beneath our feet. We are dressed in traditional clothes, kokoshniks and all,…

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Monday Mottoes – #122

It’s a new year. Possibilities and potential spread before us. There’s the tyranny of the urgent vying with the creative genius bottled up like a genie trying to get out. I count down to my own Via Dolorosa deadline 10 days distant and feel desperate. Put one foot in front of the other. Don’t give…

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Happy New Year: Making Teachable Moments

Whether you’re a bio-parent or an adoptive-parent, holidays can prove to be rough. Different schedules leading to children’s dysregulation (if not parents’ dysregulation!) result. How to keep from going over the edge? I like to schedule down-time for the kids to unwind over the winter break, while not allowing them to totally veg-out. That’s when…