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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…!

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Close Quarters

How much do you know of of your children’s lives?  We think we know their friends, their habits, their strengths and weaknesses.  I speak this as one of two parents who probably spend a combined 23 hours a day with our kids (if not more). I know nothing about them. After spending all of a…

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Crafts for a Cold Day

We took a fun 30 minutes the other day to make upscale bookmarks.  Not being a Martha Stewart type, I think they turned out well.  You could do this with a musical theme, a sports theme, a Biblical theme, a nature theme, a pet theme.  There are a lot of options for every season and…

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Monday Mug Club: #15

Today we turn back to yesteryear and the sacrifices of our predecessors. Tanya writes:  “This pic is of a cup and saucer that belonged to my grandmother from Westmeath, Ontario, Canada.  At age 15, her parents and baby brother drowned in the winter when their vehicle slid off a bridge and into icy cold water. …

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Monday Mug Club: #14

We’re departing a bit from our usual mugs to bring a guy’s perspective.  Yes, there are men out there who might drop by the blog, they’re just not as vocal it seems-! This mug comes from Willie, who writes: “My favorite coffee mug is my NASCAR Jeff Gordon one with the big 24 on it. …

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National Parks Week: Fort McHenry

Our family hit the road for a mini spring outing to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. Not realizing that it was National Parks Week, imagine our surprise when the park ranger announced, “Entrance is free this week!” (If you hurry, you can get in on this great deal, too.) It was a lovely way to…

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Settling in With a New Child: Reducing the Pressure

Adopting a child is everything like having a bio child—minus the birth. Bios have nine months to make us nervous about their arrival, and the way adoptions are going these days, some of us have had YEARS of dread, anguish, joy, and anticipation before the Blessed Arrival. That’s the rub, there’s so much to DO…

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The Marks of Trauma & Abuse

Most of us, when adopting a child, have no idea what we’re getting into. Uppermost in many adoptive parent’s minds is the question: was my child abused? Probably the more accurate question is not if, but how. What are we talking, is what parents want to know: sexual, physical, verbal, emotional? Whatever the form, abuse…

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Homeschooling Haze: Uncharted Waters

My husband and I used to be fairly intelligent people. Then we started homeschooling. And our children caused us to lose our minds. The kids have special problems: they don’t always understand English and they don’t always understand school. Other than that, we’re doing fine. Many of their challenges may stem from the fact that…

Holiday Meal Planning

That’s it, I’m postponing my doctor’s appointment. The holidays are upon us and there’s no point heading there, and to the scale, immediately after Thanksgiving. Benedetto loves to talk about food. It’s an Italian thing. Doesn’t help me one bit at all. Just salivating adds weight. “What kind of soup do you want this year?”…

The Swiss Cheese Internat Education

When we first learned of Russian boarding schools for orphans, images of freshly-scrubbed children in crisp uniforms engaging in serious studies flooded our minds. The more accurate picture might be more like a sinister Soviet penal gulag with a bit of learning thrown in for good appearance. “How many months are there in one year?” …