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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…!


What a Difference a ‘Do Makes

Sashenka, age 13, wanted a new hairstyle.  Her long blond hair wasn’t doing it for her anymore, layers or no layers.  It was long, straight, and attractive, yet she wanted short and shaggy. So be it.  As long as it didn’t involve her obsession with bangs, which would simply deposit more oil onto her forehead,…


Catching Up on Missed Developmental Stages

Not all internationally-adopted children have missed developmental phases.  But many do.  Our four teens from Russia occasionally exhibit behaviors that their home-grown peers would not struggle with to the same extent.  Is it simple adolescence? Yes and no. Turns out that I haven’t read enough.  Much of the adoption literature out there deals with babies…


A Rainy Day Out and About

Living most of our lives in planes, trains, and automobiles, if not rickshaws and water taxis, our kids know how to adapt.  They’re pretty good troopers, even on a rainy day following a couple of late-night events. It was time to go on a mini-excursion to get them out and about, and afterwards, walking through…


In One Ear….

I have fun friends.  They can relate.  They can identify. When Benedetto was telling yet another of his stories, one of my acquaintances shook her head, only imagining how I kept my wits.  She came to her own conclusion. “In one ear, and out the other,” she summed up, as she heard of the pandemonium…


Day Camp Daze

I am always amazed by my inabilty to grasp certain concepts which should be self-evident, yet don’t seem “right”, so they evade me.  Such as summer camp. My reasoning went something like this:  send the kids to a week of day camp, and I get to have some time for my own projects. Never works….


Raising Children Who Think of Others

One of the best parts of parenting, in my opinion, is teaching our children to think of others.  We brainstorm together about how they might bring joy to an elderly friend or relative, who enjoys what, or perhaps what a simple note or drawing might mean to someone having a rough day. Generally, I am…


Whatever You Sow, You Reap

For the past couple of days, it’s been Shavuot, one of the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals when folks needed to head to Jerusalem’s Temple for worship.  This was seven weeks, or fifty days after Passover, which marked the barley harvest and at Shavuot, the wheat harvest.  Firstfruits were presented in the Temple and happiness abounded. …


The Power of Poetry

An overwhelming love for poetry-writing has taken our ten-year-old daughter Sashenka by storm.  Having been exposed to the English language for less than two years, the sounds of the still-at-times-strange tongue mesmerized our miniature motor mouth who lived for mindless chatter, mostly of her own making. Her poetry reflected this penchant for pratter.  Unlimited by…


A Full-of-Faith Family

In terms of spiritual beliefs, some might call us “mixed”, “mixed-up”, or “beautifully-blended”. It’s not like one of us believes one thing, and the others believe other things. Nope, we’re all in this together, which is rather amazing in itself, given our diverse origins. All we can say is, “It’s a God thing.” My dear…


Good Stuff at Goodwill

Never in a million years, let’s just put it like that. A sister-in-law tried to sell me on the idea years ago that thrift stores were fun places to shop. Born with the silver spoon in my mouth, or at least on my high chair, I was flabbergasted at the very thought. We were visiting…