About the Word-Spiller

*** This section is badly outdated and in need of a redo; but if you'd like to read what was current in 2013, read on! A few things have changed since then.  :) ***

If you and I were to meet somewhere and begin to exchange life stories, here is what I might say...

I was born and raised in the beautiful countryside of Virginia, youngest of four children, brought up in a loving, Godly family.  College took me away from home as I traveled north to Messiah College to study English before changing my major to music.  I went even further north one summer, to Camp of the Woods in upstate New York, to work on the music staff there.  The next direction I went was east, across the ocean and all the way to Israel; twice I went there during my college years, and the second time I was there, a certain young man named Jeff from California happened to be studying at the same school as I.  Jerusalem was a very romantic place to begin a relationship.  :)  Despite my lack of faith that the relationship could continue, Jeff pursued me and won my heart completely; after I finished my senior year of college, during which we endured a challenging long-distance relationship and engagement, we were married (oh, glorious day!) in my hometown, then set off for the west to begin our married life in San Diego.

That was our home for five and a half years.  That was where we learned how to relate as husband and wife, that was where we formed deep, life-long friendships, that was where we were asked to serve in the ministry, and that was where our first son Josiah was born.

Happily, our dream to return to Israel came true; and we said goodbye (so bittersweet!) to California and moved to Tel Aviv for the next two and a half years.  Near the end of that time, our second son David was born, which brings much delight to his soul as he proudly tells people, "I was born in Israel!"

The next move brought us here to Virginia, back to the home in which I was raised, back to where my parents are.  So far we've enjoyed more than eight years of living right next door to my parents, and we've rejoiced to see our children run across our expansive lawn, dig in the dirt of our garden, hear the clucks of our hens and the crowing of our rooster, and best of all, have the privilege of knowing their maternal grandparents and seeing them everyday.  Since we've been here, three more children have been added to our quiver--Tobin, Shav, and Moriah--each one a precious blessing from God!

With such a history behind me and such a future to look forward to, is it any wonder that I'm convinced that my cup of blessings overflows?  :)

Let me introduce you to my children...

~ Josiah, 11 years old and in 6th grade, is every bit the firstborn:  responsible, self-motivated, somewhat of a perfectionist, a protector who watches out for the needs of others.  In addition, he's an avid reader who can often be found with his nose in a book.  When he's not doing that, he might be figuring out math problems in his head or participating in sword fights with imaginary opponents (or real ones, when he can talk one of his brothers into fighting him!).  He sings in the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir and plays violin, including participating in a Junior Strings ensemble.  His favorite color is purple. If he could do anything in the future, he would like to either have an ostrich farm by the coast of Japan where he could eat white rice every day and count his ostrich chicks or explore the depths of the ocean.  His passionate zeal and faithful commitment remind me of the man he was named after, King Josiah in the Bible.  Josiah's birth story is here.

~ David, 8 years old and in 3rd grade, looks up to and imitates his big brother in many ways; but his own personality shines through as well.  He's our actor, the one who entertains and makes us laugh; he loves to dress up in costumes and tell jokes (such as the ones found here on David's own blog).  He takes gymnastics; and if you ever visit us, he'll probably show you how he flips in the air and lands on the couch, climbs door frames like a monkey, and does splits that will take your breath away.  David sings in the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir and also plays violin.  Green is his favorite color.  Although he has developed the skill of being by himself and staying happily occupied during our afternoon quiet times, in general, he would much rather do anything with someone else than do his favorite thing by himself!  His name means "beloved," and he certainly is!  David's birth story is here.

~ Tobin, 6 years old, gained a nickname when he was just a baby:  Tobin Bear.  When I call him that, I think of what a cuddly teddy bear he is and how adorable I consider him to be!  Tobin has always had a soft spot for animals; and if you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he'll probably exclaim, "A cowboy!!  Or maybe a vet."  He started doing a very relaxed form of kindergarten this year and loves it, often asking me if we can "do school."  He is quite the little leader with his younger brother Shav and they are nearly inseparable; but Tobin also loves to imitate his big brothers and do whatever they are doing, whether that be jumping on the trampoline, wrestling with Daddy, or playing computer games.  Tobin means "God is good," and our sweet Tobin Bear is a wonderful reminder of that!  Tobin's birth story was told in parts and can be found here, here, and here (as well as pictures here, here, and here).

~ Shav, 4 years old, is just 18 months younger than Tobin; and when people found out we were having two children so close together, they told me, "They'll be such good friends!"  And so they are.  It's nearly impossible to imagine Shav without Tobin or Tobin without Shav, and the hours they play together every day are mostly free from conflict.  Even though he's the youngest of four energetic boys, Shav does a great job of keeping up with his older brothers.  With a smile that melts hearts, he's quick to say that his favorite animal is a tiger, his favorite color is red, and he wants to be a cowboy when he grows up.  "Shav" is a Hebrew word that means "return, restore," and we pray that in God's timing, Shav will return to his true home in heaven and be restored to his rightful place as a citizen of that glorious land. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy having him right here and thank God for the privilege of him being in our family! Shav's birth story is also in parts and is here, here, and here.

~ Moriah, 1 (and a half!) years old, is a ball of sunshine in our family.  Her birth in April of 2012 changed our family dynamic forever--and added a lot more pink to the laundry!  Her older brothers absolutely adore her; and often when I'm carrying her to her bed for a nap, one or more of them will come running, saying, "I want a hug!"  She learned to walk at 14 months and gets around like a champ, but she doesn't say many words yet.  She likes walking and trying to jump on the trampoline, dancing and spinning in a circle while we sing worship songs, playing chase and peek-a-boo with her brothers, having her knees tickled by her daddy, being held by her mommy, looking at board books in her crib, and snuggling with her favorite doll as she goes to sleep.  Moriah means "God is my teacher," and we pray that all the days of her life, she will be taught by the Lord! Moriah's birth story is here, here, here, here, and here.


Seeing inside a person's home is a way to know them more fully.  Want to take a peek inside mine?  I'm no fancy decorator, but I have had fun transforming rooms - one at a time, in a very slow process - so that our home becomes not only the one which my parents had built and in which I grew up, but also the one that my family lives and grows in now.  As I choose paint colors and place cherished items in various arrangements, it begins to reflect my personality; and through these views, you'll learn a little more about me.

~ The Downstairs Bathroom:  one more detail

~ The Cellar


Now that you've seen inside my home, maybe you're wondering what's for dinner.  Here are some of my favorite recipes; if you happen to drop by, we just might be eating some of these.  :)

Main Dishes
~ Caribbean Chicken Stew
~ Chalupas
~ Chicken Curry
~ Chicken Korma
~ Curried Lentils
~ Fresh Veggie "Pizza"
~ Ground Beef Grand Style
~ Loaded BBQ Potato Casserole
~ Meatloaf
~ Moroccan Chicken
~ Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
~ Quesadillas
~ Wild Chicken

Side Dishes
~ Cabbage Casserole
~ Donna's Mac and Cheese
~ Dried Beef Dip
~ Favorite Squash Casserole
~ Fruit Jewels
~ Sweet Potato Casserole
~ Wild Rice with Dried Fruit

~ Cheddar Chowder
~ Chicken Curry Soup
~ Lentil Soup
~ Mother's Potato Soup
~ Santa Fe Chicken Soup
~ Southwestern Black Bean Chili

~ Asian Coleslaw Salad
~ Black Bean and Corn Salad
~ BLT Salad
~ Caprese Salad
~ Corn Salad
~ Garden Pasta Salad
~ Spinach and Fruit Salad

~ Banana Bread
~ Sour Cream Cornbread

~ Egg Salad Wrap
~ French Toast Casserole
~ Orange Sauce and Blueberry Sauce
~ Pumpkin Pancakes

~ Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
~ Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
~ Coconut Cookies
~ Cream Cheese Pound Cake (for strawberry shortcake)
~ Grape Salad
~ Oreo Ice Cream Dessert
~ Peach Pie
~ Peanut Blossoms
~ Peppermint Patty Brownies
~ Pineapple-Cherry Crisp
~ Pineapple Milk Sherbet
~ Snickerdoodles
~ Turtles

~ Hot Chocolate
~ Russian Tea
~ Smoothie 1: The Davene
~ Smoothie 2: The Jeff
~ Smoothie 3: The Josiah
~ Smoothie 4: The New Baby
~ Smoothie 5: The David
~ Smoothie 6: The Tobin

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