Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving List

At my parents' house, we wrote down a list of 20 things we were thankful for. Then we cut them into strips, placed them in a basket, and passed it around the table taking turns to read what everyone was thankful for this year. There were a lot of repeats in there. I really enjoyed getting to hear what everyone is thankful for and I think that it's important that we take the time to really appreciate everything that God has given us. I'm including my list on here (in no particular order) to the best of my memory.
  1. Mark- He is my best friend and the light of my life!
  2. Mom- She is a constant support and is always there for me to talk to.
  3. Dad- He was the 1st man in my life and he is such an encouragement to me.
  4. Jen- I love that Daniel has met her. She fits in so well with our family.
  5. Daniel- I am most thankful for how far Daniel has come in the last year. God is continually working on his heart and he is turning into the man we knew he could be...a man after God's heart.
  6. Answered prayers.
  7. A God that is ever-faithful and graceful. His unconditional love amazes me each day when I realize how unworthy I am to receive it.
  8. That Grandma Osborn and Grandpa Durick are now cancer-free.
  9. My job- I love my students, my co-workers, and the fact that everyday I know I'm getting to do something that I love.
  10. Em and Jen- I would be so lost without them. They are my favorites!
  11. Guinness- He's such a goof, but he is so loyal and loving. I couldn't ask for a better dog!
  12. Crossroads in Georgetown- I love the smaller community and that's it's so close to home.
  13. That Mark has a job that he enjoys and that he's been able to start working towards the career of his choice.
  14. Freedom of religion
  15. Education- As difficult as it is, I am grateful that I am able to go back for my Masters.
  16. Bengals football- Without it, what would we do on Sundays???
  17. Friends- I have some of the best friends that anyone could ever ask for.
  18. That I am never in need- God is too good!
  19. In-laws that I love and I know they love me back
  20. The fact that I have been blessed with so much and that I have the ability to give back to others physicially and emotionally.

Some others mentioned that I can't claim were:

  • Heat and energy- People are working so hard to provide us the easy conveniences that we take for granted everyday such as heating, central air, refrigerators, microwaves, electricity, etc.
  • The fact that I was born fully healthy both physically and mentally. I think this hit me so hard since I work with so many students who were not.
  • Food. We ate and will continue to eat a ton this week. So many don't have that luxury.
  • Music.
  • All 5 senses. I can't imagine life without just one of them.
  • The simple pleasures in life such as doughnuts (that one was Mark's)
  • Not having to work on Black Friday

I have so much to be thankful for and I think so often we forget to say "thank you". We also forget that we are blessed on a daily basis. At church in Cincy last week they talked about how we live in a "culture of forgetfulness". Gas is down under $2.00, but you don't see that all over the news like you do when it reaches $4.00. Too often we focus on the bad rather than stopping to be grateful.

OK, that's as deep as I'll get for a while.

Irish Thanksgiving

Irish Thanksgiving was so much fun! It was met with great success and has already been deemed a family tradition. Mark and I (and my brother) are very proud of our Irish heritage (you can make fun of us all you want) so we were so excited when my parents suggested an Irish feast rather than the normal Thanksgiving spread.

As promised, here are some of the pictures...
Mark and I started cooking pretty early. Mark took care of all of the bread. Plus, he was my wing man!
Me making the brandied yams. They were a hit!
Hanging out in the kitchen. Yes, I'm wearing an apron. It got pretty messy!
Irish Thanksgiving couldn't have happened without these sponsors.

Daniel with Guinness (our mascot). Guinness looks pretty evil in this picture!
Mark's Irish Flag Bread
The full spread...we couldn't eliminate anything from the menu
A plate full of goodness!

Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce for dessert

Mark was STUFFED!

Daniel wasn't sure what to do after all of that food!

Another dessert, a Blarney Bulldog!

The Blarney Bulldog was great! I'm including the recipe if anyone wants it. It's delicious but dangerous!

Blarney Bulldog

You need:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Vodka
  • Kahlua
  • Heavy cream
  • Root beer
  1. Put 3 scoops of ice cream in a pint glass.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix 3 Tbs. Kahlua, 2 Tbs. Vodka, and 1/4 cup heavy cream.
  3. Pour mixture over ice cream.
  4. Fill the rest of the glass with root beer (about 1/4 cup)

This drink is very yummy!

Friend's Thanksgiving

Our 2nd Friend's Thanksgiving at Jen's house was a success this year once again!
We had plenty of good friends all in one place...

Everyone brought something to eat...

The table was prepared beautifully... it was time to get our grub on.

Mark wanted to be as close as possible to his food at all times!

The guys and gals:

Paul, Tim, Mark, Colin, and Seth

Me, Jen, Em, and Fink

(Diva B left early to catch a showing of Twilight)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

O'Durick's First Annual Irish Thanksgiving

Today marks the 2nd of 4 Thanksgivings that Mark and I will be a part of this year. I absolutely LOVE all of the food at Thanksgiving, but 4 rounds of turkey and all the fixings in one week is a little much. My parents suggested this year that we have an Irish Thanksgiving. If you know anything about us, we are proud to be Irish!

I'm heading into Lexington in just a moment to start preparing our very 1st annual Thanksgiving dinner. On the menu is:

Rum & Coke Baked Ham
Shepherd's Pie
Irish Flag Bread
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Corn
Brandied Yams
Red Potatoes with Warm Beer Dressing
Wild Rice Pancakes
Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey Sauce
Blarney Bulldogs (Basically root beer float with Irish Whiskey)

I'll make sure I post pictures from the day. I'll also be posting pictures from my 1st Thanksgiving with friends very soon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

4 Years and Counting....

Today is mine and Mark's 4th anniversary. It is so hard to believe that we've been married for 4 years, but it is so neat to go back and look through our marriage. There have been ups and downs, but I can say with 110% of my heart that I married my best friend and my soulmate. God has blessed me with the funniest, kindest, most unique man. I am so proud to call him my husband.

I thought I'd commemorate the last 4 years with pictures from each of our anniversaries!

This one was actually from our honeymoon in the Maya Riviera. We had such a great time together and we were just embarking on our new life together. We're such babies in this picture!

We spent our 1st anniversary in Gatlinburg in a great cabin for 2 nights. I remember how exciting it was to reach the 1 year mark!

We spent our 2nd anniversary in Cincinnati. We went to the Melting Pot (this was before it was in Lexington). We had a great time together!

For our 3rd anniversary, I suggested staying in Cincinnati again and getting tickets to the Bengals game (Mark was happy to oblige). We stayed on the river and went to the Hofbrauhaus on Saturday then the game on Sunday. This was one of my favorites to date!

This is obviously not from our 4th anniversary, but I thought I'd include it since it's a picture of our family to date. This year, Mark and I will be going to Cincinnati again (do you see a recurring theme???). We plan on spending the weekend away from work and school to just enjoy each other's company. We're planning on hitting up some museums (we realize that we are geeks...), staying the night at the Hyatt Place (an anniversary gift from my parents), and going to church at our favorite church which just so happens to also be called Crossroads. My brother goes to this church and Mark and I try to go at least once a month. We're going out to eat together tonight before watching the Bengals-Steelers game. I think the best anniversary present would be to see the Bengals win...I'm not holding my breath.

Who knows what will happen in this upcoming year. I'm excited already to start our 5th year!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grandma Dorse

Yesterday morning we lost my great grandma. She passed peacefully in her sleep and I am so happy for her, but of course, I already miss her so much! Grandma Dorse was the most resilient person I've ever known and she had the sharpest memory of anyone I've met anywhere close to her age (did I mention she was going to be 101 years old next month???).

She lived such a long and full life and I loved listening to her recall memories such as when she and her friends made scarves for WWI soldiers who rode in the train past her house. Or when I heard her tell about how she and my great grandpa used to go dancing all the time. Or when I asked her what her favorite decade was (since she'd lived through 10 of them) and she told me all about the fun she had in the '40s.

I think about how lucky I am that I was able to enjoy 24 years with my grandma when many people never even meet their great grandparents. When I think back on all the years, I can remember the landmark birthday parties, decorative buttons, deviled eggs, cards in the mail (somehow she actually found cards that were for "Great Granddaughters"), chocolate covered cherries, Spam for Christmas, the number 17, crocheted afghans, and most importantly, rolls of pennies!

I hope that I am able to portray to my kids what an amazing lady my great-grandma was. It's also my wish that my own kids are able to have just as many valuable years with their own great grandparents.

I Love You and Miss You Grandma Dorse!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Crossroads is doing a new series on some of the mistakes that churches have made. Basically, we've been discussing the things that turn people off when it comes to church and talking more about the fact that we were built to have relationships with others, which allows us to represent Christ. We've also talked about evangelism has become such a dirty word. On the Georgetown blog, Greg included this video about what it would be like if Starbucks "marketed" itself like churches. While it is funny, it's also eerily all too true.

I know many of my friends have been turned off by the church, but are still very much in love with Jesus. I know even more friends who have been turned off altogether. There is truly nothing that saddens me more. I just found this interesting and thought I'd share.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Philippians 2:14-15

So, one of my professors told me about using "word clouds" to put writing into an artistic form. I've started playing around on and absolutely love it! You can put in quotes, paragraphs, verses, etc. and it generates art using your words. You can change fonts, color schemes, and layouts. You can even "wordle" your blog address and it takes words from past posts and creates artwork. Very fun!

Ria's Rhetoric

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to Guinness!!!!

Yesterday was Guinness' 1st birthday so we spent the weekend celebrating it. He got special treatment from us, a new chew toy, and I even made him his very own batch of peanut butter muffins. These muffins are safe for dogs to eat, but tasty enough for his mom and dad to eat as well. They tasted good, but were very plain. Guinness, however, absolutely LOVED them!

Here's some pics of the big birthday boy!
You can tell he loves that hat.
I don't have any kids yet...humor me!
Guin with his daddy
Checkin' out the muffin...

Yum, yum!

He forgot all about that annoying hat on his head once he got to start eating!

I thought I'd include the recipe in case anyone else has a special pup who would enjoy a birthday muffin!

Peanut Butter Muffins
Makes about 12

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients until blended, then beat the batter for 2 minutes. Spoon the batter into muffin cups, three-quarters full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick insterted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan once cooled.

Halloween Festivities

We had a marvelous time at the 2nd Annual Halloween Party this year. Everyone came out in their best costumes and everyone had a great time. We had good food, s'mores by the fire pit, scary movies projected outside, and even dancing. I've included some pictures from the night.
We were salt & pepper shakers!!!

Daniel and Jen were Mr. Plumpy and Princess Lolly from Candyland
Eric & Molly came as John McCain & Sarah Palin

Another Sarah Palin with a witch
(Fink & Jen)

Clint & Mark were Heaven's Gate members
(with fliers and grape beverage)

Lexington's "James Brown" and "God's Gift to Women"
(Seth & Paul)

Lucy & Snoopy
(Mom & Darlene)

Big Boy and Lucy
Pepper, Vampire, Salt

Dancin' the night away!

Ami was a mad scientist and had some exciting experiments to demonstrate

The BLC Ladies (best ladies ever!!!)

Which costume is your favorite????

Friday, November 7, 2008

10 Things You Love to Talk About

I'm feeling kinda uninspired, so I thought I'd steal from Ten On Tuesday and list...

10 Things I Love To Talk About:

(these are in no particular order)

1. My students and all things education
2. "One Tree Hill"
3. Food/Favorite recipes
4. Twilight series
5. My family
6. "LOST"
7. Cincinnati
8. Funny memories
9. God
10. Bengals football