Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas. We've had a great time here playing with the O'Bear, putting a puzzle together, hanging out, reading and napping! It's awesome!

And here's to the Reason for the Season!

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

--Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 New International Version

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Adventures of No, No, Bad Dog: The Cubic Conundrum

Hello again, dear fans. It's been a while.

I was deep under cover...oh, who am I kidding. I was just messing around barking at neighborhood children coming home from school. LOOOOVVVEE IIITTT!!! =P

Anywho, as I was saying, it's been a while since my last mission, and as it's nearing Christmas and the Naughty/Nice list is getting checked, I felt I needed to spring into action.

As some of you might know, my fortress has been penetrated by the evil Cute Baby! The folks think I am such a good sport. Ha! So, what was I to do, but give them a little demonstration of my power and position in this household. Enter the "X" block.

Why X? Well, X marks the spot. X-cellent. X-citing. You get it!

Evil Cute Baby had once again sucked Leanna into his vortex of cuteness and they were playing on the floor with his wooden blocks when I started forming my plan. I like wood. I eat wood. This is what I shall do! So, when they weren't looking I swiped the X block! All I left behind was a little sliver, as a calling card you might say.

Leanna, of course, caught onto my plan, but didn't go in search of the X. So, when she was AGAIN busy with Cute Baby, I mysteriously manifested the missing block and began chomping. What happened, you ask!? She took it away and told me "No, No! Bad Dog!" Yes! I had succeeded! She remembered my name! She remembered my purpose.

Throughout the day, I repeatedly snuck the block back from wherever she had placed/hidden it. My mission was not complete.

Finally, after Joe came home, saw what I had done, he and Leanna decided the block was toast.


Cute Baby -- you are a mighty foe! I have won this round, but I will not let down my guard. (note from the ghost writer -- No, No, Bad Dog is sleeping while I recount his tale.)

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Few Ways to Make a Difference

I love Christmas time. I don't always love the craziness that comes with it. But, I love the kindness, the giving and the cheer that usually surfaces this time of year. (I also LOVE Caramel Brulee drinks from Starbucks, but that's another story!)

This season though, I've come across two causes that have really struck a chord with me and wanted to pass along to you all, if you're looking for some place to give this Christmas. And trust, me, these will be great places to give!

1. Shiloh Restored -- Our friends Lali and Niji have started a new mission, along with everything else in their crazy-busy lives, to save baby girls in India from infanticide. They are raising money through their mission to rescue, house, educate and love on these unwanted girls. Lali and Niji also plan to move to India in the next few years to run this mission first-hand.

Lali and Niji's core belief is that each human life is of great value and all are created equal in the sight of God. The name of the rescue mission is Shiloh Restored - this name seemed fitting because the word Shiloh has its origin in Hebrew and means “God’s gift” - Join them in working to see God's Gift Restored!

2. Reece's Rainbow - Make Christmas Count for Cliff
My sweet sweet friend Lydia welcomed her second son into the world this August. Little James was born with Down Syndrome. This was a surprise to all of us. Little James is perfect in his different-ness. But what was really different, is how this opened my eyes to these special kiddos like James who need loving just like our 'perfectly normal' kiddos (whatever that means,right!)

While reading a few blogs I frequent, I came across Cliff's story and the Reece's Rainbow organization. This group helps facilitate the international adoption of children with DS or other special needs. HOW AWESOME! The blogs I was reading are teaming up to make this Christmas count for Cliff, a special little boy looking for a home. If you can, donate big or small and help this little cutie find his forever home.

May God truly bless you and your family this year. And let's help to bless so many of those out there that need a little love too!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Joy Card

Glitter Glamour Joy Christmas Card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a fun Thanksgiving, did you?

Food, pie, more pie, cheesecake...more food.

Pool games on the in-laws' new obsession.

Rice cereal, banana and guac for the littlest!

Naps for the mom (interrupted by leaf blowers -- one of the great evils of humanity!!!)

Christmas tree getting with the in-laws (Ryker spreading his holiday cheer at the store...)

Getting hubby home for several fun days!

Lots of laughs from the O'Bear and watching him have a blast in his jumper.

I would call Turkey Day 2010 a success! And even did a wee bit of shopping on the Internet -- sooooo much better than 4:30 in the morning in the stinkin' cold!

Now, bring on Christmas!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Tis the Season for New Fridge Art

Over the years, we've all started getting photo cards from our friends and family for the holidays. I love this trend so much, because I have something to add to my fridge. I get to look at all your smiling faces every day, say a prayer for you, think how big "Bobby" or "Katie" is now, and wish we all lived closer.

This holiday season, I have decided we too, have something photo-worthy to share with you on a card this year. That's right, Mr. Owen! His cuteness outshines us all, even Ryker. We've also had some awesome photos taken by our friends Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and we're ready to share.
One great place if you're looking to design your own cards this year is Shutterfly! They have tons of Christmas card and holiday card designs! And with an awesome holiday giveaway opportunity or just great discounts, why not give it a whirl!

You can search by color, number of photos and price! Here's an example of a brown, $, one photo card!And for those of you who just had new little bundles...they have tons of cute birth announcement designs!

So, get busy and send me some fridge art! Can't wait to see all your smiling faces soon!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Girl and her Dog

I need this right?

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
Can't you just see me and Ryker sporting about town in this? How cool, right?
I could win this!
You could win this!

Go check it out! It'll make you smile! Madsen Bikes!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Family Pics

Here's a few more of my favorite pictures from our photo shoot with Mr & Mrs Smith! Thanks again guys!

Monday, October 25, 2010

To Brush, or Not to Brush

...that is the question.

How bad is it that I can't brush my teeth during the day if I want to go somewhere. The minute Ryker sees me putting tooth paste on the tooth brush, he is gone. Under a bed, in a closet...somewhere cowering in fear from the impending doom of being put outside. So, invariably if I try to brush my teeth, it will take me an extra 10 minutes to get out the door after I wrangle the pupster.

So, should I just start brushing all the time throughout the day to desensitize him? Should I keep brush-ups in the car? Should I just carry around a tranq gun?

Oh Lordy! It's always something with this guy. What a nut.

And, yes, NoNoBadDog hadn't shown up in a long time, till Owen and I had to go somewhere the day Joe left on his last business trip. That's when NoNoBadDog decided to bite through the MIDDLE of a SINGLE board and wriggle out somehow. SERIOUSLY?? How do you do this? I was going to take a pic, but didn't have a chance before Bro-in-law fixed it for me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Power of the Written Word

There are movie lines and book lines we can quote by heart:

"Here's lookin' at you, kid."
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
"Luke I am your father."
"As you wish..."

But, what may be the hardest, most memorable thing is the first written sentence that one reads. It makes a classic a classic. It turns a story into a statement. It sears it into your memory, perhaps our collective memory -- forever.

Here's a few of the world's greatest written first sentences. Then click on the link for a few more. Perhaps it will entice you to read something new or something you've never even heard of. Perhaps you will write the next best first sentence...

1. Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

3. A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. —Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)

7. riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. —James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939)

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

10. I am an invisible man. —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)

11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. —Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)

12. You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. —Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

13. Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. —Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925; trans. Breon Mitchell)

14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. —Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler (1979; trans. William Weaver)

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. —J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

17. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. —James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard. —Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)

19. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me. —Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1759–1767)

20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. —Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)

The rest of the 100 Best Lines

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It's from the Internet... it has to be true, right? =D

According to the Better Homes and Gardens color quiz:

Your color personality is: Yellow
Like yellow's strongest symbol, the sun, you radiate warmth. Others love to be around you because you have a gift for always looking on the bright side, and your ready smile can be infectious. Chances are your calendar is packed -- yellow lovers tend to be always on the go!Your signature color indicates someone imaginative and creative, so don't be afraid to express yourself through the way you dress and the way you decorate your home. Cheerful yellow is the ideal hue for a kitchen, laundry room, or any room that needs some extra brightness.

(a pic from our trip to the arboretum this spring!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

When I was Little

When I was little, I had an escape plan in case the bad men came.

I had a giant window right over my bed, you see. And I had a fear that bad men might come in, never mind my sister had the same giant window and she was the first room in the house.

So my plan was to hide under my bed right next to the window wall and wait for them to leave, then I would crawl out, jump out the window and run to my neighbors' house.

Weird, I know. But these are the things you worry about when you're a little kid.

Monday, September 20, 2010

When I was Little

thiWhen I was little, I LOVED to read (I still do). I hated to put down my book if I was really into it.

I would read in our tree. I would read under my bed. I would read in my bath tub.

One day I decided to read on my bike.

I was going over to visit a friend, and I thought, oh yeah, I can totally do this. So I started reading while riding my bike. I used to be super cool and could ride without using my hands. All was going good until it wasn't.

I ran into a parked van. Yep. I did. I'm pretty sure I even left a dent in the bumper.

So, what did I do? I looked around, didn't see anyone, and pedaled away as fast as I could!

From this I learned, I cannot read and ride! Wow, is this like a medieval form of texting and driving? Hmmm...well, good thing I don't do that!

And, for whoever's van that was all those years ago, sorry about that! =D

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When I was Little

When I was little, I said I would ALWAYS wear shorts when I got older.

I never understood why grown-ups wore shorts when it was hot outside. Now I do. At least I understand why women don't wear shorts all the time. I think it has something to do with the burden of frequent shaving.

It all becomes clear, or should I say, fuzzy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fun with the Flip

Took this video the other day with our new Flip camera.

It is currently titled, Brotherly Love. But, perhaps, another title could be Why They Say Living with Dogs Boosts Your Kids' Immune System.

Enjoy...more to come I'm sure!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Random Act of Kindness

This Saturday, Joe and I had the hankering for kolaches from the local bake shop. We even had a coupon, to boot! So, off went Joe and Ryker while I fed the baby.

Hubby and pupster return, and Joe announces the kolaches were free. Free?? I knew we had a coupon, but it wasn't that good.

Turns out, Joe's card refuses to swipe at this location. It's happened before. And we are not cash-carriers, so Joe told the lady he'd go across the street and get some from the bank since nothing was working. She said that would be fine, she trusted he'd come back.

Then steps forward, random nice guy, Ben. He gave the lady a couple of dollars and said it was on him! Joe said, that that wasn't necessary, as he really could just run across the street to the bank. However, this nice gentleman said no problem, have a wonderful Saturday.

Wowzers! Totally not called for, but what a blessing and nice thing to do for someone! Thank you random guy! Thanks for reminding us there are still friendly people in this world and for passing along a little cheer on a Saturday morning!

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Holy Spirit Hour

Many of you may have heard the old phrase, the Witching Hour. A European term referring to the 12 a.m. hour or early hours where supernatural things happen. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that is dark outside, which makes just about anything creepy.

Well, I would like to introduce an new phrase, The Holy Spirit Hour.

You ask, "Now, what the heck is this?"

This is the hour where your animals go bonkers.

It shall be called this for a number of reasons. Like most Godly things, it is out of our understanding why our creatures find the spontaneous need to rampage through our house like their tails are on fire. Also, like the Holy Spirit, it can descend at any time, no matter the hour. So, be prepared.

The Holy Spirit Hour occured at the O'Brien household about 9 p.m. last night. RykerDog caught the spirit and went tearing up and down the hall. Squeaker Men were flying. Gummy Bear toys were flung. There was much hootin' and hollerin,' spinning of claws on hardwood floors and ruffling of carpet.

This is not just limited to my puppy. I have seen it in my dearly departed feline friend, Tailer. I have seen it in my outlaw pals, Bonny and Clyde, just to name a few. Let's face it peeps, it's real!

And I like it!

So here's to the Holy Spirit Hour. Proof once again that God has a big, big sense of humor!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Buddy!!

Happy Third Birthday, RykerDog!!

We love you so much, and are so glad you are our pupster!

While I am not totally convinced you are three years old exactly, we'll run with it.

You have been such an awesome big brother to Owen. You've been a faithful friend to me during pregnancy, nursing and looking after this crazy kid. Your dad loves going on walks and runs with you, even if you are still out of control most of the time.

You are not perfect, but you are ours! Happy Birthday Buddy!

(and yes, in dogs years you are 21 this year, BUT we are NOT taking you drinking!)

((Thanks Lyd, for the awesome pic!))

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Generation

Have you seen the previews for this new ABC show, My Generation?

It's about Class of 2000 high school graduates from Austin, TX (ha! right?). I AM a Class of 2000 high school graduate.

According to the previews, we should already have taken over the world, made our millions and be content. However, we get to see that for a bunch of these 'losers' it hasn't happened that way yet.

IT HASN'T PEOPLE!!! I didn't know I was supposed to have everything figured out in 10 short years after graduating high school. Do you know how silly, and full of ourselves and crazy ideas we were at 18?

To be honest, it really has depressed me a bit. Every time I see a commercial for it, I think, what did I do wrong? Did I do something wrong?

I probably did do several things wrong, but I don't think I'm someplace I'm not supposed to be. I love my family and our lives together. There are definitely things I would like to change, but I don't think we should be made to feel guilty for not ALL being the president of the United States. Because, you know, that's only a one-person job.

I don't know if I'll tune in this fall. I guess it depends on my mental state. But, to all those other 2000 grads. I love you, keep on keeping on. And kudos to you for graduating high school!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Totally Wrong, but Interesting!

So, I was talking to my dog the other day, (yes, there is NOTHING wrong with this) and I realized something.

My dog, my wonderful red-fluffy-bunny of a crazy mutt, Ryker the WonderDog, NoNoBadDog, is smarter than my child.

Yep. I said it.

But really, he knows his name.
He can roll over by himself.
He can hold his head up.
He can go to the potty by himself.

He has a vocabulary.
Think about it:
Go for a: ride, walk, get the mail, etc.

He's a genius.
Little dude??? Well, all I can say is we're working on amending this post soon! =)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


For your tummy's entertainment and your pocket book's delight, CHEESECAKE FACTORY is having it's anniversary special tomorrow for facebook fans and Friday for everyone else!

Oh yeah buddy!

Now, the real dilema comes down to, do I stick with the old tried and true Dulce de Leche, which has a special place in my heart, or try the new Reese's version?????

And, also, does Owen count as a person so I can get a slice to take home to Joe? =)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


You see this guy?

This guy is a month old today.

Let's break down what this little guy has learned in a month.
1. Eat - check
2. Sleep - check minus - sometimes we're a little iffy on this one
3. Poop and pee - CHECK PLUS
4. Cry - check plus on this one too - He has what I like to call a pterodactyl cry that he likes to pull out when he's really not happy and really hungry.

We're also slowly adding being able to focus on a face. But other than his totally way-too-strong neck muscle, we're still in our blob stage. BUT we're a month closer to something else right!?

Happy One Month, Mr. Owen. We love you.

Friday, July 09, 2010

News Flash

!!!News Flash of Epic Proportions!!!

It has been over 3 weeks since I have had cheese enchiladas!

I repeat:

It has been over THREE WEEKS since I have had cheese enchiladas.

Combined with a lovely hospital stay, lack of appetite for a while, wonderful meals provided by friends, and well, a hardship in getting out, I have NOT filled my enchilada tank in quite a while.

Tonight we are planning to have homemade chicken enchiladas at Aunt Jenni and Uncle Jamie's house tonight with the O'Bear in tow (his first adventure). They're pretty good and cheesy, but not the same. We'll remedy this injustice very soon I know. But for those of you that know me, this is a big deal!

See how I sacrifice for my child already? Sheesh! Mother of the Year over here!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July from our family to yours.

With thanks for our troops, patriots and fellow Americans past, present and future we're so blessed to celebrate in a free country where God can be God!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Sorry for the delay in posts over here. You see, we procured this little thing called Owen Daniel on June 15th, and we've been just a bit busy!

Check out the baby blog on the side bar for nifty cool updates on the O'Bear!!

And, I'm sure I'll have something to post over here again soon!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Leanna vs. Dyson

Man, oh, man! Was it ever a smack-down in this house today.

I've been putting it off for a while (since some fuzzy creatures never seem to get the hint!), but sweeping was not doing the trick any more. I needed to vacuum!

So I got out the ol' boy and went to town in the carpeted area. Not too much trouble, a little work at 38.5 weeks prego, but doable!

BUT OH, DEAR LORD! Who could have imagined the power struggle that lurked in the living room! I use the hose a lot in this room, just because it's easier to attack the dust bunnies. However, today, it was just not meant to be.
It caught up my dress multiple times.
It sucked up a pencil.
It sucked up shoe laces.
It sucked up the computer's cord wrap, and started sucking the cord itself.
It sucked up pieces of paper, that wound up getting stuck.

I then had to dump it out.

It decided to dump all over the floor in three different piles.


I couldn't get the hose back down because the pencil was stuck. So, I had to turn the whole thing up and over and shimmy the pencil down and out.


Needless to say, I got most of my vacuuming done. Was it worth all the trouble? That, I'm not sure!

So, next time you vacuum, be careful. Mr. Dyson or Mr. Hoover or whoever just might have an attitude that day! You've been warned!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Most Interesting Pup in the World - 2

He bypassed the teenager stage, because he was never awkward, nor gangly. Just straight from adorable puppy to ruggedly handsome pupster. (or so he claims)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rear Gear...

So I came across this today. I showed it to Ryker. He said he would eat me if I bought it for him.

Thankfully, he has the most awesome tail in the world and butt tufts that look like pantaloons, so he doesn't need these.

But (ha!), if your dog/cat does, here's the product for you!

Rear Gear!

Is your pet feeling left in the dirt because of his/her unsightly rear? I’ve got them covered... Rear Gear is handmade in Portland, OR and offers a cheerful solution to be-rid your favorite pet’s un-manicured back side. Rear Gear comes in many designs including a disco ball, air freshener, heart, flower, biohazard, smiley face, number one ribbon, cupcake, sheriff's badge, dice, and you can even make yours custom, so there’s a Rear Gear for everyone.

So, if you find yourself in need, check out this cute girl's site at:

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Most Interesting Pup in the World...

He doesn't just tie a cherry stem into a knot. He creates origami crane masterpieces.

He is the most interesting pup in the world.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On my Nightstand

Nightstands, bedside tables, whatever you call them are always interesting. They seem to collect some necessary, odd and noteworthy items for our lives.

Right now on my nightstand, I have:
- my fun Ikea lamp - I love that it looks retro and only costs $20!
- a half a glass of coke - I NEEDED it the other night, just not all of it
- a glass of water - I needed this at 2:30 in the morning - arg.
- Kleenex
- Lavender Vanilla lotion from Bath & Body Works
- Frankenstein - Lydia said she read this classic and enjoyed it, so why not give it a whirl!
- The Brothers Karamazov - this was Joe's idea! It's an interesting, but amazingly long book!

So, that's what I have right now, what about you?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Honest Scraps

So my friend, Emily, tagged me with Honest Scraps...sharing 10 real things about myself to my little blogging community. So here I go:

1. I enjoy reading teen fiction a bit too much. I have read the whole Twilight series, Harry Potter and so on...and sadly, I really like them better than most adult fiction. Although, I must admit, I really like the Sookie Stackhouse series (but NOT TrueBlood on tv).

2. I still don't have a baby name to share with you. Please come up with another question. I really will let you know when we know. So just chill and know that we will not let the child be NoName O'Brien. Ok?

3. I have major issues with people who breath too loud or snarffle or snort. I really, really have to control myself, especially with strangers. However, I've told my family way too often I'm sure that they're breathing too loud! Sorry...I do try!

4. I think my puppy is the cutest puppy in the whole entire world. Really. I just find him fascinating. (Yes, he makes me upset, sad, enraged too, but on the whole, I love'em!)

5. I have way too many dreams set in high school and that include band still. I have no idea what this says about our school system that can still haunt a person 10 years later...

6. I have never been on a cruise. I was supposed to go this year with my bud Lydia and her hubby. However, we both wound up pregnant...I am sad about this, but know I will make it on a big boat one day.

7. I have the dream of starting a retirement community for Old Bears -- where our Baylor Buddies and those that pass our rigorous scrutiny can retire. We will all have front porches that face the west, complete with rockers. We will fellowship together and enjoy good, loving friendships!

8. Sewing has become a fun hobby for me. However, I have acquired quite the fabric stash. It's a little crazy, but I try very hard to keep it under control.

9. I have to laugh that my hubby has become quite the grower of our family. I used to plant flowers when I was little, but really could care less right now. However, Joe is just crazy about growing things. I'm glad one of us keeps our outside looking perty! (although I did plan out the new flower beds!)

10. I am so excited to become a parent in less than two months. Holy Crap! However, I am scared of the giant change it will bring to our little family. So please pray for us in this crazy time!

So to pass the torch along, I tag:

Let me know if you decide to play!

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Ha! I have captured the snoozing, pillow-hog of a puppy in his natural habitat! Enjoy!

Silly Puppy

Aside from the continued stress of trying to raise up our puppy in the way he should go, he's also a super cute little dude.

Have I mentioned how much this little guys LOVES his pillows? Seriously, I don't think I have seen a fuzzy creature seek out, hone in on, gravitate toward pillows or piles as much as this dog. And who's to argue with him? Who doesn't love a pillow?

I love seeing him curled up with his chin lifted off by the pillow and snuggled in for a good nap. The goober also always seems to have his head raised, either on the side of his favorite chair or propped up on the edge of the coffee table, our shoe or something of the sort.

Is this a form of readiness? So he can hear all that is going around him? Or is this just another classic dose of Ryker-cuteness? Well, whatever it is, it makes me smile! =)
I know he's not on a pillow here, I don't have one on this computer, but it's still stinkin' cute!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring, we see you lurking...

Oh, yes we do.
It's getting warmer, then colder, then warmer again. I can see the battle raging between you and Old Man Winter, but I know you will prevail. How do I know, you ask? Little buds of hope sprinkled here and there! Come on spring, you can do it!!

First dogwoods of Spring, thanks to a little trip to Palestine.
Beautiful tulips and other flowers at the Dallas Arboretum!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Me Want Now

Got an email from How Does She? today with this little gem in it.

I want it.

I want it now.

I love me some cheesecake and this has my number all over it. Now, I just need to have an event with more than just me and Joe so I won't gorge myself on this beauty... try if you dare and let me know how it is!


Vanilla and Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

1 Graham Cracker Crumb Crust (see recipe below)

2 pounds cream cheese left 3 to 4 hours at room temperature (60 degrees to 70 degrees F, if measured with a food thermometer).

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons whipping cream

3/4 cup Thick Chocolate Truffle Sauce (see recipe below), warmed just until smooth and pourable


1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Wrap the outside of the springform pan with crust with a large piece of heavy aluminum foil and place it in a large baking pan with sides at least 2 inches high. (In a ketttle or in the microwave heat 2-3 cups of water to boiling.)

2. Put the cream cheese in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and mix until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour. Add the eggs, two at a time, mixing the batter smooth after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrap the sides of the bowl twice during this mixing. Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice. Mix in the whipping cream. Put 3/4 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Stir in the chocolate truffle sauce

3. Pour about half of the vanilla batter into the prepared springform pan. Reserve 1/4 cup of the chocolate batter and pour the remaining chocolate batter slowly over the vanilla batter. Pour the remaining vanilla batter on top.

4. Use a small spoon to drizzle the reserved chocolate batter over the top of the cheesecake, leaving a 1-inch plain edge. Use the spoon to gently swirl the chocolate batter in a marbelized pattern over the top of the cheesecake.

5. Put the cheesecake in the oven and pour hot water into the large baking pan to reach 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake about 1 hour, or until when you give the cheese cake a gentle shake, the top looks firm. (It usually takes about 75-80 minutes for mine to reach this point.)

6. Cool the cheesecake, covered loosly with paper towels, in the water bath, for 1 hour on a wire rack. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the paper towels and cool 1 hour more. The cheesecake should feel cool to the touch. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, at least 6 hours or overnight.

7. I topped this with more of the chocolate truffle sauce, whipping cream (be careful not to over mix and make butter), and sprinkled with raspberries. I also added a raspberry puree to the plate to help balance the richness of the cheesecake (see recipe below).

*cheesecake recipe has been modified from Elinor Klivans ‘Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts Recipe Book. {It’s amazing}

Cookie Crumb Crust

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the baking dish. Sprinform pans should have sides at least 2 3/4 -inches high.

2. Put the cookie crumbs in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir the mixture intil the crumbs are evenly moistened with the butter. Transfer the crumbs to the baking dish. Using your fingers, press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides. Check to see that with crust is not too thick where the sides and the edges of the pan meet. Bake the crust for 6 minutes.

3. Cool the crust thoroughly before filling. Crumb crusts can be baked a day ahead, covered and stored overnight at room temperature.

Chocolate Truffle Sauce

3/4 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into two pieces

12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Put the cream and butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over meduim-low heat until the cream is hot and the butter is melted. THe hot cream mixture will form tiny bubbles and measure about 175 degrees F. on a food thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chocolate and let it melt into the hot cream mixture. for about 30 seconds to soften. Add vanilla and whisk the sauce until it is smooth and all of the chocolate is melted.

Raspberry Puree

2 cups raspberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Place raspberries in a blender and blend slightly. Pour them into a strainer and mash through until you have only seeds left in the strainer. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir until smooth.