Stock Yard Mama

Just a young mom of 2 sharing her thoughts with the world.

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Olympics – Opening Ceremonies, Days 1 & 2

Opening Ceremonies:
So I was impressed in many ways and disappointed in a few too. If you didn’t get a chance to see the Opening Ceremonies, check out the pictures and my own descriptions below.

The tree that was the center of a lot of the opening ceremony

The queen

Mr. Bean was a hilarious part of the ceremony

Team USA!

The final torch bearers (the line of 7 teens in the back), future athletes of Great Britain.

Final fireworks were amazing

Or, check out this video.

Day 1:
WOW! What a way to start the Olympics!

Lochte blows Phelps winning record and proves he’s in London to win!

USA Soccer team

Lochte wins GOLD

Ryan Seacrest tries to be sporty

Check this out.

Day 2:

I’m SO excited about what happened today.
1. World Records
2. 5-time Gold medalist
3. great road race with USA placing 4th
4. Incredible performace by USA gymnastics!!
but I am so sad for Jordyn Wieber đŸ˜¦

Check out this video recap, here.

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Made to Crave

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Official Overview:
Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn’t a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the ‘I’ll start again Monday’ cycle, and start feeling good about yourself today. Learn to stop beating yourself up over the numbers on the scale. Discover that your weight loss struggle isn’t a curse but rather a blessing in the making, and replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory. You can reach your healthy weight goal — and grow closer to God in the process. This is not a how-to book. This is not the latest and greatest dieting plan. This book is the necessary companion for you to use alongside whatever healthy lifestyle plan you choose. This is a book and Bible study to help you find the ‘want to’ in making healthy lifestyle choices.
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Great book.
Kicked my butt many times over.
Incredibly Godly wisdom from someone who has been there and overcome!
HIGHLY recommend reading this book!!
A special THANK YOU to my friend Sarah who encouraged me to read this book!!! I’ve enjoyed talking and running with you this summer!!!

Bringing Up Girls

Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson

Official Overview:
Peer pressure. Eating disorders. Decisions about love, romance, and sex. Academic demands. Life goals and how to achieve them. These are just some of the challenges that girls face today—and the age at which they encounter them is getting younger and younger. As a parent, how are you guiding your daughter on her journey to womanhood? Are you equipping her to make wise choices? Whether she’s still playing with dolls or in the midst of the often-turbulent teen years, is she truly secure in her identity as your valued and loved daughter? In the New York Times bestseller Bringing Up Girls, parenting authority and trusted family counselor Dr. James Dobson will help you face the challenges of raising your daughters to become strong, healthy, and confident women who excel in life.
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Here are some excerpts that I found to share with you:

This first text brought scientific research to my already derived experiential knowledge, but it is always good to know how and why we are made the way we are.
pages 28-29 “…But what aspect of human nature drives behavior associated with masculinity and femininity? It begins at conception, when males and females start their developmental journeys down two very different paths. That juncture will affect the way they think, feel, and act for the rest of their lives. The brains of both sexes appear to be “female” until about the eighth week, when a male brain is washed by a huge surge of testosterone. It is then transformed radically and even takes on a different color.
This male sex hormone kills some of the communication cells, including a portion of the bundle of nerves called the corpus callosum. It is a rope of fibers that connects the right hemisphere ,where emotion is processed, with the left, where language is focused. Although the corpus callosum survives the testosterone bath, the male brain will never be able to “cross talk” as effectively thereafter, which has major implications for future masculine behavior. Testosterone also causes an increase in the volume of neurons and circuits located in the boy’s sex and aggression centers. Why does that surprise us?….
Because the female brain is not subjected to a comparable surge of testosterone in the womb and beyond, its communicated and emotional centers remain intact. In fact, these structures will grow larger and become better networked neurologically. A girl’s corpus callosum is up to 25 percent larger in a male’s, and becomes and eight-lane superhighway capable of carrying great quantities of emotional information from one side of the brain to the other. (For boys it is a country road.)

This text begins in a quote from President John Adams and reminded me that even our four fathers knew the importance of families!
pages 38-39 -” “The foundations of national Morality must be laid in private Families. In vain are Schools, Academics, and universities instituted if loose Principles and licentious habits are impressed upon Children in their earliest years. The Mothers are the earliest and most important Instructors of youth.”
How insightful is that Adams placed the responsibility for the essential moral character of the nations squarely on the shoulders of the mothers. Fathers play a key role, too, of course, but moms are absolutely indispensable. It is their primary task to transmit enduring principles of right and wrong to the next generation. The old proverb “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” is still true. If women grown weary of that responsibility, or if they lose sight of their own moral compass, no other institution or governmental agency will be able to save the nation. So wrote President John Adams.
“On another occasion he elaborated on the link between national character and the preservation of a democracy. He wrote:
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
To paraphrase, Adams was saying that a representative form of government such as ours cannot survive without a spiritual foundation, because it is citizens are masters of their own destinies. That is the great vulnerability of a democracy. Our political system, which Abraham Lincoln said is intended to be “of the people, by the people, for the people,” can be no more stable than the collective character of its citizenry. It’s all up to us.”

This section really hit home to me. This is to me, proof that the current culture has it wrong when it comes to its acceptance of same-sex families.
pages 88-89 “Let me make another thing clear, although some of your will not like what I am about to write: mothers cannot fill this particular empty space. They can and must meet similar needs for love and adoration, and in fact they do occupy their own real estate in a daughter’s heart. A girl without a mother’s love is a sad spectacle indeed, and I would not minimize the maternal role in any regard. But moms can’t be dads and dads can’t be moms. That is why the current advocacy on behalf of same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption contradicts what is best for children.”

Those are just a few of the MANY incredibile things I learned through this book. WOW! If you have a daughter, or one day might have one, BUY this book and READ it NOW!

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Viking Ships at Sunrise

Viking Ships at Sunrise (Magic Tree House book #15)

Official Overview:
Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

“Beware of Vikings!”

warns Morgan. Then Jack and Annie are whisked back to ancient Ireland. They land on a cliff on a misty island. How will they find the story they are looking for? It will take a Viking invasion, the help of a jolly monk, and a lot of courage for Jack and Annie to succeed in Viking Ships at Sunrise.

Their magic tree house takes Jack and Annie back to a monastery in medieval Ireland, where they try to retrieve a lost book while being menaced by Viking raiders.
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This book was great because it started a conversation for us about all the different religions and ways of serving our God. The concept of a monk was difficult to understand but I had also checked out The Sound of Music for us to watch during a rest time this week and it was then great to give her a visual of what I was talking about with Nuns, Monks, etc.

Another success for the Magic Tree House books…next (and the timing is amazing) book Hour of the Olympics!!

Day of the Dragon King

Day of the Dragon King (Magic Tree House book #14)

Official Overview:
Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

Who would burn books?

Jack and Annie find out when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient China. There, a powerful emperor called the Dragon King has ordered that all books be burned. Will Jack and Annie be able to save at least one book? Or will they be captured by the emperor’s soldiers?
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Wow…another read that took only two evenings! I loved this one because it involved saving pieces of historical literature. Way to go Mary Pope Osborne!

So you think you can dance – Season 9

Okay so I’m a pretty big fan of this show/competition mainly because it showcases some amazing talent and choreographers. If you haven’t ever watched it, check it out! It’s on Fox Wednesday nights at 7pm (CST). Click here to learn more but here is what I think of this season:
1. Some of the best competitors I’ve ever seen, these dancers came prepared. Many of them have trained in many different genres and therefore do above average work even in a different genre than their own.
2. The choreographers are not holding back. Even with the contestants that are not as strong of dancers, I think so far the choreographers are challenging them to step it up!
3. A new voting/ elimination format. I’m not sure I like it yet but I do like being able to see the dancers dance once more before being eliminated.

Here’s what I think of the competitors:
Alexa – I knew from the beginning that she would either be the best by far or she wouldn’t make it past the first cut and I was right…eliminated on the first night. She’s a beautiful girl and a great dancer but there’s just not a spark in her performances.
Amelia – Quirky, crazy, and AUHMAZING! She has such emotion when she dances that she makes you feel like you’re there with her in her pain or happiness.
Brandon – He’s a stepper…WHAT! He has blown me away with his dancing and his personality so far. I hate that his partner got sent home this week but I know he will rise above!
Cole – Martial Arts Fushion…again WHAT! He said this past week that he has studied other genres and it shows. Man, I think he will go far in this competition.
Daniel – BUMMED đŸ˜¦ I am so sad that he got sent home this past week! I really liked him. I thought that he was doing great despite only being trained in ballet. I think his partner brought him down (just being honest).
Eliana – probably hands down my favorite girl on this season! I LOVE watching her dance and I can not believe she is classically trained in ballet. She has been so good at everything!
Janaya – honestly I don’t remember much about her which is why I wasn’t surprised that she was sent home this week.
Lindsay – WOW…probably my thrid favorite girl. She is so cute and I can’t wait to see her perform each week. I didn’t think she did that great this week but I think she’ll learn and improve.
Nick – the only ballroom male dancer that made it to the final 20 and he’s gone already. I honestly wasn’t surprised but I know they will miss him come the later weeks when they’re all needing his help with routines :).
Will – honestly, too big and awkward. I think what is saving him is his partner, Amelia. I’m just not that impressed.
Amber – not very memorable for me…don’t think she’ll last too much longer.
Audrey – SO CUTE!!! My second favorite girl! So young and so powerful on stage. I think she will go VERY far!
Chehon – Really good dancer. I can see how he is a great ballet dancer but he’s just kindof dead when he dances.
Cyrus – WOW! WHAT! WHO!! This guy has the heart of a lion and the determination of an elephant. If he keeps working hard he will go very far in this competition but I don’t think he’ll make it all the way to the end simply because it will only get more and more difficult for him to learn choreography and dance styles. I really like him though!
Darelan – I can’t get past the fact that Nigel didn’t like him the first round because of his big boat feet. He’s improving each week but I’m still not fully impressed.
George – I think he’s growing on me but I’m not sure how he’ll rank in the end.
Janelle – a belly dancer, really!! I was very skeptical but hey she’s still on there and getting better so we shall see.
Matthew – AMAZING! I think he will make it all the way!!
Tiffany – honestly I’ve not been blown away by her but I think she is a solid dancer.
Witney – pretty good ballroom dancer, great performer but just a solid okay for me.

Vacation under the Volcano

Vacation under the Volcano (Magic Tree House book #13)

Official Overview:
Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

Who wants to vacation next to a volcano?

Jack and Annie are about to find out when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the days of the Roman Empire. They arrive in Pompeii and soon discover that it is the very day the city will be destroyed. Now Jack and Annie must race against time to find an ancient library before it is buried in ash!

Their magic tree house takes Annie and Jack to Pompeii just as Vesuvius is about to erupt, and they must find a Roman scroll before everything is covered with burning ash.
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This one was so full of suspense that we read it in two nights time. Addyson loved that Jack had to wear a dress ;). It also started the conversation for us to talk about how much the world has changed since Roman times. Another Magic Tree House success!

Countdown to the Olympics

official logo

Okay so if you’ve known me for more than 4 years you know that I am sort of obsessed with the Olympics. I don’t just watch the opening ceremonies and a few events and call it an experience. I am actually clearing out our DVR this week so that I will have plenty of room for recording as much as possible. It’s something to do with the competitor in me, the patriot, and the dreamer but I LOVE the Olympics!

So if you’re like me and want to learn all about the competitions, competitors, dates and times of all the events this is a great place to look, olympic.org .

If you’re looking for detailed information about the United States Competitors, this is a great site : nbcolympics.com/athletes/index.html

Nbcolympics.com is a great site for overall information as well.

So….who to watch for, well here are a few athletes I will be watching for SURE:
Gabby Douglas – gymnast, she is so cute and has a great attitude. I’ve watched her in a few competitions over the last year and I’ve been very impressed with her skill level, her determination and her attitude.
David Boudia – Diver
Shalane Flanagan – Marathoner (great role model for young gal runners)
Kara Goucher – Amazing runner (young mom AND a runner)
Ryan Hall – He is an amazing athlete but most of all he is a Believer in Jesus!
Meb Keflezighi – Another amazing marathoner who lives for His Jesus!
Amy Hastings – runs the 10,000 Meters, don’t know much about her but excited to see her compete.
Misty May Treanor – you have to be amazed by this gal, 4th olympics…they are incredible volleyball players!
Alex Morgan – youngest player on the US Soccer Team
Margaux Isaksen – Modern Pentathlon, so I didn’t even know what this event was until this week but I’m interested! Click here to learn the basics of the Modern Pentathlon.
Gwen Jorgensen – Triathlete, ex-CPA turned triathlete…a must watch!
I hope you enjoy these games as much as I will!

GO USA!

Polar Bears past Bedtime

Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Magic Tree House Book #12)

Official Overview:
Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

It’s icicle city . . .

when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie to the frozen Arctic. Luckily, a seal hunter on a dogsled lends them warm clothes. Unluckily, they get stuck on cracking ice. Will the giant polar bear save them? Or will Jack and Annie become frozen dinners?
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This was a great little story. Addyson enjoyed the details of the encounter with the Polar Bears. It amazes me the vivid descriptions that allow her imagination to continue the story.

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