Stock Yard Mama

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

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

The Time Keeper

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom


From the author who’s inspired millions worldwide with books like Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven comes his most imaginative novel yet, The Time Keeper—a compelling fable about the first man on earth to count the hours.

The man who became Father Time.

In Mitch Albom’s newest work of fiction, the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world—now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began—and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Told in Albom’s signature spare, evocative prose, this remarkably original tale will inspire readers everywhere to reconsider their own notions of time, how they spend it and how precious it truly is.


This book was an interesting read. It took a few chapters to get into it but once the story began to develop it hooked me. Read this!

Dark Day in the Deep Sea

Dark Day in the Deep Sea (Magic Tree House book #39)

Dark Day in the Deep Sea (Magic Tree House book #39)

Jack and Annie continue their quest for the secrets of happiness–secrets they need if they’re going to save Merlin. But when the magic tree house leads them to a tiny deserted island in the middle of the ocean, they’re not sure who needs help more–Merlin or themselves! The brother and sister team are soon rescued by a ship of explorers and scientists. But the crew isn’t looking for the secrets of happiness. The crew is looking for . . . a sea monster!

10th Anniversary Cruise


View of our ship as we were parking our car in Galveston, TX


7th floor and the ship’s layout…in case you were unaware of your current location


And we’re off!


YES! The Ship’s Library is on our floor…man Justin made a great choice!


Ever floor has at least 3 of these near the elevators. The are touch screen and are amazing! Has the daily schedule as well as an interactive map of the ship.


The hallway to the sports deck.


The sports deck on the 13th level of the ship


The miniature golf course on the sports deck.


The ship’s library, where I spent many hours reading when it was too windy outside.


They changed the “day” on the elevator so you would know what day it was in the real world 🙂


The Solarium (or the adult only pool area)


The Solarium (of the adult only hot tub area)


The main pool area. There are two large pool flanked by 4 whirl pools and two hot tubs.


A view of the main pool area from the upper deck.


The upper deck walking area.


The main thoroughfare – the promenade.


An upper view of the Promenade.


A view of the promenade from the walkway.


Another view of the promenade.


The entrance floor to the casino. I couldn’t look down while I walked on it or I tripped. 🙂


One of the funny statues in the entrance to the casino.


The Sound of Music statue in the Sound of Music dining room where we ate dinner every evening.


The entrance to the buffet. It was closed when I took this picture but that was only the case for about 6 hours a day.


The huge theater where most of the shows took place.


The rock climbing wall on the sports deck. More pictures of this to come…


My attempt to climb the rock wall.


Will I conquer the wall??


Our amazing stateroom attendant made these for us a few nights as she cleaned our room.


Another creation by our stateroom attendant.


An overcast day at sea.


Getting ready for a show in the theater.


On our first day at sea I looked out during my morning walk and saw this in the distance.


pulling into our first port of call: Roatan, Honduras


Pulling into Roatan


Port of Roatan, Honduras


Getting ready to snorkel in Honduras


The man groves where we went kayaking in Honduras.


The water was AMAZING!!


Roatan, Honduras


The water was amazing in Honduras


Getting ready to leave port in Roatan.


One more picture from the boat as we were preparing to snorkel.


Roatan from afar.


Sunset at sea.


Amazing to watch the sunset or sunrise on the boat.


Ready for formal dining night.


Really ready for formal dining night.


The dock in Belize City, Belize.


Belize City from afar.


Oh look another cruise boat!


One of the many areas that provided constant entertainment. This was karaoke and that lady was singing ALL opera.


An evening view of the Solarium pool (adults only area).


We docked next to another Royal Caribbean cruise boat in Cozumel, Mexico.


Panorama view of Cozumel


Cozumel was overcast and windy all day.


Ate lunch at the LOUDEST restaurant I’ve ever been in, in Cozumel.


Amazing dining room we got to eat in every evening.


All the waiters and staff sang to us a few of the nights too.


Our dining table.


Chocolate sculptures made by the dining team.


The last show on the last night.


We’re heading home!


Monday with the Mad Genius

Monday with the Mad Genius (Magic Tree House book #38)

Monday with the Mad Genius (Magic Tree House book #38)

Jack and Annie are on a mission to save Merlin from his sorrows! Charged with finding the second of four secrets of happiness, the brother-and-sister team travel back in the magic tree house to the period known as the Renaissance. This time, Jack and Annie will need more than a research book and a magic wand. They’ll need help from one of the greatest minds of all time. What will they learn from Leonardo da Vinci?

Dragon of the Red Dawn

Dragon of the Red Dawn (Magic Tree House book #37)

Dragon of the Red Dawn (Magic Tree House book #37)

Merlin the Magician will not eat or sleep or speak to anyone in Camelot. What can be done? The enchantress Morgan knows who to ask for help: young Jack and Annie of Frog Creek, Pennsylvania! The brother-and-sister team quickly head off in the magic tree house on another magical and historical adventure.

Their mission: discover one of the four secrets of happiness.

Their journey: to a land of fierce samurai and great beauty, the capital city of Edo (now the city of Tokyo), in ancient Japan in the 1600s.

Their tools: a research book to guide them and a magic wand with three special rules.

A Summer Affair

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand


Claire Danner Crispin, mother of four young children and nationally renowned glassblower, bites off more than she can chew when she agrees to co-chair the Nantucket’s Children Summer Gala. Claire is asked to chair the benefit, in part, because she is the former high school sweetheart of rock star Max West. Max agrees to play the gala and it looks like smooth sailing for Claire-until she promises a “museum-quality” piece of glass for the auction, offers her best friend the catering job, goes nose-to-nose with her Manhattan socialite co-chair, and begins a “good-hearted” affair with the charity’s Executive Director, Lockhart Dixon.
Hearts break and emotions are pushed to the limit in this riveting story of one woman’s attempt to deal with loves past and present, family, business, and high-powered social pressures. Elin Hilderbrand’s unique understanding of the joys and longings that animate women’s lives will make this her newest summer bestseller.


I’ve read a few of her other books and enjoyed them so why not try another :). I wasn’t disappointed.

Blizzard of the Blue Moon

Blizzard of the Blue Moon (Magic Tree House book #36)

Blizzard of the Blue Moon (Magic Tree House book #36)

In this exciting new Merlin Mission, Jack and Annie go back in time to New York City, during one of the darkest periods in the city’s history–the Great Depression. Even worse, the city is in the grip of a terrible snowstorm. To stop the blizzard, Jack and Annie must save the unicorn made famous in the Cloister’s medieval tapestries. But will that be enough to help a city that faces so many troubles?

The Mark of Athena

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordian

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordian


In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six–who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land–Greece itself–to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophesy remains a mystery. . . .

With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.


I get the idea that he’s not done with this series…

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