Stock Yard Mama

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

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day


In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture, a blessed and audacious act that left no regrets: “Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it” (2 Samuel 23:20 -21). Unleash the lion chaser within!


WOW!! This is probably the BEST non-fiction book I’ve read in a long time.

Here are a few of the excerpts that I’d like to share to inspire you to read this book too.

“But Benaiah did what lion chasers do. He defied the odds. He didn’t focus on his disadvantages. He didn’t make excuses. He didn’t try to avoid situations where the odds were against him. Lion chasers know God is bigger and more powerful than any problem they face in this world. They thrive in the toughest circumstances because they know that impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. That is how God reveals his glory-and how He blesses you in ways you never could have imagined.”

“Complications are often a byproduct of blessing.
A relationship with God will complicate your life, but it will complicate your life in ways it should be complicated. Sin will complicate you life in ways that is shouldn’t be complicated. One way or the other, life is complicated.”

“The more you’re willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you’re willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can’t do in you and through you.”


Kylie Jean Rodeo Queen

Self-assured, chatty Kylie Jean declares, “I’m going to be a beauty queen. Just you wait and see!” Yet the eight-year-old Texan sets her sights on another title after dreaming that she’s been named rodeo queen. Ruling out rope tricks and bull riding, she opts to enter the barrel-racing competition in the upcoming Wild West Rodeo, and she is tickled when her grandfather gives her a pony, one grandmother agrees to train her, and her other grandmother buys her a shirt and boots—pink to match her favorite cowboy hat. Kylie Jean’s success at the rodeo is predictable, but her good nature, as well as that of her family (“If you promise to never get on a bull again, I promise to figure out a better plan for you,” Kylie Jean’s uncle says after her disastrous stint on a mechanical bull) offset the slightness of the story.
Another super cute story about Kylie Jean and her dream of being a queen! I loved this story due to Kylie Jean’s perseverance.

Summer Reading Club

So I’ve been researching for a great summer reading club/challenge for Addyson for this summer and I’ve come across quite a few:

Junie B. Jones

Barnes and Noble

Book Adventure

American Girl

Half Price Books

Scholastic Summer Challenge

I’m PUMPED to get her started 🙂

Kylie Jean Dancing Queen

Kylie Jean plans to be a beauty queen. When she hears that Madame is opening up auditions for Swan Lake, she can hardly wait. She just knows she will snag the lead role of Odette, queen of the swans. After all, Kylie Jean has the wave of a queen down pat—side to side, nice and slow. Her initial disappointment about not getting the lead role quickly turns to understanding that she should be the best swan maiden possible. When Odette’s partner breaks his ankle, Kylie Jean makes it her mission to come up with a plan because the show must go on. The story deals with going after one’s dreams, dealing with disappointment, and thinking up creative solutions to unforeseen problems. A mother still often chooses books for her daughter within this age category. If she is looking for a sugar-and-spice series with a strong girl figure, this one could work—unless she shrinks from the idea of a beauty queen being a satisfactory goal.
This one was sooo cute. Addyson has been wanting to do ballet for a while and this was a good break. I’m loving these books!!! In this book Kylie Jean learned that even though she didn’t get the part she wanted she was still able to do her best and stay in the show.

Mother’s Day

So I had such a relaxing Mother’s Day that I forgot to post this video. Please enjoy!

Kylie Jean Singing Queen

When Kylie Jean learns there will be a talent show at the Fourth of July Jubilee, she can hardly wait to enter. After listing her talents and eliminating doggie tricks (she is afraid Ugly Brother, her bulldog, might not cooperate), she decides to sing the first verse of The Star Spangled Banner three times. With the help of her family, neighbor, friend, and, of course, her dog, she masters the words of the song and creates a red, white, and blue glitter-and-stars costume. Well prepared for her performance, she helps her mother cook the family’s favorite picnic fare and manages to drop a boiled egg Ugly Brother’s way. The Fourth of July dawns bright and beautiful; it is a perfect day for her Texas town to gather for food and fun. Kylie Jean is assigned number twenty-three and is able to watch all the talent show participants who come before her. She sings with confidence and even has the crowd join her for the last verse. Number twenty-four, the last performer, is Mandy Howard. Mandy sings so sweetly that Kyle Jean realizes that she should win. The judges announce third place for Dan the Juggling Man, second to Kylie Jean, and, to Kylie’s delight, the first prize goes to Mandy. The evening ends with a blazing fireworks show and a duet with Kylie Jean and Mandy singing America the Beautiful.
Another great Kylie Jean book!

Kylie Jean – Spelling Queen


Kylie Jean Spelling Queen by Marci Peschke

Overview: Second grader Kylie Jean is a busy little lady. Readers have followed her singing, dancing, rodeo and acting experiences. Kylie approaches everything in her life as a possible step toward becoming a real life beauty queen. She has the perfect blue eyes, she loves glitter and glamour and she has learned the wave. So when she is presented with an opportunity to become the Spelling Bee Queen of her class and maybe even her school, she can’t wait to get her name on the list. Kylie’s family helps her to practice her words and even her dog, Ugly Brother, gets in the act. When Kylie and her cousin Lucy rescue a stray kitten and decide to share responsibility for it, the kitten becomes a distraction from her commitment to the Spelling Bee. However, in true beauty queen style, Kylie studies and wins her class bee and goes on to win the School Bee. She is now truly the Spelling Bee Queen. These adventures for second grade Kylie will be entertaining to the targeted audience and will offer vocabulary challenges.

Another great story about Kylie Jean and how to properly handle stress and make good choices (even as an 8 year-old).

The Last Days

The Last Days by Joel C. Rosenberg

The Last Days by Joel C. Rosenberg

Osama bin Laden is dead. Saddam Hussein is buried. Baghdad lies in ruins. Now the eyes of the world are on Jerusalem as Jon Bennett – a Wall Street strategist turned senior White House adviser – his beautiful CIA partner Erin McCoy, and the U.S. secretary of state arrive in the Middle East to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

On the table: a dramatic and potentially historic Arab-Israeli peace plan, of which Bennett is the chief architect. At the heart of the proposed treaty is the discovery of black gold deep underneath the Mediterranean – a vast and spectacular tract of oil and natural gas that could offer unprecedented riches for every Muslim, Christian, and Jew in Israel and Palestine.

With the international media closely tracking the story, the American message is as daring as it is direct: Both sides must put behind them centuries of bitter, violent hostilities to sign a peace treaty. Both sides must truly cooperate on drilling, pumping, refining, and shipping the newly found petroleum. Both sides must work together to develop a dynamic, new, integrated economy to take advantage of the stunning opportunity. Then – and only then – the United States will help underwrite the billions of dollars of venture capital needed to turn the dream into reality.

But in the shadows lie men whose hearts are filled with evil – men who do not relish a post-Saddam era, men for whom the prospects of a Palestinian peace accord with Israel goes against everything for which their fathers have fought and died. Such men – and the countries that finance them – are ready to do anything necessary to slaughter those who stand in their way. The clock is ticking. Can Bennett, McCoy, and the American president make peace before the Middle East once again erupts in war?

Wow, another great book…already started the next one!

Kylie Jean – Blueberry Queen


Kylie Jean Blueberry Queen by Marci Peschke

Overview: Kylie Jean Carter is from Jacksonville Texas. According to her Momma, she is considered “pretty” on both the outside and the inside. Ever since she was a little girl, actually a bitty baby, Kylie wanted nothing more than to be a beauty queen. It is time for the Blueberry Festival and everyone in town is busy getting ready. Momma’s baking pies and Pa is picking blueberries but Kylie is thinking about becoming a queen. Every year they pick one girl to be the Blueberry Queen and Kylie knows that that tiara would look very pretty on her head. Will she be able to capture the crown of Blueberry Queen? When the registration process becomes confusing for Kylie Jean, she enlists the help of her cheerleader cousin, her grandparents, her girlfriends, and even her dog (Ugly Brother). This story delivers the message to young readers that with a blend of perseverance, family support, and belief in yourself, you can achieve your goals. ********************************************************************
Wow, we’ve now officially made the switch from Junie B. Jones to Kylie Jean. I love this series for many reasons but first and foremost that it constantly seems to reenforce the fact that you are MADE to beautiful on the inside AND the outside. Kylie Jean’s momma always says, “Pretty is as pretty does.” and that is perfect for Addyson right now as she seems to have already started the phase where she thinks about her clothes, her hairstyle and her body and how “beautiful” she is.

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