Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book: Proverbs Prayers

Praying the Wisdom of Proverbs into Your Life Every Day

Experience God’s wisdom as never before and find encouragement, peace, answers, and a better life through this devotional prayer book.

Many people read a chapter a day from the book of Proverbs as a regular devotional practice. They consider it their favorite book in the Bible because its daily practical guidance offers tools to make the right choices and have the inner strength to stand against pressure, size up a situation and know how to respond, make fewer careless mistakes, and avoid unnecessary trouble.

In these pages, readers will find a chapter from Proverbs followed by a heartfelt prayer that includes all of the insights from that chapter. In a mere thirty-one days they can pray all of the wisdom of Proverbs for their lives.


As you may have noticed I normally review fiction on this blog.  But I also like simple straightforward devotional books.  I haven't found a good one in quite a few years and I thought this one looked like it might be good.  I am very pleased with it. 

Proverbs Prayers is simple with pull out cover flaps that can be used as bookmarks.  Each chapter of Proverbs covers two pages with the verse notations.  On the following two pages is the prayer that translates the Proverbs into life application.

I really like this format, how simple it is, and how manageable it is for my life right now.  But even if I wasn't crazy busy I would appreciate it.  No frills or stretching to make a connection.  Just the timeless truths followed by honest prayers.  No, they don't all fit my life perfectly right now, but a lot of them do and the way they are worded help you to think about things I don't normally think about while reading Proverbs.

This is one that will definitely be added to my permanent library.


John Mason is an author with over 1.2 million books in print, including "An Enemy Called Average", "You're Born an Original- Don't Die a Copy", and "Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop". He is the founder and president of Insight International, an organization dedicated to helping people reach their dreams and fulfill their destiny. John is in great demand as a speaker throughout the United States and abroad.

I received this book in exchange for my review from LitFuse.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Evacuation Chronicles

Sunday: Day 10 - This is the third day at a third friend's house.  I'm going to call this "friend hopping".

We went to another new church today and coming up the stairs from the kid's section ran into some friends from college.  They've been in Lithuania for the past 10 years or so and just moved back here.  Fun meetings.

The friends we are currently staying with have 2 boys as well as a large golden doodle.  I haven't seen them since they got married 11 years ago after my semester in Costa Rica.  So it's been fun to reminisce (until 1am) and find out what's happened in the intervening years.

Earlier this week we were staying with my cousin and her two little kids and someone brought the flu with them.  So glad my mom was there to help me out since I lost a whole night and then was so tired the next day.  We lost our zoo day, but maybe it's just as well.

Pre-flu I also took Noah to a walk-in clinic because he was limping.  I was convinced that it was still from jumping off a large stack of couch cushions last week (I have photo proof, but no way to post it), but the doctor said he didn't react to any bone or tendon stretching and he was pointing to a large blood blister under his toenail.  I guess it is possible since things were being thrown off the top bunk last weekend and I vaguely remember him saying something landed on his toe.  He seems better now so we'll see how much that visit costs us...

We are a ragamuffin circus traipsing all across Seattle, but at least Daddy got to come stay with us this weekend.  He still has to work and things aren't looking too promising at home.  There's a new fire to the south west that has grown very large this week and they think it will merge with one of our fires.  The highway is shut down so the firefighters can use it as a staging area.  And of course it's putting out lots and lots of smoke.

We've been watching the air quality and particulate counts online and while they are significantly lower than they have been... they're still in the hazardous range.  I guess it's all relative because it looks so clear - friends pictures on facebook - compared to a week ago Friday.  But when you can still see the air, it's probably not really safe to breathe.  Someone even posted a picture of a local icon Indian face with a mask on.

The air quality chart maxes out at 500.  I don't think they have much need for instances higher than that so they didn't make their chart bigger.  But of course the instruments just measure what's there and we pegged out at something like 1100 last Friday night.  It's down in the 300 range now, but that's still not safe.

So the plan is to stay with these friends a couple more days and then go on down to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Oregon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

6 Months Old!

So, we have 6 month bunny pictures, evacuation style. But dang if they aren't cute, especially against that red couch! Yes, I am that mom that takes the photo bunny with her just to make sure she gets the right pictures on the right day... (last weekend)

Daddy was pretty funny to watch dancing around next to Mama!  I haven't quite managed to get their real smiles on camera so all those of you out in blog land, you really don't know what you're missing.  These girls are soooo interactive and really just want to be with the people.

They have started to scoot, mainly backwards, but also in circles.  They do roll over multiple times so sometimes I will find them 2 or 3 feet from where I put them down, but it's mostly unintentional still.

They will pick up a toy if it happens to be within their grasp, but not hold onto it for very long.  Toes make good playmates still because they can't get away!  And everything goes in the mouth.  They give great baby kisses!

The girls are champion eaters, if a bit messy.  I think that's more Mama's fault though, and something to do with having two babies to keep track of at the same time!  They eat baby food for lunch and dinner now and on average every other night will sleep all the way through the night - about 10 hours.  No teeth yet!

They are still wearing all 6 month clothes, but some of them are getting a little short.  I dug out a few of the 9 month clothes to bring with us since I didn't know how long we're going to be gone.  It's also quite a bit cooler over here on the west side of the mountains and their 6 month stuff is about half summery so they can't wear it now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: We Love Friends!

We were so lucky to stay with our friends Brad and Holly and their kids over by Monroe for the weekend.  Carter and Rory are just a year older than our boys respectively so they each had a playmate.

And Holly's brother Zach came over on Saturday and the boys thought he was a good climbing toy/entertainer too! 6 kids and 4 adults in one house was quite interesting for the weekend...

We don't get to see them often enough!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fire and Smoke

When I showed you these photos the other day we were still breathing just fine because there was some wind.  But by Wednesday we were advised to stay inside and by Thursday I'd bought an air purifier for our house (which hasn't stopped running since).

On Friday we left for the weekend and on our way out I stopped to take a picture in the same spot.  The above picture was taken while standing on top of the rock in the lower left corner of the photo below.  This time I didn't even get out of my car.

One thing I noticed, by the time we were halfway to Seattle all of a sudden it occurred to me that I was seeing shadows.  The sun was out the whole time, but the smoke was so thick there were no shadows... spooky.

So we left for the weekend and stayed with my master teacher from my student teaching days.  Our kids had an absolute blast together!  Last night we came home and today I've packed up anything I can think of needing to be gone up to a month.

This was the sun setting near Brian's school last night.  The fires have burned those mountains in the foreground and are not really contained at all.  They've been able to do a lot of back burns since there hasn't been any wind, but that's just making the air quality worse.

According to our local paper the scale for air quality measures "microparticles per cubic meter" and grades it: good, moderate, sensitive, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and hazardous.  The line between moderate and sensitive is 50 microparticles/cubic meter and hazardous starts at 250.  On Friday afternoon our air measured at over 800.

Same sun as above just taken near my house

It blew out a little bit over the weekend which allowed us to come home, but no wind is forecast for this week at all and we are down in the bottom of the valley collecting it all so it will only get worse this week again.

Please pray for slight wind, rain, and cooler temperatures!  Although I'm sure some of it will still be smoldering until the first snow fall.  That's the way these things work...

We will be off to stay with friends this week in Seattle (anyone want to meet for a playdate???) and if it doesn't get better then we'll head on down to Oregon indefinitely.  Brian has to stay for school so he's bought some masks and an air purifier for his room.  Hopefully it won't stay bad for long!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When The Sun Turns Red

I love where I live.  It's beautiful, we have four distinct seasons, and did I mention I love it here?

I'm very thankful that there are almost no natural disasters that we have to worry about.  No hurricanes, no tornadoes, very few floods - and if there are they're localized, and no earthquake zones on this side of the state.

But what we do have, we have in spades.


It doesn't seem to matter whether it's a drought year or not.  All that matters is that the conditions are right that day.  The day of a major thunderstorm.

This weekend we had one.  It was spectacular.  It also started something like 80 fires in our region.  Not to mention the high winds it brought with it. 

In case you were wondering, wind and fire don't play nicely together.

So today the sky above my house is half clear blue with white puffy clouds and half orangy-gray and nasty looking.  The sun is in that southern half and so all the light has a crazy glow to it.  Kind of like sunset, but much spookier.

 This is the view from right around the corner from my house

The fire is on the western edge of town about 8 miles from us (we don't live in town anymore).  Lots of homes were threatened last night and some different ones are threatened today.  I'm thankful that it's on the edge of high desert so it's mainly a grass fire.  Still scary, but not maybe quite as scary as a forest fire.

This was taken an hour later about a mile closer

Like the one near my parent's town back in 1994.

They live up valley about 25 miles and it's more into the mountains so the hills are forest rather than sagebrush.

On a Friday morning I was up at camp working as a counselor.  We started to see smoke.  By that evening there was ash falling all around camp and we had "campfire" indoors.  At 10pm my dad called the camp and told them to get out.  NOW.  (He was a forester and had his company land involved so he was one of the first to know)

There is only one good access road to the camp and the fire was headed right towards it.  In about half an hour we had the entire camp - all 90+ staff and campers packed up and headed down the hill.  My dad met us halfway and took me home while the rest of the camp went to an emergency shelter in a local middle school.

The next morning my mom took my brother and I over to Spokane to stay with my Grandma for a few days.  While we were gone not only did the fire get very near the camp - and cut off the access road - it also came over the ridge above town.  My dad said he stood in the driveway and watched the fireball at the top.

It came all the way to the bottom of the hill at the edge of town - about 2 blocks from our house - before they were able to draw a line and hold it.

I have real respect for fire, don't get me wrong.  I know some guys who were on a fire fighting crew that some of them didn't make it out.  But I also know that fire is important.  The trees need to be thinned out to create a healthy forest.  The cones need it to get hot enough that their seeds will come out.  I won't get into it here, but the fire management we've had for the past 50 years has been horrid.  Things have to change or we'll see more really awful forest fires.

But I'd still rather live here.  I hope people aren't hurt and no homes are lost, but fire is important.  And maybe it's just because I'm used to it (we expect them every year and are mostly prepared for them), but I'd rather have these than any other natural disasters.

What kind of natural disasters are common in your area?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Labor Day in Idaho

For Labor Day weekend we went to Lake Coeur D'Alene to hang out with some of Brian's college friends.  The last time we'd gotten together was the weekend Cory turned 2.  He's now 5... so it was past time!  That time there were 2 kids, this time there were 6 and we were missing 2 as well.  My how times change!

Unfortunately it was really too cold to do much playing outside.  Noah was entertained for awhile throwing rocks in the lake.  I guess next time we'll have to go earlier in the summer to actually go swimming!

Instead we were entertained in the house and on the lovely deck overlooking the lake.  We even had s'mores one night after the kids were in bed.

Gotta love the early 70's coloring all throughout the house...

This is Eli, he's 1 1/2.

This is Amelia, she's 6 months


This is Amelia and her Mama, Kayle.

We had a good time talking about everything from politics (not me!) to babies to how we met our respective spouses and everything in between.  Some of us even stayed up and acted like they were in college again... with sad results the next morning when children got up at their normal times!

A great way to spend our Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Triplets!

Joy, Hope, and Amelia

We went to Idaho for the weekend with friends and we had three babies (and 3 older boys).  Amelia is only 3 weeks older than the girls...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Boy Quotes #12

One morning Cory slept in so Noah was watching cartoons when he got up and Cory was complaining that he didn't get to pick.  So we told him that he slept in and it was okay, he would get to pick the next day.  Then Noah pipes up...
"I no slept in, I slept out!"

We're driving around somewhere and Cory asked who made that hill.  I said, "God made the hills".  Noah says, "I made this hill too, with God!"

Happy Labor Day!  Hope you're enjoying it with family and friends!