Philanthropy Under Ice

Let me start this off by saying that I have no real issue with the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. There was a family at my old church who was directly affected by ALS and I think that we definitely need to raise awareness for this disease and raise money for research to fight it.  I think the Ice Bucket Challenge has succeeded at that goal. Kudos to all of you who have participated and donated.

Let me say, secondly, that….I can’t stand being cold. There, I said it. I’m sure everyone who has done the challenge is feeling it. I’m not a big fan of fads, either. I’m fine with others participating in them, but I’m probably going to hold off. I want some time to think about it.

We are also on a budget. I know that if I dumped ice water on me, then I would only be expected to donate $10, which wouldn’t break the bank. But it’s the idea of it for me.  We have so many people telling us where our money NEEDS to go, for bills and such, stuff that we don’t have much option with. The money that we give to charity is precious to us, and we put a lot of thought into it.  At this time, the donation bucket in our home has already been emptied.

So all of that aside, I want to address some things that I’ve noticed with this recent internet phenomenon.

1.  The general public does not read the fine print.

NPR came out with an amazing April Fool’s Day prank this year. They posted an article with the headline, “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?” It was accompanied by the blurb preview of “In an age of readily available information and countless ways to get it, we seem to be losing touch with our powers of comprehension,” and a picture of lines of books on library shelves. The comment section was already filled by the time I got there with incensed individuals across the WORLD who were infuriated that NPR would make such an awful generalization and how little they actually met the purported claim. And yet, they were proving NPR correct by their own comments in a pointed sociological experiment. When you actually clicked on the link, you were directed to a page congratulating you on being a “genuine reader,” and to like the post and to “not leave a comment.”

We are a society where there is so much information available that if we are not fed it in one sentence at the top of our computer/phone screen, with an appropriate picture or video (albeit short), then we’re not going to give it our attention. I am saying “we” because I am so guilty of this too.  I was under the assumption with the Ice Bucket Challenge that if you dumped the water on your head, you did not have to give. But if you didn’t, then you had to give $100. That’s incentive enough to not give, but it still gets the word out about the disease so I figured it wasn’t completely terrible.  I’m glad that I found out it was a tiered donation concept. Whether you participate in the ice bucket, you are donating, little or much. That’s a great fundraising technique!

2. Do you know exactly what you are giving to?

First off, do you think that all the people who are dumping ice water on themselves really know what ALS is?  I feel like I have a pretty good idea about it, but I definitely don’t know all the ins and outs of the disease.  I definitely don’t know all the ins and outs of what “research” means. I’ve been hearing/seeing things about stem-cell research, and that makes me uneasy. I’ve also heard that ALS allows you to designate whether your funds will go to stem-cell research or to other functions (like support/comfort/therapy/etc). So, I’m glad for that option. I would probably give to them since I could make a distinction as to where my funds would go.  Here are some good vids I’ve seen about the disease and challenge:

Are you giving because you know what is going on and you are supportive? Or are you giving because someone nominated you to and now you feel like you’re obligated?

3. Do you give to anything right now?

I’m talking besides ALS research.  As a couple, the Huz and I give our tithe to our church, we give to a couple of radio stations and then also to a handful of missionaries in the US and overseas.  We feel that God gives us financial liberty so that we can be generous to others. We pray about it, we discuss together, we make commitments and we make sure we have extra just in case a need arises. Anything that we have is gifted to us by God. It’s not even ours. God tells us to be good stewards of the blessings He has given us, but not to be stingy with them – and to give cheerfully! If we have the resources, we LOVE to give! It is such a great feeling knowing that we were able to meet a need.

But that’s the difference between the kind of giving we strive to make a habit of and the giving from this campaign. It’s not thought out, it’s not a habit, and it probably won’t stick. I’m not saying that now that you’ve given to ALS, you have to always give to ALS. I’m saying that if we had a habit of giving in our lives, the world would be a better place.

and

4. Giving should most often be something done unseen.

Part of this campaign is that the videos will be seen by many and raise awareness of the disease. I get that. When Human Trafficking was becoming a buzz-word on the interwebs, we were sharing as many videos and articles and cleverly designed gifs as possible to get the issue out there. There is a purpose and that’s inherent to the Ice Bucket Challenge. But for the most part, giving to the needy (and the sick are included in “needy”) should be done in secret, out of the public’s eye.

I’ve been working my way through the Bible this year and I’m currently in the book of Matthew. I just read the other day from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus teaches on principles for giving to the needy:

1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:1-4, ESV

This was a problem in Israel, back in the day, where people would make a huge deal over how much money they were going to give to the Temple. It could get pretty wild, a party in the streets – where everyone could see them and oo and aah over it.  Jesus was telling them that the reward for their good deed was received right at that moment. That fleeting moment of fame and adoration was all they would have to show for it. Yes, the money would go to help a need, but that was all the giver would get out of it.  Later in the chapter, Jesus encourages the people listening to store up their treasure (read, “reward”) in heaven and not on earth because it is all fleeting here on earth. In heaven, rust cannot get to it and thieves cannot steal it.

I’m not saying that everyone who is taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge is doing it just to make themselves look good. I’ve watched several videos, and many of them make mention of someone the participant knows personally who is suffering or has passed with ALS. (Geez…it’s hard to right a blog post about ANYTHING in current events without feeling like you have to cover your tail at every phrase.) I’m just saying that the best way (I’ve found) to give is without anyone else knowing and sometimes even spur of the moment.

Conclusion

So, be mindful of what it is you’re participating in. If you are going to give your money or support to a cause, know it inside and out, as best you can.   There are so many eyes on us nowadays, and we are constantly being scrutinized – be a good steward. But also be giving – to whatever organization or cause you believe is worthy. If you are a Christian, prayerful consideration is a must.

For my part, I will not be participating in the challenge nor giving money. I’ve been nominated, but I’ve also been doing “my part” and sharing videos (like those above) about real people really fighting this disease. My money is already earmarked, but I can definitely join my voice with others to spread the word about this and other worthy causes.

My prayer is that anything you are doing (or not doing) is decided while you have two feet firmly on the ground and with a sound mind.

Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest:

Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies…um, these look amazing and I’m sure I’ll be making these at some point this Fall. Plus, I usually end up with a half can of pumpkin puree, so it’s a perfect use!
31 Bits has their new 2014 Fall and Winter Collection! Paper bead fashion that saves lives – awesome!
John Piper
I am such a nerd….I don’t like to consider myself a grammar nazi, though. 🙂
American Bellflower – wildflower throughout many of the parks in southwest Ohio and across the nation
I have read so much Elisabeth Elliot stuff over the years. She was a fabulous lady!
Honey and Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins – also with maple syrup. Have I told you I made these??!?! And they are amazing?!?!?!?! Yes!! – by Pinch of Yum
another Pinch of Yum recipe – Beef Biryani. I am going to have to try to make my own Indian food at some point. It’s just getting to be too much. Plus, the Huz can’t handle the bones in the stuff we got at the restaurant.
Halloween Mason jar craziness!
Candle Lampshade Craft – Good Housekeeping

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

Fresh Friday – Flower Edition (DIY Seed Packets)

I had a big patch in my new garden bed out back that I didn’t really know what all to do with. I wanted flowers, pretty and EASY flowers, which would take over the space without much effort from me. I bought a pack of Cosmos seeds because I’ve never grown them before. They’re also annuals, so I figured that if things didn’t pan out this season, I could switch it up to something new next year. Unless they become the “morning glories” of The House.

Back story: I don’t think I would ever willingly grow morning glories, unless I had a big swath of fencing that I wanted covered up, FOREVER. They are beautiful and I think they are lovely flowers. The Japanese call them Asa Gao, which translates to “morning face.” So sweet! Mom grew them all along the fencing of our tiny apartment back yard one year. They continued to run amok. When the end of the season came, we cut down the dead foliage and dragged it through the grass outside our apartment and out to the dumpster. The next year, you could see a line of morning glories growing in the grass straight from our back gate to the dumpster. It was so funny, but just a reminder of how pervasive the flowers are.

Anyway, my Cosmos turned out beautiful this year!

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They are majorly prolific. By the time I figured out that I could probably harvest the seeds to share with others, mine had probably dropped more than enough seeds to come back next year…with bells on. The seeds are super-easy to tell when to harvest. The petals fall off, the center draws together straight out from the stem and the seeds form. Once they are ready, the center pops out like a ball on top of the stem, almost like a dandelion head, but the seeds are much longer.

I grabbed a baggy and went out to pluck the heads of the ones which were ready to bring inside and sift through the chaff and seeds.

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The seeds look a bit goofy to me, but it makes them easy to identify. When we got married, sunflowers were our primary flower. I bought a bunch of different types of seeds and made packets for them out of wedding magazine pages. I had A LOT of fun putting them together, and designing a cover for them too. I thought I’d go ahead and do the same with these, but use an old nature magazine for the paper.

IMG_20140807_19310720140808_125942_1If you would like to find the template I used for my seed packets, here is the website for you:

http://www.finegardening.com/make-your-own-seed-packets

I’m pretty sure I didn’t print it out, because it was kind of a waste of paper (the packet was too big for the paper I was using). I tore out my page, folded it in half short-wise and cut along the crease. Then I used the remaining pieces as their own seed packet, so I could get two packets for each page. I freehanded cutting the tabs and used a glue stick to seal the folded edges, leaving one end still open. This makes a mostly standardized size which then gives me the dimensions for my labels. You wouldn’t have to print a full cover label like I do, but instead make just a strip label with the necessary info on it. I just like to add pictures and make it fun.

Also, we don’t have a color printer, so don’t feel like you have to print out a black and white and hastily color the picture with marker like me. haha

Here is the finished product:

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I’m not very good at growing veggies, but people at our church are and each week, at least one member is bringing in some produce from their garden to share with the rest of the congregation. These flowers are such a treat that I am glad to be able to share these with the church and other friends.

Have you ever done a seed share? What’s your favorite thing to grow in a garden?

Fresh Friday – Parks Edition (8/8/14)

I have a goal to visit all the nearby state (Ohio) and county parks by the end of the year. I’ve been to several of the Butler County parks, but I haven’t explored too many north of there, particularly in Warren County, where we live.

I’m also a huge fan of lists. They help me organize my thoughts, and while I may not get to all of these by the end of the year, it’s a goal to get me outside and to learn more about the part of Ohio I moved to when we got married.

So here is the list of the parks for Warren County, Ohio:

Bowman Park

County Park
50 acres – 200 Corwin Ave, Waynesville, OH 45068
http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/parks-list/bowman.htm

Caesar Creek

State Park
3741 acres – 8570 E St Rt 73, Waynesville, OH 45068
http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/caesarcreek

Caesar Creek Gorge

State Nature Preserve
483 acres – 4080 Corwin Rd, Oregonia, OH 45054
http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/caesarcreekgorge

Clint Fultz Park

County park
30 acres – 6102 Corwin Ace, Corwin, OH 45068
http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/parks_list/clint_fultz.htm

Fort Ancient

Ohio Historical Society
764 acres – 6123 St Rt 350, Oregonia, OH 45054
http://fortancient.org

Gulley Park & Trails

County Park
119 acres 0 2168 Middleboro Rd, Clarksville, OH 45113
http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/parks_list/gulley.html

Hall Creek Woods

State Nature Preserve
278 acres 0 3232 Morrow-Mason-Millgrove Rd, Morrow, OH 45152
http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/hallcreekwoods

Hisey Park

County Park
158 acres – 5443 Middletown Rd, Corwin, OH 45068
http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/parks_list/hisey.htm

Landen Deerfield Park

County Park
95 acres – 2258 W St Rt 22/3, Maineville, OH 45039
http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/parks_list/landen_deerfield.htm

Mathers Mill Nature Preserve

County Preserve
42 acres – 5349 Wilmington Rd, Oregonia, OH 45054
http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/parks_list/mathers.htm

Now, Warren county aside, Matt and I decided to go exploring another nearby park this past week. It had been a long time for him and a first time for me to visit the Germantown MetroPark. We didn’t spend a ton of time there, but we enjoyed what we did see. I am looking forward to going back another time and trying out one of the other paths. We walked only part of the orange trail and then drove up to where the scenic overlook is – um, majorly disappointing, but I was spoiled on all the scenic overlooks up in Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park (I’ll work on getting those posts up soon enough). I think that, even with conservation and such, I would either trim down the trees in that spot, OR build the platform higher. The Five Rivers Metroparks are all about the Greater Dayton area. I’m going to have to go check them out as well at some point. But I am going to focus first on the list above. Yep, I’m going to be good and stick to one plan. 😀

Germantown MetroPark

Five Rivers Metroparks
7101 Conservancy Road, Germantown, Ohio 45327
http://www.metroparks.org/parks/germantown/

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American Bellflower

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We dubbed this the fire tree. It looks like a flame.

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Isn’t he handsome?

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Germantown Dam on Twin Creek

Fresh Friday – Foodie Edition (8/1/14)

I’ve been lax in my blogging of late.  All I’ve been posting lately is the Bible Verse Calendar, which is great, but once a month posting is not a good habit for a blog. So, I thought that with the start of a new month, I would start a new habit. I’m calling it Fresh Friday. I was going to go with Foodie Friday, but then I thought, “What if I want to talk about flowers sometime and I want to have a Flower Friday?!” Well, I guess I could…Maybe I could switcharoo it every few weeks or so. Throw in a Fun Friday too, here and there. Hmm…. (This is a perfect insight to the conversation I’ve been having for the last, oh, 17 hours inside my head. You’re welcome.)

I think Fresh Friday would encapsulate all the things I could want to share on any given Friday. Anything that doesn’t fit in, I can just make up a whole new category and squeeze it in there. Right? Isn’t that what the internet is for? Making up things?! So, here we go. The first edition of Fresh Friday!

Fresh Friday – Foodie Edition

We had some friends over last weekend and the menu was a bit of a challenge because of food allergies and intolerances. But, hey, I have a bunch of those too, and mine are just random, so I “challenge accepted!” it and here’s what we came up with. The food turned out yummy. You know all those fears that really intensely healthy foods will probably be bland and dissatisfying (or maybe I’m still a decade behind)? There are a couple websites that are working to change that opinion and from my experience with them, it is working!

My sister turned me on to this site. She and her husband have been trying to eat Paleo for a while. They succeeded for a bit and then, well, you know, unhealthy eating happens sometimes. But the idea is that you remove all grains from your diet, all processed foods, and just go with meat, fruits, veggies and nuts. The basic concept is that our bodies weren’t designed for processed foods. Our bodies were designed to eat what we could grow and raise in our own yards. I, myself, would have a hard time getting grains out of my diet, but I think the primary issue seems to be that there are too many grains in our diet. We overdo them quite a bit. And the whole GMO grain bit, that can be a bit of a challenge, but there are some great products out there from farmers striving to use pure grains not tainted or “enhanced.” Here’s a great page to look at: Paleo 101. I’ll tell you, though, my sister looked amazing as she was going through this diet lifestyle change. Really amazing! It’s a whole reprogramming on your idea of food.

I have been perusing this blog a lot recently. Added it to my Bloglovin’ app feed too and enjoying the posts therein. Definitely recommend checking it out.

Allrecipes.com might be old news in the internet foodie world, but they still are my go-to place for great recipes! I usually find myself reading the other user comments for tweaks and adjustments that they have made. Also, the reviews bit is wonderful. Nothing like seeing what looks like it could be a great recipe (to this untrained eye) only to find out that 25 other people tried it and lost their pan and stirring spoon because of it. (That’s an inside story with my family…my other sister tried to make something and left out a crucial ingredient, turning the “something” into concrete and completely unsalvageable. It’s a testament to how important even the little ingredients can be, especially in baking!)

So, here are the recipes we came up with:

Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice – Pinch of Yum

Have you heard of pureed cauliflower as an alfredo sauce yet? I’ve had some friends try it and they loved it so I was willing to try this recipe out. The garlic went right along with the rest of our meal. I had to tweak the recipe a little for some needs, but I think that it you follow it to a T, it would be 10 times better! Also, we had a bunch left over, makes a great next day lunch.

Fried Okra – AllRecipes

Super yummy! I made this with olive oil and gluten-free cornmeal. Turned out really good. The first time I made it, the meal kept falling off. But it was my second time frying okra myself and I think it’ll be a regular appearance in this house. I think my next cajun attempt will be jambalaya or gumbo…with sausage and chicken. Oh yum!

And the main course!

Coconut-Buttermilk Southwestern Grilled Chicken – PaleoLeap

Ok, so it’s a very easy marinade and takes no time on the grill at all. So, so, sooooo good! So flavorful too! I let the marinade sit for a full day and the meat was so juicy and full of flavor. Very definitely recommend this recipe and the other marinades on this website. Also, if you try to pin this recipe, for some nutter reason, the link was reported for inappropriate content, so Pinterest won’t let it through. Instead save the website to your favorites and come back for regular visits.

Direct Links:

Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice – http://pinchofyum.com/creamy-cauliflower-garlic-rice

Fried Okra – http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fried-Okra/

Coconut-Buttermilk Southwestern Grilled Chicken – http://paleoleap.com/coconut-buttermilk-southwestern-grilled-chicken/

Enjoy!!

Freebie Printable: August Bible Verse Calendar

ESV Aug 08

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of August in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.  August and September are big harvest months for the US. The theme reflects the views at American farmsteads and some particularly August flowers, like poppies and gladiolas. Although, my gladiolas are nearly spent already. It’s ok, I’ll forgive them. They were gorgeous.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Aug 29

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

August ESV (pdf)
August KJV (pdf)
August NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan August (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. 🙂

Freebie Printable: July Bible Verse Calendar

ESV July 10

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of July in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.  As I’ve said before, I live in the US, so these calendars are America-centric. I apologize if you are not in the US, but July is the month of our independence – they are styled accordingly.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV July 30

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

July ESV (pdf)
July KJV (pdf)
July NIV (pdf)

Bible In a Year Plan July (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. 🙂

Norwex Body Cloth 30- (er maybe 50-) (er maybe 75-) Day Challenge

Let me just preface that this post is filled with waaaaaay too many photos of myself. I am very much out of my comfort zone. Yep.

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A couple months ago, I ended up with a severe allergic reaction to some expired Proactiv moisturizer. I haven’t had an active subscription with them for a few years now (I think I stopped it a few months after coming home from Japan, so 2010-ish), but no matter how long I scheduled the intervals for delivery, I still had way more product than I could use. So, I did what any normal human being would do – I kept it stocked away until I went through each bottle.

140408 Proactiv Reaction

Not any more. I needed an extra little boost to my skin one morning, so I smeared some of the medicated (should have been my first warning) repairing lotion on my face, like I was wont to do every 4 days or so when I remembered, and walked out the door to work.  About 45 minutes after getting to work, my chin started to itch…and then my cheek right under my right eye…and then my forehead. I asked a coworker if my face was red and her expression was all I needed. I went to the bathroom to check my face, and just about every spot that I had rubbed the lotion in was bright red. And itchy! I wasn’t getting hives, but the reaction was so much. My skin was hot, itchy, and just a mess.

Like I’ve said, I’ve been using Proactiv for years, I’ve been using lotion from old bottles for years too, and I’d NEVER had a reaction like this before. Sometimes my skin decides to turn into a 13 year old monster, but for the most part, my skin is pretty OK. I had recently switched birth controls (now I’m using Sprintec…and loving it! I might do a review on my experiences with Sprintec vs Lo Loestrin a bit later) so I called the pharmacy to be sure there was no recorded reaction between the two. They had nothing, in fact, they said there should never be a reaction like that. I called my doctor and the nurse who answered told me that I was having an allergic reaction, that sometimes the medicine inside things like that just get stronger as the expiration date flies into the past. She recommended I go and get some Benadryl and gently wash the stuff off my face with just water.

I took the picture above as proof of what had happened, and the next time I went to the doctor, it was passed around the office. General consensus was that I had a chemical burn.

****RULE OF THUMB****

If you have something with medication, or prescription drugs, or even over-the-counter meds – be very cautious of the expiration dates. The doctor told me that it is common for people to hang on to medicine (guilty as charged) long after the expiration date and when they have a certain symptom, they will take it because it “worked before and is probably just weaker the older it gets.” WRONG! The chemicals in medication can, and usually will, get STRONGER as time goes on. It’s more potent and effective and sometimes it will even change into a whole new chemical! Rule of thumb is, if it’s past the expiration date, toss it. And by toss it, I mean, find a local prescription medication drop-spot so it can be destroyed properly. That does not mean, throw it in the garbage, or flush it down the toilet. That just makes it available to people who might have addiction problems or messes up the public water system, respectively.

Ok, back to Norwex.

I have a dear friend who saw the picture above and asked if I would be willing to try something out. She recently became a consultant for Norwex, which produces a Body Cloth that is great for the face. Norwex makes a line of microfiber products for a variety of uses around the house. Honestly, the amount of stuff they have is amazing. What is great about these cloths is that you don’t HAVE to use any cleansers with them. Just water. JUST WATER! Isn’t that great? We’re always reading about how certain cleaning chemicals are hazardous to our health, or don’t mix such ans such together, etc. Well, with these cloths, you don’t have to worry about it at all. (They do have specially designed cleansing products, in case you feel like you absolutely have to see suds or smell soap to be clean.)

The secret ingredient? Tiny bits of silver have been infused in the microfiber. The grade of silver they use is actually antibacterial, so the cloth can even clean itself (I’ve had mine for as long as this post title suggests and only just washed it for the first time. The microfiber also has an exfoliating aspect to it.

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I took these pictures soon after the chemical burn had gone away, I was also gearing up for a cycle of breakout on my skin.

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I know that there’s more lighting in these second set of pictures, but I’ll explain how my skin has changed since using the Norwex Body Cloth.

I love the exfoliating aspect of this cloth. That’s one of my big issues, dry patches of skin on my face, and I have had a dramatic decrease in that regard. My skin feels perkier, softer, and overall, healthier. When I first started using it, using “just water” was kind of drying out my skin, so I bought a Neutrogena naturals moisturizer. I’m avoiding anything with medication, but this moisturizer is rich with vitamins and anti-oxidants.

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I will say that I still get breakouts, but they don’t seem to be lasting as long as before, and they don’t seem to be as deep either, which is fabulous. My skin will never be perfect, with any product, but this really seems to be helping my skin get better.

If you are like me and about 50% of the world’s population and suffer from keratosis pilaris, this is a pretty great product. The short version of the condition is that my skin grows over my hair follicles. This happens on my arms, legs, and chin, mostly, and makes for bumpy, rough, and sometimes redden skin. Keeping skin moisturized and exfoliated is a great, non-medicated way to keep these bumps down.

If you are interested in learning more, go to the Norwex website and read up!  Like I said, they have all types of products besides Body Cloths, so check out the goods and revitalize your home in a clean, safe way.

Also, if you’re looking for a consultant, feel free to check out the website, or contact my friend, Kristy Gantz. I know she would be glad to chat with you. You can find her here: http://www.kristygantz.norwex.biz/.  You can also give her a call here: [937][935]-[o925].  Oh, and she’s on Facebook!

Enjoy!

Lesson from My Sunflowers

Sunflowers are known for their ability to turn the flower heads toward the sun, or other strong sources of light. They are often used as an analogy for Christians needing to continually follow Christ through their lives and even through the day.

What struck me this morning was how, through the extremely cloudy sky, the sunflowers were still facing the direction of the sun.

image

Sometimes God will withdraw Himself from our presence – there can be multiple reasons for this: we have distanced ourselves from Him, or He is testing us to see if we will continue to seek Him.

But we need to be like the sunflowers; even when our skies are cloudy, or lives are difficult, we should still be seeking out God. Just because there are clouds does not excuse us from looking for Him.

Freebie Printable: June Bible Verse Calendar

ESV June 14

To continue in the Bible Verse calendar, here are downloads for the month of June in three versions, ESV, KJV, and NIV.

Boy is this your lucky month! Because it’s JUNE, and it just so happens to be my favorite month – what with my birthday being the 14th, and our wedding anniversary the 1st (Yes, Yes, YES! We are celebrating our 1st anniversary in just a couple of days!!!!) – I decided to make the usual 3 versions, but also to spice it up with a Sarah-specific ESV version (see below)! The colors are indulgent, the graphics quirky, and it all screams out ME! But, you know, the red and yellow with sunflowers on the other three (see above) are very My-taste as well. So, really it’s just my month and I’m bringing you along for the ride.

I hope you enjoy!

ESV Juney 20

Instructions:

  1. Download the .pdf file below.
  2. Print onto white 8.5 x 11 card-stock (other colors might be ok, but you’ll have to test that out yourself).
  3. Cut along the dotted lines then sort into numeric order.
  4. Prop up on a little stand, or keep in a drawer and swap out on the fridge. Or buy a recipe box with a ridge in the top for easy reading.
  5. Keep in a prominent place where the members of the household will easily see it. The kitchen table is good, if you have breakfast there.
  6. Discuss verse(s) with family and encourage reading the surrounding verses for context and meditation throughout the day.

Download:

June ESV (pdf)
June KJV (pdf)
June NIV (pdf)
Juney ESV (pdf) (The fun blue one!) 🙂

Bible In a Year Plan June  (pdf)

Enjoy! Oh, and subscribe to this blog to the right if you’d like notifications of new posts and the next of these printables. I promise not to overwhelm your inbox. 🙂