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Showing posts from 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Hope...

Today, I have started to see some improvement.  The swelling in my ankle has gone down some more and I am able to wear regular shoes...not just crocs. :) I seem to have a bit more energy today, but do tire easily when doing things. I think it's just a matter of time before I get all my energy back and do the things I usually do. My heart issues are good today, but were not yesterday. I know holistic meds take more time than regular ones. But, I also know that there are going to be good days and bad days with my heart issues whether I was on regular meds or on herbal ones...

Tonight, we go to our friends visitation. I am glad he is no longer suffering, but will miss him a lot. Keep the family in your prayers...



Rejoicing in sorrow...

The father of our pastor friend passed away today. His suffering is over.  He was such a kind man and I am blessed to have known him. He will be greatly missed by many.  I will not forget the kind words he spoke to me the other day. Words can have a lasting impact.

So to that I want to tell my dad you are missed. I wish things were different and I could speak to you and glean wisdom from your words. I wish I knew somehow if you were proud of who I am becoming. I hope you are well. Know that you are still loved even after all this time...I will imagine in my mind that you feel the same as that is all I can do.


Lessons...

Something I've learned and I will try to put into words...
I've learned that me and my body and all it's broken parts, pain, disappointments, etc is just speck in the big picture of this world. It really means absolutely nothing. I'm just a tiny part of this world and what goes on with my body is contained to what's right in front of me. What really matters is not me or what is wrong with my body, but the world, the relationships to be had, mission work to be done, people who need to hear the Word, and love that needs to be spread.

Everything that goes on in my body (or doesn't) is just my package. I carry my package with me everywhere I go and it humbles me, but I have learned to not open that package anymore. But, instead to just carry it with me and continue on with life and to do His will however possible and however He equips me to do it. Everyone has a package they carry. These things just happen to be mine. God has given me such strength an…

Doctors...

My Rheumatologist looked so sad and said he felt helpless as a doctor. There is nothing we can do for the RA, but manage the pain. I told him I was going to take a holistic approach and he said he hopes that it will help. The main concern is chronic inflammation from the RA leads to heart disease and cancer and people with RA are at a much higher risk and especially when they can't be treated with the normal meds. It's all in God's hands anyway. :)

My cardiologist feels the same way. The previous thing we just tried did not work out and caused me to feel worse and then get migraines on top of it. So he agreed to my holistic protocol and we will try it for a month and pray it works. He feels helpless that he can't do more for my condition. 

I know I serve the master Physician and I am trusting that He knows what He is doing and I will find comfort in that. God has taught me so much through all my health issues. I still have much to learn. I hope to be used by Him …

It's hard...

watching someone you care about in their last stages of this life...One of our good friends, Rich, is dying. He is the dad of one of our pastors and friend. We went to see him today and it's hard to see him in so much pain and confused at times. There just seems to be a lot of heartache lately.  I would be crushed under the weight of life if it weren't for God. He is what keeps me standing.

At the end of our visit today, I hugged Rich and told him I loved him. This is what he said to me. "I love you, too, Stephanie. You have such a sweet heart. Don't ever lose your sweet heart." I told him I sure would try not to.

His words were an answer to prayer. My diseases can get the better of me at times. I feel in my heart that I have become a little bitter inside and that can come out at times as grouchiness or frustration. There are times where I wonder if I still had any sweetness in me. I have been praying that God would help me to not become a bitter person with my c…

Not a fun day...and an update

I spent my birthday yesterday at the hospital. My rheumatologist thought my flare turned into a septic joint infection. Arthrocentesis hurts. :( BUT, praising the Lord that I DO NOT have an infection in my joint. The doc said I am having a severe flare of my rheumatoid arthritis. I got to take home some Toradol and hoping that continues to bring relief until this flare dissipates. I still can't walk without extreme pain and limping, but think I should be able to soon.

Feeling a little better today with the toradol. Very sore though all over from shaking so bad from the pain of the arthrocentesis.
I also learned that all we can do for my RA is manage the pain. So I am going to try to manage my inflammation naturally with heavy antioxidants and such. Thanks for all the prayers the last few weeks.



Cardiologist update: I do have a condition called POTS with cerebral hypoperfusion. With this condition, my heart rate is running 110-150's constantly. It can be treated with …

He's home

My husband made it home from Haiti yesterday morning about 4 am. He worked really hard there and was able to build a whole roof (with trusses) along with other things like hauling rock and concrete work. They did experience a little of Sandy, but everyone was safe. They had to deal with A LOT of mud and sewage. He said there were a lot more nude children this trip. He learned a lot about leadership and was a great asset to the team.
He is now looking forward to going to the Dominican Republic with our son Hunter in February. I will stay home.
Please continue to pray for me. I am still in excruciating pain with my arthritis and nothing seems to alleviate it. I was really hoping to be better for when he returned home. I have been in my wheelchair more than I'd like. I'm doing everything I can to get my body's inflammation under control. The rest is up to God.



On a positive note...

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My son went to a homeschool "homecoming" last night. He went with a girl from church as friends. They were both adorable. They had a really good time. I was really proud of Hunter for getting out on the dance floor and even the stage and dancing. They were both uncomfortable with slow dancing so they just fast danced. I was really impressed. When I was in high school, I mostly ended up sitting at the table until I got so tired and slap happy that I may have danced a little bit. He was a gentleman and I'm proud of him.  Here are some pics...






After having such an awful morning of pain, this helped take some of that away...he is growing up so fast. He is already taller than me!




Haiti...

Please pray that my husband will be able to return home to me on schedule. Hurricane Sandy was/is in Haiti and it has been raining non-stop.  We haven't been able to have much communication because of that.

Also, please continue to pray for me. I have been awake since 2am with excruciating pain. It's horrific pain. I don't know how much more I can take. It's just too much, even for me. :'( Pain meds are barely taking the edge off and I feel like I just can't get a handle on the pain. My ankle is still red, swollen, hot, and painful. RA is no Fun.At.All. I get faint and nauseous from the pain. I just want it to end, dear God.

Discouraged...



Tests...

I went in today for my heart test. It was awful. Tears were involved. :'( It would not have been as bad, but my RA is so bad right now I can hardly walk. I had to have a stress echo so I had to walk the treadmill. During the test I had an "episode" where my heart rate went from 100 to 120's. When I came in my heart rate was running in the 130's.  But, the bad part was that I had to get right back on the bed within seconds so the echo tech could get more pictures. I wasn't as quick as I should have been and was grabbed and put on the bed fast. In the process, my ankle was yanked and my legs were pulled and it hurt so bad I came to tears to the nurse's regret. She felt bad. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. I also had to come home with a Holter monitor and already had some episodes on it. I won't get results until Nov 1st when I go back to the doc. I've also got rib pain (costochondritis) from the RA which makes it hard to not be in pain when I ta…

Flowers...

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My husband had these sent to me while he is in Haiti. He was there for anniversary (still is). They are my favorite...wildflowers. :) I love them! It makes these medical issues more bearable :)

Happy Anniversary...

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Today is our 16th anniversary :) I hope to get to talk to him today as he is in Haiti and we are not sure of the communication yet.  These last 16yrs have been good times, bad times, richer, poorer, sickness, and health. We have traveled to foreign lands together, done ministry together, been through the deaths of our fathers, welcomed a bouncing baby boy (still can't believe he is 15 now), and he's been there when I nearly died (twice). I love him with all my heart! God has surely blessed me with a loving leader whose desire is to be a better man for Him. What more could a girl want? ♥




And so it goes...

Went to the cardiologist today and had an ekg done. It was abnormal. So now I have to have a stress echo done and wear a holter monitor for a couple days. That won't start until next week.  He said the way I eat (mediterranean style) is the best for me. So I will continue with that. :) I love it anyway. My kind of food :)

My husband left for Haiti today and I am going to try to rest while he's gone. But, I more likely will be getting the house in order instead. ;)

Hope you all are having a great week! :)



My question...

The question is if God will ever be able to use me as a permanent foreign missionary with how my body is right now (pain, weakness, etc). I have had a wonderful reprieve for the last 6 mos. The last 2 weeks have been difficult though. It seems no matter what I do (even giving it to God) pain is going to be a part of my life. It's just the fact. Can God still use me in my daily struggles with pain on a mission field? My fear is that no one will want me on their field...
This is just what I have been struggling with the last two weeks...

In everything...

This devotion come from Streams in the Desert. This particular day (Oct 13) has to be my favorite in all of the devotion...yet so hard to bring forth for me. Something I am working on...

 No anxiety ought to be found in a believer. Great, many and varied may be our trials, our afflictions, our difficulties, and yet there should be no anxiety under any circumstances, because we have a Father in Heaven who is almighty, who loves His children as He loves His only-begotten Son, and whose very joy and delight it is to succor and help them at all times and under all circumstances. We should attend to the Word, "In nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

"In everything," that is not merely when the house is on fire, not merely when the beloved wife and children are on the brink of the grave, but in the smallest matters of life, bring…

Good morning...

In less than a week, my husband will be leaving for Haiti and will be gone for 10 whole days. I will miss him greatly. I'm glad he gets this opportunity to go serve God there again though. We are working on getting things done around this ole homestead before he leaves. Hunter and I will be doing lots of school while he's gone :)

I go to the cardiologist on the 18th. I have been having chest pains, shortness of breath, fatigue occasionally. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I am much more likely to have cardiovascular disease because of it. The inflammation of rheumatism is not just in my joints, but throughout my body. This inflammation can cause hardening of the arteries, pericarditis, etc. So I am going to get checked out. I only wish my rheumatologist told me about the heart issues when I was diagnosed last winter. It would have been helpful to know to watch for certain things and to make sure that I am eating a heart healthy diet. (I did mostly. I do more now). It's a s…

Fall is here!

We went from 80 something degrees Thursday to just barely 50 yesterday.  We started a fire in the woodstove yesterday, so it must be fall. :)

This morning my husband had to leave early to help someone with a roof, and he got the fire going before he left. It feels sooo good to wake up to a nice, warm fire :) That kind of heat is the best heat.

I had a rough couple days this past week that had me discouraged. I was in a ton of pain and I didn't know why. It was the most pain I had been in in 6 mos. But, thankfully it only lasted 2 days. I am feeling back to my "new" self again. :)

Hunter joined CAP (Civil Air Patrol). It's a program through the Air Force. I can't believe the opportunities they have for kids. It's awesome. He can even get his pilots license for a minimal cost. They go on missions for downed aircraft and all sorts of cool stuff.  If you have kids, check out their website. They have CAPs all over the country.

Still studying hard. Still getting st…

October already...

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My how time is just flying....

October is here. It is a month that is full of good stuff. :) My husband goes to Haiti this month, our 16 yr anniversary is this month (hubby will be gone in Haiti), my 37th birthday is this month, and our fall festival.

Today starts our back to homeschooling full force. I am looking forward to it. :) Tomorrow night, we have a meeting for the Civil Air Patrol. Oh and I almost forgot, this evening we have a meeting to see if we want to join a shooting team. Depends on expense :) We have a couple college fairs to go to this month for Hunter. It's just gonna be a busy month. :) Oh and I almost forgot something else. It's hunting season!

I enjoy October. It's probably one of my favorite months. I hope to slow down enough to enjoy it. School is keeping me very busy. I am continuing to do well with straight A's. I am loving it.

I think I will do a lot of baking and sipping of apple cider....:) Ahhhh....


Happy Birthday...

to my husband...He is 35 today! I am making him a peach crisp with a maple cream sauce. :)

I will cook his birthday dinner Saturday. He has a meeting for Haiti tonight. He leaves next month.

Here is a thought for today. It's for all you wives.

When we allow God to shape us into the woman our husband needs rather than the woman we think we should be, we live out our purpose and bring glory to God. ~Darlene Schacht

I have to ask myself, do I bring glory to God by being the wife *I* think I should be, or do I bring glory to Him by being the wife *my husband* needs. It's a difficult thing to die to self. You may feel like you are sacrificing too much by becoming what he needs, like you lose a part of yourself. You may very well lose part of yourself to become what He intended you to be, but that's ok! No easy, but ok. We are to look to the interests of others and not of ourselves. In doing so, we glorify God and isn't that what it's all about?


Eeee...more changes!

I am loving school so far...except for that scary 1400 word research paper I have to do lol. I have a week to finish each module and so far it takes me 3 days. I'm ok with that. It lets me have time to do things around the house still. :) It helps that I have most all day to dedicate to school, so I finish faster. I have gotten all A's on my exams so far. :)

Today is Hunter's last day of public school. We (Hunter and us) have decided to continue to homeschool. He has gotten A's and B's so far, but it has become quite a bit more difficult to concentrate in the noisy, uncontrolled atmosphere. He learns much better at home and has a lot more opportunities available. He will be doing Civil Air Patrol, also. He will be taking college level courses for some of his classes this year and then next year, he will be able to take some that count for college credit. We are glad about that. He is glad to be coming back to Cornerstone Academy (our homeschool name) and be in his …

School starts tomorrow!

Oh my goodness...I think I'm nervous. :|

This completely new to me as I did nursing school in a brick and mortar building. This is online and full-time. I am praying that I will be able to do well. I know God is in this so I shouldn't be too nervous. :)


I will update with how things are going when I can. Pray for me :)


Updates

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We have decided that Hunter will return to homeschooling after this semester is over (around Dec21). Unless he decides he wants to stay and he loves it, that's the plan. There is just too much distraction, poor teaching, potential danger, etc. We all have decided to look at these next few months as a mission trip. He will be on the mission field for about 3 mos in a public school. He is journaling his experience and some lessons have already been learned.
Once he returns to homeschooling, he will be taking some college level classes through MIT and Carnegie Mellon although he will not get college credit for them. These are free open classes. I am so thankful for programs like that! :)
I start school Monday. It will probably be really overwhelming at first since I am going full time and have 4 classes this semester. It will be a challenge no doubt and I pray the Lord allows me to remained focused and disciplined. :)

Here is a picture that Hunter took the other day when we were goin…

Starved Rock. I did it! Pic heavy

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There were LOTS of stairs!

 This was my MORE STAIRS look. :)



 What Hunter did on the way up :)


 This was an outlook called "Lovers Leap" We of course had to cover up the "leap" :)




 I love him so much!


 Our friends, Thad and Jenny.

 Ryan climbing up a crazy part.

 Hunter's look when asked if he was going to try...

 He did...

 There were lots of roots on the trails

 Climbing up part of a small canyon.




 Ryan "holding" up a tree with Thad on it. He is SO strong that man of mine! :)

 Rye and Hunter

Starved Rock

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is where we're headed today. I am so excited! I don't know if there will be any waterfalls due to the lack of rain this year, but I am glad to still hike through God's beautiful creation. :)

I will post pics when I get a chance. Have a great day everyone!




What a wonderful thing...

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to be so in love...For my husband and I, it gets better with every passing year. I cannot wait to grow old with him...oh wait, we are doing that now lol. I hope we get to be married for at least 65 yrs.

A good marriage doesn't come easy. It takes work and it takes being intentional. My husband does this by attending a small group called Family Shepherding where he gets to talk with other men and encourage one another to lead their family in a godly way.

He also does sweet things. Yesterday he sneakily went and got a Scentsy warmer that I have been wanting. It was quite a surprise and I loved his thoughtfulness.

For me, it takes being intentional, also. Such as not getting upset when he has to work late, or forgets to do something I have asked him (a lot) to do. It's being gracious when he snaps because he has had a hard, long day. It takes me being soft and loving. It's fixing his favorite foods, special treats, rubbing his shoulders, being tender. And always being availab…

Birthdays...

Are great :)  Yesterday my son turned 15! I can't believe how fast time goes by. It seems just like yesterday we brought that 8 lb 7 oz baby boy home. He is becoming quite the young man. I made him a Tardis birthday cake (Dr. Who). It came out goofy looking, but it was made with love lol.

My husband's is coming up at the end of the month. He will be 35 this year. We have been together since he was 16. :) So we have been together longer than we have been apart. :)

I start school in 2 weeks. Can't wait! I am ready. :)

Have a blessed day all!


Giving Him the morning...

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I find myself failing to give him the first fruits of the day. I have to be VERY intentional in doing so. It saddens me when I forget to read my bible, devotion, pray etc first thing. I am working on this...

We have been working with a couple whose marriage is falling apart. Last night, the husband accepted Christ at our home! It was such an honor that God allowed us to be a part of that. :)




Couldn't think of a title ;)

Hunter had golf practice again yesterday and did better than the time before. He is THE team lol. He will play 3 or 4 tournaments this year. I am looking forward to going and supporting/encouraging him. :)

I can't believe his birthday is Monday already. He is going to be 15! Where has the time gone? It seems just like yesterday he was learning to walk...He is becoming quite the young man.

If hurricane Isaac's effects get done with the midwest by Sunday, we are planning on going to Starved Rock and doing some backpacking and possibly horseback riding. Sounds like a fantastic day to me! I am just so thankful that I can even CONSIDER doing such a thing. It's a real miracle. These past 4 mos have been so wonderful that I almost forget what it was like to be so sick for almost 15 yrs. I never would have thought I could forget such an awful thing. Funny how God works :) I just hope it can stay that way for many more years...

Hunter's school experience is getting a little bet…

Why I won't go in the garden anymore...

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Hodge Podge

Hunter survived his first week of High School. He was a bit frustrated that they did not do anything academically. Starting tomorrow, though, they will be doing school lol.

We have the worst luck with mowers. Our mower broke down AGAIN and we fixed it and then within minutes of me using it again to mow, something else broke on it...ugh. I only got half the yard done. It looks silly. I am hoping we can borrow a mower from someone.

I am trying very hard to not become discouraged. Things like the mower, school frustrations, family frustrations, house frustration are all too common lately. My husband and I feel beat down, discouraged, exhausted, and just want to say "uncle" and go and lick our wounds.  I know when you are doing what God wants and being obedient to Him in what He is calling you to do in your life, satan can be allowed to sift us as wheat, be used to refine us in fire, and be used to see just how strong our faith really is. I have to admit, I find myself whining a…

It's been ten yrs...

Since I have been to the dentist...
I cracked/broke a tooth (a baby molar) a couple weeks ago and now I go in today to get it fixed. Ugh. I did get complimented on how clean my teeth were for not being to a dentist in so long...Hey I only go when I need to lol. I have 4 baby teeth still that never had adult teeth. Never born with them :) They say they usually only last 20 yrs...so 36 and still going is pretty good :) So today I go in and get fixed up. Not really looking forward to it, but who really does?

Hunter stayed after school yesterday to help the Biology teacher unpack and set up his room. He enjoyed that and turned out he was the only one who stayed. Tonight he is golfing with the PE teacher and looks like he may be on the golf team there at school. He will enjoy that.

I have gotten our meal menu ready for the next month (Sept) so that when school starts for me I will not  have to scramble and try to come up with something to make on top of school and studying. There is only s…

Break over...whew

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It has been a couple weeks since I posted last.  Things have been busy and I just needed to take a break. :)

Hunter started his first real day of classes today. This whole experience has been really rough...for all of us. The school is so disorganized and so is the bus system.  The bus just kept on going this morning and didn't even pick him up and then after school did the same thing. This was after getting things straightened out (or so we thought) during Freshman week. What a mess. It has caused him anxiety, but he is better and dealing with it ok. He was able to talk to an older friend of ours named, Rich, last night at church and also at dinner. He doesn't have a grandpa to really be able to talk to and glean older wisdom from so that was nice.

We pray with him every morning before  he goes to set is day in the right direction. He is a pretty strong kid and has been doing well with all this considering the environment he is in for school. He likes his honors classes bett…

Taking an extended blogging break

I am taking a break from blogging. I haven't had much time to do it anyway and it's just going to get busier. :) 


First day of high school!

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He is growing up. Today he starts his freshman year of high school. He has grown 5 in since his last birthday and it's just happening so fast...
They have to wear uniforms at the school and this is one of them. He hates that he has to tuck his shirt in lol..(don't blame him)
Oh and the bus was 25 min late this morning on the first day. Praying he does well and is a light in the school. Hoping the rest of the day is good and the rest of the week smooths out as the wrinkles are ironed out...

Hard to believe that I am no longer a homeschooling mom...


Ramblings

This drought is crazy. I hope it lets up soon. I know August is just one day away, but I am already thinking of fall. Cool breezes, leaves falling, apples, caramel...lol.

My boys had a GREAT time on their mission trip. I am so happy. Hunter has really grown up. He came home married.  Long story involving a facebook hack, (she hacked his phone and put that they were married lol) but turns out that a girl likes him and he likes her. I can't believe he will be 15 soon. Needless to say, this year so far has proven to be full of change and there's MORE to come.

I get a new laptop today provided to me for free for school. That is a nice blessing. I get my study materials Thursday and will be peaking at them for sure. I don't start school until Sept 17th.

I have been doing some canning and canned up some more beets the other day. I will be canning up some garlic here soon.

It seems strange not to share these moments with my parents. My mom has no interest really in my life until …

Love this song...

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Ah you know, just rambling...

I can't believe Hunter starts school in a little over a week. High school no less. What a big change for him, but a good one. It will help him get ready for the "real" world. Being an only child has been wonderful, but also has isolated him a bit. I think he will be challenged and learn a lot of new lessons in life in the next 4 yrs.

Yesterday, he went to Six Flags with our church. He had a great time! I was so glad he got to go and have fun before school starts back up.  He and my husband are going on a mission trip this weekend to do some work over in Indiana. I am praying they have some good bonding time.

God continues to work in our lives. When discouragement comes, He is there to speak through my husband with words of encouragement. He helps me refocus on what all the changes are about in our life. Changes can be hard especially when there are unexpected ones that come along. Keeping in mind that He is in control no matter the circumstance can be challenging. Why is…

Fried plantains...

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A Venezuelan favorite that I cooked up to have with supper the other night...so good!

Fry up in butter or coconut oil with some brown sugar and vanilla. :)


Smiley pics

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I thought I'd share a couple pics of me smiling...really.

Most of my pics are serious and I'm so self conscious of the camera...but here ya go!









Approved!

Just stopping by real quick to let you know that the financing for school was approved yesterday! After sitting in their office talking and filling out paperwork for 3 hours, it's done! I start Sept 17th for the Holistic Health Practitioner program. Excited yet nervous. ;)


What I've been up to...

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We were blessed with lots of corn, so I canned it up :) I got 20 jars canned. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it to me. I got all the corn FREE.

Along with garden work, I've still been studying. I'm not sure when exactly I will be taking my test for licensure, but hoping it's in Sept.

I go in today for my second appt with the finance people here for my schooling. Registration deadline is Aug 1st, but I may get an extension. If not, I won't be able to start school until JANUARY (ugh) if they don't get this process finished soon enough.

My husband has applied for a job with Ameren (a power company). He is hoping to get an interview. Could you please pray for that? If he doesn't get this, then he will be roofing the rest of his life and going into a partnership with his boss and another coworker. He has been roofing for 15 yrs and would like to do something different with Ameren. We are praying for God's will...

I hope you all are well. Even thoug…

Homemade calamine lotion

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This great recipe comes from Frugally Sustainable. This time of year, most of us could use some calamine lotion and this is a great way to make it yourself!




Being the outdoorsy type of family that we are…we go through quite a bit of bug repellent.
Nevertheless, we always end up with some type of bite or rash.
One of the most common remedies for these types of ailments is calamine lotion. Calamine seems to be the go-to for those suffering from poison ivy and mosquito bites to chicken pox and eczema.
So here’s a homemade recipe that you can make with just a few ingredients that produces a look-a-like Calamine lotion. Well…it’s not exactly “look-a-like” — it’s more grey than pink — but I tell ya, it works wonders on any skin condition that causes an itchy irritation!

To see the recipe, click here to visit her page and check it out!