Thursday, February 20, 2014

How we use PanAway Essential Oil

On to the 4th post in my essential oils series.  We're going through each oil in the Premium Starter Kit and how we use them in our home!

However, each family uses them in their own way and will find different uses!  We find new ways to apply them every day :) 

So Young Living's PanAway blend has the following oils in it:

  • Wintergreen - Warming, soothing for tension and muscle soreness
  • Helichrysum - Helpful with muscle tension or other discomfort
  • Clove principal constituent is eugenol, which is used in the dental industry to numb the gums
  • Peppermint - Very cooling when applied topically and can be very soothing!

It was formulated by Gary Young after a severe injury to the ligaments in his leg!  Yes, it works THAT well!

PanAway is a powerful blend of 4 very powerful oils!!

We absolutely love the smell and the topical results we feel!

Here is how we use it!

Occasional head discomfort due to tension
Pretty sure I've mentioned more than once that I have always dealt with headaches and was SO thankful to find relief with essential oils!

Most of the time, Peppermint will do the trick, but for a bad headache I know I need something a little stronger!

So for headaches, I rub a drop of PanAway into my temples, forehead, neck, and even shoulders!

If I need extra help, I'll follow that with Peppermint, which will really drive it in as well as intensify the effects of the PanAway.

Minor Leg Pain
I get aches in my legs occasionally that my mother tells me are from my varicose veins that The Lord allowed me to inherit from her ;)

Anyway, my entire leg will get very sore from my thigh, all the way down through my calf.  

At the first sign, I'll grab PanAway and simply rub it into my legs!!  I rub it into the area that I feel the pain is more concentrated in.  

When covering a larger area, it's really beneficial to use a carrier oil, so I usually apply it with coconut oil.

Occasional Aches in Back after Excercise
PanAway is really effective in soothing my back discomfort.

Whether it's my lower back from sitting or standing too long, or my side from holding my 20 pounder for too long, when I'm sore I'll grab PanAway.

Simply rub a few drops into the sore area.  I love the cooling effect of it! 

In fact, one night I applied some to my back right before I went to sleep.  I didn't bother turning the light on, and apparently I put several drops in my hand because my back felt VERY cool after a couple minutes! 

Stiff Neck
Same goes for the neck.  Put a few drops on and rub in real well whenever you're sore!

Supporting Normal Healing
So I have a story for this one.

My 4 year old got smacked in the face, RIGHT above her eye with the corner of a door a few months back.

It literally THREW her on her back.  It hit her hard.  She was in tears and there was an immediate vertical bruise on her head in the shape of the corner of the door.  

I felt so bad.  And on top of the pain and the terrible looking bruise, it was actually my fault that she got hit!

Anyway, as SOON as we got home, just 5 minutes or so later, I applied PanAway to her bruise that was already blue and super swollen.
Yes...I took a picture

I rubbed only 1/2 a drop in twice right before bed.  I made sure to ask her if it felt too cold or sensitive.  If this happened, I would have just layered coconut oil over it, but it didn't!

So the next morning, she woke up and the girl had no bruise.  No swelling.  Was no longer blue.

 She didn't feel any pain after that!

I was amazed!

Several days later, the spot did turn a little yellow for a day and then left!
I've since had more success using PanAway healing these kind of issues...needless to say, anytime someone gets a big bonk, we grab it!!

Monthly Cramps
I think most women reading can relate to this one!

When I've got cramps, I have a few different oils to choose from, actually! 

And one way to relieve the cramps is to apply PanAway to the abdomen and cover with a warm compress.

Muscle Aches
When the muscles are sore after excercise, application of PanAway can definitely help relieve the pain!

It's really just as complicated as the other ways that we use it....we take a few drops out and rub it into the affected area!

Young Living has several oils that assist in soothing common discomforts and they've chosen to put this one in the Premium Starter Kit!  Such a great value!!  

I absolutely love PanAway and I'm nursing along the last of this bottle!  I'd hate to be out of it! ;)

I can't stress enough how thankful we are that we can make better decisions regarding our family's health.  We are no longer reaching for PILLS!  We are reaching for our oils :)  

If you haven't tried using essential oils yet, please contact me.  I'd be glad to give you a sample of something that might help you in whatever area you need help with.

I am loving this journey toward wellness and a more natural lifestyle!!

Other posts in this series:
How we use Lemon Essential Oil
How we use Peppermint Essential Oil
How we use Thieves Essential Oil Blend
How we use Purification Essential Oil

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I simply make decisions on how to care for and improve the health of my own family.  None of the statements on my blog have been evaluated by the FDA and any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This post also contains affiliate links to the company which I have personally used and recommend.  If you purchase through these links, I will receive a commission, however the cost to you remains the same!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Addressing the HEART of a Child

So, in regards to parenting issues, I blog/share what I am passionate about.

This doesn't mean that I have mastered the issues I address.  

It doesn't mean that I no longer have to work hard at what I write about.

Quite the opposite.

It means that it is something my husband and I feel very strongly about and strive to improve on every day!  

I'd like to share one of those issues with you.

And that is addressing the heart of our children.

It is really much easier to simply address the behavioral conduct of our kids that needs to be improved. 

It is much harder to stop and take the time to surface the deeper concerns.

I have read Tedd Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart and really love his suggestions in regard to this.

I won't list all the points in the book, but I'll share a little bit of how we try to apply them in our home.

Our girls are SO different from one another.  

Joy, our 5 year old is super outgoing socially, LOVES to learn anything new, enjoys excitement, spontaneity and taking risks,

Noelle, almost 3 is quite the opposite.  She is much more reserved with people she doesn't know, or even with people she knows very well!  If the timing and context isn't right, social interaction takes alot of warmup for her.  She does love to learn like her sister, but wants to know all the details before trying out something new!  She doesn't like risks and being spontaneous is NOT a strong suit of hers.  She is, however very loving.  Very nurturing and loves to be cuddled.

So as they've started to get older, we've really come to see how differently they need to be addressed with certain issues!

Here's the situation that prompted this post.

Sunday morning we were getting ready for church (many times this is a stressful day for us if Chris leaves for church much earlier than us!).

So Noelle was getting her socks and shoes on in her room and Joy was in my room.  We have a 2-way baby monitor so we can speak to the girls in their room...and Joy had an idea.  

Joy loves a good scare.  She gets a kick out of being scared (as long as it's not in the dark) and loves to play jokes on others as well.

Noelle...not so much.

So Joy took the monitor and in a super scary voice ( was scary) said,

"Noeeeeeelllle I am coming to GET YOU!!!"

While this actually was pretty funny to me, Noelle was NOT amused.

She cried and was frightened even though she knew who was on the other end of the monitor.

This led to a talk between me and Joy.

I could have just said something addressing her behavior alone like:

"Joy, that wasn't nice.  We don't scare people, go say you're sorry."

But I tried taking a slower approach and our conversation went something along these lines.

I asked her about what Noelle likes and what Noelle doesn't like.

I asked her what she enjoys and how much she likes being spooked and playing jokes on others.

So it's ok to enjoy that, but if we're thinking of OTHERS more than we're thinking of ourselves, what would we choose to do?

This was actually broken down much more in our actual conversation, but her answer was that if she was thinking of Noelle instead of herself, then she wouldn't have scared her because she knows she doesn't like it.

Then, without me mentioning it, she said:

"I should go say sorry to her!"

She went on her own and I listened to her apologize to Noelle for scaring her and promise that she won't do it again.

Not a big deal, right?

Well, that morning it was a big deal to me.  I saw how choosing MY words carefully leads to giving Joy a better understanding of what her actions mean, why she made that decision, and more importantly, WHY her choice was a poor one.

I saw her precious response in willfully apologizing.

That conversation has been rolling around in my head the last couple days.  I need to make sure I have these type of conversations MORE often!

It take extra time, extra effort, and it isn't always easy to find the right questions to prompt our children to answer rightly and thoughtfully.

But we've seen that it is SO worth it!

My husband is always reminding me that the GOSPEL must be seen and spoken in our home, especially when we are correcting and disciplining our kids.

When we address the HEART of our children, they learn to address the heart of others!

If you haven't really put an emphasis on this in your parenting, I urge you to!  If you have the desire to, but don't always know where to start, read Shepherding a Child's Heart!

But here are just a few examples of how we try to talk with our girls.

*Noelle hits Joy (doesn't even matter why)

Poor response by me: 
"Noelle!  That is so mean!  Say you're sorry!"

Better response
"Noelley, WHY would you do that to sissy?  Don't you love her?  You need to go apologize and don't do it again."

Deeper response:
"Noelle, who made Joy?" (God)
"And who made you?" (God) 
"And who made those precious hands of yours?" (God did)  
"Does God love Joy?  Does God love you?" (yes) "Does God want to hurt Joy?" (No)
"Then should YOU hurt Joy with the hands God made for you?" (No)
"What does He want you to do with your hands instead?"  (Be nice)
"Yes, but more importantly, He wants you to glorify Him with your hands.  What are some ways we can do that?" (hug sissy, help sissy, give her a high-5)
"Yup.  I think that would make Jesus very happy if you chose to love sissy using your hands instead of hit her with them."
"What do you think you should do?" (say sorry)

Noelle answered the questions.  And we've had this exact conversation more than once!  She turns 3 next month, so you don't have to have an older child in order to address their precious little hearts.

That conversation does take significantly longer than a quick response.  But you end with no anger, no resentment, you are both on the same page and your child is ready to say sorry and BE sorry without you asking them to do it....they know they need to.

Or here's something we discuss quite a bit with Joy.

*I ask Joy to sit in her seat until dinner is over.  She continues to disobey...again.

I say, "Ok Joy, go in your room while we finish dinner.  You've chosen not to obey Mommy the first time."

Joy then proceeds to argue, cry, then stomp off to her room...but first...she turns around and sticks her tongue out. (that one has only happened once!)

Daddy sees that one and he goes in for the convo (and a consequence).

Poor response by Chris: 
"Joy, you didn't obey.  Now you don't get any dinner, we'll come get you when we're done."

Better response: 
"Joy that wasn't kind of you to stick your tongue out was it?  You need to go say sorry to mommy for being disrespectful."

Deeper response: 
"Joyful, what did mommy ask you to do?" (stay in my chair)
"And did you obey her?" (no)
"Was that honoring your mother and father like God tells us to in the 5th commandment?" (no)
"Then when mommy asked you to go to your room, did you go with a good attitude?" (no) 
"What did you do?" (stuck my tongue out at her) - she's most definitely crying by now, she's very sensitive to this stuff!
"So what that honoring mommy?" (no)
"How could you have honored mommy?" (obeyed her by going to my room quietly)
"Joy, who made you?" (God did)
"And who did He give you to take care of you?" (mommy and daddy)
"And how does God want you to treat mommy and daddy?" (He wants me to honor and respect you)
"Right.  And how do you think God feels when He sees you treat mommy like that?" (sad...)   still in tears
"Yup.  What do you think we should do?" (say sorry to mommy)
"For what?" (for disobeying her and being disrespectful)
"Yup.  And what does God do when we sin?" (He forgives us)
"Why?" (Because Jesus died for them) 
"That's right.  And because of that, we can forgive you too."
"Can we do better now?" (yes, daddy)

Our talks with Joy always last longer than they do with Noelle.  She's 5 and she's a very deep 5 year old.  She hurts deeply when she does something wrong or when someone else wrongs her.

Now that did take a took my husband leaving the dinner table in order to instruct our daughter.  It would have been MUCH easier and convenient for us to say something quick and sharp in order to get Joy to obey.  And sometimes that happens in our home.  We are working against that.

But there is such joy in seeing our children understand the deeper things of life.

*That being nice isn't enough!
*That we need to look to the example of our Savior!
*That we need to put others first like HE DID!
*That we need to think about how our actions and words affect others.
*That we are sinners.
*That we NEED a Savior.
*And that we are forgiven by Him because of Christ's sacrifice.

And we take opportunities to show them that WE need a Savior too!

Mom and dad are NOT perfect and we sin!

We request help from The Lord and we confess our sin to the kids when it is against them.

Chris and I have so many things that we want for our kids.  But above all, we desire their hearts to desire The Lord.

We are daily learning how to parent.  And daily learning how NOT to parent!

Praise The Lord for His guidance and His Gospel of forgiveness!

So, we don't model this perfectly.  We strive to do better everyday though.

And I challenge you to do the same if you haven't started addressing your children's heart.

It is so rewarding!

Man, isn't parenting so much more complicated and difficult than "having a baby"?  

It is.  

But it is the BEST complicated, difficult, frustrating, precious, beautiful, rewarding job there is!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Topical Steroid Withdrawal {4 months in}

We're somewhere around 4 months into Noelle's topical steroid withdrawal.

That's 4 months after ceasing ALL use of topical steroid creams/ointments for her eczema.

You can read about her condition a couple weeks ago in this post.

I'm happy to report that the condition of her skin has IMPROVED!

Other areas of her life have become more difficult however.

Here is just a brief update on how she looks and how she's feeling!

See this face? 

She's HAPPY!

In a BATH!!

This used to be normal for us, but over the past couple months, baths have become torture for Noelle.

This is the first bath she's had in several weeks, and I was SO surprised and overjoyed that the water didn't bother her skin one bit!

I put Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts, and Lavender Essential Oil in her bath.

The ACV is good for her skin condition, especially if there is any broken skin.  It will help protect her from infection.

The Epsom salts and Lavender serve the same purpose.

As you can see, her face has greatly improved.  It still gets very dry, but her eyelids are no longer irritating her and they aren't leathery.

Her back also has greatly improved, although it remains the most troublesome part of the body to her.  

It will change textures daily, and sometimes even hourly.

It will be soft and smooth like brand new skin, and by that evening it could feel dry and cracked again.  

If Noelle is upset about something, it's normally because her back hurts.  How it feels no longer correlates with how the skin appears.  It can look fine to me, but be bothering Noelle.

In fact, many times at night, she'll complain about it and we'll go in to rub and stroke her back.  When lifting her shirt up, it will feel damp. The skin will feel damp as well as though she's been sweating but the skin is cool to the touch.  These cool, clammy sweats are apparently a common symptom.

Her feet and ankels also change frequently.  Thankfully the skin really isn't bothering her.  Occasionally she will itch her ankles, but for the most part, they're fine.  They just look like they've been previously burned or something...much better than before, however!.

The skin is very tough and thick.  Honestly, I couldn't care less about their appearance and texture as long as it isn't bothering Noelle!

Her legs are what she itches the most when she has a chance.  If we leave her unsupervised for a few minutes and she happens to not have her gloves on, her legs are easily accessible.  

The texture is very odd on her lower legs.  They feel very rough and thick.  It doesn't feel like a little girl's skin....closer to elephant hide?  

Her thighs are still a little inflamed and red, but don't seem to bother her.

And the back of her knees look pretty red in the picture above.  But I can tell you, they are healing very very nicely.  

They will occasionally shed and a whole layer of skin.  But they are no longer burning or irritating her!

I don't have a picture of her tummy, but it goes back and forth as well, but hasn't been severe for a few weeks, praise The Lord!

Sleep....or the lack thereof

Noelle is having virtually no issues with nap time.

But nighttime is such a different story.  She is now having trouble getting to sleep at bedtime without one of us in there, or screaming and throwing a tantrum before tiring herself out.

This is so hard for us.  Bedtime has pretty much always been carefree for our family.  We have our routine and the kids have never hated bedtime before (except for random phases that they've gone through).

After finally getting to sleep, either by us laying with her until she falls asleep, screaming until she's tired out, or being distracted by a movie until she's too tired to keep her eyes open, she sleeps for a couple hours.  

Then between 12:00 and 3:00 a.m. she wakes and cannot get back to sleep again!  I have heard from others going through this same situation that it is normal.  I guess it can have something to do with the fact that their adrenal glands are messed up during the withdrawal.

Anyway, to be honest, we finally found the only thing that will relax her.  We lay her down on the couch and turn a movie on.  Otherwise, it's been taking at least 2 hours to get her to calm down enough to sleep!  Even if she's laying next to us!

I'm honestly not worried about it becoming a habit.  Our kids have really good sleep habits, and this is clearly because of physical issues, not just being a stubborn 2.5 year old (which, of course...she is).

Stress also exacerbates the issue and can increase the flare.

So if she can get better sleep, and we can get better sleep, in turn reducing EVERYONE'S stress levels, it's worth it to me to let her watch some extra tv!  
(Although this didn't work as well last night...
still took her 3 hours)

As far as how we are treating her condition now, we're still not applying creams to her skin unless she requests it, or I feel that it will actually help.

So far, that's not very often.

I continue to apply essential oils to the skin that breaks or bleeds to prevent infection.

She still takes the homeopathic supplements as prescribed by the holistic pediatrician in addition to:

*Cod liver oil in a shot of Young Living NingXia Red
*Enzymes with each meal
*2 Probiotics at night
*Her normal vitamin C and D

We are praising the Lord for her progress.  If others were to see her skin, they might be appalled!  But we have seen the improvement and are so thankful.

Her behavior is actually much better as well.  We see our normal Noelle pretty much every day now!  She has her normal issues, but she is playing and interacting with her siblings much more if we can only improve the SLEEP!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Learning to Wait

There is so much we can glean from waiting isn't there?

We have waited quite a bit over these last couple years.

It's been almost 2 years since we decided to follow the Lord in the adoption of a fatherless child.

We had no idea the wait would be this long.

But God did.

We had no idea that this journey would contain so many roller coaster ups and downs of emotions!  So many highs and lows, excitements and disappointments! 

But God did.

We had no idea that our son would be waiting on the government of his home country to allow him to leave.  To allow him, and the rest of the Congolese children that are come home.

But God did.

This journey is not over for us.  

We still don't know when it will end.

When we will get the call that it is our turn to travel.

When we will FINALLY meet our son, hold him in our arms, stumble through the language barrier, and express in every possible way that we love him and have labored for him....that we are thankful that he has waited for us!

But God does.

He knows.

And in all this waiting, all this UNKNOWN, we are forced again to rest ONLY in the fact that our Sovereign Lord KNOWS.

Wow, I am so thankful for that!  How do parents DO this without that reassurance??? 

"Our God is in the heavens, and He does whatever He pleases" Psalm 115:3

"...He works all things after the counsel of HIS will." Ephesians 1:11

We are so small.

I praise God this is NOT all up to me, because The Lord knows I'd MESS IT UP! 

All this to let y'all know....we are still waiting

And yes, it is hard.
Yes, it is heartbreaking at times.
Yes, we cry.

But YES, we hope in Him!!

As far as a real update on the adoption process, here's the info we have for you:

*Tobias should be getting his visa in the next couple weeks (there are issues beyond our control that have delayed it some).

*Once he gets his visa, he will travel back to Lubumbashi unless God works a miracle and opens up the issuance of exit letters again very very soon.

*He will again be in the orphanage he's known as "home" with the people he knows as family.

**He has been in the care of a lady that he has known for a long time while staying in Kinshasa these past few months.  We are so grateful she has been caring for him!

*We will wait for the government in Congo to again issue exit letters and get the "go-ahead" to get our own entrance visa and TRAVEL to get him!

*We will most likely be traveling to Lubumbashi instead of Kinshasa if this is the case.  This will actually make a HUGE impact on our financial situation (for the better!!!!).

We do NOT know when that will be, but are obviously praying SOON!

Here is where you can HELP!

The U.S. has not been silent on this issue.  There is a whole "coalition" here that have been working tirelessly with our own government, the Congolese ambassador, and now the Congolese president to specifically get the exit letters issued for children in the adoption process.

We have received word that sometime soon, we will be able to ask our family and friends (you) to write letters to the appropriate government officials requesting urgency in this matter!

So please keep this in mind and be ready to do so on behalf of Tobias and all the other children waiting! (there are well over 100 that are ready to leave right now)

When the time comes, I will FOR SURE blog about it and you will get all the details you need to write a letter if you chose to!

In the meantime, we just continue to ask that you pray for this situation.  

  • We are praying that Tobi will get his visa quickly.

  • That his trip back to Lubumbashi will be safe and that he will handle this whole situation well.  I know this would be hard for my girls, I can't imagine how he's processing all this :(

  • And pray pray pray that these exit letters will be issued ASAP!!!!!

Thank you for the support, we certainly feel it and appreciate it.

We have more people behind us and Tobi than we actually realize!

Thank you for praying with us and waiting with us!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How we use Lemon Essential Oil

Continuing in my Young Living Essential Oil series, I'll talk about another oil that I LOVE.


Lemon essential oil actually is cold pressed (most oils are distilled) from the rinds of lemons.

YL's Lemon Essential Oil is so concentrated, it takes 75 lemons to get one 15ml bottle of lemon essential oil!!!

Lemon oil is

It is very invigorating and refreshing!

Lemon consists of 68 percent dlimonene, a powerful antioxidant.

I love alot of YL's citrus oils because they are cheap because they are super versatile!

And here's how we use Lemon:

Good Morning!

I love to start the day with a glass of lemon water.  Before drinking anything else!  I just put a drop or two in my glass...and add water.  Really's like my own little chemistry lab. (remember to ONLY use glass!)

Goodbye Toxins!

So, when you put a drop of Lemon EO in your water, and you haven't done this before, please be near a restroom that evening :) 

Lemon has a way of stimulating the digestive system and assisting the body in it's own natural detox process, so make sure you're drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

This process is good!  Just warning ya!

Boost your Immune System!

To go along with getting rid of toxins, YL Lemon Essential Oil will also assist the body in stimulating the immune system.  

So when I really need a boost to my body's natural defenses (something yucky is going around), I take the following capsule several times each day!

5 Drops of Thieves
3 Drops of Oregano
2 Drops of Frankincense (if I can afford it ;)
2 Drops of Lemon

Loosen Phlegm

Yea, no one really likes phlegm...or likes the word phlegm. But drinking your glass of Lemon water will also help to reduce mucous!  So if you have issues with that, make sure to keep Lemon a part of your routine and support your lungs and sinuses!

Balance PH

So another benefit of drinking your lemon water is that it can balance the ph in your body.  So if it's off due to eating too much sugar, starch, or other acidic foods, make sure to add lemon water to your morning routine!

Keep up your Metabolism

By taking a capsule of Lemon and Peppermint essential oils every morning (right before that glass of lemon water), you can really help kick start your metabolism!  I lost a couple pounds by doing this and nothing else!  
If you haven't taken oils in capsule form before, start with one drop of each and work your way up to 3-4 drops of each oil.


*Lemon is a natural disinfectant!  So add Lemon to a glass spray bottle and add some water and clean the counters!  It'll clean and make it smell super fresh!

*You can also add it to vinegar if you use that to clean instead.

*Another option is to add a few drops of Lemon EO to a cup of baking soda in a canister or jar. Mix well, then use it as you would comet cleaner!  I use it to clean my ceramic sinks!

*You can also make a great DIY "Soft Scrub" cleaner! 
Mix the following ingredients in a jar.  It should be the consistency of a soft paste. 

  • 3/4C Baking Soda
  • 1/4C liquid Castile Soap (Mine is made from this tutorial)
  • 1TBS water
  • 1TBS Vinegar
  • 5-10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

*Use Lemon Essential Oil to make your own carpet deodorizer like I shared in this post.

Spot-Treat Blemishes

I haven't tried this yet, but I know a lot of people use YL Lemon Essential oil to help with occasional blemishes.  Just use a tiny bit as a spot treatment, but AVOID SUNLIGHT afterwards!  Lemon is will react with sunlight.

Goo Gone!

I have used Lemon EO to remove tough labels on just about anything!  I swear it works way better than Goo Gone!  

I have also heard that you can even use it to remove sticky residue from clothing...make sure to do a patch test first though.


All citrus oils are known for their ability to refresh the mind.  When you need a "pick-me-up," simply place a couple drops in your palm, rub your hands together, and then cup them over your nose to inhale it.  Take several deep breaths and you'll notice a difference!

Diffusing Lemon EO will also work great for this purpose!

As with all our oils, we find new ways to use them every day!

Please remember that these recommendations are ONLY for Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.

Make sure to check out other posts in this series:

A Day with Essential Oils
How We use Peppermint Essential Oil
How we use Thieves Essential Oil 
How we use PanAway Essential Oil
How we use Purification Essential Oil 


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I simply make decisions on how to care for and improve the health of my own family.  None of the statements on my blog have been evaluated by the FDA and any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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