Lovin’ Great Body Care Products from Koru Naturals

A lot of the products that our family reviews fit nicely into the homeschool curriculum category, but this review is a bit different.  We recently received some great body care products from Koru Naturals.  Among the products that we received and used were their Skin Clear Creme, their Manuka Honey Propolis Soap, and their Emu Oil and Blue Tansy Oil Cream. Koru Naturals is a company based in New Zealand, famous for both manuka honey and emu oil.They first brought their products to the U.S. beginning in 2002.

We were especially excited to be trying out these products as we had an opportunity to do a review previously on their Emu Oil Shampoo and Conditioner as well as their Pure Emu Oil.  A copy of that review can be found here.

I have to be honest that when I first received our package from Koru Naturals, I wasn’t thinking that my children would be very enthusiastic about giving this a try.  So I simply opened the package and placed it in the shower.  This soap is truly a blend of manuka honey and the propolis. I did not share with my family what this soap was known for or how it was different from other soaps we had in the house.  As I asked everyone their thoughts, I got a consistent response, “It leaves my skin soft like I have used a moisturizer, but it does not feel heavy or clogged like some soaps and lotions do.”  There observations were very similar to the benefits that Koru Naturals promotes on their website. The only problem we experienced with this soap in a household of 5 people and only 1 bathroom is that it disappears entirely too quickly.  I found that I was selfishly really hoping others wouldn’t like it so it would last longer.  Well, that plan backfired as I watched it get smaller and smaller by the day!

After the wonderful experience with the soap, our teens were anxious to give the Skin Clear Creme a chance to show its stuff.  This skin creme has manuka honey and manuka oil as its base with a wonderful combination of other natural ingredients that make it ideal for acne prone skin. It is free of parabens, artificial colorants, and artificial fragrances.  Our son loved this product and was especially excited that it did not make him smell like a girl.  There is a rich blend of essential oils that help to promote skin health.  Because of the presence of these oils, it is not recommended that this creme be used by women who are pregnant.  Like the Manuka Honey Propolis Soap, the Skin Clear Creme was effective in bringing about healthier feeling skin that was moisturized by not weighed done by the heaviness of artificial ingredients.


I have intentionally left my favorite of these products for the end.  The Emu Oil and Blue Tansy Oil Cream is simply amazing.  These two oils are combined with the power of aloe vera and MSM along with an assortment of essential oils that make it truly remarkable.  This a non-greasy topical cream that brings almost immediate relief of minor aches and pains.  Our daughter who plays competitive volleyball found it to help with muscle strains and bruising after playing a hard game.  My husband was shocked at the relief it provided to pain associated with arthritis in his knees. I was not surprised that they found results in applying this cream to their hurting joints, bruises, and muscles.  What did surprise me was the relief that I experienced when massaging this cream into inflammatory hot spot pain.  Many topical pain relief creams do not even touch inflammatory pain.  However, the combination of ingredients in this particular blend were remarkable for this use as well. As with the Skin Clear Creme, this product is not recommended for women who are pregnant because of the specific combination of essential oils it contains.

Our family has now had the opportunity to review a total of six products from Koru Naturals and have not found one we do not like.  Koru Naturals not only makes body care products that are all natural, but have amazing formulations to do what they are designed to do very effectively.  What’s even better is that if you place an order of $35 or more, you get free shipping too!

As always, I encourage you to check out the other reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  There were members of our team that are providing reviews on a couple of additional products that our family has not had a chance to try yet.

Koru Naturals Review
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A Juicy Special For You

Many of our readers enjoy getting back to the basics in homesteading, gardening, natural health and diet choices, as well as homeschooling.  I am excited to share with you this great opportunity from our sister site, Whole Fashioned Wellness.

Our family continues to have this juicer on our family wish list, but enjoy juicing with another type of juicer.  It is really amazing when we have our own fresh vegetables from the garden.

So this is your opportunity to try your hand at juicing without the big upfront investment with one of the top of the line juicers recommended by the top natural health professionals across the country.  Good luck, everyone!
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Giving Your Health a Priority in the New Year

In addition to Christmas, the month of December is known for its sweets both in time spent with loved ones as well as those delectable treats that tantalize our taste buds.  Many times we can find ourselves indulging a bit extra not only because of so many extra gatherings, but in treating ourselves “well” before getting more serious after those New Year’s resolutions.

Make your resolutions now!  Commit to taking better care of yourself and your loved ones as you enter the New Year and even through this holiday season.  Maybe you have already been making positive changes for your immediate family and now want to encourage extended family to follow suit.

I invite you to check out the wonderful gift ideas that are being hosted at our sister site, Whole Fashioned Wellness.  Not sure what to get that person that is just hard to find the appropriate gift for.  Then give the gift of health while visiting our 2014 Holiday Specials page for more information.  Send over an email for more information on gift certificates available in any monetary amount.

CHEK Christmas Promo

Soapmaking on the Farm

There are times in life that we do things based on an interest or passion.  Other times, it is out of necessity.  And yet others, start as a matter of necessity and then become a passion.  That is the case with soapmaking here at the Double O Farms.  Our youngest child had terrible environmental allergies, which included all fragrances in cleaners, shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent.  Fabric softener was completely out of the question.  We found many natural alternatives that were ready made and some that we started making ourselves.


Bar soap was something that we just had a hard time finding that did not cause a reaction in him.  I started doing some research and came across wonderful milk based soap recipes.  Now milk was something we did have and something that he did not react to.  We then started experimenting with natural oils and pure essential oils to make soaps that cleaned and smelled great.

The next step in our soap making process was a journey in learning how to pair different ingredients and essential oils so that the soap became an even bigger benefit to our family.  Because of our son’s allergies and also our growing desire to minimize our contact with synthetic chemical blends, we came up with a soap we call Mosquito Run.  It has a blend of citronella and eucalyptus essential oils that act as a natural bug repellent.  When just using this soap for bathing, enough of the essential oil is left on your skin that bugs just have no interest in bothering you.  Our family just loves to brag that in the years that we have kept this soap on hand and in the shower, we have not had to use any other bug repellent product or experienced the pesky and sometimes dangerous bites of these little critters.

Another soap that we are featuring at this time is our facial scrub.  This soap has ground organic oatmeal that helps to really clean those pores and exfoliate them.  The luxurious natural oils then come alongside and moisturize your skin so it is silky soft.

Another wonderful benefit of this milk based soap recipe is that the soap is naturally cured for 3 weeks prior to being available for purchase.  This curing process does reduce some of the lathering, but the benefit is that there is less soap scum residue in your tub or shower.  You wouldn’t just love less time cleaning the bathroom while enjoying more time outside with the family playing and picnicking without the fear of insect bites.

We have not yet added our line of soaps to the shopping page on our site, but you can always contact us for availability or request a specific scent or blend.  Each bar currently retails for $2 and does not include the cost of shipping.

Learning Breakthrough

Over the years homeschooling, there has never been a more motivated person that I have crossed paths with than the parent of a child who was incredibly intelligent, but just did not seem to be able to learn. At least not learn in the traditional manner. These parents knew deep in their hearts that their children had complex things going on in their minds, but just could not seem to express them or access them through traditional learning methods. Our family has been one of those families making our contact with other families with similar struggles a very personal journey. I was thrilled when given the opportunity to read and review  A Life in Balance from the experts at the Learning Breakthrough Program.

Learning Breakthrough Program Review

The Book – A Life in Balance

The Learning Breakthrough Program is a multi-sensory approach to reaching the individual with special needs. The science and research behind this program was developed by Frank Belgau while working with students with special needs. A Life in Balance is the culmination of his work as chronicled by his son, Eric Belgau, as his father verbally shared this journey with him.  The book is intended to be read by adults, both parents of children who are challenged as well as educators and therapist.  It is a 216 page softbound book which retails for $16.94.

Learning Breakthrough Program Review
Our Thoughts:

Allow me to preface my thoughts with the fact that I am approaching this review as the homeschool mom of a child that has struggled in learning and also as a Doctor of Naturopathy. I have seen in both my personal journey with my son as well as in working with clients the benefits of a holistic approach to learning disabilities.

The work of Frank Belgau is quite significant in not only the outcome of his work, but key observations along the way. It is tempting as a parent and educator to want to skip to the end of the book for the final “recipe for success” in helping your child to succeed. However, there is much to glean in the pages prior to this.

Deep down inside most parents of children with special learning needs know that their children are capable of accomplishing much. The challenge is that there appears to be a short circuit or communication error, for lack of better terms, in being able to access all that is in the child’s mind. As parents, we know that there is a lot more going on in our children’s minds than they can adequately express or demonstrate in a traditional school environment. This core belief is the very reason that so many parents are choosing to homeschool their special learners. They are not ready to give up and there is honestly no one as committed to seeing a child succeed and achieve more than imagined than a dedicated parent.

A second fundamental belief that is communicated through the work of Frank Belgau is that if we can assist these students in building the appropriate neural pathways many of the other learning challenges will correct themselves over time. Assisting a dyslexic student will never yield results in great strides by simply forcing the child to spend endless hours practicing reading. What is needed are for more refined and direct neural pathways to be developed that provide the communication roadways in the brain to interpret the information coming in, process it, and then be able to use expressive language skills to show comprehension. The same holds true for the student struggling with many other neurological disorders, such as ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalcula, autism spectrum disorders, and more.

In addition to these profound realizations and affirmations, Belgau presents the journey in developing a treatment program that focuses on brain training and integration to assist these learning challenged students in truly being all that they can be.

In Conclusion

A Life in Balance is an easy to read resource that will affirm to the parents and educators of special learners that their students are not incapable of learning because of mental acuity, but must develop better neural pathways in order to fully access their potential. This book is a wonderful introduction into the world of brain training and integration therapies and their benefits. The reader may further implement the information in the book through purchasing the complete Learning Breakthrough Program or work with a professional in their area trained in these techniques. More than anything, A Life in Balance is a word of hope to parents that may feel alone in their belief that tomorrow can hold a more promising future for their children inspite of and through their learning challenges.

I invite you to see what others thoughts are about A Life in Balance by clicking on the graphic below which will take you to many other reviews by the Review Crew.

Click to read Crew Reviews

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Agriculture Growing while Farmers Decrease

This year our daughter, who is a sophomore in high school, is completing a course in Agriscience as one of her science courses.  Over all we have been thoroughly impressed with the things she is learning and the way that they have supplemented the knowledge she has already obtained from working and living on a small family farm.  While grading her final test today, I was alarmed by one of the questions that was asked.  It honestly took me back while the brunt reality sank really deep into my soul.

Why is agriculture still a big part of our economy in spite of the number of farmers decreasing?

The correct answer to this question is really quite simple and at the same time startling.  Agriculture is still such a huge part of our economy inspite of a decreasing number of farmers because of all the new job opportunities that have resulted from increased specialization and technological advancements.


Let this sink in for a minute. Agriculture is not still a big part of our economy because our population is growing and therefore we are growing more food locally.  Agriculture is developing as an industry because of technological developments and specialization.

In the area of farming, technological developments can be equated with the bioengineering of plants and even animals for mass production.  It includes chemists working on new combinations of chemicals to use as pesticides and herbicides.  Chemical combinations that will be utilized on our food sources way before the scientists and researchers know the long term impact of these chemicals on the human body and our immune systems.  These developments mean new career paths in the areas of animal nutrition in making artificial feed rations that will pack on the pounds to beef cattle to help them grow faster.  Are they concerned with the safety of the meat or its nutritional value?

I challenge you to think if new is always better.  Our personal farming philosophy is that animals and plants will be healthier food sources for human consumption if they are nourished and raised in a manner that they would have naturally been before confined to farms even with immense pasture.

Bioengineered food sources will lead our bodies down a path of destruction.  There are an abundance of scientific studies, particularly those conducted in Europe, that show direct correlations between the rise in consuming bioengineered foods and the increased incidence of auto immune diseases, infertility, ADD, autism spectrum disorders, obesity, and many others.

Is technology and specializations always something to brag about?  We have greater technology and specialization in our national health care system today than ever before, yet our country keeps falling further and further down the list of Healthy Countries around the world.  When looking at many different indicators, our nation’s health is declining rather than improving.  Will greater access to care that is not improving our health really be the answer?  And yes, our food when coming from their artificially modified and enhanced sources is a huge contributing factor to today’s growing health epidemics.

I would love to hear your thoughts after you have a chance to think on the very basic premise of whether greater technologies and specialization will really lead us to healthier and more nutritious food to support our bodies and health.  And if you decide that maybe modern technologically advanced pharmaceuticals and medical enhancements are not improving your health, you may want to check out more natural alternatives on our sister site at Whole Fashioned Wellness.

Will Wheat be a Part of Your New Year? ~ Giveaway included!

One of the most common questions that I am asked as a naturopath is about my position on gluten. I have always responded that I do not believe that there is any “One size fits all” diet that is best for everyone. The best route to choosing a diet is to identify current health concerns, the individual’s typical diet. and then proposed modifications that could improve health. When I was given the opportunity recently to review Weeding Out Wheat: A Simple Scientific Faith Based Guide by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson, the topic of wheat in the average person’s diet became a dwelling point.

Weeding Out Wheat Banner

Weeding Out Wheat is a resource just under 100 pages that is filled with scientific data from medical studies that have explored the physical effects of wheat and the gluten proteins in it on the human body. Many of us are familiar with the devastating impact gluten has on the health of someone with Celiac’s disease as well as other tummy related issues. However, a significant amount of research is presented in this text that also reveals difficulties in our body systems. There are large implications for neurologically related issues as well as inflammatory responses.

The authors also spend time a considerable portion of the book looking at the spiritual implications of eliminating wheat from our diet. As Christians, the authors explore the many references to wheat in the Scriptures, including Christ’s reference to Himself as the Bread of Life and the partaking of bread as part of Holy Communion. With so many positive references to wheat in the Scriptures, is it right as Christians to eliminate wheat from our diets. Luke and Trisha Gilkerson provide a thorough discussion of the topic, not the least of which is the genetically modified type of wheat that is typically consumed today.

Peppered throughout this book are testimonies from those that have eliminated wheat from their diets. The testimonies of these individuals would suggest that eliminating wheat may be something for more of us to consider.  And that is exactly what I plan on doing in the coming days. I do not suffer from Celiac disease or other tummy issues nor do I fit in the bucket of those that have been diagnosed with ADHD, Austism, or other neurological issues. However, I do feel my body aging much more rapidly these days. The question that has arisen in my mind as a result of reading Weeding Out the Wheat is whether what I am experiencing is really aging or the impact of a wheat ridden diet. Stay posted in the coming months as I share what I find on this journey.

Are you interested in getting your own copy of Weeding Out the Wheat?  It is currently available in both paperback and kindle versions at Amazon.  I am also excited to share with you the opportunity to be a part of a huge launch giveaway. Please see below for all the details.

Book Launch Give Away

Are you preparing to change your health for the better in 2014? Let us help! One change you can make in your life that could result in significant health benefits is going wheat-free. The book Weeding out Wheat is now available and we are celebrating with a BIG GIVEAWAY and SALE!

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win $600 worth of healthy living products!

For the next two days only, the book Weeding Out Wheat is on sale!

It's a New Year! Make some new changes with this awesome giveaway. AND Pick up a DISCOUNTED copy of Weeding out Wheat to find out why taking wheat out of your diet could make a huge impact. $600 value ends 1/7/14

Bulk Herb Store

Making Vegetables Vol. 1 Book and the Making Vegetables Seed Kit $120 value

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Bulk Herb Store carries the finest organic teas, tinctures, spices, salves, and educational resources. Live and learn well with experienced herbalist, Shoshanna Easling’s free recipes, remedies, research aid, and educational DVDs at BULK HERB STORE. At the Bulk Herb Store we want to teach you what we know and inspire you to learn and research beyond that with our homemade concoctions, our experiences, and the tested wisdom of others. It is fun, easy, and above all, a great way to keep your family healthy and happy.


See package details below: $110 value


NuNaturals is an Oregon company serving our customers for 25 years with QUALITY, ALL-NATURAL products. We offer approximately 80 products from Bilberry to Xylitol. Our Flagship Brand is NuStevia. These NON-BITTER Stevia products are available in convenient Packets for your “On-The-Go” needs and a full line of Stevia Liquid Extracts you can measure by the drop. These products have ZERO calories and safe for Diabetics. NO artificial, anything, and we absolutely guarantee that what is on our label is contained in the product & NO more. We pledge the very best of customer service that matches the Quality of the products we offer.

  • 100 packet box NuStevia packets
  • Lemon NuStevia Liquid
  • Orange NuStevia Liquid
  • Peppermint NuStevia Liquid
  • Cherry Vanilla NuStevia Liquid
  • Alcohol Free Clear NuStevia Liquid
  • Cherry NuStevia Liquid
  • 2.75 oz bottle of NuStevia No Carb Powder
  • 1 pound package of NuGrains Oat Fiber
  • 8 oz package of NuNaturals PreSweet Tagatose
  • NuStevia Vanilla Stevia Liquid

NuNaturals is offering a discount to all of my readers. Use the code: BLG0614 to receive a 15% discount your entire order (expires June 30, 2014). Online ordering customers may also receive free shipping to the continental U. S. on all orders exceeding $ 35.00 after discounts.

Young Living Oils

Thieves Giveaway

Young Living Essential Oils is a leader in providing quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. They have helped to bring essential oil use back to modern times. There is almost an essential oil for anything and they can be used for health, cleaning, pet care and more. It is a comfort to have something on hand to deal with nearly any situation.

Redmond Trading Co.

Variety Pack from Redmond Trading (see details below): $64.00 value


Real products for real people. At Redmond we believe nature has it right with products–and that we can’t improve upon nature. This principle, and a passion for wellness, is the philosophy behind all of our Redmond products. We keep them simple, clean, and real–just the way nature intended.

  • 10 oz. Real Salt shaker
  • 4 oz. Real Salt Organic Seasoning shaker
  • Tube of Peppermint Earthpaste
  • Bottle of Redmond Clay Daily Detox
  • Tube of Redmond Clay Facial Mud


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6 month subscription to Fit2B: $59.94 value

Fit2B offers wholesome workouts to the whole family. Stream affordable TummySafe™ fitness anywhere, anytime! With members worldwide, we provide unlimited access to almost 100 routines, and our family-friendly focus keeps things modest, safe and fun for all ages. We are passionate about standing in the gap for those who have been led to believe that they will always look pregnant or will always leak when exercising. We are here to let people know how to heal their split tummy muscles while offering ways to workout if you have a gap in your gut.

Artisana from Premier Organics

2 full sized jars of nut butters and an assortment of pouches: $55.00 value


Premier Organics, headquartered in Oakland, California and the makers of Artisana organic foods, was founded in 2002. With devotion to sustainable living and our community, we support the organic and living foods movement, the Earth and her forests. We try to buy our ingredients as close to the farmer as possible. In many cases we are able to buy straight from the organic farmers. It’s a choice. It’s how we operate. It’s how we live our lives.

The facility is free of peanuts, gluten, soy, and dairy and operates under strict food safety protocol.

Simple Mills

Variety pack of 2 of each of their 3 mixes (banana, pumpkin, and chocolate): $53.50 value


Simple Mills is a small business out of Atlanta that makes Almond Flour Muffin Mixes. Unlike traditional gluten-free baked goods that are loaded with sugar or flours with a large blood sugar impact, Simple Mills products are made with low-glycemic flours and sweeteners (almond flour and coconut nectar). The products are also gluten-free, grain-free, non-GMO, soy-free, and dairy-free! In fact, the only ingredients in the mixes are almond flour, arrowroot powder, coconut nectar, aluminum-free baking soda, celtic sea salt, and a base (fair-trade cocoa, dried banana, or dried pumpkin – depending on the mix flavor). No funny, hard-to-pronounce additives or unnatural ingredients! And because the ingredients are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrition, the products not only taste great, they also make you feel great!

Bloom Naturals

Nourish body moisturizers and hand relief: $40 value

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Welcome to Bloom Naturals, health food for skin! I am a homeschooling mother of 4 boys who was amazed to learn of all the harmful and useless ingredients found skin care. In my years of research to understand how ingredients are manufactured, extracted, and refined, I found a disconnect between the message companies were trying to send me with ingredients listed on their bottles. Many claim the safety of products but in most cases that is far from the truth. Out of frustration, I began to make my own products committing to being a company where my message of safe, healthy & effective aligns with each of the ingredients I use.

My soapbox is a passion for providing the healthiest, most effective products by using only ingredients found in nature, never a laboratory. Because I never add fillers (like water) or toxins, you are only paying for safe, beneficial & nourishing ingredients. Who doesn’t want that!

Begin the journey of restoring dull, tired, aging, and irritated skin while enjoying 20% off your order as our gift to you. Use coupon code WOWBOOKLAUNCH for a 20% discount (expires January 15th).

Vision Herbs and Gifts

4 oz lotion of winner choice, 4 oz skin relief cream,1 lip balm of winners choice: $12.00 value

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Vision Herbs and Gifts is a small business run by a mother and daughter team located in small town Pennsylvania. They make good for your skin lotions, creams, salves, lip balms, and herbal tea blends.

Whole New Mom

4 oz bag of soap nuts: $8.10 value

Soap Nuts

Whole New Mom – No Nonsense Health in Today’s Toxic World with Special Diets, Whole Living, Autism, Autoimmune, and More.

Facebook Party: January 6, 2014

Join us on Monday, January 6th for a facebook party and more chances to win prizes! We’ll be talking about the health changes you may see from taking wheat out of your diet as well as the challenges this may present. Be sure to follow Whole New Mom on facebook and join us for conversation and prizes from 7:30pm – 9:00pm.

Weeding Out Wheat Book Launch Facebook Party

Looking for Support & Encouragement in Wheat-Free Living?

Weeding Out Wheat Facebook GroupJoin the Weeding out Wheat facebook group. We offer encouragement, support, recipes, and information for those who are wheat-free veterans, newbies, and those who are just looking for information before diving in.

Wheat or No Wheat? How do I know?

There are an awful lot of folks that are going gluten free and cutting out the wheat in their diets among other things.  I recently received a copy of the book, Weeding Out the Wheat.  A review will be posted in the coming days, but until then you might want to check out this intro video. Find out why folks might be considering going wheat free, especially with all the Christmas goodies being passed around.

Understanding Child Brain Development

“What in the world is going through my child’s head?” is a question every parent has asked at some point. This question is much more urgent for those with children with disabilities or learning challenges. It is a question that I have asked multiple times as we faced struggles with two of our children and then again as my older brother suffered a massive stroke and has been going through rehab. I was anxious to learn more about just how our brains work when we had the opportunity to review Understanding Child Brain Development by the Family Hope Center which is under the direction of Matthew and Carol Newell.

The Family Hope Center is a holistic health organization that works with parents to build a comprehensive, individualized, and fully integrated treatment plan to help children with developmental delays or learning disabilities. They provide 3 day training seminars as well as work individually with families.

In the DVD, Understanding Child Brain Development, Matthew Newell presents an indepth discussion on the various areas and systems of the brain. He identifies the various forms of our natural development during the childhood years and how they relate to the natural development and functioning of certain areas of the brain. The research and implications are simply amazing to me as a mom, homeschool educator of my children, and also as a practicing naturopath who works with children with disabilities. Allow me share some illustrations from our own family’s experience that highlights some of the information presented in the DVD.

Mr. Newell presented on the necessity of children spending time on their bellies when they are infants. This later leads to children who progress from being on their bellies to pushing up on all fours and then to crawling. Our second child was determined as an infant to sleep on her back. We tried using rolled up blankets to reposition her and other means to encourage her to be positioned in another way. She inevitably would squirm until she was once again on her back. When just a few months old, we were referred by our pediatrician to the local Children’s Hospital for evaluation, because she had developed a flattening of her skull in the back from always being on her back. Thankfully no medical intervention was needed, except for even more attention and repositioning of her on her belly. When she became ready to start being mobile, our dear daughter decided to skip crawling all together. She hopped across the floor and then moved on to walking. Everyone seemed to think this was cute until we discovered at the age of 4 just how incredibly important crawling is to a child’s development. Our daughter never developed the area of her brain that was integral in being able to use a pencil correctly for writing nor had the muscle structure in her hands developed properly from the lack of weight bearing that crawling would have provided. Our pediatrician once again referred us for additional evaluation. The occupational therapist that we worked with was very consistent in communicating the same type of information that is shared in Understanding Child Brain Development. We began playing games that required crawling and had wheelbarrow races nightly. What we were doing was developing an area of our daughter’s brain that had never fully developed, because of her lack of tummy time as an infant.

Our third child thankfully did crawl, but would later present to us several learning challenges. Each of the difficulties he experienced was marked by developmental delays in a part of the brain known as the corpus collosum. We found that he had visual tracking issues, struggles with word finding, and also tendencies toward dyslexia. To those untrained in child brain development, the answer to not being able to read is to force your child to read more. For our son, this was not only the wrong answer, but would have been exceptionally exhausting and defeating. The issue was a physical delay in the way his brain was working. Over the next couple of years, we would nourish his brain through a special diet and provide lots of exercises that helped his body develop and train the workings of his brain in the areas that seemed to be lagging. I am thankful that we are now on the other side of many of these challenges. He is preparing the way to enter high school in another year with a sense of self-confidence rather than failure and a sense of accomplishment that we would have never thought possible 5 years ago.

The information presented in Understanding Child Brain Development is the science behind brain function and development that is the basis for the therapy programs that would be suggested by the Newell’s as they work with families through the Family Hope Center. As a naturopath, I am excited about the availability of this resource. It will be a blessing to direct families to in explaining just how the brain works and why certain developmental milestones are not being reached as expected. It is a springboard for developing a holistic approach to helping children with disabilities to be all that they truly can be.

This resource sells for $19.00.  It can be purchased through the Family Hope Center at their website or can be ordered by phone at 610-397-1737. For those of you that are familiar with the work of Andrew Pudewa, you will be happy to know that he has also endorses the work of the Newells and is making this DVD available through the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s website as well.

For thoughts on this DVD by my colleagues at the homeschool review, be sure to click on the button below to check out their reviews.


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Soap Making at the Double O

Today was soap making day on the farm. In years past, we have enjoyed as a family and also made available to our customers a wide variety of soaps. Each of the soaps that we make is a cold processed blend of natural oils, milk, lye, and essential oils.

Our most sought after soap is our Mosquito Run. Mosquito Run has special essential oils included in the recipe that act as natural bug repellents. In the 6 years that we have made this soap, our family has been free of bug bites simply by using Mosquito Run whenever we normally shower. No worries for this momma about harmful chemicals like DEET having an adverse reaction on my kiddos long term health. Whenever we can do something effectively without the use of chemicals or synthetics agents, it seems like a no-brainer to move ahead in that direction.


This small batch of soap will go through a process of saponifying in the mold for 24-48 hours. Saponifying is when the soap goes from a thick pudding consistency to a solid bar of soap. After this 48 hour period, the bars will be removed from the molds and placed on a rack to cure for about a month. This curing process allows the soap to dry a bit and hardened. Many of the soaps that are purchased in stores today are not cured. The hardening of the soap accomplishes two very practical things. First, if your child or grandchild should happen to drop the bar in the tub, it will not dissolve in 5 minutes. Second, there is a lot less soap scum that builds up on the walls of your shower or tub, which means less cleaning and scrubbing time.

What fragrance or type of soap do you like? How about a Cucumber Melon facial scrub with organic oatmeal as the exfoliator? An old fashioned cornmeal abrasive soap that works fantastic for gardeners and those that come in contact with oil doing car repairs? Maybe just a wonderful seasonal smelling soap like watermelon or peach?

Let us know your interest. You just never know. The Double O Farms may just get their line of milk based soaps started up again now that we are settling in from our move.