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Friday, February 27, 2015

TOS Review: Koru Natural Products

Koru Naturals Review
I was thrilled to get a chance to review Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner from Koru Naturals. To my complete excitement, I also received a bottle of Emu Oil.



What is Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner, and what is Emu Oil?


Koru Naturals Review

Because, I like to know the what and the why behind any product I use on my or one of my children's body/hair - I did a little research to learn more about these products. (And, let me first say that I am not a medical doctor nor a member of the FDA or any other official naturalist board, but much of my research did come from official medical and research-based sites). This is what I found:

WHAT IS MANUKA?

Manuka essential oils and honey come from the Manuka bush which is grown in New Zealand. Manuka honey is produced by the bees that pollinate the Manuka bush.

I've heard that Manuka honey holds a host of health benefits, but mostly I was aware of its antibacterial, vitamin-packed and antimicrobial components, which I would tend to want to take by the spoonful. However, I was asked to use the Manuka honey, instead, on my hair in the form of shampoo and conditioner. I understand, when used as hair treatment, it is said to add shine.

SO, WHY TRAVEL TO NEW ZEALAND TO GATHER SPECIAL HONEY?

Because, while most honeys (clover honey excluded) contain hydrogen peroxide, which makes it amazing in helping to fight infections - Manuka honey also contains an ingredient known as MGO, which is extremely beneficial in healing and has even been successful in treating nasty bacteria like staph or antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

SO, WHAT'S IN THE SHAMPOO AND THE CONDITIONER?

I also looked into the other ingredients that were listed on the label of the shampoo and conditioner. I was impressed that they all seemed to be not only natural, but I could pronounce most of them (always a plus when using a beauty product in my opinion).

The ingredients include:

Shampoo - Organic Aloe, Organic Lavender, Roman Chomomile, Rosehip, Organic jojoba, Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Peppermint Essential Oil, Manuka Essential Oil, and Manuka Honey

Conditioner - Organic Aloe, Organic Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rosehip Oil, Organic White Willow Bark Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Pro-Vitamin B5, Peppermint Essential Oil, Manuka Essential Oil, and Manuka Honey

I was also not familiar with white willow bark, so I researched it as well and discovered that it is an excellent inclusion for hair care, especially for those with oily hair or dandruff-prone scalps. It contains salicylic acid which not only helps with inflammation but also exfoliates the scalp, while the tannins in white willow bark are astringent, so it leaves the scalp with a healthy combination.

WHAT IS EMU OIL?

Koru Naturals Review

Don't let this scare you off, but it actually is derived from the fat of an emu. The fatty acids are thought to reduce pain and swelling from inflammation, and add moisture.  Emu oil has been used for years in aborigine culture to help with skin conditions, wrinkles, and to promote healthy hair and shine.

I learned that Emu oil is sometimes taken by mouth to improve cholesterol (because of it's amazing source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids), aide in weight loss, cough syrup, and has even been used for the H1N1 and other strains of flu. HOWEVER, THE BOTTLE I RECEIVED WAS LABELED FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY, so I assume the formula is slightly different for emu oil that is ingested.

How Did We Use It?

When I opened the package, I was excited to not only have received the shampoo and conditioner but also emu oil. I immediately tried out the oil by applying it to my forehead and eye wrinkles (laugh lines that have never been funny to me), some patches of dry skin and discoloration on my arms and by rubbing it onto the ends of my hair and into my scalp.  I also had the idea to use it on my heels and rough spots on the bottom of my feet to get them ready for flip flop season.

I was amazed that, while it went on oily (it is an oil, after all), it didn't sit there on my skin for long. It was, rather, absorbed into my skin (I assume because of its natural components). When I rubbed it into my scalp, I was careful to not use too much because it did leave my hair looking greasy if I went overboard. But, I will say - If you have a day when you can put it on your hair and let it sit under a shower cap for awhile - You will be super pleased with the results once you shampoo. The first attempt to use it on my hair, I left it on the top of my hair for several hours before washing it off. I couldn't believe how thick and alive it made my hair feel after my shower.

Then, the moment arrived when I was able to try the shampoo and conditioner in the shower.



What Did I Think?

WOW!

I was excited to get to try these products, but I had no idea I would want to shout their wonderful qualities from the rooftops. These are products that I wish I could sell, because I am truly excited about them.

It actually felt as if my hair was getting stronger right away. When I put the conditioner on, I could run my fingers through my hair without as many tangles as usual.

I absolutely LOVE these products! My hair feels clean and alive and fuller.

I love that the products contain natural ingredients that are healthy. I also really liked the smell of lavender and other natural scents.

The Emu Oil made my skin feel so soft, almost immediately. The dry patches on my arms are becoming healthier and softer, and even the two dark spots look like they are starting to fade. AMAZING! I still have forehead lines and "Laugh lines", but I feel like my face is so smooth and youthful!

My hubby was rubbing my feet the other day (remember, I had the bright idea to rub some Emu Oil on the rough spots on the bottom of my feet?) and, guess what!?  He commented, asking me how I keep my feet feeling so soft and smooth.  SCORE One for romance!

The most exciting part for me is that I have been praying about my hair, because ever since my last child was born, it seems like it just keeps thinning. I've been very worried about this, and I feel as if these products are an answer to my prayers. Because, one of the essential oils I had heard helps to regrow hair is lavender - Guess what? Lavender is one of the main ingredients in both the shampoo and the conditioner. I also tried the Emu Oil on parts of my scalp where my hair looked thinner, and it looks like I have new hair growth. Even if my eyes are just deceiving me - My hair definitely feels fuller and more alive. I'm EXCITED!

Find Koru Natural Products on Facebook and Pinterest.

Koru Naturals Review BUY THE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER ON THE KORU NATURALS WEBSITE!


Koru Naturals Review BUY THE EMU OIL ON THE KORU NATURALS WEBSITE!


SHOP ALL KORU NATURALS PRODUCTS!


Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought, and discover additional Koru products that other Crew Members reviewed, by clicking on the picture below:

Koru Naturals Review


Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Free Printables Chore Cards and Scripture Copywork

I've started playing around with creating PDFs for learning.

I'm still in the beta stage where I'm just playing around with creating them, but I wanted to start a basic foundational place for my readers to find future PDFs.

So, I threw together a very extremely short brief PDF to get started.  It's a scripture, a graphic of a chalkboard, graph paper, and handwriting practice.  That's it!

BUT IT'S FREE!

So, if you're interested in a free download - Discover my first real PDF file called:

Must We Always Start With the Basics?

Enjoy, even though it's very extremely short and brief.  Hopefully, if all goes right, there will be more to come.

Look for more above this post listed under "Free PDF Downloads".

In the meantime, let me hear what kind of PDF files would help you along your homeschooling journey.




At the start of the year, the kids and I sat down to talk about how they could help out around the house. I explained that we are a family, and it takes all of us to make the household run smoothly.

We came up with the idea of turning chores into a form of a game.

The kids decided that they wanted to draw cards telling them what chores they were responsible for each week. We came up with enough chores that each child could draw two cards each week.

The new year is under way, and we are late in getting going with this.  But, better lat then never, right?

I have no idea how this will go, once it's in place.  I'm sure we will be revamping and editing it all a time or two, but for now; I thought I'd share a printable set of chore cards that we are using for you to print and use as well.

Things you need to know before you get started:

-First, you need to know that this is my first attempt at embedding a pdf file into this blog. So, I'm hoping I did it all right.  If you have any trouble accessing the download, please, please, please, let me know so I can know for future reference and to make sure you get your chore cards.

-Also, I am hoping that in the process of making these chore cards available, I didn't unleash my entire Google Docs library on you.  Please, let me know if this is the case.

To print your own set of chore cards, just click on the picture below.  It should take you to a new window where you will be able to print.

chores.pdf



We decided to have each child draw two cards at the start of each new week.  For the remainder of that week, each child will be responsible for completing the two chores revealed on the cards they drew.

Not every household is the same, of course, so what works for us may not work for you. But, we chose to start with:

Unloading the dishwasher
Laundry (which means, washing, drying, sorting)
Vacuuming (all rooms)
Bathroom (which means emptying trash, clearing floor of dirty clothes, wiping down surfaces, and putting out a new towel)
Trash/Recycling (which means helping daddy or mommy take out the trash and recycling and rolling can to street for pickup on appropriate days)
Clear Table/Put Dishes in Sink/Clean Kitchen Floor (This one is my filler chore card, as I needed six.  We'll see how it goes)



Find more FREEBIES Printables here (The link will go live on February 25, 2015):

Free Printables Round-Upl

Monday, February 23, 2015

TOS Review: IndoctriNation

I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to review IndoctriNation Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America from Great Commission Films.

IndoctriNation DVD Review



If you are like me, as a homeschooling mom, there are days when that big yellow school bus looks so inviting. Some days, I lose sight of the reasons I wanted to homeschool and the importance of homeschooling my children.

If you're having a day like that - Stop, and get a hold of this DVD. It's eye-opening, and you will be left shaking your head with your mouth wide open in astonishment.

What is IndoctriNation?

I received a physical DVD that was 102 minutes in length, plus a few bonus features.

The DVD is a documentary account of Scottish filmmaker and homeschooling dad, Colin Gunn. He purchased a big yellow school bus off of Craig's List and converted it into living quarters for him, his wife and his children to set off in a multi-state tour to get to the truth of the history of public schools in America.

The name of the DVD is a bit of a twist on the word's meaning. Typically Indoctrination is used to talk about what religions do, but this filmmaker uses the word to explain how the public school system is indoctrinating students with the philosophies and ideas that stem from non-Christian ideologies.

Instead, the DVD uses the word to express how, in the view of the filmmaker, the public school system is indoctrinating its children with secularism and more government-imposed ideas. 

How Did We Use It?

I put the DVD into my laptop and began to watch. My 9th-Grade son was sitting at the table with his headphones on while I sat watching the DVD, so I didn't think he was hearing any of it. However, to my surprise, I glanced up and noticed he seemed to be listening. I felt like he was mature enough to handle the DVD's content, and I really wanted him to learn along with me. So, I invited him to sit and watch as well. To my complete delight - He did. So, mother and son watched the DVD.

What Did We Think?




When I received the DVD, it looked interesting. My only concern was that with a name like IndoctriNation that it would be very one-sided. So, in my "public-schooled-through-college-with-a-liberal-social work-focused-degree-turned-homeschooling-mom" mindset, I took note to investigate some of the facts further for myself, and all I can say is that this DVD was extremely well researched. There is also an accompanying paperback book available that, according to the insert inside the DVD pack, contains "376 pages of research and commentary that would not fit in the 102 minute documentary", which I hope to also read.

This DVD is not cheaply made and is professionally put together. My son, who watched it with me, is a fan of animation and videos and had nothing critical to say about its presentation. In fact, he was impressed with the presentation's use of graphics.

I completely appreciated the way the DVD portrayed the history of the public school system, using a timeline, school bus, and other really fun graphics. These timeline graphics were presented in a historical viewpoint rather than mere opinion.

I also really enjoyed the variety of interviewees he chose to portray in the DVD to show the current state of public schools. I loved how the DVD put into words what I have felt for years about why I choose not to put my elementary-aged children or middle-school-aged children into the public school - That if salt looses its saltiness, how can it be of any use, and what fellowship does darkness have with light. In other words, I completely agree with the idea that children are not meant to have the burden of being evangelists to their classmates in the public school. If we put this kind of pressure on our kids - They will, at best, walk away from their faith, and at worst, not walk away alive. Most likely, they will become like the world having absorbed and bought into the ideas they have been fed for 12 years inside a public school classroom. Yes, even under Christian and well-meaning teachers.

I was astonished to see the statistics that, I believe it was, 88% of Christian children will graduate high school only to leave their family's Christian faith behind.

After viewing the DVD, many aspects of life even outside of homeschooling make so much more sense to me now. For instance, my children never enjoy the youth group at church. It's not just one church - It's been many. They find the kids a bit rowdy or self-absorbed, or extremely sport team minded. After viewing this DVD, it makes so much more sense to me now why my children feel this way. Many of the kids at church spend all week inside a public school classroom, and then have literally one hour or so to learn about the Bible's teachings. Even though, it is my husband's and my mission to set a foundation of Christianity in our homeschool - I feel often that I'm not sharing enough of God's Word with my kids, but watching this video inspired me all the more to keep pursing teaching, learning, speaking, sharing, and living God's Word in our homeschool.

I was also interested in hearing my son's take on the video, from an almost 15-year-old boy's perspective. It was really interesting to hear him describe what he saw and to have already come to his own conclusion that evolution, for example, is really a religion of sorts. In his perspective - To teach evolution and purposefully leave out the teachings of creation is, indeed, an indoctrination from the opposite intent. It has also been interesting to me to watch my son's reaction to news stories related to public schools, after watching "IndoctriNation." Light has been shed on a new perspective.

The filmmaker did an excellent job of presenting a DVD that is not only filled with information that will leave your eyes, and if you're like me also your mouth, wide open in amazement, but will also spur you on with huge encouragement to take on the parental responsibility of educating your children.

Find more information about IndoctriNation on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:


IndoctriNation DVD Review
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Finally snow








Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

The Only STEM Resource Guide You Need



Is your kid into technology? I have a son who literally eats, sleeps, breathes, and talks nothing but CODING and GAMING.

We realized that this is my son's interest, and that he is good at it. We also realize that it can be quite a costly field to explore. So, we have had one major rule in our house:

If the lessons or download is FREE - You can have it!

Because of this, my son has become very amazing at finding freebies and deals when companies offer free trials or outright free open-source software.

When I came across this list of more than 200 STEM online sites, posted by Mastersindatascience.org - I about fell off of my chair. So, cool - What a nice resource to save and always have on hand to check out a new site every day/week, etc.

I think it's pretty much the only STEM Resource Guide you will ever need (that is, before technology changes rapidly and new technology comes onto the playing field). But, it's certainly chock-full of enough material to get you started.




STEM Resources for Homeschool

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