Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

B&B Media Review: Starting at the Finish Line The Gospel of Grace for Mormons by John B. Wallace

About the book:

John Wallace recognizes that the devout Latter-day Saint is unlikely to ever read his new book Starting at the Finish Line: The Gospel of Grace for Mormons (Pomona House Publishing LLC June 2014). In fact, they are prohibited from doing so! But even if they did, the book’s central message of salvation by faith alone in the completed work of Christ would likely seem overly simplistic and terribly inadequate to them. This is unfortunate and is the cause of much frustration for both the Christian who just cannot seem to “get through” to his or her LDS loved one and to the Mormon who feels insulted that someone should feel the need to “save” them.

Realistically, Starting at the Finish Line is for three groups of people: 1) The “cultural Mormon” who values the benefits of belonging to the LDS church, but secretly doesn’t fully believe in the Joseph Smith/Moroni/gold plates narrative (or in any of a number of difficult doctrines). 2) Those that have already left the Mormon faith, but aren’t sure where to turn. These people often feel lost and untethered in this world, often concluding that if Mormonism isn’t true, then nothing is. 3) The Christian who desperately wants to better understand the Mormon mindset, if for no other reason but to know how to dialogue with them.

Dr. Wallace excels in relating to his audience. Having been Mormon for twenty years and deeply committed to the LDS way of life and doctrine, he serves as a “double agent” of sorts. While this book is not intended to be a comprehensive, point-counterpoint analysis of Mormon and biblical Christian theologies, it may very well prove to be the most powerful and relatable explanation of the gospel of grace in terms that the Latter-day saint will readily understand. As Wallace is fond of saying, this is all about “sharing the good news of the gospel and making it sound like good news to the Latter-day Saint.”

Starting at the Finish Line seeks to reveal three primary truths to its reader. 1) The Bible is the Word of God. It is trustworthy in its translation and transmission over the many centuries and is authoritative in terms of leading people into a saving relationship with Christ. 2) Christ purchased mankind’s salvation with his precious blood on the cross of Calvary. This is the work of salvation and no other work remains than for people to receive the free gift by faith. 3) Any attempt to contribute or “add to” Christ’s work on the cross is an offense to God and demonstrates a lack of faith in the sufficiency of Christ’s redeeming blood. As Paul so bluntly wrote to the Galatians, attempts to gain salvation through works sever people from God’s grace and place them in the unenviable position of obeying the law perfectly in order to enter God’s kingdom.

By sharing his own personal journey, Wallace ultimately demonstrates the incomparable joy of emerging from a religion of works into a relationship with Christ that is based on acceptance and freedom. He further explores the mystery of what it means to be “born again,” inviting the Latter-day Saint to faith in Christ alone, explaining that good works are but natural by-products of the indwelling Holy Spirit – the same Spirit who gives the believer assurance that their salvation is indeed secure in Christ. Good news indeed and cause for great celebration!

You can learn more about the book at Starting at the Finish Line.

My Opinion:

Having family and friends that are Mormon has me wanting to understand how they believe, what their faith entails and how it is so different from my Christian walk that I knew I wanted to read John B. Wallace’s book about the Gospel of Grace for Mormons in Starting at the Finish Line.  I’ve known for awhile that Mormons don’t believe in Jesus Christ as other Christians do, that He is the Savior came to save us all by His work on the Cross and His Resurrection.  I also know how easy it is to get things muddled and forget what He did and think we need to add to it or somehow feel that we aren’t good enough and so we must work and work at earning our Salvation.  However, if you pick up this book, this isn’t so much about their doctrine and their adding to the Holy Bible through the Book of Mormon but more on how a devout Mormon can find freedom in accepting Christ’s sacrifice, not partially, but fully embracing the work He did for us.

I would desire that all my Mormon friends and family read this book, but as it says in the description even the author recognizes that they more than likely won’t and so it’s up to as Christians to read it so we can learn how best to minister to those who are open to the truth by using what they’ve been taught and showing them through the Bible how it is really is.  While Mormons believe they are Christians, John shows the reader why that isn’t true and even that Mormons teach they are the only true church – so why would they want to be a Christian?  This wasn’t a quick read and it took me about a week or so to read the whole book as some of it was heavy and needed quite a bit of brain power to digest, and even then some of it I still could go back and re-read again to really get it.  Overall, this is a great book for those questioning their Mormon faith or for those who want to minister to a Mormon in their life and show them the Gospel of Grace.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Femented Preserves by Karen Solomon (book review)

About the book:

From authentic Korean kimchi, Indian chutney, and Japanese tsukemono to innovative combinations ranging from mild to delightfully spicy, the time-honored traditions of Asian pickling are made simple and accessible in this DIY guide.

Asian Pickles introduces the unique ingredients and techniques used in Asian pickle-making, including a vast array of quick pickles for the novice pickler, and numerous techniques that take more adventurous cooks beyond the basic brine. With fail-proof instructions, a selection of helpful resources, and more than seventy-five of the most sought-after pickle recipes from the East—Korean Whole Leaf Cabbage Kimchi, Japanese Umeboshi, Chinese Preserved Vegetable, Indian Coconut-Cilantro Chutney, Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickle, and more—Asian Pickles is your passport to explore this region’s preserving possibilities.

You can purchase the book at Random House, Amazon and other book retailers.

My Opinion:

I enjoy the tasty tang of fermented food items like sauerkraut so when I saw Asian Pickles up to review I knew I had to get a copy and see what it was all about.  There are many health benefits to naturally fermented foods such as probiotics to help aid in a healthy digestive tract so while these foods are tasty they are also healthy.  In the book description it’s easy to see that these recipes pull from several different and varying Asian cultures so I won’t go into all of that in my review – this though is a beautiful book with delicious pictures depicting many of the recipes found within it’s covers.  I have to say it was difficult to find all the ingredients I’d needed to make some of these pickling preserves – even though I live in a fairly large city there aren’t that many Asian markets or even ethnic foods available in the run of the meal groceries.

Even with some of the ingredients I couldn’t find there were plenty of ingredients that I could find at my regular grocery store so that made it easy.  I suggest reading and maybe even re-reading the introduction as well as the notes sections if you’re not familiar with some of the methods (like using a drop lid) mentioned and you’ll also probably want to invest in a food scale as some of the recipes call for one pound of something versus a cup and so on.  Some of the recipes met with “oh gross” from my husband and children but I’m hoping to try those eventually, once they are thoroughly hooked on other Asian fermented foods.  This book will be a mainstay in my kitchen for years to come.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Going underground


Usually on Labor Day weekend we attend an event called Fair At New Boston (feel free to do a search and you’ll find another post or two) but this year it was to hot so since my husband was coaching at a Special Olympics softball game we called my mom and said how about Ohio Caverns.  It’s a cool 54 degrees year round and a perfect place to go when it’s hot and humid outside.  We took both the natural wonders and the historic tours and they both had something the other didn’t, the tour guides were really great in being patient with us.


If you look close you can see a dove that was drawn on the cavern ceiling by a visiting pastor back in the late 1800’s


I linked above to our first visit to Ohio Caverns so I don’t want to share all the pictures I took as most of them are similar as it was the same tour but I didn’t see the dove on the first visit so I thought it was very distinctive.


The view as we enter through the winding path to the Natural Wonders tour.


The entrance is down there to the left. You can see the different layers of rock laid down over several years.


The sign.


The Old Town Pump. Isn’t that an awesome formation?


The Crystal King


When the cavern was cleared out they left these formations – the mud was up to that rock that is clinging to the formations. It was a little scary and I did have to dunk!


If you ever visit Ohio I highly recommend Ohio Caverns – people have come from all over the world to visit these Caverns.  There is also another one owned by a local American Indian Trip called Zanes Caverns, we haven’t been there yet but I aim to.  I enjoy visiting caverns.  My children were a bit disappointed though – there were no little brown bats at this visit, apparently they only seek the caverns during the winter and early spring months.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws



FlyBy Promotions: Dolphin Tale 2 curricula

About the movie:

Inspired by true events, Dolphin Tale 2 continues the story of the brave dolphin Winter, whose miraculous rescue and recovery—thanks to a groundbreaking prosthetic tail—made her a symbol of hope and perseverance to people around the world and inspired the 2011 family hit movie “Dolphin Tale.” This film reunites the entire main cast, led by Harry Connick Jr., Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, and of course, the remarkable dolphin Winter as herself. Champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, who has been an example of courage, also appears in the film.

It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett, rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy, who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin, they were able to save her life. Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s surrogate mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only pool mate she has ever known. However, the loss of Panama may have greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as dolphins’ social behavior requires them to be paired with other dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another aquarium.


About Homeschool Movie Club:

Homeschool Movie Club is a fun, online community created to help homeschooling families discover new and old movies, media, & curriculum that help augment their home education. We will also have special ‘homeschool day’ discounts, giveaways, curriculum, and special screenings for homeschoolers for movies that haven’t hit theaters yet. Our mission is to create a community & resource that will help families find the right movies to use for their home education and enjoyment.



My Opinion:


Homeschool Movie Club is a free resource available to homeschoolers who desire to use recent movies in their homes and teach from them – Homeschool Movie Club makes it easy to download the curricula and watch complementary videos that pertain to the curricula.  The newest addition to the line up is Dolphin Tale 2, which comes out to theaters on September 12th, and to go along with that is a 5 lesson curricula that homeschoolers can use right now to learn about dolphins, habitats/environment, as well as life in an aquarium and more – there are even discussion questions for those who utilize Classical Conversations (of course you can use them even if you are CC members).  You must register or log-in to get access to the curricula, and don’t worry if you aren’t already a member – it is FREE and easy to sign up to begin using movies in your home school.


Each lesson has a video to watch before doing the day’s lessons – or if you’re very industrious I suppose parents could always add to what is in the lesson and make each lesson into a weeks worth of studies.  There are activities and experiments geared towards elementary and those are denoted with a dolphin and a sea turtle easily identifies the middle and high school level activities and experiments.  Suggestions are given for keeping a notebook, either a three ring one with the pages printed off being kept together or for the more creative making a lapbook of the educational experiences.  The author of this curricula is Sherri Seligson who also authors Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Marine Biology for high school.  I prefer to download the curricula and then use my ‘send to kindle’ feature which automatically sends it to my Kindle or my Kindle app to make reading easy and only print out the sheets I actually need, this also saves ink.  You could also use Dropbox, I hear this works better for those with iPad that doesn’t allow PDF documents.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Tomoson Review: Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) Capsules

About the Branch Chain Amino Acids Capsules:


Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are the building blocks of protein. They are used to support muscle growth, similar to protein powders. Our product is a 450-Capsules of Pure BCAA’s. It is in Veggie Capsules and contains no other ingredients. Many of our competitor’s products have ingredients like Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Gelatin, Sucralose, and Titanium Dioxide. We have NONE of those ingredients. Our product is pure BCAAs in Vegetable Capsules. We are priced within 10% of all the major brands, our bottle is larger than all the competitors, and we offer the most pure product.

Please read the following article to see more info about BCAAs.


You can purchase your supply on Amazon.


My Opinion:


I was sent a 450 count bottle of Diet Standards Branch Chain Amino Acid capsules to review – BCAAs are shown to support muscle building and exercise recovery.  According to the label on the bottle there is 500mg of L-Leucine and 250mg of L-Isoleucine and L-Valine and the capsules themselves are made of vegetable cellulose, which means they are also safe for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet (I do not).  What I appreciated with these is that there are no binders, fillers, preservatives, artificial ingredients, wheat, yeast, egg (a big one for me as I’m allergic), soy, starch, gluten or sugar.  The recommended suggested use is that they are to be taken as a dietary supplement and to ingest 2 AminoHD 1000 Capsules between meals, 45 minutes before workouts and immediately after workouts.  Also of note is that since the body has need of protein and there may be times when the body isn’t getting that such as during a junk food binge (just kidding, but if you’re not getting whole foods) to help your muscles in getting proteins.


I’m not a doctor or medical professional so all I can do is say how they affected me – there were no side effects and I took as directed even on days I didn’t work out or do any exercise.  That said always speak with your doctor before beginning this or any supplement especially if you have a medical condition or may become or are pregnant.  These were shipped very fast to my house and packaged securely so there was no corruption of the packaging in transit.  As I said before I like the fact that they don’t have added ingredients which could be harmful or cause an allergic reaction, if it had egg I would have had to refrain from it.  It is also for adult consumption only – my oldest daughter wanted to take it too but I told her that I couldn’t allow that until we spoke with her doctor.  Overall, I’m very impressed with this product and hopefully will be ordering from them again in the future.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Tomoson Review: Orblue Propresser Garlic Press

About the Propresser Garlic Press:
1. ENJOY AN UNPRECEDENTED 200% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – I am so confident you’re going to love your Propresser Garlic Press I’m offering it with a ridiculous double guarantee. If you have ANY problems with your Propresser Garlic Press FOR THE LIFETIME OF THE PRODUCT simply let me know and I will refund every penny of your purchase AND send you a brand new unit free of charge.

2. QUALITY YOU CAN COUNT ON – Unlike many of the garlic pressers on the market that are made from cheap zinc alloy, your Propresser Garlic Press is fashioned from 100% stainless steel. It won’t rust, won’t weaken at the joint, and won’t break. We’ve meticulously designed the Propresser Garlic Press to serve you for years and decades to come.

3. DESIGNED WITH EASE OF USE IN MIND – Hold the Propresser Garlic Press in your hand. Note the thickness of the handles and how comfortably your fingers wrap around them. With a clove of garlic nestled in the basket the handles are the ideal distance apart to maximize leverage. Gently squeeze the handles together. You’ll be delighted at how easily, how effortlessly your Propresser Garlic Press produces perfectly minced garlic.

4. CLEANUP IS A BREEZE – Now you can enjoy the flavor and health benefits of garlic instantly without the hassle of messy cleanup. Simply flip up the Propresser Garlic Press’s basket, rinse it under your faucet, and you’re done!

5. A BEAUTIFUL ADDITION TO YOUR KITCHEN – When you first remove the Propresser Garlic Press from its box marvel at the way light dances over the stainless steel handles and glides over the curves of its ergonomic design. This is no mere utensil – this is a handsome complement to your kitchen’s décor.

When Quality and Convenience Count, Nothing But Propresser Will Do!

Here are 5 Reasons You’re Going to LOVE Your Propresser Garlic Press
1. It easily minces garlic in one press! (No more sore palms or aching fingers like you get with other garlic presses)
2. Large capacity basket! (Press good sized cloves … even if you leave the peels on)
3. No more stinky “garlic hands”! (Easy to use and even easier to clean so you won’t have to worry about smelling like garlic cloves all day)
4. Heavy duty, quality construction! (BUT it weighs in at a svelte 9.3 oz so ANYONE can use it effortlessly)
5. Backed by an INSANE Double Guarantee! (Order yours now because you literally RISK NOTHING!)
Order your own Propresser Garlic Press today. Use it in your kitchen to effortlessly press garlic and add loads of flavor to your favorite dishes.
Once you’ve seen for yourself how handsome is the Propresser Garlic Press, how easy it is to use, how quickly you can clean it, we’re confident you’ll have LOADS MORE than 5 reasons to love it!

And if you order today we have a special bonus just for you: The FREE eBook “Home Chef” is a 70-page kitchen management book that reveals how to create your ideal kitchen, great tips if you want to initiate a Chef career and much more. It’s yours FREE just for ordering the Propresser Garlic Press.


You can purchase the garlic press here:


Find out more about the Orblue company.


My Opinion:


I was sent this garlic press from Orblue to try out and given my honest opinion, I’m a garlic enthusiastic but I rarely use it because I hate having to peel it and then chop it by hand. This is where the Propresser Garlic Press comes into play in my kitchen – not only do I not have to peel the garlic before putting it in the press it is easy to use to get all the garlic out of the peel – no waste! This was easy enough for even my 8 year old son to use and help me in preparing dinner, great for some of his Cub Scouts requirements. With it being stainless steel it shouldn’t rust, but I’ve only had it three days so the verdict is still out on that, but it’s so beautiful to have in my kitchen drawer. While it was supposed to be easy to clean, just rinse and let it dry – I did have to do a little more than just rinse. I had to flip it all open and sort of rube the inside and outside of the basket where some of the garlic got stuck tight, this wasn’t a big deal and it was still quicker than what I go through to clean my vegetable chopped so all in all I was good with it. I am very much impressed with this press and it’s quality and the ability for quick clean up as well as my children being able to help me prepare dishes for meals.



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


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Beautiful home school


This past week we added in all our subjects, not including Spanish and Latin so we’ve been quite busy.  You can read about our 2014-2015 curricula choices here.  We also have two field trips under our belts so far – and Monday will make the 3rd!  We re-joined a group that we were in years ago mainly because I didn’t want to shoulder the burden of planning field trips for large groups all on my own.  I’m still planning them but with being part of this support group I don’t have to do it all.  My younger two are picking back up where we left off in the Apologia Physics and Chemistry course, which lends itself to may hands on projects.


Here are some fun things we’ve done with science so far, of course there are more but some lend themselves to pictures better than others.  In one of first ones we combined some neat ingredients to create an ‘explosive’ experiment – it was similar to the rocket we did a year or so ago but it had different supplies and this created a much more quick and violent reaction than the baking soda one we did.  All the children, even the one not doing this, found it neat.


We actually ran out of blue food coloring, thankfully it wasn’t an expensive, natural kind. It was supposed to be blue but turned out much lighter.


The next thing was to use paper plates and candy to create atoms and show how they bond to each other to make molecules.  Can you figure out what their models make?  I hate to throw them away but I’m not sure what to do with them not that we are done with this lesson?

This is my middle daughter’s. Seems like a waste of perfectly good M&Ms


This is my son’s model. I did allow them to each have 1 M&M so I’m not totally mean, plus I had to justify me ‘stealing’ one.


So this is just some of what we’ve done in science, I’ll have more updates as the year progresses.  I’m going to share about the ‘field trip’ we took on Saturday with my mom next and another post I will share some of the neat art projects they’ve been doing with the See the Light Bible stories DVD.  So far it’s been a decent school year and I’m going to remain optimistic!


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws






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Life Sentence Publishing: Trouble in Ippy-Tippy Town by Katie Berdan


About the Book:


“More free stuff! More free stuff!” What happens in Ippy Tippy Town when the Gimmie Getters make everything free? Where will the money come from? Where will the food come from? What will the Wanna Workers do to save their town?


The book is available in paperback and e-book form on Amazon.




My Opinion:

This is a cute illustrated book for children to teach the value of hard work and that nothing is free – both good things to understand at a young age.  It gives a good basic story line of working hard, politics and the unmistakable truth that being given something for nothing will make one lazy and the culture around you fall.  I really don’t have anything to say against this book, we are not a political family but even the politics which are very generic and the voting portrayed, didn’t have me gnashing my teeth against it.  These are things that my children must learn at some point and the cute, basic illustrations appealed to my 8 and 9 year old although not much to my 12 year old.  There is mention of war and while some might object it demonstrated that taxes paid by those who do work pay to have our country protected by the armed forces.


Overall, a cute book that children ages 6-8 would probably enjoy, even some 9 or 10 year old children but I don’t think older children would appreciate the simple text or the illustrations as much.  The book had a good lesson at the end and everyone in Ippy-Tippy Town eventually realizes that work is a good thing and most return to their jobs so that they can earn money to live on, touches a little on taxes, and why they can be a good thing when not overly done or re-distributed.  Some concepts may be to big for the younger child but it would definitely open up a good conversation between a parent and older child about the bigger concepts of finances.  This is not written to be distinctly Christian although there is a Bible verse at the very end – my secular homeschool friends would also benefit from the book.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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Handlebar Review: The Healing Quilt (Book 3 in the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club series) by Wanda E. Brunstetter

About the Book:

Retired Amish newlyweds Emma and Lamar Miller have decided to buy a winter place in Sarasota, Florida. But it wouldn’t feel like home if Emma didn’t take her quilting materials and offer classes. Wounded and hurting people have a knack for finding their way to her classes for some quilting therapy: Jennifer, a pregnant new mom; Mike, a charter boat owner; Erika, a wheelchair-bound teen; Kim, a waitress; Noreen, a newly-retired widow; and BJ, an artist facing illness. And when Jan visits from Indiana, romance is also added to the class discussions.


Read a note from Wanda where she talks a little about the series on her website.

You can purchase your own copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook and other retailers where books are sold.


You can connect with Wanda E. Brunstetter on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well.




My Opinion:


I’m late in posting this review (yes, I’m admitting that) because I realized that I really should have started with book 1 in the series as there are several characters mentioned in The Healing Quilt that come from books 1 and 2 so I had to borrow the e-copy from my library and find book 2 on my shelf.  I enjoy Wanda’s writings as they really seem to dive into the characters and their lives and make them come to life on the page and that is what I so enjoy – while her books provide an escape they also give me a way to relate to the characters and in doing so she has me inspired to do more, be more.  Usually, one would think that they’d be inspired after reading a non-fiction book but not in this case, Wanda Brunstetter inspires her readers through this book.  To help another person, to forgive, to accept and to love –  not only do Emma and Lamar want to be Christian they want to be Christ’s hands and feet.


As I said I have to recommend that if one wants to read this book, please, start with Books 1 and 2 – while it could technically be read as a stand alone the mention of other characters such as Jan, Star, Terry and such it may leave one confused as to who these characters are and how they play into the story in the 3rd book.  I think my favorite character in this book had to be the young teenager Erika, who is wheel chair bound after a diving accident – mean, smug and just unhappy Erika transforms in front of our eyes – a young woman who eventually finds a calling and realizes that quilting can be enjoyable.  While not wheel chair bound I could resonate with Erika’s unhappiness as that was me in my teen years – oh the angst I went through and Wanda touches on that in a wonderful way and really has us feeling Erika’s situation.


This is an easy read and while some things are too neatly wrapped up, I don’t fault the book or Wanda for that, I didn’t pick up this book or the other two to step into real life – but to escape for a few minutes before going to bed.  I wanted a happy ending, however far fetched it may be but then again God does work in some miraculous ways and what I think is far fetched is just His way of working.  It’s not your typical Amish book – as there are so many other characters involved that just happen to come into a Amish couple’s home, there isn’t going to be a lot of Amish speech in this one and even less about their lifestyle – it’s just a couple wanting to reach out to hurting souls and bring them some salve that only Christ can do as He works through us.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws



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Educents Review: Simply Fun – Perspectives and Letter Slide games


About the Perspectives Game:

Move the brightly colored Game Tiles around on the board to create one or more patterns from your “Perspective”. Solve your Pattern Cards even when it is not your turn but pay close attention and be quick so you do not miss out on a winning opportunity!


You can find more information about the game and how to purchase by visiting SimplyFun – there is also a video you can watch about the game as well.  Perspective sells for $28.00



My Opinion:


We enjoy playing games in our house and if they are educational, so much the better, and that is what we got with Perspectives!  It’s a fun game of using logic and movement to come up with the patterns on the cards, geared for ages 8 and up I could and did include all three children in on this game.  Set-up is easy and fast, separate out the pattern cards according to point value (there are 63 pattern cards in 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 point value increments) then randomly place the 15 game tiles on the game board and then put the lock pawn on any one of the tiles.  We chose to only use the 3, 4, and 5 point value pattern cards as my son was not having a good day and it was easier on him, if it had been just my oldest and I or even my husband it would have been fun to include the more advanced patterns and add in the 6 and 7 points.  Each player then selects 1 card from each of the pattern cards – 3, 4, and 5 and 6 is left to draw from on the players turn if so desired – every player must have a maximum of 4 pattern cards at a time, and best of all the youngest player goes first.


The key to the game is that all tiles must be touching in some form through out the game – not by their corners but by their edges so this makes it tricky to plan your move and takes a lot of concentration in order to find and make your patterns.  The fun part is making sure the other players don’t move the tiles that you need to make your pattern!  Players can also find patterns at any time, during any other players turn so player A, B and C could all find a pattern during player A’s turn.  Once the pattern is found put the card to the side so points can be calculated at the end.  The game is finished when 3 draw decks run out AND one player matches the last card in their hand.  After that is done then points are calculated and any remaining pattern card points left in hand are deducted and the winner declared.  From start to finish the box says the game should last about half an hour, it took us a little longer as not everyone could get along during the game.


All of us really enjoyed playing this game after school one day – it was a nice break, when it was much too hot to go outside and play and it got the T.V. and video games off.  I like that you have to really think things through and be quick in regards to finding patterns on your cards.  With easy directions, fast set-up and also a couple game variations available this game makes a great one for the entire family – with all that said it makes me want to take it to our next family gathering and get a little competition going.  This is a game that will be played for a long time in our house and I can even take it along to share with friends when we visit as the box is compact and lightweight, perfect for travel.  The cards and board are sturdy and the wooden blocks are painted vibrant colors that will hold up and appeal to young and old alike.


My middle DD trying to figure out her move.



About Letter Slide:

Don’t “slide” by the letter tiles that you need. Spell as many words as you can based on the card that has been turned over. Hurry before the timer runs out!


You can find more information about the game as well as purchasing information and a video about the game at SimplyFun.  Letter Slide sells for $34.00


My Opinion:


The second game I was sent from SimplyFun through Educents was Letter Slide, which is a fun game geared towards ages 7 and up to make as many 4 letter words as you can before the timer runs out.  The game features spelling, vocabulary, consonants and vowels – great for a beginning reader or up the ante for an older reader.  The game contains four slide boards (Beary, Bubbles, Pickles and Tibbar – all very cute), 1-minute sand timer, 200 double-sided letter tiles (red are vowels, black are consonants), 87 word cards broken down into 47 first two letters and 40 last two letters, and a handy storage bag for the letter tiles.  Like the other game, this one is simple to set up and start playing quickly, which is great for children who have short attention spans and don’t want to wait while the game is set up.  Two to four players can play this game, we have five in our family so one of us helped our non-reader to make his words while the other four played and it says it takes about 20 minutes to complete one game – again, it took us a little longer.


Our game set-up.


So to begin with you make a letter lagoon with all the letter tiles in the center and in the center of them place the sand timer with the boards around the outside as well as the word cards.  There is no 1st player or 2nd player as everyone plays at the same time – a player flips a word card then the sand timer is flipped this is when the players start finding letters they need in the lagoon.  If the BA card is drawn then players start making, correct, four letter words finding the last two letters such as CK, KE, LL, GS and so until the timer runs out.  For each correct word that is made, my son tried to get some ‘fake’ words past me, the player chooses one of the two letter tiles to cover a letter space that matches on their board.  The letters not used (so if I used C, K, L, and G – I would return K, E, L and S) are returned to the lagoon in the center of the table.  The player with the most correct words at the end of that round can flip over the next word card, show it to all players and flip the timer to begin again.  The winner is the first to have all their letter spaces filled on their board.


My son playing the game.

I really liked this game, although I must admit I was at a bit of an advantage since I have a bigger vocabulary than at least two of my children.  We all enjoyed it though, and the cute illustrations on the slide boards made it delightful – reminded me of going to the water park on a hot summer day and relaxing in the lazy river.  There are two variations given for younger players (to me that means those who aren’t reading yet) – the first is to not play with the timer so they don’t feel rushed while the second variation is to sort the word cards based on whether they have the beginning or end letters and decide which set is best used for the players.  Since my son is still struggling to read this was a bit of a challenge so next time I’ll be incorporating both variations – leaving out the timer and only using the cards with the beginning letters.  I like knowing that we can have fun as a family while my son learns without realizing he is learning to read.


I must also disclose, if I turn this review in on time I will be paid a small fee, however a positive review was still not required or expected.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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