It’s getting cut throat around here…

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“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is in full swing.

The following is another simple, great addition to your holiday wish list…

I hope it finds its way into your home.

You’re about to see what a cutthroat dynamic addition it’s been to ours…

Please remember, if you will, that I live in a house full of men…

Even the pets are male.

Go figure.

Aside from my own mother, God bless her very existence, there is nary another female in sight…

The competition at times is stifling.

There is no such thing as a “friendly” game of anything…

Please don’t misunderstand…

For the most part, Sons #1-#5 are great sports…

But there is only so much you can do with an environment that is constantly dominated by males.

May I draw your attention to an addition to our continuous and constant educational pursuits that is a tremendous asset?

Behold… “Potty Points”…


It has a nice ring to it, does it not?

I must give full credit for this idea to two individuals…

my friend, Jeanne Bradley, and Bill Gates…

I’ll explain another time about Bill…I promise.

The concept is a fabulous one…

You post a simple white board in a space that is susceptible to “useless down time”…

or “potentially productive time” that is otherwise “wasted.”

I don’t think that I need to elaborate any further for you where ours is located…

On this board, you converse with family and friends…

or in our case, anyone that happens by, in need of a restroom.

I post photos and memorabilia…

topics related to what we are currently studying…

“Love notes” to Sons #1-#5…

(I’m quick to admit that they don’t necessarily see them that way)…

It is great for ongoing conversations…

Educational reinforcement…


Slipping pop cultural references into our studies…

kindly see lower right corner of this photo ;0/

Poor, poor “Office” obsessed childI’m praying for you.

( I actually found it quite clever and hysterically funnydon’t tell Son #1.)

In keeping with the spirit of the season

I decided that we would engage in simple word derivatives/word formulation activities,

so I posted this…

a seemingly simple word game...HAH! The question was:

How many different words can you make out of Merry Christmas!

For the remainder of this post,

my personal thoughts are italicized for the sake of ease and clarification for the reader…

I’m just reporting this as it happened

and continues to happen.

I started the game with several words…

Others chimed right in…

“Hmm, this is fun…a nice respite to the often heady nature of this board.”

Day #2: I came in to this message about a third of the way down row #2

“Nice try, Madre…you thief!  Please ‘thank God for the effort to be polite here‘ see #15 and delete #38.”

Later that evening, my husband comes to me where I am deeply engrossed in reading.

“May I speak to you?” “Uh oh…what’s Son ( fill in a number here) done?” “Is it bad?”  “Are stitches needed?”

“It seems that you have overlooked a rule in the word formation game.” That’s it?!?!

Good grief!

“You can’t use a letter more than once if it’s only in the word(s) once, you know.

I think that word #32 is your writing.

Can you change that asap?

“Good Lord, you’ve got to be kidding…this was supposed to be a FUN activity!”

Enter Son #5 who doesn’t yet read beyond simple words…

“Can you come to the bathroom with me?”

He points to the board and says, ” I would like to add the word myrrh to the list.  And please put an initial behind it for my name. I want people to know I did it.”

“Myrrh?!?” Hmm…am I spelling this correctly? Can it be that Dr. Raymond Moore and Dr.Oliver DeMille are indeed, correct??!?…that if I “leave a child to learn naturally, they are fully capable through a third grade education?!” That if I “inspire don’t require” it all works out in the end?!?!?

Son #2’s initial contribution?: Cher.

He, along with #1, needs serious intervention measures.

This morning at 1:00 a.m. …

It’s “hero hubby” again…

“Do you know who is using double letters that don’t exist in the phrase?!?” Word #s 75,76,and 77 are all infractions.”

“For the love of everything moral and decent! Do you know what TIME IT IS?!?!”

Followed by…

Son #2: “Psst…Mom!” ( urgent whisper)

“Do you think we could move to a holiday phrase or song title next?”

“That’s IT! Where’s the eraser?!…

Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating!..


do Driedle games ever resort to this?!

Postscript: Son #5 has contributed 5 words as of this post…the last of which was “mime.” I’m seriously following up on the reading claim..

I mean it.


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  1. 1
    Debbie says:

    Teri, I have tears running down my eyes!! I don’t know if it is because I’m laughing so hard or because fear of repricussions from leadership education. I do enjoy uninterrupted sleep. That’s GREAT!

  2. 2
    cherylyn klemens says:

    I don’t quite know how to say this, but I don’t think the word “Cher” is a complete surprise to anyone who has met you – just sayin…….

  3. 3
    Christy says:

    I am dying laughing over here- and I am sooo excited to start this at our house. We have a chalk board that was donated by our good friend Tammie that is just PERFECT. Ours is in the kitchen – but I like where yours is 😉 I may have to try that.

  4. 4
    Joelle says:

    I loved this post! I am going out to get an eraser board for the bathroom. I was going to put a copy of The Declaration of Independence but this is much more interactive. I’m thinking about putting an eraser board in the car and in their shower (hmmm, don’t know if dry erase pens like water). Maybe some butcher paper to wallpaper their walls and a pack of pens. You’ve inspired me!
    I would love to get a more front-on photo of the eraser board with the Christmas Word List. I couldn’t read some of the entries that you referenced in your blog.

    Love you!


  5. 5
    Tiffany says:

    I love this idea! And your life sounds charming…

  6. 6
    Jannah says:

    This is a fabulous idea! I have to do it! How great! I just wish I was past the little people age so we could use real expos without the walls also receiving decoration!

    Teri Reply:
    December 15th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    @jannah: Been there, done that! However, you could HELP with the markers and then put them away…this is a training, reinforcement, identity building time in your life!
    Translates to: high maintenance, high maintenance, high maintenance…again, I’ve been where you are! Taking the time to do this now, insures a later buy in and strengthens family identity and resolve. It is SOOOO WORTH IT! See Festival of the Trees posts 1 and 2 for further inspiration…and as hard as it is, resist the temptation
    to be “done with” ANY stage…Live in the Here and Now and savor it all…it will pass very, very quickly! XO, Teri ;0)

  7. 7
    Amber Snow says:

    Love it Teri! We have bulletin boards in our rooms now. I will quickly change them to dry erase as I see distinct advantages! lovies,

  8. 8
    Erika Lundquist says:

    Teri… What a great idea! Thanks for sharing in your very humorous way. I have a favor to ask….would you consider sharing an experience in which doing TJed in your home has allowed your kids to reach epiphanies for themselves (both big (i.e. life mission) and small (i.e wow, that’s how that works). I would really appreciate it. Thanks for all you do.

    :) Erika

    Teri Reply:
    December 15th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    @Erika: I will do my best to accommodate you, madam! ;0) Those were great questions…let me mull them over for a bit. ~ Teri ;0)

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