Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ammendment to Our Wedding Vows

“For better or worse, in sickness and in health…” yeah, yeah, yeah, those are all good vows but what about “In remodeling and repairs.”?

Have you ever had a major (or minor) home remodeling project? I remember when we put on our addition years ago.  I went to look at windows and the window rep told me, “Half of the couples that do a major remodel end up divorced.” (Not sure what his source was or if he’s still working there because that’s not a very good sales pitch.)

Anyway, we survived that huge project still married (to each other) so I thought it wouldn’t be so bad finishing off a bedroom in the basement.

Truthfully it hasn’t been that bad. But there are always surprises. I forgot how time-consuming it can be, making sure the workers can get in, being available to answer any questions, trying to troubleshoot any unforseen ceiling leaks! I’m trying to make everything go smooth so that when it comes time to update our kitchen I can use the “Remember how seamlessly the bedroom project went honey? Having our kitchen redone will be a piece of cake!” (I know those of you who have had a kitchen remodel are chuckling right now.)

Anyway they should be done tomorrow and we’ll get the final bill.  I plan to staple our wedding vows to the bill, so no worries.


Josh John Birthday 11 004


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Home Cookin’


Looked like this (without the meat…or the greens).

The secret is out. The other night we had mashed potatoes for dinner…as the main dish…AND it wasn’t even real mashed potatoes, it came from a box!! I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids…oh wait, that’s Scooby Doo. No, it would have been fine except that one of the kids had a friend over for dinner. I had the kid sign a waiver swearing him to secrecy but he’s a kid, the beans will spill, so I’m telling the world now. We didn’t just have mashed potatoes, there was gravy, green beans, some sliced peaches and bread. You probably won’t see the meal on Pinterest any time soon although it might show up on the There’s Frugal and then There’s Frugal blog.


My conscience is so much clearer.

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“Whatcha doin?…Can I help?”

I wonder if contractors (carpenters, plumbers, HVAC guys/gals) cringe when they find out there will be children present while they are working. We had a couple guys doing some work on our place today and the kids were all in there space, asking questions, poking around, essentially getting in the way. Everytime I shooed them out of the room another kid would get home from school and begin the interogations all over again. I know the kids are just curious and the guys that were here were very patient but I worry about inflicting unneccessary annoyance on the poor fellows.

Then again maybe the workers are use to such a thing and they just build it into the bill:

UAS Fee $125 (Underage Annoyance Surcharge)

Now that I think about it, we had to go with a new contractor on this project becasue when I contacted the last one he said he had “moved to California”. Maybe that’s code for “your kids were so in our business on our last project there is no way we would accept another project even though this a slow time of year, we’re in a recession and I just started a paper route to pay the bills.”

Just speculation.


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Manager at Kitchenville

The kids have chores. Our oldest is on Breakfast Duty (since that seems to be the only time of day he is around) and two others are on Dinner Duty. It essentially means they are responsible for making sure the dishes are all in the dishwasher, the food is put away and the counters, tables and floors are clean. At dinner the Dishes Duty person also runs the dishwasher.

I now know why we don’t have nine-year-olds working at McDonalds. Is it a focus issue? An attention to detail (or lack there of)? Maybe a game of “let’s see how little I have to work without being reprimanded.” Anyway we are several MONTHS into this new routine and I still feel like I am constantly reminding them to do things and/or do them right.

The Floors and Table person (you guessed it) cleans the floors AND table but too frequently I whip-out the coloring books and have to peel them off the syrupy table that did not get washed.

How many times have I told one of the kids that you have to rinse out the oatmeal from the cereal bowls or it will turn into cement (however this same kid will take the oatmeal cemented bowls after the dishwasher cycle is done and put them away in the cupboard).

So my latest solution is to make the kids put on an apron, and a name tag, punch-in, punch-out and have another sibling serve as the supervisor. If you don’t want your little sister to say, “Hey, you missed a spot!” then do it right the first time.

I’ve been trying to be “Publisher Clearing House Winner” excited when I catch them doing their job right but I have a hard time oozing over basic expectations. Maybe more encouragement or rewards would work to get them into the habit and then have the need for praise would trickle off.

So what are your tricks? What has worked for you? Any suggestions?


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Non-Traditional Holiday Traditions

We’re not trying to set any trends nor are we opposed to any tradtional holiday traditions but we have a habit of doing some non-traditional things for holidays.  For Martin Luther King Jr. Day we usually go bowling (How to Celebrate Civil Rights Leaders).  The week before Thanksgiving we made a gingerbread haunted house (90%-off after Halloween).

Nov 2012 020 - Copy

So for Presidents Day we went to Costco for lunch (no patriotic symbolism there, but I can feed the whole family for $9.66 at the snack bar).  Then we came home and decorated gingerbread men/women (90%-off after-Christmas, full of that much preservatives and food coloring we decided to pass on eating them).

Presidents Day 2013 006Presidents Day 2013 001Presidents Day 2013 004Presidents Day 2013 005Presidents Day 2013 007

The rest of the day was spent playing hair salon, “Zombie War” (running around chasing each other), watched the “Bee Movie” and we wrote thank you letters to our troops (sounded kind of like something one would do on Presidents Day).  Not sure which one of these activities will carry-over to next year or become a Rasmussen tradition but we had fun.  Next Holiday?  Easter.  (Decorating gingerbread Valentine hearts, of course.)


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What Goes on While I’m Blogging

I write and blog whenever I can squeeze in time.  Essentially if all is peaceful (or relatively peaceful) I will plunk down at the computer for a few minutes to write (and inevitably be interrupted a few times).  As you know, when the kids are playing quiet…too quiet…it is not a good sign… it usually means they’re up to something.  Here is what the girls decided to do yesterday while I was at the computer.

Feb 6, 2013 004

Needless to say they played for over thirty minutes so it was worth it.  I paid Lexi a dollar to clean it up so for a dollar (plus the cost of tape) I was able to get a half-hour of work done!

*Yes, I am aware my daughter is wearing shorts in the middle of winter and yes I am aware that hearts don’t go with plaids.


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Valentines Day

I spent 15 minutes making a Valentine card for the school hamster.  Who does that?  I googled “Girl Hamster” (I think the hamster at school is a boy) hoping to get a cute clip art of a hamster with a bow in her hair.  Guess what I learned from Google Images?  How to tell the difference between a girl and boy hamster based on their anatomy (there were photos).  Embrace technology and you can learn just about anything.  More than you may want to even.

Anyway, I found a cute photo, did some quick word art and made a couple cards for “Snickers” at school (from the girls…not me.)

Girl Hamster

Now that I think about it we spent more time making the Valentine card for the hamster then we did on the homemade teachers’ cards.  Teachers’ if you’re reading this that was not intentional nor representative of how much we love you and appreciate all you do (especially in comparison to the school pet)!

Now that I think about it further, I didn’t even get a card, at all, for my husband (although I did get him a gallon of his favorite ice cream and dealt with the sugar-high children all night..that’s really a special gift.)


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Future Home Organizer

I went looking for a soccer shirt today and in one of the boys’ rooms I found this:


Closet 001

So I asked myself, “Are the clothes put away”


“Is there stuff all over the room?”


“Does this count as being organized?”

“I’m not sure.”

The reason being is when I opened the second drawer (couldn’t get the top one open) I found his entire summer wardrobe jammed in there!  10 shirts and 8 pairs of shorts!  Can you believe all those clothes fit in one drawer?  So this is either a wonderfully marketable skill for a future job in home organizing for people living in small spaces (think of the market in Hong Kong alone!) or a teachable moment for the proper way to “put your clothes away”.

All those socks that I thought disappeared in the wash?…They’re in the top drawer.  I’ll try to get that open tomorrow.


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The “Not-so-slippery” Nose

This morning Callie came up to me looking drowsy and sounding all stuffed-up.  “Mom, my nose is…not-so-slippery.” 

That’s a good way to describe a stuffy nose!


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Fun Activities to Do with your Preschooler

I know you are always looking for new ideas of how to spend quality time with your preschooler.  Here are a few things I like to do with my girls (twins that are almost 5).  The first activity is that I hang-up all the towels in the bathroom:Image

Then I go about my day, check my e-mail, do some vacuuming then I walk by the bathroom again and see this:


ImageThen I ask a really tricky question, “GIRLS! Did you pull down all the towels?”

That not was me!”  They each chime in.

That’s the game!  You can play it multiple times a day.

There are many variations on this “game” you and your preschooler can enjoy.  

You can fold laundry on the coffee table, go use the bathroom and come back to find all the socks on the floor.

You can put all your kids clothes away in their closet and come back later to find all the once-folded clothes all over the floor (they had to find their yellow Dora shirt).

You can put all the dollhouse furniture back in the dollhouse with the refridgerator actuallly in the kitchen and then come back and find it is moving day AGAIN and the doll family is living under the bed (with all their furniture and 8 dogs).

The possibilities are endless!!  

What activities do you enjoy to do with your preschooler?




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