In the last couple weeks or so we have received over a foot of snow here in Alaska.  The trend of snow will probably continue until April.  My husband is a wonderful man who takes care of snow removal.  My husband will soon be in the Middle East making it hard for him to remove the snow from my driveway here in Alaska.  This presents me with a problem.  I hadn’t worried about it too much because everywhere else I have lived there have been enterprising, young people who showed up at my doorstep after snows.  I was able to pay these enterprising, young people and the snow would disappear.  But it’s been snowing for two weeks and no one has knocked on my door yet.  I don’t think it is a lack of enterprising, young people, but that we live in Alaska.  And our neighborhood is made of Alaskans.  And as Alaskan as I claim and want to be I do not have one particular Alaskan quality (Chase does have this quality, in case you wondered).  And that quality of which I speak, why pay someone to do something that you are perfectly capable of doing yourself.  I saw it over the summer with all the men taking care of their own lawns.  (A problem I will have to tackle come summer).  Men worked on cars in driveways.  This is the wrong location for a snow shoveling (or more likely blowing) business.  Bummer, it looks like I may have to learn how to use the snow blower.

Wait, I have an enterprising, young person.  I have a son who is always thinking of ways to make a quick buck.  From lemonade stands to trying to sell artwork, he’s always trying to figure out how to obtain more cash.  Now, I knew snow-blowing might be a hard sell, he has admitted to not wanting to work for the money, he’s in the market for a scheme.  And after having the snow blower blow the snow back into his face while learning how to use the blower, it looked as if I may have to suck it up and take care of it myself.  But I thought I’d try one last attempt to get him behind the idea.  So I gave him my offer, a flat weekly rate of $10.  It wasn’t the $20 he had been gunning for, and he was a little sceptical.  So I brought out my calender and starting adding up the money for each week until mid-April when I hope it will no longer be snowing.  At least 19 weeks of earning $10 a week.  Nearly $200 opened his eyes wide as he began to think of possibilities.  It also made me think a minute, was snow removal worth it? Haha, who am I kidding? It’s so worth it to me.  Then I told him if he did a good job he could keep doing it after his dad got back and keep earning the $10 a week for as many winters that we live in Alaska.  And I told him that could add up.  If we live here until he’s 16 (not exactly likely, but not impossible either) that’s 7 years of $200 a year, or $1400.  That could go to a car.  So we got on Craig’s List and he found a Mustang for $2500.  Then I told him about our version of the 401Dave plan.  Dave Ramsey told his children he would match every dollar they saved for a car.  He also told of his son looking at Lamborghini’s.  Chase and I weren’t quite going there.  But we did decide that we will match up to $1000 for each child’s first car.  This put Xavier at a possible $2400.  He got excited then.  He was going to master snow-blowing so that he could earn his car.  Then he asked if he could get paid to do laundry.  Now, I complain about laundry all the time, but I am also so very picky about how it gets done.  Plus, I’m not letting my kids handle my umm…delicates.  So I’d only let him do his own clothes and I’m not paying for that.  But I would pay good money for someone to vacuum every week.  He’s down with that idea.  This got me to thinking, what chores could I pay Austin to do?  My house may just sparkle yet, thanks to child labor.

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