Friday, February 27, 2015

Slow cooked to perfection!

    Are we the modern wife of fast and easy or do you get filled with the joy of putting together a extravagant well planned meal?  As I dig deeper into Proverbs 31:14 my convictions came rolling up.  Meals  I am so the modern wife that would love to order out every day.  I am not sure about you but I hate the dishes!!
    In my studying up on this verse I was reading a few articles and the Let God Be True was a perspective I had not thought of before.  I thought of a wife that went out much like in verse 13 that watched how she spent the money and watched her budget.  Reading this article I was convicted with being a wife that holds joy in keeping a house and not needing material wants.  I have to admit this was very convicting to the point I was not sure I wanted to post on this verse.  My love language is not acts of service I am a quality time and words of affirmation person.  With that said to make a meal and have nagging children refuse to eat it after working hours on it doesn't bring me much joy.  I would much rather have a game day with pizza and games with my family.  Does this mean I am not biblical or doomed I don't think so.  This verse can be taken in some many ways but to me it is doing what makes your husband feel that his needs are met with the foods you provided him with.
    I do feel that it is important to make sure I try to cook as healthy as possible and this is why we try to do as much food from scratch as possible in my baking.  I LOVE MY CROCKPOT!!  If you come to my house there is a 75% chance the main part of the meal comes out of the crockpot.  This allows me to have time with my family, work and still get good food for supper.  Plus it is minimal cleaning if I only have one pot to clean up after.   We do have some premixed  mixes made at home to make homemade quick meals.  I am working on getting homemade hamburger helper mixes as well my kids love these basic recipes. I also do a lot of freezer meals as a working mom and a crockpot lover this works wonders for me and one day I can make a mess browning hamburger and mixing bowls then I don't have to dirty that much through out the weeks to come.  I try to get two meals a week done and put in the freezer the second Saturday of the month. This doesn't get done that often but this would be what I try to do. I can't come here today and tell you that I do any of this perfect but I hope that you gain hope in knowing that you are not alone in imperfections of life's busyness.  May God have us in his crockpot to make us perfect sometimes we may be on high and others he will allow the low heat on us.

Dear Lord,
Today I ask that you help me be a wife that honors who you made me to be by serving my family in the best way I know how. Lord help me to feel the convictions you give me and help me want to change to be the wife you want me to be.  Help me to plan my day with my priorities in your line of importance. Lord help fill me with your spirit that I may have eyes to see what you want done each day.
In Jesus Name Truly Truly Amen,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Budgeting is the Proverbs 31:13 in our modern day!

   Not many of us work with wool and flex anymore but we do have other ways of making sure we have clothing for our family.  Each of us has a different way of doing this but this post is mainly about my clothing budget.  I hope you can see how clothing can be bought on a very minimum budget when necessary.
   On my One Wife's Walk blog I have some more on our family budget.  I am going to take that one step deeper on the clothing aspect of that budget here.  First of all our kids get up to $6 a week each for allowance a portion of that goes to savings 10%, tithing10%, clothing 40%(until they have $100 than it can go to the following) treats/food 20% fun 20%.  They will buy the clothing they want out of that fund. Our oldest loves the thrift stores, our second child gets her  cloths from her older sister and our son inharets is older cousins clothes so each of the kids could get by without spending anything on clothes if they want to.  They get necessities from christmas and birthdays like socks and undergarments.
    My husband gets his clothing restocked in the summer.   I will get him 2-3 new pairs of jeans and a few T-shirts for good socks and any other necessities.  His old good clothing then becomes work clothes for the harvest season and through the year.
    I have a casual/dress dress-code for work.  HOW DO I DO THIS ON $100/yr!  I get my slacks and tops at the local thrift or consignment  shop where I find almost new clothes all the time I got a sweater with the tag still on that said $50 for $5 or $6. Our consignment shop has three dates each followed with a price on them starting usually with a month or two from drop off than a few months from that down to about 6 months from drop off and if I find one with the last date that is 2-3months old it is usually down even farther.  I purchase my clothes at the lowest price they will give I never buy the top two price on the tag.  My shoes I will buy there also if I can find them but I have a harder time being I have big feet.  If I order shoes it is usually a BOGO sale.  
  This takes extra planning and making sure when I purchase something it will be able to mix and match with different clothes and seasons.  We also wear our clothes out.  I have a pair of pants I have had for 15years WOW thats crazy but I know I had them for an event in high school and wear them to work last week.  My husband still wears the shirt he wore on our first date one and a great while if he is getting really dressed up.  The kids clothes we pass on because most of it we get for free so we give back by handing them to the next family to wear.
   I will admit I am not the best at staying on top of laundry or house work and I don't keep busy hands as much as I should or in the way some might think I should but I hope to please God and my husband by being the best stewed of what they have given me each day.  Please feel free to leave your comments below to help share Ideas of how we can pick out the best wool and flex for our families.

Dear Lord Help us to make sure we are using all you have given us to the best of our abilities. Help us as wives to make sure we do not foolishly impulse buy clothing that is unnecessary and not helpful to the bettering of our family.  Help us to keep what we have in proper working fashion each day to the best of our abilities as well. Lord use others to teach us how we can make the most of what you give us each day.
In Jesus name Truly Truly Amen.


It's all about the budget!

  Let's talk money!
    This used to be my most dreaded thing in adult life. We have now been doing the cash envelope system from Dave Ramsey for the past three months. In this time I have learned so much about what we have been doing with our money.
 Our budget for the month looks something like this.


WOW yes that's what I said too but here we will look at how we stay on budget.
Clothing is one that I really love to do it's a fun challenge. I have learned that if I buy my clothes at the consignment shop or thrift stores. I have learned that our local consignment has three dates and each one has a price with it. Along with that if the last date is a month or more out there is additional savings.  Our kids clothes come out of their allowance which has made our house run much more smooth with the kids all having jobs to do.  Even if it is just the cat and dog and their rooms.  They have a mother chart to fill in for extra chores they do around the house.  They have 5 categories they put their allowance in each week savings, tithing, clothes, food/treats, and Fun (toys or extra activities )  Our budget works out to be $150 for me a year and 150 for my husbands clothes a year and $300 for outer wear which I rotate who needs new outer wear each year.  So My Husband got new snow stuff this year next year the kids will and I will the following year.  We also get hand me downs here along with some great thrift store finds as much as possible.
 Food is a huge part of our house hold budget that runs smooth if I have the planning put into it like I should.  I run a menu plan that goes Crockpot or campfire/BBQ grill Sunday, beef on Monday, Chicken Tuesday, Breakfast Wednesday, Pork on Thursday, Friday pizza, Saturday is soup in the winter and make your own/leftovers in the summer.   We get about 75% of our beef homegrown and split two pigs with the neighbors so that is all the pork we need for a year.  I would love to get garden produce so we are working on plans for a garden at our house this summer. (I head one at our old house)  I am learning to coupon slowly and that is helping out too.  I buy my flour and oatmeal in bulk and any other dry baking goods possible from Country Life Natural Foods. I will store it in totes in my pantry and make premixed pancake and waffle mix to save on these Items from the store.  I like to get produce from Bountiful Basket if possible in our schedule.  I get coconut oil from Bountiful Baskets whenever it is available. I use the jars from it to store bulk backing goods in after too.
 Our mortgage is a 5yr loan and we have it only taken out of my check so the $920 is put in savings for the year.  Part of the $920 is pulled out each month but because I only work 9 months we budgeted that to be covered by my income and thats all I work for.   Once that is done I can retire right? :)   Fuel for our vehicles is one area that we have to keep track of as well as we try to make sure we are not on the road more than we need to each day.
   The rest of the Budget is our monthly bills or money we move to savings for annual, by annual or quarterly bills.
   If you have any questions on this please feel free to ask. If you have any of your own advice please feel free to share it in a comment below.




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Do we honor him?

   I truly think for me verses 11,12 & 23 are the hardest to keep on top of as a Proverbs 31 Wife.  In a society that doesn't speak well of men this is easy to get caught up in each day I have to think about what I am doing to bring good and not harm to my husband.  
   I now work outside the home and this brings on new challenges.   Will I be God honoring each day?  The same goes for in the house.  Am I someone I want my girls to be as they grow up to be wives?  Not at this point but I am working on it each day.  I struggle to keep up on someday to day things due to my own thoughts and perceptions on how my life should be.  I wanted to be my husbands princess not a helpmate. I am learning that I was brought up with a societal view not a biblical view.

  What does it mean to truly be the wife my husband needs me to be?  I must hold high the ability to guard against negative thoughts toward him.  If I can hold my thoughts in a positive place where does my heart and tongue go, they fallow on my thoughts.  I have struggled with my husband being gone 6-12 weeks a year each summer through fall with this my mind takes control of my tongue and heart I find myself quickly sliding into the lonely corners of my depression.  I am learning with the help of others that the holy spirit is the only thing that can truly put my thoughts where they should be  and that is on how blessed I am to have an amazing husband that works hard for our family.  I still struggle with his work taking him away but I have to remember that he doesn't make me who I am. That is all on my shoulders so that I can rely on God and not my husband.  I do have to stay very Christ centered in the months he is gone in order to stay worthy of him feeling that I bring him good each day. I can choose to be the nagging wife in Proverbs that is like the dripping water that drives him crazy if I don't watch myself. 

   This past fall was the worst of it and I was at a complete melting point. I felt as if his work was pulling our marriage and family apart we have since put some plans in place to help us stay connected in his busy  seasons. If we as a couple don't communicate with each other on a even tone we find that we are not honoring each other or God. Our first role as a wife is to honor God then our spouse, yes there are times I will have to make a choice of which one it will be. Although I struggle with this all day as we all do I must remember that each day is new with new mercies for each of us.

Dear Lord, I thank you for the mercy you bring to me each day that I can start fresh with my service to you.  I look at each new day as a gift you have given me to minister to my husband and family in only a way that I can with your help and loving hand in my life.  Lord I pray today that you touch my home and those I am with, with your love for them. 
In Jesus name Truly Truly Amen, 



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Organizing my Day :)

   Saturday is a huge day for me in my organization and planning.   This week has more than usual knowing that we have company coming next weekend the final Saturday of February.   Lets take a look at what I have in-store for today!
  I set up my daily plan in two types The days I work and the days I am home. From scatteredsquirrel.com I filled it in with what I wanted added to it and here is what I got!

This is how my day typically looks if  know something is going to happen I will note it in the notes.  When I added this to my Day Runner I printed it in B&W cut them, laminated them back to back and three hole punched them and stuck it in my today section. That way if I am not sure what I should be doing then I can just flip it open and see,  I also laminated it and posted it on the fridge.  Remember: I am just starting this plan so I still need reminders everywhere to keep me on task.

 
 In my planning for today I have to think about the whole month of March. March may be thrown off some with our first family vacation on the cash budget.  I have the trip itemized out on paper but that means that I have a lot more food prep with trying to do homemade traveling snacks.   I am looking at doing that in my posts the first week of March.

   I am looking at my menu plan for the month using a meal planning template  I didn't want anything detailed here as I usually only plan the meals we are home for.   I cropped it down to just the image, printed it two to a page and laminated one of them to the front of my grocery list then I added it to put in my menu part of my planner.

   Today during my down time with the kids we made donut muffins!


    I love the Fly Lady but feel overwhelmed by her a lot of the time so I took her ideas and try to incorporate what she has to offer to my planner as well as you can see above in the daily plan that I try to shine my sink daily and get dressed from head to toe every day.  I also keep my bible study sheets in the today section these are one of the few things in my planner not laminated for easy permanent writing in.   These are simple things that make me a better wife and not forget to drink water (I am sipping on a pop) But days I have pop I try to drink three times as much water at a minimum.

Happy organizing will make your walk as a wife a lot easier.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Trust Worthy Not Perfection

    He has total trust in me. Oh my can it really be?  I struggled with this for a very long time. I really didn't want all that it meant.  My husband felt just fine when he left me with the kids and the house as he traveled each year for harvest. In 2009 this was an extremely hard place for me to be as the harvesting  season kept him from home for 123 days but who was counting right?
   For me every new challenge that came in that year I would cry out to God saying," Why are you teaching me this!" I remember having the fear of what was to come with the new skills I was forced
 to learn that year.  We have all been in a place of fear before.  It may be just not knowing directions to somewhere you need to get or fear of not knowing how a job interview will go. All these fears are only because we carry the load alone, we forget that God is more than in control of every step in our life.

   My husband kept telling me it was ok he had 100% confidence in me in 2009.  Without that I would have struggled even more that year.  I still don't know the purpose of all the Lord had taught me in that year other than I am more capable than I ever thought I could be.
  This year I am working on renewing my own knowledge that I am capable to do whatever lays ahead of me as long as I remember that God is my strength and courage.  When I feel no one else thinks I should have to, or that they could never make it in my situation. I realize that this is the life God gave me as a wife to strengthen my walk with him. 
  We all have things that we are to do to make ourselves trust worthy towards our spouse each household is different; my husband likes to know that I can stick to our budget and that we have food on the table that is eatable (I cook but am not a chef). He prefers our house be livable(I am not a maid) yes, he has learned to be very basic with me as a wife. 
  Remember you don't need to be perfect for your husband to feel 100% confident in you.  I didn't always believe him when I felt so beat down by my mind or Satan's whispers in my ear.  We as woman put our expectations so high but God and our husbands just need use to be trust worthy with what they give us.

Dear Lord,
I thank you for all you give me to do today; that I can use it to honor my husband in the way you long for me to do.  Lord I have not always remembered to serve you by serving my husband so help me to see what actions I can do to serve you and my husband today and in the days to come. 
In your son Jesus Christ Truly Truly Amen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

MY DAY RUNNER!




OK so It's time to look at my Day Runner :) I put it all together and I love the way it turned out so here we go! Remember I am trying to be as budget wise as possible and that is one reason I am doing the Planner.

  I used My favorite scrapbook paper cut to size on my paper cutter (I have had since 2003 that I got at Walmart then). Take any colorful pens that kinda matched the paper I used.  You could use a Laminator that holds Scotch-Thermal-Laminating-100-Pack like the one I borrowed from my neighbor.  (she has a lot of cool gadgets I don't have yet!) and a three ring hole punch that you can just the hole punches on because planners all come with different hole punches.  My third hole punch was not working so I had to punch the top and middle flip it over and line up the middle and punch the bottom hole whail repenting the middle hole I need a new three hole punch.
 I did dividers with categories I chose and wrote on the tabs before I laminated the dividers. My Today section which at this point only has my daily bible study notes in it because I want to laminate my today to do list sheet but I am not sure what PDF I have that I want to use on it!  Then I have GOALS  this one is at the front because it is a reminder that I want to see often It has my 1yr, 5yr and 10yr goals I made with my husband that is a key part of how all this became about.  Then I have a weekly planning section that I have a place for each of the other members in the families activities and a menu for each day.  My monthly section at this point are the basic monthly pages that came with the day planner that I look at to fill out the weekly planner part. I already put our March family trip in the February section. I guess I was just excited to go somewhere warm.  My yearly section has a page that I list out all of our family birthdays and anniversaries on so that I can plug them into the monthly plans.  This all sounds very repetitive but it has really helped me stay on top of life the last few months.  I also have a laminated version of the years calendar so that I can quick glance to see what days weddings may fall if I have bookings and cross off the days I have booked for family or work.  

     The budget part of the planner has become one of my favorite things the past few months. I look at it as a challenge and game I have to try to win in the days each month allows or a puzzle of money to put together and I will look at how I have been doing that in a future post. The Menu has been another great section I love I have a list of our families favorite meals decided into Beef, Pork, Chicken, Soups, Lunch foods, and Breakfast this makes menu planning easy as I try to do one night of each meat and a soup Saturday or Sunday. Friday is usually Pizza other than on days that got crazy like today so I will switch tonight and Friday nights meals.  The kids and I eat at school for Lunch and my husband has the left overs or sandwiches for his lunch at work.

Worth More Then Jewels

    There are many days I don't feel like I am worth much more than an agate to my husband. But then lets look at what this passage meant back in biblical times.  In the Jewish culture of that time women were looked at with very low value. They were not trusted to be in charge of any financial decisions.  Let alone valued as a prized gem! 
 In some translations of this passage it is described that she is the value of rubies. Me not being a jewelry girl I took some time researching the value of a fine ruby. Yes I have seen the lists of all the jobs a mom does and how underpaid a stay at home mom is but that's not even close to the price of some of the rubies I looked at.  To think I can be of that value to my husband is amazing.
    I think back over my 12.5 years of marriage and think of times that I felt like I might live up to being a tiny speck of a jewel but then there are times I felt like nothing more than dust off the fan blade in the living room that should have been cleaned months ago. But then there are times that I feel like God has given me the ability to be the wife my husband looks at and thinks I am a Jewel!  
    Over the next few weeks I want to dissect the Proverbs 31 Woman for me to know the true value  God wants me to have as a wife and to put aside the negative value society puts on a biblical wife.  I hope to grow in my ability to be the wife God longs for me to be and that my husband desires of me so come along and walk through Proverbs 31 with me. 

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY!
      Lord help us wives to come to know the awesome worth you put on us and Lord help us not to feel overwhelmed by the roles you have given us but to feel blessed to serve you and our families as you want us to. Lord I thank you for each person reading this today that you bless their home with your loving arms and peace as we dig deeper into in to the Proverbs 31 woman. 
In your son Jesus Christ Truly Truly Amen.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

What Christ has taught!

 In the past three months I have been touched again by what the lord has asked of me as I look into being a better wife and mom I realize it comes to my walk with him and who he is!

In Adult Sunday school we were doing Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover and God really spoke to me in how I managed the money my husband works hard to earn. With that we are working on the cash envelope system and I talk more about that in a post on my new blog that I am moving to as the less personal and less on my photography but helpful to wives to keep things organized and on the task together. The new blog is found at honestyofawife!  I also have my goals for the year there I hope to keep this one up to date and link the two together as I take this walk.

  The past few weeks we started a new bible study by Kyle Idleman this has been digging deep as I try to keep up on my daily homework to keep my head in the game of life with real christ centered teaching day to day.  This is a huge struggle but I find that each day I do it is easier and my day is more Christ centered and less me centered.  In the past few months I have also had great council on my role as a Christ centered wife do I do it daily no I often stumble but I get up each morning with a new grace from God on life that only he can give.

  Where do you struggle and want to run from?
   
      I was on the verge of starting over on everything I felt so overwhelmed with all that was on my plate this past fall.  Finically we didn't have a plan so I would emotionally spend and then I would get mad because we didn't have the funds that I wanted and God provided the class I needed.  Then we got the budget inline. When I lest expected God said you are walking on the heals of everyone else's faith.  He moved my closest friend to a church an hour away from me (yes I cried) not just because I would miss her but I knew God had something big to work on in my life.  Now I sit here and think if I would have ran from what I was running from I would have missed the growth he has for me that is just beginning and has a long way to go.

Starting Over Again

   I am not an organized person nor am I one that loves to keep a clean house but over the past 12.5yrs. I have realized this is something my husband needs me to do.  In the past few months I have been trying to reboot and become more organized and hope that that will lead to a cleaner home in the long run.   I look into blogging to help me be accountable to both myself and my followers.

  My top three goals for February 2015:
  1. Start a blog on household management to better my marriage.
  2. Continue staying on my cash envelope budget plan.
  3. Make a planner to help me stay on top of life.

  So to start the blog I have been reading on blogging here is My first read on blogging!  I love to get informed and there are so many places to read on this topic so check out some of my favorite spots. I will list my favorites at the bottom of this post. I chose Blogger over other sites for my blog because of the ease of it I have a personal blog on blogger that I have posted on and off on for years.  I like to stick with what is simple and familiar to me. If I am going to take time out of my life as a wife mom and full-time paraprofessional I need a place that is quick and easy.

   OH HOW I LOVE MY CASH ENVELOPE SYSTEM!! We recently did the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and we have done this before but it is much more near and dear to our life style now.  We just purchased a fixer up house and we were not following the Dave Ramsey budget but now that we have we put the updates on hold for a while and started back at the Total Money Makeover I do a budget review each week to make sure we are on track.  We have been on the budget for the past three months and it is working well.  I was so blessed with a daughter that can sew and she made me a Budget envelope wallet and it makes it so doable compared to the paper ones that fell apart right away.  Here is the pattern she used to make my envelope wallet!

  Organizing my life is a huge goal for the year of 2015!! This is going to be the most difficult of the three for me because that means there will be a daily commitment to follow through on this.  If I am going to be 100% honest I struggle with accountability to myself. I know that it will come with great rewards but It seems so hard to follow through on every day.
  The first step I took on this was looking through apps for my phone in this technological world I wanted to have it all at my fingertips to work on whenever I wanted.  I tried about 10 different apps but I did't like any of them for my purpose.  I looked online and found the home binder system and loved it for a month!  I wanted to work on it on my break at work and it was so big and bulky so I am currently waiting for my Day-Runner to come on Monday.  Then I can set it all up but I spent a part of the day yesterday laminating my devisors and thepages I wanted laminated.  Thanks to my great neighbor for loaning me her laminator.  I will be following up with posts on my Day Runner next week when I have it all put together to show the step by step of how it is done.

 My other goals for 2015 are to build my wedding photography business and learn to coupon. I will touch more on these subjects but for the month of February I will focus on the three I am targeting this month! Hope that I can be open an honest with my struggles and we can learn together what works and what doesn't work so please feel free to leave your comments below so that we can grow together to be the best wives and homemakers possible!