A Proverbs 31 Wife | Practical Homemaking For Real Women
Hello, my name is Kendra. I am married to an amazing young man named Jason, and together we have a small son. Here at A Proverbs 31 Wife you will find posts on homemaking, natural living, marriage and motherhood. My goal is to uplift and inspire Christian wives and Mothers.
With the holidays over and the new year fully settled in, perhaps you are looking at your finances and seeing a need for creating a personalized budget. You know what hasn’t worked in the past but you still feel the need for something to help you reach your financial goals.
Let’s talk about Creating a Personalized Budget that works for you.
I have a question for you. Do you know how much you spend on average a month for food, gas, clothes and disposable paper products? Could you tell me what your average monthly income is? Many people cannot, because they do not know.
Everywhere, people are in debt. College loans, credit card debt, tax debt, medical expenses and house mortgages can really eat up a paycheck. Leaving one with nothing to live on, creating more credit card debt.
My honest belief is that no one can get out of debt or remain debt free without a plan. That plan involves knowing where you are in your financial situation.
I don’t have a traditional budget. It wouldn’t work for us, but here’s what DOES’S work: We track our income and our spending. At any given time, I can log in, enter my last receipts and deposits and know exactly how we stand financially.
Food related spending for example:
We buy our meat directly from farmers and enough at one time to last us a year. In the spring/summer we have a garden so we aren’t spending so much on fresh foods. So some months our grocery category shows that we spent a lot, and other months show a nice low number.
At the end of each year I can pull up a chart that shows me exactly how much we spent on food for the year, and it shows how much we spent eating out as well. Here’s a year end report for food spending.
Because we track our spending, it’s easy to see where the money is going. Perhaps we are consistently ending the month in the red, I will go into my Quicken account and see which categories we are spending money in.
Maybe we’ve been spending $75 or more eating out those past few months, so we can see that eating at home more will help. Same goes for clothes, household stuff and anything else we are spending money on.
I can look at my charts and know that money will be tight this month due to (insert anything that could cause it) and I know to put big things on hold. Other months I look at our charts and Jason and I will decide that this is the month we will fix the car (or anything big that’s been needing done).
Each month I have our bank set up to automatically transfer x amount of dollars to our savings. This is automated in my system and never shows up as money to spend but rather money already spent (just like our bills). This helps keep our savings growing because sometimes we need it for big uh-oh’s or repairs.
In the past I would send any extra money from the month into the savings as well. But, we created a plan to pay off our house as soon as possible, and since interest charged is far more than interest earned, we decided that any extra that we have at the end of the month needs to go towards the house instead of savings.
Budgeting Styles: Start Creating a Personalized Budget
Anyone can budget. You can follow a program to the letter, or you can look at different budgeting styles and create one that works for you.
You can create your own budgeting style by doing the following:
Get all of your financial info in one place.
Decide how you will track both your income and your expenses.
Learn where your money goes each month.
Create a plan for those goals.
The most important thing when considering budgeting styles is to consider how your brain works. If you are “hands on”, envelopes may work better. If you love numbers, spread sheets may work better. If goal keeping is hard for you, set up a rewards system.
Remember, there is no one budget style that is better than another. The best budgeting styles are the ones that work for you!
Budgeting is how you can achieve your dreams. No matter what your dreams are, I truly believe that they can be possible. Know your money, set your goals and achieve them. Nothing worth having ever came easy, but it will come if you plan for it.
Food Trucks are a huge hit around here. They pop up at festivals, attend rally’s and cook offs, enter competitions and fill the bellies of those looking for unique dishes. I was introduced to pulled pork street tacos last summer at one such rally, and fell a bit in love!
To clarify, I wanted pulled pork and figured the food truck I was waiting in line for could provide the meat I was craving. I planned to play it safe and order a sandwich but my brain had other plans.
The “order-taker” asked me what I wanted just when my eyes landed on the photo ad for pulled pork street tacos and that’s exactly what I ordered! Then she asked me what toppings I wanted.
Thoroughly flustered at having flubbed and said the wrong thing and not wanting to change now since there was a huge line, I just said “everything” and hoped for the best.
While waiting for my pulled pork street tacos to be prepared, I decided to look at that evil ad (after all, it did trick me into ordering something I didn’t intend too) and see exactly what I was getting.
It all looked okay except for the coleslaw. I DON’T like coleslaw. Not one bit!
“Oh well, if it’s too horrible, I’ll just pick it off”.
So I stood there waiting on my food, I could smell so many…. good smells! My stomach was rumbling, and when my tray was served up, I dug in!
They were delicious! The coleslaw was a totally different flavor tucked in with the sweet and smoky pork, the spicy salsa and the creamy cheese. Talk about a party in your mouth!
Now it’s kind of my thing. If I’m selling Norwex at an event and there’s a truck selling pulled pork street tacos or nachos, that’s my lunch!
Of course, food trucks aren’t exactly known for being healthy or good for you, but why couldn’t I create my own Pulled Pork Street Tacos? Of course, they are more like “pulled pork kitchen stove tacos” if you make them at home, but let’s not finagle over the name, okay?
Turns out Pulled Pork Street Tacos are easy to make! So here’s the recipe for you!
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerIsForSavings #CollectiveBias #WFM1
Not much is worse than hearing a “sploosh” and looking over to see your phone going swimming. While the obvious answer is to simply keep the phone away from water, that’s easier said than done.
Just a few months ago, I bought a new phone on my Walmart Family Mobile monthly plan. It was time for an upgrade and my tax refund was put to good use. Unfortunately I forgot I had kids, and when the oh so helpful sales rep offered the $20 protection plan I said no.
Too bad for me. I enjoyed my new phone for all of 2 months before my oldest dropped it in saltwater. I’m guessing it fried instantly, as it never turned back on for me.
This summer, don’t let a drowned phone ruin your summer fun.
I plan to be around water a good deal this summer and most of the time a zip-lock freezer bag is enough to keep my phone water proof. However, if my phone was dropped into the lake or a pond it may stay dry, but it would sink and I’d never find it.
So why not use a pool noodle to keep your phone afloat?!
But first things first. Once again I need a new phone.
Our monthly plan: the $49.88 PLUS Plan = *Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data which includes up to *15GB of 4G LTE then 2G plus a free VUDU movie credit every month ($7 value) per line for $49.88, isn’t changing. I just need a new phone.
Why Walmart Family Mobile?
Keep your current phone (that uses a sim card) or get a new one (they have a great selection!)
No contract (!!!) pick your monthly plan, activate (No ACTIVATION fees!), and go!
Powered by T-Mobile’s nationwide 4G LTE network
No late fees – pay as you go
15GB of 4G LTE data is amazing for those summer trips when I’m away from WIFI but still need fast internet
The best pricing found in the no-contract wireless plans at Walmart
The $49.88 PLUS Plan also gives you a free VUDU movie rental credit valued at $7.00 each time you renew your service.
◊Limited time offer. Available for lines active with the PLUS $49.88 plan only. VUDU enabled device and account required for digital viewing. Customers must be 18 years or older to open a VUDU account. Movie rental only available in the USA. Free movie rental provided in the form of a movie rental code to the value of a $7.00 VUDU credit. Must be used within 30 days of receiving code. Offer is non-transferable. Limit 1 per customer. Additional terms and conditions on VUDU’s website: http://www.vudu.com/termsofservice.html
I went with a different style of phone this time. The LG L59 – Grace. And before you ask, yes. Yes I added the protection plan!
I simply purchased a new phone. Still saving money on our monthly plan. Still enjoying a free VUDU credit each month. Still making good use of the 15GB of data.
Still enjoying the perks of the $49.88 PLUS Plan: Unlimited * Talk, Text, & Data which includes up to *15GB of 4G LTE then 2G by Walmart Family Mobile – Powered by T-Mobile.
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to this pageoryour local Walmart for current pricing.
Memorial day weekend was our annual church conference and with 2 small tykes in tow, there were multiple times my head just hung down and I wondered what’s the point in taking kids to church?
In fact I wondered why I was even trying. Most of my time in church was spent hushing little ones and picking up the few toys we allow them to bring. Then picking up bookmarks and pens, because kids will make toys out of anything.
What’s the Point in Taking Kids to Church?
The rest of the time I’m out of church with a little one who has become so noisy I cannot hear a thing being said in church so what’s the point? Why do we even try to take these babies to services? Why do we deem church such an important part of a Christ centered family’s life when we cannot even hear what’s being said?
Saturday services went okay. Sunday’s services became increasingly challenging, and by Monday morning I just wanted to stay home in bed. But we went and I tried to listen. But the little I heard, only made me feel worse.
Monday morning the question was asked: “Why did you come to conference this year?”
As I’m fighting back tears, the voice in my head replies “I have no clue! I cannot take notes, what I’m hearing is so mixed with my children’s fussing that it makes no sense. Everyone else else seems so joyful and peaceful and I’m just failing! Failing at being a mom, failing at being a christian…” and the nasty little voice keeps whining on.
That little voice, it lies.
Anytime the voice in your head brings condemnation, discouragement, depression, self pity, envy, etc. rest assured, it is not of God. The Still Small Voice of God bring peace and comfort, not condemnation and discouragement.
So what’s the point in taking kids to church? Why bother even trying to go to a worship service when you have little ones. Why not wait until they are a bit older?
The Reason for Going to Church with Young Children.
Or rather 3 reasons!
While I was feeling so down and frustrated, my 1 yr old became so loud and unruly that I had to take him out again. Sitting in the baby-room though, something occurred to me. I wasn’t alone! There were a dozen other moms in there, ALL also attempting to settle their little ones.
What a comfort to be surrounded with Christian sisters, and see that we all share the struggle of seeking spiritual nourishment while still caring for our babies. I wasn’t alone, and the nasty little voice in my head began to be silenced as I visited with other sisters, sharing our struggles.
God isn’t limited to speaking only through our elected ministers. He is just as easily able to speak through a sister in the baby- room.
#2. A Firm Foundation
My almost 3 year old amazes me sometimes. He remembers the oddest things that happened months before. He remembers things Jason and I talked about and we didn’t even realize he was listening.
Church is no different. Even though it seems like he is only worried about his toy, or snack, or going out to potty/get a drink, his subconscious is picking things up.
While christian parents cannot simply take their kids to church once a week and expect them to become followers of Christ automatically; taking children to worship services is a fundamental part of giving them the firm foundation upon which they can grow.
#3. God’s Love for Children
On the wall in my boy’s room is this verse: “suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not” Jesus spent time with children, he loved them and he blessed them.
I cannot help but believe that a church full of wriggly, noisy little children is a delight to our God! What a shame it would be for me to sit at home sulking because I don’t get what I used to from sermons.
Scripture also backs this up:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
In fact, search for verses in the New Testament containing the word “together”. You will find many, many verses talking about being knit together, working together, striving together…
This “togetherness” cannot happen if I’m sitting at home sulking because I cannot get much out of the church service due to kids.
So we will keep taking the children to church with us. Perhaps over time, the nasty little voice in my head will be silenced entirely. Or maybe I will always struggle against it. But I know this much: No matter how hard, or dark a place I find myself in, God’s light can reach there and I can trust that he will bring me through.
Our children are the only true legacy we have. They are the only things on this earth that we both leave behind and can take with us. It’s worth my life, to raise them in a manner that they can follow me to heaven someday.
Or rather, what type of mom would my boys say I am?
I would like my kids to say I’m the fun loving mom who laughs when they get muddy, who gets on the floor and plays with them, who involves them in all that goes on.
I am that mom… about 15% of the time.
It’s likely they will say I’m the mom that rushes around busy working and pushing them aside so I can get done with that task only to advance on to another one.
Rather discouraging to be honest.
Yes, we need to provide for our children, keep them fed, teach them and train them. Right along with keeping the house that holds a roof over their heads standing. Oh, and then there is the laundry, the dishes, the food…
Being a mom is a never ending chore.
What type of mom am I?
Many times I’m a failure of a mom. I get impatient, frustrated, angry, I yell, and sometimes what very much so to throw myself on the floor with the toddler and scream right alongside of him.
All the time I’m a busy mom. It’s simply not my nature to spend long periods of time doing “nothing” (unless depression is hitting, in which point I’m no good either!). My kids are fed, in clean clothes, playing in a (mostly) clean home.
Sometimes I’m a compassionate mom and I remember that my boys are just tiny humans and need encouragement, understanding and lots of love.
Sometimes I’m a good mom. Sometimes I’m an okay mom, and sometimes I’m just a no-good mom in need of a bath, wine and chocolate.
What type of mom am I?
I’m a mom who loves her children, would give anything to keep them safe and raise them right. A mom who wants nothing more than to raise a generation of young men (and hopefully women) who love and serve the Lord.
I’m a mom who isn’t perfect, by any means, but I try and with the Lords help I will succeed.
In honor of mother’s day this weekend, I want to send out a bit of encouragement to all you moms out there. It’s okay to fail sometimes, what’s important is that we get back up, apologize to our littles if need be and continue on.
Spring and summer are my favorite times of year for cooking — or eating, at the very least! Colorful eggplant, juicy tomatoes, and bright berries from the garden are as delicious as they are nourishing. Everything tastes better fresh from the garden. And simple grilled or no-cook meals leave more time for sipping lemonade on the patio.
One thing that I don’t enjoy during the summer (or anytime for that matter), is shopping for household essentials. Who wants to run to the store when you could be unwinding outside? And you can’t exactly pick up dish soap at the farmer’s market. So in the spirit of making everything more enjoyable this summer, let me introduce you to Grove Collaborative.
Comparison shopping is much easier done online and I like to find the best prices available. Grove offers price matching to their VIP customer so it’s easy for me to get the best products at the best pricing!
Grove is a subscription service that delivers natural cleaning, home, beauty, and baby products right to your doorstep, on your schedule. It’s like having a brilliant personal assistant who keeps your home stocked up on the essentials while you relax and soak up the sun.
When you sign up for Grove right now, you’ll get this Summer Chef’s set FREE with your first order of $20. Here’s whats included:
Free Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
Free Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
Free Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Spray
Free Grove Collaborative Bubble Up
Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial
(If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll get a free set of Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponges.)
The set is everything you need to make summer cleanup easy and enjoyable. Since you can choose your scents for the free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, hand soap, and multi-surface spray, you can create a matching set or mix-and-match your favorites.
The Grove Collaborative Bubble Up, which is a spring-loaded soap dish and scrub brush is also nice. It looks cute on my counter, and is such a convenient way to tackle kitchen messes.
After all, that’s what Grove Collaborative is all about: making creating a healthy, beautiful home effortless and affordable. I’ve been using Grove for just over 2 years now, and while my shipment is mostly diapers (best prices on Seventh Gen) and vitamins, I love the convenience of having non-grocery items shipped to me
Treat yourself to this FREE Summer Chef’s set and give Grove Collaborative a try — I promise you’ll never go back! As a bonus, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial when you place your order. That means free shipping, free gifts, price matching, and personal service.
It’s inevitable. If you actually live in your house, your walls are going to get scratched, chipped, dinged and paint scuffed off. It’s been 7 years since we moved into this house with all it’s freshly painted walls so today I’m sharing how to touch up wall paint years after it was originally painted.
Why just touch up? Well, I’m not that big a fan of painting so if I can patch and repair a few places before doing a light touch up job, that’s my preference!
How to Touch Up Wall Paint
The first thing you want to do is prep your walls.
I used a Norwex envirocloth to wipe down the areas that needed touched up or repaired. If you don’t have Norwex, use soapy water and a rag to wash the wall, then rinse with a clean wet cloth.
Basically you want completely clean surfaces free of greasy fingerprints, dirt, and other stuff so the paint sticks right.
I cut a small area of paint from the wall so I could match it.
Next, it’s time to patch any holes or dents.
If you have huge holes in your wall, you will probably need a patch. My walls simply have nail holes to be filled and areas where the paint was chipped and picked off (thanks kids!) I also had a couple areas where I cut/chipped out a paint chip around 3/4″ in diameter for matching paint (more on that in a bit).
You will need a plaster for repairing the holes, chips and dents. I made sure to buy a plaster that didn’t say “not for skim coating” because filling places where the paint pealed off is very similar to skim coating.
Use a wide putty knife and press plaster into the holes and rough areas. Use smooth, sure strokes to brush across, leaving the surface smooth. Let dry according to package directions.
Once the putty is dry, use a fine 500 grit piece of sandpaper to smooth any rough areas. Use a dry cloth to wipe the plaster dust from the wall and surrounding area.
Now you are ready to paint!
Remember where I cut/chipped a 3/4″ piece of paint off the wall? Here’s the reason. Paint fades and even if you still have leftover paint in the garage from your original painting, it will no longer match.
Many hardware stores will match your paint so you just need to know the sheen of your current paint. Popular wall paint choices are eggshell and satin. If you don’t know the sheen of your paint, ask the person who is matching your paint chip. It’s possible they can help you figure it out.
There are hundreds of paint tools available. Brushes, rollers, fancy “trimming tools” etc. But honestly, unless you are painting a large area, a good brush is all you need.
It’s likely you will need to paint patched areas at least twice as the plaster putty is dry and will absorb a lot of paint.
Even when the color is perfectly matched, new paint will look a little different than the old paint. After a few weeks though it should be pretty well the same.
Enjoy having smooth non chipped walls again!
I’m trying to pretend my walls will stay smooth and perfect. That my kids won’t throw toys or bang chairs or anything like that. But… we moms know that’s just a pipe dream!
All the same. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts!
Now that you know how to touch up wall paint, will you get rid of those chips and dings? Just curious to know if I’m the only one that gets sick of looking of messes like that.
We’ve all had it. That desire to buy your small child the best gift ever.
Maybe you did some research on which item to buy them, or maybe you stood in line for hours to get something extra special. What ever you did to accomplish it, you bought your child the best gift ever and you cannot wait to see their response!
Then it comes time to open the gift! But. Things don’t go quite as planned. First of all, that shiny paper!!! It crinkles and makes such a fun sound when it tears. In fact, if we didn’t encourage them to investigate the box, I’m pretty sure the child would just happily play with the paper.
Finally! The big moment! We all cheer as the child lifts out their toy. They look at it, poke it, and probably play with it for a moment and then, what happens?
Oh, we all know what happens. The child spies the box. Suddenly the toy is left behind and the box is the most exciting part of the day. They open and shut the flaps, crawl in and out, put other things in the box and then dump them out.
We all just laugh because they are still very young, we know that in a couple years, the child will be excited about the gift itself. The child grows and now understands that the box is simply the object that holds the real gift.
Cardboard Box Baby Christians
When a new Christian receives Christ we are often enthralled with the idea of the gift itself. In western culture there is a bit of emphasis on the wrapping. Big perfect church with lots of people wearing perfect clothing. Joyous worship services and bands and all of that combined with the realization that you’ve just received the best gift ever makes it oh so exciting!
We open that box, pull out the gift.
Can it be?!! God loves even me?
Oh! My sins are forgiven!
Wow! This freedom from bondage that salvation brings, what an amazing gift!
And it’s all so wonderful!
But… Just like a small child, how many of us suddenly lose interest in the gift and start paying attention to the box?
This box brought me such a wonderful gift! May there’s more gifts in there? And we sort of put aside the greatest gift known to mankind and we dart back over to our box. “Please box, can you give me this?” “Please box, I know you want me to be happy, and getting this raise would make me so happy”.
And when the box doesn’t give us what we are demanding, then our tune changes a little. “Why box, where did you go? Why aren’t you giving me what I’m begging for? Don’t you care about me anymore?”
And the box? It’s already given you the very best gift known to mankind. God gave us his very own son. The “box” has already given its gift. Why are we still standing there with the box? It’s time to take the gift and use it!
The truth of the matter is, God loves to give us good gifts and that’s exactly what he is: GOOD. But we are mere humans, the created beings and like a child, we cannot often see that it’s really the spinach and broccoli that’s good for us and not the chocolate covered donuts.
Let’s take our gift, that beautiful perfect plan of salvation that has been given too us and rejoice in it. Let’s trust that our heavenly father only gives us good things, even when they hurt our bodies and even our hearts, let’s trust that his main concern is our eternal souls!