How Accessible is Your Church?

 

You are 7 questions away from getting your church in the right direction to being more accessible to people with disabilities!

 

Have you ever wondered about people with disabilities in your church? Can they get where they need to go easily? Can they access the message? Are there ministries in place for them?

 

Well here is your chance to find out how well your church is doing! Take our 7 question quiz and get access to more articles and information that will help your church continue to blossom in this area of accessibility!

 

Take the Quiz!!!

 
[mlw_quizmaster quiz=1]
 

Want more information or consulting to get in the right direction? Feel free to send your questions to Kabrina budwell at imaginationsigning@gmail.com.

 

Finding Your Niche

 

Growing is always a difficult thing. When it comes to kids your little one, one day is not so little and in the blink of an eye you are getting bigger clothes, age appropriate toys and school gear. I have found the same to be true with blogging. Growth can be hard, but it is healthy. One of the ways to grow as a blogger is page views.

 

Page views are the bread and butter of blogging. You have something to say and you just need to access the eyes of the right readers to give them the advice, courses, or crafts you are selling and this, in exchange, helps you make money! It’s a win-win.

 

But how do you get those eyes to your blog? Well one kick starter way is using this free program to get 10,000 views to your website! If you are a new blogger or needing a boost this is the perfect first step!

 

So why not get out there and take a chance? Try Grow Traffic and do just that GROW YOUR TRAFFIC! It is free and 10,000 sets of eyes can go a long way!

 

As a business owner, I understand the importance of getting your brand out there and engaging people, but if you aren’t getting the right people engaged you will not be turning those views into sales and return readers.

 

I can tell you I read TONS of blogs and the ones that I go back to or subscribe to catch my interest in an intense way! Understanding your client demographic is critical if you want to grow doing what you love!

 

Do you feel stuck in your growing process? Have you had a difficult time narrowing down your clientele? Then my free (Yes, Free!) Ebook about finding your demographic and niche is exactly what you need!

 

This book will take you through why it is important to have a niche, what a niche really is, and what a demographic is. By the end you will have a blueprint of who you are targeting and be on your way to finding the perfect people to read your blog!

 


The Forgotten Stones-Joshua 4-GMG

This chapter was a difficult one to write about because there is the reminder of getting across the Jordan, however there are also the 12 stones that are left at the bottom of the Jordan River that the Bible says are still there.

So let’s talk about the memorial 12 stones first because we know for sure what those mean. God wanted the people to remember for all future generations how they came to the Promised Land as well as the struggles that God helped them through supernaturally to get there.

The generation that wandered in the wilderness was not very good at remembering what God had done for them even though they had A LOT of cool things happen. (The cloud and fire were really neat!) Joshua explains to the people that they will tell their children about what God did for them and the pile of stones was the reminder.

Now the hard part! After reading several weird ideas and re-reading that section of chapter 4 several times, here is my idea of what it means.

I think the 12 stones that are at the bottom of the Jordan symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel that didn’t get to the Promised Land. It was a clean slate, but also a way to almost mourn for them as well. If you really think about it the people that are going into the land were young, just born, or not even a twinkle when Israel was told they would wonder for 40 years (which may be why they needed to see the water part as well in order to understand the greatness of God they had heard about because they had not seen all the awesome miracles God had done for their parents).

The fact that we are told the stones are there to this day shows that there was a distinct group of people who didn’t get to the Promised Land because they didn’t believe they would make it or that God would come through.

You could take that all the way out to salvation saying we all have the opportunity to get to the Promised Land (Heaven), but some will not believe and be left behind.

It is interesting to think about, but not even scholars who are WAY SMARTER than I can agree, so I pose the question to you…What do you think the 12 stones in the Jordan mean?

When I Grow Up: Being Mom

“What did you want to be when you grow up?” I curiously asked my Mother-in-Law on our way to lunch with my two little ones. We had been talking about my business and how my Brother-in-Law was finishing up school to be a lawyer, and I was dying to know what she had imagined herself doing when she was little. I was expecting something like be a teacher, or a ballerina because she is a very ambitious woman.

She looked at me on that windy mountain road and said, “I wanted to be a mom”. I was a little shocked. My Mother-in-Law, a successful business woman, wanted to be a mom. She proceeded to explain that she, “lived in a generation where they didn’t ask girls what they wanted to be. Everyone assumed you would be a mother, and that the man would take care of working.” And that was that.

Obviously, in this day and age, we live in a world where girls are, asked what they want to be, and are encouraged to pursue those dreams. You can see women picking themselves up by the bootstraps to make a better life for themselves everywhere you go. From the single mother who works and finds time to get to every school function to the first generation college student working several jobs to put themselves through school, there is no lack of talented up and coming women. I was one of these rising stars in the eyes of my peers, and then I got married and found out soon after that I was pregnant.

As a mother and a business woman, sometimes the lines get blurred by sleepy eyes, sick kids, a working husband, dirty house, and the other 500 items I still have to check off my list and I lose sight of my ambitions and dreams. Before I became a mom, I was convinced I could conquer the world, and at the time, I was. Then we found out we were pregnant with our precious little girl 4 years and 5 months before I planned on even trying to get pregnant. Thus, my five-year plan didn’t work out as well as I had hoped and the people that had been giving me accolades for my accomplishments before were not impressed with me creating human life. I fell into depression and walked around blankly for many months with no clue what I was supposed to do with my life and feeling completely useless to my husband, society, and to myself. My success had been what gave me value and being a mom with dirty hair, dark circles, and puke on every shirt did not make me feel valuable at all.

One day I woke up though, and had to ask myself what I wanted to be when I grow up. I had forgotten my passion and drive because I became focused on what society told me after I had a baby, that I was not as valuable, that I was “wasting my life”. I had to change my thought process and “stick it to the man” so to speak. I decided that I would rise above the assumptions of my circle of family and friends and show them that I could be a mom and follow my dreams, even when those dreams have temporarily changed or are put on hold.

I can tell you not everything I thought would be happening in my life right now is happening, and that is okay. I am a mom first and foremost, but I will not let society shame me for thinking about my future as well and neither should you. We have to stick together as moms and not degrade every parenting style and life choice everyone makes. Take the time to take care of you today because if you are empty, you cannot give anything you don’t have to your kids. They will thank you later for taking care of you, your husband will thank you, and you will thank you. Don’t throw your dreams away. They may be on hold or temporarily change, but hold onto them and like Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward” because you got this momma!

 

How to be Pregnant with a Toddler Under Two and Survive

 

 

Let’s start with the obvious, while you are throwing up and have a little person watching you gibbering things you don’t understand; pregnancy is A LOT harder the second time around.

With your first child, you read the cute advice people blogged about sleeping when you could, having an excuse to not do anything strenuous, and getting to eat whatever you want for two and blaming it on the adorable little human growing inside your belly.

Well, as I am sure you are finding out, sleeping is over rated (even though you could collapse with pregnancy and toddler exhaustion), having a toddler and picking them up or walking them up and down stairs IS strenuous, and whenever you have food in front of you most of it goes to the toddler who acts like you haven’t fed them in a week, even though they ate twenty minutes ago. Being a Mommy now seems more difficult than ever, so how can you survive it?

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1. Put your toddler to bed early.

This may sound like obvious advice as well as difficult if your little one enjoys staying up late, but try it. Start by starting bedtime a half hour earlier every three nights until you get to the desired time. Before we were married, my husband and I were being mentored by a couple with three kids. When 7pm rolled around, all three were in bed and we were like, “Man, this is an early bedtime!” We found out though, that it can save your sanity, give you some much needed time alone to rest or go to the bathroom by yourself (THAT NEVER HAPPENS!), and help your marriage. And, guess what? Our little girl is in bed by 6:30pm every night!

2. When you have some alone time, don’t feel like you need to make the house look good.

If you are anything like me, you are reading this blog to find ways to be the most productive you can with the little energy and time you possess. However, you have to remember that you do have a lot less energy right now.

Give yourself a break!

I know there are dishes in the sink and the laundry looks like it may never end, but slow down! When that new bundle of preciousness pops out, you are going to get even less done so learn this lesson now, enjoy the moments with your toddler because the laundry and dishes will always be there.

Write yourself a list of things you want to accomplish, but don’t expect them to get done all in one day. Set a goal to get two reasonably sized tasks done during the day and if you get more done than two give yourself a pat on the back, but don’t stress over it.

Your husband and your toddler love you and, honestly, probably don’t mind the mess they are making anyways. (And if hubby does mind, hand him the list and he can check off a few for you. Give and take right?) TAKE A BREAK and do what helps you relax. You still are carrying another baby, even though you have more to do this time.

3. Give your husband chores.

My husband works A LOT, so when we got pregnant while nursing and on birth control, I didn’t want him to feel like coming home meant more work.

So I did EVERYTHING and if something went by the wayside, like spending enough time with my toddler, I felt like the worst person on the planet.

My house was clean, but my little girl went to bed without having the quality time she needed from Mommy and Daddy didn’t get home until after she was asleep. The honest truth is, you got into this together and you have to work together. That is marriage! Love each other, be there for each other, and help each other with what needs to get done because if you don’t someone is always going to either be bitter because they do everything or upset because the, visible never ending, mess of having a little kid is always there.

After a long conversation on what we both wanted to see or needed done, my husband and I agreed that I focus on dishes and laundry and he takes out the trash and cleans the bathroom while we share vacuuming duty. Let me tell you though, just because your jobs get done doesn’t mean the bathroom will get cleaned every week (or that it got clean once in four months) and you have to let it go and tell your husband when there are no bowls to wash one. ☺

woman-423608_19204. Whether you work or stay home, get out by yourself, even if only for a few minutes.

Being a mostly stay-at-home mom with a part-time (and a half) job, I am right in the middle of both worlds so I understand that there seems to be no time no matter which world you are in.

However, you need a moment where you don’t have to meet a deadline and you don’t have a toddler on your leg. Even if you don’t have a lot of money for pampering (we sure didn’t), treat yourself to coffee or a meal at a restaurant by yourself or with a close friend so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

I have been really bad about this one, so I am preaching to the choir, but I love to go to Starbucks or the craft store and either get myself a coffee/tea or buy some fun craft I want to try during my “I put my baby to sleep early time” (or both).

Pampering yourself with little things doesn’t have to be pricey. Be wise about your budget, but put a little money aside for you and your husband for spending money each month (Read my post on how to have fun on a small budget here). Even if you only get $10 a piece, that is enough for coffee or a meal with a friend.

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5. Start teaching your toddler small ways to help and take care of themselves.

I know that sweet toddler was JUST a baby and is still your baby, but this will serve you well now and when you are feeding your new baby ALL THE TIME. We started our daughter off watching Daniel Tiger, which is a blessing from heaven!

They have cute songs about being a big helper and what it is like having a new baby come into the family. (Seriously, watch this clip and buy the DVD about his baby coming here. You can thank me later.)

At first we sang the songs together and when my daughter did a task that we asked like placing a stuffed toy in her toy box or not shutting the door, we praised her. Soon we added in little plastic drawers so that she could learn that everything has a place, and then we showed her where those places were. This does not happen over night and will take months of patients, but when your toddler can put all her dolls in the doll drawer and can find the blocks she is in love with you will be grateful. (If you would like to see our set-up click here.)

If you have been a Mommy to a small toddler while pregnant or are in the swing of it what would you suggest? Did you try any of or all of the suggestions above? Did they work for you? I love hearing what worked and what didn’t and any other opinion or advice you have so always feel free to comment or contact me.

 

happy mommying

 

Having Fun on a Small Budget

 

Doing anything when you are married with little ones can be a challenge. Do we get a sitter? Do we take them with us? What can we even do?
 
Going out to eat or doing an activity like bowling can get expensive fast, especially when you have to pay someone to watch your little bundle of joy. My husband and I have seen some really dark days of no dates and screaming kids in restaurants when we tried.
 
We had NO budging room for a sitter and finding a reliable one was a whole other problem so we ended up bringing our toddler along with us and later a baby and a toddler. This made for some interesting no talking, feeding the kids, quick date nights that I felt more exhausted then relaxed from.
 
We soon learned that we had to start doing something different. Here are some of the things that we changed about dates that helped us have a moment or two to connect together.
 
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1. If you can get your baby or toddler to nap at a certain time go on your date then! We figured this one out by accident when our daughter was a little over one. After no dates for months we finally decided to give it a try. We pulled into the restaurant parking lot and our baby was asleep! I was upset because I thought she would wake up and be grumpy from not getting enough sleep. But, my husband has the special touch, and managed to get her out of her car seat and into the stroller that we covered with a blanket (because people are nosy and they don’t care if they wake the baby). We walked in were seated, ate our whole meal with no peep from our little girl. I literally cried tears of joy because we finally had some time to talk and eat like we used to and we put her back in the car with her still asleep! I know this won’t happen every time, but if it works for you it is wonderful!

 
2. If you live close to relatives or friends, Let Them Babysit Having a family member watch your baby is great and free. If you don’t live close see if your other Mommy friends would be willing to baby swap. You take their baby for a few hours one day and they take your baby for a few hours another day. That way two Mommies and Daddies get a date night and your little one gets a play date.

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3. Set aside a budget for eating out/dates This was super important for us because we had to use every dollar to its full potential. Every pay check I would pull $25 from our account and place it in an envelope. If we got pizza one night or if my husband had to have a frosty, it came out of that. It makes you very aware of how easy it is to bust through money going out when it’s in cash, but being young and poor we had to be careful not to use our grocery money to eat out someplace. This meant that many months we only had enough money for one date night, this is where you have to be creative.

 
4. Make a date night at home Ready to be creative? Try picking a theme, like Paris, and make food that you would not normally make for the theme. My husband loves to do this one because we can put the baby to bed have dinner and have some quite time alone. When we were first married, and really had no money, my husband found a twist on a chicken dinner and cooked it, making the plates all pretty like a restaurant would and we sat and had a really good meal together.

 
5. Save change and any tips in a piggy bank You know the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”, well the same is true for money. We have a piggy bank on a shelf in our room that I place any change I find around the car or in the laundry in. After a few months dump it out and see what you have. We had a time when I would place any money I had in there and one month we were in a pinch. I opened the jar and found a couple $20 bills and my husband and I were able to take care of our bills and still have a nice date together. So those pennies add up and go a long way!

 

What have you done to spend time with your spouse on a small budget? Did you find a fun way from the suggestions above? Let me know!

 

happy mommying

When Enough is Not Enough: Fighting to be Mommy

 

At the request of my mother-in-law my husband, daughter and I tagged along to a party with some of her lifelong friends. The promise of good food, no dishes, and leaving early for bedtime sounded like a great idea to an almost seven month pregnant Mama and an overworked Daddy.
 

My mother-in-law had asked me to make some decorated sugar cookies for the party like I had the year before and, since there was free food and $150 involved, I agreed. Everyone loved the cookies and was very excited about the cute bunnies, lambs, and chicks that decorated the silver tray.
 

However, a complement soon turned into a Mommy bash when the hostess said, “Kabrina, you have to go to pastry school! We all love your cookies and they are so cute! You can’t be a stay-at-home mom forever! It’s a waste of your talent!” I tried really hard to let it run off my back like the baby oil I put on my daughter at night, but it stuck…
 
for days…
 

it stuck.
 
Her words and my mother-in-law reminding her that I finished my degree through a pregnancy and a half kept replaying in my head because I knew, many people thought I was wasting my time on my children and my start-up business.

I knew, many people thought I was wasting my time on my children and my start-up business. Click To Tweet

This wasn’t the first time I had heard something similar, but in the heat of being pregnant and my husband bringing up that he had wanted to retort back later that evening made it sting just a little more. It was as if our family planning, for me to stay home and raise however many children we decided to have, was a mistake and we had missed a valuable piece of information along our research path.

 

It was as if our family planning was a mistake and we had missed a valuable piece of information along our research path. Click To Tweet

Now don’t get me wrong being a stay-at-home mommy is wonderful, but is DEFINETLY not all I do. If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you can see that I started my entrepreneur lifestyle with a camera in hopes of becoming a full-time photographer, and then moved on to a more viable start-up teaching American Sign Language classes along with writing this blog that supports sensory and ASL. So as you can see I don’t get to just play and clean my house all day, which is what everyone who is not a stay-at-home mom imagines us doing. And whether you blog, work part-time, or just stay at home it is still not butterflies and roses to be a Mommy.

 

Whether you blog, work part-time, or just stay at home it is still not butterflies and roses to be a Mommy. Click To Tweet

I want to encourage you though! You are a wonderful, needed, exceptional part of this world! You are a mom! You are strong! And what other people think right now in the poopy diapers, long nights, missed romances, throw-up, and exhaustion time of being a mom doesn’t matter.

 

What other people think right now in the poopy diapers, long nights, missed romances, throw-up, and exhaustion time of being a mom doesn’t matter. Click To Tweet

You are doing something that only you can do, raising YOUR children. Yes, it can be thankless work, but there will be moments like your little one being attached to you at the hip and laying their sweet little head on your shoulder every time you hold them, that you can never replace with job success or more money. It may take longer to buy a house or get into a place that is your dream home, but those sweet pleases and thank yous that you have been teaching and showing everyday will pay off.

 

I’m not saying you have to be a stay-at-home mom forever, but don’t miss the sweet moments that drip like honey from time with your kids. Not everyone has the opportunity to do what you do, and not everyone is built for it. But even if you are an OCD overachiever, in need of fulfilling work like me, take a step back and watch you baby sleep, go to the park, take it all in as they asked to be ticked one more time because these are precious moments that they will outgrow and you will miss.

 

But also dream big! You have lots of potential and being a mommy is adding to what you can do. Think about it, if you were not good at conflict resolution, with siblings, you are now! You may have had no idea about empathy before you had kids, but now you can understand where people are coming from, from a whole new light. It’s like Atticus Finch said in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” And don’t we do that everyday?

 

Finally, don’t compare yourself to other women; moms or not. When you look at someone’s life on social media or in a coffee shop conversation, you are getting the super, “How do I look to the world” edited version. You will never know how many nights she went to bed exhausted, only to get up an hour later for work or how her marriage is flimsy at best, although he brings home what they need and she sells her beautiful masterpieces on Etsy. Just like you may view your talents as something menial (Well I can do it so anybody can) they aren’t.
 
Think about it this way, there are more than one kind of company that sells smart phones. You may prefer Apple over Android, and others will prefer Android over Apple, but they make the same type of thing. Each business brings a certain value to their customer that only they can bring in their way. If you prefer one over the other you may disagree, but if another famous person would have only thought about all the rejection and hurtful things people said he would have never created the empire we know today as Disney.
 
Walt Disney was rejected for a business loan by 302 bankers before he finally got the money needed, and, when he was younger, was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor thought he lacked creativity.
 
In hindsight we all can see he knew what he was doing and followed his dreams, but he also made mistakes along the way.

Give yourself a break, you may be super mom, but you are still human.

Give yourself a break, you may be super mom, but you are still human. Click To Tweet

Enjoy everyday and comment with some of the comments you’ve heard and how you used them to drive you forward not drive you down.

 

 

happy mommying

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