A Message from the Master Gardener

Mid-morning, the kids were running wild around the house. Must be spring fever, or the fact their daddy had a day off, so we all had time together at home. Whatever the case, as you can imagine with a four-year-old and a 22-month old, their behavior warranted some time outside. So, I put my “inside chores” aside, and we all went outside. That’s when I was reminded of something very important: John 15:1-17, specifically the first eight verses.
I continue to be amazed with God’s subtle messages for my life. Even when I am not faithful in my quiet time, He is the faithful and loving parent always caring for me and speaking to my heart. This morning, I listened. 

I knew my spring flowers needed some attention. Did I water them too much? Not enough? Too much sun? I needed to investigate. By going outside as a family, and because I don’t have the propensity to sit still for very long, I took to pruning. 

As I removed the dead flowers, I was reminded of how God is our divine gardener. He opened my eyes as to how he continually prunes aspects of my life to make way for more areas to bloom. It’s a continual process, and it takes work. But pruning is worth it. I thought my flowers were on their last leg, but after I’d pruned them, they looked brighter and even more lovely than before. Then, I realized, this must be the same for our lives as well, if only we put all our trust and faith in our Master Gardner. 

John 15:1-8 was God’s message for me this morning!

I’m so thankful my heart was open this morning to hear God’s message for me, and it’s one I wanted to share with you! Plus, it’s always a joy to watch our “little helpers” enjoy being outside as much as we do!

Ranger hard at work.

“Sweeping” the sidewalk.

Little Miss “in charge” of the weed bucket.


2016 Camping Season Kicks-off

     Spending a night in the outdoors means leaving the comforts of home and embracing the beauty and solitude of Mother Nature.

     This spring has brought warmer-than-average temperatures in Southern New Mexico, and with these warmer temperatures, spring fever. So, we decided to embark on our first camping trip of the year – a simple overnight jaunt to a primitive campsite in the Gila National Forest.

     There’s nothing better for the mind, body and soul than to spend time in the beauty of nature and, for our family, reflect on God’s greatness. We can unplug (except for my typing this post on my smartphone and recoding some videos), spend some quality time with our family, explore the lay of the land, eat some yummy, camping-only food (such as hot dogs, potato chips and s’mores) and truly embrace an albeit short period of rest. 

     Throughout the summer, we’ll be sharing more of our outdoor adventures, but for now, here are three video segments that share some details about our first-of-the-season camping trip and some rudimentary tips for preparing for your next, overnight, outdoor adventure. 

Segment 1 – Dressing in Layers
In this six-and-a-half minute minute video, I discuss the clothing we chose to pack for ourselves and our little ones. Since we decided on an overnight excursion, the clothing options are minimal (versus what we might include for a 2+ night adventure), but each item we packed has a purpose – layering and ensuring everyone stays clean, warm and dry. 

As mentioned in the video, here’s a simplified list of what to consider packing for an overnight trip to the forest in early Spring:

  • Base Layer: long underwear, ideally, you’ll pack a base layer with moisture-wicking material to keep you warm and dry, such as wool or modern synthetics. You can easily find this type of clothing by shopping Patagonia, Northface or UnderArmor. This base layer can also serve as a great sleep-time ensemble. 
  • Outer layer: durable pants, such as denim or canvas jeans. Avoid fleece because it picks up every sticker, burr or seed that you may encounter. A huge benefit to canvas and wool is that these materials are naturally flame retardant, which is important when spending time around a campfire. An over shirt, such as a synthetic sun shirt or, at the very least, flannel or denim shirt to protect your arms from scratches and sun exposure. The higher the elevation, the thinner the air and atmosphere, which increases your risk for damaging UV exposure. 
  • Additional outer layer for transitioning temperatures: a vest or even a sweatshirt, wool sweater or heavier jacket.
  • Accessories: you’ll definitely want a warm hat, pair of gloves and sturdy footwear, such as hiking boots. 

When camping with children you’ll want to pack the above*2 (with the exception of an additional jacket), because you can always count on someone spilling a drink, splashing in a puddle, getting muddy or who knows what! So, it’s better to be safe and warm than sorry and deadly frigid. 

Segment 2 – Our primitive campsite

In this 2.5 minute video, you get a 360* tour of our first-of-the-season primitive campsite 

Segment 3 – Campsite EDC

In just 4 minutes, Will and or son “Ranger” share the type of gear you should consider for your “every day carry” (EDC) while at camp. 

We’ll be taking regular outdoor adventures this summer, so we’d love to hear from you as to any questions you may have about spending time outdoors and about which helpful tips you’d most love to know! Email us at familyenchantment@gmail.com or find us on Instagram and Facebook.

See you outdoors!

~ Will & Jaylene

Family Enchantment

Ranger, working hard gathering firewood. He was determined to haul it back to camp.