Look ma, we have a logo!

I have great intentions. Dreams, even! Many of my friends know I operate, on the daily, behind a pair of proverbial rose-colored glasses. The upside to this is I live in a perpetual state of positivity. The down side, well, I tend to set high expectations for myself and others.

I expect (and desire) to share a blog post at least twice monthly, if not weekly (because frankly, Lord knows I have a lot to say about stuff). I expect them to be perfectly edited. I expect them to be an enjoyable read. I expect people to chuckle or even nod their head in agreement. I expect negative comments from time to time (gasp!). I expect people to not like what I have to say (double gasp!). All that to expect even a mere readership besides my mom and my besties!

Life happens.

The everyday demands pile up. Little moments with family take precedence over my audience. I get discouraged. I lose confidence. With me, I’m either all in or all out. Which, is actually pretty funny, because when you take an average of me being all in or all out, it’s basically half-assed every time!

Life! We do what we can, when we can, and the best we can. That’s my reality, and I’m coming to grips with it.

The point of all this self reflection is to say this: I’ve basically had a blog for years! It’s been a desire for much longer than it’s been a reality. I first launched our Family Enchantment vlog on YouTube, check out our first video. That was back in 2014. It took two years before I got my blogging act together.

Remember how I said “all or none?” Two years later, we posted a three-part video series about camping! Because I know you’re curious, here they are: part 1, part 2, part 3– a particular favorite of mine because it includes my husband and our son!

Somewhere in between the launch of our vlog and getting more focused on our outdoor family adventures, I decided I’d blog about the realities of motherhood and, of course, a related vlog, with only two videos, one of which is a presentation I gave to my MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group in 2015 about my struggle with comparisons.

Part of this crazy blog/vlog adventure has been trying to find my voice as a blogger. Should I share recipes? (I only had one recipe on that other site!) Should I toss in some fashion? Whelp, you can see how that went on this video from a year ago. And then just when I thought that would be fun, YouTube and my Internet service decided not to play nice, so I just said “forget it!” And thus, I’ve done NOTHING for some time.

So, after much contemplation over the past year, I decided to launch our Family Enchantment blog on WordPress. It’s been more of a focus since the start of the year. And, I decided I would blog about whatever was on my heart, including our family’s outdoor adventures, stages of motherhood or in my head, such as planned holiday activities and the like. As a stay-at-home mom, I’m very active with my children, and I’m typically plotting things to do with them during any amount of down time (look for upcoming posts about our summer activities), so I figure why not share some of the fun with readers for inspiration!

Again, I have big hopes, dreams and expectations. I have to remind myself every day (sometimes hourly) to balance those with the reality of life and my stage in it. And, I have to regularly remind myself to not compare my life stage to other mom bloggers who are going “great guns” or even other moms who seem to be “killin’ it” at life. No one knows the behind-the-scenes reality, and my personal goal is to focus on who I am, what I bring to the table (or don’t) and what I’m about. And that brings us to this blog right here.

Along with the help of my husband, I’ve branded and rebranded it multiple times. (Remember, I said I expect it to be perfect?!) and this year, I finally started writing and posting more.

And then….life.

A little one’s birthday.

Spring break.

Lent and a social media “diet.”

Six baby chicks.

A new puppy.

Concerns with my dad’s health.

Focusing on family.

Kids’ extracurricular activities.

Soccer season.

Volunteering at school.

An active preschooler.

TeeBall practices.

Coordinating our local MOPS & MOMSNext ministry and beginning the transition to new leaders.






Health focuses.

If you’re still with me, you’re pretty much up to speed with why I’ve not posted since February.

Since Beginning our blog, I’ve been wanting some type of graphical element to represent it. So, I found an app called logo maker by Chue Dave and I created what you see before you.

Here’s why I like our look. First, we live in Southern New Mexico. The Organ Mountains are to our east, and greater mountains are to our north. We spend a lot of time in the mountains over the course of a year – hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, snowshoeing, relaxing and the like. The sun is special because it represents the Zia symbol of the state of New Mexico. Plus, my husband and I met, fell in love (married in 2010, thus the established date) and started our family here in New Mexico. Additionally, we tied in the color red and deep turquoise, which are both indicative to New Mexico culture. The name – Family Enchantment – is because first and foremost, our blog focuses on our family and what makes us unique (or, at times, a little crazy). And not only does the word “Enchantment” represent our life in the Land of Enchantment, but that word itself means a feeling of great pleasure, delight or even magic, which I feel definitely represents our family.

Hopes. Dreams. Blogging. Life.

If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be long winded! So, this blog is more for sharing with readers the thoughts in my head and on my heart.

I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram @familyenchantment for a daily dose of inspiration: Mom-spiration Mondays, Talk about it Tuesdays, Real Life Wednesdays, Thoughtful Thursdays, Fun Fridays and Weekend Adventures. Of course I’ll share these on Facebook as well (find us using the same handle).

And, I really do love the idea of sharing life via a vlog, so maybe before the end of the year I’ll get that up and going again! Please subscribe now so you don’t miss it when it finally happens!

Obviously I’m consistently inconsistent with this blogging journey. I’m also real and honest to a fault, and I hope you enjoy following along as much as I enjoy sharing with you.

Thanks for reading and following me on this journey! ✨


Valentines Made With Love

I just love thoughtful valentines, especially those made by little hands!

Our kids LOVE to paint! Two years ago, I wanted to give our son an opportunity to create something for Valentine’s that could be used and admired for years to come. So, we did a relief painting. I fastened the letters, and he practically did the rest!

Tonight, while our son and I were attending Ash Wednesday services, my husband and our daughter initiated their own art project!

It meant the world to this Mama. Truly a special Valentine! It’s a pretty large piece of art (it won’t even fit on our mantle), so it’s just a matter of finding a place to display and store it year after year. Who knows, maybe in the future, these prints will become our family’s signature Valentine cards! ▪️

Follow us on Instagram @familyenchantment and find us on Facebook to follow all our adventures!

Helping Our Children Understand & Observe the Lenten Season

Today is Feb 14 – the day millions celebrate valentine’s day. Along with it, this year, many Christian denominations will celebrate Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent, the 40-day (46 days, to be precise) journey to Easter Sunday.

This one seems to sneak up on me every year. Just as I’m getting started on New Year’s resolutions and working to make them stick, along comes lent and my anxiety for what to either give up or add in to my life.

My Christian upbringing was well rounded – Lutheran, Baptist, Disciples of Christ. I learned so much from each denomination, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school when our family settled on attending a church where we liked the pastor, which just happened to be a United Methodist Church, that I was introduced to the Ash Wednesday Lenten observance.

My earliest memories of the holiday include attending church, receiving ashes on my forehead and giving up something in my life. As a kid, I participated out of the sheer tradition and the dedication to my faith. (Also, I grew up in the Bible Belt, and participating in church is just what you did!)

I’ve continued to participate in this solemn observance over the years, and I always enjoy the reflective time an Ash Wednesday service provides. However, because it’s been a tradition in which I’ve participated for the past 25 years (and our children have been too young to really understand it), I haven’t given it much thought on how to explain it.

Our children are getting to the age where they can understand broader religious concepts. They are almost six and 3-and-a-half. As I was preparing for the beginning of Lent and Valentine’s, I spoke to the kids about the two upcoming holidays. What is Valentine’s Day? Pretty easy to explain.

As I mentioned “Lent” to them, it occurred to me how ill equipped I really was to explain something this significant. In fact, my initial answer was, “Well, it’s a time we reflect on being better people and sacrificing something that we really enjoy like candy and TV (doing my best to put it in their terms).” I’ve never claimed to use simple explanations! In fact, my oldest pondered it and said, “That doesn’t sound like fun.”

As I realized I needed some serious help, where did I turn? GOOGLE! (You thought I was going to say my Pastor, right?!)

As I “googled,” I realized I was not likely the only parent who has ever encountered this same opportunity in which to share the history and significance of the 40 Days before Easter.

What better way to help another parent out than to share my resources as well as my plans for how our family will observe Lent.

First up, I really liked what I found on the Practical Resources for Churches site, a PDF document titled “Making Lent More Meaningful to Children.” They tie together the Christian observances of Christmas and Lent, Activities during Lent, related symbols, Holy Week and the Crucification.

Within their document, it states, “You can teach children about Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins, by explaining that in the past people used to put ashes on themselves as a sign that they wanted to repent and be a better person. Lent is a season when we make an effort to live the way God wants us to by praying and acting loving to other people.”

As I looked further for preparation ideas, I considered how much we do to prepare our family for Christmas through Advent traditions. Lent is very similar, though more solemn, as we prepare to celebrate the beautiful Easter Story.

I also ran across a helpful article titled “Lent for Kids: Focusing on God’s Time,” that while speaks primarily to children’s ministers and Sunday school teachers, I like the ideas about teaching children the key symbols of Lent. The weekly format for teaching about the symbols makes it easy for parents to incorporate into their family time.

Now, if you want to be a bit more crafty and involved, I recommend checking out Feels Like Home. Her family observances and tradition-keeping aligned with our family, and I liked all the ideas she shared.

Now, I don’t have to tell you how easy it is to go down a “rabbit’s hole” when searching online, but let me say that in searching for these resources, I realized I still hadn’t run across anything I was satisfied with to help me actually explain Lent to my preschoolers. I wanted something simple. Easy to understand.

While extremely helpful, I’m almost ashamed to admit this resource…but I will because if it helped me, I know it can help you, too. I found some simple words for explaining Lent to my youngsters on WikiHow.

And then I ran across this simplified version from Classroom.Synonym.com.

After skimming some of these Web sites for more information, I let my thoughts and ideas percolate for about a week. Then, I went to Hobby Lobby!

Truthfully, I went with about three other projects on my mind. And, as I was wondering the aisles after picking up some discounted valentine candy, I walked down the Easter aisle and I saw a sheet of butterfly stickers. I know, this doesn’t seem significant, BUT, it spurred a memory from when I was in high school and we got up one early Easter Sunday to decorate a cross with butterflies. Then, it hit me! I could do something very similar with our children during Lent?!

So, how did I explain Lent to our children and what exactly are we going to do?!

Well, sadly, Lent is a time in which we reflect on our own mortality. That’s terribly difficult to do with children. But, our family has experienced loss within the last year. We lost my aunt nearly a year ago next month. Devastating. We lost my 17-year-old cat on Good Friday last year, extremely sad for me, devastating for our youngest. Death is hard. Period.

Yesterday, we got word that our son’s first horse passed away at the ranch. So, we had the difficult job of sharing this news with him last night. He was devastated.

Talking about death is difficult at any age. While our first instinct is to “protect” our children from dealing with the natural progression of life, we have the responsibility and obligation as parents to teach our children and help them understand. So it is with Lent. Jesus was the only perfect man, whom God sent to this earth to teach us how to live, his dying on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Through Him, we are forgiven of our sins and and have the freedom to have a relationship with our creator and savior.

Ya, I’m not good with keeping it simple. So, my plan is to talk with our children about how much Jesus Loves us, how we all tend do things that don’t please God, but His love for us is go great that he sent his son, Jesus, to be our savior and forgive us our sins.

We will attend our church service, and I’ll explain to them: Ash Wednesday is the beginning of our journey to Easter Sunday. We go to church and observe Ash Wednesday as part of our Christian faith. Our pastor will place ashes on our forehead as an outward symbol of how sorry we are for the bad things we’ve done and how we want to do better.

We’ll implement some of the ideas I’ve mentioned above – attending Ash Wednesday service, focusing on a different symbol each week, reading specific Bible verses as a family, and this…

Back to Hobby Lobby. I bought a wooden cross (with my 40% off coupon) and flower embellishments (50% off), and our plan is to cover the cross with brown craft paper and allow the kids to attach a flower every day leading up to Easter. They can add a flower for saying their evening prayers, being the “light” (basically for doing something kind, good, loving for someone else), giving an offering or giving things away, successfully giving up (sacrificing) something that day. This observance goes for the parents, too. The hope is that by the time we reach Eater, our cross is full of beautiful flowers, a reminder of our Lenten Journey. ▪️

Social Norms on Social Media: Some research and additional thoughts

Since sharing my opinion last week about posting on social media (read it here), it seems I’ve encouraged some healthy discussions among readers.

Last week’s blog was strictly my opinion and free thoughts. Basically, that’s the crux of many of today’s lifestyle blogs. I won’t apologize for my opinion, but I am open to healthy discourse and the continuous shaping of my world views and understandings.

As I’ve told friends lately, 90% of the reason for my blog is because I enjoy writing. It’s a part of me that hasn’t been exercised for a number of years (I’ve had two little humans that have sucked some mental energy right out of me!).

It’s through this blog I can practice my writing skills, find my voice, learn the business of blogging, and share with readers some of the things our family enjoys. The other 10% is to inspire others in some way to experience (or find) the “magic” within their own families (more on that next time).

Back to the blog topic at hand. Social media has always fascinated me ever since it emerged on the scene. I recall being a college student at the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner), studying journalism, and on the cover of a Public Relations Society of America member newsletter was the word BLOG with an animated image of robots. It was a new concept. Futuristic for sure! This was late 1999/2000. That’s around the time of MySpace, LinkedIn, Photobucket and Flikr. Remember those? YouTube came around in 2005, and shortly thereafter VLOGS (video-blogging) were born. In 2006, along came Facebook and Twitter.

Check out this link for more on the history of social media.

Yes, I’m a nerd. I was an undergrad when social media came on the scene, and when today’s two mainstream social media outlets emerged, I was in the middle of my graduate studies. So, it only makes sense why this journalist/marketing/communication professional took an interest in these new communication mediums. In fact, the more I investigated them, the more questions I asked. I had such an interest that I pitched my thesis committee chair the idea of writing my thesis about authenticity and social media. His words stay with me to this day: Would you like to graduate in seven years or seven months?

Now, I’ve slept since 2006 (A LOT) and while I’m pretty sure those weren’t his exact words (which is why I didn’t put them in quotation marks), I am sure his point, at the time, was little published research was available, data collection could be quite the chore, and with ever changing technology, I’d be better off with a more concrete topic. So, I scrapped the idea and instead focused on the topic of female leadership. I conducted a case study on the first female elected as mayor to the metro area where I studied. But, I digress. Certainly, I haven’t scrapped my interest in and fascination with social media.

So, since I do enjoy healthy discourse – (emphasis on the word “healthy”) and, since I took to heart some reactions from last week’s post – I started digging and found some interesting articles I felt worthy of sharing:

Apparently “bragging on social media” was a pretty hot topic in 2012. I found a couple of interesting articles. One from Jessica Kleiman that appeared on Forbes.com. “Bragging on Social Media: Four Ways to Avoid Oversharing.” It’s a quick scroll-through article that offers four main points to consider when posting on social media. The other dated, yet relevant, article I found was from the Wall Street Journal. Written by Elizabeth Bernstein, “Are We All Braggarts Now?” touches on how everyone on social media seems to enhance their online image, the impact of such and how the usual social norms of modesty don’t hold true for social media. For the sake of conversation, what she has to say is worth a read.

Let’s fast forward to an article from 2017 on Psychologytoday.com. “How Other People Judge Us Online” is a great article full of research findings that surmise its best to let our friends brag for us. So, for my fellow nerds out there, or if you’re just curious, check it out!

So long as social media is alive and well, the topic of sharing our lives online and social norms will continue to be up for public discourse. In fact, I ran across a very recent blog published just this week on TheCut.com titled “How to Brag Without Annoying All Your Friends.”

This post shares highlights from a 2015 Study in Psychological Science that researches what we may feel to be a positive share on social media others may consider bragging. We tend to underestimate how what we share will be received by those with whom we share. The author of the study, Irene Scopelliti, touched on the psychology of bragging in a recent TedX Talk. This blog post doesn’t condemn bragging on social media (neither do I, in case you were wondering), rather if offers some advice worth taking about “how to be a good bragger,” “how to be a better bragger,” and “how to be the best bragger,” concluding that you should always be nice on the Internet, definitely a rarity in today’s online social culture.

Finally, because let’s face it, if you’re still with me, you too are fascinated by social media to some extent. Like me, you’re also guilty of bragging online. So, since I dislike even numbers, and I figured by this point in my post we needed a good chuckle, here’s a very opinionated post titled “Your Facebook Life Doesn’t Food Me” by Keenan McGrath on ScaryMommy.com.

Good luck out there in the social media world! Let’s keep it nice, keep it real, and be the best braggarts we can be! ▪️

Developmental milestones, even at 40

When my son was two, I had an impromptu conversation with a fellow mom as I was lamenting about the “terrible two” stage. “Watch out,” she said, “the ‘threenage’ stage is worse.”

That was the first time I’d heard that word, but she was right. Three is a rough age. As our son rounded out four-and-a-half, I hoped that turning four meant we would turn a big developmental corner.

When our son was just two months shy of his fourth birthday, I began to see that, indeed, we were nearing the end of a tough couple of years and about to enter a new phase in his development. As he turned four, communication and listening skills markedly improved.

~Milestone Excitement~

So it is the same with adults. It’s just not as apparent as it is in the early developmental stages. Plus, being older, we aren’t as likely to celebrate our milestones as we are with our infants, toddlers or preschoolers.

My son is so excited for his upcoming birthday. Already, he’s gearing up for the age he’ll be turning. He will soon be able to use two hands to show us his age.

If we stop to think about it, isn’t that the way it is our whole life? When we are nine we can’t wait to turn that double digit age. When we are 10, we can’t wait to be a teenager. When we turn 13, we look ahead to getting our learner’s driving permit. Turning 16 means getting a drivers license; turning 18 means graduating from high school, getting out of the house, going to college, being able to vote, and finally being an adult (so we think)!

I hit a major milestone this week. I turned the big four-zero! Naturally, I can’t help but reflect on the past two decades of my life, and I wanted to share with you who have yet to reach this age, and those who have, well, you can back me up!

~Treacherous 20s~

My 20s were all over the board.

I sacrificed a near-full-ride scholarship to a Division I university and moved out of state to attend a different Division I university where my boyfriend, at the time, attended. Yes, I moved for a BOY. There! I’ve said it publicly.

In that relationship, I walked down the path most girls in their 20s dream about, but I ultimately made a decision that would terrify most girls in their 20s. I broke off our engagement six weeks before the wedding.

I started my career. I learned not to leave my resume on the fax machine of my current employer. Better yet, don’t be applying for a job at your current employer’s work place!

I learned it’s not only about who you know, but also what you know and your desire and ability to work hard.

I was active in my church yet I dated an alcoholic.

I traveled across the globe, witnessed and experienced things that typically are only reserved for missionaries.

I moved back home for a season and earned my masters degree.

I made mostly good but sometimes not so good decisions. All combined, the decade of my 20s shaped me into the person I needed to be to enter my fourth decade of life.

~Thriving 30s~

I kicked off my 30s in a new town, new state, new climate, new career. Though I was schooled in the art of journalism, experienced in public relations, marketing and communication, my new job in newspaper ad sales seemed exciting – and something I could do – but all these changes, simultaneously, were overwhelming. I threw myself into my job.

I met so many people across my new community, attended multiple events month after month, grew relationships with clients, made new friends through my network of fellow business professionals. Clients became friends, and through my work, I met the man I would marry at age 32.

Since then, it’s been an exciting adventure at a hyper-speed pace. Seventeen months after our wedding, we welcomed a new baby boy into this world. Our lives changed. MY life was turned upside down – literally. I’m not kidding!

The first time I met my son, the doctor finished my emergency C-section, and they brought our son over to me and positioned him in a way that our faces were just opposite one another. I vividly recall asking the nurses to turn him around so I could see his face!

Looking back, I wouldn’t want it any other way! I’m blessed every day by an active little boy who keeps me on my toes, who loves like Jesus loves, is thoughtful and compassionate.

Through his first couple of years I suffered from undiagnosed postpartum depression, I waffled on my decision to stay home and ultimately returned to work for just shy of a year. I needed that time to regroup and reprioritize my goals as a mom.

During that time, things became clearer, and I confidently quit my professional career and found my place as a wife and mother working for our family inside the home.

Our daughter came on the scene 27 months after our son was born. For those who don’t like doing the math, that’s two years and three months – three-and-a-half months, precisely – later.

When our son was born, my mom told me, “your heart will just burst with love!” And, she was right! I could honestly feel it GROW with a love I never felt before. I worried I wouldn’t have that same feeling the second time around, but right on cue, as I sat in the backseat on the car-ride home with this new little human dressed all in pink, it hit me. LOVE. Greater than I knew from even when our son was born. Indescribable. My heart GREW! It was incredible!

At least the second time around I knew what to expect, and I was determined not to let hormones get the best of me! I was a different woman this time around. Fierce. Ready!

I wasn’t ready, however, for our son to instantly GROW into this big kid upon the birth of our daughter!

With a toddler and a new baby, things got a little tricky. We all had to learn to share. We all needed a big ol’ dose of patience. And we had to learn how to adjust to having a new family member.

It took a couple of years. It also took a couple of years for me to work up to the idea of turning 40!

Just like my son’s developmental milestones between age two and three, and a big one from three to four, I reflect on my own journey the last few years and realize that at any age we can develop – mentally and emotionally.

When I was 38, I lamented needing a mammogram in two years, the new grey hairs I was discovering, what new wrinkles might appear, and the ongoing struggle with my weight, especially since “they” say it’s harder to lose weight after 40. I continued attending periodic Jazzercise classes and found I really enjoyed it. I even dug in to learning more about proper nutrition and improved portion control.

When I turned 39, I embraced being “in” my 40th year of life. I went on a deeper health journey participating in some challenge groups, taking an even bigger step toward a more healthier me by adding more real, whole and clean foods into my diet, amping up my Jazzercise by increasing the number of days I would attend classes and increasing the weights I used. I took a bit of a health hiatus mid-fall, but six weeks before my birthday, I upped the number of Jazzercise classes I attend per week from 2-3 to a solid four! Plus, I challenged myself regularly to use heavy weights, and two weeks ago I graduated to consistently using 10 pounders! On my birthday, I went with my husband to workout at his gym, which I joined, and my goal for 2018 is to add in at least one day of solid, focused weight training.

~40 & Feeling Fine~

Who says 40 is a drag?! Shoot! I made the best of it and partied like a rockstar! Nearly one week into my birthday I feel amazingly strong physically, mentally and emotionally.

It’s like something “clicked,” just like the corner our son turned from three to four and we can see, even now, from five to six! I feel more secure in who I am as a woman, a wife and a mom! I’m confident my 40s are gonna be he best decade yet, full of love and lasting memories!

Family Ouch Kit plus Free Printable

I’m a sucker for plastic boxes, especially when they help organize anything in my life. I have boxes for my children’s keepsakes, boxes for craft-this and scrapbook-that, busy boxes for my son (future blog post, so stay tuned), a diaper/potty box I keep handy in the car stocked full of diapers and wipes, and when we were potty training our son, it even contained Clorox wipes and small trash bags.

So, naturally, when I was combing Pinterest one day for ideas on keeping our two preschoolers entertained during our summer road trip, I ran across a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that idea! An “Ouch Kit.” Woah! I immediately clicked on the pin from myfrugaladventures.com, and I knew this was something my family needed – for our road trip and even for everyday adventures this summer. 

The Ouch Kit mentioned on the blog offered some great ideas, and I soon took to customizing a box to fit our family’s needs. I hope this post can do the same for your family!

I used a plastic wipes box, which the blog suggested, and it’s the perfect size! I dug through my sticker collection and found some letters to create a label for the front of the box. 

Typically, I carry travel size sunscreen, and in the summer, travel bug repellant. I also usually carry adult pain relief medicine, so the list below contains items helpful to keep handy in an Ouch Kit.

▫️ Antiseptic wash

▫️Antibiotic ointment, such a Neosporin

▫️ Non-stick compression pads

▫️ Gauze wrap

▫️ Assorted bandages (I included fun Band-Aid designs for our son and daughter, and plain ones for adults, in case someone wasn’t comfortable sporting a Paw Patrol or Disney Princess Band-Aid.)

▫️Pair non-latex gloves

▫️Package travel tissues 

▫️Itch relief stick, such as After-Bite, or cream, such as Benedryl


▫️Fever reducing “kool” pads

▫️A pair of nail clippers

▫️A pair of tweezers

I carry a small pocket knife, so I didn’t include a pair of scissors in our box. Unless you or someone in your family carries a pocket knife, a pair of scissors would be wise to include in your own box.

One last thing I included in our family’s kit was something to help bring a smile to a little one in pain – some hard candy! 

Coincidentally, the day I completed the kit, my son fell and scraped his knee pretty badly. While I was doctoring his knee, he was crying, and all I wanted to do was to help him calm down so I could finish my task, so I handed him a piece of hard candy – and bam! – it worked like a charm! He was still in a little pain, but it definitely made the pain a little more bearable!

For more information about a family first-aid kit, here’s a checklist from the Red Cross.

PRINT our Ouch Kit Checklist below to have at the ready for your next shopping trip and to help you organize your own list of needs. I also made the header into a BONUS LABEL you can clip and attach to the box using clear packing tape. (You’re welcome!) Easy peasy!

We would love to hear any about special customizations you’ve made to your own kit, and we invite you to also share photos along the way! Once you have your own Ouch Kit compiled, get out there and enjoy the outdoors! 

For more tips like this, please subscribe to this blog, like us on Facebook and Instragram, and subscribe to our YouTube videos. Thanks for reading, watching, following and subscribing!

Halloween Gift Tags

In my world, creativity seems to always strike in the midst of chaos! 

I don’t have a lot of time with a busy three-year-old boy and a 16-month old little girl on the move. In realizing the week of Halloween would be a busy one, I felt the urgency to prepare their Halloween gifts while our son was in preschool.  

Naturally, rather than doing laundry, the dishes and packing my family for a trip to see my folks for the weekend, I decided I would scrap everything and make some gift tags for our children’s Halloween “Great Pumpkin” gift. 

This project was quick and easy! (And, it needed to be, with time being limited and the little girl not taking her morning nap, which messy she was my “little helper!”) Of course, with some more time, I could have been a little more creative, using artsy scissors or even scrapbook paper; but I was pleased with myself and the fact I had all my materials organized and at the ready!

Enjoy this video, and I would love to see some of your beautiful gift tags!

Family Enchantment, Take Two

I’ve been wanting to have a blog for some time (years!), now. Honestly, I don’t know how some women make it happen. Or better, WHEN they make it happen. Especially, if they are stay-at-home-moms raising little ones. 

We have a 3.5 year old and a 16-month old. My time on the computer is extremely limited. It’s easier to jump on my phone and connect to social media for few minutes here or there than it is to sit at my computer and craft – what I would deem to be – a good story worthy of your time. Additionally, it’s just not the same typing with my thumbs (which I’m doing with this post) as it is really feeling the keyboard and typing with all 10 fingers. So, needless to say, this post is really a “restart,” of sorts. A Facebook page of a different name is the best I’ve been able to maintain for some time, and I’m thankful to each of my followers! 

I’ve been a writer my whole life. My educational background is journalism. Blogging seems like a natural fit. When talking with my husband about the idea a few years ago, he was supportive, but said, “YouTube is where it’s at!” 

Did I mention I’m a writer?! I’m not one to be on camera. If I am, I’m prepared with a script or talking points. Usually, I’m preparing these items for other people to be on camera! The thought of making a video is scary. I think it the talking into the Web cam that gets me. 

In the “old days,” we used story boards to ensure a well-produced video. Now, it seems anyone and everyone is making a video, and of anything you can imagine!

Thinking about a blog, crafting videos, posting to social media, and all that goes along with successful blogging can easily overwhelm me, thus, I do nothing. I let my perfectionism get in the way of just moving forward and going for it. Whatever “it” is. In a nutshell, that is my life! 

Well, with this first blog post, I’m moving past that. This post may not be perfect. I’m not perfect! I don’t have “it” all together. I enjoy my life, my family. I have great ideas, and I typically make them happen (sometimes, even, eventually)! 

I labored over a blog name for a looooong time. I wanted it to be just perfect. I wanted to define my audience, have a vision, craft objectives and strategies. My husband asked me, “Do you think the successful bloggers do this?” Of course I exclaimed, “YES!” His retort?! “No! It evolves. Many of the well-known bloggers didn’t know where it would take them. You just have to start somewhere!” 

Honestly, I was convinced the Pioneer Woman started out to gain a cookbook deal and notoriety, and now, she has cookware at Wal-Mart! Do I think she envisioned all that?! Back then, I might have said “yes,” but now, I’m beginning to think my hubby had it right. Social media, blogging, videos – they all offer potential that continually evolves.

That particular conversation I mentioned was more than two years ago. And, nearly two years to the date I posted one of my first videos (scripted, no less) to YouTube: Welcome to Family Enchantment.
The purpose of the video was to share with viewers the name of our YouTube channel, its purpose and what to expect. I’ve taken a lot of video footage since then, but just haven’t posted anything. It’s been TWO YEARS, people! (Can you tell I’m really kicking myself?!) 

It’s a combination of nerves, lack of video editing knowledge, TIME and fear of failure that have prevented me from moving forward. Oh, and did I mention time?! 

Since that first video, we’ve had numerous opportunities to film, write about and share many things about our journey! Our son has not only grown through the toddler phase (which means – in short – nap transitions, new and different development stages and needs (um, you noticed the blue line in the picture, ya, that was my son who cracked my laptop screen), potty training, adapting to a new school, and more), but – and this is a biggie – he gained a SISTER! Giving birth to another human is a HUGE responsibility, even more so with breastfeeding. All of this took time, and there just wasn’t more of it to give to the blogosphere. 

Additionally, since that first video, we put our home on the market, moved, spent a summer with kids not in a “mother’s day out” program (all you moms know what THAT means), we enjoyed a week-long vacation to the mountains, several camping trips, tended to misc. important family matters, I gained an increase in leadership responsibilities and obligations with my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry; of course, there was also back to school, our son’s first soccer season, naturally, the regular tasks of keeping a clean home, meal prep/planning, laundry, pets, etc., and last, but certainly not least, spending important time with my children and amazing husband! Again, I wonder, “when is there time for a blog?!”

All of this is not to make excuses, but rather share my intentions and hope for what will evolve in the future. I’m downloading some helpful apps to my iPhone that I hope will make it more convenient for me to share our adventures more regularly. 

And, with each post, I’m learning how to transfer my thoughts from my brain to my thumbs (as opposed to letting my thoughts flow through all 10 fingers), and I’m hoping each video will also improve overtime. 

Consider this your invitation to stick with us, cheer us on, and celebrate along the way as this exciting endeavor evolves. Here’s to hoping for where we might be in another two years!