t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Are you Kidding Me?

One word. CHEESEY.

It is completely clear to me now. Why I lost the elevator pitch competition. Check out these horrid pictures! I have been known to be overly exuberant, but this just looks ridiculous.

This group shot below is remotely better. But still, way over the top. Next to me in the purple is the talented artist Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, the deserving winner.


Taper Time

Four days to go. Today I ran 3 miles. It felt like a joke. 26.2, only 4 days away. .Tomorrow 4 miles. Friday 2. That's it.

Did I mention I am getting sick. Last night I spent hours searching for other BQ (Boston Qualifying) non-Sunday marathons. I don't run on Sundays. It doesn't sit right with me as a Sabbath activity.There are not many to choose from.

I am praying to stay healthy. In the mean time I am pounding my kale/spinach/carrot/peach/flax smoothies.

This pic is from our Saturday run. My awesome running partner Marie and me. Did I mention her goal is 3:00 hours. Yes, you read that right. Fast. I feel so blessed to jog in the beautiful mountains right here by my home. This canyon is a 2 mile run from my house. (Check out the tree on the right. Can you tell which way the wind blows! Crazy stuff.)

45 degrees. Wind at our backs. Feet pounding the pavement. Soothing and exhilarating at once.

MLM's Not my Cup of Tea

Here is an explanation of my problem with Multi-Level Marketing companies in general. Exceptions exist. I have yet to find one.
  • Selling to your friends-This is my number one issue. My relationship feels violated when a friend try's to make money off of me. I understand there are some good products out there, but it seems if I say yes once...it is a free for all to swamp me with every candle, lip stick, measuring cup, stamp, video phone, or t-shirt filling my friend's basements. I didn't buy a shades shirt until they were available at Costco.
  • Autoship-Too much product. This just feeds on a consumption obsessed society.
  • Get rich quick-Most often it isn't about the product. It is about how easy it is to reach the Diamond Level. The only people I know who have made any significant amount of money participating in a "direct marketing" company are the few people at the very top.
If you are my friend and are involved in multi-level marketing. Get out. I don't presume to tell anyone how to live their life. Feel free to throw all the house parties you want. Please, please don't invite me though. I will say no. I don't look down on anyone who does this, I just don't understand it. Please explain to me your reasons and help me understand.

Also I would love to hear if someone has actually made more money than they spent.


A Day with at least 100 Slobbery Kisses

I spent the day on a date with my number one little guy Emmett. As he happily sucked on Cap Trappers, I tuned in to the Touchpoint Conference put on by Startup Princess, for women business owners. Overall, I think hanging out with Emmett, and receiving a huge number of slobbery kisses from him was the highlight. But I am very partial to my little Butterbean. Which btw he is doing the army crawl now. Which means he is growing up. Which makes me sooooo sad....

The conference was well put together, and well attended. I especially enjoyed a session on effective communication put on by Shauna Kelly-Ward. Smile and listen. Two great reminders for me. I like people who practice what they preach. She preached communication and she was a great communicator.

I also found a service I have been wanting. It is called Cherish Bound and they publish your blog in a book. I have wanted to do that, but it seemed so overwhelming. The owner assured me it was easy. I will check it out and let you know. I liked the concept she had of telling stories. I have always been a journaler.

Red Flag. It is an MLM. Yuck. I am not a proponent of direct marketing. However, I did think this was a good service, and I don't have to become a "consultant" or join anyone's "downline." Or so the owner told me. I am always weary until I check it out myself.

I had a bit of a hard time with the "touchy feely" extremely femine nature of the event. While I appreciate the feel good message, it was a bit over-the-top for me. Caveat-I have NEVER been into the whole motivational speaker thing. I don't mean to be negative. I am certain many women left having had an inspirational experience.

I participated in an elevator pitch contest. I didn't win. Of course I was disappointed. I lost to Sarah, of Sarah Jane Studios. She has an fantastic business going based on her beautiful artwork. Her work is darling and she is going to go far. Her company was much more advanced than mine. To her credit. She was able to present some impressive numbers.

When I wasn't snuggling with my little man, I did enjoy meeting so many interesting and motivated women. Some of them are extremely successful.

Starting this business has been a challenge to me on a level that brings me back to high school JV volleyball. Which is just it. JV volleyball. That was as good as I ever got. It irked me. It always has. I don't want this company to be JV volleyball.


Business Plan and 4 trips to the Bathroom

Tonight we presented our business plan oral presentation at Westminster College. They are kicking off their competition and they wanted the winners from last year. So we came. Oh did I mention Emmett and Callista were there to participate?

What a day.

Poor little pip has been running a fever for her second day now. Her little throat hurts. The little lamb can barely put down a popsicle. She was so distraught at the thought of being left with a babysitter. On top of her fragile little state, her angelical nature was manifest in full force. I think her response to every question today was "Sure Mom, I'd love to." Enough to melt my heart several times over. So we packed pip in the minivan.

Emmett...we just can't get ourselves to leave him yet with a non-family sitter. So angel baby came along too.

Imagine myself in an auditorium trying to pitch a business to a bunch of students (this was supposed to be the shining example, the winners from last year) and some stranger is rocking Emmy's car seat and pip is bouncing up and down because she has to go potty.

During Brent's 5 minute portion, I took Callista to the bathroom 4 times.

I begged my mother to come down and help (actually I have been asking for 2 weeks)...but she was canning pickles...you know stuff, that can't wait a day, or a few hours...can you tell I am a bit bitter?

One of those days. This is a poorly written post but all I can handle tonight. Oh did I mention my washing machine was strewn across my kitchen floor for the majority of the afternoon? While the pieces are put together the transmission grease is everywhere. $417 later the washing machine works. Or so they tell me. I haven't tried it yet.


Winners, Losers, Distributors, Shipments

Head over to the Whirlpool page and check out this years winners. I have to mention, I really thought Cap Trappers had a chance. I am a little baffled. I know. Silly. But I am just being honest. I actually think possibly my idea was a little too far along, because it was for sale already...

I am obviously trying soothe my own ego.

Lost a contest. Not losing speed. I had a very interesting proposal presented to me last week. I am investigating the pros and cons...we will see what happens.

Congrats to our new International Cap Trapper distributors. We now have distributors set up in South Africa and Israel. Both contacted us on their own.

Tangent: I think they heard about the company from a random article published on a Russian Entrepreneurial Website about Savvy May Creations and the Cap Trappers. What are the odds? I actually had a friend who speak Russian translate the article for me. I had to be sure they weren't trying to snake the idea.

These distributors are just the sort of people we want on board. Gung-ho Cap Trapper promoters, with great connections in the Stationary Industry in their countries.

Final good news of the day...my new shipment of Cap Trappers should be arriving today. We have new exciting colors! Our new line includes lime, cobalt, apple, hot pink, and black. Check the website for new pics coming soon!

Treehouse and Commonalities

Treehouses and Halloween Costumes....you may ask yourself what these two things have in common. A compulsion to keep at it, even until the wee hours of the night, to get it done. Brent and I have this in common. For him, it is creating the ultimate treehouse, layer by layer. This years addition, a second story. He is sort-of the surrogate dad for the entire neighborhood gang. In fact, long after my children were in bed last week, the little boys from across the street were with Brent in the floodlights, handing him hammers and screws, at his every beck and call.

I become similarily absorbed in my projects. Whether it is sewing halloween costumes (I am hoping Ellery will be Rapunzel again this year...since it cost me over $75 to make her costume last year, uggh, I am still cringing), writing a business plan, or reading a great book...I get caught-up and have to keep going until completion.

At least we can understand each other.

I just had to include this darling picture of Pip and Jeddy. These unexpected playmates have been spending hours getting absolutely filthy in the sand box together. They also seem to have a habit of transporting their sand creations throughout the yard....which must be why I keep finding piles of sand on the deck, in the garden, in the treefort etc.

I love our backyard. Garden, sandbox, grass, deck, swingset, treeforts, zipline, aspen grove, firepit, fruit trees...should I keep going...and all this on only .20 acre lot. Good thing I have a house with a very small footprint :)


Blessed Chores

This is a real conversation...I promise. It was crucial I write it down to remind Ellery when she is 13.

Ellery: "Mom, do you think we could start doing some more chores?"

Me: "Huh?" Imagine me trying to get some sort of intelligible sound out while my jaw is plastered to the floor.

Ellery: "You know Mom, more jobs"

Me: "Okay..." cautiously...worried at any moment I might say the wrong thing and disillusion her or wake up from this beautiful dream "Is there a reason you would like to do more chores. I sure think it is a great idea!" said with lots of bubbly enthusiasm, of course.

Ellery: "You know, so I could earn stuff. Treats and money and stuff."

Me: Lightbulb. Treats. Money. Does everything in this world have to be about refined sugar, artificial colors and the almighty buck?... "Okay Ellery we will work something out."

Ellery: "Great Mom. Can I clean the shower now?

And so the conversation went. She didn't ask for a treat after cleaning the shower, for the record.

Thankfully 3 chocolate chips is often all it takes to constitute a fabulous treat in our house. Hopefully, the same reward will work when she is 13 too.

This conversation happened a few days ago. Unfortunately she has not been blissfully offering to do chores at spontaneous moments of the day.

Also, I tried to play the "Cinderella Game" this morning...she wasn't into it. Sigh....I guess she was bound to figure it out at some point.


Whirlpool Mother of Invention

I have been going bonkers to find out who the lucky winners are, and what their ideas are! Hopefully they will post them soon on their website.


Pangs for the Classroom

The memories flooded back today...after being tucked neatly, quietly away for almost six years. Why I loved teaching. Why I pulled myself out of bed, responding to the harsh tones of that wretched alarm clock, why I made the 30 mile commute each day. Today it wasn't the same...but then, something about it was. It triggered the carefully folded emotions, in a flood that surprised me...but in a way I think I was ready.

I read in Ellery's kindergarten class. It was something about the way they laughed at "Morris the Moose," and his silly antics. The sparkle in their eyes...the eager way their whole bodies leaned forward...ready for more...

I never thought elementary school would delight me. My niche was in the junior high with the wacky, tactless, hormonal teenagers...but since having my own children, little ones have chiseled out a place in my heart not found before and not soon to be forgotten.


The Dentist

Ellery timid and cracked just enough

Callista eager and open like a fly trap!

Look closely at the mouths in these pictures. When the hygienist said "Open wide" Ellery's mouth barely opened a crack. Pip's...as wide as she could possibly open it.

Two little girls. So different. I see glimmers of myself in each of them....when Ellery bursts out suddenly with a loud "AHHGG!" after quietly trying to get the puzzle just right...when Pip wildly jumps off the zipline...zero inhibitions....

Now my little Emmett...he is too much of angel...that must have come from Brent!

Wet Your Caps to Insert Easily into Cap Trappers

Head on over to York Region Parent for a review. We need to make it more obvious on our packaging on how to get into your caps into the Cap Trapper barrels. If you just wet them slightly, they should slip right in!


My New Favorite Game

I am the wicked stepmother. Callista, Lucifer the cat. Ellery, Cinderella. Get it yet?

Brent and I begged, pleaded and cajoled Ellery to help clean up the backyard this evening. To no avail. Then as I sat on the grass, poking the butterbeans rolls, Ellery asked me to be the mean stepmother. And then it dawned on me. Of course. This is perfect.

I spent the better part of 15 minutes sternly commanding Ellery in my best "wicked stepmother" voice to clean up the apples, organize the toys, pick up the leaves. With dramatic and sullen flair she trudged through her chores, intent to complete them so she could attend the ball.
"A dramatic, downtrodden Cinderella Cleans Her StepMothers Yard"

All I had to do was sit there and give orders. How many times do you think I will be able to get away with this brilliant scheming game? Please let it be fun for a very long time!


2 Hot Men

Are these some good looking men or what? I love these two guys.

Time to Call the Maytag Man

Well we finished in decent shape in the Ideablob contest. Top 95%. But not in the top 2. The winning ideas all came off as much more noble than ours. For example lots of people funding AIDS orphanages and helping people with disabilites. Good luck and great job to the finalists. Thanks for all your support and votes!

We will keep being creative in our search for funding.

It looks like Cap Trappers we also were not a grant winner in the Whirlpool Mother of Invention contest. The website mentioned winners would be notified by mail on or around September 8th. I guess I will hold out a small glimmer of hope for the next day or two. But I better call the "Maytag Man" because my washing machine did give out. Bummer.

I will put up the link when Whirlpool announces the winners on their website in a week or two.

Cap Trappers Review...they just keep coming!

Hello everyone...another happy blogger is spreading the word about Cap Trappers. Check out the review over at Jo Jo's Place.


"Drug" stores and "Does"

..."Who knows what a drug store is?"

12 hands shoot into the air instantly....

"It is a place where bad people buy bad stuff"

next child... "Yeah my mom said drugs are bad"

..."Who knows what a 'do si do' is?"

12 hands shoot into the air instantly...

"It is a baby deer."

most heads nod in agreement and deference....that kid must be smart!

Several minutes late 25 children tried to "do si do" with their partner, resulting in lots of dizzy kids and of course several dramatic falls to the ground followed by a contagion of giggles.

The life of a kindergarten teacher. I got quite a kick out of helping in Ellery's class today. If you didn't pick it up they were learning "D." I enjoyed watching Ellery interact. I guess "cling" might be the better word. She never got more than a few inches from our neighbors the twins. It will come.


Thoughts on Motherhood

"Taking care of a small, dependent, growing person is transforming, because it...exposes our vulnerabilities as well as our nobility. We lose our sense of self, only to find it and have it change again and again...We figure out how we want to interpret the wider world, and we learn to interact with all those who affect our children...Often our fantasies are laid bare, our dreams in a constant tug of war with realities. And perhaps we grow. In the end, we have learned more about ourselves, about the cycles of life, and humanity itself."

Ellen Galinsky

"Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it"

Luke 9:24

I don't think I could sum it up any better. Some days I feel like my vulnerabilities parasitically feed on any nobility I might have in me.

...And how many times have I felt myself change in the last 5 years...when achieving and proving were tantamount...and then they weren't. When I thought my heart was full...and then at the birth of a precious child suddenly my capacity increased beyond what I though possible....changing again and again.

I fantasize of snuggling up with a good book, and being able to read uninterrupted for several hours...of sleeping through the night...of jetting off on a romantic vacation with just Brent...of a house that would clean itself....laundry that automatically folds and is whisked into the closets...of children who never yell no, or never are embarrased to kiss their mom...

Dreams and realities are a tug of war.

I am learning about myself and humanity. And I grow. I feel it.



I found an amazing list of educational distributors and stores perfect for Cap Trappers. It includes names, titles, emails, addresses. It is like having a $400 a month subscription to Hoovers. I am only on page 15 out of 50 in contacting. I am getting quite a few bite. We will see how things pan out. 398 retailers is a lot to get through. The odds are in my favor.

Don't forget to vote on Ideablob. Register first then you can vote. You don't have to give any of the personal info...just scroll down and skip. We are still in the top 5! Email me Rebecca@SavvyMayCreations.com if you get confused in the voting.


Cap Trappers in Top 4, Vote on Ideablob!

Good Morning all! Please vote if you haven't. We are one step closer to $10,000 for the company. Thanks to all your votes, Cap Trappers made it onto the homepage of ideablob. It's looking good but we need you to continue voting if you haven't! And tell your friends!


Help NieNie and Love Deeper

The end. Just the thought overwhelms me. Even with what I know. I know death is not the end. Not for me. Not for my marriage. Not for my children. But to think of leaving my children behind, with no notice...for someone else to kiss their sweet mouth's and rub their tummies...absent for Emmy's first steps...never seeing Pip wildly skipping through the house for no particular reason...missing the moments of Ellery carefully and lovingly watch her siblings, content without the spotlight...never another moment of decision, laugh or scold, always grateful when I chose the former...

Is this what Stephanie Nielsen thinks lieing in her hospital bed? I was just introduced to Stephanie and Christian. Both bodies irrecoverably burned. Children shephered in by a gracious and loving family. Read her sister cjane's blog chronicling the journey. I am certain you will love your husband, children, siblings deeper today and onward for it.

You can click on the links below if you would like to help.

I'm going to send a few Cap Trappers for the kids...and hopefully drum up some support from other readers.