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.


Wide Load

I don't know if "wide load" is perfectly descriptive, but it is a "load" no matter which way you look at it!


Hawaiian Extravaganza Post...

Ellery actually came down with Strep throat days before the trip. Thankfully 24 hours prior, at the local Instacare, Ellery got a quick poke to the bum and good dose of antibiotics to kick the bacteria. She wasn't thrilled I made her wear the surgical mask in the waiting room. The last thing I wanted was for us to pick up something else while we waited.

Ellery rocked out to Hannah Montana and High School Musical songs on the plane ride. This was thrilling for her as we don't usually listen to that type of music. The plane ride wasn't too brutal. Brent was pretty sick the entire trip unfortuately. Cough and fatigue. But he was a trooper.
Hawaii here we come. In the Honolulu airport.
We stayed at the Outrigger Waikiki and had this amazing view from our balcony. I could get used to this.
Our hotel had fun little activities like lei making. The look on Ellery's face pretty much sums up how she felt the first 2 days. She was a bit of stinker. It probably was a result of the time change and the antibiotic. We had a turning point Wednesday morning when we "extracted the grumpy old troll from her belly button."
We perused the shops and found little trinkets for Emmett, Callista and Grandma.
At a restaruant called "Shorebirds" we barbequed our own meat. Isn't that why you go to out? To have someone else cook. To eliminate the need to stand over a hot grill? It was still a fun adventure even though our fish was a cold. I am not a master at searing.
Did I say "Shorebirds/" I meant "lovebirds." :)
Ellery and Brent on the boogey board. She loved the pool but we ofttimes could drag her into the ocean as well.
Here is the whole family. It was wonderful to play with cousins and lounge with the parents and siblings. Really just the visiting and spending time together was what made this trip so wonderful.
We had a moist, lush, if somewhat anticlimactic hike to Hidden Falls. It really was hidden. According to a local we met on the trail, Hawaii is in a drought. But just in case we did have a downpour Ellery was prepared with an umbrella.They just don't grow 'em like this in Utah. Go figure.
Brent's mom is an avid nature lover and hiker. She and I connect with our love for nature and experiencing it physically.
And if she felt like the hike was challenging I always have a way of making everyone feel especially agile. I look at ease. Don't be fooled. A stumble, twist and bruise later, things changed. Next time under the fallen tree instead of over.The falls were a disappointing trickle. Quite different from 9 years ago

Yes, even I am a sucker for good chocolate. Here I am shamelessly biting into a macadamia nut, dark chocolate slice of heaven.
The Honolulu Zoo was great diversion for the girls. Here is cousin Katie, a distant pelican aunt (clearly on Brent's side of the family) and Ellery.

What would be Hawaii and our family without eating at Dukes. In honor of Mimi's 60th birthday we enjoyed the wonderful fresh cuisine and beachfront atmosphere. She has led an amazing life worthy of emulation by her daughters. Myself included.
We put together a memory book for her. Revisiting my last 11 years of knowing her, was privilege. Her sensitivity to the spirit and closeness to her children is inestimable. And isn't Poppy looking radiant?

Sand castles with the cousins.
Finally on the fifth day Ellery will lounge on the raft with me and ride the waves.
Ellery called out by a Hawaiian princess in the parade. She was tickled pink to get a lei. Several Japanese young women chased her around after that begging for a picture with her.

Highlights I don't have snapshots of included, 5 am run along the beach, and back roads around the Island. Surfing double with Brent. Swimming goggleless in the ocean. I lost my goggles the second day. Reading "Temple and Cosmos" by Hugh Nibley whilst basking in the sun and turning a deep red. Nothing like a little light reading and raging sunburn.
Ellery and I went a little crazy with the camera on the last day. Here are some pictures of us having a good time.

Ellery got some pretty good shots.

Finally the red eye home. We left Hawaii at 7 pm and landed in Salt Lake at 9 am the following day. It was brutal. Ellery slept just about the entire time. I attempted to watch several movies but after about 5 minutes of each was dismayed by the triviality. I just am not entertained by the media anymore. It has lost all its glamor. Too tired to read, I ended up listening to Bach for 4 hours.
A wonderful trip was had by all. A huge thank you and hugs and kisses to Mimi and Papa for making it all possible. I missed my Callista and Emmett horribly though! I don't think I could ever leave them again. Leaving a couple is a whole different game then leaving all of them!


Graham Cracker Recipe

For some reason this post doesn't seem to work right. Here is the recipe for homemade graham crackers.

Graham Crackers

6 c whole grain flour

1 T baking powder

1/2 c evaporated milk

½ t salt

1 c olive oil

1 ½ c warm honey

2 t vinegar or lemon juice

2 t vanilla

1 powdered egg (you can substitute a regular egg)

Mix dry ingredients. Add remaining. Mix until well moistened. Roll out 1/8” thick on greased and floured baking sheet (without sides is best, or just turn one with sides upside down). Score into desired size. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Prick with fork. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min, or until golden. Longer for crisp crackers. Makes 3 large trays.

Sometimes I even take them off the sheet after they are done cooking, flip them over and put them back on the tray upside down and cook some more. That way they are really crispy.

More Thoughts on Eternal Families

You may remember 6 months ago the beautiful story of how Daegen found his way to his Mom and Dad. It was a round about way, but through a series of miracles and direct help from the other side of the veil, Daegen found Brock and Amy. After six months the adoptions is final.

Daegen was sealed to Brock and Amy for time and all eternity in the Logan Temple. Brock and Amy were sealed when they were married in the temple 6 years ago. However, because their baby was not born biologically he needed to sealed to be part of their family. Now as Brock says, Daegen doesn't haven't to be a lonely soul in this life or the next! Hooray for forever families.
Here are a few shots of the children outside the temple.
We were experiencing intermittent cloud bursts so the family pictures didn't go off as designed. Emmett was thrilled by the entire experience.
Way to go Charlotte on sewing her first dresses for her girls. Elizabeth was stunning in her white and lavender.
Brock blessed him after the temple sealing, at their home. And Amy had prepared a beautiful luncheon. Here are the girls and their cousin Elizabeth in their white dresses sewn specially for the occasion.


Cache Valley Triathlon

Last Saturday was my second sprint triathlon. It was in Logan and a whirlwind. Started at 8:30. I finished at 10 minutes later we had to leave to get ready for the temple sealing. However....it was my best tri ever!

Topping the list was zero panic in the water. I had an excellent swim. It couldn't quite compare to swimming in the pacific ocean at 75 degree water....but it was still okay :) My time however came in as slower than the last. It must have had something to do with the currents and depth.

Below is me in transition. I was still horrible! Here I am bumbling around with my watch. Couldn't get my wetsuit off again. I had no issues Friday night when I came for a swim in the Dam. Wetsuit pulled off in no time. Huh.
The tri was put together so nicely. There was a "kid-zone" for the children to make bracelets and signs. It was so fun to see Ellery holding this for me as I came around the corner on my bike.

My legs actually felt quite fatigued on the bike. I had only had 3 bike rides since my last triathlon. Brent was out of town for a week and then Hawaii. The week of the tri I did 3 really hard rides and my legs felt it.

The run felt amazing my time dropped to 20:55. I had never seen the course but exulted when I came to a massive hill at .25 miles in. Yes you read that right. Exulted. I love hills thanks to coach Marie! I blazed up past the competition and came in at 1:19.11, 4th place overall and first in my division. I should have been 3rd overall but my garmin was off and I thought I had more time to kick past the girl in front of me.

Great race and a full month to kick the training up into high gear for the Spudman!


All Grown Up...and In the Temple

Here we are. All grown up. Mom and Dad. All five kids. It was wonderful last week to have my entire family in the temple together. It was a first. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are a temple people. We follow the ancient practice dating back to the days of Adam and Eve of temple building and worship.

The Temple
The temple is God's house on earth. It is there we make sacred covenants with Him so after this life we may return to His presence again. In temples our families are sealed together for eternity. There is beauty and comfort knowing the family ties we create on earth will continue on forever. The blessings I have received in my life from living faithful to my temple covenants are innumerable. Truly, the windows of heaven are open, pouring down blessings upon me, such as it is hard to even comprehend.

Qualifying Ourselves
Because of the sacred nature of the covenants we make in the temple, as members of the church we must qualify ourselves to enter. In God's house no unclean thing may enter. So we work and sacrifice to keep ourselves worthy to enter His house. We must honor our family members, pay our tithes, live by the Word of Wisdom (health code), be honest in all of our dealings, be completely faithful to our spouses in mind and body, have a testimony of our living prophet and in all ways be living in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and his servants here on the earth today.

Go Forth to Share
Like the sons of Aaron in the days of Moses who were brought forth to the temple to be washed clean and covenant with Heavenly Father, so we may also. I am grateful for Monica's life of purity and commitment. Gaining her own testimony and living righteously she showed the maturity to enter God's temple. In 2 months she will go forth to share the gospel with the Italian people on a mission. She will be a blessing and light to the people she meets and with whom she shares the joyous message of our Savior. What good is having such a glorious gift like the gospel without sharing it with others that they may experience such in their own lives?


A Single Day (Half day) I got to tired for the whole day...

5:15 alarm goes off. I turn it off with my nose, or I could have, because I am that close to it. Even a King size bed gets crowded with 2 thirty-somethings, a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old.

5:21 slide out of bed trying not to move the bed in any way. Cover my prostrate, half-naked girls with our sheets, they insist on kicking off of all of us, all night.

5:23 try to locate my workout clothes in silence and darkness. Use the bathroom in darkness and try to muffle the toilet flushing

5:25 put on hot cereal, I forgot last night, so my family won't starve in two hours. Check email. Skim a Nibley talk on Adam and Eve, patriarchy and matriarchy sent by my father-in-law during the night.

5:31 start the same pilates workout I have been doing for 5 years now. It does amazing things for my stomach when I am consistent. I haven't been consistent for at least 2 years.

6:01 head up the canyon on my bike in a raging head wind. It will only make me stronger.

6:18 massive pride check. A man in blue jeans, and sweatshirt with sleeves reaching not quite to his wrists, on a painfully old mountain bike blazes past me on the trail.

6:19 I am still thunderstruck about blue jean man. Instinctively my legs kick into high gear. I barely kept up with him.

6:32 hit my turnaround. I can see blue jean man out of the corner of my eye. I passed him on an alternate route. Pride is slowly recovering.

7:08 pull into my garage. Remove gear. Start real day.

7:10 force Emmett, against all his will to hug and kiss and snuggle with me. Receive free kisses from Brent on his way to the park to exercise.

7:12 rinse out at least 8 poopy diapers built up from the last 2 days. Emmett is extremely regular. Start diaper load. Douse bathroom in vinegar while contemplating with sorrow the arrival of summer solstice. Remember it is my brothers birthday, but I can't call because I left my cell phone at my mothers 2 hours away.

7:18 feed Emmett his hot cereal with cream, maple syrup and golden raisins. A man sized portion for my 21 lb 16 month old.

7:35 put in the last two pieces of bread to toast for Ellery. Start grinding grains.

7:41 haul in the Dora big wheel Emmett spotted in the garage while I was locating the grains, and is now throwing a pointing and squeaking fit to ride.

7:43 haul the big wheel up into my bathroom while I take a shower. Goo man rides around and waves. Callista snores on.

7:56 get dressed and ready. Start a laundry folding party with Brent. Get a running, jumping, kissing good morning from Callista. I think every thing we owned was in large piles in our room. Race the girls to see who finishes first. Of course I do. Help them fold laundry. They claimed it was done but I located an unusually large pile in a remote corner of the closet.

8:23 start piano practicing with Ellery. Brent, Callista and Emmett stalk the tree fort in the backyard and jumprope.

9:30 Change Emmett's diaper. Put him down for nap. Brent leaves for work. Callista escapes to the front yard to play with the neighbors, while still in her pjs. Ellery and I read and I try to explain the finer points of roman numerals and cursive. (She wanted to learn cursive so bad, I am teaching her.)

10:10 Corral Callista from roaming wild with a simple call, "Time for preschool!" She comes pedalling as fast as her little legs would move. Ellery runs free with the kids.

10:11 Callista calls out "MAT," "CAT," "MAP" in no particular order. Certain she is reading. She is beaming. Search the house with our "dinosaur detector" looking for "D" words. We found door and dress.

10:33 Neighbor comes roaming in the house looking for Emmy. Callista bolts free.

10:34 begin to try to recover the house from the morning. Sweep up at least a meals worth of food from the floor. Laundry and clutter everywhere.

10:50 realize I haven't started the bread yet and my kids will be starving for lunch within hours. Start the bread. Make another doctors appointment for Emmett. Another ear infection.

11:10 the kids are hungry. I feed them cheese, nectarines, fruit leather, and some cookies I made last night. The great healthy chocolate chip ones. No refined sugar mind you.

11:35 house is coming together. Knock on door from neighbor. We talk cooking, water purification, food storage and gardening. I give her a little tour. We trade tours all the time to glean new ideas from each other.

12:38 Bread is done. Emmett is waking. Brent comes home for lunch.

I am getting to exhausted just writing this. You get the idea. It is the same for all moms. And to think I wondered what stay-at-homes moms did all day once.


6 Good Reasons I had 0 posts this Week!

Didn't the little white dresses turn out angelic? My sister and my children in front of the Logan temple.

1.Sewing dresses.

2.Monica attends the Temple for the first time.

3.Brock and Amy and bless Daegen and are sealed as an eternal family unit in the temple.

4.Crammed triathlon training.


6.Family pictures.

Now you see why I had zero time to blog this week.



Back from Hawaii! Brent and Ellery and I had an amazing time swimming, surfing, dining, and celebrating a wonderful 60th Birthday with Mimi, Papa and cousins. I missed my Pip and Goo fiercely but according to my mother they never missed a beat, let alone their parents, while we were away.

More pictures to follow!


Final Kitchen Bar

Finally our drawers were installed in our new kitchen bar. I am so pleased with how they turned out. Plenty of legroom. Discreet. In hindsight, I would have extended my bar an extra 2-3 inches so that my drawers could have been just a bit deeper. I am an inch short of placing my books and papers vertically. Oh well. They still give me more storage.

We opted to put no hardware. When the drawers are closed, they simply look like support beam. I actually like the look of the bar better with them, than without.

Much thanks goes out to our contractor Deskin and Kings Cabinets for a job well done. Let me know if you need their numbers.

I keep visualizing my children scooted up to the counter laughing and coloring... The future is enticing.


Glitter Toes

In honor of an upcoming escapade...glitter toes.