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.


Welcome Home Monica!

Monica returns with lots of tears and cries of joy!

She is still as beautiful as ever.

Charlotte with her sign, waiting for Monica to return.  The first time we have seen her since October 2009.
Brock, Amy and Daegen drove from Portland.  Derald is holding Robert, Char's youngest.
We had to wait for almost 2 hours because of a plane delay.

Mom and Dad and Daegy

Emmett's Photos

She's Home!

 I shot a long teary, screaming with joy, video, and I messed it up.  I can't believe I can't find it.  I must have pushed the wrong button.  We are so proud of Monica and the faithful service she gave for 18 months.

When she spoke in church on Sunday about her experiences I was especially touched by her theme.  Monica's mission felt so different from Brock and Charlotte's because of email.  I felt so involved with weekly updates, without weeks of delay.  Vicariously, we felt her struggles, disappointments, and trials.  And yet, when she spoke, she decidedly proclaimed it was the most joyous year and a half of her life.

So how could that be?  Everything was hard.  The language, living with strangers, rejection, no comfort zones...

Then she read a scripture from Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...

This scripture and her example moved me.  I think about my life.  I had many years of roses.  Things just seemed to run so smoothly and perfectly.  My heart always felt full of gratitude, but somehow I knew in my heart it wouldn't always be this way.  Some of the ease was a result of the choices I made, some from the choices of others (like spouse, parents and friends) and finally a lot was luck.

Well things change.  I don't envision my life getting any easier than it is now.  What Monica and Paul impressed upon me, is that joy, peach, gentleness, these things are not dependent on outside circumstances.  We can have them despite the chaos in our lives.  Despite our sorrows and struggles.  It was a good reminder.  Certainly I need to work harder to have His Spirit with me.


The Sights of Kauai

Poipu Beach
Na Pali Coast Trail Head...We didn't make the hike with the kiddos.

The playground at Lydgate 

Berkeley and Pattie on the Beach at Lydgate

Snorkeling and Gymnastics on the Beach at Lydgate

Attending the Hannalei Bay Branch.  It was sunny the kids couldn't bear to look at the camera.

Making the hike to Secret Beach.  I think we brought the first stroller ever to this beach.

Secret Beach was our favorite.  The waves were gigantic.  Perfect for professional surfers.  We even saw Bethany Hamilton, famous for a shark chomping off her arm.  It was cool.

Burying in the sand.

Exploring the tide pools.

Our favorite restaurant, The Garden.  
Exploring the North Shore

On the way to Na Pali

Now I have run out of storage on my blogger account, so I have to figure out what to do.  Bummer.


Happy Three Emmy!

This is what happens with a 7 year old and a lot of time and streamers and love!
There are so many things I want to remember about Emmett right at this moment...
Out for birthday bagels for breakfast, carrying his new toy boat.
He loves his dad.  He loves his papa and his grandpa.  When he really wants attention from a male he starts a very rambunctious, rolling laugh.  It is hard not to join in.

Waiting for a lunch time gift from dad.
 Emmett continues to be extremely attached to his "nukie and bear."  One really doesn't go without the other.  By this point my girls were attachment object free.  I just don't have the heart to deprive him.  Emmett has been disciplined about once in his life.  He just doesn't cause trouble, so it is very hard to refuse him.  I may have to pay the piper later...but I don't think so.

 He would much rather sit quiet as a mouse on my lap during church, than attend the children's classes.  Just today, he wanted to "snuggle, read" so he marched himself upstairs climbed in my bed and fell asleep.  
Blowing out candles on his train birthday cake. 
 Emmett gets a bit confused with his colors.  He just hasn't seemed to grasp the concept yet.  His favorite poem is "Daddy Fell Into the Pond" by Alfred Noyes.  He loves to browse through landscape photography books.  Emmett is so particular about his clothes.  The outfit you see here, he refers to as his "Hawaii clothes," and if it were solely up to him, he would wear them everyday.   (I hid the swimming suits.)

Emmetts nose and ears and lungs are one continuous faucet on full-blast.  We used to call him "goo man" but the name as faded.  He only allows himself to be referred to as "good boy" or "big boy."  He breaks down in tears if he thinks he has been mean, or if it is insinuated that he has been naughty in anyway.  He becomes devastated and immediately contrite.

The cutest thing Emmett does is talk in 3rd person. He refers to himself as Emmett.  Emmy wants more.  Emmett is a good boy mom. 

Love, love, love Emmett.  He is an absolute joy to parent and adds an irreplaceable, tender dynamic to our family.  February 22, 2008.


Swimming in the Pool

This little rockstar caused quite the stir in her itsy bitsy yellow rose bikini.

Emmett was in heaven in the sand-bottom kiddie pool.  He belly-flopped off the rocks and swam to his little heart's content.

Every morning we couldn't miss the feeding of the Koi.  The children loved it.

We had a lot of overcast weather, but it was warm enough to swim.

Certainly the waterslides were a huge hit.  We went down hundreds of times.  Often it was very difficult to pry the kids away from the pool to do some island exploring.

I loved the "aloha" spirit on the island.  We hardly bought anything.  "Pattie" the so-named blow-up you see above, was given to us, along with tractors, sand toys, food, coolers...we passed along in return.

We spent a good deal of time in the family hot-tub keeping warm when the clouds felt cool.

This is the walkway along in the beach in front of the condos.  I spent a lot of time wheeling Berks in the stroller to try and get her to nap.

More fun pool shots!

Did I mention Berkeley loved the water!  I did have to be sure to keep a bow on her head with this swimming suit or else she was "So handsome!"


I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane...

...Don't Know When I'll be Back Again....

This was our family them song for a week before we left on our trip.  Emmett wins the prize for the cutest rendition.  It was fantastic to wake up at 4 am to the snow and know the same day we would be lounging in the warm sand.

Berkeley had a great plane trip out.  She was happy and cheerful the entire time.  She didn't sleep a wink but handled it marvelously since we didn't travel at night.

The children took turns watching their favorite movie on Dad's ipod,  Swiss Family Robinson.

Emmett was most enthralled by looking out the windows.  All the kids were as good as gold.  They kept quiet and behaved politely.  Callista brought a terrible cold with her.  Unfortunately it passed from her to Berkeley to myself through the course of our trip.  We went to the tropics and brought the sickness with us.  Go figure.  Despite this we were undaunted in our pursuit of fun.

We stayed on the East side of Kauai in a town called Kaapa.  We had a beautiful condo with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a top notch kitchen, and sweeping view of the volcanic mountains in the background with a stunning Safeway in the foreground.  Wink.  I guess we couldn't do everything perfect the first time.  I was really hoping for a ground unit facing the pool, to avoid the hotel feel, but they were booked solid and we couldn't even upgrade from out Safeway view.  Oh well.  Still undaunted.  The East side of the Island spoiled us with fantastic sunrises, with humpback whales splashing in the distance right in front of our complex.

The beach our condo lay on was not the best for swimming.  It was a bit rough but we enjoyed strolling along it each morning, watching for whales, monk seals, crabs, and just splashing our toes.

You'll notice how few teeth Ellery has left in this photo!  In one week she lost 3.

Berkeley enjoying the sunrise from the stroller.

One of the amazing things about this island is that while everything was full, it still felt empty.  Usually we had the beaches and pool almost entirely to ourselves.  The traffic was a bit crazy during rush hour on the one 2 lane road that courses the island.

The weather was fabulous.  It hovered around 75-85 degrees the entire visit.  We had a couple rainy days but nothing we didn't relish in the hot tub and swimming pool.  If it were up to Brent and I we would have spent a lot more time searching out exotic beaches...

But this trip was all about the kids.  And boy did they LOVE the pool!  We chose the only place on the island we could find with a fabulous salt water pool.  We wanted that warm, saline water in their noses and lungs from air, pool, and ocean.