long legged style {small style}

livi hasn't made an appearance in {small style} as of late so i thought it was about time.  this is mainly due to her awesome napping schedule {thank-you babywise!}.
every time i take livi in for her check ups at our elderly dr's office, he rants & raves about how tall she is going to be. "it's those long legs!" he says.  according to our white browed dr, she's going to be the tallest in the family, kinda like my own baby sister, mekr, who now towers above me.  now that summer is finally here, those scrawny little legs & arms just look so scrumptious in little sundresses & the like.
so here's a little {small style} tribute to those long legs & those delicious little baby toes!

perhaps martial arts are in her future?

oh, those dimples!

i am absolutely in love with that smile!
{sundress}: carter's {blankie}: swaddle-by-design, which i bought at chapters on clearance so not sure if they are still there or not... this blanket is my absolute favourite.  it has the swaddling instruction written right on the tag, which is easy peasy for passing onto babysitters {or daddies as the case may be}.  i also love this blankie because it's huge... you could probably swaddle an elephant in it!  

heaven's perfection.

i am a perfectionist.  was a perfectionist.  now a recovering perfectionist. my early concept of perfection was that everything on the outside had to be without wrinkle or blemish.  anything anyone could see & pass judgement on had to be sparkling, without fault.  consequently, i lived quite rumpled & disorganized on the inside.   failures taunted me constantly.  cutting criticism.  anything that was less than perfect i saw as a reflection of my incompetence. i was lead astray by that old attage "practice make perfect".  i practiced & practiced but never made perfect.  striving became an obsession, something that i enjoyed when i succeeded but was devastated by when i came up anything less than perfect.
and then the revelation came quite suddenly that my definition of perfection needed to change.  i had been reading about how Jesus stepped out of the perfection of heaven & lowered himself into this imperfect, smelly, dirty place.  but He was still perfect.  He lived here on earth, but He was living out of heaven's perfection.  perfect peace.  perfect joy.  perfect love. perfect.
i want to live out of that place.  the place of perfect grace that creates the ability for perfect love. undisturbed perfect joy.  perfect peace.  it is that place that i long to live.  not the crumb-less, wrinkle-less place i had created on the outside.  there will be crumbs in this life & there will be wrinkles.  but that perfect inner place never has to be disturbed.   it is a sanctuary in times of stained clothing & smelly bums.  it is a deep well of salvation.  it is something driven & inspired by the Holy Spirit.  something beautifully perfect that sticky hands cannot reach.
i believe that God put a craving for excellence in me.  a good craving that i had misunderstood at first.  a craving to see the excellence of heaven here, in the inner perfection of His love & joy & peace which then gets accidentally reflected on the outside without any striving in between.  this is stepping out of heaven's perfection.  living out of heaven's perfect. the secret is in understanding what matters.  the priorities unseen. love, peace, joy, relationship, souls...

"i used to be afraid of failing at things that really mattered to me, but now i'm more afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter."
{bob goff, love does}


crazy noise

our house is noisy.  loud.  deafening at times.   but it is amazing to me how noise transforms based on how i perceive it.  with so much noise in our house, it has been a necessary key to survival.  when i can hear crying as training or the incessant 'mommy! mommy!' as 'i love you' or the shrieking as learning to communicate my entire experience is transformed.
but for the days when my tolerance is dwindling for the loud crazy noise, i have been trying to help them channel some of that noise.  here is one of my absolute favourite resources at the moment. we have both the mp3 & the dvd.  the dvd is a great way to get out some of their pent up energy... and those dance moves, just adorable! and if the dvd isn't accessible, we can break out into song just about anywhere and "make a crazy, crazy joyful noise... a wacky, silly, funny noise that you enjoy!"

and for quieter nights i love this too. davith usually listens to this cd while falling asleep.  they have amazing testimonials on their website of kids who suffered from night terrors sleeping soundly through the night or kids with behaviour challenges finally being at peace.  it is amazing the profound effect & power of scripture.  i must admit, i turn davith's cd player on a little louder than usual when steve is away so that i can hear this as i fall asleep.  i loved it so much i bought volume II.


bad blogger anonymous

well, i did it again! another week without posting... i could blame it on that gorgeous weather we've been having, on the trillions of errands that took over my afternoons or on my hubby who hasn't been at a hundred percent capacity, leaving me as the only able bodied parent... oh yes, there are a great many things i could use as my excuse... but in usual blog tradition, here are two videos as a peace offering...
i was just thinking about how much i am loving the 3s and here are two reasons why...


park wear {small style}

well, summer is in full swing here in ottawa & we are loving it.  i love where we live for lots of reasons but one of the many reasons is our proximity to the park by the river.  the boys love throwing rocks & sticks & watching them float by.  evie & i count & feed ducklings & turtles.  livi chats to the branches bowing in the breeze.  it's one of my favourite ends to a sunny day. here are some pics of my favourite end to this sunny day...
{kai}: onesie {gymboree}, shorts {children's place}, sandals {no imprint, thrifted}
{eva}: dress {carter's}, sandals {no imprint, thrifted}
{sadly, davith & livi did not make an appearance in this edition of small style ... it take a little pinch of magic to get everyone's outfits all documented on any given day... maybe next week!}
someone has found a new storage
compartment... for his rocks!

kai's still filling his shirt with rocks

the perfect end with a perfect picnic


where i belong.

once you've tasted His presence, you're ruined for anything else.
this is the cry of my heart.
it's where i belong.


happy mother's day

"how in the world can a woman become a Mother & rightly raise up a child - unless by a miracle of the Father?"
 {ann voskamp}

because being a good mother is all about knowing the perfect Father.
in the young days of my motherhood, i feared i would mess it all up. that a mother's day would come when i wouldn't get a card or a call.  that a day would come when my kids would resent me for all my imperfections. that my humility wouldn't be enough to heal the wounds i had inevitably inflicted.
but then i heard Him whisper to my fears... just find refuge in me, the Perfect Father.  the perfect parent. and they will follow.  just point them toward me & in me, they will find all that they need.  all lack melts away in My presence.  all criticism dissolves, for I am the perfectly extravagant, loving Father.  and in me nothing is lost, nothing is wasted. 
because being a good mother is all about knowing the perfect Father.

homemade bug spray

as mentioned in the last edition of {small style}, we are fans of all natural bug spray.  the challenge with using all natural is that it's only effective for a short amount of time {only as long as the smell lasts}.  the kids usually go off & play for about 15 minutes & then come find me once the bugs begin to pester again.  now it's just become a part of our routine. a few mosquito bites never really hurts & helps build up their little bodies' tolerance {we use kids afterbite or a little witch hazel for any big itching issues}. the upside of using natural solutions is not only staying away from harmful chemicals but that scrumptious smell!

i usually buy it at a health food store or at loblaws but after going through an entire bottle this past weekend, i figured it might be wise to learn how to make it myself.  so here are some recipes from wellness mama that i am experimenting with...

wellness mama bug spray

  • essential oils: choose from citronella, cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, lavender, mint
  • natural witch hazel
  • distilled or boiled water
  • vegetable glycerin {optional}
  1. fill spray bottle 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  2. add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
  3. add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using
  4. add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent.  the more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.
find other cool recipes here for bug spray like fresh or dried herb bug spray or super strong vinegar of the four thieves insect repellent {i like the story behind this one!}.


what to wear for a frog hunt {small style}

saying that we love to go to the cottage would be an understatement. we LOVE going to the cottage.  it's the first place that davith didn't want to leave.  as a true farm girl at heart, having kids has made me miss my country roots.  we have often talked about moving to the outskirts of town & commuting in but with our line of work that just wouldn't do.  so, the cottage has become our perfect compromise.  it is an hour & a half from ottawa & peterborough {steve works in both places & family lives in peterborough}, easy to get to & already full of great memories. whenever steve travels down to peterborough, we often come to the cottage as kind of a base. and that's exactly what we did this weekend.  the wilkins' grandparents came to keep me company while steve was in town.  i think we spent the entire weekend outside.  i love it when they come in at night with that great outdoors smell in their hair.  it was fabulous.  here's some picture of our frog/butterfly hunt for this edition of {small style}:

lester, our wild hare came out to watch

hoods are great for keeping the bugs from
biting... so is natural clove mix!

kai's new trike from g-ma & g-pa {his birthday is on sunday!}

she thinks the golf caddy is a vacuum 

sporting her new haircut 

happy farm feet

our first boat ride as a fam went great... until eva figured
out how to use the handles on the back of the boy's life
jackets! turns out you can have a timeout just about anywhere
{eva}: sweater {joe}, pants {mexx}, boots {no name, value village}
{kai}: shirt {children's place}, jeans {joe}, boots {no name, value village}
{davith}: t-shirt {gymboree}, jeans {joe}


healthy date, healthy mate {date night}

i've heard kickboxing can be great marriage therapy! :)
date night for us usually consist of unhealthy habits like stuffing our faces with food or a long movie or the long chat about work/kids while stuffing our faces combo.  which is ok every once in a while but not necessarily the healthiest way to de-stress & often ends in bloated tiredness.  we have guarded our home vigilantly & promoted healthy habits where ever possible when it comes to our kids.  but as we are continuing to realize, our kids are more perceptive than we think & we need to model health even when the kids aren't looking.  but it's not just about the kids, this is about us.  we often like to set goals or talk about our dreams on date nights.  so it got me thinking... what better way to bond than start investing in each others interests & sharpen/expand our healthy habits & skills set.   to help give us a boost, we have preplanned our first couple of dates which includes a tour/workout at a new club we're considering, a trip to le nordik & guitar lessons, just to name a few. all are about the same amount of money & time just creative & life building.  it's a great way to prioritize & push each other into new things we wouldn't otherwise have the courage or time to do on our own.  looking forward to the multiple ways we find to release stress & finally get to some of those dream lists.  i am really looking forward to this.  i'm sure we'll still go out for dinner & a movie every once in a while but it is also really nice to try something different.
here's to the healthy date, healthy mate initiative!


love straw {letters to davith}

"would you like some milk with your muffin?" i ask only as a formality, already knowing the answer.
"ya!" you shout enthusiastically, as a few muffin crumbs erode from the corners of your mouth.
"yes, please you mean?"
"yes, please!"
i fill your blue cup, plunk in a straw & slide it across the counter.  i busy myself with counters & crumbs as you stuff your cheeks with muffin in your usual fantastical muffin eating fashion.
"hey mummy! look it's my love straw from balentines day!"
"why yes it is..."
"and mummy, i wish i could drink with this straw eberyday!"

oh yes, davith. we all would have a better day if we drank from our love straws.  love straws change everything.  love changes perception.  pumps life to the heart, oxygen the muscles.  love is not a merely a concept nor ideal.  it is the reason we exist, the motivation for everything, our purpose, our soul craving. sometimes we draw from our love straw without knowing.  other times, it is a hard intentional choice.  for when we allow ourselves to draw from love, we possess the ability to love imperfect people.  and when we love imperfect people, His love is perfected in us. 

splash wear {small style}

spring had sprung here in ottawa! and we are loving it... rain & all!  i usually try to get thrifted/super cheap coats & splash wear but when you have four little ones who are obsessed with the great outdoors, a flimsy zipper is just not going to do! so i decided to invest in exactly what we needed instead of making due with what we have.  my goal was that i could send the kids out in any kind of weather... rain, wind, snow, apocalypse, you name it.  so i found these insulated raincoats & waterproof splash pants.  these splash pants are so incredible! they can lay down in a puddle & not a drop gets in.  i am a fan. especially since the mud pit in the backyard has been pretty popular with our lot.  here are some pics of our newest investment: invisible splash wear.

 {eva}: coat {gagou tagou}, splash pants {golden valley - bought at kiddietown}, boots {value village - no tag}, mittens {carter's}, hat {joe}
{kai}: coat with removable liner {oshgosh}, mittens {dollarama}, boots {hand-me-down, no label}... i did end up buying kai a pair of the same splash pants too!
{davith}: coat {tag}, hat {kiddietown, weird label, not sure brand}, splash pants {golden valley}, mittens {dollarama}, boots {hand-me-down, no label}

*coat buying tips: in my experience, if you wait until a month into the season prices drop significantly. i tend to try to go for coats with liners, which means multiple seasons & temperatures. and for splash pants, i always buy one size too big, if they are elastic around the boot, which usually means they last for 2 years.  


brain fuzzies

sorry faithful readers for my lack of posting these past two weeks! it turns out (so the Doctor says) i have a mild concussion from the accident which has made it a little more difficult to get thoughts on paper. who knew?!

whiplash is one of those weird things that hasn't really been studied until the past few years.  apparently a common accessory symptom to whiplash is a concussion.  i guess brains are a little easier jostled around than one may have first thought.  did you know that symptoms of a concussion can include: nervousness or anxiety, sadness, irritability, more emotional, trouble falling asleep, drowsiness, fatigue or low energy, confusion & difficulty remembering or concentrating, feeling like "in a fog" or "don't feel right", feeling slowed down, headache & head pressure, neck pain, nausea, dizziness, balance problems, vision issues & sensitivity to light & noise?  that explains a lot about the past couple weeks! phew... i thought i was pregnant!  not that that would have been a bad thing just a surprise thing. given that ambiguous list, i wonder if i've been concussed since having my first child! ;-)

anyways, on the mend now.  not totally up to speed yet but getting there. will begin to post more as my brain fuzzies begin to lift.

and in usual blog tradition, i believe i owe you all a video as penance...

kai absolutely loves going to the park... we have to be careful when we open the front door sometimes because he just takes off with those little legs a flying!