Weekly Graces {Week 25}

Posted by casey on June 28, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Week 25

June 21st – June 27th

1. Fun with the boys at our now annual farm trip. Nature, learning, outdoor fun!

2. Everett’s ease in the pool.
3. Watching 1/2 a movie, both of us deciding we needed to go to bed and it only being 9pm!
4. Making cinnamon rolls just like the truckers eat in Caden’s current favorite book.
5. Summer fun in the backyard with the whole family.

6. Fresh cupcakes.
7. Breakfast date with just Caden.

8. Lots of yard work that left the boys entertained and us feeling productive.
9. Sewing.
10. A light, breezy, covered by clouds summer morning.
11. Full cart of groceries and produce.
12. My husband’s job. Allowing for #11 and me to be outdoors #10 With my boys.
13. Caden’s excitement over “water day” at school.
14. Girl and mom talk with our neighbor while swimming.
15. Sleepiness from summer fun.
16. Play dates. Friendships with history. Ruffles. Good hearts. Hayley.
17. Naps. Amen.
18. Allowing a 4:00 cup of coffee to assist me to the end of the day.
19. Advil
20. “Doctor’s check ups” given by my boys as I laid down with a headache.
21. Lavender Chamomile Tea

What helped you through the week? Share at www.jordylizblogs.com



Posted by casey on June 26, 2013 in Caden

Sometimes, you just wake up feeling like a pirate.

Are there any cures for pirate mood?

Because I had a headache last night that left me waking really piratey, and the kids, well they are always a little scoundrel-esque.  Toddlers.

See any on the horizon?  It is bound to cure pirate esque moods right?

I need a cure. Stat.
Let me know if you find any matey.


Toddler Fun {Salt Coloring}

Posted by casey on June 25, 2013 in Caden, Life as I Know It, Toddler Time

If you haven’t noticed I love a good project that doesn’t take too long yet has maximum entertainment value to fit my toddler’s attention span and learning curve.  Time for fun, time for conversation and only a small amount of prep and clean-up.


1. Set up your table with a mat or cover if you don’t want it getting wet.
2. Mix water and food coloring in combinations you see fit.
3. Using Elmer’s glue, fill your paper with swirls, letters, shapes etc.  We did a combination of his designs and my drawing his requests (rocketship, name etc.)
4. Shake salt all over your glue and shake off the excess.
5. Using a medicine syringe, suck up small amounts of colored water and slowly push it onto a salt/glue trail.
6. The colored water should “chase” that trail coloring the whole thing as it travels.


- I liked pre “serving” small cups of water for him to pick what color he wanted to mix where.  Then he was able to access them without my help and have some more choice in the whole experiment.

- I used construction paper this time and in times past but think I might try cardstock or poster board in the future so that it doesn’t get as soggy as we progress.

Need another idea?  Check out Toddler Color Fizz or the Intro to ABC Series


Weekly Graces: {Week 24}

Posted by casey on June 24, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Week 24

June 14th – June 20th
Cheers to summertime entertainment and lots of fun in the sun!

1. Me time.
2. Girls’ dinner, a friend with history, easy conversation, margaritas.
3. Sock buns.
4. Impromptu alone time due to a sudden father son park date.
5. Compliments from relatives.
6. Choosing to go to bed early.
7. Using Caden’s early wake-up to prep Father’s Day surprises.
8. Another successful newborn photo session.
9. Happy father’s and sons.
10. Utilizing a canceled adventure due to rain to due fun projects!
11. Catching up on life.
12. Popcorn with M&Ms and sea salt.

13. Coffee. (To make up for pancakes and eggs being served to hungry boys by 6:30am)
14.Fun fabric.
15. New music on album release day.

16. Reorganizing.
17. Headphones.
18. Whiskey
(Any thought to what kind of day it was based on those last three?)

19. Stretching.
20. Wearing the boys out swimming.

21. #2 combined with tiny naps equaling a very early bedtime.

Join the Weekly Challenge to find grace in your everyday life at www.jordylizblogs.com


Letterwork Summmer School {ABC Continued – C & D}

Posted by casey on June 22, 2013 in Letterwork, Toddler Time, Writing Nook

Hopefully you enjoyed the initial intro to letterwork I gave a glimpse of two weeks ago.  If nothing else, I think it helps to get our brains thinking to come up with new ideas for ourselves, or different ways to see how our kiddos will respond to and relate to learning.  Continuing on with our alphabet, here are two more weeks!

Go and Visit Some Cows this Week

Letter C Week Schedule

Recognizing Letter C Wks, Tracing Letter C

Recognizing Letter D Wks, Tracing Letter D

Letter D Week Schedule

Find a Way to Go Digging, Even with Shovels In Your Yard

Link to Letter A and B Letterwork Post



Posted by casey on June 21, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It

Old MacDonald Had a Farm, and we went to visit!

Almost exactly one year ago, on a cranky frustrated morning as I literally drove around aimlessly praying that at least one of my children would perk up I drove past Owens Farm and hear a “ding, ding, ding – prayer answered!” in my brain.  I had forgotten about it that moment and was able to entertain Caden cheaply while pushing baby Everett around at that time for a couple of hours.  Fast forward to this year and it has been on our summer bucket list to hit up again knowing that both boys would get to enjoy it this year.

Luckily, Amber had gotten organized and picked a date for a little get together there so we were official and scheduled to get this outing checked off our list.  This morning both boys got excited when I told them where we were going and spent the wee hours they like to wake in making different animal noises that they thought they would see and watching “Mickey and Donald Have a Farm” to get prepared. Phew!

Off we went to get there when they opened so we could beat the heat and any possible daycare field trips.  The boys were giddy and jumpy and celebrating as soon as we pulled up.  That being said, it was impossible for us to wait for the group to arrive, and since I only knew one of the other moms and she wasn’t in view, we were off to get started.  Getting started in toddler boy era of course means hitting up the choo-choo sitting out front. Duh.

What I love about Owens is that it is pretty much, free reign, self-guided, run and play and enjoy which is what I need with their ages to make it fun for them.

Before we even got in to check in and pay for our “tour” and goat feed, the most adorable and social little kitten came sprinting out of a barn towards us from quite a distance.  Sweet whiskers ran all the way to us just to say “Hi” and get some pets.  My dog-owning children who have cat-loving hearts were ecstatic and could not believe their good fortune.  I think they could have gone home satisfied right then and there.

Back to the farm animals kids, back to the farm.  Your $5 entry charge includes a tractor hay ride, checking out all of the animals and a cup of feed to give the goats.  A good deal if you ask me, but if you haven’t been before you really need to hold on tight to those cups and your kids for that matter, because well, goats be crazy.  They are rowdy and smack at each other to get closer through the gate, pick on the little goats and get their heads stuck. It is a strange sight and always takes a little convincing on my part to the boys that they can in fact hold their cups out and survive.

I don’t blame them for being a little unsure!  Once they start nibbling the giggles do commence and then there is the inevitable “All my food is gone!” reaction when their cups have been feasted from.  Being in this area, I do like that they have the opportunity to get close to the various farm animals (goats, donkeys and mini-horses on this side of the farm) to see in real life what their books show them.

Having the opportunity to feed the goats breaks up the pace of aimlessly walking and viewing behind pens that sometimes gets mundane for the little ones as they yearn for anything hands-on and interactive.  It is quick, painless so long as you keep all your fingers (kidding) and then you get to move right along.  One of my favorite Owens Farm animals are their BEAUTIFUL horses.  We lucked out and they were all up close and the main gate instead of hiding or resting in their individual huts.  You can still see them good when they are by themselves, per their set-up, but it was a different experience getting to see them all together checking us out as much as we were them.

The boys got to hear them whinny as we walked up, and see them dance their front hooves as they hoped we had something delicious for them since it was first thing in the morning.  No horse feedings kids, sorry, just look at the size of those mouths!

Everett squealed and jumped up and down pretty much non-stop as we neared these majestic animals while Caden was impressed, sat to watch, was leery to get too close and then ran off to watch the lawnmowers. – Boys.

This whole time, the little barn just to the right of us in these pictures is where the kittens were.  So, we also had to continually make stops to see them sleeping and each time our little friend would come out and continue to follow us around while his shyer siblings stayed safe in the shaded barn. Meow.

Caden waited very patiently for the tractor ride he knew was coming and remembered from last year.  The only hiccup was that he was quite determined that he was going to drive it himself this time and surprisingly didn’t get too upset with me when I informed him that just wasn’t going to happen.

They clambered up onto the trailer “all by themselves” (duh) and took their seats.  Anxious excited anticipation as they got situated and checked out the tractor in front of them.  Then, it started up, started to bump along and Everett freaked.  Cryface said he was scared, climbed onto my lap and was content the rest of the ride.  Bless his heart.  Just like on the merry-go-round at the zoo he is all for it until it starts moving and then he just needs his mama.  Caden quietly smiled and pointed out the animals to me and Everett and of course commented on just how bumpy this ride was!

It was a great morning for my very busy boys (have I told you that recently? :) )They ran, they climbed, they exercised their brains, the not too hot with a nice breeze was still warm enough to wear them out so much that in the middle of their picnic table snack Caden decided it just had to be time to go to the car where he would like to continue eating in his seat. Adios Mom, I’m going home!

Thanks to Amber for motivating us all to get going and head to Owens today!



Posted by casey on June 20, 2013 in Writing Nook

Mama Kat asked me this week to press shuffle on my iPod and delve into the song that pops up first. So here it goes.  Shuffle and listen.

Ahhhh…from the movie “The Holiday”, the musical score, “Christmas Surprise”.

As soon as it started to play, I felt the word that popped into my mind to describe it and the whole soundtrack, CALM.

With a three year old and a one and a half year old running around that is one thing I could definitely use more of.

I originally bought that CD when I was teaching because I liked to play it for my students while they were journaling or during some downtime to change it up from the classical that often got eye rolls.  Kids.  However, I agree.  It is upbeat yet calming.  Energetic yet soothing.  Something you can rest your mind to while tapping your foot.  The works.  They often asked for it and I was happy to “obey” their request.

While pregnant I listened to it driving for just those reasons, I can practice yoga to it, and yes, during the holidays it does give off a feeling off coziness and comfort that I just can’t get enough of.  It is one of those albums you can listen to start to finish without a second thought as it moves smoothly along only getting your disgruntled attention when it is over.

Truth be told, once this song came up, I made a note to play the whole album once the boys wake up to keep them in a nice state of CALM.

Did I mention that I could use more of that?



Introducing Everley {Newborn Session}

Posted by casey on June 19, 2013 in CaseyKazmannPhotography, Snapshots

One week ago I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the most precious one week old Everley for her newborn portraits.  I am fortunate enough to call her mom, Christie, a friend and my sons’ are lucky enough to call her two year old Wesley the same! This sweet baby girl, who according to her mama always sleeps was up and cooing during most of our time together which means that I got the added bonus of some snuggle and rocking time while keeping my swaddling skills sharp!

Here is a little peek for you of my time with her.

Welcome to the World Everley, You Are One Lucky Little Girl!

May you always have sweet, happy dreams Miss Everley!


Down Came the Rain

Posted by casey on June 18, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It

Summers are typically brutal especially with the little ones still wanting to be outside ALL the time.  Unless you have access to a pool or water relief of some sort to cool down is isn’t always full of “summer fun” those months of   The past couple years have been especially scorching starting early and lasting through September.  So, having a milder summer isn’t fresh in our memory anyway making this summer thus far seem even more chill – literally.

While we haven’t broken 100 yet, the other rare occurrence has been rain.  Not just a little rain either.  Full days of downpours, storms and cloudy skies. While we obviously don’t care for the damage and danger that can come with storms, the cool off in temperature and the relief from the humidity that comes when the water actually starts to fall instead of just sitting up there in those clouds is so pleasant and perfect for playing.

Yes, playing.  We have taken advantage on those cloudy, rainy days that are storming but just really hydrating everything by letting the boys tear off their shirts and shorts and go to town.  Yes, we are the neighbors with the practically naked children running around somewhat aimlessly in their front yard. What of it.

Besides, you never know when you aren’t going to see rain for months so you have to live it up while it lasts.

And then you can skip bathtime. Right?


Toddler Fun {Rainy Day Color Fizz Activity}

Posted by casey on June 17, 2013 in Caden, Life as I Know It, Toddler Time

Another rainy summer day means another day filled with stir crazy toddlers.
In this house, they go hand in hand.  If you are feeling the same thing, maybe this will give you a little something to fill some time all using ingredients I can bet you have in your cabinet/pantry/kitchen somewhere!


* Baking Sheet or Dish* Baking Soda * Food Coloring * Vinegar/Syringe*

** Bonus Points: It is easy prep, easy clean up and a contained time killer!**


– Pour vinegar in a small toddler friendly plastic cup of some sort. (Or you can keep it separate if you don’t want them to do it themselves)
– Pour a hearty amount of baking soda over your baking sheet.
– Let your kiddo pick out colors and put a few drops in a small area of baking soda
– Show them how to pull the syringe top to get about half of it full with vinegar.
– Slowly push the vinegar out onto your color drops and watch the colors fizz and grow!
– Perfect time to talk about colors, rainbows, mixing colors to form new ones and why the “white powder” is fizzing!  Then wash away your rainbow soup and hope the rain has done enough washing away too so you can get out of the house!

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