Cason Crew

August 19, 2016

One week ago...

One week ago our world was completely flipped upside down. Around 9:00 last Friday morning we got a call from another county asking if we could take 2 girls into our home. After asking a ton of questions (and feeling incredibly unprepared and nervous) we said yes. By 4:00 both girls were brought to our home. We spoke with the case worker for about 5 minutes and then we were alone with two very scared (and very sick!) little girls. To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement. But to say we felt God's presence in every step since then would be the most the truth. 
We have only had the girls for a week but I feel like we've had them for months. So much has happened in the past 7 days that it almost feels a little surreal. We have gone to the doctor, enrolled in elementary school and daycare, gotten clothes, gotten medicine, battled lice, given antibiotics, bathed, fed, cleaned, disciplined...it has been a lot! And to be completely honest, I am exhausted! But I am also completely at peace knowing that we are exactly where we are suppose to be with the Lord. I have no doubt these precious little girls were always planned to be in our home. God saw in His perfect plan this home would be the safe place for these girls for the time being. We have no idea how long they will be with us but we are taking it day by day and praying that soon they can reunified with their family.

One of my greatest fears in signing up to foster was just feeling like we would be so overwhelmed, clueless and alone. And yes, I feel overwhelmed and clueless every day. But NEVER have we felt alone in this journey. From the day we received these sweet bonus children we have gotten so many encouraging texts. We've had meals provided for us almost every single day. I've had clothes from the CALL closet as well as from random families. I've had friends make random Wal-Mart trips for me and people watch my children at the last minute. I have been so completely humbled by the amount of support and help we have received so far. It has been amazing to see the Body of Christ come together to support us. 

So many people have told us that they "admire us" for what we are doing. But to be honest we are just obeying God. We are just regular (sinful!) people who heard God call us to do something so we obeyed (finally for me...I fought it for awhile. Read my story here .) So many of you have told us that you could never foster or that you've thought about it for years but just don't feel like it's possible right now. But guys, if I can do this....SO CAN YOU!!!! Believe me, I am the absolute last person in the world who ever thought I'd be a foster mom. And while I don't believe everyone can necessarily have kids in their homes, I do believe that everyone can help in some way. There is such a great need right now. It is a crisis in Arkansas. If you have ever even considered fostering....do it! Don't try to figure it all out. Don't worry about all the things that you don't understand. Just trust that God will be faithful and will be with you through the entire process. And if you don't become a foster parent, support those who are. Go buy them toilet paper, take them a meal, babysit their kids for an hour, come clean their bathroom and do their laundry....do something! You have no idea what kind of a blessing you will be to that family. 
I write all of this an encouragement to those of you who are following us on this journey. I know we are only a week in...and it's been a tough week! But I feel like we are going to survive. I feel like this is totally possible. Yes, there are tougher days ahead. But I also feel like there are greater days ahead. Just last night we were at the dinner table doing some fun 'Table Talk' questions. The question was "Who is your best friend?" Presley told me her best friend was our oldest foster daughter. And our youngest foster daughter said that Drew was her best friend. Melt. my. heart. Praise Jesus that our bio kiddos are learning to love others! I was so worried how fostering would affect Reese and Presley. And it has been tough on them this week. But I could not have asked for anything better in how they are welcoming and loving their new "sisters". I can only pray that this is molding them into compassionate, loving, and generous little girls who understand that there is a really big (and sinful!) world out there and that Jesus is our only hope. 

August 10, 2016

Short Hair, Don't Care

Yesterday Presley got a big girl hair cut! We have been talking about it for a few weeks now. It was completely her idea. I had just mentioned that it was time to get a hair cut, as in a trim. But she said she wanted it "to my shoulders". So I made sure to talk to her about what that really meant. I didn't want any big surprises. I was totally on board because she is SO picky about her hair. And usually it ends up just being brushed and down. So I'm fine with it being cut shorter. But I did not want to be the one that forced it. But she decided she wanted to do it so yesterday we went. She LOVES it!!!! And so do I. I think she looks so old now. *tear













August 8, 2016

Clean Eating So Far

So I'm not a super healthy/fit person. I try to eat healthy and make good choices. And for the most part my family and I usually eat pretty well. But I LOVE sugar! And lately, I've just felt really tired and sluggish and "off". I've read a lot about how much your gut health and food choices can affect your entire mood and life. I tried Plexus for a couple of days but didn't love it. But I knew that eating completely healthy and clean could definitely be worth a shot. So I googled Paleo and Whole 30. I didn't do a ton of research to be totally honest. I have no idea what the main goals of these programs are, but I do know that they both involve eating clean. There are lots of things I can't eat like dairy, legumes, grains...and sugar! Like I said, I LOVE sugar. But I really wanted to see how my body would react to no processed or refined sugars. So.....here are my thoughts after eating super clean after week 1. (I would say that I'm doing Whole 30 but I'm sure there are things I'm doing EXACTLY right. So I'm just calling this experience clean eating instead of some program that I know nothing about really) 


-It's not that terrible! I already love all the things I can eat like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat. So what I can eat has tasted great! 
-I feel full almost always! I eat a lot of fruits and veggies and healthy proteins. I can't believe how much fuller I feel than when I eat simple carbs and sugars.
-I miss sugar! Like really miss it!!!! But I knew that would be the hardest part. It was a tough first week since it was Presley's birthday. We had cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, donuts....I resisted all of them but IT WAS HARD!!!!
-I don't hate black coffee. I got some coconut milk this week and it was much better. But I did manage to drink black coffee for a week and it wasn't the worst thing ever. 
-I miss my bowl of cereal at night. In fact, night time before bed is my toughest time of day! I usually end up drinking some hot tea...but it's definitely not the same. 
-I love roasted veggies! It's amazing how sweet they can taste when you aren't eating sugars.
-Food taste so much different and better! My taste buds are already changing and can appreciate the tastes of food so much more. 
-I've tried a few new things I never thought I'd try before like chia pudding, spaghetti squash, and roasted kale. 

-It's not as hard to eat clean when having kids as I thought. My kids already eat lots of fruits so that wasn't a change. Usually at dinner I have to modify my dinners or do something totally different at times. Those days are hard when my family eats pizza and I eat a salad.
-I do feel better! I already feel like I have a bit more energy. I'm still tired but it's different. Hopefully that just keeps getting better! 
-Breakfast meals are my favorite. I've done scrambled eggs with veggies and bacon most days and I love it! 
-I need to find more "Snacks" for when I'm craving sweets. A carrot stick just isn't the same as a cookie. But I know that's the whole point. 
-I accidentally ate peanut butter the other day without knowing that it was forbidden. Who knew that peanuts are not a nut? They are really a legume? Oops! (and I know I can eat almond butter but oh my word! It is like a million dollars a bottle!!!! I might just not be having smooth buttery stuff for awhile!)
-Speaking of cost....healthy food is obviously more expensive. But it's not totally impossible. I think if my whole family were eating clean we could do it for pretty cheap. Most meals are veggies, fruits, and a meat. Processed foods are easier but they don't feel you up as much so I feel like you'd end up eating more. But I doubt Drew will ever go for a totally clean meal plan! 
-It does takes lots of prepping. If I weren't a stay at home mom this would be very hard! I am constantly cutting veggies and preparing foods. But since I'm home it's possible. 
-I'm really trying not to whine about this process. I'm choosing to do this for my own good and no one is making me do it. I'm not even really doing it to lose weight. So I'm staying strong and trying to remember that I'm doing this for me. 

August 3, 2016

Presley is 5!!!


Our spunky little strawberry blond headed girl is 5 today! I can't believe how fast time has flown by. I remember her birthday like it were yesterday. I was scared to death to become a mommy but so very excited to hold our little girl in my arms. I never knew what it meant to really love someone so deeply until I had my little girl. This past year has been such a growing year for Presley. I honestly feel like she has grown into such a little girl now and has lost so much of her "baby". I was looking at old pictures from just a year ago and realized just how much she has changed. She is such a smart little girl and we love her so much!!!!







Physically
-P is still little petite girl and only weighs 32 lbs (on a good day!). 
-She is 3' 4" tall.
-She is wearing mostly 4T clothes still but can wear the occasional 3T and 5T. Her shoes are size 9.
-She eats so well these days and has finally gained an appetite. Her favorite foods include tacos, pizza, and anything sugary!!! She definitely has my sweet tooth.
-She has started to try and make her own lunches and can make a pb&J and can crack eggs on her own. She has also (with much supervision!) cut some fruit and cheese.
-She loves to sleep at night but doesn't nap anymore. She sleeps from about 8-8 (if her sister lets her sleep)
-She sleeps on the top bunk with a million baby dolls!
-She loves to dance and can do a back bend and cartwheel pretty well.
-She loves to ride her bicycle. We've tried no training wheels but it wasn't successful so we will try again later.
-She can swim under water (as of this past weekend!)
-She loves to kick a ball around with her daddy.
-She is always jumping and climbing around on everything.







Random
-She is incredibly smart! She has started to spell some words and can recognize words while reading.
-She can add and subtract numbers really well.
-She can write most of her letters really well and is constantly writing stuff.
-She loves to learn and is always asking me questions and how to do things. (she keeps me on my toes)
-She loves to color and draw and do anything crafty.
-She loves to play "mommy" and is the best big sister when she wants to be.
-She is very caring and nurturing but can also be very sassy and bossy. HA!
-She will go to Pre-K this fall 2 days a week and she is thrilled.
-She loves to sing and knows a lot of songs that we listen to all the time.
-She loves TV and could literally watch it all day, so we have to monitor her time. 
-She is very particular about how she wants things like her hair. It has to be perfect or she would rather just have it down with nothing in it. 
-She is very much a rule follower when it comes to how you do things. If you do something one way then you have to do it that way every single time. She doesn't like change!
-She is such a girly girl and loves anything pink and sparkly! But she also loves bugs just as much and is not afraid to get her hands in the dirt and dig for worms.
-She loves Barbies and can dress them up and play with their hair for a long time!
-She is very emotional and dramatic! When she loves something she LOVES it but when things are bad they are BAD!
-She has lots of good friends that we like to hang out with as much as possible. But her best friend is absolutely her little sister. They just adore each other so much and have really started to play together well (and argue well!!!)


P's Big Day

Since we've already celebrated Presley's birthday twice! we decided today we would keep it pretty low key. We decorated the house to surprise her when she woke up. Then we went to get donuts, opened a couple of presents, went to the library, face timed a ton of our friends and family, made pizza and brownies,  and watched a movie. We had a great day!