A Houston Wedding Florist

When  I was student teacher, I was lucky enough to work with a teacher who was also a wedding florist. So when Scott and I got engaged the next year, I immediately called Brad. He just launched his new website complete with photos from our wedding and my sister’s. Good times.

Photos from mine and Scott’s wedding December 11, 2004, notice the beautiful bouquets, boutineers, and kissing ball
Photo from my sister’s wedding in March 18, 2006 and again notice the lovely bouquets

If you are in Houston and planning a wedding then check out Brad’s website: Evans and Evans Floral and Events.


Starting the Year with Many Transitions

So far this new year is about my family embracing change…

  • I returned to teach at my former school as a full-time sub.
  • The girls started going to Mother’s Day Out five days a week.
  • Scott started taking the girls to school in the morning and embracing more of the chaos that is our girls.
  • We started sorting, de-cluttering, etc. to get our house ready to go on the market later in the spring – this makes me more anxious than our other changes.
  • A big one – Scott was temporarily unemployed for about 3 weeks of January and will start a new job as Communications Pastor at our church, Irving Bible Church.
  • Scott’s new job means I am now married to a pastor – weird.
  • And coming soon – Scott’s book, Tell Me A Story: Finding God (and Ourselves) Through Narrative, comes out in March!

I guess we like to take as much on a time as we can. Here’s to seeing everyone on the other side — The girls and I just have to make it until the end of May; we can do it!

Rejuvenate’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2012

Rejuvenate magazine did a piece on 40 people under the age of 40 in the faith-based community who, “serve others. They’re generous with their time and their knowledge. They’re planners who put their organizations’ best interests before their own and ministers who travel the world to share the gospel.”

To see the complete list click here: http://www.rejuvenatemeetings.com/the2012forty/

Or to just read about Scott, who is one of the nominees, click here: http://www.rejuvenatemeetings.com/2012/07/30/scottmcclellan/

I had to give him a shout out. 🙂

Tell Me a Story

Some of you may know that Scott is more the writer than I even though he does owe everything he knows about editing to me and my college textbooks. Well, this week he shared on his personal blog about the book he’s been writing: The book is called Tell Me a Story: Finding God (and Ourselves) Through Narrative, and it’ll be released by Moody Publishers in March 2013.

He’s been working very hard and using whatever free time he can find to work on this project. To find out more visit his site http://www.scottlikes.com/ and you can even sign up for his newsletter here. So go ahead and check it out, I know he will appreciate the support.

Colorado Trip in August

So I’m behind on blogging; I think that’s my new state of being – behind on everything. 🙂 But about two months ago, we took a trip to Westcliff, Colorado from August 6-August 13. We went to family camp with other adoptive families. Elise always has a blast just swinging and getting to ride horses. (I guess if we had a swing set we might never need to take her on vacation.) Elise also woke up on the first day and thought it was winter since it was in the 50s in the morning; we all enjoyed the break from the Texas heat.

A “Blessing”

I went to church growing up, but I didn’t grow up using church language. Weaving the words Jesus and God into my stories does not come naturally. And sometimes they way people use church language confuses me. Like when is the appropriate time to introduce words like forgiveness to a toddler? My three year old is asking me to forgive her for pointing her toe in ballet class; I would say she’s not ready for that word. She  has also asked me, “Mom, does it make Jesus sad when I run?” “No, Elise it does not make Jesus sad when you run. Jesus wants you to run. It’s just not safe to run inside.” And when did “blessing” start getting so confusing?


[bles-ing] noun

  1. the act or words of a person who blesses.
  2. a special favor, mercy, or benefit: the blessings of liberty.
  3. a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
  4. the invoking of God’s favor upon a person: The son was denied his father’s blessing.
  5. praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal: The children took turns reciting the blessing.

So if someone says to a stay at home mom,  “It’s such a blessing for you to be home with them (kids) at this time.” Does that mean:

  1. It’s such a [the act or words of a person who blesses] for you to be home with [your kids].
  2. It’s such a [special favor, mercy, or benefit] for you to be home with [your kids].
  3. It’s such a [favor or gift bestowed by God] for you to be home with [your kids].
  4. It’s such a [the invoking of God’s favor upon a person] for you to be home with your [kids].
  5. It’s such a [praise, devotion, worship, especially grace before a meal] for you to be home with [your kids].

Frankly, number one does not make sense in this context; I think the other four definitions are some cause for thought. The second, third and fourth meaning both use the idea of favor. Does this mean that the moms that choose and/or need to work outside of the home do not have special favor? Or are not doing something to benefit their kids? I don’t think anyone has to the right to make that kind of judgment. The fifth meaning brings up the idea of an act of praise, devotion, or worship which again what does that imply about moms who choose to work outside of the home? And honestly, I don’t think I’m worshipping or showing my devotion to God by being a stay at home mom. I think how I choose to parent and teach my children about God and live my life out in front of them will reveal my devotion and worship of God.

I think that children are a blessing, a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness, but I did not choose to resign from my teaching job because I thought staying home with my children would bring me happiness or was my ultimate calling as a woman. I chose to resign because I was ready for something different and to pursue a graduate degree; it was just not possible for me to do that while working full time and being a full time mom. We made budget adjustments, and I found a part-time job to make this change work. I did not envision my ultimate goal to be a stay at home mom. (What my ultimate goal is I’m not so sure, but I’m working towards it.) So, when we are having a bad day at home, and some one says to me, “But it’s such a blessing for you to be at home,” a litany of not so nice things run through my head, so I bite my tongue and say, “yes.” When in reality, the speaker has no one idea what they are talking about, nor what’s behind my frustration, nor did they bother to find out, they basically told me to quit complaining and just be happy. But you know what, I’m not happy about it all the time; I’m often frustrated because I can’t hear my own thoughts to think straight enough to navigate a way out of my frustration. If I have a day that’s too much for me and I show any type of sadness, Elise gets this look of devastation and burst into tears, so I have to keep everything I am trying to sort out to myself which just makes everything worse. It is antithetical to my normal way of talking out my problems.

We’ve dealt with the common transition problems and learning to share mom and dad’s attention, and most days Elise is great. But when there’s a bad day; it’s a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” Sleep deprivation is the major culprit in all this (for me, Elise, and Maggie); us McClellan girls need sleep or we are not very nice. But Elise has also started asking questions about her birth family that we did not think we would be experiencing yet.

We welcome these questions and answer honestly, and if we don’t know, we say we don’t know. We don’t make something up. It’s not a problem that Elise has these questions; it’s just another thing we are juggling as parents. But it makes me wonder if leaving Elise for three nights while we were at the hospital brought everything we’ve been talking about into perspective. Elise asked a lot of questions while I was pregnant, and we read through her adoption story a lot. But she hadn’t started putting things together until this summer after Maggie was born. The other day Elise even said, “I was in the money place and then you came and got me.” You mean the orphanage? Where does she get this stuff? The money place?

Needless to say, we have a lot going on. We all went through a lot of changes at once, and we all didn’t like it. I do think we are almost to our new normal and getting a “handle” of things (until Maggie wakes up at 4:45 am three days in a row – not cool Maggie). Which brings to mind another phrase, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Yes, he will! Isn’t that the point? You’re not supposed to do it on your own. So, please don’t say that phrase to me. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything – that would be better than a tritely used Christian phrase.

Sincerely, a tired full time mom, part time graduate student, and part time assistant who lives with two blessings 🙂

Dallas Fire Academy Burn Night

My brother, Johnny, finished the first part of his training as a Dallas firefighter and is now officially a rookie. His class showed us several things they have learned: rappelling, church raise, helio something, burn house, propane tank simulation. Elise had fun watching and cheering on the firefighters.

Elise clapping for the firefighters.

Johnny’s biggest part was the burn house. He was on the engine that responded first, Engine 54, and he was the guy on the nozzle which means he operated the hose in the fire. He was the first one to enter the fire. In the video, he’s the one kneeling down at the door; then you sprays of water coming out of the house after he enters until he finishes. You also here Elise and I talking a lot, so it’s pretty well narrated. 🙂

Then after officially becoming rookies and shortly before the closing prayer, the chaplain said, “There’s a young man that has something to say, but I’m not sure which one it is.” And Johnny stepped forward to propose to his girlfriend Erin. He had been nervous that something would happen like the chaplain or instructors would forget to give him time to propose, but it was perfect. They’re engaged!

My brother, Johnny, and future sister-in-law, Erin

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

In case you missed all the excitement last Saturday, my school district offered an incentive if you took early resignation or retirement because of the impending budget crisis.

So, I stood in line in front of this building at 6:15 am to I turn in my early resignation.

I ended up being number #232.

I found out this Wednesday that all my paperwork went through, and I was approved for the incentive and to resign. I do have to finish the school year, but that’s almost over. I have been a Deaf Ed teacher for 8 years, so this will be a change for me.

Now, I am going to work part-time from home for the adoption ministry we are involved in doing communication, social media, and various projects. I was also enrolled in graduate school at UNT in the Fall of 2010, but I deferred for a year when I found out we were expecting. In theory, I should reenroll for Fall 2011 which I do want to do while my scores and application are still current. I will just have to see how the two kids, part-time job, and part-time grad school works out. Grad school could get the ax.

Overall, the work offer was perfect timing for Scott and I who had had time to get our ducks in a row and know that we could take this step. Next year should be interesting. But God has already brought us this far, so I’m sure we will survive. 🙂

Lounging vs Training

So these days, I’m not into doing much. I did pull Elise around the block in her wagon when we had 70 degree weather, but mostly I try to just sit. Elise has generally given up on me playing on the floor with her when her dad’s around; she’s giving me lots of floor time off. (On this lovely snow and ice day, she and her dad are playing legos on the floor as I type.) Elise and I have become great at watching movies together on the couch. And my growing belly which Elise loves to comment on is going to keep me off the floor for awhile.

26-27 weeks

Now, other people, like my younger brother Johnny, are doing a lot of physical activity. Johnny is in the Dallas Fire Academy, and he has been sending me videos of things he has to do which are much harder than sitting on the couch.

The first video he sent me was of the church raise. A church raise (if I understood correctly) consists of climbing a 45 ft ladder sticking straight up in the air, locking your legs, and then doing a back bend like you would need to if you were changing a light bulb in a church. Then you climb over the ladder and down the other side, but don’t worry there’s some cushions at the bottom in case you fall. I’m out on that. In the video Johnny says, “I can’t reach sir.” He was supposed to reach his foot down to the third rung before he locked his legs and bent backward. But after he says that you see blue sky, so he still managed to do the back bend.

Then the second video he sent was of him doing ventilation where you cut a hole in the roof. You simply put on your gear – suit is 15-20 lbs, SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) is 47.6 lbs. when filled with air, and carry a 6-8 lb axe. Then climb up the ladder and swing away. Again, out on that. I did not miss my calling in life. Oh, and you need to do this skills test in under 5 minutes or you’re fired. No pressure. Johnny’s ventilation video is 1:39s, so he’s good. I like that you can hear the other guys cheering him on and saying, “Let’s go Fairleigh,” and when he delivers the final blow to the middle of the wood. Check it out.