miles to go…

snippets from the zellner family

Shredding chicken April 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 6:41 pm

My freezer cooking life has CHANGED! I have been freezer cooking for 5.5 years and have shredded more chicken than you can imagine.  This week was going to be a crazy week.  I wondered whether there was an easier way than boiling my chicken (18 lbs) and shredding it with two forks when it was done.  Some in our freezer cooking group don’t love boiled chicken, so they have tried other ways to cook it before shredding. I have always just boiled it~ until today! 

Two days ago I looked up ways to cook and shred chicken and came across someone’s blog about it.  It has changed my life! You put the thawed chicken breasts in a crock pot with water covering it.  Put the crockpot on low and leave it for 6 hours.  Next, dump out the water.  I cut off any pieces that I didn’t like (fatty 😦 ) and then I used my handmixer on medium to shred the chicken! It took two minutes! I bagged it and put it the fridge for our freezer cooking tomorrow. WOW~ I cannot believe a hand mixer can do that.  Did you all know this technique?  I am not a cook, so this was news to me!


the end makes it busy! April 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:50 pm

May is like December- busy! The end of the school year is upon us and everything is wrapping up all at once.  This weekend we are hosting our last Women’s Event of the school year.  Our ladies are hosting a shower to help Choose Life Ministries.  We will bring baby items and collect donations to help ladies who are pregnant and need help.  That same day, my friends and I are freezer cooking.  Our freezer is almost empty and I need to get ready for a busy couple of months 🙂

Cord’s birthday is Monday and the school is having Teacher Appreciation Week.  Both events have snuck up on me.  I love our children’s teachers and really need to think how to honor them and thank them for their investment.  We have visitor week at dance this week so we get to see what the girls have been learning.

The rest of May includes: A mother’s day tea (I am sooo looking forward to!), a Dance recital, Kindergarten graduation for Emma, and end of year parties for the kids.  It almost feels like each day has some huge event to look forward to.  We finish the month with one of our favorite activities- GOING TO THE BEACH.  I absolutely cannot wait to get there and enjoy the sand and sun.  Until then, I need to buckle down and push through.


bad weather means an end to fun April 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 12:29 am

I have been waiting for the Panoply Arts Festival all year- I missed it last year and hated that.  It is a great event that is held in downtown Huntsville at Big Spring Park.  It celebrates culture, music, and art. In the area dedicated to learning about different cultures, there are tents set up and each one celebrates a country.  The children have an opportunity to make a craft and see instruments, clothes, and pictures from the country.  This past Friday we headed to the festival and tried to get in as much as we could.

  Olivia was asked if she wanted to try on an outfit in the South Korean tent.  It was just beautiful!

  Cord made a hat and has his name written in Korean.


The rest of the night we made masks, painted tiles, made paper flowers, painted faces, and danced.  We were heading to more fun when the thunder started 😦

After a haul up a huge hill (in which Eric physically picked up the entire wagon and climbed up), we ran to our car and saw the fireworks going off.  Soooo sad.  They cancelled the festival for Saturday because of the weather.  Now I am waiting until next year….


April book study April 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 2:58 pm

Last week we looked at chapters 13 and 14 in Ted Tripp’s Broken Down House.  We are looking at how we live in the midst of a fallen world (a broken down house).  Chapter 13 begins by looking at how we feel when “Life is Hard!”  Tripp says that the difficulties of our life, big and small, can cause us to question God’s wisdom, love, and power.  We may look at a week and determine it to be “good” because it was “comfortable, predictable, pleasurable, controllable, successful,etc” but God may have another “good” in mind.  “He is using this period of time to continue the work of radical rescue and restoration that he has begun in us.” (165) Tripp compares us to an athlete in training.  We so easily see an athlete train his physical body for the game, for the test.  Daily, he practices, strengthens, stretches, runs, etc to grow and the drills and exercises are not pointless or random or without a purpose.  Similarly, God is training us-“building you up from frailty, immaturity, and weakness, and making you capable in areas where before you could only dream of success.  Where your spirit tends to be slow, selfish and lethargic, he is developing in you new reflexes and habit patterns of love and service to others. ” (166)

How does one survive this kind of training? With love.  The community of love (believers)comes alongside to comfort, strengthen, give hope, be present with, guide, give wisdom, warn, correct, be the presence of God’s love.  He describes the shape of that love as cruciform love– shaped like the cross, willing self-sacrifice for the redemptive good of another.  He spends pages 172-174 listing specific ways that cruciform love is lived out.  These were some of my favorites:

It means not keeping yourself so busy with you and yours that you have no practical time to love others.

It means being committed to knowing people, because you can minister only in very limited ways to those whom you do not know.

It means being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others.

It means being perserverant and patient even when the love you give is not returned.

It means admitting you are still learning to love as you have been loved.

It means being willing to own up to your own sin and admit your faults.

It means being willing to have your schedule and plans interrupted and altered.

It means daily remembering Jesus, being in awe of the gift of his love, and living thankfully.

Chapter 14 is a call to celebrate that grace we have been given.  He reminds us that the things that we say to ourselves about ourselves will determine how much we hold on to God’s grace.  Do we think we are self- sufficient?  We won’t hold very tightly to God’s grace if we are.  Do we believe we can earn our salvation with our good works? If we do, we are not holding on to God’s grace with both hands.  His final application is to ask what our dream is. “What you dream for, what you hope for, what you work for, what you make strategic life decisions to pursue, and what you celebrate will all be determined by what you tell yourself you need the most.” (181) 

Our final book study will be next month- What a joy and a challenge this book has been.


Awesome weekend April 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 1:01 pm

This has been such a good weekend.  Starting with grandparents’ day, it has been a weekend full of all the things that I love!  At our lunch after grandparents’ day, we enjoyed a FABULOUS birthday cake, courtesy of a very good friend, who probably didn’t need one more thing added to her amazingly long list of things to do.  We loved it and were almost too afraid to cut it!

Later that night, Olivia participated in her school’s talent show.  She sang “Amazing Grace” and was accompanied by our dear friend, Bertha.  I so appreciated Bertha encouraging Olivia and helping her try something for the first time.  It was a sweet time to see her face her nerves, do her best, and feel the sweet relief of doing something that you are fearful of and surviving!  


Thanks to childcare by Grammy and Dot Dot, Eric and I headed to Auburn with the big girls.  We had an amazing time, meeting players and coaches.  It was more than I could have hoped for!


We ate at our favorite restaurant, Niffer’s.  It has been a staple in Auburn and has the most delicious corn nuggets!  That was my meal 🙂

Yesterday we worshipped with our sweet church family and went on a date last night after church.  I have been able to enjoy family, friends, my church family, favorite places to visit.   Have you ever been completely content? In all areas of your life? Thankful, joyful, blessed.  God is so good to me and has blessed me more than I deserve.


Grandparents’ Day April 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:42 pm

Friday was Grandparents’ Day at our school.  This year we were so happy to have ALL our grandparents there.  The kids had a small program first and then the grandparents went to the children’s rooms and saw what they have been working on.  Pictures were colored, work was shown, butterflies were looked at, and teachers were met.  It truly is overwhelming to me that my parents and Eric’s are so invested in our family.  The kids adore them and we are cared for in so many ways.  It is a true joy for me to have them with us.

We ate lunch at our house afterward.  Another benefit of them all being here- enough attention for all the little ones to spread around! Dot dot and C dub took Lucy home and have spent days with her now.  My mom kept Cord so we could go to Auburn yesterday.  Dad and Marian came early so they would be here all day for grandparents’ day.  Those kinds of gifts- of time, of care, of coming along side of us- are too precious for words.  It really was a Happy Grandparents’ Day!


timing April 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:54 am

We had planned to host the youth fellowship at our house tonight- the groceries were bought, the house has been cleaned and the desserts have been made.  I love having the youth and their families over.  It is so fun to see them hang out and I love getting  a chance to be with the moms and dads too.  Cord had big plans to have some of them help him build a train track in his room.  Last night, Emma woke up in the middle of the night and got sick 😦  Olivia got sick this morning.  How does that happen? We are home this morning hoping it is short lived and the fellowship has moved to the church tonight.  I know it will work out fine, but I wish things were different today.  I am trying to learn to welcome interruptions to my plans and remember that my plans are always just that- MY plans.  HIS plans are always better and there is something to learn and look forward to even in this.  Today I was reminded through this timing that my first job is at home: Wife and Mom.