miles to go…

snippets from the zellner family

today March 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:17 pm

Cord has a new fashion statement he is embracing right now.  His bathing suit.  He wakes up and gets out of his pajamas and puts on his bathing suit and heads out the door.  It is so cold right now, but he will not be deterred.  No shirt, no shoes- just his bathing suit.

Today he added to the fun by becoming enthralled with a grasshopper.  He stayed outside all day playing with it.  He tried to feed it and he took it out to “play” with it. One of his favorite activities with his grasshopper friend was to jump on the trampoline with him (yes, still wearing his bathing suit).  He took it out of his container and placed it on the trampoline and started jumping! I was worried he would land right on it.  But Mr. Grasshopper survived his playdate.  This leaves me with a worried feeling that he will soon begin to like different hopping animals or slithering ones or hissing ones…


this is my father’s world March 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 12:24 pm

You know you should pay attention when something is in your head repeatedly.  For me it has been a hymn that calls us to remember that our God is in control:

This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

that though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet!

Whether it has been my Bible study in which we are studying about Rachel and Leah and Rachel’s utter jealousy and anger that she is unable to have children or whether it is my Sunday School class that is looking at discontentment in our lives that arises from an ongoing circumstance that we cannot change, the problem with our heart is that we forget that God is the Ruler of this world.  We have to rest on the fact that God is Sovereign and has ordained these things for our life as it is right now.

Rachel’s situation is a true heart breaker.  We can relate to wanting something so badly that it hurts. The pain that she feels is not the problem, it is the way she seeks to deal with her pain.  Rachel works very hard to “fix” her problem by offering her servant to serve as a substitute for her.  She also angrily blames Jacob for giving Leah children and not her.  Her good and right desire for children has been elevated to an idol of her heart and she sees all of life through that lens.  Jacob reminds her that conception and the bearing of children lie in the will and power of God alone.  God fulfills Rachel’s desires later with not just one son, but two and it is without her manipulation.

Jerry Bridges offers this prayer in his book Respectable Sins:

Lord, I am willing to-

Receive what you give,

Lack what you withhold,

Relinquish what you take.

He received this prayer from a friend after the loss of his wife.  How can we pray such a prayer when our circumstances overwhelm us? when the difficulty is more than we think we can bear? It is only in light of the fact that our God is infinitely wise and loving and knows what is best for us.  We cling to His word and remind ourselves of His character and seek His face.

Romans 8:28- And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalm 139:16- Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days they were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

He is not surprised by our circumstances and He is working all things for our good- which ultimately means those very circumstances will cause us to look more like him, be more like him and that is our ultimate good.


Nashville for a break March 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:50 pm

My sweet in-laws let us stay in their house over Spring Break.  We searched out the best way to take 6 people on Spring Break in Nashville and headed up I-65.  We arrived on Monday night, so we planned to eat out somewhere that the kids would love. Our original plan was to eat at the Rainforest Cafe or the Aquarium restaurant at Opry Mills.  Thanks to a phone call from Eric’s mom, we found out Opry Mills is still not up and running from the flood last year.  So we headed to Joe’s Crab Shack in downtown Nashville. It was a great atmosphere for a big family. Lucy loved the music and kept saying,”Party, party, party!” We ordered a fun dessert for the kids.

Rice krispy treats shaped like a crab that you can “Paint” with chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce and sprinkles.

The next day we headed to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro, TN.  We have a family membership to the Early Works museum in Huntsville.  This is a reciprocal museum, so it was FREE! We drove up and it looked small. I thought we would have a couple of hours at the most.  We ended up spending 4 hours there. The kids loved it. There was so much to do- hands on, creative, interesting things- in a manageable space.

The had a real fire truck you could climb all over, a farmer’s market from which you could gather vegetables in your basket and use the conveyor belt to unload them, a water play area, a giant slide, a creative arts area, a toddler area, a train room, a robotics area, and tons of other stuff.  We did a lot of digging in the construction area and worked on lots of cars in the mechanics area. We ate lunch out and then returned for a little more playtime.  Then we headed out to see our awesome family in Lebanon, TN.

Kurt, my brother-in-law, had a birthday recently, so we celebrated with him and played with my niece and nephew. It was very LOUD and very fun.  I am always encouraged by Kurt and Leslie. They are hospitable, easy going, and so much fun! On top of it all, they are both good organizers.  Leslie even agreed to return to my home (she did this for me a couple of years ago too) and organize some of my most frustrating areas in our house. She is very gifted at it and swears she gets a high from helping others in this way.  Thank goodness someone does.  We need her!!


Progressive, Free Spring Break Dinner March 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:13 pm

Today was our first full day of Spring Break. We spent the first part of the day watching WCA play baseball.  It was beautiful outside and our kids learned tons about the sport (by asking everyone around them all kinds of questions).  After a good nap, the kiddos played outside and even got a little ride on daddy’s 4 wheeler.  Eric said that was all for their enjoyment and not for his at all.

For dinner, we decided to pull together all the random gift cards and coupons that we have and see what we could eat. Here is what we started with:


I took orders based on what we had.  Olivia chose McAllister’s.  We had a $3 off coupon from one order and two coupons for free cookies.  We paid $.77 at that stop.

Emma and I chose Chick-fil-a.  We have three Chick-fil-a calendars and they will let you use the coupons from the current month or any month that has already passed.  We got two bowls of chicken noodle soup, two yogurt parfaits, two bottles of water, and a large diet coke for free 🙂

It was also movie night in our car.  While we traveled down University Drive, the kiddos watched a movie.

The kids participate in a reading program at school and if they meet their goal they receive a free personal pan pizza- soooo, we headed to Pizza Hut and picked up the two personal pan pizzas that we had called ahead and ordered.  It was all FREE.

Then we headed to Wendy’s.  We actually stopped in here and ordered some food for Cord.  But we also had four free small frosty coupons from Halloween.  We spent $6.74 here off the value menu 🙂

We ended the night by making a stop for our breakfast.  We had five coupons from Valentine’s Day  for Krispy Kreme dougnuts. Each child selected what doughnut he or she wanted for the morning.  All FREE.

Our total we would have spent was $42.  We spent $7.49 and got $36.23 FREE.  We had so much fun and got to eat out 🙂


Paci-less March 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 2:53 pm

The Zellner household is Paci-Less for the first time in almost 9 years.  Lucy loved her paci very much.  She asked for it when she went to bed, when she got sad, when she was tired, and when she was in the car. That doesn’t mean she always got it all those times, but it was definitely part of her vocabulary every single day.

Two days ago, she got in big trouble. She and Cord had been sent upstairs because I was helping Olivia with her homework and they were causing all kinds of trouble. I called out periodically to ask what they were doing and they told me they were playing trains in Cord’s room. I reminded them they could not go in the girls’ room and they both said “OK!”

Ten minutes later Cord came down to wash his hands and I asked why.  He said something about pouring “Blue in the bowl in the girls’ room.”  I ran upstairs to find Lucy washing her hands. I asked her if she had been in the girls’ room and she said no/ I asked her again if she made any messes in the girls’ room and she said no again.  I went in the room to find GLUE all over the rug, furniture, and wall as well as in a bowl. Cord must have been saying”Glue in the bowl”

She was put in her crib, and Cord was put in his bed too.  I hear her in the hallway and put her back in her bed. I check on Cord and hear her in the hallway again.  She was put back in bed.  Cord, thankfully, admitted his sin and took his consequence and said he was sorry.  Lucy was a handful! She continued to get out of bed- In the process I took away her pacis and told her they would be thrown away for good if she kept it up.  She kept it up- eleven times in all! Finally, she stayed in her bed and said she was sorry.  She understood why she had to throw away her pacis and she was tenderhearted.

But now we are living paci-less.  It was going to happen before her 3rd birthday in June anyway.  All the other children lost theirs or broke theirs in some way. Lucy has faithfully kept hers and so we were already brainstorming the best way to get rid of it.  We’ve made it two nights and three naps.  She still asks for it, but we have not had massive fits or anything.

Another season of life over. On to the next!



Wonder Woman… March 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:52 pm

Lucy dressed up for Babe’s party in a Wonder Woman costume that my sister gave her a long time ago.  It finally fits and Lucy loved wearing it. It is a onesie.  She cracked me up with her long skinny legs coming out of it and wearing her pink tennis shoes.

She posed.

She danced. This is her move for the song,”I got the music in me.”

She showed her muscles.

I wish she could wear this outfit every day.  It just makes me happy.


She’s 90! March 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:03 pm

My family has been trying to celebrate my grandmother, Babe, since her birthday on January 4th of this year.  My family was sick at Christmas and missed seeing all of our awesome cousins, aunts and uncles.  It was a bummer! But I was excited because I knew we would see them all for Babe’s birthday on January 4th.  Then Babe got sick! So her party was cancelled and we missed her.

Her children celebrated with her at her house on her big day, and the rest of us tried to figure out how to see her. The cousins decided to have a party for her, but sadly it was on a day we couldn’t go (something about Eric preaching that night, i think 🙂 ) Babe had a blast with her grandkids and really enjoyed visiting with them by herself.

Our family of six planned to see her the first weekend in February.  The kids wanted to do a dress up party (Cord wanted to wear his Batman costume and see if it scared Babe!) We bought her a tiara and a sash that said “Birthday Princess” and we were all set to see her that Saturday afternoon.  Friday, ALL my children got sick again and in a different way than at Christmas. I sadly called Babe and told her it would just be me coming down and seeing her, but that we would reschedule.

Well, this weekend it happened! She came to Emma’s jacket party and stayed through dinner.  My dad and Marion made all the food and half of the kids dressed up.  I still feel like we were a little thwarted from fully celebrating just her, but I am so glad that we got to be with her and sing to her and spend the day together.

Emma was dressed as a cowgirl and Lucy dressed as Wonder Woman.

Babe and the great grandkids.

Happy Birthday Babe! I always appreciate our conversations, I love our visits, and I am so thankful for our many memories.  I hope I have half the spunk and energy she has when I am 90.