miles to go…

snippets from the zellner family

lemonade stand July 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:25 pm


The girls earned one of their badges on Wednesday.  They made a lemonade stand and worked it from 4-6pm.  They were hoping to hit the crowd returning from work.  They made the cookies during nap time, mixed the lemonade and made the signs. They selected the mission team that Eric just visited as the group they wanted to support.  So Olivia looked up facts about the Cherokee Indians and was prepared to share three facts about them to those who bought lemonade.

Kathy was our first customer! She was sooo sweet! She listened to the girls and was such an encourager to them.

Some of the sweet things that my children were able to see:

A boy from our church use his tooth fairy money to buy lemonade and support the missions team. (go Kyle!!)

A new couple at church stop by and donate $50!!! Talk about getting someone excited about missions- my kids were amazed! (Thank you David and Jen)

Two Orkin men (in different trucks) stop and support them.

A neighborhood family walk up to buy from them.

Our next door neighbor stop TWICE! (thanks Christian!)

A family from our church stop to encourage them and buy some goodies. (thanks McFaddens!)

Some of our youth group stop by on the way to Wednesday night youth meeting (Thanks Stegmans and Hendersons!)

A car full of teenage boys turn around and fish for money to buy some goodies.

In the end they made $115.  They are looking forward to sending it to Cherokee, NC this week.

   Dad stopped by to purchase some goodies and hear our facts!

Lucy and Cord woke up from their naps and helped us 🙂

Emma is using one of the ice packs we had out there to keep them cool.  They ate lots of popsicles and sampled some of the lemonade.  Lucy is wearing her Super Girl cape so that she can be like the big girls who are wearing their aprons.

   We ended the day in the sprinklers.  Much needed for us and the lawn!





God’s girls July 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 4:26 pm

My girls are not involved in Girl Scouts or American Heritage girls, but I wanted them to have the time to earn badges much like those two groups do.  At the beginning of the summer, the girls brainstormed the badges that they wanted to work on. They decided to name themselves “God’s Girls” and they really wanted to create a uniform for their new group and wear it when they do their badge work.  Too cute! My job was to figure out how to make a sash for them to wear and how to represent the badges or make badges for the sash.  (I CANNOT SEW!) I have terribly let them down in this area and need to figure this out quickly!

Here is a list of the badges they wanted to work on:







Helping Neighbors

Make new friends

Child care





Disabilities Awareness

They have been working on several of these.  The first one they attempted was Cooking.  They learned to make brownies and mac n cheese.  They were required to do all the reading, cooking and clean up.  They have now done that twice and they need a badge! Their reading badge will be finished when they complete their summer reading for school. Emma is done and Olivia has a few more chapters- I need a badge for this!  They will earn their swimming badge when they can successfully swim a full lap in the pool.  Olivia is REALLY close and Emma is half way there. They will be doing their service badge this week by having a lemonade stand and donating the money to something or someone that they select.  I need help making a sash and badges for both of them. Any ideas?


almost done July 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 12:14 am

eric will be coming home tomorrow.  We have run our little legs off passing the time until he gets home.  We function best with all of us here! I know lots of people have husbands who travel all the time- I know that I am capable of keeping my home and children by myself for a week- i know in the grand scheme this is not a big deal- But we like him here 🙂 My kids like that guy- I like that guy 🙂

We had an awesome visit with my family last Sunday.  They were encouraging and fun and helpful- all things I appreciated at a real low point of my week.  On the 4th of july we went to our neighborhood pool and had a great time swimming, diving and playing. Tuesday my dad came and encouraged us with his visit.  Wednesday we played at the Botanical Gardens and spent time with our church family that night. Thursday we picked blueberries and had a wonderful surprise visit from a dear friend at church. Her listening ear and motherly instincts were a huge help on another long day.  Today we went to the zoo in Birmingham.  We played for hours.  We saw tons of animal shows~ the sea lion show, the reptile show, the lion training show, and the kangaroo visit time. We played in the fountains and on the playground.  I fully expected it to rain, but it never did. We stopped by my mom’s to spend some time with her.  Again, we were hugged on and loved on and entertained!

What do I learn from this week? That my natural tendency during tough times is to pull away and to hunker down until the difficult time passes. But God continually reminds me that His people and His word are what I really need.  The people that filled this week were tangible reminders that God hears us- they were the hands and feet of His love for me.  His word is what I can cling to when other feelings try to push their way into my head.  Our feelings really do color how we experience life.  They can add so much joy to a situation,but they can also make one worse than it is.  My feelings told me to be alone this week, and yet some of the best times of the week were when I ignored that feeling and saw the people that I love so much.

I am looking forward to our sweet youth group coming back- to book study with them, to activities with them, and to long talks about what they learned on this trip.  But obviously, God had important things to teach me this week too.


a day with daddy July 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:42 pm
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My daddy, that is.  He came today and visited us.


The kids were waiting outside…counting down until my dad’s white Explorer turned the corner. After many hugs, we came inside for all 4 of them to talk at once and try to tell daddy everything they could. They all wanted to sit by him, hug him, hang on him and be in his face.  Dad brought a few things from my grandmother’s home that were given to me.  We unloaded them and looked through some old photos and laughed at me at 9 years old.

I put the babies to bed and he watched a show or two with the big girls.  He took them to the library.  I sent my library card and $20 because I knew I had a fine from videos and books that were overdue.  Turns out I owed $38!!! How in the world does this happen?!! I end up owing him $18 more.

We make some treats when they get back. I wanted to make these for the 4th but it never happened.  So we made them today.


You take mini ice cream sandwiches and roll them in blue and red sprinkles and stick a lollipop stick in them.  Freeze until ready to eat.  We left them for dessert.  When the babies woke up, we went to Lone Star for dinner.  Our family has been loving that 2 kids get free kid’s meals for every paying adult so my kids eat free with two of us paying.  Cord wanted to wear the construction hat that daddy brought from my grandparents’ house.  Lucy wanted to wear Olivia’s hat from dance and the girls wanted to wear ribbons in their hair.  So off we went and you can imagine us all squeezed in a booth eating dinner 🙂

When we got home, we enjoyed our desserts and played in the backyard until it was time for baths and for daddy to drive back to Birmingham.  The day was a treat for me and the kids.


Independent Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 12:14 am

Yes- I know it says Independent…that is what today was. Me and the kids.  We went to our pool that we joined this year.  The pool was sponsoring a family day- potluck lunch, games for the kids, and ice pops.  The girls participated in a cannon ball competition.  They made it to the finals (for their age group 🙂 ) and won free ice pops.  Then they swam on a relay team that used floats to get across the pool.  They sat out of the watermelon relay. It looked a little too hard for them.  The younger ones hung out with me at the small pool and swam for 2 hours.  Cord and Emma ran in a relay race and then we had to go.  I wish Eric had been there- he would have loved it.  It is a great community that is being built there and the memories that the kids will have are pretty close to being Mayberry-like.  I knew I wanted to go to fireworks at BridgeStreet so we headed home for a nap.

We headed out around 6:30 for the fireworks, but as we were loading the car, I could not find my purse.  I looked everywhere and tried to brainstorm when I saw it last.  I called the credit card company and nothing had been charged in days.  So I figured that I really had put it somewhere or left it at my aunt’s house.  I start to brainstorm how I am going to make it while Eric is out of town if I don’t have my wallet.  As a last second decision, I decide to look out the back door and there it was!! On the back mat!! How in the world did it get there?!! LUCY…stinker was playing and somehow put it out there.

We loaded up, very relieved, and headed to the fireworks.  I knew it would be crowded so the kids ate in the car while I parked.  As we were walking from our spot to the fireworks area, we walked through some mud and it got all over Olivia.  Thankfully we were at a mall ( and I found my wallet) so we went to Old Navy and got her some new clothes. She wore them out of the store 🙂


We waited for 40 minutes for the sun to set and the fireworks to start.  While we waited, a Portuguese family with a one year old stopped and started talking to all the kids.  The one year old kept hugging and hugging each of my children.  We laughed so much.  It made the time go so fast.  The kids did great through the loud fireworks and enjoyed all the colors and sights.  When it ended, there were tons of people heading to their cars.  We decided to stay and listen to music until it cleared.



The day was fun and busy and tiring. And a great reminder that there are moms and dads all over our country who are doing “independent days” every day of the year so that their spouse can serve our country.  Weeks like this make me even more impressed by their service to our country.


Firetrucks and “Sharky” July 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 2:05 pm

The local library has a story time that meets on Thursdays.  Every week there is a theme and this week was learning about firemen.  We have had this on our calendar all summer!


The firetruck was waiting outside.  Cord was listening to every word the fireman and librarian said.

Lucy sat in a different spot and was a little nervous about the fireman’s friend that he brought~ the firemen’s macot, Sparky!

Sparky handed out a gift bag that had information about how to be prepared for disasters.  Lucy cried and kept saying,”I don’t want to see SHARKY!”


The kids then went outside and got to climb through the firetruck.  Cord loved it! Right after that, the firemen received a real call and had to hurry away.  Cord watched them leave and then asked,”Where is SHarky? I didn’t see him leave with the firemen.” We decided he must have hopped in the car when we weren’t looking.  Later Lucy said she loved Sharky.  Every time I said,”You mean Sparky, right?”  🙂 Next week is Pirate week!