miles to go…

snippets from the zellner family

Auburn tailgaiting- at home September 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:27 pm

Our friends, the Korotkys, had us over to watch Auburn football last weekend.  We’ve been friends with their family for years- we were both at Auburn at the same time, were in the same small group at church when we were first married and living in Birmingham, and were pregnant with our first children at the same time. They took a job in Texas and we headed to St Louis for seminary.  They eventually moved to Huntsville and a few years later we moved here too! Now my 4 children and her 3 go to the same school 🙂

What I especially love about their whole family is their intense love for Auburn 🙂 So they invited us to their home where we could have our own little tailgate party and watch a game together.

Kathryn is the hostess with the mostess and we always have the best time with their family.


During halftime, the troops played a little football together.  We are both blessed to have awesome husbands that play with their kids, are funny, and are sweet to their wives.  You never know who God is going to put in your life- or how long He is going to let that friendship flourish.  This is one of those friendships that I am so thankful that He saw fit to keep in ours.


Parmesan crisps September 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:50 pm

I recently saw an episode of Everyday Italian that stars Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network.  She was putting together a brunch and created the cutest salad for her party.  I wrote down the instructions and hoped I would have a reason to try her recipe.  A sweet lady at our church had a baby and I originally bought all the ingredients for her meal, thinking it would be a fun way to celebrate with her.  But I ended up making a different meal and never got to try the salad.

Dot’s birthday party came next and I was so glad to get to try out the recipe 🙂

You start with freshly grated parmesan.  Scoop 1/4 cup and place on a cookie sheet that has a silicone mat on it.  Flatten it a little with your fingers to spread it evenly in a circle.

Cook on 375 for 8-10 minutes.  I started with 8 minutes and just kept checking to make sure it was browning a little.

When they are turning golden, remove from the oven and let them set for a minute.  Then use a spatula and place them over an upside down muffin pan. Press gently around the tin so that it creates a cup shape.


(Ignore the fact that my muffin tins look terrible and I obviously need new pans 🙂 )

Fill each cup with a salad of your choice.  I filled these with romaine and topped each one with an individual mandarin orange.

You can also leave the cheese in a circular crisp and add it as a side to any salad.  I think I will try it with cheddar cheese next.


we could be in charlie brown September 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 4:40 pm

The Botanical Gardens has scarecrows all over that have been contributed by the community.  There were so many wonderful ones to see.

Charlotte’s Web contributed by the Gourd Society- all the characters were made out of gourds.  Amazing!

Mr Potato Head.  We took a picture of this because my nephew Luke LOVES them and collects tons. Notice its parts on the stick next to the head.

Mrs Piggle Wiggle was contributed by our school and was so cute!

We came across one that fit our family perfectly… Charlie Brown!

  Lucy with Lucy

  Cord is in the dog house.  He could be our Snoopy.

  Emma is stealing a present from under the tree- she is being Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally.

 Olivia is being the little red headed girl.

I guess that would make Eric have to be Charlie Brown and I could be Peppermint Pattie and call him “Chuck” all the time.

Where’s my green striped shirt? 🙂



Polka dot dot party September 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:53 am

Grandparents’ Day at our school was yesterday.  It also coincided with Dot’s birthday!! They had been at the beach and made their way up here by Thursday because Grandparents’ Day was starting at 8:10am on Friday morning~ a little early for my taste. We went to dinner and had a great time Thursday night.  They went to the girls’ school in the morning and hung out in both classrooms.  I have no pictures because parents aren’t allowed up there on that day 🙂

When the program was over, she brought the girls home.  Olivia and C-dub stayed with me and got the party ready and Emma and Dot Dot went to the library until it was time for them to pick up Cord and Lucy.

We hung a banner that spelled out Dot Dot on one side and had pictures of her on the other side.  If you ever get to go to Dot Dot’s house, you will have yummy food all the time. So getting a chance to focus on yummy food for her was a treat.  She always has a pretty table set for us when we come, with fresh flowers from her garden and beautiful plates for our food.


I didn’t tell Dot Dot that we were having a polka dot party, yet amazingly her brown top has polka dots on it.  How did she do that?

We each had our own petit for- Every time we talked about dot dot’s upcoming birthday, Lucy would talk about blowing out the candles.  With 4 kids, I thought we may have a problem about who would get to “help” dot dot.  To solve the problem, I put a candle in each person’s petit for and we blew them out all at the same time.  No lucy spit on anyone’s cake but her own 🙂


After the party, we headed to the Botanical Gardens- We stayed until it closed.


We enjoyed all the scarecrows that are up for the holidays and played in all the treehouses that are still up from the summer.  We love the extras that are at the gardens, but it was fun to be there yesterday with someone who loves the gardens because of the flowers, plants and trees that are there.  I would love to go back with Dot and C-dub again and learn more of what they know about all the plants there.

Happy Birthday Dot Dot! We are so glad we were with you on your birthday!




Summer badges September 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:52 am
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Some of you know that our girls were working on badges this summer. They named themselves God’s Girls and created a list of things they wanted to learn or do.  I wrote about it on my blog here.  A sweet friend at church showed me where to order badges so I wouldn’t have to make them.  We’ve been waiting on them and they arrived a couple of weeks ago!

Here they are: Art, Baking, Church Service, Reading 1, and Swimming

They knew that they were earning these because they did things specifically to accomplish them.  They participated in an art day with their art teacher for the art badge. They baked their own brownies and their own mac-n-cheese for their baking award. They did their lemonade stand raising money for the missionaries in Cherokee, NC for their Church Service award. For their Reading 1 badge, they completed their summer reading for school and for their Swimming badge, they both swam a full lap down the pool without stopping.  Obviously, there was nothing out of the ordinary here.  Children learn these things all the time in every home.  I just needed a little goal for us so that I don’t forget to see where we are in some of these areas and make a way for us to grow while we had some time over the summer.

I added one badge for the girls that they did not know they were earning.

My girls did so many little things this summer that I was thankful for.  They were loving and helpful with the younger two.  They actively played with them.  They picked outfits for the little ones, tied their shoes, filled their drink cups, read to them, jumped on the trampoline with them, swam with them, played house or teacher or any other pretend scenario with them.  My load was lessened  and my heart was encouraged by their effort.  Thoughtfulness was the best word I could think of to describe their love to me and to the little two.

There are so many days that I spend being the LAW to them.  What they should do, what they can’t do, what they need to do.  I am so thankful for these badges and for getting to tell them what a blessing they are, how they are growing up, how I see God maturing them and how thankful I am for them.

I still need to make their sashes…


Big girl bed September 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:01 am

We officially have no cribs in our house- Strange!! It has been over 9 years that a crib was up and being used.  Lucy’s room had a daybed and her crib in it previously.  We would read on the daybed and then put her in the crib. She asked and asked when she could move to the big girl bed. I would answer,”As soon as I buy some skittles.” We use skittles to reward her while she learns big things. Eric and I were both home last Thursday on his off day. (A true rarity!) So we broke down her crib and moved the daybed and officially said goodbye to our baby years 🙂

Just a little perspective on how little she is in that big bed…


exploring the art museum September 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:36 pm

Thanks to a wonderful art teacher at our school, our girls got to paint a picture this summer that the teacher put in a display at Huntsville’s Art Museum.  The museum has a children’s art wall and our school was being featured.  Mrs Williams is a dear friend to our family and has blessed us in numerous ways- from babysitting to cooking, from listening and encouraging to staying up all night with me TWICE for our annual youth lock in.  She spent several days with our girls teaching them techniques, letting them practice what she taught them, and then encouraging them as they did their “final” draft.  Now the final pieces are at the museum and we went on Saturday to see them.

There is a section in the art museum that is perfect for children to study concepts of art.  The kids had a blast.



We pulled them away from this amazing area and headed through a tunnel that highlighted art over time.  It started with early art and followed a timeline, displaying replicas of famous art from each period.  Olivia has always loved Egypt and there was a great section in the beginning about the contributions from Egypt.

As we wound through the area, the kids repeatedly would say,”I’ve seen that before!” The funny part was that they had seen it in an Olivia, the Pig book or on The Backyardigans or on The Little Einsteins.  🙂

Little ones were starting to lose their minds, so we hurried to the children’s area to see the girls’ work.


Wish I had discovered this place before this weekend.  I hope we get to go back soon when we have more time and less sleepiness!