miles to go…

snippets from the zellner family

Parenting Irish Twins April 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:01 am
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I have a 4 year old and a 3 year old- 13 months apart- or Irish twins as they’ve been called. ( although i think actual “irish twins” have to be born in the same year)  It is only in the last few months that I have felt like it was different than just raising two children. I have done that part before. My oldest two are 19 months apart.  There have been trying times, no doubt about it, but they seemed to have trying times at different times and I could focus on that child and work on the consistency and the consequence and the reward that might engage the heart and stop the pattern of sin or help them develop and mature if it is a developmental situation.

The “babies” as I have called them for years are on a war path right now. There are several factors involved. 1) They are both about to turn their next age-  I have consistently seen our children ramp up in craziness at certain ages and they are both hitting those kind of milestones.  2) We are moving- I know they can sense the change and are processing it the ways that they know how to do that.  3) There are two of them- They constantly have a partner that  can join them in the craziness.  4) They are just 3 and 4- They will do certain things just because they are the age that they are.

I am working to figure out what I can do to help them grow in self-control and tenderness to authority- to help them encourage each other to obedience instead of chaos 🙂 Since we are selling the house, we changed Cord’s room to a play room and he is sleeping with Lucy. Another big change for them to learn how to handle that.  In the past few weeks, they have torn up Lucy’s room playing forts (I mean there was white fluff in the air that came from her pillows that had been ripped apart and the mattresses had been moved off the beds).  One wrote on the walls in the closet.  One opened his second story window and slashed the screen with his toy during nap time (Dangerous!! And I didn’t even know he could open a window!) Both have “painted” with mud two times- One was the playhouse and the other was our brick on our house and have had to be sprayed down with the hose outside and carried to the bathtub.  Both have had a splashing war in that same muddy bath that got all over the bathroom (Needless to say that was one tough day!) They have always received a consequence for these things and we have talked through them after that consequence, but I needed more creativity at this season of life.

My book club friends helped me come up with a reward chart to help them focus on two things: 1) Obey and 2) not destroy, but build up!   We have been doing this for about 4 days and it is helping (although one of the mud painting events happened yesterday and required removal of one of the stickers that they had received earlier!)

I know this time will pass and they will grow up and learn to choose better. I know that my consistency and prayers are the biggest things for them to achieve that.  But there are days when I wonder, is there another secret out there that  I don’t know about that I could be using and the growth would be faster? 🙂



Am I already embarrassing my children? April 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:28 pm

Tonight as I was putting the children to bed, Emma and Olivia were looking through the World Record Book for 2012. They were asking who some of the pictures were in the pop culture records.  Olivia thought one girl was really pretty. I told her that was Beyonce.  About that time, my former dance trance spirit came out and I reminded her of the song that Beyonce sings called “Single Ladies” (if you like it then you should have put a ring on it).  I might have done some of the moves from the video as the girls were putting on their PJ’s.  Emma, who is likely to ask a tough question, attempts to do so with as much tact as she can muster.

She asks,”Mom, has one of your children ever done something that embarrassed you? What did you do about it?”  As soon as it left her lips, I knew what she was saying.  I asked her,”Emma, are you embarrassed of me right now?”  She giggled and I had my first glimpse of the teenage years that are to come.  We laughed at all the ways that I could embarrass her in the future and at how creative she was in forming her question 🙂

Sounds like I will have to tone it down if I am going to be invited to chaperone any future dances for that girl!


Easter 2012 April 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 1:39 pm

We had a great morning.  It actually stands in stark contrast to Christmas morning.  Both were Sunday mornings this year, but Easter was so much more like I hoped it would be. We have been doing our Resurrection Eggs which are 12 plastic eggs that are each filled with a symbol that represents part of the life of Christ.  As you open each one, you read a scripture that shows you something about God’s promises for a Savior and then you see how it is fulfilled in the person and work of Christ.  This morning was the last one.  It had a scroll in it that read, “He is Risen.  He is Risen Indeed!”  We joined our church family for worship and fellowship and are now resting.  We will be eating dinner with our church later today.  Maybe it is because of the season we are in right now, but today’s beautiful skies, time of worship, and visits with so many people that we love have reminded me over and over of the abundance of blessing that God has showered on us.  We are never in need and He has blessed us greatly- spiritually, financially, emotionally, physically.  He is so good to His people. Thankful that He said,”It is finished”



The deep, deep love of Jesus April 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:51 pm

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

I love to hear this hymn sung with its beautiful music behind it.  The deep, deep love of Jesus that is the best love of every kind of love, is an ocean full of blessing, is a haven that gives rest~ Those beautiful images that tell us where to go when life is overwhelming, when days are busy and going at a frantic pace, when seasons are swelling with activity, when circumstances are more than we can stand.  The deep, deep love of Jesus has done the work.  It accomplished what we needed most on the cross and it ministers to us now as we walk on this side of that event. That repeated phrase: deep, deep love.  It is richer, fuller, wider, more extensive than we can imagine.  Praying that His deep, deep love will take hold of your heart and mine tonight.


There comes a time April 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 10:09 am

There comes a time when God calls you to do something that makes very little sense on paper, but it’s exactly what He wants you to do.  Part of you looks at the situation and thinks only in human terms, but the faith side of you sees clearly the call and has watched Him confirm it in prayer, His Word, and His church.  This is one of those times.

Eric has accepted a call to be the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Indianola, Mississippi.  Indianola is in the Delta, which means that we will be living in the northwest corner of the state.  Eric has had a desire to be a head pastor for a while, but we knew that we had much to learn before that stage of life. We have been loved so well and taught so well where we are right now that we are eager to share our lives with a church that is in need of revitalization.  We feel that our call is in three parts: one is to love the older congregation that is there, two is to attract and invest in younger families to build the church and three is to invest in the community of Indianola and the Delta.  The need is great and the work will be a challenge, but God has confirmed our call in so many beautiful ways for us.

I posted earlier about the book of Jonah and our missions conference. How timely of God to remind us that it begins with us believing we need a savior and truly depending upon Him that will cause us to be able to genuinely share that hope with those where we are called to go.  He is good and when He calls you to do something, it will be a blessing for you and for your family.  Scripture has been a comfort and encouragement to me as I choose to believe what is true about Him, about us, and about our future.  I ask that you pray for us to be able to sell our home here in Huntsville, to sell some of the furniture that we have here that will not fit in the new house, to end well here with all of the people that we love so very much, and to grow in our excitement and joy as we learn to love a new church family.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21