miles to go…

snippets from the zellner family

Motors, Mud, and Many laughs August 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:04 pm
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Today a dear family that we love from Huntsville drove ALL THE WAY to Indianola to bring us our Green Suburban. Yes, the old Green Machine made it to our new home with the help of this amazing family who was willing to drive 6.5 hours in the morning and then turn around and drive right back that afternoon. It almost feels like a dream. I think they were really here- I have pictures and other evidence to look at that says they did come- but it went so fast, I almost can’t believe they were with us today.

We were waiting outside to see them arrive:

Here they come…


There were hugs for everybody. And two little buddies were reunited.

It was just like old times- immediately they set to work and were all boy! While we toured our home and the church, these two were in our back yard playing in the dirt….wait, make that mud! This is what we found when we got back.


They were taking a mud bath and loving every minute of it. As we tried to get them out, it only got worse.

 somewhere between this picture and this 


Cord dunked his head in the mud too.  We had to hose them down in our front yard and change their clothes so that his buddy could climb back in his family’s car and head home to Huntsville.

Eric was reunited with his buddy too 🙂

There were so many moments that I wanted to savor and remember. God is so good to give us people that bring us so much joy.  Each member of their family has a unique place in our hearts. Thankful for friendships that last!


Mom’s 1st visit August 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 2:43 pm
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Mom came this week and it was so much fun for us. The kids have been so eager for her to visit and see their new home and I have been eager to show her around too. She arrived on Tuesday in time to see Olivia’s first time to cheer at a football game. She was a trooper to sit through two pee wee games.


She gave lots of cuddles and snuggles (to all of us 🙂 ). She loved the house, the town and the people that she met. I loved that she was able to see what a blessing the house is that we live in. Now when we talk, she can “see” us in each room. The kids were gone to school in the morning, so we were able to spend time together too- eating lunch out one day and hanging  in our house with sweet Mugsy the other morning.

She also babysat for us so we could go to the B B King concert in town. He comes each year for a Homecoming concert, since he lived around here and his museum is in this town. There is an open air concert first, then he moves to his club, Club Ebony, for a personal concert. We really wanted to experience it. I think he is 86 years old and every year they say it could be the last concert he performs here. But he looked healthy and able when we saw him. What a privilege to hear The King of the Blues.



He was funny and gracious and patient with all of the throngs of people who wanted to shake his hand, get a picture with him, or have him sign something. Great night of music by one of the best!

We continue to uncover unique and special things about this area. My prayer is that we will continue to know the people, see God’s word go forth here, and be thankful for a Sovereign God who knew what He was doing when He placed us here.


Go Colonels August 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 8:50 am

There is something amazing when you find something you love to do and it makes the rest of life feel good too. Olivia started cheering last week. She LOVES it! It is a pee wee team at her school and they just sign up for it. The 5th and 6th grade girls are eligible, so she can do this next year too. She has been practicing, cheering, dancing, jumping, and clapping all over the house. Today is her first game.

They wear their uniforms to school on game days, so that made it even more fun 🙂

This has been a blessing- not just because she loves it, but because it provided a way to spend time with girls her age, doing a shared experience and building memories with them.

Tonight my sweet mom will be here and get to see her first game. That is a blessing to me! Now I have to get used to yelling,”Go Colonels!”


the goodness of God’s people August 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 8:55 am
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Some of you know that I have had a heavy heart for my oldest daughter as she has been transitioning to a new school and a new town. She has done a great job so far, has had an upbeat attitude all summer, has been sharing about what God has been teaching her through this time, and has made efforts to jump in knowing it is just going to be tough for a little while. Monday night was a point where the newness of school and the moments of trying to figure out how to jump in to this new culture overwhelmed her and she was sad and wishing to return to our old life.

I asked for prayer for her and for me.

These last few days have been so sweet to see God answer that. The encouragement on facebook that my friends are praying for us lightened my heart. The examples of situations that others went through reminded me it is common to man to have loneliness and face uncertainty. The email messages brought joy to my heart that in this wide world people are aware of her and care deeply for her.

The past two days have been better for both of us 🙂 Cheerleading started and she was able to jump in to that. I am so thankful that she is sharing an activity with her classmates and doing something she loves.

But it has been the goodness of God’s people that has amazed me- Our thoughtful church secretary, Dorothy,  has been praying for us and she brought by a gift for livy yesterday. She had gone to the Crown (a fabulous restaurant in town with great gifts ideas too) and the owner of the Crown, whose children attend our school, remembered that I had posted olivia’s new locker picture on facebook. She looked it up and matched a new accessory for it. Dorothy brought it over all wrapped up in the Crown’s cute packaging with a card of encouragement. WOW.

Yesterday, around 2:30 I got a text from a lady that goes to our church and who teaches at the school. She texted to tell me that she had checked on Olivia and reported that she was smiling and running around with a group of sweet girls and she had even seen her high five someone during their game. I would never know that kind of thing and I am so grateful to have a sweet “insider” who spies on her and is a place of safety for my children.

This morning my cell phone rang around 7:15. It was one of my college friends who had just come here to go to the Viking Cooking School in July. She had spent time with the girls recently and they think she is amazing, beautiful and cool 🙂 She teaches 3rd grade and knows just what Olivia and all the children have been feeling. She just called to say hi to them and be her sweet cheerful self. She talked to Olivia and Emma Frances (knowing that the 3rd grader would be wanting to have just as much phone time as the 5th grader).

I am so grateful that when we are sad that God provides hugs. Human interactions that are right here in front of us to help us along. We aren’t experiencing anything unusual; the children are sweet here and the adults are welcoming and thoughtful. We are just transitioning. We are just making friends. I am getting to see the town’s thoughtfulness because we are new. I am getting to see the adults in Olivia’s life who are encouraging her. I am getting to see the small things that make a big difference. I am getting to see the goodness of God’s people.


Tea Parties August 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 9:39 am

When we got home from our trip to Birmingham, we had an invitation to a tea party, scheduled on the first full day of school. A dear lady in our church had invited all the girls to a tea party at The Crown.  I have been so eager to eat there- it is a well known and well loved restaurant and I knew it would be a great experience. I picked up the kids from school, dropped off cord with his daddy, and headed to the restaurant. I was not prepared for how amazing this party was going to be!


Hats for everyone…                                                                       Delicious food…



A beautiful table…                                 Fans…

  Our hostess with the mostess!!

 They practiced their manners, tried some new foods, and learned to talk and visit with ladies.

   Each of us received a little bag with jewelry in it- a necklace that had  a charm that represented the tea party, such as a tea cup, a tea pot, a tiny plate with cake.  As the girls thanked Mrs Pat, she walked them out and gave them colorful boas!

I cannot tell you how much this tea party encouraged us. To think that this sweet lady would go to so much trouble and do so many thoughtful things for our children was overwhelming to me. She had already welcomed them to this town and  to our church and now to their school by marking it with such a fun party.

We agreed we need to do this again around the holidays!


Lucy’s turn August 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 12:31 pm

Lucy has been watching her older siblings visit their new school, pick up their school supplies, meet their teachers, and start their school year. Today, it was her turn.  We went to her school today to meet her teacher and let her see the classroom. Yesterday, I watched the other three and wondered how some of them would handle going to a new school.  I saw nerves, a certain shyness in a couple of them, a seriousness as they took in their new environment. I wondered how Lucy would react- she would be going on her own after all- no siblings to walk in with her.

We pulled up in the parking lot and Eric opened her door. She looks around and says,”Where are my friends?” 🙂

She skipped inside and went with a group of kids to play on the playground while we attended the parents’ portion of the meeting.


Her teacher is precious. Her class has lots of girls and two adorable little boys.  I loved what I heard as the teacher described the year.

Afterward Eric and I took her to the doughnut shop to celebrate her milestone.

That is a coconut doughnut- weird choice! But she ate every bite.



gearing up for the start of school August 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — zellner @ 11:15 pm
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We have had fun this week getting ready for school to start.  We visited the kids’ classrooms on Tuesday night. We met their teachers, found their seats and signed lots of papers. I signed up for some things- but truly have no idea what I have signed up for…


We found out that olivia has a top locker this year. She has been so eager to know which one was hers and to start decorating it. I put off the request to get anything for her locker because my sister had mentioned getting her fun decorations.  While we were in birmingham last week, olivia found out what they had gotten for her. A-mazing!!

Before    after  

Yes that is a rug and a chandelier. It makes me want to go see it every day. She was giddy and could not wait to go to school tomorrow. So sweet of my sister to think of ways to encourage olivia to love her new school.

Cord’s teacher had an envelope that she gave us on parents’ night that he was to open the night before kindergarten. So tonight we opened it and it had the cutest letter-

  The envelope contained confetti that he is to put under his pillow so that he can sleep well tonight.  We sprinkled it on his mattress and we are going to see if it helps him sleep all through the night and keep him from being nervous, just like the teacher said it would.


We labeled all their supplies and took them up to school today.  A little reality check on where I live- I asked the first teacher at parents’ night where I would get my carline number. She looked a little confused. I say,”Do all my kids have the same number? What do they call out when it is time to pick up?” She laughed and said,”We aren’t that big- we will just get your kids when you are next in line” 🙂

Thankful for a sweet school to go to tomorrow and praying for each child to believe God’s promise of peace that we have been memorizing this week:

You will hold him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.  Isaiah 26:3

We put each child’s name in it and went around the table: You will keep Olivia in perfect peace, whose mine is stayed on you because she trusts in you.

So good to know that He is with them, even when I won’t be.