Thursday, June 23, 2011


Hello Friends!

I am alive! It's been a whirlwind month of June thus far! The end of the school year, the end of Abby's 4K year, a picnic with oodles of 4K'ers, final exams, teacher inservice, State FFA Convention with FABULOUS students (where I judged 60+ scrapbooks with a fantastic team of helpers and three sections worth of state officer candidates), a quick trip to Milwaukee, sad news about my grandma, a trip to Jamestown, North Dakota (instead of Minot where the flooding is forcing the town to evacuate with water reaching record heights) for the Region III Conference for the National Association of Agricultural Educators, 30+ hours of curriculum work for my new Advanced Fish and Wildlife class, prepping for two workshops I am teaching next week in Green Bay at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators, prepping for the New Teacher Workshop at our PDC next week, being a wife, a mom, a teacher and an advisor...

On top of that...within three days my cell phone battery died, my laptop blew up and my camera's flash stopped working!!!! I have survived the trifecta of technological issues.

So now with a $12.99 cell phone battery fix, a new laptop and a new smaller more compact camera...I am ready to roll on!

But before I can...I need some sleep!

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


So I left you hanging! All of you were invited to Abby's Biggest and Best Show Ever and I need to tell you how it all turned out!

This is a classic example of what having a strong willed daughter is all about. Once she sets her mind to it, there is no turning back. No amount of "this may not be a good idea" will get her to change her mind.

So Abby put on an outfit that sparkled. Dean's role was a clown that told jokes and I had to put on something fancy. Unfortunately, it poured rain, so we couldn't do the show in the front yard for all the neighbors, but Abby did get her signs hung up. Other guests like a break dancing sheep and a pig wearing glasses came to sing and dance. It was quite the event and lucky for you...she's ready to host another one soon!

Here are some pictures from the gala event:

"I'm cute so please come to my big show!"

"Shoot! It's starting to rain! Let's take this show indoors!"

"Let's start with me showing you my mad dancing skills."


"A Backwards Clown!"

"I can't believe my Daddy is a backwards clown!"

"And here is the super cool pig...who can sing!"

"And here is the super cool sheep that can breakdance!"

Rest assured...this was NOT the only show Miss Abigail will do in her life! She's already scheduled another one. As we look to the future, there is no doubt that she'll be on the stage singing and dancing for real.

During one of her Taylor Swift covers, I took a voice recorder and recorded her singing so that I can create a scrapbook page for her to hear herself when she gets older. I will never get tired of hearing her sing.

Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fun at Valley Fair

Today was a day we look forward to all year at NRHS - the senior trip to Valley Fair! The students look forward to it as much as the eight or nine chaperones who accompany the kids. We started this event seven or so years ago as an alternate to Senior Skip Day. The first year we had to pull teeth to get kids to go as they thought we were all going to walk around the park holding hands. NOT! We like to go on rides just as much as they do! This year we had FOUR full coach buses and 175 students along for the fun. :)

This trip goes in the record books as one of the best yet. Super respectful students, major bonding between staff and students as they conquered their fears (waving at Brad Malpert who doesn't really ride rides, but did them all like a trooper as a newbie chaperone), and all in all just a wonderful day with absolutely no issues at all! The only thing we would have changed was the temperature outside...only low 60's if that and windy...I am STILL FREEZING COLD!!! Wearing layers was interesting as it IS May 25th for goodness sake!

Having these out of school experiences with fabulous students is another reason I am proud to be a teacher! They have graduation this Friday and it will be sad to see so many talented students leave our school, but I am confident that we have helped them obtain the tools they need to be successful in the real world!

Congrats Class of 2011! Best wishes to you!

Enjoy your day,

Rachel - and yes, some of you can now call me that because you're THIS CLOSE to graduation! Others will ALWAYS call me Zabs or Mrs. Sauvola just because you can't fathom calling me by my first name! hahaha

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


So what can I say...Abby has developed some strong fashion skills. haha I think she gets it from reading every newspaper flyer that comes to our house. Couple that with the Prom experience and she's ready to always be the fashionista whether it's in the house or out and about.

One day we went out for ice cream and here she is sitting in the parlor...delighted at the size of her ice cream cone:

After ice cream, it was time for some singing in the ice cream parlor.

Then it's time to direct everyone in the area in the song...Please note how the glasses match the nail polish - true signs of a fashionista! haha

Sometimes, as a fashionista you have to get ready the earrings don't always make it on correctly! hahaha But it doesn't matter to her!

You just never know what the always joyful Abby will bring you each day! Presently, she's preparing for "The BIG Show" that she plans to invite the entire neighborhood to tonight...This oughta be good. Apparently she's singing - some original work along with none other than Taylor Swift covers, Dean's doing knock knock jokes and I have to go change my clothes because I AM NOT FANCY enough!!!! NICE! At least she doesn't expect me to sing for the neighbors! haha She's working on signs to post "around town!" Ohhhh, Adventures with Abby...NEVER a dull moment!

Enjoy your day! I'll keep you posted!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Over the Top!

So many people who read my blog know that I believe in the go big or go home philosophy...that if you're going to do something, give it 110% and don't look back.

Well, earlier this year, I found something in my community that embodied that philosophy and I am still giggling about it! I came across this car parked on Knowles Avenue (that's our Main Street) that totally was over the top!

Let me set the stage for was April 1st! Yep, April Fool's Day and we were headed to Brady's Brewhouse for supper as a family. No foolin' that place is fantastic! From the delicious meals at reasonable prices to the gorgeous hits the jackpot every time!

We had a wonderful meal and then stepped out the front door to find this...

Needless to say, we have NEVER seen anything like it before! The inside was as decked out as the outside! Green naugahyde seats with bobbleheads, stickers, fuzzy dice, fuzzy steering wheel cover, the whole nine yards!!!

Then, we rounded the corner to find a small black car who had this...

which I must confess is WAY more my speed!!!! I guess in this instance, go big or go home doesn't apply to me! hahaha I was very proud of the Packers for winning the Superbowl, but I guess my fan loyalty doesn't exist to this extent. It made me think about how much it will be sold for on ebay someday too...ahhhh, those Packer fans can be CRAZY! I know a few of them...hahaha

Enjoy your day,


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Food for America

What do baby animals, elementary schoolers, high schoolers and sunshine have in common? Well, for me it always signifies one of my favorite FFA programs - Food for America. With having a new facility and new capabilities, we invited all the 4th graders to the high school and used a large patch of grass to facilitate the program instead of bringing all the animals to an elementary school gym. The Veterinary Science class coordinated all the animals and planned all the scripts. They did a FABULOUS job! The weather, however...was FAR FROM perfect two times before the actual program happened...yep, we were rained out twice, but the third time was the charm! And on a lovely Friday afternoon with temps in the 70's, everyone enjoyed themselves!

In all, 20 animals were set to arrive, but with all the switcheroos of dates, 17 made the final date. They were organized in stations and the students learned about each one of them as they rotated around. How fun!!!

Here are some picture highlights of the day:

Check out my sporty school bus I use to transport my students back and forth in the background. It's HOT! :) Most days I would prefer the VW convertible in the foreground, but that doesn't hold many students...that belongs to one of my students who filled it full of rabbits that day! haha

Again, I am proud of my students for doing a top notch job securing animals of their own and community members to help make the program successful! Their scripts were top notch and they did a fantastic job answering the youngsters questions and working with them in smaller groups to ensure they got to pet the animals. They even planned to have the more exotic, less known for consumption (even though they are eaten!) creatures there like guinea pigs, turtles and dogs. Excellent work!

After lots of hand sanitizer, it was time for ice cream cones!!!! Yummy! What a fun afternoon!

Enjoy your day,


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Part 2

Since we didn't really celebrate Mother's Day with our whole family on the original day, Dean and Abby made a special plan for me last weekend. It was all a BIG secret as Abby could be heard throughout the week saying, "Don't worry, Mom...we AREN'T talking about any special plans and we AREN'T going anywhere to celebrate YOUR special day!" just after being spotted whispering in her father's ear! I was on to them!

We slept in and ventured out just before lunch time on a rainy day...BIG surprise there!!! It's been raining FAR TOO much! Instead of heading into the Cities as our vehicles most often do, the truck headed east with lunch at The Orchard in Baldwin. We'd never been there before and enjoyed super yummy burgers.

Then we headed to Eau Claire to the mall, shopping and goofing around. We hit my two favorite scrapbook stores in that area and even uncovered a third I didn't know about, but got there too late to shop.

Heading back to NR, we hit a nice spot in Menomonie for supper and then got home late after a day of being out and about. It was fun, humorous family day.

But perhaps the highlight was a very special surprise when we got home. I was "bamished" to the basement or the upstairs (my choice!) and needed to stay out of their way while they worked on one final surprise. So I headed up to bed to read for awhile. Abby came and checked on me several times to make sure I hadn't fallen asleep and then...

up the stairs came a plate of home baked, fresh from the oven, chocolate chip cookies! YUMMO!

As it turned out, her teacher, Mrs. Hennlich, had helped the kids prepare cards and a special chocolate chip cookie mix that they needed to only add a few ingredients to in order to make the cookies. What a cute idea! According to Dean, Abby (always the helpful kitchen lady) did a great job of stirring and preparing the dough and placing the doughballs on the baking sheet. She talked about crying at how sweet it was to bake cookies for your momma.

I will admit to crying quite hard from the sweetness of this activity when they got upstairs! Especially that late at night after a fun family day! I have never been served cookies in bed before either. I have the best hubby and child around!

Enjoy your day!