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!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daisy Picking!

What do dandelions and daisies have in common? They both start with D and I am allergic to them both! That's about as far as it goes in my world! Miss Abigail loves to pick daisies for me and I can't help loving them each and every day she picks me a new arrangement. :)

It doesn't phase her to go out mid-morning in her nightgown either! hahaha

I will never tire of her picking daisies for me!

Enjoy your day,


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So ever since getting her nails done for Prom, Abby is addicted to the fun of getting her nails painted and then painting mine. Good thing Wal-Mart carries plenty of tiny bottles of different colors for $1.00 each and PLENTY of nail polish remover!!! haha

She's getting better and better with all this practice! Tradition says, I do hers first:

Then she turns into "Nail Polish Girl!" fingers:

And toes! There is no hiding them from her either!

Oh the joys of having a girly-girl! I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Enjoy your day,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Faithful Assistant

Abby is my right hand lady in so many ways! One of her favorite things to do right now is to help me with my school chores on the weekend. She takes her job as animal feeder and greenhouse waterer VERY seriously!

I truly appreciate her help since I am allergic to all the things I do on the weekend!!!

Here we are sporting matching masks so that my throat doesn't swell shut!

One of my students raises rabbits and shows them. She did a special project over Spring Break to breed one of her bunnies so it gave birth at school. The young ones are sooo cute right now. They can get out of the nest box and are eating pellets and hay. Abby just loves them! Actually, all my students do...they come running into class to check on them when they get to class each day. :)

Sometimes there is other work to be done after our chores are complete! :)
Here Abby is helping me put some dog treats away. It was a fun matching game for her and actually helped me a lot!

After all the treats were matched up to their boxes, it was time to take this perfectly sized cart for a spin around my classroom! hahaha

What can I say? Mommy has work to do at school on the weekend and Abby loves to come along! I am all about great helpers!

Enjoy your day,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Crop for the Cure

Saturday was the Crop for the Cure in Cumberland. My dear friend, Sheri is raising money for cancer research and to help her team, Becky's Breast Friends. What a wonderful idea to infuse our favorite hobby into the mix. And what an even more fun idea to make it an event for moms and daughters on Mother's Day weekend.

Abby has known we were going for more than a week. It became the next big thing we were counting for after the whole Prom excitement. She was up at 6:14 a.m. on a Saturday eager to get ready to leave. We had packed our bags the night before and didn't get to bed until 11:00 p.m. on Friday. Mommy just thought this spelled trouble, but she did a really great job all day long.

Here she is getting ready to leave - sporting a skirt and earrings - the ultimate girly girl:

With her tote headed to the garage:

She was sooooo looking forward to hanging out with Kaia, Sheri's daughter, for the day! Here they are crafting away:

I gave her all my unused pictures so she could create pages. She's using tombow on her pictures to adhere them to the page - just like the moms:

All the little girls taking a break for chips and salsa outside in the sun:

Fun was had by all as we raised money for a very good cause! Thanks for a super fun day, Sheri!

Enjoy your day,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

So today Abigail and I had a wonderful day together! Dean decided to go to Michigan for the weekend because we needed a new roof on one of the camp buildings. It had to be done, so we are celebrating Mother's Day next weekend officially. We have lots of fun adventures planned! So stay tuned!

Abby and I slept in this morning and then proceeded to go for a walk, play at the park, hang out two loads of laundry before the rain came, play in the basement, organize a bunch of scrapbook stuff (including three albums worth of pages for Abby's 2008 year), play Wii, play a board game, go to school to water the greenhouse and feed the animals, have a picnic and now we're chilling out watching The Amazing Race! What a day! No wonder I am a bit tired out! Oh, and I should mention we chose to do all this in our jammies. hahaha A perfect day!

Here's a picture of my special lady as she wishes you a Happy Mother's Day! Please note the delightful ice cream cone earrings. haha

Enjoy your day,
Rachel and Abby too

Saturday, May 7, 2011


My students make me so proud!!! Wednesday was Safety Day, where my students teach all the 4th graders in the district (219 of them) all about different elements of safety. They had 19 different stations that the kids visited learning about everything from hunter's safety to fishing safety, and from kitchen safety to chemical safety. Stranger danger, electrical, fire, first aid, small animal, large animal, tractor, ATV, lawnmower, weather, outdoor, boating/canoeing, tool, health, and poisonous plant safety were also highlights. More than 45 high school students acted as teachers, while another 20 were group leaders.

We used the old high school staff parking lot, which was perfect since all the elementary schools could walk to it. Mr. Hatch has said that we can use it again next year. It truly worked perfectly.

Here are some picture highlights:

Putting on a life jacket before casting their fishing pole safely:

Learning about CPR from our School District Nurse:

Trying to decide if it was Gatorade or Fabuloso cleaner in the cups:

Learning all about ATV safety:

Looking over the lawn mower:

Kitchen safety with knives and a make shift stove:

Travis Mork, one of my UWRF observers from last year, is a firefighter in Amery:

Travis brought all the materials to dress Kaden up like a real firefighter!

Safely crossing through a fence with a gun:

Exploring tractor safety:

How to safely approach large animals:

The sun was finally shining and there was barely any wind. Education was happening at the hands of my students and life was good!