Saturday, April 30, 2011


So it's finally the day Abby's been waiting for and it's raining cats and dogs. It's 9:45 a.m. and our hair is done already. This will make for a long day of Mom and Dad reminding Miss Abigail not to touch it or lean against anything...let alone take a nap! hahaha

Let's rewind to last night...Prom practice!!!!

The stage:

Abby listening to directions from Mandi with her big people buddies, Buck and Jenny:

Abby and Drew in walking position:

All the kids listening for more directions:

The prom court is an amazingly great group of students! They were so cute and patient with the little kids last night.

Now it's morning and it was time to get our hair done and pick up our flower! FUN! If you don't count the umbrella that must be over Abby's head on account of the pouring rain.

The BEFORE hair upon arriving and Barb's Hairtique:

The AFTER hair:

Abby and Carrie after the hair was all curled:

THANK YOU, Carrie!!!

The boutinerre purchase:

So now we're ready...we're just waiting for Grandma and Grandpa and Gibby to arrive!!!

Hopefully we're all still alive in five hours when it's time to go! hahaha Living with a princess isn't easy!!!

Enjoy your day and pray for a peek of sun as all these kids prepare for Prom!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Meeting...

So there was a royal wedding today. It's all the hype...but I am not sure that can even compare to a 4 year old meeting a 5 year old for a royal prom date for the first time! hahaha I feel like I am living the life a mom who has a daughter in an arranged marriage! hahaha

Abby is ready! In T-minus 1.5 hours she will meet Drew for the Prom rehearsal. As you can see...she's a cool cat waiting NOT so impatiently! haha

Stay tuned...


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two More Sleeps...

The title of this post probably resonates with you if you have children. It sure is easier to describe how far something is away by the number of sleeps you must have before it arrives. Kids just get it!

In two more sleeps, Abby will be Junior Royalty for the New Richmond High School Prom. This gala event has been a month in the making! My pal, Mandi is the prom advisor and asked if Abby would like to be royalty this year so that some other kids get to do it next year. Traditionally the youngsters are in Kindergarten.

Well, it's happening...according to Abby, I am living with the "Junior Prom Queen." She's been quite hilarious throughout the whole process. Here are a few reasons why she's cracked us up in the last month...

1. When talking about the idea of her participation, I asked her if she knew what prom was. Her comment: "Mom, it's where girls dress in fancy dresses and get their hair done, and wear new shoes and pretty jewels and dance with boys." So I asked her how she knew that, and she replied, "I just know, Mom."

2. She's walking with a Kindergartener named Drew. His dad is our Health teacher at school. When we talked to her about walking with him she said, "Well am I going to meet him before Prom? What if I don't like him? Can I invite Reis instead?" I say to her, "Well, that's not really an option dear, as you and Drew are the only two little people invited to the prom."

3. Every day she asked about going to get her special dress and jewels. Since I have had a few busy weeks, and we've been dealing with the potential for a Fountain City flood, our days were numbered to find the perfect dress. So when Dean took her to Fountain City one weekend, I went shopping and brought home the motherload of dresses for her to try on. Here's some evidence of our fashion show at home. She's such a fashion diva!

She picked one of these dresses, but you'll have to stay tuned for the official pictures! haha I just love her runaway approach and all her funny poses. A real fashion diva!

4. About a week after we brought up Drew, we were out to dinner and all of a sudden out of the blue she said, "So I have been thinking about this Drew guy a lot. I am concerned about him not knowing what I look like. I am going to make him a card and put one of my school pictures in there so he can see me before Prom." So that night she drew him a picture and cut out one of her school pictures and tombowed that right on there. I played deliverer to Drew's dad and she felt better about the whole thing.

5. On our girls day out last Friday, we went shopping for shoes and jewelry. We took back almost all the dresses she didn't choose (of course she convinced her sucker mom to keep a few!) Here she is trying on some fun sandals at Kohl's. When we got to Charming Charlie's, she was fried. In fact, she asked me to carry her to the car! hahaha You can tell she's past her prime from the photo below.

6. Abby decided she wanted flowers for Prom. So she figured out that is she got a flower for Drew that he'd get her one too. Off to Family Fresh we went so she could order her flower with Dena there.

The Grand March tickets are purchased and I think we're almost ready for this gala event. Grandma and Grandpa Zabel are bringing Gibby and the Heintz's will join us. Prom practice is on Friday night. Drew and Abby will meet for the first time! Halleluja! We'll keep you posted.

Sometimes, my daughter is too funny and too cute for words...other times I look at her and think she's 12 years old already! Where did the time go?!

Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Fun 2011: Part Two

So we had a bit of a predicament as Abby found a Barbie doll that she was getting for Easter two days before it was time. Being a mean mom, I made her keep it in the box until Easter morning. So the night before the bunny was scheduled to come, Abby drafted a letter. She was especially concerned about the princess Barbie doll, that she had yet to open...

Easter morning was tons of fun as Abby quickly ran over to the hiding space to ensure that the bunny hadn't stolen the princess Barbie. Wheww!

Then it was time to hunt for her basket! Rather than all that chocolate, the Easter Bunny brought her three different movies and a Wii Fit game with fitness challenges from Dora, Diego, the Backyardigans, and Kai-lan. It's proving to be a great game for the whole family!

She also found a card in her basket as a reply to her note:

Over breakfast we talked a lot about what Easter really means and she was very interested in the religious part of the holiday, so she asked great questions and Dean and I answered them all.

Then it was time to head to the Hawley's house for the annual Easter brunch and egg hunt. This time our dear friend, Lynn came over too to enjoy the day.

Lynn- Egg Hider Extraordinare:

Lynn and Abby sorting the loot:

After the hunt, we headed to the park:

Two seconds after hitting the road - Hilarious!

You'll note the stained leggings...she biffed it coming down the hill from the park! haha I guess we had such a great time, we passed out! haha

What a fun holiday weekend!
Again, we hope you enjoyed yours as much as we did!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Fun 2011: Part One

I hope that you had as much fun over the Easter weekend as we did! Dean was gone for a few days getting the Fountain City house ready for the new renters, so Abby and I had plenty of bonding time.

The celebration began by selling ALL of the Easter Lilies we grew in the greenhouse. Since this was the first time we had done it, I only ordered 30 of them. I didn't feel like I knew our market and wasn't sure we could make it work with our epic fail on the poinsettia front earlier this school year. Temperature is everything and as the kinks have been worked out in the new greenhouse, things have greatly approved.

The end result...glorious Easter Lilies! Some had ten buds on them! Every one of them had at least six blooms. Thanks to James and Rochell at the Baldwin Greenhouse, we were successful with great plants to work with. We learned a lot and will do that again.

Here's an example:

Abby has been having fun cruising the yard in her Barbie Jeep these days. She put on her bunny ears to celebrate the holiday.

We also tried our hand at coloring eggs this year. Abby did a great job!

Getting the cups ready with the coloring tablets:

Using extreme concentration to put the wax crayon on:

The infamous ABBY egg:

All the colorful masterpieces:

More Easter fun tomorrow...
Stay tuned...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Life is Busy...Back on the Wagon!

Can you believe that it's been over a year since I have posted on my blog?! I sure can't! But I know my dear friend, Lynn Hart can believe it! She's been stalking the blog faithfully all year just to see if something has been posted! So in Lynn's honor, I am getting back on the bandwagon!

So much has happened in the year that's gone by...

My allergies have increased and required a special trip to an allergist who didn't know that cattle was plural for cow or other members of the bovine family. I found out that I am 100 times more sensitive to rabbits than the average person, hence my throat swelling shut when I went to teach the kids all about cleaning cages to my standards. YIKES! Now I have an epi-pen and an inhaler.

Abby started (and is now almost done with) 4K and loves school like no one else! She gets mad on Fridays when there is no school.

The new high school is open and everyday I pull into the parking lot, open the door and just say thanks for being able to teach in a top notch facility with a great admin and staff.

Animals have lived with us in school - Buttercup the beef calf, sheep, horses, rabbits (even baby bunnies were born this spring), ferrets, bearded dragons, guinea pigs. We've even partnered with our local Farm and Home store to help rescue animals that need new homes - like a 7" Fun Fest fish and a guinea pig who had been abandoned at their store.

I started farming crickets to be able to feed the two bearded dragons and worms for a vermicomposting project in order to be more green. (Dad will be so proud to find that out!)

I have been working hard to overcome the first year teacher life again as the facility has grown and so has the workload, coupled with all the technology that I have figured out and still need to work on. Thank goodness that Dean and Abby are relatively okay with my long hours. They don't hesitate to call me at school to let me know that supper is ready and they think I should come home.

I have traveled near and far with family and friends - doing our tradition family get togethers over the holidays and a trip to Vegas with my aggie peeps for the NAAE Convention back in November. I presented with some colleagues at the conference all about our state's New Teacher Program. We were well received and I believe many states will follow in our footsteps in creating or supplementing their programs with our ideas. :)

Abby and I have grown closer with her ever increasing need to be a fashion diva and wear jewelry and fun dresses. We relish our Mommy-Abby days together. It's so fun to watch her process things. I am continually amazed each day as she knows things that I am not quite sure how she knows. Of course we still butt heads sometimes, but I fear that's because we're quite alike. ;)

Dean has been busy with the spring flood and the Fountain City house. He was proud to pay that baby off and now has new renters moving in May 1st. His parents were gracious enough to live in the house through what was going to be the roughest time for the flood. It turned out not to be as bad as everyone thought, so we are grateful for that. Dean's also made some vast improvements to the little house, so we are excited about that too - new linoleum, tuckpointing the roof, building a deck, etc.

I am still enjoying scrapbooking and stamping in my free time and have lots of artwork to show you! I started taking pictures of the artwork after I started this blog, so there is plenty to see in the coming weeks.

We have lost some loved ones in the last year, most notably a dear community member whose funeral is today. I have been in a reflective mood the last week as I have been reminded that life is short and we can't take for granted the gifts we are given each day.

I am one week into a new diet as well. Reflecting on life being too short, I am long overdue to begin making healthier choices for myself and my family. The Game On diet, a competitive venture with colleagues, is what is presently motivating me. I am down 5.5 pounds in a week and can't wait to see what the next 3 weeks bring.

Finally, in recent months I have become more of a political activist than I ever thought I would be. If you've been keeping up on Wisconsin news since the beginning of the year, you know all about my pal, Scotty Walker. As a result of his decisions, I have been laid off (along with all 203 of the teachers in NR) and have recently survived the first round of permanent lay-offs as our school works to cut around $1.5 million. As of April 15th, I am still laid off of FFA Advisor and summer positions, but the principal feels as if those things will continue. This means that as of July 1st, those things would fade from my life and that would be a sad, sad day for me. I don't want to change professions. I love what I do! Teaching the students, parents and community about the value of agriculture has been my goal since 7th grade. It stinks that one man's decision, could take that all away from me. So I have been part of history as we worked to recall Senator Harsdorf, held public marches in support of public workers and had Dean and Abby alongside me all the way. I am proud of what we've accomplished so far...but there is more work to be done.

So much for a quick update...thanks for reading these reflections! I am back! And Lynn Hart, thanks for the extra push I needed to begin refecting here again. I appreciate you and all those who care about Rachel's Reflections!

Enjoy your day,