Wednesday, October 29, 2008


WOOOOO HOOOOO!! Anna Banana our soccer star, is now officially a member of the Flanagan High School Junior Varsity Soccer Team. She has worked so hard, and it has paid off. Anna has to practice for 2.5 hours every week day after school and all morning on my book a huge time commitment, but my beautiful girl takes it all in stride-along with her honors classes and being a member of the yearbook staff.

We are having a huge cold snap, got down to 50 degrees 2 nights ago. Hee, hee!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Okay, we are almost done with the Obama rhymes. For our Republican friends out there, don't give up on our blog, we are just really involved in this. The whole family accompanied me to participate in early voting on Sunday. I attached some pictures of about a quarter of the line, it took us 3 hours start to finish. The state of Florida is taking major precautions not to mess things up again, it was quite a procedure, and in parts very low-tech.

After waiting in the line for 3 hours (including the inside line, which was one of those dreadful, Disney-style wrap around lines) I walked up to a man with a cash register style machine, entered my drivers license and he gave me a receipt. Then I took the receipt to a woman who entered it into a huge copy machine style contraption which spit out my ballot, all four pages, back and front. At that point I proceeded to the next line, where a very kind elderly lady directed me to the old desk-style private booths that used to contain first the booklet style where you inserted your horrible hanging chad style paper card, and more recently the touch screen. No technology here--there was a ballpoint pen hanging on the string and I got to carefully bubble in my ballot. (A cool aside, while I was standing there, a young lady came in and they announced that she was voting for the very first time, everyone cheered and clapped for her). When finished voting, I got to the next line, where there was another huge machine to insert your scantron ballot into the belly of the beast. WOW!

Why all the descriptions? I am proud, proud of my children for being so interested and involved ( I forgot to mention on my last post the Katie volunteered at an Obama phone bank). For the fact that they watched BOTH conventions and didn't just go along with their Mom's Liberal Democratic position. That they google the polls every day and seem to realize 100% just how important and what an honor it is to live in a democratic country like those of their parents--the United States and Canada. For all the beauty of China, both of our older girls where able to witness first hand what people live like without the freedom of democracy.

While I'm sounding like the Social Studies teacher that I am, I would also like to say that I am also very proud of my students, many of them who have fled from counties like Venezuela, Haiti and of course Cuba. I have not seen kids so interested and informed about an election in all of my 23 years of teaching!!!!!

On the home front, Anna is still in the trying out phase of soccer and both girls took their midterms last week. I will wait until report card time to share their grades, but let me say that they both exceeded our expectations by far.

Jia is now receiving speech at Lakeside Elementary School, she gets taken out of class twice a week to work with the speech pathologist. She has "Storybook Character Day" on Friday at school, Jia and the infamous Parker will be attending as Dr. Seuss's Thing One and Thing Two. Later that night, while trick or treating as Super Girl, she will be terrorizing the neighbors with Parker and Anna. Katie has chosen to stay home and give out candy.

Okay, I am really long now. Thanks for sticking with me. When you see these pictures, know that my diet starts any minute now...ha! No matter who you are voting for, remember, go stand in those lines, it is a privilege that so few have....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Mama Loves Obama!!

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

Hi this is Anna,

We have all been following the Presidential campaign very closely. We have watched every debate, watched the news every night, and checked the polls everyday.

Both my mom and my dad are Obama supporters, too bad only my mom can vote. I am only 13 but I know how important this election is, even if you are a Republican who likes John McCain, let me say two words to you, SARAH PALIN! YIKES!

This is a really cool video clip that I found, if you have time take a look at it.

Barack Obama will help end the war in Iraq, right away. He will help people like my mom and dad with their taxes and he will help kids like me be able to afford college. Go Gators! Another cool thing about Obama is that he is biracial like me, to have him for President would make me proud.

P.S. My mom says that if McCain wins, we are moving to Calgary!



Friday, October 17, 2008



Very pleased with her choice of costume

Ready to Party!

Our Pretty Girl

All of our Super Girls

Who is that masked man?

Well it's Parker, of course!


Maybe next year....Mulan?

Our Beautiful Jia-Li

SUPERGIRL!!!!!!!! Okay, I said everyone would have to wait until Halloween, but tonight was Lakeside Elementary School's "Not So Scary Halloween Party". So here is our beautiful super hero. This is the costume Jia chose, with no help from anyone.

Our little party girl had a date--Parker of course. She ate pizza, pudding with "worms and dirt" did several crafts and danced with Mom. Anna and Katie were super girls too, because they were very good sports and came with us to the party.

I have a lot of good pictures, and we know they speak louder than words, so enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Three Generations of Updegroves'

Craig's Beautiful Youngest: Epiphany Kay

Craig & Piph

Gabbi's Daughter Precious Little Jordyn

Piph with her Mom Jenny and Jordyn

We Love You Piph!

My wonderful brother Craig is not a blogger, and not a big picture taker, so I was really excited to get the pictures I am posting today. My youngest niece Epiphany, who just started the 9th grade was chosen to be Freshman Class Homecoming Representative! You can tell by the pictures that she is a beautiful girl and she is just as sweet on the inside. Check out her parents proud faces! Along with "Piph" there are some pictures of Gabriella's (Gabbi) daughter Jordyn. The shot of Craig, Piph and Jordyn represents 3 generations of Updegroves'. How I wish my Mom, Dad and my beloved Mommom could see that picture. This blog is for you Kathie, Auntie Peg and Donald, Aunt Judy and Uncle Rick and especially for my "little brother" his amazing wife Jen and their beautiful girls.....much, much love.....

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Long lasting Florida pumpkins!

An 85 degree fall day.

My girls are all blurry.

Spiderman, maybe not so cool?

Yes, you can go to the pumpkin patch in Florida, it is great for a photo op. You can even scoop your pumpkin out and carve it. It looks really cute or scary, whatever you want --FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS-then the mold sets in. A real pumpkin does not do well in 80% subtropical humidity. There is all kinds of spray and stuff you can buy to make them last, but it never works.

So, we put our heads together and came up with our very own Florida pumpkins, they are styrofoam, bought at Michael's and they can be carved, painted, decorated or just left in their natural foamy condition.

Today was also the big day in terms of the Spiderman costume. I am happy to report that Jia got to try it on, and made her very own decision to choose another costume. We are going to keep it a secret until Halloween, but lets just say it is a choice that made both Jia and Mommy very happy (and I promise, I didn't say a word...)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Well our school year is in full swing, especially with SPORTS, SPORTS and more SPORTS! Anna, Jia and Drew go to the Flanagan High School football every Friday night. Jia loves it! Meanwhile Katie and I go to a leisurely dinner and then prowl around Barnes and Noble. This way everyone is happy.

Drew and I are still coaching the Walter C. Young Middle School Girls Soccer team, even though we no longer have kids attending my school. They loved Drew so much they begged him to come back. Last, but certainly not least, Anna is trying out for the Flanagan VARSITY soccer team this week and next. We are all keeping our fingers crossed, but she is such a great soccer player we have every confidence in her ability.

Both Anna and Jia will also play for the rec league but that doesn't start until December. Drew will be Jia's coach, so he gets to start all over again with the little ones! Anna is going to be his Assistant Coach so that she can get community service hours. Me, I'll just be driving people from one event to another, but that is such a good thing!

Along with sports pictures, I have included some of Jia and Anna going to the Disney on Ice Show. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Snow White v. Spiderman

I would like to say that in having three daughters I really thought I would get one "girly girl," not a chance...someone from Drew's school gave Jia a bag of Disney Princess costumes and we told her to pick one out for Halloween. She tried each of them on and then calmly told us that she was going to be Spiderman. If you look at the pictures you will see that Jia looks adorable in each costume, but it is not meant to be. After all I don't want her to need therapy in her 20's because her mean Mom wouldn't allow a girl Spiderman. Jia will be trick or treating this year with her big sister Anna and her boyfriend Parker. I 'm sure she will make the most fabulous spiderman ever! (maybe a little red tutu and a spiderman tiara???).

Dogs & Cake 2 of My Favorite Things

Okay, we have so much to say today that we had to separate our ramblings into two separate entries.Included in this part is my half eaten birthday cake. It was from my good friend and teammate Mary Alt and even though we dug into it during the school day, it was still way too pretty not to memorialize in photos 8-) Also, it is my all time favorite cake--red velvet with cream cheese icing. My teammates really spoiled me!
Our big outing on our day off yesterday (Rosh Hashanah) was to take little miss Josie to be "fixed" she was feeling some pain yesterday, but here she is with Anna today, totally on the mend.
Enjoy the expressions on Katie and Jia's face with "devil dog" this is a really ugly looking "dead' chihuahua that we have out for Halloween. (when my fam went to Canada this summer they propped this thing up in the laundry room, so around midnight on the first night they were gone, I opened the door and there it was staring at me, if I had been a cat I would have been short one of my nine lives).