Friday, October 31, 2008

The African Children's Choir

We were all so excited to see the African Children's Choir in concert. This is the best picture I was able to take of the concert. Trust me the children have so much energy and joy and they are so much fun to watch. The church was packed with people enjoying the performance.

We were lucky also that we were able to be a host family for some of the members. I assumed that I would be host to boys (because that is all that I have at my house), but I was pleasantly surprised to have two young girls and their chaperon- also a young woman -- join us. That might be the only time in my house where the girls out number the boys.

After the concert we did not have much time to visit before bedtime. The girls were age 7 and 10 and were from Uganda. Their volunteer chaperon was just out of college and from Canada. We had a quick snack and everyone turned in.

Because our visitors were only staying until 9:30 the next day, I let the boys go to school late that day to have some time to visit.

Our music room was a big hit!

The Littlest Geek was ready to join the choir is they would have him.

The boys were excited to get a big breakfast on a weekday!

The kids were able to play outside for a bit that morning.

The girls were so busy playing that they did not get a chance to teach me some dance steps until we were in the parking lot at the bus. They were very polite and encouraging, my boys that were watching -- not so much.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The African Children's Choir

I am so excited. Guess who is coming to our church? We are also lucky to be a host family for a couple of the children and sponsers. I am sure the Middle Geek will take lots of pictures like he did when we hosted Candlefuse. When my laptop get fixed I will show the pictures.

Until then enjoy the following.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where is AbFab Geek?

This time it is not a fun game of travel. Instead of being somewhere fun, I am at home but I am having trouble getting to the internet (oh the horror!) My laptop is not broken, BUT it refuses to connect to the internet. The home desktop is still down due to an unfortunate boxing accident. (If a computer can't learn how to fight back it won't last in this house, after all it started the fight!!) I would have made an entry while I was at work (don't tell the boss) but the Middle Geek was off of school. I took him with me to work and I was luck to be able to get the minimum of real work completed before he was bouncing off the walls.

I am composing this on the College Geek's computer. Where is the College Geek? He is home for the weekend, yeah! He and his brothers and Mr. Geek are having a boys day out at Six Flags. At the last minute his ride home from college fell through. The plans for this weekend have been in place for LONG time so Mr. Geek drove down school to get him (4 hour round trip) It is good to have him home (and good to have his computer haha).

I am at home alone more than a little giddy at how quiet the house. I have cleaned out several rooms and now I am blogging on his computer and chatting with people on the College Geek's instant message board (Seriously you would think he would have turned that off.)

Hopefully College Geek will be able to fix my laptop. (I mean he is a Computer Geek also.)

So don't forget about me!! I will be back soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Park

On our recent staycation, we spent one beautiful day at a local park. The Middle Geek works in the Church nursery every Sunday and has made no secret about who is his favorite kid there. He was so happy that we were able to meet up with him and his mom, Elizabeth.

I missed the picture of the two of them blowing the seeds off of a dandylion, but of all the pictures I snapped, I really like this one. I think it's because they are standing almost the exact same way, they really are in sync that way.

I like this picture so much, I have been searching for a quote or verse to put with it so I can print it out for the Middle Geek's bedroom. This is where I need you help! I put some quotes I have found but none seem exactly right.

I need Sugggestions!


Here are some I have found:

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter won't mind.
Dr. Seuss

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha

Monday, October 20, 2008

Trick or Treating for Can Goods

It is our Youth Group's tradition that before Halloween, we go Trick or Treating. We aren't collecting candy, like on Halloween night, but we collect can goods for the food pantry. It is always alot of fun and for a good cause.





Middle Geek decided revisit his Nerd costume from last year. (A geek is different than a nerd, surely you know that. We freely acknowledge our geekiness, but WE ARE NOT NERDS.) However it was interesting that we were able to pull his costume together from things that we just happened to have around the house.






Even some of the adults get involved.


I think I had an out fit like that in the 70's, but mine was more colorful!






It is tough to look like a nerd when you are just this cool.





















The result of all of our hard work.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Last Triathlon of the Season - The Story

First I have to give a big SHOUT OUT to Mr. Geek for his last Triathlon of the season. Although he doesn't get his own blog posting (or even any pictures, the shame), congratulations to Mr. Geek for finishing the Fall Triathlon consisting of a 500 meter swim, a 21 mile bike ride and a 5 mile run in well under 2 hours (1 hour 51 minutes), scoring a Personal Best and finishing 7th in his age group. Let's hear a big WOOHOOO!!!!

Now on to the Littlest Geek's Triathlon. (Sorry Mr. Geek, but LG is just a bit cuter.)

The swim was a short 50 m. No big deal for this seasoned Triathlete.



Transitioning to the bike in the month of October is just a little different than in the summer. It was a chilly morning.
The transition was very smooth.
Look at Team Geek Go!

I was worried a bit about the bike, because it was on the streets. The lane was marked by big orange cones, but a mother worries.
The biking was for 1.5 miles - Piece of Cake!

Now it was time for the run. This has been the hardest part for the Littlest Geek (and Mr. Geek too). I can't blame him, running a mile after swimming and biking.
Look how he took off out of the transition area. Can he keep up this amazing pace?
Here he is starting the street course - still looking strong!
And here is the Finish Line!!!
He ran the entire way!!!

WOW! The Littlest Geek came a long, long way from his first triathlon!
Just wait til next year!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

13 Things about St. Louis

After our recent Staycation , I have been filled with renewed appreciation for my hometown. In appreciation, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite things about St. Louis including some of the quirks of the people who live here (those quirks are some of my favorite things too.)

Food

1. Toasted Ravioli – You take ravioli, roll it in bread crumbs and deep fry it. Dip it in Marinara sauce, yum what’s not to like. Some restaurants get fancy and also serve toasted Cannelloni, it’s all good.

2. Gooey Better Cake – Think of a cross between the best yellow cake you have ever had and cheesecake combined with sticks of butter and wait I need a minute. At one of the Littlest Geek’s Triathlons, there was a bakery with gooey butter cake samples. I literally stopped in my tracks. I don’t like to chow down on Gluten filled goodies in front on the boys, BUT, I quick looked at LG with his back to me, and snarfed up two pieces. I hope you don’t think less of me.

3. St. Louis Style Pizza – People love it or hate it but you won’t mistake it for anything else. First the crust must be very thin. (Not too thin and crumbly like some restaurants). The cheese must be Provel. Provel cheese itself is traditionally from St. Louis and is a mixture of several cheeses including Provolone. St. Louisians refer to this cheese as “the gooey cheese” as opposed to mozzarella which is called “the stringy cheese”. (They are simple that way.) St. Louis Style Pizza must also be cut into squares, not wedges. It just does, do not argue with us.

Roads that do not exist on any street sign or map

4. Wharf Street – This is the street between the Arch and the river. It has some long official name, but you will never hear a local call it anything but Wharf Street.

5. The Interbelt – Officially known as Highway I-170. Not to be confused with Highway I-70. St. Louisians get I and 1 confused a lot, and just so you know, in St. Louisian time, the Interbelt is a new highway (built in the 80’s).

6. The Page Extension – Official name: I-364. This highway and bridge over the Missouri River is so new that I am sure it will never be called anything but the Page Extension within my lifetime. Luckily for visitors to the area it does indeed connect with Page Avenue on one end, which should help them find it on a map.

And soon to join this category

7. Highway 40 – A major renovation within the St. Louis area (hint: if you visit stay far away from this construction.) As the highway is brought up to interstate standards , MoDOT is optimistically renaming it I-64. Yeah right, it will never be anything other than Highway 40 here. And by the way the pronunciation in Highway Farrrty, very heavy on the R sound.

Which leads me to:

Letters that are pronounced in words but don’t exist in the spelling

8. The letter R – St. Louisians love the letter R. They love it so much that there is always a big emphasis on it when it exists in a words, such ar Farrty, sharrts (shorts) and Quarrrter. In fact they love it so much they include it into words where it was not originally, the favorite being warsh (wash), everyone knows that if you take the R out of Wash things will not get clean. (You can quote me, I know these things.)

9. The letter D – This is more confusing because most St. Louisians don’t even know that they do this. I discovered it when a poor lost traveler asked me for help. He had a St. Louis map and directions from a local. “Help me,” he begged, “I can’t find Baldwin, and it is supposed to be right here on the map.” “Oh,” I said easily, “it’s right there.” And I pointed to Ballwin. “There’s no D in it,” He cried (really almost cried, he had been staring at the map for a really long time.) So here is my public service message: There is no D in Ballwin. Now is I could just convince Mr. Geek that there is no D in Winfield. (Unless you are using the word in conversation, in which you must add the D, I hope this is clear.)

Other Pronunciations that just do not make sense.
To understand some of this you have to look to the history of St. Louis. There is a strong French influence in St. Louis’s history most obviously starting with the name St. Louis named after King Louis IX of France. However there is a very strong German influence. If you study the two languages at all, you will find that there is little in common with the way letters and words are pronounced.

10. Sometimes St. Louisians just pronounce the word as if it was English.

Bellefountaine is pronounced Bell-fountain.
St Francoisis pronounce St. Francis
Creve Coeur is pronounced Creeve Core.

11. Pronunciations no one understands Sometimes it appears that there has been an attempt to change the pronunciation, an attempt that has gone horribly wrong, and at this point the spelling and the pronunciation don’t have anything in common and you end up with

Courtois River pronounced at Court-a-Way River
And
Castlio School is pronounced Causely School.



Other St. Louis Quirks
12. How do you pronounce Missouri? You would think that at least the people that live in a state would agree on how to pronounce said state. Wouldn't you? Of course not. In St. Louis, the pronunciation is Mizzoureee with an i like spaghetti. This is actually the only correct pronunciation and I personally will fight this til my death.

13. The Question: Everyone who lives or visits St. Louis knows the question. “Where did you go to high school?” Yes we ask everyone we meet this, we just do, accept it and get over it.
I will try to explain our fascination with this question for those of you who visit or moved to St. Louis after high school and feel left out during this part of the conversation. 1. It is not a moment of snobbery. (Some people of course can use it as such, but that is not its intent.) 2. It is a efficient way to ask lots of questions in one compact questions. (St. Louisians are very thrifty and efficient, that is why they produce such awesome engineers.) Most St. Louisians live here our whole life, I myself am the fourth generation of St. Louisians (Laugh about me if you want, real St. Louisians know that you are laughing and still don’t care.) By asking this one simple, non offensive question, I can find out the following:

How old you are. (Many high schools go in and out of existence)
What your religion is (or a close guess).
How much money your parents made.
I can narrow down, the probability if you went to college and maybe even guess which college.
But most importantly I can find out:
Do we know any of the same people. (Because St. Louis is really just one big small town.)

So there is some important information on my hometown. I hope this is helpful for you if you ever get to the middle of the United States. When you get here, give me a holler!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Winning Photo

After days of voting, the score seems to be just about even for the following pictures. It is interesting that those from the St. Louis area seem to favor the first photo below, and the out of town (and country) crowd prefer the second photo below.

Feel free to continue voting in the comments.

A Bend in the Sky
picture by Middle Geek


From a Distance
picture by the Littlest Geek

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just An Average Monday


I followed Kalynne to Derfwad Manor where everyone is playing "Just an Average Sunday or Monday." And I thought, Hey I want to play. So I am a bit late to a party that I really wasn't invited to... but hey --It's my blog!!


So here is my average Monday (Fall break is over, everyone is back in school, yippee!)

Here is an average Monday at the Geek Household.


Sometime before 5:30 (don't ask me, I am sound asleep): Mr. Geek wakes up and exercises (or tortures small animals- who knows at that time of the morning.)

5:30 My Alarm first sounds

6:00 I finally crawl out of bed, it is too, too dark to be up. I stumble into clothing. I go to the Middle Geek's bedroom and flip on his light. "Good Morning!" I continue down stairs where I (in no particular order) do the following:

Put in one load of Laundry

Empty the dishwasher

Microwave a cup of coffee

Drink Microwaved coffee

Put dishes that are in the sink into the emptied dishwasher

Make lunches for Middle and Littlest Geek


Pack lunch for me and Mr. Geek (we work together, I provide the catering)


Yell once more for the Middle Geek to get up


Look through book bags for papers that were supposed be me finished, signed etc.


Get out food for dinner (tonight, I think we will have the Saucy Lemonade Pork. I should go well with the Winter Squash I made.)


Pack backpacks


Get or watch Middle Geek eat breakfast




Look for shoes (oh if I could have back all the times in my life I have spent looking for shoes)


Remind MG to take vitamins, brush teeth and comb hair, reassure him that he will be able to find Health Class which has now replaced PE for the next month (oh the pain).


6: 51 Send MG out to the bus


Ah, Now I have 10-20 minutes all to myself. Sometimes I read the newspaper, sometimes I blog. Today I scrubbed two toilets.


7:05 The Littlest Geek comes down on his own. He gets breakfast, vitamins etc and is on the bus at 7:45.


7:45 Wii Yoga (day 90 groan )

8:30 Go to work. Look there is Mr. Geek. He is so happy to see me!










I know you are wondering--- What does AbFab do all day long at work (besides stare at Mr. Geek)?
Well most of my days I spend sitting here.

I know, you wish you were me.


And somedays, I get to get out of the office to do fun things,

Like hold this stick.





Most of the time I spend out of the office I am watching for snakes or hoping I don't stumble upon a dead body (strange things get washed up by a flooding river, oh yes they do.)

Today, I spent most of the morning swatting at hungry mosquitoes.


But I did get a chance to see some beautiful wild flowers.


And I made a new friend.











3:30 Go home. Unpack backpacks. Supervise snack to be sure it doesn't turn into dinner. Get LG started on homework, assist as needed. Work as much as possible from laptop in kitchen (not much).


Later --

Cook and eat dinner.

Put clothes in dryer, fold and put away clothes (Mr. Geek usually does this).

Wash dishes (also Mr. Geek's job).


Monday is the only day we do not have a scheduled event so I think I will go the Library and Grocery store.


9:00 Small Geeks must be in bed (it is the law). I will be watching Dancing With the Stars on DVR.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Product Review Friday on Saturday

Another review by Middle Geek.

Haribo Happy Cola Gummy Candy

I bought this at Six Flags. They are shaped as Coke bottles and they taste like Coke. And then I bought two more of them with my Grandma at like Aldi's. They are so good you should buy them sometimes.


If you are a fan of the Middle Geek and want and invitation to his blog WHICH IS COOL AND PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ LEAVE A COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY FACES <(^-^)> <(*-*)> =] =[ =[] :{ "-" :] <(?-?)> <(!-!)> <($-$)> by MG


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vote for your Favorite!!

There is something about the Arch that inspires people to want to photograph it in many different ways.

Here are four pictures from four different Geeks.

Please vote for one!
Choice One- Straight Up
Choice Two - An Angle Choice Three - A Bend in the Sky
Choice Four - From a Distance

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Staycation (rhymes with Vacation)

I am told that the new trend (in these economic times) is to stay at home and vacation locally. Who knew that the Geek family could be so trendy??!!



Today we continued seeing our city as tourist. Like most people who live in St. Louis, we really don't visit the Arch. Go ahead, ask some one who lives here when the last time they went up in the Arch. There is a good chance they haven't visited since that grade school field trip (unless someone out-of-town visitor takes them there.)



So to the Arch we went.


To get to the top you ride in small capsules (elevators). The car below seats five.




When you get to the top you can look out the windows. The Middle Geek insisted that I put my arm around him as he looked out. It can be a bit unnerving.


You can get a spectacular view of the city from that high up.



Running up and down the stairs leading between the Arch and the river proved to be incredible fun (well not for me). They must have run up and down three times.


Then we took a Riverboat cruise.




Here is AbFab and Mr. Geek pretending to be on a romantic Caribbean Cruise (alone).






We visited the Old Cathedral (no pictures, we had to talk in hushed tones too), and the Old Courthouse. (this is where the famous Dred Scott Case was heard.)



Visit back tomorrow to vote for the best picture of the day!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vacation Continues

I have a question for all of you:

How do I get one of these built in my house?




Monday, October 6, 2008

The Geek Family Goes on Vacation

Okay, we aren't really going anyway, but two of the Geeks are off of school and I will be entertaining them. We will be very busy this week.
Step one: Put on the appropriate Safety Gear.












Step Two : Expand the limits of your vision.


Middle Geek, remember you can be a Musical Geek also!







Step Three: Work on sources of alternative energy!