Sunday, July 29, 2012

Parker's Visit So Far

This week my oldest, Parker has been here. I wish he'd just move out here with us, but he has a job, school and a serious girlfriend in Utah, so he wants to stay there. I can understand that and I'm proud of him for paying his bills and working to be more independent. This whole letting them leave the nest thing..I think they use that analogy because it's for the birds. Right now, I hope the rest of them stop getting older. Growing up is over-rated and Lord knows I've avoided doing it for as long as humanly possible.

(trying to sleep until noon on the air mattress)

Matt has taken  the time Parker is here off, on  Friday we took all 7 of the kiddos into the city.

A friend suggested we try and park on Staten Island and take the ferry into Manhattan.
She said it was less expensive and easier, so we tried it.
She was right.
 We've been stuck paying anywhere from $30-$50 every time we drive into the city and there are about $30 dollars in toll roads as well. It adds up fast. There are less expensive ways, of course, but too much to figure out  when you aren't confident about where things are and you have kids in tow.

 Staten Island was about 1/3 the total cost to use and you get to take the ferry right past the Statue of Liberty. It was the first time Parker, Emma, Kate and Jane have seen Lady Liberty and it was neat to notice their faces as they saw her. They all got quiet and you could see they were just in awe of the sight of this iconic representation of all that we hold dear as Americans.

Just the week before in her talk, Jane had told the story of a 13 year old girl who came to the states all by herself and how she felt when she saw the Statue of Liberty, and we talked about what that must have been like and all of the kids thought it was amazing to see it, and be on a boat crossing the Hudson River while doing it.
We walked through the financial district and saw the old Capitol building. There was a loud guy ranting about how evil the government is on the steps and Parker got to see his first crazy person screaming at people in NYC.

(According to this guy, we haven't had a good president since Milford. I wasn't even motivated by his ranting enough to look up how long ago that was.)
We had lunch on the pier when we needed a break-- Pizza Uno.
 Pizza Uno claims that they created the original Chicago pizza.

Maybe they did, maybe they didn't but we all prefer Giordano's. Gio's has more cheese and they use pizza sauce that isn't chunky. It was still really good, but if you're ever in Chicago and you can't decide- that's the biggest difference- a super chunky sauce and less cheese vs a smoother sauce and the approval of the Olson Bunch- because THAT is super important.
 Parker's biggest thing on his 'to do' list was to have lots of cool food so we have made sure he got to try pizza from our fave local dive, Saporito's, had a salted bagel with cream cheese, enjoys girls scout cookie candy bars and tried the salted caramel pretzel frozen yogurt. We still need to go to Carvel's tomorrow and order girl scout cookie milkshakes. This kid loves a Samoa in any form, just like his mother.
 At the Vietnam War Memorial in NYC

(Big Brother and Baby Sister)

We made his birthday cake out of Dunkin' Donuts munchkins.
His presents were kind of lame, but this year he was in need for a grown up present, his car had two tires that were shot and we paid to have them replaced as his present. Hey, it's what he wanted, Yo.

Today after church, we  headed over to the Hawkins' home for  lunch.
We'd been invited there for July 4th but weren't feeling good and had to ask for a rain check. We're really thankful that they issued one so soon, because it was so much fun. The girls have made some great friends in just the short time we have been here and you'd never think they haven't known the girls in the ward for years. Actually, Kate has known the niece of the Hawkins family for 5 years, she lives in Willard, Utah and was in Kate's group for Trek this summer. They realized this when Kate gave her talk on Sunday - another example of what a small world it really is.

The Ralstons came to lunch as well and I can't express how thankful I am for Cyndi and her family. They are the only other Mormons who are active in our town and they have two daughters who are the same ages as Zane and Grey. The girls are ecstatic to have a fellow Mormon in their grade and don't even care that they are boys. I know the Ralstonave a fellow Mormon in their grade and don't even care that they are boys.
 I know the Ralston
Cyndi and her husband are great, I am excited about the friendship and connection we already have to them.

Tomorrow is Parker's last day here and we plan to just do the slug thing again. Two days in the city were enough for him. Tomorrow I'll make sure his laundry is done again and we'll play board games and watch the Olympics.

We have the DVR recording five channels at once so we don't miss anything they air.
We loooove the Olympics here in the Olson house.
The opening ceremonies were kind of weird, we loved the first part but we all made fun of the part where they entered the digital age and told the love story of two teenagers. It was based on the premise that the girl loses her phone, the boys finds it and they connect as a result. The thing is that she loses her phone, he finds it and he texts her to tell her he found her phone. How do you text someone if you have their phone? It was dumb enough that we all have been making fun of that part of the opening ceremonies.

We hope Michael Phelps gets his spark back and crushes the rest of his races.
We also hope the Chinese keep falling in men's gymnastics.
I'm watching fencing right now.
Love the Olympics.

Are you watching the Olympics?
What are your favorites?

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