Life with Canyon is ...GRAND!
                                                                              get it...?

                     I'm pretty sure that a small field mouse has burrowed under Canyon's chin

We are having a lot of fun with our three month old.

Each morning Canyon wakes up around 6:00 and smiles..coo's..kicks
and generally tries to seduce me awake.

Without opening my eyes I try to give him his binky
suggesting to him that it isn't time to play.
He then snorts and kicks and spits out the binky and then starts to whimper.

Finally I give in and pull him close to me.
Canyon settles in for what is usually his second or third breakfast.
Who can resist snuggling a half naked baby?

Like a new little puppy, 
Canyon patiently just sits there and lets Quincy maul him as she tries to "take care" of him.

A more good natured baby you will never find...

Even his cry is cute and mellow.

There is one annoyance though......
                                                           two in diapers.

                                   What was I thinking?



You will recall that our little van was wrecked a few months back. Goodbye old friend.
 So with a big ol fat check from the insurance company (not)
we were forced to car shop.  

The whole process was agonizing. I hated to see our old van go.
First of all I'm not a big fancy car kind of gal.
I figure with seven kids I don't deserve to drive around in the lap of luxury.
I loved that our old van was worn and used I didn't worry about spills or door dings.
Third...and most importantly our old van was paid for!
So after about three weeks of spending more time with KSL classifieds than my own husband, we finally found the one car for us.
A nice used (one owner..yay) Suburban.
And just by chance the Suburban came with a DVD player installed.
That single feature...a DVD player...has transformed our lives.

Here are my kids just a few months ago driving around in our old van.

They were happy and silly. They would rely on each other for entertainment or sometimes bring a book or even talk to each other. Dean and I usually had to referee the fights, but mostly they looked outside and read the billboards, made up songs or fell asleep.

Now here they are in the new car.
 Earphones on. DVD system fully engaged.
When I say their name there is no answer.
When I ask them a question there is no answer.
They are zoned out on Fantastic Mr. Fox.
When the car stops and the engine turns off;
like little hypnotic slaves they snap out of it, rub their eyes and wonder where we are.

In our old van we would drive down the freeway and spot a car with happy little children inside watching a movie. My kids were so envious and would beg Dean to drive along side so they could also enjoy the movie.

I would then lecture my kids and tell them of the old days of my childhood when my brothers and sisters and  I would have to entertain each other, sing and make up car games. (actually I remember a lot of arguing, elbowing and fighting)

Here are my two little brothers Will and Jared in front of our family car circa 1985.
A red station wagon.
 I remember when my Dad brought it home brand spankin new.
The neighbor kids were so jealous. Who wouldn't be?
Just look at it.
The vinyl seats,
the cassette player,
the sleek modern design, ash trays on each arm rest.
That car saw me through many family vacations and trips to Storehouse Market.

Then on my 14th birthday as some sort of cruel joke my parents brought home this car.
 Here Brooke and I are posing in front of the gem. Look how happy I am. My Dad got it on a trade for some work he did. I think it was a 1960's Oldsmobile, all I know was it was big and gold and I was a teenager for Heavens sakes!

Then a couple years later...
 to redeem themselves my parents announced they bought a new van

It was probably the best day of my young life when they brought it home.
A 1987 custom Chevy van.
The van had blinds,
swivel chairs,
a bed in the back and....get ready for it...A MINI TV AND VCR!
We were royalty as we drove up and down Spanish Fork Main waving to everyone through the mini blinds.

I remember thinking I was the luckiest girl on earth.
How was I to know that twenty five later I would look back and laugh at the sight of such nerdiness.
I wonder if my own kids twenty five years in the future will look back through pictures and make fun of the new car we just bought.
Of course they will.

And they will in turn lecture their kids on the hardships they had growing up.
When they had to drive cars on the ground instead of flying in them.
When cars only had one TV...
 instead of the TV's being surgically implanted in their heads.

At least that is how I imagine the future to be.
The times they are a changin...


Flying the Coop

The other day I was watching PBS (my new favorite channel by default)
I was watching a Nature program about a dolphin named Tilly.
In the loving Atlantic waters Tilly learns to eat, play, and defend himself right along side his parents.

At one point the narrator of our little story said…

"Tilly has become of age. He is ready to be on his own.
His parents are preparing to leave him now.”

And with that, while Tilly is distracted by some cool seaweed or something...

his parents up and swim off –
(reminiscent of the nursery room at our church every Sunday...)
ultimately leaving him alone.

Little fish in the in the big ocean!

Tilly swims around frantically crying for his parents to come back.

Well, this reminded me of another slightly less traumatic event that happened just six weeks ago at the Salt Lake City Airport.

My parents just up and left us.

They left on a LDS mission to Freetown, Sierra Leone Africa for the next year and a half.

It was a bittersweet send-off just before midnight the last day of May.
Just myself and my five brothers and one sister biding them farewell.

The goodbye's started earlier at our home with my kids saying their own goodbyes.

When my parents return next November...
Brett will be a full-fledged licensed driver, I will have two teenagers, and Canyon will be walking and talking.

Then later that night the spouses and other grandchildren gathered at my parents house for a tearful send-off.

Rather than fight over who got to drive Mom & Dad up to Salt Lake we decided that just the seven Neves children should drive them up together.

My Dad Schmoozed the Delta ticket agent into getting them better seats for the 14 hour flight to Africa.

Canyon was just under the weight limit thank goodness.

We weighed the four suitcases.
And my Dad's signature Neves cow ear tag insured that the suitcases made it across the International waters.

With a little extra time before the flight was called, we had some time to talk about the next eighteen months.
We also talked about the good times we've had growing up.

 The boys gave my parents some last minute advice.
(be safe...stay together...try not to look like tourists... etc)

As we were gathered together in a small corner of the airport...
there was a strange man hanging back just watching us.
He never stopped starring at us. Awkward! ( here he is circled in green) It was creepy.

Later when I told Dean about the creepy guy, Dean laughed and said that he was probably Security!
Probably so... we were acting a bit suspicious.

 A few more pictures...a few more I love you's...

and then just like that...they flew the coop!

The seven of us lingered at the entrance long enough to see my Dad get the pat down and full security detail.

And a few hours later while we slept and went about our lives... 
They arrived here!
they sound happy and overwhelmed
So far the e-mails home have been great...a little scary, but great.

And now the parents are gone.
And it's just us kids.

the seven of us in 1987
Wes..Brooke..Hilary..John..Will..Josh..Jared.. (and my Dad in the tree)

And here we are at the airport saying goodbye.

So like Tilly the Dolphin; we are now on our own.
It is a good thing.

It will prepare me for the time when my own little chickadees will fly the coop.
To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.
Who knows, by now Tilly the dolphin is probably having the time of his life.
His blood pressure is down - he is sleeping better - he is finally his own Mammal.
Go Tilly!



(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...