Joe left for Scottsbluff last week Wednesday, so he's been gone almost a week. My dad suggested that he come back to Lincoln tomorrow (Tuesday) and then go back with him to SB again on Wednesday until next week when he comes back to Kearney. They're truly enjoying him. We all miss him. I'm glad he gets to have this opportunity. It doesn't seem like as big of a deal when it revolves like this...first Ben, then a few weeks later Joe...we don't often have this situation when we can take advantage of connecting schedules in this way. I've enjoyed my opportunity to spend a little more one on one time with Mathilda as we went Friday morning to Target to shop for hair accessories and then to Barnes and Noble to read books for an hour. This morning I went to the Pink Sisters chapel and spent time in prayer and adoration with a very quiet Amelia (it always amazes me how quiet she is when she is awake while we're there) and then to get my oil changed in the Suburban. Mattie was asleep when we left this morning so I let her stay in bed since Julia was going to be home all morning. Tomorrow I will have the entire day with Benjamin (and Amelia) while the others are at school and then meet dad and Joe when I pick up kids from school.

In the midst of doing laundry tonight I was thinking about how comfortable Joe is in a new (well, not new but not home) environment for a week for the first time by himself! I couldn't help but think about how small children who are separated from their parents just adapt and consider whomever is caring for them their mom and/or dad. Life just goes on at this age. Soon they just don't really remember. How sad it made me for a moment, and then how glad it made me as I thought about the time that he gets to spend with grandparents, great-grandparents and his uncle. He will have memories because we'll help him remember. I have had many little reminders lately just how precious family is. I'm happy that each of our children have these extended stays with their grandparents. In a couple of years when it Amelia's turn, it is really going to be different...I will be completely by myself for a chunk of time on many days. Maybe.