The past eight weeks have flown by and Joey is home for Spring Break. All weeklong, the rest of us have been looking forward to this day. Even Luke and Emily both expressed that they missed him and couldn't wait to see him! These are the same two kids that were so excited to get their hands on the Playstation, glad that it was down to just two of them. Yesterday, Emily mused, "I wonder what he'll look like? Will I recognize him?" My mind flew back to his trip to Europe, sophomore year, when he came home with a piercing. (He already had an ear pierced, but this was larger and something that I told him, no way, no how, not now.) Since Joe has his own blog now, I have to be careful not to tell tales on him -- retribution and all. But, suffice it to say, when I talked to him on the phone last week and he asked, "So, are you picking me up at the airport or just Dad?" I asked back, "Why, did you get something pierced?" He assured me that he was coming home as he had left, without any new body decorations and we did laugh about it. So this afternoon, we all piled into the van -- Dan, me, the two kids and the two dogs, and headed off to the airport to get him. (And Emily did recognize him, right away -- funny girl). I had a pork loin cooking in the crockpot, so when we got home it was just about ready. It feels great to have all the kids at home again. All three of them "helping" at once in the kitchen, bumping into each other, stealing pieces of meat off the platter while I'm trying to finish up the potatoes, heat the vegetables in the microwave, get someone to fill the water glasses. It's amazing how the house can seem so empty and then again so full by the absence or presence of just one person. When we sat around the table and joined hands for grace, I held on just a little bit longer after saying "amen." I know that we've entered the next phase in our lives when it will be rare for all of us to be home together, just the five of us. I think of what Dan said when we sent Joe off to college. "We worked so hard to build our little family, years of waiting and then the joy of having each of them. And now, it's already starting to pull apart as they'll each go on their way." I know the week will go fast. He has friends to visit, we need to sit down and figure out plans for his high school graduation party (kind of backwards, but we still get to have the fun of him walking with his class through graduation), he'll have dentist and orthodontist appointments to take care of while he's home, and he brought home a suitcase packed with textbooks so I guess that means there's studying to be done. So, I'm looking forward to the week ahead, but now that it's here, I hope it will just take it's time and that I remember to savor the time. Because next Saturday will be here all too quickly. It's nice to have a houseful again.