While Dad's away, the cats will play...(except thats probably the only animal we dont have...)

I just knew Jeff was going to die in Africa. 
 I had prepared myself. I usually go into that mode where I slightly distance myself from him before he leaves to kind of prep myself for when he is actually gone. 
 But this time I didnt.  
It was our last few days together, I mean, for forever, and I knew I would regret it if I did.
So, I made the emotionally sound decision to be present with him before he left and enjoy every last minute.
And made everyone emotional when we dropped him off  (even though I had obviously not told the kids of my premonition).
Then we took Sass to camp.  With, who Shea calls our "other cousins".
I knew she wouldn't die.  I dont know why I wasn't worried for her, but I was worried for me.
I was going to miss her so much and I also have come to rely on her on top of things attitude.  She keeps me in line with her double checking and making sures.  Ben and Shea and I stood little chance of survival this week.  But  I knew she would have a blast so I let her go.
(After having to pull over and cry so hard before we drove that I think I scared Avery and Shea)

Alas, she had the time of her life and I am so thankful that she got that experience with her friends.
Then, thinking I was all out of tears,  I dropped Avery off for church camp and only embarrassed her slightly with a few silent tears.
She also had a blast.  The camp was ummm, lets just say not Biblically accurate, but she loved her youth group and amazing leaders and had a great time.
I shoved the idea of losing Jeff to the back of my mind and threw caution to the wind while Sawyer was gone.  I figured she could help us pick up the pieces of our life when she got back.

 We went fishing and actually caught fish.  You may remember how I tend to keep Ben from catching anything on a regular basis...
 Played with friends, went to archery, swam, and loved our life.

 And I had some time to work on my knitting under the beautiful citronella candle that works if you have 7.
 As it turns out, Julie lives like 10 minutes from Pine Cove, so we jumped on that action and spent the night at her amazing house and ended our week without the big girls, on a high.

 And, as it turns out, I am not a seer.
Jeff survived.
We made signs and we went early and he took forever.  So I made them stay in this line up for an hour and threatened to dance with jazz hands and embarrass the life out of them if they moved (Avery was mortified, Shea egged it on).
At last he walked out of that runway and we wrapped our arms around him and we were all back together.  
I cant describe how it felt to have half of my family gone. I know it should have been easier with less kids, (and it was definitely more manageable), but having us all spread apart was so hard for me.  I am a team parent, I like to say.  I see big picture and am not good with details.  I like to have fun with everyone- the more the merrier, so I like us all to have the same fun, together.  I know thats not real life, but I had managed to almost keep it that way (in the big ways).  I know everyone has to grow and do things that the others dont need to do also, and I am so thankful they all had the chance to do them.  I just was a lot happier when they got home 😌.


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