The Unexpected Week of Vacation

After my kiddos went back to school on the fourth, they were in school for two weeks before this week.

The week of MLK Day (the third Monday in January in states that honor the federal holiday) also coincides with the end of the grading period here so after everyone is off Monday for the holiday, teachers go back for two teacher workdays and then the kids come back for an abbreviated week Thursday and Friday. This year it turned out to be only Thursday, but we’ll get to that in minute.

Friday evening I had to work but my mom drove in take the boys back to her house til Monday. I brought home sushi for her and I to eat for dinner and she spent the night here. The next morning after treating us all to breakfast at the 24/7/365 Denny’s a few miles down the road, she headed north with the boys and Jeff, Shelby and I went home.

The rest of the day Saturday Jeff had a few errands to run and Shelby and I chilled out and watched movies.

Up in Durhamland it was 65 degrees and since the next day was going to be in the 20s, my parents took the boys to the Museum of Life and Science which is around the corner from their house and they have a membership to.

They dug for fossils, visited lemurs and lamas (among other animals, I just heard about a miniature donkey), “drove” the wind power boats, visited the dinosaurs and snakes, the butterfly house (no pics, my mom was in a concessions line for that), had ice cream and soft pretzels, and played in a giant nest and treehouse (a new feature). They ran around for a few hours until the museum closed.


Then, because Mama had a total brain fart, they went to Big Box Mart to get new jackets, gloves and tooth brushes, and spend gift cards they got for Christmas.

Meanwhile around here we stopped by a local “winterfest” they missed real winter temps and weather by a week. There wasn’t much to interest Shelby so we took her out for dinner. She was a little bit fussy but upon entering, she heard a familiar song (one of my faves by my all-time favorite band) and she perked right up.

This smile brought to you by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Zaxby’s Chicken.Shelby Zaxby's

This smile brought to you by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Zaxby’s Chicken.


The next morning I went to mass here and the boys went with my parents. After mass, we had a quiet afternoon at home here but the boys went with their grandparents to see The Force Awakens. They woke up to 25 degree temps so it was definitely a good choice. Afterward, Uncle Matt, made them light sabers, they are Jedi in training, after all.


And the next day, the museum was closed for the holiday, so before heading home, they decided to build their own in my parents’ back yard.

Finally it was time to come home so we met at an exit about half way between our houses with a dinner at Wendy’s.

Tuesday Jeff had to go to work so the kids and I decided to have just a quiet day at home. But it was also the anniversary of Joseph’s baptism. I liked the idea that Kendra at Catholic All Year had about three special days per kid each year (baptism, patron saint feast and birthday) . I managed to find all three kids baptism candles so for a dinner of Joseph’s choice (he decided to stick with Taco Tuesday, our regular fare) before eating we lit his baptism candle and renewed our baptism vows, which was suggested to me by both Katherine of Having Left the Altar and Melanie of The Wine Dark Sea.

Joseph baptism vows

This is a new tradition we’ve started in our first year in our new home and I’m really excited that we started it the same week that Joseph would have another significant step in his spiritual life, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Wednesday was our last teacher workday (or so we thought). And I had to take Joseph in for a dental appointment. Jeff was at work so I had to take all three kids. I’ve switched dentists for the boys since our move to a family dentist and we couldn’t be happier. Since they don’t need the specialized dental care Shelby does, it makes all the sense in the world for them to go to an office with more availability and less wait time. Also, their previous dentist (who is still Shelby’s dentist as there is a second office in our new area)’s office had upset us because a baby tooth Joseph had for almost two years after the permanent tooth erupted behind it fully, they refused to pull. Now, I’m all for waiting for nature to take it’s course within reason, but I knew this was extreme and was already causing orthodontic issues which would only get worse in time. And the laissez-faire attitude of the pediatric dentist’s office was a no-go at this point for me.

Two weeks ago the boys went in for their regular cleanings and this appointment was with the exact purpose of removing this rogue tooth. The dentist and dental assistant who took care of him were outstanding and it took two different tools (after numbing) to get it out. And once it was out, we found out there was good reason why that tooth never even got loose.

Joe's tooth

That long skinny part, that’s an intact root that should have disappeared almost two years ago. Now here’s to hoping that we’ve minimized the orthodontic issues.

I had gotten a sub for my Faith Formation class as our director wanted to make sure if there were any complications I would be readily available to Joseph (can I tell you how much I love a) being Catholic b) my parish and c) our director of Faith Formation!) and there was a Little Caesar’s pizza in the same plaza as the dentist office. Joseph asked if we could get a hot and ready pizza to reheat closer to dinner time and some crazy bread and sauce. Especially since Shelby and William were amazing at the dentist’s office waiting, I agreed. And Shelby got to choose the two liter of soda that came with our meal. She chose root beer, of course.

Thursday the kids went back to school. Their school is a PBIS school and Joseph’s grade had a celebration to celebrate the kids’ who had great behavior the previous nine weeks on Thursday (because they had all their special classes scheduled for Friday). They watched Ice Age and got popcorn and other treats. Shelby’s bus broke down on it’s way to pick her up so I drove her in that morning. I went to work at 1 and dreaded the impending doom of snow in the south…especially on the coast. You see, I work in a grocery store, so…

milk sandwiches

that is often my reality when a winter storm or hurricane shows up. In the winter it’s the locals who want milk sandwiches and during a hurricane it’s the carpet baggers.

I was blessed, people were kind and although a few were worried, most were getting comfort foods and beer. Lots ‘o’ beer. Anyway, I got a text from William’s teacher about an hour before shift end that said there would be a two hour delay the next day.

I came home and shortly after going to bed, the school system called again to say they would be cancelling school with an optional teacher workday. I still had to work on Friday but it made life much easier knowing Jeff could be home with the kiddos.

Friday morning Jeff did go in for a few hours before I had to head in for Milk Sandwiches Part II. And I was thrilled that although we were busy, it wasn’t crazy and well worth coming in! As it turned out there was no bad weather on Friday at any point so it was kind of a wasted day off but the kids had fun with Jeff and that boded well for today.

Today was Joseph’s first Reconciliation. He’s been preparing and was so ready!

Joseph reconciliation morning

He got dressed up and was ready for some grace! Prior to the beginning of the hearing of Confessions, our pastor spoke to the children about the sacrament running through what would happen one last time and telling them the importance of the sacrament. He used the parable of the Prodigal Son with the focus being on the father’s embrace.

Joseph was one of the first kiddos in and came to do his penance in the sanctuary. The plan was to stay til all the kids were done but 45 minutes after we really needed to get going. But we did take one pic with St Mark with a clean soul before going.

Joseph St Mark

We came home where after lunch, Joseph got to pick our movie to watch (The Empire Strikes Back) and enjoy some popcorn and snacks.

Currently it’s bitterly cold here with no precipitation, and I’m praying that precipitation stays away so we can make it to Mass with no drama tomorrow. So this week will hopefully be mostly back to normal (except that Joseph has one more dental appointment, to get sealants on which couldn’t be done until he had that tooth pulled). And then tomorrow is the feast day of William’s patron, Blessed William Ireland…so lots to start this week off right!