Intention {Refresh} Day 14: To Sit By a Warm Fire

… for us to sit by a warm fire and breathe.

Heading into a new week, one of our favorite things to do is stop and look at the week ahead together. With the colder weather, putting a nice fire in the fireplace adds a level comfort and peace that resonates with both our souls. So after a weekend that held a wide variety of things, it was good to stop and rest together.


A New Season: Saying Goodbye & Letterboxing

We said good bye to Susan today.

It was not planned, and it was not as we would have liked.

The Sharpteam is sad, and our hearts have broken a little more.

I had not posted a recent adventure.  We decided to take Susan Letterboxing, one of our favorite activities.  You can see a previous letterbox here.  We went to another favorite place on the North Shore, the Gloucester Lighthouuse, pictures of a previous Lighthouse Lunch here.  We followed this letterbox . . .

We walked out to the Breakwater

It is an impressive sight, the half mile of granite made to protect the harbor

Susan found the stone marked “1905”

She found the rockwall and two removable stones . . .

And she found the letterbox!

Though we have done dozens of letterboxes, this is the first time that we have brought stamps and signed the book, Susan did too.

We have walked through many firsts with Susan

And she walked through many firsts with us.

We are grateful for our time together, and we miss her already.

Toddler Tuesday

Lesson for a Toddler:

Cole has started saying “want it” for various things…

We have been working with him to replace “want it” with “please” and then a smile.

We are getting there.

And he is starting to add the smile on his own.

It has been a great lesson for us that being intentional with Cole really does make a difference. And it doesn’t hurt to add a smile most anywhere.

Preparing for an Emergency: Home Edition

winter Emergency Checklist

We are trying to be prepared. At the beginning of the year we started brainstorming and researching what should be included in a home emergency kit. Liza posted on our firebox yesterday and today we share our home emergency kit.

Living in New England, there is a good chance the power will go out in the winter time. We wanted to be sure we were prepared for when this happens.

We purchased a crank lantern and combo flashlight/radio from L.L. Bean and have already put them to good use.

Crank lantern and flashlight radio

We then wanted to be sure we had first aid supplies in case there was an accident. We picked up this first aid kit at CVS.

First Aid Kit

We made sure to include a variety of non perishable items ranging from meats to grains to fruits and vegetables. And of course we remembered to include a can opener.

Non Perishable Food

We then packed everything into a bin so that it is ready when we need it. We have extra water and gatorade in the basement along with blankets and various foods and necessities. And for winter time we are well stocked with wood for the fireplace to keep us warm.

Home Emergency Bin

That is our emergency bin. We are continuing to keep our eyes open for other things that would be helpful, the whole house generator would be nice, but that will have to wait for the time being. What about you, what are essential items you would want for an emergency?

Preparing for What Might be Around the Corner



I have worked with youth for over two decades now.  I planned retreats, missions trips, events.  I have lived and worked with students, and I always tried to plan for worst case scenarios.  I hated thinking about what could happen, but it was always my goal to be prepared for a crisis.

I taught a course on Spiritual Disciplines with Development Associates International.  I had practiced all the disciplines but one . . . I had worked on prayer and meditation, service and solitude, but the final discipline surprised me . . . preparing for adversity and crisis.  It is a discipline that is not appealing, but one that, little by little, Andrew and I are choosing to face.

One of our “words” is foundations. This word has multiple meanings to us, one of them is that we want to be sure that we pay attention to preparing for security in the day to day and in crisis.  So this week we thought we would highlight a couple of those steps that we are taking.


This picture is of Andrew’s parent’s home in 2007.  It was taken by a bystander and appeared in the local paper.  The source of the house fire is undetermined.  What a reminder to us that any day everything can change.  We are so grateful that Andrew’s parents were not home and were both safe. Today the home is in even better condition than it was before the fire.  We are grateful.

One little goal this inspired was that we would purchase a firebox, a little fire and water resistant box to keep important documents that we would want to be safe in case of fire.  We did some research online and thought about a safety deposit box, but decided that a fire safe would be best for us.


Two reasons that a fire safe seemed like a wise investment:  it is a one time purchase and because, unlike a safety deposit box, it is more accessible.  If someone dies a safety deposit box may be sealed for weeks.

Here are things that we considered putting in our fire safe box:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Passports
  • Social Security Cards
  • Copy of health information
  • College degrees and Certificates
  • Wills
  • Insurance

Other Suggested Items

  • Stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit.
  • Original deeds to property and vehicles.
  • Rare jewels or family jewelry.
  • A list of bank and credit card account numbers
  • Copies of prescriptions for life-supporting medications
  • Spare keys to your car
  • Videotape/DVD/thumb drive inventory of house.
  • Receipts for big-ticket items like furnishings


We now have a fire proof safe.  Our prayer is that we don’t need it.  But we are choosing to prepare together for what might be around the corner.  It helps us feel like our foundation is a little more secure.