Summery Summary

With Labor Day past and the school year beginning anew, the Sharpteam is changing their rhythms again and letting go of summer whilst embracing Fall.  Before we let the sweet days of summer go, we are reflecting back on what turned out to be a grand time of celebration and adventure.

Summer marked lots of new transitions for the Sharpteam.  Andrew, who has been working from home since 2007 moved back out into the workplace and is commuting daily, while Liza and Cole had days together.  In order to bring intentional play and adventuring into our days, we celebrated theme weeks.

I was not sure how I felt about it, but in retrospect, it was a great way to add a little incentive and learning into our days.  And committing to blog about it made us accountable, so thank you.

Here is a little reflection on the summer, with summaries and memorable moments.

Summary – We had a wonderful birthday week with trips to the beach, the guitar man, and Halibut Point.  Cole received two of his favorite things: a guitar and a bike.  And we celebrated with a theme party for family.

Memorable Moment – The glee on Cole’s face when he ran out of the house to see the boat the Papa Skip and Meme brought for his birthday party.

Summary – We sang the alphabet song, played with letters, made alphabet pretzels and started going regularly to the YMCA.

Memorable Moment – Colton’s pure joy in cooking, followed by the fact that at the end of the summer he not only knows the alphabet but has learned many of his letters.

Summary  – We watched airplanes take off and land at Logan from across the way, we ate breakfast at the local airport cafe, we had an improv-ed “airplane food” lunch and Colton got to get into an old airplane, a great week.

Memorable Moment – Getting to get into an airplane that was made during WWII.  Cole was in awe and I loved when he wore those aviators!

Summary – During animal week we went to two different farms, a zoo, the pet store and out to feed the ducks.  Cole got to see all different kinds of animals.

Memorable Moment: Cole found pure joy at feeding the ducks.  He loved being able to throw and he loved giving them food.  It was a sweet reminder to me of times as a babysitter feeding the ducks two decades ago.

Summary – For Boat Week Cole and I ventured to the Salem Harbor together and explored the Friendship.  We went on a paddleboat and on Papa Skip’s sailboat.  Cole loves the water.

Memorable Moment – I absolutely loved following my boy as he explored the Friendship.  He is learning every moment and loved exploring the big boat.

Summary – We explored art outdoors and indoors this week.  Cole enjoyed it all.

Memorable Moment – Cole fell in love with the stick ball pictured above.  It sat in our village throughout the summer.  Every time he saw it he had great joy.  It was just removed.  Cole continues to remember it and says “Stickball all gone.”  Each time we pass its former spot.

Summary – We went on a roadtrip as a family from Massachusetts to Virginia and back and it was a wonderful week!  We camped and we stayed in a carriage house.  We went for a buggy ride and we drove through New York City.  We loved all of our time together and especially enjoyed the wedding of Ashley and Ross.

Memorable Moment – Natural Bridge with Andrew and Cole was a complete and utter joy, it may have been my favorite moment this year.  We love adventuring together and it is a lovely unexpected adventure.

Summary – For color week we picked a color each day and then found that color throughout the day.  So fun.

Memorable Moment – My dad was here during color week, so when I look at these pics of Colton I think of my Dad.  He spent lots of his time with us out on the patio or porch.  For days after he was gone Colton would wake up and tell me that “Papa Brad on the porch.”  Makes me happy.

Summary – With the close of summer we thought we would have one last  week of beaches.  And it was perfect beach weather and a great week.

Memorable Moment – Cole is a runner and he is running all the time.  We are working on teaching him the importance of staying with us.  But being on the beach was too tempting . . . he kept running off.  We had a talk about the importance of asking for a hand when he went near the water.  He gave in.  As we were leaving the beach he ran up to a stream of water.  Stopped, and ran back to us, “Papa, hand?”  Melt my heart, he is always learning!

Good bye summer, it was a great adventure!

Summer Week 10 {Beach Week} : Beaches

We have been enjoying beaches . . . not necessarily the most exciting post, but we have had good times . . .


At Magnolia Beach

At Kennebunk Beach “Children’s Beach”  where the house on the beach has a clock so the children can all be home on time . . .

And our favorite . . . the beach where Andrew first kissed me and proposed to me, Singing Beach . . .

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Summer Week 9 {Color Week} : Canaan Farms

This week of summer we are exploring colors . . . and we found some right away when we went to pick up some summer corn . . .

Cole is doing a great job on his colors (much better than my dad – who is color blind).

We talked about the colors as we looked at the different vegetables . . . until we got to the berries and then Cole just wanted to eat them.

It was a sunny, yellow day  . . .

And it ended with the yummiest yellowy corn, shucked by Colton.

A great beginning to color week!



The Wedding of Ashley & Ross

This is why we decided to head to Charlottesville Virginia.  To celebrate the wedding of Ashley and Ross.

When I worked at Houston Baptist University I had an incredible staff of young women.  Ashley was tremendous at planning events that were personal and so thoughtful.  This was just the same a beautifully personal and thoughtful wedding.

The ceremony and reception both took place at a sweet inn.  Ashley and her party walked from the deck of the room she stayed in into the sweet and simple courtyard.  The welcome table had a handwritten sign and wedding pictures of Ross and Ashley’s parents.  The guestbook was handmade by Ashely.

The Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony was beautiful.  Andrew and I read a selection from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  We were so honored to be part of such a sacred time.

The reception was at the same location.  The little touches were tremendous.  Everything was handwritten in Ashley’s beautiful handwriting.  From the big thoughtful signes to the little “gluten free” pennants on the cupcakes.  It was stunning.

Our deepest love and best wishes to the happy couple.  Marriage is the most wonderful gift!

Roadtrip – Things We Did : Safari

My brother is already rolling his eyes.  He pointed out long ago that for some reason Andrew and I visit animals a good deal.  He is right, if you want to see random pictures of random animals we have plenty of them from various adventures . . . visiting the Houston Zoo,  a place in Texas ironically called Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, and almost monthly visiting the alligators in Brazos Bend State Park.  We have visited plenty of zoos as seen here, here, and here.  Our favorite place thus far has been Bayou Wildlife Park in Texas.  Whenever people visited, we brought them . . . as seen here, here and here.

So we are embracing it . . . we like to visit the animals.  So we checked out Virginia’s Safari Park on our road trip.

It was a drive through experience where we got to feed the animals from our car . . .

We all enjoyed the animals.  Colton is a true member of the Sharpteam.







Road Trip – Things We Did : Natural Bridge

I grew up doing local theater.  From the age of nine I was in this opera house about three days a week May – October.

The theater has a hand-painted proscenium curtain, painted by a Vermont artist, Charles Hardin Andrus, in 1911.

Every show I was in sat guarded by this curtain and when it lifted, a new adventure began.

For years I had no idea what the painting was of . . . but then in college my boyfriend’s car broke down in Natural Bridge, Virginia and I saw this place in person and it is stunning.  Hardin, the artist said it was one of the seven wonders of the world . . . and that Vermont was the eighth, so he he painted Natural Bridge, with Killington, a Vermont mountain, in the background.


On our road trip I got to share Natural Bridge with my boys, and how happy my heart was that they both loved it.  Honestly, pictures do not do it justice, it is magnificent.


Legend is that George Washington carved his initials into the rock, there is a white box around it.  Thomas Jefferson bought 157 acres including Natural Bridge and built a cabin here.  It is a beautiful and historic place.

It was a great stop for all of us, and with your ticket one received entrance into the butterfly exhibit, the indian village and the wax museum . . . so we explored everything!


We loved visiting Natural Bridge, Virginia.

One last note . . .

My favorite blog is Young House Love.  It is the first blog I started following and I am convinced that we would enjoy hanging out with its two authors, Sherry and John.

Well when we arrived home from our Road Trip, I saw this post on their blog . . . we were there around the same time!  Oh my goodness!  Now that would have been my celebrity moment, meeting Sherry, John, and there little Clara . . . almost serendipitous . . .