Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bargain Books

I sort of hesitate to share this story here because I know that if I were to read about a similar incident on someone else's blog I would, in all probability, be prone to feelings of insane jealousy. But I know that all of you other nice homeschooling Mommies are much more charitable in spirit than myself, and I think that this mornings incredible discovery is one that you all will most certainly be able to appreciate!

We left our house early this morning to run a few errands, with the intention of stopping by a few promising yard sales we had seen advertised in the newspaper last night. We've been enjoying this occasional Saturday morning outing since before we were married, and we have found in the past some really incredible bargains. (One of the best ever was the time we stopped at a sale we just happened to be driving past and found tables and tables stacked high with the most darling, like-new baby clothes. Pregnant at the time with Caitlyn, and expecting a new niece or nephew, Darren and I brought home sacks full of both boy and girl clothes for a real steal. Neither my sister-in-law nor I knew the gender of our babies in utero, but I figured that, either way, we'd be covered!)

It was by pure chance that we even came upon this particular sale this morning. It was in our neighborhood, and Darren, on a whim, had decided to turn down that street en route to our intended destination. As we pulled up to the curb, he said, "I'll just hop out real quick and see if there's anything here worth looking at." (Neither of us wanted to go through the hassle of unbuckling all three kids if we were going to turn around and buckle them right back into their seats.) I saw his face light up as he stepped across the lawn, and he hurriedly motioned me out of the van.

As I made my way towards him, I seriously felt like a little kid on Christmas morning, finding a treasure trove of goodies left by Santa. I could not believe the array of educational posters, books, and classroom decorations displayed there on the lawn. I wasted no time filling my arms with laminated posters depicting plant life cycles, various natural habitats, the solar system, the Constitution, and ancient civilizations. I also found unopened packages of bulletin board borders in varying themes. We found three different sets of tangrams, a box of time telling flash cards, a set of Think-It-Through early math books and tiles, a microscope and slides, two toy helmets, and four dress-up costumes (a princess, a wizard, a police officer, and a knight). Boxes upon boxes held vast amounts of wonderful books, which we set aside by the dozens. And ultimately, we came away with two hundred and fifty seven books. 257 books!!! Included among these were five Tomie dePaola's, eight Magic School Bus, seventeen Caldecott award winners, eight illustrated by the delightful Steven Kellogg, nine Berenstain Bear books to add to their collection (passed down to them by their Uncle), ten Berenstain Bear chapter books (I didn't even realize there were such a thing!), fourteen Little Critter books (again, to add to Uncle Rob's old collection), nine Amelia Bedelia books (I used to love these when I was little!), thirty-six easy reader type books, and a broad range of so many other incredible books. (Two of my favorites are the Usborne Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and James Herriot's Treasury for Children.) There are so many more, many which Darren and I remember from our own childhood and which we are so thrilled to have found to share now with our children.

We have all been having such fun today, playing dress-up and looking through our books. And, the best part? All of this...for less than $50. Can you believe it?! Truly, this was a rare and special find. I'm still giddy!


Michelle said...

Way to go!

Jennifer said...

Yes, I think "insane jealousy" would describe my feelings right now. :) No really, congratulations. It looks like an amazing pile of goodies. I don't do garage sales much, but I may try now!

mom-in-training said...

Jealous? Who, me?!? Yes, okay, maybe just a little. Maybe even a lot. :) But I am so happy for you that you happened upon this amazing steal. Looks like God is equipping you for your calling to homeschool. :) Wonderful books and teaching tools, as well as fun costumes for the kids. Congratulations! Enjoy it all!

Cheryl said...

You're making me want to stop at the next yard sale I see.

Lillian said...

WOW!! I'm so happy for you. This DEFINITELY seems like a calling to homeschool!! ;-)

Now you need to find a yard sale with some book shelves for sale!

Mom to Four said...

OK, Melissa. I wish I could say I wasn't frothing at the mouth. I just about fell over as I read your descroption of your finds!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been lazy about stopping at garage sales lately, but must start again. How cool!

Wish I was there to sit amongst the piles with you!

betty said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Now I'm praying the next great find might be in my neighborhood!

Blair said...

WOW. Amazing. We've found some great garage sales, but nothing like that! What a find!!!!

diana said...

I have lucked out at former teacher's rummages, but never like you! It's a sign from God, definitely!
I love the How Seeds Grow chart and the Spiders books. Isn't homeschooling fun! And some of that math stuff you have pictured is outrageously expensive, the plastic shapes are about 15 dollars for half of what you have.
What a blessed find!