There have been so many times and so many ways God has blessed us and shown His faithfulness to our family as we have educated our girls at home while both of us were working.
I could come up with several things to use for the letter A, but as I sit here typing, one blessing stands out the most: our library, the Anderson Public Library. What a gem it has been over the past 13 years!
I am sitting here at the library typing this post on a Saturday afternoon while Arlene is upstairs in the monthly meeting of the Teen Advisory Council for the library. How did that tiny little redhead grow up from the girl who chewed on the "Teeth" book into a smart, well-spoken lady who was asked to join in on the planning of activities for the teen department? One day at a time!
Our library is housed in what was originally a Sears department store. For a city of about 60,000 people, it is really large and well stocked. The librarians and other staff do such a wonderful job of making it a place where everyone is welcome, and all patrons can find the help they need.
I am currently sitting in the Indiana Room, which is a special Reference room on the second floor that houses both historic and unique books and artifacts from Indiana history. There are some books in here that you cannot readily find elsewhere except in College Repositories or at the State Library. There is a display case near the entrance to the Indiana Room that houses changing exhibits about Indiana or Madison County history. Right now it is filled with lovely cut-glass bowls, pitchers, and other sparkly items. They remind me of the butter dish I inherited form my Maternal Grandmother.
Across the landing from me is the Children's department. Both of our girls grew up as this area being their destination of choice for weekly outings! Librarians who love children, a huge selection of both newer and classic children's books, and a plethora of special events in the adjoining Activities Room have made a lifetime of memories. When the girls were little we would come every week. EVERY WEEK! If something happened and we missed a week, one or more of the librarians would ask the girls if someone had been sick, or if we had been on another adventure!
On the other side of our library are stacks and stacks of books! Magazines, DVD's audio books, so many great resources, whether you homeschool or not!
Upstairs are meeting rooms, the Model Railroad, Fire Safety House, and Arlene's favorite stop: the Friends of the Library Book Sale room! Down on the main floor are computer labs, a teen room, reference librarians and their books, the audiobooks, dvd's, magazines, CD's, and more stacks of books. So much awesome stuff! A long time ago there was a widget that would let you figure out how valuable your library was to your household. You entered how many books, movies, etc. you check out each month, and it figured the retail value as if you had gone to the store. I kid you not, our family's monthly value was over $900! That is when I told the Library Director that I considered our property taxes to be the cost of our library cards, with the Police and Fire Departments thrown in for free.
We are working parents. There is no way we could have afforded to purchase anywhere near that many books or documentaries for our children to use, not to mention we would have run out of bookshelf space long ago!
This week's blessing of our working and homeschooling adventure is: The Anderson Public Library!