Wow!  Gary and I just finished the best seminar we’ve ever done!  It was great because the people who came had already been convinced that living books were GREAT and needed to be in their home libraries. 

CottrillsThe convincers were the Cottrills, owners and librarians of The Living Books Library in Abingdon.  They are an astonishing family!  Liz, the mom, is quite the honest homeschooler.  When someone tells her, “I can’t homeschool, it’s too hard!”, Liz retorts, “I taught four children to read and I’m BLIND!”  If you want to see amazing, sit next to Liz and her Braille Scrabble board while she keeps up with the other sighted people playing Fast Scrabble with regular Scrabble letters.  She is an inspiration. 

Emily, the oldest daughter of the family, is a Wheaton College art major graduate and the chief librarian and book buyer.  She is a beautiful, intelligent, well-spoken bibliophile and fiesty sister to five siblings.  She came back home to be under her father’s guidance, though she says she did it, “kicking and screaming.”   Gary and I were so impressed by the impact she is having on the children who look to her for guidance on what to read.  She is touching lives for eternity and it is awesome to see.

Grace is the piano player of the family.  What a joy to sing along with her hymn playing.  The family did a song that had four parts.  Whew!  I couldn’t even figure out where the music went after that first split line of music!

Isaac and Lucas are more recent additions to this special family.  Isaac is East Asian, Lucas is, as he says it, “chocolate”.  Who loves more, the adoptees or the adopters?  Isaac (8 or 9 years old) is learning to read.  In the meantime he draws amazingly accurate World War I airplanes.  Lucas, age 4, is a love bug and the only boy I’ve ever seen who looks good in mini-dreadlocks!

Two of the older children, Jonny and Lydia, are married but live close by.  What a treat to eat shagame playingre a Sunday dinner with this wild crew of book lovers!  Our dining table conversation was bright, witty, and quite, quite erudite.   And to play games surrounded by thousands of incredible books…what a day, what a day!!!