In which we become the owners of a VERY large map and an elephant

You know, when most people go to used book sales, they buy books. Books, which even en masse, are fairly small in size.

We seem to have… other ideas.

You might remember that last year, we went to our homeschool association’s curriculum fair and came home with a gigantic blank timeline.

Or, at the time I thought it was gigantic.

I’ve since changed my perspective after going to the “we’re closing the library” sale at, of all things, a local church, and having Sarah, who wasn’t super-interested in most of the books or CDs there, spot something fairly ginormous leaning in a corner.

“Is THAT for sale?” she asked Emily, the woman from the office helping organize the sale. Emily wasn’t sure, but she said she’d put our name on it as interested, and someone would let us know.

The “that” in question?

Gigantic map of the world mounted on foamboard

Yes, that’s a six-foot by four-foot National Geographic map of the world mounted on foamboard.

And yes, that’s Sarah sitting with it in the lobby, where, after finding out yesterday that it was ours for the taking, we waited for a bit after the service until our friend Dustin could come by in his pickup truck to haul it home. (After, of course, we tried several unsuccessful ways to get it into our car!)

This thing is HUGE.

So when we got it home, we couldn’t even begin to figure out where to go with it. We didn’t have a place that was both big enough to fit AND prominent enough to suit Sarah.

That is, until I said, “Uh, Sarah, what if I try to put it on the wall along your bed?”

Gigantic map of the world mounted on foamboard

That was a huge undertaking, especially since it’s pretty hard to hang ANYTHING on our not-super-well-built walls, but we made it work, and here it is in all its glory! (Some of you have seen a snapshot of this on our Facebook page already; now you know “the rest of the story.”)

Gigantic map of the world mounted on foamboard

I should do a post in the future on Sarah’s entire room. It’s small, and tucked into the eaves of the house, so we get very creative with space. (As you’ll see in some of the pictures, there’s a table at the foot of the bed with Legos, and you can just glimpse a painting of Sarah’s hung on the eave at an angle over her head; let’s hope I attached it well enough!)

Meanwhile, Sarah also received her birthday gift from good friends of ours who had been carrying it around for a while. Meet her new elephant (not life-sized, but still pretty big!)

Stuffed blue elephant

Best part? When we went up to bed last night, Sarah and I spent easily 45 minutes sitting on her bed, examining the map, the countries, the capitals, the time zones and more. We found places where movies were set, places we wanted to visit, places whose capitals we’d heard of, places with funny names, places where our virtual friends are living, places where some of our favorite books and historical events took place, and more.

And that’s when Sarah found the perfect name for her new elephant.

He’s Cairo.

And we’re glad he’s found a home in the shadow of the Great Map.

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8 thoughts on “In which we become the owners of a VERY large map and an elephant

    • Thanks! We were surprised as we were leaving; at least 3 families stopped and said, YOU got the map?? We wanted to get the map! I have to admit that I didn’t expect such interest 🙂

  1. WOW!!! I must admit that I am a little jealous of that incredible map!! It is stunning, beautiful, perfect…the list goes on! What an incredible gift! And I absolutely LOVE that you put it in Sarah’s room!

  2. I have the exact same map hanging in my “Hall of Knowledge.” I used Christmas money to buy it for myself one year, and I love looking at it. Of course, mine isn’t on a foamboard backing, so it’s even harder to hang up well. Gotta love a giant map, though!

    • Oh, that’s so cool! I was kind of wishing it wasn’t on foamboard when I realized how hard it would be to get home, but it certainly is durable that way.

      I loved checking out your blog and seeing your book reviews – especially because Sarah is smack in the middle of “The Lightning Thief!” 🙂

  3. This has inspired me to find a way to make nicer spaces at home. Looks so delightful! We use google earth a lot as our map

    • Amy, that’s so cool! I think having inviting spaces around our house has really made a big difference in our learning… I hope it does for your family too. We also love Google Earth!

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