Friday, September 14, 2007

The wheels on the bus

So here I am playing catch up again. Ah, well, one day I'll be on top of it-and I'll add the necessary picture to these posts!

We've had a big addition to our family recently-our new bus! : ) OK, so really it's not a bus, it's just a 12 passenger van. I say just like it's a tiny thing! heehee Well, since we *were* looking at 15 passengers, it does feel like a tiny thing!

And let me just say right now, NO, we didn't get the bigger van because there is an immediate need! Contrary to popular rumor, we did not upsize due to a soon-to-be upsizing in our family. Yes we all still fit in our good old Fire Engine (the red Astro), and will for at least the next 10 months. (AGAIN-do the math, this is not an announcement!!) But with 6 kids in car seats, it was quite cozy, and we figured better sooner than later. You know, let the kids have some space while it's still an option!

The search for the car was all the fun that car shopping is. After not finding much in the market here unless you want to drop 30K for a new one, we decided to get creative in our hunt. Our first stop was at the Auction where we got our beloved Fire Engine (hey-I've never lost the thing in a parking lot). The beauty of Government Surplus! The first auction seemed to be golden! Four 12 passengers, two of which were CNG, and all of which were in great shape. A little high on the miles, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. Well, the auction went well, things were shaping up to fall into our price range, and even a little less than we expected. The magic time rolled around and just as Aaron went to bid-well, nothing. Upon feeling impressed not to bid, he didn't. Why? who knew. Often things that we feel we need to do don't make sense. (many of our choices in life fall into this particular category) So, going with that which he felt directed to do he came home empty-handed. A real bummer. It was kind of frustrating for a couple of days, but hey, you pull your head out (pardon the expression), suck it up, realize that when you do what you are asked to do things have a way of working themselves out.

Fast forward to a month later and we decided to go the online route. LOTS of choices there! Again, mostly out of our price range, but hey at least there were lots to look at! After finding a few on ebay that we liked we still just didn't feel great about anything. Then one night I was online randomly searching places where I might find a van. I checked out local online listings again and then realized that there might be cars on craigslist. I looked locally and found zip. Looked in places not too far away-in the entire state: nada. Looked in Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming, zilch. Ok, there were a few, but really hammered vehicles!! After thinking of all the most common places for larger families to live (thanks to a vast email network of large homeschooling families!), I realized that this checking city by city was going to take me years! Finally a stroke of genius hit; a little nudge to google craigslist and the vehicle I wanted. Voila! A beauty in Phoenix. Not all that close to home, but not all that far away!

We called on this particular van as the photos looked promising and the miles weren't that high. Sweet little (HA!) Catholic family that was upsizing from their 12 to a 15! Wonderful people who through birth, adoption, and fostering have a family that was growing much larger than average and just didn't fit anymore. After hearing a few details, and thinking it over (and of course praying about it!), we struck a deal. A little bit more than the auction, but still within our budget, and loaded with extras that certainly we wouldn't have otherwise. DVD and VHS, two screens, cd player, limo tint, and Aaron's favorite most coveted feature: rubber flooring. For those of you wondering, "rubber flooring" translates directly into "easy cleanup". While it wouldn't necessarily been my first choice in flooring, I have to say that after trying to scrub a good amount of chicken soup (crockpot spilled) out of the carpet in our last van, it really isn't a bad thing!

The arrangements were made, flights caught-which is always the trick with stand-by-and one long day of driving brought our new family car home. It really is kind of a nice drive, and the AC is nice and cold! : ) The kids love not being stacked on top of each other too. And though I am used to driving bigger cars (vans and SUVs), I will admit that I am quite glad not to have to worry about the extra 2+ feet that a 15 passenger would have added.

Bonus points: It tows the boat! : )

Now.....all we need is a road trip!
Only 40 something days until California!!


Kelsey said...

Cali here we come! Some on a bus, some on a plane :)