Saturday, November 08, 2008

My Mama Machine

For 3 years I have been driving this. And it has made me happy, I have no complaints. I was able to choose the colors and drive it off the lot at 0 miles. It has taken us many places and has not given us a bit of trouble. But when we numbered 4 children, the noise level began to get SO loud. And though it seats 8, it began to feel crowded. So about a year or so ago I convinced my dear husband that we needed something larger. And we began shopping. Many of our friends with large families told us they drove suburbans, expeditions etc. Which are obviously MUCH cooler than a mini van. I thought I had found our solution.

Till I went to test drive one. And found while yes, they look WAY cooler than a mini van, there is no more room than what we had. I had driven a Durango back when Makenna was a baby, and we traded that in on a van, so it did not make sense to go back to the SUV over a van for the same amount of room. Though there is a part of me that longs to be cool. Sigh...

Get home from China just 2 weeks ago and the noise level is even worse, Makenna is getting so big and looks so crowded in the back, and the miles on my Honda are climbing out the roof as it is the only vehicle we have that we can all fit in of course. We decide we will sell Mark's car and just pay cash for something, but keep the reliable mini van. So we go over our options.

A. Conversion Van. Our friends drive a 9 passenger conversion van that is SWEET! The kids have been begging us to buy it for the last year. But it is more than we are thinking. So regular conversion van? Only seats 7, but obviously more room.

B. Church van type of vehicle. You know what I am talking about. Bench seats, alot of them.

C. Limo. Someone at our homeschool group drives one and I found that fascinating. The thought of we could actually put that little screen up between us and the kids and have quiet? I LOVE that idea!

D. Trade in a few kids.

Mark put his foot down on the limo. He said can you even imagine the looks and what our friends would say? Oh I would love to pull up in church in one, the thought of it just makes me laugh!

Church van. Not quite ready to go there yet. I know many people drive them and I think that is great but I just don't think we need that at this point.
Trade in kids? Nah, though maybe staying home would save my sanity as much as a bigger vehicle would.

So that leaves us with a conversion van. You know, the big old vans that used to have tables in them? Plush, comfy, back makes into a bed type of van? My friends have informed me we are going to be so dorky if we buy one. I want to know, do you REALLY think we are not already dorky? COME ON! We have FIVE children and we homeschool, we are DORKS! Just ask the people who watched us have lunch at burger king today. I was never so excited to see a place that had a private room ready just for us! (no they did not really have it ready for us, they just happened to have a side room and we ran right in!)

Mark found a "good deal" so we drove over an hour today with 6 children (we had an extra, we are just seeing if we can handle 6. Kidding, I am kidding, Makenna just had a friend along) and we came home with this beauty. Oh yes , we are officially THAT family!

It is LARGE, it is comfortable and we are so happy! We took it for a test spin and even with 6 children behind us squealing with excitement, it was SO much quieter! There is space, so 2 little girls are not kicking the back of my seat. I can stand in it, which probably makes it even dorkier, but how great for getting kids buckled in!

And while it may not be all that cool to some, the kids think we are the best! They came home and played in it for hours and were arguing over who gets to have the first friend over to spend the night in it. (remember the back makes into a big ole bed!)

Today as Mark drove it home and I followed behind him in the mini van, I could not help but giggle. It is just so BIG. I drove it once home and it is pretty fun to drive. Though I have not tried to park it yet, that seems scary. Which might be a good thing really, if I have to park in the back of all the lots, that means I will get at least a little exercise in right? And it does not fit in our garage, to tall. Small problem since we will be SO comfy when we travel now!

To all my friends who drive big vans & homeschool, believe me, I am in no way saying you are dorky! ;0) I think we are WAY cool and I am glad to be in the club!


Finally a Family of Four said...

I am so glad that you did not buy a big ol church van. That would have been dorky. The conversion van doesn't look that bad, I can see how the room would be great.
Maybe now the noise level will not be as intense.

Mom 2 six said...

We are having this debate right now, where do we put the kids?
My only concern is that the big conversion vans are not winter friendly. Here in Wi that is an issue.

Waiting for Mia Hope! said...

I could see you pulling up in a limo with a nice "L" mongram on the door...can't you? I think your new set of wheels is very nice!!! Congratulations!!

From a soon to be family of six riding around in a Mercury Sable that IS dorky! :)

Jodi said...

I'm sooo jealous!! Does this van seat 7 or 9? I want at least a 9 seater - we always seem to have friends who need rides to soccer and church! I would love to all fit in one car rather then constantly taking two cars! What kind of van is it?

I do like the Limo idea though! Maybe I will try that one on my hubby and then he will come down to a conversion! :)

My mini van doesn't fit in our garage because we have a luggage carrier on top at all times! I'm the biggest dork! Everyone in town knows my van, even if they don't know me. :)

Jodi Sue :)

Mom to my China Posse said...

Ok, I love it!!!!!!! Oh, tell me about your friend that has a van for sale we might be in the market someday, if I sell my car which i love!

annaliese said...

like you's not like you will blend in anywhere you go anyway :)

I'm glad you found something that works for the crew :)

Anonymous said...

I always wished my parents had such a "fancy" vehicle when I was a kid. So...that means that you are TOTALLY cool parents.



Shannon said...

The van is a Dodge Regency Conversion Van, 2001. It seats 7. Our friends have a Conversion Van that seats 9, which is awesome. You can't beat 6 captain chairs with the bench/bed in back! Along with 2 TV's! We found ours on Craigslist and it was CHEAP, much cheaper than we were finding on ebay. I think our friends actually got theirs on Craigslist to. Not sure on how it will do in the weather, since we barely leave our house, that is not an issue for us! And Renee, you know if I go back to China, we will be forced into the church van! ;0) I don't know though, if we had 6 kids I am thinking the limo with the glass divider would just be perfect! ha!

Mom2Three said...

I am totally laughing, because that is EXACTLY what I want!!!
I want to skip the minivan and go right for the full-size van -- one with carpet and lots of room!
ha ha ha ha ha!!
We will only have three kids, but we have two Labradors, and they take up room, plus bags for overnights, camping, trips to Idaho or the airport... our Durango can't take it!!!
Waiting for Jin Pei...