OH MY GOODNESS! I am so thankful it is February. January proved to be a very interesting month for us and I am so glad it is over.
We are all much healthier now, only having a little sniffle and cough, and are praying that we are done with major financial issues for a little while at least!
As I hinted to in my last post, during our time with all the kids sick we had to deal with an unexpected situation...and now we have this:
Yes, this our latest addition to the family. It is a 2008 Ford Econoline 350 12-passenger van. We have lovingly nicknamed her "Ginormica". (watch Monsters vs. Aliens and you'll see why). We have been in need of a bigger vehicle since the day we brought Sarah home because our conversion van only seated 7 people. That meant we had to put Ethan in the front seat with either Mike or I sitting on the floor when we went anywhere together. It was either that or two vehicles, and with gas prices where they are...the van was costly enough.On Saturday, January 7th, we decided to take our sick children out for a ride because they needed to get out of the house. At the time they only had conjunctivitis, but just before we left Caleb throw up in the van. We weren't sure if it was due to coughing and crying, or if he actually he had a stomach bug, but decided to continue with our plans to run some errands. We had to go to Walgreens to pick up another bottle of eye drops and pulled into the drive-up. It was taking forever so Mike turned the engine off...it refused to start 15 min. later when we were done. A customer in a pick up truck pushed us out of the drive up and we called AAA, my sister and my father-in-law. We don't know anyone who has enough room to get all of the kids home.
Long story short, the vehicle started a couple of times before AAA got there, but we didn't want to take a chance. We had it towed to our mechanic who after the weekend informed us that he couldn't find anything wrong with it. However, due to the size of the fuel tank, (32 gallons) and the vehicle he couldn't put it on a lift to follow up on more diagnostics. So, we drove it over to Bonneville and Son. We had purchased this vehicle from them in 2008 just before the twins were born. After they took a look at it, they too couldn't find a reason why it wouldn't start as it started just fine and the fuel pump looked okay. It did need a new radiator, a radiator flush, some new lines and a thermostat, (all the reasons why the heater wasn't working all that great). However, he needed us to come down to show us a much bigger problem...
He wasn't kidding. It is only due to God's good grace that we found out the way we did. It could have been much worse. The whole front end frame that basically holds up the engine and front end of the vehicle was severely rotted and rusted through. I honestly don't know how the front end had stayed up driving over all the potholes and frost heaves we have around here. We could look right through the frame. It wouldn't have been seen unless the tires were removed. In any case, after an estimate it was determined that we would have to sink at least $7000 into the van to fix it up, and be without it for at least a week or two.We made the decision to scrap it, and buy something else...enter Ginormica. Our salesman, Dan Reitz, from Bonneville and Son has and was awesome. This was the third time we've purchased a vehicle from him, and he went above and beyond his job to help us out. He was able to get $2500 for trade in on our van, and then began looking for a van for us. They didn't have any in their inventory so they had to look for vans at other dealers and then work out a deal to purchase it for us to then buy from them. He even brought a van to the house so Mike and I could test drive it, and try placing car seats in it. We eventually bought the one we test drove, and he brought all the paperwork to our house to sign.
In January we had very sick children, no van, our furnace died, and one of Mike's crowns decided to fall out. Through it all, we are still able to see God's blessings despite all of the financial setbacks. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!!