As we prepare for full time deputation, we have been hashing out ideas for how to travel when the van is “home”. With all of the baby gear needed for twins, and the addition of homeschooling, the minivan just didn’t seem big enough. And though it seats 7, it’s more like 5 1/2 when you add in four car seats.
We decided to start looking for a full size van. Dad found one right away on a government surplus auction site. Everything seemed good – only 26k miles, maintained every 3500 miles, in Florida near my brother so he could go an inspect it. The price started right in our budget range, but we didn’t know if it would sit there long.
We watched the van for 10 days. Finally, on the night before the auction ended, there was a bid. We waited until a couple hours before the end of the auction to enter our bid. We had determined our highest possible price, and prayed that if God wanted us to get the van, that He would provide it.
On the afternoon of the bidding, we received a check from my grandparents with an advance toward the purchase of the van. Then we got a call and told to raise our max bid by $500 if needed, and it would be provided. We entered a bid, and were immediately outbid by the first bidder. I had four different alarms set on my phone so that I wouldn’t forget to bid again before the end of the auction! (It’s amazing how many brain cells are lost on four small children…)
10 minutes before the end of the auction, I entered a new high bid, still not at our “highest possible”. Now the high bidders, I waited to see if we would need to raise the bid or pass on the van. The auction ended, and we were the winners! And for over $1000 less than our highest possible bid based on our budget.
On the way home from Vermont Monday, I dropped Ben off in Albany to fly to Florida and pick up the van. We stayed a couple of days with Grandma & Grampa Hamilton while Ben was driving home. The kids were very excited to get home and see our new van!
I drove it today for the first time. I admit – it feels very large! I only had to park once, but I was able to find a big enough spot. I have not really driven a vehicle this big before, and certainly not in the City, but I know I will get adjusted. I can easily fit three kids in one row of seats, which is nice. We have two empty spaces instead of one. (And no – there is not another baby on the way). And we have LOTS of room in the back end!