Friday, March 18, 2005

Guess What's Sitting in My Garage?

A brand-new van!!! Well, not brand-new, but new to me. Now, it's not mine, not quite yet. We went to a friend's dealership today to 'look at vans'. Before we left, Dh says to me "Are we buying today?". I'm thinking, "No way can we do this today." But we left the option open. We didn't have to worry about if the van was any good, or how much wool he was pulling over our eyes -- he's the husband of a very good friend of mine, they're both very authentic Christians. So we went and looked, taking the whole crew with us. Dh stayed at the dealership with the kids while I test drove the van. Oh, boy, I was hooked. You see, for 2 years, we lived with Dh's grandfather, facilitating his care so he could stay at home until he passed away in December of 2002. He left us his 1998 Mercury Marquis with maybe only 20,000 miles on it! This was by far the nicest car Dh or I had ever owned. Now, with two girls in carseats, it was quite comfortable. We couldn't give anyone a ride to church unless they could fit between them, or squish in the bench seat in front, but we were oh-so-very blessed to have that car. Dh still had our little 1994 Escort to drive to and from work, I got the good car. But with the addition of little boy tadpole, two boosters and a carseat are just a little cramped in that back seat, and we really couldn't transport any additional children legally (DD6 sometimes would ride short stints in the front seat if absolutely necessary), plus the girls can't buckle up their own boosters since the seats are crammed so close together. So, I've been campaigning for a van or SUV. We've given up on the SUV idea for now since only the new ones have 6 or 7 passenger seating. We won't ever buy a brand-new car, it just isn't worth the money to us that you lose driving off the car lot. So, a nice low-mileage used van is exactly what I need.

Anyway, so then our friend the manager kept the kids (the girls AND the baby boy!) in his office while we talked $$ with the business manager. We knew we didn't have pristine credit due to some old mistakes, but it's slowly getting better. We also have no money to put down. He crunched the numbers and both the interest rate and the payments were quite a bit higher than we wanted. Dh was great, he said "It's just not going to happen today", and we prepared to leave. I was disappointed, but like I said, I was NOT expecting to come home with a new vehicle. Well, our friend was not going to let us leave without a van! I think he and his wife have watched me shoehorn these 3 kids into 3 carseats in the back of the Marquis just one too many times! He set it up for us to take the van for the day as a loaner while they crunch some more numbers, shop banks, and possibly pull in a favor or two! Is God great or what? This after we just put $300 into Dh's beater car yesterday for new gas lines and another $120 into it for tires last week. It is just dying slowly. If it weren't for that, we'd have a little more $$ for the downpayment. As it is, we can probably scratch up $500 to bring the payments down just a little more. Anyway, I'm not holding my breath, but I just might get to KEEP this van in my garage!!! So exciting!