The Sunnyside wheels (aka mafia car - LOL)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

7 years ago when we purchased our jeep we had only 1 child with one on the way - it certainly seemed big enough & roomy enough, but with the surprise of twins a couple of years later, we began to think about purchasing another car.  Of course us being - this didn't happen quickly.  We briefly toyed with getting a Landcruiser (which was a little above our price range at the time)  & Dave even mentioned a Kia Carnival, but I was quite strong on my one opinion "I'm not driving a van - no, not ever".   Why?  You may ask - well you see my parents had always had a van (which, let's face it with 5 children is very practical) & I had always seen it as a "Mumsey" type car (sorry, Mum, but you already knew that anyway - I'm sure you're laughing right about now!)    We added some child seats ( dicky seats) in the back of the Jeep to fit the kids in & this solved our problems - at least for a while.
Over the last couple of years our children continued to grow - this is quite annoying when the car won't grow with them as they take up more & more room & there is less & less room for the mountain of groceries I require to feed them to maintain this growth!  Since the start of this year I have been trying to do once a month shopping when I go to the big city - this is all well & good for our budget & wallet, but not so fun for the kids on the way home.  I literally had to get the kids in the car first & then pile the groceries around them.  Inevitably during each hour long drive home I would get "Mum.... this is falling on me".  " Mum... my arm is sore from holding up this bag".    With our recent trip to Brisbane we realized that life with the jeep was coming to it's final chapters - there was very little room for the children to sit comfortably & even though I am a very small packer there just wasn't  room for much of anything.  Our other issue was with the air conditioning- as hard as it tried- it wasn't able to get from the front vents all the way to the back of the jeep, so the people in the back seat would inevitably end up hot, sweaty & bothered (unless they fell asleep - which always bothered me in the middle of summer as they would have those lovely rosy cheeks & be sleeping & I'd hoped that in actual fact the hadn't passed out from heat stroke).  
We have been praying about a new car for quite a while & when this car came up it really seemed to be the perfect solution for our problems (& fit into our budget nicely - since we don't ever want to borrow for a car this is very limited).     So without further ado let me introduce our new Sunnyside wheels:

Oh did you notice did you - yes it's a van!  Oh & a big van - a really really big van.  Yes - so does that make me ultra mumsey???

So why did we go this way - well firstly of all the VANS that we looked out (We had come to the conclusion that it was more practical for us & let's face it I'm very, very practical)  the top of our choices was a Vito, but we really didn't think we would be able to afford them.  Then somehow Dave came across these 3 year old ones that were ex - government for sale at very affordable prices.  While I enjoyed the company of other home schooling families at home school camp a few weeks ago, he flew across the state, purchased a car & drove it back all in one hit ( considering we'd just driven back from Brisbane the weekend before, I can't imagine how tired he was).    

So the positives:
*    Good fuel consumption (which is important down here as I drive lots of kms to get anywhere - sure they are fast, but there are a lot of them)
*    Room - lots & lots of room for the children.
*  Air conditioning vents all the way to the back seat - no more passed out children on our summer drives!
*     No carpet - anyone with boys knows this is a bonus.  It is just so easy to brush the dust & dirt inevitably trampled in - I can even give it a mop out!
*  Space - did I mention space - space for groceries, for children, for parents, for bags, for suitcases - goodness, I'm sure I could buy Westfields out next time we're in Brisbane & still fit in a months worth or groceries (well maybe not).

The negatives:

* Well let's face it ... it is a van!

Since it was an old patient transport van the windows are tinted, very, very dark so no one can see in.  I told Dave that I fell like I'm driving a mafia car - how many dead bodies could this one hold?? (Just kidding) & then I realised since it was a patient transport van it may well have held a few...

So now we are thanking the Lord for this blessing - even though it is a van (sigh - just kidding) 

Hope you are counting your blessings & enjoying your day!


Homeschool on the Croft said...

Wow! I wouldn't feel a bit mumsy driving this. I reckon is looks very cooooooool. And the space...Oh the space! It looks fab!

Gayle said...

Haha! Welcome to the Mumsey Club!! :D

We've had a van for years so I've given up on looking cool awhile ago.. LOL!

I'm a little envious of all of your space! Ours only holds 5 passengers in the back 2 rows.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

I am actullyenvious Because with Bub For on the horizion I felt like I just read the story of My life!
Our cars tight now with three kids...!!!
And the groceries means I must always leave the pram behind.
Your Van looks terrific!
It is rather cool looking not so Tarago-ey!
My Hubby is looking at some Diesle and it is huge and a Van!
Same issue too many country kiles are killing us with chewing up the juice!
You enjoy your new wheels:)

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Welcome to the van driver's club Renata! To think once upon a time I would hop in our sporty little Subaru Impreza and I swore I would never drive an automatic or a van! We had a 7 seater people mover for a while but when our twins came it had to be an 8 seater but also 4WD - not much choice but now I love our van .. its automatic, no more getting the wrong gear and stalling at the lights and I can see the road properly - no more straining over the dash, low cars freak me out now! And others who drive the same van wave - we call it the Delica wave! Of course there are 9 of us but oldest son has his own car now. How many does your van seat? You'll end up loving it for all those practical reasons. Have you ever seen the video by the Christian comedian Tim Hawkins 'The Homeschool Family'? If you haven't go on You Tube and have a laugh... very appropriate for a new van driver!

Peta G said...

lol, welcome to the 'van drivers club'..hehe..we havea Grand Carnival converted to a 9 far it is fantastic. We our future plans (currently being worked on...(foster parents)) we are considering a change of car may be nessesary..can you(if you dont mind) tell me where and how much this one was?..seats? etc..if you comment on one of my posts it wont be published as I have to approve it first..thanks..Peta..oh and happy van driving lol...Peta

simone17 said...

wonderful! Enjoy the space & air con vents!

Lovin' Life said...

That is a really nice van. Good for you guys not going into debt for a car. My husband and I did that once and we have decided what a poor decision that was! We are still paying it off and since we are military and overseas we don't even get to drive it right now!
Anyways nice van!

the happy sparrow said...

Love the van Renata!! Great buy!! :)) Martine

Christy said...

keep telling yourself "it's a people mover NOT a van!!!" hehehe...i had the same feeling a few years back. Hope you enjoy all that space! The kids will be loving the long trips now...

aunty sel said...

Hey Narn,
What a lovely van!!! And so much classier then a Tarago ;-)
At least now there is room for visitors as well!!!
Luv lots,

Kath said...

Enjoy the "mumsey" van!!!! My hubs had the same view of a van too!!!

Grandma said...

Hello "Mumsey", It has taken me more than 24 hours to stop laughing long enough to respond.........(ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration - ok a big one!)....but, well, I know it's hard to face but with 4 littlies, you are....yep, you are a Mumsey!!!! (Lucky I'm a couple of days' drive away!!! Okay, so I've known about it for weeks, but I wouldn't have mentioned it if you hadn't. Lucky you're not on Facebook, or I'd have Granny ringing me to tell me you had it...Tonight she rang to tell me Lil bought a harp (as if I didn't know....mmmmm.....who paid for it??????? She's always ringing up with 'confidential information' from the Facebook famiy members....I did suggest that if people didn't want others to know something, they wouldn't post it....
anyway, take care as you drive your Mafia Vehicle...hey, we'll be able to fit in when we visit, yay....Give all the lovely ones a hug...and lots and lots of love to you....Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Cassandra-ann said...

Oh I love your van Renata ! It looks so nice and roomy, I totally hear you on the grocery shopping and air conditiong issues, we are the same, Hubby says we need to either start taking 2 cars or a trailer LOL.
We have skiiped needing a van, we have gone straight from a landcruiser to needing a BUS! lol

Enjoy driving your new van, i bet the kids are really appreciating all the space

Cassandra xx

Jenn said...

I miss my van! I now am driving a car and it is really hard to get all 6 of us in it comfortably.

Congratulations on your mommy vehicle!

16 blessings'mom said...

Renata, it is a NICE van. We have a fifteen passsenger van, I feel like a bus driver! I am thankful to be able to bring the kids places, but I know how you feel. Here in New York state, the kids have to be in safety seats (car seats) until they are eight years old. That takes up even more room. For what it's worth, I think that is a snazzy looking van...very sharp.

Particia said...


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