Posted by: raisingmustardseeds | November 26, 2011

Getting Ready for Winter – Ice & Wheels

We’re counting on a long cold winter.

And trying to make the best of it.

So in that spirit, here’s what MS dad has been up to the last few weeks:

Trying to keep costs down by being creative with materials we had lying around – these are the old deck boards we pulled up when we re-surfaced our deck (post here) last summer.

For the liner, we didn’t want to fork out $200+ for the size we needed for this rink, so MS dad will be using vapour barrier (one of the largest sizes he could find) which will need to be taped down the middle to get it to the right size.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we don’t get leakage.

In other EXCITING news, look what’s sitting in our parking lot…

Our minivan has a new friend… can you see?

Here, I’ll zoom in.

Our minivan now looks puny next to that THAT thing. We haven’t decided his/her name yet.  But I think it’s more a “he”, don’t you think?

And no, we didn’t come across some extra money to purchase this vehicle…it’s a 12 passenger van – official name: Sprinter, made by Mercedes.

The story behind this is quite amazing, really.  When we were expecting the Chubs (aka baby #6), we had to figure out a new mode of transportation – our Honda Odyssey had reached maximum capacity @ 7. We discussed a few options.

Option 1: Drive 2 cars (MS dad’s VW Jetta and the minivan) whenever we needed to go out as a family.  (During the week, the children & I would still be able to fit in the van, as Megalos was old/big enough to sit up front)

Option 2: Modify our Odyssey to fit in an 8th seat.  (our second row had 2 captain seats, and we sourced out a guy who would put in a jump seat so that we could fit 3 people in the 2nd row).  Cost: $700

Option 3: Purchase a larger vehicle.  Choices would include the North American 8-passenger SUV’s (aka GAS GUZZLERS!), the Toyota Sequoia, also 8-passenger, (marginally better in fuel consumption), or going up to the 12-15 passenger vans (all North American made).  So exciting, not.  We did drool over a Sprinter – which is a 12 passenger van made by Mercedes.  But that’s hard to find used.  Purchasing new would be out of the question.  And MS dad is extremely wary of buying used, and even more so about the N.American vehicles.  Sorry, if I sound a little less enthusiastic about a N.American vehicle…nothing personal.  🙂 Cost: new – $scary, used – 5 digit range probably

So for the 9 months of incubation, we talked on and off, and finally decided to wait till the baby was born.  In the meantime, we would go with option 1.  But as the day drew closer for baby to be born, I was getting less and less enchanted with the idea of driving 2 cars whenever we needed to go out to church, or whatever.  We’re not talking 5 minute drives, it’s like 45 minutes one way.  Ugh.

Well, fast forward to May/June after the baby is born.  MS dad figures an ingenious way of securing everyone into the odyssey.  Don’t worry – there was no 2 children 1 seatbelt thing going on. 😉  Everyone had their own seat and seatbelt.  A little squishy, especially for my almost 5’5″ oldest girl.  Yeah, you read that right.  She’s almost 5’5″.  Actually, maybe she’s already past that.  She seems to grow every single day. And this measurement I took last week.  She’s taller than me. sob sob.

Sorry. Got a little sidetracked there.

Getting back to cars.

Of course, this would only work until Mr. Chubs switched to a forward facing seat.  It would then get a little hairy.  But that was at least 9 months away.  In the meantime, we were quite happy with not having to spend any $$.

Then in June/July, MS dad springs a big announcement that he was keeping to himself for a few months. (I guess I was busy being pregnant, and having a baby, and he didn’t think he should bother me with the news…I have not idea!..we won’t go there.)

Anyway, the big news was that he was getting a promotion, and the new position included some perks, one of which was that he would get a company vehicle.


This was EXCITING news.  Well, there was a little apprehension as well regarding that promotion (a different story altogether), but definite excitement on the vehicle part…on my part anyway. haha.  You see, my husband would now be able to pick some super sporty, super luxury vehicle to zip around in, all expenses paid.  But, he, ever the self-sacrificial think-of-the-family-first kind of guy, says to me…”So I was thinking we could get the Sprinter.”

My reaction?…BWAHAHAHAHA.  Are you serious?!  You’re going to drive that to work?  It’s like an airport shuttle bus! Are they even going to approve that kind of vehicle?

It seemed so unreal that the company would let him get something that was clearly more for the family than him personally.

Anyway, once his promotion was “official”, we decided to go test drive the candidates – 2 N.Am. SUVs, the 8 passenger Odyssey, and the Sprinter.  We brought the kids to see the Sprinter, and they just about freaked out on the dealership lot.  hahaha.  For them, it was the obvious choice.  Although, I must say Moose was quite attracted to the top of the line Odyssey – it had a 9 inch DVD player. 🙂

 Mini and the Beast

Obviously the Sprinter won out.  MS dad decided it gave us more breathing room.  Road trips would be a little more comfortable, cargo space was more generous. The dog could come with us, etc. etc.  And so, despite being the butt of jokes at the office, MS dad put in the request for the vehicle.

That was back in September.  He picked it up yesterday.  And we are all giddy with excitement.

The Lord is good.  He provided, even when we didn’t ask for it.  And the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect.

Thank you Lord Jesus!


  1. The other evening while coming home from your place I was asking what was the monster bus in the dark coming down Sideroad 5. Then it dawned on me – that must be the Chartered Accountant turned new bus driver!

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