The night before, Jen spent a lot of time getting things ready such as bottles, diapers, clothes changes in case of blowouts, toys, and all of the other stuff that it to get away with four 8 month olds for the day. While she was getting that stuff ready, I was busy trying to find a way to get our quad stroller in the van so that we could take one stroller instead of two. I was able to remove the rear tires, the front tire, and the handle, which allowed me to fit it in the cargo space in the back of the van. (Quite an accomplishment!) I assured Jen that it would take me less than 5 minutes to reassemble the stroller once we got there.
The next morning, we got the boys up an hour early (8am) so that we could feed them their bottles and cereal and hit the road. Everything went really well and we were on the road by 9am or so. On our way out of town, the van lurched and the steering wheel locked up on the way around the corner and started making some crazy sounds. Fortunately, we were going slow enough that this did not cause any major problems.
I pulled into the nearest gas station to ponder what to do next. The van seemed to be running fine, and had quit making the noises. I was instantly upset that we might not make it to Covington, we were really looking forward to getting out for the day. Plus, so much planning and preparation had gone into this trip, that I was actually tempted to pull back onto the road and see how things went. But, in better judgement, I decided to get out and take a look. When I opened the hood I was greeted by a cloud of steam and spraying fluid. Obviously, I knew our plans were shot at this point.
I took Jen and the boys home immediately and headed for Big O Tire (who we always trust with our break-down crisis’) in Brownsburg. They did their best to get me in, but the repairs would not be completed until Monday. God truly protected my family this past weekend. The van could have easily broken down on the way to Covington on the interstate, but He protected us from this. Our van has over 125k miles on it, so I expect it to break down from time to time, but I trust that God will take care of us. Ever seen a tow truck with room for 4 baby seats? We would certainly have to find someone to come pick us up (in a bus!) if this ever happened. I wish our van had lower mileage on it, but I am not willing to go into debt for a van with all of the other expenses we have going. I just trust that God will protect us from bad circumstances, and show us the way out when they are unavoidable.
God did bring some good out of the van problems though. Our friends Mark and Susie let us borrow their van for the weekend while ours was in the shop. (Which we ended up loving for the ability to fit 3 carseats across the back and JEN was able to load them all herself! Usually we have to hoist the boys carseats up and over the 1st row of back seats and this takes some serious strength from Mr. Gladiator.) This allowed us to go to Calvary Baptist Church in Danville, IL where Jen grew up and we were married. Calvary not only blessed us with a TON of baby items and other material goods, but they were so faithful to pray for our boys and keep updated during Jen’s pregnancy. Their pastor allowed us to go up front with the boys and thank the church formally, we were blessed to be there! Thank you Calvary Baptist Church, we love you all!!