When you have a large family or adopt, you get lots of looks, comments, questions and are the general butt of stereotypical jokes. Being different requires an element of thick skin or a good sense of humor! One of our most common questions, believe it or not, is what we drive...
If any of you grew up in or around homeschool/large families you know there is a common stigma. I’m a product of the public education system and Coleen was homeschooled, which allowed for many of these stereotypical jokes growing up between us. (Some are fun and some can hit a nerve…I won’t mention those!) One of the most common stereotypes is what a homeschool/large family drives and… it ain't usually pretty (actually I’ve never seen a cool homeschool wagon)... But this is usually because the options in the marketplace are very few.
(Big Family Olympics - This is NOT us… But I found it fitting to our stereotype and funny)
Let's consider the facts… according to statista.com
“In 2020, there was an average of 1.93 children under 18 per family in the United States. This is a decrease from 2.33 children under 18 per family in 1960”
Now a homeschool family… Well... google doesn’t have that stat! But I know it is a lot more than 1.93 kids. The homeschool families I know of usually have 6-9 children… (Mormons & Catholics are also in this group.) You’re an underachiever if you have less than 4… (Just kidding, don’t get your feelings hurt if you only have 2.) Ok, here are our BIG FAMILY vehicle options: there’s only 4 but as a bonus sometimes you can pick a cool color!!!
We rented one of these beauties while visiting California on an RV trip. Sleek, slender and oh so sporty! Turns on a dime (that is most definitely sarcasm).
See what I mean by cool colors!
I have always felt like this van looks like the old school milk van. You know the one on “Leave it to Beaver” that would drop bottles of milk on the front porch? Driving around looking like the milkman!
Now this changed the game for a large family... It has the Mercedes logo so already you're feeling pretty legit! However, the inside is pretty plain and has a cargo van feeling (think Fedex). Plus that roof mount AC… Chick Fil A is a no go with that thing (too tall for drive-thru).
Have you ever heard the term “GOING ROGUE”?
“When going rogue was first used it had a fairly specific meaning of 'behaving in an erratic or dangerous fashion'. The expression today is more likely to be used to indicate that someone is displaying some degree of independence or failing to follow an expected script.” - Webster Dictionary.
When we decided to adopt 5 children, (that’s now a total of 13 in our vehicle) and move into the realm of large passenger vans, my heart sank as I remembered all the jokes I made about large family vans…
However, a spark of hope flashed when a friend of mine was telling me about these tricked out 4x4 vans that looked legit! I immediately went home and asked Google if such a van exists…
To my delight this was the image it returned…
The next day I went ROGUE and contacted the dealership that made this “BEAST”!
The Specs: This is a Nissan NV with a few conversions. They begin by dropping the 2wd transmission and put a Nissan Titan 4x4 transmission in its place. They then added a 3-6” lift and 35” mud tires with a custom rim package. After this, they put the finishing touches on by adding a super cool roof rack & ladder (which we have used many times on family trips), and black out all remaining chrome.
Yes, it still carries 12 bodies!
Our “BEAST” as we all call it, has been the start of many conversations, stares, pictures, videos, and general curiosities.
As much as we pick on ourselves and large families, (they are a lot of fun) but the key is to relax and enjoy the blessing!
Thanks to all our friends for having mercy because we are “extra”.
P.S. One piece of advice… Always name your vehicles!