Videos of a “Venturous” Vacation: Cheese Nips, Downpours, and Maurice

If You Haven’t Already, Read The Prequel and the First Sequel Before Reading Further….

Let me set the scene for this next episode of Videos of a “Venturous” Vacation. Things were going quite smoothly on the first leg of the trip. The boys even took a 45 minute nap and the peaceful view looked like this:

HOWEVER, as we neared Lebanon Junction, KY (about 3 hours from home)the van went from an accelerating 70mph to 0 in a matter of seconds. God truly protected us as Brad was able to coast directly onto an exit ramp and into a gas station parking lot with absolutely no power. What does Jen do to keep from going into a panicked cardiac arrest? Turn on the video camera, of course!

7 Blessings and Provisions from this “Venture”:

1. God’s protection in an engine failing situation.

2. We were able to get the one mini-van rental left in the 50 mile radius, due to the Kentucky Derby. The first rental company we called had only a Ford Focus left on their lot (uh, definitely not “Quadmobile” material), the next was completely out, and the last had just gotten a cancellation for a Toyota Sienna. Coincidence? Nope, I don’t believe in them!

3. My brother and his family were less than 10 minutes from the exit where we broke down when we called them to find out if they had even left Indiana yet. He was able to help us unload, reattach the overhead luggage carrier, reload, and hold babies while we transferred the car seats. It was an ENORMOUS blessing to have his help and to see a familiar face during an uncertain situation. (I should have videoed this part, but I must have been too caught up in the major shiftaroo!)

4. The semi-truck service station graciously took a look at our van, correctly pronounced the van “dead upon arrival”, and allowed us to unload our Venture and reload our rental van under their garage during the downpour.

5. The Hertz Rental Company in Elizabethtown treated us with true southern hospitality. Due to our extreme circumstances, they made an exception and picked us up from our stranded location. Maurice, our driver, was able to refer us to a trusted place to have our van towed and provided enjoyable conversation along the transport.

6. Brad and I had an amazing measure of calmness that HAD to be from the Lord.

7. The boys were absolutely AMAZING! No major meltdowns, fits, tantrums, etc. Considering everything they endured we had no complaints from our little troopers.

Plus…it ended up being great blogging material!

21 thoughts on "Videos of a “Venturous” Vacation: Cheese Nips, Downpours, and Maurice"

  1. Nikki says:

    Thank goodness you were able to get a rental big enough for the 6 of you and get back on the road! A few years ago we were traveling from St. Louis to Florida in a rented Chevy Venture when it broke down in the middle of nowhere, Mississippi. There were no vans anywhere so they brought us a car and we had to all pack in like sardines until we made it to Florida where we were able to get a new rental van. Anyways, I hope that the rest of your trip was great!

  2. Ashhog says:

    wow! What an adventure! I don’t think I would have handled things quite as calmly as you did. I’m so glad everything worked out with getting another car, babies being good, etc. God was truly watching over you! 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    tehehe . . . you know as much about cars as I do! The dealership guys love to see me coming, because they know I’ll have NO CLUE how to even start describing the problem.

    You were definitely a lot calmer than I would’ve been in the same situation.

  4. Oh my goodness! What a day you had. Glad you had such a nice person at Hertz to help out! Hope your trip went more successful after you got the rental car! Sorry you had such an experiance, but God is so good for providing.

  5. Brittany says:

    I haven’t left a comment in ages, but when you commented that in the grand scheme of eternity, this is minor, it just struck me. You’re so right. I need to remember that somedays. Praise HIM for taking great care of you guys in what could’ve been a really serious situation. You used adverse circumstances to glorify HIM once again as He knew you would to bless others.

  6. Kate says:

    This makes for a great story…something you’ll remember your whole lives and tell over and over again with lots of laughs! Sounds like God TRULY had provision over your situation. What an awesome God! And I agree with Brittany above…its amazing how you were so quick to say, “this is minor in the scheme of eternity.” What a testament to your faith! When we’re put in situations like that where we “squeezed” like a bottle of toothpaste, our true character comes out. Your character is obviously one that’s deeply rooted in God. : )

  7. Karen says:

    what a gem of a husband for letting you video him! Mine would have NOT wanted to be on tape:) What a trip huh?

  8. Meg says:

    That is SOOOO STRESSFUL! Way to go Momma for staying cool and for those boys to be so goood! I am forever amazed at how happy/chilled out they are! My 1yr old is a spirited baby and he would NEVER tolerate sitting in a car like that or just chilling!

    I love the sweatpea sleeping tents in your first post!! I am now thinking of getting one for our 1yr old for traveling – do you have any suggestions on where the cheapest place to buy is?? Would you be comfortable using it on the floor of a hotel room?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cheese nips to the rescue! hehe. Looks like you made an adventure out of the trip! I have a Toyota Sienna too! How did you like it? We absolutely love ours! I was wondering, do the boys always have an assigned “seat” when you travel in the car? Or do they rotate in the different rows? My kids tend to prefer to stay in the same seat, but they are older than yours. I am glad your brother was able to help you move everything, I am sure that would have been hard to do alone! I guess if worst came to worst you could have always just rented 2 small cars and did the caravan thing with Brad, but glad you got the minivan! Oh, how do you make your videos with the text written on it? I would like to do that too!

  10. Meg – Yep, we LOVE the pea pods. I would google search “Kid Co Pea Pod Plus”, there should be several places who sell it for comparable prices. And Yes, we used them the whole time on the floor of the hotel. They have an air mattress inside them, so they’re not sleeping directly on the floor. You can put a crib sheet over it, so it feels like home. =)

    Anon – Yes, We LOVED the Sienna. It felt like luxury! We don’t have assigned seats (yet), just whereever they end up as we load them in…We couldn’t have caravaned because there was only 1 car available. And I use Windows Movie Maker to make the videos. It has a subtitle screen.

    Thanks for the great comments so far! (It was good hearing from you again, Brittany!)

  11. I have been following your blog for some time now. I must say that you seem to be an amazing woman with four beautiful babies. And I must also agree that God is always there when you need Him most! And that is such a comforting feeling.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Okay – – I’m missing out on some good movies here – not sure what you’ve done differently – but I cannot view these famous videos!
    🙁 the pics are adorable for mom with each of her little guys – – just precious! But now I want to see the videos too…. And Hey – -good job on setting people straight in tell you how to do things – you go girl!! 🙂 Now you know from the picture – you are supposed to sit infront of each child while they are in the car seat – hahaha!!!! No more sitting up front with Brad – ha! 🙂 Well let me know if there’s a trick to me viewing your newest clips….it just flashes a white square and gives me a headache!!! HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! 🙂 Okay glad things seemed to work out with all of the Van issues – at least what I’ve read so far. 🙂 Talk to you later – – Love Aunt Dar Dar

  13. Emily says:

    I am quite anxious to see how the rest of the story unfolds and how else God provided and showed His grace!
    I also have to admit that after saying the pic of you and Clark with his laugh was super great, that I just have to say they are all! When I see them all again, it’s just impossible to pick a fav cause they all catch so much of the boys in their own way. Love them!

  14. Isn’t is such a comfort to know that no matter what comes the Lord is in control and He takes care of us. Enjoying the story..

  15. Meredith says:

    As always you guys are precious! I love your blog and again you show inspiration to all mommies!! I agree, what a testament to your faith, I would have been freaking out. You were as cool as a cucumber. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your beautiful boys and their daily stories! I always get a laugh out of reading about them. Happy Mother’s Day!

    Ooooh, I also looked into those Pea Pods too. Those things are awesome! See ya later, pack n’play!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Matt and I just have to say, thank goodness for Toyota! 🙂

    Shannon Morgan

  17. I just love how even though you went thru craziness – you can think of so many ways to smile and praise the Lord! You are such a bright light in so many lives. Keep shining for Christ!!

    ps – I’ve been teaching Claire the boys’ names. It’s really cute to hear her try. The only one she can fully say is Henry. Maybe it’s a sign 🙂

  18. debi9kids says:

    What a true blessing!
    I have been in that place before and I truly believe that my husband & I would never have come out of breaking down in -2 degree weather with all nine kids alive had it not been for the Lord.
    He really does work miracles!
    🙂 Debi

  19. Rachel says:

    I love how God works out everything – even the things we would never plan for – like your van dying, in Derby country on Derby weekend, when you know a regular car just won’t do because you won’t all fit.

    Go God – how awesome you are!!

  20. Pam says:

    This brough tears to my eyes! What a special moment, so glad you were able to pull it off. Your friend in East Texas, Pam.

  21. arifa says:

    i love how issac smiled when you said his name! how precious is he:)

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