10 Reasons You Don’t Want To Steal My Van

We’re proud of our big family. We’re equally as proud of our big 12-passenger van. It’s helped us cart our beautiful family all over the U.S. But recently, something interesting happened…

Ford E-series

This is NOT our van. This is what our van SHOULD look like.

A few weeks ago I went into a local coffee shop, grabbed a cup of Jo and returned to my van. I unlocked the door and climbed into the driver’s seat. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of stale smoke. It was not the smell of a fresh cigarette; it was the leftover lingering stench of a chain smoker’s clothes. A chill ran through me and I placed my bag on the floor and my coffee in the cup holder. I climbed across all the rows of seats to the very back to make sure there wasn’t a person connected to that odor. No one was there. I climbed back to the front and looked all around the parking lot.

Another woman was examining her own car which had a freshly busted out window. I rolled down my own and asked her if it had just happened. She was visibly shaken. We exchanged a few words but neither of us had seen anything. I returned to work and found the damaged lock on the passenger’s door. screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-9-48-35-pmFor the rest of the day I couldn’t shake the feeling of violation. As the weeks have passed I’ve looked at my 12 passenger van in a whole new light. It has left me wondering, who in their right mind would break in to my van? I came up with 10 reasons not to steal my van.

10. Look at this mirror!


We ran into a tree about two years ago. When it happened we were kind of disappointed. When we found out how much a new mirror cost we just taped it up with some lovely waterproof plumbers tape that the heater repairman left in the basement. It really does the trick. The mirror still basically works and we didn’t spend a dime to fix it.

9. There are enough stale French Fries on the floor to feed a small army. I’m honestly always surprised to find any fries on the floor at all. I love their salty, fatty goodness and I absolutely never let even one fall to the ground. My kids don’t share my obsessive desire to eat every last fry and therefore the seatbelt crevices and unused map-holders are full of them.

8. No less than five children and one dog have vomited in on the seats. Our most memorable horrifying trip included a car-sick niece who could not seem to aim for the barf bag, followed by our 7-year-old who swallowed a quarter and then puked it back up again, followed by our dachshund bringing in the grand finale all over my lap.

7. This…


It was supposed to go to the church garage sale six months ago. I forgot to take it and now the kids refer to this particular row of seats as the “giraffe seats.”

6. The A/C doesn’t work. It’s all good though because one of the windows opens and we keep extra deodorant in the glove box for especially hot day.

5. Does a shattered tail light make you believe there might be something awesome inside of this fancy van?

4. The radio has been stuck on the same station for a month and I swear, every time I turn it on it’s playing ZZ Top. At first it was like a sweet reminder of my childhood. Then it was just plain annoying. But yesterday morning something beautiful happened while I was driving my sons to Sunday School. ZZ Top was wailing and we were singing. Together in perfect mother/son unity. A beautiful melody, “she’s got legs, and she knows how to use them.” We were really hitting our musical sweet spot when my 8 year old asked, “how does she use her legs momma?” I turned it off and we rode in silence. Darn you ZZ Top.

3. I do understand that a person might be lured to the van by the sight of a Dunkin Donuts box perched on the dash boardscreen-shot-2016-09-11-at-10-00-02-pm

But seriously? Take a peek into the un-tinted windows of this sweet ride and realize that there are approximately 47 children in this family. There is no way there is a donut left in that box.

2. The heat only works in the front. In the winter we keep a bunch of blankets in the back and the kids know to bundle up in an extra layer before taking a long trip. When the van is parked in a parking lot, the blankets laying over the seats could make a person wonder if something wonderful is hidden underneath. I’ll save you the hassle of jimmying the lock with a flat head screwdriver. Under those blankets is a fascinating collection of cheerios, garage sale stuffed animals, a size 7 pair of Lightening McQueen galoshes, my son’s life jacket, and that watermelon I bought last week at the grocery and then couldn’t find anywhere once we got home. (at least I assume it’s still in the van.)


Just a little trip to the park with a few of our friends.

1. This Family.

These people. We use this beaten up vehicle every single day. We drive it to drop off forgotten lunches and missing homework assignments. It takes us back and forth to work each day and to the beach every spring. With the extra seats we can always pick up a couple neighborhood friends on our way to the park. We’ve chased hot air balloons in this van. We’ve waited out rain delays in this van. My granddaughter has a car seat in here for those times she just needs a special MiMi and Grandpa day. When it thunders, you can always find our Great Pyrenees squeezed under one of the seats, refusing to move until the storm passes. This van has taken kids to church camp and helped a family move into their very first home. I taught my daughter to drive in this van. I brought 4 of my children home in this van. This van is important to us. Please don’t steal it.

Question: Have you ever had your car stolen? Were you confused as to why someone would want it based on it’s condition? Share your story with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Get our latest eBook for FREE!


Let’s be honest: parenting is exhausting. You feel worn out, foggy & can’t remember the last time you got a full night’s sleep. That’s why we’ve put together a FREE guide with easy-to-apply, rest multiplying hacks for busy parents. You’re just 9 days away from feeling rested, refreshed & reenergized!

We will never share your info with anyone! Powered by ConvertKit

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Christine Krieger

    Oh wow – I know why someone tried to steal your van – God knew you would have a great story to unfold and it would refresh others with a chance to laugh really hard!! I am so curious as to what the thief saw or heard while trying to steal it – and what made him stop. Did God make the giraffe speak and tell him to leave (like He made a donkey speak in the Bible) ? If so – there’s a reason to high tail it fast!!

    • That would have been hilarious Christine! I love your comment here. Thanks so much.

      • Christine Krieger

        Thank you- I’m working on being able to come with my husband to the Refresh conference in Chicago this November!!

    • Kristin Berry

      That is so funny! I’m cracking up thinking about it!

    • Murray Coulter

      Hilarious. If your van is like ours, and we have only two, there can be a certain funk that may have ended misadventure.

  • Colette Mensink

    My daughter borrowed our van. Second hand purchased. Puked in peed in van as many foster parents have experienced in their own vehicles but the funniest thing was not in our reactions but in my young grandsons reaction. He called us to let us know someone had stolen the van and I asked him if he had any of his possessions in the van. He told me only his car seat was in it. Austin was three at the time. I said you realize they took your seat to which he screamed at his mom and said “mom that punk assed kid stole my seat”. He was horrified that someone had done that. We could not stop laughing

    • Kristin Berry

      That’s crazy! Kids reactions crack me up.

  • Kate Pippinger

    It’s so nice to know we’re not the only ones. It seems like every single day our now 9 yr. old son breaks or damages something. This has been happening since he came as a 2 yr. old! We have a LOT of “experienced” things in our home. I like that: “experienced”! The other day we found a big, heavy rubber mallet in the house (my husband’s tool) and we said “who brought this in here? Why is this in the hallway?” My son piped up and said, “Oh, I did that yesterday when Shay wasn’t letting me into her room”. Thankfully, the door must have been opened before the devious plan was enacted. 😉 sheesh!

    • Kristin Berry

      Oh my goodness! the amount of broken things in our home outweighs the amount of things not broken!

    • heather

      It’s not only us who find vice grips, hammers and saws all over the house? I’m always amazed that our house looks as good as it does! And that’s not that good!

  • Amie Putnam

    5 years ago my daughter and I were in a roll over accident in my little Ford Focus. Car was destroyed but thank goodness, we walked away. We we’re up to 6 kids so my husband convinced me that we needed a 15 passenger van. He found a great van, low miles, only two years old, in Texas ( we are in Washington state). Paid for it and an extra $1500 for a delivery company to bring it here. It didn’t come, didn’t come…called, always being given seemingly valid excuses. Truck driver calls us and tells us that he’s stranded in Idaho at a truck stop. My husband is a state trooper, so he calls the truck stop and no van. By this time the original dealer in Texas won’t take my husband’s calls anymore. I get ahold of the delivery company who gives us the address of the driver. Mississippi State Police go to the address and confirm our van is parked in his driveway. Company refuses to do anything, dealer won’t talk to us other than to offer us a “similar” van for “around” the same price. So my husband called the Texas Rangers and they were happy to help. Two rangers go to the dealer and offered him the choice of refunding our money, and delivery fee to them in cash, or have the van here in 24 hours. That did the trick. My husband, his dad, and brother flew to Texas and picked up our van at the airport two days later. He did wash it and gave us a free GPS which erased the 5 weeks of van mayhem we endured🙄.

    • Michelle Sackett McKinney

      Wow!! So glad you were all ok!!