Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stake Conference and Concentration

This past weekend we had Stake meetings and Stake Conference. Elder Tony Parker of the Area Seventy was our visitor. He was very vibrant, loud, funny and spiritual. Unfortunately, I was chosen to answer questions in both Saturday Sessions which is very stressful. We had a Q/A time for the adult timeframe which didn't turn out real good because some of the members asked questions that could have been answered in a fireside, BYD or 5th Sunday.

On Sunday, we were all able to travel together in the Truck (Excursion). That was fun. Although we were a little late but not too bad. Jeffery called the Seventy - the Preacher. He said this because he told us that his Great Grandfather was a preacher, His Grandfather was a preacher and his Brother was a preacher. Some of the children were concentrating some of the time. Here is a picture of what Ethan was doing as he concentrated on the speakers.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Looking for the right one

(Long Read)
Several months before Nathan came into our life, we began to worry about a vehicle that would be big enough for all of us. We soon decided that we would continue with the vehicles that we had until next year. We have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan that seats 7 adults and youth. We also have a 2001 Toyota Camry that seats 5 adults and youth. I say adults and youth because in both vehicles if it was at full capacity with all adults, then it would not be comfortable.

After Nathan came into our lives, we began to look casually at the Suburbans. That way we are familiar with them and when it comes time that we make a purchase then we are not surprised by the prices. After a while of looking at the Suburbans, we wondered what other vehicles might be available for us in a different make. In the GMC, you have a Yukon XL that is similar to the Suburban. In Dodge, there is really nothing but a van called the Cheyenne. These vans are usually 7 passenger and are pretty old and can't find them. In the Ford, you have the Excursions and also the E-150, which are hard to find, too. So, we continued to look at the main 3 vehicles - Suburban, Yukon XL and Excursions.

As we looked more often we saw that the Excursions were only being sold from years 2000 to 2005. While researching this we found a few more 2000 models that were being sold more than the others. That was an interesting fact. We also looked a couple of Suburbans that were very pricey for 2003 models and newer. We did see several models that were older than 2003 but had high miles.

So we have been looking casually for 5 months and saw a 2000 Ford Excursion Limited Ed. that was for sale in Montgomery for a good price. We looked at Edmunds.com, Nada.com and kbb.com to compare sale prices. All prices were promising. The pictures on Craig's List looked good, so we took out money to go look at the vehicle and possibly purchase it if it was up to par and in very good condition. Off we went to Montgomery on a Monday. We travel down and we finally find his house. Very nice house at the back of this very nice neighborhood. The (young) guy comes out to meet us and show us the vehicle. I am the first one to look at it and see the insides while Wendy is getting Julie and Nathan out of the van. I probably spend about 20 seconds looking at it and I am disgusted by this point. The leather seats are worn. The original radio has been replaced by a DVD player that looks as if Joe Dirt did the job under his shade tree. There are silver screws in the dash where he must have ripped out and broken the rivets to the dash. The third row seat was cloth while the other seats were leather. We were so high on the truck that when we saw it, we were let down. The truck was not worth the price that he was asking. We were probably not there more than 10 minutes. It was almost a waste of time for us to go down to Montgomery to see this vehicle.

As we were driving back, we noticed another vehicle in Trussville that was almost identical except a big brush guard that Wendy hated. We tried to contact the guy as we were driving back but he didn't reach us until we got back home hours later. I was telling Wendy as we were driving back that we drove down hoping that this was our dream vehicle and took so much time to do so thinking low mileage but far away. And now a vehicle that is not very far away with a little higher mileage. The first was a let down and the second one would be the one.

We talked to the seller on the phone and we planned a time to go see the vehicle 3 days later. As we were going to see it yesterday, we were planning our out. What could we say if we liked it but didn't think it would be the right one because of so many other vehicles that we could see in the future. I asked Wendy, "what is it that will make you say "yes, this is the one"? She told me that it would have to be exactly what the seller says it is and, of course, in very good condition. We arrive at the location in Trussville, pull up and see the vehicle. The guy meets us at the vehicle and begins to explain the vehicle history. Mind you, he is a talker and that is exactly what you want when you are looking at vehicles. You want people to tell you what is wrong with it, what has been added, what it was used for, where it has been, who they bought it from, etc. The guy did that very thing. We thought that this vehicle was just an Excursion XL but it was a Limited Edition, too. The seller had added so many things to this vehicle and the vehicle had a lot of bells and whistles with it to begin with. Like I said before, as a person talks, he can really let go of a lot of information about the wrongs and rights of the vehicle. We were very excited about the vehicle after he told us about everything. We then drove it down the road, pulled over at a location and started pushing all of the buttons to figure out how to control all of those bells.

As we were going back to his house, I looked at Wendy and asked her what she thought and she said, "I want it". Then we began to talk about the money and what we should offer. KBB.com said $6150. We knew that he wouldn't take this amount because he claimed that he didn't want to get rid of it but needed to and that it was almost like a member of his family. So we planned what we were going to say or offer him. Now Wendy was going to let me do this part of it, but me knowing Wendy and how she had already been talking to him the whole time that it would be better if she made the offer. Wendy looked like a pro and she must have learned from a very good one - Leroy. Because her plan was to talk to him and then let him talk so that he would talk too much. Anyway, When the card finally were put on the table to talk money, this is how it went. Wendy told him that she didn't want to offend him which in return he said, "oh, you can't offend me". This was good. She went on to say that KBB.com stated that it was for $6150 and wanted to make him a higher offer. After that he said a bunch of words to say "that he wouldn't take  $6150 for it, felt better about our offer and counter offered with $6800 which was the exact number the we settled on before coming back to his house in the truck.

This being said, we were both pleased with the vehicle and the price. More was said during this event but you will find that information in Volume II and III, coming soon. ;)