Monday, November 30, 2009

Date Night Thursday

A few months ago, we heard rumors that Andrea Bocelli was coming to Fresno. Like a faithful husband, I hit the web right on the dot at 10:00am the day the tickets opened up online. Unfortunately, because they changed the venue in Fresno, nope... no tickets available for the Careys. So now what?

Well, we have some frequent flyer miles on American Airlines. What about seeing him somewhere else? So where? For this tour, he's doing 6 shows in North America. New York, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Vegas, Fresno and Anaheim. Fresno's sold out. Anaheim only has seats behind the stage. Fort Lauderdale is during mileage blackout dates. Vegas is well... just not our thing. New York City? Toronto?

Neither of us has ever been to Toronto, so this coming Thursday morning, we fly out at 5:30am, get into Toronto at 6:00pm, hit the concert at 8:00. Spend the night. See the city Friday morning. Catch our flight out at 3:30pm. Get into Fresno at 10:30pm.

Crazy??? For sure... but worth it.

More info when we get back!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yep - We're homeowners now.

The 7 month saga is over. April and I are officially homeowners as of Wednesday the 9th at 8am. We bought this amazing house from Jeff and Eugenie Lilley. Jeff is the former Executive Director at Hume, and recently accepted a position as President of Seattle's Union Gospel Mission.

It's pretty funny, because we started joking around about buying their house way back in May and early June, but that's all it was... joking. There was no way we'd be able to afford what the house was worth, and no way they'd want to come down to our level. The funny thing is... things started moving with Jeff's new position in July, and he gave me a call and a first chance at the house before he listed it with a Realtor.

We actually turned him down, more out of fear than anything else. That night, April and I sat up for an extra hour talking through it and started to recognize several things:
  1. We've put offers down on 6 other houses, all of which were rejected. This one was coming to us. Could that be God?
  2. In 2003, when I was doing my pilot training in Fresno, I'd stay in their house every Tuesday night. It became like a second home to me. I definitely had a cool connection with the house.
  3. With the Lilley's needing to move quickly, they were willing to drop the price quite a bit in exchange for getting the money quickly and being able to get into a house in Seattle.
  4. We could do it without a Realtor and save 6% off the potential asking price.
  5. We knew what we were getting into - one owner, great shape. It just seemed like the perfect match.
  6. It was the kind of place we'd want to live in someday.

So, 6 weeks later, here we are. We own the place now, have a bunch of debt, and are excited for what is to come. We truly have a desire to honor God with this house, that it would be a blessing to those that come through its doors, and that it would never become an idol to us. We originally planned on renting the entire house out, but the more we've thought about it, the more we'd love to hang on to it for occasional use. Of course, it's impossible to make the payments on my salary, so the current idea is that we'd rent a couple of rooms out.

Two people could live in a nice sized house at rent far below an apartment, have lots of room, a yard, garage, and live in a great neighborhood. We'd hang onto a couple of rooms and be around every once in awhile, but for the most part would stay out of their hair. So if any of you out there know anyone that would like a setup like this, please drop us a line. We're praying for the right people that God would lead to this place!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The House

And here it is...

We started looking back in February, and are now a little over a week away from closing. We are so blessed to be buying this house directly from a great friend who is moving to Seattle and needs to sell quickly.

Our original intention was to turn around and rent it out and just pay for the monthly payment that way. But the more we've thought about it, we'd really like to be able to have a place to stay when we come down the hill. So now we're praying that God would provide a "caretaker" or two. Maybe a couple of singles that can live there and enjoy having a nice large house rather than an apartment, while we're able to have a place to stay for those occasional days we're around. So if you know anyone that wants to live in Clovis...

Friday, July 24, 2009

House Hunt Takes a Big Step Forward

It looks like the 6 month long search is coming to an end. More info to follow when we sign some papers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's a Girl!

It's my privilege to introduce to the world our new little girl Lauren Elyse Carey.

Following in the tradition of her father, Elyse will be going by her middle name.

Here are the stats:
  • Born at 1:06pm on Friday, March 27, 2009
  • 7 pounds 13 oz.
  • 20 1/4" long
  • Blond Hair / Blue Eyes
See her online at

April's doing great and recovering quickly from the C-Section. Peter got to meet Elyse this evening and it went really well. He even gave her a kiss on the head before he went back home with Grandma and Grandpa.

We're hoping to leave the hospital Sunday and head back up to Hume on Monday if all goes well.

Much love to all,

Cliff, April, Peter & Elyse

Friday, March 13, 2009

Last Flight for Awhile

This past Monday, I flew down south to join a bunch of other Hume staff at Forest Home for a Christian camping convention. With our new baby coming in just 2 weeks, I decided to rent a plane, knowing it would probably be my last time piloting a plane for quite some time. Jeremy Peet was my co-pilot for the flight... and was soon to be in for quite a ride for his first-ever flight in a small plane.

Jeremy and I set out from Fresno at about 2pm, knowing that we could be in for "a little bit" of wind and clouds when we got down south. As we got over Bakersfield, I decided to go toward the high desert, rather than over the Grapevine, since there appeared to be a wall of clouds lining Southern California. We climbed to 9,500' and headed over Tehachapi. As we descended over the desert, we were greeted by a massive downdraft coming off the mountains that immediately slammed us down about 500'. Both of our heads hit the ceiling of the plane. Jeremy's even hit the door and knocked it open for a second. Everything in the plane was in disarray. Early in my flight training I was taught to just "fly the plane" when something goes wrong. As we were being tossed every direction, (even at some points could see the ground directly below and in front of us,) I just simply held on and flew the plane. After being thrown around for about 30 seconds, things got better and the worst was behind us. At least that's what I thought.

Looking south toward the L.A. basin, it was obvious there was no way we would make it into the Redlands airport. With clouds to the south, and still experiencing massive winds, we headed to the Victorville airport, a runway 150' wide and over 8,000' long, basically giving us a lot of room for error. Ten minutes later we landed in a 20 knot crosswind and were thrilled to be on the ground. It was the most challenging landing I've ever had.

The Victorville airport is way cool. It's an airline graveyard of sorts, where planes that have been furloughed end up getting parked. We pulled up to the tower and parked just a few yards from a 747. The staff at the airport took great care of us. We were able to rent a car and were on our way to the conference in less than a half hour.

The next day Jay and I drove the rental car back out to Victorville and flew the plane into Redlands in what we call "severe clear." Wednesday, we headed home at 10,500', flying across the north end of the L.A. basin, over the Grapevine and up through the valley... one of the easiest flights yet. I just went online and was able to pull up air traffic control's tracking of the flight home.

I'm back now, safely on the ground, spending some quality time with April and Peter before the new baby comes in two weeks. We have a delivery date set for Friday, March 27 at 12:30. We're excited for what God has in store and can't wait to see this new little gift in our lives.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Offer #3 went in on Thursday. This is a great little 3/2 in Clovis. Some have wondered if we're planning on leaving Hume because of this house hunt. Nope... not anytime soon. Just feel that this is a great time to jump into the market while both prices and interest rates are low. The plan is to rent it out for awhile. So if you know any families looking for a home in Clovis, drop me a line.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Strike 2

Offer in... Counter received... 3rd party comes in and offers them what they asked for it. On to the next one.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here we go again

So here it is... we try again with Offer #2. This one's actually the first seller-owned (not Bank owned) house that we've looked at. We made the offer on Friday. They countered on Saturday and now we're trying to decide what to do tomorrow. More info to come...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Maybe... Not!

On to the next one. I think we're in for a ride here. Fortunately we're not in a hurry and there are lots of good ones out there.

More to follow in the house saga.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Put down an offer on this Thursday. Definitely asking God to close doors and slam them shut if it shouldn't happen.


Monday begins five sessions for me of teaching Inductive Bible Study up at Joshua. I'll be teaching through the book of Titus over the different sessions. I'm definitely looking forward to this one. More to come later... maybe.