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Orchestra Trip May 15, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Life.
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Spent all day Friday with the Middle School orchestra from Classen SAS.  We took a couple of charter buses to Dallas for a performance at a festival.  All in all it was an enjoyable day.  Loud, but enjoyable.

It was enjoyable because I got to hang out with Madi for the day.  I’m grateful that she wanted me to come on the trip and wanted me to sit by her on the bus.  I know not to take that for granted.

Madi’s group, Strings 1, did a phenomenal job and got a Superior rating for their performance.  After that we spent the afternoon at an amusement park and the evening at a mall.

I thought the ride back would be more subdued because the kids were tired.  Not quite.  It was so loud on the bus that I could barely hear the music from my ear buds.  And what would make a long trip home on a loud bus full of 6th graders even better?  Vomit.  Fortunately I did not have to clean it up.  But I did hold a flashlight for moral support.

We arrived home at midnight.  Great day, but glad to be home.

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They’re getting smarter April 26, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets.
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5 down.  At least 3 more to go.

But the squirrels in our back yard are getting smarter.  Maybe it was watching their comrades be carried off one by one in the cage, maybe they’ve communicated with each other and decided that they like the taste of lion, whatever the case may be they have brought the fight to us.

Instead of meekly crawling into the trap with the acorns, they have begun to spring the trap, turn it over and spirit away the nuts.  Today that ends.  I put 3 tent stakes through the floor of the trap so it’s not moving.

I wish I could be out there when they try to tip it over now.  I’d say “Did that go the way you thought it would? …  Nope.”

You of Little Faith April 10, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in God, Life.
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I was reminded yesterday of how small my faith is.  Sometimes I pretend to be exercising faith in God, but it’s really just a smoke screen for me to keep believing in myself.

There are 2 opportunities that I’ve been “praying” about for the past 6 months.  Both of these were things I hoped our family could do this coming year.  Both opportunities would require a size-able amount of money.  When I first began to pray about them, it was just a request of my Father who I know loves me and I trust knows what is best for me and my family.

But very quickly, probably within the first month of regularly praying about them, I began to develop a game plan for how they could happen.  I soon realized that trying to save enough money for both opportunities was impossible, so I immediately wrote off the first one.

As I kept strategizing, I decided that we could use our tax refund for the second opportunity.  I began to set my hope there and started planning accordingly.

After 4 more months of “praying”, our tax refund came in at substantially less than I’d hoped for.  Because I had this all worked out in my head, I took this as a sign that God was saying no to the second opportunity.

You’ve probably already spotted my faulty logic, but I didn’t until yesterday when I came across the prayer card I had originally made for these opportunities.  Yesterday I saw clearly that I wasn’t trusting God.  I wasn’t placing my hope in His care and provision.  I was just spiritualizing my self-made plans and practically living as a Deist.

I don’t know if God wants the Carters to do either of these things.  However I’ve begun to pray about them again and am choosing to leave the results in His hands and trust His sovereignty in the matter.

You’re Bothering Me April 4, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets, Music.
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Carey and I went furniture shopping last night.  First we went to Factory Direct Furniture and then Direct Factory Furniture (I bet they get their shipping swapped all the time).  Both of those experience were pleasant.  The sales staff was helpful but not obtrusive.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we walked around looking at couches and bed frames.  We would sit on a couch for a while and talk and then move on to the next one.

Our last stop of the evening was Mathis Brothers Furniture.  I do not like the way MB salespeople stalk you.  We were greeted at the door and then followed.  The salesperson stayed literally 2 steps behind us and felt the need to comment on everything I said to Carey.  The shopping experience was no longer fun and I was getting frustrated.  But I pushed through it because we wanted to compare prices with the other stores.

At that moment “In the Still of the Night” by Boyz II Men came on the overhead speakers.  This has always been one of my favorite songs to sing along with – the bass line is a lot of fun.  So I started humming along but the salesperson wouldn’t stop talking.  That was the final straw.  I stopped humming and kindly told the employee that they were making me uncomfortable and I wished that they would stop following us.  After a moment of awkwardness they left and I was able to finish the song and our shopping experience in peace.

Squirrel Trapper April 2, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets.
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There are many things I love about my wife.  Too many for me to try to list here.  But there is a new side of her that has surfaced over the past week that makes me love her even more.

We’ve had squirrels bedding down in the attic since we moved into our house.  Last week Carey put her foot down.  She borrowed a squirrel trap from a friend and has methodically been eliminating the critters.  So far Carey has trapped 3 squirrels.

She doesn’t actually do the terminating.  We have a friend at church who takes care of the dirty business of killing and skinning them (Crosstown people I’ll give you one guess who that is).

If you have extermination needs, look no farther.

Gospel Powered Parenting March 26, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Life.
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ImageLast week I finished reading Gospel Powered Parenting.  It was hands down the best book I’ve read in the past year (and I’ve read some good ones).  Obviously my stage of life plays a significant role in why I found this book so helpful.  I suppose if you aren’t a parent you wouldn’t find it as compelling.

Rarely do non-fiction books get better and more interesting with each passing chapter.  GPP accomplished that.  It was so good that I started expecting a drop-off in quality but it never came.

I could fill several blog posts with thought provoking quotes from Farley, but instead I want to share a couple of reasons why this book stands apart from other parenting books I’ve read.

First, the Gospel permeates every page.  This is unique because many books on parenting focus on the inherent goodness of your child.  But the Gospel is good news because it is a solution to a problem.  The biggest problem my kids have is the sin that dwells within.  If I don’t address that fundamental problem, my trajectory for discipline and training will be skewed.

Second, (one of the light bulb moments for me) effective parents equip their children not by changing and controlling their environments but by going after their hearts.  After our children have made a decision to follow Jesus, we need to lean into their new birth to bring new desires – more so than expecting our rules and boundaries to control them.  Because of this, effective discipline addresses more than actions and behavior – it also seeks to address attitudes and heart motivation.

There is so much more that I gleaned and that we have begun to put into practice.  If you are a parent and will only read one book this year (other than the Bible), I’d recommend this one.  If you are a father and not much of a reader, I’d encourage you to buy the book and read chapter 7.  After reading that chapter, I think you’ll be so aware of your need for help that you’ll probably end up reading the rest of the book.

I’m grateful for William Farley and his willingness to share his failures, his successes and what he has learned about raising children who love Jesus.

Showers of Blessing March 20, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets.
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There are 3 keys to a good shower: 1) temperature, 2) pressure, 3) coverage.  There are important secondary factors like space and lighting, but these pale in comparison to the big 3.  From my experience most shower heads offer only 2 of the big 3.  It’s the rare treat when you find one that scores exceptional marks in all 3 areas.

I was thinking about this today as I was showering.  In my home I have 3 showers to choose from.  Each one with its own pros and cons.  I don’t like showering in the same bathroom all the time.  I like to mix it up for different reasons.  For instance the shower my kids use offers different varieties of soap and shampoos.  I don’t normally get to use Batman Bubblegum Body Wash – I did today.

3 separate showers is actually not the most I’ve ever had at my disposal.  While we lived and worked at the Bed and Breakfast I had 5 different shower options to choose from.  If you are ever going to the Lindley House and want a recommendation for accommodations based on shower heads, e-mail me for the inside scoop.

Hope you have a great shower today!

Bounty of Riches March 15, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets.
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Carey and I took a road trip to Wichita, Kansas this week hoping to collect a bounty of Chick-Fil-A riches.  A new store was opening which means we had a chance to be apart of the First 100 (camping in the parking lot for 24 hours and getting a years worth of free Chick-Fil-A).

We arrived at 5:40 Wednesday morning for the raffle.  There were about 150 people present.  After waiting in line for an hour BOTH of our numbers were called!  With much rejoicing we unpacked our gear from the car and set up our temporary home.

The day was fairly uneventful.  This was Carey’s fourth rodeo and my third, as seasoned veterans we knew what to expect.  The weather was great – highs in the 70’s, a little windy but never cold.  The most difficult part of the experience was smelling the hot doughnuts from the Krispy Kreme store across the street – yet not being able to have any.

After the dance party (of which I was only an observer) and getting to catch up with a friend who lives in Wichita, it was time to watch some Raising Hope on Netflix and head to bed.  The highlight of the trip was the futon mattress that I brought to sleep on – it made the concrete much more bearable.

Woke up for the 5:30 a.m. roll call, got our gift certificates, packed up the tent and headed home.  But not before stopping to enjoy Krispy Kreme.  Made it home by 9:30 a.m.  I feel like a zombie today, but there’s a little box full of Chick-Fil-A riches that is now in my possession.  I know you’ve seen it before, but here for your enjoyment once again – Tim Hawkins

My life just changed March 7, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets.
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I’m supposed to be writing a sermon right now.  However I had to stop because my life just changed.

I just discovered a Chai Latte Frappuccino at Starbucks and I’ll never be the same.  I love hot chai; iced chai was okay – but it always ended up being too watery and I felt like I wasn’t getting much because of all the room the ice took up.

This is everything I love about a cold chai with none of the drawbacks.  If you want to try one, make sure and ask for an extra pump of chai.  I got mine without whip cream, but still the cinnamon on top.

You’re welcome

My Platform – Digglesday February 29, 2012

Posted by clintcarter in Beets.
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I’m still tossing around the idea of running for president since this is the first year of eligibility for me.

I’ve had a hard time determining my platform, but I think I discovered it today.  Leap Day.  We’re doing it all wrong.  This day has the potential to be epic.  But it’s not.  Sure a couple of retail stores are offering special deals today, but nothing to get worked up over.

My proposal is 3 fold 1) a new name, 2) a new day, 3) a new celebration.

1) Leap Day doesn’t capture the imagination.  We need a name worthy of the celebration that will ensue.  I propose “Digglesday”.  It suggests the whimsical nature of a day that only shows up once every 4 years.

2) Digglesday will have its own day of the week.  This year Leap Day is on Wednesday.  Digglesday would not share a day of the week.  It would be its own day.  For instance, if it were reality this year, yesterday was Tuesday February 28 and tomorrow would be Wednesday March 1.  Digglesday would stand alone in space and time.  It would not be chained to a normal day of the week.  It would be its own entity.

3) Digglesday would be a global holiday.  All businesses would shut down for the day, we would turn off the internets, and people would gather together with the people they like most for a day of celebration and parties.  No more obligatory office parties or extended family gatherings – you get to hang out with all the people you want to (if you like hanging out with your co-workers or family you can certainly do that).

America, if you elect me as your next president.  I promise you that 4 years from today we will celebrate the first Digglesday and it will be EPIC.