Welcome to Kidologist.com (formerly PastorKarl.com), where Karl Bastian, nicknamed the "Kidologist" by his family for being a 'big kid' and founder of Kidology.org, posts his thoughts and adventures. GET POSTS BY E-MAIL: Subscribe To Kidologist.com

Monday, September 19, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me. :)

I woke up this morning to a nice surprise, our web director had posted my birthday on the Kidology.org homepage with a forum post for people to say 'Happy Birthday.' It was fun to read those posts! I even got a cell phone call from a Kidology member in Colorado!

Today I am 36. And since I love numbers, I was reflecting today that I have lived to be six years old, six times! When I hit the first '6', I was still a youngling at Bellflower Baptist Church in California. By '12' I was a young Gospel Magician already doing shows at church and in my friends' churches. Six more years and I was a senior in high school, at '18.' By the end of the next six, I would be '24,' a graduate of MBI and married! The next six took me through several ministries, but by '30' I was at my present ministry. What amazed me the most reflecting, was that I have been in the same ministry for the last six years. Which means, that a 1/6th of my life has been at the Village Church! It doesn't seem that long, so I must still be enjoying myself!

This evening for my birthday, we went out to eat with some friends at a fun restaurant called "Cheeseburger in Paradise." It was a fun Hawaiian restaurant, and Monday was "family night," so it was perfect for an evening with kids. I LOVE cheeseburgers! The Veggie 'Cheeseburger' song is my favorite Veggie song - and is now the only song that skips on my VeggieRock CD because I play it so much!

It was, in fact, my love of cheeseburgers, that led my wife to plan the meal to be at the "Cheeseburger in Paradise" - she hinted that where we were going to eat was 'all about the name.' I am often teased because where ever I go, no matter how fancy the restaurant, I usually order a cheeseburger. Whether on sabbatical driving across the country, on a missions tour of Europe, even sometimes at a steak house... I'll often opt for the cheeseburger! And I definitely was in cheeseburger paradise!

Instead of cake, Sara planned for 36 mini cheeseburgers to be delivered to the table, complete with "Happy Birthday Karl" candles, and a flaming '36!' Who needs cake when you can have LOTS of mini cheeseburgers!?!??!!

I started eating cheeseburgers while the candles were still burning!

Blowing them out was indeed a challenge... that i failed, but the kids were willing to help me blow them all out!

The restaurant had a balloon guy named Dean, who calls himself 'The Balloonatic." He was amazing! He could make ANYTHING out of balloons. I tried to stump him with an ant eater, and there it is in Sara's hand, complete with a long red tongue sticking out! Check out his website, http://www.deantheballoonatic.com/ and another website he recommends, http://www.mbd2.com/

Eating 36 mini cheeseburgers took some serious effort (though I had help)

But can leave you pretty full! What to do after eating a zillion mini-cheeseburgers???

EAT A FULL SIZED ONE! Wow, if I'd known about the mini's, I might not have ordered the big one! That was a LOT of cheeseburger for one evening!

Next came the heart touching birthday cards... well, some of them. The rest were funny...
And then it was present opening time... every kids favorite time, even big kids like me!

of course, a giant silver Darth Vader Pez dispenser always hits the spot...

But I LOVED my new shirt... very true. I'll probably get beat up when I wear it to the office tomorrow, but hey, it's not my fault that computer problems, spam, viruses, spyware and blue screens are optional. I've rather gotten used to my computer working awesome. I know I'll never go back to PCs. There are soooo many other things I'd rather do than fuss with computer problems!

And this was just TOOOO COOL - PK Cruiser Postage Stamps!!! Did you know you can now design your own US postage stamps?!?!?!? Check it out at: www.zazzle.com

Because of a sweet wife, good friends (and cheeseburgers) it was a very Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Kid U Columbus has begun...

Tonight was the Kid U Pre-conference: Creativity Blitz! It was a showcase of our speakers talents all centered around the theme of "Bear Much Fruit!" We have people attending from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan in addition to throughout Ohio. (not counting our speakers from Illinois and Indiana.)

Kid U has begun! First to arrive was Pastor Kal Kilchrist, her son Chad (not pictured here) and a youth helper Cheryl. (http://kidzkick.org) Kal is one of the most creative children's pastors I have met! She is highly energetic and always brings a bunch of people with her and a host of props. She had to drive from Chicago because of all the props she brings to her workshops!

Next, the Laflins arrived! (David and Teesha) They are the BEST Christian Illustionist team in the country! We have used them at our church for an outreach, as well as featured at Kid U North last year! Their performances are incredible - but even more amazing is their heart and kids and ministry. They came all the way from Sterling, Colorado!

On of our sponsors for the event is Discipleland. They have been long time supporters of Kidology events. We are glad to have Dick Crider here to do some training as well. Dick is a veteran of children's ministry and his workshops get rave reviews!

We are super excited to have, for the first time, Rob Biagi, at a Kid U event! His first CD, "You're a V.I.P." was a smash hit in children's ministry. We are excited to carry his latest album as well, Get Out There! He is performing tomorrow night, but during the singing tonight, he did come up and lip sync to his own music.

This is Baby Biagi - Natalie. She is very sweet, and likes to eat anything and pull hair. (or both)

Pastor Kim and Rob jammin' on stage! Rob is a very humble guy, and his love for people is obvious. We consider him a super star of children's ministry and so honored to have him at Kid U!
I didn't get any more pics, because after this I was up to EmCee with Gus. It was a fun night! There will be photo highlights on Kidology.org after the event.

Off to Kid U Columbus!

It all started this morning, at some insane hour of the morning. I didn't bother praying, because I'm not sure God was awake yet. (just kidding!)

It was still dark when the team assembled at the church to head to O'Hare to fly to Columbus. Pictured here: Theresa, Sara, and Kelly.

Getting onto the plane...

Tanner (Kidology Director of Web Operations) joined us at the airport. He lives in Chicago, and has the coolest blog.
How to stay awake on the plane? Dew and Tazo Chai. 'Cept, I still fell asleep.

Kelly is my preschool director/a Kidology customer support rep/ and most recently, my book editor. It gonna be a fun weekend with the team here in Columbus. Branden was supposed to be here, but it home sick with mono... (everyone who reads this, say a prayer for him - we need him back and well soon!)

Despite Tanner's fears, we arrived safely in Columbus! (Yes, I am still walking with a cane)

Kim Bobb - one of the coolest children's pastors in the world - from Grove City Church of the Nazarene. Her ministry is called Kids Matter Ministries. I visited Kim's church on my sabbatical and the picture gallery is still online and my report on Kim's ministry.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Crippled for a Week! (and counting)

Labor Day 2005 - I can't remember a better one ever, and this one ended up in the Emergency Room! (Yes, with me getting shots and stiches!) A family in my church invited Sara and I to go out on their boat on Lake Geneva (WI) for some fun boating, swimming, eating in town, tubing, and bleeding. ;) Well, ok, they didn't invite me to bleed, but oh the memories!

I had never 'tubed' like this before. WOW! What fun! As I always say, "I have a new hobbie!" (Though I've said that about many things I've only done once!) But the tubing was a blast and I went with the eldest of the three adorable girls. If you want to see me eat water, watch this: WIPE OUT! (QuickTime 7MB) This was before the accident.

Then it was in to town for lunch with my cute date. :) Ahhhh, isn't that romantic? :) (not pictured, the bandages and stains on the carpet.)

Each of the girls is a sweetheart! Bundles of fun, energy and laughter!

When sunset came, the view was wonderful. (By this time, the bleeding still hadn't stopped)

My highlight (besides bleeding) was holding on to this future water ski professional, as she gliding over the water for her best personal time, over five minutes! Those who know her might enjoy watching her ski, (5.5 MB QT) the rest will probably be bored, but, hey, it's my blog, and I'll post it if I want to. :)

Here we are in town. (I'm the guy with the $20 walking stick!) Yes, was still bleeding at the time of this photo.

Which is more beautiful... the sunset or the wife? Hmmmmmmm

Of course, gas prices soared along all roads to Lake Genva... and then dropped again on Tuesday!

Oh, you are wondering about the 'accident?' I am still walking with a cane (well, Moses' staff) a week later. I'm been telling the kids I was attacked by a hoard of ninjas, and that they are all now recovering in the hospital - but the truth is I slipped while jumping off the boat and managed to put a hole in the bottom of my foot (left heel) on a boat cleat. (For you non-boating people like me, that is the Thingie-You-Tie-The-Ropes-To) After treading water for five minutes acting like I wasn't in pain, (assuming it would eventually subside), I climbed out of the water and discovered my left foot covered in blood. (Sorry for you fainting types out there) That would explain all the fins that had started to circle me in the water! Captain Dad whipped out the first aid kit and I wrapped it up, but it kept seeping red stuff (avoiding the word 'blood' for all you faiting types out there) all day. Once you are hurt, everyone suddenly becomes a medical expert - even strangers - so I finally gave in and went to the ER on the way home (it just had to be right on the way!) - and turned out everyone else was right and I was wrong - it was 'serious.' So one tetanus shot, one metalic band-aid, one shot INTO the wound, two stiches and six stickers later, I was headed home from the best labor Day ever.

The irony of all this limping and cane walking - is that the VERY NEXT MORNING I had to be on an air plane to the Billy Graham Center in Ashville, NC to speak at the School of Evangelism. My highlight there was meeting Ron Hutchcraft!

Well, actually, I had met him once before in high school - actually was on the radio with him. He used to do a program called "Sunday Night Live" that was recorded at WMBI (Chicago) with live studio audiences of higher schoolers. My youth group got to do it once, and so I met Ron then. I've always admired him, enjoyed his speaking, and loved his concise way of saying the most profound things. Hearing him speak in person, and having lunch with him was a blast. He is a very funny guy. When I told him I had admired him since I was a youth, his answer was, "And in other news, archeologists have discovered my high school." After limping on stage to address the audience, when I returned to my seat, he leaned over and said, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News, or is it, how injured are the feet?"

Well, enough rambling. Last Sunday was our KICK OFF SUNDAY and I still have a ton to do. But I'm excited to be back into the Fall Sunday Routine! (and yes, it is still bleeding) :)

Oh, the answer to the question is: WIFE!