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, January 30, 2006

Pie in the Face!

It is a commonly known fact among children's pastors that sooner or later you are going to end up with pie in your face. If not figuratively, then litterally!

Sunday was a super fun day in Kid's Church! Our Virtue of the Month for January was "Resourcefulness" defined as "Using what you have to get the job done." We decided to spend the month planning a 'block party' in Kids Church, but not spending money - using what we had to get the job done. The room was filled with fun games that were all fun but simple games using stuff from around the house. Shooting straws at targets, paper airplanes, rubber bands and styrofoam cups, etc. Even bowling with a hampster in his hamster ball. (download video!)

But the kids favorite, of course, was "Throwing a Pie at Pastor Karl!" In order to get throw at pie at their beloved pastor, they had to get a 'Pie Throwing Ticket' by bringing something to the block party - food, decorations, games, etc. It was a messy, but lots of fun:




The 2nd favorite booth for the kids was HAMSTER BOWLING!!
(Don't worry, no hamsters were harmed in the making of or playing of this game!)

(7.1 MB QuickTime)

For more gross stuff children's pastors have done, see this Kidology forum thread How Much Do You Love Kids?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

CPC "Pastor Karl Awards" Continued....

The "PASTOR KARL AWARDS" Continue with with Day #2 and #3....


Shelly, a devoted fan and super encouraging Kidology member, (aka, "The Kidologist Stalker") brought me a DEW! NO WHERE in all of WDW can you buy anything made by Pepsi!

First she saved half of her last Dew for me, which I was rationing out in table spoons, and then she drove out of WDW to get me a whole six pack! That definately makes Shelly the cooest Kidology Member ever! While she may be one of the craziest and spaztic people I know, she is also an awesome children's pastor as I discovered when I did a Kidology To Go seminar at her church in October 2005. GO SHELLY!


If you go to Rob Biagi's booth, this is the banner above his booth. I wanted to see how accurate the cartoon of him is... what do you think??

I can barely tell them apart!


A littel game here: This total of $18.72 in the Coranado Spring restaurant was for what:

a) Three Cokes
b) A rip-eye steak and Coke
c) Hamburger, Fries and a Coke
d) Salad, fruit and a Coke.
e) Slice of bread and a Coke.
Answer at end of post.


Can you tell what all of these clocks have in common besides just looking the same?


I have run into Barbara almost every year at CPC. (one time literally!) Sometimes on the escalator, another time in the elevator, but it's nice to see someone committed to coming and being trained year after year. Just goes to show that you've never been reaching kids long enough to not need to keeping up with what is new and effective. Thanks, Barbara, for being a great example to us young (and not so young any more) cm punks.


The suction cup to the forehead pen holder given away by Kids Kount Publishing was definately the best booth give away. It was so nice to just have a pen sticking out of your forehead anytime you needed to sign up for something in a booth and sign a credit card slip. Just pull the pen out of the holder, sign, and return to your forehead. I am sure this is going to catch on!


Kids are always the highlight of ministry! I got to meet Ash, who is a big ToyBox Tales fan, and also signed his copy of the Order of the Ancient. GO ASH!


JoAnne Miller and Scott Turansky are the best! We will have them at our church on March 26th of their 'Parenting is HEART Work' seminar. They are the authors of the new book by the same name. I have rarely recommended a parenting book before because I have found them often to be focused on changing children’s behavior rather than focusing on the deeper issue of a child’s character development. I see lots of kids being ‘controlled’ but not molded. I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of their book and the following is the endorsement I wrote that is partially quoted in the introduction of the book.

This book could transform your approach to parenting. Many parents are focused on getting their children to behave – but miss the heart. In the end, they often raise kids who know how to ‘act’ but not how to ‘be.’ The book not only offers sound, biblical advice but is seasoned with helpful examples from children’s lives and practical suggestions on how to address specific issues that parents face. It is easy to read and understand and yet offers a profound challenge for parents to consider that their spiritual legacy perpetuates only because of children – and their hearts. Parents ought not underestimate the value of parenting to the heart. There is a lot more at stake in parenting than merely getting kids to behave. This book will equip you to raise kids whose obedience is an overflow of their love for God. –Pastor Karl Bastian, children’s pastor and founder of Kidology.org

FASTEST STACKER AT CPC: (and most other places too)

Nate is the current World Champion Sport Stacker! He won by completeing the cycle in 7.96 seconds! That is pretty amazing! My personal best score (not in tournament) is 10.32. (Nate's personal best is 7.79) The world record is 7.43 held by Emily Fox, BUT *** was recorded by hand before the current timing mats. So while that record is official, Nate stands a good chance at beating it one day! If you remember, I challenged Emily Fox to a Cup Duel and won! (read the whole story and watch the video) So it was only fitting that I now challenge Nate and add to my collection of videos of me beating world champs at their own game. (see what happened)

Well, that's it for the PASTOR KARL AWARDS! Heading back home Saturday!

ANSWER TO RIP OFF QUIZ: A! (Granted one was a plastic cup with mickey on it, but that's still the most I've ever paid for three Cokes!)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

CPC Orlando - Day #1 - Introducing the "Pastor Karl Awards"

As DAY #1 of CPC Orlando comes to a close, I'd like to give out a few impromptu awards here on PastorKarl.com


WINNER: Scott Philips
Kidology member and contributor to the site.


WINNER: Rob and Kathleen Biagi
( www.robbiagi.com )

Notice the baby sleeping next to the doll in the suitcase!
I hope they poked some holes in it for the flight to Orlando!


WINNERS: These Kidology fans showed up with a marshmellow gun and proudly showed the ticket Epcot security gave them.... for 'having too much fun.'


WINNER: Nitro Kids Show!
( www.nkshow.com )

This is a great concept, basketball on the head. I have an inflatable version, but this is cool - helmet and goggles! It is easy to see who is 'a head' in this game! But heads are gonna roll if it goes bad! Talk about losing your head in a situation! Ok, enough puns, time to move ahead...


WINNER: Lisa Welchel



WINNER: Lisa Welchel AND Karl Bastian.

Yes, this picture is from my meeting Lisa Welchel on January 5th at CPC Aneheim. After telling someone my fun childhood story about Lisa, they asked if I was going to wait in line to get another picture with her at this CPC. I said 'not unless she is wearing the same outfit as in California.' Later today, when showing last CPC's post to someone else they commented, 'She is wearing the same outfit.' I laughed and said it must be her favorite speaking outfit. Then they noticed that I TOO was wearing the same shirt! So, I definately had to go get another picture with her. I gave her my blog, so if she actually reads this (Lisa, if you do, leave a comment below!), then I bet she'll wear something else for CPC Kansas City, BUT it is a nice outfit, so I hope she wears the same thing again, and I will too, and I'll go for picture number three with the same outfits!


WINNER: Cathy Burson made my day by stopping me to thank me for Kidology. As I have said before, (in the same post about Lisa), meeting real people in the trenches of ministry to kids who have found Kidology a big help is always the highlight of CPC for me. I love to meet in person those who benefit from Kidology throughout the year. Please never hesitate to stop me and introduce yourself! I may be the guy with the website, but YOU as just as important week in and week out ministering to kids, and I love the opportunity to meet you and say THANKS for your support and for all you do to reach and teach kids for Jesus!

You'll just have to come back and find out!

OFFICIAL BLOGGER RANT: I've wasted over an hour trying to get blogger to accept it's own formatting. It keeps saying I have invalid code and changing the formatting. I even redid the entire post from scratch. (those of you who got the email version twice, that's why) For the record, the AWARDS are supposed to all be in all red and extra large, and the winners names in blue and larger. The perfectionist in me hates that the formatting for this post is not consistant, but it is bloggers stupid fault. I even lowered myself to try it again on a PC! (so its not a Mac issue!!) While I'm sure no one else cares or noticed, I had to post that the formatting errors are blogger not accepting its own code!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Lazy Day before the Madness begins...

After a very full day at two WDW parks, today I was in the mood to chill out a bit. Sara was off to visit family, the Tanners were back to conquer another park (Magic Kingdom today, Steve's third consecutive Magic Kingdom/Disneyland visit with rain!) while I slept in and then strolled the grounds. It's a really nice place. Except for the Opryland in TN (2001?), this is probably the nicest place a CPC conference has been hosted. (and maybe nicer since it is outdoors and is in WDW)
The grounds are absolutely beautiful. All the buildings are around a huge lagoon that you can even rent boats to go out on. I almost rented a bike, but it was sprinkling a bit and I didn't know if it was going to get worse, so I stayed on foot.

One of the things I have always appreciated about INCM and the CPCs, is that they enable Children's pastors and workers the opportunity to go to places they might otherwise not get to go. Why should only secular businesses get to take their employees to nice locations for training? After all, we are in the most important field and occupation: REACHING KIDS! And since children's ministry workers are accustomed to often doing the grunt work around church and in many churches always getting the left overs in money and equipment, it is nice to see them treated like royalty, even if for only a week. It's always a very encouraging experience to come to a CPC, and being here at WDW only makes it that much more special. Our location is the Coronado Springs Resort.

The theme is a cross between Southwest and Mexico. The best is "The Dig," a swimming pool area themed after an archeological dig. Here is a picture:

I had heard they had a great water slide, so I suited up and headed over to try it out. Well, it definately fit the theme:

But it did appear a little bumpy, but I didn't want to come all the way to Orlando and to Walt Disney World just to wimp out on the water slide, so I decided to brave it! I gave my camera to a nice old lady and asked her to snap my picture as I came down the water slide...

It definately was a thrill, though the stairs were a bit painful. I was just getting used the rapid BUMP, BUMP, BUMP and numbing up when I got to the logs!

OUCH! They definately need to rethink the whole water slide thing. OK, I like a well themed attraction, but this one is a little tooooo accurate to the era they are trying to represent. I hope I will be able to walk tomorrow!

Pastor Karl gets to meet WALT at Disney World!

Well, once again we left a day early for CPC so that we could take a bit of the local culture. Since the conference is at the Walt Disney World, we grabbed a park hopper and took in Animal Kingdom and Epcot, neither of which I'd ever been to.
For the most part, everyone got along just great. This is Steve and Amy Tanner. For those who don't know, Steve is the Director of Web Operations for Kidology.org. If you want a great write up of what Kidology is doing at CPC, his blog has a great description, I couldn't do better, so read his.

First stop was the Animal Safari... and I was pretty impressed. There were a lot of animals and ride was a lot longer than I expected. We saw a bunch of animals you normally wouldn't see in your own neighborhood, and the jeep ride made it a lot more fun than a trip to the zoo. (Where the animals are always indoors sleeping anyway.)

I won't bog the blog with too many animal pictures, (I know its always better in person), but it was pretty cool so see so many animals up so close.

Here is Steve and Sara taking a picture of some wart hog type creature. Technically, I'm not sure if ANYONE actually SAW any wild animals, since everyone was looking at them through view finders and digital camera screens!

OK, now THIS was strange. Not sure the deer in my neighborhood stand on their hind legs to reach the better berries! Here's a close up:

I bet even Santa's reindeers can't do that! I'd like to say i was quick with the camera, but actually, he stood that way for several minutes!


National Geographic will probably want the negatives for the picture of this 'CAT.'

The coolest thing, I think, is this huge tree that is carved all over with animals. You can see some of them here, but as you weave through the branched to get to "It Stinks to be a Bug" (or something to that effect) you see tons of animals carved in the tree. It really is a very creative work of art. Steve and Amy even discovered a carving that they said looked like a certainly family member, though I wasn't allowed to blog which family member they said it looked like:

Next, we drove over to DINO LAND! I love how the world continues to promote the 'meoter desctruction of dinosaurs' even though all the fosil evidence points to a world wide flood destruction of the dinosaurs and that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time, but I guess you can't have science supporting the Bible, can we? Oh, no! People then might have to accept the other things the Bible says, like personal responsibily for how they live. Sorry, I skip the sermon. Just hard to listen to all the lies presented as facts, but other than that, there was a lot of fun stuff to see and do.

And boy oh boy, the dinosaurs were sooooo realistic, I nearly gotten eaten by one:

I barely escaped this encounter with a furocious prehistoric beast! This area of the park was a little cheesy, but fun. The DINO COASTER was like a neighborhood carnival ride, but it was a lot of fun. As usual, I video-taped the experience for those who couldn't be there. I LOVE ROLLER COASTERS, and while this ride was nothing near the excitement of the ones I recorded and posted from Cedar Point, you might still enjoy it.

(COMING SOON: This sentence will be replaced with a link when the file is uploaded after posting this post.)

Next it was off to EPCOT Center, which I undestand stands for Experimental Pricey Community of Tourists? (well, the experiment is a huge success!)

In the United Kingdom, I bought a Brit Bobbie hat and whistle. And, just so the world knows, I knew something trivial that Tanner didn't know: our American expression, "COP" for policemen comes from Britan where it stood for "Constable On Patrol."

It was a good thing I got the hat and whistle, I was able to prevent my wife from spending all our money on tea stuff at the store that claims the biggest collection of tea in America.

But this Brit is really a RED BLOODED AMERICAN who would die for this country if his life were ever needed. Having been to 14 different countries so far, there really is no place like home - not even a close second. Don't get me going, but this nation is worth fighting to defend. Every life lost defending it is a tragedy, and yet another reason we must win at all costs. It no mystery to me why so many people want to come here. No other place on earth offers so much hope and opportunity for ANYONE.

Evening brought time for the fireworks. While it was fun, it didn't come close to the awesome fireworks at DisneyLand earlier this month. It had a great beginning that turned out to be the best part. Then there was a looooooooooong time of watching a big rotating globe with videos on it, and then a good ending. But the highlight, as mentioned in the title of this post, was getting to actually meet WALT of Walt Disney World!

Such a humble man, Walt is willing to work a common job as a store employee in the Mexican area of Epcot Center. Obviously, he just was there for a day to get close to the people. But with my keen eye for detail, I spoted his name tag and got my picture taken with him!

Even Steve Tanner, the ultimate difinitive Disney expert doesn't have his picture with WALT of Disney!

Saturday, January 21, 2006


I love Chicago. I moved here in the middle of high school and fell in love with the city, the culture, the pace, the architecture, the food, and the WEATHER! YES! I LOVE cold weather, and I especially love snow. In high school my dad had a huge snow blower that was the width of the sidewalk and had a gear shift with five speeds! Not only would I happily plow the driveway, but the neighbors and their neighbors and the side walk all the way around the culdesac. (we were at the end where the snow was dumped with the city plow turned around and blocked our driveway with a mountain of snow... which is why we got the huge snowblower)

but I digress. I've been very disappointed for several years. It's hardly snowed. We've had these lame boring snowless winters for several years now. So when this past December was the 'coldest Chicago December in recorded history' I was so excited. My snow blower has been dying for years, but it wasn't a big deal. I've shoveled and borrowed by sister's wimpy electric one to get by since they live four houses down. Anyway - the wonderful weather people predicted a 'Snow EVENT' in December, so I hurried out to finally buy a new snowblower! A snow 'event' - wow, what a term! I was all excited. Was there an 'event?' NO! There wasn't even a flake. I sat there depressed with my snowblower and nothing to blow. And it's been that way ever since. My California relatives came to see snow and got a warm Christmas.



Here is one of the our small group families that nearly got stranded at our house, we could hardly get the cars out of the drive way after our meeting!

Man the Plow!

I FINALLY got to fire up the snow blower!!! I even did my neighbor's entire drive and cleaned off their cars, partly to give them a tangible expression of God's love, and partly because it was MORE SNOW to BLOW!

The Next Morning...

Here is my wife's car. (Can you find the Mickey ears?) I cleaned off her car last night, but a thin layer still fell later. But I left her roof alone so I could get an accurate measurement of the depth of the this most wonderful snow:


And not only is it a lot of snow, it is the BEST KIND of snow! Heavy, thick, and PACKABLE! I am soooo bummed that I leave for Orlando tomorrow! I wish I could be here to plan a huge snowball fight! I hope the snow sticks around for my Arctic Blast 4-6th Grade retreat in a month! Last year, I challenged the ENTIRE camp to a snowball fight - ME vs. the CAMPERS! Yes, me against 150 or so snowball throwing kids! It was a blast. How? I was on the outdoor ampitheator stage, they had to stay in the stands. They threw at me, and I threw at them. It was chaos and mayhem for over 45 minutes. I claim I won due to the simple fact that I survived. The kids claim they won when I stopped it after 45 minutes. Whatever. It was a great memory for me and the kids!

I sustained only minor injuries and the kids had a blast! The body heals, but memories like that never fade! SECRET: (KIDS SKIP THIS NEXT SENTENCE PLEASE!) The 'black eye' was done with make-up so that the next morning the kids would all think they gave me a black eye! It was a hit. (sorry for the pun, dad) It was fun to hear the boys arguing over who's snowball had nailed me in that eye! FYI: The Snowballer is an essential ministry tool NO children's ministry leader should be without! I wear mine in a holster! (I can throw up to 25 snowballs a minute with this, and they are perfectly packed baseball sized snowballs... that's how I held my own against 150 kids!)

Here is my little sister Melissa and her husband Keith. (note the wimpy electric blower!) Oh, no, now they will never let me borrow it again!

A beautiful day in paradise!

Here are some lovely trees across the street.... see the tree house?

Here is a closer look. Here's the story. A family is building a house across the street. The owner is contractor of some kind and claims the house will have a glass floor that you can see down into the basement family room. (Perfect for parents of dating teen-agers who are down there watching a movie!) Anyway, the lot was cleared and then they started building this awesome tree house. Dad said that he promised his son a tree house at the last house and never built it. So when they decided to build this house he said he would fulfill his promise and build the tree house before the house. I think that's pretty cool, and it is a sweet tree house, I've been up the retractable ladder and into it. It really is 'house.' Complete with real windows, siding, chumney, and BB Gun gun racks. :)

Here is our cute little house in a Winter Wonderland. BOOOO ORLANDO! You NEVER get this beautiful weather!

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Apple in my eye

It's here. The MacBook Pro. The latest amazing development from Apple. For those who think that Apple or Mac users are still primarily an anti-Bill Gates fan club who are blindly loyal to Macs because of their hatred of PCs, they are way behind the times. Those crazy devoted Macites are just lucky they chose Macs, even if for silly or rebellious reasons originally, they chose a winner. By the way, without going into detail, Bill Gates makes money whether you buy a PC or Mac. So if you hate Bill Gates, get a yellow memo pad and a Bic pen, but my guess he owns stock in those companies to. So get over it. Apple computers are not a fad. They are simply better, and in every possible way.

Let's be clear. I am not a PC Man, or a Mac Man. I have gone back and forth between PC and Mac over the years - Atari 2600 (first computer!), Laser 128 (Mac), Toshiba T-1000 (PC), Apple IIc, Compaq (PC), PowerBook 180 (Mac with 16 shades of grey!), many WinBooks (PC), PowerBook G4 (Mac). (left several noname PCs out of the list) I am loyal to none of these.

I am a Ministry Man. My 'Ministry Manifesto' or life mission statement is to "Reach and Teach as many children as possible with the Good News of God's Love, and in the process to Enlist, Equip and Encourage others to do the same." That is why I exist. I work hard at this mission both as a children's pastor at the Village Church, as well as the founder of Kidology.org I don't have time to love or promote a computer simply for the sake of loyalty or fandom. I live to love and promote GOD. The computer? It is only a tool. So why my passion about the Mac? (Have you ever met anyone passionate about a PC? Defensive maybe, but never happily promoting and trying to encourage others to get one!)

You gotta try the 360 view here. Hit 'play' and then move mouse around.

I am passionate about my Mac because since I switched to Mac in February of 2004 I have had hundreds of additional hours for ministry. MY NUMBER ONE REASON IS STEWARDSHIP OF MY PAINFULLY LIMITED MINISTRY TIME. The quality of what I produce for ministry in communication tools, music, videos and the speed in which I can produce them is sometimes so amazing, I hate to give my secret away. Everything on a Mac just makes sense. Everything is integrated. Practically all the software you need is already installed and part of the operating system. Your music, pictures, video and more are all available within each program. They work together as though they are one program... since they kinda are, as part of the operating system themself.

And what about viruses? If you still think there aren't Mac viruses because no one bothers to write them for the Mac, you are way behind and misinformed. That is a myth. There are plenty of Mac haters who would love to write one and certainly have and are trying. While technically you can't say it is 'impossible' - the chances of a virus penetrating the Mac OS is so slim, 'impossible' is hardly a stretch of the truth. The proofs in the pudding. I've had two years with NO virus protection and have never had a virus or spyware or malicious anything enter my machine. Try that on a PC. I've experienced crippling viruses on a brand new PC within 2 minutes of getting online to attempt to install virus protection! I've not had ONE attack on my machine in over two years since the first time I booted up. And don't think they haven't tried. (Oh wait, I DO have protection, it's called a MAC!)

Can you do on a PC what you can do on a Mac? Probably. But not as easily or quickly or effortlessly and it just might not look as sharp. And, oh yeah, there are lots of things you can't do on a PC, not without buying software, learning it, and having lots of problems before you are done.

And here is a beautiful thing. Lots of Mac critics like to poke fun at the "Intel Inside" Macs. I admire Apple. They will always do what is best for the company and for the computer even if it means getting ridicule or admitting something someone else had was better. They aren't about proving anything, they are about making the best machine. So the MacBook Pro is now 4 times faster. It was already 40 times better. By borrowing from one of the good things PC's had, they took their huge lead in the quality race and just hit the nitro.

If you have never checked out a Mac, and you are in ministry, you owe it to yourself to look into it. Is the cost of a Mac higher? Yes. It is worth it? I'd pay more for the benefits in software, productivity, quality, output, dependability and impact on my ministry.

But in the end, NO, it isn't more expensive. Not when you factor in software that is included and the most important factor - your TIME. Calculate the time you spend on computer problems and virus problems and software hassles, and rebooting and the blah results of much of what you do, limited by the software you have. (I've gone over a month without rebooting my Mac, and the system restores upon opening the lid in under 2 seconds!) If you are a children's pastor, take your salary and figure out how much your church pays you to sit and work on fixing your computer (and others in the office!), and add that to the cost of your PC. Suddenly the Mac is an amazing deal.

Is it perfect? Of course not. I'm not one of those Mac addicts who claim (or pretend) it is, but before PC lovers jump up and down at my admission, it may not be perfect, but it nearly is. Problems are rare, and (blush) usually due to human error (me) or non-Apple software problems.

And another thing... their innovation is always a pleasant surprise. Have an employee who likes to trip over Mac power cords and send laptops flying nearly to their death? (me) They obviously figured that out and made an adjustment, even though it will cost them a lot of money in lost sales of replacement power supplies. (i've been through several!)

Whether you love your PC (never met anyone yet who did), or like your PC (met a few of those), or are content with your PC (that seems to be the bulk of them), or hate your PC (met a TON of those!), take some time to check out www.apple.com If the website shows you anything, you will see on display how sharp, innovate, creative, impressive and simply cool everything is that they do. The list of coolness never stops, and it seems every week I say outloud in my office, "WOW, it does THAT?!?!" The built in iSight camera alone is too cool. (if you ever wasted time on setting up web conferencing and found it to be a pain in the neck to set up all for really weak and lame results, you have GOT to see iChat video conferences, the quality and smoothness of the video and sound will astound you.)

OK, enough of the Mac praise, after all, I have ministry to get back to. I'll let ya know when my MacBook Pro arrives. Expected sometime in February. Until then, I'll have to struggle alone on my PowerBook G4 with no intel inside. Come on, go check it out!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Trouble in Pair-a-dice?

[This was sent late Saturday night from my treo650 (if you get the emails, that explains the signature info at the bottom of this post originally, BUT this didn't post until Sunday evening!? Must have been Internet down in Vagas too?]

Well, I'm in Las Vegas, about to board the plane to head home, it is 7pm Chicago time... And the power goes out when we are twenty feet from getting on the plan. Some emergency lights are on, but I suspect we are in for some delay.... Will keep ya posted. Hmm... Who will do kids church tomorrow if I don't make it home?

[UPDATE: We ended up still boarding soon, and they said the filed all the paperwork to depart by paper so we could leave even though power was still out. We got a tailwind and flew over 600 mph to arrive at home early... only to wait over an hour for ALL the luggage! The entire flight's luggage got lost at MidWay and they were rather baffled for awhile... eventually we got home. It was a loooong day, but we made it back and I was able to be at church Sunday which is always the highlight of my week!]

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Finally Meeting Junior High Crush??

CPC 2006 - Anaheim - Day One of First of Three CPC's! Here are some miscellaneous pics and info for friends and family, ending with the story I headlined with: meeting Lisa Whelchel.

Here is the best Uncle and Aunt I have. (except for the others!) My Uncle Wilson is as smart as a rocket scientist... oh wait, he IS a rocket scientist for Boeing after years and years at McDonald Douglas before Boeing bought them. While most famous for her brownies, my Aunt Linda is one of the sources of my creativity and inspiration since I was in HER children's church as a kid... and showed me how to love and teach kids! And she's still at it, teaching first grade in the inner city of LA for 11 years now! We stayed at their house for two nights before CPC to enjoy Disneyland in the Rain!

No trip to California is complete without a trip to IN-N-OUT burger. A popular restaurant with a very short menu, but lots of favorites not on the menu. (My sister worked at this very location in high school.. before a Mac truck hit her and ended her career... she survived, but quit the job, but I digress!)

I got Steve Tanner an IN-N-OUT shirt so he could be an official California tourist... they come out with a new cool shirt every year. By the way, IN-N-OUT is owned by Christians and the tiny print Bible verses references on the bottom of the cups and fry wrappers have reportedly lead millions to Christ over the years.

Here's Steve keeping a close eye on the 15 computers in the eZone. Steve is the Kidology Director of Web Operations and is a whiz at everything and runs the eZone from the Kidology side of things. (his report is here)

Kelly and Kim are here too! Kelly is my preschool director at church, and also serves as a Kidology customer support rep - this is her first CPC. Kim is not new to CPC, but this is her first year as a trainer at CPC - so CPC's bar has just been raised!

One of the highlights of CPC for me is meeting people who are fans of Kidology or ToyBox Tales. Here I am with two cool dudes, Johnathen Somner and Garrett Wyile who regonized me from ToyBox Tales and had a fun story from their attempt at a live toybox tale last week, complete with an arm falling off and uncontrolled laughter in the middle of the tale! What fun!

Terri Withers was just one of many people who stopped me to say thanks for the website and to talk about how much they enjoy and use it. It always makes my day. I remember like yesterday the Christmas break when I first started the site in 1994... and its so exciting to see how it's grown. In December 2005 we have over 90,000 people visit the site visiting over 390,000 pages (nearly 2.7 million hits) on six continents! (over 1000 vistors from Asia and over 200 people in Africa!) God has really blessed us. So getting to meet some of these folks in person is always a huge blessing to me. IF YOU ARE AT CPC PLEASE DON'T HESTITATE TO STOP ME AND SAY HELLO!

Babbie Mason was the worship leader.... WOW... front row seats were pretty intense. But her passion for Jesus and worship was obvious.


FLASH BACK TO THE 80's... the days of BIG HAIR and the nine season series, the Facts of Life TV show. (which I wasn't really allowed to watch... but did anyway once in awhile)

Lisa Whelchel was the popular 'snob' on the show... and a pretty girl for sure. Anyway, I wasn't a big fan of the show, and only saw a few episodes but at some time later when I was in junior high, she came out with a Christian album:

"All Because of You" was the album. I worked part time at a Christian book store where my mom worked full time. I did part time work like mailings, coupon sorting, and other much more boring stuff... but with my hard earned money I bought this album and really liked it. I listened to it on my tape player until I wore the tape to shreds. When my parents asked me why I bought the album, I said because I liked the music. However, they had a different theory, they thought I bought it because there was a pretty girl on the cover. Now tell me, honestly, would a junior high boy buy an album simply because of a pretty girl on the cover? I rest my case. Anyway, they continued to tease and torment me about my supposed 'crush' on Lisa Whelchel. They went so far as to play a very funny and memorable joke on me. You remember those LP displays in record stores? The record companies would send stores a bunch of cardboard copies of the album covers to make displays with, hang from the ceiling, post around etc. The Lighthouse Christian Bookstore where I worked got so many of these, my mom routinely brought them home for use to use for drawing on the back (nice plain white) or to use in crafts. WELL.... they must have sent hundreds of copies of Lisa's album, because when I got home from school one day, my ENTIRE ROOM was plastered with pictures of Lisa Whelchel.... floor, ceiling, walls, propped between knobs of my desk and dresser... basically every conceivable spot in my room had her face.. the same one, copies of the album cover above. When I walked in my bedroom and gasped and laughed by parents came around and said, "We thought this would help you focus on the Lord while you listen to her album." Obviously, they had a great sense of humor. I was content to leave the room that way permanently, but finally one day I came home from school to find them all gone, and just one remaining on my bulletin board.

Why am I talking about this? Lisa was the final speaker tonight at CPC and I finally got to meet my junior high crush... er.... spiritual influence and tell her this story and get a picture with her.
Me and one of my youthful crushes, er, I mean, SPIRITUAL MENTORS!

FYI: You can download MP3's of her 80's album here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2nd Annual Disneyland in the Rain Event!

Yes, it was back to Disneyland in the rain. (again) Last year we stayed a day after CPC to visit Disneyland and went in the pouring rain with some friends, so this year we decided to go a day before CPC.... but it poured again!

Klinkers, Tanners and Bastians... last year.... (since I wasn't bloggin' yet then)

This is 2006... Steve Tanner and my cousin Andy Blackwell joined us. Kinda looks like 2005 pic, huh? But, hey.... it's all about the memories.... even WET ones!

Here's "me and Andy"* - my best friend as a kid growin' up in southern California. "Snoop" of "Sneak n Snoop" in our secret detective agency we formed. (I was "Sneak")

Here's me with my best friend now... (she's cuter than Andy) and Andy never washed my socks or cooked for me. :) Sorry Andy, but I highly recommend a wife. :-D

Though I did catch her kissin' another man at Disneyland.... and a FROG at that!

Disneyland is celebrating it's 50th Birthday, and there was a lot of fun and cool stuff around the park, but rather than bore you with all that.... (go see for yourself).... I MUST say the fireworks show was the best I have ever seen, and was not only done to music, but themed for each ride it represented, even showering up pillars of fire for Pirates and a laser beam batter for Star Tours. Here are some pics I took.... enjoy!!

Tomorrow it is off to the Anaheim Children's Pastor's Conference. I hope to meet many of you there! be sure to drop by the eZone and say hello if you are at CPC!

* My parents, after years of correcting "me and Andy" to "Andy and I" finally gave it and said I was allowed to say "me and Andy" but not "me and (any other friend)" only Andy's name was permitted with bad grammer due to the sheer volume of times I refered to "me and Andy" on a daily basis!