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

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Steve Tanner is my Inspiration!

My Smoke Detector Adventure
(Inspired by Steve Tanner)

You may not realize it, but my inspiration to blog came from my friend and now Kidology Web Director, Steve Tanner. His forum homepage is at www.steveandamysly.com but all the conversations end up at the Tannerworld Junction. There you can read about... well, just about anything. From beverage reviews to bathroom hand dryer advertising to the Trash Cans of DisneyWorld to his new toothbrush to the history of Dorito's logos or watch Star Wars as an animated GIF! It's all there among thousands of the other 13,547 posts Steve has posted to date!

But this week, his inspiration went to all new heights and INSPIRED ME! It was his latest edition of This New Tanner Condo. (Changing the Smoke Detector!)

I was so inspired, I decided that I needed to blog my own adventure with a smoke detector. My smoke detector wasn't broken, but it has needed a new battery for awhile now. So here is the blog record of my ADVENTURE this evening. I'd like to dedicate this post to Steve Tanner.

Here is my upstairs smoke detector. It has been disconnected for several months. (My wife claims it is several years... but saying several months would still be true, and it doesn't sound as bad.) You see, while my smoke detector is wired in, the battery was low and started beeping in the middle of the night several years, er, months ago, so in a sleeping stupor I ripped it from the ceiling and tossed it behind my bedside table and went back to sleep. There it lay for... MONTHS until I read Steve's post!

I was ready for an ADVENTURE!

First, I went and got a new battery! WOW!

Then, I tested the battery on my tongue to make sure it was good.

Next, I strapped on my gear and climbed up the stepping stool...

Hmmmmmm..... how to install the battery.
Strange and Disturbing this mystery is.

But nothing this master mechanic can't handle!
(At least I didn't need to call my dad!)


Now wasn't that EXCITING?! Aren't you so glad I blogged this? For more fun and exciting posts be sure to visit www.steveandamysly.com TODAY!
(Seriously, it is a great discussion forum!)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Happy Six Months Luke!


Baby Luke is now 6 months old, and to celebrate, he had food for the first time!

Luke is all smiles as Sara gives him his first spoonful of rice cereal...

Not so sure he likes it... but doesn't fight it.

Mom and Dad aren't sure how much got into his stomach!

Instead of going to a studio or kid-photo place, we decided to try our hand at doing our own Six Month Pictures.... how did we do? Though, we did have a pretty cute kid to work with!

Ooooooo... this is soft!

Winter styles...

Just chillin...

Hi, I'm Luke!

You can't help love me, can you?


Bombs Away on Mom!

Every day with this baby is a joy and a delight. I' not sure how I survived not being a dad. I was made for this. People ask me often how I am adjusting to being a Dad, and I answer, "I always was adjusted, I just lacked the kid." Probably doesn't make any sense to most, but I feel like there is no adjustment... its the way it's supposed to have been, and finally having a kid just feels so right. I'm sure more experienced Dads already know this, but the connection between me and this baby is beyond words, and since he can't talk yet anyway, I guess words aren't important. But the communication is very deep and meaningful anyway.

Life doesn't get any better than this.

BONUS PIC: Only for the serious Baby Luke Fan, enjoy this Baby Luke is Six Months wallpaper! (816KB)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Baby Luke Goes Camping!

Well, it was time for our third annual Children's Ministry Leadership Team / Kidology Staff Camping Trip! Starved Rock, Illinois was the destination this time. This week away from cell phone, e-mail and Internet each year is a wonderful break for me! And... it was Luke's FIRST time camping!

A family at church was nice enough to loan us their RV so that Luke didn't have to suffer in a hot tent, and with temperatures in the high 80's and 90's all week, it was GREAT to have an air-conditioned RV... it also meant we had lots of visitors often as well:

A bunch of happy campers enjoying Luke.... or the air-conditioning? (ok, both!) but my favorite is always the evening camp fires. Luke took right to it!

We feared that camping would be rough on the boy, but he seemed to enjoy it alot. Never cried and was sooo easy going. Of course, there were lots of kids and big friends constantly giving him attention and love.

Here is Baby Luke in his swing... and he LOVES to swing!

Mom with Luke ready for some evening singing around the camp fire.

Dad enjoys playing the guitar and leading singing.... here is Luke helpin' out. One of our camping traditions is that every family puts on a skit on the last night. For our skit, Sara and I were humble farmers until a meteor crashed nearby. (Luke in an orange cooler with a flashlight!) I tried to get him out and was thrown back due to his amazing strength. Sara gets him out ok and we decide to adopt him despite his super powers!

Can we keep him?

That's one super kid!

Luke slept near the window and enjoyed watching the morning crew work on breakfast in the morning...

And the visitors who would come to the window!

And was Dads excuse to sleep in every day!

But all good things must come to an end, so we loaded up the mini-vans and headed home. It was another great week of camping, and we are looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Superman: As a hero, SUPER, as a Dad, Super Zero.


I was excited to go see the new Superman movie - and the rave reviews got my expectations higher than they already were. I left disappointed.

The gist is Superman left for five years to go check out his planet that was recently discovered. He arrives back in another crash landing on the Kent farm... kinda odd that with no survivors he still comes back in a meoter instead of just flying home. Oh, well, I can dismiss that, it made for a grand entrance. The opening scene flying through space was almost as good as "Contact" (Jodie Foster) and had a few planets I'd love as wallpapers.

His first big 'Save the Day' hero duties was pretty awesome... we were alone in the theator so I went ahead a clapped and cheered out loud with the crowd on screen, it was a sweet return and his one liner to those he saved was priceless, "I hope this doesn't discourage you from flying. Statisically its still the safest way to travel." I won't give away the rescue, just to say, it was what I was expecting the whole movie, but unfortunately it was downhill from there.

Sure, you get to see Superman save some folks, but nothing new or original. And with the movie taking place in modern times (cell phones with cameras catching pictures of Superman that rival camera pictures!) you'd think they could come up with a better plot than just a slim twist on the original Superman the Movie in the 70's. Instead of real estate along the san adres fault and dropping California into the sea, this time he builds a massive landmass in the Atlantic ocean with plans to sink most of the USA. In a post-sunami world, it is kinda obvious they underplayed the real damage that would have been done, and how does Sup' save the day? Lift it and throw it into space. How original. Not.

But here is the worst, from a Christian point of view, and from a parents point of view. I can accept a weak plot and simply 'super' tricks... but morally this movie was a disaster. (Spoilers ahead) Clark returns to find that Lois Lane, the love of his/Sup's life, has shacked up with her boss's son and had a baby, who is now a five year old boy. She doesn't marry him (and hates the question) because she is still holding out for Superman, though definitely mad at him for leaving without saying good bye. Then, the BIG SURPRISE, is that this illegitimate child is actually Superman's son. So our hero is the one who actually had the out of wedlock baby. Come on, even Darth Vader, er, Anakin, snuck off and got married before having kids. What a wonderful example to give our kids that you can just move in with a guy, have kids, share home and money and love, but 'hold out' for something better, and confuse a young child about who his father is. That kid is going to need some serious help later, but its not his fault, its his lying parents.

Superman and Clark are played well, at many times sounding very much like Christopher Reeve. Lois wasn't a good fit in my opinion to the believable real woman who was loved by Superman. She was a too 'perfect' and yet so flawed. She gave up on Superman, winning a Pulizer roasting him, and is now a closet smoker. And while Kevin Spacey did a better than expected job at Lex Luther, there was nowhere near the insane fun madness that Gene Hackman did perfectly. Gene Hackman will always be Lex Luthor.

Emotionally the movie is very heavy. There are some good and even fun scenes, (I love the 'test' Lex does on a train set, it was very creative) but on a whole, it is nowhere near the fun action-packed Spiderman movies. There seems to be more serious/sad scenes than action-packed hero scenes. The action scenese almost seem tossed in, as an obligation or after thought instead of being what a Superman movie is supposed to be about - a SUPER MAN!

I should have gone to see Pirates. (babysitter, anyone??)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ministry with Balloons is a blast!

Ever since I was the house magician at the Rock 'n Roll McDonald's in downtown Chicago (in college) I've been twisting balloons for kids at church, birthday parties, magic shows, etc. But my use of them in my ministry for teaching was pretty minimal and limited to one balloon creatures. That was until very recently.

"Master Ron" as he is known, is a Christian children's entertainer and awesome juggler and balloon artist. I have used him for years to sub for me in Kids Church when I'm out of town, and he is the only sub I've had that the kids just don't seem to miss me at all when I get back. (is that good, or not?) :-) A computer systems analyst by day, and a balloon twistin' juggler by evenings and weekends, Master Ron is a great teacher and communicator with kids.... and an inspiration to me.

This summer I had him teach all our grade school kids at our church for Sunday School in June. We found ourselves with three weeks to 'fill' between our regular Sunday School and when our summer Family Sunday School class could start, and I needed something easy for me and fun for the kids to fill those three weeks. Master Ron was the solution!

We (mostly he) did a journey through the Bible with the theme of "When we got a problem, God's got a solution" and showed through many Bible stories that God can help his people in any situation, and ultimately about the problem of sin and God's solution in Jesus!

I love Ron's enthusisam and energy when he is teaching. If you tied him down, I'm sure the ropes would break as he is all over the stage and grabs and keeps the kids attention, often using them on the stage as part of his program:

Headed for the firey furnace?

OH NO! What will happen? As usual, God comes through!

A pregnant Sarah with Abraham!

David facing Goliath!

The Devil's Arrows of Temptation?
No match for the Sheild of Faith!

Master Ron is more than just a Master of Balloons, he is a master teacher of children! If you are in the Chicagoland area, I highly recommend him for your church. His contact information is available at his website: www.masterron.com

Ron is my Balloonspiration!

In fact, here is the NEW ME:
Well, for camp this year, anyway. The last week of June was my 10th year speaking at Camp Timber-lee and I've lost track of how many total weeks since I used to do two weeks very often. I've done just about everything at camp from Gus, to magic, to (inventing) Toybox Tales, built a huge paper airplane, drank gross food, and a ton of other stuff, but I've never really done balloons, so I decided it was time for something new.

Here I am in my first balloon hat (Ron, I need help!) and Kim the first girl at camp to win one of my creations at the end of chapel. (Road Runner for the theme of the year: RUN!)

Here are my lions for Daniel and the Lion's Den!

Instead of full bodied balloon people every story, for the (almost) sacrifice of Isaac I made masks for the kids, it was pretty funny to see them acting with these huge balloon faces.

Here is the cast of for the story of Esther - a hat with a head and arms and the characters name down the front. In addition to the regulars, I added some obscure characters in the story I was sure they hadn't heard of (like Hatrach, which I called "hat rack") and Moe and Curly for the King's guards and even a 'Stand In' who played any character I needed on the spot, such as Haman's wife, or King's scribe.

Here is Haman (pronounced, of course, 'Hey Man') hanging from his own gallows. I wish I had more pictures but most of the time I forgot to get a picture before the balloons were popped or given away, but it was a great way to bring the stories to life. At the Friday night bonfire one kid said, "I used to think the Bible was boring, but now I want to go home and read it more." Thanks Ron for helping me develop another way to reach and teach kids for Jesus!

Even Baby Luke got into the balloon fun!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Missionary Game! How many villages will YOU reach?

The Jungle is Calling....


You have 30 days to get the Gospel
to as many villages as possible!

But, BEWARE of many dangers!

What do you do when confronted by a Lion?!?!
(I got eaten three times before I remembered Daniel!)

PRAY! (or hit the 'P' key!)
and the lion falls asleep!

Watch the church being built and the happy natives who get a copy of the Bible and the supplies they need to survive! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?