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

Friday, December 29, 2006

Snowed in Colorado Style

As if having a White Christmas wasn't wonderful enough, we are now trapped in Colorado Springs due to what the media is now calling "The Holiday Blizzard of '06... Part Two!" I know many of you feel our pain and suffering, especially our friends back home in wet Chicago. Please remember us in your prayers... our next flight is scheduled for Saturday when the "Part Three" of this blizzard is being predicted after a projected break tomorrow. Seems we may end up beginning the New Year still trapped in Colorado. Here are some of the pictures I took this morning. Enjoy the VIDEO at the end for even more.

BONUS: All pictures in this post can be clicked on for much larger resolutions.

You can see just how miserable I am. Poor me.

As soon as the snow started falling, my dad got me out of
bed and we headed out to take pictures.

Our destination was a local park called Palmer Park, a surprising large park in the heart of Colorado Springs. It has three separate entrances, none of which intersec to prevent through traffic. In the picture above you can see across the valley that divides the two main roads of the park. Much of it was too far to photograph well, if even to see with the thick falling snow.

There is just something breath taking about being out in the
woods while fresh clean beautiful snow is falling and sticking to everything.

We were the only car in the entire park, and other than one jogger,
had the place completely to ourselves.

God's Handiwork is seen not only in the large and vast scenery,
but in the small and often overlooked as well.

This freezing pine cone may one day become one of the giant trees standing around it. Every great tree was once a seed... but those in children's ministry understand that well!

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater...

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11

Thus you will walk in the ways of good men
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
Proverbs 2:20

Even in the rocks, the hard places, life can still grow,
and both equally enjoy the refreshment of the snow.

Evergreens are a favorite of mine. No matter what the environment,
no matter what the weather or external situation they find themselves in,
they stay green and full of life.

These stones looked to me like steps leading to a Stone Tablet.

Here am I, among the trees, feeling completely at home.

A mix of lifeless branches covered with snow...
lifeless now, but the very snow upon them
hold the secret to new life in the Spring

Simply Beautiful. Proof of God. Period.

I love the blend of snow on rocks and trees. Difficult to capture on film, but you can't help but wanting to somehow take part of this home with you, and to share with others who could not be there. Perhaps that is the secret motive of photographers, to capture what is fleeting in the vain hope of keeping the past at least a little bit accessible always in the present.

Much Thanks to my Dad and his 4x4 for driving me around. Here you see the slide marks from one of the times I said, "Oh! Stop here!" and jumped out with my camera.

May your days be merry and bright...
And may all your Christmas's be white.

with more beautiful pictures of the
White Christmas in Colorado 2006
(snowday-in-colorado-karlb.mp4 25.3mb)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Need to Dream, White Christmas is Here!

I'm not dreaming of a White Christmas, because a White Christmas is HERE! Officially named the "Holiday Blizzard of '06" by the news media, snow has arrived here in Colorado. (And I hear it is raining in Chicago, my poor friends and family)

So I decided to go for a nice snowy walk this morning...

These people are in for a surprise when they come
out their front door or try to pull out of the garage!

The snow is pretty deep in some places,
even an SUV would risk getting stuck!

I even spotted some wild life! and dared to approach!

The wolf with its prey, a flattened basketball!
He looked hungry, so I slowly moved on.

Here are my feet in the snow, almost up to my knees!

The holes my feet left to see how deep it is!

Hard to tell? I tossed my gloves down the holes to show the depth of the snow.

Having fun with colors, reminds me of the song, "I'll have a blue Christmas...."

Just another picture from my walk.

from Karl, Sara and Luke

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

God's Favorite State

With the exception of Yosemite and Alaska*, Colorado is my favorite place on earth. (Yosemite and Alaska each go in their own category as there is no comparing to either of them!) So we are enjoying Christmas in Colorado Springs, and a White Christmas at that!

Took this picture out the window of van while driving, and used Mac to touch up.
(um, yeah added words too, they weren't already in the sky!)

Luke, keeping warm in chilly Colorado.

Luke, still working on his crawling.
He has backwards down, still working on forward!

Went out to dinner, showed Luke how yummy Cheerios are!

Historic Moment: Luke has his FIRST CHEERIO!

Soon he is downing a whole little bowl, down on the floor that is.

Gave Luke an orange thinking he would recoil, instead, he loved it and chomped on it!

Luke's favorite dinner game, peek-a-boo, or "Help Keep America Looking Beautiful"

Just a cute picture of baby sleeping.... before...

and after!

It's was a beautiful thing... Mountain Dew in a Frosty Mug! WOW!
Discovered A&W carries MD, so I asked if I could have it in a frozen mug,
they said no one ever asked for that before.... a new discovery!

Luke, trying to snag Dad's Dew, as usual,
but he'll have to wait awhile to taste the good stuff!

Today I was supposed to go on a road trip to visit some favorite ministries here in Colorado, but had to turn around and head home after driving a half hour in blinding white snow...

This sign said it all:

Ironic Intersection!

Hope you are enjoying a Merry Christmas Season! We're enjoying a White Christmas now!

*Alaska pages are from pre-blog era when I blogged tripped before blogger existed!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Grown Men Acting Like Kids

Today I visited my friend Pastor Andy's church in Aurora, Colorado. About two years ago, Andy was a kids pastor at a church just 12 miles from my previous church and we were just gettin' to become good friends when he up and moved to the gorgeous state of Colorado. So as I am visiting my dad and his wife for Christmas, I thought I'd trek on over and visit Pastor Andy at his new church today. I plan to write more about my visit with Pastor Andy soon, but I just HAD to post a short ONE MINUTE video of the highlight of the morning...

Pastor Andy has a 70 foot GIANT inflatable jungle race in his Kids Church room that is a blast. After watching the kids enjoy it for awhile, I couldn't take it any longer... I had to CHALLENGE PASTOR ANDY TO A RACE! The winner would gain eternal fame on my blog....

Watch the video and find out for yourself!
Andy-vs-Karl.mov (5.7MB)

FINE PRINT: Andy also cheated, but his wife who was filming, had already headed to the finish line to catch us coming over the top of the final slide and missed him pulling ME down.

MAC NOTE: I made this video showing Andy how fast and easy it is to make a short video with effects on a Mac.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

State-of-the-Art Toilet Seats!

Do you hate cleaning the toilet? Does your toilet have those yucky places where it is just to hard too clean so you either wait and see if your spouse will do it or avoid it all together?

Well, there is GOOD NEWS!
Due to advances in modern toilet seat technology there is now a brand new state-of-the-art toilet seat that snaps off for easy cleaning! Its called the Preferred Easy Clean toilet seat. As I was sharing my joy of this discovery with my blog-hero he assured me this was blog-able, so send any complaints directly to him. With that disclaimer, here is the wonderful news for all you husbands out there who hate to clean toilets.... or just never do.


STEP ONE: Get up the courage to to actually get down on your knees near the toilet. This may take a few days (weeks even) but eventually you have to do it. Just focus on all the wife-points you will get for making her job of cleaning toilets easier. Look at it as an investment in your marriage.

STEP TWO: Remove old toilet seats. (Pictures not provided, due to fear of consequences if I were to blog pictures of old toilet seats... really, they weren't that bad)

STEP THREE: Install the new seat holder bolt. Instead of attaching the new seat with the giant plastic screws, instead, you simply install these cool plastic bolts.

The new state-of-the-art seat will simply snap right on to these bolts! Amazing, huh?

STEP FOUR: Turn the snap-on fasteners counter-clockwise to the 'open position.' Place over the bolts, pop 'em on, and then rotate back clockwise for a secure fit.

ALL DONE! Now whenever your wife needs to clean the toilet, all she has to do is pop it off and clean and snap it back on. It's so easy, you could almost do it for her..... almost.

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS ARE INCLUDED with the seat for easy installation.

FINAL STEP: Take pictures to post on your blog and hope your wife never reads it. (But notice her nice Christmas decorating!)

Here is a picture of my work buddy who cheered me on the whole time. It was quite the male bonding experience as we repeated this process in three bathrooms. (and yes, I washed my hands between each 'job' before carrying the boy around.) He seemed fascinated by the whole process. It was also a great opportunity to help him get comfortable around toilets... hopefully it will speed up the potty training process when that time comes.

Ooops, Sara is coming, need to hit publish and get off line. :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Luke's Big Day in Court!

YES - it is true, Sara and I are now the proud Mom and Dad of Luke Given Bastian!

This was one looooooooooooooong day! I am so exhausted as I sit here after midnight to type, BUT we had so many people praying for us, and I got soooo many e-mails asking how it went that I just have to tell the story before I go to bed. Not that I could sleep now anyway, I am so excited! Here is the story of Luke's Adoption Day, of course, with pictures! We will be printing out all the e-mails we have gotten and putting them in a book for Luke to read someday so he can see just how many people all over the country we praying for him during his adoption! What a blessing you all have been to him! (e-mail Luke link)

Served by a Sherif? Face a Judge? What did I do?!?!

Here is Luke this morning, wide eyed, when I explained to him that we would be traveling downtown Chicago today and that he would be served by a Sherif and then appear before a judge! It was a COLD day and our day took us in and out of four buildings all day, for a total of eight separate trips! Each time bundling Luke up and hiding him under blankets as we hurried through bitter cold winds trying to keep up with all the steps to complete our mission today - adopting Luke!

Luke at the Cook County Sherif's Office being interrogated

Fortunately, all the buidlings were within a block or two of each other, so after finding parking downtown in the lawyers building, we headed to the Daley Center where Sara and I got finger printed. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate getting my hands messy. I use more napkins at a restaurant than a family of five! My mom reported that I would come in crying from playing if I got a speck of dirt on my hands... so I was not looking forward to getting INK on my hands!

Sara's days of bank robbery and jewell theivery are over.

Well, I was relieved to learn that the days of ink are long gone! Finger printing is now done quickly and easily with a fancy scanner machine that scans your hands. (Though I did have to put some yucky lotion on my hands first!)

Luke looks up to his father... literally!

Then it was off to another building to do some other filing details of which I won't bore you with. There were tunnels between the buildings, but most had only revolving doors which made the stroller impossible, so we had to cross streets out in the cold. We didn't find downtown to be very "baby friendly" but then, there probably aren't many babies being wheeled around very often in these government buildings! After more paper work it was off to the lawyers office...

Luke receiving some legal advice on adopting parents

We met with our attorney who did a wonderful job throughout the whole case. She prepped us for the time at court as well as met with the birth mom about the process of her giving consent to the adoption.

Luke admiring the view from a lawyers office.

Luke consulting the Legal Library at our lawyers firm.

Then it was off to the Daley Center where Luke got 'served' with papers. I think he was hoping to get served some milk and cookies. I was curious how they 'served' a baby, and they actually do present the baby with legal papers that reqire him to appear in court at a certain date and time (only minutes away) and then they literally just touch his arm with the papers to 'serve' him. It is kinda fun to be going through all this complicated traveling from building to building and office to office (writing check after check) and all this activity is swirling around a little baby who has no clue that all of this is all about him and his future. (I'll avoid rabbit trailing into how much God is doing in and around and for us that we are clueless about, but still benefit from!)

Luke being 'served' his papers by a Sherif. (aka photo op)

Luke was given a badge by the Sherif for fulfilling his civic duty!

Then it was finally off to court! There were a few cases before us so we waited in a side room, but it was very nice. They had a kid-friendly room all set up for families with kids. I wish I had pictures from court, but they were not allowed.

Last picture of Luke with his "Guardians" (where's the kleenex?)

We were finally called into court. Out of respect for the birth parents I will not post much detail other than to say that the birth father's rights were terminated (he's never had nor demonstrated any desire for involvement in the baby's life) and the birth mother gave her consent to the adoption (in person before the judge). The amazing thing (and sweet) was that throughout the entire proceeding, Luke was clapping and cooing and acting so incredibly happy. Everyone in the court was looking at him and smiling. Of course, as we heard the judge making his final judgements, we all cried for joy. I half wondered if the court recorder took down all the noise Luke was making. He is generally a very happy and pleasant baby, but he was honestly the happiest and loudest he's ever been for such a long period of time; it was almost as though he knew what was happening. In just a few moments we were being transformed from merely guardians with the emotional titles of "Mom and Dad" to his legal parents. I can not begin to describe the feelings that flooded our hearts and minds in that court room. We are so happy to see this finally happen! I've wanted to be a dad ever since I was a young boy who loved being a son to my dad.

Our lawyer, Carolyn, with Luke and his new Mom and Dad!

Luke, exhausted, finally falls asleep in the Daley Center lobby.

Luke was so amazingly good the entire day. He spent practically the entire day in a car seat, or the stroller or being carried - and never fussed. We never even had a moment to give him the toys we brought along. He was such a trooper - as though he understood that today was just a busy hectic day, but that would result in many peaceful happy days loungin' and playin' in his new home. I marveled at his countenance all day long. What an answer to prayer.

The Best Christmas Present Ever!

If he doesn't look too happy above, we woke him up for a picture at the Daley Center Christmas Tree, and then he went right back to sleep. But we wanted a picture in the hour after he was adopted into our family. On a technical note, the adoption is not 'officially final' until January 8th - five weeks after today, while the FBI does back ground checks on us and other paperwork is filed etc., but for all practical purposes, the legal process is over, and Luke is now OURS.

For those who have followed Luke's adoption story from the first post, thank you for your prayers through this difficult and long process. (See all the past Baby Luke links in the right bar of this blog!) In five weeks it will be finally and officially over. Our prayer through this whole process was that Luke might be 'ours' by his birthday, January 21st, and it looks like on that day we wil be celebrating OUR SONS first birthday after all! Thanks for your part of the journey!

If you haven't yet, watch the video I made when we first got him and see how much he's grown in the eight months we've had him:

Somebody to Love
BabyLukeEaster2006.mp4 (25.6 MB MP4 file)
ALSO AVAILALE as an MOV QuickTime file. (16.7MB)