Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for September, 2007
Just returned from a week away with my family and wife’s parents in beautiful Galena, Illinois. While I was there I also became 38 years old! There was a time when I thought 40 was old… nah, 40 is still a punk!!!
One of the benefits of being away was that I had very little Internet or iPhone coverage… though I did have to snag an unsecured network here or there a few times to check in and make sure my staff was still working. (just kidding!)
Technically this was not a vacation (then I do disconnect completely) but this was a writing retreat, and it was wonderful to get some concentrated time writing the second Kidology Leadership Lab… something only hinted at so far on Kidology.org but soon to be released in October 2007! Whaddaya know, I’m actually starting to work AHEAD on projects! If you know me, you should be impressed that I am writing Unit 2 when Unit 1 is in the can but still unreleased! It’s all part of living a slower paced life now. But better than the focused time to write was the time with family in a beautiful natural setting away from the busyness of suburban life!
To give you a taste of our week and some glimpses into God’s creation in Northwest Illinois where General Grant grew up… enjoy this highlight video!
We were staying at Triple Creek Ranch, a Christian retreat center for pastors and missionaries that our family has gone to for over 15 years and where (blush) Sara and I spent a week of our honeymoon. We are sad that the ministry is now selling this Ranch so this was probably our last time there, which made this visit both sad and special. My mom, who is now checked in at the Heavenly Retreat with Jesus, considered Triple Creek Ranch her second home. So it brought back many happy memories of days relaxing with her in this beautiful place.
If anyone wants to donate a few million dollars to Kidology, we’ll buy it and make a retreat for children’s pastors! Well, we can dream, can’t we? The ministry is still going but will only be running their Colorado locations now. So i guess that is where we will head next time for some R and R… Relax and Re-creation!
Please don’t watch this video… it is very embarrassing.
You watched it, didn’t you? Oh, well.
For more information check out The Kidology Handbook – Teacher’s Edition on Kidology.org. Don’t forget the blog only special mentioned when I announced the new Kidology Handbook here on my blog! (No one has claimed the prizes yet!) Never assume you are too late! Order your advance copy today!
In 1986 I was a junior in high school when I saw a picture of a missionary’s daughter in the Philippines in a missions slide-show on a Sunday night at church. (and thought she was cute) After getting her parents permission to write to her (she went back to the Philippines a few weeks ahead of her parents for the start of school), I sent her a letter. We were soon pen pals. Once I found out that she would be heading to the same college as me in a few years (MBI) I got out a calendar and figured out what the date would be of her first Friday evening as a Freshman in college… (before the days of computer calendars!) and asked her on a date for September 7th, 1990, four years in advance! Our first date included a limo ride to Navy Pier, but I could only afford one way, so I left my car at the planetarium and took a cab back to school in the afternoon. After the dinner cruise from Navy Pier (when Navy Pier was only a freight yard and the dinner cruise ship was ALL that was there!) we walked along the Lake Shore to the planetarium where we just “happened” to discover my car and therefore our ride back to the dorms.
We’ve done the same date every September 7th, ever since, and this year was the 18th time we’ve done it. While we usually go on the Spirit of Chicago or the Odyssey Cruise ships, this year we tried one we’ve seen there for years called the Anita Dee II.
But as we headed downtown, things were looking bad for a cruise!
It was POURING RAIN our whole drive downtown!
We’ve only had bad weather once in the past 17th years, so we figured that the odds had caught up to us. The one time before the weather was bad the ship never left the dock because the waves were too sever, and at one point the boat was rocking so much that the giant roast that a chef was cutting meat from ended up on the floor! Other than the time our ship crushed a small boat into the dock, most years have been uneventful from disasters, so we figured we were due for a rainy cruise after 17 years of clear sailing.
But, by the time we got downtown the rain let up, and things began to dry up. We saw a wedding party taking photos in a soaked park across from Navy Pier. But we should have known the weather would be bad, after all, “Steve Said It Would Be Like This.”
We cracked up when we saw this advertisement while walking the wet pier hoping for a dry cruise. When I stopped to take a picture of this ad, Sara said, “Oh, I know what you are going to do with that!” I said, “Put it on my blog when I write about the rain?” and she said, “Oh, no, I thought you were going to……………..” So I did:
It wouldn’t be the first time Steve Tanner was right about something relating to disasters. :)
We had fun at the Pier before docking time. (Don’t tell Sara I posted this pic, she is out and I didn’t have time for my usual “pre-blog wife photo approval process!”)
I often include pictures of the local wildlife – sorry, this is the best I could do.
The reflections on the water are always beautiful
Probably the first disappointment with the City Lights Cruises is that they don’t do a nice photo as you board, but the next guy in line was nice enough to take a picture of us while we held up the line. Their marketing is a little sneaky, I bought some advance tickets that said they were the full cost except for a docking fee and two drinks – ha – a surprise extra $60 after you think you’ve paid for the whole dinner and think all you have to do is buy two drinks, and since we drink Coke and not booze, we thought it wouldn’t be too bad. Oops, they charge your for two alcoholic drinks even if all you want is a Coke. It also didn’t have assigned tables like the others and the food was about as cheap as possible.
But in the end you are there for time together and to enjoy the view, so it wasn’t too bad overall – but definitely a step down from the other dinner cruises. (but also less expensive – as they say, you get what you pay for)
Ironically, when we arrived we were first in line, so we decided we didn’t need to be first, and went for a walk. When we got back the line was looooooooooong! We were wondering if this many people could actually FIT on the ship – and then learned that it is first come, first serve to seats, and feared we would be standing all night, but once we got on board, I ventured out of the line (which was heading for the bar) and found that the front of the ship was empty, and got to have it to ourselves for quite awhile, and later only a few couples came up there. So we ended up having a really nice time despite the fact that there were definitely NOT enough life boats for all the people on board!
Photography on these cruises is always hard, you have to really over expose to get a picture, but they still look nice if you don’t enlarge too much. It was a wonderful break from work and the usual pace of life, but I confess, I did check my e-mail at one moment when I was alone, and the funniest thing happened:
Yes, my iPhone said that I had 2 billion, 147 million, 483 thousand and 646 unread messages. Now, it definitely FEELS that way at times, but this was too funny. I grabbed my digital camera and took a picture of the iPhone screen. Since the odds of reading over two billion e-mails on a date was slim, I put the phone away – having learned my lesson – and after the cruise I peeked again and the number was back its usual high number, but in perspective, I get almost no e-mail now. I still haven’t figured it out – could that have been the total number of unread e-mails of everyone on earth at the moment?
The other surprise – not sure whether it was good or not – was the discovery after boarding that the cruise was THREE hours, not two as we expected. (Like the others) After a call to the babysitter to make sure she knew, we settled in for a long relaxing time afloat, but it was long. Toward the end we managed a spot on the couches on one level and slumped back to relax and enjoy the last hour or so, when we saw an equally bored looking Filipino family next to us. As I returned from getting my drink and was squeezing by I dropped a little Tagalog (language of the Philippines) as I often like to do to see their surprise when a white boy speaks a language most Americans don’t know. I’m not fluent, but I can say enough for the beginning of a friendly conversation, such as Iki Nagagalok akong makilala kayo. (my spelling of ‘Nice to meet you’) Though I started with just a ‘thank you’ as I passed by to my seat. (Salamat Po) Adding “Po” at the end is a sign of respect, which they always appreciate.
The next thing I know we were having a very enjoyable conversation and the last hour flew by.
Hindi ko alam kung papaano ko po kayo mapapasalamatan sa inyong kabutihan.
One of things God has been teaching me this past year is a new definition of “recreation” – something that once meant ‘fun’ or ‘play’ or ‘games’ has transformed into something much deeper and penetrating as I have discovered re-creation. Rather than something I do to “take a break” re-creation is now something I seek regularly, that refreshes and recharges me for the rest of “life.” This Labor Day weekend was a special opportunity for some extended re-creation spent with family. (reminder, click on any image for a larger view)
The treats of the weekend began on the way to church. Now from this picture you might I assume I live out in the wilderness, but there are several forest preserves quite close. But as we drove down the road to church my tendency to be taking in everything around me I caught a glimpse of something through a break in the trees and through a fence! Sara was surprised as I quickly pulled over and put the car in reverse claiming to have seen something through the trees which appeared solid on the left… indeed, I had!
My guess is an Elk? We have a lot of deer in our neighborhood so I assumed it was a buck, but after getting the pictures onto the laptop and zoomed in, I think it is an Elk. These pictures were taken through a gap in the chain link fence off the side of the road!
We went to two different preserves on Sunday and Monday… there is something refreshing about being outside enjoying the Son with family…
Luke seems to come alive outdoors and we want to instill in him not only a love of nature, but of the Creator who painted this world with His love. I really liked the motto I saw on a banner at the nature center, that turns out is a nation-wide effort: Leave No Child Inside. (Just google that phrase!)
Posing for a picture next to one of God’s most beautiful creations!
Luke taking in the scenery…
Although his favorite thing was just picking up rocks!
Of course, there was lots of beautiful examples of God’s Creative ability! Tough to only post a few!
Mom and Dad enjoy a romantic moment alone…
Luke is so blessed to have such loving grandparents nearby.
Taking in one of the beautiful views…
Right below us was a HUGE turtle, over three feet head to toe!
Luke with his daddy…
and mommy too!
My favorite “catch” of the day was this butterfly…
How anyone can not believe in God just escapes me!
It was a very refreshing and renewing weekend of re-creation!
Sometimes a pictures says it best… Just wanted to share my current wallpaper which captures my son’s love for water. (click image for full size 876 kb)
If I was ever stranded in the desert with no water, but had Luke with me, I’d be O.K. I’d just follow him! If there is any source of water… he can find it!
He is drawn to water like a deer… wait, isn’t there a Bible verse about longing for water?
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
I pray that I would be as drawn to the Lord as my son is to water. After all, Jesus is better than water, He is the Living Water!
”If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Jesus is the Living Water who walked among us.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a
spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Take a lesson from Luke…
Follow the Footprints of Your Father…
and seek the Water!
Saturday Luke got to go to his first live concert at Ravina. This concert venue includes a pavillion with ticketed seats like most concerts, but also includes a huge outdoor lawn area surrounded by restaurants. It is a favorite entertainment destination for Chicagoans. My last visit to Ravina was for the Music of Star Wars.
Now it was Luke’s turn to join hundreds of other little tots for Ralph’s World live in concert!
Daddy and Son
Mommy and Son!
Luke seemed a little overwhelmed at first. He kept looking around at allll the kids and people and lights, and finally noticed the band on the stage. It was so cute, there will little kids everywhere dancing in the aisles. The ushers quickly gave up trying to keep the aisles clear.
Luke hesitantly joins the others jammin’ in the aisle.
We had never heard of Ralph’s World, but the music was fun. It was all about lemonade, and sand boxes, and water, and chocolate cake. We were surprised to see all the adults sining along as well – one dad in front of me was singing along to a song about how his baseball dreams never came true because of his zero batting average all through grade school. Definitely a song I could sing from the heart!
Toward the end we went for a walk and discovered that many of the front rows were empty since the bigger kids were all up crowding the edge of the stage… so we got to enjoy the last song from up close… enjoy this video of Luke jammin’