We spent a beautiful day in Toronto, Canada today with my brother and his wife and their new boy, Hayden. We went to Toronto Island Park and then Sara and I went to the rotating 360 Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower to celebrate our 17th anniversary – it was very cool! (Especially the glass floor!)
Here are some photo highlights from the day. If you see an emphasis on the Blue Jay’s Roger’s Centre, it is because my brother, Jordan Bastian, covers the team for MLB.com. (Tomorrow I’ll be going to a game with some Canadian friends!)
Reminder: Clicking on any image on my blog loads a larger view.
Luke arrives in Toronto!
Luke checking out the Canadian National Tower! (CN Tower)
Luke and Mommy on our walk to Toronto Island Park
Luke enjoys the Ferry Ride
Luke is quite used to putting up with all Daddy’s pictures!
But-cha gotta admit, this is one cute kid!
Contemplating the Vast Needs of the City
A Steeple Pointing Toward the Answers from Heaven?
Once on the island a Car Ride is discovered!
So is a high flying lift across the park!
But later Luke says his favorite ride was Uncle Jordan’s shoulders. Awwww.
Rainy weather sends us home, but soon clears up.
Soon Daddy and Mommy head out on a date!
The shadow of the Tower looms over the city!
As a Blue Jays game is played BELOW us!
They play into the evening as we eat and the restaurant rotates!
I decide on a possible side job!
The outside observatory is spectacular!
(and extremely windy!!)
Soon we are walking home. Babysitter said Luke will be put out in the hallway at midnight whether we are back or not! (Jordan!) Seriously, they were awesome, they took him to the park while we were at the top of the CN Tower. (First two pictures of this post were taken while we were up there!)
Looks like Luke had a great time with his Uncle Jordan!
And Aunt Kelly! Just for fun, here is this train yard from up above:
Yup, we were 1150 feet above them as they played below us!
And then there is one of my favorite pictures of the day. We were walking home from Toronto Island Park when I saw these giant orange letters and I said to the gang, “Hey, we have to go back! There is a giant “H” we have to pose Hayden peeking out from behind the giant “H!” We did get a good solo shot of him, but before first getting one of him with his favorite uncle:
On this Father’s Day, I’d like to give you 12 reasons you should consider adoption:
The only thing greater than being a Dad is knowing you are giving a home to a child who otherwise wouldn’t being enjoying the life you are providing.
Enjoy this video highlight from my Father’s Day, we had a great day just enjoying each other. Truly every day is Father’s Day for me, after waiting 15 years to be a dad, I am soaking in each moment with my son. But in this case, the soaking, was quite literal, as you shall see!
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there, and a special greeting to my dad, who I did a blog tribute to a few years ago that is as true as ever!
But that was seven years after seeing her picture during my junior year of high school in a missionary slide show and deciding to write her a letter! Soon we were pen pals and an overseas friendship began from Chicago to Manila long before the Internet would have made it much easier to write back and forth. Each letter took two weeks to be answered so we maintained at times up to ten separate conversations as letters crisscrossed the globe. Eventually, I developed a growing love for the, uh, Filipino people, (yeah, that’s it!) and asked her father if I could come to the Philippines and be, uh, mentored by him during the summer after I graduated high school. Perhaps suspecting my ulterior motive, he requested I get a year of Bible college first before I could come as part of his mission’s summer intern program.I figured that was better than working for him for seven years and being given her ugly sister in marriage, and since she didn’t have a sister, the year of Bible college requirement seemed safe. So off to Moody Bible Institute I went. (I was going anyway, just for the record. I didn’t go to Bible college for a girl!) I did date in college, but no girl could compare to my pen pal over the sea, so I wrote to her dad again requesting a summer internship and he relented and let me come. He kept me busy! I did over 80 evangelistic programs in the 60 days I was there, discipled young men and did teacher training, but managed to sneak in some dating time (and a first kiss!) all with her parent’s blessing. (O.K. maybe not the kiss!)
A year later Sara arrived at Moody and was shocked that everyone knew her name, even the President of Moody greeted her by name and said, “You must be Sara!” She was embarrassed by her welcome. Little did she know how well known she was before she arrived. I had even hosted a birthday party for her attended by hundreds of students while she was only a senior in high school! Her picture was on a table while every one ate cake provided by the famous Rock n’ Roll McDonald’s in downtown Chicago where I was the “House Magician” and everyone signed a birthday card which we then mailed to Sara. The largest birthday party of Sara’s life, she wasn’t even at!
We finally got to date like a “normal” couple, fell in love with downtown Chicago, walking for miles along the lake shore, “parking” at romantic spots, and eventually getting engaged at the top of the Prudential Tower where my parents had their wedding dinner (as did we), got married at Moody Church with a horse and buggy ride through downtown Chicago to the tower for dinner.
While marriage isn’t always bliss, it is always a blessing to have a partner and friend to share life with through thick and thin. I have been so blessed that my pen pal has been my life pal now for seventeen years, but truly twenty-four years since she wrote me back! The day I got that first letter, August 26, 1986, I was painting a shed at a side job and my dad drove the letter to me. I put baggies over my hands to open the letter and read it. He knew I wouldn’t want to wait until I got home to read the letter from this beautiful girl overseas. Little did I know, my life would never be the same. She would one day be my wife.
I’m not sure she knew what she was getting in to when she married me – I hope she’d do it again! But as for me, I’d sure marry her again. I’m not anyone else could be as patient with me. I’m not an easy guy to keep up with or put up with. A patient and gracious wife was custom ordered for me. The story of why and how that slide show was even being showed at the church my dad was pastoring is pretty amazing, and not worth the space to type out here – but it was a fluke. Most of Sara’s dad’s supporting churches were in the upper North West of the United States, except for one lone church in Chicago because of a chance encounter that led to one church supporting them, that led to me seeing that slide show.
I think it’s because when a five year old boy starting praying for a wife – heaven went into a panic, and had to start working in overdrive to find a woman who could handle this man, and then once they found her, across the globe, they had to rearrange circumstances so that they could miraculously meet. It was a challenge, but they pulled it off. Sure, they had to use a slide projector and pens and paper and five years of letters, but eventually they met.
And seventeen years ago today, they both said, “I DO!”
Recently while in a store they had Superman Returns playing on a giant TV to encourage visitors to relax and try out their furniture. While I wasn’t too nuts about the film, my good friend Brent Peak had recent argued with me that the opening airplane sequence was one of the best cinematic scenes ever filmed, so after making sure no one was looking, I re-winded the DVD to that scene and Luke and I kicked back and watched it while mom shopped. Brent was right. Luke loved it and asked to watch it over and over!
Then yesterday, I was wearing a Superman shirt and Luke pointed at me and said, “Look, Dad, you’re a hero!”
Bursting with pride, I put my fists on my sides like the Man of Steel and puffed out my chest, standing as tall and dignified as I could and proclaimed, “Yes, I am Super Dad, flying around saving airplanes in distress!” in reference to the movie clip we’d watched since that’s all he really knows of Superman.
My four year old took one look at me and said, “Well, maybe toy airplanes Dad,” and went back to playing.
I wasn’t too crushed. It was a pretty honest assessment of my abilities and I’m sure I’m still a hero in my boy’s eyes, even if I can’t fly into the sky and save real airplanes.
But I can’t help wondering – how often do we downgrade our own Heavenly Father’s hero status? Do we ever say to God in essence when He offers His help, “Well, You can’t do THAT, but maybe you can do this.” Do we ever underestimate or doubt His abilities? Indeed He IS faster than a speeding problem and able bend any trial with His bare hands. Perhaps we need to trust Him more.
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