Can’t make this stuff up
July 8, 2006, 1:10 pm
Filed under: All

Natalie's Card - front
So I’m outside watering the grass last night, and Natalie comes
walking out, asking how to spell “divorce.” The girls are always
asking me how to spell words, and I don’t give it a second thought.
But savvy and experienced father that I am, I ask…

“why do you want to know how to spell that word?”

and Natalie replies,

“I’m making a wedding card for Big Papa and Dorothy.” (my dad and his fiance)

and I ask,

“Then why do you need to know how to spell ‘divorce’?”

and she says,

“well, I wanted to wish them well, and not to get another divorce
from each other.”

So I explain to her that saying that in a wedding card might not be
the best thing to say, and that maybe she could come up with
something more cheerful.

“But I already started writing it,” she tells me, “and I already
wrote ‘I hope you don’t get…'”

She then thought for a moment, and said, “I KNOW WHAT TO WRITE!” And she happily skipped back inside.

So later on I see the card sitting on the counter. Very creative
cover art, cut-outs, even some streamer that’s twisted. I open the
card and it reads:

happily ever after

hope you have a great time and not get your husband dead Dorothy.

Love, Natalie Hall Natalie's card


An era ends
July 8, 2006, 9:50 am
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Seems like lots of things are changing lately. That’s Stefani, my 4 year old, dressed as the lion in the most recent Academy of the Arts show. It was Stef’s second show, Natalies third and Emily’s fourth or fifth. Singing, dancing, tons of rehearsals, lots of work and memorizing, very inconvenient… and it was wonderful. Shelly and Steve poured their hearts into the Academy (and others who helped, and there were many). My kids loved it, and watching them perform, I realized how much I loved it too. I’ll miss it, and will always be deeply grateful to my friends Shelly and Steve for creating, leading, and dreaming what the arts could be through God’s eyes and my kids.

43rd year
July 8, 2006, 8:45 am
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fam at cantina

My 43rd b-day, celebrated at my favorite little cantina in Trabuco Canyon, had a margarita, realized I’m living my dream and that my life is likely half over. The gray hair is coming in at a furious pace, and growing in all the wrong places (what’s the point of ear-hair, anyway?). Vision is worsening, body is slowing, memory is slipping, I think even my speech is getting slurry now and then. And just when it seems I’m on a fast downhill slope, I get a glimpse of a preferable future, and am filled with hope. Crazy thing, that hope.

New format
July 8, 2006, 8:13 am
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Jumped from Blogspot to WordPress. More features and better formatting. I’ll probably be monkeying-around with the look and feel for awhile. And, maybe get back in the saddle of posting!

Hello world!
July 8, 2006, 7:20 am
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Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

June 29, 2006, 12:10 am
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This blog started off nearly two years ago with some significant changes in my life. And once again, I’m at it. Change. I’ll be blogging soon about what’s going on.

South Africa: in video
May 18, 2006, 3:41 pm
Filed under: South Africa

While in Africa, I shot a variety of video, including some with my (well, it was mine… now it belongs to some very talented pick-pocket in Mabopane) digital still camera. Here are a few of my experiences in low-res video and sound…

[note: you’ll need the free Quicktime Player to watch…]

Evette, 4 yrs old, lost both parents to AIDS, and was taken in by Thobelie (tow-bee-lay) at the House of Joy. We got to know Evette well over our 3 days we stayed there. She loved to have her picture taken, and would do this wild thing with shaking her hands. She also liked to sing and dance though, and when some of the ladie found a tutu and suspenders, Evette cut loose. Check out her dancing and singing.

After taking the train to Mabopane station, I tried my first Kota sandwhich.

On my one shopping day, we traveled to Harborbeesport (sp?), and had lunch at a local outdoor café.

This is pretty mundane footage, but shows the very nice Pretoria North neighborhoodwhere the Pangani is, from the Microbus.