Thursday, December 27, 2012


Dakota and Whitney auditioned for CYT Spokane's upcoming production of the Little Mermaid. Dakota sang, "I'll Make a Man Out of You," from Mulan and Whitney sang, "Don't Rain On My Parade," from Funny Girl. When the cast list appeared, Dakota was cast as Prince Eric and Whitney was cast as one of the mermaid sisters. 

McKenna did not audition.

Tickets go on sale January 2, 2013.

For showtimes and tickets, please click here, or visit:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hip Hop

On the same day as "Yes Virginia," Whitney danced in a hip-hop performance at Tangled Roots. She has become quite the go-getter. Hopefully, I will get some videos up some time soon. 

Yes Virginia, the Musical

Dakota and Whitney performed in a newly written musical, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." The play was based on an older, non-musical version of the story. You can read the background here

The actors were invited to perform, without having to audition, so as you can imagine, it was quite an honor to be selected. They rehearsed for about a week, much less than a normal production. The whole thing was designed to raise public awareness of the play. 

Dakota played a "scraggly" Santa who rings a bell on the street. 

Whitney played an arrogant little girl who teased Virginia for believing in Santa. 

Both Dakota and Whitney got some great vocal solos, and Whitney was delightfully snotty. 

Saturday, December 08, 2012


My sister and I attended another Van Gogh and Merlot event at the Luxe. 

I have to say that I have really come to enjoy painting. Maybe I needed this extra bit of instructional support to get me over my fear of color. That probably sounds strange, but years ago, I discovered my fear when I took an advanced art course in high school called Senior Studio. I loved to make photo realistic pencil drawings, but I hated to experiment with color. I simply could not achieve the same degree of control with a paint brush as I could with a pencil.   

I would have been forever content to continue with my pencil drawings, but one day I showed up to class and the teacher grabbed my pencil from my hand and broke it in half. "You're done," she said as she handed me a paint brush. "I won't accept any more drawing from you." I resented her for doing that, but she taught me something I have never forgotten: We should always be willing to challenge ourselves. Try something new.

I'm not sure that serious artists would consider these works 'real' art. After all, the whole basis of the class is to copy someone else. Regardless, I just appreciate having someone to support my talents and rekindle my love of art. 


This year I suggested that we buy a Christmas tree, but my kids insisted on visiting Greenbluff to cut our own tree. They said we would create more memories that way, so we went. 

Dakota packed the tree part way out of the lot, but once he got tired, he handed it off to me. That's me below, the one with the legs sticking out from the tree. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The End of the World (Again)

Sometime this afternoon, I overheard several co-workers talking about the end of the world in connection to the supposed ending of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. Generally speaking, I try to avoid eavesdropping into the conversations of others, but this topic compelled me to say something. I interrupted and said quite simply, "The world is not going to end, at least not any time soon."  

Of course, I had to offer some explanation. 

During our trip to Guatemala and Honduras last August, we had the opportunity to speak with several Mayan people. For my part, I had no interest in talking about the end of the Mayan calendar, but oddly enough, many of the people we met had questions for me. In particular, one Mayan woman asked me point blank, "Why do the gringos (North Americans) say that the world will end this year? That's not part of our culture." I had no answer, except to say that people have misinterpreted their culture out of ignorance, or worse, some people may have misrepresented the Mayan culture for their own gain. I suppose there's still money to be made by selling books, tours, and paraphernalia related to the end times. 

In any case, everyone we met was perplexed by the North American fascination with the false assumption that the world will end this upcoming December 21. 

However, these conversations offered some insight to the true nature of Mayan time-keeping. For example, I learned that a baktun is a Mayan unit of time that contains 144,000 days, or slightly less than 400 years. We are currently approaching the end of the 13th baktun. Much of the hype is derived from the fact that the current baktun will end on December 21 of this year. Supposedly, the calendar ends on that date, but in reality, the 14th baktun will begin on December 22, much like the new year, or the turning of a new century. The Mayan calendar will continue as it has for thousands of years. 

We survived Y2K, the supposed rapture predicted by Harold Camping, and a host of other end time predictions that have all failed. Likewise, we will survive the end of the 13th baktun. 

By the way, these pictures were taken at Ruinas Copan, Honduras. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pirates of Penzance

Dakota performed beautifully as Frederic in Pirates of Penzance at Mead High School. Based on comments I heard from others, Dakota wowed the audience with his powerful singing. After the show, an elderly man asked me, "How are you related to Dakota Moses?"

"I am his father," I said. 

He shook his head and said, "That young man has an amazing voice! He has a great career ahead of him, if he wants it." 

Dakota was not the only actor to deliver a wonderful performance. As always, I was delighted by angelic voice of Morgan (who played Mabel), the comedic presence of Austin (the Major General), and energetic performance of Tanner (the Pirate King). Everyone did a wonderful job! 

Frederic and the daughters of the Major General. 

The Pirate King. 

Frederic and Mabel. 

The Major General. 

The Pirates of Penzance. 

Friday, November 09, 2012


Leavenworth, WA... en route to Bellingham. 

This year I spoke at the Faculty and Staff of Color Conference in Bellingham. Rhonda and I rented a car and made the drive to the western part of the state, stopping in Leavenworth for an ice cream. 

Once in Bellingham, we visited one of our favorite CYT alums, Nick. 

We also stopped in Ellensburgh to visit another CYT alum, Brittany. 


Sometimes the road disappears into the unknown. 


Halloween Van Gogh

My daughters and I accompanied my sister to a Halloween-themed Van Gogh and Merlot painting workshop. We didn't get to carve pumpkins this year, so this workshop was the next best thing. I think my daughters had a great experience learning to paint. We will definitely go again. 

Art of Mentoring

Art of Mentoring with Twin Eagles Wilderness School. Great group of people. 

Friday, October 19, 2012


My family and I recently took a weekend trip to Utah and made some wonderful re-connections with friends and family. 

For our first stop, we attended a reunion dinner in Salt Lake City for Guatemalans living in the area. Obviously, my family is not Guatemalan, but we were invited by my former mission president Julio Alvarado and his wife Blanca. We enjoyed some great Guatemalan food and a re-kindling of old friendships. Brother and Sister Alvarado looked through my mission book and reminisced about old times. 

Rhonda also re-connected with two of her former mission companions. 

We attended the Saturday afternoon session of the LDS General Conference. 

Ironically, my favorite part of conference is the chaotic environment at Temple Square with protesters and counter-protesters each trying to win the other. 


Inside the Conference Center. 

A family picture in Salt Lake City. 

On Saturday evening, we attended a live performance of South Pacific at the Hale Theater in Orem, Utah. We were invited by actor and performer Dallin Vail Bayles (pictured below).  

Dakota and Dallin Vail Bayles stood together for this picture outside the Hale Theater in Orem. 

Our family stayed with Rhonda's father in a tiny place called Elberta, Utah. He and his wife were service missionaries at a church camp that does re-enactments of the Mormon handcart pioneers. 

Family picture with Ron and Linda. 


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