Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Friday, January 16, 2009

2008 Christmas Letter

Friday, January 16, 2009
Here's the annual Cruz Family Christmas letter.  My apologies if you didn't get it in the mail.  That probably means we don't have your address.  Beware - it ain't your typical holiday letter.  Enjoy!  I'll blog again when I return from Thailand.  Until then --C2

December 2008

Dear Family & Friends,

I told myself I was not going to write about poop in this year’s letter.  I really did.  But just as I began to type this letter, I hear the following conversation from down the hall:

“Mommy, there’s red on my poo!” Jake yells as he’s sitting on the toilet.  “Did my shooey bleed?”
“I gotta see this!” CJ says, as he sprints in from the living room.  He follows that up with a big “whoah!” after he sees the marvel created by his little brother.  
“Jake, put your butt up high,” Carol says as she does her best proctologist impersonation.  After she inspects the rump roast, Carol then soothes poor Jakey with a “poor Jakey.”
The little guy responds with “Poor shooey.  Is the shooey hurt?  My shooey was so big, it was bleeding.”

I can’t make this stuff up.  Okay, so now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, greetings from Busan, Korea!  Welcome to the annual Cruz Family Christmas letter.  If you’ve read our family blog on, you’d know that we’re having an incredible time in Korea.  It’s been a sensational adventure so far – Busan, Seoul, Singapore, Hawaii.  I never thought I’d be spanking Jake in a bathroom at Disneyland in Hong Kong.  We’ll be visiting my parents in the Philippines for Christmas.  To prep for the trip, I’ve been practicing mixing up my P and F sounds.  
Carol is doing fantastic.  She stays busy with the boys and with the Busan International Womens Association.  BIWA does a lot of charitable work in the community, volunteering at orphanages, English labs, etc.  Or so she says.  I personally think she’s out boozing with the ladies and stuffing Korean Won bills into the banana hammocks of the male dancers at Club ChippenKim’s.  
CJ has become quite the socialite at the Busan Foreign School.  The little ones love him and are constantly chasing him around the school yard.  He also gets along really well with several of the teenagers, despite the fact that his parents won’t let him watch Dark Knight.  He’s got a great teacher in Ms. Taylor.  Because she was in the Olympics a few years ago, I feel obligated to suck in my gut when I’m around her.  Jake has turned into our adorable little stinker.  In class, he pulls hair and hits people.  He even told the Principal that he was going to throw him out the window.  Seriously.  At home, he breaks things and writes on the walls.  At least he’s compassionate with his shooeys.
As great as Korea has been, there are some things that we really miss about the U.S.  The biggest ones for me are our church and our dog, Fred.  Oasis Church in Miami was just a really special place for our family.  We now attend an awesome church in Korea and have made some good friends because of it.  Speaking of church, let me tell you about my recent 666 experience.  If you’ve read Revelations or seen the cliff notes (better known as the “Omen” movies), you know that 666 is the devil’s number.  Carol knows that I am not a fan of that particular number.  Just a quirk I have.  So when she tells me that on my next trip to the U.S., I should stock up on her favorite lip liner that she can’t get in Korea, I said sure.  Just get me the details.  She tells me her lip liner is called “Wet N Wild”, color #666.  Are you kidding me with that number?!  As beautiful and sexy as Carol is – I still get worked up when she bends over to pick up Legos off the floor – I can’t kiss her with 666 on her lips!  Side note:  as Carol was previewing the letter and got to the 666 part, she said that I’ve got to take it out and replace it with the story of her medicating my butt zit instead.  Umm, I’m writing this letter so the butt zit story stays out devil girl.
Fred, our wallowing mud mammal, is living with my brother in Virginia.  Sometimes Carol and I choke up when pictures of Fred pop up on our computer screensaver.  He’s 14 years old now.  We just couldn’t take the chance of him not making the long flight to Korea.  Alan, Danita, Joel and Jena – thank you for taking such good care of him.  I hope Fred hasn’t done the booty-scoot across your carpet too much.     
So this is my command tour.  Mr. Big Pants.  As the senior Dept of Defense official in Busan, my job requires that I attend some high level events, most of which are a lot of fun.  There are dangers with this job though.  Not the North Koreans invading, terrorists or protestors.  We’ve got those under control.  It’s eating those spicy Korean dishes with chopsticks.  There I was at a dinner surrounded by very prominent VIPs, expertly maneuvering my chopsticks while slurping up a spicy noodle, when all of a sudden, the noodle whips out of control.  As if in super slow motion, I see red pepper sauce splattering around my face, with one concentrated splatter tracking directly towards my eye.  If I were a younger man, I might’ve had the reflexes to avoid it.  Regrettably, those days are long gone.  Bam!  Direct hit, right in the eye.  AAARRGH!!!  My retina is on fire!  Across the table is the Mayor of Busan and I’m crying like a little school girl.  And I thought landing on the aircraft carrier at night was tough.  I’m thinking I deserve hazardous duty pay.  
Let me get a little serious on you now.  Maybe it’s because some of us are approaching 40 or already 40ish and our parents aren’t spring chickens anymore.  Maybe it’s because we’re now mature enough to deal with certain things we’ve been putting off for years.  Whatever the case, something is happening to a lot of us.  For my family, that thing was the healing of some extremely deep wounds – an act of forgiveness my siblings never thought would happen.  I’ve spoken with many of you in the last year or so and you’ve had similar experiences too, almost like a religious or psychological awakening.  Whether it’s a divisive family issue, a hidden secret that needs to get out, addressing the fact that you know your kids can’t drive themselves to church, or a change you know you need to make – if you’ve been hearing it inside you but have been ignoring it, don’t ignore it any longer.  Do something about it.  Pick up the phone and call who you need to call.  Work out what you need to work out.  Forgive who you need to forgive - no matter what.  Okay, so maybe that was a little bit more than a little serious.  Forgive me.  Just let me know how it works out.
It’s tough out there, ain’t it?  Automakers are taking a hit, the housing market stinks and the President is getting shoes thrown at him.  But you know what?  You probably have a car, a roof over your head and more than one pair of shoes.  You can also write something on a piece of paper, mail it away and hopefully brighten someone’s day.  Let me close this novel by simply saying that I love all of you.  Otherwise, why would I write something like that previous paragraph?  If the last paragraph had no meaning for you whatsoever, let me know and I’ll put the butt zit story on a piece of paper, mail it your way and hopefully brighten your day – or at least gross you out with a smile.  Have an incredible 2009 everyone.  I’m gonna kiss my wife on the lips now.

All the Best,

Chris, Carol, CJ, Jake and Fred  

p.s.  in my best Filipino accent, “porgot someting”
new address and info:

PSC 1, Box 32 205-267-6541  (U.S. Vonage #)
APO AP 96214



You, your family, this letter, and even Jake's shooey are AWESOME! I enjoyed the letter. Maybe you can tell me the butt zit story at the next friendship association event, right after your killer Elvis impersonation brings down the house.

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