Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We just got slapped in the face with the Christmas magic.  There was plenty of laughing and too much eating at the Cruz household this past Christmas as Carol and I were blessed to have my brothers and my sister bring their talents to Memphis this year for the holidays.  It was an awesome time that passed way too quickly.

Jake is a firm believer in Mr. C. but the pre-teens, CJ and Jena have their doubts.  They were overheard discussing the finer points of Santa Claus' supposed existence well into Christmas eve.  At any rate, they sure did rip through the wrapping paper Christmas morning like they were true believers of jolly old Saint Nick.  

Jena is sporting her Christmas gifts from the Bass Pro Shop.  A big fishing fan, she's a girl after my own heart.  Even in the cold weather, she wanted to get out and do some fishing here in Tennessee.  She's not afraid of worms or the other slimy stuff that confounds other little princesses.  Her purse is still not a purse.  She refers to it as "that thing that holds many items."

Always a popular gift - CHC.  Cold hard cash.


I surprised Carol with a Swarovski crystal piece of four birds on a perch.  When we were living in Miami, these wild parrots would come hang out in our backyard and make all sorts of cool noises.  We have a small collection of Swarovski crystals as keepsakes from the various places the Navy has brought us.

Although Memphis didn't have to cancel any football games because of inclement weather, we did get a light dusting of snow on Christmas day.  Here we are reveling in our pseudo White Christmas, flip flops and all. 

My sister Darby drove up from Houston, Texas.  We're all smiles even though both of our football teams - the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins blew leads and are knocked out of the playoffs.  Beanie and Lee's team, the Dallas Cowboys, didn't fare any better.  Not a good football weekend for us but a very good family weekend.  

Here's Carol checking out one of her favorite Christmas presents - the Dyson Animal vacuum.  Oh yeah, I'm romantic like that.  I'm thinking Carol's got a future as a Price is Right girl.

I was amazed and disgusted at the same time after seeing what a couple of sweeps of this vacuum picked up.  We were lying around in that?

Flannigan and Serena got along better as time passed but not to the point where we could let them hang out freely at the same time.  It was like keeping the prison yard bullies away from each other.  Bummer cause I know Flannigan had plans to hump many of our family guests.  

Anytime the Cruz's get together, we plan on adding a few LBs.  Alan grilled a turkey, Darb cooked Mom's famous pineapple ham, Beanie roasted two lechons and of course Carol made some nice desserts including her carrot cake and dump cake.  Plenty more too.  As we say in post all-you-can-eat-buffet debriefings, "we hit it... and we hit it hard."  Pictured here is Darby's ropa vieja and empenadas.  So dang good.  And fat free too.  Darb has definitely expanded her cooking prowess during her time in the Lone Star state.

Jena picking at the pork lechon like the Dad picking at the turkey from "A Christmas Story."

There's nothing like eating, laughing and just enjoying the company of loved ones.  I know family can be difficult at times, especially during the holidays, but I'm blessed to have low maintenance, fun loving family members.  We were bummed as everyone had to head back home.  Jake exemplified our collective mood as he put out the big fat sad lip on the day that his cousins had to depart.  Heck, I'll take the big fat sad lip any day if it means getting to hang with my bros and my sis - even if just for a little bit.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.



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