Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Bellevue Baptist

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 1

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flashback Friday - Counting with Jake

Thursday, February 23, 2012 0







...and seven today for Jake!  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Talent Show!

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CJ was a good friend tonight in coming out to the Arlington Middle School Talent Show to support his buddy Sean.  That's Sean in the middle with the kilt.  He was awesome with the bagpipes tonight.  How many 13 year olds do you know that can play the bagpipes?

Sean and CJ

I hate to admit it, but I was groaning a little as I'm rushing home from work to take CJ to the Talent Show this evening.  I didn't know about the event until today.  I was thinking about all the work that I needed to finish up and how I really didn't have time to do this.  Blah, blah, blah.  What an idiot I am for even thinking that way.  Navy Personnel Command is like a treadmill.  There's always work and it's always gonna keep going.  It never stops.  But these teenage years are gonna zoom by like the blink of an eye.  Parents need to remind themselves to relish their time with their kids.  Me included.  You see, during the Talent Show two years ago at the Busan Foreign School, I was a grump-butt and didn't go.  Well, I went, but I didn't go inside for some no good reason.  Dumb Chris.

I think CJ was glad that we got to do this together tonight.  One of my favorite things these days is just chatting w/ Ceej at night before he goes to bed.  No particular topic.  Just whatever is on our minds.  Inevitably, we end up laughing about something.  It wasn't that long ago where instead of laughing, I'd find something to nitpick on or to get mad about.  Who wants that kind of talk?  So anyway, you have to take advantage of the fun stuff.  And tonight was one of those times.

The Talent Show reminded me of a couple of things.  Adele is still popular, playing a guitar is still cool, and youth is still king.  The reality is, not everyone on that stage can be a superstar.  But you can go out there and give it your all - whether it's shuffling around a deck of cards for some magic tricks, tap dancing your little heart out in your leotards, or making beautiful sounds spill out of a bagpipe.  It's all good.  Some of those kids were terrified on that stage.  But they got out there.  AND THEY DID IT.  They deserved every single clap and woot-woot from the crowd.  It was heartwarming to hear the positive audience response for every act, no matter if a falsetto note was a little off the mark, a piano stroke off timing, a magic trick inadvertently revealed, or a microphone left in the off position.

I couldn't help but sway to the music and smile at the brashness of it all.  How many times has fear stopped us from saying something to the boss or maybe asking a question in a public forum?  How many times do we hold our tongues anytime there's a crowd?  Maybe we don't even answer the phone because we aren't ready to talk to the person on the other end of the caller ID?  No such timidness from the kids of Arlington Middle School.  Bravery and brashness is what I saw on that stage tonight.  And I loved it.

We had dueling violinists, tap dancers, a magician, guitarists, pianists, and of course some impressive vocalists.  We even had an original number from a New Orleans Saints fan crooning on her favorite football player - the not-so-heralded number 16, wide receiver Lance Moore.  Lance would've been proud.  And what a nice treat for me for the final act.  It was one of my favorite songs, Randy Travis' "I Told You So."  Really good stuff.

So I take back my previous statement.  They were all superstars tonight.  And to think that I almost didn't come.  Dumb Chris.

Yeah, it did bring back some memories from my own Talent Show many moons ago.  That's when the Fil-Am Rockers brought down the house at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach with an awesome breakdancing performance to the song, "Breaker's Revenge."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Definitely Not Wordless

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In some ways, this is the opposite of Wordless Wednesday.  

I wonder what happened here. 

In Jake's attempt to not be wasteful, he saved a couple of "e's." 

This is my favorite.  It's pretty much a catch-all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Joel and John

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Is Naval Aviation Culture Dead?

Sunday, February 5, 2012 1
Here's a good read written by a a former Secretary of the Navy.  A history lesson too - from the pivotal Battle of Midway to Korea and Vietnam, followed by a hyper-jump to Tailhook '91 and joint duty in the Pentagon.  Times have definitely changed.  For the better?  We'll see...  

A Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat from Fighter Squadron 5 awaits clearance to launch from the aircraft carrier Yorktown on November 20, 1943. Squadron 5 had been assigned to hit targets in the Marshall Islands.
Is Naval Aviation Culture Dead?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kids in the Yard

Saturday, February 4, 2012 0
Here's a quick video of CJ and Jake with their cousins Jena and Ariel hanging out in the backyard during the Christmas break.  Flannigan is with them too.  No kids or animals were harmed in the making of this film.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Miss You Paw Paw

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Carol's step-dad, James Mathews, better known as Paw Paw to the kids and Mathew to the grownups, passed away last month at the ripe young age of 91.  Carol's Mom called him Mathew because she didn't want to confuse him with her son who was also named James.  So Mathew it was.  Like Aunt Charlie says, "It doesn't matter what your name is, we're gonna call you what we wanna call you."  Gotta love Aunt Charlie.

When loved ones pass away, it's of course very natural to feel great sadness.  With Mathew's passing though, I was uplifted by the story of open arms and love that defines Carol's family.  And so here's the quick story:

Aunt Charlie got to know Mathew through his first wife, Ruby.  She was Ruby's oncology nurse.  After a long and happy life, Ruby died of cancer over 20 years ago, leaving Mathew pretty much by himself.  Unfortunately, he and Ruby were unable to have kids.  But it wasn't God's will for Mathew to be alone.  One day, Aunt Charlie invited Mathew to one of the family gatherings.  Before this invitation, Mathew didn't have any kids and the very little family he had lived out of state.  After this invitation and lots of love from the Hosmer gang, Mathew suddenly inherited a multitude of kids, grandkids and enough family to win an election!  He also met his future wife, Carol's Mom.  It's amazing how powerful a single invitation can be.

Here's Carol and Mathew right before they walked down the aisle to partner up with an incredible studmuffin of a Navy man.

Watching over Carol while she's pregnant with CJ.

Mom and Mathew drove all the way to San Diego to visit us.  On the last day of driving, they got pooped out and checked into a hotel that was about 20 minutes away from our house.  They didn't realize how close they were.  Carol hopped in the car, retrieved them, and did the caravan back to our humble abode.  It was a fun visit.

Jake and CJ love their Paw Paw.

Mathew has seen a lot of things.  He was with Ruby during her battle with cancer.  He was with Mom through her successful fight with breast cancer.  He was also a veteran, having served overseas during his time in the Air Force.

During our last couple of trips to Alabama, Mathew would ask me, "So are you on a ship in Tennessee?"  Speaking of ships, here is Mom and Mathew dressed up as pirates during one of CJ's birthday parties.  These two pirates got to do a lot of traveling during their time together.  They visited Italy, Israel, Alaska and many places throughout the US.

Mathew was a very spiritual man and did many things for his church.  He was sharp as a tack all the way until the very end.  I'll miss hanging out at his house in Bessemer laughing at Ray Romano on the tube or watching the Weather Channel while the boys played checkers.  It was always pleasant conversation with Mathew, although you had to talk kinda loud so he could hear you.  After failing my hearing test two days ago during my flight physical, my ears aren't far behind.  Darn jet noise.

Growing up as a kid, I had no memories of grandparents.  They had all passed away when I was young or before I was born.  I'm really glad that my boys have many fond memories of their Paw Paw.  One memory that I hope stays with the boys for a long time is the story of Aunt Charlie's invitation.  

Paw Paw - you were loved by many and will be sorely missed.  Rest in peace.
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