you know those rumours you've been hearing recently? well, they're all true... my family is officially the best. we have our issues, but God couldn't have picked a better family for me. wild? check. good-looking? check. funny? check. full of love? double-check.
here is my almost-whole family on Christmas Day.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. back: Nick and Beth. seated: Todd, Celia, Mom, Kymmie, Mia, Gramma Marge. on the floor: Keaton, Joe, Josh, Andrea, Rachel, Hannah, Zoey, Sindi and Charles.
the whole Flowers gang: Joe, Celia, Josh, Andrea, Keaton and Rachel
this is my fantastic cousin Andrea, and her boyfriend Keaton.
this is my cousin Joe with his mask, whom we named Mr Schneider. Mr Schneider got thrown away by Joe's mom, Celia. rest in pieces, Mr Schneider...
...and this is Joe being normal.
this is Josh, hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree.
this is Rachel, the coolest 11-year-old EVAH.
Nick and Beth: sibling love
...and Nick and Beth with their beautiful mom Mia
Zoey and Chas
Mr Peabody, the resident baby of the family. also known as a basset hound... i love this dog.
the R's - Zoey, Kymmie, Todd and Charlie
the crazy cousins. (someone didn't give me the memo, evidently...)
the McDeezle girls - Sindi, my mom and me
thanks for giving me all these beautiful, wonderful, crazy and just darn amazing people to call my own, God :)
THE GOLDEN OLDEN DAYS: "those days are gone, but Matty's not; and now he's got brown hair..."
RECENTLY EMO: i wish Matty would smiiiile!
wow. in the words of Matt Thiessen, "if only i could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life." (note: that is from the most beautiful and heartwrenching Christmas song ever, I Celebrate The Day. listen to it here.) Jesus. just that name gives purpose to my life. Master, Saviour, Creator, First Love, Superhero, Best Friend. i would not be where i am today if it weren't for a Nazarene carpenter, the Son of God, who came down to Earth as a helpless baby, was mocked by the very people he came to save and bled on a wooden cross for me and for all of us over 2000 years ago. my favourite hymn of all time is called In Christ Alone, and it basically sums up many of the reasons i love Him. if you want to hear it, watch this.
we basically sat around and waited for people to arrive from there on in, munching on hors d'oeuvres (or, as Gramma calls them, horry dorries. no kidding.) and acting like crazies. then we opened gifts - we did a Secret-Santa-type gift exchange, so everyone got one gift -and then... WE ATE! we had two tables - one for kids and one for adults. i was graduated to the adults table, while the 18-year-olds - Joe and Sindi - were relegated to the kids table.... BWAHAHA! there was a ridiculous amount of food, including three different types of meat: turkey, prime rib AND gammon - whaaat??! more than enough to feed 17, if you ask me :)
before deciding to play Apples To Apples with TEN PEOPLE... what a crazy fest! it was a lot of fun but a bit chaotic, to be quite honest. we ended Christmas peacefully by taking a whole bunch of family photos and then returning to the Flores House, where we watched 3 or 4 episodes of The Office... and slept :)
#7: to write love on her arms
you're welcome, Starbucks... you're welcome.
i am in love with Apple. not only did they come up with the coolest invention of all time - the ipod, of course - but their computers rock the party! the only problem is, after you use a Mac, every other computer is the pits. true story. that is how marvellous they are. plus, they have their origin in and are made in California... heck yes!
early on Christmas morning, i sat with my Bible and decided that i didn't want to read Luke the 2nd. mean, i know, but in my defense we'd already heard it at church a couple days before, and i felt like reading something new. during Advent this year, our family has been doing a Jesse Tree, which is basically going through the main stories in the Bible and seeing how the love of God and the beauty of His sacrifice is painted on every page. the concept of the Jesse Tree is based on Isaiah 11, which is a prophecy of the Messiah, so i decided that for a change, i would read Isaiah 11. it is so beautiful and different, and i command you to go read it right now! :)
i am a music maniac, and this year i discovered some of the best music around. here are my top CDs of the year, since my chronic indecision prevents me from choosing my top songs.
i love restaurants! we've been out to Macaroni Grill and Chilis with two of Mom's high school/college friends, and i had such a blast! i always manage to fill my hungry stomach on bread and Coke refills while waiting for my main dish, though, so i'm constantly taking home leftovers... hmmmm.
also, i had a yummy pesto chicken pizza... which i couldn't finish. darn.
after eating, Donna (my mom's best friend and Sindi's and my godmother) went to the bathroom to wash her hands. she came back saying, "you have to go to the bathroom! it's the coolest thing ever! they have Italian lessons playing!" so Sindi and i rushed off to the bathroom, and low and behold, they did indeed have Italian lessons playing!! we hung around forever, repeating phrases like, "please can i have another meatball?" and "which way is the grocery store?" :)
#15: the office
this month, i was introduced to the most fabulous show in history... THE OFFICE. if you haven't watched it, you have no idea what you're missing out on.
"Michael Scott, Pam and Jim, you got me glued to my television..." :)
PB 'n'J... the cutest couple in tv-show history!
Lindsey and Andrea - my loves!
The Pumpanuts: Dezzy Pumpkin, Hanny Pancake and Hayley Peanut!
my buddy, Cathy (on the right) with her sister Roanne.
my lovely Rachel and me.
me and Eleni... gooses we are.
my best friend Mpilo, waitressing at the 2008 EHS matric dance... *sigh* i miss you, Lilo lahv.
i have been so blessed with the most amazing friends. i have met so many new people this year and am so grateful to have ALL of them in my life! thank you for liking me, friends!
God is awesome... He made Italy in the shape of an uber-stylin' boot.
also, they make the most scrumptuous food in the world there, and it looks so beautiful, and the language is the bestest. i can't wait to goooo...
#18: Audrey Hepburn
for reals, this lady had skills. she is my favourite actress of all time, and she had such classic beauty.
for Christmas, my cool uncle Todd, who got ME for Secret Santa, gave me a 5-DVD collection of her movies - Breakfast At Tiffany's, Sabrina, Funny Face, Roman Holiday and Paris When It Sizzles - and i am SO EXCITED!! thank you, uncle Todd :)
#19: talent shows
if it weren't for American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, i probably wouldn't be "married" to David Cook...
#20: Spongebob Squarepantshe has the coolest humour on the block, and his best friend is a starfish.... such coolness points. plus, he's my twin brother who was seperated from me at birth. so, he is officially fabulous and i am grateful for his existence.
#21: funny shirts
because we all need a little peas...
#22: Pinky and The Brain "they're Pinky and The Brain, Pinky and The Brain; one is a genius, the other's insane..." they've got to be the funniest laboratory mice in existence. plus, i'm kind-of a Pinky in real life. *NARF!*
#23: the Sharks
this is my favourite rugby team. they are the coolest; plus, they won the Currie Cup this year, making me the happiest person alive. therefore they rock.
i've watched SO many good movies this year! my favourites have to be....
my second family... i love them.
- the unwinding cablecar, anberlin.
plus, my ring says GRACE.
plus, my name means GRACE.
plus, i was saved by GRACE.
i love GRACE!
#27: random signs and licence plates
#28: South Africa
my home. it is so beautiful and broken. it is exciting and terrible and cruel and amazing, and i wouldn't trade my country for any other.
yep... i am grateful for the existence of penguins. they are the coolest. i have my very own penguin... his name is Squishy Darren. he is the King of all penguins. no... srsly.
much love, and see you next year!