Two days later, while on a walk together as a family exploring our new home of Larnaka, the children started playing on the beach. Having come from 10 degrees Celcius below zero in Germany, we thought 10-15 degrees above freezing was pretty warm! And we must have acclimated some since, as none of the children have even asked to go the beach since November.
Our most recent family photo was taken June 11, 2010, the day Elisabeth was born:
Here's a more recent one of the girls, taken Christmas morning, 2010:
And of the boys a minute later:
The photo we took of ourselves on Christmas wasn't too great, so here's one from our 16th anniversary a few days later, December 30, 2010:
We've had plenty of challenges in the last two years, but many, many more blessings, especially in the shape of friends. Jörn loves his work and the rest of us certainly keep busy enough.
To our relief (and joy!), it was confirmed last week that our landlady is renewing out lease for another year without raising the rent. Although this is officially only a three-bedroom house, we recently made one of the two living rooms into a combination office/bedroom and our former bedroom into a playroom/guest room, probably to become the bedroom of the little girls eventually. Downstairs we have an additional two bedrooms (one leading into the other) in a guest flat, which has been occupied by various friends and acquaintances almost all of last year and promises not to be empty this year, either. We can theoretically sleep 16 people without even blowing up the double air-mattress, in reality I'm sure we could fit in many more, considering that the boys usually sleep on the floor (leaving two empty beds in their room!) and Katie usually crawls in with Marie (in a single bed, leaving Katie's double bed free!)
We won't know how long we'll be in Cyprus until we know we're leaving again, but I know that we all feel that we've only just arrived. We miss friends in Germany, of course, but seeing as we have friends on every continent except Antartica, we'll always have people to miss no matter where we live. Home is where we are, and that is a good place to be.