At the beginning of the year Paul’s Mum and Dad (Harry and Mary) came out to Cyprus for a month, which we really enjoyed, Paul even managed a couple of games of golf and we had a BBQ on the beach. They looked after the children for a couple of nights and we went to a lovely and peaceful little village in the Troodos Mountains called Lofu.
February brought sledding in Troodos with the children, one minute wearing shorts then 90 minutes later switching to full winter gear in the Troodos Mountains. Also Paul became a Christian in February praise God!
In March we attended a Christian course called Ancient Paths which was very rewarding. At the end of the month Mum came out with my niece Annie for a week, the children had fun going to the park and beach, Cameron managed to have a go at kayaking.
During the half term holiday we visited a donkey sanctuary and found a donkey named "Arbuckle" (named after Paul by work friends of ours).
As part of our home education we received by post a butterfly kit - all 5 arrived alive and the whole family enjoyed watching then grow, turn into chrysalises then hatch. Finally we released them into the wild, which was happy and sad, the children had become quite attached to them.
Fraser has started Soccer school; he really enjoys it, though it means getting him to the football pitch for 8am on a Saturday morning.
Kirsty and I started Rainbows (junior Brownies), Kirsty as a Rainbow me as a Guider.
The Red Arrows come out to Akrotiri twice a year for training, this year we went down to meet them.
At the end of May we took a trip to the USA, mostly to go and visit Paul's brother Ivan and family (Caroline, Zoe and Connor) who live in Indiana. We hadn't seen them since 2004 and they had never seen Maisie. First we spent a couple of days in New York and did the tourist bit, visited the famous landmarks, even had a bash at driving through the City. Next we drove up to Niagara Falls (stunning).
Then to Ivan’s house in Columbus, Indiana.
One evening after being there a couple of days we glanced out into the garden and there was Harry and Mary sitting on the swings, we couldn't believe it, what a brilliant surprise, making it the Arbuckle dozen (6 Cyprus, 4 USA and 2 Crieff).
We went on boat trips, swimming, visited The Indianapolis Children's Museum, ate lots of ice cream and had a BBQ by the lake in Brown County. Harry, Mary, Paul and Ivan managed to get a game of golf in, just like the good old days. The holiday ended all too soon, on the way back to JFK airport we visited the Creation Museum Kentucky.
We really struggled with jet lag when we came back. By the time we got back to Cyprus the temperature had climbed dramatically (40C+) so we filled the pool straight away.
At the beginning of July Kirsty made her Rainbow Promise.
Mid July the children and I went back to Scotland for 5 weeks. Cameron and Fraser were looking forward to the rain. The children were very well behaved on the plane, actually for the whole holiday; Cameron was such a good help. We stayed with Harry and Mary for a couple of nights then on to Lewis just in time for the arrival of Hector my new nephew, and a few day’s later Maisie turned two. My brother Stuart and his family Angela, Helen, Annie, Shonnie and Hector live just a few streets from Mum and Dad which gave lots of opportunities for the children to play with their cousins.
After Lewis we then went on to Aberdeen and stayed with friends for a couple of nights, then back to Harry and Mary in Crieff, where Harry took Cameron and Fraser out for a short game of golf. Also we fitted in Blair Drummond Safari Park and lastly went through to Bo'ness to visit friends.
During the summer quite a lot of our friends left Cyprus, going as far a field as Germany, Nepal and Australia (did we say something?). The children found it particularly hard as their best friends, a family with an 11 year old boy and girl boy twins the same age as Fraser & Kirsty living directly across the road from us, moved to Nepal.
A couple of weeks after I came back from Scotland we spent a few days at a villa in Latchi (Northwest Cyprus), it was completely isolated and had it's own pool, it was very relaxing, we had a great time.
We had our annual home-education inspection/check; yet again the children were falling over themselves to show him what they had been doing. The children are still having swimming lessons and have discovered Gyotaku (fish-rubbing) and making mosaics. Recently Fraser and Kirsty celebrated their 6th birthday party at the bowling alley. Fraser thinks being seven will be a cool age, Kirsty thinks being a teenager will be better.
I suggested it would be a good idea to make a history timeline on the upstairs hall wall, it’s now expanded from the hall right down the length of the staircase. Cameron still plays golf and also likes squash, Lego and anything to do with the Romans. Fraser likes mostly everything Cameron shows an interest in and should be starting Beavers (junior cubs) after Christmas. Kirsty loves playing at being a "teenager that sometimes wears trousers" (her words not ours) and horse riding. Maisie now attends crèche one day a week, she loves animals especially dogs, her "goggies" (2 cuddly toy dogs) go everywhere with her. She's now playing imaginary games and her speech is coming on with favourite words being Norsy (Horse) and Bincess (Princess).
I’ve started going to Aqua-fit, once or twice a week and Paul plays squash as often as he can. Paul and I attend a Bible study every Tuesday evening in Limassol, which is great. At the moment we’re studying 1 Samuel.
This year Paul is working a dayshift this Christmas (can’t complain as he’s had the last 2 off) but we've been invited to friends for Christmas dinner.
In 2008, firstly we’re all looking forward to Paul’s parents arriving and Cameron’s 10th birthday (both on the 3rd January). We’ll more than likely be moving back to the UK so another busy year lies ahead. I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year, best wishes for 2008.
May the God of peace Himself give you peace always. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
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