We are so thankful for this visit in Tamworth where our girls have enjoyed connecting with their cousins. David and I love discovering who our nieces and nephews are and hearing about their interests and desires.

I guess it’s a confession of ours that we haven’t shown much interest in the past. Previously we have judged the Croakers because their life choices are different than ours, and we have presumed our life choices to be superior. Laying this futility aside and cultivating a non-judgemental disposition in our hearts sets both families free to engage in loving relationship.

Playing at the Croakers', October 2011
Bowen wanted to light a fire, so Andy helped him get it started while Delaney and David enjoyed the sunshine.

Calista, 3yo, October 2011
Elora refashioned Calista's hair into a fancy do.

Bowen and Aisha playing, October 2011
Bowen teaches Aisha how to play Monopoly Revolution. When I later asked Aisha if she enjoyed the game, she admitted, "I didn't really understand what was going on. I just answered 'yes' or 'no' when he asked me a question."

Elora Croaker, October 2011
Elora, 12 years old.

Flynn, 7 years old.
Flynn, 7 years old.

Delenn Croaker, October 2011
Delenn, 4 years old.

Bowen Croaker, October 2011
Bowen, 10 years old.

Bowen Croaker, October 2011
Bowen shows us how he can balance on the boogie board. Soon after he demonstrated this feat, he exited the pool — it's still too cold for enjoyable swimming.

Flynn Croaker, October 2011
Flynn can also balance perfectly — on a ball. He loves to wear this suit which he calls his "spy suit".

Brioni in the pool, October 2011
Even though the water was cold, Brioni was happy to play in the pool the longest!

Aisha playing in the pool, October 2011
After watching Bowen's example, Aisha learned how to balance on our boogie board.

Delaney splashing in the pool, October 2011
Delaney was happy to sit on the side of the pool and splash her feet in the frigid water.

For friends and family who would like to see more of our time with the Croaker kids, here are some videos we’ve put together.

As we share our experiences with the Croakers and hear of their own travels and adventures over the last couple of years, we find that we have so much in common. All this — coupled with the Croakers’ generous willingness to forgive our past times of neglect — means that we can really get to know them and their children who have open hearts and eagerly embrace our attention and presence.

A little change of heart is so rewarding. If anyone feels encouraged by reading this, there’s no time like the present to reach out to those who may be estranged from you.