Douglas, Provider Man
The moment I met him came with a shock as he introduced himself as, “Tom Tuttle from Tehachapi,” and proceeded to head-butt me way too hard. You’d think with moves like that I’d fall for him right away, but it took five years. In the meantime he bought an electric-blue truck, taught me how to surf, and proposed in the snow. We married in ’94, complete with a butt bow, Ray-Bans and a little poof in my sleeves.
His Sundays consist of serious naps, watching football, and any form of sugar in a small bowl. He rides motorcycles with our boys, bikes on sketchy roads with no shoulder, and runs in the local vineyards.
The founder and director of our Business As Mission, this guy is a modern-day tent-maker, providing jobs, building relationships and loving Baja.
He’s entrepreneurial, a fierce provider, and has a manic commitment to leftovers. Quantity over quality blesses my corazón.
Micah, Ukulele Player
Born in SoCal suburbia and raised in the Baja countryside, this white boy loves dirt.
After flipping a dune buggy at age nine, he added motorcycle to his resumé and downshifted out the gate. I have a deep appreciation for the vehicle with a roll bar, but apparently it doesn’t go fast enough.
At 12 he learned to drive a car and started playing ukulele. Lessons vacillated between awesome and horrible, but we had a deal: three years of one instrument and it couldn’t be the drums. Though he had rhythm we want him to be able to lead a song. Drum sets have never been invited to Name That Tune, so he fulfilled his desire to hit things by playing in the school marching band.
He fulfills his technology bent by working in the sound booth at church and translating the service for visiting gringos.
He’s now 15 and over six-feet tall with strawberry blonde hair, über white skin and freckles. And he still plays the ukulele.
As if we didn’t stand out enough.
Brock, Professional Cuddler
All day wouldn’t be too long. I am telling you—this kid’s love language is off the charts ‘touch.’ When he’s sick it comes in a slow, mellow plea. “Can we please cuddle?” Other times it hits him like a surprise. “Agh! I need a hug!” Either way I make it my goal to never say no.
He’s pretty chill, a tad introverted in public, and in love with cheese and spicy chips.
He first rode a motorcycle when he turned seven, loves to wrestle, plays the ukulele, and is fascinated with robots. He’d like to invent one to do his chores and bring him cheese.
He moved to Baja eight months along in my belly, and now holds a decade of legit Spanish behind that white forehead.
Mali & Jovie
If you’re not a dog lover, skip this part. It’s okay—I’m not a cat lover. I mean I like them, I just can’t eat a whole one myself.
Mali: the brindle boxer who can jump over the lab. She’s a little crazy, loves to cuddle, and won’t leave my succulent in a beer can alone.
Jovie: the yellow lab who always looks desperate for food and love. She acts her age (teen), begging for attention and sneaking out at night.
They’re outside dogs who bark at innocent horses, catch chickens, and sleep through entering visitors. Everyone in Mexico has a dog, and everyone is afraid of each other’s. Good thing—these girls are mostly all bark.
A Week with The Fam
We skip Wednesday church to engage in family game night. Our jam-packed game cabinet holds dozens of cards, spoons, boards, chips and dice, but we tend to rotate our favorite five. We prefer games that don’t require a battery and take less than an hour to play. Monopoly rarely wins.
We found out Jenga with Spanish-speakers is pretty easy. Scrabble is not.
Weekend pancakes usually include walnuts, coconut oil, flax and hempseed. (Why isn’t that word plural?) The boys are fine with those, but frequently ask for some insane amount of chocolate chips.
Sunday rest is not an option. Our Mexican church starts at 11:00 and goes until the Holy Spirit finishes. Since our brains are usually fried from the Spanish and our bodies are tired from a week of work, we hunker down for 30 minutes of quiet. No talking or the time starts over.
Sometimes I wish they would talk.
In promoting qualities of the Sabbath, Sunday is also a day of no work, no chores. Dishes start to pile (unless we cheat with paper plates), rooms become messy (in a matter of hours), and nobody cares. Took a while to get used to, but now I look forward to the only day I let myself read, nap, cuddle and play… without guilt or a timer.
You should try it. It’ll change your life.
Our family has issues, but we’re in it for keeps. We disappoint, argue, misunderstand and frustrate. But we also play, listen, apologize, and above all… love. Jesus is the center of our home, and we know He intentionally gave us each other. Period.