Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Soft Notes and Beautiful Days

Luke 6:45
"The good man out of the good treasure (abundance) of his heart, brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."

Alex and Emma are expressing their hearts on new blogs they made.
Soft Notes
Beauty Around the World

It is my prayer that we as parents fill their hearts with that which is goodness. They'll see enough evil in this world. And we won't be there to protect them always. But God will always be with them. If we keep filling their sweet hearts with goodness, then they will have a better chance of identifying evil. If they see us making wise choices, hopefully they will store it up and use discernment when facing their own choices. If we store up treasures that are not of this world, then they won't be disappointed when they're lost, because they'll never lose those.

Otto Motto for today: Garbage in, garbage out!

Good Book for today: Preparing Sons by Steve Maxwell at
Great challenges about what we are 'feeding' our children by way of 'appetites' or interests that will be difficult or even pointless to pursue into their adulthood. Think about some of the recreational activities we pursue. The money and time spent entertaining ourselves. What if one of my daughters marries someone who God has called (hopefully she will be called as well!) to a faraway land to serve Him? The first thing Alexandra said after returning from Mexico last summer was, "we have too much stuff." She was sick at heart about it. What are we setting them up for? Things of this world or for His kingdom?

Monday, January 28, 2008

She Brings Out the Best in Me

What a day today was! We have had so much rain, I was afraid I would not be able to go to the Homemakers office and do some taping with Donna. I kept allowing my fears to creep in.

Satan would love for me to give up, think less of myself, quit.

It was also the day I would start the French class at our co-op.

As I prayed about the day, a peace stole over me, reminding me that He has equipped me to do what He has called me to do.

Yes, I know He wants me to teach His Word to young women, Titus 2.

Yes, I know He wants me to teach our children, 10 years of doing that has confirmed that choice in so many ways.

I also knew a gratefulness that I have for this woman in my life. If you don't have an older woman in your life, pray for one. God will answer. Have no expectations when you pray. I think we are not flexible and open to whomever God brings to us sometimes. Maybe we have a preconceived idea of what she should be like. I do the same thing with friends that cross my path. And I'm always surprised if I just relax, enjoy them for who they are, and be myself. We don't always know what we need. Surprised?

I first attended Homemakers by Choice after having Alexandra. So that was in 1994. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, had babysat a lot, I felt overwhelmed with this new JOB, this new season, the new calling. However we look at it. Donna Otto is the founder and she is an author and speaker. But she has a place in her heart for young women. And I am blessed to be in that place in her life. So I began my journey of challenges and pruning, at the loving hand of the Father and through Donna. I led worship from the piano for many years, learning on the fly, how to change keys. I never did that before, I followed music. But she said it was too high, lower it would you Skoosan? She has since stopped doing that to musicians, understanding that not all can do that! I guess we helped each other.

We also began a journey of many years doing our annual Home for Christmas outreach event. Wow, I learned so much doing that.I love this picture of Jefferson (Broder Boy to Donna) leaning into Donna after our Home for Christmas event in 2004. He and Sammy Malouf have those cute little boy smiles.

Then I started teaching. Do you know what a blessing it is to have a mentor and peers that love you, giving helps and encouragement after you've taught? I can't begin to tell you. I did have a teaching certificate in French, but that's a different beast. I am always learning and wanting to improve.

I'm back to leading worship and doing some teaching and that brings us to today. The PODCASTING. If you go to you can download for FREE, her teachings. It's been quite a year, with many different guests talking with her. I think you'll really like it. Donna always amazes me at how she thinks on her feet. Practice I guess, not to mention the anointing of the Spirit. It's powerful.

She has been wanting to just chat and pick my brain about home, school, marriage, etc. And I needed practice thinking on my feet! Well, I guess I am now the 'resident mother' that will periodically stop in to chat. It was fun. And we didn't even begin to scratch the surface after 2 hours! It was like sitting at home talking over coffee. One of our favorite things!

First part: Why did Derrick and I choose to home school our kids?
Second part: Scheduling
Third part: What do I personally do to keep my path straight?

So tune in to OnePlace next week. I will keep you posted. Or tune in now and if you sign up (that is simply so Homemakers by Choice knows who is getting the podcast, you won't receive anything else from OnePlace) you can get a podcast every day AUTOMATICALLY to your iTunes. How cool is that?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh, C'est la Vie

It's been too long since I've spoken la langue francaise. But I'm so excited to have the opportunity next week to start a beginning French class (redundant, non?) at our home school co-op. I've loved the resources available now on the internet. C'est formidable! (neat) I have to share my favorite read right now. I think I was so drawn to her when I first read her blog because she mentioned being a 'desert rat'. Must be an Arizonan. Sure enough, she went to ASU, as did I, and she now resides with her husband and 2 children in la belle Provence! C'est merveilleux. Her book has practical and charming accounts of her everyday life. I love how she laughs at herself, having her children and husband also laughing. She's just plain cute.

Lessons in love and language from the South of France

Check out her blog if you're interested. And you can even hear a daily pronunciation from her native hubby.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

News Video of the 'Tutten household' at the Zoo

Here's the video from the News on Fox tonight. I don't know how long the link will be available. I can't believe there's actually a closeup of Michael Dunham! So fun!!!

You have to wait to the end to hear me say the word "squishy". How FUN is that?

Click here for The 'Tutten' household and the Zoo's GPS funfinder!

Friday, January 18, 2008

All God's Creatures

We went to the Phoenix zoo last week, what a gorgeous day it was. As we walked in the entrance (my 5 kids and I) , the PR person for the zoo asked if we'd like to try out their new GPS, a handheld computer to tell you what you can see at the zoo, videos and all. Very cool.

Of course I said, SURE!

We went to the booth and there was a producer and camera man from Fox Channel 10 News. They asked if they could follow us around a short while, as we tried out the new GPS.

Again, I said, SURE, what fun!

As I'm chatting along to the kids, trying to raise their excitement level to one that looked like they'd actually like to be filmed, they asked if I'd be willing to wear a microphone!

What do you think I said? SURE!

What an ego I must have! To think that anyone would actually want to hear a home school mom chat incoherently about a computer that she ended up handing to her kids to find stuff on. It proved to be a fun day, for me anyway.

I loved it. SURE!
Emma Grace, my Emma B and Sammie

You can see us on Fox Channel 10, 9pm, this Sunday night! During the "Only on Fox" segment which airs anywhere between 9:15 and 9:30. Hope it's not TOO embarrassing.

But I don't get easily embarrassed, right? SURE!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Beginnings

Today we started our Keeper Girls(click here to see our blog) group. It is a wonderful group of girls and moms. I am really looking forward to the year ahead with them. We'll shepherd their young hearts while training them to be keepers of the home. They'll do all kinds of things to 'earn' charms for their bracelets. They're looking forward to being with their friends, I'm looking forward to training and teaching them to love the things of God. Diligence, perseverance, patience, self-control. The list goes on. And to love the things of God is to love beauty. They will be beautiful girls, but more importantly we pray they have hearts of beauty.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Snow Day

An hour and a half north of us, in Flagstaff Arizona, we can play in the snow!! We have the best of both worlds.
This is video of Lizzy's first toboggan ride.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Papa Tuten

One of the 2 sweetest papas in the world turned 73! He was at church at probably 5 am making breakfast for the weekly men's Bible study like he has done for about 30 years. He takes amazing care of Nana Tuten and daughter Dee. He laughs easily, he is a teacher of God's word, he is a great shopper, he is patient, kind and loving and tells wonderful stories.

Here's Papa in 2006 in South Carolina (2nd from the right) with 3 of his 5 brothers and his Mama. He is the oldest.

We are so blessed to have William Jefferson Tuten in all our lives. Love you Papa T!

Friday, January 4, 2008

What are Cousins for?

An extension of the sibling.

So close, but in separate houses.

So comfortable together.

Wild and crazy.

Break each other's toys, beat each other up, sharing life together.

We'd still pick them as friends.

Sleepless in Scottsdale

Do you ever have those nights when your thoughts are going 100 miles an hour? Funny thing is, the last 2 nights, the wind has been howling and moaning so forcefully. I can see why prairie women went out of their minds, and I'm not even on the prairie! I put on my TV headphones while trying to read, while hearing the wind, the dog barking and Hubby's snoring! Can you say 'overstimulation'? So I hadn't slept the last 2 nights. I thought for sure tonight I'd be OUT.

Or do you ever fall asleep really soundly at first, and then wake up at 2am and aren't tired? I think I have sleep issues! Don't even get me started on waking up with a migraine. My head hurts just thinking about it.

Or maybe God wants more of my time. I have wrestled the last few hours, and prayed. And His still small voice is there, and He is listening to my heart. This brought peace and I could take every thought captive and not dwell on things I don't need to worry about! I'm missing 2 friendships right now, planning the spring with school, worried about health and praying for Hubby and kids, which is never-ending. But God brings certain things to mind and I am grateful He wants to 'discuss' them. Then, I need to be better about leaving them in His more than capable hands. Knowing His plans hold the future and He loves those I love, more than I ever could.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lizzy Turns 8

My favorite pics of child #4. Elizabeth Ann Tuten. Born January 2, 2000 at 9:15am, 7lbs,6oz. My littlest bundle, that we affectionately called our Baby Burrito.

2 year old sister Emma was so happy to have a little doll to play with. So was 6 year old sister Alex for that matter! She carried her everywhere, giving everyone a heart attack.

I have no idea where Lizzy came up with the name "chacha" for her pacifier. But she sure loved those things.

I love this shot because it shows Lizzy's lack of fear. She's only 4 and she's not looking down to see where she'll land, but out, to see what she can see!

Lizzy loves music. Here she is singing at Christmas with her Nana Shepherd.

It was December 1999, and everyone kept asking me, "don't you want your baby to be born on New Year's, the first day of the new milennium?" Are you kidding? Everybody seemed so freaked out, preparing for some techno-glitch to happen world-wide. I want to have my baby when fear seemed to be determining what people did with their money and possessions and even stocking up on food? It was strange.

We quietly waited for Elizabeth Ann. Derrick, Alex, Dex and Emma. And our families.

We were trusting God's timing.

I did have a bad cold however. New Year's Day came and went. She wasn't due until the 7th. But January 2nd arrived, with contractions and a plugged nose. I couldn't breathe! I do remember Derrick swapping digital video camera stories with the anesthesiologist and my demanding to give me some attention, in the form of an epidural! It was a Sunday morning, and as usual, my folks chose to abandon anything they were doing, to be there. 6 year old Alex was very disappointed to not be allowed in the room to welcome Lizzy. The RSV alert was high.

She was our tiniest blessing at 7 lbs. 6 oz. Dr Eckel brought her to Derrick, saying she looked like a little Baby Burrito. She was so cute. I think Derrick held her before I did, then when I could finally get my hands on her, she started crying! "Daddy's for play, Mommy's for food" was always Derrick's saying. He had them for the fun part.

A 4th blessing, a little sister for 2 year old Emma. Busy Lizzy has been one wild ride for this mom, but I can't imagine life without her, and don't want to!

We love you little Lizzard.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Your 2008 Bucket List

Queen's Trophy, saluting the Rose Parade

It's a New Year. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what I've done and what I'd like yet to do.

So here it is: YOUR 2008 BUCKET LIST

What are some things you'd like to experience or see or do before you die?? Dream big! I think God hears our hearts and loves to hear our dreams. Of course not all things are for our good or His glory! So He has the final say! Can't wait to hear yours.

- Have 5 glorious weddings. (I have 5 kids you know)

- Go on a Road Trip with our family that goes all the way up the east coast. To see the colors change in Boston and Maine and up to Prince Edward Island even.

- Lose weight, to be healthy, to do the above things!

- I have ALWAYS wanted to live on a farm or ranch, able to enjoy God's creation when I step out the door.

- To sing and/or minister in another country.

'm sure I will think of more after I post this, but sweet hubby is asking for company on the couch to watch football. Our 6 year old runs in and out of the room to try the plays after he sees them. So I will enjoy today.