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On My Mind, On the Road

My fam and I are on a little cross country road trip. We’ve got some friends house sitting, caring for our beardie lizard and hopefully organizing all of our closets and junk drawers!

Here we are, heading out:

road trippin

We played a fun new car game,

Loaded Questions yesterday and got some hysterical fits of laughter….ah, family time. I also downloaded some inspirational talks on audio, geared towards youth, but funny for my husband and I, too. From John Bytheway, Brad Wilcox, and Hank Smith I found here. REALLY really enjoyed 2 of those, with a bunch more to go.

Last week I took a break from Instagram. We were having an electronic fast at home with our kids, and I thought it was a good time for me to take a break, too. Mainly, no playing iPod games, or instagram, no tv shows after school.  I think a lot of times, we (me included) have a few spare seconds and we pop open our apps, just to….see what we’ve missed in the past few seconds. Our kids kept refreshing IG, and playing games, and we thought they needed a break. There are unlimited shows on Netflix (which we only got in the past year) and they are always wanting to know when they can watch the next episode. It’s so easy to just, watch another. I’ll admit, I’ve kinda liked their shows: Lab Rats, Good Luck Charlie, Jesse, Wizards of Waverly Place. Without cable, we’d never seen those Disney shows, and I kinda like ‘em. There is some sassy talk, but I make sure my kids know that isn’t allowed to come from their mouths.

A lot of my blogging friends were at a conference last weekend that I chose not to go to (for a number of reasons). Being off of Instagram made it easier to not be there because I didn’t know what I was missing!  I had a few friends tell me they were sad I wasn’t going (which is very sweet), but I got something in the mail from my uber thoughtful friends Holly & Nat from the blog Sisters Suitcase. They sent me just a little care package to say they knew I’d be sad to not be there, and to thank me for the headshot I took of them in February (check it out at the top of their blog).

friend gift

I love the happy colors, and that cut metal camera in the middle of the handmade notebook. It was so thoughtful and reminded me that I’d like to be more mindful in sending hand written notes when I think of it, and doing those little things that I like to do. That I used to do. It means a lot to people.

We went on a double date with some friends a few weeks ago, and they told my husband and I that we need to watch Scandal. I’d heard it was political, and I’m not so much into that. My husband isn’t so much into TV. But we gave it a try, and I begged him to watch the second episode with me right after the first. Scandal, indeed! I’m hooked. I just don’t love shows that remind me the crazy world we live in, so not sure I can last if I start to feel unsafe in my real life.

My second son will join my oldest in middle school next year. He selected band as an elective, and I got to accompany him to the instrument selection day. My husband went with my oldest 2 years ago, and I’d heard about it, but I was really really impressed with the whole event. When I was in middle school, I thought the flute sounded like a cool instrument to play, so I signed up for it, never having tried it out. 6 months later, I was done. At the event we went to, we spent 3 hours, and he tried out 10 different instruments, and there was an instructor for each one that explained each instrument and told them how to blow and such. This boy is quite the quick learner, and picked up on them quite well. They rate them on a scale of 1-10 of how they fare, so it helps the kids narrow down better what they want to do. He scored high on all of them, so it made it trickier to decide. He had a number 1 choice, but it was his first instrument that he tried, so we went back to it and tried it again and got more info. In the end, he chose the Oboe. We’d heard that it was one of the harder instrument and if you are “up for a challenge” and have the natural ability that he did, then they encourage it, because not very many people do it. He is very excited about it. When we got home and told the family, his tuba playing brother was a bit bummed that he didn’t choose a “lower brass” instrument. I think it surprised all of us–even him–that he chose the oboe, but the sax and trumpet that he went into it thinking he might choose, is chosen by a lot of people, and I think he liked the idea of being a bit more unique with the oboe.

band instruments


In preparation for our road trip, we attempt to clean up our house a bit. I shared with you two weeks ago, the PVC pipe fort by husband and the kids built. It was up for two full weeks in our gameroom! They actually slept in it together nearly every night. I love that they love to do that, the 4 of them. When blankets are up as walls, all kinds of junk gets stored in there, and well, it was all a big mess!

cleaning up fort

Last week, I “hiked” with our youth girls at church nearly 5 miles to fulfill a requirement they have for a camp this summer. Not many real hikes around here, mostly flat land, so we met at someones house and walked along a sidewalk for 5 miles until we ended at our church. It was a great chance to just shoot the breeze with my girls. There were 21 girls and 5 adult leaders, and I snapped this pic:


Are they adorable or what?

Here are two of my girl, love spending my days with here, this chapter in my life soon coming to an end:


That’s all for now! I’ve got a few posts planned for this week for ya, so stay tuned! Did you see I shared a business photography tip, a ballerina party, Beach photo tips, and a yummy peanut butter bar treat last week?

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. I chose the flute, because I felt sorry for it. There was almost no one that wanted to play it so I signed right up. I was so done shortly after, but I stuck with it for 4 years. In high school, I opted to join the golf team instead.
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  2. I love the idea of a band instrument selection day. Our son started the saxophone this year. He chose it because his dad played it in school. Our other children have no desire to play the sax. I might have to give this idea to my son’s band teacher.
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  3. I ended up picking the flute and stuck with it for four years. I loved it! Still pull it out sometimes and play it to be honest. I’m also really grateful for it because it taught me how to read sheet music for when I went on to play the piano and do voice lessons.
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  4. Scandal!!!!!!!!

  5. What a fun week!! I love Sister’s Suitcase blog!! That was super sweet of them to send that package. Have a great time on your trip enjoying your family!!

  6. How cute are you in your colorful sunglasses?! :) And taking a break from technology is super hard, but sometimes totally needed. It’s a sneaky little thing that can take over, if not watched!
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