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Girls Weekend Minus Mosquitoes.

We spent the weekend in my most favorite part of Wisconsin, the Kickapoo Valley. This is the second year my Mom and Aunt and I have taken the girls away to this area for a few days of outdoor fun. This year we opted to canoe with the kids. They did great and loved it!

I had to laugh at this photo. I get my sense of humor from this side the family but my body type… not so much. 😉

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We stayed in an old chicken coop that was renovated into a camping cabin.

Camping_chicken_coopThere were llamas to visit. I had to laugh when I caught Maren visiting them in a fancy tulle skirt. This kid really isn’t into dressing down.

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While this daughter snuck into the beautiful renovated barn to race her remote control car. Those hardwood floors made for a perfect place to test out the speed of her new birthday present.Justin_trails_barn

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Maren asked me to take a photo of this bug spray so we could order it on Amazon as soon as we got home. We’ve become semi-experts in bug repellant tricks, products, and treatments. Bugs of all classification adore both Maren and I, we are giant walking Bug Buffets which can wreck a weekend of outdoor fun very fast. The mosquitoes were not as bad as the annoying tiny gnats, and this safer than average product worked for both of us. Buggins_Spray

My Mom brought us these bracelets which seems to also help. I came home with no mosquito bites, nothing short of crazy abnormal for spending time on the river and post heavy rainfall.

Super_band_bug_bracelets

Avoiding DEET except for extreme conditions and situations is important to me, but two weeks ago my son was bit by a tick. I have several friends with Lyme, and after this scare I am not messing around anymore. Wearing the right clothing, tick checks and more tick checks, and avoiding areas that are heavy with ticks has  become our new normal. I love Midwestern life but we are in such a Lyme heavy part of the USA, I have decided to try to balance my commitment to keeping my kids as chemical free as possible with my need to have peace of mind when we are enjoying the outdoor sports and activities we love. Sometimes there becomes a need to use chemicals in moderation and this year I have learned to try to keep a healthy frame of mind when occasionally relying on DEET to protect my kids. If we lived in the county I would have a whole lot of guinea hens doing the tick removal for me!

We had a fabulous weekend in Sparta/Ontario, Wisconsin. I highly recommend planning a weekend there if you love to kayak, canoe, bike ride, bird watch, or camp!

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