Some people think it's impossible to have fun at the sand dunes without an ATV. Well, that is just not true.

See--we all jumped off this ridge the first minute we got there,

and THEN we had to pack up and head home.

Ok. Also not true.

The kids loved the sand. They could've played there forever. And with Bentley's sand toys and Taija's jump rope, they were good for forever and a day.

And some people get excited about just sleeping in a tent. Who cares where it is?

But, it really was a fun spot. It helped that we went on a Thursday and the place was practically dead. First thing in the morning we hiked the ridge of Sand Mountain. It turns out that climbing a 700 foot mountain of sand with an Archie on your back is not easy. All the adults had to stop for a breather about 10 feet up, our calves were already burning. But we plodded on. This was actually my favorite hike in years. It was striking to look up and see nothing but sky and hikers on the ridge above me.

When the wind would whip up and blow sand, I thought of all those Everest documentaries I've ever seen, and because I have zero desire to hike Everest, I was satisfied that this was close enough.

Sand Mountain pretty much wiped out all the adults for the day, but in the afternoon we hiked to Paul Bunyan's woodpile, which had some interesting formations. Because we were unfamiliar with the trail and wanted to keep all the kids close, Woo had Penelope hike up front going up, and Linus lead going down. They really stepped it up while in the lead, and the other kids were good to follow.

We also saw more wildlife than we usually see. There were lots of little tracks across the sand. Moses swore he saw fox tracks, but we never saw a fox. I saw lizard tracks, and Herbie and Linus later saw the little guy. Some of the most interesting were made by insects.

Woo and I also saw a very pretty blue bird on a fence post and an adorable kangaroo rat.

Ruby and Marcus found a pet beetle and a pet grasshopper that they placed in a water bottle together with some grass. Absolutely no one could've predicted they'd end up fighting and one of them would get killed...

There was a hill of fire ants near camp, that Bentley attempted to destroy with a bottle of insect repellant. (Didn't work.) Then Hazel was terrified when she dumped her glittery, princess shoes on a hill and the ants crawled all over them, but Brody patiently shook them off and saved the day.

Oh... and there was also that rattlesnake ahead of Penelope on the trail (on the way home from Paul Bunyan's woodpile). It was scary, but turned out all right. Penelope screamed so loudly the snake was scared off the trail, and Woo was right behind her to immediately pick her up and leap several feet away.

Woo and I made our first attempt at smores, but our chocolate bars were soup after sitting in the hot car all day, so we were still failures. Lyndy had much better results with her fudge striped cookies with a roasted marshmallow in between. I'm going to do that next time.

The drive (except anytime we were on I-15) was beautiful. The state is so green right now, and there really are some impressive mountains in south Utah county. It was a great little trip.

Hope you had a good week!

One of my young women taught the lesson on the priesthood today, and here's a story I shared:

When Josey was in kindergarten, he got pushed off the top of the very highest slide and landed on his head. He was unconscious and they called an ambulance, which he rode in alone, since my parents weren't able to get there yet.

Anyways, at some point on the ride he stopped breathing. They couldn't get him going again, so one of the EMTs, who was a member of our ward, gave Josey a priesthood blessing. He started breathing immediately and made it to the hospital okay. And now he's the dad of four little girls.

I guess I never really thought of it before, but what a miracle it was for Josey to have an EMT who was worthy and ready to give a priesthood blessing when needed, and who, even with all his training, knew that a priesthood blessing would help Josey.