Her Whole Ever Life

We have some new friends in the area who have a fossil rich creek running through their property.  It’s a five minute drive to reach the creek, or a mile and a half walk as the bird flies.  Some days, the older boys take off through the woods, equipment in tow, and spend hours on an adventure, coming home with muslin bags full of shark’s teeth and other little fossils.  As a family, we started fossil hunting five or six years ago.  We have favorite spots that we visit regularly (all requiring a drive) and my oldest son, Seth, follows the adventures of other fossil hunters online.  To have discovered fossil hunting grounds so close to home after all these years has been a really exciting turn of events for him, and the other kids as well.

Saturday afternoon, Seth was hoping to spend some time in our friends’ creek, and I volunteered to drive him and Keats over and drop them off.  I had things to do at home, but didn’t mind the quick drive.  Beatrix wanted to go too and I told her she could could ride along, but wouldn’t be able to stay without an adult, and I definitely couldn’t stay (that spring to-do list!)  I hadn’t yet actually seen this creek and Seth really wanted to show it to me.  So, I told Beatrix that she could have a few minutes of hunting for sharks’ teeth before we headed back home.  That few minutes quickly became an hour as Beatrix was so engrossed in her task, shoveling gravel into her sifter and hunting for teeth, that I just couldn’t stop her.  She felt so grown up, like one of the big kids.  The rare and good find in this creek is the Otodus shark’s tooth.  Only a few have been found and the boys always hope for one on these hunts.  Of course Beatrix mimics them and made it clear that her hope was to find a nice big Otodus as well.  In one of her last sifter’s full of gravel, she found her Ototdus, the only one found that day.

Bea didn’t complain at all when I told her it was time to go home a little while later, and I didn’t regret spending my time with her in the creek, rather than accomplishing the tasks I had planned for that Saturday afternoon.  I can still hear her happy exclamation of, “My whole ever life, I’ve been wanting to find an otodus, and I did!”
“Her whole ever life”:  such a Beatrix thing to say.  She’s still singing about that tooth.


  1. Hi,
    I’m a huge fan of your blog! My eight year old girl wants to start fossil hunting but I don’t know where to begin. We live in South Jersey and don’t travel too much out of the area. Do you have any advice on how to start out? Thank you!

  2. Hello! I like your blog and your photos!! Monica

  3. What a sweat pea, Miss Beatrix is! What a kind and loving momma you are for letting Beatrix find what she’s been hoping for her whole ever life!


  4. I just found your beautiful blog and I find it incredibly inspiring. I am interested in fossil hunting with my two girls but not sure where to begin…we live in the city of Chicago! Any suggestions? Thank you for sharing your life – I know life with children is not always serene but your blog posts shine a light on the best moments on this journey.

  5. Oh Ginny, how lovely. So good to see that joy.

  6. What a totally beautiful life you are giving your children! Stay with it! And for the post before this…… It never changes.. what goes on in the world. I realized that even at my age, it wasn’t good for me to be so tuned in to the news. You are doing the best thing that you can do for the world and all the sorrow in it – living well and giving your children a true childhood. That morning offer does more for the world and for your family than you will ever know!

  7. It’s amazing how involved children can become with the most mundane tasks. I remember being like this when I was a kid — digging in a dirty ditch or looking for things in a stream — heaven 🙂

  8. It looks like a muddy good time!

  9. Melissa L. says:

    Bea is so intent & focused on her task in these photos. Love that she got her prize! Thanks for letting her stay since that let us share this post too! Nice tooth Bea!

  10. We definitely need to make a sifting box like that. I loved her statement and the sentiment that it carries. What a great way to spend a Saturday!

  11. Lovely pictures – what a beautiful spot in nature! I bet my kids would have loved to join in as they are fossil hunting now and again, too. 🙂

  12. A Weight says:

    sitting here at 11 at night tearing up…beautiful post…reminds me to spend more quality time with my kids

  13. Putting aside “tasks” to spend time with your kids is priceless. My kids are older now and I really miss those days. Your children are so beautiful and full of life… you are doing such as amazing job. I have to admit, I am a little jealous (ok a LOT jealous). I really wanted to give my kids a “country” type upbringing and they ended up as city kids. I am disappointed in myself for that. Your kids are very lucky to have such wonderful parents!

  14. These are the things that need to be ‘ever’ written down. Love your beautiful photos dear.

  15. What joy! I love it!

  16. Your daughter will remember that day all her life!! Good thing you gave her the time she needed, or it would’ve been a non-eventful day. This reminds me of finding railroad spikes in a very old disused railroad north of us. I was always hunting for them (unsuccessfully), but the one day my young son became interested in finding them too … we found three! Probably the last three on the entire railroad. Such good memories 😉

  17. Ginny,
    That is way too cute. Brought me such a smile.


  18. “Her Whole Ever Life”…..so so sweet. Love all the dirt and mud. My washing machine is always singing here too….

  19. Awwww.. that is really sweet 🙂

  20. I would have loved having you for a mother.

  21. That’s so sweet! And truly a blessing to live so very near these wonderful places!

  22. Christine says:

    She is sweet and she has such a great life with you!

  23. Such a beautiful experience!

  24. She looks like she had so much fun! Sometimes, we just have to forgo things we want to do so that the kids can do something like this 🙂

  25. Oh oh oh Beatrix! She is so sweet! I love that, my whole ever life. So glad you stayed and she got to find it! 🙂

  26. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a Saturday! So fun.

  27. Now that is a way a kid should play! These photos are beautiful and your memories will be even more so. That time was far more precious than housework.

  28. Oh I love the pictures and the story! Good on Bea for finding her shark’s tooth! And good on You for letting her spend time outside with her brothers! They grow up so fast – enjoy this time while you can!

  29. 🙂 yay! happy day!!

  30. Good for her!!! I cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon- remember, good mothers have messy homes and happy children:)

  31. Love the girl in the creek!! So worries about mud and river gunk and wiggly things in the river . . . just the joy of exploration!!

  32. Putting aside our ” tasks” is often a life long lesson. So glad you recognized the joy !

  33. I would sing too. It is quite a find for a whole ever life.

  34. Lovely post! So happy for Beatrix!

  35. Bless your heart for being able to handle the laundry that this lovely day produced. I would weep if my kids came home with clothes that dirty. I can handle a lot of things but mud and muck is not one of them.

    P.S. Is it mean of me to say how happy I am that the younger sister found the coveted tooth?

  36. Love the post as usual! My grand kids would LOVE to explore that creek! Any my son would have loved to have a place to hike too like your boys!!! Love your daughter’s saying!~ So cute! ♥♥♥

  37. I love this post. What fun!

  38. that is so so sweet.

  39. She is a delight and you were where you were supposed to be with camera on hand taking in that moment of time.

  40. Tracy Marie says:

    LOVE that you put aside your “spring to do list” and spent quality time with your children and that a wonderful memory was made – what a wonderful reminder to all of us that the list of to do’s will always be there but the time spent with your children is ever so more important – thank you for sharing this beautifully written and heartfelt moment of time with us!

  41. How wonderful for her, Ginny! And what a good mom you are to put aside your “need-to-dos” for a few minutes to give her such joy. And I’m sure being the envy of the big brothers for a few minutes is nice too. 😉 Have a lovely week!

  42. Absolutely love every line of this, Ginny.

  43. What a great place to have on your doorstep!

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