Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Coin of Compromise


Our good friend Bruce Olsen visited from Ohio recently and halfway through our visit Bruce reached into his pocket and pulled out a silver dollar. He sensed from reading my blog posts that this coin may help Mark and I settle some of our differences. He proceeded to explain that if we have a difference of opinion we could toss the coin and if it lands with Lady Liberty up I could have my way but if it was the eagle up then Mark could decide. Bruce also suggested we wait until he leaves to toss the coin.

It just so happened that Mark and I were negotiating about whether to attend Matt and Liz Smallbone’s wedding in Chicago last weekend. Mark and I both love this couple and wanted to see them get married. Plus, Corey was flying in from San Francisco and we would get to see him a week early and also many of his friends that we haven’t seen in so long.

The reason Mark and I were in negotiations is because I can be unreasonable at times. This may shock some of you but I still have a strong will to make every moment count and Mark wants to honor all of my requests within reason but we never know what might trigger a bad coughing or choking episode. Choking can happen anytime without notice, even in the car. When I choke it’s not from food, it’s from saliva or phlegm in the back of my throat that I choke on. It’s really scary for me and the people around me. The last wedding reception we attended for Bridget and John Ehlich, I had a sudden choking spell just because I was talking with someone with my neck turned to the side. So with that said now you can see why Mark is reluctant to travel at times.

The night before the wedding Mark agreed to attend both the wedding and the reception even without tossing The Coin of  Compromise but that night I was struggling more than usual with phlegm. So the morning of the wedding I had second thoughts about staying overnight and decided it was best to come home right after the wedding.

Our ride to Chicago was quiet and Mark kept looking at me to make sure I was okay. We arrived at the church in time for Mark to feed me my formula through my feeding tube. I sorta felt like a drug addict secretly getting a fix in the car using a very large needle. Since we were early we had a chance to talk with Matt, his mom Cheryl and many other friends. After the wedding we had more time to visit and were so happy to hug Liz and meet her parents for the first time.

All of our kids have so many amazing friends and when we get an invitation to a wedding we consider it a gift and an honor to be invited. As we said good bye to Corey I felt bad that we weren’t going to attend the wedding reception but I was so happy that I was able to be at the wedding.

The next day Matt (the groom) wrote this beautiful message on my Facebook Wall and I knew we’d made the right choice:

As Liz and I reflect on our whirlwind of a wedding day we continue to come back to how special it was that you and Mark made the trip. I am extremely blessed to have my best friend’s parents be as wonderful as you both.

Congratulations Matt and Liz! We love you!


Priceless Works of Art

photo-5 copy

Over the last year and a half every once in while I receive an envelope in the mail filled with beautiful art work from Kelly and Bill Clancy’s children Will, Kaitlyn and Mackenzie. This past summer I began receiving cards from Stacy and Brian Holtsclaw’s daughter Sami. These works of love are proudly displayed on our refrigerator. All of the artists are grandchildren of our good friends Jim and Kathy Sterritt.


Dear Will, Kaitlyn, Mackenzie and Sami,

Every time we receive your artwork it brings us a smile. Thank you for your love and prayers.      


Rosemary and Mark

Bryan’s Reading Deficiency

Scan 31

About a year ago I wrote a story about me being a crazy mother in the mornings while trying to get myself ready for work and our four kids ready for school. I also wrote that Bryan was always a mess when we arrived at St. Michael’s Elementary to drop the kids off. Chad, Kelly and Corey would tease him about his elastic-wasted pants being on backwards, his jacket being unzipped or his papers falling out of his backpack. With Bryan being our youngest I guess I was more relaxed about his appearance than I was with the other kids.

Baby Bryan inherited his bad allergies from me, so sometimes I would give him an allergy pill for kids and send him off to school. By the end of the first grade Bryan had started to fall behind in reading so his teacher Mrs. Peterson suggested we find him a summer reading program. I called my friend Marie Hoppa who was a reading specialist at Reeths-Puffer and who also happened to be running a reading program that summer and we signed Bryan up. At the end of Marie’s program Bryan was doing great and he was ready for second grade.

School started the following fall and the allergy season was really bad and I was all out of my own allergy medicine so I took some of the medicine I’d been giving Bryan the year before. Shortly after I took it I got really sleepy and couldn’t keep my eyes open and then I thought of Bryan. Every time I gave him Benadryl he must have fallen asleep in school. I felt so bad and then it dawned on me that I was responsible for his deficiency in reading which made me feel even worse.

I learned a very important lesson about using medicine without clearly thinking of all of the consequences. I could have really changed Bryan’s future if I hadn’t taken him off that medicine.


Sorry Bryan. I’m so thankful that I didn’t scar you for life.

I’m Glad I Didn’t Wait

Hope You Dance

I’m glad I didn’t wait to make heartfelt toasts at meals.

I’m glad I didn’t wait to seize the moment with family and friends. Some of the best moments of my life happened with little time to plan.

I’m glad I didn’t wait to invite people to dinner that I didn’t know very well but wanted to know better.

I’m glad I didn’t wait to save and to be generous.

I’m glad I didn’t wait to be that annoying person with the camera.

I’m glad I didn’t wait to forgive.

I hope you don’t wait.