Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Love These Guys

About a month ago we got to have daddy to ourselves for a whole weekend. We decided to take full advantage of this and the beautiful November day and venture out to a favorite hiking spot. Of course, the boys were totally in their element. All the fresh air and falling leaves brought with it many wrestling matches, sword fights, and even a baseball game complete with gloves and bat which a good daddy had the foresight to toss in the back of the truck.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"I'm 4 and my Letter is H"

The other day I was trying to see if Heber could spell his name for me. He was far too busy playing to answer my question...should have guessed this right away when he kept playing like I wasn't even speaking, but I kept asking until I got a response. He finally looked at me with his most exasperated face, put his hands on his hips, and said "I am 4 and my letter is H!" and then he walked away.

Another funny conversation from earlier today as we were approaching our car to go to the grocery store.

Heber: Oh great, here we go again.
Me: Why do you say that?
Heber: Here we go in this dumb old car.
Me: What kind of car would you like to have?
Heber: A BAN (van)....a BIG BAN. That is my dream mom.
Me: Well someday you can get married and have lots of kids and a van.
Heber: No mom...I not gettin married. I just want a Ban.

This little guy says something every day (and very often) that makes me laugh. I wish I kept better track of the things that come out of his mouth. I often wonder what it might be like to have actual adult conversation for the better part of the day instead of 99% of it being spent communicating with a 4.5 year old. I would be sad to miss these moments though. If I could only choose one person to talk with for the rest of my life at least I would know that Heber would keep me laughing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

For almost 5 years now I have become very VERY accustomed to

and I am

BUT..... it looks like I am going to have to give it my best shot. We will be welcoming a little GIRL into our home sometime in April. Since she has measured a week ahead of schedule on the last 2 ultrasounds the doctor is trying to decide if we are looking at an April 3rd baby or an April 10th baby. Either way we are excited and will be anxiously awaiting our pink bundle of joy.
Heber has been saying now for over a month we would be having a sister baby. He even gave me the "I told you" line as we walked away from the doctors office. He will be a fun big brother and has already started coming up with some interesting names for the baby(CHARLENA...with a hard CH). Hopefully Ben and I can come to some sort of an agreement in the next 5 months or Heber might just win.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home of the BRAVE

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

There truly aren't words enough to adequately say thank you to the many men and women who protect this country and all that it means to be an American. We truly are very blessed by your service. Thank you!

(Grandpa Brick) Morris Woolstenhulme
United States Army
World War II--South Pacific

(Little Grandpa) Glen Hyrum Smith
United States Army
World War II--Stateside

John Heber Olson
United States Army National Guard
Iraq 2005.......Leaving again 2010
Not pictured is Ben's grandpa Leland Stanford (Jinx) who served this country, a pilot himself, training pilots during World War II.
I look at the beautiful flag in red, white, and blue, place my hand on my chest, and feel my heart swell with pride because of you. I am proud to say people I love so much have worked so hard to defend my freedom. I love you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A long time coming

We were so excited to go back home to Idaho in September. Ben had just had surgery and we probably should not have made the trip but it was so nice to see everyone and to enjoy the company of family for a couple of weeks.
Thank you Aunt Dayna for giving us a reason to come home. We were grateful for the opportunity we had to celebrate your special wedding day with you and Marc. Look how great those Olson (Homer) grandbabies look!! We need to give those boys a reason to wear ties more often.

I always swore I wouldn't be one of "those" moms who let there kids play video games. Let me just tell you how happy I am to eat those words. This little gem made our flight time and 3 hour layover in Denver seem like Heaven.
Heber loved playing with the grandparents and all the cousins. He had to earn a little money while we were home and decided to help grandpa fix the door. He also played around outside each day while grandpa picked up the many apples falling from the trees. That counts as help right?
My Grandpa passed away in May soon after Ben's first surgery. I didn't make the trip home to the funeral. I finally got a chance to say goodbye while we were there. It was nice to spend a little time in that beautiful place on the hill. We love you grandpa and grandma.
One of the reasons I will always love home. How beautiful is that lake!!

Heber even got to experiene the first snowfall of the season. As you can see, this was not a good old "Bear Laker" but nonetheless it snowed in September and Heber thought that was great.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mamma Mia

Since this is ALL he EVER wants to do
I was not at all surprised when THIS is what he asked to BE for Halloween
Check out my mad sewing skills on that hat. I looked all over Canton, OH and the internet to find the perfect little hat for my Luigi. I finally gave up and made one myself. Oh yea....this is the first time I have used my sewing machine for something other than scrapbooking. Not too bad!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

J-Pouch anastomosis with loop illeostomy

On September 3, Ben underwent his 2nd of 3 operations to officially rid his body of the nasty ulcerative colitis that landed him in this mess in the first place.

I think we both underestimated the magnitude of this particular step in the process and are very grateful now 2 months later that he seems to be returning back to normal.

Ben's belly - the large bowel + the loop illeostomy + J-pouch reservoir + 1 very long scar that will be a forever reminder of what a blessing it is to feel good.
Below is a picture of the appliance that attaches to the illeostomy. He gets to get rid of this officially in December when he will have his 3rd and (hopefully) final procedure.

Welcome Back to Westbrook

Heber started his 2nd year of preschool in September. He was very excited to return back to Westbrook and to all of his buddies from last year. He went in without a hitch and didn't look back to say goodbye.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 it has been a while

It isn't like we haven't had anything else though to keep us busy.

1. First day of school

2. Another major surgery

3. Two trips across the country (one of which I didn't think I was going to survive)

4. A wedding

5. A chance to finally say goodbye to someone very special

6. And a few times around on a roller coaster

I have proof of all of this in pictures which will soon follow this post.......until then however,

Ask us about APRIL ( here)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

As if I didn't point the camera at him ENOUGH

Heber decided he needed to do his own little photoshoot.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ever since the day the radiology tech exclaimed to Ben and I that we would be welcoming a little boy to our family I have been looking forward to this. There is something to be said about "pee wee" sports and I was counting the years until Heber would be able to participate.

Tee ball was an instant hit and he is actually quite a good little ball player. He can hit better off a pitch than a tee however and loves to try to outrun the person with the ball as he rounds the bases (he finally figured out how to go from 1st to home in the right sequence after a few games).

Soccer though, as illustrated by the picture below, is a little bit of a different story. This picture may or may not have been taken while the rest of the team was packed around the ball heading toward the goal. I wish you could here him yelling "DECEPTICON MOMMY" as he peered up at the airplane coming in for a landing at the airport down the road.

Eventually he did figure out that there was a game going on and he quickly joined in. He only came off the field crying twice because nobody was sharing the ball with him. I always thought he was the aggressive kid......guess we need to work on that one.
So, here is to soccer and this new adventure in a 4-year old boys life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And then you find yourself

The other day Ben and I were talking about where we would like to live when all of this is said and done. We could both agree that we wanted to be somewhere closer to "home" to which Heber added, "we are home."

This got me thinking a little about what it means to be HOME. Ben and I call Idaho home. Ohio is the only home Heber has ever known.

We miss the mountains, and blue sky, and dry heat. We miss the sound of the train running through town several times throughout the day and night. We miss a good ride on the 4-wheeler or a day on north beach.

Home however, is more than the familiar walls you grow up in; more than the climate and the landscape around you. Home is being with the people you love.

We miss our family the most. I often find myself feeling bad that Heber can't play with his cousins every day or go to grandpas house for a popcicle or to the drug store to visit grandma. But then I watch his eyes light up as he spots his buddies on the way to primary. I see one of the older men in the ward get down and give him a handshake and a "how are you today buddy." I feel a warm arm wrap around my shoulders and see the smiling faces of those around me, and I realize that Heber is right, we are home. For right now, we are home.

"My best friends"
Tyler, Heber, and Kaleb
Massillon Ward Campout 2009

The day we pulled out of Bear Lake in the U-haul Ben promised me we wouldn't go any further east than Missouri. I was not surprised 2-years later when we loaded up and moved to Ohio.

I am sure we would have had a great experience and made great friends in any place we decided to venture to. I am grateful however that he did not keep that promise to me. This has been a great place to call HOME.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hey Batter Batter

Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don't know if I never get back
Let me root, root, root for the BLUE JAYS (don't know how they ended up with green shirts)
if they don't win its a shame. For its one, two, three strikes you're out at the Old Ball Game.
When the coach first put the helmet on his head we thought he looked like
chicken amazed us to see how small he is next to the majority of his team.
You should have seen all the little green shirts scrambling for the ball each time it was hit off the looked a little bit more like a wrestling match then a baseball game. Heber watched for the first few hits but he caught on soon enough. After a few catches himself, he pouted and tattled on the kid who caught the ball if it wasn't him. Way to be a good sport Hebe
I was one proud mamma to say the least. Since the time we found out we were having a boy I have been looking forward to this day.
Daddy seemed to enjoy it as well, even if "baseball is lame."

As I was pushing Heber on the swing in the back yard after the game he said to me,
"I had a great time mom.......I did a great job huh"

Yes babe, you did!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How do I love thee

So, today in primary, Heber's name was finally pulled from the helper jar and he got to find one of the 7 pictures in the room that the chorister had hidden. Because he found the picture that coincided with the first line of the song we were learning, he got to go up first. After about the 5th picture came up, little Hebe's arms started wearing out. Being the genius child that he is, he used the tape stuck on the back to attach the picture of Jesus with the children to his face. It looked so dang funny. You couldn't see his face at all, just his body sticking out from under it standing perfectly still with his hands resting reverently at his sides.

Luckily, none of the other kids in the room noticed right away or there would have been complete pandemonium. I could not compose myself long enough to go up there and encourage him to remove the picture from his face. All I could think of, as I tried like crazy to stifle my laughter, was the expression that must covereing his face behind the picture.

He reminded me today of one of the many reasons I love being his mom. After he finally decided to cooperate and hold his picture up high for all to see, I sat there and marveled at how big he is getting and felt that lump forming in my throat that sneaks up on me once in a while during one of these mommy moments.

I love you Heber. Thank you for always finding a way to put a smile on my face.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

At the beach.....or something like that!

Heber kept telling us that he "lubs going to the beach" as he played in the water table. I don't know for sure if he has been to the beach so few times that he really has no idea what it is, or if he was dropping some serious hints as he tried to cool off in the backyard.I am sure that there is a lake or two near northeast Ohio (ha ha) but we would much rather take a trip to Bear Lake. Oh how we miss you Idaho!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

And were outta here

Heber's last day of preschool was last Thursday. I really wish this picture would have turned out a little better. I could tell the second I took it that it was blurry but Hebe just couln't be bothered with standing still for one more minute while his friends were building the ultimate block tower across the room.
These 3 ladies were phenominal and I am so happy that Heber got to share his first school experience with them. We will sure miss Mrs. Sliman, Mrs. Whal, and Mrs. Bickart, and all our friends from room 5 this summer. We hope we can steal a hug or twenty as we walk by to our new classroom and new teachers next fall.

Monday, June 1, 2009

You've had a BIRTHDAY

shout HOORAY

We want to sing to you today
One year older and wiser too
Happy you!

Happy 4th birthday Heber!!

I am a little slow getting this fact, Heber has been 4 years old for a week and 2 days now. He had a great birthday. To start the day off, he got to go to Toys R Us and spend his birthday money from the Grandmas and Grandpas. He bought a remote control WallE that is way beyond his years....we tried to talk him into something else but it is impossible to say no to a blue-eyed birthday boy. He chose a corn dog and fries "to take home" from Sonic for his birthday lunch and was happy as ever about the prize that came with it....."they gave me a happy dirthday too!" Then we had a few friends over for dinner and cake (which by the way I think should qaulify me as a professional decorator...haha!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Little Grandpa

Of my many memories of my Grandpa Smith, this is one of my favorites. I loved to watch Little Grandpa (named so by the great grandkids) smile that crooked grin each time that he saw them.

As you can see, Heber enjoyed the little bits of time that he got to know Little Grandpa personally. He didn't get these moments very often with Grandpa Smith, only just a handfull of them. Maybe some of the things I remember most about this great man will help my little man fill in the gaps that are left when we have to say goodbye to someone special so soon in our young lives.
So, this is for you Heber:
1. Little Grandpa is perhaps remembered most for the tantrums he could throw when something was going wrong with the farm equipment. I think each one of us grandkids got to witness at least one of these episodes when grandma would send us outside to take him a glass of water to "cool him off" as he tinkered around with the broken down bail wagon. You see Hebe, we come by this honestly.
2. Little Grandpa had a very funny little laugh. He didn't use it often but when he did it could always bring a chuckle out in me as well.
3. Little Grandpa was a great storyteller. If you could catch him on the right day he would captivate you with stories from his childhood, from serving in World War II, and from being married and raising 4 kids of his own.
4. Little Grandpa loved Grandma Geniel. Though I was young, I remember several occasions that I got to witness a very special look on his face as he watched his sweetheart from across the room.
5. Little Grandpa was stubborn. There was no convincing this man to do anything he didn't want to do. You can thank him for this trait as well buddy.
6. Though little Grandpa wasn't one to show a lot of affection, there was never any question that he loved us and took pride in us. This was made evident by the bulletin board plastered with pictures that hung wherever he lived. More than once he slipped coins in my pocket without mom seeing, for a book at the book fair, and he was always willing to share an orange stick or a bowl of mint chocolate chip icecream that grandma kept in the icebox. Hugs from Grandpa Smith didn't come often, but I will always cherish the times that they did.
7. I will never be able to see a hat (like the one seen above) and not think of little Grandpa. I remember seeing this hat hang on the pegs by the back door when he joined us for Thanksgiving dinner or any other afternoon meal.
Today we said goodbye to our Little Grandpa Smith. His memory will live on in me and I hope it will in you. He is not the great grandpa you were named for Heber, but you certainly have a lot of him in you.
I will miss you Grandpa Smith. Thanks for these memories and the many that have gone unmentioned. I was with you in heart today and look forward to the time I shall see you again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Luckily for Heber and I, the Cleveland Clinic is just down the road from a fun little childrens museum. The day after Ben had his surgery, Heber and I let grandma stay and catch up with daddy for a few hours and we escaped the hospital to go have a little bit of fun.

Hebe has been such a good boy through all of this.......he needed a little time to just be a 3 year old and have a little fun. As you can see, the driving exhibits were a big hit.
I don't know for sure why one would need goggles to shop at the grocery store but they sure seemed to be doing the trick. We even managed to find a little bit of water fun. There is a great water table at the museum. Heber liked it until the pipes he was fitting together made a fountain that splashed him in the face.
This was the highlight of the day for both of us. I loved watching Heber discover his face on the TV screen. As you can see, he found more than just his face......"So You Think You Can Dance" here we come!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Four feet less..

One of these things is not like the of these things just isn't the same Ben was diagnosed 6 months ago with ulcerative colitis. This is a chronic, often genetic, condition that is an inflammatory bowel disease. There will be periods of time when it will be in remission and not bother him at all, and then there are periods of time when it will flare up and cause him extreme discomfort and all kinds of unpleasant side effects.
We think he has actually had UC for several years now, but, since doctors are invincible, or at least they like to think they are, it took a really rotten flare up and a persistant co-worker to finally convince him that he needed to be seen.
About 8 weeks ago he started in with another flare up and it just got progressivley worse, despite Ben's and his doctors best efforts to treat it. We knew that at some point in his life this disease would require surgery but we felt like we would exhaust all medical treatment options first.
After swallowing about 17 pills per day, several very unpleasnt scopes, and 3 trips to the ER in a matter of 8 days with no relief in sight, Ben was admitted to the hospital here locally until a bed became available at the Cleveland Clinic......12 hours later he was on his way.
The doctor who performed his surgery is literally one of the best in the country. He was one doctor of a small team who pioneered the procedure about 10 years ago at the clinic.
The whole process will occur in three steps, the first (actually removing the entire colon and the rectum) took place on Thursday. After a 6 week recovery he can return to work.
The last two procedures will occur in about 6 months. Hopefully then Ben will remember what it means to feel good.

Here he is sleeping comfortably with the little man about 2 hours before surgery.