Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Thanks to Hamm parents and Ekstrom parents for the hunting get up.
TOOLS! from Mary and Sarah
Three hours of presents
A super nice picture frame with pictures of a kayak trip with mom and Dad
Thanks Cheryl for the tree skirt. I love it!
The shepherds were sore afraid
Two wise people
Happy Birthday to Isaac, Eli, Hannah, Hilary, Luke, Levi, Aaron, Sarah, and Scott! Wow

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sarah's piano

Here is Sarah's piano for Christmas and her birthday last week. It's a bit out of tune, but so am I and she still likes me.

Notice the new elbows on the inside that I replaced for most the keys.



Friday, December 12, 2008

I love our dishwasher!


Today I got Sarah and I a dishwasher. It's portable unit that hooks up to the faucet. Sarah and I decided that we have to get one before we have kids. So it's another preparation we are making in the hopes that we will have kids soon. It's also nice to not do dishes by hand after five years of not having a dishwasher.

Here's me happy with a very clean glass.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sarah isn't here...

Hey people,

Here is a window into what happens when Sarah isn't here to keep me sane. This is what I resort to.



Sunday, November 9, 2008

This week in history

Hello Family,

This sure was an interesting week. Tuesday had its up's and down's. I actually had mixed feelings about Obama being elected. I had many feelings both in favor and in opposition to both candidates and their running mates. I was hoping America would choose wisdom and experience over smooth talk and many unattainable promises. But America chose to believe in a man who symbolizes hope for so many. My hope, as a person not so easily swayed by the flattering words of a lawyer, is that Obama will be moderate and bipartisan and make the changes that need to be made without going overboard. I fear that he has an agenda different from what he's been promising and that it will be far, far more radical than what the people expect, given his record.

However, I agree with McCain in his speech when he succeeded in his campaign for presidency. America needs some major changes right now to secure our standing in the world. We need to give our new President all the support we can, of course being constrained by our own beliefs and views. We conservatives can't give up our values and we can't cave in to stupid policies, but we should be flexible. D&C 134:6 says we need to honor our leaders in their stations. I think this applies to Obama.

Our government needs to act quickly to ensure that we aren't left in the backwater of the global economy. We've outsourced so much and are letting other countries come close to outstripping us. I hope Obama, with the advice of competent economists (who aren't socialists by definition of competent), will work with both parties in Congress to protect our economic future. There are many other issues that are in need of solutions, health care for instance. I hope President Obama acts with moderation and consideration towards the concerns of those like myself.

The picture above is of my junky tv (thank Luke) after Obama's speech.

The other picture is of the program from sacrament meeting today where I sang in an octet. I sang baritone.

Next week is an exam week, so wish me luck!



Monday, October 27, 2008


Hey peeps,

Here is everyone's favorite character from House and/or Scrubs, me!

Today I shadowed a pediatric Neurosurgeon at Children's Hospital. I observed a long epilepsy surgery. There were two parts to this procedure: the corpus callotomy and the implatation of electrodes. First the surgeon opened up the scalp and removed a piece of bone about 2.5 inch by 1.5 inch. He was very careful to avoid an important feature of the brain cavity where he was working, the superior sagital sinus. That is an important vein that carries much of the blood from the brain back to the heart. If he nicked it bad the patient could have died or suffered a major stroke. He then opened up the brain's surrounding membrane, the dura mater, and gently separated the brain away from the membrane that lies in its middle. Finally, he removed the corpus callosum with suction. That is a structure that is the only interconnection between the two halves of the brain and transmits seizures from one side to the other. By cutting it, the seizures cannot spread and are therefore not magnified.

The second part of the surgery was when the surgeon put electrodes on the surface of the brain. Since the brain was already exposed, it was easy for him to slide them between the dura mater and the surface of the brain without many further incisions.

It is so amazing to have witnessed this surgery. This is the first time that I have seen a live human brain. The brain pulsates with each beat of the heart. "Two organs beat as one..." (think U2). It was so amazing and reminded me why I wanted to be a physician and how cool my future role is. I will have the tools and knowledge to cure disease--to save patients from states that are awful. Epilepsy is horrible. But physicians can treat it. I really wanted a job where I could serve, and I see once again that medical school gives me the tools to do so in a very meaningful manner. I dedicate my life to learning now so that I may be a blessing to others later. I think that a doctors labor mirrors the Savior's better than almost any other career.

Well, hope you enjoyed me sharing this experience with you.



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Glucose Lab

Check out the newest addition to my side!

It's a glucose monitor for diabetics. My body's pancreatic function is being tested tomorrow, so today I got this thing put in. Pretty cool, eh? If you want one, all you have to do is get diabetes.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Movie Sidebar

Hey Peeps,

So, I just removed the movie sidebar on our blog. It was supposed to be showing you a link to a video on abortion called "The Silent Scream." I'm sure you can guess what the movie was about from its title. However, since I don't get to pick the actual movies displayed (just the publisher of the videos) the videos changed to become all about Obama being a Muslim. I want to say that I think that line of thought is absurd. I probably will vote against Obama on other grounds (his radical views on abortion being one of them), but I wanted to make it clear that I disagree with the Obama videos previously displayed on my blog. They were irrational and reflected a highly prejudiced point of view. Who cares if Obama is a Muslim anyway, for crying out loud. We should be looking at "the real Barack Obama"*, not making things up.

(*See [start at ~5:20 if you want] and [watch the whole thing. McCain is dead right here])

On the subject of abortion, I have spent a great deal of time pondering the issue these past couple of months and having relevant discussions with people throughout the spectrum of opinions. I whole-heartedly endorse the positions of the Church regarding abortion based on solid ethical principals, personal feeling, and religious grounds. The current attitude in society towards abortion is despicable. I now understand the rationale that "pro-choice" people give in support of their unethical behavior, and it shocks me that they could be so uncaring towards human life and yet so protective of less important resources. They'll waste away their lives to get polar bears labeled "threatened" and give human rights to gorillas, and yet they justify the murder of their fellow human beings. They worship the environment and hate their own kind. We must stand up for human life and the dignity of each individual. We must stand up for personal accountability and fight the culture of entitlement, the immoral attitude that there is no right and wrong, and the philosophy that "reproductive choices" are merely personal and have no effect on our society. Pro-choice people are wrong. We have the moral upper hand and the more responsible position. If it weren't for the fact that abortion supports lifestyles of promiscuity, then probably all the hippies would be arguing on our side, too.

Well, I'll get off my soap box now. If you want to see the movie I intended to have showing on our blog, then go to

I hope nobody is offended if they disagree with me. I am speaking from the heart and welcome discussion with anyone.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall in Wisconsin

Hey guys,

Sarah and I went to Kettle Maraine State Park today. We hiked the tallest hill in the park. It gave us a great view of Wisconsin in the fall.

Another neat thing we did (I'll try to add pictures later) was to watch orange people hunt deer. They walked in a wave across a big field with the dogs running back and forth. I think a few people got deer, because we heard a lot of shots. We saw one deer evade the hunters. Too bad we weren't hunting or we might have gotten it.

We also went to ten chimneys national monument. It was a big mansion that used to belong to a 1920 star actor and actress. We thought it was going to be some cool rock formation. They told us they were booked for tours for the day and that tours were 35 dollars per person. So we moved on.

My big test week is over. I had five tests and stayed up late two nights. But I did well, so I'm happy.

Well, that's it for now.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New house in Wauwatosa

Welcome the virtual tour of our new duplex on Robertson St. We spoiled our selves with this great place right next to the medical school. Ours is the right side. It has three levels.

This is as you walk in the front door.

back door
Door to basement
Looking down stairs from top floor

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sarah and Ben go way back!

Hey peeps,

you know that Sarah and I were high school sweethearts. But you didn't know how far Sarah and I went back. Here's a picture from our 1962 year book.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Test post from phone

Hey people. I want to know how well it works to post on my blog from my pda phone. Here is a picture of a sketch I made studying the blood vessels of the arm.


Ben at Chicago Temple

Hey Folks,

Here's a picture of me at the Chicago temple a few weeks ago. Pretty cool, eh?


Sarah visits Ben in Wisconsin

Hey Everybody,

Medical school is going great. Some of the highlights so far:
-Learning anatomy from practicing doctors during anatomy lab. I got "hands on" experience with anatomy last month when I learned hand anatomy from three different hand surgeons.
-Shadowing doctors. I shadowed two different neurosurgeons, one in the OR and one in clinic. What a neat experience.
-Clubs (I am in eight or so). It's always really fun to get extra experiences outside of class. I volunteered at the Saturday Free Clinic for the Uninsured and saw two patients. I was their "doctor" with the help of more experienced students and with family medicine doctors.
-Taking out a brain from my group's body donor. It was so cool to finally see a human brain. I was a Neuroscience major and studied the brain, but I hadn't seen a human one until that day.

Sarah came and visited me. She was here for two weeks and we had lots of fun. I'm glad she loves me enough to drive all the way out here to see me. We didn't take pictures of all our excursions, but we did for a couple.

Sarah got a haircut when she was here. It was a nice haircut, I think.

Sarah before haircut.

Sarah after haircut. Looking good!

Sarah and I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Me with a view of the museum and Lake Michigan in the background.

Sarah and...something.

We went to the Jelly Belly factory on the way to Chicago. My favorite Jelly Belly was the sports belly with caffeine. I'll use them next time I run more than a half mile. The picture below are artwork made entirely out of Jelly Bellies.

Finally, Sarah and I went to Chicago just before she left for Utah. We went to the Planetarium, wandered around downtown, ate some very delicious deep dish pizza, then got Sarah to the airport.

Sarah with a view of the marina and Chicago downtown.

Me with the planetarium and Lake Michigan.

We also sighted pirates on the horizon.

Have a terrrrific day!



Monday, August 18, 2008

Medical College of Wisconsin Orientation Week

(Ben wearing his white coat for the first time immediately after the white coat ceremony)

Hey Everyone,

This post is about my first week in Wauwatosa and at orientation for MCW. The first week at medical school was spent doing most of the boring administrative details. The first two days had lots of meetings where I sat and listened to people. The third day was slightly better, and I had a 2 1/2 hour CPR class. Thursday I went to the zoo. Friday was shorter, too, and I went to the white coat ceremony like you see above. Saturday my roommates and I went and got some furniture for the place I am currently living.
I am not able to post any more pictures for some reason. The server is saying that it has an internal error. If you want pictures, email me and I will send you the same zip folder that I am going to send Sarah.
For more state fair pictures, go to . You'll have to scroll past some of my roommate's pictures to find the right ones.
Love you guys!