Welcome to the Scharrer family's real life story! Most of our story is written for, and about, our four kids and the spice they add to our lives. It's our story of happiness, craziness, and sometimes ridiculousness. We've journaled through childbirth, the terrible two's, private school (and our public school experience), an autism diagnosis, medical school, residency, and long-term mission work in Africa.

Now we're following a new adventure, which involves a 45 foot motorcoach, homeschool, and as many ski slopes as we can go down in one year.

For posts from while we were living in Zimbabwe and updates about our future plans in Zimbabwe, please see our mission blog...


30 August 2008

God Has Smiled on Us

It had just gone way too perfect. Erik's trip to Mongolia seemed to come to an end with success written all over it... up until his travel buddies dropped him off at his car (which was parked a few miles from the airport).

Immediately after jumping out of the car, excited to get home to Maid's and I, Erik suddenly realized that his car keys were not with him! He had put them in his suitcase pocket, never thinking that his suitcase would get lost amongst the shuffle of flights. Well, needless to say, his suitcase got lost, so therefore Erik was standing there outside his car, only 150 miles away from us, but couldn't get home because his keys were somewhere between Beijing and Minneapolis.

Erik quickly called me to tell me of the misfortune and we thought that maybe I should get the extra key and drive down to Minneapolis and then we'd follow each other back home. Either that or he could spend the night in Minneapolis and wait for his suitcase to turn up the next day. Well, it being our anniversary and us not having seen each other for three weeks, we decided that I should jump in the car and drive down there.

"Jumping in the car" was a little harder than it sounded. It was pouring rain, thundering and lighting. Barkley! and Maida were both clinging to me, scared of the weather. I was trying to pack overnight bags for all three of us, not knowing if we'd for sure spend the night or not, seeing as it was already 7pm and I hadn't left yet. Shortly after 7:30 I finally got everyone and everything in the car and we were off. Half way to Minneapolis, Erik calls me to let me know that the airport has contacted him and says that they think they have his bag. He suggests that I turn around and go home, but Maida was already asleep at this point and she was going to have an hour more in the car, even if I turned around, so I decided to keep going.

After arriving safely to meet Erik (despite getting terribly lost in a detour and it taking a little longer than normal travel time), we went to the airport, got his bag, and then checked into a hotel for the first time ever since we've been married!!! We stayed up late-late that night, since Maida had already slept the entire way in the car and wasn't tired. Erik showed us all the gifts that he had bought us and we had fun hearing all of his Mongolia stories. We fell asleep shortly before two on the most comfortable king-size bed in the world! Erik couldn't believe that we got FIVE pillows to use! We slept in until about eight and then spend the entire day in Minneapolis, celebrating our anniversary.

Who would have thought that such drama with a lost suitcase would turn into so much fun and that all my fears of our summer coming to a drastic end when Erik stared school on Friday would so quickly, amongst such trial, diminish? God used such a misfortune to bring Erik and I together on the most perfect day for the most perfect weekend, whisking away all my sadness about the too-quickly approaching year. God is good. Not only for keeping Erik safe, but providing for us a well-needed weekend away.

We are now home and are getting ready for Tuesday morning when Erik will actually start his first day of classes. Then on Tuesday afternoon, Erik will skip school to attend our 20 week ultrasound for the baby!! I can't wait!

Thank you for all the prayers while Erik was gone... now just start praying that he'll never leave me for that long again!!! :) Here are some pictures of a couple of my favorite things that Erik bought us in Mongolia.

Winter boots for Maida of traditional Mongolian children's wear.

100% cashmere scarves for me! Erik bought them at a silk market.

Two sets of chopsticks! I thought the Chinese were the only ones that used chopsticks, but silly me, so do the Mongolians!

Booties for the baby, made out of camel. They're supposed to be really warm. (Erik said that the Mongolians rode camels all over the place!)

28 August 2008

Erik's plane has officially landed. I haven't heard from him, so he should be on his way home soon (unless he wasn't on that plane for some reason!). He doesn't have a cell phone with him, so he didn't call, but I'm expecting him around 10:00. Thanks for all the prayers. I can't believe it's actually time for him to get home! YAAAAY! :) And tomorrow bright and early Erik starts school.... wow, what a summer this has been.

27 August 2008

Four Years of Marriage


We've known each other for 25 years, been in love for six, and been life-long partners for four.
It has been the perfect base to rest a marriage on and I wouldn't be happier married to anyone else.

Over the last four years... we both graduated from college, we've moved five times, lived in two states, gone through 10 jobs, gone through four cars, we got a fish, a cat, and a dog, we had a baby, made it through a year of medical school, we've traveled around the US and to several other countries, we've experienced the birth of new family members and the death of others, we've had surgeries and injuries that we'll never forget, trips to the emergency room and hospital stays, we've been a part of four great church families, have made lots of new friends, and for being direct opposites we've found a lot to do... we've been hiking up waterfalls, canoeing down rivers, repelling, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, boating, water skiing, tubing, rafting, laid on the beach, bowling, downhill skiing, ski racing, camping, visited state parks, hiked in caves, to Minnesota Twins games, Vikings games, and Timberwolves games, to zoos, snowmobiling, walked across the headwaters of the Mississippi, on a cruise, to church camp, youth ministers, to youth rallies, deer hunting, ice skating, on a 200 mile bike tour, to the Grandma's Marathon, to the Mall of America, a part of a Murder Mystery Dinner, to the Glensheen Mansion, on roller coasters, and most importantly we've learned more about each other and more about God's plan for our lives. He has taken us down some pretty crazy roads, but it seems that we have always come out smiling.

Thanks to everyone who has been apart of our life story!!
We can't wait to see what the next four years have in store for us.

He's on his way home!!!

We're all ready for Dad to be home.

If you have ever traveled overseas, you know that it takes a long long time to eventually get home. It usually involves a couple days of traveling, sometimes spending over a day on the airplane. Well, Erik and his travel buddies started the trek home last night while we were all sleeping. This morning when I woke up, I tracked their flight and found that it landed on time in Beijing. Thank you God, for a safe flight. Now their plan was to travel around the city some more, then spend the night in the airport as they have a early flight out in the morning. Here is the flight info for tomorrow's big day...

Thursday, August 28:
Depart Beijing at 8:55am
Arrive in Tokyo at 2:15pm
Depart Tokyo at 4:15pm
Arrive in San Francisco at 9:55am
Depart San Francisco at 12:30pm
Arrive in Mpls at 6:02pm

Then Erik has a three hour trip home from Minneapolis! He will be driving a lone and I'm sure he'll be tired from all the travels and the jet lag (there is a 13 hour time difference), so pray for a safe drive!

I let Maida dress herself yesterday! I think her cousin Natalie taught her how to put together outfits!!! :)

And one quick story... whenever Maida gets hurt, she doesn't really cry, but she comes over to you and wants you to kiss the owie to make it better. Well, today she bit her tongue... as you can probably guess, she came to me, wanting me to kiss her tongue! I tried blowing kisses to her tongue, but that wasn't good enough for Maida.... wow, being a mom you do new things everyday!

25 August 2008

A Single Mom

Wow- never have I felt like a single mom more than now. Maida is getting more and more demanding every day and it is so hard for me to get anything done, like take a shower! It's hard not having any breaks and being 100% aware of what Maida is doing 100% of the time. I wish that I could just drop her off at a daycare for a few hours so that I could refresh, physically and emotionally! I don't think I really knew what I was getting myself into when I dropped Erik off at the airport to catch his plane to Beijing. I am just so so so worn out.

Erik will be home on Thursday night late or early Friday morning. I'm looking forward to him coming home, yet I know that the minute he walks in the door, we return to our crazy lives again. Erik starts school the day after he gets home (Friday) and along with school comes the homework, student council, and intramurals. I just wish that we'd have a couple days to take a breather. Either that, or Erik could send me on a vacation! (I have come to realize fairly quickly, though, that mom's don't get vacations!)

Erik actually called us on Saturday! It was nice to hear his voice. I think that Maida really enjoyed talking to him too. She kept saying "Dad?" and pointing to the phone and then signing "more" after we had already hung up. She wanted to talk to him again! It's so hard to explain to a one-year-old that her Dad is in another country and we can't just call him up anytime we'd like! I can't even sign that for her to understand!

Erik wrote yesterday also and said that it was snowing when they woke up in the morning! How strange is that?! He said that he didn't believe it at first! Wow, what an amazing experience he's been having over there. Don't you just wish we all could have joined him?!!!!!!

I don't have any pictures from Mongolia, but here are some pictures from last summer when Erik went to Nicaragua to do medical work. (Yes, he's been able to get away every summer! He's one lucky guy, especially since last year he left me right after I had Maida!!)

22 August 2008

Introducing Your New baby to an Older Sibling


I'm too busy to journal (but I really do care about you and think about you all the time). I haven't even been on the computer in over 24 hours... wow! And since I really can't stay away from blogworld for over 24 hours, I did just get on now and found this article while reading up on my favorite preggo movie stars (http://www.celebrity-babies.com/). I thought it was good enough to post, since we have a lot of friends having second babies with us....

Advice for Gwen & Gavin: Introducing Your New Baby to an Older Sibling By Kate

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale must be over the moon about the arrival of their new son, Zuma Nesta Rock. While the second-time parents know their baby basics, this time around, they'll need to help big brother Kingston James McGregor, 2, adjust to life as a sibling. To help the family work through any rivalry issues between Kingston and Zuma, we consulted baby care experts Dr. William Sears, author of more than 30 parenting books, including The Baby Book, and Jennifer Waldburger, co-author of The Sleepeasy Solution.

1. Make friends before birth. Play show and tell with the older sibling. "When the baby stars kicking in the womb, let the child pat and talk to the baby," says Dr. Sears. "Pregnancy is an abstract idea for most kids, so show them pictures of your more advanced sonograms, to help them understand what's going on," adds Jennifer. Most importantly, make the experience fun for everyone. "You market to the older child what they're going to gain more than what they're going to lose," Dr. Sears says.

2. Replay your child's babyhood. Sit down and page through your elder child's baby book, and show him or her images from after birth, coming home, nursing and diaper changes. "Replay what the sibling went through, so that he or she knows what to expect," says Dr. Sears. Jennifer suggests starting a new book, too, about becoming an older sibling, so children have a better sense of what will be changing when baby comes home.

3. Present a gift to the sibling. Offer a gift to your child -- maybe a baby doll, teddy bear or stuffed animal -- which gives the him or her an opportunity to feel as though he or she has a baby, too. And a note to friends: When visiting those with a newborn, remember to bring a little something for the sibling so he or she doesn't feel left out.

4. Timeshare. "What bothers most siblings is that they don't want to share their parents with the new baby," says Dr. Sears. "They're preoccupied with what they've lost." Because of this, when the sibling loses a lot of mom time, he or she needs to gain more dad time, so there's no "net loss." Jennifer also recommends dads have a temporary sleep-over with the older sibling throughout the first week after birth. "It may feel to them that people are up at night, and that the baby is in mom and dad's room and they're all alone," she says. Having a parent in bed with them will provide added sense of security.

5. Let your older child help. "Involve the toddler in the care of the baby -- make him or her mommy's little helper, so he or she feels important," Dr. Sears advises. They can help with feeding and diaper changes; though Jennifer warns not to force anything on them. "The older child needs to find their own way with getting to know the baby."

6. Don't make any big transitions. Jennifer warns against potty training, switching beds or moving homes while pregnant, as to not disturb your older child's routine. Keep structure in their lives, too, when it comes to play time, meals, bed time and other activities. "A child needs two to four months to adjust to a baby being part of his or her life, and really has to settle into routines again, before you ask him or her to make other changes," she says.

A final reminder: Never stop telling your child how much you care about them. Says Jennifer, "Tell them, 'Even with the addition of the new baby, mommy and daddy's hearts will grow big enough to love all of you.'"

21 August 2008

ANOTHER Update From Erik!!!!

I LOVED that video! I really miss you guys a lot! I'm having fun, but I can't wait to come home and hold you both!

Did I already tell you that there are a ton of G500's over here and there's even a 2-door version for me. :) I still really want a Hummer, though. I also wanted to tell you that you'd be proud of me for walking around in bare feet while we were swimming in a freezing cold river with NO sand - only rocks. My feet hurt after that!

I just wanted to say hi since we won't have internet for the next 4-5 days and maybe not until we get home. Our 'guide' uses Skype to talk to his mother in Chicago, and no one seems to know how to call the States. They just say that their relatives call them, they don't ever initiate the call. I'll see what I can find out.

I hope Barkley!'s being a good boy! We were just planning on me getting the car and driving home next Thursday, right? Do you want to go on a trip that weekend or just stay around home? I think it would be fun to go on a little trip, maybe.

Thank you SOOOO much for the video!! I love you so much, and I LOVED how Maida did the "I love you." See you in a little more than a week!


Oh, if you have those Sprint phone cards, you can call me! What a good idea. I don't know exactly what you need to dial, but here's a website that might help: http://www.howtocallabroad.com/mongolia/. Just Google the area code or whatever if you need it, but you could try different combinations. We are 13 hours ahead of you, so morning would be the best. LOVE YOU!!!!

20 August 2008

TO: Dad FROM: Maida

Update from Erik!!!

Another update from Erik!!! It's such a great feeling to hear from him. I know that it's hard for him to find internet access, let alone a computer, to write me and I appreciate his effort to do so anyway. God is amazing... instead of the days getting harder (like I anticipated), the days are getting easier for me to handle being without Erik. Thank you Aubs (and everyone else) - you've really been lifting my spirits lately with all your emails and calls and suggestions of projects for me to work on to keep my mind off of Erik. THANK YOU! Anyway, on to the good stuff....

Hey Sweetie! I'm glad you're feeling better, and I'm really sorry that you aren't feeling well! I'm glad that you wrote to me about how you're feeling, and we'll have a good anniversary still, OK? Even if we don't celebrate it that night, it'll be good, and it's worth saving $1000 to come home on the 28th, right? (You'd answer, "We would have saved a lot of money if you wouldn't have gone at all!" :) I wish you were on chat right now, since there's not a good way to call.

We just got back from Terelj National Park and climbed around on some mountains yesterday. We stayed in a ger last night, too, and I can't wait to show you pictures! We talked to the mother of the 14 y.o. and 9 y.o. girls that have been hanging out with us who is a urologist and we are going to the hospital tomorrow morning. We are also trying to go to an alcohol rehab center tomorrow.

Only 8 more days!!!I really love you a lot and can't wait until we can travel around the world TOGETHER!!!


19 August 2008

Dear Erik,
After sitting around and being depressed for two days, I decided that I would get off my lazy butt and find something to do. So I have been doing things lately that I never thought I'd do!!!

* I am reading a horror book. "The Shining" by Stephen King. I can't believe I'm doing this, especially since I'm home alone!!!

* I made two baby blankets! Matching monkey blankets. A pink one for Maida and a yellow one for the new baby. I took Maida to the material store and she picked out the material. She wanted a monkey blanket like Natalie's!

* I also bought some material on the clearance rack to make a red table runner to match our red curtains. (It doesn't look like it matches in the picture, but trust me, it's the very same color! And it's gonna look gooooood!)

* I got addicted to a TV show that doesn't air on TLC or HGTV! And I'm ashamed to admit that I'm totally into Tori & Dean. Dean reminds me soooo much of you - the way he treats Tori, the jokes he cracks, and just his overall personality. And, Tori reminds me (in small ways) of me, especially while she's pregnant! They've had Tori & Dean on all day on the Oxygen channel and since I woke up with a migraine, this is the perfect lay-on-the-couch-day show to watch.

* I got a jump start on the baby book! I guess this isn't that different for me, but I did print really neat on the lines, and that's abnormal!

* I started drinking kool-aid. I usually can't stand the stuff because I feel like it's all sugar and water. But, lately that's been my staple. Don't worry, at least I'm getting some water!

I still miss you! We're half-way through your trip, so 9 more days to go. I love you and I hope that you're being safe and having fun.

~ Kara :)

18 August 2008

I'm in that awkward stage again.

imagine from babycenter.com


This morning I logged on to my email and there was an email from Erik! I didn't believe it, so I logged off and then logged back on, and low and behold, THERE WAS AN EMAIL!!! I am just so excited! I'll post the email below so that you all know what he's been up to (...sound like there hasn't been much work going on, but I'm glad they are having fun anyway, and are safe!)...

Hey Baby! I wish you were on chat right now, but I know it's 5:30am. I've been thinking about you all the time, and I really wish you were able to be here with me!! Thank you so much for the addresses, and you are correct that I didn't scroll down further to see the second email since it had the same subject line. We've been having a ton of fun, though a bit less "service" than I had anticipated. We arrived in UB (Ulaan Baatar, as they call it here) Thursday evening and Friday morning we spent some time at a neighborhood family clinic. It was neat to see, but it was quite difficult because our translator doesn't actually speak English very well. He is a 21 year old university student. There is another 14 year old girl with us and she speaks English pretty well, but she doesn't speak much Mongolian. We didn't do a whole lot at the clinic, and then we went to a "ger area" - gers are the little huts or yurts (Russian name) - and played a pick-up game of soccer with some kids. I also taught them how to play butt's up, of course. :) On Saturday we went to a childrens "tent camp" for the day and I thought we were going to be helping out more, but we just ended up participating, which was OK, too. Lead by example, right? It was a lot of fun staying overnight and we climbed up a nearby hill on Sunday, which was also good. Our "team" - The White Giants - also competed in crazy olympics, and that was a lot of fun. Today we were supposed to go to a sort of orphanage type place, but that was cancelled and we were lined up to go to a children's prison instead. Well, that was also cancelled. So instead we went to the medical school here and toured around and we also saw a museum and a Russian monument since the Russians helped the Mongolians during WWII. Not much internet time, but I wish that I could call you. Nobody seems to know how to do that, though. I do have the worst possible news ever.... I LOST THE JOURNAL!!! I am still so sad and upset and angry about that! I'm so sorry, and it's sucked because I've wanted to show everyone my family!!! I took it out the first night to show our roommates at the hostel who were from Singapore, and on the plane to Mongolia I was going to write in it and I couldn't find it anywhere! I started keeping a different journal, so that's good, but I know you worked so hard on that, so I'm sooooo sorry! That's a big reason I wanted to get on the internet, too, so I could print a few pictures from Facebook. I love you and I'm glad to hear you are feeling better, and I hope Maida's better, too. Good luck with the Garage Sale!
Love you!!!!!
- Your crazy husband.
p.s. If you get a chance, not a big deal, since I'm not even certain I will be able to send them from here, but if you get a chance, can you find the addresses to Duluth Clinic West (Dr. Hieb), North Memorial Ambulance in Park Rapids, Micah, and Jon Falkowski. I actually might have Micah's in an email somewhere, but if you have it, great!
Love you!!!

17 August 2008

Mommy's Little Helper

I had my doubts about how Maida would be as a big sister, but I think that she's just proven them all wrong...

Climbing Caught in Action!

Maida is a monkey! I'm not kidding! I turn my back for one second and she's on top of something. She is JUST like her dad - fearless to the bone.

Trying to climb on the bookshelves (after already climbing on her rocking horse)

I couldn't find her today and after looking for her for quite awhile, I finally found her in the window, so I quick grabbed the camera! Here's the video I took...

Bowl of Water

Who needs a pool on a hot day when you've got a bowl of water!?!

You may think that is my naked pregnant belly sticking out there
(because it's so big), but no, actually, that is my daughter's naked "pregnant" belly! She now tells me that SHE'S got the baby in her tummy, not Mommy (and she's got the baby bump to prove it too! ;)

When I agreed to you going on a trip this summer, I never imagined going this long without talking to you. Third world country… medical work in small villages... no place to stay but a tent… I have no idea what I was thinking it was going to be like, but I guess it wasn’t this. This has been the hardest, longest week of my life! Everything else, besides being away from you, has been perfect. Maida has been great, Barkley!’s been great, the house is great, the Olympics are REALLY great… I just miss you. I miss you so much that I’ve started to have really weird dreams about you.

Last night I had a dream that I was just standing out in the backyard and all of a sudden a huge hand, the size of our van, came and slapped me on the back. It was such a big hand and such a hard slap that I fell over! I turned to see what it was and it was God!! He then talked to me! He said, “Erik just prayed for you.” And that was it. WERID!

Two nights ago I dreamed that you actually emailed me! And it said something along these lines, “Dear Kara, you were so right. There is no way I should have put this trip ahead of going on a family vacation with you. The kids here are great and the medical work is fun, but I miss you guys too much…” Can you tell I’m still bitter about your decision to go? I’ve had numerous other dreams about getting calls or emails from you, and it’s so heart breaking to wake up and realize that they aren’t true!

It’s so interesting to hear all the different reactions of people when they hear that you’re gone, where you are, and for how long. Most people at church, when they found out that you’d left, treated the situation like you had passed away. They’d give me big hugs and say, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Are you doing okay? Are you dealing alright?” People here at home that have known you forever at camp (and just how crazy you are), just shook their heads and said, “Kara, you knew what you were getting into when you married him.” And the response I get from others who don’t really know you (like people on Facebook), but know that you are in the military say, “Oh, is he gone for military reasons?” and when I say “no,” they respond with, “Wow! Then why would he ever want to be gone from you guys that long?” I just keep telling myself it’s only one more week and then four more days and then I will see you! You have no idea how close that sounds to eternity. Please God, make this go by faster!!!

16 August 2008

Erik! I'm home! I made it! When I woke up yesterday morning early enough to shower and pack before Maida woke up, I knew it was my day to leave. We got home in the afternoon and ever since I've been cleaning like a maniac. Well, we did sleep for 12 hours last night! And took some time off to go shopping... I spent a little money at Target... but aaaaaaanyway, I'm getting the place back into tip-top shape for when you get home.

I'm feeling much happier about things now that I'm home. I LOVE THIS PLACE! It's so nice! Barkley! also remembered his backyard and has been having fun basking in the sun on the deck (I can't get hi to come inside!). Maida was so excited to see her old toys when we got home, she started jumping up and down and saying "oooo, oooo, oooo"! She didn't know what to play with fist. She won't sleep in her own bed, though. Last night she kept falling asleep in my arms, I'd go to lay her down and then she'd wake up, cry, and point to mommy's bed... a stage, right? I'm sure it's just a stage....

Tomorrow we will go to church for the first time and see all of our old friends again. I bet I'll be surprised at how big baby Heath and baby Christian are getting! This next week we plan to have a playdate with Cameron and Bergen, meet up with Megan, Justine and her new baby, and tomorrow I'm going to babysit Avery for Andrea and Ryan. It's nice just to jump right back into things with friends. I love it here... the only thing missing is you. COME HOME SOON!

I love you, my baybers!

~ Kara

14 August 2008

Maida Misses You, Daddy

If you can't understand the video, here's the script...
Mommy: Maida, where's Daddy?
Maida: Bye-bye. Pulls on Mom's camera and almost rips it out of her hands.
Mommy: Maida, let go. Do you miss Daddy?
Maida: Makes sad face and fake cries.
Mommy: Oh, you do? Ohhh. Is Daddy going to come back later?
Maida: Yeah.
Mommy: Okay.

13 August 2008

YouTube Video of Jake's Olympic Wrestling Match

So you'll always remember going to the Olympics to watch Jake, here's a YouTube video of the match! I watched the whole thing, listening very carefully to see if I could hear you yelling for him. I just wanted to hear your voice!
Dear Erik,

This week going by so slowly. I keep telling myself that this will be one of those times that I'll be able to look back on, and it will seem like it flew by. But the way it's going, I'm not sure if that'll be so true. Last night I laid in bed and watched the clock go around and around. I kept thinking, "I wonder what Erik is doing right now," or, "Wow, it's 3:00 in the afternoon over in China right now..." my thoughts kept going and going - I didn't sleep much.

Today my mom and I went through all the garage sale stuff. I priced all of our junk, but we aren't going to have the garage sale until later on in the fall. Aunt Carol is going to put some stuff into it too. We worked all day cleaning out the garage (Maida nearly took a four hour nap!) and I finally talked my mom into throwing out some stuff. It was a good feeling to see her throw stuff, like old high school papers of Tony's (junk).

Maida did a somersault last night! Yes, a complete somersault. I haven't got a video of it yet, because we've been so busy. Tonight we went to church and Maida didn't want to leave Bible class. I had to take her out kicking and screaming! I'm glad that she likes Bible class so much. Her teacher asked her to help clean up the legos at the end of class and Maida stood way back, throwing the legos at the bucket, trying to make them in. If she missed (and she missed every one!), she'd breathe out heavily and then stomp over, pick up the lego, and lay it in the bucket. So funny! Tonight after church Maida and I were sitting at the end of the dock with my mom and Maida was looking for "jish" in the river. My mom pointed out the moon to Maida, which was so full and beautiful. Maida said, "MOO! MOO!" and then pointed in the water to the moon's reflection. She is so smart. I asked her if there were two moons and she said yes, while pointing to the one in the sky, then the one in the river. Cute memory.

I haven't moved back home yet because tomorrow I'm going to help my mom freeze some corn off the cob. I figured that would be a good thing for me to help with. I plan to go back, though, sometime on Friday or Saturday. I just feel so homesick without you here and feel like if I get back home, at least I can get the place organized and do something with my time. There really isn't anything for me to do here now that all the family is gone.

Call or write when you can. I know that hearing from you would maybe ease my worries a little bit. Just to know that you're safe and having fun would be nice. I am so thankful that you are having this experience, though, and I love you a lot.

~ Kara :)

12 August 2008

Dear Erik,

Wow, I can't believe that it's been two days since you've left. I know that you have been traveling for most of the time and I rejoiced this morning when I heard from you - knowing for sure, then, that you were safe and sound. Maida and I made it back from the cities yesterday afternoon about 3:00. The trip home was fine. She slept until St. Cloud, then sang her "Bible song" most of the rest of the way home, in between eating gummy bears (the only thing I had in the car to eat!).

She took great care of me when I was sick, honestly, she was the best baby (for even being sick herself). I was able to sleep almost all day on Sunday, while she played and slept off-and-on, then on Monday morning I felt so much better. I cooked mac'n'cheese and oatmeal for us in the coffee pot in the hotel room because I was too scared to leave by ourselves in the big city! I guess it's been a while since we've lived there and the police were always showing up at the hotel, in which I figured I wasn't in too safe of an area if they were always needing to be called... either that or I was very safe since they were around all the time... either way, there are two things happened at the hotel worth writing you about.
One: Maida pooped her pants (DIARRHEA!) and it leaked all over the place, through the sheets at the hotel room and through the mattress pad and onto the mattress. Woops! Sorry Super 8!
Two: After she pooped a poop that bad, her and I both needed baths because we were covered in poop. So after taking a shower and then letting her play in the bath for a while, she slipped and hit her face on the side of the bathtub. And you know when she does something like that, it hurts for a minute, but then she thinks it's funny and tries to keep doing it and doing it (like hitting her head on the wall), well, she kept hitting her face on the side of the tub and pretty soon she had a terrible bloody lip! I couldn't get it to stop bleeding! And she just thought that was even funnier. What are we going to do with her?!!

I miss you a lot. More than I ever have. I think it must be the pregnancy hormones or something. I feel homesick, in a way, so I thought that maybe if I went back to Duluth, I'd feel better. But then I run the risk of getting depressed because I'm all alone. I'm not sure what to do. I hate being away from you! It's so hard. It's hard to be a single mom, a single adult - I'm so dependant on you, aren't I? I really hope these next couple weeks go by fast. Please call or write whenever you can. I will post pictures and videos randomly throughout the next couple weeks so that they are always available for you to look at while overseas. I will also continue to write to you here, keeping you and everyone else informed on our life right now.

Your Princess,
Kara :)
p.s. Maida saw a picture of you today and I asked her where you were. She said, "bye-bye". Then I asked her if she loved you and she signed, "I" "love" and then pointed at your picture and said, "Dat". So cute and so memorable.

Update from Erik!!!

He's alive!!! Here's the email I got from him... doesn't say much, but I'm sure that he's pressed for internet time. At least we know that he made it safely. **Thank you God**

to: Kara Scharrer
date: Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 7:16 AM

I love you and I'm glad you didn't drive home on Sunday. I've been praying for you! Love you!!!

11 August 2008

Weekend Summary

Before dropping Erik off at the airport on Sunday, we had a great last weekend together... Erik was at drill on Wednesday and Thursday, but on Thursday night (after Erik attended a student council meeting in Minneapolis) Maida and I met up with him at our friend Jon's house. Jon was out of town for the weekend, so he let us use his house! We got a good night's sleep on Thursday night and headed out on Friday morning for south eastern Minnesota. There we got a campsite at Mystery Cave State Park. Friday night was Kristin and Clark's wedding, which was just beautiful! We really enjoyed seeing (and meeting) other students from St. Olaf. We stayed until midnight, when we had to pry Maida off the dance floor, kicking and screaming. She's quite the dancer! Friday night we camped, Saturday we toured the Mystery Cave. This was our second cave to go in since being married, and we loved both of them! Caves are so beautiful and mysterious - even Maida likes them! After going through the cave, we traveled on up to Rochester, MN where we met up with my friend Allison, from Oklahoma Christian, and met her husband Grady and daughter Caitlin. It was fun to see their new house and talk to them about what they've been up to. The girls played well together and had fun learning new things from each other. I had fun catching up with Allison and hope that we get to see her again soon!

Saturday afternoon was a lot of shopping and last minute things before packing Erik up and sending him on the plane on Sunday. However, just once we thought we had everything together, Saturday night we all three got sick. We think we got food poisoning from a Mongolian/Chinese grill that we ate at for dinner on Saturday night. It was horrible! I threw up all night and morning, and after dropping Erik off at the airport on Sunday, Maida and I headed for the Super 8, where we spent last night recuperating. We slept most of the day yesterday and today we're feeling much better, so will head home after checking out this afternoon.

I haven't heard anything from Erik, but according to the internet, both of his planes landed safely (and ahead of schedule) and he should be in Beijing right now (I've been watching for him to appear on the Today Show - that's just something he'd do!)! Here are some pictures from the weekend...

10 August 2008

And he's off!

I dropped Erik off at the airport a little after noon today. It has been a busy busy week getting him all read to go! I think by the time he actually got to the airport, he was just so overwhelmed by everything going on, he didn't even have time to get excited! I know that once he met up with his travel buddies, it probably seemed more "real" and created a lot of excitment for the three weeks ahead!

I just checked on Erik's flight online and it looks like the flight left a little earlier than scheduled, putting them in Tokyo a little earlier than planned. The flight is 12 hours long and with a little bit of food poisoning left over from yesterday, I really hope that Erik makes the flight okay (...let's hope he's able to get up and go to the bathroom whenever he needs to!). Maida and I miss him like crazy already! Maida didn't want him to leave and even tried to stap herself into his suitcase!!! (See pictures below!) In case you are interested, I have posted his flight itineray below. He will also be doing work in Mongolia (along with lots of siteseeing), after spending a few days at the Olympics in Bejing, so I put the itinerary for Mongolia below too! Lots of prayers are appreciated!!!
Erik's Flight Schedule...
depart - Aug 10 - 03:05pm - Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
arrive - Aug 11 - 05:05pm - Tokyo (NRT) Northwest Airlines 19
Miles: 5953 - Aircraft: 744 - Elapsed: 12.00 hours

depart - Aug 11 - 06:45pm - Tokyo (NRT)
arrive - Aug 11 - 09:35pm - Bejing (PEK) Northwest Airlines 29
Miles: 1313 - Aircraft: 744 - Elapsed: 3.50 hours

Erik's Mongolia Itinerary...
Aug 14 - arrive in Ulaanbaatar, check into apartment, free time around Ulaanbaatar
Aug 15 - work in family clinic in ger area, observation of ger areas in Bayangol district
Aug 16 and Aug 17 - tent camping at Uliastai-Ovortiin shugui
Aug 18 - work at a child identification center and visit "Zaisam Tolgoi" Russian soliders monument
Aug 19 - travel to Terelj Tourist camp and sightsee, stay overnight in local tourist camps
Aug 20 - travel to Chingis Khaan monument and to a 13th century tourist camp, return to Ulaanbaatar
Aug 21 - free day, prepare for trip to Bulgan
Aug 22 - travel to Bulgan (through Erdenet)
Aug 23 - visit/work with nomadic families in Bulgan
Aug 24 - work in Bulgan
Aug 25 - travel back to Ulaanbaatar
Aug 26 - work at Psycho-social rehabilitation and life-skill programs for former Commercial Sexual Exploitation girls, shopping at Flower Center, see a "Tumen Ekh" traditional performance
Aug 27 - depart for home!!!
Aug 28 - arrive home (YAY) just in time for our wedding anniversary!

05 August 2008

Blog Poll Ended

Our blog poll ended early, due to a little updating to the blog! I wasn't able to transfer the poll over, so I thought that I'd end it since almost 30 people had already voted (and I highly doubt any more than that read the blog). Thank you so much for voting! Here are the results...

Poll Question:
Do you think baby #2 is a boy or a girl?

Poll Results:
14 voted boy (48%)
15 voted girl (51%)

We have our ultra sound scheduled for September 2nd (also Erik's first day of school!) and are still trying to decide whether we should find out the gender or not. Let me know what you think! Did you find out with your kids or would you if you were going to have kids? Why? Why not?

04 August 2008

Minneopa State Park

We just spent the most wonderful weekend camping!! It was great to get away and spend time with Erik. We left on Saturday morning and drove down to Mankato, Minnesota where we stayed at Minneopa State Park. The word Minneopa comes from the Dakota language and is means "water falling twice," referring to the beautiful waterfalls located in the state park. We took Maida hiking around the falls and Maida absolutely loved them (as did Erik and I), but about 10 feet before reaching the falls, our camera died! So we didn't get any pictures of just how much Maida loved them, but maybe we'll be back another time!

On Saturday afternoon we attended the wedding of Sue and Doug. Sue is a medical student with Erik and on the student council with him too. It was fun to see her all prettied up and their wedding was just beautiful, held in the Christ Chapel at Gustavus Adolphus College. We met up with two other medical students there and had fun catching up with their summers.

Saturday night was Maida's first time sleeping in a tent and she did well. At first she really didn't want to share the tent with Daddy. She was determined that only Mommy and Maida could sleep in the tent, but after Daddy warmed up some milk for her, she decided to let him in. We all went to sleep quite early (10 pm) and slept all night, until about 8:30 Sunday morning. Sunday we spent shopping in Mankato and St. Cloud, before rolling into my parents' hosue last night about 9:00. It was the perfect weekend away and I really enjoyed the time with Erik. I know Maida did too!
Here are some pictures we took of walking to the falls. I wish that our camera wouldn't have died!!

01 August 2008

One year ago today...

Do you think she's slimmed down a little bit?!!!

This picture was taken at Flaming Pine Youth Camp one year ago. This year we were unable to go and we're really sad that we're not with all of our friends again this year. I know Maida would have had a blast with all of her camp friends!

Round, round, get around, she get's around...

I Spy

I spy something with my little eye that is brown and chunky...

We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and in retrospection.”
~Anais Nin