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...

www.ourzimbabwejourney.blogspot.com.

26 March 2009

I have the best job in the world...

I get paid in big drooly smiles, stinky upchuck, dirty diapers, monster hugs, and sloppy kisses.
I don't get raises or bonuses, no matter how hard I work or how much time I put in.
I work nights and weekends, in fact, I work EVERY night and weekend, ALONG WITH the day time shift too.
I don't get any vacation time or sick days and, come to think of it, I work every holiday too!
My Boss is an Awesome Being who can actually move mountains if He wanted to, and is always available to me 24 hours a day if I ever need anything.
My supervisor is a super hott, hard-working, Boss-loving, family-enjoying, army dude, striving to someday fix people and save lives.
And my co-workers are the most amazing things that have ever come into my life. They make my heart happy and my life so much more enjoyable. I just can't get enough of them...






T-Shirt Baby Sling

Last year when I traveled down south, I bought a Moby Wrap for the trip. It was the best and easiest way to take Maida through the airport and onto the airplane. I absolutely LOVED it. Now that Maida is too big for it, I am able to use it for Skogen, too. I think it's the best way to wear a baby because it's the kind of wrap that can be used for multiple baby wearing positions. It also stays put once you get it on and is really comfortable to wear.

The only problem I have with the Moby wrap is that you have to set your baby down to put it on and it takes a little while to get it all on and together. So, this morning I thought I'd get crafty and make a small sling for when I need to hold Skogen as I'm doing stuff around the house, or if I'm out shopping and want to attach him to me quickly. Here's how I did it...

1. I found an old t-shirt that I hardly wear anymore and that was tight fitting.


2. I cut the top of the shirt off, in a horizontal line, right below the armpits.


3. I tossed the top part of the shirt into the rag bucket and the bottom of my shirt (the tube that went around my torso) became my baby pouch!


4. The sling felt kind of tight at first, but after putting Skogen (an almost 17 pound baby) in it, the material stretched pretty far. It is not as secure as the Moby, and I wouldn't recommend mountain climbing or jumping around with it on, but for those times when I need to quick put him on my hip and go, it will work!

(Sorry for the blurry pictures!)

I got this t-shirt baby sling idea from http://www.chocolatefingerprints.net/ if you want to check it out.

24 March 2009

Over the past year I have prayed less than any other year in my entire life.

Over the last week, I almost totally stopped praying.

I started assuming that if God already knew what was going to happen in my life, my prayer wouldn’t actually make a difference in the outcome. And even if my prayer changed his mind about something, He knows the present, past, and future, so he already knew what was going to happen anyway, so did I really have to pray in order for it to turn out that way?

These assumptions led me to doubting the existence of God. I have never doubted God before.

My doubts finally led me to open up and talk to Erik about my feelings before going to sleep last night. I told him about my doubts about prayer and his response was, “I just don’t know what to tell you because I’m confused too. Why don’t you put something on the blog about it and see what kind of response you get.” I told him that I wasn’t going to involve the blog in this because I was afraid of what people would think of me if they knew that I doubted God. I also didn’t want my nieces reading about me doubting God, or any other little person that looks up to me, because I didn’t want my doubts and imperfections to negatively influence their growing faith. I went to bed last night feeling very empty and lost.

While lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I prayed a prayer I’d never prayed before. I challenged God. I told Him that if He was real and if prayer was real, then he had to show me, to prove himself to me. I felt like I was walking on dangerous ground, but over the last 25 years God has proven Himself over and over to me, and I knew that if this is what it would take from God to help me spiritually, He would do it, I just had no idea when or how He would.

Not much about God had crossed my mind today. I prayed when I took Skogen in for his shots, but my prayer was very short and sweet, and I didn’t think too much about it. When I sat down in bed tonight, I decided to get on my computer quick and catch up on some blog reading. The first blog I checked was McMama’s blog because her son, Stellan, is sick and in very critical care. Her latest post was this morning at 8:38. As I began reading it, tears rolled down my cheeks, and I was immediately aware that this wasn’t McMama’s words she had written, this was GOD’S and he was speaking to ME!
“God answers prayers. Just not always in the way or in the time frame we want. God answers prayers, but the outcome we hope for, and beseech God for, is not always the outcome God has in mind.God hears our prayers. But God still does what He, in His sovereignty, is going to do. He listens to our prayers, hears us each and every time we speak to Him, think to Him, or even groan to Him. God is affected by our prayers and He wants us to pray. But God is still God and our prayers do not change God or His mind, at least not in the way we sometimes think. He knew we were going to pray before we ever prayed. He knows the past, present and future all at once. He listens to our prayers, but our prayers don't change things. God changes things. Yet nothing changes for God, per se. If God changes His mind, because of our fervent prayers (Which He very well, might, so please keep praying!!), it will be something that God already knew would happen. He knew we'd pray…It is our job to communicate with God, to love Him, and, ultimately, to trust that whatever He decides is best.”

After reading McMama’s blog, I then hopped over to Angie’s blog, who had talked with McMama earlier today, and she also had a similar post, which spoke directly to me again.
“Prayer matters. We are entitled to go to God with our requests, and there are incidences in scripture where people (Moses comes to mind first) "negotiate" with God, and when you read it, it looks like Moses changed God's mind. I don't know that that was actually the case, but I think that God knew Moses would ask him and He knew his heart. Was He surprised that Moses came? No. He wanted him to reach out to his Father the same way I want my children to reach out to me.”

What were the chances that both of them would write on this topic today and specifically address MY doubts? GOD PROVED HIMSELF TO ME ONCE AGAIN. God knew exactly how to speak to me and when. I am so thankful and so in awe of His power.

I want to end by saying that God did not answer my questions or take away all of my doubts, but God showed me that prayer is not only for asking of what we want (even if we can or can't change the outcome), but it's about walking with God, having a relationship with God, and being full of the Godly peace that only comes from being in Him. God showed me that I was doubting something that no human can possibly understand and that I am not alone.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20, 21

Children

But Jesus said,

Let the children alone,



and do not hinder them




from coming to Me;



for the kingdom of heaven



belongs to such as these."


Matthew 19:14

22 March 2009

Baby Heath's Birthday Party


On Sunday, we went to Baby Heath's birthday party! It was hard to end our Sunday naps early and pack up the kids to go, but after we got there and saw how much fun Maida was having, we knew it was definitely worth it. Baby Heath came to Maida's first birthday last year and wore a t-shirt that said, "Future Mr. Right." Already at a young age, we're trying to hook our kids up! :) Anyway, we had a BLAST at the party. The best part was watching Maida discover everything from the birthday horns and birthday hats to the pinata and candy. She was right in there and involved with all of the other kids. Although we didn't stay for cake and ice cream (Erik had to write some papers), Maida helped herself to dessert on the way home! In fact, she didn't even bother taking the wrapper off the chocolate and ate more than half of it! I tried to get her to spit out what she had eaten of the wrapper, but it was too late! I hope foil comes down and out okay!


**HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY HEATH!**



Here is a slide show of all of the pictures I took from the party... click on the slide show to make it bigger!

He's Found His Voice

This is for the grandmas and grandpas...

20 March 2009

Genetics Are Crazy

Last weekend while we were staying at my parents' house, we decided that Maida would sleep with me since (1) Erik wasn't there, and (2) I was sleeping in a king-size bed. Well, not only did Maida have the hardest time falling asleep with someone else in bed with her, but she sure didn't have any trouble taking up the whole bed! She moved around so much, smacking me in the face, stomach, and even poking me in the eyeball! I hardly got any sleep. It was during the third night of sleeping with Maida (i.e. getting my butt kicked, literally) that I realized it kind of reminded me of being at home and sleeping with Erik! He's the only grown up I know that still sleeps like our babies do, with his arms straight above his head! There isn't a night that goes by when I don't get rocked in the head by Erik's arm or elbow as he's moving it into this position! (However, lately it's been a little more rare since he's been sick and had to sleep on his tummy so the snotty junk doesn't drain down his throat... which is a good thing because he'd probably knock me out with that cast on his arm!) Anyway, I found some random pictures of the three of them sleeping. He's obviously passed this trait down to our kids! [By the way, I'm really not angry about Erik or our kids sleeping like this, even when I get pounded! I actually think it's cute - it's one of those things that I love about Erik because it makes him, him! ... I just have to sound mad because I tease him so much about it! :)]
Maida...
Skogen...
Speaking of sleep... Skogen has officially started sleeping a nine hour stretch when I first put him down at night, then eating, and going back to sleep for another four hours. It's LOVELY!

18 March 2009

Hangin' "Tupp"

Last night I was up almost ALL night. It was a tough night, but after three of us got shots yesterday, it was sort of expected! I had to get a MMR shot because when I had Skogen, they did some blood work in the hospital and said that my blood counts were low and that I was susceptible to Rubella and needed the vaccine. I had put it off for two months because I hate needles, but yesterday seemed like the perfect time to get it. Maida also got her chicken pox vaccine yesterday, so I went first to show her how to be tough. Maida held my hand and rubbed my leg as I blinked back tears and tried not to pass out. Maida went after me. She sat up on the table like a champ and hardly flinched when she got her shot, then showed us her muscles and said, "tupp," which means tough - I probably should have had Maida go first to show me how to be "tupp"!!! Skogen finished off our appointment by getting his shots. He didn't even blink or know that he had gotten a shot. Dr. W said that was because his thighs are so big, that he didn't even feel it! Speaking of big, here are his stats: 15 pounds, 14 ounces and 24.5 inches. He was waaaay off the charts for both. He's a big dude! Dr. W told us that there is no healthier way to be at this age than like Skogen, though. We know he's not starving!



A little update on my carpal tunnel... it's still there. It's been nine weeks today and it's no better. We are scheduling cortisone shots in my wrists today. I'll keep you updated on whether they work or not.


A little update on Maida's skin... so many of you have asked and I am planning on doing a post soon on the before and after treatment, but I wanted you all to know that the Molluscum Contagiosum is totally gone! The eczema comes and goes, but we keep it under control with Vanicream and Free and Clear products. Thank you to everyone for your advice and prayers. She's come a long way.


A little update on Erik's thumb... he got a cast on last week, but they casted his thumb in the wrong spot, so he got another cast put on Monday. He's doing alright with it, but it's frustrating not being able to do everything he's used to doing (like play with the kids and shower normally). It will be on for three to six weeks.

17 March 2009

Our Weekend Highlight

As I slowly walked into the building, I was overwhelmed with my senses as memories from my childhood came back to me... the sounds of blades slicing through the ice, occasional toe picks hitting the ground, grunts and groans of hard work and of bodies hitting the ice. The smell of cold ice and Zamboni exhaust, of leather skates, and of sweaty hockey players (who we shared locker rooms with)... everything sounded and smelled just the way it had 20 years ago when I put my first pair of ice skates on and entered the rink for my first ice skating lesson. I remember how hard I worked through the years, all the coaches I had, the competitions and shows I participated in, and most of all, I now remember how good it felt to pass on my love and passion for the sport, onto my three nieces, who made me so proud at the ice skating show last weekend. It was the ice skating club's 20th anniversary and they re-skated routines from past shows. My brother's oldest daughter, Brittany, actually skated my last solo performance that I skated as Elvis Presley, during my senior year of high school. For grins and giggles, I have actually attached a video of me as Elvis below, along with videos of my nieces, Brittany, Sarena and Natalie from this year's show. I was so proud of them!

Before you watch, you should know that I got back from a month in Germany the night before this show. I was suffering from pretty bad jet lag and hadn't slept in hours! If you think that it looks like I forgot my show and was just skating and dancing in circles, you are right, I did! Oh yeah, and I recorded this off of a TV, so it's pretty bad quality. Enjoy...


Here is a little clip of Britt skating the same routine. She did an awesome job...


Here is a little clip of Sarena's solo, "Great Balls of Fire," which is so fitting for her. She is a little ball of fire, always on the go. I've never seen this girl run out of energy!...



Here is a little clip of Natalie. She's the little one in this group, "At the Hop," and is sooooo good for her age. I was impressed...

And to end this post, here are some pictures from the skating show! The show got really long for Maida. Her favorite part was actually the national anthem at the beginning of the show, in which she sang to VERY LOUDLY in front of everyone (in her own language and in her own tune). It was so funny, cute, and embarrassing all at the same time. I wish that I would have videoed it. Skogen slept most of the time, but did wake up long enough to see Uncle Jay, Aunt Nancy, and his cousins.

14 March 2009

Micah Came to Visit!


Micah came to visit last weekend. He is one of Erik's best friends from high school and college. He and Erik spent many special times together, some of which include being college roommates for 3 years, spending a semester in Europe together, having Micah as a Best Man in our wedding, and Micah was the first visitor I had in the hospital after Maida was born. He's been a very special person in our life and we've been looking forward to seeing him. Last weekend turned out to be the perfect time for this! While he was in town, Erik, Maida, and Barkley! met Micah and some other friends at Jay Cooke State Park. There they did some hiking and enjoyed the nice weather we had. After hiking, we all met up at the Dvorak's house for dinner and games. Even though it was a short stay, we all enjoyed Micah being in town and can't wait to live closer to him next year.

Here are some pictures from Jay Cooke State Park last Saturday.

Two Months Old


To my happy little Skogen Roux,
You are TWO months old today! Although time seems to be flying, I can't remember life without you, which makes it also feel like it's been standing still for a while. You seem a lot older than two months old because you can now hold your head up really well. You also seem a lot more aware of your surroundings and try to communicate with those around you. You have started smiling - A LOT, and even cooing a little too! Many times you open your mouth to say something, but nothing comes out! I know you'll soon be a jabber box and I can't wait to hear the conversations you and Maida will have! You are on a really great schedule now, for both eating and sleeping. You eat about every three hours during the day (sometimes you like to stock up before bed and will eat every two hours in the evening) and you will still take a bottle if Mommy has to be gone, but will ask to nurse whenever Mommy gets home, even if you just ate! You take an hour or two hour nap out of every three hours during the day and are a pretty good sleeper at night too. In fact, last night you even slept for 10 hours (but mommy still didn't get much sleep cause she was up every three hours making sure you were still breathing!). You still fall asleep on your own in your bed. All Mommy does is lay you on your back, give you your paci, cover you up, rub your head a few times, and say, "Go night-night now." You are usually asleep within two minutes or less of laying you down. You suck on your pacifier the whole time you sleep, which I have heard helps prevents SIDS, so I'm okay with that. You sleep with a little turtle that has some swimming fish in it's belly. You have learned to push the button on the turtle to make the fish swim and the music and lights come on. Whenever you wake up, you won't cry right away, but you'll turn on your turtle for a while instead. It's so cute! You love to watch your sister and will kick your legs and move your arms like crazy when she's around. You love to play on the floor on your playmat and also love your bouncer and your swing. Mommy took her first trip alone with you and Maida to Grandma and Bumpa's house a couple days ago and you slept the whole way in the car. You like your car seat more now that we took the head support out, which was way too small for your broad shoulders anyway. I haven't had you weighed in a while, but if I had to guess, I'd say you are between 13 and 14 pounds. You are in size 12 month onesies, but still wear a lot of 6-9 month outfits even though they are getting tight. You've always recognized Mom's voice and are the happiest when you are with her, but have also discovered Daddy. You no longer cry when Mom leaves you with him, and in fact, will smile and smile whenever you hear his voice after he comes home from school. You stretch out your neck and your eyes follow him around the room until he picks you up or acknowledges you. I am so thankful that God has given you to us to raise - just like your sister, we love you more than I ever imagined loving anyone.






11 March 2009

Best friends in the making

This week has flown by. We have spent most of it trying to get all of our schedules back in order after the time switch. For the most part, Maida and Skogen just naturally adapted, but it was me that really got thrown off. I think that this waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night stuff really messes with me! However, Skogen has started sleeping a 5-6 hour stretch every night, which really helps - thank you Babywise!

Here are a few pictures with some quick updates. I will post some pictures later of our weekend with Micah, Erik's best friend who was here visiting us from the cities.


*Playtime*

Reading books and hanging out together on the floor.

*Barkley!*
Barkley! has officially accepted Skogen as a member of the Scharrer family! Yesterday when Skogen was playing on the floor, Barkley! came over and laid his head down on top of him, which I had remembered that Barkley! did that same thing to Maida when she was just a babe. I tried to grab the camera for some pictures, but by the time I got it out and focused, Skogen had kicked Barkley!'s head off of him. I also dug out the old photo of Maida and Barkley!. He's such a great family dog.

Barkley! with Skogen


Barkley! with Maida (June 2007)


*Thrush*
We went through a full round of treating Skogen's thrush, about two weeks ago. Yesterday I noticed that it was back, so I started treating it again. It seems like we just can't get it to go away. I've read that the thrush can make a baby's mouth sensitive, and so sensitive that they won't want to suck. Well, I didn't notice any sensitivity before, but this time around, Skogen has acted a little sensitive to his pacifier, which is hard since he likes to go to sleep with it in his mouth! (The thrush is the white stuff on Skogen's tongue in the picture. It is also on the sides of his mouth and lips - which you can't see in the picture.) I know things could be A LOT worse, but I'm just praying that it goes away soon.

*Erik*
I have been so thankful for Erik lately. I know there will come a day soon (residency!) when I won't be able to depend on Erik for as much as I do, and so I am trying to savor and enjoy every minute with him. He's been a great help lately with the kids, chores around the house, and grocery shopping - thank you, Erik! He also fell on Monday night skiing, hurt his thumb, and after seeing the doctor on Tuesday, has been referred to an Orthopedic doctor on Friday. It isn't broken, but is soooo very painful and swollen that they are worried about ligament damage. Besides being in tons of pain, he has a test tomorrow, so I know he's had quite the week!
The kids with Daddy at bed time

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