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 April 2009

Relay for Life

On Friday night, our family was able to participate in the Relay for Life at the college. The medical school had a team that we were a part of. We all walked in honor of Kyle, a fellow medical student, who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. Last year at this time, Erik organized a benefit dinner for Kyle. This year it was great to be with him cancer-free! Maida also decorated bags for Aunt Susie, Erik's aunt, and for our friend Scott McEndree. There was a Hawaiian theme, so Maida was all decked out in her grass skirt from Erik's Aunt Ranee and cousin Hilary! Skogen busted out his swim trunks for the first time, too. Here are some pictures...

22 April 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Today we were able to spend a little bit of time outside. It was B-E-A-U-tiful out! I had so much fun watching Maida and Erik play with sidewalk chalk on the backyard patio. I love how little kids just don't care about getting dirty. Maida was laying right on the ground coloring! She didn't care about the side walk chalk dust she was laying on, the dirt piles, or any bugs that were crawling around under (and over!) her. She loves to play in the yard and never cares about mud or rough grass, or worms that might be there. She's not scared to pick up a stick, a rock, or even a lady bug! Little kids are born loving and trusting nature. Today, by watching Maida and her young love for the earth, I was able to reflect back on creation, and what a beautiful world God has given to us. I really want to raise my children with a respect and love for the earth and I don't think that going green is only for the weird "granola" people - I think there are a lot of things that we can do in our lives that will make this earth a cleaner, nicer place to live. Here's a great place to get ideas!
Happy Earth Day!

(Picture taken April 1, 2009)

21 April 2009

Praying for Baby Stellan

Prayers for Stellan
I've been so fortunate to not have my kids ever be sick, besides Maida having a few ear infections last year. I can't imagine how I would feel to have one of my own babies have a serious health condition. It would be so hard, but that's not why I'm praying for baby Stellan. I'm praying for baby Stellan because I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe that "blog land" is one of the fastest ways to spread prayer requests. So.......
Today baby Stellan, a baby of a mother who has a popular parenting blog (and is from Minnesota!!), is having a heart ablation. This is a very serious surgery for an infant. MckMama (Stellan's mom) is asking that everyone pray today and wear orange for baby Stellan! I've never done anything like this before, but I actually dressed us all in orange today! Maida and I have also said a couple prayers for Stellan this morning. After the last time we prayed for him, she said, "Mommy, we pray Stellan at church, too?" I told her that we would be sure to pray for Stellan at church, too! How cute!
Please join us in prayer today.

20 April 2009

He Leadeth Me

When Maida was a little baby, anytime she got fussy, we would play "He Leadeth Me" by Acapella. This was the only song, and sometimes the only thing, that would calm her down. When she was around a year old, we lost the CD with the song on it, but Erik and I have sung it to her every so often over the past year. I have no idea if she ever remembers having such a liking to that song or not, but tonight I was putting Maida down to bed and before she falls asleep at night, I always sit on the floor with her on my lap and we pray. Then she gets in her bed, I cover her up, and she goes to sleep. Well, tonight when I was putting her to bed, something so cute happened. Here is how it went...

Mommy: Maida, come sit on my lap and let's say your prayers.
Maida: No, Mommy, no! Sing me song!
Mommy: Sing you a song? What song should I sing?
Maida: He Lead me.

I couldn't believe it. For one, she's never asked me to sing her a song before, and for two, I had no idea that she remembered that song! The cutest thing was that she sang along with me on the chorus, "he lead me, he lead me, by he han, he lead me....."

To hear a little bit of Maida's favorite version of "He Leadeth Me" click here. It is the second song on the list. Click the play button to the left of the title to hear it.

Cousins

Growing up I had millions of cousins and second cousins to play with. I don't think that I appreciated my cousins as much as I do now as an adult. Maida is very lucky to have some cousins that live in the same town as my parents. Every time we go to visit, Maida has more and more fun playing with and spending time with Natalie, Sarena, and Brittany.



This past weekend, I took a trip to my parents house because my cousin, Kerry, was in town. The cousins that live in town all got together one evening at my Aunt Carol's house and had tons of fun catching up with each other. It had been seven years since Kerry had been there! Kerry and I got to spend some time alone talking and that was really great. When I was younger, Kerry was the brother figure in my life since my own brothers were more like father figures to me because they are so much older. I have really appreciated Kerry's interest in my life growing up and really miss talking to him on a regular basis. It was so great to see him!

19 April 2009

Post by Skogen

Hi everyone!


It's me, Skogen! I'm so excited to see you!


Oh, wait. Hold on. I've seemed to have fallen over and I can't get up.

Oh, good. Mommy came to my rescue. For some reason she thinks that it's so funny when I tip over like that, and I don't understand why. Maybe it's because I never let my head touch down and I always stay so stiff.
Anyway, I am so excited to show you the pictures of me and my big sister, Maida, that Mommy took of us after church today.

Here is me and Maida:
I look a little scared because Mommy just asked Maida if she wanted to hold me for the next picture. It might seem like a nice, innocent thing, but here's what happens when Maida "holds" me:
Don't worry. She usually just squeezes my head so hard that my tongue pops out of my mouth, but that's about all.Usually we just have a lot of fun together.

It seems like every time Maida tries to hold me, we end up tipping over because I'm such a big boy, but don't worry, we never get hurt. Maida has enough patting to protect both of us!I've gained more control over my arms and hands now, so I'm able to fight Maida for what I want. Mommy caught us on camera this afternoon when I was trying to get the cell phone that Maida was playing with. Even though I didn't get the cell phone, I would still consider this a win since I took her down, which isn't an easy task for a little guy like me:
(for some reason it doesn't work to click on the picture to make it bigger - anyone know why?)
***************

Thanks for letting me share. I'm sure that mom will post more of us later. She sure thinks it's fun to show us off to all of her friends and family. I have to admit that I like the attention!

17 April 2009

"Easy E"

On Wednesday night, Erik and I went to an Etiquette Dinner that the medical school was holding, followed by the medical school talent show. I was able to go pick the kids up from the babysitter after the dinner so that they could come to the talent show. It's a good thing I did because Erik did an impromptu rap when everyone made him go up there and do something! Maida loved watching Daddy perform! He did a great job. I was so proud of him (you may have to turn your volume up)...
And just in case you haven't seen this, it looks like Erik's brother, Brandon, has talent too...

14 April 2009

3 Months Old

Baby Skogen,
You are two months old today. If anything has been accomplished over the last month, it has been you learning how to sleep all night long! I am so happy about the 10-11 hours of sleep that I have consistently been getting since you turned two months old. It has been refreshing! This month you have also started sitting in your exersaucer and giggling! It doesn't seem like you are a tiny baby any longer - in fact, you are over 18 pounds now, which is more than some one-year-olds weigh! You have grown out of most of your clothes, but I was able to just cut slits in the arms and legs of your pajamas to make them fit over your fat rolls. I also went thrift store shopping and bought you some 18 month clothes to get us through until it's warm enough out to wear the cute summer clothes that we got for shower gifts.
You are so easy going compared to how you were right after we brought you home from the hospital, and even more than Maida was as a baby. Your newest thing is that you are really getting sick of being a baby, I can tell. It seems like you just want to get down and play with your sister and her friends, and you get frustrated that you can't. I have been laying you on the floor next to your sister more often and that makes you happy. You smile and smile at her until you get her attention, and then you smile even more when she gives it to you. It's so funny watching her try to pick you up! You are, of course, way too heavy, but that doesn't stop her from trying. The funny part about it, is that it looks like you actually want her to pick you up! You guys are just too cute together. I have almost run out of memory space on my new laptop with just pictures of you guys.
You love to drool. We usually try to keep a bib on you so that your shirt doesn't have to be wet constantly. I can't wait until you learn how to swallow. I also can't wait until I can have caffeine again! I tried drinking some caffeine yesterday and it made you throw up all day today. That's exactly what happened to your sister when she got caffeine from me, too, but soon your tummy will be able to handle that. You love to chew and suck on your fingers almost as much as you love to drool. In fact, I couldn't even get a decent three-month picture of you this morning because you wouldn't stop sucking on your hands!
This month was special because we finally sent out some birth announcements to close family and friends! Mommy designed them because it was too expensive to order them from somewhere, so they aren't the best, but they are more than we did with Maida. I haven't heard from very many people that they got them, so I hope that they liked them.
You had your first Easter last weekend and of course we hid an Easter basket for you. Your sister helped you find it and showed you how to open all of your plastic eggs. It was so nice of you to let her eat all of your candy (Daddy was real happy about her having the extra sugar, let me tell you!). You loved going over to the Dvorak's house and watching your sister play with Christian and Avery. You especially just loved to be doing something other than sitting at home with Mommy and Maida all day. Soon Mommy will be brave enough to get out in public more with the two of you, but until then we'll have to try to come up with some new things for you to do at home, like trying to get you to roll over and sit up!

Easter 2009

Looking back on this Easter, it was one of the best I've ever had. Having kids just makes the holidays so much more fun! Like last year, we were invited over to the Dvorak's house. They are a family from church that we have spent many holidays with since living far away from our families. We are so thankful for the Dvoraks and consider them part of our own family. Below is a fairly lengthy video of our Easter weekend, mostly for family that couldn't be with us, and here is a link to our Easter pictures: http://scharrerfamily.shutterfly.com/










13 April 2009

Wiped Out

We are wiped out after a fun Easter weekend.
Pictures and videos are coming soon of our holiday, but here's a sneak preview...

10 April 2009

Matching Monogrammed Towels

Yesterday in my morning of frustration, I called my mom to vent. She suggested just cutting some of Skogen's outfits, specifically his pajamas around the wrists and ankles where they are too small, so that they fit. So, last night after Erik got home, I asked him what he thought of this idea and he thought it was brilliant! So, before bed last night, I cut the cuffs off of a pair of Skogen's pajamas. It worked like a charm! I even cut little slits up the arms and down the legs to make them a little more roomy. I would have taken a picture of Skogen in his new pajamas, but he's already peed all over them this morning! Tonight I plan to cut up some more of his things to see if I can make them fit.

I also wanted to mention that last night I found out that Mema did not make the towel and burp cloths for Skogen that we received in the mail yesterday! I'm pretty sure that she made Maida's, so I guess I just figured that she had made Skogen's too! I don't really care, either way, because I'm still so in love with them! Even if Mema didn't make Skogen's I know that she is very talented and has made millions of things like this in the past. :)

Last night after bath time, I forced the kids to sit by each other so that I could take their picture together in their matching towels!! Neither one of them were too fond of this idea since they were freezing and ready to get to bed!

Thanks, again, Mema! These pictures are for you...

I am not looking forward to our family pictures this year ... notice how the only picture Maida is smiling in, is the one where she's totally trying to destroy Skogen's head! ...





***
Here's a little video of Skogen from yesterday finding his fist and his thumb. This is so funny because over the last two weeks, he's seriously kept himself up at night working on getting his hand in his mouth! Erik and I would just sit here and listen to him grunt and grunt, then we'd hear sucking sounds when he'd actually get it in, then more grunting!

09 April 2009

Frustrated and Thankful

All morning I was frustrated...

...frustrated that I only have three outfits and two pair of pajamas that Skogen can fit into and his diaper leaked out onto every outfit leaving him with nothing to wear (I couldn't just thow them in the wash quick because the people that live upstairs were using the washer we share)...
...frustrated that my two month old has to wear 18 month clothes and that we have boxes and boxes of outfits he never wore...
...frustrated that I swore I'd never dress my boy in girl clothes, but since he has had nothing to wear lately, I've had to dress him out of Maida's dresser (at least he looks pretty good in pink!)...


...frustrated that I don't have more money to buy my rollie-pollie something to wear that actually fits. If something fits on the top, it's too big on the legs. If something fits on the legs, it's too small on the top...


...frustrated that my cloth diapers make Skogen's bum even bigger than it already is, making it tougher for him to squeeze into the clothes he is able to wear, and making it more of a challenge for me to use the cloth diapers...

This morning I was just plain frustrated.


That's until this afternoon when a special package came to my door!
Skogen received his very first monogrammed items from his Great-Mema.
Erik's grandma from Oklahoma, "Mema," is so talented. She made Maida some burp cloths and a towel when she was a babe, too.
Here are some pictures of Skogen's. Aren't they precious?

After stopping to think, I realized that I am thankful for a

healthy baby
happy baby
cute baby
good baby
lovable baby
smiley baby
content baby
sweet baby
drooly baby

**and even**
a chubby baby.

That just means that there's more of him to love on!


Thank you, God, for Skogen (and his rolls!).
Please forgive me for getting frustrated at the little dumb things in life.
I have so much more than some people have ever had.
Thank you.

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