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...


28 February 2010

Coming Soon

Did you all see our new blog title?  I just LOVE it!  Maida and I took out some baby clothes on Saturday afternoon and ooooed and awwwed over how cute they are and how much we can't wait for a new little baby.  While looking at the clothes, we decided to take a picture with a pair of newborn-size pants, which is where our new blog title picture came from.
Looking at this picture, I feel that it totally captivates the personalities of Maida and Skogen perfectly.  Skogen is barefooted, turned to the side, and about the run away.  Maida has a tutu on over her jeans and is wearing her high heels (which she never takes off!).  Love it!

Our little bundle is definitely "coming soon" - he or she is almost half-way here!
I can't believe that the baby has already went from this - the size of a mustard seed at 5 weeks:

to this - a turnip at 17 weeks:

It's been quite the journey already!

27 February 2010

Winter Visit to Grandma and Bumpa's House

Our winter visit to Grandma and Bumpa's house was so much fun!  Here are some pictures and videos of our time there...

Maida helping Grandma roll croissants for dinner.

Skogen eating waaaay too much - a common problem we all have when we visit Grandma's house!

Dinner with the cousins.  This is Maida and Natalie, the closest (age-wise) girl cousin on this side of the family.

Skogen playing in the toy bucket.

Barkley! and Kelsey tired out after they escaped and ran clear across the river chasing the swans.  They were in BIG trouble. It's a good thing that the river didn't have any open water.

Grandma made Maida a Mickey Mouse and snowman pancake for breakfast one morning!  Maida was SO excited!

Ice skating on the river in Grandma and Bumpa's backyard.

Sledding onto the river

Drinking hot chocolate to get warm after playing outside.  It was only nine degrees!

Skogen fell asleep on Bumpa

Ice cream cones!

I'd love to say that our trip home was better than the trip there (with Skogen puking the whole way).  But it turns out that what everyone convinced me was just Skogen getting car sick, was actually a bug.  Maida threw up all the way home.  By the time I got home, I was so sick of cleaning up puke!  It will be a long time before I make a long car trip alone again.

25 February 2010

A Big Family

(video from last week)

A new dog... a new kid... most people think I'm crazy.  Sometimes I agree... like yesterday when I came to the realization that Erik and I will have a 16, 17, and 18 year old all at the same time... ah!  Most of the time I really enjoy a crazy house and look forward to a new baby adding even more craziness, love, and fun to our family.
Recently MckMama posted an article (which I posted below) about big families that I really enjoyed.  I know that we're far from a "big" family, but most of the time I count Erik and the dogs as extra children.  :)  Hehe!

Why Big Families Might Be Easier

 Thursday, February 04, 2010 8:29 AM

A woman said to me recently that my five children were very well behaved. It’s one of the best things I can hear so I thanked her. Then she asked me “how do you do it with so many?”
I told her that I don’t think I’d be a very good parent of one child or two. She didn’t believe my answer but honest to goodness, I sometimes think that having many children is easier than just one.
Why big families are easier:
Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.
Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it.
Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.
Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent.
Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.
Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score.
Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.)
Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.
Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill.
Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family.
Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes.
Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps.
Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous.
Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what.
Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.

23 February 2010

Make Me Babies

According to makemebabies.com, this is what our babies should look like:

Since makemebabies.com is so entirely accurate with their baby making predictions, I decided to give Karlie and Brandon a little taste of what they are expecting...

Trip to Bumpa and Grandma's House

Yesterday I decided to jump in the car and drive to my parents' house for a few days.  The kids always love going to Bumpa and Grandma's and I thought it was time to introduce Kelsey to this side of the family.  The trip went surprisingly well... until we got 35 miles from my parents' house.  It was then, in the middle of nowhere, that Skogen threw up and threw up and threw up.  He threw up so much that I had to pull over on the side of the road and grab an extra blanket that was in the car just to soak up the puke.  Thinking that he just was car sick and wouldn't throw up again, I stripped him down to his diaper and put him back into the car seat.  Well, I was so wrong.  He threw up four more times before I could get to my parents' house and one more time in their driveway.  Poor baby!

After Skogen threw up the third time and I had started driving again, I asked Maida, "Maida, do you feel bad for Skogen?" and she replied with, "No, because I really can't do anything for him."  She was right, but wanting to teach her compassion, I said, "Well, you can still feel sorry for him because he's been throwing up and doesn't feel good."  She rolled her eyes and said, "Well then, he can stop hitting and kicking and pushing me.  Then I will feel sorry for him."  Siblings!  This is something I never experienced!

Skogen puked all night, however woke up feeling much better.  Besides some diarrhea, he's been playing like crazy.  I'm praying that neither Maida or I get it, or Bumpa or Grandma, or the cousins that are coming to see us tonight.

22 February 2010

Birth Order of Children

My mom sent this to me a few months ago and I thought that it was soooooooooo funny (and somewhat true!).  I know there are a lot of moms (and moms-to-be) that read this blog.  I thought you all would get a laugh out of this, too...


             1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as 
                  your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.    

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible. 

3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes. 


Preparing for the Birth: 

1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously. 

2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last  
time, breathing didn't do a thing. 

3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.. 


The Layette: 

1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau. 

2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and 
discard only the ones with the darkest stains. 

3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they? 



1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, 
a frown--you pick up the baby 

2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten 
to wake your firstborn. 

3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to 
rewind the mechanical swing. 


1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until 
you can go home and wash and boil it. 

2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it 
off with some juice from the baby's bottle. 

3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in. 



1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, 
whether they need it or not. 

2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed. 

3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to 
complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees. 



1st baby:  You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, 
Baby Zoo, Baby Movies and Baby Story Hour. 

2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.  

3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaners. 


Going Out: 

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, 
you call home five times. 

2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to 
leave a number where you can be reached. 

3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood. 


At Home:  
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby. 

2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby. 

3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children 


Swallowing Coins (a favorite): 

1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays 

2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass. 

3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance! 

20 February 2010

Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad

Tonight for dinner I made a great salad!  I really think this would be something that my mom and my mom-in-law would like, and maybe some of you!  Maida and Skogen couldn't get enough of it, which is awesome, because I feel like it's some-what healthy.

Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can collard greens, drained (I just tore up lettuce from a head of lettuce!)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can green peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 (4 ounce) can sliced black olives (I didn't have any of these.)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes, undrained and chopped (I have no idea what Italian-style tomatoes are, I just used a can of diced tomatoes.)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (Erik added hot sauce!)


  1. Bring the brown rice, water, olive oil, and 1//2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes. (I used instant rice, so I used these ingredients, but followed the directions on the box to boil for five minutes and let set for five minutes.  There was extra water at the end, so I drained the rice before putting it into a different bowl.) Scrape into a mixing bowl, fluff with a fork, and refrigerate to room temperature.
  2. Stir the collard greens, black beans, green peas, corn, green chiles, olives, and tomatoes into the cooled rice until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 87 | Total Fat: 1.7g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Friday Afternoon

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