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...


14 December 2010

Interview Trail: Kalamazoo & Detroit

Knowing that it was supposed to be bad, but not quite understanding exactly how bad was "bad," we set off for Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the middle of one of the biggest snow storms in Minnesota. With already at least a foot of freshly fallen snow on the ground, our neighbor had to plow us out of our driveway, and then we were on our way. The kids snacked on Cheerios and raisins (without a care in the world) while Erik slowly made our way out onto the freeway. The road was only partially plowed and most of the on and off ramps were not even touched, making getting on or off the freeway almost impossible. Luckily we made it on and with hardly any visibility, we slowly made our way to Michigan.
The journey seemed to take forever and that's probably because we never knew where we were. We couldn't see signs and could hardly see the road. Thank goodness for GPS! In this picture (below), you can barely make out the sign on the right side of the road. It was so bad! You didn't even know that you were approaching a car until you were practically on top of them! Very dangerous conditions. The thought of stopping and staying over night crossed my mind, but I knew that it would be just as bad in the morning, and Erik had an interview dinner that night that he really needed to try to make.
I was so thankful for Erik and for all of the experience he has had driving in snow and ice. There was one time when a semi caused us to fishtail on a bridge and if I would have been driving, I'm 100% sure that we would be dead. However, Erik was able to get things under control and I have no idea how he did it and stayed so calm in the process! It was such a wild ride that Skogen got car sick and threw up all over the car, himself, and me a few minutes later. I stripped both of us down and we kept trucking along, Skogen in his diaper, me in my undies. There were several accidents along the way, the worst involving a bus and a semi. I actually couldn't believe that there weren't more and I feel that there is nothing I could say that would accurately portray or describe this experience.
We stopped to eat lunch in Madison, Wisconsin, where the snow had finally let up. I cleaned up a bit, fed Klaasen, we ate lunch, and gassed up. When we got back on the road an hour later, the car started acting very funny. It was acting like we were running out of gas, however we had just gassed up. We made a call to my dad who knew exactly what was wrong and he suggested that we add something called, "Heet," to the gas tank. We stopped at the next truck stop to get some Heet and while Erik was in there purchasing some, the car actually died. Ah! This was not the time for car troubles! Erik added the Heat to the gas tank and the car started right up. My dad told us that it would take a while for the Heet to take effect, so I took over the driving while Erik took over the napping. I slowly noticed the car getting better and better the further we went. I got us to Chicago, where we switched drivers again. Erik then took us into Kalamazoo where we checked into a very nice Radisson (thank you, Kalamazoo EM program!) in pouring down rain and Erik was only 30 minutes late to his dinner!

After one night in Kalamazoo and a day of interviews, the storm found us again! Just in time for us to head out and go to Detroit for Erik's next two interviews, it started snowing. The snow, mixed with the ice from all the rain the day before, made for a miserable drive to Detroit. Erik did a great job, again, of getting us there safely, despite all the challenges the weather provided. Honestly, I have never felt so scared driving in a snow storm before.

We are now in Detroit and have been here for two nights. Erik is interviewing at two different hospitals here and then tomorrow we will head off again! Our next stop will be Omaha and I'm praying for better weather and driving conditions. The kids have been perfect through everything. They are great at entertaining themselves and have really enjoyed using the swimming pools and hot tubs in the hotels. They have also been sleeping very well at night and have actually slept in until 11:00 both of the last two mornings! Erik has had to be up by 5:30 to get ready for interviews, but I have been able to wake up with him and then go back to sleep. It's been great catching up on my sleep!

12 December 2010

Four Month Appointment

Klaasen was 23 pounds, 2 ounces and 27 3/4 inches long at his last appointment. Our pediatrician said that he's a perfect breasted baby! They should gain all of their weight in the first three months and then start plateau-ing off. She was impressed with his sitting skills and not one bit worried that he can't roll over, yet. She was okay with him sleeping on his tummy and didn't mind that I don't give him vitamins (do any of you breastfeeding moms do vitamins?). Because of his weight, we decided to wait on starting food until five or six months.
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08 December 2010

Ever wonder

...why Erik's nice dress shoes are always so scuffed up?

Now you know why...

03 December 2010

Interview Trail: St. Lous

Early Sunday morning, November 28th, Erik, Klaasen, and I set off for St. Louis. Maida and Skogen were still tucked tightly in their beds, along with Bumpa and Grandma, who stayed with them while we were gone. Erik's interview was scheduled for Sunday night and Monday morning, so we were praying for a quick, safe trip down.

The weather, the roads, the baby - everything that could have caused problems, went perfect! We cruised right on down, got our hotel room, ran across the street to Jimmy John's for dinner, and then I had an evening alone with Klaas in our hotel room while Erik went to meet some of the residents. While Erik was gone, I started feel a little dizzy and jittery, however I thought it was just because I drank a coffee earlier in the day and maybe the caffeine was starting to affect me. Erik got home a few hours later, I took a shower, Erik did some studying, Klaasen went to sleep, and I followed shortly after.

4:00am came way too early, especially since Klaasen was was up screaming at midnight. I never did find out what was wrong, but it seemed like he had a tummy ache and after puking, he fell back to sleep. After feeding Klaasen at four, I woke Erik up to start getting ready, then I laid back down for a few more hours of sleep.

At 6:45, I dropped Erik off at the hospital, went back to the hotel for contintntal breakfast, took a little nap, packed things up, and then set out exploring. I was impressed with the neighborhood where our hotel was, but really didn't like any of the surrounding areas. I thought the houses looked run down, small, and not exactly where I wanted to live. Before picking Erik up at the hospital, I stopped at Walmart to get some 7-Up because my tummy was feeling icky. On the way back to the car, a nice looking woman approached me. She asked if I had any money for a bus fare for her, her sister, and niece. I appologized sayimg that all I had was a credit card and that I was on vacation. I felt really bad about not giving her money, even though all I really had was a credit card. I sat in my car for a few minutes, sipping my 7-Up, watching this lady approach everyone walking through the parking lot. I felt really bad for her.

After picking Erik up from the hospital in the pouring rain, we drove down to see the St. Louis Arch. By this time I was feeling really sick and really not wanting to be in the car. Erik tried to convince me to go up in the arch, but I knew I was going to puke at any minute, so much to Erik's dissapointment, we headed on home.

At some point on the way home I started puking. I don't remember much, other than Erik running into a gas station to get plastic bags for me to puke into (and reminding me to double bag), me begging Erik for some ice chips and IV fluids, and Klaasen having a tummy ache and not wanting to be in his car seat. All he wanted to do is lay on his tummy. Erik drove the whole way while I begged him to stop the car as often as he could. The last hour of the trip was so hard because I was so dehydrated, Erik was so tired, and it had started sleeting. We made, it though, and found when we got home that Skogen had been puking while we were gone and my mom had just gotten it, too. Yuck.

01 December 2010

Basement Finish (#1)

Today they start on our basement! It should take about 50 days from start to finish and we couldn't be more ready to have it done! It will be so nice to have double the living space.
Here is our future master bedroom (the egress window was put in last month):
I'll try to keep you posted on the progress...

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