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 January 2011

Dead Toad

I've spent the afternoon cleaning off my computer's hard drive and in the process, came across this photo:

Klaasen loved making this face when he was younger. It always made me laugh because it reminded me of a dead toad!

26 January 2011

Sesame Street Live

Last Friday, we went with Maida's preschool to Sesame Street Live. It was a negative 14 degrees and walking from the parking ramp to the Target Center was a bit chilly! I totally forgot there was a skyway, so we went a different way back to the car after the show, which was a lot warmer!

The show started off great with lots of lights, music, dancing, and flying confetti, but as intermission approached, we were ready to get up and get some cotton candy! Skogen had no idea what the fluffy stuff was and refused to put it in his mouth at first. He just kept ripping it off and throwing it on the ground! Soon we convinced him to put some in his mouth and he was surprised at how yummy it was. We downed the cotton candy within the first ten minutes of the second half of the show, and all three of us had a hard time sitting still for the second half. I'm so glad that we got half price tickets because it really wasn't worth the money. We were very disappointed. However, getting to know the other kids and parents from preschool made our trip worth it.
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23 January 2011

Klaasen Says, "Mama"

About a week ago, Klaasen started saying, "Mama." It is the cutest thing I've ever heard! I just love it! I have taken a couple videos of him talking, and the one below isn't the best, but I'm not going to have a computer for the next two weeks, so thought I should post one. This was the only one I remembered to transfer from the camera to the computer. And just for the baby book (in case I don't get around to updating it any time soon), Klaasen rolled over for the first time (from his back to his tummy) on January 17th and waved bye-bye to Grandma on January 20th. He's growing up sooooo quickly! He will be six months on the 27th of January. I can't believe he's been a part of our life for SIX months, already!!!

21 January 2011

I figured it was about time

I finally put all of our Christmas pictures online! Some of them Erik's Uncle Gregg took and some are from Mema and Deda, but most of them are from our phone cameras, which don't take very clear pictures when the kids move so fast! (Our camera broke in September and we still haven't gotten it replaced.)

We spent Christmas in Oklahoma, between interviews, with Erik's family, however, we were able to stop and see my cousins while we were there, too. There are way too many fun memories to document here. It would take me all day! I hope the pictures can convey the love, joy, and happiness we felt this Christmas with our family and friends in Oklahoma.

20 January 2011

Caleb Hawley

From the little barefoot, dirty boy at camp, who could hold his own on the whiffle ball field to potential rockstar, our friend Caleb made it to Hollywood last night on American Idol!!! I have known several people who have tried out for American Idol, but I have never known anyone to actually make it on TV, and then make it to Hollywood. I am soooooooooo excited for him and his whole family, who Erik and I have grown up with!

You can also go check this link out and vote for Caleb!


19 January 2011

One Day at a Time

I'm sitting here in my toy-filled living room looking out the window into the front yard, spice tea in hand and blanket on my lap, on this bitterly cold January day. Sounds of Maida reading Cinderella to her naked "Sadie Babby," echo down the hall from her room, interrupted by an occasional, "NOOO!" as Skogen, I'm sure, is either running his car into her or trying to turn the pages of her book, or both. Klaasen is snugged beside me in his stripped footed pajamas, examining the paper that Maida colored in her last Sunday School class and attempting to eat as much of it as he can get into his mouth. None of us are one bit startled by the sounds of the nail gun coming up the stairs or the pounding we feel frequently on the floor beneath us. The sounds of renovation are all too familiar, now, in fact the tile layer came in the house this morning and was working for an hour before I even work up.

I woke up this morning to my phone ringing. It was the mechanic calling from where we had dropped off our van last night. As I answered, he said, "Ms. Scharrer, I'm calling you with very unfortunate news." A call that begins like that never ends good. So, I as sit here three hours later, sipping my spice tea, and marveling at how the snow sparkles as the sun hits it just right, I'm nervously anticipating what these next few weeks will bring. New car? New basement! New town? New baby crawling! Doctor appointments... Birthdays... Weddings... Spring... Graduation... Ah! My mind is spinning as I anticipate my already-crazy-life getting THAT much crazier. How will everything fall into place? I don't even know how tomorrow will fall into place. One day at a time...

17 January 2011

Football with Daddy

Watching football with Daddy is so much fun!
I get really excited when he lets me hold the remote.
But sometimes I can't figure out which buttons to push.
My Daddy is really nice, though, and says, "That's okay. Let's just lay here and talk instead."
And, boy, do I have a lot to say!

08 January 2011

Interview Trail: Rochester, MN (Mayo Clinic)

After a week at home following our three-week-long trip, we really hadn't given our future plans much thought. So, on Monday when we realized that Friday was quickly approaching, and Erik was scheduled for an interview at Mayo in Rochester, we decided that we better try to find a babysitter really fast if I was going to go with him. Luckily, my mom is retired and doesn't mind dropping everything for her grandchildren, and driving three hours! With just a quick call to her, she was in the car the next day, and on her way to watch our kiddos.

It was nice to leave the two older ones at home... not as much packing to do, not as much entertaining to do in the car, not as much work figuring out where every one was going to sleep, no making beds on the floor, no fights, no whining, no temper tantrums or car sickness, and the biggest plus of them staying home, was that I was able to attend the night before dinner with Erik! This was only the second time, out of all of the interviews, that I was able to go with him.

We had a great time getting to know some of the residents and other applicants over a really nice (and very yummy!) dinner. I enjoyed talking to a couple of the spouses of the residents and learning more about the program and the city. They were super good at selling their program to me, and by the time we left Rochester the next day, I was almost convinced that we were meant to be there for the next three years. However, I also realized that, (1) if would have been able to attend the other programs' night-before dinners, I probably would have been just as convinced that their program was my favorite, and (2) no matter how much I like a program, there are a lot of other (and more important) factors involved in this process. Drowning in a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts about our life and just how up-in-the-air it is right now, I sincerely welcomed yet another snow storm on the way home. Keeping the car on the road was just enough to keep my mind off of the emotions surrounding the unknown of residency.

07 January 2011

Basement Progress

Here is what we started with...

Here is the progress over the last month...

We can't wait until it's all finished! Only about one more month to go!!!

06 January 2011

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the kids together from the last few weeks...

At a hotel swimming pool in Omaha, Nebraska

In front of a big Christmas tree at Nana's work
(photo taken by her co-worker, Tammy)

Christmas Eve day
(photo taken by Erik's Uncle Gregg)

Christmas morning in matching pajamas, after opening presents

New Year's Day, at Bumpa and Grandma's house in matching camo outfits from Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jay

05 January 2011

Christmas Present from Maida

Today was Maida's first day of preschool since way before Christmas, so we had a lot of papers and projects to bring home with us. One of the things we brought home was the Christmas present that Maida has been making with her teachers for Erik and I. This is one of the first times she has made us something like this and kept it a secret. She was so happy and excited to give it to us and it really made me feel so blessed and happy. I know (and hope) that I'm not going to be the type of mom to save every little thing my kids make growing up, however I'm hoping that I can snap some pictures of the special projects and put them on the blog, which will last forever.

03 January 2011

A Quick Wrap Up

December in 150 words...

Spice tea

Christmas decorations

Real [dead, shedding] Christmas tree

Basement framed



Sheet rock

Interview trail – Detroit, Omaha

Priceline deals


Continental breakfasts

Back injury

Urgent Care

Pain meds

Weather, from storms in the Northwest to sun in Oklahoma

Brandon and Karlie’s




Time with Kinley


Hobby Lobby

Mardell, new Bible

Pictures, lunch with Nana

Mema and Deda’s

Christmas Eve

Milk and cookies for Santa

Magic rose Aunt Susie made

Matching pajamas

Klaasen’s first Christmas

Beaded serving spoons

“Snowman Soup”




Aunt Lola’s horse

Kara’s cousins


Fun family pictures

“Salad Bowl”

Icky colds

Long drive home

Ran out of gas 30 miles from home

Erik pushed car to gas station

Kara’s parents, surprise visit

Maida and Skogen home with Bumpa and Grandma

Five days without kids

Christmas decorations put away

House cleaned

Date nights, Scrabble

13 loads of laundry

New Years, Kara’s family

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