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...


24 February 2011

New Pictures With My New Camera

The Outtakes...

Maida's Homemade Valentines

Before February is over, I wanted to post some pictures of the Valentines Maida made this year for her preschool class. She worked very hard on them.

Here is the front of Valentine #1:

The front of Valentine #2:

The back of the Valentines: (I have no idea how to get this un-underlined!)

The Valentines she made:

She did such a great job cutting them out, writing her name, and stuffing them with Skittles. Her preschool class had a "Friendship Party" and it was fun to watch Maida open all of her Valentines after she got home.

22 February 2011

Dear Klaasen,

Where did the past six months go and what are you up to now?
You are such a good baby. You hardly ever, EVER, cry. You never even fuss! You are completely content with whatever, wherever, who ever, and whenever. We've taken you all over the country and back, and most of the time, we wouldn't even know we had a baby with.
You are getting really close to crawling and can scoot backwards all over the place. You get on your hands and knees often and love to rock back and forth. You finally rolled over! Even though you don't do it often, at least I know that you can do it! You also have a new favorite position. I laugh when I see you sitting in this position because it looks like you are trying to do the splits!
You are just learning to clap your hands and can point to my nose when I say, "Where's Mommy's nose?" You babble. You can say, "mama," "dada," and "bye-bye." When you say, "bye-bye," you wave. The other day we were in Costco and you saw another baby in a cart and said, "bye-bye," and waved. It was so super cute! You have dark brown eyes, like your Daddy and sister, but those might change like Skogen's did. You have very dark brown hair just like Daddy and we think it's going to be curly, too.
You love to play! You still play in your exersaucer a couple times a day and enjoy playing on the floor with toys, too. While I shower, I put you in the doorway of the bathroom in your Johnny Jump Up and you love that! You especially love playing with your brother and sister. They keep you entertained all day long!
You still aren't sleeping very well at night. Sometimes you do 11 hours, but most of the time you only sleep six, and then think you need to get up and eat again before going back to sleep. I'm not going to complain about that, though, because I know that some mothers have it a lot worse. You usually take two naps a day, one that is 45 minutes to an hour long in the morning, and one that is three to four hours long in the afternoon. You have started solid food, now. You usually have rice cereal or homemade applesauce once a day. You've also tried peas and pears. You're not really a fan of food and that's fine with me because it's a lot of work to add in solids. Every day we'll increase your solid intake by a little bit, though, and soon we'll get you eating with your brother and sister.
You love Barkley!, you love Sunday School, and you love to suck your thumb. You sleep on your belly. You take a bath every other day and love to splash! If you hear the bath water running for Maida or Skogen to take a bath and you don't get to get in, you cry. You know how to arch your back, throw your head back, and throw a tantrum. You especially like to throw a tantrum when it's time to take your medicine. You hate taking medicine and getting your nose wiped.
You are fat. You weigh the same as Skogen - 27 pounds! You are also 27 inches tall. You have tons of rolls. Complete strangers come up to you and want to hold you or ask to touch your fat. The doctor says that you are completely healthy and there is nothing wrong with being a fat baby. We can't wait to see what you s-t-r-e-t-c-h out to be and how you'll grow into a little boy. You are such a joy to have around and have a special way of making us happy and proud. I love to kiss your chub and hope I never forget what it's like to kiss those chunky cheeks of yours!

I love you, Tossy.
- Mommy

21 February 2011

Sick of Being Sick

It's been 33 days since we first got sick and I'm so sick of being sick!
I can't remember what it's like to breathe out of my nose or swallow without my throat hurting.
I can't remember what it's like to sleep through the night without waking up to kids coughing until they puke.
I'm so ready to be done with this virus, but can't seem to see the end through all the snot.
If just one of us could get better, I'd be thankful.
I'm just so sick of being sick!

17 February 2011

7,137.1 miles of Interviews

We've been to Rochester, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Indiana, Omaha, Nebraska, St. Louis, Missouri, Kalamazoo and Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We have numerous pictures and countless memories from our journeys. From swimming pools and hot tubs, to a car museum, a Vikings game, a flat tire in Illinois, and a snow storm in Michigan. We certainly didn't use our interview travels just for interviews! We were able to see things we'd never seen before, visit friends and family that we hadn't seen in a long time, master changing a diaper in a moving vehicle and sleeping five people in one room, and we spent time getting closer to each other and to the kids.
Now as we reflect back on those 7,137.1 miles of interviews, it is hard to believe that in just a few short months, we will be starting a new job at one of those new places. As we make our rank list, we anxiously anticipate this new chapter in our lives and pray for guidance in our decision making and peace with whatever happens.

14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

The year we fell in love...

The year we decided to make our love a life-long thing...

The three that make this Valentines Day even more special than the past seven other Valentines Days we've spent together...
(I used this picture for a Valentines Day card we made of our "Cupids in training.")

13 February 2011

Poor sick little baby!

After 21 days of him suffering, I finally took Klaas into the doctor.
Whenever I bring the kids to the doctor, I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, I want the doctor to say, "It's just a virus. Give it time and they'll be fine," because then it doesn't seem so serious, but on the other hand, I want there to be something treatable so that we can kick it in the butt and get healthy!
Yesterday I went into the doctor expecting Klaas to have a virus, but walked out very surprised to be carrying our new $200 nebulizer (hopefully the insurance will decide to reimburse us!).

Klaasen has a double ear infection and RSV. We are treating him with neb treatments four to six times a day and then amoxicillin for the ear infections. He's a little uneasy with the neb treatments, but Maida does a GREAT job of trying to distract him while I keep his little paws off the mask. With time, I hope that it gets easier.

He's so sweet! After his second neb treatment, some amoxicillin and some tylenol, he pooped out on the floor. I couldn't help but pick him up and cuddle for a while.
Poor sick little baby!

12 February 2011

We were tagged by the M&M man!

This morning we woke up to this big red M&M sitting outside on our front step!

He had this note with him:

And a bag of M&M's.

I love our church family!

11 February 2011

Miami Pictures

I took some pictures from some friends and added them to our shutterfly account! They are much better pictures than I took. You can see them here.

09 February 2011

Stefan and Katie's Wedding - Miami

Sometimes I get wild ideas. Most of the time they are pretty spontaneous. Usually they have to do with rearranging the house, baking something new, or moving the kids through a phase (like this morning when I woke up and decided that Skogen should be all done with diapers. I have no idea if he is ready to potty train or not, but for today, at least, we're done with diapers). My wild ideas, however, very rarely consist of such things as flying to a foreign city with no thought-out plans on how we will get to our hotel, or waking up at 5:00 in the morning and hauling a baby to a very windy beach to watch the sunrise. I am very thankful for a husband who doesn't seem to have a care in the world when it comes to things like this, and I'm very slowly learning to let go of worry and embrace the moment. With Erik, the possibilities are endless and wild ideas run crazy.

Last weekend we flew to Miami, Florida for our friend, Stefan's wedding. Stefan is a friend from St. Olaf and he married his friend, Katie, who he grew up with. They have very similar story to Erik and I! Our adventure started at 3:00 in the morning when we had to get up and get ready to make it to the lightrail station by 4:30. Of course we were running late, and as soon as we left the house and almost ran out of gas on the way to the lightrail station, things were just beginning to get stressful. Making it on the lightrail, just seconds after Erik was shoving the dollar bills into the ticket machine, and a split second before the doors shut, we were on our way. And as if our morning wasn't crazy
enough, I read the map wrong and had us get off at the wrong stop! If we would have missed our plane because of this, it would have been a lot worse, but since we caught the next tram 15 minutes later, and eventually made it to our plane (after standing in the longest line I've ever had to stand in at the airport, running through the airport like crazy people, and then jumping on the plane just as they were closing the doors). It all worked out, and for the best, because if we wouldn't have almost missed our plane, we might not have ran into Tim, Aubrey, and Aivey, who were on the same plane and also almost missed the flight! They were on their way to the same wedding and were staying at the same hotel, too, and agreed to be our new best friends for the weekend!

Klaasen did well on his first flight. He loved looking out the window and watching the sun come up. He ate on take off and landing and didn't seem to be bothered at all. We had a short layover in Memphis, with enough time to find our new plane, and talk with our new friends. We discovered that they had rented a car in Miami and they offered to take us with them to the
hotel. Klaasen did well on his second flight, too, sleeping most of it, and then saying, "Dada," for the first time as we were landing! After landing, we picked up our luggage, and got on a bus to go get the rental car. Right as we were getting on the bus, Tim remembered that they didn't get baby Aivey's car seat off the plane, so Aubrey jumped off and said she'd go get it and take the next bus to meet us. After she met us there and we found the car, we were on the way!

My first impression of Miami was, "This place is weird!" and thought the place looked pretty dirty. People were walking everywhere and didn't seem to mind stepping out in front of a moving vehicle. It was a pretty crazy place! As we pulled up to our hotel and found that it looked like an old rundown place, I was wondering if we were at the right hotel. However, soon we
discovered that this small hotel was newly renovated and was the perfect place to stay and a great place to hang out with the rest of the guests from the wedding.

That first night Erik and I borrowed a car from a friend and drove down to South Beach. It felt so funny to have the air conditioning on in the car! I really treasured this special time of bringing Klaasen to the beach for the first time. He wasn't sure about the water, and even cried when we put his toes in, but it was fun to take in the
sounds and smell of the ocean and feel the heat of Miami, even after the sun went down. Erik and I grabbed a quick bite (which was actually our breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at Subway before joining everyone else at the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was at the bride's parents' house. It was so fun to hang out in the backyard, catch up with our St. Olaf friends, and meet more of the bride and groom's families.

The next morning Erik and his friends planned to get up at 5:30am to go out to South Beach and
watch the sun come up. The original plan was to skinny dip in the ocean while the sun was coming up, so I naturally passed and chose to stay in bed and sleep. :) Well, when Klaasen woke up at 5:30 to eat and Erik found out that all the other spouses were going, I decided to join everyone since we were awake, anyway. I am so glad that I did! Not only was the beach relaxing and the sunrise beautiful, but it was fun to get to know everyone better. Erik, Phil, and Tim went swimming (WITH their suits on!) and Erik and Phil got stung by jellyfish, which were all over the place. After swimming and watching the sun come up, we walked a few blocks down the street to a diner that was rated one of the top ten places
in Miami to eat breakfast. There we
enjoyed a yummy breakfast outside on the porch. Klaasen slept all through breakfast and woke to eat again at 8:00, just as we were getting back to the hotel. By this time, it had seemed like we had lived an entire day already! I was surprised to find out that the morning had only just begun.

After hanging out with our friends in the courtyard of the hotel, we decided to go on a hunt for a coffee shop that our friend, Kristin, had found online. In the process of trying to get out of the hotel parking lot (which was extremely cramped), Erik hit a stucco retaining wall with the rental car, leaving white paint on the front bumper! After finding the closed coffee shop and leaving with no coffee, we headed back to the hotel where we googled how to get the paint off the bumper. I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon talking with the girls in the courtyard while Erik ventured out to find some car polish, which google promised would take off the paint. On his way home, Erik witnessed a girl get hit by a motorcycle and used his doctoring skills to help her and keep her stable until the ambulance came. I was so proud of him!

The wedding was so unique and beautiful. I enjoyed watching Stefan and Katie become husband
and wife. After the wedding we all got on a catamaran for the reception. As we went out into the ocean, we were served hors d'oevures and drinks on the deck of the boat. Soon we were invited downstairs where dinner was served. We were seated right by the window with most of our St. Olaf friends. Dinner and conversation was great, along with the toasts, dancing, and wedding cake. We ended the reception outside on the front of the boat as we docked.

Our last night in Miami was spent sitting beside the pool as Erik and Mike had swimming races. We talked and laughed and dreamed of the next time we are all together again. Sunday morning came all too quickly as we packed up our stuff and got on our plane home. We had another layover in Memphis, where we had more time this time, so decided to eat lunch at Corky's, voted one of the top ten places in Memphis for BBQ. Both of the plane rides went smoothly. Klaasen fell asleep before we got on the second flight and slept until we landed! Catching the lightrail seemed to be easier this time around (I let Erik be in charge of telling us when to get off!) and went fairly quickly, which was good because we were anxious to get home and watch the Super Bowl.

To see all of our pictures from Miami, click here.

07 February 2011

Grandma and Bumpa's House

There was no need to be nervous about leaving the kids for five days. They kept very busy! Some of their favorite things were riding their four wheelers that Bumpa and Grandma bought them for Christmas, ice skating with Aunt Nancy and their cousins, and having a slumber party (which included a dance party!) with their cousins, Natalie and Sarena.
Pictures from Miami to come...

02 February 2011

I just dropped Maida and Skogen off at my mom and dad's house. They will be staying for five days while Erik and I go to a wedding in Florida. While I'm excited to have some time away with Erik, I'm nervous about being away from the kids for so long. Klaasen will be coming with us, of course, so we won't be totally kid-free, but just getting away right now will be great!

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