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.

30 April 2011

Baking a Cake for Daddy

Klaasen helped me bake Erik's birthday cake! He loves to hold onto my legs while I work in the kitchen.

Blessings


Have I told you how much I love these kids?


And how I never imagined ever loving such a snotty, crusty nose so much!



I feel so blessed to spend every second of every day with these blessings.

29 April 2011

9 Months


Klaas, you are a haas. I know this because every morning I wake up wondering how in the world I will find the strength to lift you out of your crib, and I go to sleep every night with a backache. I'm convinced that there has never been a baby as big as you, but know what? I love every single pound of you! It's a good thing you're so big because I'm not sure you'd survive in this house without having a little weight to push your brother and sister around with! :)

Of all the months since you were born, this is the month that you have amazed me the most. You remind me a lot of Maida when she was a baby. You have the same learning style as she did and you pick up things quickly, too. I love how I can talk to you and you look at me like you know exactly what I'm saying to you. You are so smart! In my opinion, one of the most intelligent things you have started to do this month is communicating with sign language. You can sign "more" and "all done"and you know exactly what they mean. In my experience, baby sign language saves a lot of temper tantrums and I'm so excited that you've picked up signs a little quicker than your brother or sister ever did. I absolutely LOVE that you are able to tell me when you are finished eating or if you want more. It's amazing how smart that makes me think you are! Here is a video I took of you the very first night you picked up on signing "more" (you haven't exactly perfected the sign, yet, and sometimes you clap your hands for "more," but we know what you mean and will work on perfecting this as we go).

Besides picking up on your signs, you have also picked up on your feelings and emotions! You love to be a little stinker! You enjoy picking on Skogen by taking his toys from him or picking on Maida by pulling her hair. You're not afraid to fight them for what you want and can beat Skogen in a fight every time by pulling his hair and sucking on his face. You are also quite stubborn and want your way. If mom says, "no," you throw yourself into a tantrum. I appreciate that you are showing your feelings and emotions in different ways, now, but trying to hold a 30 pound baby who is arching his back and tantrumming isn't easy. I hope this stage doesn't last long.

Speaking of stages, you certainly haven't hit the sleeping-through-the-night stage, yet! You like to wake up at least once (if we're lucky) and some nights you still wake up every hour! However, Daddy and Mommy finally figured out that if you sleep in a pack-and-play in the office next to our room, where you can hear us and feel close to us, you sleep much better. Hopefully soon we'll get your sleeping patterns figured out and more consistent. You nap at least once at day for three or four hours and sometimes you take two naps. I thought it was funny yesterday when I found you asleep in both your high chair and jumper! Maybe you're going through a growth spurt!

Regardless of what everyone thinks, you really don't eat very much. You nurse every five or six hours and it takes you 5-10 minutes total to nurse on both sides. You have solids about three times a day and drink lots of water! I'm hoping to cut the nursing back to twice a day soon since I'm planning to leave you in a month to go to a wedding in Texas. We have just three weeks to get you to like the bottle or else Daddy's going to have a really hard time taking care of you while I'm gone!

This month you got sick with your very first fever. When it hit 103, you were so miserable! All you wanted was for me to hold you, so I ended up sleeping with you on the couch. It lasted three days and then you felt much better. Look at how sick you were, you wouldn't even smile:
You are EVERYWHERE! You have learned how to pull yourself up to standing on anything, including the wall in the hallway or sliding glass door, and you get into everything! You have even figured out how to turn the radio on! I am amazed at what I find in your mouth and have to constantly watch what you are doing. Your favorite thing to do is to follow your brother and sister around and can keep up with them pretty well. According to Bumpa and Aunt Nancy, you let go of the stool at Grandma's house and stood for a few minutes by yourself! You also have started to learn how to go up the stairs and I'm sure that it won't be long until going up and down, up and down, up and down will be your favorite game!

You are such a mama's boy and don't let me get too far away from you. I don't mind at all, though. When Maida was a baby, she was the same way and I couldn't stand it because I thought you'd be clingy forever if I let you be as a baby. However, now I enjoy this bond because I know you won't always be a mama's boy! I love that by just holding and kissing you, I can take away all of your hurts and fears. Makes me feel pretty special!


We love you little stinker,

Mommy

27 April 2011

A friend of mine had this quote on his facebook this morning:

"There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him."
C. S. Lewis

It really spoke to me.

In this time of transition, I've found myself looking back over the past four years of medical school while also glancing ahead to residency. As I look back, I see times where we fell short, forgetting to give everything to Him. As I look ahead, I am encouraged and inspired to try even harder to be who He has made me to be.

Graduation is next week. This is both scary and exciting! We are expecting lots of family and friends to come to town for this exciting achievement! With the packing, planning, preparing, and partying that we'll be doing, I can't promise much blogging (especially since I lost the camera cord, again!). But I am going to try my best to document this part of our journey.

25 April 2011

Easter 2011 - Grandma and Bumpa's House

We spent Easter at Grandma and Bumpa's house. We had such a great time with cousins from West Virginia that we hadn't seen in a few years and other family from the area. Erik got off of work for the weekend and came to surprise us!!! I was so SO happy to see him walk in the door on Friday night and I was so thankful to spend some much needed time as a family.

I have a 20 minute video of the kids searching for their Easter baskets on Easter morning, but instead of bore you with that, I'll just post some pictures from the weekend...




A little explanation is needed for the next couple of pictures. Maida was playing by herself on Sunday afternoon while we were finishing up lunch. After a while she came back to the table and had red marker all over her eyelids. She had lined her lips with a brown marker, too. She told us that she had put on make up for her wedding. After further investigation, Erik discovered that her face wasn't the only thing she colored on. She also colored on Grandma's wall! Maida had to scrub off the marker as part of her punishment. I couldn't believe that she did that! She hasn't done anything like that for over a year and I felt so bad that it happened at someone else's house.


22 April 2011

I didn't grow up with my siblings. I never knew they were so much fun!!!









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