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.

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween from the Spud Family!


Let me present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and their Tater Tot.



More pictures to come...

29 October 2011

Welcome Kailey Ann!!!



One of my very good friends, Kristin, and her husband, Bryan, had their first baby this week!!! Kristin and I worked together while I was pregnant with Maida, so she went through my whole pregnancy and birth with me. Since first hearing she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to get up to the hospital to see her and meet the new baby, just like she had done for me.

It was a long trip up to the hospital with a screaming Klaasen (thank you to Megan for watching the other two so that I didn't have to being them!), an error in reading Google Maps and choosing a route that added 20 minutes onto my already two hour car ride, and very late night getting home, which messed up bedtimes for all of us, but it was soooooooo worth it. Erik once told me that if you are a good friend, you go above and beyond to show your friends that you care. This wasn't really going above and beyond, but while I was trying to get up to the hospital as fast as I could, with a screaming, hungry, tired toddler, all I wanted to do is turn around and go home. But, showing Kristin that I cared was way more important and I'm so thankful that I was able to be there to share in this special time with them. (I'm also thankful that Erik was able to meet me there and help take care of Klaasen!)

I am so excited for Kristin and Bryan. I can't wait to watch them transform into parents and watch Kailey Ann turn into a beautiful little lady.

Here's a picture of Kristin and Bryan getting a good look at all of Maida's head trauma she suffered at birth...
And here is Bryan with Maida...
They were there to welcome Klaasen, too, but all the pictures are on the external hard drive, which hasn't been unpacked, yet!
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27 October 2011

Occupation Day

Yesterday, Maida's class had Occupation Day. They had to dress up like what they want to be when they grow up. The others in Maida's class want to be a construction worker, three of them want to be vets, the teacher wants to be a world traveler, two want to be teachers, and Maida wants to be a mom. :)

I tried to get her to wear an apron or a bathrobe and carry a baby in a sling with a diaper bag, but she wouldn't do it. She told me she was too embarrassed to dress up and didn't want to. It wasn't until we were frantically running out the door that she asked me to write, "MOM," on her shirt, put on a little lipstick and blush, carried a purse, and wore bobby pins in her hair (she made a big point of telling me that little girls wear bows, but moms wear bobby pins). I was proud of her for doing something! When I picked her up, she was really down. I asked her what the problem was and she said, "No one noticed that I was wearing bobby pins." Ha! I love this girl!

Last night we were playing with one of our best buds who is the same age as Skogen. I asked him and Skogen what they wanted to be when they grow up. He said, "a boy," and Skogen said, "a bumble bee!" :) Ha! LOVE them!

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Today I baked these sweet things...

They were SO easy and SO good and SO perfect for Fall!

Have you heard of mixing a cake mix with a can of pumpkin to create yummy, moist muffins? On several blogs that I follow, I have seen this idea. It looked really easy, and I had a can of pumpkin left over from last year, so I thought I'd give it a go.
What you do is mix one can of pumpkin (15 ounce size) with the powder mix of a yellow cake mix and then pour in a muffin pan and bake! That is it! I was a little concerned about there not being any liquid of any sort in there, but the more you mix the two, you can see it coming together in to a beautiful, fluffy batter. You bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine to 25 minutes because I filled the cups pretty full. I didn't have any muffin papers, so I just sprayed the pan. I also didn't have a yellow cake mix, so I used a white one. Next time I make them, I will make sure I use a yellow one because I think it would have tasted better. I was able to get 16 muffins.

The frosting I found on this blog and I absolutely LOVE it. It's a very easy recipe...
Ingredients:
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:
Beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar. Continue beating until creamy.

I frosted the muffins as soon as they cooled and had plenty of frosting (Skogen and I dipped a cut up apple in the leftover frosting and it was soooooooooo good!). I was hesitant about the coconut, but ended up sprinkling it on the top and I'm so glad I did!

Fall yummy-ness!


22 October 2011

Halloween Costumes 2011

If you hear me announce next year that I am making Halloween costumes for the kids, please do NOT let me do it! The kids knew exactly what they wanted to be for Halloween this year, but I couldn't find costumes for cheaper than $40 a piece, so I decided that I could make them. I thought, "How hard could this be?"

I also decided that since I couldn't find a pattern at the material store, I would make my own. Ha! Well, 49.5 hours later of planning, drawing, cutting, pinning, sewing, seam ripping, re-sewing, prying kids' fingers off of sewing machine, hemming, putting in elastic, picking up hundreds of pins Klaasen dumped on the floor (twice!), gluing, saving Maida from Skogen cutting her hair with sewing scissors, and stuffing, and I am only half way done with these costumes. I am so ready to be done!

Any guesses on what they are going to be?

20 October 2011

My boys...

love, L-O-V-E, to wrestle!
I have recently discovered, and really appreciate, that little boys can wrestle each other without a mean or hurtful intention. (Not growing up with brothers, I had no idea!)
They know how to wrestle just so, in a playful manor, laughing and giggling the whole time.
It reminds me of the way little puppies or kittens play, swatting, biting, and pouncing on each other. (Only, my boys don't bite!)
These little orange monsters are so blessed to have each other and to be so close in age (and, for wrestling purposes, in weight!).
I pray every day that these fun wrestling matches, always stay fun, and that these two boys will grow into the best of friends.

19 October 2011

Grandma and Nana Visit

This weekend we had Nana and Grandma here to play {and work :)}!!!

Nana lives in Oklahoma, so it was especially fun to spend time with her.

Grandma cooked lots of nummy meals for us while she was here!




We had such a great time together. Hope we can have our Grandma and Nana visit again soon!
And just for kicks, here is a picture of our moms when Erik and I were just young tots. :)

11 October 2011

Homemade Activity Table

After getting some inspiration from a sensory table that my sister-in-law, Karlie, and our Deda built, I decided I'd try to make my own.
Karlie and my adorable sweet niece, Kinley, and their sensory table.

So, this summer while we were up north, my sister-in-law, Nancy, and my dad helped me make an activity table for the kids. First we visited the local thrift store and bought a coffee table. I then bought three plastic tubs and we cut three holes in the table that were a little smaller than the tops of the tubs.
I let Maida and Skogen paint the table with my mom and dad's left over paint and then we dropped the tubs in.
I then filled one with oatmeal flakes, one with white rice, and the other with toys to play in the oatmeal and rice with. The kids LOVED it!
Even my eleven year old niece and nephew had a blast.
We have had numerous playdates around this table and it is the perfect height for everyone. I'm also glad that it is so long because we can fit a whole bunch of kids around it comfortably. I am also glad that I went with three small tubs instead of one or two bigger ones. It's fun to be able to fill them with different things at the same time and it also helps to be able to have a tub for each of the kids when they are fighting over things and we need to divide up. Besides the oatmeal and rice, we've also filled it with sand and water, too. I can't wait to try shaving cream, glitter, jello, spaghetti noodles, and other fun things to play in.


05 October 2011

A New Life

It's 11:10 on a Wednesday night and I am enjoying complete silence, snuggled under a brown furry blanket, on my new leather love seat, searching Pinterest, under the soft glow of the lamp in the corner of the living room. This time is so significant and special because for the first time in over four years, I finally have some time to myself to do whatever I want to do.

Last month I decided the kids needed a new schedule and part of this schedule entailed going to bed at 8 every night. I didn't like the sound of this at first because I really happen to like sleeping in, in the mornings. However, since most mornings we attend preschool, Bible study, or church, anyway, I figured we all might as well learn to get up earlier. It took about a week for the kids to adjust to the new bedtime (which of course effected their wake up time), but now my new plan is working amazingly! I get the kids in bed by 8:30, the kitchen cleaned and the house picked up by 9:00, and then I have a few hours to do my own thing. I've started reading again, sewing, discovering new internet sites (like Pinterest!), and writing letters. I can even go to bed if I want to or watch a movie! If Erik just happens to be at home, we get lots of good talking time or enjoy TV together before bed.

I am so thankful to discover "me" again and find new (and old) interests, too. I'm learning that waking up by 8 every morning isn't so bad, either, and that coffee does wonders in the middle of the afternoon when I'm dragging. This new life is so refreshing and great that I'm starting to wonder if I really want that fourth baby that I've been begging Erik for...

I love my dog.


Barkley! is such a great dog. I'm so glad that he's back with our family after spending the summer at Bumpa and Grandma's, where he was spoiled to death! It's nice to have my favorite friend to vent to (because he always listens and agrees with what I'm saying), my best helper with watching the kids (especially when they're playing outside), and the number one best protector when Erik is working the night shift (Barkley! takes his job seriously). He's the best dog I could ever imagine having.
I love my dog.

04 October 2011

Daddy and Me Sports Night at Preschool


They had to dress in their favorite team's attire!

Skogen wanted Daddy to wear his hat backwards like him!

02 October 2011

Fall 2011 Love

Fall love...
I love the smell of cedar. I love drinking Spice Tea and balancing the mug on my tummy in between drinks. I love that my husband gives whatever he does 110%. I love new babies. I love spending time with my kids. I love Fall. I love my camera. I love organizing and the feeling of being organized. I love brushing my kids' teeth. I love new shoes, new cars, and freshly washed bed sheets. I love sleeping with the fan on. I love the smell of snow. I love good friendships and when I have a good friend who's kids are good friends with my kids! I love having people over. I love when people come over and stay like they're never leaving. I love to surprise my kids. I love to feel inspired and I love to inspire my kids. I love spontaneous trips with my husband and kids and appreciate that the kids love these trips, too! I love praying. I love talking to Erik about our future. I love feeling secure and feeling like we belong here. I love fall colors and I love to watch the trees change. I love little kids in hoodies and winter hats at the park. I love football.
Fall love.

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