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...


19 April 2012

Ultrasounds Galore

The week of our big gender-revealing ultrasound, Maida came down with an unexpected urinary tract infection.  She had never had one before, but because our pediatrician is very proactive, he recommended doing and ultrasound, just to make sure those kidneys were there, in place, and functioning well.  So, Maida went in for an ultrasound a few days before Mommy!  She did so well and everything turned up looking fine.

18 April 2012

Moustache March Party

The residents grew out their fanciful facial features during the month of March, reportedly in honor of a certain General Olds, who bore the "bulletproof moustache".  At the end of the month, one of the residents had a "celebration of all that is manly," and everyone was allowed, and encouraged, to be manly that night, so our whole family had moustaches for the party.  Skogen was the Lorax, Maida was Professor Marvel (the Wizard of Oz before the tornado), and Klaasen was Chick Hicks (the green arch-nemesis of Lightning McQueen, Cars).


16 April 2012

Klaasen - 20 Months Old

Dear Klaasen,

You are 20 months old!  That's just four months away from turning two years old and I can't believe it.  You have been our little baby for so long and for some reason I just feel like you are such a baby still.  You are so silly and we are constantly giggling at the things you do and say.  You are a little clown and absolutely love to make us laugh.

You started talking in full sentences at 18 months.  You have since really expanded your vocabulary and talk so well for your age compared to what Maida and Skogen were doing at this same age.  Some of my favorite things you say are, "Kaasie fahted," when you pass gas.  "Skogo did it!!" when you did something that you want to blame on Skogen.  "Kaasie ungee now," when you want lunch.  "I offff ewwwww," for I love you.  "Kaasie ready go potty now," when you want a turn on the potty.  "Daddy ohm," when you see that Daddy is home (and you love him being home more often!).  "I see BIG DDDDUCKK!"  you love to point out big trucks, school busses, vans, and cars - you can tell all of them apart and love to talk about them.  "Put nana cake in Kaasie's bowl, peeeeeease," you love banana cake and ask for it often.  "Kaasie fourst," when you want to get out of the bath first or in the car first.  There are so many other things that you say!  I could go on and on.  It is so nice that you can verbally communicate pretty much anything to us now and have dropped your signs.  You still sign "thank you," "please," and "I love you," but say them at the same time, too.

You are such a Mommy's boy.  I can't hardly get out of your sight and you panic.  You are getting used to staying with Daddy, though, since he's around a lot after his injury.  Our two biggest transitions happened at 18 months and 19 months.  At 18 months you decided to be all done with your paci.  I had been talking to you a lot about it and I knew you were getting ready to toss them.  I was very pleased that it was your decision and there were no tears over not having a paci.  Once you handed me your last paci and said goodbye, you never asked for it again.  At 19 months you moved out of your crib and onto a mattress on the floor.  We have a bed for you, but decided to start you on the floor to get you used to staying on the bed and not falling too far.  You love your new bed and have been sleeping through the night about six nights out of the week since moving you. Before that you were still getting up two or three times a night, every night of the week!  So, this was a big change for Mommy with being able to get more sleep, finally!  If you wake up at night, now, you just walk into Mommy and Daddy's room, go to Mommy's side of the bed, and pull on the covers.  I get up and put you back in your bed and you usually go right to sleep.  Sometimes you point back to Mommy and Daddy's room and say, "Klaasie want eep Daddy," and if it is 6am or later, I let you come in bed with us and snuggle until it's time to get up.  If it's still too early, I tell you that the birds aren't chirping, yet, and you understand that you need to go back into your bed a little longer.  You still are a big snuggler and you especially love to snuggle with Daddy.

You run and jump and climb and jump off and spin and are the craziest little boy around.  You can keep up with your brother and sister pretty well and they always include you in their play.  They are your best friends and you love them so much.  You are constantly initiating hugs and kisses with them.  This last week we took you to your first movie!  The Residency Association rented out the entire theater and we could go to any movie we wanted for free!  Since we can hardly make it through a church service without you getting crazy, I was seriously worried about how the movie would go.  We sat in the middle of the theater, though, so that you wouldn't have access to an aisle and you sat right on Daddy's lap most of the time.  It was the 3D movie, The Lorax, and you even kept your glasses on to watch it (well, most of the time)!  You loved to point out vehicles and animals that you saw in the movie.  Luckily the movie theater chairs rocked, so Daddy was able to rock-rock while holding you.  You still LOVE to rock back and forth and if you ever have any down time during the day, you'll hop up on the couch, fold your hands, and rock back and forth.  It's rather odd and I've never seen any other kid do anything like it!  When you rock, you usually announce to me, "Klaasie ocken, Mommy," and then name off family members over and over again with each rock.  Daddy says it's okay to rock so much because you are burning calories!  :)

Lately you've shown a big interest in learning your colors and numbers.  You know green, pink, blue, yellow, black, and brown about 70% of the time.  When we ask you to count, you always just say, "free, foh."  When we ask you how old you are, you say, "Free!" Then we say, "Nooo, how old are you?" And you answer, "Foh!" And then we say, "Nooo, how old are you?" And you say, "I'm one."  It's cute.  You want to be three and four like your brother and sister!

You are a pretty healthy boy and haven't gained any weight since you were 8-10 months old.  We are currently treating your molluscum contagiosum on your shoulders and chin and I can't wait for it to be gone.  Not only is the medicine we put on every night expensive (~$700!), but so are dermatology appointments.  Daddy gave you a hair cut last week!  It wasn't your first one, but up until this point, we've just been giving you small trims.  This time Daddy cut a lot off and now you look so much older!

We love you so much, Klaasen and can't imagine the day when you aren't our baby any longer.  You're such a smart little boy and we can't wait to see where you go in life.

Love you much,


12 April 2012

Easter 2012

Our Easter was so wonderful this year!  We enjoyed time with many of our friends and enjoyed staying home and staying low-key.  On Easter Sunday, we had 21 people over for lunch after church.  Most of the 21 were either other residents or resident spouses and kids.  Erik and I prepared a meal and others brought some to contribute, too.  It was fun to celebrate with others since we couldn't be with our families.

Here are our pictures: http://scharrerfamily.shutterfly.com/
It was impossible to get an Easter picture of all three kids looking, but I guess that's how it goes!  We also forgot to take a family picture.

05 April 2012

Our BIG News And The BIG Reveal

Maida and Skogen and Klaasen would like to officially announce that we are expecting a new baby!!!

We have all been keeping this secret since Christmas time and decided that since we are now approaching the halfway point in our pregnancy (and I can't really hide the bump any longer!), it was time to share the good news with pictures from yesterday when we found out whether we are going to have a girl or a boy.
Here is our gender reveal...
(Thank you to my friend, Whitney, for letting us use her idea for the big reveal!)

 It was all smiles while they waited outside on the deck for Mommy to get the "surprise box."

 Little eyes quickly turned as Mommy brought the big box full of ribbons and bows up the stairs.

 We instructed the kids to slowly open the big box and whatever was in the box would tell us whether we were having a girl or a boy.

The kids stepped back, not knowing what to think of the gold and blue "It's a boy!" balloons that floated out of the box and up up up.

 Their initial instinct was to reach up and grab them, but we assured them that it was okay if they flew up into the sky.
 We sat back and watched as we announced in the sky to the whole city that we were having a baby BOY!!!

As the balloons disappeared into the sunset, Madia, with panic in her eyes, looked at me and said, "Where are the pink balloons?"  I gently said, "Oh, Maida!  There are only blue balloons because we are having a baby boy!"  Maida's smiles turned to frowns and tears flowed out of her big brown eyes and rolled down her rosy cheeks.
 45 minutes later, while the two boys were running crazy around the house, playing with a few balloons that we kept back, she was still bawling hysterically.  She wanted a sister SO bad and was very heartbroken. We took turns holding and comforting her.  I sat and prayed that God would help us handle this in the best way possible.  It was a reaction I wasn't really expecting since we had been preparing her for the past couple weeks for a boy, just in case.
 After several conversations about how we had no control over the decision and that God gives us what He thinks our family needs, and a quick run back to the store to get Maida a princess balloon, Maida was smiling again.

This baby is something we've prayed about for a long time and we are so excited to complete our family this summer.  Here are some pictures from the ultrasound yesterday of our healthy and growing baby boy...


03 April 2012

Maida's First Public Library Visit

in the skyway
A friend invited Maida and I to go see a small snippet of A Midsummer Night's Dream ballet at the public library a few Saturdays ago.  We had never been to the public library, so we were very excited to go!  We went a little early so that we could have time to navigate our way through the skyways from the parking ramp and arrive in plenty of time to look around the library before the ballet.  We walked around a bit and ran into our friends who we were supposed to be meeting there.  After a quick trip to the bathroom, we quickly found our seats in the auditorium.

picking out a book
Maida refused to sit in the front row with our friend's daughter, but I didn't mind her sitting on my lap too much.  It's not very often these days that she gets uninterrupted mommy time!  I loved watching her face as she watched the ballerinas.  Most of them were her age and she was really encouraged and determined after the show that she was going to be a ballerina this year, too!

 After the show, Maida picked out one book for us to read together in the corner on a comfy chair and then we headed back since Daddy was one-handing the boys at home by himself and we didn't want to leave him for too long.  We are super excited to go back to the library sometime soon and maybe even get our own library card so we can check out books and movies and participate in all kinds of fun activities!
big goose that Maida wanted her picture with

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