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...


07 November 2012

Soccer 2012

It's no secret that Erik lives for skiing, but what you might not know is that his love for soccer is a close second.  During our first year of marriage Erik was bound and determined to teach me how to play soccer, but every time we walked to the park to play, most of my time was spent watching Erik practice his juggling, kicking, dribbling, and any other kind of fancy moves he could think of.  Every once in a while, he'd kick the ball at me and instruct me how to properly kick it back, but for the most part, he was lost in his own game.

To this day, Erik still gets lost in his own game.  If there is a ball around, you can bet that Erik can't walk by it without a few juggles or, "Kara, watch this!  How long do you think I can keep this ball in the air with just my head?!"  When the chance came for Maida and Skogen to play soccer this summer, Erik was insistent that we find a way for them to play, even with three surgeries and a new baby's arrival!

Maida and Skogen have been playing soccer since the end of July.  They have come a loooooooooong way!  Their coaches have been awesome and we have been very proud of their accomplishments.  Erik was unable to make one of the most recent games, so I videoed the game for him with my cell phone (all while watching a crazy toddler and nursing an infant!).  As we all gathered on Maida's bed that night after Erik got home from his meeting, and watched the soccer game together, I realized that it might be fun for our out of town family members to "watch" a game, too!
For the grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, and cousins (and anyone else who really cares about watching 7 minutes of toddler soccer!)...

[Skogen is orange and Maida is yellow - at the beginning of the video you will see Skogen pull away from everyone with the ball and Maida is the one right behind him.]

03 November 2012

Torsten, you are TWO MONTHS old!

Dear Torsten,
You are TWO months old!  I can hardly believe it.  These last two months have been two of the best two months of my life.  I have never felt so happy, so full of enjoyment, and so complete.  You are everything that I have been waiting for and an answer to so many of my prayers.  I am so thankful for the blessing you are to our family.

Last month Skogen and Maida played photographer and practiced with our big camera.  To my surprise, they took better pictures of you than I ever could have snapped.  I'm really not sure why the pictures haven't made it on the blog, yet, (hmm, maybe it's because I have four kids and NO time!) but better late than never...

We had planned on having Maida and Skogen take some pictures of you at two months, too, but we all have been so busy lately with school, gymnastics, soccer, and our kitchen remodel.  I was able to catch you on video, though, which may be more fun for our long-distance family to get to see your character, too...

I want to remember everything about you, T.... your silky blonde hair, your sweet little sounds, and your precious toothless smile.  Every day I take the time to take everything about you in.  I look at your perfect little face.  I smell your sweet baby smell!  I listen to your soft baby voice.  And I feel your super soft skin.  I want to remember everything!

You are the happiest baby EVER!  I often call you "Chill" or "Chili Bean" because you really truly are very "chill."  Nothing seems to bother you.  In fact, I don't think we've ever heard you cry!  Your favorite place to be is right in the middle of the action and your brothers and sister have no problem keeping you entertained all day long!  I hold you often, but if I'm not holding you, you love to sit in your bouncer, on the couch, or lay on the floor.  Two days ago I brought up the exersaucer and you have tried that out a few times.  Like everything else, you are totally cool with it.  You still eat about every two hours during the day, but sometimes space it out to every three.  I have to say that I don't really pay attention, though, because there is no way for me to try to keep you on a scheduled like I often tried to do with the other three.  I usually just feed you whenever you let me know that you're hungry.  You are awake for longer periods of time, now.  You are usually awake for about an hour or an hour and a half and then you take about a half hour nap.  Sometimes in the evening you sleep for an entire hour.  When you go down for naps, I usually rock you to sleep or your fall asleep in the swing or in your car seat while running the other three around to school and sports activities.  I love to rock you to sleep and even though it might make things harder when you're older and I need you to go to sleep by yourself in your big boy bed, I still want to rock you.  I treasure that time.  When you get tired, you usually make a high pitched moan.  I know what that means and hold you on your side against my tummy, in the same position I nurse you in.  Sometimes you take a paci at this time, but most of the time you know what to do and go right to sleep.  At night I swaddle you in the halo swaddle sack and immediately when that sack goes on, your eyes start to go to shut.  I can usually lay you down while you are still awake and you will put yourself to sleep.  You always sleep seven hours, wake up to eat, and then go back to sleep for four more.  I am totally okay with this since Klaasen still woke up every two to three hours all night long until he was two years old.

You smile at anything that has a face (like your sister or stuffed animals and toys).  You love to look and talk to yourself in the mirror.  You are starting to reach out your hand to touch or bat at toys.  You can bring your hands to your mouth and seem interested in sucking on them, but make funny faces when a finger or your thumb goes into your mouth.  You tolerate tummy time for about ten minutes at a time and never like to sleep on your tummy.  Your back is your favorite position.  You follow objects, like your siblings or the dogs, around the room and can also follow my voice, too.  You stick out your bottom lip when you are sad, but never cry.  You have a dimple on your left cheek!  You usually only poop once a day or once every two days.  You wear cloth diapers almost 100% of the time and I love our system of using both prefolds and pocket diapers.  I bathe you about three or four times a week and just like your brothers and sister, you have always loved the water.  You also, like they did at your age, like to watch Baby Einstein

You weighed 17.5 pounds at your two month appointment last week and that is exactly two pounds heavier than Skogen was at two months and exactly two pounds lighter than Klaasen was at that age!  It will be interesting to see how you grow from here!  You wear a size 9-12 months and you are 24 inches long.

You are such a joy and I can not imagine life without you.  I love sharing you with your siblings and I enjoy watching them interact with you.  The love they have had for you since the very beginning is amazing.  I can't wait to share you with more family and friends and wish Daddy was able to be home more often to get to know you, too.

You are such a blessing to us,


01 November 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012 was a success!  Although stressful (at times) and busy, I treasured each moment with our children and friends.  From carving some pumpkins a few days before, to having 31 friends over for trick-or-treating around the neighborhood and hot drinks, Halloween was everything I remember it being as a kids, plus!  We are so blessed to have the friends we do and thankful that they will celebrate holidays with us when our long-distance family can't.

Almost exactly a year ago, Skogen and Maida sat snuggled up next to my dad.  Maida, in her tutu and high heels listened intently as she took in every word Bumpa said.  Skogen, on the other side, slowly stroked my dad's arm as he listened to the story of The Wizard of Oz.  They both fell in love with the story and were so excited last Christmas when we inherited Erik's grandmother's old VHS of The Wizard of Oz.  When Halloween came around this year, we knew exactly what our costume theme would be. Let me introduce you...
 Miss Maida as Dorothy

Baby Torsten as the scarecrow

 Klaasen Burke as the cowardly lion

Mr. Skogen as the tin man

While Dorothy, the lion, and tin man followed the yellow brick road to some candy, I stayed home with the scarecrow and a few of his friends...
Torsten had lots of smiles and coos for his friends, all but one was younger than him and all but one was lighter than him. :)

We had a blast decorating for Halloween this year.  The kids took a lot of pride in the decorations they made themselves.
We made a spider web out of glue and silver paint and we made hand print spiders to go on the web.

We hung some spider webs with spiders, some ghost lanterns, and made some bats out of egg cartons.

With every holiday that passes, it's fun to think back to past holidays we've spent with the kids...
2009 - puppy dogs, Fifi and Fido
2010 - insects, a ladybug, spider, and bee
2011 - spuds, Mr. Potato Head, Mrs. Potato Head, and their Tater Tot

 Maida's Halloweens

Skogen's Halloweens

Klaasen's Halloweens

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