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...


09 April 2017

Maida's Fourth Grade Musical

I have to admit that I was completely blown away by these fourth graders!  They did an amazing job on their musical and put on a wonderful performance.  I thought each of their characters fit their real life personalities perfectly and that they all were able to show their individual talents to their full potential.  We will always be thankful for Mrs. Sehloff and all she does for her students.  This musical was just one of the many great things she's done with these kids this year!

Maida started the play as a Babylonian and then she had a costume change into a lion!

07 April 2017

Klaasen's Kindergarten "Informance"

 Klaasen's kindergarten class did an "informance" this year.  It was a small, low-key, performance.  The teacher used the time to demonstrate to the parents what the kiddos have been working on all year in music.  It was so fun to see!  Klaasen was EXTREMELY nervous, but did a great job.  We were SO proud of this BIG boy!! 

06 April 2017

Autism Awareness

Klaasen and I, on our way up to the bigger city for his therapy, stopped at McDonalds for lunch. Since we were running a little early, I decided to let him play for a bit.  Klaasen took off his shoes, put them in the playland shoe shelves, and went up into the tunnel system.  Without his siblings along, Klaasen didn't really know what to do.  His first instinct was to hang upside down (something he has used to regulate his body since he was very young).  After a while of standing on his head, he bravely decided to try the slide.  When he got up to the slide platform, though, there was a little girl sitting in front of it who said, "You can't go down.  This is MY slide."  Klaasen, already completely out of his comfort zone and being absolutely clueless about reading body language, tried to just go around her to get down the slide, almost as if he had never heard her words (and he probably didn't).  The little girl screamed, "NO!" and pushed him backwards.  Still unaware of what was truly going on, Klaasen smiled at her and tried again to get into the slide.  She then pushed Klaasen backwards again and kicked him in the stomach.  As I jumped up and, "Klaasen, let me help you..." was coming out of my mouth, I watched him grab his stomach where she had kicked him, suddenly focus on her for a split second, and then punch her in the face.

The little girl's mother jumped from her chair, screamed, "GET OUT!  GET OUT!" as she pulled her three kids out one by one.  She yelled, "Get away from that HORRIBLE NAUGHTY boy.  Hurry, before he hurts you, dears.  Don't even look at him.  Don't even stop to put your shoes on because there's no telling what such a NAUGHTY kid will do.  I can't believe his mother would even bring him into a public place.  Hurry!  OUT!  Get away!"

I sat in disbelief, my heart shattered, as Klaasen covered his ears and rocked in a corner of the slide platform, squeaking like he does when he doesn't know what to do.  This was the first time I had ever had an encounter like this.  This was also the first time I had ever been proud of my child for punching someone in the face because [even though I would never ever encourage this, or tell Klaasen it was an okay choice], well, I believe she deserved it and so did her mother. 😜

April is Autism Awareness Month.  For some people it's a celebration of the uniqueness of their child on the spectrum and it's the blessing to be able to share their child in a special light with the world.  For others it's a reminder of the brutal reality of the difficulties and devastation a child a the spectrum can bring.  Some claim that there is no need for an "awareness" at all because autism is so common now days, but I completely disagree.

Klaasen wasn't diagnosed with autism until age 5 (which is really late, by the way) and part of that was because we weren't aware of the signs and symptoms of autism.  We thought autism was the non-verbal kid who obsessively flapped his hands, totally disconnected from the world.  Surprisingly, as we reached out in desperation periodically throughout his toddler years, the doctors and other professionals we connected with were not aware, either.  Without being aware, our child went un-diagnosed, and we went without help, for five long, brutal, painful years.  Even though we're slowly making progress down this autism road, I am convinced, and studies show, that earlier intervention is more beneficial.

Autism awareness month to me first starts with feeling alright about having a child on the spectrum.  It almost took six months for me to be okay with this and to admit it was true.  Second, I hope that by openly sharing our journey, we'll maybe be able to help someone become aware who may have a child on the spectrum, not yet diagnosed.  Autism awareness to me is also about connecting with other moms who "get it," who join me in my frustrations and heartbreak over things like the McDonald's mom, and who also understand the tone in which I secretly condone my child punching another in the face.

If you don't know Klaasen, you should. He is seriously amazing.  He is my hero and autism is his super power.  Even through our trials and even on the harderst of the hard days, I know this kid is going to do big things in life and I'm honestly so honored and proud to be his mother.

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