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  • Heard in the Dare House

  • Josh [After reading Peter's sign that said, "DJ takes requests, and tips] "Hey. I have a tip for you. If people don't like the song you're playing, you should change it."
  • Anna "Sometimes I look around and think, I am Anna...and these are other people..."
  • Josh "Listen. You give me the Simon's Quest code and I'll shop in the women's section!"
  • Josh "You smell like an air freshener, Mom."
    Dad "oh Josh those are kind of cheap so that sounds like you’re kind of insulting Mom when you say that."
    Josh "MMMMmmmm…you smell like a $100 air freshener."

  • Anna "Mom. Where’s the first Bible ever. Like ever."
    Mom "Ummm, I’m not sure. But maybe you could ask Dad about that"
    Anna "Well. I was gonna, but I didn’t want to get a whole sermon…so I asked you"

  • Dad "Hmm. These chips taste stale."
    Mom "They're not stale. They're just from Aldi."

  • Naomi "Look Mom! My foot is bigger than Anna's whole face!"
  • Peter [Interrupting Mom quizzing Naomi on Science by asking, "What's inside the membrane of a cell?"] "...Insane?"
  • Anna [Seeing Almonso Wilder grab Laura Ingles' engagement ring from the kitchen on Little House] "Hmph. He just grabbed a chill pill."
  • Josh "Dad, my grammar book must be in labor. It keeps talking about contractions"
  • Josh [After Dad picked a crumb off Josh's shirt]"Dad, you're like a parasite, cleaning me."
  • Anna[Watching Dorothy's friends break her out of the wicked witch's castle]: "Well. That's why you always keep your axe with ya."
  • Josh: "I wonder if there are any tornadoes at the campground we're going to."
    Anna: "Yes. There are. I know. I checked on E-Bay."

  • Mom: "Mmmm, Josh. You smell really good. Are you wearing cologne?"
    Josh: "Wait. My.....Clone Trooper, you mean?"

  • Mom: "I delivered all four of these kids. The least they can do is let me have the rest of the dill pickle potato chips!"
  • Josh: "You're a weak-aholic!"
    Dad: "A weakaholic?!"
    Josh: "Yeah. You're addicted to being weak!"

  • Dad: [After listening to the long piano intro to Chicago's Does anybody really know what time it is?] "I don't like that dissident music. It's all crazy and off time."
    Anna: "I like it! 'Cuz that's how I play!"

  • Paul: "So according to this book kids, who shot JFK?"
    Josh: "Lee Elvis Hardwell?"

  • Paul: "How Many Kings by Downhere is a perfect running song. The beat is just my pace."
    Jen: "Oh yeah? My song is Canon in D."

  • Anna[while washing herself in the shower]: "Hmmmmm. Arms are helpful."
  • Anna [Seeing Mom running water in the kitchen sink]: "Hey! You want to pay bills?!"
    Mom: "Huh?"
    Anna: "You're wasting!"

  • Josh: "Mom, can I play Mario?"
    Mom: "No Josh. Today is craft day. We're doing stuff for someone."
    Josh: "Yeah. I was gonna beat the game for Dad."

  • Anna: [Laying in bed, in a depressed voice]"Naomi, what do I do with life?"
    Naomi: "Uhh...how about you go to sleep?"

  • Mom: "Weird, I've always heard that song differently. But hey, what am I?"
    Anna: "A human being!"

  • Anna: [After being told to eat her dinner]"Mom, I took two bites! You can see the ground!"
  • Josh: "Man, I want to go to a casino."
    Mom: "What?!"
    Josh: "Wait. Is casino the same as gazebo?"

  • Jen to the kids: "Guys, don't forget toppings for your salad. The more colors on your salad, the better it is for you."
    Josh: "Even if it has Superman ice cream on it?!"

  • Anna"Huh? Craig has a list?"
  • Anna"Naomi, can you look at your calendar with your eyes closed?"
    Naomi"No. No one can, silly."
    Anna"Chuck Norris can!!"

  • Mom"Thanks to Naomi, who passed her headache on to me."
    Naomi"Pastor Headache? Who's Pastor Headache?!"

  • Darefamily: “Night, Pete. Night, Naomi. Night, Mom. Night, Dad...”
    Anna: “Night, vision!”

  • Anna: “Dad, do you believe in Santa?”
    Dad: “Sure, St. Nicholas was at the council of Nicea. He punched Arius in the mouth for his heresy…”
    Anna: “Hmmmm…I don’t remember seeing that in the video…”

  • Pete: "Josh, you know what the Pope is, right?"
    Josh: "Yeah. The stuff in the orange juice."

  • Anna: "Yeah! Let's get this starty parted!"
  • Josh"Bummer Mom, you're not ticklish. But I can still hurt you, because your nervous system is working!"
  • Josh"Sorry Grandma, I don't really like antiques...unless they have up to date stuff."
  • Naomi:"I'm not sure what I'm more afraid of, a whale or a shark, 'cuz I know how to fight a shark, 'cuz they're really weak in the eyes..."
  • Heard in the Dare house – Special Edition

    joshsombrero“Yeah. I’m not dating my conscience anymore. She jumped off a cliff. She knew it was wrong.” – Joshua




    Anna 6th bday with G'ma Dare“That hurts my voice box! (I named her Julie!)” – Anna





    peterinthehat“For every act of kindness, there must be an equal act of Tomfoolery!” – Peter




    2013-08-24 17.02.41“I have weird siblings!” – Naomi

    just a silly (and totally awesome!) special character graphic

    ░░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
    ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂            ☻/︻╦╤─
    Il███████████████████].  /▌
    ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤..     / \

    Hobby Lobby Lunacy

    2013-08-24 17.02.41 2013-08-24 17.03.22 2013-08-24 17.03.58 2013-08-24 17.04.12 2013-08-24 17.04.25 2013-08-24 17.04.51 2013-08-24 17.08.12 2013-08-24 17.08.40 2013-08-24 17.09.15 2013-08-24 17.09.37 2013-08-24 17.12.07 2013-08-24 17.17.59 2013-08-24 17.19.30

    What’s on the menu, Josh?

    Josh has declared his desired birthday menu:chinese-way-5_1806163b

    • For breakfast, I want scrambled eggs with spinach and sausage and waffles.
    • For lunch, homemade Chinese food.
    • For dinner I want homemade deep-dish pizza

    Anna’s response: “Whoah….you’re a healthy boy!”

    I still do…

    Why I do still want to be married to Jen

    Today marks 15 wonderful years of marriage for Jennifer and me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I still don’t fully comprehend how I was able to marry so “up” and how she found me a suitable mate all those years ago. It’s something I just have to accept on faith.
    However, I can think of multiple reasons why I wanted to marry her. And the reasons have kept coming in as each year passes. Here is only a partial list:

    • She makes me laugh like no one can, by surprising me with hilarious and fascinating facts about life.
    • She has an incredible ability to maintain and recall memories that I’ve long since forgotten. It’s scary and fun all at the same time. Like a really good haunted house.
    • She’s ridiculously attractive in countless ways. Her humility, her dedication and hard work, her kindness, her hospitality, physically (oh yeah!).


    • She is an exceedingly good caretaker of our children. Or, as the kids say these days, “You rock, Mom”
    • She loves her extended family. She loves to visit and have over her Mom and Dad. She changes into a different person when she’s with her three sisters and has a ball with them. It’s a metamorphosis like no other.
    • She loves my parents and gets along with them both. They speak highly of her both to her face and to others. This is a rare jewel in families.
    • She is ridiculously competitive. I should have been warned from the first game of spoons that I was in for a long road of humiliation as she has defeated me time after time in all sorts of games and sports. Even her first time of go-karting, just about a month ago, was characterized by her typical ‘take no prisoners’ destruction of the competition. All that was missing was her ‘brat’ T-shirt!
    • She is adventurous. She doesn’t think she is, but she is. As long as it’s safe, clean, planned, packed for, mapped out and refundable….she’s in!  She’s let me drag her all the way to North Carolina, then back to Michigan, then down to Florida, across the state of Michigan, up to Copper Harbor (almost) and back to Southern Indiana, with not a complaint.
    • One word: Creativity. She is always making something, painting something, teaching her girls how to cook, bake or whip up something new in the kitchen. It’s out of control…and we love it. All I do is go to work. She breathes constant and fresh life into our home with all of new inventions, desserts, dishes, dresses, paintings and crafts.
    • She loves me (yeah yeah yeah). I know it may sound silly, but if you got to know me, you would agree that this is the most amazing thing about Jen.

    Happy anniversary my Jenny Pen. I love you and already can’t wait to celebrate our 20th…30th…50th!

    15 Year Anniversary Trip

    We still need to write up a post describing all of the fun Jen and I had in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, but here’s one snippet from our trippet. A video review of the cabin we stayed at in the Smokey Mountains.  I go running a couple times a week and these stairs still kicked my rump. :)

    Fail. Fail. Win. Mother’s Day 2013


    Ahh, Mother’s Day…

    The day when all your good intentions for and love toward the lovely mother of your children meet the challenges to ‘shock and awe’ your bride while maintaining the element of surprise.  Yeah, I’m toast.

    So initially I was trying to go big or go home.  I hate to admit it, but I probably have some self-centered complex that drives me to try to blow my recipient away with a jaw dropping gift, not so much for their joy as much as for my praise and admiration. It’s a disease, I know. I’m working on it, I promise.

    So anyway. About a week ago, I saw that tickets to Josh Groban were going to go on sale.  Jen has had “See Josh Groban in concert” on her bucket list for a few years and because I want to be her castle protecting, dragon slaying, knight in shining armor, I have tried to make this happen for quite some time.  I was so giddy that, with complete and utter abandonment of clear and logical thinking, I quickly sent a Facebook message to our neighbor who has connections at the Palace (the place Groban would be singing at in October) and asked him if he could get me a ticket or two for Jen but that he had to keep it a super duper top secret surprise so I could pull it off with Jen knowing.

    Yeah. Jen and I have a shared Facebook page.

    How have I held down a job all these years, practiced personal hygiene or driven a car with such ridiculous lack of forethought like this?

    Anyway, you can probably guess what transpired. My faithful and kind neighbor promptly responded and, because I’m at work, Jen saw the message pop up in her email (on the iPhone I got her so she could stay connected while the kids were using the computers for school! [idiot!]).  She kindly reminded me, as she held back giggles, that it might be best not to use Facebook messaging to try to plan surprises for her in the future.


    Alright, one strike on the batter and here comes Dare back up to the plate to try again.  I remembered that she mentioned she wouldn’t mind having a tablet to do some reading on as she’s really enjoyed some Kindle books recently, but reading them on her tiny phone has been a challenge.  Well, a few days later, I saw a Mother’s Day discount for a Kindle and I started to check it out.  I could get a really nice HD Fire with a camera for a good price, so I went for it.  Now this time, I was not to be found out.  So I called her immediately and asked her to please steer clear from Amazon emails for a while and to let the kids get any packages that may come to the door in the next few days.  Then it happened.  An email came with the subject line “Your KINDLE FIRE HAS SHIPPED!”  Yeah, she saw it.


    So today has come and gone.  I ran out to the store last night to get some cooking supplies, slipped out of bed quietly this morning, encouraging Jen to take her time, and started making breakfast. The girls begged me to get them up so they could help and I did get Naomi up after a bit, so she could help me with the omelets, hash browns and English muffins.  Breakfast went off without any major malfunctions. Mostly because I remembered to pull the batteries from the smoke detectors.  Hang on a second…

    Alright. Batteries are now re-connected. Whew!

    After Jen ate some breakfast, she started opening her gifts.  She said the food was great.  She was probably just being nice, since she didn’t have to cook.  First gift was a Detroit Tiger’s visor, for the game we’re all going to on Wednesday.  Next was a popcorn maker.  Then a croquet set and we topped it all off with the Kindle Fire.  Even though she knew about the Kindle, the kids were pretty shocked and awed.  She had mentioned how much she would love to have a croquet set when we played last weekend at her sister’s house.  She is so good to us by making popcorn for our weekly AFV family night but she has to stand over the stove and shake the big pot back and forth so we got her one that she could dump kernels and butter in and walk away.  She doesn’t really like wearing hats, but I was so convinced she would look absolutely adorable in this visor, that I had to buy it for her.  This girl can rock some Tiger Orange.

    And the Kindle?  Oh yeah, she was reading/playing with that thing all day.

    She picked Arby’s for lunch and we grilled some burgers and fries for dinner. The kiddos set the table and cleaned up after each meal and Naomi was my right hand woman in the kitchen, cutting vegetables, making desserts and providing moral support to her stressed out Dad unable to cope with the demands of meal preparation (so much timing to get it on the table hot!).

    ALL joking aside, I have to say that I do not know how in the world my wife does this every day. I know she doesn’t do everything we did today, every day. But she does it very often and often does even MORE.  I am so exhausted from one day. I clearly have no idea how good we have it.  And the kids?  Yeah, they’re brats.  ;)

    Overall, I think it was a win. But you’ll have to ask Jen to make sure. We just hope that she truly knows and feels how much we love her, appreciate her and could not do without her around this madhouse.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Jen!

    paul(and kids)

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