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  • Heard in the Dare House

  • Naomi"Mom, isn't the Charleston that dance on that show Fresh Prince...or....?"
  • Pete"We should all act out a Shakespeare play. Maybe Macbeth?"
    Anna "Oh! I want to play MacMeth!"

  • Josh"Owe! I bit my tongue!"
    Mom "That's not part of dinner, dude."
    Josh"I know. That's why I didn't bite it off, Michael Tyson"

  • Dad "Josh, do you know who Mike Tyson bit?"
    Josh"Uuuhh...yeah...like... Leonard Skimmer?"

  • Anna [When we were all talking about love languages, Dad explains how you can change over your life]"Oh yeah, totally. 'Cause I used to be into drawing."
  • Anna [after falling off her bike]"I'm OK! I don't need the arcade kit!"
  • Dad [Getting ready to give a gift to the girls for their piano recital]"Alright girls, we're going to do something that's long overdue."
    Anna "Ha. Probably taxes..."

  • 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..."
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    Curiousity kills more than the cat

    The book was entitled The book on the bookshelf by Henry Petroski.  I saw it on someone’s Library Thing page.  It’s cover, a close up picture of a few books on a shelf, caught my eye for obvious reasons.  I forgot about it for a few days.  When I remembered it, I immediately went to Half.com and punched in the title.  There was a write up on the synopsis and my curiosity was immediately piqued.  The history of the bookshelf!

    Some of you just closed this post out of sheer boredom.  The history of bookshelves?  Come on, Paul.  Can’t you read about anything (Anything!) more interesting?  Why in the world would you you be interested in such an obscure topic?  What’s the point?

    Thing is, I kind of agree with you.  That’s why I’m writing this post.  You see, I was about to click “Buy Now” on Half.com when I started thinking.  Thinking lead to questioning.  Questions like these:

    • Why is this interesting to me?
    • If I had never seen that book cover, would I seek out a book on the history of the bookshelf?
    • If I didn’t have instant access to read or purchase almost any book I come across, would I be seriously pursuing this purchase?
    • Why am I seemingly interested and curious about a boat-load of things that I was never even the slightest bit interested in when I was back in school?
    • Is all of my, what seems to be rampant and unbridled curiosity, bad?

    Is curiosity bad?  Obviously not all of it.  We tell our toddlers to explore.  We encourage schoolkids to pursue what interests them.  We certainly commend young adults in higher education to chase down their ideas and try to do what they are passionate and drawn to.  But is all curiosity good?  It seems to me (and I fully admit that I’m one tiny ant on the hill with a limited vantage point) but it seems to me that along with the relatively new hyper-driven information age came somewhat of a new temptation.  A temptation to be curious – and nothing else.  An endless interest that leads nowhere.  Call it “pointless curiosity” if you want but I think I’m influenced more by this phenomena than I know.  I love to learn.  That love has grown more and more intense every year since my conversion in 1997.  I don’t think learning is bad.  I’m more concerned about the “so what?” of learning.  Once I’ve learned something, so what?  What do I do with it?  How much do the things that catch my eye, pique my curiosity and draw me into study sometimes actually draw me away from much more important things and actually lead to no substantial improvement in my thinking or service to my neighbor?

    Take for instance the book about the history of bookshelves.  I know I would be fascinated by this book.  I love books, therefore I have to at least be marginally interested in the storage units that have held them over the ages. 🙂  I know I would read snippets of this book to the kids at dinner while they stared out the window, mouths open, longing to be free like the squirrel they see roaming the backyard.  I know I would try to read a line or two to Jen’s sleep mask around 10:30pm while she dozes off but graciously acknowledges she’s listening by giving me a courtesy grunt at the end of every interesting sentence(thanks for those, honey).

    Here’s what I’m concerned about.  I have a very limited time during this thing called life.  And this thing called life is preparation for the next one-a thing called eternity.  I’m commanded by God to “make the best use of the time” because “the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).  I’m constantly confronted in scripture by men who were serious and disciplined about what they spent their time doing.  I know that the things of the world are always vying for my attention.  I know there are a million things that would pull me away from the very few things that are ultimately and eternally important.  The ever-growing curiosity with things I see in life makes me cautiously question the reason for my interests.  I fear that often I will spend too many minutes, hours and days learning about something that ultimately has taken me nowhere in the journey as a Christian.  Things that do nothing to grow my love for and obedience of Jesus Christ.  Can everything I pursue, investigate, learn and spend time on, be pointed back to the purpose for which I was created?  I’m afraid not.  Much of it can, but not all of it.

    Don’t get me wrong.  We must be students.  We are all scientists to some degree or another.  But in our discovery and investigation of things, I’m concerned that there are often no guard rails to keep us moving forward.  Nothing that acts as a catalyst to significant action.  We can simply drift from one pointless curiosity to the next.  Like the window shopper who never commits to a purchase, we waste valuable time.  We can unintentionally fill our days with the pursuit of emptiness.  While we are supposed to be longing for deeper Christ-likeness, love of neighbor and holy living, we can waste hours putting our energies toward that which ultimately has no eternal value.

    I’ve never personally seen curiosity kill a cat.  But I understand the principle.   I think it’s principle applies to humans as well.  How can curiosity kill people?  If we find ourselves drifting from one eternally insignificant thing to the next, we’re in danger.  God calls us to be ponderers of truth, yes.  But discovery and consideration should always to lead to growth and action.  If pointless curiosity has consumed and distracted you, I encourage you to consider how you could get back on course and begin making progress again.  But don’t just consider, do something about it.



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