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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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    My 34th Birthday

    Why are these two people smiling so wide?  Friday (and yesterday!) was my 34th birthday and man did my wife spoil me!  Let’s recap, shall we?

    Friday she made me take the day off.  OK, she politely asked and I was more than happy to oblige.  She let me sleep in until 9am Friday morning.  I opened the door to the smell of freshly brewing coffee and the sound of Birthday by The Beatles in my ears.  First two gifts were a t-shirt and hoodie (score!).  My last pullover’s zipper recently broke (sounds like a lame Facebook status message, doesn’t it?)  Next was a sweet and subtle looking (here’s a pic) dishwasher and microwave safe travel mug.  Am I a coffee snob or what?  The rest of the day was great.  We laid low for most of it until surprise #2.  We were going to take the kids out to my Mom’s house later in the afternoon and they would spend the night, returning Saturday (score!).  Kids love their Grandmas and Paul and Jen love when they (the kids and themselves) get the opportunity.  After dropping the kids off, we headed for Bennigans in Howell for an all night pre-St Patty’s Day booze fest.  OK, no drinking involved.  Just seeing if you were reading carefully.  But we did have a delicious dinner.  We sat in the corner of the restaurant near the door to the kitchen.  Every time the wait staff went in and out, they had to yell “corner!” so they wouldn’t collide.  Needless to say, our first few minutes were very entertaining.  Saturday was great too.  Got to sleep in again (two mornings in a row…is this really happening?).  Had a bowl of Fruity Pebbles (best cereal on earth), got to read a bit and then ran to the store together.  My Dad arrived around lunchtime.  We hung out and chatted and even played some drums together (score!).  My Mom showed up with the kids around 2:30 and the fun (aka “chaos”) officially began.

    Round two of presents.  I give you the reason for the title of this post –

    Need an explanation?  Most people do.  So for a few years now, Peter has insisted on referring to me as Flash Gordon.  I don’t know where the boy gets this stuff.  Surely he couldn’t have believed us when Jen and I worked on him one entire night at dinner, telling him all about how I get stuff done so much faster than the kids for a secret reason.  I’m sure he knows the truth by now, but deep down we think he still wants it to be true.  So what’s the most logical way to express that suppressed childhood desire?  Convince his Grandma to buy me a Flash Gordon shirt of course!  Thanks, Pete (and Mom).  When I’m zooming around battling villains, I’ll think of you.  I just did.  Wanna see it again?  As if the bolt of lightening wasn’t enough, my Mom also got me a new book (always a guaranteed win) and a fancy new Nike running jacking.  Mom, are you going to call me to see if I’m running?  If so, you can have the jacket back.

    Jen’s Dad arrived around 4 and it was an all out party.  The Nieto family got here around 6 and we were an official fire marshal code violation.  Everyone was very kind to drive all the way out.  I’m not just saying that in case they’re reading this.  Who drives so far these days for a “34th” birthday?!  I am a blessed man.

    And now we come to the gift of all gifts.  First, a little background.  Some of you may know that all those hundreds of classic NES games that used to take up gobs of physical storage space when I was in my formative preteen years can now all virtually fit on a small flash drive.  Most all of them are hosted on any number of retro websites and can be downloaded and played in a program on your computer.  The one issue is trying to figure out all the controls on your computer and play with the same mad skills you used to have in the late ’80s.  I’m so glad that much smarter geeks than me took the time to solve this earth-stopping problem once and for all.  Enter the classic NES USB controller.  Our lovely model Anna displays it for us below:

    You can’t see it in the picture, but the end of the cable is a USB connector that goes right into the PC and once programmed provides guaranteed endless mind-melting hours of wasted activity all in the name of “it’s improving my hand-eye coordination, Mom!”

    Multiple reactions when I opened this one –

    1. I can’t believe it.

    2. This is fantastic.

    3. How much did you pay for this thing?

    4.  The kids are so going to fight over this.

    5.  When can everyone leave so we can start playing?  🙂

    So I guess you could say that I had somewhat of a retro birthday.  Brown hoodie, travel mug, superhero t-shirt and old video game system controller. In all seriousness though, I was overwhelmed.  I told Jen later, in one of our many “thank you!” embraces, “You so spoiled me!”

    With a big smile, she replied, “I know…and it was SO much fun!”

    Thanks to everyone who made my 34th very memorable!  I don’t take it for granted.  It was a great birthday!




    3 Responses

    1. Wish I could have been there! I would have brought a piece of panelling so you could practice your sweet moves for me. Love you bro, so happy your birthday was great!

    2. I loved hearing about your birthday. I can hear Jen saying what she said in quotes at the end of this entry. This is a cool website you have. I’ll have to check back for updates.

    3. Thanks for the invite! We were glad to be a part of it, Flash. Oh & hey, Chuck Norris counted to infinity–twice. : )

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