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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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    The Barn

    A few weeks ago the Dare family decided to…paint their garage red!! :-0


    To see more pictures, Naomi posted some on her blog:



    And what do you do?

    On a recent visit to the hospital for my wife (she’s fine, don’t worry) I was struck at how often she was asked “…and what do you do?”.  Receptionists, triage nurses, doctors, everyone seemed to want to know what she did.  For a living, I presume, is what they meant.  She graciously answered “stay at home…”, “raise children…”, “homemaker…”.  After we got home, it hit me that if she was to actually make a list of what she does, in my opinion, it would look something like this:

    • Homeland Security- I’m gone for 10hrs a day for five days of the week.  She’s got her finger on the def-con threat level.  She’s closing the windows when the teenagers are walking by.  She’s keeping the hawk eye on the kids when they are playing out front.  She’s battening down the hatches when the storms roll in.  She’s locking the doors when everyone’s down in the basement working on projects.  Without my wife, our house would be overrun (mostly by our own children) in a matter of hours.  I know I’m the one who will grab the baseball bat to go investigate the bump in the night.  But without my lovely-looking-lieutenant patrolling every day, this captain would be dead in no time.
    • Project Management – Jen works with pre-order, in flight, service ready, in use and service outages – all at once, without a manager running reports for her and without any subordinates to delegate workload.  (I know only my telecom friends reading this one will understand what I just wrote).
    • Crowd Control – Are there such things as female bouncers?  If not, my wife is the first.  You could never call her rough or aggressive, but by necessity she must be firm enough to keep two boys and two girls(one rambunctious one!) under control.  She lays down the law and beats back the rioters, constantly.
    • Internal Medicine – She diagnoses (don’t worry, she only uses WebMD), writes prescriptions, fulfills them and administers them – all 24x7x365.  Dr. Quinn didn’t even do all that!  She’s up in the middle of the night giving the Tylenol to the headache victim.  She’s the one inspecting scrapes, bruises, bumps and moles.  She’s the one working with doctors and lawyers to keep her clients healthy.
    • Arbitration – If there’s a dispute, she’s in the middle of it within moments.  Only recently have the children begun actually trying to solve problems between each other before pulling in the third party.  Our kids have even been known to plead their case with each other in a whiny voice, while looking at Mom or Dad the whole time!  You couldn’t possibly pay her enough for the kind of holistic middle-man services she renders.
    • Guest Services – We’ve “joked” often about opening a bed and breakfast one day.  Jen has all the skills.  She cleans, she cooks, she smiles, she greets and she doesn’t lose room keys (that’s my job).  She manages three bedrooms, a sleeper sofa in the living room, a fold-out cot we used to have and an entirely separate queen bed we used to have in the basement.  Plus all couches, loveseats and kitchen seating.  She dusts, scours, sanitizes, scrubs, vacuums, windexes, launders, dries, folds, organizes, fluffs, snaps, crackles and pops!  Again, the house would be episode 1 on the next season of Hoarders if she ever quit for a day.
    • Personnel Management – Hair cuts?  Check.  Sliver removal?  Check.  Band-aide application?  Check.  Education?  Check.  She’s got a headcount of all her peeps and knows each one intimately.  She maintains all of their paperwork, ensures their shot records are up to date, confirms they are earning, saving, giving and spending their money wisely and makes sure they are well rested, have clean underwear on and change their socks after each ruck march.  These little soldiers don’t know how good they’ve got it.
    • Culinary Arts – The food is ridiculous in our house.  Ridiculous, as in ridiculously good.  New entrees, healthy alternatives, well seasoned, always hot and guaranteed to be delicious.  She never takes short cuts in presentation either. 
    • Food Services – No, this one isn’t a duplicate.  She catalogs, inventories, purchases, organizes, cleans, cooks, presents, serves and cleans up food at least[!] three times a day!  And this is just the raw materials we’re talking about.  For the artistic and delightful spin she brings to food preparation, go back and read “Culinary Arts”.
    • Handywoman / Misc repair – This girl has been known to unclog some pretty stopped-up drains, change light bulbs, paint several rooms, hang shelves, mud, tape, paint (she’s painted a lot!), fix furniture, create and install miscellaneous decorative fixtures and much much more.  I know it sounds too good to be true, but Jen is what infomercials are made of!  But that’s not all…!
    • Receptionist – If the phone be ringing, Jen’ll stop singing.  Ok, she doesn’t sing a whole lot.  Just a catchy way to say that Jen manages the telecom in our home.  I’m the data guy and you can come see me for all of your IP needs, but Jen’s the traditional voice services applications engineer.  If you need a number, see Mom.  She rarely uses an address book and speed dial to her is seeing how fast she can dial in one of the dozens of numbers she has memorized!
    • Lawn Care Specialist – Yes, she even mows, weed-whacks, trims and edges!  Not all the time and never because I’ve asked her to.  I prefer that she doesn’t as I’m always afraid the neighbors will think I’m some kind of putz who can’t even mow his lawn, but she insists!  🙂 Imagine how good things would look if we could get grass to grow!
    • Administrative Assistant – Bills, checkbook, calendar(a whole separate post could cover her calendar management skills!), coupons, mail management, maintaining the right amount of creamer in my coffee, getting my coffee to me when it’s hot.  You know, basic secretary stuff.  I know, I sound like a pig now.  I’m kidding about the coffee/secretary lines.  But I’m not kidding about Jen’s mad crazy administration abilities.  Just try to penetrate the fortress of her organization.  You’d have better luck getting into the Black Gate of Mordor.
    • Ambiance Coordination Manager – Sounds like a cool title, eh?  Well, it IS!  Respect it.  We come home to candles, fresh baked cookies, banana bread, freshly washed clothes and linens and good smelling plug-in air fresheners all the time.  Left to me, the the house would smell like garbage in here all the time (my kids just laughed harder than anyone when they read that last line).

    Thanks, honey.  For being the Jill-of-all-trades in our family.  You truly are indispensable.  And these are only temporal physical things you bring to the table.  They aren’t even the true and lasting, eternal things that we truly love you for.  Just want to honor you and make sure you know how much we appreciate what you do.

    Oh, and next time some 18year-old-looking kid with “PhD” printed on his white lab coat, disinterestedly peers over his clipboard at you and says, “…and what do you do?”.  Nicely, but directly tell him, “Everything.  And you?”


    Confession: I love to multi-task…

    Am I alone here?  While I head to the basement for a replacement light bulb, I ask my wife if she needs the laundry switched.  Receiving my orders, I snag some old bills and a few kids toys from the top of the stairs and head sub-terrestrial.  Under the basement I grab a bulb and stick it in the pocket of my sweats.  Heading East, I drop the kid’s toys in the tub and enter the laundry room without missing a beat.  Empty the dryer and fill it back up with wet clothes from the washer.  Start the washer and while the water is pouring in, swivel around to clean out the lint trap, throw in a ‘smell-good’ sheet and start the machine.  Back to the washer- detergent, liquid ‘smell-good’, clothes (of course checking the pockets in the boys jeans as the water begins to soak everything).  Grab the basket full of dry clothes and head out, toward the office.  Drop the bills in the pile to be filed (someday…hey I can’t do everything!) and back upstairs.  Drop the laundry in the living room on my way to the bedroom to screw in the new lightbulb.

    The thought of doing all of these things separately is too much to bear.  Serial?  Please!  I’ll take a super-sized order of Parallel with a side of distraction!  I think I forgot to mention that I picked up a few pieces of lint on my way back up the stairs.

    I love to multi-task.  I don’t know if anyone can relate, but even while I write this post, I’ve stopped several times to check my email, clean up the deleted folder and Alt+Tab over to Pandora to “thumbs down” a few songs.

    Am I not relaxing on my day off or am I being efficient?

    …more questions than answers.


    Google much?!?!

    so you have all seen the Bing.com commercial right??? yeah, so have we…i am embarrassed to say that i could be in that commercial.

    the other day, Naomi finished up her math homework and i was looking ALL OVER for the solutions manual so that i could check it. i typically put it in the closet on the shelf with the other teacher guides but this one was gone and no one knew where it was. so i was searching and i assigned areas for each kid to look all to no avail. so i told them i would just look later and that they didn’t need to worry about it anymore.
    so there i am making dinner when a thought comes in to my head…thankfully, it stayed there or my kids would have laughed me off the planet! i thought: “oh, duh! why don’t i just Google where it is….oh, wait, no….that wouldn’t work…”



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