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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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    Road Trip to Scranton!

    On Monday morning, January 2nd, we surprised the kids with an announcement: a road trip to Pennsylvania!!! We woke the kids up at seven and were driving out of the garage by 8:24 am.  Miracles do still happen, I guess.


    The drive out of MI and through a bit of Ohio is pretty boring.  However, once you enter Penn, it’s so beautiful.  I’m sure all of the hills didn’t help our gas mileage but the scenery through the Northern tip of the Appalachians is absolutely amazing; the mountains and huge rock walls were beautiful! We were all wondering if the locals there ever traveled to Canton oohing and ahhing over how flat everything was.

    We drove through Ohio before getting to the State of Independence, but most of the driving was in Pennsylvania itself.


    The kids before they had read the sign.


    …and after we threatened them.


    Soon we were back on the road! Nothing exciting happened for about seven or eight more hours when we finally got to our hotel!  Well, we found our hotel but decided we needed to hit up a gas station before checking in.

    That was a mistake.

    It took several twists and turns in back-roads and neighborhoods through Scranton’s northernly neighboring city Dixon City before finally finding fuel but it was kind of worth it because it was a full-service gas station! Very cool.

    Anyways, we reached the Holiday Inn in Dixon City around 9 pm. There was a POOL. 😀


    swimming in December?



    ^^the view from the kid’s room^^


    The next morning we all enjoyed a breakfast of cold stiff hotel waffles (Naomi didn’t know they were toaster waffles and were meant to be eaten after being toasted) and decent sausage gravy (they taste good together, ask Naomi) After breakfast, we left the hotel and headed to the Steamtown Mall. Right away I (Paul) led Jen to the best part in the mall:



    This is the actual sign that used to be off the freeway just outside Scranton. This sign can be seen in the opening credits of the popular TV show The Office.  For the afternoon we drove around and saw other sites that appear in the show, which none of the kids watch so they couldn’t appreciate and had to sit in the car for half of the time staring at a brick wall waiting for their parents to remember them. But we had fun!


    This was the train yard behind Steamtown mall. It was just a cool looking shot.


    This was Cooper’s Seafood. Another place of interest for Office fans. They had a little gift shop with funny hats that hundreds of people had previously worn.


    Inside Cooper’s.

    We started driving home that afternoon/evening but realized it would be 3 am by the time we’d get to Canton so we took our time on the drive home. We stopped in a neat little town called Clearfield, PA and visited a couple of small shops in their downtown area and then checked into the Hampton. This hotel also had a pool but everyone was too tired to swim except for Josh and Anna.



    Not tired:


    The next morning we stopped at several more places to break up the drive so it didn’t feel like the ten-hour drive it was to get there.drivin2


    The pictures really don’t do it justice. Every bridge we crossed had ridiculously huge mountains and trees surrounding and rivers underneath, it felt like a movie. As obscure as Scranton sounds, it’s actually a great city to vacation in solely because of the scenery.


    Unfortunately, we don’t have photos, but Scranton was very appropriately named the Electric City because of the way the whole city just lights up like a million Christmas lights at night. The view is INCREDIBLE when driving on the highway.


    ^^grabbing lunch at Pizza Hut in Ohio!^^



    I asked the kids when the trip was coming to a close, “So do you guys like to plan out a vacation and then look forward to it or did you like doing this one spontaneously?”

    They all exclaimed: “Spontaneously!”


    “How they met” A Valentine’s Day tribute

    In light of Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I’d share the story of how I met my Valentine as recalled and penned by our oldest child.  Peter wrote the below a few months ago and surprised both Jen and I by how much he actually knows about how the Lord brought his Mom and Dad together.

    See them now sitting on the couch?  So happy.  But you have to ask, “How did they meet?”  Well the Dare kids are here to answer that question…

    As both of them will tell you now, it was a day that changed their life.  It started out as a normal day at the bowling alley.  Paul Dare glanced over and saw Jennifer Ford and thought she was cute, and vice versa.  A couple weeks later, there was an open house for one of Jen’s sisters.  As the story goes, when Paul showed up, Jen followed him like a lost puppy.  (Makes sense, because he’s so handsome).  Lunch dates and dinner dates followed, (meaning McDonalds on a porch swing), and they grew to love each other.  AND THEN the big day!  In the back yard at Jennifer Ford’s open house, she sat in a chair and Jen Douglas covered her eyes.  Paul got on one knee and said, “Will you marry me?”  (Go figure, her being the most beautiful woman ever), and naturally, she said, “Yes!”  And so, that is the story of how they met.

    p.s. Sorry it’s late!

    Not bad, Pete!  There’s a few missing details, but overall you nailed it.  Sorry you’ve had to hear this tale over and over for 12 years now. One day, you’ll understand. 🙂  Love you buddy.

    -Dad (HERE is a copy of Pete’s actual handwritten story)

    Like Father like son

    This post all started in late summer, but I finally got around to scanning the old picture that makes these new ones so funny (to me, at least).
    Circa 1984:

    August 2011:

    It’s obvious to me now that I was destined to be a drummer as my wooden guitar cut out air guitar shredding skills were less than stellar from the beginning.  Maybe the boys will fare better than I.  It took Josh almost no time to break out the Pete Townsend guitar smashing move and once Pete grows his hair out, that six-string scorpion will look great on him.

    Josh Yzerman

    Not one…

    But two teeth…

    In one day!

    Get your stick and get back on the ice, boy!

    Meeting Tim Hawkins

    Yes. It’s true.  We met Tim Hawkins.  “Who is he?” you ask?  I just un-friended you on Facebook if you truly needed to ask that.  Only the funniest Christian comedian we’ve ever met.  OK, fine.  The only Christian comedian we’ve ever met.  Still, you should know who he is if you don’t.  In all seriousness, he’s a very funny, down to earth guy.  So down to earth, in fact, that he let us get a picture with him last Friday after the show.  Look at these two kids, out on a date, all giddy getting their mug in the same frame as the Hawk man!

    Horrible picture I know.  That’s not the fault of the guy who was gracious to snap it for us.  It’s taken with my old Blackberry.  Maybe if I present this picture to corporate, they’ll issue me a new phone with a higher resolution camera?  Probably not.

    Let me tell you what was happening while this gem was being taken.  Tim joked the entire time.  He says in a timid little voice right as we posed –

    Man, guys…I’m feeling like a third wheel here….

    Who’s the sweaty guy in the middle?

    When the gent who took the picture asked me which button to press, Tim yells out,

    It’s the trash can button…press the trashcan button!

    We love you, Tim.  The guy is hilarious to the last drop!  And very nice.  Even when two adults tap him on the shoulder and like little kids say, “can we get a picture?  tee hee, tee hee…”

    The funniest part of the whole evening?  He sang his classic song The Government Can.  What we don’t think he realized is that well before he came out, the MC had introduced several donors and sponsors for the event and had announced that a Michigan State Senator was in the audience tonight.  The Senator stood up, we all clapped and the show went on.  An hour later, Hawk was bellowing out the words, “….who can be a failure?  In so many ways?…The Government Caaaaaaaan….”

    My abs still hurt from laughing at that.  I tried to look over to see if the Senator was angry.  That would’ve proved he was a Democrat. OH!  Bazinga!  Maybe I can join Tim at the next show!  lol.


    Stuff I wrote as a kid – #4

    Written circa 1985, this little gem is packed with both horrible grammar AND political in-correctness.  Enjoy as you wince your way through this one –



    Journal 7

    The person I admire the most is this one black guy.  I don’t remember his name, but he makes all of these sounds with his mouth.  He is one of the actors in the all of the movies “Police Academy”.  I’ve also seen him on the “Love Boat”.  I think that I admire him the most because I think that that it takes a lot of talent, to never mess.”

    Michael Winslow, if you’re out there, I’m sorry sir.


    FOUND: Skydiving Logbook

    So what happens when you’ve finished reading a book on economics and you’re digging around in your file cabinet to find all your old saving’s bonds?  You just might come across something you’ve not seen in years.  Like…say…your old skydiving logbook.  OK, maybe not everyone.  But that’s what happened to me yesterday so I figured I’d share it’s contents with you in a post.  Don’t worry, I only made two dives.  After the $$ signs were adding up, I decided to quit after my second jump.  I never looked back.  Here’s what the Jumpmaster wrote in my logbook after my first two jumps:

    1st Jump

    • Date: 10 June 1997 / Place: Raeford D.Z. / Aircraft: Cesna 182 / Altitude: 3500ft. / Winds: 0-3
    • Description: Good awareness, good climb out.  Good hang.  Good response to jump commands.  On exit: De-arched (looked down).  Good job!!  Do it again…

    2nd Jump

    • Date: 13 June 1997 / Place: Raeford D.Z. / Aircraft: Cesna 182 / Altitude: 3500ft. / Winds: 8-10
    • Description: Excellent exit and super hard arch – super stable body position.  Super dive.  Excellent canopy control. Cleared for PRCP(Practice Ripcord Pull). AWESOME.

    So there you have it, my entire civilian skydiving career summed up in two small paragraphs.  I love the “Do it again…” after the first jump.  Yeah, so you can get paid, right?  It was seriously fun though.  Very expensive too and I picked up right away on the whole culture of skydiving.  Most of these guys were either current or retired Special Forces dudes from Ft. Bragg.  They were definitely a group of very “cool”, thrill seekers.  I figured if the federal government would pay me to jump, I’d stick with that.  Once I was married and had children, I’ve never really desired to do it again.  Not that I wouldn’t love it, but it’s just too great of a risk given my new responsibilities.  If you’re young and single and looking for an amazing rush, give it a try.  Skydiving wouldn’t be on my bucket list but I’m glad I gave it a shot back in the day.


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