Chippewa Herald * December 31, 2005

"Is BLUE precious in his sight?"

by Tom Arneberg, Community Columnist

We sent out another "Arneberg Argus" in early December. That's what we call our slightly irreverent family Christmas newsletter, which tries to capture the essence of ordinary family life.

All year long, any time we hear one of our kids say something funny or insightful, we write it down before we forget. Here are some of the entries from this year's issue, out of the mouths of Simon (now 5), David (9), Jasper (11), Alison (14), and Benjamin (16):

"Dad, when they make lefse, do they really add potatoes?" -- David, wondering about the main ingredient to this traditional Norwegian delicacy.

"When does the Baby Jesus Show start?" -- Simon, impatiently waiting for the school Christmas program to begin.

"We should've brought Ben as a measuring stick." -- Alison, when trying to pick out a six-foot Christmas tree at the cut-your-own tree farm.

"Because we'd know that everyone would be slapping each other when they see us coming." -- Alison's reason for why she wanted a "Slug Bug" for the next family car. (Not to mention the cool license plate: "ARNEBUG")

"It would be better than Ben." -- David's touching reply to his Sunday School teacher's question of what it would be like to have Jesus for a brother.

"What is it? All I know is that I can spell it: 'P-N-E-U-M-O-N-I-A.' -- Jasper, upon hearing of a friend with the condition: He explained that it's often a spelling word, but never a vocabulary word.

"Mom, can this flag touch the ground? It was made in China." -- David, looking for loopholes in flag etiquette while on his way to the parade welcoming National Guard units home from Iraq.

"Mom? Is blue precious in his sight?" -- Simon, stopping in his tracks while singing the lyrics "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." (And Simon doesn't even know about Smurfs.)

"Simon, let's play with your grandpa again." -- Simon's five-year-old friend, Noah Bowe. (He was looking for Simon's father, thank you very much.) (The Argus editor would like to remind readers what Proverbs 16:31 says: "Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.")

"Mom, do you have to say 'Excuse me' if it's just the Whoopee Cushion?" -- Simon, inquiring about proper etiquette regarding Alison's Dollar Store treasure.

"I think I'm a little overdressed for that." -- Beth, while putting the finishing touches on her preparation for the 4/16/05 Viennese Ball -- including not only a fancy dress but manicured nails and even earrings -- when Simon yelled from the garage asking if she wanted to see how many rain-soaked worms he could hold in one hand.

"They need to clean it." -- Jasper's first comment upon beholding the majesty of the reflecting pool on the mall in Washington, D.C.

"I can't believe she LIVES here and didn't know that!!" -- David, amazed that the young lady they met on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City had never heard that the Monopoly properties were named after the streets in her town.

"Hey! I just heard someone speaking English!" -- Simon, elated at hearing the rare-but-familiar tongue in New York City's Chinatown.

"Dad, this is your lucky day -- you have a really heavy truck in front of you and a really light motorcycle behind you." -- David, while traveling the blue highways in New Hampshire, a few days after Dad's lecture about the physics of momentum and stopping distances.

"Breakfast." -- Jasper's answer to Franklin Bodine's question about what the favorite part of his day had been. (If Franklin was expecting something related to walking the "Freedom Trail" in Boston, he shouldn't have served pancakes with chocolate syrup and whip cream.)

"Was that the only car you had?" -- Alison, in the Henry Ford Museum about the model T in Beth's family while she was growing up. (Beth had to assure Alison that she wasn't THAT old.)

"Juggle the dog!" -- heckler at the Fourth-of-July parade in Edina. Simon walking Dixie was getting about as much attention as the rest of the Arnebergs juggling.

"There's no way I'm going to a singing show when I could be riding a roller coaster." -- Jasper's comment while the church youth choir was planning their outing to Valleyfair, in response to an idea from one of the directors.

"One down, 168 to go." -- Jasper, 9/1/05, cutting the first ring out of a very long paper chain he made to countdown the days until the end of the school year (that had just started that day).

"It's ARNEBEAR!" -- Alison Rose Arneberg, 9/1/05, bragging at the dinner table about her cool computer login name at her new Middle School. (Her dad burst her animal-loving bubble by explaining that they simply take the first six letters of the last name followed by the first and second initials.)

"Oh, no -- I'm two minutes late for being ten minutes early!" -- Jasper, on the way to basketball practice, demonstrating that he inherited more of his father's genes than his mother's.

That's all I have room for. May your new year be filled with memorable quotes from your own kids!


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