Chippewa Herald * December 28, 2011     Hit Counter by Digits

Actual newspaper layout: (pdf | jpg) ; On newspaper's web site

You learn something new every game

The year in quotes, 2011

by Tom Arneberg, Community Columnist

We sent out another "Arneberg Argus" a couple of weeks ago. That's the name of our family Christmas newsletter, in which we try to capture the essence of ordinary life in a hectic household.

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 11), David (15), Jasper (17), Alison (20), and Benjamin (22)...and a few others:


"The nice thing is that if you ever do get dementia, no one would notice." -- Beth to Tom, 12/12/10, as he was zigzagging along the road to keep his heart rate up while Beth was walking too slowly, on their way to the ski trail.

"Mom? Sometime I want to try a hot knife through butter." -- Simon, 12/12/10, wondering how easy it would really be.

"Wow, braiding hair is easy -- it's the same pattern as juggling!" Simon, 12/18/10, recognizing the "cascade" while learning to braid Alison's hair at a basketball game.

"It's okay, we have plenty of eggs left." -- Jasper to David, 12/19/10, while dropping eggs from a 12-foot height in the foyer for a Science Olympiad project. (Beth wasn't quite sure that lack of fresh eggs was the primary problem.)

"My goal is to not scream while I'm playing that song." -- Simon, 4/04/11, on his way to piano lessons after a week of "torture" playing a dissonant piece.

"I kind of feel bad for kids when I know I'm ending their season." -- Jasper, 5/25/11, after winning both matches at WIAA tennis subsectionals in Wausau.

"I saw Simon walking to school today with his grandpa!" -- confused 2nd-grader at Christ Lutheran School, on 5/27/11, the Annual Arneberg Walk To School Day. When Ms. Hayes said that was his FATHER, not his grandfather, the kid replied, "No, he was really old -- like 46!" (Way to turn an insult into a compliment, kid!)

"Am I the only person these days with the common decency to wear a tux for my driver's license picture?" -- Tom, 6/2/11, upholding a long tradition amid stares at the DMV.

"Dad, what's your favorite element?" -- Simon, 6/7/11, studying the Periodic Table before others woke up in the camper.

"But we have one thing in common -- Lucy Pevensie says her appetite increases at sea." -- Tom, 6/23/11, after reading *Voyage of the Dawn Treader* while aboard the Norwegian Star cruise ship.

"Well, you learn something new every game." -- Coach Bengtson, from David's JV soccer team, during David's fourth game of soccer (in his life) on 8/23/2011, after David was sent to the bench with a yellow card for harassing the goalie (as he was taught to do in basketball).

"What, is EVERYONE here Norwegian?" -- Jasper (the kid), 8/28/11, after observing a big Norwegian flag in the fellowship hall of Jasper (the town) Evangelical Lutheran Church.

"Oops...apparently, I forgot to pack any underwear." -- Simon, 09/01/11, on DAY SIX of the Colorado vacation.

"Dad, what would the final score be at this rate?" -- Simon, 9/4/11, when the Air Force Academy scored a touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage against South Dakota State (elapsed time: 16 seconds). (The answer, if you're interested, is that the final score would be 1575-0 if the game continued at that rate.)

"Fun discovery of the day: The glass screen of an iPad cannot withstand the force of a 1.6-pound quartzite rock falling from a height of 30 inches." -- Tom, 9/24/11, the day Simon's fort under the kitchen table collapsed, breaking the news to Jasper and David in terms they would appreciate.

"...and I think I've done that so far." -- Simon, 10/19/11, explaining at the breakfast table his promise to himself that if he ever learned to whistle, he'd whistle at least one song every day. (This may have been the Understatement of the Year.)

"If THAT doesn't keep you up at night, I don't know what will." -- Ben, 11/02/11, describing his upcoming nighttime parachute jump into a packed football stadium at the Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest game in North Carolina.

"That's like asking a mother in the delivery room when her next baby is coming!" -- Beth's horrified 11/21/11 response to Tom's innocent inquiry about whether they should invite someone over for lunch after church on the Sunday following Thanksgiving (during which they hosted 26 relatives and housed 20).

"I think it's hilarious, but I need to tell you that you can't set up your tent and you can't be in the street. So do it fast." -- Chippewa Falls police officer, 11/26/11, responding to a citizen afraid of the Arneberg family staging a mock protest for their Christmas card photo on Wall Street.

"Who cares? Go away!" -- Jasper, 11/28/11, yelling at Simon who was at the bathroom door telling him Congressman Sean Duffy was on the phone. (There had been several recorded political robo-calls recently, so Jasper didn't realize it was actually the real Duffy live, calling to tell him about his Air Force Academy appointment.)

"God's forgiveness is like beans, 'cause it carries out all the bad stuff." -- Beth, whispered during church on 12/04/11, when the preacher was comparing God's grace to gravy (which is high in saturated fat, of course). (Karen Hurd would be proud.)

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