Steffen Family letter 2019

January 31, 2020

Jesus is actually eternal. This whole “older than He was last year thing” is nothing more than a ruse. Let’s just admit that Jesus has been around since, well, forever, and try something new. 

WAZZZZUUUUUP! 

Guys, it’s me, Gweneth Margaret Steffen, the pug. I thought I’d try and be cool and hip like all the young pups are doing these days. I have gotten a fair amount of gray hairs on my muzzle, and when people see it, they have started saying “awe, she looks so OLD” – in that voice that makes it try to sound cute but really they’re just feeling sorry for you. You know the one. It’s annoying and I’m eleven, not dead. So I want people to know I’m still “with it.” After all it’s time for me and my steel trap like memory to tell you all about what happened in our family in the year two thousand and nineteen.

I shall start with the children, and move on to the adults, and follow with some closing remarks. There’s really not that much to tell you, just the normal everyday….YOU GUYS THEY GOT ANOTHER DOG! His name is Milton. He apparently came from a “rescue” – whatever that means. No one seems to want to rescue ME from HIM! He’s a puppy. Like REALLY young. Like I think he’s less than a year old. But here’s the kicker – even though he’s a puppy – he’s freaking HUGE. Apparently not all dogs have realized the benefits of being small, cute and cuddly, like the majestic pugs from the land of Chinese food. He towers over us like the great wall towered over my ancestors. Despite his young age, his bark seems to come from deep in his bowels, and resounds for the entire neighborhood to hear. He wants to “play” all the time (although he thinks this means biting me on my legs and then running away), and he also enjoys chewing on things as though they are the “chewing gum” that young Ezekiel enjoys frequently. Aaron insists that this dog was procured for good reasons like; giving Zeke a companion at night, and helping the family get more exercise. I’ve even heard him say that they wanted “a real dog” – whatever that’s supposed to mean. I know the truth; Norm has gotten fat. Like really plump, and they are trying to help him get motivated to get off his buttocks and get into a shape, other than “loaf of bread.” While I appreciate the care and concern for my companion Norm, I do think there were ways to accomplish this, other than bringing this monstrous beast into my life. But alas, he is growing, and I guess, on me too. 

As for the children, Esther is absolutely in love with him. Milty, as she refers to him, is frequently dressed up as a princess and chased around the house. Esther has become quite fond of princesses and girly things. She recently enjoyed a motion picture show entitled “Frozen 2” – although I wasn’t aware there was a Frozen 1 – and it apparently contains several songs including one encouraging people to venture into unknown places. She sings it frequently. There was another feature film this year that she also mildly enjoyed, I believe it was called “Toy Story 4.” This film contains less singing and more toys. Like LOTS of them. Esther has felt the need to become the owner of them all. Perhaps you are not understanding me. When I say all, I mean ALL. She even has duplicates of some of them. She refers to them as her “toy story’s” – and she plays with them LITERALLY every day. While she watches the movie. Every day. It’s a decent flick (although there is a noticeable lack of pugs), and the toys are pretty cute ; but one of them has a weird name. He’s called “Forky” which makes no sense because he’s literally just a spork (which happens to be the most advantageous eating utensil ever made) with some stuff glued to him. Regardless, these adventures have occupied much of Essie’s 2019, but she has had a few other experiences. At some point this year, she has learned how to relieve herself whilst sitting on the porcelain statue in the bathroom. This pleased Aaron greatly. She also took lessons to learn how to survive in water while performing some flailing actions with her arms and legs. Swimming, I think they call it. In June, she realized a life long dream of meeting Disney princesses at a St. Paul Saints game. The squeal factor was high. Her life is full of energy and excitement, and she seems to be living it to its fullest. We are happy to have her around, and since I am already a princess, she has recently taken a special liking to me. Together we dance our way through each day and although she can be a bit much sometimes, I am happy to be her pet. I am sure we will have many great adventures in the coming summer months. 

Now I will move on to Ezekiel. I am happy to report that he has not broken an appendage or had to sport a cast for the entirety of 2019. This is quite the accomplishment for him, and his mother gives thanks to the Lord; “on the daily” for this fact. Zeke completed the thing called Kindergarten, and has moved into what is being referred to as “the 1st grade.” This implies that there are others, and I believe he is excited about that. He continues to attend these classes at Trinity Academy in Hudson, and is really enjoying everything about “the learning” as he calls it. He excels in math and writing, as well as the class called gym. Apparently it’s where you just run around and do stuff with balls? That makes sense though, because he is CONSTANTLY playing all the sports around our place of dwelling and in the surrounding communities. This spring he played flag football matches with a team called the Seahawks. They didn’t win any of their contests, but Zeke was their star player, scoring many dance worthy “six pointers”. He is quite quick and nimble and enjoys pumping himself up in the car prior to games. But I digress. This summer he played coach’s pitch and enjoyed striking a small white ball back at his father who was pitching it to him. Aaron was not pleased, but he got over it. He is best at throwing the ball to his team members and crushing the ball into the outfield with his bat. He also enjoys drinking gatorade between innings. This fall, he again played with the flag football friends, and won 4 whole contests! He learned how to play a position called “quarterback” – which apparently has nothing to do with American currency. Zeke received many haircuts, attended some Brewers, Packers, and Wild games, went on NUMEROUS bike rides, and had a solo in the Christmas Pageant at church. His life is lived on a rollercoaster of emotions, and we ride with, and love him through them all. I eagerly anticipate watching him chase Milton through the yard this summer, while I sit calmly and safely behind the fence. 

The adults in our lives have lived quite the year as well. Emily has been hard at work making tiny trinkets and amazing creations for the world to buy. Oh Yay Studio is not so much a job, as it is an empire, and she, it’s Empress. The world is her oyster (although that sounds disgusting), and she is taking it by storm (which sounds scarier than it really is). She took some pictures at weddings and other events, she made costumes of the month, and she is absolutely CRUSHING the whole mom thing. All you have to do to see how incredible Emily’s life is – is check out a magical world of pictures on your talking handheld device; apparently it’s called Instagram. She documents her entire life there, and it’s all present for you to enjoy. Emily also did something we are all very proud of her for this year – in deciding to lay her parents to rest next to each other at the cemetery down the road. We know how much she misses them, and I look forward to quiet walks to visit them with her this summer. Emily is a special and joy-filled person, and we are #blessed to have her at the center of our family. 

Aaron has also been busy this year. His job with NETworks Youth Ministries ended this summer with a final trip to the magical land of Montana – but his work with youth continues as HILLCITY has started their own youth group and he also substitute teaches at Trinity Academy. He talks for a living every Sunday, and enjoys being in charge of other people’s children at all of Zeke’s sporting events. He got some more tattoos, officiated some weddings, went to some sports games, and rode nearly a thousand miles on his bike. He says his greatest happiness in life comes from being a part of our family. I bet it’s because of me. 

Now I am sure that many of you are thinking I have forgotten to tell you about that other pug, other than my mention of his shape. Never fear, I have not. Norm has proved useful to me in many ways this year. He is an excellent pillow. His body emanates glorious heat to keep me warm on cold winter nights. And best of all, he has proven to be an amazing shield between me and that new dog Milton. But lest he think I am starting to like him; he is still fat, smelly, and incredibly annoying. Just how I like – I mean – loathe him. It’s ok Norm, we can’t all be simply and impeccably perfect like me. Someday you will understand just how awesome I am. 

As always, we here at the Steffen household, pray that your new year is filled with all the happiness God can give you. We are grateful for all of you in our lives, and look forward to spending 2020 with wonderful people like you! 

~Princess Gwen, Aaron, Em, Essie, Zeke & two other mammals. 

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