Chapelle Family Photos 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You are in our thoughts throughout the year, and this is our opportunity to share our yearly blessings with you.

 Eric pursued his passion of music production and graduated from Icon Collective (Burbank, California) in June. He quickly moved back to his beloved Flagstaff, Arizona; a sharp contrast to the fast paced, manic environment of Los Angeles. In the spring, “ECHAP” was invited to DJ at the Orpheum in Flagstaff for an EDM music concert, along with several other DJs. The whole family decided to tag along for the concert. Eric has set himself a challenge to produce an EP (basically an album) in the next few months, but we’ll understand if the release is delayed. It’s hard to get time to work on the music while also pursuing ones other passion of outdoor sports.  Eric is currently a snowboard instructor at Snowbowl near Flagstaff. Skiing in Arizona, you ask? It turns out there is a 12,000 ft volcanic mountain, Mount Humphreys, and Flagstaff is nestled right in the mountain at 6900 ft within a 30-minute drive. The highest lift goes up to 11,500 ft which is higher than most ski areas in Colorado.

 Lucas is in the middle of his second year at community college, hammering out those electives and lower division requirements. He has his sights set on some type of engineering, but is still exploring which type of engineering he is interested in (electronics, software, etc.). As an avid computer gamer he certainly knows his way around the computer. He has been teaching himself different programming languages “just for fun”! Dad gets to jump in and help problem solve from time to time, which gives them a chance to learn new things together. I think I heard that Lucas was in the early phases of planning for his own video application, but nothing concrete just yet.

We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Darryl Harris and his wife Sarah while he was in firefighting school and his probationary year with the San Diego Fire Department. As he neared the end of this first year, they found an apartment in San Diego where they have their two dogs, Lilly and Penny, and are expecting their first child in January. We are so proud of Darryl who will surely serve our city with distinction and of Sarah to have put up with his crazy schedule while working and going to school full time.  We experienced empty nest feelings after they left, since they injected activity into our days and brightened our home. But we are happy they are now moving forward to settle down and make their future as a family in San Diego.

 The wet winter rains combined with a beautiful spring resulted in a “super bloom” of wildflowers in our local desert. Sonja and Greg journeyed to the fields of flowers to enjoy their splendor.   The hillsides were awash with a blaze of blooming flowers that we greatly enjoyed.  Greg has also been doing a lot of hiking with the Boy Scouts and the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Canyoneers. He’s learned where to find some beautiful slot canyons and mountain meadows. Eric and Greg hiked the trail on Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, with hopes of summiting, but the July weather included strong thunderstorms that drove them back to base camp.

 Greg continues to work on the software for a new aircraft arrestment system for US Navy aircraft carriers that demonstrated its first aircraft landing this year. A huge achievement!

 In the spring, Sonja purchased a new car. Our first new car in 20 years!  She used it to take several trips to Colorado to visit her Mother Lia who turns 89 in January 2018, and her sister Heidi. The first one she drove solo (2500 miles round trip).  The most recent trip was a week in November with Greg and Suki, where we not only visited Lia & Heidi, but managed to be at Eric’s home in Flagstaff where he hosted his first Thanksgiving Dinner.

 Sonja discovered a new passion of teaching Sunday school children (1st - 5th grade) with Greg and our friend Jennifer. It was a chance for Sonja to be creative in order to engage the kids with crafts, games, and Bible lessons.  Sonja was surprised at how much she liked teaching the children.

 In August, Sonja and Greg set out on an epic road trip to Idaho to see the total solar Eclipse. We camped at a small family owned vacation hotel where the owners opened up some of their property for people to camp on and were amazed by the event.  To see the sun completely blotted out by the moon was a once in a lifetime experience and one we will never forget. The two minutes of darkness went much too quickly and we were so glad we made the extra effort see it!

 This coming year all 4 of us are planning to visit our European family and see the sights. We are very excited and are still in the planning stages.  Our plans include visits to France, Belgium, and Great Britain, but it may change.

 Wishing you all the best this year,

 Greg, Eric, Lucas and Sonja Chapelle