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2017 Christmas Letter

This is the first Christmas letter sent in a LONG time. We can always strive to be better! We have had a wonderful year blessed with good fortune and busy lives. Here is what we have been up to:

Paige began junior high this year. She enjoys art and choir, and is one of few select seventh graders in the concert choir. Outside of school, Paige plays basketball in a predominantly male league. At 5’8” she is one of the tallest players and is a defensive beast. She continues to do club swim team and has made great gains in the sport. At her last meet, she had the top overall swim times for three of the four strokes in her age group and shaved off at least two seconds from her previous time in each stroke. She continues to take gifted classes maintaining A's. She participated in Destination Imagination and her 6th grade school’s Vex Robotics team.

Chloe’s life revolves around soccer and school. She continues to play club soccer and also plays for her high school soccer team. She was awarded the Husky Award for her high school team (leadership, effort, good person on and off the field). This fall she also made the ODP pool (olympic development program) and participated in soccer camp at NAU this summer. Off the field, she takes her school work very seriously taking all AP and honors courses and maintaining straight A’s. She was nominated for math and social studies student of the year, and is currently on her high school’s Model UN team. She got her learner’s permit and is successfully learning how to drive.

Heidi continues to enjoy her role as stay at home mom, volunteer, kid shuttle driver, chef de cuisine à la maison de leff, super-crafter, and wűnder wife. She organized and planned the spring art show for Knox Gifted Academy and wrapped up six years of running the Art Masterpiece program for KGA. This fall has gifted her more free time and with the help of YouTube videos and her dad, she has embarked on several fixit and home improvement projects. She is also working through an online course for writing children's books, serves on the board of Destination Imagination, and San Tan Junior High Site Council.

Greg works as a Business Analyst, technical guru, and wears many other hats at General Motors. He was promoted to supervisor after just eight months with the company, and has thoroughly enjoyed mentoring his team consisting largely of new college hires. He has made two trips back to the mothership in Detroit, MI including one where an historic wind storm knocked power out for 5 million people and required a hotel change. He recently took a business trip to New Orleans. The conference schedule permitted some sight seeing and he is now a ragin’ Cajun! He spent a lot of evenings in jazz clubs and exploring the French Quarter - make sure to visit the Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street. In love with the music and flavors of New Orleans, he has been listening to a lot more jazz lately, and puts creole seasoning on EVERYTHING! He volunteered for a third year as team manager for Chloe's club soccer team (his second full time job!). He keeps the team well informed, organized, and happy.

As a family, we have had a few fun trips to California. Our first was a trip to Carlsbad for a family reunion. Over fall break, we took a trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios California. We continue to enjoy playing games as a family. We enjoy both digital and physical games, some of our favorites are 7 Wonders, Exploding Kittens, Word Domination, Mario Kart, and Jack Box.

Sadly this December 12th we lost Greg’s father Gary Leff. We loved him very much and he will be missed by any and all that knew him. Papa was a regular fixture at his granddaughter’s events and we know that his spirit will continue to be with us. He was always willing to help at a moments notice and loved to take things apart, put them back together, build things from scratch, and was really a do-it-yourselfer to the max. We love you Papa, Dad, Uncle, Brother, Companion, Friend, Gary.