Craig, Jodie and Tyler's Early Christmas 2001
Posted December 24, 2001

Craig, Jodie and Tyler came to visit on Friday, December 21, just after they signed the final papers in Sacramento for the construction loan on the Nevada City house (plus refinancing their San Jose house) -- Hurrah! They arrived in time for dinner and to let us join them in celebration. Saturday morning we had an early Christmas, opening only the presents for our mutual families. Tyler got lots of presents from Grandma and Grandpa, of course (all purchased by Grandma). Here they play with Pirate Island, which is made of sponge rubber so Tyler can also play with it in his bath. Both he and Craig loved it because it included a canon, so there were lots of verbal explosions as pirates went flying.
Craig and Tyler play with Pirate Island.
Even the adults got some presents. Craig got the usual Christmas sweater, which was much appreciated, but not in the way Jodie greeted her new salad spinner. Grandpa got a beautiful burgundy vest sweater and Grandma a cardigan sweater, I'm sure from Jodie's shopping just as Mary buys all our presents.

Jodie loved her salad spinner, while Craig took a breather from playing with Tyler.

Craig got to assemble all of Tyler's presents. The garage below is from Spain with Spanish instructions, which didn't matter since Craig just grabbed the pieces and shoved them together in various ways until they fit.

Craig assembles Tyler's parking garage. 
Later, Craig had to take the garage apart so he could glue stickers onto each floor, and so on. That didn't stop Tyler from playing with the pieces.

Tyler plays with one of the floors of his garage.
After the initial dust settled from opening all the presents, I was able to get between Tyler and the window so I could use natural light without flash.

Better picture with natural light from the window.

While Mary took care of Tyler, I drove Craig and Jodie up to Nevada City so they could see their home site for the first time since the bulldozer cleared the area in October and early November. It had been raining off and on for weeks, and had just rained all Friday night, so it was cold, windy, and muddy. Just the same, Craig and I opened beers so we could drink them in the new garage. I was just as cold as Craig and Jodie look here but the beer tasted great.

Craig and Jodie freezing in the wind and mud.

With nothing but ankle deep mud and water all around, Craig could survey the foundation and envision the house only by balancing on the newly poured foundation. He stayed mainly on the wood forms because he wasn't sure how long the concrete had cured. Jodie and I stayed safely on the gravel-covered driveway area where we were sure we wouldn't fall off into gooey mud.

Craig balances on the foundation as he surveys their mansion to be.
The next afternoon (Sunday, after our trip to the snow) Craig and Jodie drove back to the site on their own in the nice, sunny weather, so they could enjoy surveying their home-to-be without wind and rain.

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