Sunday, December 14, 2008

Caleb's First Musical Composition

Caleb wrote a Christmas song. He sang it for me earlier today and I was able to get him to repeat it for the camera just now. It last about about 4 1/2 minutes...but if you hang on to the end, you get the added bonus of seeing Joshua "nursing" his baby elephant Humprey. :)

And here's Joshua:

And can't leave out's his cute little toes. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cheerio Boy!

Here is Andrew this morning with his new love: Cheerios!

He got a tattoo??!

This is what happens when little boys go to Princess Birthday parties! :) This picture says it all. I mean, really, what else is there to say?

In other interesting Joshua news, he informed Philip a couple of nights ago at bedtime that he was unable to give him a hug because he was "out of squeezes". He then told Philip that he would be buying some more "at the grocery store on Sunday" where they apparently cost "18%". So, if you're out of squeezes, guess there's a good deal at your local grocery store. :)

Thanksgiving fun!

OK, so this post is a bit late, but better late than never, right? Thanksgiving this year was a fun, drawn out holiday. We had company for 9 days! The Californians, my brother, his wife and two sons, and my sister arrived the weekend before. Then my parents and two other siblings blew into town on Wednesday. It was a little crazy with all the people, but it's always worth it to have family together. Our whole family hadn't been together in a year and a half, and we've added two new additions since then. :) I had a blast cooking, cooking, cooking since I had plenty of mouths to consume whatever I made before it got stale...or 24 hours old. :-) Here's some pics from the week.

The whole crew:

The original family:

The five cousins:

Our boys:
Andrew and his Grandpa:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

Five years ago today I was a little more uncomfortable than I am now. :) We had just checked into our room at Fairfax Hospital and were awaiting Caleb's birth. He was born at 9:15 that night. It's so hard to believe he's already 5! Time has gone by so quickly! He is turning into such a young man. Even in the last few weeks we have noticed maturing in his face and mannerisms. Wow. Here he is just a few minutes old.
And here we are at about 3 days old. Don't we all look so young?!

Here he is at a few weeks old...kind looks like someone else occupying our house, doesn't he?!
This year, we decided to have a joint birthday party for Philip and Caleb since their birthdays are 10 days apart. This past Sunday, 55 of us celebrated together with dinner and cake! Yes I am apparently crazy! It was loads of fun least the 10 minutes I actually remember from the party. Haha. Everyone seemed to have a great time, so I would deem it a success. I managed to cook over a few days and Philip did most of the cleaning, so it really wasn't too bad and I am so glad we did it! Here are a few pictures from that evening.

SOME of the shoe pile by the front door

Guests enjoying dinner
Yes, there were lots of kids...about 26, including a few babies!
The cakes, critically important to any Hines party. :)

The Birthday Boys

The best smile Caleb would give us. Don't you love his name tag? He was adamant on wearing one. Joshua also insisted on being tagged...and made sure Philip included his middle name.

This is the year of the never-ending party for Caleb though because on Tuesday, Philip's parents came down to celebrate with both boys. We had a fun lunch at Chick-fil-a and, of course, some gifts!
And today being the REAL big day, Caleb got to choose what we're having for dinner...tacos. :) And then we'll finish off the day with leftover cupcakes from Sunday and the remaining gifts that still haven't been opened.

Happy Birthday Caleb! We love you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Eating Out: The Way We Pay Our Taxes

This is a little more "intellectual" than usual, but I found this post on another blog and thought it was an interesting read.

Eating Out Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men ate at the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your meals by $20. Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meals. So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings)
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and had their meal without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start eating their dinners overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Backwards Boy

Oh Joshua. What else is there to say? He did this on purpose, deciding he wanted to be "backwards" for the day. We went out to Safeway and I forgot to have "turn around" before we left, so yes, he went through the grocery store for an hour like this. Oh well. :)

Andrew's First Solids

It was such an exciting event, I can't believe you all missed it. Ok, not really. Andrew's first venture into the world of liquefied cardboard...I mean rice cereal...was pretty uneventful. And even though he's now tried pumpkin (from our ginormous home cooked one, of course) and peaches too...he just isn't too excited about the whole idea. No, that's not true. He's very excited about the idea, evidenced by the fact that he squirms and shrieks whenever he sees food in a bowl, anyone's food in a bowl. But when eating time come...lackluster response. Maybe I am just trying to feed him at the wrong times. Anyway, eventually he'll be all over solids...or they'll be all over him. LOL. But, to prove to posterity the moment occurred, here's some pics. :)

Notice the enthusiasm beforehand

Here we go...
Well, he's cute anyway. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkins and Cat Cookies

So, last week I decided to give cooking a pumpkin a try. We got two little ones (pumpkins, not children) for free at the festival a few weeks ago, so why not. Other than burning 2000 calories trying to cut the thing, it was fairly painless. I steamed it and scooped out the puree. It made about 2 cups, with which I made pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie and these delightful little treats: Gingersnap Pumpkin Cream Tarts. Yes, they were as tasty as they look. :)

We decided to buy a pumpkin yesterday since we had good results cooking the first one....yeah...we got the bigge
st one we could find. Can you tell? Since Philip was home (amazing..considering he actually had to work almost 20 hours over the weekend!), he got to do the cutting. :) We baked it for 2.5 hours at 350 and then peeled and pureed. It made about 18 cups of pumpkin puree!! That would make a lot of pies, people!! I am probably going to feed some of it to Andrew...I think I am finally going to start him on solids this week. or soon anyway. It's time. He has two teeth and gets excited when he sees me putting food in the microwave...he thinks it's his. Philip set up the highchair last night. Soon there will be no going back. I am so not excited about the upcoming stinky diapers, but my little baby is growing up, I guess!

Today, the boys and I made Black Cat Cookies. I was not impressed with the cookies themselves (YES, I know I am a cookie snob and I am ok with it. :)), but they are super cute!
We had a fun time making them. Caleb did a lot of the whiskers and noses. Joshua wanted to help with the eyes, but since they are put in half way through the baking time, the pan is really hot and I was so nervous he would get burned! Caleb got a little burn even though he was being careful.

Ok, what's funny about this picture is that the boys, instead of saying cheese, said "This was so fun!". The reason Caleb has Joshua by the neck? Being the big brother that he is, he was trying to make sure Joshua didn't look away from the camera! Caleb was "tired" of taking pictures because this was like the 7th. I told him all I really needed was ONE where they were both smiling and looking at the camera. Hence the necklock...LOL.

And since I know you're all dying to know if Andrew looks the same this week as he did last week, here is a picture of him from yesterday to satisfy your curiousity. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Wish I'd Had the Camera Handy...

I would have titled this post "Oh Boy", but seeing as that was the title of the last post, I had to go foroption B. This morning I sent the boys to get dressed. Caleb came down right away with the appropriate seasonal clothes on. Joshua showed up in his usual. He's decided to regress recently to requiring "help" to get dressed. Even Caleb said last night "Didn't he used to put his clothes on by himself? So, he can do it now. Joshua (tapping him on the shoulder), you DO know how to get dressed by yourself!" Anyway, I digress. The point is, Joshua came down with his clothes in his hands. I told him to put his pants on and then looked over. His pants looked like capris... I asked him where he got them and he said they were in his drawer. I wonder how they got there because they were 12 month pants! I about died laughing. This was actually not the first time this has happened, but this was by far the greatest size differential. Joshua didn't seem to think it was a real big deal and seemed to be prepared to wear them for the day, but I insisted he change. So, now he's wearing 3T like he should be. :) Wish I'd had the camera to show you how funny he looked!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh Boy...

So, Philip has a reputation around our house of almost always buying the wrong thing or paying the wrong price for it when he goes to the grocery store. For this reason, he doesn't go very often. :) Well, last night he stopped by to get a few things for me and decided to buy me some flowers "for no reason". (I maintain that any flowers received +/- 1 week from an event such a Valentines Day, Anniversary or Birthday when no other flowers are received for the actual event cannot be "for no reason" and really default to the reason of the event...but that's another story!) So, anyway, we now have some pretty flowers on the kitchen table. This morning I had a conversation with Caleb that went like this:

C: "Where are the flowers from?"
A: "They are from Daddy, for our anniversary"
C: "But where are they FROM?"
A: "They are from the grocery store"
C: "Which one?"
A: "From Giant"
C: "Did Daddy buy them?"
A: "Yes"
C: "Did he buy the wrong thing?"
A: "Well, not in this case"
C: "Were they too expensive?"
A: "No, I don't think so"
C: "Are you sure? Because Daddy always pays too much or buys the wrong things when he goes to the grocery store!"
A: "Ahh...welll...that may be true, but not in this particular case"

Oh boy....

We still laugh at a conversation that Philip had with Caleb at Home Depot about 2 years ago. When I am shopping with the boys we always talk about the price of things and how we don't buy things if they are too expensive. So, Caleb and Philip were at HD looking for a box of roofing nails we he needed to repair the roof (which costs about $2). Caleb says to Philip, "we have to check the price because if they are too expensive, we can't buy them!" LOL Philip assured that Caleb that we could afford the $2 for the box! Hey, never too early to teach them to be thrifty, right?!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cute Sayings and Other Such Things

Joshua: "If you need help, ask me because I'm a big brother now.
I am t - h - i - s tall (touches toes all the way to the top of his head)

Then this morning, I overheard this conversation down the hall.
Joshua: I was talking to God some this morning
Caleb: You were? What did you say?
Joshua: I was just talking
Caleb: But what did you say?
Joshua: I just said some things.
Caleb: Like what?
Joshua: Nevermind...

Later, he started the same conversation in the kitchen with me and said:
Joshua: I was telling God about our videos, and which ones we had
Caleb: God already knows which ones we have.
Joshua: I was just telling Him about them
Caleb: God already knows everything. He knows what you're going to say before you say it. Isn't that amazing?

Joshua didn't seem overly moved by this observation. LOL.

Last night we had a small group dinner and the boys were very anxious for everyone to arrive so they could see them before they had to head off to bed (we fed them beforehand). Caleb kept asking when people were coming and all I could do was tell him what time they were due (6:30) and what time is was. Well, it was about 6:40 when the first two couples arrived and of course Caleb was aware of what time it was and that well...everyone was a little late (which of course is normal...especially when people are bringing food items along). So Caleb being the exact person that he is (6:30:05 would have been late in his mind) says to our company, "why are you late??" (Gulp.) Guess it's time to start working on that kid's tact! LOL

On a lighter note, this conversation happened Sunday:

Caleb: "Andrew is a special baby."
Me: "Why?"
Caleb: "Because there were two babies in your tummy that we didn't get to meet, but we got to meet Andrew."
Me: "Oh, that's sweet. Does that make you love him more?"
Caleb: "No"
Me: "Oh"
This is Andrew practicing looking surprised. Perhaps this skill will come in handy one day. (notice the full hand, as if to convey sincerity)

This is Andrew practicing looking innocent. This is a skill that will doubtless come in handy one day! (notice the finger pointed at himself as if to say, "me? never!"

Meanwhile, if you haven't heard, Andrew is in process of breaking through his first teeth. One is basically through and the second is not going to be too far behind. Today is the grumpiest he's been about it. Poor guy.

As I mentioned in the last post, my unofficial (or maybe official since there wasn't anything else!) anniversary gift was having our bedroom repainted. We painted it when we moved in, but the color looked really different on the wall than it did on the chip and I HATED it. It didn't match anything!! So, we still haven't gotten everything put back together (and I'll probably eventually replace the bedspread with something much more neutral), but at least you can see the color difference in these pics.

Here's the before. It looks purpley-gray (it was gray in reality...and don't ask my why I thought this was a good idea in the first place)

And here's the after. It's a light neutral-brown

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is our 6th Anniversary! It's hard to believe it's already (and ONLY) been six years!! This last year has been the best we've had yet and it makes us so excited as we look toward the future. God sure blessed us with the gift of each other and we are so grateful for our love, marriage and family. And he has also blessed us with the gift of friends who are watching our kiddos tonight so we can go out alone! Thanks Todd and Sarah!! Coming of my anniversary gift...a newly painted bedroom! :)

Boy, if Andrew had been in this picture below, what a winner it would have been! Alas...he was napping...silly baby! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Would Be a Grandma...

So, this morning Caleb was ruminating at the breakfast table and says this: "When I grow up, if I have a wife, and if my wife bears children, then Daddy will be a Grandpa! And you will be a Grandma!" And there you have it. We also discussed how Caleb would be an uncle and other such matters. I am glad he finally got that sorted out. :) Anyone who knows Caleb well knows how fascinated he is with correctly ordering people in his mind (as in, so-in-so is x years and has x number of children and is the sister of x, etc.) Now he has another layer to add to that thinking, I guess.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Beautiful Sound...

Ah...the imagination! What a priceless gift God gave us! This summer we bought a lot of books to read to the boys as part of their homeschooling curriculum. They have truly done wonders for the boys imaginations. One of their favorites is the story of Balto, the most famous dog ever. Caleb can actually read this one by himself, so the boys have heard the story many times. Today is just a gorgeous day, so the boys have been outside for hours playing. This afternoon I was in the kitchen and since we have the screen door open, I could hear their conversation. Apparently, the locale today was Alaska, as I heard them talking about the children who were sick with diphtheria. Joshua came in to tell me that Caleb was the doctor and they needed to get the medicine for the children. The "medicine" container was an old bubbles bottle and was "filled to the top". Joshua was Balto. :)

Anyway, I loved hearing them acting out this story and many of the others we have been reading....and I love being part of growing their minds! :)

I'm Leaving on an Airplane...We're Already Back Again.

This past weekend Andrew and I flew to NC. It was my first time flying alone with a child, much less a baby! He was a little trooper. Despite being exhausted, there was minimal crying on the way down. The purpose for the visit was to attend the wedding of my "oldest" friend, Jennifer. I actually was able to attend with my other oldest friend, Alexa. It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time!
We stayed with my parents and had a wonderful visit! It was so QUIET without the other boys!
The flight home yesterday was also smooth. God blessed me by seating us in the middle of a church group going on a missions trip to Ethiopia and right behind me on the two aisle seats were two ladies (one grandma - who was also a pediatric nurse for years, and one preschool director) who held Andrew the whole flight. They got their "baby fix" and I made it through the flight without stress and with a happy baby!

Caleb Loves to Read!

I shot this of Caleb this morning. Isn't he doing great?!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chocolately Goodness

Love chocolate? These are the way to go!! You might remember I fell in love with chocolate moouse cake earlier this year. So, the other day we had to bring dessert to a group dinner and I thought, how about a little spin on that chocolate heaven? I did some internet research, as I've never filled cupcakes with anything. I found some inspiration on this blog, which is hilarious, by the way, and decided to give it a shot. I made chocolate mocha mousse-filled mini cupcakes. The results were delicious. :)

And then just because I can, I made a cake for Philip to take to work tomorrow, Wednesday. It's lemon with raspberry filling. He's under strict orders to bring me back a piece. Mmmmm.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Wait...Headrub First!" (100th post!)

That was the reaction I got from Caleb when telling the boys I was putting Andrew down for a nap this morning. For whatever reason, Caleb has become very fond of rubbing Andrew's head. He likes to rub it before Andrew goes to bed a night and at random times during the day. I think it's because he knows Andrew likes it and maybe it's one of the few ways they can relate to each other. So, we took a headrub detour on our way upstairs...which, of course, was followed by a second headrub detour for a rub from Joshua. :)

Andrew has recently started laughing, sometimes without direct provocation (read: tickling). The other night we were at the dinner table and Andrew was facing Caleb, who was maybe 4 feet away. Andrew was fascinated that Caleb kept bobbing around while talking and he started laughing. It was very cute. A baby laugh is one of the sweetest sounds in the world.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Geography Lessons

Philip really enjoys geography, so he has been teaching the boys about the world. Most nights at bedtime they spend some time looking at an atlas or the globe, talking about different countries and bodies of water and such. Caleb can now identify all the continents, and will even tell you "in between north america and south america is central america." When we were at the zoo, there some animal that lived in the Mediterranean region, so I asked him (thinking the answer would be no) if he knew where the Mediterranean sea was. Turns out his answer was, "between Europe and Africa"! Boy was I surprised! Caleb says he likes it because he likes "to see new things on the globe that he hasn't seen before." It's so funny listening to them from down the hall as Philip is teaching and quizzing them. I hear outbursts of things like "Algeria!" "Morocco!" "France!"

One night, Joshua came bounding down the stairs to give me a good night hug and kiss and informed me that the next morning he was going to take a boat to the United Kingdom...and then come back...all in the same day. Although, he didn't seem quite sure where he was going to get the boat from. Caleb apparently had plans to sail to Australia the same day. Busy, busy. One night during the "lesson," Joshua said, in his attempt to read the country name, said: (pronouncing each letter sound) "a
-r-g-e-n-t-i-n-a...that spells...CHILE!" (pronounced chi-weee). Well, we'll get there. :) I love having kids who love learning!

Andrew frequently hangs out with them during book time at night, so maybe his first word will be "Antarctica" or something! :)

The Dedication

On August 24th we dedicated both Joshua and Andrew to the Lord at church. Joshua got "missed" because it was too difficult to get kids dedicated at "big church", but now that we're at a smaller location, we were able to. Philip's parents were able to come, so that made it extra special, and Caleb was able to help dedicate his brothers. It was also very special that the dedication happened on Big Grandpa's Birthday. That would Philip's grandpa who went to be with Jesus last August. Nothing would have made him happier than knowing two of his great-grandsons were dedicated that day. The funny part was that after the pastor prayed for Joshua and then Andrew, Joshua pipes up "Now let's do Caleb!" :)

In honor of the day, Grandpa and Grandma gave Caleb and Joshua Bibles. Caleb now has one that is an "easy reader" that he should be able to start reading himself very soon!