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. :)