20 August 2007



No, not me :o)

Finally, after a year and a half of trying, my sister told me last night that yes, she is pregnant!!
Yay! I am going to be an aunt!!
Well, I've been an aunt for ten years now to all my husband's siblings' children, but it is totally different when it's your own sister. I am so excited. Probably more excited than she is, because I think she's still in shock :o)

So, Dyana....
This is your official welcome into mommy-hood. I am so proud of you guys, and I pray the Father's richest, most amazing blessings on your pregnancy and new season of life.
For those of you who do not know my sister, she is one of the most amazing people I know. She, along with my aunt and other sister, are my best friends. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful relationships with them.

Dyana and I are 16 months apart, which made us mortal enemies for a good part of our childhood...just kidding ;o) She and Brent have been married for 6 1/2 years. For those years, she has either been working two jobs to help put both of them through school, or been working full time along with going to school. She is a NICU nurse at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, and a post-partum nurse at Centennial Women's Hospital (which has made for some interesting discussions between her and me, her home-birthing, non-vaccinating sister :o)

She is one of the most caring, giving, compassionate woman I know, and is going to be an excellent mother. I am priveleged to call her not only my sister, but also my friend.

17 August 2007

why do i do this to myself?~

Every time I plan some great day trip with all my children, in the back of my mind always lurks the question~

"why do you do this to yourself?"
everything is such a huge ordeal when it involves
leaving the house for an entire day.

Glen wasn't able to come as he had to stay home so no one's house fell apart...smart man. Seriously, though, my aunt and I took all six sweeties to the Chattanooga Aquarium two weeks ago. Aside from a long car ride with Haven and just a long day in general, we had lots of fun.

I think the highlight though was all the water fountains out front. Needless to say, I had several naked kids on the way home and we had to go through the drive-thru!

And, thankfully, no one caught any gross disease :o)

13 August 2007

free antibiotics~

Just a quick note~
Publix is now offering seven different antibiotics for free, up to a 14 day supply. All you need is a prescription from your doctor.

Those are:
Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP)
Ciprofloxacin (excluding ciprofloxacin XR)
Pinicillin VK
Erythromycin (excluding Ery-Tab)

Our family does not have traditional health insurance. We are members of Samaritan Ministires, a Christian needs-sharing organization. It has been a tremendous blessing to our family. While it does not cover things such as well-child visits, prescriptions, or pre-existing conditions, my recent $40,000+ hospital stay for pneumonia and Haven's birth were completely covered. 100%. Maybe I'll post about it sometime. :o)

Gotta go, it's laundry day!

10 August 2007

extra info for super suppers~

Extra info:
Unfortunately, they do not allow you to bring children with you. Just so you know :o(

09 August 2007

frugal fridays~ super suppers deal

Along the lines of meal planning, what could be easier than pre-assembled meals in your freezer, ready to thaw and cook? Too expensive you say?

Yes, they are quite pricey, but until they run out, the WKRN Half-Off Nashville Thursdays is offering $50 off coupons for $25 to Super Suppers. It is a deal from a previous link, so you have to click on the Super Suppers link on the left side of the page.

The Super Six is regularly priced $114, but minus the $25 you get free, that would come to $89 for six meals. That is $14.83 per meal for your family. Not exceptionally cheap, but definately cheaper than eating out. Many of the meals can be assembled as two entrees, so, depending on your family size, this could actually provide 12 entrees. We have six children, and several of the entrees can be halved and still feed our family as long as I add in veggies, salad, potatos, etc. I have only used a service like this two times and that was when I found out I was pregnant and knew I would be out of commission many evenings. Again, it is not cheap, but it was definately cheaper than all of us going out some nights when I didn't feel up to cooking.

For those of you that don't know, Super Suppers is a place where you can go and pre-assemble meals to take home and freeze. The most economical way is to go and assemble them yourself (you have to choose your meals and schedule a time to go through their website), but they do provide a service where they prepare them and you just pick them up.
Another place we have in Nashville is Supper Thyme. They do not have any discounts going around right now that I am aware of, though.

I am thinking of purchasing one of these as for our family it is WAY cheaper than eating out, so if any of you end up purchasing one, please let me know and maybe we can go together :o)

**Please note:
You must have the certificate in hand to redeem, so don't schedule a time to go until you receive the certificate. The half-off website says it takes 7-10 days to arrive.

When you do schedule your appointment (it's not an individual appointment, other women will be there at the same time you are), do not pay for it online through the Super Suppers website, take your certificate, and pay when you go.

frugal fridays~ meal planning

There are many great ways to save money at the grocery. One of the ways I have learned to utilize is meal planning.

Meal planning is an excellent tool for the homemaker and has several benefits. First of all, it allows for conscious, planned purchases at the grocery. Grocery shopping can be a crazy event when you have little ones, so having your purchases planned out is a great benefit. Secondly, you can plan your meals around sales. That can be a whole post in itself, maybe I'll get around to it one day in all my spare time :o) Thirdly, pre-dinner time is often one of the most frustrating, hectic times of the day when you have little sweeties running around, so not having to decide what to do makes things go much more smoothly. I can tell such a difference in the quality of our meals when I actually take the time to plan them out in advance.

Depending on how much time you have and want to commit to meal planning, there are several ways you can utilize meal planning. Some people just have a running list (in their head or written down) and can just decide what they are going to have each night, create their list and go to the grocery. Some moms I know have a different theme for each night, such as Monday~Mexican, Tuesday~Italian, Wednesday~Casserole, etc. This method can be good as it is predictable amd kind of helps direct your thoughts. I would like to try this method at some point, but right now I mostly just plan around sales and what I have in my freezer. I am a big fan of bulk cooking and pantry stocking, so I generally just pull from that.

A great resource for the meal-planning-challenged, or really just anyone who wants someone else to work it out for them (the easier the better is a great motto!), is Menus 4 Moms. It is wonderful. Every week, a pre-determined menu is provided, along with recipes and a grocery list! It can't get much easier than that. Right now, I still have a freezer full of pre-prepared/pre-cooked meals that I mostly pull from, but I also plan on adding some of the menus 4 moms meals in now that Haven is two months old and life is settling down to more of a predictable routine (whatever a predictable routine looks like with a newborn :o) anyway.

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Monday - Recipes
Taco Mac Salad
Yogurt With Berries

Tuesday - Recipes
Chicken Ham and Rice Casserole
Broccoli Salad
Fruit of Your Choice

Wednesday - Recipes
Homemade Pesto with Angel Hair Pasta
Garlic Bread

Thursday - Recipes
Easy Feta Chicken Bake
Zucchini Herb Casserole
Italian Bread dipped in Olive Oil with Pesto sauce

Friday - Recipes
Hawaiian Pizza
Snow Cones

With the recipe links are also plans for buying extra to use for later meals that week or the following. Such as, if you are browning meat for a taco salad, you may also be browning meat to freeze and use the following week in an Italian dish. It is extremely helpful and easy. And it is free! You can either subscribe to the emails, or just go to the site. I do my meal planning on either Thursday or Friday as I go to the grocery on Saturday. Again, the grocery list (including the extra amounts for future recipes or stockpiling) is included. Two weeks of menus are given at a time, but they also have all the archives from the past several years, so there are a wealth of recipes and ideas. There are also links to many other helpful resources.

Depending on your families health and taste preferences, you may or may not be able to use all of them. That is why it is good to have a running list of meals that you commonly prepare. Then, prior to going grocery shopping, you can sit down and plan your meals out (I plan "whatever days" and left over days, too), make your list, and make your life a little easier.

Implementing this, along with several other things I do regarding meals, has made my life enormously easier. Some of the other things I do are bulk cooking, coupon clipping (not necessarily easier, but definatley money saving), pairing coupons with sales, along with sometimes purchasing extra coupons to go along with sales, keeping a stocked pantry by stocking up when there is a sale, keeping prepped veggies/ground beef/cooked chicken/etc. in the freezer, and having a list of meals and side dishes I can easily reference on those crazy days. Most of these things I do have some sort of method behind them, and many have books and/or online resources that I glean from. Some of those are The Coupon Clippers, The Grocery Game, Don't Panic Dinner's In The Freezer, and I've learned many wonderful tips from my MOMYS group.

In addition to all this, my reality is that I like to and prefer to plan meals in advance, but I do not alway do it. This is where having my stocked pantry and freezer along with my meal/side-dish list comes in handy. If I have a week (or two or three) where I do not pre-plan, I always have a list I can pull from, and pre-prepared main dishes (casseroles, marinated chicken, ground beef, etc.) in my freezer, along with ingredients for sides in my pantry.

Are any of those of any interest to anyone? I greatly enjoy planning things out and organizing, and have really learned a lot in the past year or so that has streamlined meals in the Hutchison house. I would like to post on some of them, so let me know what sounds interesting to you.

Happy Friday!

frugal fridays~ biblical womanhood

I got the idea for Frugal Fridays from the Biblical Womanhood site. Crystal's blog is one of my favorites in general, but I also enjoy reading the Frugal Fridays posts. She actually has it set up so that her readers post their Frugal Fridays posts on their blogs or websites, and then link to the Biblical Womanhood site. Once there, you can access all of her reader's Frugal Fridays posts. Make sense?

08 August 2007

half-off nashville thursdays~

this is something i discovered last week that looks pretty exciting. every week, there is a different place featured, and basically, they sell gift certificates at half price. there are only a limited number available, so order early!

i've never actually used this, but i am planning on trying it tomorrow. my youngest sister is wanting to go to bistro 215 for her birthday in a few weeks, so we're going to try it. i'll let you know how it goes!

i noticed they also have some deals left over from previous weeks. i didn't check out all of them, but i did notice they had a lot left for cafe coco and a spa :o)
can this count for my frugal friday post? i am having a post-partum hormonal week :o(

03 August 2007

frugal fridays~ tn tax free weekend

After a long, tiring journey to the Chattanooga Aquarium, and getting us semi-lost on the way home last night, I am super tired. So...I'm just going to make this quick.

This weekend is TN tax free weekend. In nutshell, that means clothing, school supplies, and computers under $1500 can be purchased tax free Friday through Sunday. As long as you would be buying these items anyway, and the price is not raised in a way that would cancel out any tax you will be saving, this is a great way to save some money this weekend.

Sorry so short and generic. Hopefully these posts will be a little more specific and thought out, but for today, I'm wiped out :o)

Happy Friday!
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November