Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homemakers Are Priceless...

When you think of
What is the first thing that you think of?

Just like you, my family is my heartbeat.  When I think about my life's aspirations, to have a happy, healthy household ranks at the very top of my list.  The investment in my home and those who dwell in it is the type of investment that multiplies.  Somehow the hours translate into character building opportunities and the source of joy emanates through one another. 

To me, homemaking is building the structure in which a household can grow and flourish in a stable and strong environment.  The precious souls that make up our homes depend on us to mold and shape their worlds.  

:{Homemaking is among the greatest callings
to which we will ever answer}: 

No one can ever replace the homemaker.  A homemaker's value is not measured by a rate-per-hour.  Do you ever wonder why? Because the homemaker is PRICELESS!  A homemaker can not be hired.  There is a miraculous thing that happens when a homemaker takes steps into her role.  There is an ownership mechanism that takes place and it unveils a creative side in this woman that she never even saw.  She is able to breath life into her home that would otherwise seem like hollow collection of 2x4's & drywall.  Suddenly she discovers her love for her home and all those who visit.  This love takes wings and carries us over every sleepless night and through every unanswered challenge. You are PRICELESS!

:{Tasha Brickhouse}:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Building The Brick House

...He huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and huffed; but he could not get the house down...
{The Story of the Three Little Pigs}

There is no question which little pig we would like to be, but what are we doing to build our brick house? When the adversary comes knocking at the door, what is your first response? Do you panic, fret and cower to the enemy? Or is your home built upon The Rock as in Matthew 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:" 

We have a choice to respond in that hour of trouble and Psalms 50:15 tells us to " upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."  With every breath I have, and all the strength in my being, I seek to glorify God even when the adversary is at my door.  There is a very real purpose for the challenges that come our way, and we must realize that " strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor 12:9. 
What sort of building materials are you using to build your
brick house? 
Did you know that "Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];"?  Has your house been built upon faith in Him alone?  We all know that foundation is the most vital component to any sturdy structure. 
Are you building your walls by fixing your mind on the Rock of Ages as in Isaiah 26:3-4 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength {Translated as Rock of Ages}." 

Is your home covered (roof) " the blood of the Lamb, and by ithe word of their (your) testimony..." as in Rev 12:11?  The scripture says that is the way to overcome the adversary.  This word is truth, and it lights the path along our brick house.  Though the adversary stands at the door and threatens to "huff and puff and blow our house down,"  our advocate, Jesus Christ has provided a way to persevere during great struggle.  He amazes us with His method of warfare, and seek to hold firmly to Romans 8:28 which says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."
Written by Tasha Brickhouse

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Can You Get at the Farmers Market for Under $20?

I am a huge Farmer's Market fanatic. It started long ago, when as a teenager, my sister Kristi and I both worked at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market.  The summers were filled with trailers of Silver Queen corn, watermelons, snow cones and cotton candy and the fall was pumpkin patches and hay bales.  Combine that with my mother's love of any vegetable, and now as an adult, it is hard to go a week without a trip to the market.

This morning my sweet neighbor, Val, went with me to get a basket of goodies.  Each of us went with just $20 and we came back with bags of food & money left over!  Check out what I got for just $17!
  • 10 Plums $2
  • 2 Avocados $1
  • 4 Beef Stake Tomatoes $2
  • 12 Pickling Cucumber (this variety is tender and yummy for slicing with red onions & red wine vinegar) $1.50
  • 4 Red Peppers $2
  • 2 Yellow Peppers $1
  • 3lb bag of Cooking Onions $1
  • 1lb bag of Carrots $.75
  • 1lb of Asparagus $1
  • 1 large Red Onion $.75
  • 2 Spaghetti Squash $2
  • 5 small Bok Choy $1
  • 1 Celery $1
You cannot beat the deals!  There is no other way to provide healthy foods for your family at a reasonable cost.  There are a few things that you may want to keep in mind when going to the market for the first time. 
  • Don't buy the first thing you see.  Take your time and check prices because competing vendors may have better prices or better quality.  If you have never been to the market, take a walk around first, making note of prices as you go. 
  • Ask the vendors what is in season right now.  Those items will be at the lowest prices.  Other items may be available, but remember, if it is not in season, you may pay more and there may be a loss of quality because it is not the time of year for premium production (for instance, oranges will not be as flavorful in the summer as they are in the winter)
  • Bring a cart, wagon, stroller, etc. because you are sure to fill it up!  Don't forget your reuseable bags too!
Once you are a regular at the market, the vendors get to know you and often times are willing to give you a bit of a deal now and then. A trip to your local market may be out of your normal routine, but check with your county agriculture center to find one near you.

Going to the market reminds me of the woman in Proverbs 31:14 "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." Taking care of my family is the highest calling!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do You Want Some FREE Recipes for this Fall?

Check out this Free Fall eCookbook containing recipes like:
  • Fontina Fondue
  • Fruited Acorn Squash
  • Au Gratin Potoatoes
  • Apple Glaze Chicken
  • Piled-High Apple Pie
Looks like a good reason to dirty up the kitchen and try out some new dishes!

The Blessing of Walking with a Stranger...

Yesterday morning, I took my normal morning walk a little later than usual.  The music was flowing out of my headphones and I was moving along at a pretty brisk pace.  Just ahead of me was an older gentleman, out for his morning walk, carrying a cane just in case he may need a little help on his travels.  The pace I kept was just a bit faster than his so in time I caught up with him.  First, I cleared my throat to create a little noise so he would not be startled when I came up along side of him.  When he turned, I apologized if I had startled him, and he kindly said thank you. 

At first, I was going to keep my pace and pass him, but then he said, "Do you walk here much?"  So I answered, "Yes, a few times a week."  He explained that he was hoping the walk would strengthen his back, so he committed to walk as much as possible.  The questions kept coming.  He was kind, gentle and almost seemed glad for someone to chat with while he pressed himself to walk this 3 mile treck.  I got to know a little about him, how he recently had to place his beloved wife in a nursing home, which explained his desire for a little conversation.  He told me that he served in the military and retired from 35 years of service at the Post Office.  We talked about family that lived close by and he gave me a little grandfatherly wisdom concerning the path to success from his viewpoint.  Never pushy, just very kind. 

I felt like I had taken a walk with my Grampy.  Anyone who knows me, knows that my Grampy means the world to me.  It's been a couple of years since I've been able to visit him, so this little walk with a stranger seemed to be a blessing that Jesus taylor made for me.  It is a reminder to me to not get so busy that I "forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Welcome the The Brick House!

Make yourself at home here!
For those who have not had a chance to come in and make yourself comfortable, I urge you to grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know each other!

At The Brick House, we will learn from each other about taking care of our families while we grow in the Light of Christ.  Some of the areas that we will talk about are faith, families, childrearing, cooking, strategic shopping (on a shoestring), crafts, housekeeping, friendships and many more!  If I come acrossed a great deal or a something new, you will be the next to know!  A passion for all thing home and family has led me to this great world of blogging and now to you! Will you join me?  Find us on Facebook and you will never miss a post!

God Bless you!
Tasha Brickhouse

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Building Upon THE ROCK

Everyday is about living a life built upon the Rock of My Salvation and sharing it with those who do not know Him. Do You Know Jesus and what He has done for YOU?

in reference to: Facebook (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's On The Stove?

This weather makes me want to break out the chopping block and
Cook Away! 
Today's recipe is one of my simple & healthy favorites!
Lentil Soup

For starters, the basic 4:
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed with flat side of the knife and coursely chopped
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped (I include the leaves for flavor)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
Get these things sauteing over med-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.

While that is going, rinse your dry lentils and make sure there is no debris. After about 3-4 minutes, slowly add:
  • 1 carton of beef or chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • lentels

Allow this to simmer (covered) on medium or just below for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Lentils are the best vegetable source of iron and are high in fiber and protein and are on the low glycemic load index. Not to mention, easy on the wallet! There are so many things that can be done with lentils: in soups, salads and as a meat replacement in many meals.

I just tried something new! I went here to find out the nutritional data for this recipe! Pretty cool!

Homemade Pizza Dough

Since I've been in "Ultimate Cheapskate Mode", I've been on the hunt for pizza dough that I can freeze. At the grocery store you can normally buy it for about $2, but I was hoping to make a large quantity for under $1 each.  I think that is easily done with the following recipe.  This not only looks super easy, but it can be played with a bit to incorporate some whole wheat flour and such as you get the hang of it. Check it out!

Compliments of MoneySavingMom

 Pizza Crust:

  • 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix (I have a KitchenAide with a dough hook).

Dump onto a floured surface .
Knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so).

Roll out and press down onto a greased pizza pan.
Add toppings. (Have fun and be creative with this! Our favorite variety is
salsa or barbecue sauce, diced cooked chicken, and cheese.)

Bake at 450 degrees F. for around 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

By the way, you can make up a double or triple batch of the pizza crust
dough and freeze the extras if you don't need it. This speeds up the
preparation even more as all you have to do is pull out a bag of dough
and a bag of chopped cooked chicken in the morning and then put the
pizza together right before you're ready to eat. You can also freeze
the pizzas already cooked but I doubt it would ever stay uneaten long
enough to make it to the freezer around here!


Friday, October 8, 2010

A Faithful Woman, TGIF:: Marketplace Leaders

TGIF « Marketplace Leaders
Today God Is First

A Faithful Woman

October 8th, 2010 by Os Hillman

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28

She was the Vice President of Household Affairs for her entire adult life. She had a husband, four daughters, and one son whom she managed. Her calling was not to the workplace; it was to the home. It was a calling that she fulfilled well. She often went beyond her job description to fulfill menial tasks like sewing clothes for her twin girls, playing dolls, and even playing catch with the only boy in the clan.

Things were going along well until midway in life a telephone call came that changed everything. The caller informed her that the love of her life had been killed in an airplane crash. She was in her early 40’s, still beautiful, with five kids to raise on her own in spite of the fact that she hadn’t worked in the business place for nearly 20 years. The death of her husband removed their steady upper middle-class income, and she was now faced with the greatest test of her life. At her lowest moment, wondering how she was going to make it, she cried out to God. God answered, “Trust Me, Lillian.” Those audible words became the strength that she needed to care for her family for the next 40 years. From that moment on, she came to know her Savior personally and shared Him with her family. Her children came to know Him as well. Grandchildren became the recipient of her prayers, and they came to know Him too. She was building an inheritance in Heaven, one prayer at a time, one soul at a time. She never remarried; Christ became her Husband.

Whatever wisdom and encouragement has come to you through these devotionals, it is only as a result of one who answered the call to the greatest and most important workplace there is: the home. You can thank my mom, Lillian Hillman, for whatever grace you have gained from these messages throughout the year, because she remained faithful to the call to invest in those she was called to love and serve. “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

Tasha's note: We leave a legacy for other to follow when we we allow the Lord to mold us through the challenges that come our way.  It can be very difficult, but when we yield to the Master's Hand, the results will be beautiful!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Few Shortcuts...

Your maiden voyage to the grocery store with your passel of coupons can be a little nerve-wracking if you are not sure if you planned it out completely.  Just remember, any money saved is worth the time invested.  Your first trip, you may discover that there are items that you misapply the coupons to, or perhaps, didn't apply enough coupons to, but count it all as a part of the learning process and shortly you will become a coupon pro!

Take a look at the previous posts which contain my shopping lists for this week.  Be sure to gather your coupons and your list before you leave for the store.  Here is my little hint: I use a clear page protector to put my list in as well as any applicable coupons, rewards bucks, etc. so that when I get to the register I am not fishing for my coupons from my pocket, purse or what-have-you.  I carry a coupon binder/file into the store with a page protector for each store (Winn Dixie, Publix, CVS, Walgreens, etc.).  Everything has a place and I can put my hands on everything quickly.

What is your favorite method of organizing your coupons when you go to the store?

Classic Meat Loaf Cooking Club of America

Classic Meat Loaf Cooking Club of America

This is the meat loaf to make when you long for a nostalgic taste of the foods of your childhood. It’s moist, and the combination of beef, veal and pork gives it a rich, meaty flavor. It’s equally good served warm from the oven or cold in sandwiches the next day.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
2/3 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lb. ground beef chuck
1/4 lb. ground veal
1/4 lb. ground pork

1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Place in large bowl; cool to room temperature.

2. Whisk eggs into onion mixture. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, milk, 2 tablespoons mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, thyme, salt and pepper. Add ground beef, ground veal and ground pork; mix together by hand or with large fork until evenly blended. Press into 9x5-inch loaf pan or place freeform loaf in shallow baking pan. To prevent glaze from dripping off pan during baking, mound meat in center with sloping sides.

3. In small bowl, stir together all glaze ingredients. Brush 1/4 cup of the glaze over top of loaf. Bake 45 minutes; remove pan from oven. Brush top of loaf with remaining 1/4 cup glaze. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until meat loaf is firm and juices run clear. Loosely cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

8 servings

PER SERVING: 330 calories, 18.5 g total fat (6.5 g saturated fat), 24.5 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 125 mg cholesterol, 585 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

Friday, October 1, 2010

Great Holiday Serving Plate!

Isn't this the coolest serving plate! Great for the Fall Holiday Season!

Pursuing Hospitality from Our Daily Bread

Pursuing Hospitality

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les LambornRead: Romans 12:3-13

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. —1 Peter 4:9

The Greek word translated “hospitality” means “love of strangers.” When Paul speaks of being “given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), he is calling us to pursue relationships with people who are in need. It is not an easy task.

Writer Henri Nouwen likens it to reaching out to those we meet on our way through life—people who may be estranged from their culture, country, friends, family, or even from God. Nouwen writes: “Hospitality, therefore, means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”

Whether we inhabit a home, a college dorm, a prison cell, or a military barracks, we can welcome others as a way of showing our love for them and for Christ. Hospitality is making room for people in need.

Reaching out to needy people,

Showing them our love and care, is one way that God can use us to bring hope to their despair. —Sper

Hospitality can fill the emptiness of a lonely heart.