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Feeding the body, mind and soul…

For the body
OK. I wish I could say I’m a health nut. I’m not a health nut. I wish I cooked like my husband. I’m not a Bon Appetite reader. But give this girl a hotdog or hamburger–and I’m a happy camper. I’m also a shameless Adam Sandler fan. Sorry, I like his humor. So, I got made fun of when the hubby walked in the door when he asked what’s for dinner…and I did my “Sloppy-Joe…Sloppy, Sloppy Joe” impression of this: Did I seriously go there? Oh–if you know me well…you know this is typical behavior. Needless to say there is never a dull moment in our house. So today my friends—this is MORE than just ANY sloppy joe. It is a sloppy joe that deserves some respect…to be repeated…and a recipe shared. I’M SO SERIOUS. My hubby went back for seconds and his Bon Appetite lovin’ self said they were SOOO GOOD! So…print this bad boy off, cook it up and sing one time for me and Adam Sandler;). This recipe has been tweaked—so just smile when you see how I measure and cook;)

Sweet Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
half of an onion, chopped
3/4 of small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 – 8 oz can tomatoe sauce (save your $ – off brand is just as good!)
a bunch of ketchup;) (seriously, I squirt it in until it looks right…but I’m guessing it’s about 1/2 cup if you need a measurement…add more later if it looks like it needs it;)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worchertershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
1/8 teapspoon garlic powder
4 sesame seed hamburger buns, toasted (MUST do! I should have tonight…and that would have put these over the top!)
*Cook first 3 ingredients until beef is browned; drain. Stir in the rest of the ingredients; simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Serve on toasted buns. YUM!

For the mind
I often have camera lovers ask about my natural light pictures. I shoot most all of my pictures with natural light (other than Mr.Sloppy Joes and such…some times they get the yucky flash—now you know how I feel about flash). I shoot all my images (flash or not) on manual mode (M). This gives you full control of your image. There are 3 settings I always change. Aperature (fstop), shutter speed (ss) and my ISO. All 3 are essential to natural light photography and the final image. I change all 3 in some variation for every image I shoot (unless the light stays the same). I like my fstop to be as low as possible because I like bokeh (background blur). I like my shutter speed as high as possible (so the subject is sharper–the only thing I want blurred is the background NOT my subject). And I like my ISO to be low WHEN possible. The ISO is like your safety net–when the light is too low to use the settings you want (I never go below 250ss and my happy place is 2.8fstop)–but when my in-camera meter shows my image is STILL under exposed–I simply bump up my ISO. Did you get all that? Just a little food for your mind;)

Here are two images I snagged quickly at a playdate with my dear friend Laurie while my kids were munching on snacks with their friends at the table–the boy might look like his daddy…but he’s got his momma’s eyes…
IMG_9188 copyThis was shot at my happy place at 2.8 aperature, 250 shutter speed—and the light was low…so I bumped up my ISO to 800. It works. Because my little bits were sitting side-by-side and the lightsource is the same, this next image has the same settings.
IMG_9184 copyAnd you know how I feel about watermarking. A must for your images. You might not think you are going places with your photography skills–but you don’t want your images going places without your permission…so protect yourself. Was that a song title in the 80’s? Sounds like one. Here is a free watermarking tool: I do my watermarks in Photoshop. Don’t have PS? Simply add text to your images at Picnik after you upload an image, RESAVE on your computer and then upload to your blog. Wa-la! Now…your beautiful pictures are less likely to appear some place other than your blog. Less likely I said:)

For your soul
July 5 – Genesis 15:1 – 17:27

Wow–just when you think you can’t add any more drama to the mix…we dig deeper. The Bible is really exciting when you get into it! OK..I have A LOT of thoughts on today’s reading…but I’m going to try to remain brief and only share the biggest WOW’s.

Ch.15–I love how GOD starts this. So many times in scripture we see writers saying TO God…YOU are MY this–YOU are MY that…but here God, Himself, comes down in a vision to Abram and says “Do not be afraid…I am your shield, your very great reward.” WOW. God HIMSELF. That blew me away tonight. God is Abram’s reward. He is his protector. What do WE have to fear when we are God’s? And Abram’s response? Seems a little surprising. He asks but what God can give him since he is childless. Seems pretty bold. But Abram knew God’s promise already and wants this promise furfilled. So he asks. And the Lord confirms.

Ch. 16–God made His promise…told Abram the deal–but Sarai and Abram got anxious…impatient…thought they would help God out a little bit on His promise. Although according to custom a man could sleep with his servant and include her children in her household–something just doesn’t seem right about it. And we see the fruit of this as this plan to use Hagar to bear Abrams descendants instead brings jealousy and sorrow. I felt like Sarai was cruel to kick Hagar (pregnant Hagar!) to the curb. That made me so sad to think about! YET…the Lord saw Hagar’s misery…and HE CAME AND SPOKE TO HER. ONLY the LORD could call her back. I mean, can you imagine?! If I were Hagar and someone said, go back and SERVE Sarai I would have laughed my head off…YEAH RIGHT! But the LORD comes down and even says a blessing to her that he will increase her descendents and she returns obediently. (With the added bummer to Ismael’s spoken future…just not what I would want to hear prophesied of my unborn son).

Ch. 17–Are you believing the drama? And today we end with Chapter 17–one of my all time favorites. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. It reminds me of us giving our adopted son a new name. Just like Abram, he will have NEW hope, a NEW family, a NEW future…seems to call for a NEW name. I love this story of God coming down and telling Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son. OF COURSE he and his 90 year old self fell facedown and laughed! And he was instructed to name him Isaac. (love that name by the way…storing that one in my heart;). Finally, I love that the Lord established a covenant with Abraham and instructed him to circumcise himself (ouch!) and every male in his household. And when did he follow the Lord’s instructions? (vs.23) THE SAME DAY! Sincere obedience makes no delay. One phrase those who know me well hear me say over and over is “delayed obedience is disobedience”. As a mommy, I shorten that down to “obey right away” to the children. Oh, that when the Lord asks us to do something, when he puts something on our hearts to do…oh that we would HEAR and “obey right away”. Easier said than done. But I pray 2010 can be a year for listening, hearing…and obeying–quickly.

May you each have a beautiful and blessed day. Let’s remember to pray for our children as they go back to school (my oldest heads back to half day preK this morning). And help us Lord to be filled with your Holy Spirit—come down and fill us—and pour Yourself out into our children’s lives in a way our own flesh never could. AMEN.