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Today hubby and I enjoyed a slow, quiet afternoon as the girls played outside with friends. We decided upon an appetizer style dinner, which is a frequent event at our home. We LOVE appetizers, and frankly I am not the best cook…..GASP! Yup, it’s true and I admit it openly.
Since the accident I cannot deal with detailed meals, I am horrible at timing so the meals I cook often have one hot dish, one warm and one icky and cold. So when it’s my turn, I seek out simple meals or I make appetizers.
The kids adore this, they get to choose a dish and we all eat with our fingers in very casual style. I have become somewhat of a whiz at apps, I love when people ask me over for a pot luck….it’s my time to shine! Even though usually it’s not my recipe..cough…moving along…
I think we can all agree that appetizer dinners make for quick, healthy meals if they’re done right. Personally on nights when I’m crunched for time I rely upon apps or breakfast for dinner.
One of my favorite apps to make is Jalapeno Poppers….my friend Jody introduced us to them at a dinner party she hosted and we’ve been making them regularly since. They are dead simple and so much more delicious than the common poppers.
Ingredients: Jalapenos, Cream Cheese, Prosciutto
Cut the jalapenos in half and scrape out the seeds.
Once you’ve scraped them well, they should look somewhat like this:
Please, please be sure that you wash your hands well and DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES for a while afterwards. It seriously BURNS!!
Next rinse out the jalapenos to remove any left over seeds.
Pat the jalapeno dry and spread cream cheese inside it, the amount is up to you….we tend to be generous with it.
Now lay out a piece of prosciutto and place a filled jalapeno half upon it.
Roll the prosciutto around the jalapeno half, ensuring it’s tight.
Line up the wrapped jalapenos on a baking sheet and cook on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 7, flip and cook another 7 minutes.
Cook until the prosciutto is done to your taste, it’s like bacon in this regard; some prefer it crispy, some don’t.
And finally, you have a wonderful, healthy choice to serve!
Enjoy!
This week I was asked where my blog inspiration comes from…..my response came easily, I didn’t think about it before I Tweeted: “I draw inspiration from the world around me, so many interesting things!”

Take a moment there folks, drink in my wisdom….ha.

This was then retweeted and I felt awesome, when I re-read it I felt it to be an accurate statement which I was kinda proud of!
Then this morning I retweeted something without carefully reading it, it was funny to me. This is what I thought it said: “There is a fine line between social networking and wasting your life.”
I think it’s true and worthy of a RT. (don’t lines like that bring back memories of Elaine on Seinfeld deeming things Spongeworthy?)
In reality the tweet I sent included a profanity, said profanity used to be my favorite….I’ve worked hard to drop and I was totally unaware I’d used it. Listen, it’s not like I’d killed someone but I had such a colorful vocabulary that I take some pride in my achievement cleaning it up.
How did I find out you ask?
I received a Direct Message that said:
“hey Julie-I love your blog &tweets but found the retweet w/ the “f” word offensive I know we have freedom in Christ but we also need respect”
My heart dropped instantly and I searched for the message I had sent.
And there it was…oh man that sucked.
I wondered if it happened because I hadn’t taken the time to read it properly…..or was it that I am just so accustomed to hearing the word that I don’t notice it?
I thanked my friend for the message and apologized for offending as that wasn’t my intent.
Some might have taken the stance that I hadn’t really done anything wrong, that all of us have different levels of “filters”. Some may have been offended at this person messaging me.
I wasn’t.
I appreciated the display of an honest person, she gave me the opportunity to see her boundary. I wasn’t tarred or feathered but she extended her heart to me and allowed me to come close.
That is pretty brave in my mind.
And so on this Friday I’ve been given a lesson in attentiveness, setting boundaries and love.
While I cannot promise I won’t make this error EVER again, I can promise that I will be more conscious.
I seek progress rather than perfection!
I’m glad of that and hope that if something a friend does offends me, I too would be courageous enough to talk to them about it, rather than just changing my opinion of them.
Would you say something?
When I was a girl, I loved the movie The Wizard of Oz!
The movie scared the beejebers outta me but I adored it, I loved Dorothy’s red shoes and often imagined myself clicking my heels while repeating the line “There’s no place like home!” It wasn’t just the bedazzled shoes, although I think I’d still wear a pair, it was the longing of her heart…..it was just so sad to me.

Throughout the movie there are many life situations and analogies which we could explore but for this article let’s look at the Cowardly Lion.

Wikipedia tells us about the Cowardly Lion as follows:

The Cowardly Lion is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. He is a Lion, but he talks and interacts with humans.
Since lions are supposed to be “The Kings of Beasts,” the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard’s gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.
Hmmm how very interesting and how easily I can relate to this Lion!
How many of us live our lives in reaction to fears – Too many I would suspect!
Do we take enough time to look at the motives for our actions, are we aware of when we’re simply reacting in ways to avoid our fears?
Here’s an exchange from the movie which I love:
Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!
Cowardly Lion: You can say that again! Huh?
Much like the lion, I was very good at presenting bravado in the face of my insecurity. Perhaps I shared the Lion’s outward image of being scary and proud?
 More often than not I researched subjects in order to feel more secure, but never did I truly trust myself or have the confidence in my choices which I should have. What this ended up doing, in my personal life, is to frustrate me to the point where I gave in and truly just followed the flow of life, avoiding the things I feared. I didn’t actually choose my path and seek to achieve it authentically, I took advantage of situations and redefined myself based upon what I perceived as the perspectives of others.
I thank God everyday that this has changed, now I am consciously aware. With each breath of my body I am ALIVE in the knowledge that God has a plan for my life and I am not in control.
Do you ever feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore?
I certainly did when I walked into my first 12 Step meeting, but as with the Lion, I soon realized that within the rooms there were people who understood me.
Until I began doing a personal inventory, I hadn’t realized how much I had been floating through life. When I did, I became ashamed. My feelings of inadequacy all floated to the surface at once!
Talk about overwhelming….I was desolate…sober but desolate.
In time, by becoming reacquainted with my emotions and feeling worthy of them, I learned how to cope. Eventually I learned to recognize my strengths and gifts, while being mindful of my weaknesses.
Through this, my eyes opened to the fact that each of us are adequate in God’s eyes.
This alone gave me courage.
True courage to live and experience…both the “good” and the “bad”, knowing that God is driving my bus and that He loves me is enough.
Courage wasn’t something I had to find, I simply had to turn to God and it was there, ready for the taking.
And so today I lift up my cuppa coffee in toast to the makers of The Wizard of Oz for putting out the message which so many years later I finally understand.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (my 5 year old’s favorite verse!!)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
As Bill Sees It – AA 
When fear persisted, we knew it for what it was, and we became able to handle it. We began to see each adversity as a God-given opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born out of humility, rather than of bravado.
This past Saturday we had the pleasure of taking my friend Krista’s wonderful children for a sleepover. Zack is 4 and his sister Charlotte is 8 months old.
Krista has gone above and beyond for us since my accident in Feb/10. At the time of the accident Hubby worked evenings and Krista was here at our home EVERY evening helping me with my girls. She simply arrived with her son and jumped in. I don’t know what I would have done without her in those first few months….and since frankly. There have been countless instances where I’ve sought her help, from understanding and completing paperwork to babysitting while I attend doctor’s appointments.
Her love for us amazes me, not to mention her husband’s patience.
And so we wanted to give her and her Hubby a night to themselves….the fact that I’d get my baby fix didn’t suck either!!
It’s common knowledge that I have a bit of a crush on baby Charlotte.
I’m sure you can see why!
And Zack, he’s a boy after my own heart. His mind is always 10 steps ahead of his body which leads to some injuries….but he recovers quickly. Oh and he’s utterly brilliant, this boy is seriously advanced in many areas. I may be a bit biased, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Zack was deemed “genius” level IQ.
So how did this look when you combine the world’s cutest 8 month old baby, a busy young genius with a 5 year old diva and 7 year old introvert?
Busy.
The fact that they are so close was both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because Zack is comfortable here and we know him well. Bad because we know him well. OK, to clarify; our 7 year old knows exactly which buttons to push to wind Zack up when he annoys her.
This presented a challenge, it was Zack’s first ever sleep over (excluding his Grandparents) and I was determined to make it a good memory for him. Our solution: keep them all occupied and supervised.
By playing on the strengths of each child, the day was a success! 
Chelsea put on shows for us all, we were a boisterous audience indeed.
Zack showed us his karate (in a wide open space), again hubby and I struggled to keep the crowd calm.
We encouraged Zack and Chelsea to spend time together playing, realizing that their dynamic was flowing easily. They had a blast, both children love to talk which explains why the volume rose dramatically.
It’s hard to be heard when your play partner doesn’t stop talking.
And Sydney, my 7 year old?
We Knighted her “Babysitter”.
I don’t know if Charlotte will ever have a more attentive babysitter, poor wee girl couldn’t look away from Syd’s face without being directed (not so subtly) back to it.
When I asked Sydney what her favorite part of the visit was, she responded “Having a bath with Charlotte.”
How bloody cute are they?????
At one point I had the opportunity to lay down with Charlotte, oh man did this bring back memories of snuggling with my babies…sigh, seriously folks this was moving!
But by the next morning I had to admit that I don’t think I could do it right now.
Lately I have had a strong baby urge, my womb has been seriously aching.
The reality is that I needed my Hubby’s help way too much during the visit to be able to handle a baby full-time.With my physical limitations and memory issues, I just couldn’t provide the care by myself. 
Hubby and Sydney both did all the lifting and carrying, they reminded me when she needed to eat…..I got all the snuggles and fun times. 
Thank goodness Krista and her Hubby trust us to watch their children, for now Charlotte’s visits are quelling my urges. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll wake and be fully restored but in the meantime I’m sure glad we get to make memories with these two little beings!
As a member of the BlogHer book club, I was recently asked to review The Kid which was written by Sapphire.
Now as you know I have short-term memory issues, so it’s often a challenge to remember details about a book. Well this isn’t happening with The Kid!
I love recommending books to my friends and family but in this case I’ll have to pass.
You can find my review here on the BlogHer book review site, prepare yourself because I say it like it is!!
Have I mentioned how much frogs gross me out?
Why do children love them so much?
Once upon a time, my lovely family went for a stroll to a seemingly beautiful pond.
There was a fountain, sunshine and pretty lily pads.
I sat far away, upon a pretty white bench and watched my two daughters with their father, who just happens to be the love of my life and Mr. Nature Man himself. 
They were intent upon their task, to mar the beauty of my day and make me look at frogs!
You see, the lovely facade of pond was a lie!
Under the surface hid fish, snakes, leeches and FROGS!
When I looked closely, there they were! Arrogantly gazing at me.
The audacity of it all!
Intent on making another beautiful memory with my family, I looked away from their mocking faces and ignored their croaks of laughter.
The girls were laughing and actually working together!
GASP, they were getting along.

Daddy helped, he carried the caught frogs in the handy-dandy bucket. I love this bucket, it assures me that these creepy, slimy creatures cannot get close to me.
And still these frogs mocked me, they seemed to croak happily just for my discomfort.
You are definitely a Mother if you’re willing to subject yourself to situations where the heebie-jeebie levels are this high.
In the end the girls had a blast, hubby enjoyed himself and me?
 It was fun watching them from my far away spot.
Oh and just to raise the gross factor, my daughter of course caught the mutant frog!
Check out it’s nasty tail.
On this Wordfull Wednesday I’m grateful for too many things to list, I think the fact that I was willing to get close enough to take this photo says it all.