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Monday Musings...Living out Gratefulness!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hi friends!!! Happy Monday!!!
How was your weekend?? I sure hope it was a good one! 

We had a really nice weekend- it was a mixture of doing a fun activity together as a family as well as being at home getting "regular" stuff done like yard work, grocery shopping, and laundry plus an added bonus of Aaron and I having a date night on Saturday :)

I was reading Erika's blog post last week about ideas for raising grateful kids and it was kind of perfect timing because I have been wanting to share a little bit more on how Aaron and I approach teaching and instilling gratefulness in our family!
For us- gratefulness and service go hand in hand. We can tell our kids all day long that they should be grateful for all that they have- but until they come in contact with people and experiences that show them how others have different circumstances than them- it is just a lot of words. It can be so hard for little ones (and let's be honest- hard for adults too!) with limited real life experiences to truly "get" something like, "You need to be grateful for your dinner...some kids don't have dinner every night!" Of course, these kind of conversations are SO important and talking with our kids about their abundant blessings is a constant in our home....but we have also committed to putting action to those words and have found different ways for our kids to consistently provide service to others and in turn instill gratefulness in their hearts. 

So- before I go any further- I wanted to be very clear that I am not sharing any of this to be boastful and act like we are just amazing parents doing so many great things with our kids. Aaron and I are constantly being humbled with how little we know about parenting and for as many "good" things we do as parents there are a hundred other things where we are probably failing. All of our strength as parents comes from God's wisdom and grace and we are just so thankful he is the Rock of our family.

Okay- I thought I would share the ways we are currently serving others as a family and then provide some other ideas that maybe you might like to try with your family!

Since moving to Greenville, we have been volunteering once a month at our local food bank. I called our food bank and talked with the volunteer coordinator about wanting to volunteer as a family. Our local food bank has several Saturdays a month where groups and families can come to help! The jobs that need to be done are geared towards kids- so its simple things like bagging apples or onions, organizing capri suns or bagging up sweet potatoes. We go to the food bank once a month for 1 hour and it has been such a great experience for all of us. 

On this particular Saturday we were bagging up onions!! You can tell we were having a horrible time! HA!
At church, Aaron and I volunteer with two different ministries that the kids can be with us when we are serving. In this season of life, with our kids being so young, we have really prioritized finding volunteer opportunities that the kids can be with us. If you are a member of a church, you know there are SOOOO many ways to become involved! We volunteer in our church nursery and we are leaders of Children's Liturgy of the Word (we take all the kiddos who are at mass and present the readings to them in a more child friendly way). We are able to do both of these activities with our own kids- and they LOVE when we work in the nursery and are "children's word leaders."  We do both of these things about 2 times every three months!

Last summer, we were having a particularly ungrateful week with our kids and I was feeling like the BIGGEST failure of a parent. We had a sit down conversation with our girls and pointed out all the little things we do "for fun" as a family- get slushies from Sonic, go out for dinner, pick up little trinkets at Target or Walmart, get ice cream...you know- the list goes on and on! We talked with them about how different their "normal" is from so many other little girls their age in different parts of the world. We then visited a website called, Naomi's Village (I had heard about this organization from another family) and showed them these precious kiddos that needed sponsoring so they could go to school. get uniforms and notebooks. BASIC NEEDS. My girls were blown away and by showing them REAL little girls, with the same interests as them (on the website they describe the children's favorite foods/activities)- they immediately- without prompting from us- said, "I want to give up getting so many slushies from Sonic!" "Mom! We don't need to go to Chick-Fil-A every week!  Let's save that money and give it to Naomi's Village!" So- that's exactly what we did! 
We have been sponsoring the most precious girl for about a year now and along with our monthly sponsor donation, the girls put together a little package for our little girl that we sponsor every couple of months. Naomi's Village is AMAZING and they will send us videos of our girl opening her presents or telling us thank you! We have also had the opportunity to FaceTime with her! 
There have been times when someone wants to get a treat or they pitch a fit because they don't like what I am making for dinner and say something like: "can't we just go out??" (UGH. I am embarrassed to even admit my kids say this!) and I just bring up our family commitment to do without a few extras every month to sponsor our little girl and that really helps bring them back to reality. It has been a wonderful thing for us to be a part of the sponsorship program with Naomi's Village!

We have one other organization we just started volunteering with- Ainsley's Angels. This is an organization whose mission is to include individuals with special needs in all aspects of the community- including endurance races. Aaron and I love to run and we both have always had a passion for the special needs community- so we are SUPER excited to be Angel Runners for Angel Riders here in Greenville. Aaron ran in a race this past Saturday- so the kids and I came with him, got to meet all the runners and race participants and cheer them on! Next Saturday, I am running a race, so Aaron and the kids will be cheerleaders.  This is another situation that works great for our family, because even though only one of us can be running a race, the rest of our family can be involved by being cheerleaders (which, if you have ever run a race, is SO important)!!
Other service activities that we that we have done together as a family and LOVED are:

- volunteering at a homeless shelter that was specifically for families. We would volunteer in the childcare room and watch the children who were staying at the shelter while their parents attended classes, cleaned up their room or just got a little break! We did this while we lived in Indianapolis and just really loved it. The girls would get so attached to the little ones we watched!
- Delivered food baskets to families at Thanksgiving time. This is more of a once of a year opportunity- but one that is great for doing together as a family. Our church coordinated donating hundreds of food baskets for families in need and we signed up to deliver some of them! The girls went up with Aaron to deliver the baskets and it was a very special experience for all of us!
- visits with the elderly! We created little goodie baskets with socks, hand sanitizer and pictures made by the girls and we went to a facility where elderly men and women along with individuals who had cognitive disabilities came every day. We visited with them and it was a BEAUTIFUL experience. We did this only once, while we were living in Indianapolis, but if we would have stayed living in Indy, we would have SO made this a regular activity!

So- I know what some of you might be thinking: "Great Justine. I am really happy you get out and do these things with your kids...but I have 3 kids under 3 or my husband works a lot  or I work full time or it just kind of overwhelms me to think about doing any of this."

I GET IT!!!  I really, really do!!! :)

First of all- even though my kiddos are getting older, it is still A LOT for us out to get out the door at 6:45 am on a Saturday morning to go to a race. We definitely deal with attitudes and not always being so giving. But we make it a priority!! Our volunteer commitments are on our calendar, just like the many other activities we have going on and they are NOT negotiable! The kids will miss a birthday party or we might miss a fun activity taking place at the library or the park so we can give the time we have committed to the places where we volunteer.
 We also didn't do any of this stuff when Aaron was in medical school and we had 3 little babies!! We slowly started doing more once he was in residency and have gotten progressively more involved once we moved and have settled into our new town.
There is a season for everything and this might not be your family's season to get out and actively volunteer!

BUUUTTTT- that doesn't mean you can't do service activities with your kiddos!!

Here are just a few, SUPER simple activities you can do with your kiddos that will spark SO many great conversations with your kids about gratefulness:

- write letters/send packages to men and women serving in our Armed Forces-here's one organization you can check out to do that:  Operation Gratitude

-support our Veterans and their families...there are so many organizations that help support our Veteran's- just a few of them are:

- the next time you are at McDonald's- purchase a couple $5 gift cards. Keep them in your glove box and when you come in contact with an individual in need- you have something to give them! There are several places we frequent where we live that have individuals asking for help...this has brought up a lot of questions from the kids and we decided together a small way we can help is to: 1) Smile and look the person in the eye- even if we aren't giving him/her anything and 2) purchase gift cards to have on hand when we do feel led to give.

- WRITE THANK YOU NOTES. This probably deserves a whole entire blog post on its own- but I am a HUGE believer in thank you notes. My kids are expected to write a thank you note for anything they are given and if they moan or groan about it- they lose what that person gave them. We typically don't have any issues with them not wanting to write thank you notes- because they love to color and draw- but that is the consequence when and if someone gets persnickety. I write thank you notes for James and Marshall- but I have them color on a piece of paper- even if it is just scribbles and if I am really on top of my game- include a picture of them using/enjoying the item that was given to them. It is a small of act of "service" that means SO much to the person who took the time to GIVE the gift!

- talk to your kids about ways they can "serve" your family. I am constantly talking to my girls about how setting the table is a way to do an act of service for me (so I don't have to do it) and it's a sign of gratefulness for the meal we are going to have. I also encourage the girls to do random acts of service for one another...things like pick up a mess one of their sisters made, pack a snack and a note for each other, if someone left a mess in the bathroom, clean it up for them...you get the idea! 

And the simplest, yet I think most profound way to instill gratefulness and hearts of service in your kiddos- is to BE GRATEFUL. Happily serve your husband and children. Talk about how thankful you are for the gorgeous weather when you're outside playing. When you get the fridge loaded after a big grocery shopping trip- express your gratefulness for the food in your house! Tell your kids and husband WHY you are grateful for them. 

It is one of our personal missions as parents, to instill a mindset of "IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU" in our children. Not in a scary, authoritarian way...but in a loving, gentle way that guides them to live with gratitude in their hearts and a desire to always be looking for ways they can spread love and kindness to others.  
It's not always easy- BUT- I can tell you it's worth it!!
I know so many of you are doing incredible things with your families to teach gratefulness and give back to others. Will you please share what you are doing in the comments??? I always love getting new and fresh ideas and that is the beautiful thing about this blogging community- we can all learn from each other!!


Wow. Was this a little more than you bargained for on a Monday?? HA! I bet you were maybe just checking into see if we did anything fun over the weekend. HA!
Thanks for listening to what was on my heart to share today!!

Hope you have the BEST day!!

Linking up with Johannah, Heather and Lindsay today!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hiiiiii!!! Happy Friday!!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be writing a "Friday Favorites" post!!
It's so fun to be blogging again!

How was your week?? We had a good one at our house. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous in our area the last couple of days and it just makes me so happy! Summer time can't get here fast enough!!

Okay- let's get this going...here's some things that have been making me smile lately!!

//ONE//
I am LOVING my Ja-Vie Flats!!! One of my favorite friends April is always talking about how much she loves her Ja-Vie flats- so around Christmas time I took advantage of a great sale they were having and picked up this pair!
I have been wearing them all.the.time for the last 4 months or so and I have to say: these flats are SO comfortable, SO cute and I just love them. And I feel like that's saying a lot since I basically despise wearing closed toed shoes and if it was appropriate- I would wear flip flops EVERYWHERE.  They are also perfect for this weird in between weather we keep having...you know- too warm for boots...but still a little too chilly for sandals?!?
I have already got my eye on the next pair I want to get (the leopard print) and would HIGHLY recommend them if you are looking to try out a new, comfortable and SUPER stylish pair of flats! 
P.S. They are MACHINE WASHABLE!!!
 
//TWO//
You know you're old and a legit parent when you get super pumped up about a new griddle. HA!
Aaron mentioned a couple weeks ago that he wanted to start making pancakes for the kids on Sunday morning before church- which I thought was a great idea! Our biggest non-stick pan isn't really even that big- so we decided to try out this copper non-stick griddle!
We got it from Walmart- you can find it HERE! They had it on display in our store- but didn't have any in stock- so we just ordered one and had it shipped to the store so we didn't have to pay shipping on it!
Aaron has made lots of pancakes using it and he said it works SO great. It is a super non-stick surface- so much so that you don't even need cooking spray!
I have started making our grilled cheese on it- I love that I can make all of the sandwiches at one time!
So- moral of the story- if you are in the market for a griddle- because who isn't?!? HA!
Check this one out!
//THREE//
Aaron and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary last month and he got me a bouquet of hydrangeas- almost identical to the ones that were in my wedding bouquet!!
Hydrangeas are one of my FAVORITE flowers and I have just loved looking at them everyday, sitting on top of our piano!
Here's the super fun part about these flowers- so I took this picture 2 days ago (April 17) and I have had these flowers since March 29!! Can you believe how beautiful they still look??? Aaron got them from a Harris Teeter by his office...they must be feeding those flower super food! HA!  
//FOUR//
Two weeks ago, our family flew to Texas to visit Aaron's parents and a bunch of his other family! His parents live about an hour outside of Austin, so the day before we flew back home, we made the trek from his parents' farm to downtown Austin and spent the day exploring our old stomping grounds! It was the BEST day. Seriously. I had several "pinch" me moments that I was back in one of my most favorite cities ever, with my 5 kiddos and amazing husband!
Some of you who have read my blog for awhile know about our love story- but for a quick recap- Aaron and I met in Austin and on day 5 of dating he told me he loved me. We were sitting on an iron bench on the town lake trail that goes around downtown Austin. The bench we were sitting on had a plaque on it dedicated to a man named "Bob Albee." 
You can bet that after we had an amazing lunch at Shady Grove- we took our kids to the "Bob Albee" bench so they could see where Mommy and Daddy's love story started! 
Here we are all piled up on the bench! Hands down my favorite picture from our trip!
(And PS- if your curious about the FULL story on how Aaron and I met- you can check it our HERE)

//FIVE//
Just wanted to thank all of you for your kind, encouraging comments about me starting to blog again!! 
Seriously- it just makes my heart happy- so THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!
Do you have any fun plans? 
We are doing a 5K race tomorrow morning and then Aaron and I have a date night tomorrow night! Yahoo!!

Linking up with Andrea, Erika and Narci!


Also joining April, Christina and Natasha for their fun link-up!
Linking up with TifBecky, Della and Katie too!






A Couple Fun Walmart Finds!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hi!! Happy Wednesday!!
It's been a hot minute since I have done a Weekly Walmart Finds post!!! 
I've got a few, fun things to share with you this week!!

I just got this Essential Athleisure Cowlneck Pullover and I LOVE it!
It is the PERFECT weight for Spring (and even cool summer nights) and at $14.97- you can't beat the price! This top definitely has a "higher-end" look to it and is SO comfy and super cute. You could wear it with jeans or some leggings....I honestly think it would even look cute with some jean shorts! I have not seen this top in my local Walmart- but it might be at your's! Every Walmart is different in what they carry! 
Okay- next up are these "native" knock off slip on shoes for kids. Some of you might have already seen these at your Walmart...mine just got them last week and they are going FAST!
They are only $4.97 for a pair!! We have never owned a "real" pair of Natives- so I can't compare the quality of them...but- for less than $5 a pair- I am okay if they aren't as sturdy as the name brand! I picked my daughter up 2 pairs, one pink and one purple and I got my boys each a pair! 
(FYI- the only other place I have found carrying "fake" Natives is Old Navy- you can find them here! Target used to carry them- but I have not been able to find them in store or on their website).
(I have not been able to find these shoes online- these might be something you can only find in the store.)
If you see these in your store and your kiddo(s) need a waterproof, easy to put on shoe for the summer- PICK UP A PAIR!! :)

If your husband or any other guy in your life is in need of some new shorts for the summer- you HAVE to check out these flat front shorts by the "George" brand.
They are $7.50 a pair!!! My husband is a huge fan of the 11 inch flat front shorts from J.Crew Factory and when I bought him a couple of pairs of these shorts- he could NOT believe I got them at Walmart...and to top it off- for less than $8.00!!
The shorts come in a bunch of different colors, including a great preppy pink (LOVE a guy who wears pink ;) and this fun mint-ish green color with little hula girls all over them! Aaron has this pair and they are his current favorite pair of shorts to wear! :)
So- I know a lot of people are knee-deep into spring cleaning and organizing their homes...so I just HAD to share this ADORABLE and super functional basket!! I mean- how stinking cute are these baskets?? They come in two sizes- this is the smaller size and it is $7.44...the bigger size is $12.44 and you can find it here!
The liner is removable and the little plaque on the front is a chalkboard!! The possibilities are endless with this little basket! How cute would several of these be on a bookshelf in nursery or one of your kiddos rooms? Or maybe you could utilize a couple of these in your laundry room?? Someone please buy some of these- I just love them!

Have you done any shopping at Walmart lately?? Find any fun items or great deals!!!
Share them in the comments!!!

Hope you have the BEST day!

Back At It!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hiiiiiiii!!!

AHHHH!! I am so excited to be writing this blog post!! Over eight months ago, I shared that I was taking a break from blogging. 

After I published that post, I will be honest- I felt so FREE! While blogging has (and will continue to be) a TOTAL hobby for me (I have no desire to make any money from this online journal)- I definitely felt pressure to regularly post and make sure I was putting my best effort into what I was sharing with all of you who took the time to read my blog!
Taking a break from blogging has been really, really good for me. But it also helped me realize how much I truly enjoyed blogging! The break has also given me a chance to think and pray about what I would like to fill this little space of the internet with moving forward. 

Here are some ideas I have for things I want to share and talk about here:

- my weight loss journey and my ongoing commitment and passion to living a healthy life- I am thinking I will do a little series on this topic as it is not just a one blog post kind of topic ;)

- simple, easy meal planning ideas

- fun ways to shop on a budget (SO many of you told me how much you LOVED my Walmart Finds- I am looking forward to sharing those with you again!)

- random ramblings about nothing. Some of my favorite posts to write aren't about any sort of topic!

- "how I do it" posts...and not like I am some expert and I have all the answers...but a lot of people ask me ALL.THE.TIME..."how do you do it?!?!" The answer most of the time is: I fake it 'til I make it. HA! But- almost 10 years into parenting...I do think I have found my groove and have found some good "systems" that are at least worth sharing! :)

I am SO excited to get back into a regular blogging routine again!! I have been wanting to for a couple months now....but was still unsure if I should start back up again. I have been feeling a big pull to share more and while I absolutely LOVE Instagram (like- I have to limit myself on how much I check it ;), it feels unnatural for me to share my heart on there. I don't really know why- but it just does. HA!
I feel much more comfortable "talking" with all of you via this little blog...so I here I am! :)

Okay...so before I end this post- I just wanted to touch on a few "housekeeping" items in regard to the blog:

(1) I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting comments!! BUT- if your email is not linked up to your account and it is a "no-reply" comment- I most likely won't reply to your comment. Not because I am a big meanie...but I just don't have the time to keep checking back on each post I write to see if there were comments left. If they come to my email...then I will for sure respond!! It might take me a couple of days...but I will respond! ;)
(2) I plan on posting 2-3 times a week...which will be different than my previous blogging schedule of 4-5 days a week. One of the biggest reasons I stepped back from blogging was the pressure I was feeling to post almost every single day. It started to stress me out! HA!
I want to focus more on quality rather than quantity!!

So there you have it...I am back to blogging and SO happy about it!

So excited to be linking up with Heather, Johannah and Lindsay!!

Tuesday Talk: Time for a Change...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hello friends!!!

Happy Tuesday!!

How was weekend? Is your week off to a great start?? I sure hope so!

For the 7 of you who read of my blog, I am sure you have noticed it has been "quiet" around these parts :)

For quite some time now, I have been feeling a shift in how I want to spend my (very) little free time...and blogging has become lower and lower on the totem pole of priorities for me.
It's not that I don't want to blog or don't have tons of things I want to share with all of you- but when it comes down to it- and I have some time to write a post...I want to do other things more! Do you know what I mean? 
I want to start reading books again, maybe watch a TV show, sit and talk with my husband, paint my nails...heck- a lot of the time, I just want to sit and do nothing. HA!

There is also some big-ish changes happening in our house...I am going back to work (very part-time)- and all FIVE of the kids will be going to school!!

When I started this blog over 2 1/2 years ago, my purpose was to create an outlet to share a little bit about my journey as a mom and wife. My blog has NEVER been a money making platform- I did that on purpose- because I always wanted to be posting because I truly WANTED to.
There has been a shift in me WANTING to post and I am listening to my heart and things that God is nudging me to do and I have decided to stop blogging.

This blogging community has been nothing short of amazing and I have sincerely enjoyed every bit of it!! Your comments and emails have brightened my days so many times and it has meant SO much to me to know that many of you enjoy hearing about my latest Walmart purchases ;)

While I am going to no longer be blogging, I do want to become a little more "present" on my Instagram account and share more things over there! Kind of like mini-blogging :)
I can't tell you how many times I have been walking around Aldi or Walmart and thought to myself- I should post this fun find on Instagram!! HA!

So- if you don't follow me on Instagram- you can find me at: @podiatrywife08
Will you please do me a huge favor and DM me when you request to follow me?
Just tell me that you read my blog :) I am SUPER weird about having random people who truly have no connection to me following me on Instagram ;)

It is bittersweet for me to be done with this season of life...but I am SO grateful for the time I had with this little blog and for all of the support and encouragement that was shared with me.

THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH!!
Now...just a few things to remember for the Tuesday Talk link-up: 

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Friday Favorites!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hi friends!! Happy Friday!

How has your week been?? I sure hope it's been a great one!!
It's been a fun, busy, HOT week at our house...we basically have been living at the pool! 

Time for some FAVORITES from this past week!

//ONE//
Going to the library is one of our FAVORITE activities. The kids have so much fun looking up books and checking them out. Whenever Celine finds a books she wants to check out- she asks me if she can "buy it?" SO.STINKING.CUTE.
Anyway- the other day- I was walking around the library making sure the kids were all ok...and this is what I saw. Big sister reading to her little brother. 
SO SWEET!
 //TWO//
First- please note my crazy, frizzy hair. WHOA. HA!
More importantly- please look at my precious baby. Marshall will be 15 months old at the end of this month and I just can't handle him. He is giving hugs and kisses when we ask for them and signing "more" and "all done." He is an absolute JOY. So thankful for this precious baby boy!
 //THREE//
Speaking of precious boys- look at my James. Looks REAL happy, doesn't he?!? HA!
I had a coupon to Sports Clips and he was in desperate need of a haircut, so last Saturday afternoon, while Aaron was working, the kids and I went to get James a fresh new cut. I got all the kids slushies from Sonic and was just really feeling like on was on top of my mom game. Um yeah. That lasted about 2.2 seconds- because upon walking into the salon James started FREAKING out, threw his slushy, it exploded everywhere AND Cora set her slushy down to go use the restroom and when she came back her's had leaked onto the floor. I used a million baby wipes to clean everything up and the crisis was averted ;) 
I had to sit in the chair with James- but we finally got his hair cut and now he looks like such a BIG boy. 
LOVE this wild, ornery boy SO much.
 //FOUR//
Sometimes you forget your wallet at the library check out desk and you take your daughters in their jammies to go pick it up and then decide the best way to end a crazy day is by getting 1/2 price milkshakes at Sonic ;)
Hands down one of my FAVORITE moments of this week.
I treasure these little girls SO MUCH and can only hope and pray 10 years from now, they still want to run out with their mama on a random Thursday night to go get milkshakes.

P.S. If you are a peanut butter fan- try the peanut butter oreo shake from Sonic- it is CRAZY good!
//FIVE//
Tomorrow we are headed to the beach for a day trip and we are SO EXCITED!!
We are meeting my brother, sister-in-law and my niece and nephew there- which is equally amazing. To be close enough to the beach to make a day trip there- and to be close enough to family to meet up with them?!?! It just makes my heart REALLY happy.
Hope you all have the BEST day and a WONDERFUL weekend!

I am linking up with AndreaNarci and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!

And lastly, linking up with KatieTifDella & Caitlin for High Five for Friday!

Recipe Club: Meatball Subs!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hi!! Happy Wednesday!!
Is it me or is this week flying by??

So happy to be joining my girls Johannah and Heather for their monthly Recipe Club link up today!!
We had meatball subs for dinner last night- so I thought I would share with you how I make them! This is such an EASY, yummy dinner- and one of the few meals my WHOLE family will eat!

Okay- these are the ingredients needed for my meatball subs. I got everything from Aldi- and with me rounding up the prices of each item and including tax- this all cost right around $9.00!

You will need some:
1 pound of Ground turkey or ground beef- whatever you like to use to make meatballs
Sliced mozzarella cheese (provolone and muenster also work great!)
Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Deli rolls- or you could use french bread- any kind of bread that is sturdy and will hold up well :)
 First- I make my meatballs. I don't follow a recipe- I just add an egg, some salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, a little water and for this batch of meatballs- I had some ritz crackers- so I crumbled up about 5 of those. I bake the meatballs at 425 degrees and it takes them about 15 minutes to cook. 
Here's a TOP rated turkey meatball recipe if you need one!

Then- when they come out of the oven- I dump the jar of sauce over them!
 I almost always make my meatballs ahead of time- it makes dinner SO easy!
Once it's dinner time- I warm up the meatballs and sauce in the microwave and start making the "cheesy" rolls!

I butter the rolls very lightly, then cover them in mozzarella cheese. I pop the rolls in the oven at 450 degrees for about 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and getting bubbly :)
 Once the meatballs are heated through and the cheese is melted on the rolls, I assemble the sandwiches and then pop them back in the oven for just a couple of minutes to get a little "crisp" on the top of the roll.

Here's my husband's plate with the finished product!
We had green beans alongside our subs- but a tossed salad or any other green veggie would be delicious too!
 Here's what my 5 kiddos' plates look liked! 
James got a tiny portion of sandwich and some plain meatball- I wasn't sure what he would like- but he ended up eating it all- SCORE!
This meal is perfect for Marshall- I just give him bite size pieces of meatball and cheese! He gobbled it right up!
And the girls got subs! My girls can be SOOOOO picky- and they always enjoy this meal- which is such a nice departure from the usual- "this is GROSS." HA!
 And for me- here's what my plate looked like! I could have had a roll- but I didn't feel like spending Smart points on it (for those of you who don't know- I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers- so I keep track of daily Smartpoints!)
I had 6 ounces of meatballs with some sauce, a spinach salad with light honey mustard dressing and green beans for 9 Smart points!
(I wish I had some spaghetti squash on hand- because that would have been SO yummy with my meatballs!)
I just love this easy meal for so many reasons- but here's a few:
- you can make ahead the meatballs whenever it's convenient for you!
- make a double batch and pop the other portion in the freezer for spaghetti and meatballs!
- it's an inexpensive but very tasty and satisfying meal!
- it's a meal that can be served several different ways
- if you make the meatballs ahead of time- it's a meal that comes together VERY quickly at dinner time!

Simple. Easy. NO FUSS. My kind of meal!! :)

Hope you have the BEST day!

 
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