40 Years Ago Today:) Happy Birthday Joe

14 Jul

“Do You remember what you were doing 40 years ago today? You would if your first born baby boy made his debut appearance two weeks early and upside down.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


40 years ago today, I was very busy giving birth to my firstborn son, Joe. Happy birthday Joe. Today, I was so happy that I could spend this special day with Joe and his family and his friends.

Joe’s first born helped grandma make some brownies. Of course, we had to make a funny face first, because that’s what grandma does. (She saw all my funny face brownie face photos on my phone)

My assistant funny face brownie maker.
It was rainy, humid and drizzly most of the morning and afternoon, but cleared up nicely for a perfect evening and birthday celebration.
Happy Birthday Joe.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Grandma Peek

13 Jul

“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, lies in its loyalty to each other.” – Mario Puzo


Woa! What a busy crazy whirlwind week I’ve had. Too many pictures to post, so here is just a sampling. Happy Monday, my friends.

I hadn’t seen the granddaughters since Christmas 2019.
Grandma is exhausted and elated all at the same time.
I was so happy to babysit so daddy and mommy could go away for a couple of days to celebrate their 6th anniversary. The lockdown was tough on all parents with little ones, I’m sure. And tomorrow is my son’s birthday. A double celebration.

Yes, Happy Monday!

Sunday:)No Sermon, But a Celebration

12 Jul

“Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.”
― Amy Leigh Mercree

Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”


Six years ago today was the absolute worst, painful, devastating day of my entire life. Most of you already know the dreadful details and heart-break that began on this day in 2013. I won’t get into all the sordid details, but the short version is, I confronted my husband about his ongoing affair with the sleazy waitress at his country club. Then, after 43 years together, he chose to be with her. My spirit and heart were broken, but my faith never wavered. What you may not know is the miraculous events that followed. There were three, and only three, painful calendar dates that plagued my heart and soul. 7/11, 8/23, and 12/5. God changed all three of those dates into a celebration. This was no coincidence. Today, 7/11 is the first date, the first of three miracles.

That awful day is now a celebration. My son Joe got married on 7/11/2015, changing the previous painful memories into happy new ones. I gave a loving toast to the beautiful bride and handsome groom. I danced the mother/son dance, crying tears of joy and softly singing “Child of Mine,” in his ear. Now, the worst day of my life is a very special happy day. Happy Anniversary!

Today, I’m babysitting at my son’s house so he and his lovely wife could get away for a couple of days to celebrate their anniversary. Now, that “Child of Mine,” has two beautiful children of his own. I am so blessed. If someone asked me today if I could make a wish and change one single thing or event in my life, I would say…”I wouldn’t change a thing. If I did, I might not have had two wonderful sons, two beautiful granddaughters, a great family, and the most awesome friends in the world.

Saturday:) Some More Exciting Grandma Adventures

11 Jul

“The days pass so slowly when you’re a young mother. But, the years fly too quickly when you’re a grandmother.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another fun day with the grandkids, and my first day on Grandma duty. It wasn’t even a full day on call, only starting around noon. Mommy and Daddy are taking a brief two day getaway for their anniversary, and very well deserved after these crazy pandemic lockdowns with a two and four year old.

Big sister in blue and her best friend from daycare at dance class.
My little artist protege.
Sisters playing with their Barbies, and don’t forget Elvis and the Prince.
This evening’s entertainment for Grandma and Nanna was about twenty super high speed giggling “Ring Around the Rosie” songs with hysterical, “They all fall down” finales. We were exhausted and dizzy just watching.

Feeling blessed. ❤️❤️

Friday Fun With the Family:) Feeling Blessed

10 Jul

“The greatest blessing in the world is our children and our family. And it seems the tinier the child, the bigger the blessing. “

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another fine fun filled whirlwind day with the “wittle ones.” Uh oh! I’m starting to talk wike them too. That’s what Gwamas do. A few photos to show its true.

Drawing, tv, a trip to the park, and giving Grandma a little preview of tomorrow’s dance class.
Checking the dog for any possible illness, enjoying the park, playing with her babies and sliding on the big slide.
Big sister reading to little sister after her nice nap.
Making veggie tacos for Mommy and Daddy and me after the wittle ones were in bed. Everyone was hungry.

Ah, finally. It’s Black Russian Friday. No ice cream, but I found some vodka. I couldn’t find a glass, so I used a mason jar, only to find out there were many glasses all right above the kitchen sink. Duh! All is quiet now, The adventures continue tomorrow. Life is good.

Cheers, my friends!

Thursday Through Grandma’s Eyes

9 Jul

I love music of all kinds, but there’s no greater music than the sound of my grandchildren laughing; my kids, too.

Sylvia Earle


Another fun and fine day visiting with my grand-babies. Ah, grandchildren laughing.

Today, we played, read stories, colored, painted, played house, tea parties, played on the swings, took a walk, and awesome Chicago pizza for dinner. Life is good.

Life is good. Grandma is in heaven. ❤️❤️

Wednesday:) Where in the World Is Miss Toni?

8 Jul

“Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.”

~Pam B


Remember “Where’s Waldo?” Who can guess where Miss Toni is. I’ll give you some clues.

What’s up? ME…

Where in the world?….

Can you guess?
Yes! Visiting my grand-babies. Its been too long. Happy Grandma!

Toni’s Taco Tuesday and My Firemen

7 Jul

“It’s funny how sometimes things just fall into place when brownies are involved.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I had one of those baking urges again this morning. I was meeting Helene at Nom Nom’s for our usual Taco Tuesday at 1 pm, but I decided That I had enough time to make some brownies before I left. I haven’t been by the fire station in a few weeks and they’re probably getting all skinny.

I decided to make a double batch so I could take some to Station 9 on my way to lunch and drop off another at Station 5 on my way home. I also made a couple of smaller containers to give Helene to share with her neighbors.

When I arrived at Station 9, there were several other trucks from others stations In the parking lot, and a whole bunch of firefighters were shuffling in. Uh oh. I decided that they were probably having meetings or something, so I grabbed both containers and asked one of the guys to take them inside. He said they were having a training meeting today and thanked me.

Well, I guess I wasn’t going to stop at Station 5 after all.

I drove off to Nom Nom to meet Helene for tacos. When I arrived, two trucks from Fire Station 5 were parked in the lot. Hmm? They were probably having lunch at Nom Nom too. So, I grabbed the two containers that were intended for Helene and friends. There were four or five firemen eating lunch. I walked over, placed the brownies on their table and said, “Ah, you saved me a trip. Now, don’t feel like I’m showing you guys favoritism. I already stopped at Station 9.”

Helene was already waiting for me in line. I told her that she sacrificed her brownies for Station 5. She just laughed because she was trying to cut back on her sweets and bring her cholesterol and sugar down. She said they did her a favor.

A few minutes later, the guys were leaving and one of the firemen came over, showed me a half empty container and said, “Thanks again, Mam. As you can see, we got a head start on your brownies.” That made me smile. It was all meant to be. Station 5 didn’t miss out after all.

Thus was my exciting Taco Tuesday adventure.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

6 Jul

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
― Virginia Woolf


It was a grand week for parades, fireworks, celebrations, stormy skies and clear crisp mornings. A good week to count your blessings.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

5 Jul

“America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination.”

~Harry S. Truman


Happy 4th of July. It’s been a wonderful day, and a good day to reflect on our freedom as well as our blessings. An early morning Mass, prayers, and a candle lit. This tradition for one purpose, covered in two words…”Thank you.”

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus teaching in the synagogue in His hometown. They questioned His words because they thought He was just a carpenter, son of Mary. He replied…

”And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’;5 and he could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. He made a tour round the villages, teaching.”

My take on it… sometimes those closest to you are often the first ones to question your ability, to deny you, and even hurt you. Sad.


On a brighter note, today is the 4th of July, and we celebrate our Independence. I’m feeling pretty independent. Feeling blessed. How about you?

Here’s one of my favorite photos and why I feel so blessed. There are many, many more.
May the Fourth be with you, (And with your spirit.)