Tag Archives: appreciation

Friday:) A Few Cute Firemen Faces and Some Brownies

15 Jul

But sound aloud the praises, and give the victor-crownTo our noble-hearted Firemen, who fear not danger’s frown.

~Frederic G.W. Fenn, “Ode to our Firemen,” 1878


When I bake brownies, I usually make a double batch. This way I can take some over to my local fire stations. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years. They really appreciate the random brownie drop by. My first stop was Station 5, close to my old house. I started visiting in ’04 when I moved to Texas. I picked up the outside house phone. A voice said, “Station 5,  can I help you?” I always say, “It’s Toni with some brownies.” Look at that smile. Well worth a little effort.

Station 2 was my next stop. They don’t have a phone. I tapped at the glass door and I think they saw me coming, because they were at the door right quick.

More cute smiles. That’s what it’s all about folks. Making people smile. Every time I stop by with some treats, I say to myself, these men and women are willing to risk their lives everyday for me, you, and total strangers. I can bake an extra pan of brownies every now and then.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

19 Apr

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” 

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


Appreciating each sunrise, each day, each person, until each sunset, that’s the only way to live. 


Wednesday Words of Wisdom

10 Jun

We end up stumbling our way through the forest, never seeing all the unexpected and wonderful possibilities and potentials because we’re looking for the idea of a tree, instead of appreciating the actual trees in front of us.Charles de Lint, Tapping the Dream Tree


My words of wisdom for today…

“If you do end up stumbling through the forest, and you fall flat on your face, roll over and enjoy the view.”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When I was growing up on the southside of Chicago, we had a big old tree in our tiny backyard. It had huge dark green leaves that dropped beautiful white flowers that looked like buttercups. I’m not sure what its name is, even though my sister keeps reminding me. 

 I remember picking up the flowers and threading them on a string to make a necklace, wearing it proudly for the day. Of course, the necklace would be wilted and brown the following morning, but all the more reason to make another one on a lazy summer afternoon. 

Yesterday, when I was walking over to my sister’s house in Elgin, the same old huge trees lined the neighborhood. I felt very nostalgic, taking pictures and fondly touching the flowers. I haven’t seen any of these trees back in Texas. I just gazed up at the sun peeking through the leaves and thought, I’m going to have to pick some flowers and make a neclace one day. 


Appreciating the actual tree in front of me. 


Tuesday Towne Creek Tribute to Our Fire Fighters

12 May

But sound aloud the praises, and give the victor-crown
To our noble-hearted Firemen, who fear not danger’s frown.
~Frederic G.W. Fenn, “Ode to our Firemen,” 1878


Today, the seniors and folks at Towne Creek Apartments in McKinney hosted their annual Fire Fighter Appreciation Lunch. The charming residents and staff wanted to thank the many dedicated people who put their lives on the line every day, and who more often than not, receive 911 calls to help one of the residents there. Everyone bakes, cooks, decorates, sets up and anxiously awaits their arrival on this special day.



I made my famous brownies. 


There is always a lot left over, so Miss Nelma, Miss Augustina and I went over with tons of barbecue, rolls, salads, and desserts for Station 2 and Station 5. They truly appreciated it.

Station 2 guys.


Here are the happy Station 5 guys. 


Thank you all you guys and gals in blue, we appreciate all you do. 



Thankful Thursday

3 Apr
“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” 
― John Henry Jowett


There is always something to be thankful for. But, you know what is even more pleasant than a day full of personal gratitude? It’s when someone appreciates and is thankful for something you’ve done for them. 

Last week, when I made my cute little Peep bunny cupcakes, I took some to my local fire station, but I also took some to several of my new neighbors. Officer Rick, a Texas State Trooper was out throwing the football around with his two sons, so I took some over there. Then, there’s this adorable little girl, Carly, who lives a few houses down. She always runs out to say hi when I’m out walking. I took one over there,  and also to the two houses next door.

So, Sunday evening when I was out for a walk, little Carly ran out to the street and said, “Thank you for the cupcake,” and then she gave me a big hug. Later that evening, the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor with her daughter Hailey. She drew a beautiful thank you card with a picture of her cupcake.

Isn’t that precious? Needless to say, more cupcakes will be finding their way to Hailey’s house.
I can always find something to be thankful for, but being appreciated is very, very special.


Sunday Sermon and Service

1 Feb

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
My fourth day of humility challenge and encouraging others. I’d like to honor those who serve our community and encourage all of you to do the same.

Today after Mass, I stopped at Fire Station #5 to drop of a special Super Bowl Sunday snack for the guys. Normally I bake brownies or cookies, but I figured the folks who were on shift today would appreciate something savory. So, I took some of my homemade black bean/black eyed pea/roasted corn salsa. I think they’ll appreciate that more than some cutesy cup cakes.

Just a little something extra, going out of your way, and showing your appreciation for others can mean so much. I hope you feel the same. Have a great Sunday!


“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.



Tuesday: Taking Time To Say Thank You

21 May

When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work.
~Edward F. Croker
The charming seniors at Towne Creek Apartments hosted their second annual appreciation lunch for the McKinney firefighters. They spent the morning decorating, cooking, baking and preparing for the festivities. Everyone cheered each time another group of firemen and administrators stopped by. It was nice to see the handsome men in blue for a celebration instead of the many emergency situations. Yes, it was nice to say thank you.





After sharing a wonderful lunch of homemade salads, beans, pasta, pies, cakes and some delicious Dickey’s barbecue, there was a ton of yummy food left over. So, we packed it all up in dozens of containers and Miss Nelma and I drove over to three different fire stations that were unable to attend the lunch, and dropped of a huge bag of food. Each station was extremely appreciative.

Firefighter Rice over at Station#1 and Miss Nelma.

Firefighter Hendricks at Station #2

A group photo with the guys at Station #5. These are my guys. They’ve seen many a brownie or cupcake.

It was a full day of appreciation and saying thank you to those who do so much for us. Thanks guys and gals in blue!