Tag Archives: appreciation

Wednesday:) Honoring Our First Responders

17 May

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

~Ambrose Redmoon

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This evening, St. Gabriel the Archangel hosted a special Mass at 6 pm to honor our First Responders and their families. George Fuller and his wife Maylee also attended, along with other local officials.

Father Don welcomed the attendees and expressed the community’s appreciation for the sacrifice and commitment of not only the Responders, but also their families. After Mass, all in attendance applauded and gave a standing ovation. I don’t know why, but I always get a little misty when we sing “God Bless America.”

Father Don and Father Charles walked outside to say a prayer and bless the fire trucks, emergency vehicles, and police cars.

Father Don blessed the vehicles with holy water. There were also Responders and vehicles from Plano, and nearby cities.

A reception with punch and cookies followed the blessing. During these turbulent times, it’s very nice to know that we have so many people serving and protecting our community. But also, it’s important that we show our appreciation.

Thank you!

Friday:) Friendly Firemen Finally Man Station #9

14 Apr

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

~John F. Kennedy

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I was delighted to see the brand new shiny red fire trucks inside the bays at the new #9 fire station in McKinney yesterday. The city had the ribbon cutting ceremony weeks ago, but plumbing or some such difficulties postponed the actual starting date of the new station.

When I was having lunch at Nom Nom the other day, two firemen walked in behind me. I asked, “When is Station #9 opening?” One of the men pointed to his shirt pocket that said “Captain” and replied, “I’m just a captain. I have no idea, but we’re hoping tomorrow or the next day.”

Yesterday, when I saw the trucks, I scurried home and put a batch of brownies in the oven. Nothing says welcome like a batch of brownies.

This was a special batch. Not only did I use the mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, but I sprinkled chopped up candy bars on top. Yum!

When I stopped by the station, I tapped and tapped at the door. I didn’t see a phone or bell. Finally, a young fire fighter came to the door. I told him, “Welcome, and glad you are finally here.” I handed him the container and asked if I could take a picture. He said, “Sure, but come on in and meet the other guys. We can get a group picture by the truck.” I thought that was very nice, seeing as they were pretty busy and working on getting settled in.

A few of the fire fighters at our new Station #9. Thanks guys. I’ll be back soon.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLQEaCCApUQ
   
 

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

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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.