Tag Archives: blessings

Friday:) From Here to There

31 Mar

“God never ends anything on a negative; God always ends on a positive. Because what is negative about going home?”

Shannon L. Alder


A long day, a travel day, back home after a long visit in Chicago. There’s no place like home.

My sister took me to the airport in record time with plenty of time to people watch and relax. Of course, security meticulously went through my bag because I had a huge ziplock bag of costume jewelry that I wanted to keep from Mom’s many treasures. A lot of metal.

When I got to my gate, I noticed a young girl, a college student, all decked out in her Norte Dame clothing and backpack. I had to say hello, and get a selfie. I was wearing my Norte Dame jacket, and told her my son went there, quite a while ago.This is Mariah.

My flight was not only on time, it left and arrived a few minutes early. My neighbor, Kathy picked me up at DFW, and we stopped for dinner. I was starving, as I only had pretzels to eat all day. Thanks Deb for the chocolate pretzels.

I am so lucky to have great friends. Kathy picked me up, and we went to Nom Nom for dinner.

My neighbor Diane brought in my mail and left it all on my kitchen counter, and she and Sue left me beautiful flowers, a sweet card, and a Godiva Chocolate bunny.

Yes, I have the best friends, the best family, and a beautiful life. I am blessed.

Sunday Sermon and Another Year Gone By

1 Jan

“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”

~Brad Henry


An early 8 o’clock morning Mass at St. Frances in Stillwater. The alter was adorned with gorgeous red poinsettias. This Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Family. A wonderful celebration of the family. Those of us who are blessed with loving families can understand the strong blessings.

Today’s Gospel, the Holy Family was required to travel to Jerusalem to present the child Jesus and offer the required sacrifice.

When the days were completed for their purification

according to the law of Moses,

They took him up to Jerusalem

to present him to the Lord,

just as it is written in the law of the Lord,

Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,

and to offer the sacrifice of

a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,

in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord……….

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions

of the law of the Lord,

they returned to Galilee,

to their own town of Nazareth.

The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;

and the favor of God was upon him.


Father’s homily was about the importance of family. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He was still part man, and needed to be raised and taught the ways of man, and the traditions and beliefs of His family. So, Joseph and Mary were the first teachers and examples for the child Jesus.

My take on it… We must all understand the importance of parents teaching their children, not only by word and writings, but by example. Joseph and Mary were the perfect example of good parents, teaching Jesus until He was old enough to share His word and teachings with the world.

Today is a good day to reflect on the importance of family. Not only because it is the Feast of the Holy Family, but because we are starting a new year in just a few hours. Let’s think about how we can become closer to our family, or even closer to those without families. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all say, “WE ARE ALL FAMILY ON THIS EARTH. PEACE TO ALL OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.”

After Mass, I lit a candle and said a prayer for us all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday:) Today is Baby Belle’s Birthday

6 Dec

“You think you could never love so much as when you hold your own child. Then, you hold your grandchild, and you know you were wrong.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


The temperatures in the Chicago area went from the unseasonably balmy 60’s yesterday, then plunged with ferocious bitter cold winds, now in the 20’s. But, cold, nor wind, nor gloom of day could prevent me from celebrating my first grandchild’s first birthday on this special day. December 5th. This is one of my testimony trilogy miracle days. Belle Trinidad was born one year ago today, turning a painful day on the calendar into a day of celebration.

My sister and I drove to Deerfield to meet Joe, Lindsay and Baby Belle for dinner at a very nice Mexican restaurant, El Tadicional. <Hmmm? She looks good in a sombrero. Must be in the blood.

I was glad that I could be in town for this special day. She is just so cute. Belle rarely gets to see me, so she smiles and giggles when I’m at a distance and mommy or daddy are holding her, but she whimpers if I try and hold her. (Well, that’s gonna have to change!)

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. I am blessed.

Happy birthday Belle!

Friday :) Friends and More Friends

11 Nov

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.

~Francois de La Rochefoucauld


Yesterday after our Art Club meeting, a few of us stopped to celebrate a birthday lunch for Sherry. To everyone’s surprise, her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were having lunch at the same. They didn’t know she would be there. The best part is, we got to send a little time with adorable Aria, who wanted to come over and sit with her Nonni. I think Aria looks a lot like her Nonni.

We had a fun lunch and visit. What better gift than to celebrate your birthday with family and friends.

After lunch, I went over to work a few hours at my new part-time job. The good part was, it’s only five minutes away from the VFW Hall and our weekly Thursday night karaoke group. I went right from one thing to the next. It was our pot luck day, and it was so fun. I sang a few songs, danced a few dances, and ate too much yummy food. These are a bunch of my cool,karaoke friends.

Someone suggested that I find a group song that we could all sing. Only about four of the people up on that stage ever go up to sing. The others are too shy. This gave them a chance to sing on stage and belt out a tune. The bad part was, most everyone was up there, and no one in the audience. Funny!


It was a good day, a long day. I left the house around 9:15 am and didn’t land home till around 11:30 pm, and I wasn’t even tired. Friends, food, work, play, song, dance, more food and more friends. All makes for a wonderful day.

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, but many true friends, well, that’s truly the greatest blessing of all.

Tuesday:) Tomorrow, Toni’s Trilogy Celebration

23 Aug

“We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there’s always something beautiful that you can find.”

~Mattie Stepanek


If you read my earlier post on 7/11 about my Trilogy Testimonials, or you know my story, then you remember that tomorrow, August 23rd is the second awful date on the calendar that God transformed from a painful tearful date into a special celebration. August 23, 1975, I married my high school sweetheart, Tony Andrukaitis, in a beautiful church wedding in front of countless friends, family, and God. Thirty-nine years later, after disgusting discoveries, lies, cheating, and a painful divorce, my life and health was in turmoil. Being forced to leave my home and neighbors after ten years, I moved into my beautiful brand new home, to start my brand new life, on August 23rd, 2014. Another “God moment.”

Last year, I had a special anniversary of my new home party. Tomorrow, I will have another anniversary party, and will continue this tradition as long as I live in my beautiful new home.  A reminder of my rescue and blessings. 

I’ve been preparing for many days. Saturday, I went to the store and picked up a LOT of party food, drinks, and snacks. I invited friends and neighbors, and guess what? Most of them are coming. I’m so excited. But, this also means that I need to do a lot of baking, cooking, planning and cleaning. I LOVE IT!

Last year, so many good friends came to celebrate with me, and this year even more are expected.

Here are just some of goodies I purchased for the party.

After posting this blog, I will proceed to bake my little brains out. Tomorrow’s the big day! If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by. There’s always plenty, and plenty to be thankful for. 

Tomorrow night,  I’ll tell you all about it.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ What a Difference a Day Makes

18 May

“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree


Sunday was Mother’s Day. I went to Mass and stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea and sat there all alone. I was feeling sorry for myself and all alone, just a little bit. But, as I sat and watched people zip in and out, and cars shimmy by in the drive-through, I counted my blessings. I have two fine sons, a wonderful family, and more wonderful friends than I can count.

When I arrived home, barely putting my key in the front door, when I saw the box of flowers that my son Matt sent, especially to be delivered on Mother’s Day. I brought the box inside and opened it. The waterworks streamed down my face. I cried uncontrollably. I’m still not sure why. They were happy tears, but I just couldn’t stop. A flood of memories and photos of two small boys flashed through my mind in an instant. Kinda like a brain freeze of memories. (Teary eyed)

The flowers still hadn’t opened when I put them in the decorative pink mason jar that came in the box, along with a box of gourmet chocolates. The amazing thing is, hour after hour during the course of the day each iris and lilly opened up just a little bit. By evening, they were about half way  opened. Matt called me and wished me a happy Mother’s Day and we talked a long time. He was talking to his elderly mother, (not really that old) but I was talking to my five year old who just barely out of diapers, and not the grown man in his thirties.

Joe called later and asked if I received their card. I hadn’t, but thanked him in advance. I got to talk to Lindsay, my lovely daughter-in-law, and wished her a happy Mother’s Day, her first. This was my 35th. 

When I woke up Monday morning, the flowers were in full bloom in all there glory. What a difference a day makes. 

When the mail came Monday in the afternoon, there was a beautiful card from Joe, Lindsay and Belle. My sister sent me a beautiful card with a heartfelt message and some cool stamps. What a difference a day makes.

Cheers! I always start each day counting my blessings. Some days I may be a little sad, some days hysterically happy, but EVERY day, there is something to be grateful for. What a difference a day makes.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~ Be Wise, Be Frugal, Share Your Blessings

17 May

” I may be frugal, cut coupons, and shop the sales, but you know what I do with my savings? I share.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Help others without any reason and give without the expectation of receiving anything in return.” 

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


I am the queen of coupons, the sister of sales, the babe of bargains. Do I need to be thrifty? I’m pretty comfortable, but I’ve always appreciated a bargain. Take yesterday for instance. Well, you don’t have to take the day, just the concept. I was out for my morning walk when I heard my cell phone go … “Bing.” No one texts me during the day. I thought great, another solicitor telling me that because I recently stayed at a Marriott Hotel or some casino resort, that I won some kind of prize. Wrong Toni…that’s the EX and his girlfriend. I get those annoying robo calls all the time. I wish there was a person on the other end. I’d give them the right number. 

But this time, it was my McDonald’s app telling me that because the Texas Rangers hit a homerun or something like that, that I could get a free double cheeseburger that day only. Guess what I had for lunch? Yep!

Lunch! A whopping $1.08. Score!

Afterwards, I walked over to Albertson’s…now Tom Thumb and checked out the bargains. Avocados were only 48 cents, yes, really. All kinds of other great bargains. Frosted Flakes, 99 cents for a big box, strawberries 99 cents, and canned corn and diced tomatoes, I think 39 or 49 cents. There were limits on how many you could get, but I took full advantage.

I took some of these to my senior friend Miss Eleanor. She doesn’t get out to the store very often, so when I find a great bargain, I pick up fresh fruit and veggies and stop by for a short visit.

Then, last week when I went over the the Little Free Pantry in front of HUGS on the square to drop some things off, the shelves were pretty bare. So, I stopped over there today with the Frosted  Flakes and a bunch of canned goods. I was happy to see the shelves had a few more items today. I like the motto…Take what you need, leave what you can…

I only spent around $28 at the store, but it was enough for me, and enough to share with a friend and others in need. And besides, I had a free double cheeseburger, so I wasn’t that hungry.

It has been my experience that when you share your blessings with others, you are blessed tenfold. It’s true.

When I walked back to my car, guess what was there waiting for me right next to the driver’s side door! A lucky penny from heaven.