Tag Archives: children

Wednesday:) Where Was Miss Toni? Holy Family School With Helene

12 May

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” ~Nelson Mandela

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Yesterday, Helene and I made our monthly pilgrimage to Holy Family School on the east side of town. The quaint little non-profit preschool has been a Godsend to working parents all around McKinney. With a beautiful Christian based atmosphere, children from babies to pre-schoolers are lovingly cared for.

Helene and I have been gathering up fun snacks and drinks and baby supplies for a few years now. When we see a great sale for the kiddos, we add it to our stash, then we plan a day around once a month to visit and drop off the goodies. Our friends June and Linda went with us last month and have started adding to our contributions.

Holy Family School has become our little family away from home.
The staff is always happy to see us and they truly appreciate our visits.
We had a trunk load of goodies to share with our little friends.

After our drop off, we stepped out back to see how the Community Kitchen and gardens were coming along. It’s so neat that the children get to see the vegetables growing right in their own back yard behind the school.

I bet the kiddos enjoy watering and watching things grow.
The pretty playground overlooks the gardens, providing a fun safe environment for these beautiful children. The little ones were all napping when we arrived, so we didn’t get any kiddie photos this time.
Here’s a cool photo from their Facebook page. Look at those smiles.

After our stop at Holy Family, Helene and I have a tradition of stopping at One and Only Burger for the best fresh French fries in town.

This is one medium order of French fries. That’s enough for two or three hungry people. That’s all we ordered and split it. And, that’s all I ate all day. Yum! So good.
After we rolled out of One and Only Burger, we stopped at “The Purple Store,” that it is known by, but actually the real name is the Samaritan Inn Thrift Store. I’m always on the hunt for a unique glass bowl for next year’s Empty Bowls auction. I didn’t find the perfect one yet, but I did find a bowl for an artist Collectors Club that might work. I’ll keep looking.

And, don’t forget …Tomorrow, Thursday May 12, 6-8 pm, is the Annual Empty Bowls Event on the McKinney Square.

Wow! That first bowl looks really amazing. I wonder who the talented artist is? 🤦‍♀️ 👩🏻‍🎨 The high bid is only at $400. And, it’s a very fun charity event for a very worthy cause. “Feeding the hungry, one bowl at a time.” (More on that tomorrow.)

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Thursday:) “These Little Children”

1 Oct

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Jesus speaking Mark 9:37 NIV

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Helene and I stopped over at Holy Family School the other day. We try and get over there about once a month with our fabulous finds of snacks, cereal, juice, baby necessities, or art supplies for the children. Every month is a fun adventure of shopping sales for the school.

The best part of our adventure is visiting the school with all our special treats and the smiling faces that greet us.

Miss Rachel helped us carry in all our bags.
Miss Sondra was just about to have her lunch when we popped in.
The children were up in their classrooms, but here is an old photo that shows exactly why we do what we do. Look at those beautiful smiling faces.

The video below tells a little bit about the wonderful non-profit faith-based pre-school.

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Jesus speaking Mark 9:37 NIV

Friday:) Family~ Four Generations

17 Dec

“I see the reflection of my heart and soul in your eyes.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“What kind of legacy will you leave behind? What will your children and your children’s children say about you? How will you be remembered? Will your life and decisions have inspired others to do better? Life is too short to postpone it – choose to be positive today.” 

― Lindsey Rietzsch

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My mother has been my inspiration, role model, and best friend all my life. She has always been there for me. This famous quote from Abraham Lincoln best describes my relationship with Mom. “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 

I’d like to think that I’ve been a good daughter. I was blessed with two children of my own. Hopefully, I have been an inspiration, role model, and friend to my two sons. They are both talented, smart, and caring grown men. (I know they got that from me.)

Now, my eldest son has recently become a father. I am so excited for him and his lovely wife. There is no question that he will love and cherish his child, and will be an excellent role model to his new baby daughter. 

I can’t wait to get a photo of all four generations together. Coming soon…I hope. This will be a very Merry Christmas.


I look forward to the next generation.


Sunday Sermon:) Family

28 Dec

“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.” 
― Lisa Wingate

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Today, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family. The Gospel from Luke was about Jesus remaining behind in the temple during the family pilgrimage to Jerusalem when he was twelves years old, and Mary and Joseph were distraught looking for him. 

Father noted that even Jesus was taught to pray and show respect by his parents, and that it is the responsibility of parents to teach their children by example. Father also mentioned that families are in jeopardy in today’s society by many outside influences.

My take on it…love your children, teach them the importance of faith, family, honesty, and love, but these can only be taught by example. A book, not even “The Good Book” can teach these values without a teacher, a role model. 

  
I am very proud of my children. My sons have grown to be caring, honest, loyal young men. Best of all… They love their mamma. They treat me with such tenderness and respect, and for that I am truly thankful and feel very blessed. Not to be boastful, but I do believe that they learned by example and they saw how much I loved them and how I loved and treated others. They saw my strong faith and loyalty and family values. (Thank God they learned from their mother.) 

Matt has been here with me for Christmas and we have been having a great time. After Mass, I stopped at Sprouts for a few things. Matt made us a light breakfast of avocado toast with cucumber, (vegetarian)  then we went to see the movie, “The Big Short.” Interesting movie about the big stock market crash of ’08. 

We also stopped at Home Depot where Matt bought me a little tree that I can plant in my tiny naked back yard.

  
He has a lot of work to do for the office while he is “supposedly” on vacation, so in between working on projects that need to get done before he goes back to Chicago, we’ve been doing fun things together. (At least fun for me.) Matt and I went to dinner at Harry’s on the Harbor in Stonebridge tonight. Having a designated driver is fun. I had a Bellini with my chicken fried steak. Oh my! It was delicious.

  
 
So, in honor of the Feast of the Holy Family, I feel very blessed to have a such a wonderful family. 

 “Your children are the greatest gift that God will give you.” Can I hear an “Amen?”

Friday: From Chaos to Calm

3 Jan

“Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting.”
― Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Demon in My View
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The holidays can be bitter-sweet. I loved the preparation, decorating, baking, cooking, and anticipation this year. The kids were coming to visit. I was over the moon with excitement. We spent days just sprawled around the TV, eating snacks, watching movies and watching massive quantities of football. Just like the old days. I was in heaven.

My tidy, organized little house was now piled high with shoes, coats, bags, boxes, suitcases and blankets. The counters were crammed with crackers, cookies, fruit, veggies, and clutter. The fridge was so packed that the pecan pie tried to fly out every time I opened the door. It was wonderful!!!

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I smiled every time I saw all the shoes strewn about. I missed the mess that comes with family and kids running around, even big kids.

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The kids are gone, the house is quiet, and the chaos is now cold and calm. I DONT LIKE IT!!! Who’s going to eat all this food?

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A Special Mother’s Day Sunday

12 May

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”
― Kristin Hannah, Summer Island
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What a beautiful quote. It represents my thoughts exactly. My mother is the sun and the moon! We talk on the phone everyday, and I can’t imagine starting my day without her sweet voice and soft giggles. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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This morning at 9o’clock Mass, there was also a baptism of two baby girls. The entire congregation celebrated the welcoming of these two young souls into the arms of Christianity. I thought of my two sons on their baptismal days. It takes many people to raise a child. I also realized that mothers are more than just women who gave us life. There are all those grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, nurses, doctors, teachers and friends who nurture each child. And believe me, a woman’s heart and love cannot be equalled.

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When I got home, I had a missed call from Joe. We played phone tag a couple of times, but then we finally got to talk. I thanked him for the flowers he sent and he thanked me for being a great mom. Later, Matt called and asked if I received his flowers. I hadn’t, but as we spoke the doorbell rang, and there they were. I live for the phone calls, to hear their voices, to share their days.

My sons are far away, but tucked close to my heart every day. Mother’s Day is everyday when you have an amazing mother and are blessed with wonderful children. And today, I have beautiful flowers everywhere to brighten my day.

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Saturday: Sons and Sentiment

12 Jan

There is no stronger love in this world than the love a mother feels for her children. She cries for them, she worries about them, she would die for them.
-Unknown
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My two sons have always been my my greatest joy. Some thirty years have passed since the first cry, diapers, teething and sleepless nights, but it still seems like yesterday. Where does the time go? Spending this weekend with them has been the vital energy and spiritual boost that my soul has thirsted for. Gosh, that sounds kinda mushy, doesn’t it? Well, it is!

Yesterday was my birthday and spending it with my boys was the best gift ever. I took the train downtown to meet them. We trudged through the snow to Joe’s apartment, where we decided to order Pizano’s deep dish pizza instead of slushing back out for dinner. Then we watched “Fiddler on the Roof.” If you’ve never had deep dish pizza, well, basically it has a wonderful crunchy crust with 500 pounds of mozzarella cheese mixed with a fresh crushed tomato sauce. Maybe I’m exaggerating about the 500 pounds of cheese, that is more like how many pounds you gain in a weekend here in Chicago.

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Today, we went to a movie. I hadn’t been to a movie in six months. We saw “Saving Mr. Banks.” I’ll admit that I’m not a huge Tom Hanks fan, but this was rather interesting. I even had a few tears slip down a couple times, but that’s just me. It really wasn’t a sad movie. I think my sentimental mood attributed to the tears.

Here is a cool view from the movie theatre window. I was watching Joe and Lindsay walk from their apartment. They are very close to the theatre, which is awesome for Joe, the big movie buff. Look at this scenic photo. There are two little people specs walking about mid-left of the photo and the red and white center brick building is where they live. Cool!

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We walked around a while after the movie, then what do you think we did next? Well, we went out for dinner, of course. We walked pretty much everywhere, which is the nice part about living in a big city. As we trudged through the slushy streets, I couldn’t help but think about the reversal of roles that takes place in life. My boys were taking care of me, holding my hand and helping me across the streets, paying for my meals, and worrying about me. Yes, this is a beautiful sentimental feeling. Just like a mother’s love, I believe my sons would cry for me, worry about me, and would die for me. I adore my children! I am truly blessed!

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Sittin’ Around Sunday: Happy Mother’s Day

12 May

Hey, it’s Mother’s Day! Just another excuse to sell cards, flowers, and candy? Maybe, but let’s face it, everyone has or had a mother at one time or another. Sadly, some don’t know who their moms were, others wish they didn’t know them, (a few zillion teenagers, I’m sure) and some people like me have the best mom in the whole wide world.

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Love ya, Mom!

It’s already after 5pm, and I haven’t done anything all day besides sip tea, read the paper, check my emails, and peruse my Facebook page. Wait a minute, I do that every Sunday! So, how is today special? Well, today both my sons called and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. I always enjoy hearing from them, but I was feeling a bit sorry for my self. (Boo-hoo.) Phone calls are great, but you can’t tie them up with a pink ribbon and put them in the drawer next to the baby shoes and noodle necklaces. I kept thinking, “Why can’t they send a stinkin’ card? Would it kill them to pop into Walgreens and pick up a stinkin card?”

I convinced myself that I should be content. I have two wonderful sons who love me. Just get over it! Then, during my lengthy conversation with Joe, he asked, “Did you get my card?” Oh my! I said, “I got the mail yesterday. Didn’t see a card.” Well, now I was excited. A card? He sent a card! He DID think of me, stopped at the store and bought a stinkin’ card. That really made my day! Maybe I’ll get it tomorrow. After we spoke, I walked over to the front door and found a large priority mail envelope outside on the porch. The mailman probably couldn’t fit it in the mailbox and left it out front.

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So now, I’m happy as a clam, (not sure why clams are happy) sitting around watching endless, mindless episodes of the “Jesse Stone” marathon on the Hallmark Channel, (I love Tom Selleck) listening to the birds chirp, writing this blog, and enjoying a wonderful Mother’s Day. Have a great day!

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Theme Song Thursday

3 May

My youngest son is visiting from Chicago for a few days. He is kind, considerate, and unassuming. He had plans with his dad for almost every minute of his four day stay.(Dad’s plans of course) But, he suggested that they meet Mom (That’s my boy) for lunch after golf and before going to the Rangers/White Sox game. Unfortunately, the Texas weather is unseasonably cold and rainy for a few days, and his stay will be yucky outside, but my heart is all warm and fuzzy inside because my baby is here. My baby is a couple months shy of thirty, but to me he is still my little boy.

Child of Mine by Carole King

Although you see the world different than me
Sometimes I can touch upon the wonders that you see
All the new colors and pictures you’ve designed
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

You don’t need direction, you know which way to go
And I don’t want to hold you back, I just want to watch you grow
You’re the one who taught me you don’t have to look behind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Nobody’s gonna kill your dreams
Or tell you how to live your life
There’ll always be people to make it hard for a while
But you’ll change their heads when they see you smile

The times you were born in may not have been the best
But you can make the times to come better than the rest
I know you will be honest if you can’t always be kind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine,
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

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Can You Learn From Your Children?

27 Jan

They say the best way to influence your children is to teach them by example. But, what if children are trying to teach their parents by example?

I always tried to be a good example to my two sons. I like to think that both my husband and I are kind, generous, and all around good people. My sons have turned out to be genuinely wonderful men, and yes, I’m prejudiced, but I think everyone would agree.

Here is where the table have been turned. Both my sons are vegans, and have been for quite a while. Where did I go wrong? They eat mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, and very rarely eat junk food. This means no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. Basically, it must come from the dirt to the table. This from the little boys who begged to have hot dogs or burgers everyday if they couldn’t go to McDonalds.

I have been scolded and schooled on the evils of meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, etc. “Mom, do you know how they treat and butcher those animals?” I’ve been given many Christmas gifts of books and DVDs on the subject. Their well-meaning gestures and pressures have influenced me somewhat, but my bad habits and taste buds are not completely convinced. Sometimes it’s a good thing that they live hundreds of miles away so they can’t check up on me all the time.

All their advice is sound and reasonable, but I can’t do it all cold turkey. I drink almond milk, gave up soda (most of the time), basically no desserts (unless it’s my birthday, or someone else’s birthday, or the girl scouts are selling cookies), I’ve cut back on meat consumption. As my mother-in-law used to say, “Better like nothing.”

Thank you, boys, for trying to lead by example. Maybe if you lived a little closer and visited more often, you could be better role models. Hint..hint!

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