Tag Archives: Christmas

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Merry Christmas Peek

28 Dec

“Thank goodness that Christmas only comes around once a year, because I’m exhausted. I’ll need an entire year to catch my breath.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was a busy week with little ones running around, Christmas excitement, and toys everywhere. Did you know that the average 3 and 5 year old says, “I’m hungry ,” about 37 times a day, and never at the same time? I recently found that out, 🤦‍♀️

A week in a crazy Christmas peek…

Happy Monday, my friends.

Merry Christmas to All and to all a Safe Night

26 Dec

“This has been, by far, the weirdest, most outrageous, really bizarre crazy Christmas in my lifetime.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It certainly has been a strange scary year, and I’m sure 2020 will be in the record books for all kinds of things. Let’s just pray that 2021 will turn out to be better and safer.

I was pretty sad, it being able to travel to Chicago to be with family and friends this Christmas, but I’m hoping we will all stay healthy and safe, and next year will bring us together. So, when I woke up this morning, I sauntered over to my little tree and opened up all the presents that had been sent. I’m one of those traditionalists that likes to save presents for the occasion.

My first gift to open was from my son Joe, Lindsay and the girls. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a new Notre Dame sweatshirt. My sister Donna sent me some hand sewn masks and a lovely garnet ring.
More gifts from friends.
And MORE gifts from friends.
And of course, I got to FaceTime with the cutest little girls on the planet. I am SO blessed.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOODNIGHT!

And guess what day it is???? Yes! Merry Black Russian Friday. Cheers!

Wednesday:)What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni.

24 Dec

“It wouldn’t be Christmas without some baking, brownies and chocolate for sharing.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I wasn’t going to bake this Crazy Covid Christmas, but it just wouldn’t feel like the holidays. Here ya go…

Here’s my un-recipe. I don’t measure, just eye ball it. Works every time.
Here’s what’s left. I already gave away three containers.

Merry Crazy Covid Chocolate Christmas.

Wednesday:)What Christmas Is Really About

17 Dec

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.

Thomas S. Monson


My favorite part of Christmas, besides spending time with family, of course, is giving and sharing, and seeing the gleam in the eyes of the recipient. This year, I don’t get to see any family, but I am blessed with friends who have become family over the years.

I’ve spent a few weeks gathering up fun little treasures, snacks, drinks, and crafty things for our senior art friends at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. My friend Krys gave me a whole bunch of hand crocheted scarves for the ladies, and my friend Linda made a bunch of glitzy face masks. Helene shared big bags, ribbons, and other goodies.

I spent about four or five hours sorting, wrapping, boxing and bagging all the treasure. I blasted Christmas songs and sang along as I joyfully worked. Helene came over this afternoon and we wrote out cards, labeled, finished up, and ribboned up the boxes and bags. Then, off to Towne Creek we went, with a quick stop at Holy Family with a special gift donation.

Here’s how I started.

Kelly, the director and a good friend, greeted us at the door. We knocked on a few doors and dropped off our gifts. There is no better feeling than seeing those twinkling eyes under a smiling mask.

Miss Kelly sure makes Towne Creek an enjoyable place to live.
You see those smiles? That’s what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas All and To All a Good Night~ Elvis Has Left the Building

26 Dec

“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it — you feel it. You know it. You believe it.”

~Kevin Alan Milne


The house is always joyous and exciting on Christmas morning when there are little ones. The girls slept a little less ne’er than usual this morning, mostly because they both did some crying, and waking during the night. Everyone is still sick. This includes Gamma.

But, we all managed to open mounds of presents and throw wrapping paper all around. This is my beautiful family. I am truly blessed.

We all went to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant as per tradition.

” Where’s the food, folks! I’m getting hungry.”

After lunch, it was a perfect day for a walk. Who would ever think that the Chicago area would be sunny and in the 50’s on Christmas Day? I don’t think anyone was disappointed that there was no white Christmas.

We spent a couple of hours making Christmas cookies. There’s a funny story that goes along with that. I’ll have to save that for tomorrow.

Now, the children are nestled and snug in their beds while the grown ups are watching tv and shaking their heads, “All this commotion for one day?” Yes, and making new memories and following old traditions,

Back to the real world. And, I guess my last day of Elvis on the Shelvis.

Elvis has left the building. Merry Christmas from Elvis on the Shelvis…

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night

26 Dec

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder


Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful day. I spent the day with my family. It was so fun to watch Belle open her presents and drive in her Little Tykes car. I got to hold the baby and enjoy a lot of quality Gamma time.

Montage Merry Christmas Monday:) A Week In A Peek

26 Dec

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

~Andy Rooney


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. I hope your Christmas was merry and bright. Mine was.

Another wonderful week with friends and family, baking, cooking, and crafting. A week of kissing babies, and hugging family, unwrapping presents and thanking God for His blessings.

Sunday Sermon and a Merry Christmas~ a Good Way to Start Your Day 

26 Dec

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”


Christmas morning was very special to me, not because of piles of presents, lights, and decorations, but because of family. I spent Christmas Eve and day with my two sons, daughter-in-law, and our new tiny member, my first grand-daughter. 

This morning, my son, Joe, said that we could go to an early Mass at St. Norbert. He is up at 5 or 6 a.m. anyway. With a new baby and feedings and fussing every three hours or so, we went to 7:30 Mass. I assumed we needed to get there very early because it was Christmas morning. 

We were one of the first to arrive around 7. This gave us time to light the first candle in the dimly lit church. A candle of thanks for special blessings and gratitude for answered prayers. 

The Gospel, of course, was about the birth of Christ. Thus, the term Christmas. I won’t recount the story. It was a beautiful service with singing of all the well known Christmas songs. Merry Christmas. 

We stopped to pick up donuts and came back to a still quiet house. Presents were not opened until Lindsay’s mom arrived in the afternoon. The presents were mostly baby gifts, but the grandmas received beautiful framed photos.

The best Christmas present ever was being together with my family and endless hours holding my beautiful baby Belle. 

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”

Saturday:) Celebrating on the Square~ Home For the Holidays

27 Nov

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” 

― Laura Ingalls Wilder


The city of McKinney puts on an amazing Home for the Holidays festival. Yesterday was the tree lighting ceremony. I didn’t make it out for that, but I went down to the square tonight. It’s always great bumping into friends, watching the families laughing and celebrating, everyone in a festive holiday spirit. Arriving in the late afternoon, I was able to watch the sun set, changing the daytime mood into a nighttime festive glow.

    Who’s that with the Grinch?

    Bumped into friends Kelle, Lynda and Mary.

    My friend Brad Donaldson was showing his wonderful work in front of LAST Gallery.

    Kelle and I stopped at Sweet Spot Bakery for some hot chocolate and coffee. It was so busy, I barely had a minute to say hi to Kathy and Elizabeth.

    I’ll just share a few pictures.

    Nighttime magic.

    McKinney does it right, day and night. A fun day on the square.

    Friday:) Finally Christmas Day

    26 Dec

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


    The cookies are all baked and dispensed, (except for a few dozen that mysteriously disappeared inside my tummy) the dust bowl of flour and sugars and chaos that was my kitchen is straightened up, and the very best part of all…I picked Matt up from the airport late last night. Now, my Christmas is perfect. 

    I went for a quick walk this morning and the sun was warm and the skies were crystal blue. Matt and I went to see STAR WARS at noon. We expected a long line and a packed theatre, but neither happened. Good movie, no spoiler alerts, but there a few corny jokes and comments.
    Selfie at the theatre. Matt thinks I’m a nut, but that’s ok, because I am. 

    It was a beautiful afternoon, so Matt went for a run and I took another walk. We are just sitting around watching TV, chatting, and eating snacks. I opened my presents that Joe and Lindsay sent, and the box from Lin with fun personalized gifts. I always like to wait for Christmas Day to open presents.


    Lin is always so thoughtful. Now I can see her cute face when I drink my tea every morning.

    A new Notre Dame sweatshirt and other goodies from Joe and Lindsay.

    And the best gift of all, my son Matt sitting next to me on Christmas Day.

    My 12 Days of Christmas “Pay it Forward” challenge is over, but you know me, I’ll continue to pay it forward and do random acts of kindness all year round. I had some wonderful experiences and made a lot of people smile. It isn’t always about expensive gifts and things that come from the store. Just like the Grinch said…

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 

    ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!