Tag Archives: family

Sunday Sermon and Baby Belle’s First Birthday

4 Dec

“May you only know joy and laughter

And live happily ever after

When each day and night are through

May all of you dreams come true.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This morning I had the pleasure of my first visit to St. Thomas Moore Church in Elgin, I woke up pretty early to get to 8 o’clock Mass. Normally I attend 10:30 Mass with Mom here at The Greens, but I needed to get on the road for Belle’s first birthday party and naming ceremony at 11.

The church was lovely, with a modern flair.

Today’s Gospel was the story about Jesus telling us to be watchful.


MK 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Be watchful! Be alert!

You do not know when the time will come.

It is like a man traveling abroad.

He leaves home and places his servants in charge,

each with his own work,

and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.

Watch, therefore;

you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,

whether in the evening, or at midnight,

or at cockcrow, or in the morning.

May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.

What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

My take on it…just be ready all the time folks. We never know what day will be our last. Be good, kind, honest and love one another. And you know what? Leading a good life doesn’t cost you anything. Love and kindness and honesty and goodness are free to give and receive.

NOW! For Baby Belle’s first birthday. My beautiful granddaughter will be one year old on December 5th. A very special day for me. There was a fun pizza birthday party at Il Forna in Deerfield. Belle’s first pizza. She likes it. Her daddy never liked pizza.

There was a beautiful and emotional naming ceremony during the party.

I have been very blessed with two fine sons, a lovely daughter-in-law, and an adorable granddaughter. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends. I count my blessings every day. More so today.

Belle was tired by the end of the day. Or maybe she just didn’t want the party to end.

Theme Song Thursday:) Fa La La La La

1 Dec

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

Franz Kafka


Another fun-filled day with Mom here at The Greens of Elgin. They celebrated the end of the month Birthday part for all the November birthdays. Cake and ice cream. You don’t have to ask me twice. Mom and I have a great cake relationship. She doesn’t like the frosting, so she scoops it off and gives it to me. I eat her frosting and mine and leave the cake.

After my breakfast of cake and ice cream, we went back upstairs and I was back to work on painting my ornaments. Many hours to go. I’ll keep you posted.

There was entertainment at 7:15, so I good time to take a break from painting. A charming group of students from Judson University, just down the road. It was a string quartet plus one. The director invited her son, an alumni, to join the group.

It’s so nice when young people share their talent and time with others, especially these lovely seniors who appreciate the music and love to sing along.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

30 Nov

“Family and friends are the feast for the soul.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, here I am in Elgin with my sweet Mom. I slept like a baby in my Mom’s house, because… I am the baby. A very old baby, but “Im the baby, gotta love me.” Some of you may remember that old TV show, if not, look it up. It’s really cute.

There’s nothing more comforting than being nestled in your mother’s arms. I really do have the sweetest mother in the world, and many of my friends and family out there would thoroughly agree.

My BEST FRIEND and me….

Very short and sweet posts. The internet is terrible here.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Taking It On The Road

29 Nov

“And then it happens all at once and unexpectedly. That is how things happen, I suppose. You pack your bags and find yourself walking yourself home.”

Shannon L. Alder


An early morning of packing, cleaning and hitting the road. You might ask, “Why didn’t you pack last night, Miss Toni?” The response would be because I was washing clothes at midnight and some things that were getting packed were still damp. Oh, then I have this habit of cleaning bathrooms, mopping floors, wiping counters, and general housecleaning in the morning before I get in the shower. Old habits.

It was a beautiful warm sunny morning when Karen pulled up to take me to the airport. There I stood with a long sweater and my yellow Notre Dame hooded winter jacket. I’m going to Chicago in the end of November. It will be freezing, right? Wrong! It was in the 60’s when I arrived. But, it won’t stay like that for long.

We got to the airport a good two hours before departure. That’s perfect. I like to get there plenty early to allow for crowds, problems, or meeting new people. Today, I walked around over by my gate, deciding what to do with my time. Hmm… right across from D22 was a chapel. That was something different, I’ve never been to the airport chapel. I sat and spent a little quiet prayer time there, all alone.

The flight was smooth and flew by quickly. (A little airline humor.)

I had an enormous American Airline breakfast of a cup of orange juice and 20 mini pretzels. Wow! I’m still full…not!

My sister picked me up at O’Hare, and traffic was smooth. We stopped at the store for some groceries, which included a lot of very healthy fruit and vegetables. We also got ice cream and apple turnovers. A balanced diet.

The best part of the long journey was getting to hug my sweet mother and spend time with her. It will be a great visit. I’ll get to see my adorable granddaughter in a few days, and hug my friends and family that I haven’t seen since summer.

Coming to you live from Chicago.

“And then it happens all at once and unexpectedly. That is how things happen, I suppose. You pack your bags and find yourself walking yourself home.”

Shannon L. Alder

Thankful Thursday:) Happy Thanksgiving

24 Nov

“Every day should be Thanksgiving, and we should wake each day thinking what we are thankful for. But, man,,,I couldn’t eat like this every day. I’d explode,”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

~William Arthur Ward


Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November[1] in the United States. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, after Congress requested a proclamation by George Washington.[2] It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall/winter holiday season in the U.S.



I bet I can think of one thing you are thankful for today. You’re happy I didn’t post pictures of my turkey, and stuffing, and sweet potatoes, and all the other stuff. I’d need a wide angle lens, and I need one now for my selfie. So, I’ll spare you. It was a good day, with calls from my sons, talks with family and friends, a good meal and a beautiful sunset. There are so many people who go hungry every day. I feel truly blessed with good food, good friends, and a wonderful family.

Here is what I’m thankful for…

At the end of the day, my heart is full of joy, my eyes are full of beauty, my belly is full of good food. You can say, as my mother often does, “Why, you’re just full of it.”

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

Now, something funny.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

10 Oct

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.” ― Mother Teresa


Another wonderful week.  But, then again, when isn’t it wonderful? Well, maybe those wasted 3 1/2 hours sitting at the Social Security Office. A birthday party for a friend, painting, a free concert, won a fabulous raffle prize, karaoke every Thursday, went to court just for fun, friends, and family. That’s what it’s all about.

A week in a peek…

Saturday:) Somos Familia~ Hispanic Heritage Day Festival

16 Sep

“The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.”

~ Maya Angelou


I like to think that we are all related in one way or another. People are people. Why do we have to judge or comment about heritage. I think we should be proud and celebrate our heritage, but we’re Americans. Right? We can celebrate both, all, and celebrate each other.

There have been many times that I’ve seen people’s mouths drop open when I say that I’m Mexican-American. They look at me and say, “NO WAY!” There were a few times when acquaintances or neighbors would make comments about Mexicans that weren’t always that complimentary, and I would just say with a smile, “I’m Mexican!” Well, the room would get very quiet and I would ask, “And you were saying?” Either nothing was added or they’d say, “Well, not you, Toni.” I just laugh, but hopefully they will think differently or think twice.

Today, there was a festival at the John and Judy Gay Public Library, celebrating  Hispanic Heritage Day, was hosted by McKinney Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  and Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The festival celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The parking lot was packed and I ended up climbing up the curb and parking on the grass along with many others. The first person I ran into was my good friend, Gilda Garza. She was on the city council for a number of years, and has been and will always be very active in the community. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the great weather, fine music, and yummy food. And it wouldn’t be a McKinney event without bumping into my friend Sara Thomas.

Sara, Gilda, and moi. (Oh, and there’s the police chief doing a photo bomb in the left hand corner, right under Miss Sara’s ear. ) I should have had my sunglasses on. We could have been the Blues Sisters.

There were Folklorico Dancers and mariachis, and other dance and school groups performing.

Mayor George Fuller declared today McKinney Hispanic Heritage Day, presenting the certificate to the Gonzales family.  They have made many contributions to the city of McKinney for decades, as teachers, nurses, business men, and activists in the community, and they have been a part of what makes our city one of the best places to live in the country.

St. Gabriel’s Knights of Columbus served hot dogs and spicy fries. I saw a few familiar faces from 9 o’clock Mass.

There were vendors, realtors, insurance angencies, free blood pressure screenings, and raffle drawings. Several beautiful children’s bikes were given away as prizes for the coloring contest. Not that many children entered, so the chances of winning a bike were pretty darn good today.

Officers Guerrero and Guzman were at hand to answer questions and greet people. Oh, not only do they serve and protect, I needed to ask an officer to open my stubborn water bottle for me. That’s part of the “serve” in the motto, I guess.

It was a fine day with friends and a fine festival to celebrate heritage…mine, yours, ours.