Tag Archives: family

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

27 Sep

“Beautiful Mondays are in the eye of the beholder, especially when you are busy beholding the beginning of another beautiful week.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another wonderful week. And guess what? It’s cooled off a little with highs only going to be in the 80’s this week. Yay!

A week in a peek….

Thankful Thursday:) How Did I Miss World Gratitude Day?

23 Sep

“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


I just saw a post on my friend Sherri’s Facebook page that yesterday was World Gratitude Day. How did I miss that? It was t just a National day, it a “World Day.” Originally, I was going to post about Thankful Thursday, but now I can also catch up, a day late, on Gratitude Day.

I am grateful that I have great friends to remind me why I should be grateful, not just on September 21st, but EVERY day.
I do wake up each day and end each day with a grateful heart. ❤️ I have an awesome family and wonderful friends.

An ancient tradition suggests that everyone should count at least one hundred blessings a day. It’s good advice since there are so many benefits.

Have you ever known a person who radiated positivity? They attract people from all around to them with their cheerful nature and friendly disposition. You, too, can be like that person whom you so admire. What does it take? You should cut the negativity out of your life and usher in more positive thinking.

To achieve this, you can start by taking inventory of all the reasons why you should be more grateful every day.

1 – Positive people have a happier view of life

When you count your blessings, you have a happier view of your life. You’re more grateful for what you have and for those around you. Researchers suggest that being thankful changes your brain for the better. It boosts your happiness and makes you a more positive person.


So, the ancient tradition of counting a hundred blessings each day may be difficult for some, but, I bet if you sat down and started to write them all down, you’d come up with more than a hundred. I know I could. It doesn’t have to be a brand new list each day.

Here’s a good challenge for you… get a sheet of paper or open your notes or reminder app on your phone and start to list 100 people and things you are grateful for. Keep that list handy and once you have 100 items listed, start out each day re-reading that list. That should make you happier, healthier, and it changes your brain. I think we could all use a change.

I’m going to start my list today.

1. God

2. Joe

3. Matt…..

And the list goes on and on. At least 50 family members, hundreds of friends, hundreds of blessings. And of course, YOU. I might get up to 1,000.

Happy Thankful Thursday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

20 Sep

“Mondays are the potholes in the road of life.”

~Tom Wilson


Another fun busy week in a peek…

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

5 Sep

“I hope you’re having a great Labor Day and not laboring too much.”



A week in a peek filled with sharing, caring, old friends, new friends, and endless blessings…

Did you say Happy Labrador Weekend?

Thursday:) Thought Provoking Words of Wisdom From My Fabulous Facebook Friends

1 Sep

“There have been so many good days and so many bad days, but today is the best day I’ll have until tomorrow.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”

~Jack Canfield


I don’t know about you, but I really get inspired by many of the quotes and words of wisdom shared by my many Facebook friends. I just checked, and I currently have 730 close and personal Facebook friends. I think half of them are relatives. I have a lot of relatives. (Just kidding.) But, I do enjoy keeping up with their photos, life events, travels, tragedies and happy times. It makes me feel close to people that I rarely get to see in person.

Sometimes, I am even inspired to make a phone call or two to afore mentioned people. I just got off the phone with Auntie Ann. Actually, she’s my awesome sister-in-law who moved to Colorado, but my sons and I still call her Auntie Ann. We haven’t talked since her birthday on May. Sweet lady. (If you miss someone, and they’re in your thoughts, give them a call.)

So, a few thoughtful words of wisdom from family and friends.

Create your own happiness. No one can do it for you.
Watch out what you say to yourself and others. Be kind.
I like that… “If you want more kindness in the world, put it there.” YOU… you can make a difference.
“Never regret a day in your life…” That’s one of my favorites. I wouldn’t change a thing. There have been so many good days and so many bad days, but today is the best day I’ll have until tomorrow.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

29 Aug

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

~John Lennon


A lovely Sunday morning. But, I woke with a nagging headache, more like a lingering migraine that I had since yesterday, but I took yet another Tylenol and got ready for church. Distraction and fresh air always helps. Greeting at the door before 9 o’clock Mass always brightens my day.

Father Cristian has a very charismatic charm about him, with his distinctive Spanish accent combined with a pleasant sense of humor.

Today’s Gospel was the parable about how a guest being invited to a wedding should not choose a place of honor…

Gospel, Luke 14:1, 7-14

1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.7He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this,8 ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited,9 and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you willhave to go and take the lowest place.10 No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” Then, everyone with you at the table willsee you honoured.11 For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.’12 Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you.13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;14 then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.’


My take on it… always be humble and considerate instead of arrogant and boastful. Your reward is knowing your own worth, and others will see that too.

After Mass, I stopped for coffee at McD with Patricia. Rich joined us later. When I was standing in line, a familiar face walked in the door. She said hello, recognizing me from greeting at church. I introduced myself. Her name is JoAnn. That’s my sister’s name, so I won’t forget. You can see someone a hundred times, but if you don’t introduce yourself, you are just passing ships in the proverbial night. After she placed her order, I slipped my credit card into the little machine and paid for her breakfast. She was pleasantly surprised and grateful. She said she would pay it forward. Nice.

Miss JoAnn. Sweet smile.

I spent some time visiting and chatting with friends until noon, when I was going back to church for a Connection-Orientation meeting. Father Don and Connection Ministry wanted to welcome new parishioners and talk to those interested in different ministries after 11 o’clock Mass. There was a quick lunch, slide presentation, question-answer session and guided tour of the sanctuary. Helene joined me there. She went to 11 o’clock.

I chatted with some new parishioners at lunch, extolling the praises of St. Gabriel and the ministries available. One couple had young children, and they were interested in the children’s programs. They were originally from Mexico, so I got to practice my rusty Spanish. Hopefully that didn’t dissuade them. Father Don escorted us outside, and told us about all the statues, gardens, and architecture. Then, he walked us through the sanctuary, pointing out the meaning of each stained glass window, etc. We see these walls and windows every Sunday, but when you know the meaning behind each piece of artful architecture, it’s so much more meaningful.
I was especially impressed and inspired, seeing as I have sketched and drawn many of these windows and statues. There are still many more to draw.

It was a fine Sunday, ending with a nice FaceTime call with the granddaughters.

Daddy put together a new LEGO table and station for them, and they were having fun playing. Sweet little faces.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) Friends and Family

25 Aug

“I am Very thankful for my wonderful family and my awesome friends who are like family. And, I got to pick the friends all by myself.“

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many interesting people as I walk through this winding mysterious glorious life on planet earth. When I was a kid, I always thought by 2001, A Space Odyssey would be a reality by now. But alas, we are still stuck on this planet and we are not driving in flying cars on Mars. Darn! But, that’s OK. I’ve met some interesting earthlings in my travels.

Last week, I finally got to meet up with Kathy Todryk. We have been Facebook friends for a while, but never ever met in person. We met for coffee on the Square at Layered. She is an Optavia health and wellness coach, and has helped many many people lose weight, get fit, and stay that way. She is very inspirational and spiritual, and loves to share her philosophy on wellness, both in body and spirit. It was the first, of I hope many more visits. Thank you Kathy.

After our coffee visit, I went over to the McKinney Visitor Center. I was hoping to find Beth Shumate busy at work behind her desk. Yay! She was there and came out to chat a few minutes. It’s good to catch up with what’s happening around McKinney, and Beth is the go to person for that.

If you need any McKinney or Texas type souvenirs, maps and brochures, Visit McKinney has all kinds of cool stuff. Especially cards and licensed gifts and souvenirs created by my good friend and awesome artist, Kim Guthrie.
Today, I stopped over to visit Miss Joni, to take her a hand painted birthday gift. Happy birthday Joni. (More on how to paint the vase another time.) I’m not sure if it’s 29 or 30, something like that. I got the grand tour of their newly constructed and decorated backyard beach themed bar and living space. So cool.
The neat part is Joni and Bob live just a few blocks away from me. So, when they’re out of town, I can sneak over and hang out in their back yard.
Shhhh! Don’t tell them. Maybe they won’t find out. (Unless they notice a lot of liquor is missing.)

I am very thankful for these new friends and old friends. I am thankful for my beautiful family who keep me grounded and well loved. My blessings are many.

This afternoon, I went over to church for Adoration and a little Sanctuary sketching time. It’s so peaceful and inspirational. I had quite a few names and intentions to add to the prayer book. I lit my candle, thinking of my intentions, and worked on my sketching. (More on that another day.)

Happy Thankful Thursday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

23 Aug

“Well, I prayed for rain, but I forgot to put in a stop order.” 🤦‍♀️🙏🏼



If you know me, you know that I don’t watch the news. Today, I received a dozen or more calls and texts from friends around the country concerned about flooding in the Dallas area. I am about an hour north of Dallas, and we just got a nice well needed, sweet, steady and welcomed rain. No flooding. I guess the national news reported serious flooding in Texas. I had no idea. I’m lucky to have good friends who worry about me.

Well, here’s a week in a not too rainy Peek…. Have a great week, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

21 Aug

“When the gate is too narrow, just squeeze under the fence.”

-Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A lovely Sunday. I took an umbrella with me to church, but alas, no rain. Darn!

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus explaining to His followers who will be saved…


Lk 13:22-30Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

My take on it…it’s not enough to just say that you believe in the Lord , you have to walk the walk and live the life.

After Mass, Helene, Jerry, Patricia and I stopped at McD for coffee.

Still no rain. I’m still waiting. I may have to go outside and do the rain dance. 🤦‍♀️

A nice Sunday FaceTime call with the granddaughters.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) SOOOO Many Blessings

19 Aug

“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”

Steve Maraboli


I have so many things to be thankful for, and at the very top of my list is my amazing family. I am truly blessed. Everyone has been posting back to school photos, so I thought I’d get in on the action.

Look at that smile. I’m one proud grandma.
Then, besides an awesome family, we received a beautiful downpour of rain this afternoon. I was so optimistic that I took an umbrella with me when I went out this morning. The power of positive thinking. That, and a lot of prayer and my Navajo rain dance.
Singing in the rain!

So much to be thankful for!