Tag Archives: family

Sunday:) Signs From Heaven and a Sermon

22 Feb

Three years ago today, a beautiful memory and miracle worth repeating. I was in Chicago with my family, making arrangement and preparing for the memorial service for my sweet angel mother. This miracle from Mom needs to be shared again.


If you don’t believe in angels

I’m here to say it’s true

There are angels up in heaven

They’re watching over you,

So, I asked my angel mother

I whispered in her ear

When you get up there in heaven

Please show us you are near.

If only you could send a sign

As only angels can

We will know you’re safe in heaven

And that you have a plan.

To watch and guard us every day

You’ll guide us from above

So, you left two lucky pennies

Beneath your painting, signed with love.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This is a true story of faith and love and angels. As my sweet mother grew weaker and less alert, my sister and I would talk to her and sing to her. I prayed the rosary out loud to comfort Mom during her final days in hospice. One of the last things I whispered in her ear was, “Please Mom, when you get up to heaven, could you show us a sign that you’re OK, that there really is a heaven? I know if anyone could do it, you could. I know you’ll always be my guardian angel.”

We’ve done a lot of crying since Mom passed away last week, but today, the crying was a celebration. Mom left us a sign. Those of you who know me, you already know that I believe in lucky pennies. They always appear out of nowhere when I need them most. I always look up to heaven and say, “Thank you.”

This afternoon, my sister and I went out for some lunch. We’ve spent days and days sorting and reminiscing and making arrangements and crying, It’s been a whirlwind, so it was good to get out of the house for a little while. My sister said, “Let’s go to the library so I can vote. They have early voting, and we can return Mom’s audio-books.”

Well, early voting hadn’t started yet, so we just returned the books and got a bit teary-eyed, because Mom loved the library and all the people. She had donated her very large “Cinco de Mayo” painting to the library several years ago. It takes up an entire wall on the second floor. When I asked my sister if she needed any books or videos while we were there, she said, “Not really, let’s just go home.” Then I said, “Should we go upstairs and see Mom’s mural before we go?” Of course, we needed to do that.

The elevator opened and we walked ever so slowly towards the mural.

There on the bench, right beneath her painting, were two lucky pennies from heaven. We both burst into tears as I blurted out, “Here’s our sign. I asked Mom to send us a sign. Here it is! Two pennies, not just one. What are the chances that they would be here waiting for us today, right beneath her painting?”

I hadn’t told my sister the story about asking Mom to send us a sign right before she passed away, until that moment. If she didn’t believe in angels before, I’m pretty sure she does now. We both knew Mom was an angel here on earth, but now, we both know that she’s up in heaven. She gave us a sign.

Thanks Mom.

So, for today’s Gospel according to Mark… Jesus was in the dessert for 40 days, tested by Satan. He was with wild beast, attended by angels. After John’s arrest, Jesus appears in Galilee, proclaiming The Good News, the reign of God is at hand.

My take on it… there will always be temptations by Satan, but if we remain faithful and strong, we will be honoring God and the Good News. We will be attended by angels.

I feel fortunate to be guided by angels here on earth, right now. Amen

Happy Sunday, my friends. I hope you believe in Angels too.

Monday:) Memories of Mom

16 Feb

“Three years ago today, another lovely angel was greeted at the gates of heaven.”-Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I wrote this poem three years ago when my amazing mother went to heaven. It’s a bitter-sweet memory and tribute to the kindest woman that ever walked the earth. I know she smiles down on me every day, and does her best to keep me out of trouble. (It’s a tough job, but she’s been known to perform miracles before.) LOVE YOU MOM❤️


There’s another angel in heaven

Today her soul took wing

She’s up in heaven dancing

While the other angels sing

All were waiting for her

Their arms stretched open wide

To greet my angel mother

There on the other side.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Words cannot express the extreme sadness nor the joy that heaven has found a new angel.

Love you Mom.

A short video of my sweet angel mother and her beautiful smile and laughing eyes……

I post this every year on this day. ❤️

Friday:) Family and Friends~ Best of 2020

6 Feb

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” ~ Mike Dooley


Today, I was looking back at my iPhone photos and waxing nostalgic. (That’s the only time I wax anything, furniture, cars, floors, nope) They have these options of making videos. I’m not very tech-savvy, so to me it’s like magic. I love magic. I have 10,978 photos just on my iPad and mostly just from the last three or four years. I take a LOT of photos.

It’s just reminder of how truly blessed I am. Life is good!

Happy Friday, my friends.


Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

1 Feb

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
― D.L. Moody


It was a good lazy day. The sun was out, but it never really warmed up. But that’s ok, I didn’t venture outside at all today. I gave myself permission to be lazy and unproductive. I listened to a few motivational videos to reinforce my mental growth and calm. Sometimes exercising the brain is as important as the body.

I watched morning Mass on TV in my pajamas. Seriously, I’m worried that when I do get back to going to church in person, I’m going to show up in my pajamas.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus confronting the man with an unclean spirit, (implying the devil) and He rebuked the spirit and cast him out.

26 “And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him.

27 The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, ‘Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’

28 And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.“


My take on it…. Just like with Jesus, your deeds and actions profess your reputation. Your reputation is your legacy to your family, your friends, to the world, long after you are gone. LIVE WISELY, LIVE GENTLY.

The first Reading was read by ALAN ARMENTA, (photo 6) who was also the recipient of a Catholic Diocese Scholarship. My first reaction was, hmmm, I wonder if we are related? You never know, and I’ll probably never know. (But, maybe I’ll check it out.


The rest of my day was gloriously lazy, no walk, no sunset, but several phone calls with friends and family. Spending time with people you love, ❤️whether FaceTime or in person, is always wonderful.

Then of course, a little FaceTime with the most adorable little girls ever.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Friday:) Familiar Family Friends -Holy Family School

22 Jan

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”

David Ogden Stiers


A couple of days ago, Helene and I stopped at Holy Family School to drop off our donations for the children. Just about every week, we find great bargains and sales at the grocery store that we think the little ones at the school would enjoy. Then, about once a month, we drive over to the east side to share our treasures. We are always greeted with grateful smiles.

This beautiful non-profit Christian School has been serving the McKinney community for 70 years. Such a blessing.
Here’s a pre-Covid photo of the adorable youngsters.

Family is not a certain group or house or thing. Family is everyone in your heart.

Happy Friday, my friends.


Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.”

15 Jan

“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi


It is absolutely wonderful to feel loved and appreciated and admired and complimented. I’m very lucky because Christmas and my birthday are just a few weeks apart. I receive SO many calls, texts, gifts, cards and well wishes that it’s hard not to feel extra special and truly loved.

On this Quarantined Karaoke Thursday, I can’t help but feel… “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.” (You know who you are.) ❤️


Keep singing, keep dancing, and keep loving, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Birthday Week in a Peek

12 Jan

“ The nice part about having so many wonderful friends and family member is that when it’s your birthday, you get to celebrate all month and you get all kinds of awesome gifts and well wishes.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’ve been celebrating my birthday all week. I’m still getting cards, phone calls, and gifts in the mail. I must be pretty AMAZING! Just sayin’.

Here’s a week in a peek…

Little angels singing Happy Birthday…

Sunday Sermon and the Ghosts of Birthdays Past

11 Jan

“Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed. “

Charles Schulz


Well, it was a cold dark morning and they were calling for snow storms. There was about ten minutes of fluffy flakes and that’s it. I’m not disappointed. I watched Mass in my pajamas.

I was a happy girl. Today’s my birthday. I’m happy to be one year older, still healthy, alive and AMAZING.

Today’s sermon was short and sweet. Jesus was being baptized and God acknowledged His son.

My take on it… I know how it is to have a beloved son, except I have two. Lucky me.

7And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; 11and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”

A lot of phone calls, FaceTime and birthday wishes from friends and family. I am truly blessed.

My friend Helene made me this awesome enchilada dinner and I have enough for a couple more days.

Lynne stopped by and left a beautiful gift at my door with a fantastic piece of artwork made jus pt for me with a secret message.

Thank you Lynne,

Ghosts of Birthdays past…

Happy birthday to me! ❤️

Sentimental Saturday:) A Mother’s Tears

10 Jan

“A mother understands what a child does not say.”

— Jewish Proverb


This morning, I was still in bed when the doorbell rang. I wasn’t going to run to the door, but I checked my handy-dandy Ring Doorbell app on my phone. I saw the FedEx man dropping off a package and walking away. Cool! Someone sent me a present. Tomorrow is my birthday, hmm, let’s see who it’s from.

I crawled out from under the covers, walked barefooted to the front door, peeked outside to make sure no one would see me in my penguin pajamas, then grabbed the box. It looked like flowers, it it didn’t say from who. The label said, “Find gift message under this label.” So, I got a knife and slit open the label and found this message.
I read the note and burst into uncontrollable tears. I couldn’t stop. I had to sit down, holding the message against my heart. It wasn’t that my son in California sent me some beautiful flowers. It was because he signed the note. “Love you. From: Matty. I’m the only one who calls him Matty. He’s 37 years old, and I’m pretty sure he cringes whenever I call him that, but to me, he’ll always be my little baby, and my little Matty. His using that name told me more than a thousand words or a long beautiful poem could express. He was telling me that he knew how important it was to me that he’d always be my little Matty. That one word said it all.

Like the opening quote says…
“A mother understands what a child does not say.” — Jewish Proverb

The little tree came in a lovely ceramic container with a black Japanese garden type tray with tiny rocks. So precious. (It took quite a while to stop sobbing.)

I placed the lovely gift on the counter along with some other early birthday gifts and cards I’ve received from friends. I am SO blessed, and I have So many people who love me. You can’t ask for more than that.

At the end of the day, another gift. God painted this amazing sunset for me to enjoy on my chilly evening walk. Look at That!

Throwback Thursday:) If Only

8 Jan

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we take a day or a month or a year and just throw it back? 2020 would be a good choice.”

2019 and the first couple of months in 2020 were really swell.
About 35 years ago. My Joe
Over 35 years later.
The best family ever.
Over 65 years ago. Yikes. I’m the cute baby in Mom’s arms.