Tag Archives: gratitude

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip For The New Year

2 Jan

“With full appreciation, count your blessings no matter how small they might seem. Gratitude and unconditional self-love are the best gifts that you could ever give to your inner-self.”

― Edmond Mbiaka

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I have a few friends who have started the practice of writing down their blessings, special occasions, or reasons to be grateful and putting them in a jar. If I’m not mistake, my friend Blynda posted the idea on Facebook last year. You are supposed to start New Year’s Day and continue all year. Then, when the new year rolls around on January 1, empty the jar and read about the wonderful things that happened. I think it’s a great idea and I painted a jar and labeled it the “GOOD JAR.” I love to paint, so it’s also a daily reminder of the things I love to do.

This jar sits on my kitchen counter with little slips of white paper and pen next to it for those impromptu moments of inspiration. There’s something powerful about physically writing down your blessings. While you write, it reinforces your gratitude. Then, when you read the words again a year later, you can smile and relive those wonderful moments,

I’m not home today to read my notes, but I will be sure to jot down some blessings for the new year and place them in the jar when I get home. But first, I’ll empty the jar, sit with a cup of tea, put my feet up, pour the little slips of white paper on my lap, and relive the blessings of 2018.

Some other ideas for making your gratitude or blessings jar. Give it a try. There’s something exhilarating about starting your day with a grateful heart.

I like the idea of writing something every day. Personally, that’s what my blog is about. I like to share my blessings and gratitude with whoever is crazy enough to read my ramblings everyday, or even every now and then. I’ve made some wonderful friends this way. AND… for all you wonderful friends out there…I am truly grateful for YOU.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! I hope it’s the best year ever. I like the saying, “When I count my blessings, I count you twice.”

Thankful Thursday:) One Hundred Blessings

30 Mar

“Start each day counting your blessings, and each day will be blessed.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“With full appreciation , count your blessings no matter how small they might seem. Gratitude and unconditional self-love are the best gifts that you could ever give to your inner-self.”

~Edmond Mbiaka

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Yesterday, while I was reading posts by several interesting bloggers that I folllow, I ran across a story by Rachel Mankowitz. It was about the Jewish tradition of thinking of a hundred blessings each day. I shared the post. Here is a short excerpt…

“Trying to come up with one hundred blessings a day forces you to think about what you really feel grateful for on a daily basis. There are formal Hebrew blessings for tons of things: for fruit, bread, wine, and cake; for thunder and rainbows; and for the ability to go to the bathroom (Blessed are you, Lord, Our God, King of the universe who created man with many openings…if one of them were to be ruptured or blocked it would be impossible to survive).
Here’s one of mine:

Thank you God, the Universe, and Mother Nature, for the water I drink, the food I eat, the bed I sleep in, and the puppies who make me laugh every single day.”

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Instead of just sharing the post, I decided to go one step further by implementing the concept. I take long walks everyday, and this is my thinking time. I’ll admit, sometimes the thoughts are not that happy or uplifting, sometimes just mundane plans for my day. Once in a while, I’ll sing show tunes out loud…yes I do!

This morning, I decided to see if I could think of one hundred blessings as I walked. I started out with… I woke up, I have a beautiful home, my health is good, (for an old gal). Then, I started just listing things in my head that I was thankful for…sunny day, blue sky, birds in the tree, the butterfly that greeted me. I listed my family and friends that I love so much and who have blessed my life…my two sons, Mom, two sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. I listed more names…Ann, John, their children, Joe, Rose, their kids, and the list went on. When I got to friends, oh my, the names were endless…Shirley, Mike, Mikey, Debbie, Lin, Diane, Mary, Donna, and a hundred more, and all the friends back home. My wonderful friends here…Lynne, Sherry, Karen, Lynda, Sherri, and then all my neighbors who have become family…Diane, Richard, Kathy, Mike, Larry, Sandy, Sue, and so many more, Friends from tennis, church, artist and writing friends, police officers and firemen. Then, there are friends that I’ve never met, but we became friends on Facebook or WordPress or Twitter. I continued for over an hour and never ran out of names to add.


The moral of the story is, when you focus and try to think of one hundred blessings, it turns out there are hundreds, if not thousands. Also, when your mind is occupied thinking of blessings and positive things, you have no time to dwell on negativity. 

This evening, I shared this concept with my support group at church, and they thought that was a great idea. We decided to make that our homework assignment. Start each day counting your blessings and each day will be blessed.

Thankful Thursday:) Thank You BLUE!

14 Jul

“Today, I am thankful for all the men and women who endanger their lives daily to make my world a safer place. I have too many friends and family members who have put on a blue uniform to ever have anything but the utmost respect for their sacrifice. THANK YOU!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I started my baking frenzy last night. I baked well over one hundred and fifty mini cupcakes. Last night, I took some next door to my neighbors. The dad is a police Liuetenant in a nearby city. He’s the one who always points at me when I drop something off and asks,”How ya doing over there. Need anything?” Then, I took some around the corner to Officer Rick, the state trooper and his family. They got the chocolate frosting. These are my favorite. Chocolate cake mix with a cherry in the middle. A surprise with every bite.


This morning, I started making my blue frosting for the rest of the frenzy. Freshly frosted to take over to the police department building. They have a lot of officers and employees coming and going, so I made over a hundred for them.


They were warmly accepted and appreciated. I didn’t capture the previous smile. This was the, “I’m a serious police officer” smile and someone is taking my picture. I also attached a long note of thanks, along with my business card, my photo, and the names of several McKinney officers that I’m friends with. I didn’t want them questioning or thinking that the cupcakes were not safe to eat. The only danger is eating too many and getting a tummy ache.

This was my THANKFUL THURSDAY! It’s always nice to be appreciated, especially in times when your honor is in question. 

THANK YOU McKINNNEY MEN AND WOMEN IN BLUE! 

To quote some scripture…


Have you thanked a cop lately?

Friday:) From Start to Finish

27 Feb

“Begin each day with a grateful heart, and they will end just the way they start.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Do not say something if you do not mean it.Do not do something if you can’t accept the consequences. 

Do not promise something if you can’t honor it.

In simple, do not start something you can’t finish” 

― Wendo L.

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There is nothing better than having a perfect day, from start to finish. Today started with a leisurely cup of tea in my favorite girlfriend cup, reminding me that I am blessed with special friends. 

 
Then I walked my little visiting doggie friend, Bella, who was staying with me for a couple days.She’s so cute.

  
 
Then, off to kickboxing class at the YMCA. Oh man, that class always kicks my butt, but I love it. Then, home to walk Bella again, a quick shower, then off to lunch with my dear friend and neighbor, Diane. We went to Harry’s on the Harbor. It was such a beautiful day. We sat outside in the sun, enjoying a delicious lunch, and soaking up every minute.

  
So, what did I do when I got home? Well, I had to walk off that lovely lunch, and went for yet another walk. My mother often asks, “Why do you walk so much? I thought your feet hurt you.” I tell her, “I walk because I still can, and my feet will hurt if I walk or I sit still. Might as well walk.”

The reward for a long late evening walk is the glorious sunset that paints the evening sky. I count my blessings each day, from that first morning cup of tea to the last glimpse of a scarlet sunset. A perfect day from start to finish.

Now, I sit, writing my daily blog, sharing my perfect day, counting my blessings. It’s  Friday night, which is my Black Russian Friday. A sweet way to end a delightful day.

  
  
A beautiful sunset tonight.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom:MINDFULLNESS 

25 Feb

” Your attitude is a direct reflection of your gratitude.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaits

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Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

― James Baraz
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Yesterday, I posted a somewhat satirical comment about tribute to all the things I’ve learned on Facebook, and sometimes, it’s actually true. Today, my Facebook friend, Sherry Tucker posted a link about MINDFULLNESS. I looked it over and did a little more research. It’s a wonderful meditative type concept, and I think everyone can benefit from the ideas. 

I already do wake up every morning grateful for my blessings. I’ve also found that writing everyday allows me to focus on the good, beautiful, and interesting things in my life. Then, when I share my thoughts, it’s another way to feel fulfilled. 

If you’d like to read a little bit about it, but you may already be familiar with it.

http://www.mindful.org/how-the-mind-helps-heal-the-body/?utm_source=Mindful+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8d59f293f2-MF_Weekly_Feb_23_20161_23_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6d03e8c02c-8d59f293f2-22086841

I like to think that I already practice many of these concepts, but there are a couple I still struggle with, like forgiveness and acceptance. The good news is, being Catholic, I can just go to confession and receive absolution for my sins and short comings. (Good attitude)

  
  
  

Wednesday Words of Wisdom:What One Thing Are You Grateful For Today?

14 May
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” 
― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
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“Wake every morning with at least one thing to be grateful for, and it will be a great day.”
~ Toni Andrukaitis
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Another rainy gloomy day, but did this get me down? No! I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “Self.” I really didn’t say that, but I did say, “It’s going to be a great day.” Really, if you say that out loud, it works on your brain.

I had a nice lunch with friends. Ginger arranged a lunch meeting, and I was so excited that Miss Vicky, who I haven’t seen in ages, was there with her sweet smile and snappy sense of humor. Krys couldn’t join us, but stopped by just for a hug and to say hello. I was near Hobby Lobby, so I got my crafting withdrawal fix without spending too much.

The rain continued, so I couldn’t get out for my walk. Bummer. BUT, my neighbor Diane invited me over for a glass of wine and to watch the rain from her back porch.

  
Grey skies or blue, take the time to be grateful. What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursday

3 Apr
“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” 
― John Henry Jowett

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There is always something to be thankful for. But, you know what is even more pleasant than a day full of personal gratitude? It’s when someone appreciates and is thankful for something you’ve done for them. 

Last week, when I made my cute little Peep bunny cupcakes, I took some to my local fire station, but I also took some to several of my new neighbors. Officer Rick, a Texas State Trooper was out throwing the football around with his two sons, so I took some over there. Then, there’s this adorable little girl, Carly, who lives a few houses down. She always runs out to say hi when I’m out walking. I took one over there,  and also to the two houses next door.

So, Sunday evening when I was out for a walk, little Carly ran out to the street and said, “Thank you for the cupcake,” and then she gave me a big hug. Later that evening, the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor with her daughter Hailey. She drew a beautiful thank you card with a picture of her cupcake.

  
  
Isn’t that precious? Needless to say, more cupcakes will be finding their way to Hailey’s house.
I can always find something to be thankful for, but being appreciated is very, very special.
   

 

Friday:From Your Friends at Towne Creek ….Thank You

20 Dec

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton
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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about my senior friends at Towne Creek. TAPS, the local transportation system for McKinney, had cancelled their bus route, leaving many senior residents without transportation. Several of these lovely ladies asked for my help. I told them that all I could to is enlist my friends, post a plea for support on Facebook, and let the friendship networking do its magic.

I posted a video on my blog and Facebook page, but I also had the opportunity to speak to the Mayor’s wife, Donna Loughmiller, at the tree lighting ceremony on the Square. She said she would see what they could do to help. Several people sent emails, made call, and offered monetary support if needed. Well, long and short…their bus route was reinstated, and everyone is thrilled.

A few people tried to tell me that I was instrumental in getting this done, but all I did was share a few stories and post a video. All the friends, relatives, Towne Creek management, and neighbors who called and emailed TAPS made it happen. Thank you TAPS!

McKinney is a very loving and generous community. “It takes a village.” We certainly have a great village. Thank you to all who supported these seniors.
My sister, JoAnn, suggested that I also post a video of the happy, smiling seniors saying thank you. It’s easy to complain when things go wrong, but not everyone says thank you when the problem is resolved.

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Thankful Thursday

5 Sep

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
― Henry Ward Beecher
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I usually set Thursday aside for a theme song. Mostly because I love music and love to sing, but today, I also want to mention a few of the people and things that I am thankful for. Here’s a theme song to get you in the mood.

Today I am thankful for………….
My two wonderful sons, my beautiful mother and my sisters.

My many friends who have loved me and have been by my side throughout the years. You know who you are…too many to list on one page.

My new house and my new beginning.

My health. (At least as much as old age allows)

My faith that has guided me through the years.

I am thankful for music, dancing in the kitchen, belting out show tunes, tennis, art, painting, crafts, sunshine, pennies, feathers and chocolate.

What are you thankful for?

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Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Gratitude

19 Sep

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Even when things get tough, if we wake up each day with a grateful heart, it can make a bad day a little better. God has given me all these gifts, especially wonderful friends and a loving family. I am blessed.

You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to wake up in the morning and write down three or more things that I am grateful for. Yep! That’s what I’m going to do!

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