Friday:) Family Foremost and Forever~ Day #4

7 Dec

“Family is the most important thing in the world.”

~Princess Diana


Wow! Friday already. A busy week with traveling, visiting, birthday dinner, etc. but, today was a pretty low-key day. Everyone went off to work and daycare, so I had a lot of quiet time.

My son Joe called me at noon and invited me to lunch. The restaurant was only a few blocks away, so I walked over to meet him. The sun was out, and it wasn’t too cold. We went to the local deli. Good food. Vegetarian burritos.

Here’s Joe say to himself, “Seriously! Not another picture Mom.” He’d never say it out loud, but I can read his mind.

Their dog was patiently waiting for me to get home because I promised him a walk, and he kept me to my word.

Then everyone came home around 5. I almost forgot about all hustle and bustle and chaos with little ones. But, they are so precious.

The little one is taking piano lessons from her daddy. She sounds better than I do at 11.11 months.

Playtime with Gamma and a monster.

“Seriously! Not another picture, Gamma.” Hmm, she sounds like her father.

Well, it’s Friday, and you know what that means. It’s Black Russian Friday, sans the alcohol. This Russian is on the wagon for today. So basically, it’s called Chocolate Almond Milk Friday.

Cheers, my friends!!!!!

Thursday:) Thank Heaven for Little Girls

6 Dec

Like star dust glistening on fairies’ wings, Little girls dreams are of magical things.

Sherry Larson


December 5th is one of my three miracle days. That day on the calendar used to turn my stomach into knots six years ago. Long story short… a sad and painful memory turned into a joyous occasion. Three years ago, a beautiful little baby girl was born into the world, making me a Grandma for the first time. She arrived a couple of weeks early and turned my sad day into a joyous celebration. I said, “Only God could arrange that.” He’s there for three.

Happy birthday my beautiful Belle.

These are the things that miracles are made of.

Happy Thursday, my friends!

Wednesday:) What’s Up With Miss Toni

5 Dec

“Going home and spending time with your family and your real friends keeps you grounded.” ~Jennifer Ellison


I’m visiting up Nort’, as we say in Chicago. My sister and I spent the entire day running around the town of Elgin. Our first stop with lunch at CPA. Chicago Pizza Authority. JoAnn was very gracious because she is not eating pizza, and has cut out dairy, meat, oil, and all the good stuff that I enjoy having when I come back home to visit. (No good pizza in Texas,) But, she said that she’d resist temptation and take me for pizza, while she had pasta and a salad. Now, that’s a good sister.

Yes, I ate that entire pepperoni mushroom pizza!!! No, I’m just kidding. But, I did put a pretty good dent in it. Leftovers for tomorrow.

We stopped at the bank, grocery store, Office Max, Walmart, and the Dollar Tree. We did a lot of shuffling around today. I had to laugh because JoAnn said that she was going to try and walk about ten or fifteen minutes every day. Well, when her goofy sister is visiting, we get a lot of steps in, just with running around town.

On the way home, we stopped by this over-the-top awesome decorated house in Elgin. They even have a radio station on 88.5 FM that you can tune into while you enjoy the adorable Christmas light display.

The day is still young and I have a lot of ornaments to paint and glitter and paint boxes for, so I better get to work.

Happy Wednesday, my friends,

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tune for the Day

4 Dec

“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.”

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I couldn’t decide bet ween this song or “On the Road Again.”

But, here I am, traveling back home again. Yesterday, I was visiting with friends who asked if I was all packed. I just laughed. People who know me would laugh too. I’m a last minute procrastinator. I finally went to bed about 3 am and my alarm set for 7 am. I packed this morning around 8am, seeing as Helene wasn’t picking me up till 9:30 for the airport. Yep, I’m a procrastinator.

Traffic was good and we arrived at DFW in less than an hour. I went to the kiosk and printed out my boarding pass even though I had it on my phone. I strongly believe you can never be too prepared. Then, here’s a really cool thing. I looked around to see where the line for security was, and I found the long maze of silver posts that wound round and round. As I started my maze adventure, I set my suitcase down a second to fumble in my purse for my driver’s license, and… tada… there on the ground next to my bag was a shiny lucky penny.

What are the chances? Someone sending me a sign? I think so!

Every leg of the trip went smoothly. When I finally got to my seat way in the back, as I was boarding group 9, the overhead bins were pretty full. A nice attendant found a spot for my bag near the back. While I sat in the jammed packed plane, I couldn’t help but smile, thinking about the nice lady I met on my flight back to Dallas from LA a couple of months ago. We became fast friends and exchanged phone numbers, even though she lives in California. So, you know what I did. I texted Judith out of the blue and told her I was on a plane and was thinking of her. She texted back, wishing me safe travels and happy birthday wishes for the granddaughters. I sent her this photo.

When we were up in the air, my eyes were getting heavy and I could barely keep them open, having less than four hours of sleep. So, I decided to see what movies were playing. I looked at the choices for comedy and found one of my favorites, “Ferris Buehler’s Day off.” Plus, it takes place in Chicago, AND my adorable daughter-in-law, Lindsay, had a brief screen appearance from when she was a little girl. That made me smile, and I watched the entire movie without falling asleep, even without any sound. I’ve seen it a zillion times.

There’s my Lindsay! Now, she’s a mommy with two little girls of her own.

Well, just day one of my own adventures, with many more to come. I hope you have some grand fun adventures this holiday season.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

3 Dec

“Happiness is a matter of one’s most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.”

~Iris Murdoch


I read this quote and have no idea what it means, but it sounded very profound.

Here’s a week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Some Special Friends

2 Dec

“A mirror cannot reflect your spirit as well as the eye of a friend.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A very chilly morning. My personal Google Assistant told me it was 42 degrees, but with the wind chill, it feels like 34. Normally, I would spurt out some expletive, but today I said, “All right. I get to wear my sock monkey hat today.”

From my vantage point, I get to see when the bus from the Chateau rounds the corner, then I can scoot through the long hallway and run over to the side door and greet the bus as the lovely ladies get off the bus. They all get a big hug, and I get the biggest smiles.

Today’s Gospel was from Matthew, telling us that just like in the days of Noah, we will not know when the Son of Man comes. There will be no warning.

44 Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

My take on it… Gosh, nobody really knows when their last day will be, or even when the end of the world will be, or even if there is a heaven or hell. So what? Just do the best you can, be the best you can. If you are happy with yourself and happy with your life, that’s all that matters.

After Mass, Helene and I held the doors for the exiting congregation. Those doors are huge and heavy, and there are so many elderly folks and families with babies. So, it is really appreciated. See! Little things like that are what makes you smile inside. We stopped at McDonald’s afterwards for hot chocolate and tea, then over to the grocery store. I needed to get some fixin’s for the dinner I was preparing. It was so cold, I decided potato soup and salad would be perfect.

While the soup was simmering, I got to FaceTime with the granddaughters. They are just so cute. The baby was busy biting her toes, and the three year old was eating a waffle and working with some play dough.

At 6 o’clock, the TOTS were coming over for our annual Christmas dinner and gift exchange. (TOTS- Table Of Talent Sisters.) They wanted to get together before I leave for Chicago. I am so lucky that they agree to come to my house because I really don’t have any family here to celebrate holidays with. So, when they come to visit, my house feels like a home.

I spent several hours making the potato soup with all kinds of vegetables and even a pound of sautéed bacon and onions. Combined with a big salad and Snicker peanut butter pie for dessert, it was the perfect dinner. There was plenty for leftovers and doggie bags.

We sat and talked and ate and talked and laughed and exchanged beautiful gifts. These are the girls who have seen me through some pretty tough times, and I know they’ll always be around, through good times and bad. True friends. (True friends stay and wash all the dishes and clean up even when told not to.)

As the Gospel said, you never know when your last day will be, but I can’t help but think, isn’t it wonderful to have a day like today?

Some Saturday Highlights and Adventures

1 Dec

“Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.”

― Seanan McGuire


Well, I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping yesterday, but I ventured out today. Big mistake! My first stop was Michael’s Craft Store, where I bought way too many things just because they were on sale. Plus, there was an additional 25% off. That’s just too tempting. Crafters have no will power. I wasn’t the only powerless person. The line to check out was a mile long.

My next stop was Joanne Fabrics, again with the sale and coupons. I was stronger this time and only bought a twin pack of white paint pens. I got out of there under $5. A Christmas miracle.

Harbor Freight was right around the corner and on my way to Olive Garden, where I was meeting Zelda for lunch at 12:30. I love Harbor Freight. They have the coolest tools and stuff that I have no idea what it’s for. PLUS! Of course, they had a sale and coupons.

I bought an engraving pen, a cool LED cordless light switch, a couple of headlamps, and 2 awesome emergency lights. (I had a coupon and the lights were free.)

I met Zelda for lunch and I told her about my bargains at Harbor Freight. She said she’d never been to one, so off we went after lunch. She found several things that she couldn’t live without either. She also got a free light.

It turned out to be a beautiful sunny afternoon after a real yucky drizzly morning. My friend Pat texted a bunch of friends and planned an impromptu dinner or ice cream gathering at Braum’s at 5:30. I had enough time to walk the dog and run back out be meet the gals. I had a large yogurt twist cone. Yum!

I have the bestest friends. I know that’s not grammatically correct, but it is the superlative of best, and they are the bestest.

Then, to make a good day even better, it looks like Notre Dame had a great game today. How can they lose? They have the cutest cheerleaders.

Happy Saturday, my friends.