Archive | December, 2017

Saturday:) Somethin’s Cookin’ at Grandma’s

23 Dec

“The only way I know how to cook is for an army. Bring on the troops!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When I come to visit Mom, I always try to do a little baking and cooking. Well, I take that back. I do a LOT of cooking and baking. This way I can freeze a bunch of containers for future dining pleasure, but also to share with my sister and Mom’s friends.

My sister and I went to the grocery store yesterday and got all the fixin’s for beef stew and mini pot pies. I started last night with COMMERCIAL COOKING. I call it that because I get up during commercials, do a little chopping, then back for the segment of Hallmark mushy movies. I love Hallmark, but I’ll be glad when all the mushy Christmas episodes are done with. They all have the same plot and premise. AND?..that ain’t how it happens in the real world…excuse me!

So, I was up well past 1am doing commercial cooking. Then, today I finished up the stew. I needed an extra big pot that my sister brought over, and a few other things I forgot, so I could have two big pots. It couldn’t all fit in one.

I made 18 mini pot pies using biscuits that I split in half to use for crust and top.

Here’s a tip…I found out the hard way. Cover loosely with foil while baking so the top crust doesn’t brown too quickly and lets the bottom crust bake.

Look how yummy! Oh, that one missing on the left…that was the mandatory test sampler. I had to check and see if they were good. Yep, they were pretty darn good.

The rest of the stew went into containers for freezing, a couple for eating, and Some for sharing.

Cupcake baking later tonight. Ho ho ho!!!

Happy Holidays, Happing Baking, Happy Everything,

Friday:) Fun Last Minute Christmas Crafts

23 Dec

“I have never waited till the last minute for homework assignments, term papers, Christmas shopping, housework, getting ready, or craft projects. I always start a good ten or fifteen mutes before it’s due.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I already posted a few Holiday craft projects that I’ve been working on, but thought I’d show a few Pinterest ideas that might make fun last minute projects.

Here are the ones I did. Full size and min Hershey bars, just wrapped in white paper with a black hat and marker eyes and nose. Accessories optional. and a paper Santa with a candy cane.

Here’s a cool glass ornament I painted with just a silver paint pen… glitter and ribbon optional.

Some cute ideas from Pinterest for next year, if I remember, but you can try a last minute craft today or tomorrow. I may…or may not tonight, or in the morning, or next year.

Paper piercing. Just draw a design on the back and put over a towel and pierce with a pin. Card stock or water color paper works best. Flip it over, cool designs.

Happy last minute everything, my friends.

Theme Song Thursday:) Feliz Navidad

22 Dec

“It doesn’t matter what language you use, or how you celebrate, or what songs you sing, I hope you are celebrating the holidays with friends and family. And… I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.”

Christmas is just a few days away, and this is the last chance for theme song Thursday before that special day. Mom has an adorable little animated statue that plays guitar, wiggles and sings Feliz Navidad, and it sounds just like Jose Feliciano, too. I bought it for her many years ago. I still have one at my house, and it makes me smile.

Christmas time is for sharing, caring, and spending time with the ones you love. I helped Mom make cards and wrap up little gifts for all her friends. As I’ve mentioned, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. I learned from the best. Homemade holidays are the best, too.

Wednesday:)What Ya Been Up To, Miss Toni?~ ~PROCRAFTINATING

20 Dec

“I am an artist and a crafter. I have glitter in my veins…and on my face and clothes, all over the floor, on the table, in the carpet, and sometimes in my lunch. ”Tis the season.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Mom and I have been crafting this holiday season. She still has pneumonia and still feeling horrible, weak, and coughing. But, every now and then, she musters up the energy to work on a craft project with me. Yesterday, we worked on mini snowmen.

I think we got a little carried away. These were made with those mini Hershey candy bars. A lot of work, but so cute.

We also made some full size Hershey bar snowmen.

Also, I cut out some cute Santa wrapping paper and cut a slit in front to add a mini candy cane.

OK, we went a little overboard, but that’s what crafters do. PROCRAFTINATING!

Happy crafting, my friends!!!

Tuesday:) Toni Takes After Trini~ Like Mother, Like Daughter

20 Dec

As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.     

Kristin Hannah


I always tell my sweet mother, “The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.” She always tries to correct me and says, “It’s supposed to be the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I tell her, “No, you’re a nut.” Mom and I were working on some cutesy crafty things today, and I thought how much I am like Mom. Just a couple of nuts.

Later in the day, my sister and I went over to the Gail Borden Library, and when we were just about to leave, I asked, “Is Mom’s mural still hanging here in the library?” She said it was upstairs. So, we went up so I could take some pictures. Mom is a very talented artist. She hasn’t been able to paint much these last few years, but she has quite the portfolio and stockpile of paintings and drawings. Trini Armenta didn’t even start painting until she retired in her 60’s. Can you imagine if she had the opportunity to utilize her talent when she was younger?

This will show you how large this painting is.

I am honored to be one of the nuts fallen from the family tree.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

19 Dec

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”

Trenton Lee Stewart


Another fine week with family and friends. The Chicago weather has been AWESOME. My sister and I actually took a nice stroll to the store and back this afternoon, just to scrape off the cobwebs of going stir crazy.

A week in a peek… Family and friends.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

18 Dec

“Perhaps we all have a face behind a face…Good and the bad, happy and sad, sane and insane. We all have an angel and the stranger and we all have the choice!”

Nino Varsimashvili


Mom and I went down to her community room for Mass this morning. Mom always does the Second reading before the Gospel. I usually comment on the Gospel here, but today, I was impressed with Mom’s reading. Paul tells us to always rejoice and to pray. Then, we should always be thankful. I guess the interpretation of “do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything;retain what is good, could mean a lot of different things to different people.

My take on it… First of all, I totally agree with always being thankful. If you start every day counting your blessings, you have a blessed day. If you only count and recount your suffering and woes, you will suffer every day.

As a cradle Catholic, I grew up believing some of the most stringent and constraining concepts of my faith. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized that I probably wasn’t going to hell if I accidentally ate meat on Friday, or if I feigned illness if I didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, or maybe even disrespected my father or mother.

So, in this second reading, it says to “test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.” Now that I am an old lady, relatively speaking, I have learned to test what I have heard, and retain the good. Just as I’ve surmised that many of the things I’ve done are not mortal sins that will banish me to a fiery hell, I also do not believe that I can run to confession and all my sins will be washed away. But, the fact that I can acknowledge and admit my failings to a priest, this will help me do better next time. It’s kinda like the Weight Watchers of Catholicism…accountability. You get on the scale and see how you’ve progressed. When you fall off the wagon, you get back up again. Rejoice, pray, be thankful, and always do what you think is right. That’s all God expects of us. I CAN DO THAT.

1 THES 5:16-24

Brothers and sisters:

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.

In all circumstances give thanks,

for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit.

Do not despise prophetic utterances.

Test everything; retain what is good.

Refrain from every kind of evil.

May the God of peace make you perfectly holy

and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body,

be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The one who calls you is faithful,

and he will also accomplish it.

Later in the afternoon, my very, very good friend, Debbie came all the way in from the city to come and visit Mom a while, then we went out to lunch and shopping. First stop…PIZZA!!! I’ve got to get my quota of Chicago pizza before going back to Texas.

Thanks Deb! We made a lot of stops and bought a bunch of things that we really didn’t need, but they were too adorable to pass up. That’s what the holidays are all about. Especially the friendship. Debbie and I have been friends since around 1977 BC… the BC stands for Before Children.

Last stop before going back to Mom’s…ice cream, of course. The perfect ending to a perfect day. REJOICE AND BE THANKFUL