Tag Archives: blessings

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

14 Jan

“Feeling appreciated is one of the most important needs that people have. When you share with someone your appreciation and gratitude, they will not forget you. Appreciation will return to you many times.”

Steve Brunkhorst

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A cold dreary Sunday morning, but that’s ok. I had my sock monkey hat to keep me warm. It was fun greeting before Mass, and seeing all the smiles.

I had a little matchbox car for Liam and Matt in my pocket, and little stuffed animal for Avery. There was a lot of hugging and handshaking and smiling. Then, to make my day even brighter, Young Matt had a present for me. He remembered that I collected crosses, so look at my beautiful birthday gift.

Today’s Gospel was the story of people wondering if John the Baptist was the Savior, but the Holy Spirit descended to announce that Jesus was the true son of God.

:15-16, 21-22

15As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, 16John answered them all, “I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”

My take on it… we are not always certain of what is true and who we can rely on, but we just need to be patient and all will be released in good time.

Normally I stop at McDonald’s or the store on my way home, but I’m still feeling yucky and just wanted to come home and take a nap. I gave it a shot, but I just lay there coughing and stuffy, so I got up and did some housework. Later, I went for a long walk in the cold dreary afternoon. Yes, I’m crazy. I walk even when I feel lousy. It gives me energy and makes me feel better.

I got a call from my son asking if I wanted to FaceTime with my beautiful grand-daughters, so I scurried home. There were also some beautiful pictures waiting for me on the Cloud.

Who wouldn’t love that little face?

Sister time. How cute! I really appreciate our special Sunday FaceTime.

Today was a great day to appreciate my many blessings, but also what a great feeling to be appreciated by friends and family. Yes, I am blessed.

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.”

Saturday:) Sophie Anne Arrived Safe and Sound

16 Dec

“Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God.” Barretto

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Baby watch is over and Sophie Anne arrived last night at 9:23 p.m. Weighing in at 6lbs 7 oz, and 18 1/2 in. long. This Gamma is very blessed and thankful for all the prayers from friends and family for her safe, healthy and beautiful arrival.

Welcome to the world Sophie Anne.

Thursday:) Thankful and Blessed

23 Nov

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”

~Tecumseh

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This morning, my friend Mary texted me asking if I was going to 10 o’clock Mass. She thought it would be nice to greet together at the door like we do on Sunday. I really didn’t plan on it, although it crossed my mind all week. I do have a lot to be thankful for on this beautiful Thanksgiving day. So, I said sure.

It was a beautiful morning, and I didn’t expect many people at church because I thought most folks would be out of town, over to family gatherings or busy cooking. To my surprise, the church was packed and it was a wonderful service. Everyone was there for the same reason. To say thank you to the one who deserves the thanks. It was nice.

Mary and I stopped for coffee at McDonald’s and chatted for about an hour. I scurried home to get a couple of batches of brownies in the oven. While the brownies were in the oven, I returned my son’s call. Both my boys called while I was at church. Matt is in California and his new job is going well. Joe said that the baby was napping and he’d call later when she woke up so we could FaceTime.

A nice long chat with Matt while the brownies baked, (one batch had cut up Snickers) Then, a nice FaceTime visit with my grand-daughter after her nap.

My Thanksgiving was already wonderful. The brownies finally cooled enough to cut and put on a tray, so I drove over to Station 9. Last week when I stopped by, the firemen said if I didn’t have plans for Thanksgiving, I was more than welcome to join them. I thought that was sweet. When I arrived, the place was hopping with visitors, family and kids. They thanked me for the brownies and again, said that I could come back for dinner. Aw! That was so nice. But, I did have plans.

Oh, and I also brought a hand-painted ornament that said FIRE STATION #9 2018. This will be their first Christmas in this brand new station. I asked if they had a tree. They looked at each other quite perplexed. I guess they hadn’t thought about that yet. No, they didn’t have one yet. Hmm? We’ll have to check on that.

A little while later, my dear friends Sherri and Michael picked me up and we went to have Thanksgiving dinner at their daughter’s house, with all the family, in-laws, out-laws, family and friends.

Sherri and Michael always invite me to spend holidays with her family. I guess we are kinda family, just not by blood.

These are the days I really count my blessings. I started out by thanking God for my blessings, then spent the rest of the day being blessed with truly wonderful friends. I am thankful and blessed.

Saturday:) Share a Smile With Amazon Smile

17 Nov

“Sharing a smile doesn’t cost you anything, and can mean so much to someone else.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I have been so blessed in my life, and one of the many things I learned from my sainted mother is, when you are blessed, you have to share your blessings with others.

If Mom cooked or baked, she would share with neighbors and friends. If she painted note cards or artwork or made some adorable craft, she made dozens, so she could share. Trini was an excellent seamstress, so she made beautiful dolls and knitted scarves, but also volunteered to do mending and hemming for anyone who asked, ( I asked all the time.)

So, when you see all my posts with me taking brownies to the firemen or soup to my neighbors, hmm…I wonder where I got that from?

When I found out that anyone who is an Amazon account member could sign up to have a portion of their sales be donated to a charity of their choice, I quickly signed up. It didn’t cost a thing, and took about three minutes of my time. I’ve been volunteering with the wonderful non-profit called THE BELLA HOUSE that helps, councils, and nurtures young homeless expectant mothers in the North Texas area.

There are so many ways to help, but signing up for Amazon Smile doesn’t cost a thing. My family and some friends have already signed up. If you would consider helping out THE GABRIEL DBA THE BELLA HOUSE, I would be eternally grateful.

When you share a smile, someone up in heaven smiles back, I know.

Thank you. Hugs!

SMILE AMAZON AND AMAZON WISH LIST FOR THE BELLA HOUSE

The Bella House invites you to consider choosing The Bella House as your favorite charity to benefit from every Amazon purchase you make.  We have established an Amazon wish list to provide opportunities for Bella House supporters to make purchases to send needed supplies directly to the Bella House to benefit the mothers and babies who call the Bella House their home.

Smile Amazon

Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice when you shop at smile.amazon.com.  Smile Amazon is the same Amazon you know with the added benefit of supporting charitable organizations.  On your first visit to Smile Amazon (smile.amazon.com) you are prompted to select a charitable organization (The Gabriel House DBA The Bella House) from Amazon’s list of eligible organizations.  You can change your selection at any time.

Simply begin your Amazon shopping from smile.amazon.com and choose your charity of choice (The Gabriel House DBA The Bella House, Plano TX Founded 2015).  For more information about the Smile Amazon program go to http://smile.amazon.com/about.

Amazon Wish list for The Bella House

Get on amazon smile.com (or Amazon.com). Click on Account and Lists.  Then click on Find a List or Registry.  Then Enter the name:  Bella House.  Then click on Search.  Then click on the result entitled Bella House DALLAS TX.   Once you’ve located the Bella House list, you can click Remember if you’d like to save the link to the list. You will see the Bella House Wish List at this point.  Most if not all of the items listed will be free to ship if you have Amazon Prime.

If you would like a tax receipt for your donation, to preserve your privacy, please notify the Bella House at

contact@bellahouse.org and provide the item(s) purchased and the date and your contact information.

Wednesday:) What You See Is What You Get

4 Oct

” What you see is what you get, so please squint a little. I’m a work in progress.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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When you start each day with smile, a prayer, and time to be thankful for your all your blessings, then the world is beautiful place. If you see beauty, you get beauty. If you see blessings, you are blessed.

I start each day with a morning walk. I don’t drink coffee or eat breakfast. I get dressed, drink a tall glass of water, then out the door. The mornings have their own glory, a time to think and be thankful.

Along my walk today, I had butterflies fluttering around me. Blessings. I found a lucky penny. Lucky.

Later in the afternoon, a grasshopper hopped around by my feet. Grasshoppers are supposed to be a sign of good luck. So, I felt lucky.

Grasshoppers can only jump forward….not backward, or sideways. … This is why grasshopper is the symbol of good luck all over the world. Grasshopper’s ability to connect and understand sound vibrations is why he is also a symbol of your inner voice. he could be telling you to trust yours.

The best part of any day is always when I get a call from my son and daughter-in-law so I can FaceTime with my adorable granddaughter. Here she is saying goodbye and sending me a kiss. (Melt my heart)

To end the day, when I can, I like to chase the sunset. I go for a brisk walk in the evening, and scurry several blocks over to an open area where I can take a picture of the sunset.

What I see is what I get. Beauty, blessings and love…everywhere I go.

Wednesday:) What I Saw On My Walk

19 Sep

“The most beautiful things are not associated with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate those, they can pass you by.”

~Alek Wek

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My daily walks are a virtual and visual enlightenment for the senses. Hmm? Where did that come from? Very profound,

This morning, after walking little Bella through the park, I took my long solo walk. It was already getting hot outside, maybe upper 80’s, but that never deters me. I always have my trusty cell phone to take pictures of the wonders I see along the way.

Today, a butterfly greeted me as I walked out the door, literally, it was in my doorway. I like to think of that as another “sign” from above. As I walked, more butterflies fluttered around mom and I smiled. One let me take her picture after teasing me by stopping, then flying off as I approached. But, she finally posed for a photo op.

It was trash day, so I took the opportunity to pick up scattered bottles, cans, wrappers, etc. that I find along the way. One finds a lot of trash in an hour. But then, one finds lovely things to brighten the day.

A few blocks from home, one of the neighbors had a beautiful fall display in their front yard. I walked right past it, then turned around and thought, “This is just too lovely not to take a picture of.” Unfortunately, my big ol’ finger got in the way in the upper left, but, you get the idea.

Every day is a new day with new beautiful sites and sounds, and new adventures. Each day is a blessing.