Tag Archives: Holy Family School

Thankful Thursday~ Holy Family School

17 Oct

“Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.”

~John Wooden


Well, Mr. Wooden pretty much covered all the bases on how to live a perfect life. Now, if we all could follow these guide lines, it would be a perfect world. As much as we try to make that happen, we don’t always succeed. So, all we can do is do our best. I try to follow these steps, but I’ll admit, I’m not much of a reader, the “Good Book” or otherwise. I do a lot of short reading, but not novels or classics or even the Bible. I think I just can’t sit still that long.

Today, I was feeling particularly thankful for my wonderful life, great friends, and fantastic family. And, I do consider each day a masterpiece and try to be true to myself. I have made friendship a fine art, and I do love to help others.

This morning, my side-kick Sherri and I went over to Holy Family School on the east side. Sherri had some early childhood instructional books and materials to donate, and I had apples and several boxes of cereal, and Zelda had picked up more granola bars, and Helene more cereal for the children.

Miss Sondra and Miss Maria were thrilled to see us. Sherri had also inquired about volunteering occasionally, perhaps doing craft projects, and I said I’d like to read some stories in Spanish. Wouldn’t that be fun? The children are so adorable. We arrived during lunchtime, and the 4 year old group loved the visit. We were treated to hand shakes, high fives, fist pumps, and a rousing medley of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

After lunch, they were getting ready for nap time and our presence had made them a little loud and distracted. We exited with more fist pumps and giggles. What adorable children. Miss Sondra said we were welcome any time.

Sherri and I left the school all invigorated and looking forward to sharing our talents and time with these youngsters.

Sherri and I had lunch, stopped at the thrift store, then ventured home. I had errands to run later, but I took a few minutes to stop at St. Gabriel’s for Adoration and a few prayers of thanks and pray for guidance.

There’s always something to be thank for, and I could use all the guidance I can get. Amen…

Friday:) Fantastic Friends, Family, Holy Family School and My Firefighters

4 Oct

“When I count my blessings, I also make sure to factor in how I can share some of those blessings with others.”

“A home is only as strong as its foundation. Love is only as strong as the foundation of family and friends. I’m covered.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When I count my blessings, well, I can’t count that high, so I have to stop after a few thousand.

My day started out with a really cool walk. Literally, it was cool this morning, 68. I could have used a sweater. (Didn’t last long. It’s 90 now.) I walked Bella around the pond, took her home, then walked another mile or two. Then, off to Zumba at the YMCA at 11:30.

I stopped at church for Adoration and to say a few special prayers for some special people. It was good to sit in the quiet chapel, allowing my heart rate to slow down and my mind to calm. I had texted Jerry earlier, to see if he was up for some company. He’s getting around better, and hoping to discard his back brace in a few days. He’s not one to sit still, and he is missing his traveling adventures after surgery. Good to see his smiling face.

I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things. They seem to have some really great special on Friday. I decided that if I found some items that the children could use at Holy Family School, that I’d pick a few up every week and maybe go visit a couple of times a month or so. Today they had the large boxes of Fruit Loops on sale $1.49. I got five. πŸ‘

Yesterday, Karen, Sherri, and I went over to Holy Family School with our bags and bags of Quaker granola bars that we, and several of our friends, had purchased to donate, around 60 boxes. Miss Sondra and the rest of the staff were so appreciative. We were able to tour the school, playground and gardens, and see the adorable babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. Some were just waking from their naps.

After our tour, we stood outside and talked a while. We agreed that if a lot of people do just a little bit to help those in need, the world would be such a better place. I don’t have millions of dollars to give away, but I can spare $5 or $10 to purchase groceries or baby needs every now and then. And, when they have a great sale at the store, that makes it even better.

(Photo courtesy of Sherri Murphy, taken by Karen Donaldson)

When I count my blessings, I also make sure to factor in how I can share some of those blessings with others.

Oh yes, always time for a quick stop to the fire station. I had some of Miss Pat’s cookies and a bag full of Gatorade for station #9. Someone had posted on Facebook the other day that her husband was a fireman, and they often receive cookies and cupcakes. She said that was nice, but what they really could use is Gatorade or bottled water, and other things that they have to buy a lot of at the store. Great idea! A few people commented that they didn’t realize that firefighters have to buy their own groceries for their meals. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ Who did they think paid for their groceries?

Have a great Friday, my friends!!!!

Tuesday:) To Do Good is Noble

25 Sep

β€œTo do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.”

― Mark Twain


Teaching by example is the most effective way I know to influence others. Sometimes I wonder if people think I share my “goodie-two-shoes” adventures for the recognition, or a pat on the back. Quite the contrary. I like to write about these things so others might say to themselves, “Hmmm! That’s a great idea. I should do that too.”

When I read about the Little Free Food Pantries placed around town a couple of years ago, I started taking can goods there. Someone shared that idea on Facebook and influenced me, and I shared my stories, hoping to do the same.

After learning a little more about Holy Family School at the recent fundraising gala, I asked my friend Michele, a board member, if the non-profit pre-school could use some peanut butter that I’d been collecting. She said they could use pretty much anything. The grocery stores always have some really great bargains and coupons to get you in the store, so I love to take advantage of the sales and share with those less fortunate. Last week, Kroger had baby wipes on sale, so I thought, perfect. Yesterday, I gathered my jars of peanut butter, baby wipes and some cans of tuna, and drove over to Holy Family School on the east side of town.

The director greeted me with a big smile and a hug, as she examined the contents of the bags. I asked her if there were any special items the young pre-schoolers could use. She mentioned granola bars, cereals, bread, milk, and a few other items. I popped that into my memory banks for the future.

When the director asked my name, I said, “Toni. The last name is way too long and confusing.” I think she was going to write it down because I would want a tax deduction letter. I told her that I didn’t need any letters or recognition, I just wanted to do something for the little ones.


Today, when I was looking through the grocery store sale ads, aha, I saw that Kroger has Quaker chewy granola bars on sale for 99cents with Kroger card. That’s a great sale. I know what my next donation will be. When you do your grocery shopping, maybe consider picking up a few things to donate to a food pantry, shelter, or other non-profit organization. Something to think about.

My philosophy is, “When you’ve been given so much, it’s nice to give back a little.”

Saturday:) Spectacular Holy Family School Fundraiser at The Sanctuary

22 Sep

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

― Calvin Coolidge


I was honored to be invited to this lovely fundraising event supporting Holy Family School. Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) purchased a table and invited nine friends to join her. There was a wonderful silent auction and The Who’s Who of McKinney attended. It was great to bump into good friends, dancing, eating, and of course, bidding on wonderful auction items.

Linda and I joined a host of volunteers who went over to The Sanctuary around 2pm to set up and organize before the gala. I knew it would be a good night because when I was putting away some things in the storage room, I found a lucky penny.

Everyone had a great time, and thousands of dollars were raised for a very worthy cause. Holy Family School has been providing education, care, love, and spiritual guidance for young children since 1951.

Mayor George Fuller, Maylee Thomas, Rick Wells, and other McKinney dignitaries attended, and also made very generous donations.

Selfie with the Mayor. Fun night. A successful fundraiser for Holy Family School. Thank you Linda Grossman for all you do, including volunteering to be the newest board member of Holy Family School.

Wednesday:) What’s Happening in McKinney, Miss Toni?

29 Aug

β€œThere is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”

― Idowu Koyenikan


Today was a crazy busy day, but what else is new? I picked up Bella around 8 am, and took her for a long walk, then off to Starwood to meet the JULIETS (Just Us Ladies Into Everything Together Sisters) for breakfast. Wow! I forgot to take pictures. I’m slipping.

Helene and I decided to go to visit our dear friend Jerry later in the afternoon. He had back surgery and was finally feeling a little better and up for some visitors. It was good to see him smile and make a few jokes. I think the heavy duty pain mess helped a little on that count.

I got home in time to feed the dog, another walk, then head over to the Square to meet Linda, Sara, and some other wonderful ladies at Landon’s Winery at 5. We were there to brainstorm about the upcoming Holy Family School fundraise. It was a little warm outside, but still lovely when spending time with friends.

Linda Grossman (World’s Greatest Realtor) and Sara Thomas (World’s Greatest Lender Specialist) are so involved in our community. It’s inspirational just to be around them.

Here are a few of the behind the scenes angels supporting Holy Family School.

The big Gala Fundraiser is coming up in a few weeks. Linda invited me to join her and the other ladies planning the gala. I wanted to get a little more information about the fundraiser and how I could help. I also wanted to bring my donations for the auction. I put together a couple of gift baskets with some of my hand-painted wine glasses and a bottle of wine.

I’ve been thinking about becoming a little more involved in my community. Holy Family School on the east side is a perfect place to start. My sister, JoAnn, is one of my inspirations of someone who works tirelessly to support her community back in Elgin, Illinois. And another inspiration was my friend, Gilda Garza, who recently passed away. She was a dedicated supporter of Holy Family School and the Hispanic community here in McKinney. I need to do more. I’ve been so blessed.

After talking to Linda, who is petitioning a seat on the board, I think I may see what more I can do. I’ve been given much, so much is expected. JFK said so, it must be true.

Well, my day wasn’t finished. I scooted as fast as I could, around 6:45, from the Square over to the west side to St. Gabriel for our Wednesday support group. I was only 10 minutes late. It was a good group with good discussions. I got home by 9pm.

A long day. A good day.