Tag Archives: Inspiration

Throwback Thankful Thursday:) My Sister, JoAnn and Women’s History Montho

12 Mar

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble. ”

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With March being Women’s History month, I thought it only appropriate to recognize the women in my life who have made a difference in making this a better world. Of course, the most important influence in my life was my mother, Trini Armenta, who was an inspiration and role model for, not only her own children and siblings, but for everyone who came to know her. In her own way, she played an important role in making the world a better place by raising her daughters to be strong, hardworking, talented and courageous women.

By her example of strength and tenacity, she was an inspiration for my sister, JoAnn Armenta, who pioneered and persevered her way through a male dominated field many years ago. Jo Ann is my inspiration of what a strong independent and determined woman can achieve.

Jo Ann Armenta was the very first Latina Illinois State Trooper, serving her community from 1979 until her retirement well over twenty years later. She blazed a trail for other Latinas, and all women for that matter, in the field of law, enforcement, back in the day when women were still expected to be home cooking dinner for their husbands, and raising a brood of children.

I can’t imagine how tough it was to get through the grueling training and studying to become a State Trooper, much less dealing with the less than generous or cooperative male counterparts who outwardly showed their disrespect for women “on the job.” Jo Ann never backed down from any challenge and never let her gender dissuade her from being the best State Trooper that she could be. That is inspirational, and that determination has never ceased.

Jo Ann Armenta’s photo may never grace the cover of any magazine, nor will she be recognized in a book or on the news as an outstanding woman in history, but she, like many other women just like her, have paved the way for all women to step up, step forward, and make a difference.

This tenacious woman still carries on her legacy through her generous support of Latina women in her community by sponsoring scholarships to college students, serving on the local library board, she has volunteered with the Salvation Army, and currently has spearheaded the CHEF program, Community Harvest Educational Foundation, whose goal is to bring healthy nutritious food and lifestyle awareness to the community. These are just a few of her many accolades and accomplishments.

Jo Ann Armenta may not be mentioned in any history book, but in “my book,” she is worthy of outstanding recognition for Women’s History Month.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

5 Sep

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.”

― Tia Walker

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I find that sometimes words of wisdom, inspirational quotes, and even some song lyrics can make me feel better and inspire me. Sometimes a song speaks to me or a quote brightens my day. And yes, positive personal affirmations are a must. My personal daily affirmation is, “I AM AMAZING!” Plus, I have a bracelet that says som and a lot of other people trained to confirm that statement. I say, Toni is….?” And they respond “AMAZING!” I love it when your friends play along with your silliness.

Here are some words of wisdom for today, and feel free to borrow my affirmation because YOU! My friend… ARE AMAZING!!!!

Wednesday:) What’s Your Word for 2019?

3 Jan

I am AMAZING, and I am smart.

I love to bake, and I love my art.

Writing every day renews my soul.

Walking each day, a personal goal.

Strangers I meet will become a friend.

My gifts and my blessings have no end.

I am AMAZING, you already know.

I am AMAZING because I said so.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This is a brand new year, and time for a brand new start. Each New Year’s Day, people all over the world make resolutions, set goals, and make plans for a better year. These don’t always last too long, do they?

Yesterday, I wrote about counting your blessings, and writing down the blessings and wonderful things that happen to you. Then, you put the slips of paper in a jar all year round. January 1st of the next year, read all your blessings. Keep the blessing jar in sight at all times and it will be easy to keep up with.

Another thing so many people do January 1st is to pick a word for the year. You pick a word that you want to be, or something you want to do or become. Pick a word that inspires and motivates you. Choose a positive word with wonderful energy and power. It’s like your mantra. Every day, think about your word. Become your word. It can be a new word or one you’ve used before. Define your word, envision it, and live it.

It is suggested that you pick your word. Look up the definition. Have the word become a part of you. Have your word written somewhere you can see all the time. Say your word out loud every day.

WHAT IS YOUR WORD FOR 2019?

I chose my word right away. It’s a word I’ve used before and I’ll use it again. It might be my forever word…

AMAZING

I am AMAZING! Whenever I wear this leather cuff, I tell people, “Look! I am amazing, and I have a bracelet that says so.” (I made this bracelet in a leather tooling class.)

amazing FL adjective

Definition of amazing 

: causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise

an amazing story of personal bravery and survival

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I like this definition and example. Causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise. An amazing story of personal bravery and survival. Yep!

So, what is your word???? Pick a word. Share your word. Live your word.

Tuesday:) True Heroes: The Two Legged and Four Legged Kind

7 Nov

“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.”

~Bob Riley

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Sunday afternoon, I had the privilege to attend a salute to Veterans featuring best selling author and true American hero, Jason Morgan. The program was sponsored by the McKinney Public Library, Friends of the Library, the City, Arts Commission, Collin College, Open Door and Open Minds@Collin.

Native Texan, Staff Sergeant, USAF, Jason Morgan, is a moving motivational speaker and author. I’ll admit that a few tears slipped down my cheek while I listened to a story of courage, despair, tragedy, and absolute inspiration.

While listening to Jason Morgan’s journey, I couldn’t help but think of all the trivial problems and complaints that I thought were so devastating over the years. We have all gone through some hard times, but this story made me realize that my life has been a Disney fairy tale in comparison.

Thank you, Jason Morgan, for your service to our country, but most importantly, for you continued inspiration to all who hear your story. I will treasure my autographed book of courage and hope.

Simon & Schuster review:

A Dog Called Hope

A Wounded Warrior and the Service Dog Who Saved Him

By Jason Morgan and Damien Lewis

Lone Survivor meets Marley & Me in this “inspiring and very moving” (Bear Grylls, host of the hit TV show Man vs. Wild) memoir of an extraordinary service dog whose enduring love brought a wounded soldier back to life.

A decade ago, special forces warrior Jason Morgan parachuted into the Central American jungle on an antinarcotics raid. He’d served with the famous Night Stalkers on countless such missions. This one was different. Months later, he regained consciousness in a U.S. military hospital with no memory of how he’d gotten there. The first words he heard were from his surgeon telling him he would never walk again. The determined soldier responded, “Sir, yes, I will.”

After multiple surgeries, unbearable chronic pain, and numerous setbacks, Morgan was finally making progress when his wife left him and their three young sons. He was a single father confined to a wheelchair and tortured by his pain. At this very dark, very low point, Morgan found light: Napal, the black Labrador who would change his life forever.

A Dog Called Hope is the incredible story of a service dog who brought a devastated warrior back from the brink and taught him how to be a true father. It is the story of Napal, who built bridges between his wheelchair-bound battle buddy and the rest of able-bodied humankind. It is the story of Jason, who found life’s true meaning with the help of his faithful companion. Humorous, intensely moving, and uplifting, Jason and Napal’s heartwarming tale will brighten any day and lift every heart.

Saturday:) Sometimes You Have To Break Free

30 Jun

“You don’t have to live with whatever life throws you–or whatever you’ve gotten yourself into…

You can choose to Change Your Story!”

Kirstin Leigh

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On my recent walks, I’ve been infatuated with this flower that has been bursting through the confines of a six foot wooden fence a few blocks away. I laugh to myself as I think of the analogy on life that this bold flower represents. I think we can all relate to wanting to break through the fence that holds us back from doing the things we want to do are are meant to be doing.

This flower represents our lives. Nothing should hold us back. Don’t be kept in the shade behind a tall confining fence. Find a tiny crack or space to squeeze through and burst through. Feel the warmth of the sun and the fresh blustery breeze. Be free! Great analogy, right?

Friendly Farewell To Father Charles

27 Jun

“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.”

Antoine François Prévost

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Today, at St. Gabriel’s, Father Charles celebrated his last morning Mass. Our beloved Father will be going to St. Francis soon. During his homily, he thanked all the people who made him feel so welcome during his years at St. Gabriel’s. We have become his family, and will always remain family. Fortunately, he won’t be too far away.

After Mass, people gathered to say farewell and get in some last minute hugs. The children, especially, will miss the kind and friendly Father.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHlYqqWwFP0

Farewell lunch for Fr. Charles

Sunday, July 1, 2018, 12:00 PM
Location: Community Center
Say goodbye to Fr. Charles as he moves to his new assignment at St Francis and JP II High School. We will have a lunch for him after the 11am Mass. The Kenyan Choir will also sing at the 11am Mass. You will also be able to give him a card and say goodbye after each Mass. We will miss you Fr. Charles! Thank you for your sincere service to the people of St. Gabriel.

Thank you, Father Charles.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Treasures for Today

2 May

“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”

~ Paul Coelho

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The cloudy morning skies threatened rain all day, but so far, nothing to write home about.

I was able to get in an early morning walk before zumba, then another longer walk afterwards. On my walk, I was crossing the street when I noticed a small round piece of metal lodged in the crevice of grass. It couldn’t be a coin, could it?

I’m always excited when I find a lucky penny or coin, but I didn’t think this anything. Plus, how in the world did I even notice this thing. I took it home, cleaned it and noticed the ,”In God We Trust.” A hidden treasure.

I love that I can find hidden treasures in my tiny little world. I guess if you walk as much as I do, there are more opportunities to meet new people, make friends and find treasures.

So, on my third walk of the day, I was pumping those old arms and decided to go just a couple of more blocks before heading home. Tomorrow is garbage day, so a few neighbors had their cans out already. One house I scooted past had a for sale sign in the front yard and next to their trash cans were an old dresser and a metal plant stand strewn on the grass. I checked out the plant stand, it was cool, and was going to walk it home, but it weighed a ton. I scurried home and got my car and picked up this terrific treasure. I thought it would be perfect on my back porch, and even if it got rusty, cool, it would add to the charm. PLUS! It was free.

It will be perfect to put a drink or food on when I have friends over, and just look pretty all year round. A few accessories, and voila! Toni’s treasure for today.

A terrific Tuesday.