Tag Archives: sharing

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

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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

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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!!!!

Sunday Sermon and My CRHP Sisters

28 Jul

β€œThe need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.”

― Victor Hugo

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After a late night at the Elvis concert Saturday, and getting ready for this morning’s early rise for serving breakfast for our new CRHP sisters, the four or five hours of sleep I think I got, wasn’t that refreshing. But, I happily jumped out of bed before the 6 am alarm, so I could get to church by 7:30.

I individually prepared the two dozen roses, each in a plastic baggie with a wet napkin at the stem, then tied with twine, so each new CRHP retreat sister could have a red rose and remembrance with their breakfast. I had baked three fruit upside down cakes, (one for my Fire station) bought 24 Yoplait yogurts, brought a couple bottles of apple juice, and had a rose for each lady. There were enough roses so our CRHP 28 sisters could have one too.

If you’re not familiar with CRHP, it stands for Christ Renews His Parish, and there are two men’s and women’s spiritual retreats each year. I went a couple of years ago, and it was a wonderful life changing experience. The previous retreatants are then asked to provide meals for the new groups. I made such wonderful friends at my retreat.

There was SO much wonderful food. We could have fed the entire parish. Not, really. We have thousands of parishioners.

Just a few of my CRHP 28 sisters.

Father Don stopped by for a quick bite before 9 o’clock Mass.

The ladies all had a fine breakfast and when they finished and left, our group sat down to eat. It was 8:30 by now, and I asked my sisters if they wouldn’t mind if I ducked out early before clean-up so I could walk across the way to church, then I could greet and attend Mass. I thought we wouldn’t get done till 10 or so. Perfect timing. I still got to greet at the door, go to Mass and stop for coffee with Jerry and Helene afterwards.

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So, the Gospel reading message for today was quite appropriate: Share bread with your friends. When we were asked to provide and serve a meal for this retreat, most of which were strangers, everyone went above and beyond the call of duty, and we loved every second.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was asked by the disciples how to pray. That’s where we get the “Give us this day our daily bread” from. He uses the example of a man knocking on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. He had a visitor but no food to offer. What if the friend turns him away? Persistence and a good heart will have the friend get up and give the bread.

9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

My take on it… always share your blessings with others. Not just share, but share from your heart and with love. Just like you take care of your children and friends, when you ask God, your Heavenly Father, for something, you will receive it. It also mentioned you have to be persistent. I think sometimes you have to do a lot of “knocking” before your prayers are answered. All in God’s good time. (I’m still knockin’ Lord!)

Happy Sunday my friends. (PS- I took a little nap when I got home. I was exhausted. Now, to clean up my messy kitchen. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ)

Friday:) Find Your Passion, Share Your Passion

22 Jun

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

~Maya Angelou

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I love this quote from Maya Angelou. There is so much more to life than making money and only looking out for yourself. And, what better way to live life than with passion and compassion.

I have many passions… art, painting, writing, baking, dancing, singing and sharing. The first thing I wanted to share today was my no-recipe recipe for Clean Out the Freezer Fruity Upside down Cake,

My freezer is always jam-packed to the gills with fruit, vegetables, left-overs and ice cream, of course. I tend to buy more groceries than I need, mostly because I buy food, then end up going out to eat all the time. Thus, I have food to freeze, not to mention left overs from all those lunches and dinners to freeze.

So, when I want to use up a few things in the freezer, I bake a cake. I went into the freezer and took out several different packages of frozen fruit. I had strawberries, blueberries, mango, and peaches. Then, I mixed in a can of apple pie filling.

First things first. I like to make a funny face with the mix before I start blending. It’s a goofy tradition I have. Humor is important.

I melt 1/2 stick of butter and add about a cup of brown sugar (I don’t measure) into a foil lined pan, stir that around till the pan is coated. Mix up the defrosted fruit with a can of apple pie filling and pour on top of sugar/butter mixture. Then, I use a yellow cake mix following directions and pour over fruit.

I bake at 350, but you can’t really time it. It takes a lot longer than a regular cake because of all the gooey fruit, so, I just keep testing doneness with the touch cake with your finger method. It has to bounce not sink. Bakers know that. Once it looks done, I actually turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven a while longer.

After it cools, I put a platter on top and flip it over. That’s what the foil is for. It peels away, leaving a beautiful fruity topping. Yum!

Then, share with your favorite local fire station.

Well, that was last week. After I’m done posting this, I have more baking to do tonight, as I volunteered to bake a mess of mini cupcakes for the St. Gabriel’s Casino Night tomorrow. A baker’s work is never done.

Sharing is caring. My mission in life…

Saturday:) Sayin’ Thank You To My Favorite “Peeps”

20 Apr

“Everybunny loves somebunny, sometime.”

(Popular song)

“Easter is a good time to count your blessings and say thank you to all your Peeps.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This morning, I was sittin’ around with all my Peeps. Everybunny was relaxing. But, that didn’t last long. I still had much to do.

Yesterday, I baked around 150 mini chocolate cupcakes with a cherry in the middle, then made the frosting. This morning, it was time to frost, decorate and dispense the marshmallowy concoctions.

Now, here’s my secret, I use a thin pretzel to secure the Peep to the cupcake. Otherwise they tip over. (Experience talking)

My Peep army with General Godiva leading the troops. The Bunny Battalion.

Packing up the troops into smaller Bunny Brigades to take over to my Peeps at the Fire Stations.

I know, I know, it’s not all about bunnies and candy and Easter egg hunts and new clothes. It’s about the ultimate sacrifice, death and resurrection of Our Lord. But, it’s still a good time to count your blessings and say thank you to the people who sacrifice and care for us here on earth.

Happy Easter my friends.

Friday:) Fabulous Food, Friends, and Firemen

12 Jan

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

~Aesop

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After a wonderful birthday celebration with friends yesterday, and celebrating at Bob’s house last night, he was kind enough to send me home with a lot of leftovers to share with my firemen and friends. Miss Loretta’s cake, Miss Pat’s chocolate cake and cookies, and my brownies were perfect to share, so I was able to make up several trays of treats to share.

I took a little plate over to my neighbor Kathy, the little boys across the street who giggled with glee, and my neighbor Diane who watched my house while I was away. Then, I stopped by Fire Station 9 with a large tray.

After that, another stop at Fire Station 2. I hadn’t been there in a while. My treats are always appreciated.

I called Miss Kathy over at Towne Creek and asked if they were getting together for dinner. She said they already had a potluck at lunch time, but she would gather some ladies for an impromptu dinner. They had some leftovers, and she knew that Miss Nelma would love to see me. We had a wonderful friendly feast. Miss Dorothy said a beautiful prayer as we joined hands and thanked God for our many blessings and friendship.

It was a drizzly grey day, I have a cold, sore throats, headache, and laryngitis, but it was a wonderful day. You know why? Because sharing, caring, and friendship always brightens my day. Happy Friday, my friends.

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

22 Nov

“I want to make things of quality. I’m a big believer in handmade, tactile, crafted pieces. I want to keep that tradition alive.”

~Zac Posen

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My passions and talents are writing, cooking, baking, painting, and creating hand-made gifts. Well, there is so much more, but I’m trying to be modest. Not working, is it?

But, the favorite part of having these talents is sharing them. I’ve been working with my friend Mary, from St. Gabriel’s, on some projects for the Bella House. They are having their Gala on December 1st, and they’re trying to get out their newsletter about the Gala and other upcoming events. I offered to look over all the future writing projects, newsletters, and press releases, and do some editing and offer some suggestions.

Of course, when I heard about the Gala, I asked if they needed any donations for the silent auction. Usually I donate a hand-painted vase or a couple of wine glasses or a framed watercolor print. For this event, near and dear to my heart, I wanted to do something special and different. I put together three baskets, each containing a bottle of wine and four different hand-painted wine glasses. When I have friends over, it’s fun to serve wine in a bunch of different painted glasses, then this way if you set your glass down, you remember if you had the red roses or the bluebonnets.

The hardest part was getting that tricky cellophane around or over the oddly shaped baskets and getting the sticky packing tape onto the right spots, for a nice presentation. I needed a couple extra pairs of hands, which I didn’t have. It took a long time and a few expletives, but I got them done. Mary loved them, and hopefully they will do well at the auction.

Now that I’m done writing, back up to my craft room to paint more of my world famous Christmas ornaments. (I told you modesty was not my suit.)