Firefly Fitness with Ken & Jennifer Cornine

Building a Legacy of Health and Happiness


Of Gratitude & Thanksgiving

mother_TeresaToday was beautiful and sunny and cold.  I spent it at St. Aloysius in 2 starkly contrasting events, at least at first blush.  Early morning started with the annual Thanksgiving food drive drop-off in the church parking lot.  While we have donated and dropped off meals in years past, this was the first time that I volunteered to help out with the event.  I made it a goal this year to try to be more out-going and involved.  It seems that I have been craving connection on a deeper level with my community and friends old and new, so off I went.

If you haven’t participated in an event like this before and have an opportunity to do so this holiday season, I highly recommend it.  There is nothing more heartwarming than to see dozens upon dozens of people gathered together, young and old, wealthy and struggling, with a common goal of feeding the hungry.  My heart swelled at the feeling of happiness in the crisp Fall air.  It was my community at its best and I was thankful.

After the hustle and bustle was done the cars were loaded with Thanksgiving dinners and off they went to the distribution centers.  The cheer in the air at St. Al’s turned to grief.  A wonderful Father, Husband, Boy Scout Leader, Musician and Friend was being sent off to his eternal resting place.  Jeffrey was taken too young and my heart broke for his 3 children and wife as that same parking lot filled with people to pay their last respects.  Father Fernando did a beautiful job celebrating Jeff’s life and comforting the grieving.  I can’t imagine the pain that my friend must endure.  My heart breaks for their family.

As we left the church my thoughts turned once again to Thanksgiving and Gratitude.  No matter what life may throw my way, I woke up this morning and took a deep breath.  God willing I will do the same tomorrow.  This year at my table on Turkey Day, I will remember the faces in the parking lot- the happy and the healthy, the stricken and the sorrowful.  I will count my blessings, hold my family close and say a prayer of Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for a way to help feed the hungry this year, check out

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

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All Saints Day: Welcome to November

Thankful-PrintableLast night was another wonderful night of Trick or Treating.  I am so thankful that my “babies” love to dress up.  This year was all about Broadway for them.  Luke was The Phantom of the Opera and Emma Grace was Eponine from Les Miserables.  It drizzled so she was thrilled to walk the streets singing “A Little Fall of Rain” to herself.  halloween2014

After all the candy Bacchanalia, today, All Saints Day calls for a much more sensible diet.  It is cold and raining here in NJ, so I will be preparing a stay-in-your-jammies-all-day kind of dinner.  Clean Beef Stroganoff in the crock pot should do the trick!

Planning ahead for the week, I will be making these scrumptious bars for snacking on.  It will be wonderful to have the house filled with the aroma of baking banana bread today.  TIP:  Check out the grocery store’s clearance produce for bananas.  You will pay pennies on the dollars for a tote of just slightly overripe bananas which are perfect for this recipe.

I would also like to extend an invitation to join me on Facebook in a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge for the month of November.  There is always something to be thankful for!