Thankful And Grateful to the MAX!

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Real Estate AZ Broker BR030809000

This months challenge is one of my very favorites of the year - Thanksgiving Gratitude Challenge! Every day I think about what I am thankful and grateful for in my life.  Honestly. I feel so blessed to be living the life I do with my husband Gary and all our friends and family.  We have so many amazing friends we've known for many years.  A few have passed on and I miss those dear, fun-loving ladies a LOT! Deborah on the right hand side and Susan on the left hand side.  You can see both  are smiling, laughing and were the life of every party! 


All our friends are always up for all kinds of crazy outings, fun and just plain silly stuff!  Scrolling through photos this afternoon was a blast!  And OMG I'm back after a couple of hours of finding so many great photos! Now.....which ones to share, there must be thousands!


Betsy & Her Admirers!


Betsy was a gem and truly my role model for many years!  Our good friend Paul  (on the right) started bringing her to our Network Mixers back in the early 2000's. This lady was a business woman and world traveler. She was so delightful and full of fun!  At every event she 'held court' and we loved hearing her stories. She was also a very wise woman. And talk about a classy dresser!  Even her shoes matched her outfits.  She was happy, happy HAPPY! 


Randy and the Girls!


We've been hosting Holiday Black Tie Parties for 25 years. They started out being fancy dress up parties and somewhere around 2008 we all decided to have a little more fun and switched to Half and Half Black Tie (half crazy and half black tie). Randy - the guy the girls are holding up - was so funny that year.  His Santa hat kept going up and down (with a remote button) and OMG the girls went nuts over him!  We all laughed so hard at his antics! He's still a funny, funny guy and very successful business man.


Network Friend (Family Really)


Well, as you can see I figured I'd better do a collage or else this post would be at least 20 pages long!  I'm quite certain nobody (but myself and all our friends) would read through it all!!!  One thing I learned today  - I'm going to have a lot of great Christmas gifts for everyone sending them photos!  Ok....just a few more and then I will let you get back to whatever you were doing!  Hope you're smiling too!


Kevin & Connie


Crazy Mixed Up Kids at Airport!


Bob & Jackie


Jim & Reid


Ramona & Barbara


Susie & Anna


My Brother Pete


Gary & Pete


Love of my life!


As you can see, I have so much to be grateful and thankful for each and every day! And as I mentioned.....this is just a start!  I am also so thankful for all of my ActiveRain friends but that's for another day!  Until then - count your blessings!


Thankful  And Grateful to the MAX!





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Comments (25)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Anna, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Nov 12, 2022 07:02 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Thanks Darling....much appreciated!!

Nov 12, 2022 08:29 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Specializing in Multifamily Projects Nationwide

Hi, Anna. The "Crazy Mixed Up Kids at the airport" photo looks like some parents were missing. I noticed that the sign "Have you seen my parents today?" was missing from the photo.

Was the airport security team taking a lunch break during the photo shoot?


Nov 12, 2022 09:33 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Happy Sunday Aura Alex !  Actually those 'parents' were a bunch of us dressing up as 'snowbirds' and picking up a good friend at the airport!  Talk about a fun time. All the people in the airport as well as our friend had a blast a long with us!  It was a hoot!  She had been to a leadership seminar which all of us had attended and staffed for years and we wanted to support her!  Needless to say - that worked!  And I'm having lunch with her this next Wednesday!  Ramona the gal in the middle with the red sweater!

Nov 13, 2022 09:51 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Anna, I loved your post and yes some names rang a bell.... and I will just leave it at that... I keep telling Diane how blessed we are to have our animals three cats and a dog and when there are issues I can afford to buy a super duper laptop, printer and now a stove.... not everyone is in this wonderful position.... I always enjoyed your parties via your posts and hard to believe they have been going on before we even knew of each other, Endre

Nov 12, 2022 10:50 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Oh Endre Barath, Jr. these fun events have been going on all my life!!  I came by it 'honestly' as they say!  My Mom taught me well as did my Dad!  We are indeed blessed to have the resources to fix what needs to be fixed aren't we. This past week our spa stopped working and lo and behold it was still under warranty. Thankful for that too because if it wasn't we'd have to replace it and now isn't the time to do so.

And your new stove is AWESOME!  Have fun playing with it today!

Nov 13, 2022 09:54 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

They say gratitude is the highest platitude because it makes you elevate your whole thinking about the people in your life and what they need to do and it makes you want to make your life better with those in it

Nov 12, 2022 11:20 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Looking at the positive aspects of every situation will create more positive outcomes - always.  But you know that well Laura Cerrano

Nov 13, 2022 09:55 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Anna... if anyone knows how to have (and host) a good time, it's certainly you! Loved looking at all your photos with all the happy and smiling faces. These kinds of times and relationships are so special and must be treasured.

Nov 13, 2022 04:36 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Indeed so Nina Hollander, Broker !  Like I said to Endre, I came by it honestly via my Mom!   We treasure them all - and we've had so, so many events in our home and elsewhere for a very long time.  Good stuff!

Nov 13, 2022 09:56 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Anna,
Nina Hollander, Broker took the words out of my mouth... or should I say typing fingers. You and Gary do know how to throw a party.  I've been blessed to be part of a few of those fun gatherings and I do recognize some of those faces. Let the good times roll!

Nov 13, 2022 05:33 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Happy Sunday Miss Carol Williams !  Yes it's been great to have you join us at our parties!  You are the best pumpkin poofer ever!  LOL

Nov 13, 2022 09:57 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You are lucky to have so many wonderful people in your life!  We are having another meetup with Leanne Smith on January 9th.  If you are willing to join us, perhaps you can suggest the venue that would be best for you?  If you wanted to host a meetup at your house, I am sure everyone would be open to that as well.  Let me know!

Nov 13, 2022 05:43 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

 Hello Brian England!  Happy Sunday! We are indeed very blessed to be surrounded by such amazing and kind people - and  a LOT of fun too! the cool thing is some come from a church network, others from chamber of commerce group and others from another network.  They have all known each other for years and years because of our events.  Which is really cool!

The 9th  won't work for me due to Eye appointment which I must be at every 3 months. Maybe this spring we'll host a meetup.

Nov 13, 2022 10:04 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Lovely! The photos are great, as are your memories. Yes, I was smiling throughout - your gratitude just oozes off the screen! :-)

Nov 13, 2022 09:16 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Hi Kat Palmiotti somehow I have the feeling you're creating the same type of fellowship in your community!  Sure seems that way to me.  And isn't it fun!!

Nov 13, 2022 10:05 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

OH, you sure do Miss Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker have a lot to be grateful for. 

If there is one thing I have learned about you over the years of knowing you and following you here in the Rain, is that you embrace life to the fullest and you know how to have FUN! 

Cheers to you 🍾🥂🥳

Nov 13, 2022 11:09 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

I do indeed to the MAX Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist .  I here I thought I hid the fun part so well LOL! I came by it honestly via my Mom!  OMG you would have loved her - she was so darn funny!  She had everyone including all my friends laughing constantly.  It always was odd to some kids as they could not believe my Mom was a comedian of sorts!  Are old people funny?   You betcha!

Nov 13, 2022 02:10 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Anna I LOVE the pictures.  You, Larry, and your friends are PARTY ANIMALS ..... LOL

Nov 13, 2022 03:10 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Thanks George Souto !  Happy your enjoyed them.  Gary and I are blessed to have so many wonderful friends for sure!  Party Animals?  Ha LOL not when events/parties end by 8 or 9 (non-business people or younger folks would find us boring!!!. Many of them were networking events and we all appreciated working with and referring business back and forth to each other for many years!

Nov 13, 2022 04:56 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker, I truly enjoyed this post. You are a sweet, dear friend who knows how to entertain and be entertained. Your smile alone is enough to fill a large room. 

Nov 14, 2022 12:16 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Thank you Beth Atalay! You are the sweetheart!!  I think of it more as 'connecting' people and a lot of them over the years.  Sure they were fun events and parties ..... but they had a deeper meaning for all.

Nov 14, 2022 01:34 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker - you are having so much fun with your friends and it looks like it never ends.  I am glad to see that you are really enjoying your friends.

Nov 15, 2022 01:23 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Yes Grant Schneider we've had a wonderful 25+ years with our friends (which many are from biz networks and church plus clients. They've all become friends and business partners with each other and it's been awesome to have a network of like-minded and hearted folks!

Nov 15, 2022 03:54 PM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Hi Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker. Great post and wonderful photos. The first word that came to mind when I scrolled to the end of your post was "fun"! So many smiling faces! What a blessing. 

Nov 16, 2022 01:51 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Hi Greg Mona it truly has been a blessing all these years! Lot of fun people that are up for just about anything  and we've all been doing business together for so long.  So many stories!!!

Nov 16, 2022 02:13 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

When ever I have time I tend to count my blessings Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker 

Nov 18, 2022 10:54 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

And you  help all of us every day as well Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS with your daily quotes and photos!

Nov 20, 2022 08:06 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

You are may kind of people, Anna! Both you and Gary and your friends have been blessed with many fun times and true affection, that is what it's all about...LIVING and LOVING!

Nov 18, 2022 12:39 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

From one people lover to another Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! we are busy girls!!  Aren't we! And isn't it a blessing!

Nov 20, 2022 08:07 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


What fun it must have been to sift through these photos, reflect on the memories, and to share some of that fun and photos with us. It made me smile! You truly do have much to be grateful for.


Nov 19, 2022 05:15 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS it's funny we went through a bunch more yesterday trying to figure out which ones to 'gift' this holiday season.  And there are so many, many more people!  'Tiny Little Light' That will be my 4th gratitude post.

Nov 20, 2022 08:08 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker  had to come back to your comment indeed we both earned it honestly and can sleep peacefully... had to smile what is going on with the young Billionaire who is broke now.... the competition to Bitcoin... not honestly made and puff it disappeared, Endre

Nov 19, 2022 09:56 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

I know Endre Barath, Jr. that guy sure took  the path to destruction and brought a lot of people into his web including a lot of politicians.  How they can live with themselves, I don't get it.  I feel for all those folks that sucked into the scheme.


But....what to be grateful about in all this?  We're not like that nor would we ever even contemplate going down a path such as that.

Nov 20, 2022 08:11 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Anna,

Happy Thanksgiving, I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful weekend celebrating gratitude.



Nov 25, 2022 10:50 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Thanks Bob Crane sorry I didn't realize you had left a comment.  We did enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving....and now we're enjoying the Christmas Season.  Blessings to you and your family!

Dec 07, 2022 07:24 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I wish you were closer to the east coast to shake things up here and show us how to have a good time! We need help in Washington! 

Nov 30, 2022 03:15 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Hi Lise Howe I hear you, not an easy place to be for quite some time now.  Hang in there.....things will get better. can always take a trip to AZ in the winter to warm up!

Dec 07, 2022 07:25 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker - you embody the spirit of fun and mixing up fun with friends to make any day, anytime, enjoyable and memorable. 

Dec 07, 2022 05:20 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP you now I came by it quite honestly as my Mom was a master at creating fun and friendships/family. She seriously was ready to host I can't tell you how matter people on a short notice.  She had 4 sets of dishes of 48 place settings.  Me, not that much by a long shot......and we do use plastic at times!

Dec 07, 2022 07:26 PM