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What are your favorite Christmas songs?: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 12/5/18

Here is a hearty hello to December!

I’m still counting my blessings and being thankful for so many things. For instance, there was the lovely spring-type day we had on Sunday, Nov. 25. It …

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What are your favorite Christmas songs?: LaVonne Ackerman


Here is a hearty hello to December!

I’m still counting my blessings and being thankful for so many things. For instance, there was the lovely spring-type day we had on Sunday, Nov. 25. It got up to a balmy 55 degrees. The sun gave us enough warmth that I didn’t even need a jacket.

I received some tulip bulbs in late October, and I was determined to get them planted. I was given that opportunity and I look forward to seeing the reward in spring 2019.

Unfortunately, we still had snow on parts of the garden I was working in, and that was a bit of a struggle. I was able to rake some leaves ... imagine the leaf rake being dragged over the frozen white stuff! Kind of insane, but the leaves made it to the curb for pickup.

What helps you to get into the spirit of Christmas? Maybe some of your favorite carols or Christmas songs? I remember having a crush on Bobby Sherman, way back in the day. I owned his Christmas album and my favorite song was “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.”

Have a wonderful week, keep warm and don’t forget to share your news!


Happy 19th cake-and-ice cream day to Jacob Spear of Lower Swatara. He celebrates his last teener birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Have a happy one, Jacob!

Best wishes for a wonderful birthday to Richard Reisinger of Lower Swatara. He will hear the birthday song Dec. 5. I hope your Wednesday is super-wonderful!

Devin Ruzansky of Middletown marks his 12th cake day on Thursday, Dec. 6. Enjoy your party day all week long, Devin!

If you see Cathy Zupanovic out and about the township on Saturday, Dec. 8, be sure to give her a warm and fuzzy happy birthday greeting! Enjoy your me-holiday weekend!

Cynthia Ortez-Sanchez of Lower Swatara hits birthday No. 15 on Saturday, Dec. 8. I hope your day is super-duper with tons of sunshine. Happy birthday!

Best wishes to CD Farr of Middletown Home. He celebrates his 91st balloon-flying day on Saturday, Dec. 8! Congrats!

Gavin Swarthour of Middletown observes his frosty-filled cake day on Sunday, Dec. 9. Happy 15th birthday to you!

Wishing Michaila Brady of Middletown a marvelous 22nd birthday on Monday, Dec. 10. I hope your week is sensational!

Happy 24th birthday to Eric Mosher of Lower Swatara on his confetti-popping party day. Wishing you a terrific Tuesday on Dec. 11.

Happy Sweet 16 beep-beep-honk day to Natalie Krupilis of Middletown on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Wishing you a safe and happy birthday month!


Happy 40th wedding anniversary to Don and Vicki Hartman of Middletown on Wednesday, Dec. 5. They were married in 1978. Congrats to you both! Gift idea: ruby, or perhaps, anything red?

Congrats to Darryl and Renie Bower of Lower Swatara on their 32nd anniversary. Hopefully you will be enjoying a romantic dinner on Thursday, Dec. 6!

Gary and Lynne Klock of Lower Swatara mark 30 years together on Monday, Dec. 10. Diamonds are the standard gift, so get shopping kids! May God bless you both this entire week.

Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

Here is a good comfort food recipe.

12 oz. baby red potatoes, halved

1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

4 (6 ounces) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4 inch thickness

3/4 tsp. salt, divided

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 thyme sprigs

4 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/4 c. whole milk

5 tsp. flour

1 3/4 c. unsalted chicken stock

8 very thing lemon slices

1 (8 ounce) package of French green beans

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from the pan.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil. Add potatoes, cut sides down; mushrooms; and 1 Tbsp. thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once.

Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to pan; simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Quote of the Week

“You can’t see the silver lining that comes from falling down until you get back up.” — Rachel Macy Stafford, author.

Question of the Week

What is your favorite Christmas song or carol?

“U2’s ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’.” — Rachel Lawruk Killeen, Camp Hill.

“Blake Shelton’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Christmas,’ and ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ by Andy Williams!” — Logan Benner, 12, Middletown.

“‘Silent Night,’ because I like to sing it.” — Violet Romine, 8, Mechanicsburg.

“I like ‘Jingle Bells.’ Because Christmas is my favorite.” — Elsie Romine, 5, Mechanicsburg.

“‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’ by Michael Buble.” — William Benkovic, 15, Lower Paxton.

“‘Jingle Bells,’ by Michael Buble.” — Ryan Benkovic, 5, Lower Paxton.

Proverb for the Week

In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them (22:5).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at