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Focus on important things at Christmas: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 12/19/18

Hello, people! How is everyone doing?

Author Kim Marquette says, “This is the season to slow down, to rest and to worship, and to tell others of the great things He has …

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Focus on important things at Christmas: LaVonne Ackerman


Hello, people! How is everyone doing?

Author Kim Marquette says, “This is the season to slow down, to rest and to worship, and to tell others of the great things He has done.” 

Christmas arrives on Tuesday, Dec. 25 — which is less than a week away. This time of year can get so busy that we end up missing the point. December is full of traditions, demands and expectations. My hope for you is that you stop, breathe and reflect. My wish for you is to keep things simple so you don’t lose your joy. My gift to you is to give yourself permission to only do the things that are meaningful to you. Get to the heart of this holiday by majoring on the important things, and minor on unimportant stuff.

Is it beginning to look like Christmas? Whatever that looks like for you, I trust you will allow the Christ Child to speak to you. They say wise men (women) still seek him!

Check out Luke, Chapter 2.  Wishing each one of you a joyous and happy Christmas!


Rob Alcock of Lower Swatara has 51 reasons to celebrate his birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 19. I hope yours is filled with much joy, Rob!

Happy birthday to Anna Collins of Middletown on Thursday, Dec. 20. May your week be full of delight and fun!

Best wishes for a super-duper 15th cake day to Chasey Baumbach of Middletown on Thursday, Dec. 20. Enjoy this most wonderful time of the year, Chasey!

Happy 17th confetti-popping day to Dalton Brannen of Middletown on Friday, Dec. 21. Happy birthday, happy winter! Have the best birthday yet, Dalton!

Taylor Brady of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Saturday, Dec. 22. Enjoy your me-holiday weekend birthday as you listen to loved ones celebrate you!

Best wishes for a fantastic Sunday birthday to David Stauffer of Royalton on Dec. 23. I hope 62 blessings come your way this week!

Lavi Gurm of Lower Swatara celebrates his special day on Monday, Dec. 24. Have a bright and shiny week, Lavi!

Happy birthday to Kim Kennedy of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Dec. 25. Wishing you a wonderful day of celebration. I hope your party lasts all week long!

Here is a shout-out to Carol Woomer of Royalton on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25. Much joy and peace to you as you celebrate your very special day!


Congrats to Robert and Peggy Schlehr of Lower Swatara. This couple married on Dec. 20, 1969. They celebrate 49 years together on Thursday.

Happy 39th wedding anniversary to Jim and Kathy Blockus of Lower Swatara on Saturday, Dec. 22. I hope your day is super romantic with some sunshine! Congrats!

Candlelight services

All are invited to the Evangelical United Methodist Church, 157 E. Water St., Middletown, for Christmas Eve services on Monday, Dec. 24. The Christmas story service will be at 7 p.m. This is geared toward families with young children. The 11 p.m. service is for families with older children and adults. The chancel choir will be featured.

A brass quartet will precede both services at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. Each service will end with a candle lighting ceremony. For more information, call 717-944-6181 weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon.

Chicken Spinach Alfredo

Thanks to Susan Wagner for providing this fast, easy recipe.

1 -2  lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

16 oz.  heavy cream

4 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

5 oz. spinach

fettuccini noodles

Add all ingredients, except noodles, to crock pot. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Shred chicken and stir to combine. Serve over cooked fettuccini noodles.

Congrats, grad

Congratulations to Jake Leggore of Lower Swatara on graduating from Slippery Rock University on Dec. 15. He earned the highest grade-point average of all computer science graduates. Best wishes to you in all you do, Jake!

Quote of the Week

“Christ was born to die so that we might have abundant life — life to the fullest. That’s the real Christmas story, I pray you and I will remember and live out the depth and joy of that story this holiday season.” — Jennifer Schmidt, author.

Question of the Week

What do you think is the most important thing to do, to get ready for Christmas?

“Getting ready for Jesus, by setting out the Nativity.” — Violet Romine, 8, Mechanicsburg.

“Baking cookies, because it is fun, and there’s M&Ms on them, sometimes.” — Elsie Romine, 5, Mechanicsburg.

“To get everything ready for your family to be around you!” — Arianna Laverty, 11, Middletown.

“Probably decorate and plan for your Christmas party.” — Logan Benner, 12, Royalton.

“To make myself tired, so I can be able to go to sleep for Santa to come!” — Jameson Hoffman, 6, Lower Paxton.

Proverb of the Week

So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you (22:19).

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