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Mix in some greens with rich holiday food: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 12/21/18

Hi, all! Are we wearing our fat pants? My, what great food, sweets, cookies … they’re all special for now. At least that is what I tell myself when I indulge. I keep adding greens, …

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Mix in some greens with rich holiday food: LaVonne Ackerman


Hi, all! Are we wearing our fat pants? My, what great food, sweets, cookies … they’re all special for now. At least that is what I tell myself when I indulge. I keep adding greens, spinach, celery, peppers, avocado, and other tasty salad fixings to those thoughts!

I do think this is a wonderful time of the year! What are your favorite things about it? The excitement of enjoying festive traditions, hearing from special people near and far, spending time with favorite people, giving of self or wealth, or both?

Let it be a time to enjoy and look forward to happy gatherings. Remember the blessings we have had throughout the year. Give the gift of a cheerful word or smile, and let’s make this Earth a little brighter!

Happy New Year, and I will “see” you in 2019!


Happy birthday blessings are sent to MaryAnn Carpenter of Lower Swatara. Her party day is Thursday, Dec. 27.  I wish you 71 wonderful things for you on your day!

Carter Bryan of Middletown marks his 12th razzle-dazzle day on Dec. 27. May your Thursday be the best birthday yet, Carter!

Emma Rose Etter of Elizabethtown will blow out six candles atop of her frosty cake on Thursday, Dec. 27. Enjoy all the treats, Emma!

Happy sparkles-and-glitter 12th cake day to Holly Carson of Lower Swatara on Friday, Dec. 28. Celebrate all week long!

Tarajai Martin of Lower Swatara celebrates his last teener 19th birthday on Friday, Dec. 28. Hoping your day is just fabulous!

Wishing Doug Cleckner of Lower Swatara a sparkly happy birthday on Saturday, Dec. 29. Have a joyous time all weekend, Doug!

Happy 8th super-duper-dazzling birthday to Rachael Symonies of Lower Swatara. This girl celebrates on Saturday, Dec. 29. Make it a sensational day, Rachael!

Happy birthday candles will be burning for Karen Renn, formerly of Shirley Drive, on Sunday, Dec. 30. I hope this double-nickel cake day is super-duper, Karen!

Emily Lawyer marks her final teener birthday on Sunday, Dec. 30 as she turns 19. Congrats and enjoy, Emily!

Happy birthday balloons will be flying for Morgan Olivia Clouser of Lower Swatara on Sunday, Dec. 30. Enjoy your 15th cake day!

Alayna Thomas of Lower Swatara hits No. 19 on Sunday, Dec. 30. Have a festive time celebrating your me-holiday, Alayna!

Best wishes for a wonderful 18th cake-and-ice cream day to Owen Grogan of Lower Swatara on the last day in 2018. Wishing you the best on Monday, Dec. 31!

Liz Friedrichs of Elizabethtown celebrates her 15th frosty-filled cake day on Monday, Dec. 31. I hope your birthday is tons of fun, Liz!

Happy New Year and happy birthday to Ashu Gill of Middletown. He is 20 on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Congratulations and enjoy!


Best wishes to Jack and Babette Ruddicks of Lower Swatara on Dec. 29. They celebrate their 11th anniversary on Saturday. The gift? Fashion jewelry. Enjoy!

Happy big-deal 40th wedding anniversary to Bill and Fawn Mencer of Lower Swatara. They were married on Dec. 31, 1978. Congrats and enjoy your ruby celebration day on Monday!

Recipe for Parmesan Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1/4 tsp. each of paprika, salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9-by-11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix cheese, bread crumbs and spices together. Dip chicken in butter, then coat with other ingredients. Place in prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

Women’s brunch

All women are invited to attend “A New Outlook For The New Year” brunch buffet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Hershey Italian Lodge, 128 Hillcrest Road, Hershey.

The program is presented by Hershey Area Women’s Connection, affiliated with Christian Women’s Clubs of America.

The feature is Kathleen Forney of Elizabethtown. She is a fused glass artist and teacher. The musicians are Jeremy Shaver, and his mom, Lisa Shaver, of Middletown. They will entertain with a piano duo. Carol LeBeau will share “An Anchor For Life.” Carol is a former television news anchor and reporter from Charleston, West Virginia.

Make reservations, by Jan. 4, for this wonderful morning with Edna at 717-652-0997, or Mary at 717-533-3497, or email

Quote of the Week

“Love and trust are the solvents for the worry and frets of life.” — John Piper, author.

Question of the Week

What is your favorite thing about the holiday season?

“Getting together with family and celebrating Jesus’s birth and all that it means!” — Lisa Shaver, Lower Swatara.

“Getting gifts. And eating all kinds of Christmas cookies.” — Spencer Odom, 10, Lower Paxton.

“The food! All of it!” — Aijah Gladden, 11 , Middletown.

“Mostly, that I get to see most of my family.” — Leah Courts, 9, Middletown.

“I get presents and that it's about Jesus.” — Frank Bishop, 9, Middletown.

“New presents, because I like the cardboard packaging. We make things out of it.” — Emmett Boone, 7, Middletown.

Proverb of the Week

Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you (22:26, 27).

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