December 16, the congregations will participate in a multi-generational worship service “Christmas Together”
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, North Baltimore
On the Third Sunday of Advent, December 16, the congregation will participate in a multi-generational worship service “Christmas Together” based on 1 Peter 1:22, 4:7-11 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in North Baltimore at 10:15 a.m. The third candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit at the opening of worship to celebrate the Third Sunday in Advent. Please join us. Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m. Plan now to join us on Christmas Eve at 9:15 p.m. for our Candlelight/Communion Worship Service.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, McComb
On the Third Sunday of Advent, December 16, the people of St. John’s Lutheran Church (McComb) and the McComb United Methodist Church (MUMC) will join together for a Christmas program, “Christmas Together,” based on 1 Peter 1:22, 4:7-11 during worship. The children, youth, and leaders will be attending and presenting at BOTH services on December 16 at 8:00 a.m. at St. John’s and 10:30 a.m. at MUMC. The third candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit at the opening of worship to celebrate the Third Sunday in Advent. A joint adult Sunday School with the McComb United Methodist Church befgins at 9:15 a.m. Christmas Eve Worship at St. John’s is at 7:00 p.m.
The sweet kisses and cuddles are fun, but a new pet requires some preparation. Stock up on items like age-appropriate food and toys…..
(Family Features) The holiday season – and the lead-up to it – is a popular time to bring home a new puppy or kitten.
Consider these tips from the pet experts at PetSmart Charities to help make your new pet’s adjustment to its forever home merry and bright.
Know that pet parenting is a lifetime commitment. That oh-so-sweet puppy or kitten stage only lasts so long, so be sure that you’re prepared to give a lifetime of loving care. Nurturing the bond, you create during the early months can create a foundation for lifelong companionship.
Consider adoption first. There are literally thousands of animals of all breeds and ages looking for loving homes. Consider adopting a pet that needs a home from a local shelter or adoption event.
“When you consider an option like adoption, you can make sure one less dog or cat is spending the holiday season in a shelter while also providing the gift of unconditional love to a furry friend in need,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, which helps find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year. “As a way to make adoption more accessible, we work with local adoption partners to host regular adoption events at the Every Day Adoption Centers in nearly every PetSmart store nationwide.”
Select an appropriate pet. Integrating a pet into your household, especially for a first-time pet owner, can take some work. It’s important to consider factors like how often you travel, whether your work schedule will allow a visit home during the day for a potty-training puppy and if you’re willing to provide necessary care, such as daily brushing for a long-haired animal. Also consider whether you truly want a puppy or a kitten; an adult pet offers numerous benefits, such as potentially being house-trained already and more resilient for play with small kids.
Be realistic about the big reveal. Picturesque as it may be, the classic image of a puppy or kitten making a surprise leap from a box under the tree isn’t always as simple as it may appear, especially if kids are involved. Start by setting expectations with children so they don’t startle their new pet with a burst of excitement that can be scary for a small animal. Rather than putting the pet in a box, for an easier solution consider bringing the pet home before the excitement of the big day, and instead wrapping up supplies like a leash and feeding bowl to place under the tree and putting a festive collar on the new pet.
Prepare for pet parenting. The sweet kisses and cuddles are fun, but a new pet requires some preparation. Stock up on items like age-appropriate food and toys. Look into training classes and find a veterinarian you trust for regular checkups. Also take time to pet-proof your home, removing items that may pose a health threat or create temptations for undesirable behaviors.
Find more advice on introducing a new pet to your home this holiday season and locate an Every Day Adoption Center near you at petsmartcharities.org .
There are several actions you should avoid when encountering a responding emergency vehicle….
by Craig Spieker, Assistant Chief/Education Coordinator, Hanco EMS
If you or someone you love requires emergency assistance, you want help to arrive as quickly and safely as possible. Fortunately, you can help first responders reach an emergency as quickly as possible. It is as simple as pulling to the right for sirens and lights.
Many people who see an emergency vehicle with activated lights and sirens panic or simply do not adhere to the rules of the road. The law is specific: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle, and failure to do so can cause serious accidents or delays for paramedics, firefighters and police officers arriving at the scene of an emergency. First responders are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by passing vehicles on the left, driving slowly when traveling against traffic or coming to a complete stop at intersections if necessary. However, the cooperation of ALL drivers on the roadway is critical for everyone’s safety.
There are simple steps and rules to follow when you are on the road and encounter an emergency vehicle responding to a scene:
Pull to the right and come to a complete stop.
If you are traveling on a high-speed road or if there is no room to stop, move to the right and slow down as much as possible.
If you are in the left lane, move over into the right lane as other traffic in the right lane moves over and stops.
If you cannot move to the right because of another vehicle or obstacle, just stop. Your action will let the driver of the emergency vehicle know what you are doing and allow the driver to anticipate where to drive.
When an emergency vehicle approaches you from behind while you are stopped at an intersection, stay where you are unless you can pull to the right.
On a four-lane highway or street without barriers, both sides of traffic should pull to the right.
Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working.
Drivers should stay at least 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.
In contrast, there are several actions you should avoid when encountering a responding emergency vehicle:
Do not panic.
Do not play your radio so loudly that you are unable to hear sirens.
Do not drive distracted.
Do not stop in the middle of your lane when there is room to pull to the right.
Do not pull to the left into the center turn lane, left turn lane or into oncoming traffic.
Do not race ahead to make the green light or turn before the emergency vehicle gets there.
Do not turn quickly to the left onto a side street or driveway.
Do not drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind.
Do not disregard the presence of the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.
During emergencies, seconds count. By following these rules, you can assist both first responders and victims of emergency situations. Speak with your local first responders for more information.
Every year, tens of millions of travelers brave planes, trains and automobiles to celebrate year-end holidays and exchange goodwill with family and friends….
(Family Features) As another busy travel season approaches, road-weary parents and families can hold on to holiday cheer a little longer by counting on tech as their preferred travel companion.
Every year, tens of millions of travelers brave planes, trains and automobiles to celebrate year-end holidays and exchange goodwill with family and friends. Consider these ideas for using tech to make this year’s travel a little easier.
Electronic Entertainment Nearly every parent is wary of excess screen time, but holiday travel is a good time to set aside those concerns. Hours of chaotic travel, unfamiliar scenery and overall disruption to typical daily schedules can wreak havoc on kids. One way to keep those stressful feelings at bay is entertainment, and there are plenty of options that can serve as aides to keep kids calm and collected when travel gets tiresome. Handheld video games, portable DVD players and tablets can all be customized with kid-friendly content to make it from point A to point B with your sanity intact, or to simply enjoy an uninterrupted hour catching up with loved ones.
Savvy Smartphones It’s a trend on the rise: More than 70 percent of U.S. travelers responding to Google Consumer Insights agreed they “always” use their smartphones when traveling to research activities or attractions, locate shopping areas and restaurants, or look up directions.
For value-conscious travelers, a smartphone like the Alcatel 7 offers robust talk time, nonstop streaming and lightning-fast charging. Up to 28 hours of talk time makes it ideal for connecting with family and friends down the street or around the globe, and after just 22 minutes of charging, it can be used for up to six hours. With more than 10 hours of nonstop streaming in a single charge, kids won’t have to miss out on any social media stories or updates from their favorite vloggers while waiting for grandma’s pecan pie to cool. Sleek and compact, the phone also features a large six-inch Full HD+ display and dual cameras that let you shoot in portrait mode. Learn more at alcatel7.com.
Get Organized Technology isn’t just for fun or capturing memories, or even for finding a late-night diner when you’re on the road. With the right apps and tools, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into a virtual file folder filled with all your travel details, from an itinerary mapping out each step of your journey to confirmation codes for reservations, e-tickets and more.
Power Up You’ve heard the tongue-in-cheek adage that technology is great when it works. One thing is sure: it won’t work if it isn’t properly charged. Take time to lay out all your devices and their respective charging equipment before you pack your bags. Fully charge all devices, install new batteries and, when you’re done, stash the cords and extra batteries in your carry-on bag where you can access them easily later.
Connectivity Crashes If you’re planning to rely heavily on your tech devices while traveling, be sure you’re aware of any potential connectivity issues that may limit your access to certain apps and features. Remember that in certain areas signals can be spotty. If there’s essential info you may need, download it directly into your device so you can retrieve it with or without a good connection.
Protective Care Away from home, you’re likely to encounter situations and environments that put your family’s tech devices in precarious places. Even a suitcase with liquid toiletries can pose a hazard, but a simple plastic bag can prevent damage from spills en route. Before you embark on your trip, also take steps to safeguard your tech devices with screen protectors and snug-fit covers or cases.
Give Gifts that Matter without Regretting the Price
Holiday cheer turns into financial fright for many people every year. According to MagnifyMoney’s annual post-holiday debt survey, Americans rang up an average of $1,054 in debt during the 2017 holiday shopping season, an increase of 5 percent from 2016. However, buying gifts and spreading cheer doesn’t have to come with a giant price tag that screams regret.
Shop the sales. Tech gifts top wish lists for recipients of all ages, and that makes them popular items for holiday specials. Preview ads for great offers and look for bundles or other perks that make the purchase price even more attractive.
Focus on function. Tech devices come in different sizes and colors, and in every price range. For example, an Alcatel 7 smartphone provides the same connectivity, talk time and display as phones that cost up to four times as much. Plus, multiple camera modes allow for standout photos. With dual rear cameras, portrait mode allows you to focus on a subject in real-time with blurred background effect.
Set a budget. If you determine up-front how much you can afford to spend, there won’t be a reason to second-guess your purchases. Make a list of everyone you’ll be buying for and determine how much you’ll spend on each person. Think about gifts each recipient will appreciate that fall within your threshold for a fool-proof, debt-proof approach to holiday shopping.
Headed to OSU next year? Now taking applications for OSU Alumni-Wood County scholarships……
Scholarship Applications for 2019 OSU Alumni Club of Wood County
William J. Cronenwitt Scholarship Awards
Current high school seniors that reside in Wood County and are applicants for admission to The Ohio State University may apply for the 2019 William J. Cronenwett Scholarship offered by the Ohio State University Alumni Club of Wood County. The application may be found on the club’s website https://woodco.alumni.osu.edu/scholarships/scholarship-application/.
Completed Applications must be received by January 17, 2019 by emailing the completed form including guidance counselor recommendations to email@example.com. No late submissions will be considered. Please contact your high school guidance counselor or our scholarship chair- Mark Hamen (419) 666-7897 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Presented courtesy of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo
The Stranahan Theater will be the location for a FREE concert on December 23rd, featuring Siberian Solstice. The group is a Trans Siberian Orchestra tribute band, and performs throughout the northwest Ohio area during the holiday season. Here are the details:
Put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Fight the Cold with Better-for-You Comfort Foods–Like Tomato Soup
(Family Features) Few things go together quite like cold weather and comfort foods. However, those hearty dishes that are typically craved on blustery days are usually not classified as “healthy.”
With the right approach, though, you can put a better-for-you twist on some of your favorite dishes that can keep you cozy and satiated during the winter season. For example, you can put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Pairing flavorful seasonal dishes like soups and stews with a wholesome snack cracker like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Crackers can help satisfy those comfort food cravings while also contributing to a healthy lifestyle. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving, these crunchy, robust baked crackers are also cholesterol-free, allowing you to take a back-to-basics approach to your diet using simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors.
For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts
24 Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Crackers
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion, carrot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and bay leaves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender; puree in batches until smooth. Stir in cream, remaining salt, 1 tablespoon chives and vinegar.
To make Cheddar Cracker Melts: Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Divide soup among six bowls. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Tip: Use mild, medium or aged cheddar cheese. Smoked mozzarella can be substituted, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 6 g protein.
Village will be hiring a new Finance Officer , as Melanie Lee quit last week. Tony Swartz agrees to serve as Interim replacement….
The Village of North Baltimore held “Council of the Whole” and an additional “Special Meeting” on Tuesday. All council members were present.
The Village Council held its regularly scheduled “Council of the Whole” meeting where reports and updates are shared by committee chairmen. No legislation is approved at these meetings. This meeting is chaired by Art Patterson, President of Village Council.
Here is a brief summary of what was talked about this week:
~Public safety–$75,000 is needed for Bunker Gear for NBFD in the year 2021. Savings are on track to have that money available at the needed time. Over $1400 and many bikes and toys were donated for the “Toys for Tots” campaign, led by the Fire Department.
~Technology—Still trying to find an affordable option on cameras for the Park area and at Village Hall. Hard wiring is recommended, but also expensive. WiFi is being reconsidered.
~Public Utilities—“I have ZERO applicants,” said utility Director Brian Roberts, of an existing need for a water plant operator. The search continues.
~ Public Works—A discussion was held on getting switched to cost-saving LED lighting. Several reports and examples of dramatic dollar savings were shared. Also, bidding will be sought for some street paving.
~ Personnel, Policy, Ordinance Review –Compensation policy, including, Flex Time, Overtime, Comp time, and Random Day Off, will be reviewed and updated to make sure it is meeting the needs of the Village.
~Tree Commission—All trees that were scheduled to be planted for 2018 have been.
The Mayor reminded Council that prior to next week’s meeting, there will be a holiday gathering for the council members.
The meeting adjourned and moved on to the “Special meeting” which went to closed “Executive Session”. No action was expected.
After that meeting had concluded, (and I had left ) TheNBXpress was contacted, to inform us that action had happened . Here is what was shared:
The Village will be hiring a new Finance Officer , as Melanie Lee quit last week.
In order to finish the 2019 Budget and close out the 2018 books, the Council agreed to hire local resident and retired Accountant Tony Swartz, who will assist the Village in getting those 2 tasks completed, as Interim Finance Officer.
Gingerbread, peppermint, cinnamon treats and more…..
(Family Features) With 334 days leading up to December, make the most of the season by enjoying the holiday’s quintessential flavors like gingerbread, peppermint and cinnamon – with double the festive treats to please every taste.
Transform one vibrant holiday flavor into two festive treats that family and friends are sure to love. Nothing signals the holiday season like the sweet and spicy snap of gingerbread. Enjoy this must-have flavor in freshly baked Gingerbread Men Cookies or a Triple Chocolate Gingerbread cake.
Peppermint offers a refreshing, sweet taste that’s perfect for gifted treats like Peppermint Crunch Popcorn and Peppermint Bars. Also, cinnamon stars twice as nice in a Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Tart with Cinnamon Peanut Crust and decadent Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars.
Find more gingerbread, peppermint and cinnamon treats at McCormick.com.
In large bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In separate large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into thick, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350° F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1-2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, using electric mixer on low speed, beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, sour cream, vegetable oil, molasses and water until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour into 10-cup Bundt pan prepared with nonstick spray.
Bake 50 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and springs back when touched lightly. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack. Cool completely.
To make Brownies: Heat oven to 350° F. Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions. Spread on greased, foil-lined, 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan.
Bake 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
To make Peppermint Filling: In large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, cream, peppermint extract and food coloring until well blended and smooth. Spread evenly over cooled brownies. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
To make Chocolate Glaze: In large, microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and butter on high 2 minutes, until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over top of chilled brownies. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies, if desired. Cut into bars.
Peppermint Crunch Popcorn
Prep time: 10 minutes Servings: 16
6 cups plain popped popcorn
1 bag (12 ounces) candy-coated chocolate pieces
12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
1 tablespoon red and green sprinkles
In large bowl, mix popcorn and candy-coated pieces. Line large, shallow baking pan with wax paper. Set aside.
Melt white chocolate according to package instructions. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Spread in single layer on prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with red and green sprinkles.
Let chocolate cool and harden completely. Gently break into clusters. Package in cellophane bags with ribbons for holiday gifting.
Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Tart with Cinnamon Peanut Crust
Heat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, mix peanuts, sugar, butter and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove 1/4 cup and spread on small baking sheet. Divide remaining peanut mixture among four (4-inch) tart pans with removable bottoms. Press firmly onto bottom and sides of each pan.
Bake tart crusts and peanut mixture together 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate milk on high 45 seconds. Add chocolate; stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
In large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and remaining cinnamon until smooth. Add heavy cream; beat until soft peaks form. Spread in prepared tart crusts. Spread chocolate mixture over top.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. Cut each tart in half. Sprinkle with toasted peanut crumble.
Heat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and pecans until well blended. Add flour mixture; mix well. Reserve 1 cup batter. Spread remaining batter into lightly greased, foil-lined, 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until firm.
In microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and milk on high 2-3 minutes, or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Cool 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Pour over baked layer in pan, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Drop reserved batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. With knife, cut through batter several times for marble effect.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan. Cut into bars.