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280 Living

Volume 5 | Issue 42011 | December 2011 | December | w





















HOOVER in Riverchase Plaza • 444-2282 INVERNESS Hwy 280 in Inverness Plaza • 408-0020

neighborly news & entertainment

December Features


Offer expires December 25, 2011. Please visit club for details or online at

Here comes Santa Claus By KATHRYN ACREE

Holiday Recipes | Section B Editor’s note


Holiday events


Amelia’s Spicing Pecans


People you should know


Holiday Gift Guide


Christmas essays


Ministry Spotlight


280 Business Happenings


Restaurant Showcase


Business Spotlight


Ornament swap


Christmas gift recipes


School House






Library Happenings


Calendar of Events


Music Listings/Classifieds


Perched on top of a ladder truck and fire engine, Santa will be making an early visit to a street near you on Saturday, Dec. 17. Be sure to come out to wave and catch the candy he throws, all courtesy of the Cahaba Valley Fire Department. For nearly 20 years, the firefighters of the CVFD have personally escorted Santa through the residential areas of the department’s district in North Shelby County. “Santa has his toss down pretty good by now,” said Commander Grant Wilkinson, the district’s public information officer. “He makes sure the candy goes into the yards so that kids don’t run out into the street toward the truck. Safety is still top priority.” Wilkinson would not divulge how the CVFD is on such good terms with Saint Nick, but he did drop the hint that often rookies to the department are involved. He arranges Santa’s route on two trucks to make sure he visits all the children he can, no matter their age. The board that directs the CVFD’s operations budgets for the purchase of candy for Santa to share with onlookers. “We usually make one big shopping trip to prepare for Santa’s ride and spend $500 to $700 on candy,” Wilkinson said. Santa’s fire trucks leave the station at 8 a.m. and continue en route through the

Santa will ride the Cahaba Valley Fire Department Truck around North Shelby County on Dec. 17. See page A6 for his complete route. Photo by Madoline Markham.

evening, usually around 4 or 5 p.m. He follows a reindeer map designed by the department, but Wilkinson noted that the schedule may be affected by traffic and the times are approximate. “If there is an emergency, Santa has kindly consented to release his reindeer for

that purpose and will attempt to complete his route as best he can,” Wilkinson said. For further information on Santa’s route, visit or call 991-5267.

See SANTA’S ROUTE | page A6

A land of festive fantasy By MADOLINE MARKHAM


Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #656

Greystone Elementary fifth grader Carolena Miller rehearses for her role as Marie in The Alabama Ballet’s The Nutracker. Photo by Madoline Markham.

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A place on a throne with a prince surrounded by sweets. A battle against giant mice and a mouse king. A ride on a sleigh in a land of sweets. It’s the dreamcome-true for the Marie in The Nutcracker. For Carolena Miller, the story has the same effect. “It feels almost real with all the props and scenery,” she said. The Greystone Elementary fifth grader will play the role, known as Clara in other versions, in the George Balanchine ballet at Samford University’s Wright Center. Carolena looks forward to practice every day: eight hours a week at rehearsal and countless more at home she dedicates in front of the DVD of the ballet she rented from the library. She has even taught herself other ballerinas’ roles in the play and goes through her moves in her head before bedtime each night. Carolena first became entranced by the

See NUTCRACKER | page A15

s a l o n s p a

Inverness Village



| December 2011 1 11/18/11|


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| December 2011


Welcome Friends

280 Living neighborly news & entertainment

Editor’s Note I love the doing of this redand-green season: selecting a uniquely perfect present like those in our gift guide (A12), baking treats for friends using recipes like Lisa Johnsey’s (B2), planning a party for friends like the ladies who host an ornament swap in Greystone every year (section B cover), putting on a new party dress or my favorite reindeer earrings to attend holiday event after holiday event like those throughout this issue. When I interviewed her for our cover story, fifth grader Carolena Miller said that Christmas day isn’t as exciting after The Nutcracker ends, which reminded me that the doing of Christmas will come and go. When the parties and gift giving are gone, in some sense the thrill dies, but then again some things that are heightened during the holidays will remain: the love of dance behind the performance, the friendships that inspire the party, the relationships at the root the gifts we buy, the community

ties and heartfelt religious significance of events we attend. Like I read in a devotional last year, this time is not about the doing but the being with, the love and the belief. Where I find the joy of the season is not ultimately in the stuff or even the good of giving and serving but in meditating on the “thrill of hope” over which “the weary world rejoices,” as the words of “O Holy Night” say; it’s in the awe and wonder in the anticipation of what we celebrate all year but especially now. So as you go and do around town, as you celebrate family traditions and even as you sit in Highway 280 traffic on shopping days, may you and your family treasure the true meaning of the season now and in the months to come!

Correction In the Ministry Spotlight on page A13 of the November issue, we misspelled the subject’s name and incorrectly stated her title. Beatrice Engels can be reached at beatriz. engels@ccc.uab.or

Fan Giveaway Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven waves from a float with at last year’s Chelsea Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will be held Dec. 17. Photo by Cari Dean.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers

Paul Johnson | Lisa Culotta Johnsey Brent Watson | Rick Watson | Kari Kampakis Karen O. Allen | Lauren Sheehan

High School Correspondents

Geny Kate Gurley | Collier Kauffman Michael Matthews | Tabitha Fulton

Contributing Photographers Cari Dean | Barry Clemons


Editor at Large

Dan Starnes

Joe Samuel Starnes

Creative Director


Keith McCoy

Krysti Shallenberger

Community Editor Kathryn Acree

Managing Editor Madoline Markham

Please submit all articles, information and photos to:

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Contact Information: 280 Living P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205)-370-0732

280 Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. 280 Living is designed to inform the communities along Highway 280 of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in 280 Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/ photos submitted become the property of 280 Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/ photos as deemed necessary. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email. Please recycle this paper

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Remember only Fans who “like” our Facebook page are eligible for the monthly giveaway. This month’s winner will receive:

$25 to Birmingham Bake & Cook Thanks for reading and being fans of 280 Living.

You must e-mail to claim your prize.

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280 Living


| December 2011



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| 280 Living


CONTINUED from page 1

Santa’s Fire Truck Route Route #1 Approximate

Reindeer pace



8:00 a.m. 8:20 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:40 a.m. 8:55 a.m. 9:10 a.m. 9:25 a.m. 9:40 a.m. 9:55 a.m. 10:05 a.m. 10:20 a.m. 10:35 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 11:05 a.m. 11:25 a.m. 11:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:45 p.m. 2:20 p.m. 4:15 p.m.

Walk Through Nativity planned for Dec. 7 – 9

Kenley Way Colonial Village Inverness Rental Info Center Colonial Village Inverness Mail Boxes Cahaba Beach Road Beach Circle Edenton Street/Portabella Road Lenox Lane / Lenox Drive Cahaba Lakes Clubhouse Eagle Ridge Lane (The Hills of Brook Highland) Eagle Ridge Drive (Eagle Ridge Apartments) Eagle Ridge Drive (Eagle Ridge Townes) Meadow Drive (Club House) Brook Highland Lane (Mail Station) Stone Brook (All Streets) Magnolia Place Calumet Drive Reindeer Rest Break Brook Highland (All Streets) The Narrows (All Streets) Forest Parks 280


15 5 5 10 10 10 10 10 5 10 10 10 10 15 15 10 40 90 90 30

Route #2: Approximate


8:00 a.m. 8:20 a.m. 8:40 a.m. 10:15 a.m. 1:15 p.m. 1:45 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:20 p.m. 2:35 p.m. 2:50 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 3:50 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 4:35 p.m.

Reindeer pace


Turtle Lake Apartments Stone Crest Apartments Eagle Point Highland Lakes Reindeer Rest Break Aaronvale Circle Villa Belvedere/Belvedere Cove Regent Park Highland Village Trail Mt Laurel Mt Laurel Ave./Olmsted St/ Mt Laurel Park Old Dunnavant Valley Road Dunnavant Place/Birch Creek II Birch Creek


15 15 90 180 40 10 15 10 10 35 10 10 15 10

Actors portray the wise men in a scene from Briarwood’s Walk Through Nativity. Photo courtesy of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

Briarwood Presbyterian Church will once again host its annual Walk Through Nativity. The event, now in its 18th year, is planned for Dec. 7-9 from 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. on the grounds of the church at 2200 Briarwood Way. Hundreds of church volunteers are involved in making the three-night event a reality. Each evening visitors walk a route through 13 scenes depicting the foretelling of Christ’s coming, his birth in Bethlehem, his life, death and resurrection. Costumed actors are involved in the scenes

along with animals including sheep, camels and donkeys. Taped narration explains each scene as visitors journey along the quarter-mile walk. Wheelchairs are available to guests who might need them, and the walk is designed to be easy for anyone, including families with strollers. The scenes are about 200 feet apart and can typically be viewed in about 20 – 25 minutes. In past years, attendance has been estimated at 5,000-6,000 over the three-night event. For more information on the Walk Through Nativity, go to

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280 Living

| December 2011



Liberty Park Christmas Parade and Celebration

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Area residents walk in last year’s Liberty Park Christmas parade. Photo courtesy of Liberty Park.

Liberty Park’s annual Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. The parade will start at Liberty Park Elementary School and proceed down Liberty Parkway to Alston Meadows Park. The 10th Annual Christmas Celebration will be held in the park immediately following the parade. The event will feature pictures with Santa, horse and carriage rides, ornament making, free food and beverages, kids’ activities, a decorated golf cart contest, live entertainment and drawings for prizes. Donations will be

collected for tornado victims in Pratt City. All parade participants must fill out a registration form and submit it by Dec. 8. Forms are available at the Liberty Park Sales Office. For more information, contact Paige Hockman, 296-5008 or paigehockman@aol. com. To enter the golf cart decoration contest, park at the basketball court at Alston Meadows. To set up a table or become a corporate sponsor, contact Carol Adkins, 441-5561 or

Hollydazzle Craft and Gift Market: one-stop holiday shop The second annual Hollydazzle Craft and Gift Market is set for Dec. 9 and 10. This year’s event will once again be held in the Brook Highland Plaza on Highway 280 next to Ulta Beauty. More than 85 vendors are planned to be at the event selling one-of-a-kind holiday items. Vendors include County Fair Gifts, Artistic Pine, Jewels by Park Lane, Emma’s Purses, Accessories and

More, Miche Bag of Birmingham, Jittery Coffee Roasters, From the Heart, Christy Lou, Monica’s Gifts, Linda Freeman Jewel Wear, Doodlebugs, All Tied Up Ribbons and Bows and more. Last year’s event drew more than 4,000 visitors. Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. For more information, visit www.hollydazzlemarket. com or find them on Facebook.

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Oak Mountain Bands to perform at Alabama Theatre The 2nd Annual “An Oak Mountain Christmas,” featuring the award-winning Bands of Oak Mountain with special guest Carrie Tillis, will be held at 7 p.m. on December 9 at the historic Alabama Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tillis will perform a range of music with Oak Mountain High School’s nationally-recognized jazz, symphonic and

wind ensemble bands. This special evening also will include music before the show by the Alabama’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” organ. All seating is general admission. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and under. All proceeds benefit the Oak Mountain band program. For more information about the event, visit

Manheim and Transiberian Orchestra music at Double Oak Mt Laurel’s Double Oak Community Church will host a special Christmas Celebration with renditions of the music of Manheim Steamroller and Transiberian Orchestra. Shows are planned for Saturday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2:30


Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located at 4100 Belcher Drive and can be reached at 995-9096.


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p.m. and 6 p.m. The event will be held in the church’s worship room, and admission is free. Double Oak Community Church is located at 115 Olmstead Street. For more information, visit or contact the church office at 995-9752.

Arts and Crafts Fair at North Shelby Baptist Church North Shelby Baptist Church will be holding its Arts and Crafts fair Dec. 18-19. Their hours are Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and

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280 Living

Churches to hold special services, events for Christmas Music programs Special Christmas music service. Faith Presbyterian Church. Dec. 11 at 10:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome. Christmas Cantata. First Christian Church. Dec. 11 at 10:15 a.m. “Tapestry of Light,” a Celtic Christmas musical celebration. Christ Church United Methodist, 5191 Caldwell Mill Road. Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. More info: 991-5065. Advent services Grace Presbyterian Church. Sundays, Dec. 4, 11, and 18 at 10:45 a.m. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran

Church. Wednesdays, Dec. 7, 14, and 21. Lunch and service at 12 p.m. Vesper Services at 7 p.m. with a soup supper at 6:15 p.m. “When Christmas Hurts” A special time help those struggling with any life issues such as job loss, relationship issues, financial burdens and even loneliness reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ. Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Christ Church United Methodist, 5191 Caldwell Mill Road. More information: 991-5065.

Southern hospitality highlights the Christmas season at Columbiana’s Holiday Tour of Homes Five homes in the Columbiana area will be available to tour as part of this year’s Holiday Tour of Homes. The Dec. 3 event is hosted by The Columbiana Beautification Board. One of the homes on the tour, a historic home commonly known as the Turner House, returns for a second year to proudly show the progress being made in its renovation by owners Corley and Julie Ellis. The Ellis family opened the home last year for the tour to show the early stages of its renovation after purchasing the vacant home in 2010. The home is believed to have been built around 1900 and now sits on 1.5 acres on Thompson Street in Columbiana.

Chelsea Christmas Parade set for Dec. 17

The Holiday Tour of Homes will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Advance purchase tickets are $10 and are available at Busy Hands Framing and Dr. Stancil Handley’s office on Main Street in Columbiana. Tickets at the door on Dec. 3 will be $12. The home tour is part of the annual Christmas in Columbiana event, which begins with a parade on Main Street at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1. The event sponsored by Columbiana area merchants rings in the Christmas season with a marching band, beauty queens, firetrucks, floats and of course, Santa.

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Santa and one of his merry elves greet visitors at last year’s Chelsea Christmas Parade. Photo by Cari Dean.

In its twelfth year, the annual Chelsea Christmas Parade has become quite the family tradition. According to Gerri Roberts with the City of Chelsea, the word around town is, “If you live in Chelsea, you are either in the parade or at it!” Once again there will be fire trucks, the Chelsea Hornet Band, cheerleaders, pageant queens, twirlers and antique cars. Plans are even in the works for a flyover by the Patriotic Pilots. Tiffany Bittner of Fox 6 News will be the emcee as parade participants pass the viewing stand. As in years past, Chelsea businesses and churches are planning a show of support with 20 professionally made floats

reserved for the parade. Amateur floats will compete for the Mayor’s Award presented at parade’s end. And don’t forget that very special visitor from the North Pole who will be bringing up the rear! The parade is set for Dec. 17 starting at 10 a.m. at Chelsea Intermediate School. The parade route follows County Road 39 and ends at the Winn Dixie parking lot. The parade usually concludes mid-day leaving plenty of time for lunch and Christmas shopping at some of the local Chelsea merchants. There are no bad seats, so bring your family and your folding chairs and join in on the Christmas excitement.

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280 Living

| December 2011


A pecan for any dish

Wiggly and Whole Foods soon. For more information about Amelia’s Spicing Pecans and recipe ideas, call 789-1558, email, visit www. or find them on Facebook.

By KRYSTI SHALLENBERGER Mike Reardon has always been an innovator. He worked for construction companies for 20 years and started Invent Alabama before launching his latest venture: Amelia’s Spicing Pecans. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking, being creative and coming up with new ideas,” said the Inverness resident. “That’s my tagline on this product: be creative.” The idea came when Reardon was tossing up a salad with the help of his daughter, Amelia, a seventh grader at Oak Mountain Middle School. “I roasted pecans to add them to salad, and it came to me that it would taste better if the pecans themselves had some kind of spice already,” he said. Seeing a huge market in spicy foods, he started with a hot and spicy flavor, which after a few seconds in my mouth had me desperate for a glass of water. Reardon played around with the pecans, experimenting with different oils to flavor the nuts: herb, coffee, cinnamon and the original hot and spicy.

Amelia’s Spicing Pecans Cinnamon flavor can be sprinkled on top cream cheese and crushed pineapple for a dessert dip. Photo by Krysti Shallenberger.

Herb Spicing Pecan Cream Cheese

1-8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese 1 teaspoon Ranch seasoning powder 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup Amelia’s Herb Spicing Pecans

Inverness resident Mike Reardon has created a line of spicing pecans named after his daughter. Photo by Krysti Shallenberger.

With that, Amelia’s Spicing Pecans was born. Food scientists told Reardon that his idea was interesting but very difficult, but that didn’t stop him from making it work. “People ask me how I came up with this, but really I just experiment and try out different approaches all the time,” Reardon said with a smile. Those who buy the pecans have used them on grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, sweet potatoes and cheesecakes. Reardon likes to sprinkle them in his omelets. I tried the herb-flavored pecans in my potato salad, and it added an extra zing to the familiar dish. Bloggers have come up with unique ways to use the pecans in Banana Bread, Apple and Herb Spicing Pecan Risotto, Cinnamon Pecan Yogurt and Espresso

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Pecan Biscotti. To see these recipes, visit Amelia’s Spicing Pecans have attracted attention outside of Birmingham, too. A chef in Jackson, Miss., asked for some samples and now uses them in a popular Brie cheese appetizer on his restaurant’s menu. All this success doesn’t stop Reardon from thinking ahead and moving forward with this business. When asked if he was satisfied with his success so far, Reardon said, “Heavens no! I want it to be bigger than it is. I’m very excited about this idea, and I want others to be excited about it too.” Amelia’s Spicing Pecans are sold at Cowboy’s on Highway 280 and at Pepper Place market downtown and, according to Reardon, hopefully will be found in Piggly

1. Let cream cheese soften by cutting into slices or cubes. 2. Sprinkle ranch seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese into cream cheese. 3. Mix ingredients into cream cheese thoroughly and shape into two patties each ½-inch thick. 4. Spread spicing pecans on top of cream cheese and gently press into cheese using a rolling pin.

Cinnamon Spicing Pecan Cream Cheese 1-8oz. pkg. of cream cheese 1 1/2 tablespoons crushed pineapple 1/4 cup Amelia’s Cinnamon Spicing Pecans

1. Let cream cheese soften by cutting into slices or cubes. 2. Drain pineapple thoroughly and chop/mince, draining further as you proceed. 3. Mix pineapple into cream cheese thoroughly and shape into two patties 1/2 thick 4. Spread cinnamon spicing pecans on top of cream cheese and gently press into cheese using a rolling pin.

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280 Living

People you should know

Aubrey Miller

Executive Director, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Alabama Board Member, Shelby County Board of Education

Tell us about serving as the pastor of Faith Church. I serve as our pastor, and we currently share space with Aldersgate United Methodist. We are a Bible-based, missionsdriven fellowship with a current active fellowship of about 120 members. We’re seeking to move to the 280 area and continue growing.

By KATHRYN ACREE Perhaps the term “renaissance man” best describes Greystone’s Aubrey Miller. His passions are evident in his service to our community through his role with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We sat down with Miller to discuss his position as a Shelby County School Board member and a minister, along with his interests, background in communications and love for the Birmingham area. Is Birmingham your home? Yes, I was born and raised in eastern Birmingham in an area that is now part of the Birmingham airport. I went to Woodlawn High School, to Samford for my undergraduate work and then on to Alabama for a masters degree in communications. My wife, Beverly, is the principal of Vincent Elementary, and our daughters, Amy and Alison, both attended Shelby County Schools. Amy is a lawyer out in Houston, and Alison is here in Birmingham working for Southern Progress. Were we right when we heard you once worked as a weatherman and a disc jockey? Yes, my days in TV and radio are behind me, but in the early 70s I worked as the weekend weather and sports guy at WBRC television. I also worked at a country radio station in Northport. Let’s just say it gave me an appreciation for all types of music! I later worked for the Alabama Radio News Network in Montgomery and

Greystone resident and Shelby County School Board member Aubrey Miller serves as the Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Alabama. Photo by Kathryn Acree.

covered state political news. The radio news network had affiliate stations around the state that would pick up our coverage. What was the most interesting aspect of covering state politics? I had the opportunity to sit down with former governor George Wallace and interview him several times later in his life. Our conversations were candid, and as he looked back upon his career, he acknowledged his regrets but said his actions were always based on the fight for anti-federal government control. Probably the coolest event I was ever able to cover was the 20th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott that included dignitaries such as Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. After leaving media work, how did you get back to Birmingham? In the 80s I was part of the fledgling

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empathy to work with other families who fight daily to manage this disease. The goal of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation is funding research for a cure, improved treatment and prevention of Type I Diabetes.

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Birmingham Cable Company that was laying the first cable lines in the area. My role with them expanded and our family made a couple of moves in the Southeast. We came back to the area in the mid 80s, and I served as an adjunct professor at Samford and served on the Economic Development Board. Later I ran the state tourism office under Governor Fob James before moving on to Southern Progress Corporation, where I served as the Director of Tourism and Travel for Southern Living until 2005. After that I served as the president of the Baptist Heath Foundation for three years before coming to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in October 2009. Does your work with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation have a personal connection? Yes, my daughter, Amy, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes as a child. That experience gives me the insight and

Since your election to the school board a year ago, what do you feel are the most pressing issues for education in Shelby County? We need to address the issue of economic disparity between the schools. We should give the same care and attention to all schools, regardless if they are in rural parts of the county or affluent areas. We need to look at the impact of the recent immigration law because there is a lot of misunderstanding out there. The school system is not a political football; it’s our role to educate. Finally, funding is always an issue. It’s our hope that the Education Foundation will fulfill its role in creating a collaboration between schools and businesses. We have excellent leadership in Randy Fuller as our superintendent, and he will continue to make this system even better. Although spare time seems like a rarity for you, what do you consider an interest or hobby? I still love to travel when Beverly and I can carve out time to do so. On our 25th anniversary we took a trip to the Greek Isles, which were absolutely gorgeous. Closer to home, I can’t recommend enough a day trip to Little River Canyon in north Alabama. That area is a true gem in our state.

280 Living | December 2011



Annual Meadow Brook Chelsea Public runs to be held Dec. 17 Library receives grant

Runners start the 5K in a previous year of the Meadow Brook Run. Photo courtesy of Bob Cosby.

The sponsors of the Meadow Brook 5K and Fun Run invite the community to participate in the 17h year of this event. The race winds through Meadow Brook subdivision and the Meadow Brook Corporate Park. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 17 with the 5K starting at 9 a.m. The onemile Fun Run will begin at 10 a.m. Runners are encouraged to wear their jingle bells! A love birds release will be sponsored by Love Birds, Inc. and an awards ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Overall winners will be awarded savings bonds. This year’s sponsors include Aliant Bank, Full Moon Barbeque, CahabaWeb, Alphagraphics, PapaJohns, Buffalo Rock,

The Melting Pot, Sportsplex Total Fitness, Schlotzsky’s, Smoothie King, Norton’s Florist, Bud’s Best Cookies, Golden Flake, Hamburger Heaven, Starbucks Coffee, Subway Inverness, Enterprise Car Rental and the Meadow Brook Home Owners Association. The entry fee for the event is a taxdeductible contribution to the Jesus Video Project of Alabama with a $15 to $25 minimum suggested. Registration forms are available at www.meadowbrookruns. org. Event T-shirts are guaranteed for preregistrations received by Dec. 9. For more information, contact Bob Cosby at 991-6054 or

Chelsea Public Library’s Dana Polk received a $10,000 grant check from Senator Slade Blackwell and Rep. Mike Hill for the library in October. Photo courtesy of Chelsea Public Library.

Wednesday night runs in Mt Laurel Gravlee Fitness is holding group runs every Wednesday night 5:30 p.m. The three- mile route is in the Mt. Laurel area. Trak Shak provides Poweraid and coolers. Walkers are welcomed. This is

planned to be an ongoing event with a five and eight-mile loop added in the spring. For more information, visit www., email lgravlee@ or call 991-2829.




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water heater replacement water service repair bath remodeling faucet repair disposals Located in the valley on Highway 119 near North Shelby Library 5600 Cahaba Valley Rd. • 991-2022


| December 2011


Holiday Gift Guide

For one of faith

For kids

Custom name plates Kids will love having their own special plates ($25) made by local designer Holly Days. Allow 5-7 days for each order. Fireflies & Fairy Tales, 611 Doug Baker Boulevard, Suite 115, Village at Lee Branch, 408-5800.

Custom home painting One of Meadow Brook resident and artist Sharon Allsbrook’s most popular designs is a painting of the Bible verse, “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord” ($32 for 4x12-inch to $150 for 14x40-inch). The painting features a row of different styled homes and is custom designed with your own home included in the group if you provide Allsbrook a photo. Hanging Halo Paintings,, 222-8657.

For girlfriends, daughters and wives

Not-your-average scarf and gloves This Mud Pie scarf ($26.99) slides into a slit instead of a complicated knot and looks cute with a flower at your throat. The coordinating gloves ($13.99) have a ruffled edge and specially designed fingertips for texting in the cold. Plain Jane, 270 Doug Baker Blvd., Suite 600, 991-1995

For fans of fun frames

For grandparents

Frame art Frame up your favorite family memories from the year in one of Four Corners Gallery’s one-of-a-kind frames. The leather frame is handmade by saddle makers. Red Lacqured Roma Moulding frame ($95, also available in black and 3x5-inches), House of Mercier leather frame (4x6-inches, $84), Ginger Glitter bella frame (4x6 inches, $47, also available in pink and red). Four Corners Gallery, 4700 Highway 280 East, 980-2600.

Burley Girl frames Kelly Burley said her Burley Girl Designs photo frames ($20, $30) are a hot item in December. They come in a variety of colors including reds and greens for Christmas. Each frame holds a standard 4x6-inch photo and can sit on a tabletop or be hung on a wall. Main Street Florist, 38 Manning Place, Mt Laurel, 408-2717.

10699 Old Hwy. 280 • Chelsea, 678-9533

A home for sweet treats These candy cane canisters hold holiday candy and cookies for relatives and sticky-fingered children. $71 for the whole set or $27 each. Chelsea Lane, 16700 Highway 280, Suite A, 678-3361.

Fancy Fur

Personalized Holiday Applique Designs

Hurry In: Christmas Deadline is December 12th

For the Christmas cook

Beds • Bowls • Picture Frames • Treats •Jewelry Collars • Harnesses • and More!

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Haircut & Style Sparkle Treatment Robotic Massage Paraffin Hand Treatment Eyebrow Wax

Offer not valid with any other offers or discounts. Select stylists only. Offer expires 12-31-2011.

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| December 2011



For hostesses, neighbors and teachers

Local wine, honey, pecans Find a selection of local food items at Cowboys by Lee Branch on Highway 280. Our favorites include Morgan Creek Vineyards Alabama Muscadine Semi Sweet Table Wine ($11.99), Pure Alabama Honey ($5.49 of 1 lb.) and Amelia’s Spicing Pecans in cinnamon($9.99). Cowboys, 5492 Highway 280 East, 981-0994.

Half golf shoe, half tennis shoe Ecco Street hybrid golf shoes ($159.99) are as comfortable as a tennis shoe while still offering the traction of a golf shoe. Carl’s Comfort Shoes, 5406 Highway 280, 980-4800.

For anyone with a backyard

Decorative bird treats Affordable birdseed houses, bells and wreaths ($5-21) always sell quickly at Wild Birds in Inverness. Wild Birds, 400 Cahaba Park Circle, 280 Station Shopping Center, 995-2473.

For the person who has everything Quirky wine sculptures Handmade in Germany, H & K Steel Wine Bottle Sculptures ($55 - $100) look great holding a wine bottle, an olive oil bottle or even without the bottle at all. The sculptures come in an eclectic variety from professions such as doctors and lawyers, to priests and rabbis. The line includes boats, trains, guitars, pets, roosters and many more. The Gingerbread Lady, 5430 Colonnade Parkway, 970-2683.

For the football fan Team spirit ties Your man can support his team each day of the week with the Varsity Vest Tie ($50) collection at Remon’s at the Summit in Sak’s Plaza. Remon’s, 123 Summit Blvd., 977-5512

Large Selection of Designer Handbags

Over 2,000 Formal Gowns

Pageant/Prom • Wedding Gowns Mother of the Bride • Special Events

You’ll love the selection of Designer Shoes!

6801 Cahaba Valley Road (Hwy 119) 1/4 South of Hwy 280 Along with Bellini’s, Cantina, and Edgars Bakery


Haan • Cynthia Steefe • Dana Buchman • David Meister • Diesel • Dolce &

Steampunk Jewelry Clocks and key charms are the main inspiration for this Victorian-style jewelry ($30-200) handmade by local artists. Renaissance Consignment Boutique, 6801 Cahaba Valley Road, 980-4471.

For dads and husbands

Donald Pliner • Ectetera • Ed Hardy • Ferragamo • Free People J Crew Johnson • Burberry • Carlisle • Chip & Pepper • Christian Louboutin • Citizens of Humanity • Coach • Cole

For the fashionable female

Gabbana • Donald Pliner • Ectetera • Ed Hardy • Ferragamo • Free People J Crew • Joe’s Jeans • Juicy • Kate Spade • Laundry • Lily Pulitzer • Louis Vuitton • Marc Jacobs • Matt

7 for Mankind • Anne Klein • Anthropologie • Antik Denim • BCBG • Betsey

For friends with flair

Funky pottery figures Colorful figures ($20 - $50) from Toluca Pottery and Things in Chelsea add a whimsical flair to any room or outdoor space. Frogs, monkeys, salamanders, alligators, fish, butterflies and other animals are crafted in every bright color of the rainbow. Some are meant to sit on a shelf or in the garden, while some can hang on a wall. Toluca Pottery and Things, 11728 Chelsea Road, 678-3768.

your entire purchase valid for the month of December 2011 only Offer not valid on previous purchases. coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Not valid with other offers. one coupon per customer.


| December 2011

|Seasonal inspiration

More than just ornaments An expectation for all year By KAREN O. ALLEN


When it comes to decorating Christmas trees, some people decorate with a theme, or a color, or perhaps a time period. Not me! Call me simple but I just pull out the same ornaments year after year with a few additions here and there. Decorating the tree is one of my favorite Christmas pastimes because it allows me to reflect upon circumstances, places, or people as I trim the tree with familiar ornaments. For instance, the bicycle-for-two reminds me of the bicycle that was purchased when my husband and I were still dating. We collected loose change in a jar at the end of each day until we finally got enough money to buy a tandem bicycle. Needless to say, we had many cheap but fun dates! The candy cane always brings a smile to my face as I reminisce about the game my sisters and I played growing up. It was like “hide-andseek” but with a single candy cane. We got rather creative in our hiding places. There was never a prize – just the thrill of it. I have many ornaments from places my husband and I have traveled through the years. There’s the mountain scene with the flying angel from Alaska and the poinsettia wreath from Hawaii. There’s also the cobalt blue Madonna and child from Greece and the pewter Viking ship from Norway as well as the colorful crepe elephant from India. Each ornament holds treasured memories of wonderful trips. One ornament never fails to make my eyes tear-up. It’s the ceramic set from Ireland my Daddy bought for each of his three daughters. I still have the handwritten note he attached to the box. The year before he died he took our entire family to Ireland to see and experience a taste of our Irish heritage. I can vividly remember hearing his jolly laugh as he watched us all enjoying ourselves.

Party stores that start selling Christmas garb in August perplex me. Really? It is barely time for the back to school supplies, and they are already featuring the partridge in a pear tree! Yet, I suppose some could say the same for a tradition I hold. I confess that I listen to my favorite Christmas song year round. In the car, at home, I even subject my elementary school students to the lyrics of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” for nine months each year. While I would feel ashamed if my choice tune was about a snowman or a reindeer, I proudly sing along and soak in the words of this, typically, seasonal song. As a child, I started the countdown to Christmas as soon as my mom’s 300-page Spiegel magazine arrived. I would tear through the pages, marking the items that would be on my Christmas list that year. December 25 was indeed “long expected.” Today, however, this phrase reminds me that the birth of Jesus was something generations of people anticipated for hundreds of years. Many must have thought that the Redeemer would be born in a place that would equate to His majesty, yet God chose for His Son to be born in a dirty stable. “Born a child, and yet a King” as the song says, this baby’s entry was, indeed, triumphant no matter what the ambiance might have been lacking. What a beautifully humble picture this is to envision all through the year—and yet another justification for my iPod playlist. Our lives, year round, are riddled with trouble and trial. This year I have watched a young friend die of breast cancer, a family wade through infertility issues and many friends struggle with depression. But the nativity story is one that brings life and hope to us all year long. “Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou

Writer Karen O. Allen is the author of Confronting Cancer with Faith (www. and a Broken Bow resident.

Ah, there’s the oversized glitterpainted glass “Joy” ornament made by my niece at the age of 8 (she’s now 20) and the gold star from my former boss’s son who came to help decorate one year since his family did not celebrate Christmas. Oh, how his eyes sparkled as he added the silver tinsel. Of course there are numerous ornaments, most with pictures, in the shapes of bones and breeds for our beloved pets through the years. And there’s the personalized plaster clown – the last of the homemade ornaments my husband and I made during the early years of our marriage. What fun I thought it would be to do a Christmas project together. How could so much fun turn out to be so disastrous? The glass ball with the pink ribbon inside will always hold a special place in my heart as a breast cancer survivor. But the ornament with the most symbolic and significant meaning of all is the nail tied with a red ribbon representing the eternal gift of God’s only Son. No other ornaments can compare. Glory to God!

Writer Lauren Sheehan is a second grade teacher at The Westminster School at Oak Mountain.

art” is a sweet reminder that Jesus was not only the answer to the ancient Israelites’ prayer for a deliverer but that He is also the answer to our prayers. Any prayers we might have prayed for strength, hope or consolation were answered, wrapped in the swaddling blankets in Bethlehem. Jesus is the only One who is able to sustain and satisfy our deepest longings. One more quick confession: I display a nativity scene in my home all year long. It is a sweet reminder of the humility of God and the hope He brings in the story of His coming. So, party stores, forgive me. Hang up your reindeer in July because my Christmas décor will be displayed then, too.

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This is a hands on cooking class for up to 6 people taught in a setting that will make you feel like you are in the countryside in Sicily. This is a great girls’ night out or even a date night with the wife where you will jump right into the mix and create your own Italian Sicilian dish. Bring your own wine, learn how to cook a tantalizing Sicilian delicacy, and dine outdoors on the loggia overlooking our amazing gardens, pool, bocce court, and lake. This is an event that will touch all of your senses and leave you wanting more. Call LaTavolo today at 205-259-8789 to schedule a class for your friends, family, or loved ones. Mangiamo!

Gift Certificates Are Available!

205-531-2796 •

280 Living

| December 2011



Ministry Spotlight

Sharing grief together

Dudley and Judy Sheppard started a GriefShare group at Meadow Brook Baptist Church after losing their son five years ago. Photo by Krysti Shallenberger.

By KRYSTI SHALLENBERGER Finding community when experiencing sorrow and grief is hard. Judy and Dudley Sheppard found that out when they lost their son, Brian, five years ago. “The worst thing you can do to someone is go up to them and say ‘I know exactly how you feel,’” said Judy Sheppard. “You don’t know that. No one knows that.” The Sheppards did not find a true emotional understanding until they talked with others who had experienced loss. Today, the couple is sharing their struggles with others in a similar place through GriefShare ministry at Meadow Brook Baptist Church. It is in meeting with people share their grief in a Biblical way that they find healing, Judy said. After losing their son, the Sheppards found there was no ministry to deal specifically with grief in their church and began to consider how they could help others dealing death of a loved one. “I tried out Compassionate Friends at the Amelia Center,” said Judy, “And we talked about losing our children, but I felt we remained in that constant, bitter state, and I didn’t want that.” Although GriefShare has been in some churches in Birmingham for many years, the Sheppards first learned of it when Judy stumbled upon its website this August. She prayed about the possibility of

starting the ministry at Meadow Brook and then talked to her husband about it before they approached their pastor, Dr. Ron Sumners. “Ron had recently been talking about starting a ministry to help people deal with their grief, and this was the perfect answer,” Dudley said. About six people attend the Sheppards’ GriefShare group each week at Meadow Brook Baptist Church now. Each of the 13 weeks, participants learn to open up to each other and themselves about their grief. The session incorporates prayer, studying Biblical passages, discussion and a film clip that that details steps for healing. Some in the group share their difficulty in confronting their own grief, while others relay funny stories about their loved ones. Most lost spouses, but a few also lost children. “All of us experienced loss in different ways, so it’s a good way to understand different kinds of grief,” Judy said. In addition to Meadow Brook Baptist Church, GriefShare is also held at several other Birmingham churches including Christ Church United Methodist, Church of the Highlands, Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Hunter Street Baptist Church. For more information about GriefShare at each of these churches, visit


CONTINUED from page 1 story of The Nutcracker when she was read the book at age three and saw the ballet at age four. “I remember her sitting there during the ballet and how she loved it even at a young age,” her mother, Janet, said. “I always wanted to be a party girl because I remember I really liked the costume, and I really like birthday parties,” Carolena said. And a party girl she became last year as one of around 80 community cast members from the Birmingham area in the annual production. It was her biggest dream come true until she found out she got the part of Marie this year. “I was shocked,” Carolena said. “I couldn’t wait to go to practice.” Last summer, the ballerina traveled to New York City with Dance South in Chelsea, where she has taken dance since age three. “I still think being Marie is better than that,” she said. Carolena takes tap and jazz classes, too, but the smile grows biggest on her face when she talks about ballet. “I like the way it’s graceful and all the

other types of dance build on it,” she said. “It’s just what I really love to do.” Her mom dotes on not just her perfectionism as a dancer but also her conscientious dedication to getting straight A’s at school. “She gets all her work done,” Miller said. “She will start on a project on the weekend that is due on Thursday.” Carolena is also in the drama club at school, which will put on a production of Alice in Wonderland in the spring. Until then, she is learning to act as Marie. She has to try not to smile in The Nutcracker’s battle scenes, but it’s different during party scenes when she is dancing in her prettiest costume. “We have to act happy at the party, which isn’t hard because I’m on stage.” Carolena’s cast group, one of two for the production, will perform at Samford’s Wright Center Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11 at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $45 or $55. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Mon-Fri 7:30 am–6:30 pm Sat 8am–2 pm, Sun closed Extended Hours Available by Appointment

Flu shots now available!

A16 |

December 2011


280 Living

280 Business Happenings

December Events for the 280 Area 12/8- Chamber Holiday Tea. 2-5 p.m. Greater Shelby Chamber, 1301 County Services Dr., Pelham. No RSVP required. No cost. 12/13- Chamber Works. 8:30-10 a.m. Greater Shelby Chamber, 1301 County Services Dr., Pelham. RSVP required by noon, Monday, Dec. 12. No cost. 12/15- Social 280. 4 - 6 p.m. Hampton Inn & Suites Eagle Point, 6220 Farley Court. No RSVP required. No cost


280 Living neighborly news & entertainment

For information about Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce events, go online to: or call 663-4542.

The Red Shamrock Sports Grill and Pub

CDaniel’s Furniture Store at Brook Highland

The Red Shamrock Pub is opening in Mt Laurel in early December. The pub will offer 50 local, domestic and more beers including 12 beers on tap as well as a liquor and wine selection. The Red Shamrock’s grill menu includes a grand a Reuben sandwich, Blarney Stones, boxty and cheese dip, and, of course, fish and chips. They will be located at 42 Manning Place. Their operating hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, visit or call 408-1515.

Now open in Brook Highland Plaza, CDaniel’s Furniture offers handcrafted furniture items imported from Vietnam along with outdoor wicker furniture and accessories. They are located between Forever Young and Michael’s in Brook Highland Plaza. Their operating hours are Monday Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 679-3000.

Beaumont Pharmacy and Gift Boutique The new Beaumont Pharmacy and Gift Boutiques on Valleydale Road combines pharmaceutical services with a gift shop. Customers can pick up their medicine with a birthday gift and enjoy a milkshake at their old-fashioned soda counter. Pharmacist Tammy Rogers is licensed to practice in six states including Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. She served for five years on the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy as president, vicepresident, and treasurer. Store director Shirley Lea operates the gift shop. Beaumont is located at 264 Inverness Center Drive. Their hours are Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 9 2 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. For more information, call 991-7171 or visit

Allstate Insurance Price Agency Allstate Insurance has united with Price Agency to form Allstate Insurance Price Agency. They have moved from their former location on Highway 119 to the Riverhills Business Park. Their new addresses is 470 Riverhills Business Park. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 991-5106.

New Balance store on Highway 280 A New Balance shoe store is opening next to Chick-fil-a on Highway 280. The store will offers custom, one-on-one shoe fittings and sells athletic shoes, apparel and accessories. Their address is 4168 Highway 280, Suite 130. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 678-421-9008.

Eat at Zoes, support Toys for Tots Zoës restaurants are serving as drop site for Toys for Tots through Dec. 21. When customers bring in a toy to donate to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, they will receive a 10 percent discount on their order. Additionally, Zoës will donate 15 percent from all dinner sales Dec, 19-20 to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. For more information, find Zoe’s on Facebook. Zoe’s at The Summit located at 323 Summit Blvd. next to Carmike Theatre and can be reached at 967-5800.

Now Catering

for the Holidays In home and office delivery On premise parties

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280 Living | December 2011

Your Health Today By Dr. Irma Palmer

Last month I gave you several tips for de-stressing your holiday season. Identifying what stresses you out so you can exert control over the stressors was the first step. Prioritizing how you spend your time (and money!) will give you a framework to stay within. Staying active and positive will go a long way to helping you navigate the busy holiday season. I even suggested you look for ways to multi-task while socializing. The real key to staying healthy and stress-free during the holidays is to make wise decisions regarding your health. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the holidays without guilt, and stay healthy while doing so. Make time for you: Often, the holidays are all about doing for others. This is certainly important, but if you aren’t at your best, you won’t have your best to give. What does this look like? It’s different for each of us! Maybe it’s getting a massage, or taking time to watch a movie with a loved one. In all the craziness of the holiday season, take time to do whatever makes you happy. Eat wisely: Cheesecake. Christmas cookies. Dips. Breads. The list of poor choices goes on and on. How can you

navigate the plethora of choices you’ll have over the holidays and maintain your health? Start by making sure you don’t skip meals, particularly if you’re “saving up” for a party. When we skip meals, we usually end up overindulging when we finally do eat. Before heading out to a party, be sure to eat a healthy snack to take the edge off your hunger. Try grabbing some almonds to eat on the way, or eat an apple with some almond butter before you leave. Drinking water before you go will also help you feel more full. When you get to a party with many food choices, scan your options before filling your plate, and choose a few favorite things in moderation. You can also reduce the fat in your holiday cooking. Many traditional holiday recipes are less than healthy. The internet is full of sites with healthy holiday recipes (just search for “healthy holiday recipes”) so why not try some new healthier recipes this year? Consider it an early present to introduce your family and friends to new holiday favorites that are healthier alternatives to typical holiday fare! If you can’t imagine not making your usual holiday recipes, try substituting applesauce for oil, or plain

English Village

Liberty Park

Catering & Events







Healthy and Holidays CAN Go Together!

nonfat yogurt for sour cream when you cook. These small changes will improve the healthiness of your favorite recipes. Maintain perspective: The holidays are not the time to focus on losing weight. Why set yourself up to fail? Instead, focus on maintaining your weight and making good choices. And if you do slip up and overindulge at the company holiday party? Don’t beat yourself up…just get back on track immediately making smart choices. One overindulgence is not going to ruin you! Drink wisely: Wine. Soda. Beer. Eggnog. Cocktails. Again, the poor choices are plentiful. The key is drinking these less-wise choices in moderation. A glass of wine or an occasional beer isn’t the end of the world. If possible, choose a red wine or dark beer (the darker the better!) for heart health. And even eggnog now comes in a fat-free variety, so if you must indulge, just choose wisely! Don’t fill up with empty calories from sodas. Instead, opt for water with lemon. Your body will thank you. Reduce stress on your body: Everyday living puts stress on your spine. During the holidays, shopping, decorating, and gift wrapping increases

the amount of stress we put on our spine. When wrapping gifts, resist the temptation to sit on the floor and watch TV while you wrap. The stress you put on your back and neck will not be worth the feeling that you’ve multi tasked! Instead, stand at your kitchen island or countertop and wrap standing up to reduce stress on your neck and lower back. Pamper your soles after a day of shopping by putting a towel around one foot, grasping both ends of the towel, and pulling your toes toward you for 15 seconds, then release. Do this until you feel the soreness slip away, then switch feet. And last (but not least!), remember the reason for the season: Believe it or not, often the best way to help yourself is to help others. Consider finding some way to volunteer your time and help those in need. Our office is dedicated not only to helping those with back and neck pain, but also to educating everyone about the importance of wellness care. Attend one of our FREE Wellness Workshops on 12/15 or 12/19 from 6:15-7 p.m. and learn how wellness care is the “Best Gift You Can Give Yourself”. Call today to reserve your spot!

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5406 Hwy 280 • 980-4800 Corner of 119 & Hwy 280 near McAlisters Deli


| December 2011

Restaurant Showcase


Restaurant Showcase

Urban Cookhouse



250 Summit Blvd. Suite 102 969-6700 Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The Flip Burger and Chuy’s side of the Summit will soon offer Asian food from Tin Drum Café and sandwiches from Which Wich along with recent additions Izzo’s Illegal Burrito and Flat Top Grill. Amidst this landscape of new restaurants, one stands out: Urban Cookhouse, now open next to Claire’s and Pottery Barn. Unlike the others, Birmingham-based Urban Cookhouse uses local farm produce to create fresh, healthy food that tastes good. Plus, their service is super quick and their fast-casual menu is affordable. “The Summit is pretty much dominated by national brands,” said Andrea Snyder, who owns the restaurant with her husband, David. “We are really excited to represent Birmingham.” The couple—both armed with business degrees from the University of Alabama and restaurant experience around Birmingham — opened a Homewood location of Urban Cookhouse on 18th Street in June 2010. The Summit location will be larger than the original with 80 seats inside and 25 on the patio. Infused with Latin flavor, their menu features roasted jalapeno vinaigrette on the Pepper Patch Salad, cilantro in their rice pilaf and chipotle flavoring on their braised pork. Much of their seasonal produce comes from Owl’s Hollow Farm in Gadsden. In the summer they gather hundreds of gallons of strawberries from Harvest Farm

Urban Cookhouse’s strawberry lemonade is made from local berries. Chipotle Braised Pork is a staff favorite. Photos by Madoline Markham.

in Cullman to puree and save year-round for their strawberry lemonade, made fresh from lemons (no syrup) daily. “I think people can tell the freshness of the food,” Snyder said. As delicious as salads like the Berry Good (greens, tomatoes, spiced pecans, feta and a citrus vinaigrette) are, I really order them for the warm orange roll that accompanies them. There’s no doubt that the decadent Alabama-based Milly Ray rolls are made from scratch. Their salad varieties are also served as wraps with a choice of one side such as hot cheddar pasta, fruit, garden salad or roasted vegetables. The menu also offers a selection of sandwiches and “fork and knife” plates with meats and sides. Urban Cookhouse’s kamado-style cookers (think The Big Green Egg: lots of taste, no added fat) are to blame for meat as flavorful as lime-marinated steak that tops the Urban Cowboy sandwich along with caramelized onions and peppers,

pepperjack and aioli. For catered orders, The Down Home is a popular choice with smoked turkey and pineapple ham, hot cheddar pasta, broccoli salad and a warm orange roll. Snyder said catering was available at the Summit location from day one. With selections like Piggy Mac and Grilled Peanut Butter Fluff, their kids’ menu ranked top in the 2011 Birmingham Magazine Best of Birmingham awards for its nutritional food that tastes good. In addition to the Homewoood menu, The Summit location will feature the El Cubano, their version of Cuban sandwich, which was created by Summit manager Breanne Kostyk. Urban Cookhouse also serves beer and wine, and any meal should be rounded out with a Brown Sugar Brownie, a chewy, brownie-guised version of a chocolate chip cookie. Their Take Home Dinners for four include a meat, two sides and orange rolls

for $22.95. You can call in advance to order one, or it can be ready in 5 minutes if you order at the restaurant. “They are popular to bring to people having babies or after surgery,” Snyder said. With the increase of plates served at the new location, Snyder said they are looking for more farmers to supply produce to meet demand and she encourages farms out Highway 280 to contact them about the possibility. Snyder is looking forward to welcoming a new crowd of shoppers, families and business lunch diners to their second location, noting that anyone who takes a 30-minute lunch break can be guaranteed back at the office in time; if you call ahead, your order will be ready when you get there. “We are excited about all the new customers,” Snyder said.

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| December 2011




BY KRYSTI SHALLENBERGER Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m. -5p.m.

When you step in Chelsea Lane, you enter into in a maze of candles, jewelry, dishware and seasonal decorations. Little nooks and crannies hold gift items, making it a shopper’s paradise. An old fashioned register, similar to the kind seen in old movies, sits on the counter. “We do everything by hand,” said owner Lisa Harris, “That way, we can check out five people at once instead of one at a time. I’m not a big computer person; in fact, the husband of one of my employees takes care of my website. I like doing everything by hand.” Chelsea Lane counts their inventory and writes out their own price tags and receipts—all by hand. “I like to keep things as simple as possible,” said Harris. The store offers a wide variety of items ranging from cutlery to its three lines of candles. “Our gourmet food and dips are the most popular,” Harris said. They have an in-house monogram service for their customers. “Anything that can be monogrammed, we do,” said Harris. They offer free gift-wrapping as well. Their gift selection comes from Harris’ travels around the South; her collections include a new handmade line of jewelry and locally made Snooty Toots frames. The selection is also shaped by ideas from those who visit the store. “A lot of my customers come back from vacations and show us jewelry or

Chelsea Lane owner Lisa Harris holds a wire nativity scene, one of her favorite items in the store. Photo by Krysti Shallenberger.

some gift item that they want to see in store,” said Harris. The store also offers a bridal registry. The registry as well as the store’s full catalogue of items listed on Chelsea Lane’s website as well. Outside of normal store hours, “Sip and See” and “Enchanted Evening” create a more communal relationship with the customers. “Sip and See,” held in November each year, gives area residents a chance to drink spice tea and make crafts for the holiday season. On the “Enchanted

Evening” night, only Christmas lights light up the store’s selection of gifts. “We started Enchanted Evening last year and had so many people come that it was almost a fire hazard,” said Harris. “Customers don’t have to buy anything; they can just walk around listening to Christmas music and enjoy the experience.” Chelsea Lane offers more than just items for sale; it’s a place to shop, talk and slow down from a busy day.

Gift ideas at Chelsea Lane Kringle Candles- White candle collection made in various scents made by Yankee. Snooty-Toots– Wooden frames available in different distressed colors and themes made locally by Leah Raines. Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze– Can be used as dip or mixed in the store’s recipe for Southern Pecan Cheese Bake dip. The Skyros Isabella Dishware Collection- A white scalloped collection set perfect for a bridal registry.

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| December 2011

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SECTION 280 Living The rites of ornaments, mimosas and cheese grits

neighborly news & entertainment


| December 2011

Recipes/B2 School House/B4 Sports/B8 Columns/B9 Calendar of Events/B12

By MADOLINE MARKHAM You have to start looking early for the perfect ornament for a swap that’s been running 21 years strong. You want the ornament that everyone ooo’s after, the one that everyone steals and the one that makes everyone ask, “Where did you get that?” “Number four or five in the Dirty Santa game usually starts eying things,” said Leigh Wright, one of three hostesses of the annual affair held in her sister Jill Horton’s Greystone Farms home. “And once the stealing starts, it gains momentum.” The core group of about 15 women who have attended the party from the beginning boast ornament collections that trace their adult lives and the friendships that were there through it all. They used to fight over the prettiest pieces, but now that they are in their late 30s to mid-40s, often the fighting is over the ornaments their kids will like best. “What I love most is that when I put my tree up, I always think about my friends from the party,” Wright said. “Some ornaments will remind me that I need to get back in touch with a certain friend I haven’t seen in a while.” For the women, the party kicks off the holiday season, launching them off to an afternoon of shopping afterward. Some of them call the hostesses months in advance to reserve the date so they can drive back into down from wherever they have moved for the tradition of uninterrupted girl time—no kids, no husbands. “It really puts me in the holiday spirit,” said Laura Pitts, the third hostess. “The food, decorations, camaraderie and friendships get me ready for Christmas.”

Hostesses Leigh Wright, Jill Horton and Laura Pitts with some of their favorite ornaments from their annual party. Photo courtesy of Shawn Wright.

From the beginning The party started in 1990. Sisters Wright and Horton, both health care accountants, were fresh out of college and realized they had no ornaments, so they invited a few friends over one evening for a swap. “It was a low brow affair then,” Wright said. “We had wine and brownies.” When their younger sister, Christy, married in 1995, the sisters eyed her new china and crystal with dreams of a more formal affair. From then on, the swap has been a Saturday brunch and for the last 11 years has been housed at Horton’s home in Greystone Farms. “It’s true entertaining like your grandmother would do,” Wright said. The party wouldn’t be what it is

without china, crystal, silver, a tablescape and printed invitations, but after 21 years they have formal entertaining for 25 to 30 down to a science. “It’s a pretty well oiled machine by now,” Wright said. “When we reach the 25th swap in four years, we’ll really do it up.” Party plans Pitts likes to try new recipes to vary things up in the menu they divvy up each year. The past several years she has introduced new French toast recipes: French toast with caramelized bananas, an eggnog French toast with cranberries and a decadent French toast with strawberries. This year she is thinking about trying chocolate-covered bacon. But no matter the other menu items,


Gourmet Cheese Grits from the Food for Thought Junior League of Birmingham cookbook are a must. “I think there would be a mutiny without the cheese grits,” Wright said. The hostesses don’t recommend quiches (they are too hard to keep hot) or bacon-covered figs; that resulted in a choking incident (everyone was okay though). They serve hot cider, but no one really drinks it. They opt for the mimosas and poinsettias instead. Although the party officially starts at 10 a.m. and ends around 1 or 1:30 p.m., the hostesses like to linger in their girl time as long as possible. “We have sat there for three or four hours before, talking, catching up and gossiping,” Pitts said. “My husband always asks when I will be home, and I tell him ‘when I get home,’” Wright said.

Hostesses’ Planning Tips *Plan your menu ahead of time and prepare dishes you can make in advance. *Test recipes if you haven’t made them before. *Double or triple recipes if you have a larger crowd, and have the second and third dishes ready to pull hot out of the oven. *Get friends to help you plan. *Set your tablescape ahead of time, and you can leave it out all holiday season.

See RECIPES | page B3


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| December 2011

| 280 Living

Homemade Christmas gifts By LISA CULOTTA JOHNSEY

This Christmas, give a unique gift that you make yourself. Gifts from the kitchen not only express how much you care about the recipient, but they are also delicious and fun. Consider spending a little time with your children in to make these recipes that are long-time favorites of my family and friends. It is fun to wrap these special treats in pretty boxes and bags and tie them with an attractive ribbon as a thoughtful gift for teachers, hostesses and bosses. You can even bake my pound cake in a paper standalone loaf pan for convenient and attractive gift giving. Birmingham Bake and Cook Co. on Valleydale Road carries these pans along with an assortment of pans, boxes and bags for gift packaging. Lisa C. Johnsey is a local wife and mother of three. She has a home-based catering business and can be contacted at 13sweets@bellsouth. net. Grandmother’s Chocolate Fudge If you make ahead of time, cut into pieces and store in the freezer. Pull them out and box them up for an easy, tasty gift. 4 ½ cups sugar 1-12 oz. can evaporated milk 1 stick butter 1-7 oz. jar marshmallow cream 18 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (3 standard packages) 3-1 oz. squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped 2 cups nuts (optional) Dash of salt 1 teaspoon vanilla In a pot, mix sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Remove mixture from stove and add remaining ingredients. Mix until chocolate

Peyton Johnsey rolls out sugar cookie dough with sister Caroline and mom Lisa. Photo courtesy of Lisa Culotta Johnsey.

is melted. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Cut when cool. When serving after freezing, put desired amount onto tray and let it return to room temperature. Mother’s Lemon Pound Cake You can prepare this cake ahead of time and freeze. Simply defrost it and then add the glaze. 3 cups sugar 3 cups flour ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup butter, softened

1-8 oz. container sour cream 6 eggs 2 tablespoons lemon juice ½ teaspoon vanilla Glaze: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with zest ½ teaspoon vanilla Place first nine ingredients in a 4-quart mixing bowl in the order listed. Beat at low speed for one minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Spoon into

five buttered and floured stand-alone loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Check cakes and add time if needed. Let the cakes cool and then drizzle with glaze. The cakes can be baked ahead and wrapped tightly with aluminum foil and placed in a freezer bag and frozen. When you are ready to serve, defrost and drizzle with glaze. The cake can also be prepared in a 10-inch tube pan. Adjust baking time to approximately 55 minutes. Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies The cookies are fun to prepare with your kids.

Isn’t that a nice change?

280 Living

| December 2011



Southern Caviar: A twist on tradition for the New Year

Package sugar cookies, fudge and pound cakes in treat bags or boxes or holiday loaf pans like this one available at Birmingham Bake and Cook Co. Photo by Lisa Culotta Johnsey.

1 ½ cups confectioners sugar 2 sticks butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 egg 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cream of tartar Sanding Sugar, assorted colors Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and almond extracts and egg; beat until blended. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar until blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured board, roll dough out to desired thickness and cut into shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. Decorate with sanding sugar and bake until edges are light brown, about 7-8 minutes. Yield: about 5 dozen cookies with a 2-inch cookie cutter Cranberry Pecan Biscotti Package biscotti with a holiday mug or coffee cup. 1 ½ cups pecans (toasted) 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 ¼ cups sugar

Dash of salt 3 eggs plus 2 yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup dried cranberries Zest of one lemon


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Heat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop half the pecans, leaving remaining ones in halves; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine baking powder, flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed until a sticky dough forms. Stir in pecans, cranberries and zest. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Sprinkle dough with a little flour and knead slightly. Shape into two 9x 3-inch logs. Transfer logs to a parchment paperlined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let rest until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 275 degrees. On a cutting board, slice logs on diagonal into ½-inch thick slices. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes or until slightly dry. Cool on rack and store in an airtight container.

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It’s a long-held tradition to ring in the first day of the new year with a menu that includes black-eyed peas. A symbol of good luck, the simple and tasty blackeyed pea is the key component of Southern Caviar, a recipe shared with us by local cookbook author and Shoal Creek resident Patsy Smith. Make it for a day of watching football or just kicking back with friends and family, and you’re sure to usher in luck for 2012.

2 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup chopped green onion 2-ounce jar pimento, chopped 16-ounce bottle Italian dressing 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped dash of salt and pepper dash of Tabasco Boil peas until just tender. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve as a dip with large taco chips. Patsy Smith is the author of A Cookbook for My Southern Daughter and A Southern Daughter Entertains. She is the proprietor of The Sewing Room in Inverness Corners. For more information on her, visit www.


CONTINUED from page B1 Gourmet Cheese Grits* Leigh Wright prepares a double batch of cheese grits the night before the ornament swap each year and then bakes them before serving. 1 quart milk 1/2 cup butter 1 cup uncooked grits 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 egg 1/3 cup butter 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated Bring milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup butter and the grits. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is the consistency of oatmeal

(about 5 minutes). Remove grits from heat. Add salt, pepper and egg, beating until well combined. Add 1/3 cup butter and Gruyere cheese. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serves 10. *Recipe is reprinted with permission from Food For Thought, a Junior League of Birmingham cookbook. The Junior League’s cookbooks are available at the Junior League Gift Shop, 2212 20th Avenue South, Mountain Brook, 879-9861; the shop is open Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 1:30 p.m. and Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m. Food For Thought is currently out of print.

B4 | December 2011 | School House Greystone hosts Punt, Pass & Kick Spain Park recognizes

National Merit Semifinalists

Greystone Elementary Punt, Pass and Kick winners Braden Diclemente, Sydney Taylor, Bailey Bowers and John Ryan Tran-Reno.

The winners of the Punt, Pass and Kick competition held at Greystone Elementary traveled to compete in the sectional competition in Chattanooga in October. The contestants were John Ryan Tran-Reno (10-11 year old boy), Bailey Bowers (10-11 year old girl), Braden Diclemente (8-9 year old boy) and Sydney Taylor (8-9 year old girl). The contestants had the best finish of any previous Greystone competitors.

Bailey Bowers and Braden Diclemente both won first place in their division, John Ryan Tran-Reno won third place in his division and Sydney Taylor won fourth place in her division. Bailey and Braden’s wins allowed them to advance to the team championship competition and compete against other winners hailing from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Power Up! event raises funds at LPES This fall Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park held its first annual fundathon, Power Up! The event raised more than $79,000 for supplies the school needs each year such as paper and ink. One class in each grade with the highest contributions each day of the fundraiser was able to visit a special fun zone and game truck during P.E. Organizers considered Power Up! a great success for the school. LPES staff members enjoy a fun moment at the school’s Power Up! event.

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Spain Park’s National Merit Semifinalists are Catherine Ritchey, Devon Schoeneman, Jackson Knouse, Jake Hoffman, Sarah Alyce Hartley and Sophia Ritchey. Photo courtesy of Hoover City Schools.

Spain Park High School is proud to recognize its six National Merit Semifinalists: Catherine Ritchey, Devon Schoeneman, Jackson Knouse, Jake Hoffman, Sarah Alyce Hartley and Sophia Ritchey. These students are among a group of 16,000 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists across the nation. All are now in the running for a piece of the $34 million in National Merit Scholarships to be awarded this spring. Students gain semifinalist status based on the student’s pre-SAT (Stanford

Achievement Test) scores. “Finalist” status comes when students SAT scores reflect the pre-test scores, in addition to having outstanding academic records and recommendations from their school principals. A total of 2,500 finalists will be awarded $2,500 scholarships, and private corporations and colleges and universities are also expected to award finalists with scholarships. Students will be notified in February if they have been named finalists.

Author Cynthia Lord visits LPMS Author Cynthia Lord recently made a visit to Liberty Park Middle School. For dinner, participants were treated to a barbecue box dinner with chips and coleslaw. The boxes were decorated with duck images drawn by students in LPMS teacher Shaymon Cain’s art classes. The

LPMS jazz band, under the direction of Travis Bender provided pre-dinner music. At the dinner, Lord spoke about the writing process and said it took her six years to get her first book published. She emphasized how important it is to never give up on a dream.

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5299 Valleydale Road Suite 111 Birmingham, AL 35242 • 980-9030 Sir Richard Branson’s proceeds from the photo shoot were donated to Virgin Unite, Virgin’s non-profit foundation.

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School House

| December 2011

OMMS honors Characters with Character

. . . w o N is Oak Mountain Middle School recently honored students from each grade level as part of the Characters With Character Program. Eighth grade honorees are Gentry Williams, Silvia Kinnebrew, Kelly Parker, Stone Turner, Connor Jenkins and Matt Hogan. Seventh grade honorees are Erin Duffey, Davis Pugh, Abby Jones, Drew Fitzgerald, Maddie Barnhill and A.J. Fleet. Sixth grade honorees are Ayumi Nishiya, Jonathan Zaleski, Fuller Herring, Sidney Fisher, Caroline Perkins and Connor Kelley. The students are pictured here with guest speaker, Coach Spence McCraken. Photo courtesy of Lynda Rush.



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Go Pink Day a hit at OLV

Fifth graders at OLV held a “Go Pink” day to honor those affected by breast cancer.

Students in Stacy Garaca’s fifth grade class at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School decided to “Go Pink” in October on their last “jeans” day. The girls shared pink shirts with the boys who didn’t have one to wear. Students offered prayers for all who have been affected by breast cancer and that a cure may soon be found. “It was completely my students’ idea to wear pink,” Garaca said. “Everyone was

so eager that morning to get their pink shirts on. Just about every student in my classroom, including myself, has known and loved someone who has or had breast cancer.” Garaca is proud of her students for making such a special statement. “We pray each day for those who are sick and suffering, especially, those with cancer,” Garaca said.

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LPMS scavenger hunt develops math skills The sixth grade students at Liberty Park Middle School participated in a math scavenger hunt called “The Amazing Math Race.” Students worked in small groups to follow clues that led them to math problems hanging around the school. Once students found a problem and solved it, they followed another clue that led them to a person in the school who held the answer. For example, students may have had to go to the school’s secretary

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or custodian to check an answer. If their answer was correct, they would be sent to another problem. If not, they’d be sent back to rework it. Eventually all of the clues led the students to the library, where they had to solve a problem that sent them to a particular library book. In the back of the library book there was a final clue. This clue led them to their final stop and prize.

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| December 2011


School House

Briarwood Christian High School

280 Living

Lions’ determination in 5A playoffs By COLLIER KAUFFMAN

neighborly news & entertainment

Your Community, Your 280 Living In your mailbox each month. Always online -

To inquire about advertising, contact Dan Starnes, publisher, 370-0732 or The Briarwood Christian Lions, shown in this season’s game against Chelsea, are once again on the hunt for a 5A division title. Photo by Cari Dean.

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also starting last year, some even the year before. Last year the team made it to the 5A championship game in Auburn but fell to Spanish Fort. This year the starters, who are mainly seniors, are more hungry than ever for a state championship ring. “This team is trying to be one of the greatest teams in school history,” said Yancey. “They are playing the tournament each week with the hope of advancing. Each week the playoffs become more difficult, and each team is capable of going the distance. I think our team has what it takes to make the finals but so do the other seven teams that are left. The talent and level of competition are very noticeable this time of year.” In the past, Briarwood has won three state championships: 1998, 1999 and 2003. It has been a long time since Briarwood has brought home a state title, but only last year were the Lions competing for it. With the grind of practice, the colder weather and the tougher teams, the Lions are faced with fatigue and weariness. However, there is no doubt that the Briarwood Lions of 2011 will not go down without a fight to the death as they claw their way to a 5A title.

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The Briarwood Christian Lions varsity football team has made it to the 5A state playoffs for the 19th consecutive year. As we went to print on this issue, the Lions ad defeated the Athens Golden Eagles and the Fort Payne Wildcats. Briarwood’s regular season was extremely successful this year with a 9-1 record. Their only loss was to the Vestavia Rebels. For the third consecutive year and for the fourteenth time, the Lions are the Region 5 Champions. There are about 40 seniors on the team this year, and they are proud to proclaim that they have never lost a region game. According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA,) Briarwood is ranked third in the 5A division with Hueytown at number one and Hartselle at number two. However, the team is more concerned with dealing with one game at a time rather than worrying about rankings. “So far, the team has done a great job,” said Head Coach Fred Yancey. “Anytime you can win more than nine games in a season, it is pretty huge for the boys. To be undefeated in region play for the third consecutive year is really special for the boys.” Most of the starters this year were

11/16/11 9:59 PM

Homecoming is possibly the best week of a high schooler’s year: a break from school, a break from life and an opportunity for students and teachers alike to relax and show their school spirit. Oak Mountain High School recently celebrated its eleventh homecoming with the slogan, “A Year to Remember,” and that it was. Each day had a different dress up theme, a tradition that basically allows students to get away with wearing scrubs and pajamas for a week. Throughout the week there were different activities like the Athletic Battle of the Classes, a dodgeball tournament and the annual talent show. New this year was a surprise performance from the Southern rock cover band Trotline, a gift from Principal Joan Doyle and the administration. As tradition demands, the week was accompanied by a competition between classes to determine which is the most spirited, a title that always seems to be awarded to the seniors. On Friday, the student body gathered outside to watch as Oak Mountain’s Spirit of Cahaba Marching Band led the yearly parade, which included floats made by students. That night was the homecoming football game against Vestavia Hills, where as always, the Eagles played their best. The highlight of the night was the announcement of the Homecoming queen, Meredith Morrison. The week culminated on Saturday with the Homecoming Dance, where students could have a little more fun before the abrupt switch back to

Meredith Morrison, Oak Mountain’s homecoming queen, was crowned during half time of the Eagles’ game against Vestavia. Photo by Barry Clemmons.

normal, work-filled school the following Monday. With all the festivities past, students must focus once more on their academics and extracurricular activities, while slowing counting down the days to the next homecoming, and another year to remember. Michael Matthews is a junior at Oak Mountain High School and active with the Spanish Club and FBLA, and has been a peer assistant. He is an accompanist with the school showchoir and active in the Meadow Brook Baptist youth group, including being a guitarist in the praise band. He plans on attending Belmont University to major in music production and business.


The Westminster School at Oak Mountain

Governor Bentley part of Veterans Day ceremony at Westminster BY GENY KATE GURLEY

| December 2011



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All chimineas Governor Robert Bentley spoke at a student-led assembly at The Westminster School at Oak Mountain on Veterans Day. Photo courtesy of Charlie Ritch.

Most students look forward to Veterans Day because they have a day off from school. At Westminster, however, we look forward to gathering as a school community to honor those who have defended our liberty. We call this special event Grandparents Day and hold a student-led assembly where each lower school grade shows off their knowledge for their grandparents. Students recite poems and Scripture verses, and a few upper school students speak about their experiences at Westminster. However, the primary intent of the assembly is to honor our veterans. Westminster was blessed to have Governor Robert Bentley come and speak at our Nov. 11 event. Being a veteran and a grandparent himself, he shared personal stories from his own life to encourage our community. Overall, he emphasized the need to support and encourage our veterans and to express our love for our grandparents. Being a daughter, granddaughter and niece to five veterans and a cousin to two currently in the military, I love how Westminster honors those who have fought bravely to protect our freedom.

Each veteran grandparent or parent in attendance was called to stand up by branch of the military and by war that they served in. Throughout the assembly, names of parents and grandparents who had served in the armed forces appeared on screens overhead. The lower school students sang a song to thank the veterans, an upper school student composed a video featuring various other students expressing their gratitude to grandparents and veterans, and the entire assembly sang patriotic songs. There was a moment of silence for veterans who are no longer with us, and an upper school student prayed for our veterans. It was a privilege to honor our veterans and to celebrate our grandparents alongside our governor. Days off are nice, but I prefer to honor our veterans firsthand with my classmates and family. Geny Kate is a senior at Westminster. She is captain of the girls basketball team, leader of the middle school girls weekly Bible study and a frequent speaker at school functions. Geny Kate plans to attend Mississippi State, where she will study history and education.

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“My Future” program to premiere at CHS “My Future” is a new program being introduced by the Shelby County Board of Education. Chelsea and Calera High Schools are piloting the county initiative that promotes graduating seniors having a working plan following high school that will lead them towards their careers. Senior English teachers are helping to implement “My Future” while school counselors are setting up an outline of each component of the program to be implemented by the seniors. The program consists of college admission information including classroom presentations, parent presentations, parent question and answer sessions, and a financial aid presentation in the classrooms and for parents. The program also allows seniors to visit college campuses in addition to small group sessions for students to meet with the principal and counselor and discuss their plans for the future. Another part of “My Future” is Senior Interview Day, which Chelsea held on Nov. 2. Seniors developed a resume through the program and dressed in business attire to interview with a PTO member, a local community professional

or a Shelby County School Board employee for ten minutes. The interviewer asked questions about their resume or about the student in general, giving them a grade on their interviewing skills in the end. Often administrators are concerned that students today have become caught up in texting and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These interviews were valuable for the participants to gain experience talking to people and professionals face to face. Another advantage of “My Future” is that students are graded on multiple projects within the pilot program. For example, the senior research paper this year consists of outlining their hopes of a future profession. “My Future” is a program that is just becoming active with this year’s seniors, but the Shelby County Board of Education plans for the program to eventually benefit students as young as eighth grade. Each year the program expands, the goal is to see a positive outcome with more students gaining knowledge and excitement about their college major or future profession.

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and encourage my team members, as well. Give us your overall thoughts on this year’s cross country and track seasons. At the beginning of this year’s cross country season, our team did not look as formidable as it has in the past. But the guys and girls on the team have put forth great effort during the practices, and it shows at the meets. Going into sectionals and state this year, it’s looking like we have one of the fastest teams ever. The track season is still a while away, but it’s looking like the team will be great.

Senior The Westminster School at Oak Mountain Cross Country, Track

What is the best thing about being part of the Westminster teams? I love seeing the hard work we put

What do you like to do in your spare time? I’m involved in my youth group at church. I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee and hanging with my friends and girlfriend. I love watching college football, especially the Tide.

What other activities are you involved in at Westminster? Schoolwork and running take a lot of my time right now. I’m also in the throws of college preparations.

Adam Dunkerley

How long have you been involved in cross country and track? I have been involved in cross country and track since seventh grade. Up until then, I was playing Briarwood club coccer. I decided to go out for cross country when I was told I was a fast runner and had a lot of potential. I enjoyed running, and so I stuck with it.

is involved in other school activities. Both my siblings go to Westminster.

What are your future college/career aspirations? I really want to go to the University of Alabama. I would love to be a part of the Honors College there. I am interested in pursuing business management. Westminster’s Adam Dunkerley. Photo courtesy of the Dunkerley family.

in at practice for months and watch it pay off in the end. But while that is uniquely gratifying, I have to say the best thing about being a part of the track and cross country teams are the coaches. Coach Thompson and Coach Carrell are great, and their coaching really makes the teams what they are. They push us to live up to our potential. I’ve learned to be a leader

Tell us about your family…do you have siblings involved with sports? There’s my mom, dad and my sister and younger brother. We’ve lived in Meadow Brook for about eight years. My brother John, who is in sixth grade, has played soccer for Briarwood like I did. He is now learning to play the electric guitar. He plans to run cross country in the fall of next year. My sister is in the ninth grade, but sports are really not her thing. But she

Berry competes in Metro Middle School Cross Country Race Elite finishers from Berry Middle School in the Metro Middle School Cross Country Race pictured with Coach Chad James and Coach Michael Zelwak are Davis Holley, Gavin Allen, and Mary Katherine Tedder. Photo courtesy of LaDonna Tedder.

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| December 2011





I was reading back over one of my columns the other day when a typo jumped out and stung me like a yellow jacket. I hate it when I mess up. As I’ve mentioned before – If I’d realized when I was young that I wanted to be a writer, I would have paid better attention in English class. I got to thinking about this today when I read a Facebook update from one of our friends who got a big promotion and was starting her first day of work in New York City. One of her friends had sent a note congratulating her on the promotion. She is a Christian and intended to respond to the compliment as she often does, “all things are possible through Christ.” But my friend fat-fingered the reply and what she actually typed out for the world to see was “All thongs are possible through Christ.” I’m hoping I won’t burn in purgatory for howling when I saw it, but it really struck me funny. Obviously when she realized the error, she apologized profusely, but anyone who knows her realizes that she would never have written that intentionally. When my friend Dale Short and I worked at The Community News back in the early 1970s, a prominent citizen passed away. The family called in the obituary, and the secretary took it down over the phone. The obit passed between several people before it made its way onto the printed page. When the obit came out on Wednesday, it read “John Doe assed away on November 2.” Dale, who was at the time, the youngest newspaper editor in the state of Alabama, went pale as a ghost when he read the snafu. I heard a guttural sound that came from somewhere deep

inside and when it finally raked past his tongue came out as “OOOOHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” I scrambled out of my chair knocking my wire in-basket off my desk and scattering papers all over my end of the office. When I stepped behind him, he pointed out the typo. Just then the phone rang, and we both jumped as if we’d be zapped with a cattle prod. I was the first to say that I was not answering it, but it was obvious that Dale was in no hurry to answer it either. We both stared at the phone as if it were a coiled snake ready to strike at the first thing that moved. Just then we heard the receptionist breeze through the front door and race to the ringing phone before either Dale or I could warn her away. A moment later she chirped cheerfully, “Dale, Mrs. Doe on line one.” I looked at him with that deer in the headlights look, but Dale, ever the professional, picked up the phone and tentatively said hello. I was expecting him to start apologizing profusely, but after a few seconds he began to laugh almost hysterically. I thought to myself – he’s snapped! As it turns out, Mrs. Doe wasn’t angry at all. She said to Dale – “I know John could be a slacker at times, but I really didn’t think he assed away.” Both of us were grateful that she had a sense of humor and took the high road to the misprint. We could have hugged that woman’s neck at that moment. So today, I’m reading this column several times to try and make sure there are no typos.



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By Kari Kampakis

It’s a Boy!

Several years ago, in the midst of Christmas holidays, I saw a church sign that caught my eye. The marquis read, “It’s a Boy,” and on top there was a big blue bow. Never before had I seen baby Jesus celebrated this way, and all I could think as I turned into my neighborhood was what a statement it’d make if everyone decorated their mailboxes with blue bows during the month of December. As much as I love the festive and beautiful décor of Christmas, it’s easy to forget what this season is really about: the birth of one very important baby. And does anything evoke a smile—or better announce the arrival of a baby boy— like the sight of a blue bow? This time of year, we hear a lot about scaling back and simplifying to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Sometimes we stick to our guns; other times we give in, unable to resist the urge to create lavish and unforgettable memories. Increasingly I hear of more families giving just three gifts per child—the number Jesus received— and reading Bible verses on Christmas Eve. Many also host “Happy Birthday, Jesus” parties to help children focus, at least temporarily, on something besides presents. But one thing I’ve never been asked to do is to reflect on Jesus’s birth as I would the birth of my own children. Their birth days were the best days of my life, the ultimate happiness. A rush of emotions overwhelmed me as my heart flooded with love, gratitude, awe and amazement. In those moments, I felt a purpose and unwavering joy toward life. Time stood

still, and all the world made sense. It seems to me that the feelings I experienced when meeting my children are the same feelings I should work toward on Christmas. My love for baby Jesus should, in fact, surpass those for my family, for He is my Savior. All babies are miracles, but what happened in Nazareth 2,011 years ago is the mother of all miracles, with lifechanging consequences for mankind. Jesus entered this world under the humblest circumstances. There was no hospital, no physician, no heart monitor or luxury suite. His arrival came without fanfare, beneath a starry night and among animals. This simple beginning—hardly befitting for a King—is full of lessons. Above all, it reminds us that it’s not the circumstances we’re born into, but what we do with our life that matters. C.S. Lewis once said, “I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun, not because I see it, but because by it I see all things.” Maybe we weren’t witnesses to the birth of Jesus, but we can be witnesses to the faith, celebrating Him with the same enthusiasm that we celebrate other babies: with hope, love and gratitude. Let us take pride in His birth as if it happened to us because in many ways it did. Happy Birthday, Jesus, and welcome to our world. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Birmingham mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. Read her blog at www. or find her on Facebook and Twitter. Email her at

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December 2011


280 Living

Library Happenings

All ages. No registration required.

Spot. Reading program for 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. Will not be held Dec. 28.

North Shelby, Mt Laurel and Chelsea Public Libraries December Happenings

* For more information or to register for any of our programs or storytimes, call or email the Children’s Department at 205-439-5504 or northshelbyyouth@ or visit our website at www.

Friday mornings at 10 a.m.- BYOC, Bring your portable craft (knit, crochet, crossstitch, quilt etc.) and craft with friends.

North Shelby Library

Teen Happenings

Holiday closing- The North Shelby Library will be closed Dec. 22 – 26 and Dec. 30 – Jan. 1 and will re-open on Jan. 2. *You can now register for programs online. Visit our website at www. html to view their calendar and make reservations.

Special Programming

Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.Breakfast with Santa. Join us for a great time of food, fun, and pictures with Santa. Breakfast will be from 9 a.m.– 9:30 a.m. Pictures with Santa and a Christmas craft will be 9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. Registration required. A $5.00 fee per adult is due at the time of registration. All ages are welcome. Saturday, Dec. 3 – Dec. 10- Usborne Book Fair. Looking for the perfect gift for the holidays? Look no further… The library is partnering with Usborne to have a library book fair. You get great books, the library gets free books to put on our shelves, we all win. Stop by the Children’s Department to place your orders! Homeschool Hangout: Holiday Party and Crafts. Join us to celebrate the holidays with yummy food and fun crafts. Ages 8-12. Registration required. Thursday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.Christmas Movie Marathon. Join us for a marathon of your favorite Christmas movies. Drop in any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and see if your favorite is playing or discover a new favorite. No

registration is required. All ages welcome. Refreshments served. Friday, Dec. 16, 4 p.m.-Craft – 3D Gingerbread House. Join us to make this craft that will make a great addition to your holiday decorations. All ages welcome. Registration required.

Story-Time Programming

Mondays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Toddler Tales Stories, songs, fingerplays and crafts make up a lively 30-minute program designed especially for short attention spans. Registration will begin one week prior to each storytime. Ages 19-36 months. Registration required. Tuesdays, Dec. 6 and 13, 9:30 a.m.– 10 a.m. Baby Tales Story Time A story time designed especially for babies and their caregivers. Stories and music provide interaction for the babies and time for caregivers to talk and share with each other. Ages: Birth to 18 months. Registration required. Registration will begin one week prior to program date. Wednesdays, Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28 Mr. Mac (Storyteller Extraordinaire!) Stories, puppets, and lots of music for every member of the family. All ages. No registration. Thursdays, Dec. 1, 8 and 15 at 7 p.m. P. J. Story Time Come in your PJs, have milk and cookies, and hear some wonderful bedtime tales.

Teen Advisory Council Monday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m. Interested in helping the Teen Department be even better than it is now? The Teen Advisory Council is the place for you! The TAC meets the second Monday of each month to work on projects for the library. Bring your ideas and your appetite! Snacks served and community service hours earned. Call 205-439-5512 or email Kate at for more information or to sign up. Teen Book Club Monday, Dec. 19, 6 p.m. The Teen Book Club will meet to discuss The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan. “A young English thief stumbles on, and subsequently is recruited for, a supersecret operation that trains teenagers in remote viewing and astral projection techniques in order to engage in spying.” A selection for the Shelby County Schools Battle of the Books 2011-2012. Grab the book and start reading and stop by to let us know your opinion! Snacks Served. Call or email Kate or Daniel at 439-5512 or for more information. Craft Thursday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m. Get ready for the holidays by embellishing your own wrapping paper or holiday card. Call or email Kate or Daniel at 439-5512 or to register.

Chelsea Public Library

Holiday Closing- Chelsea Public Library will be closed Dec. 23 – 26 and Jan. 1 – 2.

Mt Laurel Public Library Storytime Programming

Toddler Tales Wednesday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplays and more make up a lively 30-minute program designed especially for short attention spans and their caregiver. Registration begins two weeks prior to each storytime. Ages 36 months and younger. Registration required. Call or email the Mt Laurel Library at 991-1660 or mtlaurellibrary@ for more information or to register. Storytime with Ms Kristy Wednesday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. Stories, music and more for every member of the family. All ages. No registration required. Call or email the Mt Laurel Library at 991-1660 or mtlaurellibrary@ for more information.

Special Programming

Crafty Saturday Saturday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to make a winter craft. All ages with parent help. Registration required. Call or email the Mt Laurel Library at 991-1660 or for more information or to register. Holiday Closing- The Mt Laurel Library will be closed Dec. 22 and 24 for Christmas and Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve.

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280 Living

That’s Life

A word of caution, a word for change happens time and time again. We say by our actions (or inactions) that respect is more foundational, more important, than truth. When we know that someone needs accountability (rather than patience and another chance to address their problem) and choose to stay quiet because it would be “improper” to say anything (“it is disrespectful, it betrays their dignity”), it is wrong, and it makes the situation worse. I’m sorry, but the one who needs help is not the only one in the situation who needs our respect and dignity (!!). The ones being damaged need an advocate, need to be given respect and dignity just as equally, if not more. Staying quiet at that point is a greater disrespect. Relationships are messy. Enacting justice is messy. Advocating for another is messy. Being a champion can be a rather messy and painful ordeal. But, dadgumit, in needs to be done! Truth, and the pursuit of truth, must be more foundational, must have more value, than this respect-at-allcosts mentality. The price being paid for respect and dignity at Penn State is too high and unnecessary. Humble and gracious truth should have been purchased much earlier than it was. I believe in dealing with the truth in a gracious and respectful way, in a manner that treats the truth-receiver with dignity, but the truth nonetheless. If there is any change we can embrace from this whole horror, may it be that we will speak the truth in love to one another. And may we do so much, much sooner than later. Paul Johnson is the executive director as well as a professionally licensed marriage and family therapist and an associate licensed counselor at the Samaritan Counseling Center. You may reach him at -967-3660 or visit www.




By Paul Johnson, Samaritan Counseling Center

I apologize, but I am not writing a “how-to” kind of article this month. Rather, this is something I feel just needs to be said. Like many of you, I have been rather disturbed by the events disclosed at Penn State University. I hate the reality that the boys who were involved now have to live with. I am sad for the parents who felt or knew something was going wrong for their children and could get no one to listen. I am frustrated by the lack of accountability the adults shared with one another. I am stunned once again by the reality of living in this broken world, and feel myself gripping my covers a little tighter as I wonder afresh exactly who may be trusted and if I really know those whom I think I know. I listen to sports radio. On one particular radio show, JoePa was referred to having lived with his head stuck in the sand. Honestly, I have trouble believing that happened. I have trouble reconciling that someone could walk away from witnessing a child being harmed and not reporting it. I am not saying it could not happen, just that I have trouble accepting it without wanting to do irreparable damage to a tree with a baseball bat. But what I have no trouble accepting is someone walking away thinking, “It’s none of my business,” or worse, “It’s not for me to say anything,” or, “It’s not for me to judge.” What I can see is a group of men sitting around a room, quiet, knowing something needs to be done, and one saying, “Coach, don’t you think we need to do or say something?” and someone saying, “I brought this up to him; he said he’d take care of it, and that’s all that needs to be said and done right now.” For some reason, we believe that any further accountability would be disrespectful. Excuse me, but when did respect trump truth? Yet that is what

| December 2011

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December 2011


December Calendar of Events email your events to

280 Area 12/5 - Maintaining your weight during the holidays at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registered Dietitian, Donna Sibley, will have some practical ideas without killing all the joy of eating during the holidays. Registration required. Admission: Free. More information or to register: 408-6550 12/6- Make You New! Workshop hosted by the City of Chelsea and the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce. Andrew Lewis will present on creating a purpose, developing goals, interviewing and more tips for anyone seeking employment. 8 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Free. Chelsea City Hal, 11611 Chelsea Road. More information669-9075/Chamber Office, 678-8455/Chelsea City Hall, 434-067/Andrea Lewis, www. for registration: andrealewisphr@ or soshelby@ 12/7-12/9 - Walk Through Nativity. Briarwood Presbyterian Church. 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Briarwood Presbyterian Church will once again host its annual Walk Through Nativity. 2200 Briarwood Way. More information: 12/9 - Palettes, Paints, and Pinot. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. 6 p.m.

to 8 p.m. Bring a friend and a bottle of wine to learn how to pain a snowman with artist Laura East. Registration required. Admission: $25 per person. More information or to register: 408-6550. 12/9 - 12/10 - Hollydazzle Craft and Gift Market. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Brook Highland Plaza on Highway 280 next to Ulta Beauty. Admission: free. More information: www. 12/10 - Liberty Park’s annual Christmas Parade. 1:30 p.m. The event will feature pictures with Santa, horse and carriage rides, ornament making, free food and beverages, kids’ activities, a decorated golf cart contest, live entertainment and drawings for prizes. More information: Paige Hockman, 296-5008 or 12/11 - The “Tapestry of Light” Celtic Christmas. Christ Church United Methodist Church. This musical celebration will feature Celtic music. Admission: free. More information: 991-5065 . 12/11 - This is Christmas. Double Oak Community Church. 6 p.m. A Christmas concert featuring local artists playing pieces from Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Manheim Steamroller for the 280





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community. Admission: free. More information: 995-9752. 12/17- Santa visits neighborhoods on the Cahaba Valley Fire Department truck. See page A07 for a list of the route. 12/17 - Meadow Brook Run. Registration at 7:30 a.m., 5k at 9 a.m. and the Fun Run at 10 a.m. The race winds through Meadow Brook subdivision and the Meadow Brook Corporate Park. Registration required. Admission: $15-$25. More information: 9916054 or 12/18 - 12/19- Arts and Crafts Fair. North Shelby Baptist Church. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission: free. More information: 995-9056 or www. 12/ 21-23 - Hot cocoa and cookies. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. The Fitness center was to share the cheer during the Christmas season with their members. Admission: free. More information: 408-6550. 12/7, 12/14, 12/21 - Wednesday Noon Advent Services. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. 12 p.m. Prayer and lunch included. More information: 205-995-9673 or

Food 12/3 - A White House Christmas Coffee and Dessert Buffet. American Village in Montevallo. 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Former White House Chef Roland Mesnier invites the community to meet and experience his cooking. Admission: $100. Space is limited. More information: 1-877-811-1776 or 12/ 6-12/8 - A Gingerbread White House Christmas Tour. The American Village in Montevallo. Join former White House Chef Roland Mesnier on special tour and lunch package on Admission: $25. Space is limited. More information: 1-877-811-1776 or 12/8 - Homemade cookie swap. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Ingredients and space will be provided for you to make several batches of your favorite cookies. Registration required. Admission: $10 per tin. More information or to register: 408-6550.

Special Events 12/4 - Southern Tales at the Botanical Garden in the Linn Henley Lecture Hall from 2 p.m. to 4.p.m. These tales are performed by Dolores Hydock and Bobby Horton. Admission: $20. More information: 414-3958 or www.

World Famous Gingerbread Houses

Gifts Galore! AU, AL, TN, GA and LSU Specialty foods and much more! Open House December 10th from 10-6

Door prizes, Alaskan coffee, surprises

3431 Colonnade Shopping Center To take advantage of this great offer, simply do the following during each monthly statement period: •

Have one Direct Deposit or ACH automatic payment post and clear per qualification cycle

Receive your monthly statement electronically

Have at least 10 debit card transactions (excluding ATM transactions) post and clear per qualification cycle

Log on to Online Banking at

Downtown Park Place 205.716.3475

Crestline Village 205.868.2800

Greystone 205.980.2287

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 11/3/2011. 1.26% APY is paid on daily balances up to $25,000 each qualification cycle rewards requirements are fulfilled**. If account balances exceed $25,000 and the reward requirements are fulfilled, then the APY will range from 1.26% to 0.51% (Based on a balance of $100,000.00). Rates may increase or decrease without notice. Account will earn 0.10% APY if reward requirements are not fulfilled per qualification cycle**. Fees may reduce earnings. We reserve the right to substitute an item of similar value. Bank rules and regulations apply. Minimum opening deposit is only $50. **Qualification cycle: This term means a period beginning one day prior to the current statement through one day prior to the close of the current statement.





970-2683 • 995-9280

The Rusty Dime

Art • Antiques • Books • Home Decor THE VILLAGE AT LEE BRANCH • 995-4005

(Next to the Rave Theater) TUES - SAT 11AM - 6PM • SUN 1PM - 5PM 12/4 - Lessons and Carols. The Lucille Ryals Thompson Chapel. The American Village in Montevallo. 5 p.m. Hear the choral members from St. Andrews Episcopal and Holy Comforter Episcopal Churches perform with the Montevallo Community Choir. Admission: free. More information: 1-877-811-1776 or 12/4- The Seasoned Performers. This family friendly British Christmas program will include readings and music from Alabama’s only senior adult theatre. 2:30 p.m. Admission: $15; $7 for students. Unitarian Universalist Church, 4300 Hampton, Homewood. More information: 978-5095. 12/7 - Salvation Army Fundraiser. Vestavia Country Club at 10 a.m. with lunch at 11:45 a.m. There will be a craft sale including jewelry, baked goods, and pecans and stories told by Dolores Hydock. Admission: $35. More information: 328-2420. 12/8 - Cornerstone Christmas at Urban Cookhouse. Urban Cookhouse at the Summit next to the Pottery Barn on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Menu samples, drinks, and live Christmas caroling from the Cornerstone Gospel Choir are offered. Admission: $20. More information: or 769-0035.

December Calendar of Events email your events to

12/2-12/4 - Cirque Dreams Holidaze by Broadway in Birmingham. BJCC Concert Hall. Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday 2p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Ornaments come to life as costumed characters played by an international cast of acrobats, aerialists, singers, and dancers. Admission: $25-65. More information: 458-8489. 12/3-12/11 - ‘Twas the Night before Christmas. BJCC. Saturday shows, 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.; for Sunday performances, 2 p.m. Children age 3-6 will enjoy the adaptation of this favorite holiday poem. Admission: Adults $10, children $8. More information: 458-8489. 12/3-12/11 - Willy Wonka. BJCC. All performances began at 2 p.m. Kids will love this classic children’s movie brought to life on stage. Admission: Adults, $12, children $10. More information: 458-8489. 12/9-12/11 - Birmingham’s The Nutcracker. BJCC. Friday ,10 a.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Children and adults will enjoy this seasonal ballet brought to life with Birmingham Ballet. Admission: Adults $22-35, Youth ,$14.50 $24.50. More information: 1-800745-3000.

12/9-11; 12/16-18 – Alabama Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Alabama Ballet is one of only six companies in the world and the only one in the Southeast licensed by the Balanchine Trust to perform this one-of-a kind American treasure. 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. Admission: $20$55. More information: www. 12/10 - Breakfast with Santa. Courtyard Cafe and Bakery. Each child will have a special one on one visit with Santa on and his elves, decorate a holiday cookie, and receive a breakfast buffet and treat. Reservations required for the times of 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Admission: $10. More information: 424-3406, www., or

| December 2011



December 2011


12/6- UAB Vision Screenings, 9-11:30 a.m. 12/6- Tree Trimming Party, 11 a.m. 12/8- Christmas Carry In Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. 12/8- Heardmont Dance, 7 p.m. 12/13- Christmas Tree Shop Shopping and Lunch. Signup required. 12/15- Harrison Regional Library, 11 a.m. *The center will be closed December 26-30. NOTE: Please reserve meals in advance. Outings are limited to 12 people, so sign up early.

Center Manager: Theresa Green Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 991-5742 Fax: 991-5657 Email: MONDAYS

9:30 -10:30 a.m. – Tai Chi 9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.- Mah Jongg 10:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.- Canasta

TUESDAYS courtyardcafedeli. 12/16, 18- Home for the Holidays presented by Opera Birmingham. Traditional carols and popular favorites performed by a quartet of talented singers accompanied by by pianist John Robertson and the Opera Birmingham Chamber Choir. Tickets: $20-45. Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. More information: 322-6737, www.

10-11 a.m.- Aerobic Workouts 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.- Bingo & Board Games 11 a.m. 12 p.m.- Bible Study 12 p.m. - Lunch


9 a.m.- 12 p.m.- Bridge Club 11:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.- Rummikub 12 p.m.- Lunch


10-11 a.m.- Aerobic Workouts 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.- Bingo & Board Games 12 p.m.- Lunch


9-10 a.m.- Zumba Gold 10-11 a.m.- Intermediate Line Dancing 11 a.m.-12 p.m.- Beginning Line Dancing

Enjoy Authentic

The holidays are almost here!

Indian Cuisine

Lunch Buffet Served Daily 4 Meat items, 10 Vegetarian, 2 Breads, Rice, and 10 Desserts

Indian Cuisine

5426 Hwy 280 East • 205 408-1008 Up on the hill by the YMCA & Regions Bank

It's not too early to order your holiday baby bites, cupcakes, and cakes at Pastry Art Bake Shoppe. Baked fresh daily. NEW LOCATION! 940 Inverness Corners

205.995.5855 1927 29th Ave S | Homewood



Order your holiday cakes and desserts early

B14 |

December 2011


280 Live Music Listings HOGANS Irish City Vineyard Courtyard Oyster Classifieds

Pub & Grill

507 Cahaba Park Circle 995-0533 Every Wednesday / Thursday 8 p.m. Live Music by Razz Ma Tazz Every Friday / Saturday 9 p.m. - Until Live Music by Razz Ma Tazz

Arbor Place 5479 Highway 280, Suite 102 437-3360 Every Friday Night live music, 7-10 p.m. on the patio. Inside, they have a wine tasting, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.



Call for this month’s music listings.

12/2 - Zippy 12/7 - Goodfallas 12/9 - Pharm Hand Duo 12/14 - Goodfellas 12/16 - Lasers Edge (formerly Jazz Catz) 12/21 - Goodfellas 12/23 - TBA 12/28 - Goodfellas 12/30 - TBA 12/31 - New Years Eve Bash

110 Inverness Plaza 980-1315


Restaurant and Cantina 3439 Colonnade Parkway 969-1411

Live music Wednesday and Thursday, 6 – 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 – 10:30 p.m.

Village Tavern The Summit, Lower Level 970-1640

Every Wednesday and Thursday, 6:30 - 9 p.m. Artist Jeff Tyler performs. Fridays, 9 -11:30 p.m., Various live music.

4520 Overton Road, Suite 104 Liberty Park 956-2323

The Fish Market Restaurant GREYSTONE 5407 Highway 280 980-8600

Every Thursday night live music with Jeff Taylor. All Parrotheads are invited.

bar & grill 280 band and dj schedule

12/1-Heath Shoemaker 12/2- After the Crash / Matt Hill band 12/3- Wasted Glory / Heath Shoemaker 12/4- Heath Shoemaker 12/6- Erica and Eric 12/7- Matt Hill and Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes and David Koonce 12/8-Heath Shoemaker 12/9 -About Time / SK5 12/10-Gentleman Zero / Heath Shoemaker 12/11-Heath Shoemaker 12/13-Erica and Eric 12/14-Matt Hill and Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes and David Koonce 12/15-Heath Shoemaker 12/16-Buckwild / Matt Hill band 12/17-Honeychild / Heath Shoemaker 12/18-Heath Shoemaker 12/20-Erica and Eric 12/21-Matt Hill and Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes and David Koonce 12/22-Heath Shoemaker 12/23-4th & 1 / SK5 12/24-Atomic Betty / Heath Shoemaker 12/25-Todd Simpson and the Mojo Child / Heath Shoemaker 12/27-Erica and Eric 12/28-Matt Hill and Sean Bunn / Matt Barnes and David Koonce 12/29-Heath Shoemaker 12/30-Atticus Avenue / Matt Hill band 12/31-Erica’s Playhouse / Heath Shoemaker Mondays- DJ Kop

Looking for something you can’t find anywhere else... shop the Villages of Mountain Brook. Happy Holidays Mountain Brook Village • English Village Crestline Village • Cahaba Village Mountain Brook Plaza Overton Village

Community Contributors Wanted 280 Living is looking for people in the area to contribute news and write stories. Email

Part-time position available:

Could become fulltime. Not your typical retail position. Customer service - top priority. Familiar with word, excel and publisher only helps. Please fax resume or work history to 205.980.8879.


Opportunity for full time and part time associate. Full time: lady’s fashion sportswear & shoe buyer. Eye for fashion essential, retail back ground helpful. Part time: 25-30 hours a week, sales associate. Apply Rogers Trading Company, hwy 280, resource center parkway: send resume or application to No phone inquiries accepted

280 Living


mdo & preschool

...Equipping kids to love God and love others...

Registration for the 2012-2013 school year will be Jan 25th at 8 a.m. $100 Registration Fee (non-refundable) Forms are available at Regular hours 9:30-1:30. Early bird begins at 8:00 and Stay and Play until 3:00 for $5/session contact info:; 314-5933

| December 2011



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| December 2011


Top Professional Location! GREYSTONE CENTRE 5510 Highway 280, Birmingham, AL 35242 (Shelby County)

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Greystone Centre Directory

G r e y s t o n e C l e a n e r s ..........................................9 9 1 - 3 4 1 1 O r e c k Va c u u m s ..................................................9 8 1 - 1 5 5 9 E d w a r d J o n e s ......................................................4 3 7 - 2 8 6 6 H u n a n C u i s i n e .....................................................4 3 7 - 1 0 0 0 M o n i c a ’s A l t e r a t i o n s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 8 0 - 8 5 6 5 A m o r e R i s t o r a n t e I t a l i a n o .............................4 3 7 - 1 0 0 5 I n f i n i t y M e d - I - S p a ............................................9 9 1 - 3 2 0 0 G r e y s t o n e O r t h o d o n t i c s .................................4 0 8 - 0 8 9 4 B o d y L o g i c We l l n e s s C e n t e r .........................9 9 1 - 8 0 8 3 S t a t e Fa r m – D e a n Pa p p a s ..............................9 9 5 - 9 4 1 3 T h o m p s o n ’s F r a m e F a c t o r y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 8 1 - 6 7 2 3 E y e c a r e A s s o c i a t e s , I n c .................................9 8 1 - 0 1 0 3 Tr u e C o l o r s S a l o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 0 8 - 1 8 6 9 G r e y s t o n e A D H D C l i n i c ....................................4 3 7 - 1 9 8 2 Fa m i l y Wo r s h i p C e n t e r ....................................6 1 6 - 3 2 7 8


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280 Living December 2011  

News, sports and entertainment for the 280 Coridor in Birmingham, Alabama

280 Living December 2011  

News, sports and entertainment for the 280 Coridor in Birmingham, Alabama