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280 Living

Volume Issue 6 |2011 February | 4,February | 2011


FE enin B7 tg h

neighborly news & entertainment

February Features

Local high school sweethearts await Valentine reunion By Kathryn Acree

Valentine’s Gift Guide pg 14-15

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Publisher’s Note Restaurant Showcase Business Spotlight Liberty Park Schools Teachers of the Year-Hoover HS Correspondents Athlete of the Month Brent Watson Valentines Gift Guide Network 280/Social280 Patsy Smith Recipe 280 Then and Now Irma Palmer 280 Business Happenings Library Happenings Rick Watson Paul Johnson Calendar of Events

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4 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Courtney McLaughlin is a young bride in Jacksonville, North Carolina, awaiting the return of her Marine husband, Coty. Like many military wives, the Chelsea native says she keeps herself busy with life’s routine until he is back in her arms. Coty McLaughlin’s Marine unit deployed last year to Marjah, Afghanistan, one of the highest military combat areas in that country. “Since his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is infantry, that means he is going to be in high combat every day of his deployment,” Courtney said. Courtney is enrolled in nursing school at Coastal Carolina. “It keeps me very busy while he is away and I try to entertain my thoughts with activities that distract me from thinking of the alternative,” she said. Coty’s bride and their families anxiously await his upcoming leave. He is due back to the states around the second week in February, right before Valentine’s

Day. He gets leave from March 1 to April 1. Coty and Courtney’s story begins at Chelsea High School. “Coty and I met my junior year, his senior year at CHS,” Courtney said. “I just moved to Alabama and I didn’t know very many people. Coty was the quarterback of the football team and the pitcher on the baseball team. He definitely upheld his reputation of a jock. I was skeptical of him at first because I was never a big fan of dating jocks. However, we were introduced at a party that was held by mutual friends and I could tell that there was something so different about him.” The couple eventually double dated with friends and after that were “inseparable, like best friends,” Courtney said. Coty graduated from Chelsea High School in 2007 and received a two-year scholarship to Lawson State Community

See Reunion, PAGE 18

Residents reach out to children in need of homes By Kathryn Acree and Rick Watson Led by the Church of Brook Hills to become foster parents, Jake and Blair Kelley of North Shelby County brought home a baby boy in February 2010. “When we first went to get him, we had hardly anything to take care of a baby besides a crib,” Jake said. “By the end of the weekend, our faith family from Brook Hills had provided us with more clothes and toys than our tiny apartment could hold.” Their faith-inspired generosity didn’t stop there. “In August, we were surprised to get the call that another baby boy needed a (foster) home,” Jake said. “Although I was initially very nervous about how that would work, I knew that God had been faithful to supply every need we had with the first baby boy and that he would be faithful again. We brought him home and now we have two baby boys and life, while sometimes hectic, has never been more abundant.” The Kelleys are among a whole host

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280 Living


February 2011

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February 2011


280 Living

280 Living neighborly news & entertainment

Publisher’s note February. I have to admit, I have mixed emotions about it. I love to know that when it’s over, things seem to look up. I’m not really a fan of the month itself as I’ve pretty much had enough of winter by this time. Valentine’s Day is the highlight of the month for many. It gives us a chance to show our love to that special someone with a special meal or gift or both. For me personally, it means a chance to thank my girlfriend, Alison Grizzle, who has done a lot of behind the scenes work on this paper as well as to some of our best advertisers. I can’t say where I’ll be buying Alison’s gifts. That would spoil the surprise, but the paper is full of can’t miss opportunities for the holiday. There are also some specific ideas on our Valentine’s gift guide on pages 14-15. This month we have a pair of stories on The Church of Brook Hills and the Radical Experiment. There’s not a lot I can add as the stories speak for themselves.

I encourage anyone to read them and see what a tremendous job Kathryn Acree and Rick Watson did in bringing these fantastic stories to us. For the business owners reading, come visit Network and Social 280 events recently started by the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. The next event is Feb 16 from 4-6 at The Pita Hut. If socializing and networking opportunities sound good, Jennifer Trammell and her staff are here to help. Find out more on page 17. These events may be the second best way to build business along the 280 corridor. One new feature of 280 Living is our photo of the month contest. The winning photo monthly will be published and win a prize. As always, thanks for reading and please support our sponsors. Until next time.

Keep watching for February snowflakes! Congratulations to our February Photo of the Month winner, Melinda Taylor. Melinda said, “This picture was taken in my back yard on Dec. 26. You can see the snow falling in the background.’ Our photo of the month winner for March will receive $25 to the 280 Living advertiser of their choice from the February issue. To enter, please email your photo in a JPEG file of at least 500k by February 15. Email entries to

Staff & Friends

We’ve received some entries in our snowman contest following the “white Christmas” in our area. Our contest continues until February 15. If it snows again or if you have photos from December and January, send those fun snowman pics our way. Email your entry as a JPEG file to

Contributing Writers

Paul Johnson | Irma Palmer | Edd Spencer Brent Watson |Rick Watson Collier Kauffman- Briarwood Christian High School Joie Glass- Chelsea High School Cullen Cagle- Oak Mountain High School Josh Brunner- Spain Park High School

Contributing Photographers Teresa Newton, Oak Mountain | Cari Dean, Chelsea

Publisher Dan Starnes

Creative Director Keith McCoy

Features Writer Kathryn Acree

Sales and Distribution Dan Starnes Angela Morris

Published by Starnes Publishing LLC

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: Dan Starnes Publisher


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.

Fan Giveaway

The Pockstaller family with their “Mr. Potato Head” snowman on Christmas day.

Remember only Fans who “like” our Facebook page are eligible for the monthly giveaway. The winner for this month will be chosen February 20th. This month’s winner will recieve: $25

Congratulations to the winner of the January Facebook fan giveaway:

to Renaissance Consignment

Angela Parker Johns $25 to Bellinis

Thanks for reading and being fans of 280 Living.

You must e-mail to claim your prize.

Please Support Our Sponsors Azia Beyond Wellness Birmingham Bake and Cook Co. Birmingham Medical Alliance Birmingham United Soccer Bodywork Brentwood Properties Bryant Art Gallery Capelli Salon Carl’s Comfort Shoes Carol McGiboney Case Remodeling Chiropractic Today Clark Antiques Comfort Keepers Crossfit Birmingham Dale’s Southern Grill Danberry at Inverness Diana’s Salon Fancy Fur Four Corners Gallery Ge Ge’s Salon Home Fit Birmingham Huckabay’s Inverness Pharmacy Jackie Crew Johnny Ray’s Massage Envy

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February 2011

| Foods & Flavors

Don’t Forget Your Sweetie Pie


sushi, habachi, steak

Fuji is located in the River Hills Shopping Center on Hwy 280

River Hills Shopping Center

Sunday-Thursday 10:30am-10:00 pm Friday & Saturday 10:30am-10:30pm



Located At

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3431 Colonnade Pkwy

Fuji opened in December 2010 in the River Hills Shopping Center on Highway 280. Residents know this location as having been the home of Golden City Restaurant for many years. Wei Wang, owner of Fuji, says he and his family have years of experience in the restaurant business. Having been friends with the former Golden City owners, Wang knew this would be a great location for his first restaurant. His preparation and work have paid off and Wang says Fuji offers diners a unique experience. “We have something not found in this area…sushi, habachi and a buffet all for one price,” said Wang. “Many times customers want to try a new dish but don’t want a lot of extra pricing. This gives them the whole experience for an affordable price.” His chefs and food preparers bring their experience to dining at Fuji. “Each staff member prepares what their specialty


By Kathryn Acree

Restaurant Showcase is,” explained Wang. “They’ve been hired for that reason and don’t switch around to different food stations. The result is food that is delicious, fresh and made the very best way.” Habachi preparation is new to many diners. “We always take the time to explain it to customers,” said Wang. “By choosing the buffet, they can also have dishes prepared by our habachi chef. Meats including steak, chicken and seafood, vegetables and even rice are selected at the habachi station and cooked just the way they like. We then bring the order out to them.” Fuji’s lunch buffet, which includes sushi and habachi, is only $6.95 per person at lunch and $8.95 at dinner. For children ages 3-5, the lunch buffet is $2.50 and for ages 6-10, it is $4.25. For the dinner buffet, ages 3-5 are $3.50 and ages 6-10 are $5.50. Children two and under are free. Fuji also offers a complete menu of oriental dishes if you’re not in the mood for the buffet. A selection of “healthy” entrees are available such as steamed chicken and broccoli, steamed vegetable delight and steamed shrimp with mixed vegetables. These are served with white rice and sauce on the side. Many types of sushi are available on the sushi bar. Fuji’s staff are ready to help you with your selection if you are a newcomer to this dish and can make recommendations. “Most of the time I tell someone to start with the California roll to see how they like it,” said Wang. “Once accustomed to the taste we have many other varieties to choose from.” A party room is available by reservation for large groups and Fuji would love to host your next get-together.

Bringing people together, Village Tavern  celebrates classic American food.

Habachi chef Johnny is ready to help you with your selection

Shelby County to Celebrate Birthday With Visit From Gov. Bentley

Come and enjoy one of Birmingham’s most beautiful restaurants and the friendliest service anywhere!

Lower Level at The Summit 101 Summit Boulevard Birmingham AL 35243 205.970.1640

Area residents are invited to attend a birthday celebration in honor of the 193rd birthday of the founding of Shelby County with special guest Gov. Robert Bentley. Bentley is the only Alabama governor that is a native of Shelby County. The event is scheduled for Sunday, Feb 6 from 2 – 3:15 pm at the Shelby County Museum and Archives located in the 1854 Old Courthouse in Columbiana. The Shelby County Historical Society is sponsoring the event with the theme of “Celebrating our Past…Preparing for our Future.” Other special guests for the birthday celebration are Secretary of State Beth Killough Chapman, Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge G. Daniel Reeves, the Shelby County Commissioners, the mayors of Shelby County and many more. As part of the event, Sunday, February 6, 2011 will be proclaimed by the City of

Columbiana as “Gov. Robert J. Bentley Day”. The Shelby County Historical Society will present a “Pioneer Certificate” to Bentley because his ancestors settled in Shelby County Alabama before 1830. Bentley, the son of David Harford Bentley and Mattie Boyd Vick Bentley, was born February 3, 1943 in Columbiana and he graduated from Shelby County High School. A unique fact in Shelby County’s history is that the county is “older” than our state. Shelby County was created by an act of the Alabama Territorial General Assembly on February 7, 1818. Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819. The 1854 Old Courthouse is located at 107 Mildred Street in downtown Columbiana. For additional information go to or call the Shelby County Historical Society at 669-3912.

280 Living

Real estate forecast for 2011 Real Estate Spotlight

We recently interviewed Ty Dodge, President and CEO of RealtySouth, on what to expect in the real estate market in 2011: How would you categorize the current real estate market in the Hwy 280 corridor? We’re seeing an improvement in the upper bracket markets ($750,000 and above). A year-over-year comparison of this year to 2009 shows that, while virtually the same numbers of properties have sold, sales volume in the 280 corridor has increased by 8%. Given that 2010 was characterized as one of the most challenging years on record, this is a positive sign. What type of home and price range is selling the fastest? There have been more sales this year in the $100,000-400,000 price range, but that’s not unusual. One factor driving sales in the under-$250,000 price range, of course, is the foreclosure market. What areas of town are retaining their value the best? Because real estate sales are local in nature, the Birmingham market can’t be compared to other parts of the country. Similarly, different areas of Birmingham can’t be meaningfully compared. The local nature of sales typically requires a close look at specific neighborhoods and, in some cases, streets within a neighborhood. I can say that the average price in the entire Birmingham area has been trending upward since February 2010, and that’s somewhat inconsistent with other parts of the country. Are people looking more for fixer uppers or do they want a home that has already been updated?

I would say that the mix of fixer-uppers to move-in condition homes purchased has not changed too much over the past few years. One significant change has been in the number of foreclosures purchased, and these are typically purchased more for value than for aesthetics. When is the best time of year to sell typically? Even though recent tax credit incentives have changed buyers’ purchasing patterns somewhat, spring and early summer remain our most robust markets, with the highest number of closings occurring from May through July. However, inventory is also highest during that time of year, so there are more competitive properties on the market then. That said, properly priced properties will sell at any time of year. Are financial institutions loosening up their restrictions? In 2007, the standard consumer handbook on mortgages was a small, 15page brochure. By 2010, that had grown to a full-sized, 104-page booklet. Lenders are faced with increasing regulation, and that will likely continue for some time. Those restrictions, however, are intended to protect consumers and stabilize the lending industry, and from that standpoint, we welcome them. What do you predict for real estate in the Hwy 280 corridor for 2011? We’re seeing signs of an improving market for 2011, but it won’t be significantly different from 2010. And that’s a good thing. For both consumers and for the real estate industry, an even-paced recovery will be the most healthy and sustainable one.

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The second graders at Vestavia Hills Elementary-Liberty Park visited the Golden Flake Factory as a tie-in to their Economics Unit in October. Students learned about the production and distribution process and how it relates to their lives in

Birmingham. They were able to see first hand how much work is involved in the distribution of snacks. Students also had the opportunity to sample many types of chips as they were being made in the factory.

Twirltacular Time at Liberty Park Middle The Liberty Park Middle School Majorettes recently placed first at the Twirltacular Extravaganza. The competition was hosted by LPMS. Students, ages 5 to 21, competed. Teams and individuals traveled from as

far as New Orleans and Tennessee for the event. Competitors could twirl in group events or individual events. The LPMS majorettes twirled as a group. LPMS Teacher, Shelly Munger is the team sponsor.

RAVE Committee Honors Liberty Park’s Holcomb

Stephanie Holcomb is receives her RAVE award from RAVE Committee Chair, Celeste Neil.

Stephanie Holcomb, counselor at Liberty Park Middle School, recently received the Recognition of Accountability, Verification and Excellence (RAVE) Award for her second consecutive year. Holcomb received this award at the November 18 Alabama School Counselor

Association luncheon held in Mobile. The Alabama School Counselor Association recognizes exemplary school counseling programs that demonstrate successful implementation of the American School Counselor Association National Model.

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Nick Welden, a seventh grade student, recently placed first in the Liberty Park Middle School Geography Bee. Greg Jeane, a retired Geography professor from Samford University, was the contest officiator. Every 6th, 7th and 8th grade student at LPMS took a qualifier test. The 25 students who scored the highest participated in the school wide Bee.

As the school winner, Nick will take a test to see if he qualifies for the Alabama State Geography Bee. Only the top 75 school winners make it to the State Bee. The state winners will participate in the National Bee in Washington D.C. The overall winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship, as well as a trip with National Geographic and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek to the Galapagos Islands.

School House


February 2011


Montgomery Named LPES Rotary Teacher of the Year Liberty Park Elementary School is extremely proud to announce the selection of Jan Montgomery as Rotary Teacher of the Year. Montgomery, a third grade teacher, has been at Liberty Park Elementary for over five years. Before coming to LPES, Montgomery worked in the Jefferson County System for twenty-five years. In November, Montgomery achieved National Board Certification. She and her

husband, Bruce, live in Birmingham, and are the proud parents of three grown sons. Montgomery received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Samford University. The staff at LPES know Montgomery’s focus is always upon meeting the needs of her students. Her years of experience and devotion to her craft have greatly enriched the school’s faculty.


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We Congratulate These Teachers of the Year from Hoover Sara Womack, Greystone Elem Sara Womack has been working in the field of elementary education for nine years. At Hoover’s Greystone Elementary, Womack teaches K-5 music, seeing some 650 students on a weekly basis. Among her strong points, Womack notes her love for learning, ongoing professional development, innovative ideas and, of course, her passion for music. Prior to Hoover City Schools, Womack taught in three other area systems, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses at colleges including

Inventory reduction sale runs the month of February.

the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and UAB. Sara Womack holds degrees from UAB/UGA and is a married mother of two sons. She’s a huge fan of pets and enjoys family time, reading, movies and long summer days at the lake.

Kari Tibbs, Berry Middle Kari Tibbs has served in various roles at Hoover’s Berry Middle School since coming on board with the school in 2000. She teaches reading intervention, communication skills and academic support, in addition to serving as Berry’s bus administrator. Previously, she taught in the school’s MultiHandicapped Classroom. Tibbs holds degrees from UAB (Masters in Educational Leadership) and the University of Alabama (Bachelor of Science in Education/ Collaborative Education K-12). Among her strong points, Tibbs counts her ability work with students of different backgrounds, her

Smart Parent.

desire to help students move beyond their ‘status-quo’ and her knowledge of how to move students beyond behavioral issues hindering academic progress. Outside of school, Kari Tibbs enjoys international mission trips, marathons and reading.

Marnie Utz, Spain Park High Marnie Utz now finds herself in her 5th year as librarian at Hoover’s Spain Park High School. Prior to this post, Utz’s early years in education took her all over the United States – and the world. Her teaching career began at a small Catholic mission school on the Navajo Reservation in Thoreau, New Mexico. • • After marriage, Utz moved to Turkey and taught at an international • school in Istanbul. Following that international post, Utz’s family returned to the United States (Raleigh, NC) where she taught 6th grade Language Arts. Finally, her career trek brought her to Alabama, where she taught 7th and 8th grade English at Vincent Middle School before landing her media specialist job at Spain Park High School. Her current position allows her

Reading Math Writing • Chemistry • Study Skills to interact with 300-400 students daily, helping them to hone• Calculus research skills, SAT/ACT Prep Algebra I&II • Geometry adapt to new technology and prepare for


classroom/extracurricular projects. Utz holds degrees from Baylor University and the University of Alabama. She is National Board-Certified and holds memberships in various professional organizations. A married mother of one, Marnie Utz enjoys (1/2 from reading, playing the mile guitar and280) movies.

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February 2011


280 Living


900 Fabrics and leather to choose from

Join us Wednesday, December 8th, for our 25% Off Art Sale & Open House. Our favorite art vendor will be here with a new shipment of oil paintings for you to choose from. Located at The Village at Lee Branch


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Oak Mountain High School



New Lacrosse Teams Added At Oak Mountain High In recent years lacrosse has become popular in our area and many high schools have created lacrosse teams. In case you are not familiar with lacrosse it is a sport played with a rubber ball by two teams who use long-handled lacrosse sticks with a mesh net at the end to catch, carry, and throw the ball into the opposing team’s goal. The lacrosse stick is also used defensively to keep the opposing team from scoring and dispossess them of the ball through body contact and positioning. The schools in the area that currently have lacrosse teams are Mountain Brook, Spain Park, Hoover, Ramsay, Huntsville, John Carroll Catholic School, and Vestavia. This is not the first year for Oak Mountain to have a lacrosse team. Last year Oak Mountain’s first lacrosse team was a girls lacrosse team coached by David Klementz. The Oak Mountain girls had an astounding first season, with Coach Klementz leading them to a second place finish out of eight teams that competed in

the state of Alabama. The success of the girl’s team sparked interest in the sport at Oak Mountain; this has resulted in the creation of a boy’s team along with the possibility of junior varsity teams for both boys and girls. However, at this time lacrosse is only being played as a club sport at the school because the Alabama High School Sports Association has not sanctioned it. “I’m really excited about lacrosse because it is a first year sport for the boys at Oak Mountain,” said senior Drew Maddox. “It will be a great experience to learn a tough new sport and to be a part of the “first” of something at Oak Mountain.” Practice began for both teams in January and the first games will begin at the end of February or the first of March. To find out more about lacrosse or to view the game schedules visit the school’s website at schools/OMHS/index.html then come out and support the Oak Mountain lacrosse teams.

“It will be a great experience to learn a tough new sport and to be a part of the “first” of something at Oak Mountain.”


Spain Park High School

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Josh Brunner

Jags Featured Twirler Struts Her Stuff There are many components to creating a marching band. While instrumentalists and drummers are the primary piece, making up the music section, a marching show also has to have visual graphics and color. This is when you add in the Color Guard and the dance team. However, there is one group that many people do not notice, a group that plays a major role in the show’s success. This group is the majorettes and the featured twirlers. The Spain Park band is blessed with Janie O’Rear who was a majorette at Spain Park her sophomore and junior year, and was the featured twirler this past marching season. However, her twirling career began long before she started twirling for the high school marching band. O’Rear began taking lessons in second grade. “My older sister began twirling first, and she looked like she was having fun,” O’Rear said. “I wanted to see what it was about.” O’Rear was also a long time cheerleader, beginning in fourth grade. But after cheering at Spain Park her freshman year, she gave up the pom-poms and picked up the baton. Since taking up the baton, O’Rear has had a lot of success. In marching band competitions, O’Rear has consistently scored in the upper 90’s, and rarely ever loses in competitions. She also does competitive twirling with the “Struttin’ Showoffs”, where she has also gained superior recognition. O’Rear was awarded the 2009-2010 Intermediate 13-15 Miss Majorette of Alabama and is currently the Advanced 16+ Miss Majorette of the South. O’Rear truly enjoys what she does, stating, “The thing I like the most about twirling is performing in front of a crowd.”

Spain Park’s featured twirler, Janie O’Rear

O’Rear puts a lot of hard work and time into twirling. However, she still dedicates time to help her school community. O’Rear is a leader in the school’s TNT program, which encourages students to stay substance free. She is also a Peer Helper, a Hoover Belle, and has been in the top 30% of her class throughout her high school career. O’Rear plans on continuing her twirling career at the University of Alabama. She plans on Majoring in International Business with a Minor in Spanish, and she hopes that she can become a Crimsonette with Alabama’s Million Dollar Band. However, if becoming a Crimsonette is not a possibility, O’Rear will continue twirling with the “Struttin’ Showoffs” college team. “I like twirling because I’ve met so many girls from all over the south.” O’Rear said, “I’ve developed long lasting friendships with my teammates.

280 Living |

Chelsea High School



Hueytown, Huffman, John Carroll and Mountain Brook. More than 45 cancer survivors were recognized and many others were honored who’d lost their battle with cancer. Fort Payne came out of the tournament victorious, but all the teams were winners in the hearts of cancer patients all over the United States. Chelsea High School was proud to host such a heart-warming event. This tournament kicked off the first of many fundraisers in the Chelsea area for cancer research. All the events lead up to the area’s Relay For Life walk at Chelsea High School on May 13. Anyone who would like to form a team and participate in Relay For Life can visit Help Chelsea and your community support the fight against cancer!


Briarwood High School


Collier Kauffman

Briarwood’s Service Hours Help Link School to Community Briarwood Christian High School students complete ten hours of service every year to benefit others. Many students serve through community service, such as volunteering at nursing homes, events, and giving a helping hand to individual people. The students must obtain approval for their service proposal by their Bible teacher before performing the service. Several students found some very creative ways in completing their hours. “I went to Hoover Country Club and helped clean the courts before matches during a tennis tournament. I actually got a $25 tip from a very generous player,” said freshman Hunter White. Some students earn more hours than required and attempt to achieve awards for their hard work, such as the Presidential Award. The Presidential Award is given when a student completes over one hundred service hours. Students are given their awards at the end of the school year. “For service hours this year, I worked


the soundboard for the children’s service at my church,” said freshman Josh Reid. The service hours are credited toward the student’s Bible class. Once a student has completed his or her service hours, they must get their Bible teacher to sign and check the student’s record of service. A student must also have a supervisor during their completion of the service. When asked about her service hours, student Cameron Kent said, “I helped with the kids in my church’s nursery.” Many students complete their hours during the summer. One of the best ways to earn service hours quickly is to go on a mission trip. Mission trips are always counted as a service, and every hour, day and night, is counted. A student is almost guaranteed a Presidential Award if they serve through a mission trip. Service hours are a great way to serve God, and many students are blessed for their dedication to serving.

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health room nurses, guidance counselors and instructional support. Oak Mountain High School PTO president Karen Register supports the tax renewal and emphasizes the need for voting “yes” to the multiple parts of the renewal on Feb 8. “Only “yes’s” on all parts will allow the tax renewal to go through,” explained Register. “This is an important vote with impact for years on our school system, Shelby County Board of Education capital improvements, students’ quality education, housing values and Shelby County employment.” In a school system that is expected to grow by an additional 3,000 students over the next six years, the renewal of these taxes is needed early in order to have a longterm steady stream of revenue to secure financing on future capital improvement projects. For more information, contact the Shelby County School District Public Relations Department at 682-7084 or email them at Additional details are available on their website,


our monthly customized facial program catering to the specific needs of your face. Monthly facials can include: • Hydrofacial Jet Peel • Chemical Peels • Facial Masks, Serums, and Infusions • Facial Massage • Facial Ultrasound

Important Tax Renewal Election for Shelby County Schools To Be Held Feb. 8 Shelby County residents will be asked to “Renew Now for Our Children’s Future” when they go to the polls for a special election on Feb. 8. Residents will vote on whether to renew 30 mills of existing advalorem property tax for an additional 30 years, currently set to expire in 2017. The request to renew the taxes early is being made to help the district plan long-term capital improvement projects and to maintain high quality instructional programs that are funded through local tax dollars. “The vote to renew the taxes would not result in a tax increase,” Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller explained. “Residents would continue to pay the same rate they are currently paying.” The Shelby County School District currently collects $74.9 million, or 28 percent of the budget from these funds. The revenue is also used to help fund programs such as art, music, physical education, technology and gifted education. These funds also held pay for assistant principals, additional core subject teachers, additional


Joie Glass

Chelsea High Helps Fight Cancer With Hoops for Hope Chelsea High School joined the fight against cancer over the recent Christmas holidays. In 2009, head girls basketball coach Wayne Trucks and his Lady Hornets hosted a one-night fundraiser in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society. They called the event “Hoops for Hope.” The one night basketball game proved to be a huge success, so Trucks and his hornets decided to try the event again in 2010 with more teams involved. The event was extended to a three-day basketball tournament held December 29 31 and was hosted by Chelsea High School. There were sixteen sponsors, mostly local businesses in the Chelsea community. The tournament consisted of allgirl teams with over $500 going to the American Cancer Society. Eight teams participated in the tournament: Calera, Chelsea, Childersburg, Fort Payne,

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February 2011



157 Resource Center Parkway, Suite 102 Behind Logan’s Roadhouse on 280 Your source for teams sports


Panthers Pee Wee Hockey Team Wins Silver Stick Trophy in Ontario

Mary Katherine Shealy Senior Oak Mountain High School Basketball Our February athlete of the month is Oak Mountain senior Mary Katherine (MK) Shealy. She has been selected as an All Metro Academic Player and is captain of the girls varsity basketball team, playing guard for the Eagles. What do you like most about playing basketball? Mostly I enjoy being part of a team. Being part of a team means you give all you have - every practice, every game for the benefit of everyone. I also like the challenge of the game. Every team has a different ability, strategy and desire, which makes each game unique. Give us your overall thoughts on this year’s basketball season Our team has met it’s own challenges this year with the loss of two of our starting players due to injuries.

Oak Mountain’s Mary Katherine Shealy. Photo courtesy of Teresa Newton.

Both will be out for the entire season. We have really come together as a team and gotten much closer since that happened. Coach Clayton is a great motivator and wonderful coach. That makes playing basketball that much better. What school honors activities are you involved in? I’m in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Spanish Honor Society What are your future college/career aspirations? I plan to attend the University of Alabama and perhaps study education. I plan to continue playing basketball, soccer or lacrosse in intramural sports.

Eagle Cheerleaders Shine in UCA Individuals Oak Mountain Intermediate School fourth-grader Claire Pate competed in the UCA State Cheerleading Individual Competition and placed first in Junior Division 4. Bianca Caton, a fifth-grader who also attends OMIS, won first place in the same competition in Senior Division 1.

Both girls were required to choreograph their own cheer routine, spend many hours practicing and then perform for a panel of UCA judges. They were scored on the categories of dance, skill incorporation, motion execution, choreography, and showmanship.

Claire Pate

Bianca Caton

The Pelham Pee Wee hockey team won the coveted Silver Stick trophy in Ontario. Front row goalies lying down: Zachary Rodgers, Austin Gleason. Kneeling left to right: Caleb Norton, Reid Connor, Timmy Kennedy, Ethan Harradine, Drew Stockton, Sydnee Goyer, Philip Parker, Blake Harlow, Matthew Sedgwick. Standing left to right: Tim Kennedy, Stephane Goyer, Tony Harlow, Peyton Harlow, Brendan Mitchell-Fostyk, Nolan Echols, Chandler Brown, Randy Brown

The Pelham Panthers Pee Wee (1112 year old) youth hockey team recently traveled to Pelham, Ontario, Canada to compete in the 2011 Silver Stick International Alternate Entry Finals and won the Tier I International Championship and the highly coveted Silver Stick trophy defeating the Ancaster Avalanche of Ancaster, Ontario, 2-1 in overtime. The Pelham Panthers Pee Wee hockey team includes Highland Lake’s Austin Gleason, #3, playing goalie and Liberty Park’s Chandler Brown, #17, playing forward. Other players and coaches are from Hoover, Inverness, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Helena, Pelham, Alabaster, Gardendale, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. These team members also play in the Pelham Youth Hockey League along with one player who hails from the Gulf Coast Youth Hockey League in Biloxi, Mississippi. The win marks the first time a team from the Birmingham Youth Hockey League has ever won the International

Championship, the equivalent of winning the Little League World Series in baseball. The win is a significant achievement for any youth hockey program as the Silver Stick trophy is the only youth hockey trophy residing in the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The team will be recognized with its name engraved on a plaque posted next to the original Silver Stick trophy encased in the Hall of Fame for the next year. The Pelham Panthers played six games over four days en route to the Championship title, defeating the Fraser Bruins and the Essex Ravens and its only loss of the tournament to the Ancaster Avalanche in the second game of pool play. The Panthers defeated the Scarsdale Raiders in the quarterfinals and the Burlington Bulldogs in overtime of the semi-final match. The Panthers will play in their final tournament of the season in the Gasoline Alley tournament held in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 19-21.

Area Teams Look to Dominate Again at Lakeshore Shootout

Spain Park’s Haven Eddy at the 2010 Lakeshore Shootout. Photo courtesy of Janna Eddy.

February brings our area one of the largest high school soccer tournaments in the Southeast, the Lakeshore Shootout. Founded in 1992 by Joe Carter, then coach at John Carroll and head boys soccer coach at Spain Park since 2002, the tournament draws 28 boys teams and 24 girls teams from across Alabama and Georgia divided into Division A and B competition. Boys teams will play Feb 18-19 and girls teams play Feb 25-26. The Spain Park girls soccer team won the tournament championship in Division A last year, defeating Grissom. The Jaguars would later go on to defeat Grissom again for the State Championship title. Snow and ice prevented the boys teams from having a 2010 tournament, but in 2009, the Oak Mountain boys team won the tournament’s Division A championship. The Oak Mountain girls team took home victory in Division A that year as well. The Lakeshore Tournament exists to promote healthy competition while preparing participating teams for the upcoming soccer season.

Sports |

February 2011


SEC Hoops Predictions Basketball in the Southeastern Conference is in full swing and although strength in both the east and west has declined the past few years, a select few may be “back” with some new coaches stepping in. Two schools you can look for to begin making a splash this season are Alabama and Georgia. Both schools have secondyear head coaches who seemed to have filtered their philosophies into their team— and the team’s look like they have bought in. Alabama’s head coach, Anthony Grant, has his team in a good spot with players who are seeing hard work pay off. Grant has the Tide in a good position and I

look for them to challenge for the western crown this season. Championships are won with good leadership and great defense. These are two things that Grant believes in and seems to be doing a good job of teaching. Georgia’s Mark Fox is also a promising second year head coach. The ‘Dawgs have already knocked off Kentucky this year and have settled into a nice spot to battle for the east title. The Bulldogs could be one of five or so SEC teams to make the NCAA tournament. Auburn is in their new building and the Tigers are adjusting to new a new head coach. Tony Barbee is taking over a team trying to find a comfort zone and it will be

Even the Youngest Sports Fans Enjoy A Good Game

Briarwood’s Foster Signs with William Carey University

tough. I personally think Barbee will do fine as a coach in the SEC, but I don’t think it will be this year. I know that’s an easy call as Auburn has started out 0-5 in conference play and has only seven victories midway through the season. The SEC has no doubt gotten weaker the past few years, but with the additions of new coaches in the league, I expect that to change. I think the reason the SEC has been down is due to so many good young coaches out there. Plus, the talent is wealthy. You have AAU ball teaching kids how to play the game well early and there is actually not enough room to put them all. Therefore the smaller colleges

by Brent Watson get good players as well. Mix that with a knowledgeable coach and you can get your team to the “Big Dance”. The SEC has come to grips with that, I think, which is why you’ll see schools stepping up to get in the national tournament. Teams I expect to be playing in March for the “madness” are Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. There are many games still to be played so we shall see what happens. Look for hoops in the SEC to beef up in the near future.

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Cooper Baumbaugh of Chelsea gets caught up in the excitement of a recent JV basketball game between Briarwood and Chelsea! Photo courtesy of Cari Dean.


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Meadow Brook Runs Announces 2010 Winners Congratulations to Sean Brown for setting the Open Male Course Record with his time of 15.22 at December’s Meadow Brook Run 5K. Deanna Newman was the 2010 overall female winner with her time of 18.40. The One Mile Fun Run winners were Peter Randolph with his time of 6.36 and female winner Anna Grace Wesson with her time of 9.16. Complete race results are available at www.meadowbrookruns. org,, and www. This year’s race has been set for December 17.

Briarwood’s Harrison Foster with BCS Head Baseball Coach Steve Renfroe

Briarwood Christian High School senior catcher Harrison Foster signed a baseball scholarship on January 5th with William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS. Harrison will graduate in May and plans to study communications. He is the son of Rick and Mary Foster of Birmingham.

Birmingham United Soccer Association Register Now for the Spring Season! Ages 3-16 Dribble-Pass-Score! Come Join the Fun! Every child has a place to play.

by Teresa Newton

Walk-in registration at Heardmont Park Feb 12 from 9 am -12 pm.

Online registration is open until Feb 16

Senior Bert Seitz powers his way toward the goal for the Oak Mtn Eagles against Sylacauga.

Oak Mtn sophomore, Heath Quinn, goes up strong toward the basket against Sylacauga.



February 2011

Valentines Gift Guide


Carl’s Comfort Shoes 5406 Hwy 280 Corner of 119 & Hwy 280 Near McAlisters Deli 980-4800 Quality Footwear with a Professional Fit for Men and Women for Brands like Merrell, Ecco, Clark & Rockport

The Humidor Room 5479 US 280 995-4481 Humidors all sizes shapes & colors Great selection of accessories

Bodywork A Day Spa Hwy 280, Inverness 980-4470 Full service Day Spa Special Value Valentine Package $165

Wild Bird Centers Hwy 280 Inverness Shopping center next to McDonalds 995-2473 Large selection of unique birds houses, feeders & fun gifts for your “Tweet Heart”

Valentines Day: Monday, February 14th

Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery www.thomaskinkadebirmingham. com 310 Summit Blvd, # 108, Unique wine racks from Creative Creations 2,4 & 6 Bottle

The Rusty Dime The Village at Lee Branch Next to the Rave Theatre 995-4005 Unique and One of a Kind Valentines Day Gifts from $25

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Valentines Gift Guide


February 2011



The Gingerbread Lady 3431 Colonnade Shopping Center 970-2683 • 995-9280 Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Houses, Candies and Gifts

Petals to Piglets Florist 10705 Old Hwy 280, Chelsea 678-4756 Bouquets and Flowers for all Occasions Four Corners Gallery Hwy 280 next to The Fresh Market & Starbucks 980-2600 Leather Photo Frames 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 $84 - $198 each

Southeastern Jewelers 5299 Valleydale Road Suite 111 980-9030 Rope Bracelets Stainless Steel and Sterling Silver with Diamonds $130



AZIA 153 Narrows Parkway Birmingham, AL 35242 205-238-6198 25% off Gift Certificates for the Month of February

Capelli Salon 4647 Highway 280 (next to Momma Goldberg’s) 408-0303 Full Service Hair Salon Gift Cards for any amount

TownHouse Tea Shoppe 23 Olmsted St. Village of Mt. Laurel 205- 529-0081 Decadent Dessert Date for 2 for $10 includes dessert and pot of tea or coffee

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February 2011


280 Living

Foster Parents cover story of families from the Church of Brook Hills inspired by Pastor David Platt’s “Radical Experiment” to either adopt or become foster parents. There are an estimated 424,000 children in the foster care system in the United States, and 115,000 of them are available for adoption. Platt believed that some 150 families of The Church at Brook Hills would be willing to provide foster care or, in some cases, adopt. The church contacted the local Department of Human Resources (DHR) office and offered to help. DHR

representatives were skeptical. “They said it would be a miracle for that many to volunteer,” Platt said. But when he asked for volunteers from the church, 160 families signed up. Today many of them are providing short-term foster care, sometimes leading to adoption. Platt and his wife adopted one child a few years ago, and are in the process of adopting another child from China. Church members Gene and Benita Bussell of Mt. Laurel said the Radical Experiment led them to open their home to foster care. They had researched this ministry at an earlier time, but due to an ill family member they had not made a commitment to become involved.

“In late 2009, Dr. Platt started teaching out of James,” Benita Bussell said. “When he got to the passage in chapter 1, verse 27 about pure and undefiled religion was visiting the orphans and widows and being unspotted from the world, Gene and I both knew God was speaking to us about opening up our home for a child in need. God had confirmed what He had already been putting on our hearts.” In January 2010 the family received a call that not one, but twin 4-year-olds needed a home. “We were so excited! What was God going to do with our family? The answer is simple,” she said. “He would complete our family. Even on the first day Evan and Neil seemed to fit right in with

the Bussell household. It was as if they had always been with us.” Benita said the twins had severe speech difficulties and that they “knew the road ahead was going to be a long one. With every day we see such improvement and growth. The boys are now five and in kindergarten and are so well adjusted.” The Bussell’s story doesn’t end with fostering these two boys – they adopted the boys in October. “Our goal is to love them as Christ loved us and to show them we love them as our own now and we are forever going to be their family,” Benita said.

New Directions, Changing Lives The Church at Brook Hills Makes a Difference with The Radical Experiment By Rick Watson and Kathryn Acree The Church at Brook Hills found itself without a pastor in 2005 when their senior pastor resigned. So the mega-church, with a congregation of more than 4,000, went looking for a new preacher. One unlikely candidate was then 26-year-old David Platt. Unlikely, because he wasn’t looking for a job. His arrival set in motion the development of the Radical Experiment, leading to both a change in the church and many of its members. “My wife and I were living in New Orleans where I was teaching at the Baptist Seminary,” Platt said. Hurricane Katrina changed their lives in more ways than one. They had to flee New Orleans, so they settled down in Georgia where Platt and his wife Heather had originally lived. Leaders at the Church at Brook Hills asked Platt to fill in one Sunday in January of 2006. Then they asked him for another Sunday. Then another. Before long, they asked if he’d assume the job permanently. During that interview, Platt spent most of the time making a case for why he shouldn’t even be considered as pastor for the mega-congregation: he’d never pastored a church; he had no experience in church administration; and he felt he was too young. His words during that meeting seemed to fall on deaf ears. He and his wife had their hearts set on returning to New Orleans and his work at the seminary, where he was able to spend most of his spring, summer, and holiday breaks traveling abroad, doing missionary work in places wracked by poverty and where people knew nothing about the Bible. “With the seminary schedule I could go overseas three or four times a year and take students with me,” Platt said. “We could teach the students what it meant to follow Christ in the context of the world. My wife and I had no desire to change anything.” Now, he says it seems he was “led to” The Church at Brook Hills. Although

David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills

he didn’t feel qualified to be leading any church, much less one as large as Brook Hills, he became their full-time pastor in June 2006. But after Platt settled in at Brook Hills, something “radical” began to happen. He kept thinking about “how many lost and hungry people are in the world,” and felt strongly that something must be done. Platt said that according to estimates, a billion and a half people around the globe have no knowledge of the Bible. The only way he could justify living in Birmingham instead of overseas where the need is greatest, he said, was if he could be “doing more here, to affect what’s going on over there.” The Radical Experiment, as it’s come to be known, evolved from work the church did while closely examining some of the so-called “hard sayings” of Jesus,

such as Matthew 19:21, in which he tells a rich young man, “Sell everything you have and give to the poor.” According to Platt, the church began to wrestle with these familiar texts in a whole new way. It was during this process they asked themselves some hard questions, beginning with, “What does this mean for our lives in the Highway 280 world, where we have so much abundance?” The question arose, Platt recalled, “How do we follow a Savior who did not have a roof over his head, when we have huge houses everywhere?” He says these realizations caused “a crisis of belief” for the congregation, making them rethink what they were doing both individually and as a church. According to Platt, the process of walking through the gospels and the introspection that followed gave birth

to the Radical Experiment. “The church decided to start making some real sacrifices for the sake of urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world,” he said. One of the first things they did was look at the way the church operated. When they examined their finances, they found the church had a surplus of about $500,000 dollars. They’d been saving the money for a rainy day. But with so much need in the world, holding on to that money didn’t seem to them like the right thing to do. After much soul searching, the church decided to give the $500,000 to the poor, both at home and around the world. They partnered with Compassion International in India, where 41 percent of the population lives in poverty. They began working with different churches there to provide food and medical care for the needy, focusing on aid to mothers with young children. They also began looking at future church budgets and reducing spending wherever possible. The Church at Brook Hills cut a million and a half dollars from their budget and freed up the money for urgent spiritual and physical needs, both locally and globally. The process of cutting funds touched all areas of the church’s operations, from the worship budget to facility upkeep to the snacks at their preschool. During this time, Platt began committing to paper the ideas and processes the church was going through. He says he wanted people who will attend Brook Hills in the future to know the foundation on which members had decided to do some very unconventional things. According to Platt, the notes seemed to take on a life of their own and eventually a publisher became interested in the work. As a result, his first book Radical–Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream released last May hit the bestseller list and brought him national attention.


pg 21

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280 Living

Network 280/ Social 280 Events Connect Area Businesses

Dr. Jenni Goodson along with Eunice Loveless, both of Goodson Health and Wellness, hosted the first Network 280 for the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Also pictured is Vicki Everett of JuicePlus.

The Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce recognizes the challenges business leaders along Hwy 280 have in meeting one another. In an effort to ease this challenge, the Chamber offers a flexible schedule of events each to provide convenient opportunities for business leaders to share common issues. Network 280 is a brief morning meeting hosted by a member of the Greater Shelby Chamber located along the Hwy 280 corridor. The host member is given an opportunity to address attendees about current offerings, happenings, products, services, give a tour of the facility, and to introduce associates. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the business leaders along the Hwy 280 corridor and to find out the latest business buzz. The first Network 280 meeting was held January 19 at Goodson Health and

Wellness. The event had a great turnout and participants were able to mingle and discuss business opportunities in their area. Social 280 is an extension of their popular Business After Hours events and provides premier networking opportunities, offering members and guests the chance to meet business professionals representing products and services in a relaxed, social setting. Members attending have an opportunity to exchange business cards and become acquainted with other businesses throughout the Hwy 280 corridor and beyond. The next Social 280 event is scheduled for Feb 16. For more information on any of the programs offered through the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce, contact Jennifer Trammell at Jennifer@ or call the Chamber at (205) 663-4542.

Wild About Chocolate Gala in its Seventh Year Get ready for a fun filled evening in support of the Alabama Wildlife Center’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate and return to the wild Alabama’s injured and orphaned native birds. Celebrating its seventh year, the Wild About Chocolate gala is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 12 at The Harbert Center. This remarkable evening begins at 7:00 p.m. with a buffet of chocolate desserts, savory appetizers and complimentary wine, a silent auction and dancing to live music from The Neo Jazz Collective. A brief program and live auction with Ken Jackson begin at 8:00 p.m. Twenty restaurants, bakeries and

caterers have already signed up to donate a dessert, savory appetizer or beverage. The highlight of the gala is the lavish chocolate dessert buffet. More than fifteen signature chocolate desserts will be available along with complimentary wine and a cash bar to create a truly memorable and delicious evening for guests. Sponsors for the event include The Myers Player Group/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Southern Company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Southern Natural Gas, an El Paso Company and G&S Hydraulics, Inc. For event information and tickets go to or call 663-7930, Ext. 8.


February 2011



TownHouse Tea Shoppe For Lovers & Others Reservation Only Dinner Monday February 14th 5-7 Limited Seating

23 Olmsted St, Mt.Laurel 205-529-0081

18 |

February 2011

| 280 Living

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Reunion, cover story

College to play baseball. The couple continued dating and Courtney graduated in 2008. In December of 2008, Coty committed to the Marine Corps for four years and was due to leave for boot camp in May of 2009. “You think of so many things when you think about the military, but the first thing that comes to your mind is war. It was hard for me to support something that tore me up on the inside, but I could see that he was very passionate about this decision. I made my mind up that I would stand by him no matter where he went or what he did,” she said. On February 14, 2009, Coty proposed at Petrucelli’s Restaurant. “It was the best Valentine’s Day I have ever had. It was pouring down rain and he bent down on one knee before we went into the restaurant and asked me to be his wife for the rest of his life,” she said. “I immediately said yes with tears pouring from my eyes. It was like our fairytale was finally coming true.” The couple married in April of 2009 in a small ceremony attended by family and a few friends at Aldridge Gardens. “We had a plan that I would create our big wedding while he was in boot camp and we would have all of our family and friends together after he graduated,” Courtney said. “Boot camp was very hard for us. I became best friends with my mail lady. I lived at that mailbox just hoping that I would receive a letter,” she said. Coty graduated boot camp in August of 2009 with the MOS of an Infantry Machine Gunner. A week later they had the wedding of their dreams at Turn Brooke Manor in Chelsea. They learned they were to be stationed at Camp Lejeune, so by November they bought a home there and started packing up for the move to Jacksonville, North Carolina. “Just like everything in the military, you never get comfortable with the way things are,” she said. “Soon after we got

settled into the house, we heard that he was due to deploy that upcoming July.” “Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you to say goodbye,” Courtney said. “Every time there is a knock on my door, I feel like a million knives have been jabbed in my stomach. My breath is taken away. I fear for a casualty officer ever showing their face at my doorstep. The thought of my husband not coming home to me is unbearable.” Courtney says her strength comes from Coty. “I carry on every single day knowing that it is one day closer to him coming home. I am so incredibly proud of the man he has become. I have developed a close relationship with God and I trust that He will make everything right in the world,” she said. “Truthfully, we have gained so much from the Marine Corps because the process makes us realize what we have,” she said. “Time is something that most people take for granted. I know that I did.” When Coty returns this month, the couple plans on spending some of that leave back home with family and some time just together, trying to celebrate their forgotten honeymoon. “We have heard rumors that he is going to deploy again to Afghanistan by the end of this year or beginning of 2012,” Courtney said. “We take each day one step at a time. Right now I am just anxiously waiting to have my husband back home where he belongs.”

Coty and Courtney McLaughlin

Giggles and Grace Consignment Sale Set For Feb 18-19 Giggles and Grace is a children and youth clothing consignment sale held twice a year at Asbury United Methodist Church. Their spring sale is set for Feb 18-19 with selected items 50% off on Feb. 19. This popular event started in the fall of 2007 and has grown to include approximately 350 consignors and is run through the efforts of 400 volunteers. All proceeds go to fund children’s ministries through Asbury and 10% goes directly to help qualified families which are given vouchers to be spent at the sale. The remaining items at the end of the sale will be donated to other mission organizations such as The Foundry, Lovelady Center. Hannah Home, Oak Mountain Missions, and Vapor Thrift Store. Organizers of Giggles and Grace

emphasize that although the event is a fundraiser, it is also a huge mission outreach to the community. The sale includes clothes for kids from newborn to juniors. It also includes furniture such as changing tables, rocking chairs and beds, along with educational DVD’s, books and games. Plus, parents can find tons of toys at much lower costs than in stores. Although registration is closed for the spring sale, fall 2011 registration will open August 1st. Hours for the Feb sale are 8am to 7pm on the 18th and 8am to 1pm on the 19th. Go to the sale’s website, www., for more information or to get involved.

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700 Montgomery Hwy Suite 156 (205) 824-1350



280 Living

Treat Your Sweetheart To This Delicious Chicken Picatta Chicken Picatta

By Patsy Smith Be good to your sweetheart, and be good to your own heart this month with this very satisfying recipe for Chicken Picatta. If you are like me and are trying to stick to your list of resolutions for the new year, you are probably trying to develop a mindset to eat healthy.

The recipe has proven to please. I’ve entertained with several small dinner parties recently in my home. After serving this dish the first time to good reviews from my guests, my husband has requested it again and again when we’ve entertained friends.

Shoal Creek’s Patsy Smith is the author of “A Cookbook for My Southern Daughter” and “A Southern Daughter Entertains”. For information or ordering, contact 991-9751.

Patsy Smith’s Chicken Picatta

Elvis Shakes Things Up at the Greystone Ladies Club “Rhinestones and Wranglers” was the theme of the January 12 luncheon meeting of the Greystone Ladies Club. For this occasion, the king of rock ‘n roll himself was “in the building” to perform all the classic hits that made Elvis THE king. Elvis, aka Rob Langford, a professional Elvis impersonator based in Birmingham, impressed his audience at the Greystone Golf and Country Club with his authentic voice and Elvis’ playbook selections of rock, blues, country and gospel. Dressed in a white jumpsuit with long beaded fringe dangling from chest to waist, and collar up to his jet black “burns,” “Elvis” sang, working those classic poses and hand gestures that made women swoon, and made him famous Elvis would have been 76 years old this year. Blue Suede Shoes, Kentucky Rain, Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love and Caught in a Trap were just a few of the many hits Langford performed. Langford dramatized Elvis’

Yield: 2 servings 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 t. Mrs. Dash @ ¼ c. all-purpose flour, for dusting chicken 2T. olive oil ¼ c. dry white wine 1 t. minced garlic, from jar ½ c. low sodium chicken broth ½ fresh lemon, juice only ½ fresh lemon, sliced thin 2 t. capers, drained 2 T. butter or margarine 1 T. chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Season chicken with Mrs. Dash, and dust lightly with flour. Grease a non-stick pan with olive oil. Sauté chicken, on medium heat, 3 minutes on one side. Turn chicken over and sauté 3 more minutes on the other side, with pan covered. Remove chicken to a plate. Place minced garlic and wine in pan and cook until garlic is lightly browned and liquid is reduced by half (about 2 minutes.) Add chicken broth, lemon juice, capers, butter and parsley. Return chicken to pan and cook on both sides, heating through. Place chicken on serving plates and drizzle with the sauce from the pan. Place thin lemon slices and a few capers on top of the chicken as garnish. Serving Suggestion: Serve with ½ cup pasta and either steamed broccoli, salad, or other green vegetable. Candlelight optional.

signature love songs by moving into the audience, getting down on one knee to sing to certain lucky ladies, and draping a red or white scarf around others. During a few numbers Langford had women from the audience up on their feet, dancing with him “on stage.” Although Elvis was an impersonator, there was the “real deal” present for the occasion- Elvis’ second cousin, Edie Hand, of Dora, Alabama. Hand is an author, speaker, and radio and TV personality. Membership to the Greystone Ladies Club is open to women who live in the Founders, Legacy and Crest developments of Greystone, or members of the Greystone Golf & Country Club. For more information contact Membership VP, Tina Douglass at, or visit for more information, and on-line membership form.


February 2011




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February 2011

| 280 Living

280 Then and Now

Memories of The Narrows by Kathryn Acree Chelsea’s Sandra King witnessed the growth of the small community she remembers as a girl to the expanding city it is today. “Chelsea will always be in my heart, and even when I moved away for a time, it is what I longed to come back to,” explained King. King grew up in the area known as the Narrows. Ever since she was a girl in the 1950’s, King recalls the Narrows being defined by their mountain formation. “You lived on one side of the mountain or the other,” said King. “People would say they lived on either the Birmingham side or the Chelsea side.” The mountain King refers to begins at what is now the entrance to the Narrows development of homes and businesses near the intersection of Highway 280 and “old” County Road 280. That was the “Birmingham side.” The “Chelsea” side of the mountain ended in the valley dissected by County Road 43 or Bear Creek Road. Old County Road 280 snakes through a narrow, curvy cut in the mountain. A creek and small rock wall lay along one

An old postcard depicting the Narrows Valley.

side of this road known for treacherous turns paired with a steep incline. “Coal trucks would fly along down that road and you could hear the gears grinding,” said King. “It was always so dangerous through there.” King recalls several generations of her family living in the area. Her earliest memory is of a log cabin her greatgrandfather lived in directly off County Road 280. It was in front of a lake that once was located where the Narrows development is currently. King’s grandfather, Red Stewart, owned a gas station in the Narrows known as “Red’s Place.” It was near County Road 43 on the Chelsea side of the mountain. “Red’s Place was known for having the coldest Cokes on 280,” said King. “My sisters and I would pump gas and help change tires.” Red’s Place didn’t stay in business for very long after Red Stewart died in the mid-

Highway 280 through the Narrows now.

1970’s. The “new” 280 had been constructed to by-pass the old, curvy road and make traveling the Florida Short Route, as 280 was known, an even faster route. King and her husband tore the crumbling gas station down in 1994. King and her husband, Richard, known as Rusty, met as schoolmates in the Chelsea school. “There was only one school at that time,” King recalls. “It was a wood building located near where the middle school is now. I remember the wooden floor was sprinkled with pine rosin every evening after school.” After completing third grade, King and her siblings moved several times to new schools in the Birmingham area. Her parents divorced and King completed high school at Woodlawn. She never lost touch with Rusty, writing him long letters. At the time in the 1960’s, Chelsea was a longdistance telephone call from Birmingham so calls between the two were rare. King

was able to reunite with Rusty after leaving Woodlawn and the two married in 1969. He was 19 and she was 18. “We lived in Mobile for a short time, but other than that, Chelsea was always our home. I’ve been teased for loving this place so much, but it’s just part of me. Sometimes people didn’t even know where Chelsea was but I would tell them if you knew where Lloyd’s was, that was Chelsea,” said King referring to the original Lloyd’s Restaurant located behind the current Chelsea McDonalds on Highway 280. After her husband passed away, King stayed in Chelsea, now living on the same property as her son, Chelsea firefighter and city councilman, Ricky King does with his family. “I have some good memories from the Narrows,” explains Sandra King. “We’d catch salamanders in the creek but I sure didn’t want anything to do with snakes. I knew all the families in the area and they knew all of us. It was just a different time.”

280 Living


February 2011



The Fitness Lifestyle By Dr. Irma Palmer

their efforts within four to six The fitness boom was weeks. launched in America in the But fitness matters. early 1980s by a small group And from an even broader of celebrities, including Jane perspective, lifestyle matters. Fonda, who recognized the In 2007, heart disease, importance of exercise for longcancer, cerebrovascular term health and well-being. disease (including stroke and Although their methods hypertension), and pulmonary were flawed, their vision was Dr. Irma Palmer disease accounted for more important. Over the past 30 years the notion of fitness as a valuable than 60% of the 2.4 million deaths in the end in itself has persisted in the public United States.1 It is now well-recognized consciousness. But for the most part, people that each of these diseases and conditions do not take action on their own behalf in is specifically a lifestyle disease. With respect to cancer, less than 10% of cases this critical area. In a typical scenario, a person will are due to an inherited condition. The finally decide to begin a plan to shed the rest are a result of lifestyle choices such as 30 or more pounds of excess weight he or smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, she has been carrying around for too many being overweight and obese, and lack of years to count. In a whirlwind of activity, exercise.2 In addition to regular chiropractic the person joins a gym, buys a pair of snazzy cross-trainers, stylish new workout care, one key action step regarding your shorts, and tank tops, and even purchases long-term health is to engage in regular 10 grueling sessions with a personal trainer. vigorous exercise. If you haven’t exercised After this initial burst of enthusiasm, the in many years, daily walks are a good way typical fitness-seeking person will lose to begin your life-long exercise program. interest in 30 days. Health clubs across Start with a modest 10-minute walk and the globe rake in their profits from new build up over six to eight weeks to a daily member initiation fees, knowing full well 30-minute walk. Once you’re walking 30 that most new gym members discontinue minutes a day, gradually increase your

daily pace. When you’ve achieved a quick 30-minute daily pace and can maintain your schedule comfortably, you may begin to alternate strength-training workouts with your walks. Fitness is not only a critical lifestyle enhancer, it is also a state of mind. People who are fit want to stay fit. A person who becomes fit usually discovers that he has begun to choose healthy food rather than junk. Frosted doughnuts, candy bars, and twisted ropes of raspberry-flavored sugar lose their allure and appeal. Organic trail mix, organic apples, and protein smoothies become preferred snacks. Persons who take on a fitness lifestyle find themselves losing weight, naturally and easily. No stressinducing diets. No drastic weight loss. The pounds just fall away because the person is exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.3 Regular spinal adjustments are a major multiplier of a fitness-oriented lifestyle. Keeping your nervous system operating at peak efficiency allows your workouts to be more effective and reduces the chance of repetitive injuries. Dr. Steven Johnson, my chiropractic colleague at the office, specializes in fitness-oriented chiropractic care. He has years of experience working

with athletes of all levels- from middle schoolers to professionals. If pain is keeping you from beginning the fitness regimen you know you need, I highly suggest coming by for a free consultation and allow Dr. Johnson to evaluate your spinal health and address any stability issues in your extremities. Together, the both of you can develop a fitness plan that will work for you. What are you waiting for? There is never a better time than right now! (This article was adapted from the monthly newsletter available through our website, If you are interested in receiving regular information on living a healthy, holistically oriented lifestyle, check out the website and sign up today!) Sources: 1 Xu J, et al: Deaths. Final data for 2007. Natl Vital Stat Rep 58(19), May 20, 2010 2 Kirkegaard H, et al: Association of adherence to lifestyle recommendations and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective Danish cohort study. Brit Med J October 26, 2010 (Epub ahead of print) 3 Brietzke SA: A personalized approach to metabolic aspects of obesity. Mt Sinai J Med 77(5):499-510, 2010

School Nurses: On the Front Lines in the Battle to Keep Your Student Healthy By Kathryn Acree If you are the parent of a school-age child, you have undoubtedly experienced a telephone call from a school nurse when your child is ill. But while it’s easy to dread that call, we are fortunate to live in an area with the support and services a school nurse provides. According to Charting Nursing’s Future, a publication of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, half of United States schools lack a full-time registered nurse. The Shelby County Schools are an example of beating that statistic by having a RN or LPN in all 39 schools. Shelby County Schools Head Nurse Jan

Cibulski leads the Heath Services Division located at the Instructional Services Center in Alabaster. With four additional “floater” nurses on staff, the division sees to the care of 27,000 students in the school system. “Shelby County School’s have always been very supportive of the role of the school nurse,” said Cibulski. “It can make such a difference in the life of a child, especially in a situation where there is no other primary health care.” Often a school nurse is the first to notice a health issue in a student. “Children continue to face chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes, or food allergies,”

Cibulski explains. “We are there to help better the life of that child by working with families to keep the student healthy and in school. Staying in school is the ultimate goal.” The role of the school nurse is often very broad. Beyond administering medication and providing first aid, school nurses manage chronic conditions, handle life-threatening allergy and asthma events, and act as sentinels when epidemics strike. Additionally, Charting Nursing’s Future reports, school nurses ensure immunization compliance, refer student’s families to insurance programs (if needed) and

educate children about healthy lifestyles. “We provide screenings such as for scoliosis and we often refer student’s families to sources for additional care when a diagnosis is sought,” said Cibulski. “We have a fund established to help families with some of their health care costs like medicines if that need is there.” Absentee rates have been shown to drop when students are in a school served by a school nurse. “We care so much about our students,” explained Cibulski. “We want to help every student be as healthy as possible and to be part of a healthy learning environment.”

Platt said the experiment has played out in different ways for different people. “Some have sold their homes, downsized, and are living in a smaller place in this community which has freed up a lot of resources. But there are a lot of people who have not done that. It’s not a litmus test for whether or not you’re radical.” There are some people – both inside and outside the church – who don’t agree with Platt’s radical approach. “Some folks say, hey, this is not for me,” he said. “And that’s OK.” But the minister points out that the Radical Experiment is based on the

words of Jesus, and not the words of David Platt. In fact, he remembers one affluent area physician who looked him straight in the eye and told him he was “nuts” for what he was saying. But the doctor then added: “I think you’re right, because you’re only saying what Jesus said.” Afterward, Platt said, the doctor began his own process of introspection about how he could use his life and resources for a better purpose. “What the experiment says,” Platt explained, “is, let’s take an honest look at what Jesus said in the scripture and see

what it means for each of our lives.” The Radical Experiment has played out in many ways, according to Platt. Many other church members, including the church staff, donate time, energy, and money to local partners such as the Lovelady Center, Ozzie Ware Middle School, and the Brother Bryan Mission. “I’ve grown a lot since I’ve been here,“ said Platt, whose second book is scheduled for release later this year. “I love these people and this church more today than when I first came.”

RADICAL, from pg 16 The five basic concepts of the Radical Experiment are: to pray for the entire world; to read through the entire Bible; to commit one’s life to “multiplying community” -meaning a commitment to other members who are involved in the process, so they don’t have to do it alone; to sacrifice resources for a specific purpose; and to spend a portion of one’s time in a different a context (away from home in other parts of the country and world). “It’s important for us to know the rest of the world does not look like this part of Birmingham,” Platt said.

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February 2011


280 Business Happenings

280 Business Happenings Pastry Arts Pastry Arts opened at 940 Inverness Corners on New Years Eve. The shop specializes in cakes and cake related items but is also known for its unique treat, baby bites. The Inverness location is the second bakery for owners Dennis and Carol Gregg, known for their popular Homewood shop for the last five years. “We hunted a new location throughout Birmingham, but we chose Inverness Corners due to the growth of this area,” said Dennis Gregg. “We know Homewood is not always convenient for our customers so we wanted to bring our specialty items out to the 280 corridor.”

Inverness Pharmacy While specialty and wedding cakes created by Pastry Chef Carol Gregg are the mainstay of Pastry Arts, baby bites are a twist on the petit four. A total of 15 flavors are available with seven being offered every day in the bakery. Two flavors change each day. Cupcakes and cookies are a delightful treat, along with Pastry Arts cheese coins, a round cheesestraw topped with a pecan. Pastry Arts is open Tuesday – Friday, 9 am- 6 pm and Saturday, 9 am – 3 pm. They are closed Sunday and Monday. Their phone number is 995-5855.

Tropical Smoothie Café Tropical Smoothie Café opened January 29th in the Inverness Corners Shopping Center off Valleydale Road. Owners Mike and Susan Tate have plenty to offer our area with their menu including delicious fruit smoothies and made-to-order bistro sandwiches, salads, toasted wraps, grilled flatbreads and breakfast wraps. “We will feature catering, take-out and drive-through service,” said Susan Tate. “We give our customers several options for our freshly prepared and affordable selections.” The location off Valleydale Road is brightly decorated with tropical-themed paintings and décor. Located at the

opposite end of the shopping center section from Milos, the restaurant has seating for 50. While this is the second Birmingham location for Tropical Smoothie Café (the other is off Hwy 150 in Hoover) it is the first franchise for the Tate’s. “We’re excited to be starting our new venture in this area,” explained Susan Tate. Tropical Smoothie Café is open Monday –Thursday, 7 am - 9 pm, Friday, 7 am – 10 pm, Saturday, 8 am- 10 pm, and Sunday 9 am – 8 pm. For more information go to their website, www. or contact the store at 834-8309.

Inverness Pharmacy is a new independent pharmacy located at 5299 Valleydale Road, Suite 121. This new pharmacy has the motto “Customer Service is Our Business.” Pharmacy Technician Scott Dixon says Inverness Pharmacy stands out from its competitors due to building one on one relationships with customers. “We offer great, family-friendly service with little or no waiting at the same low price as others may offer,” said Dixon. Inverness Pharmacy hours are Monday- Friday, 9 am7pm, Saturday, 9am – 1 pm and closed on Sunday. The store can be reached by phone at 834-8505, the doctor line is 8348507 and by fax at 834-8508.

Paul C. Deichmann, Pharm.D.

Pure Barre 280 Pure Barre 280 is thrilled to announce they will be opening in Greystone Terrace by early March. The success of Pure Barre Birmingham in Homewood led owner Danielle Davis to seek out a 280 corridor location that will be under the direction of Deanna Adams. Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective way to transform your body incorporating “The Technique” designed to create flat abs, a lifted seat, toned thighs and well-defined arms. The 55-minute exercise class utilizes a ballet-barre paired with body resistance to perform small isometric movements that provide big results. This workout is music-driven and designed to burn calories and transform

the body in record-breaking time. The Technique is low-impact and appeals to individuals of all ages and backgrounds Owner Danielle Davis says she has a passion for empowering other individuals to achieve their life goals. “We firmly believe that health and fitness directly affect the quality of one’s life,” explained Davis. “We wanted to create a judgmentfree studio environment that provided excellent fitness instruction as well as personal motivation.” For more information on Pure Barre, visit their website at Contact owner Danielle Davis at danielle@

FEBRUARY Calendar of Events for around the 280 Area

Wednesday, February 23rd – “Shelby County Mayors” – Chamber luncheon – 11am to 1pm – Pelham Civic Complex – contact for information ($17 for Greater Shelby County Chamber members / $20 for non-members). Register online at www. or call 663-4542.

Diana’s Salon Tuesday, February 15th – Focus CHELSEA – Ekklesia Coffee House, 109 Foothills Parkway – 8:30 to 9:30am – contact or call 6634542 for information (no cost to attend).

Celebrating our

5 year

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5291 Valleydale Rd, Suite 137 Mon.-Thurs. 9am - 7pm. • Fri. 9am - 3pm. Sat. 9am - 4pm. • Sun. 12noon - 5pm. Extended hours available

Wednesday, February 16th – Social 280 – Business After Hours at The Pita Hut, 5361 Highway 280 – 4 to 6pm – contact or call 6634542 for information (no cost to attend).

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


Now Open! Family Owned

5299 Valleydale Rd., Ste 121 834-8505

280 Living

North Shelby and Mt. Laurel Library February Happenings 2011 North Shelby Library Special Programming

Tuesday, February 1st: All Day, Robinson Crusoe Day Stop by the Children’s Department any time today and tell us one thing you would like to have with you if stranded on an island and we will give you a sweet treat. Mondays, February 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th at 3:30, 3:50, and 4:10 p.m. Sit, Stay Read! A non-profit organization through Handin-Paw dedicated to providing volunteer services to children. Sit, Stay, Read! brings children together with specially trained dogs to help them gain more confidence in their reading abilities in an individual setting at the North Shelby library that is supportive, relaxed, and furry! All Ages. Registration Required. Thursday, February 10th at 4 p.m. “Hoppy Valentine’s Day” Card Holder Need a place to put all those Valentine’s? Look no further. Join us at the library to make the perfect card holder. All Ages. Registration Required. Wednesday, February 16th at 1:00 p.m. Homeschool Hangout: Chinese New Year Celebrate Chinese New Year with an exploration of their traditional musical culture. Ages 8-12. Registration Required. Friday, February 18th from 4 – 5 p.m. Princess Party Hear ye, hear ye, Princess 3 years old and

older across the land. You are cordially invited to attend a party in your honor. Wear your finest princess attire and be prepared to have a spectacular time with crafts, games, and great food. Registration is required and limited, call early to ensure a spot. Friday, February 25th from 4 – 5:30 p.m. Family Movie Day: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Watch as an unlikely partnership is formed between cats and dogs in order to vanquish the evil Kitty Galore. All Ages Welcome. Refreshments served.

Story-Time Programming Mondays, February 7th, 14th, and 21st at 9:30 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, February 8th and 22nd from 10:30 – 11:00 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. No siblings please. Ages: Birth to 18 months. Registration Required.


February 2011



Registration begins two weeks prior to program date.

continue to change the rules of gathering intelligence. (From Product Description)

Wednesdays, February 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd at 10:45 a.m. Mr. Mac (Storyteller Extraordinaire!) Stories, puppets, and lots of music for every member of the family. All Ages. No registration required.

Mt. Laurel Public Library

Thursdays, February 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th at 7 p.m. P. J. Story Time Come in your PJs, have milk and cookies, and hear some wonderful bedtime tales. All Ages. No registration required. * For more information or to register for any of our programs or storytimes, call or email the Children’s Department at 205439-5504 or

Teen Scene Teen Book Pick of the Month: The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul B. Janeczko From clothesline codes to surveillance satellites and cyber espionage, Paul B. Janeczko uncovers two centuries’ worth of true spy stories in U.S. history. Ever since George Washington used them to help topple the British, spies and their networks have helped and hurt America at key moments in history. In this fascinating collection, Paul B. Janeczko probes such stories as that of Elizabeth Van Lew, an aristocrat whose hatred of slavery drove her to be one of the most successful spies in the Civil War; the “Choctaw code talkers,” Native Americans who were instrumental in sending secret messages during World War I; the staggering engineering behind a Cold War tunnel into East Berlin to tap Soviet phones (only to be compromised by a Soviet mole); and many more famous and less-known examples. Colorful personalities, daring missions, the feats of the loyal, and the damage of traitors are interspersed with a look at the technological advances that

Toddler Tales Wednesdays, February 2 and 16 – 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 for more information or to register. Storytime with Ms Kristy Wednesdays, February 2 and 16 – 11 a.m.: Stories, music and more for every member of the family. All ages. No registration required. Crafty Saturday Saturday, February 12: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Fortune Cookies: Celebrate Chinese New Year by making felt fortune cookies. All ages with parent help. Registration Required. Call or email the Mt Laurel Library at 991-1660 or for more information or to register. Name that Squirrel All month We are asking for help to name the library’s squirrel mascot. Patrons of all ages are encouraged to submit suggestions either at the library or by emailing the suggestion to with “squirrel name” as the subject from Wednesday, January 19 until Wednesday, February 9. A committee will select a list of finalists. An online vote for the official name will begin Wednesday, February 16, and run through Wednesday, March 2. The official name will be announced at Ms Kristy’s Storytime on Wednesday, March 16 at 11 a.m. Details will be available at www.mtlaurellibrary. org.

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February 2011


280 Living

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My South |

by Rick Watson

Turning 60 This year in January I celebrated a milestone birthday when I turned 60. I spent a lot of time reflecting about the concept of age. Age is something I don’t normally think about. Well that’s not exactly true – I do think about my age when I stand up on cold mornings and my knees click like castanets. I also seem to spend a lot of time looking for a bathroom these days .... but perhaps I’ve said too much about that. I can honestly say I’m not bothered by my age, but I am mindful of time. Everybody told me that forty would be my hardest birthday because I’d finally realize I’m not a kid anymore. Maybe that’s true, but I didn’t miss being a kid that much. When I was younger, I stayed broker than the ten commandments and spent a lot of time trying to make a living instead of making a life. By the time I reached fifty, I got a little smarter and started doing more things I enjoyed. Jilda and I traveled all over the country and to Ireland, playing music, taking pictures and writing. I became more mindful of my time when I finally realized that I wouldn’t live forever. That’s a humbling realization. I read a book called Your Money or Your Life and as you probably guessed from the title, is about the relationship between life and money. It’s a fascinating book that looks closely at how much time one can expect to live, based on statistics. It breaks the number down into hours. For example, someone here in America who is sixty can expect to live to be about seventy-eight years old. The eighteen years

between sixty and seventy eight comes to 158,000 hours give or take a few. That is if you don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, abuse drugs, or find your self driving on a narrow country road with someone doing some of the things listed above. When I was younger, I thought I’d live forever and have an infinite number of hours to waste as I saw fit. As a result, I found myself wishing my life away – I wish it were Friday, or I wish I were out of school, or I’ll be glad when I retire. But once I read Your Money or Your Life and I realized just how many hours (hopefully) remained, it was a sobering experience. The book not only slaps you in the face with how little time you have left, but also makes you question how you’re spending your money. To put it in perspective, if I’m bringing home twenty dollars an hour working, do I want to spend 1500 of my remaining hours of life to pay for a new Mustang GT? Or do I buy a used Camaro and spend the hours I saved fly fishing in Vermont, or having fun with family and friends? I won’t depress you by saying how much of my life-force we spent on our house. Let’s just say, it was a huge investment. Life is like a gently flowing river and what’s moved past you is gone forever. All you have here on earth is right now – this moment. The Good Book backs me up on this point. The gift I’m giving myself on my sixtieth birthday is a promise that I won’t fret about being sixty, but I will be more mindful of how I spend the hours I have left in my life.

spend the hours I saved fly fishing in Vermont, or having fun with family and friends


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1 mile off 280, past Home Depot - Just off Cahaba Beach Road

After the celebration of the Christmas and New Year holidays, the trashcans along our street were filled to the brim. They were overflowing with left over food from the holiday feast, wrapping paper and boxes, broken Christmas lights, fireworks debris, and other holiday items. The cans were so full that it took extra garbage trucks to haul everything away to the dump. All of this reminded me of a hike I experienced in the mountains. One summer I was walking along a beautiful high ridge trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was enjoying the hike in the wilderness until I came to a clearing, where to my surprise there was a garbage dump. Like most city dumps it was composed of old cans, bottles, mattresses, furniture, tires and all the unpleasant things that people cast away. As I stood in the middle of the dump, I lifted up my eyes and the view was amazing. The scenery from the dump was one of the best scenes along the trail. Many years ago our Lord was walking up a trail carrying a heavy wooden cross. He came to a place called Golgotha that some traditions say was the city of Jerusalem’s garbage dump. A dump that contained broken pottery, animal bones, and other disposed items of the first century. In the soil of the dump the soldiers began to dig the hole for the cross. His young body was nailed to the cross beams on the ground. Then the soldiers raised the cross up right and it was placed in the hole that was dug for it. The terrible pain of the crucifixion began and they crucified Him there.


Edd Spencer

Yet, the view from the dump of Calvary was amazing. For it was from the summit of this place that God shared with us the magnificent view of His love. The darkness of sin was destroyed so that God and human beings could walk hand in hand. A bridge in the shape of a cross was built over the dump of our disobedience. God walked across it and met us with the gift of forgiveness. We are no longer separated, for the relationship has been repaired through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, “who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1: 29). What a view this is! Standing on this mountain, the view into the future is magnificent. We see the promised land of eternal life! We know that “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 37-39). We need to climb Mount Calvary each day. For on that summit we look out at a beautiful view of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. From that summit we celebrate the amazing grace that comes to us from a garbage dump About the author: You can reach Pastor Edd Spencer at: First Christian Church 4954 Valleydale Road Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-5000 Visit us on our website:

That’s Life|


Paul Johnson

Marriage is…

A few months ago, I met with a couple of ministers of a local church, and as we sat down and got through the opening chitchat, one of the ministers asked, “So, tell me, how do you feel about marriage?” Truthfully, I was caught off guard by the question. My immediate thought was, ‘Are you kidding? I’m a marriage and family therapist. Isn’t it obvious?’ I didn’t answer the question that way, nor with my second gut reaction, which was to inquire, ‘Why do you ask?’ (I suspect this minister has met many “counselors” who do not think very much about marriage). Instead, I went into a rather winding answer in an effort to give a sound bite for what I consider a very complex issue. Personally, I think of marriage in the highest regard, and I think about marriage most of the time (especially my own). What follows is a few of my thoughts on this entity called marriage: Marriage is… an investment. It is an investment of self. And it is a journey of continual investment of a self that is in a continual state of maturing, growing, changing, becoming. I quoted a couple of months ago C.S. Lewis, who wrote, “I may act kindly, correctly, justly toward someone, and yet withhold the giving of myself, which is love.” If love is the giving of yourself, then marriage is the place it is done most fully, most intimately, most continually; and that also presents a place where it is reciprocated. In marriage, one gives of him or her self; it is also the place where one receives another. Thus, it is an investment of self, and also a reception of another, that creates a new self, a new entity, a new “flesh” that the two becoming one creates over a long period of time. Thus the most fruitful of these investments are those where faithfulness and longevity are regular commodities in this investment market. Marriage is… a process, rather than a destination. It is a journey through the terrains of individual styles, perspectives, pasts, hopes, and disappointments. Storms are encountered when the warm air of expectations meets the cold air of reality. And as the soil of souls is watered, as negotiation of selves occurs, as maturity is gained, the participants of marriage change, grow, and connect. Identity develops and intimacy happens. Often when a trip is not treasured, and it is all about getting there, impatience rules and sites are overlooked. Everyone is frazzled when they arrive, and all that is wanted is a nap, and to get away from each other. What’s the fun in that? And while it may be an institution, once institutionalized it loses its intimacy, its vulnerability. Here in the south, we hold marriage as a vaunted institution, but it becomes a sacred cow when we don’t help people know HOW to be married. We help them to make vows to stick together “for better or worse, in sickness and in health”,



280 Living


but we don’t help couples understand what it takes to grow through the sickness and the worse. There is no need for awareness of need in the better and the healthy times, yet it is often too late by the time they get to the other side, to the sickness and the worse. Marriage is… something I choose, rather than a fulfillment of expectations by another. It is active work, rather than a passive happening. It is intentional. It does not wait for the other to serve, but takes the initiative to do the serving. It participates in deciding who does what when, rather than assuming the other will take care of something just because that’s the way it has always been done, or the way that mom and dad did it. And it chooses to appreciate, for appreciation and gratitude are the real currencies of relationship, what we each long for from one another, and that which fills us up and unleashes us to pour ourselves back into the other. Marriage is… a description, rather than a goal. It is a part of our identity, reflected from the inside out. It is not a trapping, only meant for external representation. And it is less about getting it right, and more about patience and forgiveness (my other favorite quote on marriage is from a movie I saw a long time ago: “We realized in the end that marriage was less about getting it right, and more about being able to forgive.”) Marriage is… a crucible, where the individual pieces are broken down to its most basic elements, then combined to create a new being that is more than the sum of its parts, but a multiplication of its components into something that exponentially impacts the world in which is lives. And finally: marriage is… a dance. There is an ebb and a flow, a rhythm that two souls are attuned to. It incorporates the natural and individual grace and skill, and taken to the next level when coordinated through practice and repetition with another. And the best dancing is done by those who look less at the floor to be sure they are making the right steps, but trust their feet, and look into their partner’s eyes, delighting in who they see, delighting in being seen and enjoyed. Just a few of the reasons I am a marriage and family therapist, working on behalf of marriage and the individuals who take up the challenge and the call. To talk further about what marriage is and can be for you, please consider Samaritan Counseling Center for your counseling or consultant needs. You may reach us at 205-9673660, or visit the website at www.samaritancc. org. Paul Johnson is the executive director as well as an associate licensed marriage and family therapist and associate licensed counselor at Samaritan. He believes in and trusts all that marriage holds, transacts, and unleashes.



February 2011


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The Humidor Room Birmingham’s Only Cigar Bar

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Special Valentine Gift boxes and drink prices

Her favorite Martini 5479 US 280 • Open 7 Days a Week

His favorite cigar

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Knowledge is power.

Get some at our free clinic.

REMODELING DESIGN CLINIC Saturday, February 19 10:00 – 11:30 NeedCo Cabinets 2901 18th St. S., Homewood

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The Love Experts at Pakmail can help! Bring in this ad for 20% off packing & shipping of one package Good for the month of February 2011 FedEx, UPS, DHL only






You’ll learn: Keys to successful remodeling. You’ll get: Personalized design advice. Realistic budget information. Individualized remodeling plan. RSVP by February 17: Call Rita at 968-6000 or register at



26 |

February 2011


Music & Arts

February Calendar of Events email your events to

2/8- 7:30 pm, Willie Nelson, Alabama Theatre, go to www.alabamatheatre. com for tickets and information

2/11- 7:30pm, VOCES8 performing at Mountain Brook Baptist Church,

program sponsored by the Birmingham Boys Choir, VOCES8 is an award-winning British a cappella group, general admission tickets are $10, available from any Boys Choir member or by calling the Boys Choir office, 803-3449

2/11- 7:30 pm, Brad Paisley in concert, BJCC arena, for tickets and information go to

2/14- 8:00 pm, Valentines Day with Gladys Knight, BJCC concert hall, go to for tickets and information

2/19- 7:00 pm, Kid Rock in concert, BJCC arena, go to for tickets and information

Family Fun

2/5- 1:00pm, “Get Wild”, a free family oriented program promoting bird

conservation, Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park, go to for more information

2/11-2/13- O’Reilly World of Wheels, BJCC Exhibition Hall, ticket prices

$16 adult, $5 child, go to to purchase tickets and for more information

2/15-2/16- showtimes vary, Dreamworks Madagascar Live!, BJCC concert hall, go to for tickets and information

2/20- 1:30 pm, Audubon Teaches Nature, Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds,

presented by the Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park, go to for more information

Food & Wine

2/18-20- showtimes vary, Giselle, 2/19, 2:30 pm, Snow White, presented

2/5- 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co hosts Great Pies

2/25-27- showtimes vary, Birmingham Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty,

2/8- 6:30- 9:00 pm, Homemade Pasta with Chantel Lambeth, class fee

BJCC Concert Hall, go to for tickets and information

$35.00, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co, 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 125, call 980-3661 for class information

2/25-2/27- showtimes vary, “High School Musical”, Oak Mountain High

2/10- 6:30- 9:00 pm, Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers, Chef Demo

by the Alabama Ballet, Wright Center, Samford University, go to www. for tickets, showtimes and information

School Performing Arts Center, contact OMHS at 682-5200 for tickets and information

Sports Riders touts itself as “The Toughest Sport on Dirt” while the nation’s top bull riders rock and ride for their chance to participate in the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas, tickets start at $10, go to for tickets and information

Save the date 3/5- 7:00 am- 3:00 pm, Oak Mountain High School FCCLA Community

arts, crafts and fleamarket, parking lot of OMHS, vendors can rent one parking space for $20.00 each additional spot $10.00 , FCCLA welcomes any donations. vendors and clubs are welcome to sell their specialties, treasures not sold and taken home will be donated to Hannah Home, email rgranger@shelbyed.k12/ for more information and to rent a space


FEB 1 -Lunch Bunch to Cracker Barrel & Target, 10:30--1 FEB 3 - New Beacon Blood Pressure Clinic, 11-11:45 FEB 9 - Columbiana Outing, 10 – 2 FEB 11- Valentine Dance, 7 – 9 PM FEB 16- Computer Class, 10-11 FEB 17- Presidential Trivia, noon

AARP is offering free tax help on Tuesday and Thursdays. Call now for your appointment. NOTE: please reserve meals in advance. Outings are limited to 12 people, so sign up early. Center Manager: Theresa Green Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Phone (205) 991-5742 Fax (205) 991-5657 Email:

(every) MONDAY

9:30 – 10:30 9:30 - 12:00 10:30 – 1:00 10:30 - 3:00

– Tai Chi Mah Jongg (except 2/7) Dominoes Canasta

(every) TUESDAY

10:00 - 11:00 Aerobic Workouts 10:00 - 2:00 Bingo Lunch (except 2/1) 11:00 - 12:00 Bible Study 11:00 - 12:00 Advisory Council (8th, 22nd) 1:00 – Organic Gardening Class


9:00 - 12:00 Bridge Club 11:30 – 3:00 Rummikub 1:30 – 3:00 Community Grief Support

(every) THURSDAY

10:00 - 11:00 Aerobic Workouts 12:30 – 2:00 Bingo Bunch

(every) FRIDAY

9:00 – 10:00 Zumba 10:00 - 11:00 Intermediate Line Dancing 11:00 – 12:00 Beginning Line Dancing

HUGE Used Book Sale Sat, Feb 26

• Books

Sun, Feb 27

•VHS tapes

9am - 4pm 1pm - 5pm

$40.00, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co, 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 125, call 980-3661 for class information

2/17- 6:30 – 9:00 pm, Glorious Grits, America’s Favorite Comfort Food,

Chef Demo and Book Signing with Susan McEwen McIntosh, Glorious Grits will be available for purchase at a 10% discount. class fee $35.00, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co, 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 125, call 9803661 for class information

2/22- 6:30- 9:00 pm, Sharpen your Knife Skills, Beginner Level with Susan

Green, class fee $30.00, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co, 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 125, call 980-3661 for class information

2/24- 6:30- 9:00 pm, Sharpen your Knife Skills, Part II with Susan Green,

Cut glove required if student has not taken Sharpen your Knife Skills, Beginner Level, class fee $30.00, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co, 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 125, call 980-3661 for class information


2/1-2/28- showtimes and dates vary, Birmingham Children’s Theatre

February 2011


and Book Signing with Debby Maugans, Copies of Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers will be available for purchase at a 10% discount, class fee $35.00, Birmingham Bake and Cook Co, 5291 Valleydale Road, Ste. 125, call 980-3661 for class information

2/15- 6:30 – 9:00 pm, Authentic Tagine Cookery with Susan Green, class fee

2/26- 7:30 pm, Professional Bull Riders, BJCC Arena, Professional Bull

Start your new year with new friends- join us for fun!

for a Great Cause!, National Pie Day Amazing Amateur Pie Contest and Magic City Harvest Fundraiser, call 980-3661 for more information

•DVDs •CDs

Preview Party & Sale Wine, Cheese & Live Music - $5 Admission

Friday, Feb. 25 • 5-9pm The Episcopal Church of St. Francis of Assisi 3545 Cahaba Valley Road • Indian Springs, AL 35124 Near the corner of Hwy 119 and Caldwell Mill Road

presents Hansel and Gretel at the Wee Folks Theatre and Tuxedo Junction at the Main Stage Theatre, BJCC, go to for tickets and school-day performance information

2/5- 8:00 pm, Broadway in Birmingham presents Bill Cosby, BJCC Concert

Hall, Ticket prices begin at $47.50, go to www.broadwayinbirmingham. com for more information

2/10-2/12- showtimes vary, Terrific New Theatre presents Lend Me a Tenor, tickets $20, go to for times and ticket information

2/17-20 and 2/24-27- showtimes vary, Virginia Samford Theatre presents The World Goes Round and Children of Eden, for tickets and showtimes, go to

2/24-3/6- showtimes vary on Thursdays-Sundays, Bubba’s Revenge,

the final sequel to the blockbuster hit, Honky Tonk Angels, tickets are $30 and $35, Red Mountain Theatre Company, go to www. for more information

2/26- 5:30- 9:30 pm, “ A Night In Storyland”, Birmingham Children’s

Theatre’s Annual Gala, a night full of family, food, and fun that supports BCT’s education and outreach programs, go to www.bct123. org for more information

Special Events / Ministry 2/3, 7:00 pm, attend a free reading by award-winning Alabama author

Rick Bragg, hosted by Jefferson State Community College, the Alabama Humanities Foundation and the Shelby County Arts Council, held at the Health/Sciences Building at Jeff State Community College- Shelby Campus on Valleydale Road

2/6- 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm, Birthday Celebration in honor of the 193rd birthday

of the founding of Shelby County, special guest, Gov. Robert Bentley, the 1854 Old Courthouse, Columbiana, go to for more information

2/12- 7:00 pm, Wild About Chocolate Gala, The Harbert Center, 7th annual gala benefitting the Alabama Wildlife Center, go to for tickets and information

2/18- 8:00 am – 7:00 pm and 2/19- 8:00 am – 1 pm, Giggles & Grace Spring Consignment Sale, Asbury United Methodist Church, great deals on clothing (sizes infant-junior), baby items, furniture, toys, books and more, go to for information

2/24- 5:30 pm, EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association) Birmingham

Chapter 2011 Kickoff, Pelham Civic Center, early sign up is $25 and $30 at the door, for more information go to

2/26-9:00 am- 4:00 pm and 2/27- 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm, Huge used book salebooks, DVD’s, CD’s, VHS tapes, there will be a Preview Party & Sale with Wine, Cheese & Live Music for a $5 admission from 5-9 pm on 2/25, sale held at The Episcopal Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 3545 Cahaba Valley Rd.


280 Live Music Listings

280 Living neighborly entertainment

HOGANS Irish Pub & Grill 507 Cahaba Park Circle (205) 995-0533

Every Wednesday / Thursday 8pm Live Music by Razz Ma Tazz Every Friday / Saturday 9pm - Until Live Music by Razz Ma Tazz

5426 Highway 280 (205) 874-6361 2/4- Bonus Round 2/5- Rob West Band 2/11- Red Halo 2/12- AM Gold 2/18- Onlive 2/19- On the Floor 2/25- Matt Hill Band 2/26- Excalibur Band

The Fish Market Restaurant GREYSTONE 5407 Highway 280 980.8600 every Thursday night live music with Jeff Taylor. All Parrotheads are invited.

CAFE FIRENZE 110 Inverness Plaza (205) 980-1315

2/1 Paul Sisson 2/2 Beer Bands & Bingo Almost Kings 2/3 The Haulers 2/4 Atticus Avenue 2/5 Outshine 2/8 Paul Sisson 2/9 Beer Bands & Bingo Deputy 5 2/10 Miss Used 2/11 Deputy 5 2/12 Year and A Day 2/14 Royal Bliss and Boba Flex (Anti-Valentines Day Party) 2/15 Paul Sisson 2/16 Beer Bands & Bingo Live Band 2/17 Uncrowned & Fervor 2/18 Ugli Stick 2/19 Caddle 2/22 Paul Sisson 2/23 Beer Bands & Bingo Deputy 5 2/24 State Line Road 2/25 Live Band 2/26 Top of the Orange 2/28 Taproot, Almost Kings, & Me Talk Pretty

280 Living


February 2011



Classifieds Freelancers Wanted

Growing publishing business of community newspapers is looking for freelance writers. Please send resume and two writing samples to

House For Sale

Greystone Legacy

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Top Professional Location! GREYSTONE PARK 5511 Highway 280, Birmingham, AL 35242 (Shelby County)

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28 |

February 2011


280 Living

280 Living February 2011 Edition  

Community news and entertainment

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