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Village Living

| December 2011 |

neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Jan Ware’s Holiday Gift Guide -pg 14

Cross country wins state again

Volume 2 | Issue 9 | December 2011

-pg pg 18

A magical fit for Clara By ANNE WOOD

Elizabeth Lindsey traded in her ballet shoes for soccer cleats when she was only 3 years old. At age 10 she put on the ballet shoes again, and the first role she auditioned for she got. After only two and a half years of dance experience she was cast as Clara in The Nutcracker. “She had tried everything,” her mother, Frances Lindsey, said. “She played soccer and other things for a while and tried a couple of different dance studios.” Nothing seemed to stick the way ballet dancing did, though. Today, in her fourth year in The Nutcracker and her second year as Clara, Elizabeth has grown to know and love the story. “My favorite part is the pas du trios,” she said. “It’s where me, the Nutcracker, and Drosselmeyer all dance together and get to do partnering.” Elizabeth, who attended a prestigious, three-week summer intensive dance program in Philadelphia, has continued to impress her family, friends and choreographers with her skill in spite of the lack of experience. “I remember when Elizabeth first

December Features Editor’s Note City Council Magic Moments artist Community Dish Village Fashion Kari Kampakis Village Sports School House Business Spotlight Restaurant Showcase Around the Villages Calendar of Events

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MBJH student Elizabeth Lindsey will play Clara for a second year in the Birmingham Ballet production of The Nutcracker. Photo courtesy of the Birmingham Ballet.

auditioned for The Nutcracker about three years ago,” Birmingham Ballet Director Cindy Free said. “Even then, as a Gingersnap, she stood out as a promising and dedicated student. I’ve

enjoyed teaching her at Birmingham Ballet Academy and seeing her progress into such a proficient young dancer as well as a smart young woman. The future is very bright for Elizabeth.”

Her performance is due in part to the countless hours she dedicates to dancing. Elizabeth, an eighth grader at Mountain Brook Junior High, is able to manage her studies, 18 hours a week of dance practice and still have time to see her friends. “I am amazed that she does all this and still keeps an A/B average,” her mother said. “If the grades were being affected, then it would be too much.” Not only does Elizabeth show no signs of slowing down, she truly enjoys the long practices. “I wish I could do more,” she said. “She really does absolutely love it,” her mother said. “When [your kids] find their thing, as a parent, you are so excited.” And she doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. “If I could fit into the costume again next year, it would be fun to be Clara for a third time,” Elizabeth said. Go see Elizabeth, and other Mountain Brook dancers, bring to life the holiday classic Dec. 9, 10 and 11 at various times at the BJCC. For more information and tickets, contact Cindy Free at the studio, 979-9294 or cindy@

Where there is no hope By mADOLiNE mARKHAm

David and Whitney Milton drove through a colonial square on a recent trip to Peru. The area was full of tourists by day but a different world at night. Women scantily clad in bikini tops and boots stood on street corners. Girls huddled together against the wall, terrified. Whitney remembers seeing a 13 or 14-year-old girl in pigtails with tons of makeup on from her taxi window. “What is her story?” she wondered. “Who is taking care of her?” “It was the first time I had seen it with my own eyes,” said David, who resigned from his position as a Spanish teacher at MBHS last year to pursue full-time missions work with his wife. “Part of our calling is to go where there is no hope,” Whitney said. The couple, who are members of Brookwood Baptist Church, is preparing to live in Peru to help fight human sex trafficking through Make Way Partners, a Birmingham-based nonprofit started in 2003 by Whitney’s parents. They hope to leave in February, but the exact timing will depend on fundraising. The U.S. is a destination country for human trafficking; girls are sent here from countries like Peru. It is because of this that the Miltons plan to go to Peru, to the root of

Brookwood Baptist Church members Whitney and David Milton traveled to Moyobama, Peru, to prepare to move there to fight human trafficking at its source. Photo courtesy of Whitney Milton.

the pattern of evil. “How much better would it be to prevent suffering in the first place?” David said. In villages along the Amazon there, women approach parents and say they need children to work in their restaurants. They promise to care for the children

and give them a better chance in life. The parents send their children off with well wishes only to never hear from them again. It is this lack of understanding that the Miltons will seek to prevent through education. They will travel to

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Village Living


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December 2011 |

Welcome Friends

Village Living

MBJH eighth graders tailgate for the MBHS Homecoming game at Billy’s patio. Photo courtesy of Gwen Blackwell.

Staff & Friends Contributing Writers Susan Matthews | Christiana Roussel | Kari Kampakis Rick Watson | Mary Carpenter| Will Hightower Holley Wesley | Maggie Carter O’Connor | Kaylyn Alexander

School House Contributors Frances Watts -Cherokee Bend Alyssa Monson - Crestline Bama Hager -Brookwood Forest Sherrie Futch- Mountain Brook High School Hilary Ross - Mountain Brook Elem. & Mountain Brook Jr High

Contributing Photographers Image Arts | Alison Gault | Catherine Pittman Smith Photography

Editor at Large

Publisher Dan Starnes

Joe Samuel Starnes


Published by

Jennifer Gray

Managing Editor Madoline Markham

Creative Director

Village Living LLC

Sales and Distribution Dan Starnes | Angela Morris Rhonda Smith | Jennifer Ogilvie

Keith McCoy

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Contact Information: Village Living #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 Legals: Village Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Village Living is designed to inform the Mountain Brook community of area school, faith, family and community events. Information in Village Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Village Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 370-0732 or by email. Please recycle this paper

Editor’s Note As they say, “it’s the most member of our community on wonderful time of the year.” Hanukkah. It taught me a lot And so it is that time of year about the history behind this when everyone smiles a little celebration and was also fun more and is a little kinder, to hear some of the traditions where you can almost see some his family has during this holy of the magic in the air. And of time. course there is much to do and Many of us pause and think enjoy this time of year. After of others in our community getting in the spirit by watching and our world that are not as the annual Christmas parade in fortunate as we are during Mountain Brook village on Dec. the holidays. This month we 4, you may be wondering what continue to spotlight different Jennifer Gray else there is to see and do. members of our community Make sure you check out all of making an impact in the greater the stories we have this month on just Birmingham area or even the world. Our that. You can find out all about some fun cover story on Make Way Partners tells neighborhood traditions and where to see of how one former Mountain Brook High great light displays. I personally love the School teacher and his wife are living out display on Beech Dr.; there is nothing else their faith combating human trafficking. that compares to this display put on by the Read all about the people this organization Krawzyk family. If these ideas don’t get has helped, and how this couple hopes to you in the holiday spirit, read what some of educate and rescue those in Peru affected our own residents have to say about their by this practice. traditions and what they do each year to Most of all, I hope you enjoy spending kick off the season. time with those you love and celebrating Our own Elizabeth Lindsey is Clara in the greatest gift of love this world has ever this year’s performance of The Nutcracker received. ballet, and many of the other performers are also from our city. You won’t want to miss this classic that appeals to young and old. We also have a great story by a younger

Editor’s Top 5 1. Go see the living nativity at Mountain Brook Baptist Church. If it isn’t already a tradition in your family, it soon will be. 2. Use our gift guide to help you find the perfect gift idea for those on your list. You won’t even have to leave Mountain Brook to do your shopping, and you will be keeping your dollars here supporting our businesses. 3. Try out Taco Mama. This new Tex-Mex restaurant in the heart of Crestline is sure to be a success. With everything including the tortillas made in-house and specialty drinks, a good time with friends awaits. 4. Find a party-perfect look from Susan Mathews’ fashion tips and local shopping suggestions in Village Fashion. 5. Find a way to give back. It’s true that it is better to give than receive. Many churches and other organizations offer ways of making a difference in other’s lives during this holiday season. Make supporting a cause close to your heart part of your family’s celebration.

Meet our writer Maggie Carter O’Connor grew up in Mountain Brook and is a proud member of the MBHS Class of 2000. She attended Auburn University, where she met her husband, Tyler. Maggie enjoys writing for Village Living and substitute teaching for Mountain Brook and Jefferson County Schools.

Please Support Our Sponsors A Tiny Kingdom (22) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (25) A’mano (23) Amy Smith State Farm (22) Antiquities (20) Barton Clay Fine Jewelers (20) Beverly Ruff (17) Billy’s (7) Brandino Brass (30) Bromberg’s (17) Brookwood Medical Center (27) Dana Wolters Interiors (14) Dyron’s Lowcountry (29) Emmet O’Neal Library (15) Escape (30) Etc. (8) Four Corners Gallery (15) Full Moon Barbecue (19) Grandmother’s Joy (14) Isbell Jewlers (11) Jacqueline DeMarco (16) Lamb’s Ears (31) LaTavolo (16) Leaf N Petal (7) Lulie’s on Cahaba (15) Marguerite’s Conceits (23) Max’s Delicatessan (10)

MedHelp (28) Michelle’s (22) Mobley and Sons (2) Mountain Brook Chamber (26) Mountain Brook Presbyterian (11) Mountain Brook Sporting Goods (19) Once Upon a Time (21) Otey’s (25) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (16) Piggly Wiggly (9) RealtySouth (32) Renaissance Consignment (6) Renasant Bank (3, 12) Sew Sheri (12) (13) St Luke’s (24) Table Matters (28) The Cook Store (13) The Diamond Dealer (13) The Lingerie Shoppe (24) The Maids (1) The Ridge (18) Town And Country (21) Village Dermatology (5) Vitola (9) Vogue Cleaners (18)

Village Living

| December 2011 |


City Council updates By ANNE WOOD

Traffic study request near Pine New Crestline playground Ridge Road off Highway 280 There is a new proposed subdivision for the Pine Ridge area that would include seven new lots. The existing residents of the area have expressed concerns about the traffic problems that this will development would create in addition to the existing traffic from Highway 280. Residents proposed a traffic study

of the area by Skipper Consultants that would be able to tell the council exactly how the traffic problem can be alleviated. The council agreed that a traffic study by Skipper Consulting is justified. A proposal or work order from Skipper Consulting will be presented to the council for consideration at its next meeting in December.

Salt Fine Catering approved A proposal for the use of the previous Big Sky Bakery site in Mountain Brook Village as a catering facility has been approved. The facility will double as a cooking instruction studio and will host small, private dining events as well. Cooking instructions will take place in the

evenings, and the space will be available for private parties during the day or in the evenings. The new catering business, Salt Fine Catering, will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Interest in At-Your-Door recycling program from Waste Management? No conclusive decision has been made regarding the service that would recycle items such as paint products, electronics, batteries and household cleaners. Waste Management requires 40,000 participants to start up the service that would be offered to the whole Birmingham area. City Manager Sam Gaston had asked residents to email him if they are interested

in this service, but as of the Nov. 14 council meeting, he estimated that around 25 people had shown interest. The council will continue to keep a record of people interested and make a decision at a later date based on those numbers. If you are interested in having the At-Your-Door service at your home, contact Sam Gaston at or 802-3800.

The Crestline PTA approached the council in a past meeting about turning their playground into a safer, more handicap-accessible area. They suggested that the area is old and is in some places dangerous for children. They also pointed

out that the playground would not be exclusive to Crestline elementary students but available for the community as well. After deliberation and approval, the council has given $20,000 to the project.

Conditional use for Crossfit Training Cory Dill requested conditional use of the building at 2830 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook Village, for a Crossfit Training Facility. One instructor would conduct training classes as well as one-onone sessions for up to 10 clients at a time. Proposed times for the approximately 30-minute classes are 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and

3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Because public parking along Culver Road is limited between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the city has encouraged the applicant to limit classes to mornings and late afternoon or evening. A decision has not been officially made, but will be discussed at the next meeting in December.

Possible storm debris solution In light of the recent tornadoes and storms, the council is considering awarding a bid for debris chipping and disposal services. The debris that gets sent to the Mountain Brook landfill following a storm

can become a overwhelming. If the council approved a company to chip up the debris following a big storm, the debris would be taken care of before it became a problem.

Improvements for Overton tennis courts Lower Bros. Co. submitted a proposal requesting permission to resurface and repair their two tennis courts at Overton Park. The plan proposed included pressure washing to remove stains and dirt, filling in structural cracks, sanding courts with a power sander to fix any imperfections to

the surface, using Apple Plexipave Acrylic resurfacer to even out the surface and make it uniform, painting new white playing lines, and sanding and repainting existing net posts as needed. The proposed scope of work amounted to $ 8,000. The council accepted their proposal.


for gals

Bring on the mistletoe! This holiday season, the Magic City’s most kissable vixens will be wearing JEdwards Lip gloss, $24 each. These peppermint-infused glosses come in 10 shades and feel sheer, refreshing and downright lickable. Get flawlessly smooth, luminous skin with the Clarisonic Mia, $119. The rotating brush heads cleanse, dissolve fine lines, minimize pores, and leave skin silk-soft and glowing. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Keep your pucker plumped and kissable with the Skin Medica TNS Lip Plump System, $55. This ultra-easy product restores lip fullness and color within minutes. For confident skincare, find all the season’s must-haves at the Skin For Life boutique at Village Dermatology in Mountain Brook Village. Village Dermatology 2901 Cahaba Road | 205.877.9773



December 2011 | Village Living

Best of Mountain Brook nominations

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Village Living will be holding a Best of Mountain Brook 2012 competition. Nominations will be taken through Dec. 12, and voting will be held in January 2012. Look for more information in our January issue and online. To nominate a business for one of the categories below, visit www. or email Jennifer@ The categories are: Best Cup of Coffee, Best Frozen Treats, Best Dessert, Best Ladies Lunch Spot, Best Mexican, Best Italian/Pizza, Best Casual Dining, Best

Special Occasion Dining, Best Outdoor Patio, Best Wine Selection or Specialty Drinks, Best Brunch or Breakfast Spot, Best Realtor/Realty Company, Best New Store in Mountain Brook, Best Bank, Best Business for Your Hobby, Best Store for Men, Best Women’s Clothing Store, Best Children’s Store, Best Place for Plants or Flowers, Best Salon, Best Dry Cleaners, Best Fitness Center/Gym, Best Store to Buy a Gift, Best Outdoor Spot, Best After School Activity (dance studios, gymnastic places, etc.), Best Place for Home Décor and Best Mountain Brook Event

Crime report By Lt. Jim COLE Week of Nov. 3 The first home burglary occurred on Oct. 27 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Oakdale Drive. The thief entered an unlocked door and took a laptop and a Dell computer. The second home burglary occurred on Jackson Boulevard between 1:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 27. The thief took jewelry from the victim’s closet. There were workers at the home on the day of the theft. The third home burglary occurred on Oct. 28 between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sterlingwood Drive. The thief kicked in a back door and took computers and jewelry. The fourth home burglary occurred between Oct. 28 and 30 on Cherokee Road. The thief entered an unlocked door and took silver. We had two identity theft cases reported this last week. We had a theft case at the Hampton Inn, but we believe the suspect will be identified. There was a domestic incident this past week. It involved an argument between a mother and a child. A local business discovered a counterfeit bill in their cash register. There was a hit and run accident on Randolph Place. It involved a parked vehicle. Week of Nov. 10 The only home burglary this week occurred between Oct. 9 and Nov. 7 on Oakdale Drive. The thief entered the home by breaking a rear window. Jewelry was taken. There was no alarm. The UBEV occurred at the Mountain Brook Baptist Church parking lot on Nov. 6 between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Golf clubs and other items were taken from the unlocked vehicle. Patrol arrested four individuals for selling magazines in the city without a license. There was one reported case of identity theft. A mother reported that her angry 15yea- old son kicked the side of her car and damaged it. We had a report that a catalytic converter was taken from a car on Kingshill Road. A rear window was broken on a vehicle on Marlboro Drive. A domestic violence report involved an argument between a wife and husband. She stated he shoved her and grabbed her wrist. He stated that she started the confrontation. She had a red mark and scratch on her wrist, and he was arrested. A student had her car keyed while it was parked on the Mountain Brook High School lot. The following is an example of why we all need to be vigilant, but especially our women and children. We have a great community, but we don’t have gates to keep bad people out. On Nov. 2, at approximately 11:15 a.m., a female citizen was walking up Ridge Drive from Country Club Road. She was on the sidewalk on the left hand side of the road. She had earphones and was texting when a faded red SUV pulled one tire up on

the sidewalk where she was walking. This startled her and she stopped. The driver stayed in the vehicle and motioned for her to come to the vehicle. She did not advance in his direction but leaned forward to hear him ask her for a cigarette. She replied, “I do not smoke.” The man continued to motion for her to come closer to the vehicle. She backed up and noticed another subject was on her left side. This subject came from some unknown location, possibly from some nearby bushes. She didn’t see this subject until she backed further away from the vehicle. She stated that she was sort of boxed in because of bushes, the vehicle and the man on foot. The citizen shouted for the men to leave her alone. She had her keys in one hand and her cell phone in the other, and it is possible that the men thought she had dialed 911. At that point the driver of the SUV (still in the vehicle) shouted to the man on foot to “Get in the car, get in the car.” He got in the car, and they sped away. The driver was black male, mid 20s, very dark skin, short afro-type hair, very thin, dirty in appearance, with missing teeth. The man on the sidewalk was a black male, mid 20s, very dark skin, dreadlocks about ear length, 6’00” to 6’02”, very thin, dirty in appearance. Week of Nov. 17 The only home burglary this week occurred between Oct. 9 and Nov. 7 on Oakdale Drive . The thief entered the home by breaking a rear window. Jewelry was taken. No alarm. The UBEV occurred on Norman Drive during the night of Nov. 13. A radar detector was taken from the unlocked vehicle. We had several mailboxes knocked down in the Weatherton Drive, Dover Drive and North Woodridge Road areas. A magazine salesman was arrested on Stone Ridge Drive for doing business without a license. We had two incidents of open house parties this past week. Parents were out of town, and teenagers were drinking and partying. Parents need to be aware that if they are out of town and their teenagers or other children under 21 throw a party (on their property) where alcohol or other illegal substances are involved, they are responsible and can be summoned to court and fined. We had two domestic incident reports. A couple argued over money, and the girlfriend threw a plant against the wall. There was no physical contact or threats and no police action was necessary. Another woman called to report that her ex-husband got into an argument with her, and according to her, he screamed at her. No police action was necessary A forged check was presented to a teller at one of our banks. We believe the thief has been identified. A wallet was taken from a gym bag at the Birmingham Country Club. A maintenance shed at Park Lane Apartments was entered. A saw and two scrap air condition units were taken. To received Lt. Cole’s weekly crime email report update, email

| December 2011 |

Village Living

What gets you in the holiday spirit? Hard to say, but one thing that really gets it started is the weather, especially when it turns cold and more so if we have a snow before Christmas. Christmas cards with nostalgic scenes depicting times past and street decorations all put me in the Christmas spirit. To me it is a time of reflecting and being thankful for what, we, the people, family and country have in the way of quality of living and freedom. Mayor Terry Oden I don’t get into the Christmas spirit until after Thanksgiving because I have so many happy memories of family gettogethers and that our daughter was born on Thanksgiving Day in 1984. I want to enjoy this holiday season first before I concentrate on Christmas. After Thanksgiving, the Christmas songs are what get me into the spirit of the season as well as decorating our home. Sam Gaston, City Clerk

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A high moment for me comes with the Christmas Eve Communion Services here at Canterbury. Families, friends, and strangers squeeze in together. Candles flickering, eyes glistening, singing the carols, and coming to the manger, also known as the Communion Table. Dr. Bill Morgan, Cantebury United Methodist The Christmas Spirit for me is always rekindled with the decorating of the church prior to the beginning of Advent season. It is so wonderful to see folks come by the church and work tirelessly in the foyer all the way into our Sanctuary making the facility look so warm and joyful. Personally, I especially like the candles that are placed in the window alcove areas that are wrapped with greenery and shine so beautifully during evening services. Tim Clark, Brookwood Baptist

Growing up, my Mom would make the Betty Crocker recipe for Candy Cane Twist cookies. They were pretty tasty! I also have a “Christmas Plaid” dress-shirt that I’ll probably wear once or twice . . . Anymore than that and my wife will give me a hard time. Alex Holt

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Considering my lifestyle these days with two baby girls, I love reading all my Martha Stewart Living emails on how to decorate and also the Southern Living ones. I can read them anywhere on my phone or iPad. It makes it extremely easy for me to get in the holiday spirit wherever I am! Caroline Coats Woods To honor the true meaning of Christmas, we always have an Advent Wreath, and our family lights it each week throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas. This lets us all pause to reflect on the real meaning of the season. On another note, our family doesn’t miss an opportunity to watch the movie A Christmas Story. We all have our favorite lines, “Fa ra ra ra ra!” Kathleen Doss I do love Christmas! I am kind of like a kid. One thing is I start listening to Christmas music really early (as soon as they start playing it on the radio). I also really love watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning. I feel like that really kicks it off for me. Finally, I love watching any movie that is about Christmas. My favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life. Betsy Keller

Library offers free music downloads Starting this month the Emmet O’Neal Library is offering three music downloads a week for each patron with a library card. “They are yours to keep; that’s the really great thing,” said library director Susan DeBrecht. “It’s a terrific service.” There are more than 500,000 songs available for download on the Freegal service the library will offer, and all songs with objectionable content are already blocked. Emmet O’Neal will be one of only three

libraries in the state to offer the service. DeBrecht noted that the new music service goes along with the downloadable e-Books and audio books they already offer on their website. “We are just making sure it’s easy for people to use our library whether they come in or not,” DeBrecht said. To access the music downloads, visit and have your library card number ready to key in.

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December 2011 |

Village Living

Best of

Mountain Brook COMING JANUARY 2012

Village Living

A chat with City Council President Virginia Smith do not have an office (none of the elected officials do), but we are all in the phone book, on the city website, or can reached by calling city hall and asking for our names and numbers. Sometimes people will call and apologize for calling me at home. No, no, please do call me at home or by email. I also encourage people to come to city council meetings, both the pre-meeting and the formal meetings. Both are open to anybody, and we will listen to anybody.

By ANNE WOOD What are your plans for the city of Mountain Brook? I have no specific plans of my own. We all set the tone together with the mayor and council, and we listen closely to our professional staff, Sam and Steve for starters, and the chiefs/directors of our departments as well as listening closely to our various boards/chambers and their members. So our “plans” therefore usually evolve out of what we hear is needed. For example, the Village Design and Review Committee wants to make some changes to the sign ordinance, and I have heard their concerns and encouraged them to make suggested changes and that I would assist in getting the council to pass them. But plans: well, let us see. I want to keep the city being a great place to live and work. I like adding green spaces where we can. We have a good relationship with our neighboring cities, and I want that to continue, even when we disagree over an issue. I do not want an elevated 280. I do want to see good redevelopment of the Trinity site. I want to encourage new business and commerce within our villages. How long will your term as president last? My term as president ends in November 2012 when a new council starts and has its organizational meeting and votes on a new council president and president pro-tem. Assuming I run again, which is my present intention, and am reelected, then I would be willing to be president again but also delighted to give that honor to another council member. I do not believe, and the council we have now knows this, that being president gives me any more power than another member. We are a team and work that way. What improvements do you think need to be made in Mountain Brook?

City council president Virginia Smith.

We should continue to make our villages welcoming, sprucing up certain areas and protecting residential properties. The school system is fabulous, so we will continue to work with the school board as needed. Again, the council and school board, though separate, listen closely to each other and work as a team when needed. I also would like to see some commercial areas redeveloped--if the plans are good. How do you keep the lines of communication open between you and the residents of Mountain Brook? This is a good question. Sometimes people will complain about something, and I ask whom within the city they have addressed their issue with and the answer is nobody. So I encourage anybody to call us—council, mayor or city employees— whenever an issue or concern comes up. I

What did you do before joining the council? I am now, and was 11 years ago when I was first elected, a wife and mother of three (now ages 21, 19 and 17). I took the children to my parents’ home when I was first elected so they could babysit them while I went to meetings. My husband, David, would be at work and pick them up from my parents’ on his way home. I could not have done the job without them, my parents or my husband. I am a lawyer but have not practiced since my second son was born, 19 years ago now. I was and still am a stay-at-home mom though I enjoy doing various civic and charitable volunteer jobs. I also love to work in the yard, though you would not be able to tell that by looking at mine. Is there anything you love, specifically, about your job? What I love about my job is meeting new people. It is interesting. I also love knowing what is happening about town. It is fun to know that such and such building has a new owner who wants to open a retail store, restaurant or service. Or, that the police cars are getting a new look, or that the sidewalks connecting a certain area to another will be built next summer. These are just examples of things that are happening all the time in Mountain Brook.

December at

Making our List and Checking it Twice… The Elves are Working Late!! NEW HOLIDAY HOURS Monday- Friday 10am- 6pm Saturday 10am- 5pm

Louise Abroms Trunk Show Friday, December 16th - Saturday, December 17th

Village Living

| December 2011 |


Child cancer survivor draws Magic Moments holiday card

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours Holiday Foods, Party items, Gift Ideas, Gift Cards, Wine, Gift Baskets

Will Nichols, 5, drew a snowman like the one he remembered making during last winter’s snow storms. The drawing is on this year’s Magic Moments holiday cards, available for purchase online. Photo courtesy of Joanna Hufham.

By mARY CARPENtER Will Nichols is an active 5 year old with a big imagination and heart for Alabama football, and this Thanksgiving, he is getting his wish fulfilled: a trip to Disney World with his family. But just two years ago, Will Nichols faced something no child should, cancer. However, after fighting for 18 months, he is getting to revel in being a kid again and being “all boy,” as his mother describes him. Over the summer, Will was asked to come up with a drawing for the holiday card for Magic Moments, Alabama’s oldest wish-granting organization. To submit artwork a child must be between the ages of 4 and 18 and have battled a critical illness. If his picture was selected, it would be turned into a holiday card this winter, and his wish would be granted of going to Disney World. Although thinking of a winter card in the hot Alabama summer was somewhat difficult, Will thought about the past year’s snow storm. He remembered enjoying gathering the snow, shaping it into round balls, and creating a snowman. This memory got his creative juices flowing, and his submission for the holiday card was born. Early this fall, Will found out his wish would come true. His artistic and colorful

picture of a snowman sporting a red hat (for Bama, of course) in the snow was the winner of Magic Moments’ holiday card and would be printed for the upcoming season. For the entire week of Thanksgiving, Will and his family celebrated and gave thanks to the special folks at Magic Moments in Disney World. What was on Will’s to-do list? A swim with the dolphins, a visit to the Toy Story section with hopes of seeing Buzz Lightyear and Bullseye, and a ride on Space Mountain. Will made sure he fit the required height of most rides by measuring himself, and lucky for him, he did. Just talking about his trip made Will beam with excitement, as it’s well deserved not just for him. “This is really quite special for both his brother and sister, too, as they have been through this journey just as much,” said Rosemary Nichols, Will’s mom. As for Will, he was just excited to visit a place where kids of all ages can be kids. Cancer certainly did not define him, but his courageous and outgoing spirit absolutely did. To purchase Will’s card, visit www. or call the Magic Moments’ office, 939-9372.

Bring your Christmas tree to the zoo for recycling The Mountain Brook Tree Commission and the Birmingham Zoo are partnering for the fourth annual Christmas tree recycling event. Residents are encouraged to drop their trees off at the zoo’s picnic area next to the parking lot during normal business hours Dec. 26 - Jan. 6. Trees will be turned into fresh, fragrant mulch to be used by the zoo for erosion control and other purposes. Only “clean” trees, free of decorations and wire, can be

processed by the chipper. Garland and other small debris must be hauled away as trash, and separating it from usable material is a time-consuming task. Please help the volunteers in this regard and help prevent damage to machinery by removing foreign objects before bringing your tree. Participation in the tree recycling program has increased each year, and organizers expect the same this season.

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December 2011 |

Village Living

Giving back, one dish at a time By CHRiStiANA ROUSSEL How can a casserole help end domestic violence? How do enchiladas build playgrounds? How can a hot appetizer improve literacy? If you have ever purchased a Community Dish entrée or appetizer from the Gift Shop at the Junior League of Birmingham (JLB), you have helped fund important work in our city, done by thousands of volunteers. Food is part of the fabric of our life here in the South and has always played a part in the Junior League and its cookbooks. Whether it’s a quick weeknight supper or an elegant dinner for twelve, the recipes come from women who know their way around the kitchen and the power of the food they can produce. In every community there are those stand-by recipes that people request time and again. Our own JLB has a special Chicken Tetrazzini recipe they produce for members welcoming new babies or dealing with stress or grief. There is comfort in knowing a delicious meal was created with care, just for you, when you need it most. From this concept, Community Dish was born in 2009. The JLB would sell frozen entrees and appetizers prepared from time-honored League recipes and member favorites as a fundraiser for community programs. With three awardwinning cookbook titles – Magic, Food for Thought, and Tables of Content – there are a plethora of recipes to pull from. The hard part would be finding someone dedicated enough to take on the challenge and make it a success. By all accounts, that person was found in Christine Velezis. A League member since 2002, Christine has served in a variety of volunteer roles. One of her personal passions is cooking, and she feeds her own busy family of five. She worked on

Buy 1 Angus Burger Get 1

Community Dish’s Chicken Tetrazzini is always available for purchase.

Leigh Forstman, Cheryl Brown, Christine Velezis and Allison Skinner help with the Community Dish Program, which provides frozen casseroles for sale at the Junior League of Birmingham Gift Shop in English Village. Photo by Madoline Markham.

the development of the most recent JLB cookbook, and submitted many recipes for inclusion. Not only a great cook, she is organized and diligent and was an excellent choice to head up Community Dish. One of her first decisions was personal but really set the tone: “We won’t call these dishes ‘casseroles’.” By not using this colloquialism, she elevated the whole mission of Community Dish. After all, these are frozen entrees and appetizers that can easily be popped out of their containers and placed in a hostess’s own Pyrex or china and made instantly more elegant. No one enjoying that Baked Rigatoni with Ham need know that it wasn’t made in your neighbor’s own kitchen. To her, the term casserole sounded too ordinary. She aimed to establish something extraordinary.

$10 OFF $12 Feed Four

ANGUS BURGER Entire Order FREE of $30 or More. with purchase of 2 drinks (Dine-in Only / max of $9.99) Not good with other offers. 1 coupon per table. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Expires 1/31/12.



(Dine-in Only)

Not good with other offers. 1 coupon per table. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Expires 1/31/12. VL



Chicken Family Meal with 2 Sides (Take Out Only)

Not good with other offers. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Expires 1/31/12. VL

The JLB chose the commercial kitchens of B & A Warehouse in downtown Birmingham to produce these select dishes. Susan Mason and her staff make every single order to exacting League specifications. Christine and her cochair, Cheryl Brown, picked a handful of cookbook recipes as well as a few member favorites to test, and thoughtful feedback helped winnow down the list. It was important to consider many factors like taste, price point, presentation, appeal and the overall wow factor. The winning entrees include Chicken Tetrazzini, Beef Enchiladas, Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Million-Dollar Spaghetti and Baked Rigatoni with Ham. Two appetizers are offered as well, Buffalo Chicken Dip and Hot Bacon Swiss Dip, and seasonal




Forty Chicken Tenders (Take Out Only)

Not good with other offers. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Expires 1/31/12. VL

Open 7 days a week 11am - 8pm

selections change out. Each entrée feeds four to six people and is priced at $17. There is a $3 discount when choosing three or more selections, which makes stocking your own freezer easy to do. The Gift Shop is open to everyone and features more than just delicious food to go. “These are perfect for when you are overcommitted or need a hostess gift or just want to get a meal on the table,” Velezis said. “We sold over 800 units last year alone, so we know people like what we’re doing!” And with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the JLB’s four impact areas – Education, Financial Stability, Health and Safety & Crisis Intervention – it is one more example of how the League continues to give back to the community, one dish at a time. Community Dish entrees and appetizers are available at the Junior League of Birmingham Gift Shop, 2212 20th Avenue South in English Village, and can be reached at 879-9861 or www.JLBonline. com. Their hours are Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm and Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m. Follow Crestline resident Christiana Roussel at or on Facebook (ChristianasKitchen) or Twitter (Christiana40).




Feed Four

Buy 1 Get 1


Spaghetti Family Meal Greek Salad & Garlic Bread (Take Out Only)

with purchase of 2 drinks (Dine-in Only)

Not good with other offers. 1 coupon per table. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Expires 1/31/12. VL

Not good with other offers. 1 coupon per table. Not valid on special occasions or holidays. Expires 1/31/12. VL



Village Living

| December 2011 |

Village Fashion By Susan Matthews

Holiday party dress advice With the holiday season come parties and fun times. Knowing what to wear to the various events can be a challenge. Some are casual, some are dressy. Some are with friends, others are with coworkers. Striking the right chord is important. I’ve answered some of your questions this month and also tried to show you other ways to wear your holiday pieces to get the most mileage out of your wardrobe. I have a Dirty Santa party to go to that’s “dressy casual.” What does that mean? Suzie McCollough tried on this sequined jacket at Marella in Mountain Brook Village. She paired it with jeans and a tank that are perfect for a girls night out. This ensemble radiates “dressy casual,” but for another look, wear the jacket with a dress for a black-tie style. You can’t find a more versatile piece than this. I have a lot of red but it seems boring for the holidays. How can I spice it up? Red has been a huge color this fall, so be creative with what you have. Red pants paired with a gray cashmere sweater are edgy yet elegant. I love a red print too. Nicky Barnes is pictured here in her red snakeskin print dress she found on the Champs d’Elysees. She managed to squeeze in an hour of shopping this summer while in Paris with her son. Transition a dress like this through winter with a black blazer and tights.

Suzi McCollough sports a dressy casual look.

What about holiday fashion for the men? Lighten the mood; take off the suit and throw on a Christmas sweater. It’s time to celebrate! Okay, maybe not a Christmas sweater, but something other than a dull suit. How about a festive tie or pants? Pictured here is my husband, Dean, in black velvet pants that sport a repeat scull-andcrossbones monogram, topped off with a little Santa hat. He’s paired them with a simple black sweater to allow the pants to make the statement. If you make the same rounds we do during the holidays, you know these pants. I think the folks at St. Luke’s get a kick out of them every year. I’m attending a Christmas dinner at my boss’s house. Help! Here Meg Sullivan shows off a look from Laura Kathryn in Crestline perfect for that. The vibrant blue and black lace gives off a holiday vibe, yet the sleeves and high neckline keep it proper. I like how the three-quarter length sleeves, as opposed to full-length, give the dress a youthful look. When a dress has a sleeve and high neckline like this one, the hemline can be shorter. A good tip to remember: cover one body part and accent another.

Nicky Barnes spices up red in this dress.

at Mountain Brook Presbyterian Church 1st Sunday of Advent

Sunday, November 27 11:00 a.m. Hanging of Greens

2nd Sunday of Advent Sunday, December 4 11:00 a.m. Worship 12:00 p.m. Advent Lunch

3rd Sunday of Advent Sunday, December 11 11:00 a.m. Worship

4th Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 18 11:00 a.m. Worship & Children’s Christmas Pageant

Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 24 5:00 p.m.Lessons and Carols, Candle light and Communion

Christmas Day

Sunday, December 25 11:00 a.m. Worship (no Sunday School) Meg Sullivan in a dress for a holiday dinner.

Dean Matthews in festive holiday pants.




December 2011 |

Village Living

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Holiday Open House Dec. 6th 4 - 7

Katie Bolton, Co-Chair, Auction; Joanna Goodman, Co-Chair, Decorations; Lori Bailey, Co-Chair, Sponsorship; Brandi Yaghmai, Public Relations; Tommie Ford, Gala Chair. Photo courtesy of Service Guild.

The Service Guild of Birmingham would like to announce the “save the date” for the 24th Annual Guild Gala to be held on February 25. This year’s event will be a sit-down dinner and fundraising auction at The Country Club of Birmingham. The gala theme is “There’s No Place Like The Bell Center” honoring the magical storybook and movie “The Wizard Of Oz.” The evening will begin with cocktails and a silent auction followed by a live auction conducted by Jack Granger of Granger, Thagard & Associates, Inc. The Service Guild is a service organization dedicated to maximizing the

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Emmet O’Neal Library December Events Adults

12/1- Smart Investing @ EOL – Saving and Investing with Dr. Andreas Rauterkus, 6:30 p.m. Register at 12/6- Thyme to Read-EOL Book Group discussing “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl” by Timothy Egan, 6 p.m. The Library at the Botanical Gardens 12/7- Brown Bag Lunch series, film on war in the Pacific during WWII, 12:30 p.m. 12/12- Great Books Book Group discussing Jean-Paul Sartre’s “The Wall”, 6:30 p.m. 12/13- The Bookies Book Group discussing “Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka, 10 a.m. 12/13- Documentaries After Dark, film on artist Alice Neel, 6:30 p.m. 12/14- Brown Bag Lunch series, Dr. Scott Fisk of Samford will speak about the history and art of letterpress bookmaking, part of the AHF Road Scholar series, 12:30 p.m. 12/15- Third Thursdays at Dyron’s Lowcountry, a portion of the proceeds benefit the Library, 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. 12/17-Knit & Knibble, all crafts and skill levels welcome, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. 12/21-Brown Bag Lunch series, film of a 1980 American Ballet Theatre production of The Nutcracker, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland, 12:30 p.m. 12/27-Genre Reading Group, Salon Discussion: Book(s) of Choice, 6:30 p.m. 12/28-Brown Bag Lunch Series, film on the Comanche warriors of the American Southwest, 12:30 p.m.


Downtown Park Place 205.716.3475

Crestline Village 205.868.2800

Greystone 205.980.2287

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

potential of children from birth to 3 years of age at -risk for development delay, through the professional services of The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. Service Guild members have collectively contributed over 3,200 hours in the classroom this year working individually with the children enrolled in the programs of The Bell Center. For tickets or additional information about The Service Guild of Birmingham or The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs, contact Tommie Ford at

12/3- Game On! Super Smash Brothers Brawl, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. 12/13-12/19- EXAM BREAKS! Grab your books and your friends and come to the Library to study for finals. We’ll provide snacks, drinks and space to study. On Wednesday, Dec. 14 we’ll keep the meeting room open late, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., so you can get that extra studying done! Why? Because you’re awesome!


Mondays Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Chess Club. 6 p.m. Tuesdays Together Time Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Library Out Loud Story Time. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Thursdays Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays Family Storytime with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m.

Special Events

12/6- Family Night: How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie, 5:30 p.m. 12/7- After-School Special: A Beatrix Potter Holiday with Atlantic Coast Theatre, 3:30 p.m. 12/13- Bookmania Grinchmas Party, 6 p.m. 12/17- Fancy Nancy Holiday Hairdo Hullaballoo, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Special hours during the holidays

12/16- Holiday Hours begin: Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Closed Sundays 12/23-12/26- Library closed in observance of Christmas 12/31-1/1- Library closed in observance of New Year’s 1/2- Holiday Hours end, Winter Hours resume: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. For more information about any of our programs, call 445-1121 or find us online at, blogging at www., on Facebook at www. or on Twitter at @ eolib.

Village Living

LifeActually By Kari Kampakis

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

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

Technology class offered at library for beginners

| December 2011 |

One for you and one for me! Gifts priced right.

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By HOLLEY WESLEY Technology has taken over our lives nowadays. You can stream TV shows, movies, and music; check out ebooks from the library; balance your checking account; find out your pirate name; work on a virtual farm; look for a physician…the possibilities are endless for those with the computer skills necessary to sift through the information overload. For many however, the time has not been right, the resources have not been present, the need has not been great enough to learn to do things online. Whatever the reason, there is no time like the present to get started on your online life. For those who’ve been using computers and the internet for years, it can be incredibly difficult to go back and break down the steps involved for new users. Many people assume that becoming computer savvy is as simple as asking a friend or family member to show you the ropes but it is rarely so simple. Frustration, on the part of both the teacher AND the student, is the biggest obstacle to getting comfortable with the computer. The foundational skills I encourage new users to develop are typing and using a mouse. It is impossible to concentrate on locating needed information from an internet search or downloading a family photograph from an email until you’ve gotten familiar with the keyboard and mouse, so our classes

start with these most important skills. We’ve been offering a computer class for beginners here at Emmet O’Neal Library for many years now, and they are still going strong. Our electronic classroom is small, ensuring that students get lots of one-on-one attention and don’t get lost in the shuffle of learning. We combine small class size, in-depth instruction and handson exercises with adaptive technologies to encourage your success. The class meets on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., and the next six-week session begins in January. Registration is required and space is limited so if you or someone you know is ready to get online and get connected, call Holley at 445-1117 today and sign up for the January session. The fee for the class is $30 per person. This is not a skill that can be learned in one sitting, any more than playing the piano is, but I firmly believe that anyone committing themselves to consistent training and practice can become confident using computers. As tax season approaches at warp speed, I’d like to remind readers that the library accepts donations of gently used books, DVDs, CDs, etc. for our annual Friends of EOL booksale in February. We provide fill-in tax receipts for your donation so you can feel good about tidying up AND do something good for your local library.


Fine Vintage & Contemporary Classic Jewelry Downtown Homewood 870-4367




December 2011 | Village Living

The Village Gift Guide


The holidays should be all about spending time with family and friends, but that mile long to-do list seems to get the most attention at times. My goal during this busy time of year is to be organized and have a plan. Shopping for those special people on my list doesn’t have to be a marathon of running around from store to store, fighting traffic and long lines. By having some great ideas ahead of time, I can easily stop by some of my favorite Mountain Brook businesses and pick up the perfect gift while I am out and about. I have put together a gift guide that accomplishes all of that and more. There are gifts for every price range and for each

and every person on your list—with no need to travel out to the Summit or the Galleria. Many unique and special gifts can be found right here in our villages. So good luck Santa’s elves! Happy shopping. Jan Ware has lived in Mountain Brook for 13 years and is the wife of Kyle and the mother of four children who attend Mountain Brook schools. Her passion is helping clients turn their homes into havens. She focuses on individually personalized decor to meet the needs of each family. Jan enjoys taking a project from the very beginning stages of an idea, to a drawing, through hanging the last picture on the wall. You can reach her at or

For hostesses and neighbors Piggly Wiggly

Grab a bottle of Manos Negras, which means black hands and is a fabulous wine for the price. It’s $12.99 a bottle, or buy it by the case and get 10 percent off. Half a case discount is 5 percent off, and you can buy any wine and any variety and mix cases. To make a special gift even more special, pair it with some Carr’s water crackers and Stone Hollow Goat cheese. My personal favorite is Rose Petal, but it comes in other yummy flavors such as walnut and Vidalia onion and muscadine. $14.99

For moms and daughters Etc.

For the ladies in your family, make sure you give a look at the Margaret Ellis handmade silver, gold, and bronze jewelry, $150 and up. It looks great with just about any outfit. The Armenta 18K gold stacking rings, $690 and up, are a special gift for your college-aged daughter or even for you! It is so hard for me to shop for my mother. But that decision will be easy this year. The Faliero Sarti made in Italy

scarves are truly like a work of art. They can dress up any outfit and be worn in many different ways. Etc. has a fabulous selection from $295 and up. It’s a splurge, but isn’t your mother worth it?

For dads and husbands Harrison

My husband’s personal favorites are the Bills khakis. The fit is exceptional and they really hold up well. $155. For my dad, the sterling belt buckle ($495) is a great find. The buckle can be monogrammed for an additional charge and they also carry different belt strips to match any wardrobe. This is something that my sister and brother and I can go in on together and it is such a timeless gift. For his stocking there is Borotalco gentlemens talc from Italy. $16.50-$42. Not only will the men in my family enjoy this talc, but so will the women. It is wonderful when sprinkled on fresh linens and sheets.

For anyone

For a woman with style

Crestline Pharmacy

Laura Kathryn

Aspen mulling cider warms the body and also has a smell that is distinctly Christmas. This is a favorite of my family. It comes in an original flavor and in cinnamon orange blend. $6.

Young and old, any of the women on your list will get a lot of mileage out of the Calleen Cordero clutch and cuffs. They look great when dressed down in jeans or with a suit or business attire. $120 and up.

Lightfoots gentlemen’s pine scented soap from England will have them smelling fresh. I even love this soap for my powder room. $7-$25.

blending comfort and elegance into one…

interiors that are naturally sophisticated yet truly functional |



81 Church St. - Crestline Village 870-4027

Village Living

| December 2011 |

The Village Gift Guide

For tween and teen girls

For the art aficionado

Snap Kids

Gallery 1930

What would l do without my babysitters? They are there when I can’t be, and some of them are like part of our family. For that teenage girl you couldn’t live without, get the five-pack Emi Jay hairbands. They are $12.50 and come in a variety of fun shimmering colors.

Mountain Brook’s Meredith Keith has amazing art for sale that isn’t necessarily out of your price range. I would love for my husband to choose a piece for my Christmas present like her abstract wood panels. They range in size from 4 x 5 inches up to 24 x 24 inches and are priced $75 to

$450. She also has some special panels that depict her renderings of the Star of David.

For kids (and adults too)

For teenaged boys


The Pants Store

The Fabulous Canvas is a must for my little artist daughters. It comes with paint, and they will have a beautiful piece of artwork to hang in their rooms and enjoy. $24.99 My nephew will love the glow-in-the-dark track and light-up car. I can get it all for a little over $30. Stocking stuffers abound at Snoozy’s, but a favorite of mine is the triple action light-up yo yo. This yo yo has all the bells and whistles. Yes, yo yo’s are back and popular again. Funny how the classics always come back around. $15.99.

For my teenage son, I can’t go wrong with clothes. The PFG shirts are a winner. Guys love all the pockets, and I love that they come with an SPF of 30 to help protect against the sun. They are available in many different colors. $29.99.

For teachers & neighbors Please Reply

For girlfriends

Styrofoam party cups offer festive “Hohoho” cups but also Auburn and Alabama cups. They come in packs of 10 and are $8.

Marguerites Conceits I plan to paper my girlfriends with something from K. Hall Designs. They have a variety of fantastic milk soaps, bath salts and candles. Prices range from $13 to $33.

For one who has everything Artfull Creations

Mountain Brook native and photographer Catherine Pittman Smith captures different vignettes of your family’s treasures in custom hardcover coffee table books full of photos she takes of your home, garden, family or vacation home. Recently, Mallie and Glenn Ireland’s children presented them with a book to remember their home as they prepared


For mother-in-laws Circa

to move (see photo). Contact Catherine and Artfull Creations at 492-3350 or visit

Not sure what to get your mother-inlaw? How about a pop of color for her sofa or a chair? She will love how it gives new life to a room in her home and the fabulous colors will fit in to any décor. These silkvelvet, jewel-toned pillows are $250.

It’s beginning to look a lot like...

Skinny Jeans from Red Engine A must have for the Holidays Available in Emerald and Crimson Emmet O'Neal Library

Saving and Investing

Thur. Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Come learn how to match savings and investment vehicles to specific short term, mid term and long term goals! This program is free, but registration is required.

Please join us for refreshments and Holiday Cheer at our Open House on Dec. 8th from 3:00 until 6:30pm

Register online at or call 445-1118

The Smart investing@your library series is a grant-funded program developed collaboratively by the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

2724 Cahaba Rd.




December 2011 |

Village Living

Traditionally Mountain Brook

It wouldn’t be Christmas in Mountain Brook without these traditions.... By ANNE WOOD

A very lively live nativity Even the most perfected performances have mishaps, and with its live animals, the nearly 50-year-old tradition of Living Nativity at Mountain Brook Baptist Church is no exception. Jo Wilson recalls one instance: “One night, we were on the hill side of the church. One of the sheep ran away when we were putting them up. About five of us chased it all around the church for about 45 minutes. Exhausted, we decided we would just give up the chase. As we were discussing the outcome of the lost sheep, the sheep casually strolled up to the entrance of the pen.” The issue of wandering Nativity animals is, surprisingly, not that uncommon. Hoyt Wilson can remember another similar instance: “The cow escaped the second year of the nativity. The cow kicked the stable

until finally it was free and ended up near Crestline school. While leading the resistant cow back to the church, the cow stepped on the helper’s foot, sending him to the hospital, and was difficult the whole way. People were actually cheering for the cow along the road.” Director of Children and Family Ministries Sharon Howard acknowledges the escapes and said that improvements have been made to keep them under control. “The animals used to stay at the church for three days, but now a local farm brings them before the service and takes them home for the night,” she said. “No more chasing cows through Crestline!” In spite of surprises and excitement that sometimes arise from the scene, Howard reminds us of the real significance behind the nativity.

Your favorite holiday spot Norman Drive across from Mountain Brook Junior High is known for its traditional, white-lit mini Christmas trees. Montrose Circle features cutout reindeer, much like the ones at Santa on the Circle on Clarendon. We asked a few people about what else they cherish seeing this time of year. The Santa and sleigh on Lake Drive off of Euclid Avenue are cool! My dad would always take [my siblings and me] there when we were kids. We used to sneak around the lake and try to get in the sleigh! Lucy Sprain I love the white lights that are put

in the trees all over Crestline, Mountain Brook Village, and English Village. They are timeless and beautiful. Cece Lacey Taking our son to see Santa ride on a firetruck in Mountain Brook Village, that is a fond memory. I just love the lights. We ride around the different villages just to see the lights. I especially love the lights in Mountain Brook Village. There are white lights almost everywhere, a wreath on the clock tower. Linda Turner What’s your favorite Mountain Brook holiday tradition? Tell us on our Facebook page.


Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco, PhD Clinical Psychologist

“The birth of Christ is the reason for celebrating Christmas,” she said. “The Living Nativity is a way to tell the story and experience hands-on the true meaning of Christmas. It has become a family event for many people who enjoy this tradition year after year.”

The Living Nativity will be held Dec. 21, 22, and 23 with services at 6:15 p.m. Bring the whole family to enjoy hot chocolate, apple cider, homemade treats, and, of course, petting the animals. You never know what else you may be in store for!

Santa on the Circle Now and then

Every year for at least 30 years Clarendon Road neighborhood has hosted Santa on the Circle. “Santa on the Circle was one of the many things that made that neighborhood so special,” said Mary Katherine Cabaniss, who lived on the circle on Clarendon Road from 1973 to 1978. “We really got to know our neighbors and in fact, those are still our dear friends today. It was one of the memories that made the holidays so magical as a child.” She recalled one year when Emily Formby, who lived down the street from her, noticed that Santa’s shoes looked familiar. From then on, she began to notice Santa’s shoes year after year and eventually discovered that her dad was one of the

dads to play Santa. “I am the oldest of three girls, and apparently each dad on the street took turns dressing up and being Santa on the Circle,” Cabaniss said. “I’m not sure who all came to see him each year, but it seems like kids from all over Mountain Brook came to visit him.” Now many mothers, like Cabannis, share a little part of their childhood memories of Christmas in Mountain Brook with their own children. “I still drive my children through the old neighborhood to show them the lights and where mommy grew up,” she said. “It will always be home to me regardless of who is living there now.”

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Village Living

| December 2011 |

Hanukkah traditions By iLAN GOLDFARB Hanukkah, which means dedication in Hebrew, is a holiday about a miracle. But before the miracle happened, a mean Greek-Syrian king named Antiochus forbade the Jews from practicing their religion. For example, they were not allowed to keep kosher, observe the Sabbath or study Torah, and there were many other restrictions as well. Finally, a great man, Mattaisyahu (Mattahias) and his five sons, Ellizar, Shimon, Levy, Yonatan and the most known Jeuda, fought back against King Antiochus and his army. Even though the Jewish fighters were outnumbered, they defeated the GreekSyrians. Before the war, the Greek-Syrians desecrated the Holy Temple, including the oil used every day to light the Menorah, a seven-branched candleholder. After their victory, the Jews found only enough oil to last one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted eight days—enough time to make new oil and rededicate the Holy Temple. We eat fried foods such as sufganiot, or jelly donuts, and latkas, which are potato pancakes, to celebrate the miracle of the oil. My mom likes to sneak vegetables like zucchini, squash and carrots into our latkas. They taste good, but I like the ones without them better. My mom usually skips making the donuts; we buy them once during the eight days. The menorah, called Hanukiah in modern Hebrew, actually has nine places for candles. One is for each of the eight nights, and one candle to light the other candles called the shamash. The eight places for the candles have to be the same height and in a straight line because no one night is more important than another. The shamash is set apart from the other eight candles. At my house we each light our own Hanukiah. We have received some Hanukiot as gifts, we have made some of them and some we bought because we liked them. Jewish people all over the world put their lit Hanukiah in a window to share the light. One year my family was in Israel during Hanukkah. Some families

even had their Hanukiahs outside! We would go for walks and admire all of the Hanukkah lights. On Hanukkah, it is a tradition for kids to play dreidel. Dreidel is Yiddish for top, and in Hebrew it is called sevivon. When the Jews were forbidden to study Torah, they had to study secretly in forests and caves. If the Greek-Syrians solders came, they would quickly hide their Torahs and begin playing tops. A dreidel, or sevivon, has four sides, with a Hebrew letter on each side. “Nun” stands for the Hebrew word nes, or miracle. “Gimmel” represents the Hebrew word gadol, meaning great or big. “Hey” stands for the Hebrew word “hyah,” or in Hebrew, occurred or happened. “Shin” stands for sham, which means there, or on Israeli dreidels, that side has a “peah” which represents po or the Hebrew word for here. Only dreidels sold in Israel have the peah. The letters all together say a “great miracle happened there” or a ”great miracle happened here.” To play dreidel, you need something to bet like “gelt,” which means money in Yiddish. Most kids play with chocolate gelt and divide it evenly among the players. The first player spins the dreidel, and then all the players take turns. If it lands on the nun, you do nothing, if it lands on gimmel you get the whole pot and if it lands on the hey you get half of the pot. The most unlucky letter is the shin or peah because this letter requires you to put some gelt into the pot. Often gifts are given on Hanukkah. “Hanukkah Gelt” is the traditional gift, but now families often exchange presents. In my family we spread our gifts out so that we get one each night. We get a gift from each member of our family and one large gift for the whole family to share. We also have a night for giving to a local charity and a night for giving to an international charity. Happy Holiday! Ilan Goldfarb is 11 years old and a fifth grader at N.E. Miles Jewish Day School.


CONTINUED from page 1 these vulnerable villages that have little connection to the outside world and teach their leaders and their people what to watch out for. Along the way, the Miltons hope to learn more about what is happening with trafficking in the country and find people who are doing this kind of work already. Make Way Partners is centered on partnering with local people who have been working to fight trafficking and empowering them to reach more people. Ultimately, the Miltons hope to open shelters for victims of trafficking like the organization has done in Sudan, the Congo and Romania. Whitney was 17 years old when her family stumbled on a brothel in Portugal and in a series of events fought to free them and ultimately others like them around the world through what became Make Way Partners. “Then I began praying for those 19 kids in the brothel and for God to use my whole life to help kids under that oppression,” she said. She continued to work for Make Way Partners after college but it wasn’t until she met David through a mutual friend at Brookwood Baptist in 2009 that she felt called to serve abroad. “These are rough places,” she said. “I would have been limited in my work as a single.” David had long been following a burden on his heart to do more to serve the poor. Fluent in Spanish like Whitney, he had been on short-term mission trips to Peru and Mexico. Professionally he worked for a

Hispanic community outreach program at St. Vincent’s and then taught Spanish 2 and 3 at Mountain Brook High School starting in 2009. “Teaching was rewarding, especially when I worked with students one-on-one to teach them not just Spanish but also life lessons,” David said. Still, he said something was amiss. “It was like when you are cooking something and taste it, and there is a missing ingredient,” he said. When he met Whitney, he learned about suffering and evil in the trafficking that Make Way Partners confronts. “Before I didn’t believe it really existed,” he said. As the couple dated and began married life, they began to pray about serving as missionaries full time. “Perhaps the ingredient is this?” David thought. “Perhaps it is something that I could not have done alone?” And it turns out that ingredient was serving in Peru with Whitney. Now there is little being done in Peru to fight human trafficking, and Make Way Partners has only been working there a year. Yet the innocent faces of the Peruvian children, the evil of traffickers and the corrupt societal system that accepts and even supports them are beckoning Whitney and David to the Amazon. “It will be slow, but it will be worth it,” Whitney said. To support Whitney and David Milton, visit and designate your gift for “Whitney and David.” With that designation, 100 percent of the money will go to their support and none to administrative costs.

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December 2011 |


Village Sports

Cross country teams win state By WiLL HiGHtOWER Another year, another title. For the senior runners on the Mountain Brook cross country team, winning the state championship is nothing new. The seniors, with some help from underclassmen, capped off their high school careers without having lost a state title. The boys won their fourth in a row, while the girls won their astounding ninth state championship in a row. The boys came into the season looking for leadership after a strong senior class led by Jack Morgan graduated. As it turned out, there were plenty of runners waiting in the wings for their time in the spotlight. Junior Payton Ballard assumed the position of lead runner, with Nick Halbach, Jack Monaghan and Andrew Fix just behind. After a successful season that included wins across the state and the country, the varsity boys went into state thinking about closing in on their fourth straight ring. “Our strategy for the race was just to push it, get out in front and catch up to the next fastest guy in front of you,” senior Brooks Kimberly said. Kimberly was called up to race at state at the last minute on Thursday night before the Saturday morning race. “We just wanted to break the other teams’ will, and I think we did that pretty well.” The race, which was held at Oakville Indian Mounds Park, went like the Spartans had planned. Ballard finished first for Mountain Brook and third overall with a time of 16:08, equating to a 5:20 mile pace for the 3.1-mile course. Monaghan and Halbach came in next at sixth and seventh overall. Fix, who only hours later came down with a high fever, and Parker Morrow, whose time of 16:46 was a personal record, rounded out the top five for the Spartans. The top five are the ones who are counted towards the team’s overall point total. “It’s pretty incredible to see all the work pay off,” Fix said. “Six years ago it would’ve been hard to imagine us where we are now. I never would’ve dreamt of being part of such a dominating team so far in the future. After the race, we all kind of found each other in the chute and just let it soak in. We were all in a little pain, but we were so amped up it didn’t really bother us.” “It was extra special to hit that strong note going out on our senior year,” Kimberly said. “We have a fantastic team with great chemistry.”

Cross Country travels to Arizona By HEAtHER mCCALLEY

Cross country team members Taylor Jetmundsen, Andrew Leeds, Paul Styslinger, and Patrick Wilder pose with their state championship trophy. This was the fourth state title in a row for the boys and the ninth for the girls. Photo courtesy of Image Arts.

The girls had an even deeper streak going into the race: a string of titles dating back to 2002. The entire time that these girls have been in high school, junior high – and hey, even most of elementary school – the Mountain Brook girls have been the very best in the state. This year, the girls weren’t going to let that winning tradition stop. “We felt a little pressure going in,” junior Ann Sisson said. “But Coach Echols told us to just trust in our training and believe in each other, so it took the pressure off.” Surprisingly, the senior class of girls is not as strong as the younger ones. Nina Brown was the only senior girl to run in the state championship this year. Juniors Mary Catherine Ellard and Sisson, sophomore Emily Bedell and freshmen Bailey Martin and Sanders Reed carried the team all year. Sisson finished fourth overall and first for the Spartans with a time of 18:56. Right behind her were Martin and Bedell, who had times of 19:07 and 19:15, respectively. Reed and Ellard finished eighth and ninth overall, rounding out a dominant top five

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for the Spartans. In fact, the girls had an overall score of 25 points. In a sport where lower is better, that number is a sign of domination. The next closest team? McGillToolen, with 78 points. “It felt awesome when we crossed the finish line,” Sisson said. “There’s nothing like that feeling you get when all of your hard work has paid off and you achieve your goals.” The sheer depth of the girls team is unbelievable, especially considering that most are young. Most of the girls will return for the Spartans next year, making expectations sky-high. After that, most of these girls could run at the collegiate level if they choose. These days, the 6A cross country state championship has become a bit of a formality. Runners in the past came in with the mentality that the championship was anyone’s to win. But after nine in a row and four in a row by the girls and boys from Mountain Brook, the rest of the state has been relegated to fighting for second place. Look for more of the same in years to come.

This fall, 40 student-athletes from the MBHS cross country teams traveled to Phoenix to compete in the 5th Annual Desert Twilight Invitational. The students stayed through the weekend and visited the Grand Canyon where they hiked various trails ranging from 3-12 miles. They were also welcomed by a former Mountain Brook student who trained under Coach Echols years ago—Susie Berry Malloy (MBHS ’83) organized dinners with her child’s cross country teammates from Xavier College Preparatory School. Malloy also ran at Auburn University and participated in two Olympic Marathon trials. On Thursday before the meet, the group toured the Arizona State University athletic facilities and played at the world’s largest laser tag arena. On Friday morning they intentionally relaxed before the big meet that night, heading to the mall and movie theater. The team competed in the evenings against 100 teams from around the country, including several other state championship teams, at the Toka Sticks Golf Course. In the races, the team secured the Boys Small School Open trophy with standout performances by Pearce Mulkin, Kyle Sawyer, Parker Morrow, Stewart Hawk and Ben Carter. The girls brought home the Girls Small School Open trophy with Mary Catherine Farrar, Kayleigh Cochran, Murray Manley, Maddie Sheffield and Annie Sheffield all earning points for the team. Our boys also won the Sole Sports Boys Sweepstakes; top performers were Payton Ballard, Andrew Fix, Nick Halbach, Jack Miller and Davis Kelly. MBHS girls also did not disappoint, earning fifth place in the Milesplit Girls Sweepstakes: Emily Bedell, Ann Sisson, Mary Catherine Ellard, Nina Brown and Kendall Reed. The PTO wishes to thank the dedicated coaches and parents who made the trip and everyone who supported them with well wishes and by buying lots of Simply Goodness Cookie Dough.

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| December 2011 |

Volleyball team wins tournament MOUNTAIN BROOK SPORTING GOODS

The Lime Green team members Carolanne Berte, Ann Douglas Lott, Shalini Chatterji, Ellis Henley, Sara Frances Koopman, Mary Frances Robertson and Cami Curtis. Photo courtesy of Dena Berte.

The Mountain Brook fifth through seventh grade girls recreation volleyball teams competed in a tournament on Oct. 19. After nine games, the Lime Green team won the championship. The team included Carolanne Berte, Ann Douglas Lott,

Shalini Chatterji, Ellis Henley, Sara Frances Koopman, Mary Frances Robertson and Cami Curtis. The team was coached by Heather Thomas, a current UAB Lady Blazers volleyball player.

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By ALiSON GAULt The fall youth football season culminated in the Super Bowl games on Oct. 30. The results were: Third grade: Raiders 21 - Vikings 20 Fourth grade: Raiders 12 - Steelers 0 Fifth grade: Broncos 6 - Raiders 0 Sixth grade: Packers 25 - Redskins 8 There was tremendous fan support, and everyone had a great time on a beautiful fall day. Many of the players look forward to playing again next year.

Third grade Raider James Hufham throws to Strother Gibbs as Viking Paulson Wright defends against the pass. Photo by Alison Gault.





Fifth grade Raiders Zachary Shunnarah and Tucker Milteer tackle Bronco Fuller Priestley. Photo by Alison Gault.

U10 girls finish season with only one loss The Girls U10 Central Alabama Independent Soccer League Champions, who played for the Jewish Community Center, had an 8-1 season. Front row: Rumsey Frye, Sarah Catherine Cooper, Jane Nichols, Campbell Swing, Callie Dukes. Back row: Coach John Besse, Elizabeth Reid Gray, Libba Manley, Lily Cochrane, Lily Hulsey, Coach Brad Jones, Sanders Oliver, Ellie Jones.




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Junior high cross country dynasty continues

Boys cross country team at MBJH.

By HiLARY ROSS The MBJH cross country team has experienced another successful season. Head Coach Mike Abercrombie along with Assistant Coaches Amelia Breeze, Trish Carey, Kelli Moore, John Phillips and Lars Porter trained over two hundred seventh, eighth and ninth grade cross country athletes. Two Samford University students, Coach Shaffer and Coach McMillan, along with Coach Phillip McElroy, also assisted the program. Through the months of September and October, team members competed in several local and regional meets culminating in the Metro South Cross Country Championship Meet held at Veteran’s Park at Spain Park High School. Some of the more notable meets during the season were Chickasaw Trails, where our boys’ and girls’ teams both took first place and at the prestigious Jesse Owens Invitational, where our girl runners won

first while the boys finished second place overall. Eleven metro teams attended and competed in the Metro Championship Cross Country meet. Our MBJH girls finished first and were named metro champions while the boys finished second in the metro championship despite being seeded fourth going into the race. MBJH had 14 girls place in the Top 30 finishers at Metro: Clara Williams, Lauren Cotton, Eleanor Swagler, Sara Beth Blakely, Cameron Thomas, Dailey Nichols, Julia Jane Duggan, Virginia Beasley, Ann Chapman Haynes, Sarah Berryman, Parker Cobbs, Frances Patrick, with Anna Grace Morgan placing third overall with a time of 13:04.17 and Katherine Dodson placing second overall with a time of 13:02.83. Top 30 finishers for the MBJH boys were: Duncan Manley, Tanner Williams, Ryan Kirk, Connor Welch, and Drew

MBJH ALL METRO Cross Country runners. Back Row: Katherine Dodson, Anna Grace Morgan, Sarah Berryman, Eleanor Swagler, Frances Patrick, Sarabeth Blakely, Lauren Cotten, Ann Chapman Haynes. Middle Row: Conner Welch, Tanner Williams, Ryan Kirk, Duncan Manley, Drew Williams. Front Row: Clara Williams, Cameron Thomas, Virginia Beasley, Parker Cobbs, Dailey Nichols, Julia Jane Duggan.

Williams who finished third overall with a time of 11:20.10. Following the season, a cross country banquet was held at MBJH to honor the athletes and their accomplishments. Cross Country parents Katherine Galloway and Jeannie Dodson co-chaired the event. More than 500 attendees enjoyed fried fish, hushpuppies and coleslaw served from the lunchroom and enjoyed in the gymnasium, which had been transformed into a banquet hall decorated in green and gold balloons and tablecloths. A favorite decoration at the event was the life-sized cut-out photo of Coach Mike Abercrombie dressed as a Spartan for the Heardmont Mascot Challenge, which was a race where

coaches dressed as their team mascot. Many athletes received awards at the banquet including team captains, MVP awards, coaches’ awards and “runners of the meet” for each race in which MBJH competed. Captains named for the 2011 Cross Country season were Virginia Beasley and Ryan Kirk for seventh grade, Katherine Dodson and Tanner Williams for eighth grade and Meg McCalley and Marshall Smith for ninth grade. The seventh/eighth grade Most Valuable Players were Anna Grace Morgan and Drew Williams. Ninth grade MVPs were Baily Martin and Sam Lidikay.

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| December 2011 |


BWF fifth grade attends Camp McDowell Is Celebrating the

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BWF fifth graders Louise Knight, Ryann Holley, Joe Saia, Maddie Stern and Aidan Hood built a wilderness survival shelter while wearing traditional Native American face paint.

By BAmA HAGER Seventy-two BWF 5th Grade Students and 22 chaperones attended Camp McDowell Environmental Camp in Navoo, Ala., the week of Oct. 24. The students spent four days and three nights at the camp learning about earth sciences. Students hiked while learning about plants, animals, history and geology. During hikes students were exposed to the effects of mining for coal and efforts to reclaim harvested land, animal tracks, evidence, and sounds and aquatic life in ponds and streams. One class focused on Alabama’s rich Native American heritage and history. Students learned about survival in the wilderness and plants and animals that may be helpful in wilderness situations. Canoeing was a highlight of the week.

Students were encouraged to journal about their experiences. Teachers plan follow up activities to further explore science and writing after the trip. Nighttime activities included a night hike, campfire stories and a large birds presentation. The Food Warriors, a favorite part of camp, were three staff members who dressed in silly attire and weighed students’ food waste from each meal. Students were encouraged to eat what they chose to eat and to be mindful of wasted food left on their plates. Students strived to attain zero food waste after their meals. The fifth grade teachers who organized and supervised the trip were Brooke Sullivan, Jennifer Hendrix, Julie Hudson and Tiffany Marron.

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MBE Holiday Helpers By HiLARY ROSS Mountain Brook Elementary students and faculty had two programs this holiday season to help the community. The annual “Making Wishes Come True” Holiday Project raises money to ensure children in area foster homes have gifts to open this holiday season. Many MBE students raided piggy banks, performed extra chores around the house and even hosted lemonade stands to raise money to help these kids enjoy a happy holiday. This program focuses not only on providing for the needs of children in our community but also teaches MBE students to be active in demonstrating compassion for others. The long-term goal for this project is to give students a desire and knowledge for lifetime community service. The money raised was evenly divided between each classroom. Students were invited to go shopping for the foster children who provided their “wish lists” to the Salvation Army and were “adopted” for the holiday by Michael Schmidt, Harrison Hodges, Ellie Shelfer, Graham an MBE classroom. The Salvation Army then Hodges, Ben Harris, Howell Polk and Mary Neale Polk help with the Holiday Project. sent a truck to the school to collect the presents for the foster kids to Pleasant Grove Elementary, a community eventually distribute them during the devastated by the tornados. The goal was to collect 75 brand new coats to replace holiday. Also new this year, the Student clothing Pleasant Grove students lost in the Council Association held a coat drive for storm.

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December 2011 |

School House



Colonial fair comes to Cherokee Bend

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Mark Smith, Parker Statham, Jackson Tew and Mary Fraces Torbert at Colonial Day at Cherokee Bend Elementary.

By FRANCES WAttS As part of their study of colonization, fifth graders at Cherokee Bend Elementary School spent a beautiful October morning participating in a colonial fair on the school’s field. “In social studies, we wrote a report about life in a specific colonial region,” said fifth grader Mac Abele. “Then, we dressed in clothing from that region for the colonial fair. I dressed like a colonist from the southern region.” At the fair students rotated among five stations related to colonial life: cooking, blacksmithing, basket weaving, quilting

and soap carving. Some of the highlights from the fair included learning how to grind corn and make butter at the cooking station. Students also enjoyed practicing their blacksmithing skills by making votive candle luminaries. The Quilters Guild came and discussed the history of quilting, shared examples of the types of quilts and led the students in a quilting activity so each child was able to make his own quilted square. The fair concluded with the students participating in a colonial dance lead by Mrs. Alexander, the school’s music teacher.

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MBHS football coach Chris Yeager with Crestline students Grayson Long, Alaina Long, and Garret Long on a special visit during Red Ribbon Week.


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“Hitting Home: One School, One Goal- Drug Free” was the motto of Red Ribbon week at Cherokee Bend Elementary School this year. Chairman Kimberly Long selected the motto because it highlights this very important fact: Cherokee Bend Elementary School unites with the Mountain Brook School community to celebrate and commit to good positive choices…not just for a week but for life. Red Ribbon week was a community effort. On Monday night, CBS parents attended a community gathering sponsored by the Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition at the home of Amy and Michael

Littleton; the aim of the meeting was to “Hit Home.” Every morning Mountain Brook High School students opened doors in carpool and greeted the CBS students with a message about the importance of being drug-free. The week concluded with a visit from Mountain Brook High School Football Coach Chris Yeager. Coach Yeager encouraged students to make positive, healthy choices and passed out Spartan Bands. To learn more about the Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition, visit http://

School House

| December 2011 |

Brookwood Forest makes science fun

Fifth grade students Kathleen Odum, Brett Lewis, and Rae Evelyn Gibbs learned about plant and animal cells in science at BWF.

By BAmA HAGER Fifth graders at Brookwood Forest Elementary enjoyed learning about plant and animal cells in science by creating incredible, edible cells. Students shared their creations with classmates by presenting their cells, describing the

function of each organelle and allowing all students to taste their delicious creations. Fifth grade teachers are Jennifer Hendrix, Julie Hudson, Tiffany Marron and Brooke Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan is the fifth grade science teacher.

Veterans saluted at Mountain Brook Elementary

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Dr. Raleigh Kent (Air Force) with granddaughter Isabelle DeBuys, Dr. Thomas Amason (Navy) with grandson Gilbert Amason and Dr. Dudley Pewitt (Air Force) with grandson Price Pewitt.

By HiLARY ROSS The fifth grade at Mountain Brook Elementary presented its annual Salute to Veterans. The stage was decorated with the United States flag and banners representing each branch of our military. Led by the direction of music teacher Louisa Elmore, the audience enjoyed songs about our country, flag, patriotism and American pride. The show included soloists, dancers, students dressed as immigrants and speakers. Many veterans from each branch of the military attended

the show as honored guests. The show concluded with veterans in attendance coming to the stage when the students sang the theme song for their respective branch of service. Students then placed a flag pin on the veterans. After “Taps” was played to honor and remember those who died for our country during service, there was a reception on the front lawn of the school where refreshments were served to the guests.

CES Veterans Day celebration

Hope Methvin reading a poem during the presentation.

By ALYSSA mONSON Crestline Elementary’s fifth grade class honored veterans on Thursday, Nov. 10. The program featured a breakfast at the school followed by a patriotic musical. In

Allan D. Hewett, representing the Army Air Corp; Seargent Wesley B. Clifford, with his grandson fifth grader Max Adams, and Robert Hayes Windle both representing the Army.

addition to the annual tradition, the entire student body of Crestline Elementary collected items for care packages to be sent to our troops overseas.

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December 2011 |

School House


The ninth grade students at Mountain Brook Junior High recently participated in Career Day where students are able to learn about the various careers and job opportunities that lie ahead. The students initially gathered in the auditorium to hear Keynote Speaker Mr. James Holbrook of Sterne, Agee and Leach. The students attended panels of professionals grouped by career areas; there were 85 speakers total. Following the keynote address, the students dispersed to 9th grade classrooms to attend their assigned panels. Students also heard Jennifer Waters from the Recruitment Office of Birmingham-Southern speak about “Getting Ready for College.� We are fortunate to have such a wealth of gifted professional men and women in our community. Mayor Terry Oden served as a speaker, as did new Mountain Brook Police Chief Ted Cook. Also speaking were

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George Israel, an architect; Mike Royer, news anchor; Dr. Thane Wibbels, marine biologist; Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain; local business owner George Jones of Snoozys; and Mr. Ed Aldag of Medical Properties Trust. Diana Plosser of MBHS and Amy Stamper of Crestline were also among the panelists. Many of the speakers were parents of current ninth grade students: Bill Dawkins spoke about being a stockbroker, Dr. Joe Lucas on psychiatry, Terri Odum on banking, Dana Wolter on interior design, and Ogden Deaton about commercial real estate. Among those representing the legal profession were Mike Brown, Warren Lightfoot, Judge Theresa Pulliam, Kit Belt, and Jay Skinner. Chairmen for Career Day 2011 were MBJH parents Kathy Skinner, Kim Tew, Tanya Cooper, Lindsey Trammell, Carrie Law and Crawford Bumgarner.

Seventh & eighth grade dance

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Seventh grade girls await a recent Thursday evening dance for seventh and eighth graders: Anne Kendall Outland, Emma Garcia middle: Eve Taylor, Hannah Elliott, Virginia Winn, Brooke Holloway, Murray Brown top: Grace Logan, Carolyn Wahlheim, Allie Sirkin, Edith Amason.

Crestline Pumpkin Run

Lucy Walthall, Catherine Sims and Virginia Wahlheim.

By ALYSSA mONSON Crestline Elementary School held its annual Pumpkin Run on Sunday Oct. 23 with 578 runners in grades K-6. The overall winners for the boys were Carter Emack (5:50), Walter Morris (6:04) and Brooks Reddy (6:09). The winners for the girls were Catherine Sims (6:22) , Brit Ware (6:23) and Catherine Haas (6:44). Reagan Riley and Libby Sims.

School House

| December 2011 |


How to address sibling rivalry By DALE WiSELY I have two boys, 12 and 10 years old. They bicker, call each other names and occasionally get into physical scuffles. What can I do about this sibling rivalry? Sibling rivalry is irritating to many parents and distressing to others. It is not, however, a disorder, and it is generally agreed that some degree of conflict between young siblings is normal. The best solution to sibling rivalry I’ve ever discovered is for the parent to occasionally glance in the rear view mirror of the Yukon and scream, “Don’t make me come back there!” OK, seriously… Conflict and competition among siblings is to be expected, and this appears to be especially true when two siblings are the same gender and relatively close in age. I have always assumed that there is a healthy amount of this and have tended to think of it as a kind of developmental laboratory in which young people, over time, learn to resolve their differences. Perhaps I am being too optimistic! That said, sibling rivalry can cross the line. It can become a bad thing in at least a couple of ways. First, if it is too persistent, too frequent, and too nasty in tone. And, I think parents do well to consider any level of physical violence—hitting, kicking, biting—as against the rules and requiring intervention by the parent. A second way sibling rivalry can become a significant problem is when it crosses the line and becomes sibling abuse. Vernon Wiehe has written a number of books on this neglected topic and suggests four questions to determine if behavior is sibling rivalry or sibling abuse. First, is the behavior developmentally inappropriate or age inappropriate? Should the children, at the given time in their development, be able to resolve their differences? Second, is the behavior isolated or occasional, or is it part of a persistent pattern? Third, is there a pattern of victimization? If an older adolescent is persistently mistreating

a much younger sibling, it is more likely abusive rather than rivalry. Fourth, what is the goal of the behavior? Is it an attempt to deal with a conflict, or is it about one child embarrassing or humiliating another? What should parents do? In cases of mild and occasional rivalry-like behavior, parents ought not to overreact, on the theory that this is how young people learn to resolve differences. As it increases in seriousness, parents should consider it a disciplinary problem, at least, and perhaps a mental health problem. If the parent judges that the behavior is inappropriate, then she should make sure the rules are clear (“You are not allowed to hit or push each other.” “Do not poke your sister in the eye.” “You are not allowed to call each other awful names.”). Then the parent must make a routine out of responding to these violations of the rules. Once the rules are clearly expressed, parents need to stop nagging about the behavior and instead dole out appropriate consequences for breaking the rules. This isn’t always easy, but it’s important. If the behavior crosses the line into abuse, a crisis is present. If the offending child does not respond to clear rules and consistently delivered consequences, it may be time to get a professional involved. Parents should not allow anyone, including one of their own children, to physically or emotionally abuse a child. This level of behavior ought not be dismissed as mere “sibling rivalry.” Dale Wisely, Ph.D. is Director of Student Services at Mountain Brook Schools and has been a child and adolescent psychologist for nearly 30 years. Dr. Wisely welcomes your questions for future columns; email jennifer@ to submit yours.

Weily Soong, MD Kay Knight, MD Maxcie Sikora, MD James Bonner, MD John Anderson, MD Patricia Luthin, CRNP

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MBHS Fall Choir Show Making People Happy For 22 Years, It’s An Institution!

Brandon Barranco, Delle Kincaid and John Kincaid at the Fall Choir Show. Photo courtesy of Michelle Smith.

Mountain Brook High School annual Fall Choir Show, “Brookie State of Mind,” paid tribute to the music of Billy Joel Under the direction of Choir Director John Kincaid, the show was a huge success with every night selling out. With 30 Billy Joel songs and creative choreography to accompany the songs, it was full of entertainment. Choreography was planned by Brandon Barranco and Delle Kincaid. Senior Sam Riess rewrote “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to reference current events. The show began with “Un-Plugged,” a showcase of 11 vocal and instrumental acts. More than 160 students participated

in the show. The students who performed solos were Elizabeth Perkinson, Rebekah Patterson (dance), Libby Hobbs (dance), Josie Berman (dance), Cooper Real, Drew Willoughby, Deanna Medina, Michael Swecker, Camille Smith, Emily Siegal, Abbey Moore, Ann Ashton, Dee Dee Joehl, Maddie Phillips, Allen Bush, Garner Lyon, Brooks Kimberly, Sam Cochran, Spiro Gerontakis, Brooke Harwell, Bynum Albritton, Joey Weed, Matthew Powell, Ben Echols, Mark Hammontree, Malcolm McRae, Wade Bramlett, Brent McCollough and Joey Weed.

Live music every Fri. and Sat. night starting @ 9pm.

224 Country Club Park 871-8435

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Live music every Fri. and Sat. night starting @ 9pm.

26 |

Smith’s Variety

December 2011 |

Business Spotlight

2715 Culver Road

Village Spotlight

Mountain Brook Village




Mountain Brook 1926 Fragrance

Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Smith’s Variety been Birmingham’s most familiar “high end variety store” since 1950 through moves from Homewood to the current Ritch’s Pharmacy location and then to its current storefront next to the Western Supermarket in Mountain Brook Village. “Smith’s has received some upgrades over the years; however, we pretty much sell the same types of things that we have been selling for 61 years,” said Mary Anne Glazner, whose family has owned Smith’s Variety since 1976. Over the years, Smith’s has maintained small town charm while also selling goods typically found in larger franchises. The front counter is still surrounded by glass jars of candy and treats like an oldtime five-cent candy shop. You’ll also find selections from local writers and painters. At the same time, you’ll find shelves stocked with a constantly updated selection of toys from popular kid’s brands such as Play Mobil, Lego and Nerf. There is also a selection of monogrammed goods, imprints, greeting cards, board games and holiday decorations. Throughout the years and continuing into today, this unique combination has succeeded in creating a loyal customer base for the store especially during the busy holiday seasons. The store traditionally extends its hours during the holidays starting in early November. During Easter, the store’s busiest time of the year, Glazner decorates hundreds of Easter baskets for returning customers who have cherished them year after year.


Mary Anne Glazner’s family has owned Smith’s since 1976; the store was founded in 1950. Photo by Anne Wood.

Like many Mountain Brook store owners, Glazner noted that her work with the people of Mountain Brook stands out. “Meeting customers, helping them find what they are looking for, and getting to know them personally are my favorite parts of Smith’s,” she said. Smith’s also puts on a couple of events

near the holiday season that consistently bring customers to the shop. Kids can test out the store’s toys before writing their wish lists at the annual “Play Day” in November. There is also always a “Play Day for grown-ups,” as Glazner says, in their nighttime open house, complete with wine and other refreshments for shoppers.

A new fragrance honoring Mountain Brook is now available at Smith’s Variety. Southerness Historic Candles created the scent by observing original drawings of Warren H. Manning rendered in 1926 for Robert Jemison as well as other elements of Mountain Brook. “The fragrance is pure, clean and green capturing handpicked, indigenous botanicals like the willow, oak moss, mistletoe leaves and berries, and native hydrangea,” said Southernness founder Ben South. “The color of Mountain Brook-Original Green-1926 is a discreet, sophisticated sage green.” To South, who moved to Mountain Brook in April of this year, creating a fragrance based on the area seemed natural. He immediately sensed Mountain Brook’s distinctive southernness, based on his trademarked “signs of being Southern”: tradition, family, heritage, hospitality, nature, passion and pleasure.



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Sunday – Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Crestline Village residents have long been accustomed to slowing traffic on Church Street, but a new arrival on this strip has folks slowing down even more: Taco Mama. Otey’s Tavern owner Will Haver has recently opened Taco Mama at 63 Church Street in the former Crestline Seafood location. Although Otey’s specializes in fantastic burgers, beers and music, the idea of a small taco joint had been in Haver’s mind for years. “There’s really nothing else like this in Birmingham,” he said. “We aim to please our friends and fellow Mountain Brook neighbors but hope the word will spread to other Birmingham residents.” The menu is thoughtfully laid out with build-your-own options on one side and standard specialties on the other. Easy choices include any one of the burritos like the Cheezy Beef, the vegetarian Tree Hugger or seafood-filled Hippie. Tacos are smaller in size, meaning you can mix-andmatch several varieties to create a meal: pork, chicken, steak or fish. Diners looking to get creative can freeform their meal, customizing each layer in the process. Taco Mama recommends starting with “The Form,” or the base model – burrito, low-carb burrito bowl, nachos or tacos. Next, select the protein or “The Cornerstone” for your meal: veggie mix, chicken, pork, barbacoa, steak, BMC_DEC_hello-10x7.5.pdf 1 11/18/11 grilled shrimp or flounder. Add one of five

Manager Cameron Wallis and owner Will Haver in the newly opened Taco Mama in Crestline. Photo by Jennifer Gray.

sauces, mild Ranchero to Blistered Tomato Habanero, and then you are ready for “The Particulars.” Choose any three to truly make the meal your own: cilantro-lime rice, pinto or black beans, sour cream, pico de gallo, lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, onions, corn, jalapenos, grilled onions or cilantro. With this much to choose from, it is going to be hard to narrow down a favorite. Will Haver is a busy man and pretty thorough when it comes to restaurant menus. To perfect his ideal Taco Mama 2:46 PM taco bar offerings, he enlisted the help of

longtime friend Tim Hontzas. Hontzas comes from a strong Greek family, many of whom are also in the restaurant business locally, so good eating is practically part of his DNA. But to round out that natural ability, for more than eight years he worked the kitchens of Big Bad Breakfast and City Grocery, owned by culinary-rockstar John Currence in Oxford, Miss. “Today’s diners have more to choose from and they are savvy in what they really want,” Hontzas said. “Any restaurant can serve up jarred salsa or heat up

| December 2011 |




commercially-made rice, but making each item from scratch is what sets Taco Mama apart.” The menu is rounded out with salads and house-made dressings, chips and salsas, kids choices and desserts. It would be hard to ask for more from a little taqueria on the corner, but, just like those late night infomercials: “Wait! There’s more!” Taco Mama has a full bar, including what is soon to become a legendary margarita. Made only with fresh ingredients, it is sure to inspire a following all by itself. The restaurant also offers traditional Agua Frescas, sparkling waters enhanced with orange or cranberry juice. Very refreshing. Haver is looking forward to the next few months as Taco Mama finds its groove and puts together the perfect neighborhood mix, even if his right hand man, Rodney Davis, will stay at the grill at Otey’s. “I haven’t found my ‘Rodney‘ for Taco Mama yet,” Haver said. “He’s really oneof-a-kind, and I wish I could clone him. But Taco Mama is unique. We make everything ourselves, from scratch, in-house.” Even the salsas? “Yes.” Even the tortillas for the burritos? “Yes. Most we’ll make with traditional corn but we can do flour ones too.” So, while it might be cold outside right now, it is easy to take one look at Taco Mama and see yourself there, enjoying a relaxing meal with your favorite people. Those new roll-up garage doors Will installed up front are just begging to be opened to a warm spring evening. So, if the traffic starts to slow, just park the car and come inside. Come inside, order a margarita and enjoy the view. Christiana Roussel lives in Crestline and enjoys all things food-related. Follow her culinary musings on line at ChristianasKitchen. com or on Facebook or Twitter (Christiana40).



December 2011 | Village Living

Christmas babies By KAYLYN ALEXANDER

What’s it like to share your birthday with the biggest holiday of the year? We asked these Christmas babies to tell us.

Isn’t that a nice change?

Melissa Seton Although Melissa Seton is a Christmas baby, her family has always made certain that her birthday and Christmas were celebrated as two distinct holidays. As a kid, Seton’s parents gave her a birthday party about two weeks before Christmas, just when winter break began. “My family always made sure that my birthday was very special,” she said. “My grandmother would always bake me a German chocolate cake until she passed away, then my mom did. Sometimes a Christmas theme would be incorporated with my birthday, like one year my parents

put Santa and his sleigh on top of my cake. Then we would use Santa and the sleigh as a Christmas ornament for the tree.” Even today Seton’s family commemorates her birthday as separate from Christmas. The mom of three typically wakes up on Dec. 25 to her children wishing her a happy birthday before the Christmas festivities begin. Melissa is content with being a Christmas baby and always has been. “When I was little, my friends thought it was so cool to share a birthday with Jesus. Today, no one ever forgets my birthday.”

Melissa Seton celebrated her 15th birthday at a family birthday party on Christmas Eve complete with her German chocolate birthday cake. Photo courtesy of Melissa Seton.

table matters good earth pottery signing event!

saturday, december 10 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. come & meet richie & carlos from the good earth pottery from starkville, mississippi! it’s a great time to get special gifts personalized for the holiday season! m-f 9:30-5:30 sat 9:30-5:00 2402 montevallo rd mountain brook village 205.879.0125

Alex Roberts Alex Roberts was supposed to be born on January 7, so when he greeted the world on Christmas day, it was the best Christmas present imaginable for the Roberts family. “We even took pictures of him in a stocking!” said his mom, Amy. Alex, age 6, thinks having a birthday on Christmas is awesome because everyone remembers his birthday. “All the presents are definitely worth the wait,” Alex said. Alex has parties with his friends a few days before Christmas, which have even featured appearances by Santa. “One year we made gingerbread houses, and everyone got to sit on Santa’s lap,” Alex said. “This year, I’m hoping to have a laser tag party.” On Christmas, the Roberts intertwine Christmas and Alex’s birthday by having a Christmas birthday dinner. After dinner, Alex opens birthday presents and his big brother, James, tries really hard not to be jealous. Alex thinks it’s pretty cool to share a birthday with Jesus; after all, December 25 is a truly special day for him. Butch Barron Butch Barron is one of five in the Barron family who has a birthday in December, though he and his grandfather share a notable birth date: Christmas. “When I was little, we would eat dinner with the entire family, and I got to sit at one end of the table and he sat at the other...I felt like a grown-up!” Barron said. To his dismay, Barron’s family always celebrated his birthday at least two weeks before Christmas while he was growing up. The best present he ever received was when he turned 10 and got a motorcycle. He rode 30 miles in his backyard that first day. Now that Butch and his wife, Laura, have children, his family typically celebrates his birthday on Christmas Eve. Butch’s most memorable Christmas is when he and Laura celebrated their first Christmas in Venezuela. “It was 105 degrees outside,” he said. “We felt so bad for Santa in his full suit!” Barron loves having his favorite sheet cake from Pollman’s Bakery in Mobile—his hometown—to celebrate, but the icing on

Alex Roberts shares his sixth birthday with Santa last year. Photo courtesy of the Roberts family.

Butch Barron prepares to eat his 40th birthday Christmas cake with his mom, Ann Eastburn. Photo courtesy of the Barron family.

the cake is being with family and friends. “Having my birthday on Christmas is really great…everyone remembers. I get many calls from people that I haven’t heard from in years. It’s special.”

Around the Villages

| December 2011 |

Around the Villages

Villager Yoga opening soon Family yoga studio Villager Yoga will open in January in the Overton Road Shopping Center near Magic Muffin. The studio will offer classes for mommy and baby, mommy and toddler, kids starting at age 3 and adults. “The goal is to be a place where the whole family can practice yoga,” said owner Annie Damsky. The studio will also host birthday

parties and baby showers as well as sell yoga apparel and other items. Registration for classes will be available starting in late December at www. Villager Yoga is located at 3150 Overton Road, Suite 8. For more information, email, call 914-2428 or visit and www.

Pop-Up gallery in Mountain Brook Village Mountain Brook native Mila Hirsch is opening Birmingham’s first ever pop up shop in Mountain Brook Village. The Mila Hirsch Gallery, specializing in southern heritage pieces combining fresh flowers and home décor items, will be open throughout the month of December. A popular trend in large cities, a pop-up shop is defined as a retailer that opens in an empty space to display items for a limited time. Mila Hirsch Gallery offers images depicting a mainly traditional palette with a few contemporary colors. Hand painted


Chamber economic forecast luncheon The Mountain Brook Chamber of

Commerce will hold its quarterly luncheon on the Economic Outlook on Dec. 8. The panel of accounting and banking experts will answer questions that impact you and your business and provide insight on economics going into 2012. Panelists will include representatives from Borland

& Benefield, CPA, Bryant Bank, First Commercial Bank, Regions Bank and Sterne Agee. The luncheon will be held at Park Lane in English Village. Doors open at 11 a.m., and the luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Registration is available at www.

Village to Village run set for Jan. 21

originals and giclee on canvas will be sold. In addition to her retail focus, Hirsch has donated many pieces of her artwork to charitable organizations, such as the UAB Charity Art Blink, Mitchells Place and the Camp Challenge in Washington, D.C. Mila Hirsch Gallery is located at 2721 Cahaba Road, Suite 120. The gallery is open Monday through Friday until the end of December. Pieces range in price from $45 to $2,500 and are available for purchase in store or at For more information, contact Mila Hirsch at 4132448.

New bank branches opening A new branch of Southern States Bank is scheduled to open in Office Park right off Highway 280 on Dec. 12. The community bank is based out of Anniston. They are located at #7 Office Park Circle and can be reached at 877-095. For more information, visit www.ssbank. com.

Iberia Bank is opening its Mountain Brook Village location at 2524 Cahaba Road the week of Dec. 5. It can be reached at 8035915. A Crestline location on Euclid Avenue is also scheduled to open in the spring of 2012. For more information, visit www.

Village to Village Race Director Beth Nigri, Dr. Larry Lemak and President Amy Jackson of presenting sponsor Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, Sam Dean of Gold Level Sponsor Trinity Medical Center, and Race Committee Member Tricia Drew are preparing for the 2012 race. Photo courtesy of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce.

Village to Village 10K and 1-mile Fun Run will wind through Mountain Brook neighborhoods on Jan. 21. The 10K starts at 8 a.m. and the fun run at 9 a.m. Prizes

will be awarded in all categories at the afterparty. Registration for the races is available on

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN... BUBBLES AND OYSTERS FOR $48! it’s oyster season, and to celebrate, dyron’s is offering our very best seasonal varieties on the halfshell paired with the perfect champagne from our extensive menu. from now until new years, try our perfect pairing for only $48 Champagne Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition 1er Cru (375mL) One Dozen Fresh Shucked Oysters on the 1/2 Shell and don’t forget about our lowcountry happy hour, t-f from 4:30-6:00PM

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December 2011 |

Village Living Calendar

Mountain Brook Events 12/3-4- 2nd Annual Jewish Film Festival. The Edge 12 Theatre and LJCC. or 879-0411. 12/4- Annual Holiday Parade. 3 p.m. Mountain Brook Village. More information: 871-3779. 12/4- Made-in-Haiti Sale. Little Savannah restaurant. Items from Haiti such as aprons, napkins, bags, skirts, pillows and pillow cases, honey, Christmas candles, Haitian art, and more will be available to buy. All profit goes into Haitian pockets. More information: 381-3553 or 12/4- Dolores Hydock and Bobby Horton set to Perform 3rd Annual Southern Tales. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Linn Henley Lecture Hall at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. More information: or Phyllis Sutton at 414-3958. 12/5- Frederic Sage Trunk show. Bromberg’s Fine Jewelers. Mountain Brook Village. Come meet Sage in person! More information: 871-3276. 12/5- John Hardy Trunk Show. Bromberg’s Fine Jewelers. Mountain Brook Village. More information: 871-3276. 12/5- Mountain Brook High School Choral Concert, Mountain Brook High School. 7 p.m. More information: 12/6- Mountain Brook High School Band Concert, Mountain Brook High School. 7 p.m. More information: 12/8- Economic Outlook Luncheon. Panel dialog with accounting and banking experts Borland & Benefield, CPA; Bryant Bank; First Commercial Bank; Regions Bank; and Sterne Agee at Park Lane in English Village. Doors will open at 11 a.m. More information: 871-5551. 12/8- Open house with artist EMYO. Mulberry Heights. More information: or 870-1300. 12/8- Open House at Pants Store in Crestline. Specials and refreshments all day. More information: 699-6166 or 1800-239-PANT(7268). 12/8- 3rd Annual Holiday Open House at Village Dermatology. T More information: 877-9773 or www. 12/8- Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour. The tour features four homes in Mountain Brook, Homewood,

and Vestavia Hills and benefits the Samford University Legacy Scholarship. More information: 726-2247 or www.

12/22-23-MBHS Girls Basketball. Huntsville Times Tournament. 12/28-30-MBHS Girls Basketball Team at Gardendale Tournament.

12/9- ZooLight Safari Opening. Light decorations, crafts, a carousel and train to ride, and, of course, the animals of the zoo. Birmingham Zoo. More information: www.

Music, Arts, and Theater 12/9-11-The Nutcracker at Birmingham Ballet. Tickets can be purchased through the BJCC or by visiting www.

12/9-10- HollyDay Magic. 4-6p.m. Little ones, ages 5-11, can make their own gifts and ornaments largely from natural materials. Birmingham Botanical Gardens. More Information: Phyllis Sutton at 414-3958 or psutton@

12/10-Freeform, a delightful mix of dances. A Children’s Dance Foundation. Tickets are free, but required because seating is limited. All ages welcome. More information:

12/12- Holiday Sales at Once Upon a Time begin. More information: or 870-7772. 12/13- Mountain Brook Chamber TweetUp Tuesday. Location TBA. More information: 871-3779. 12/20- JOY Club Hanukkah Lunch. The JOY Club is the senior adult program at the LJCC. Also, Cantor Gale, of Temple Beth-El, will entertain at the luncheon singing Hanukkah songs. More Information: or 879-0411. 12/21- Community Hanukkah Candle Lighting. Food, dreidel games, and the candle lighting will take place at the LJCC in the Sokol Fitness Center lobby. More information:,, or 879-0411. 12/21-23-The 48th Annual Living Nativity. Mountain Brook Baptist Church. This long-running Mountain Brook tradition is known and loved by many Mountain Brook residents. More information: 871-0331.

Sports 12/6-MBHS Girls Basketball game vs. Hewitt-Trussville. More information: 12/8-MBHS Boys & Girls Basketball teams play against Shades Valley High School. 12/9-MBHS Boys, Girls, and Girls JV Basketball teams play Thompson High School. 12/13-MBHS Boys & Girls Basketball teams play Ramsay High School. 12/21-MBHS Boys Basketball team at St. Pius, Mountain Brook Holiday Tournament.

12/16, 18- Home for the Holidays presented by Opera Birmingham. Tickets: $20-45. Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. More information: 322-6737, www.

Family & Kid’s Events 12/10-Snowball Snack at Ruffner. This treat is tasty and so fun to make. Come out to the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, at any point during the day, to make your own free snowball. More Information: 833-8264. 12/11-Little Naturalists at Ruffner. Each moth, Little Naturalists will focus on a different topic. Suited for Kindergarten-2nd grade, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-ins welcome. More information: 833-8264. 12/22-Winter Solstice Hike. The hike is moderate, lasting 3 miles total. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Tickets/ reservations are required. More Information: 833-8264.

Special Events 12/1-1/8-Winter Wonderland Exhibit at the McWane Science Center. Featuring “snow,” toys, crafts and more, the Winter Wonderland Exhibit will have something for everyone to enjoy. More information: 12/7-Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fundraiser. Birmingham Salvation Army. The Fundraiser will feature entertainment in the form of a storyteller, jewelry sale, bake sale, pecan sale, and craft sale. More information: 328-2420 or

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| December 2011 |



Village Living

an do


December 2011 |

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For more information on these fine properties, search by address.

Luxury GENERIC-280Living DEC11.indd 1

11/22/11 10:59 AM

Village Living December 2011  

News, sports, and entertainment for Mountain Brook, Alabama