Friday, July 29, 2011

First Lady Dianne Bentley commented, "When you are young you think you need one best friend. Then when you allow your heart to open up God will show you many friends." 

As First Lady, God is bringing many new friends into her life. Each of these friends meets a different need but all are treasured. She received this email titled, "Circle of Friends," that she wanted to share. She is looking forward to her journey as it continues and all of the new friends that she will meet.

            “One friend is needed when you are going through things with your mom,
Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities
            Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hunt, joke, or just be
            Another friend will say, “let’s cry together.”
            Another, “let’s fight together.”
            Another, “let’s walk away together.”
One friend will meet your spiritual need,
            Another your shoe fetish,
            Another your love for movies,
            Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
            Another will be your clarifier,
            Another the wind beneath your wings.
But whatever their assignment in your life,
            On whatever occasion, on whatever the day,
Or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
            Or hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself….
            Those are you best friends.
It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many its wrapped up in several.
            One from seventh grade, one from high school, several from the college years,
                        A couple from old jobs
            On some days your mother,
            On some days your neighbor,
            On others your sisters,
            And on some days your daughters.

So whether they have been a friend for twenty minutes or twenty plus years, thank God for placing them in your life, and thank them for making a difference to you.”

This was given to the First Lady by a special group of friends, her Bible study group in Tuscaloosa. The picture is of the state of Alabama and in each county are words that describe the uniqueness of each location.
Alabama is full of wonderful places, people, and history.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


First Lady Dianne Bentley spent some time on the beaches of Gulf Shores this week. She is happy that the beaches have recovered so well and that tourists are still coming to Alabama to enjoy the white sand and blue water.

While there, she came across a dedicated group working to ensure the safety of sea turtles. These turtles had been buried in the sand to allow time to grow but with the heat, there was a concern that they would not make it to the ocean. To ensure that they could safely make it, many hot hours were spent covering the turtles and laying tarps to direct their path. In the evening, these turtles started their journey to the ocean. If one crawled in the wrong direction, members of this team would direct them back using a flashlight. In the end, all of the turtles made it. Onlookers watched and wished for their safety as they press on in a new direction for their lives.

First Lady Dianne Bentley enjoyed watching and learning about this project and is thankful for the work of all people involved.

South Baldwin Republican Women

First Lady Dianne Bentley traveled to Foley to visit with the members of the South Baldwin Republican Women on Tuesday. A great crowd was seated to hear her discuss the experiences she has had as First Lady. She touched on stories from the tornado and spoke of the incredible hearts found in Alabama. She also told personal stories of how her life has changed over the past few months.

Mrs. Bentley is looking forward to sharing with groups across the state as she continues to serve .

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jimmie's Peaches

There is a stand on the side of Highway 82 that First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor Robert Bentley stop by during their travels. It is home to Jimmie's Peaches. It is one of their favorite spots because of the smiling service, the mouthwatering produce, and convenience. This habit started when Mrs. Bentley was commuting between Tuscaloosa to Montgomery to visit her mother but also continued through the Bentley's gubernatorial campaign and now into their time in office.

Those are that passing through should stop by for a visit and some fruit. After all, no one ever knows when the Governor or First Lady will be passing through.

Special Thanks

Last week, Governor Robert Bentley and First Lady Dianne Bentley attended the National Governor's Association's annual conference. This year it was hosted by the Governor and First Lady of Utah in Salt Lake City.

First Lady Dianne Bentley enjoyed seeing their historic mansion which is four years older than the one in Alabama. The Utah Mansion is made up of beautiful wood carvings, local art, and a gold dome ceiling at the top of the staircase. It was originally the home of a silver baron. She also visited their Olympic park with ski slopes and heard the incredible voices of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Utah's First Lady, Jeanette Herbert was a most gracious host and Mrs. Bentley will look forward to working with her as First Lady.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today is the day after a birthday celebration. First Lady Dianne Bentley celebrated her birthday in Montgomery surrounded by friends and family. Her morning started off with a breakfast at a local restaurant with two of her closest friends. They enjoyed a full breakfast and reminisced about birthdays of the past. At lunch, she went downtown to celebrate with friends from home, friends from the campaign, and new friends in Montgomery. At the end of lunch, the First Lady's favorite strawberry cake was brought to the table. The entire party broke out in the happy birthday song. Her day concluded with a surprise. Her youngest son and daughter-in-law came to have dinner with her and the Governor.

First Lady Dianne Bentley is thankful for all of the kind wishes from the great people across Alabama and wishes everyone a very blessed birthday on their special day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Governor's Garden

First Lady Dianne Bentley is a supporter of Farmer's Markets and local farmers across the state of Alabama. Not only does she support them but she and Governor Robert Bentley could join them. Every year, the Bentley's plant a garden of their own and although they are in a different location this year, it was not going to stop them.
The Governor and First Lady have their own garden to tend to at the Mansion. They planted corn, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, watermelon, and a few surprise plants just for fun. The tomatoes have been the most successful this season and there are always more to be picked each evening. Jim Smith, the Mansion's chef, has gotten creative with different tomato recipes to ensure that no food is going to waste.
The Governor and First Lady said that they will continue to have a garden each year because not only do they enjoy having fresh food, grown in Alabama, but it also saves money. Both have their own opinions of what else should be planted next year but it will be next season before anything is decided on.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mansion Tours

First Lady Dianne Bentley considers it a privilege to live in the people's house, the Alabama Governor's Mansion, while her husband serves out his term as Governor. This historical home was built in 1907 by General Robert Ligon and was not used as a Governor's Mansion until the 1950s. It currently has 27 rooms and is approximately 8700 square feet.

Since it is the people's house, Mrs. Bentley has chosen to continue with tours. Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment. There are also special candlelight tours at Christmas that are open to the pubic. The dates and times for the holiday tours will be announced throughout the state later in the fall.

The most common group to see come through are fourth graders. In this grade, students are studying Alabama history. Schools that are within driving distance consider tours of the Capitol and Mansion a great way to encourage continued learning about government and politics. Although students are the most common visitors, the Mansion has hosted guests of all ages and interests. Over the next years, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Governor Robert Bentley, look forward to sharing their home with people throughout the state.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Childhood Memory

When Dianne Bentley was in fifth grade, her father's job transferred her family to California. She was a very shy young girl and was faced with the task of learning a new place and a new culture. She was not sure how long they would stay but wanted to make friends while she was there.The students at school were fascinated by her accent. They were curious about her and how different her life had been compared to theirs. Sometimes they would call her at night and simply say "talk." It would make her cry and she would feel so embarrassed. It was not that she was ashamed, she just did not want to stick out.
When she returned to Montgomery the following year, her grandmother told her she had lost her accent. She could not understand why or how it had happened so quickly. Mrs. Bentley assumes that it must have been a subconscious effort to try and blend in with the students around her.

Today her southern accent is present in her motherly voice. She is proud of her home and the people that live here. Alabama is full of wonderful people, places, and opportunities for all. She is happy to embrace the southern culture.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Favorite Muffins

This recipe is one of First Lady Dianne Bentley's favorites. These muffins are well known among her family and friends. When her granddaughters come to spend the night, this is always their breakfast request. For early mornings during the Bentley gubernatorial campaign, these muffins were a staple, delicious and easy to take on the go. Now she even makes them in the Governor's Mansion and has chosen to share her popular recipe with everyone.

Wishing all cooking success!

3 3/4 cups of Raisin Bran Cereal
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
1/ Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs, beaten
2 Cups Buttermilk

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix all of the dry ingredients. Mix all of the wet ingredients. Then mix all ingredients together.
Place batter in a greased muffin pan.
For regular size muffins, bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
For miniature muffins, bake at 400 degrees for 10-11 minutes.

*The batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to ten days and baked fresh for each use.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


When First Lady Dianne Bentley still had a Tuscaloosa address, she participated in city-wide recycling efforts. Each Thursday she would collect cans, plastics, and other recyclable materials to place in her blue bin. Being the organized woman that she is, she would take time to wash out each item and make sure it was ready for pick up. After she loaded her bin, she would place it in her red wagon and carry it up to the road to set out by her mailbox.

In Montgomery, curb side pickup is not an option but there are many centers that will take recycled items. Mrs. Bentley is enthusiastic and would like to recycle the products used at the Governor's Mansion. She no longer needs her Red Rider wagon to pull it to the road but she will do her part to make a difference.

Not only does recycling help the environment but it also saves money. In other words, if we recycle more, we can save more. In our state, money is tight and budgets have been cut, but everyone can save a little if they learn to recycle. So no matter how old or young you are, you have a voice and can make a change. Recycling can make a difference.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July for First Lady Dianne Bentley is not only a time to celebrate our nation's independence and freedom, but also a time to celebrate with family.

One of her favorite memories from childhood is of her grandmother's birthday. Not only was her grandmother an important figure in her life, but her birthday was on July 4th. Each year all of the family would gather together in her honor. Mrs. Bentley is the oldest of six children and eighteen cousins, so there was always a large crowd there. They would sit around to visit, play, swap stories, and eat. At day's end, they would sit together and watch the beautiful fireworks display explode into the night sky. For a while, the First Lady thought everyone was gathered, around the nation, to celebrate her grandmother.

Today the tradition continues. The Governor and Mrs. Bentley gather each year to celebrate our nation with family and close friends. However they also celebrate the birth of one of their five granddaughters. Their oldest son and wife had a beautiful little girl eight years ago on the fourth of July. This day will always be special in the heart and mind of Alabama's First Lady.

Wishing everyone and safe and joyful holiday. May God bless our nation and may God bless our wonderful state, Alabama.