Sunday, January 30, 2011

How Billy with Down Syndrome changed my Life at UpStreet this morning

People always say when they serve in the community they are the ones that are changed.  Today this is what happened to me when I served at Up Street.  I was only filling in for a friend but I am so glad I listened to that nudge inside to agree to serve.  A little background, for those of you who are unfamiliar with my church or Up Street. I am a member of the Buckhead Church and Andy Stanley is the head Pastor over all the Northpoint Community Church.  Up Street is the childcare program for children in elementary school K-5th.  So this is where I was serving this morning as a volunteer.

I never really had any one on one contact with anyone with down syndrome and, we'll call him, Billy changed the way I will think about people with this disability.  First of all, Billy was a really sweet, independent, fun boy who was in first grade.  He didn't want me to tell him what to do, and wanted to make his own decisions.  I loved it, and I had such a good time.  He wanted to dance with all the other children and he loved the glow stick!  (They were talking about being "a light" to the people around them)  He had a pretty good attention span and did an excellent job coloring for any 8 year old. But, he was just so precious and I really enjoyed getting to know him and working with him.  It was really humbling.

During our time together, I asked him if he had any brothers or sisters and he said he had sisters.  At the end of Up Street I was really happy to meet his Father and two sisters.  I could see the way his dad loved him the way they both greeted each other and saw the joy every dad should have for their son.  It touched my heart.  His sisters were with him, just as he said, and they too looked like a joy to be around.  I was just really pleased that Billy had such a loving family.

On another note, I was really happy that my sister-in-love, as we like to call each other as she is my brother's wife, watched the sermon on live at 6:00 pm EST.  She said she really enjoyed Andy's message on the early church and felt like he was very knowledgeable.  Viki, I agree!!!  For more information about my church and our community please check out their website at

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to know a good Skier

Whenever you are learning something new there is a period where you are taking longer to do the task.  I went skiing for a day when I was visiting my family in Colorado, and noticed this taking place as I watched people about to ski.  If you have been skiing you know walking in ski boots you get snow compacted on the bottom of your boots.  A experienced skier can get this snow off the boot very efficiently before they put the boot in the binding.  I ski about once a year and it took me a couple minutes to get the snow off my boots.  I watched other people and other people had similar trouble.  The easiest thing to do is to brace yourself with the poles and kick the bottom of your boots on the bindings. 

Then as you are skiing you can tell a good skier if they can go fast with comfort and make nice turns.  The faster with ease the better.  I think knowing how to ski in different types of snow is also a measure of the quality of the skier.  I was talking to Toby and he said when you are going over lots of powder you need to lean way back.  This is opposed to bending your knees and leaning into the turns.  It will start to burn after a little while in your quadriceps, so it may be necessary to stop.  The more in shape you are the longer you can ski without stopping.  Newer skiers need lots of breaks and lots of time to catch their breath.  The thing you don't realize is when you are in the mountains there is actually less air to breath.  So you are sucking wind and there is less wind to breath!  It isn't easy...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Turning the Other Cheek isn't Easy

It seems like when you are related to someone they really know how to push your buttons.  When you are really close to someone they know all your flaws and failures.  People that know you well know how you have let other people down or how you haven’t achieved everything you might have set out to do.  Some people, then, use your insecurities and imperfections to put you down in their anger.  So, to me, the hardest thing I have to do is to turn the other cheek.  I think it is worth it to not turn anger and criticism at me back at that person.  Sometimes you have to know when to be quiet and when to defend yourself against untruths. 

Admitting that sometimes we don’t know the best way to do something and that maybe we didn’t do something right is also difficult.  I think saying your sorry is a very powerful gesture, but the true test is if you do or act that way again.  Forgiveness is a big gift that people can give to someone in remorse.  Keeping no record of wrong and loving with the same grace that God loves us is the way Christians and God’s people are called to love.  Knowing that people are imperfect and we all make mistakes is just a big part of life.  God calls us to love people unconditionally, and accept all people.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fresh Start, Fresh Snow, Fresh Ice

I am really enjoying my new life being married and recently I left my job.  It was a temporary 3 month contract position, and I wanted to stay fresh on my job skills and get off unemployment.  My contract was up and now I am back looking for another sales job.  I had an interview last week and hopefully will hear back soon on whether or not I get the second interview.

We got 5 inches of snow and ice here in Metro Atlanta.  Now, snow like that in other places doesn't do much to the community or business because they are prepared for it with snow plow trucks and salt trucks.  But in Atlanta we have 10 units of snow plow and salt trucks.  10!!!!!  I can't believe it, for the whole city of Atlanta, they should be ashamed.  On a positive note, our dogs loved playing in the snow.  It got iced over and then it kind of made them nervous because their light bodies didn't break the ice right away.  It was pretty funny.

Kyle took the above picture on his phone when we went to Park Tavern last week to go ice skating.  I will say their French Hot Chocolate is well worth the price!  It was so smooth and they chocolate was so tasty, complete with big marshmallows! Yum!  It was nice to skate around with some friends.  I had never used hockey skates before, and that is what they had so I gave it a try.  Kyle really did a great job ice skating, it had been a while and he picked it right back up.  I helped him stay up a couple times :o)  We had a great time, though and I definitely recommend it!

This weekend I head out to Vail, CO for some fun playing with my niece and cute baby nephew.  Michelle and Steven are the newest members to the Beardsley family.  Steven Vito-Michael Beardsley is being Christened and I am so excited I can take a week and go out there.  My mom is there and my dad just came back, broken bones later.  Kyle will stay here and hold down the fort and I will miss him like crazy but I am taking this time to see my brother's family.  I miss them all the time!  Can't wait, leaving Saturday and coming back a week later!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everything from Locks of Love to a Fabulous Start of a New Year

With the New Year there have been a lot of big changes in my life!  First off I cut 10 inches of my hair to locks of love.  What an experience!  This was my second time doing it and it was the perfect timing.  I went to Gary's Salon right off of Roswell Rd first Rd south of 285 before you get to the Prado Shopping Center.  Better yet his number is 404-250-9651 and he is so fabulous.  It wasn't that much for the best hair cut of my life.  He is the one who styled my hair for my wedding, and I was so happy because we finally got it to stay curled for the whole night, we did two or three practice runs before the big day.  On my wedding day he came to my house, which was really nice and he did hair there.  Well for locks of love it is so important that you get a really good hair cut because it was to my shoulders.  I kind of miss my long hair but love the way it looks now.  It really made me feel confident knowing that I was in good hands.  I went in there with pictures of what I liked and he was able to tell me which would look good on me, then I trusted him!  You have to be able to trust your hair stylist no matter what.  I think it is a very good relationship or at least it should be a good relationship.  Gary is such a great guy!

Then after the great hair cut it was just about time for  the New Years Eve celebration.  A group of about 17 of us started out the night at Taki a Japanese Hibachi Steak House.  It was so delicious!  Our chef James said he had already done 10 tables by the time he was doing ours.  They gave us Happy New Years hats and tiaras!  I wore my tiara the whole night.  We met up with some amazing woman at the Cosmo Lava and then we danced the night away.  Cosmo Lava had a champagne fountain that flowed all night.  I also know Mike O'Kelly with O'Kelly Promotions so I got us all free drink tickets!  I don't drink so Kyle got two free drink tickets.  It was such a good time.  By the time we left the place was so crowded.  Mike also does Cosmo Lava Fahrenheit Friday Nights which are also a blast!  Then we went over to a house party, but we were just a little too late. Our friends were still there but the main crowd had left!  But, all in all it was a great start to a New Year.

The Full Scoop on my Dad's Broken Collar Bone Accident

This is from my Dad who broke his collar bone two days ago:
"Hi everyone!

Most of you know about my bad luck on Monday. I rented skis, and the technician adjusted the binding gap for one boot too wide by four settings. Ten yards out of the very first lift gate, that left ski popped off and I went flying forward headfirst down the hill. I rolled to the right to avoid a face plant and came down right square on my shoulder.

Three seconds of skiing and I sitting on the snow in pain. Snapped my collarbone, a complete displaced fracture. I have been skiing for 20+ years without even a bump or sprain. When Mike's friend Toby noticed the ski settings for the right boot at "O" and the evil left ski set at "W" (see photo att'd), then I became angry because this should not have happened!

So last evening at 6:00 local time I went into surgery at Vail Valley Medical Center. As you can imagine, this is routine for these medical pros. My Orthopaedics group is the same one the Yankees sent A-Rod to for his surgery. I had general anesthesia, plus a nerve block in my right shoulder and arm. They repaired the clavicle with a 3 inch titanium plate and 7 screws. I now have joined the titanium club with Doris! I think she has more screws, though.

The operation went fine and I will be as good as new. I have to stay on portable oxygen until I leave the mountains. My whole right arm was still numb this morning from the nerve block, but that is thankfully wearing off and I can use my hand.

We are just taking it easy today at home with Viki and the grandkids. Little Steven has already gained 7 oz. He eats well, sleeps well and does not cry much. Good baby boy! Michael has had to work every afternoon and evening of my visit.

Doris is staying here 2 more weeks. I am flying home tomorrow, picking up the new Jeep Grand Cherokee (ordered three months ago, delivered yesterday), and heading straight to the annual duck hunt at Walter Gomel's farm in Mississippi.

Jennifer and Kyle are coming with me on the trip. I don't know yet if I will be able to hold a shotgun steady with my right arm, but as a lefty the recoil is on my left shoulder. My surgeon is from Baton Rouge, so he knows hunting, and he cleared me to try it. Hunting is mostly about the camaraderie though, and if I can't shoot I'll take videos and "critique" my huntin' buddies!

I will return home Sunday late afternoon. I hope you are well, and ready for a Happy New Year!! Jed"