Monday, March 30, 2009

Clear the Stage

This recently changed my life. I thought there was a possibility that if I posted it here it might change yours. Watch the whole thing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Which way is right?

I'm at a crossroad.

Since we've been married we have planed on allowing God to plan our family. That means that I have been pregnant a lot in our short five years of marriage. This has not always been easy. Honestly it's never easy, but it's been the best years of my life! I love having babies and being a mother. I know, without a doubt, that this is my calling in life. I know that God is and always has been equipping me as a mother. My current issue, however, is homeschooling.

Right now I can see my life as two very different paths.

One of those paths leads to me homeschooling our children. I was homeschooled as a 6-11th grader and it was, by far, the best thing that happened to me. It allowed me to find myself at a pretty young age. I loved being homeschooled and wouldn't trade that time in my life for anything. HOWEVER, this is not our reasoning for homeschooling. Our reasoning has always been that we'd choose to homeschool simply because we feel like we will best "train up a child in the way he should go." We don't want to give this HUGE task over to someone else(usually a total stranger) for the majority of the day, leaving us only the few short hours before they go to bed for the night. We'd also like to be able to use our faith as a hinge for all types of learning. Being homeschool would also allow us to travel and see things that we would not otherwise be able to see. I know that homeschooling several children at the same time would be difficult, but I also know that it is indeed possible. This path is going to require many personal sacrifices and a lot of really hard work. I'd also want Scotty to be able to help out, which would mean that he's need to have a job that would allow him to be home a little bit more, which is something that he'd like to do anyway. I am not in any way worried about the social impact of homeschooling. I was much more social as a homeschooler than I was when I was in school. I'm prepared to work on ways to get my kids involved with other children without them being in school. We already are doing some of these things now.

The other path looks much different. It's not better or worse. Just different. This path has our kids in school(probably public). This path would allow me to do more things like volunteering places and maybe even having a school-time job. I love having a "real" job and do miss this sometimes. However, I'll still probably have little ones at home for several more years making this more difficult anyway. The pros of them being in public school are mostly for me. I'm worried about the interaction our children will have with other students and teachers in public school as they have not been introduced to "the world" yet. I also know that my children are being trained NOW to go into "the world" and preach the gospel. We've always seen our responsibility as parents to be trainers of soldiers. Soldiers that will one day fight for what they believe in. I'm just not sure that my five year old is ready for that.

I feel like I'm standing in front of this crossroad with no map, no GPS. I've prayed and prayed and have no real direction at all. I'm asking that God will make the path clear to us. I know that when the time is right the decision will be clear. We'll know the right way for us.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So, after really thinking about it I've figured out why I felt the need to start over. I think that in the past years on Xanga I've become too attached to my "friends." I type up a post with them in mind then sit and wait for them to read and comment.
I've grown to really care for some of the people I've met in the blog world. Even going so far as to meet up with people I've never met in person. The problem is that these people know blog Leslie not Leslie. Although I've never painted an untrue picture of myself, people can only get to know you so well through a computer screen. It's caused me to feel like I need to keep up a proper image of myself even when it isn't REALLY who I am.

Who am I?

That is the question that I'm hoping to answer with THIS blog.

You'll see me raw. Honest. Real. Yes, there will still be a limit as to how much you can really get to know me, but here, I'm writing for me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A fresh Start

So, for the past several years I've been blogging on Xanga. I've loved it, but lately I've felt it was time for a change. I've met so many friends on Xanga and also connected to lots of girls that I've been friends with in the past. It's been great. BUT, I'd like to try something new and see how it goes. I know there are so many more people on Blogger, so we'll see how this goes.

Allow me to introduce you to my family!
I am Leslie Nichole(with an "H") York Smittle. I was born and raised in a small community outside of Little Rock, Arkansas called Morgan/Maumelle. I'm 27 years old, and currently we live in the Central part of Arkansas. I love music and play the piano and harmonica. I love to sing. Mostly loud obnoxious songs to my children. I'd LOVE to sing in musical theater some day. It's on my bucket list, for sure. I have an associates degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor's in Christian Counseling. I stay at home full-time with my children. It's been my life-long goal, so I guess I've got my dream job! I love to laugh, talk, and make jokes. I'm pretty sure I'm funny. I'm thrifty, creative(sometimes), and LOVE to have fun with my family. I'm a momma's girl and love my parents dearly. When I grow up I want to be my Granny, one of the strongest people I've ever known. I am also known as Lester, Les, momma, and baby(among others that will not be mentioned, ASHLEY!)
My husband Scotty and I met in 2001 in Conway, AR at Central Baptist College, where we both attended. We quickly fell in LOVE and were married in October of 2003. Scotty recently graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, where he recieved a Master's degree in Community Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. Scotty works for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences(UAMS) in a division called Kid's First. He is their Behavior Specialist. He works with preschoolers with developmental challenges who also struggle with behavior issues. He's GREAT at what he does and gets lots of recognition from the "big wigs." Scotty is a gentle, sweet spirited, FANTASTIC father and husband. He is an ordained minister, and has dreams to change the world and just might do it some day. He is also known as Baby Boy, daddy, and Lovah!=)
Three months after we were married we found out that our first daughter was on the way, and in September of 2004 we met Olivia Nichole(with an "H"). Olivia is my little clone. She looks, sounds, and acts JUST like her mother. She's sweet to a fault and creative and smart. These she gets from her father. She's currently a "cubbie" in the AWANA program at church. She LOVES her sisters and she wants to be a princess when she grows up.=) . She just got her dream come true when we went to Disney World to celebrate her fifth year! She won't actually be five until September, but we went a little early and had the "time of our life." Olivia is also known as Liv, Livi, Shug, and Lou Lou, and Newt(my dad's nickname for her).
Next in line is my CRAZY daisy, Emma Claire, our two-year-old. Emma Claire was born about a month early and spent a few weeks in the NICU. She's since been the picture of health. She's rambunctious, clever, ornrey, a little whiny, and just about the sweetest thing you've ever seen. She's a natural beauty. She LOVES her family. She also loves cookies.=) She doesn't eat much, but you can't tell. This child is STOUT! Seriously, she's high maintenance, but such a joy and a blessing in our life. We're learning to "speak her language" as my therapist husband says.=) I'm pretty sure she may be our first female president. Emma Claire is also known as Clay-Clay, Cootie(or coo), EmC, and Little Bit.

Last, but certainly not least is Addison Faith. Addison joined us on the fourth of July! Yes, she's our little firecracker. We love love love this baby. She rarely ever cries and it's usually for a reason. She's always slept through the night(even since she was a tiny baby). She's such a joy to watch. She's smiley, and loves to blow raspberries and squeal. It seems that her favorite person is Olivia, although she says "dadadadadadada" ALL DAY! She's currently on her way to turning a year old and is already so active and just about ready to start walking. Addison is also known as Addi, Foofoo, Addi Fae, Addi Fae Foofoo, foootie, and Sparkles.

We get lots of questions about our family. Mostly, "Are you finished?" Nope. We love our kids and think they are a blessing from the Lord. We'll just keep letting Him bless us with them. Does that make us crazy? Probably, but we are called to the job. When God calls, He ALWAYS equips...
My parents are Scottie and Ruth Ann, who still live in the area where I grew up. My dad is a shop manager for a transmission building company and my mom works as a church administrator. They are fantastic grandparents to my girlies, and love my husband as if he were their own son. They have three children including me. They've been married for almost 30 years. They've just recently acquired an empty nest and are(so far) loving it!=) They are also known as Nana and Pop.
I have a younger sister, Emilie, who just recently got married to Brian. They live in Maumelle, and Brian is a Fire fighter in North Little Rock. Emilie is in school and also works for Arkansas Children's Hospital in management(I'm not really sure of her title). They have two cats, Harry and Larry. They're fat. The cats, not my sister and her husband!=) They also have a bull mastive nameed Duke and a baby puppy named Bella. They are also known as Em, "Aan Emm", Auntie Em, and Unkee Brian, "Bine."
I also have a younger brother, Scott. He looks like me in boy form. He's a recent high school graduate and works for Game Exchange. He lives with my grandfather, Scottie(yes, there are a lot of Scott's/Scottie's in my life!). Scott likes to talk. A lot.=) He's had some rough patches in his life, but has great potential and lots of God-given gifts. I know that he could some day rise above and beyond anything we could ever hope for him. He is also known as Uncle Scott, and "cott".
My BFF is Ashley. She's been in my life for close to ten years. She is my sister from another mister and the ONLY one I can and will sit and talk on the phone with for hours. She loves her family and mine and also LOVES my girls. She's been my sunshine on several cloudy days. She has a job that she loves and would also love to be a wife and mother someday. She's hysterical and has so much energy. If we believed in polygamy she'd be my husband's second wife. This is a joke, but he does like her cooking.=) She is also known as Sash, Aunt Ashley, Ash, and on one occasion when Olivia tried to say "Ash", A%$!!=) I have other great pictures of you, but this will forever be my favorite. I guess that's about it. I could go on and on about favorite TV and stuff, but then there would be nothing for you to learn! I'm so glad you've joined us! Enjoy!