Tag Archives: Me and Thee Studios

Telling the Truth Really Does Matter

I’m an educator.  In fact, in 2 weeks I will close the book on my 19th year of instruction.  I love teaching and my current position as a pajama-wearing,  no-nonsense home schooling mommy of a 3rd and 7th grader is some of the most rewarding (albeit challenging) work I’ve ever been a part of!

On the other hand I’m not a salesman; however, I authored a collection of leveled readers that my husband and I self published in March and I find myself with 2 choices:  1) let a storage room full of books sit cold, lonely, and unused or 2) figure out sales and marketing.

The last 8 months have been on-the-job-training with regards to my sales career.  While I still have much to learn, I’m not quite a green as I was at my first home school convention in April 2014.  In particular, I’ve learned much about myself as a salesman and customers in general.

While I’ve not been in this business long enough to make many valid generalizations I can tell you that Telling the Truth Really Does Matter.


My product is very much a niche product.  While our collection is beautiful, unique, and powerful for young children, it’s meant for a very limited audience.  If you don’t have a pre-school child who’s beginning to work on early literacy skills or a K-early 2nd grade reader, you probably won’t be interested in talking to me.  I’ve learned not to waste time (mine or a customer’s) giving my spiel to a mom with 5 teenagers.

In addition, my collection is faith-based.  If you don’t believe that The Bible is God’s Holy Word, this collection is not something you will purchase for your child (although I pray you’re given it as a gift and that your child loves these stories and begs to read them daily).

Not only have I truly internalized the benefits of honestly representing my product upfront, I’ve learned the importance of telling the truth as a customer on the other end of a sale.  A telling example happened just last week.

I asked a middle-aged woman walking past my booth if she had young children, 4, 5, 6 or 7 years old, in her life.   She looked at me with a smile and said, “I bought those books in California last year,” and kept walking.

Honestly, I would have preferred for her to have told me the truth, saying “I’m not interested,” than to have lied.  I know she was lying because the books have only been available for 8 months, I’ve personally done all the sales and marketing for the books, and I’ve not been further West with my collection than Denver and Albuquerque.

Seeing people lie so effortlessly has really been heart-breaking.  I’ve had to guard my heart from becoming skeptical of others, but more painful than that, it’s been convicting for me.

I can think of examples in my own life when I’ve very carelessly given a “white-lie” kind of a response, thinking it was easier than an honest answer might have been.    Have people seen through me as easily as I saw through this woman?  Have I ruined my testimony through the years with my careless words?  Have people thought less of “Christians” and Christ because of my “fibs” or “half-truths”?

Lord, help us speak genuinely and honestly in our conversations with others.  Keep us humble and grant us wisdom in our words that as we speak, our words are measured and are found to be accurate.  I pray that our conversations bring You nothing but joy and the glory You so rightly deserve!  Amen

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For more from Marea, check out Me and Thee Studios’ faith based leveled readers for 1st-2nd graders at http://www.meandtheestudios.com/early-reader-collection.html


For Emma in Particular, Pets Really Do Matter

Last September I blogged about my childhood experiences with pets and the pets we’ve cared for in our home.

In brief, I had 2 outdoor dogs that I neither fed nor played with.  My siblings and I weren’t mean to these animals and my dad was attentive to them, but my mother had been raised on a farm and brought us up to consider cats to be hunters and dogs to be herders.

Our children were not raised on a farm.  They think of animals as friends and companions.  For Emma in particular, Pets Really Do Matter.


We’ve had several pets over the years.  Our family had just survived kitty purgatory last September when I blogged.

A woman I’d taught with knew that Emma had been volunteering at our local veterinary clinic.  She had found 4 kitties and I (Franklin reminded me many times that weekend that this was not a “we” decision) agreed to nurse them for 3 nights until the veterinary clinic opened.

We’d never cared for newborn kittens and learned a great deal from our 3 days in kitty-purgatory.  While he hadn’t been included in the decision to accept the “care for these kitties” challenge, Franklin helped the kids and I make the best of what may well be our worst weekend ever.   We weathered the weekend (with 3 kitty deaths and burials) and were grateful when a more experienced lover-of-cats took the final kitty, Hope, into her home.

I wrapped up my blog with the following paragraph:

Emma turned 12 on Thursday.  Her one gift request was a hedgehog.  I should probably have done more research on the ins and outs of hedgehog ownership before I said yes.  You would think I would have learned a lesson from our weekend in kitty purgatory but again, Emma’s pleading brown eyes tipped the scales.  I’ll keep you posted.

Twix the Hedgehog passed away over night this Wednesday.  She had been abandoned and had lived for 3 years at the veterinary’s clinic before joining our tribe.  She was an old hedgehog when she was adopted, and was a member of our family for 13 months.

Twix was unusually feisty when Emma adopted her.  She would “hiss” and bristle when someone tried to hold her.  It wasn’t long before Twix realized she was well-loved and mellowed, allowing friends and family to hold and play with her.  Emma and Caden treated Twix like a princess.

Twix spend her days swimming in our bathroom sink, crawling on the kids, and “tubing” throughout her kingdom.   She slept on a heating pad guarding her PlayMobile castle inside her 4’x2’ realm in Emma’s room .

Her passing was very quick and unexpected.  We believe she succumbed to Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome, a debilitating condition with an innocuously cute name.

While we were caught off guard by her passing and have shed many tears, I’ve seen a practical side to Emma that clearly marks her as mine.  Having researched Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome, Emma knew Twix would suffer until her death.

Thus ends another chapter in the Smith Pet Chronicles.  Stay tuned.  I’m fairly certain this in not the final entry.