Friday, December 30, 2011

Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Rude, Impolite Bullies.

I often chose to use my blog as a place to preserve joy and memories to always have to look back on and for my girls to cherish as they grow older.  I like to use Haus of Girls as a place to encourage, enlighten and give hope to other moms that are busy, multi-tasking and, at times, overwhelmed,  just like myself.

But today I feel the need to write about a few things that have been weighing heavy on my heart as I often find myself looking around at the next generation of children with great sadness.  

I want to reach out to other moms and encourage them to be the best they can be.
To not give up and throw in the towel just because this is what society is telling you to do.

Everywhere I look, parents seem to be filling their children with things, PRESENTS.
However, what your children need is your PRESENCE.  For you to be there. 
For you to WANT to be there.

Everyday I see the lack of PRESENCE in so many kids’ lives that is leaves me speechless.
Therefor, I type.

I type to any and all who will read and make a change to be a better parent. 
Our future needs you to step up to the plate and raise kind, loving members of society who FEEL LOVED.
Not self-centered children who are desperate for attention and love seeking it in all the wrong places, pushing others down to get ahead in life, struggling to discover who they are by bullying and being cruel.

If more parents took the time to invest in their children’s lives and spirit, rather than investing in their wardrobe, fancy cars or image, I would have hope for our future.  But unfortunately, that is all I see around me.   Sad, overwhelmed, unfulfilled adults unable to emotionally fulfill their duties as a parent.  Leaving their sweet children in the dust. 

Remember the song, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys?”
I feel like my message, if it were a song, would be “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Rude, Impolite Bullies.”

Our future depends on all you moms and dads.
Invest in raising your children to be good, kind and loving human beings.

A fun thing that I did to bring back old school politeness earlier this summer was a politeness marble jar.
Every time I hear one of my girls being polite, especially saying “yes ma’am” rather than the awful, “yea” or “uh-huh” I give them a marble in their special jar.  Once it’s filled they get to pick out a prize.
They love when I catch them being polite and the sound of the marble dropping into the glass jar.
It reinforces positive behavior in a fun way rather than always harping on their bad behavior.

marble jar

It has worked really well for our family.  One day this past fall, a teacher that works at my big girls’ school ran into my Mom at the salon.  When she found out that Sophie was her granddaughter, she referred to her as the “most polite little girl in the school.” 

dad and girls eureka days

This made me so proud.
Proud of the way my girls represent our family and what we stand for.
Proud that they choose to make good choices, even in a world that makes it so easy not to do so.
Proud that Steve and I have made it our first priority to instill behaviors in our children that effect everyone around them in a positive uplifting way.

Since I spend my days surrounded by children, I know how wonderful it feels when a child is respectful, polite and kind to me, as well as their friends.  When I hand them something and hear the sweetest, “thank you, Marta!” it makes my day.

Today, I am challenging you to bring back the basics in life that are meaningful and reintroduce them to your children and home.  For example, teaching your children the importance of treating adults with kindness and respect, not being rude and playing on your phone during a family get together,  writing thank you notes,  showing people love rather than an attitude, saying please and thank you and overall being happy for others.

Where have these things gone? 

I like to dream about growing up in the 1950’s when life was simpler. 
Like in “Back to the Future.” Best movie ever. 
Life was not about things.
People cared about others, not just themselves…except Biff. 
Mamas raised their children to be respectful, thoughtful and kind, not self-centered and superficial only caring about the latest and greatest iPhone.  Barf.

Stop and think about who you want your children to become rather than what makes your life easier in the moment.  Raising loving and kind children is not easy, but it’s worth the extra effort in the end when you look back at your life when you’re 85 years old sitting in a rocking chair.

Sure handing them a video game or phone keeps them entertained and makes your life less stressful for the moment.  But will it truly create happy and whole human beings?

In the end you will ask yourself “Did I give my children enough love and encouragement and the tools needed to be good people? To be a good friend not a bully? To be an encourager not a spirit breaker?”

I’ve worked with children for five years in my home and have had my own children for almost eight years.
What I have noticed over the years is heartbreaking.
Broken spirits, sad and snippy children who aren’t respectful to their parents or adults, unhappiness that leads to putting down other children. 
I’ve seen this all first hand.  With my own eyes.  When I see a “friend” of my daughter’s put them down for liking something that they don’t like anymore because “it’s for babies”,  or arguing about something they know nothing about because they are just crabby and sad, it breaks my heart for our future and for my daughters.  I want them to surround themselves with positive happy loving friends.  But I often wonder, are there any of these left for them?

Luckily I had three of them, my sisters, and needed not to search far. 
I am so thankful my girls have each other.  But, maybe this can be a wake up call to all the parents to make a change.  It’s NEVER to late to start. 
Politeness boot camp, talking with them about the true meaning of living a life filled with happiness and being a GOOD FRIEND. 

I say this everyday to my girls as they leave me, BE A GOOD FRIEND.

I am creating a challenge to encourage more parents to do the same.
Let’s do all WE can to stop bullying and hurtful behavior and words. 
Take it upon yourself to be a better role model and encourager of the kind of behavior you should expect from your children.  Don’t let them get lost in the shuffle. 

Too many children are being hurt with words these days.
Smashing spirits has become a new hobby.  It was not like this when I was growing up. 
Let’s change this bullying, sassy, impolite epidemic.  It starts with you.

Challenge 2012

So please won’t you join me?

What are a few things you could change in your home to encourage better behavior from your children?
Maybe it’s as simple as opening the lines of communication about how important it is to treat people kindly?
Or that words and negative comments are just as hurtful as physically hitting someone.

Link up your posts on this and let’s make a difference in 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Joy to the World


JOY to the world. Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011.
It came and it went and now I’m going to pout all week. 

However,  I did receive the most amazing Christmas gift from my mom and dad,  which has helped to cheer me up a bit.

A Breville juicer.  Get one.
I’ve already used it several times and my post-Christmas depression seems to be easing ever so slowly.

ducky boots

This little girl helps as well.
Gracie, proudly wearing several of her favorite Christmas gifts all day, ducky rain boots and a fancy tutu, can be found reading her new favorite books in her favorite reading chair.  All. Day. Long.

I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas.
I’m off to chug a “mean green” juice for dinner.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reason #4,561,230,625 Why My Life is Rad


As many of you know, I live for summer, but lately the tides have slowly be turning here at Haus of Girls.
This December has been filled with more joy than I can ever recall in past Decembers.
I’ve been a mom for seven and a half years, but this Christmas season seemed extra joyful in the mommy department.

Maybe it’s because each day, I take the time to remind myself how lucky I am, more that I have in the past.
Lucky to spend everyday at home.  Never having to rush anywhere.
I get to spend every minute of every day with Gracie, except when she’s at school.
I get to see my two big girls off to school and welcome them home as well every single day.
I can’t imagine anything different.

The memories I am making with my girls seem more  important and meaningful  as I age.
At thirty- two I  probably  have over five billion laugh out loud moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
They make my life perfect filled with very few regrets.

And here are a few other reasons why I’ve been so joyful this month….


I get to witness my girls excitedly search for “Clyde” every morning.


I happily get to bake for my sweet clients and friends while all ten children sleep at one time.


I get to laugh all day at this crazy girl who is really into “layering” this winter.
She has NINE shirts on in this picture.


I get to eat hundreds of candy canes while my sweet hubby keeps refilling the supply on our tree.


I get to anxiously wait for Gracie to wake after finding her at 11 pm fast asleep with underwear on her head.  When she finally awoke at her usual time, 8:45 am, she decided to keep the undies on as they “really keeps my hair out of my face, mom.”


I get to enjoy an early evening tea party.



I get to sew my girls fun shirts and then take 2,000 pictures of them posing in the cold.
They hate me now, but will love me when they are grown.


I get to make fun little presents for my girls to hand out to all their teachers at school…. PE, art, music and even the bus driver.  I’ve always tried to teach my girls how just a simple gesture goes a long way.
Making someone smile and feel appreciated is one of the most important things in life.



Speaking of feeling special, I received the most amazing and thoughtful Christmas gifts from my clients this year.  I wish they could know how much this means to me.  From wine, to a pedicure, to handmade thank you notes, to an amazing book (one thousand gifts)  I can’t wait to read, I am so grateful and thankful.
For them to take the time out of their busy schedule to do something kind for me, has me smiling from ear to ear.   For them to make me feel noticed and appreciated for caring for their  sweet children all year,  is absolutely the best feeling in the world. 


I even get to lock my self out of Steve’s car when attempting to finish up my Christmas shopping.
The good thing about that was that I was at Target.



As usual for this crazy family, there have been several nights out filled with fun.
This particular night we were celebrating my mom, as well as my brother in law Austin’s birthdays.
We started at the Burger Bar, then moved into the attached casino, got kicked out of there, and then walked down the street to another bar.  Yes, we got kicked out of a casino.  Long story.
We officially entered into a “club,” parents in tow, and had the best time dancing.


I have three best friends (sisters)  who don’t mind my creepy dance moves.
What could be better than that?


Christmas Card 2011

Well, I guess these three are pretty awesome.  

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Water for Christmas and a Winner!

Guess what happened on Sunday?
We funded another well!!!
Can you believe it?

project 320well

We raised $5,130 raised in one week.
So many lives will be changed because of your kindness and willingness to open your hearts and donate!
Thank you to all of you who donated and a HUGE thank you to all who donated to my bundle.

project 320

Project 320 was named because of the verse Ephesians 3:20:
"Now glory be to God! By HIS mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope."

His mighty power at work within us…..
He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we….

Can anything ring more true that what we just witnessed?
On Friday we hadn’t even hit the halfway mark to raising $5000.

But over the weekend, our doubts were crushed and once again, we “accomplished infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.”

Thank you!!!

And, I have a winner for my bundle!!!


#14, Kendra!
You won my “Girls Rule” bundle!

Thanks again to everyone who donated to my bundle and to our well.
What a wonderful Christmas gift this year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

“Girls Rule” Giveaway Bundle: Project 320

Happy Monday to you all!
Are you ready to build another well together?

This is how it is going to work:
For each $10 donation to our Project 320 well page, through the charity:water, you will earn ONE entry to ONE blog giveaway.
There is no limit to how many times, or how many giveaways you can enter, as long as you adhere to the $10/ one entry rule.

One comment = one entry.

Here is what I am giving away this year: "Girls Rule."


1. Plain Jane 5 pack of felt bows from   Kristyn at Chic Baby Rose             


2. Two zip pouches and a pair of adorable fabric covered button earrings from Amber at Good Night Moon the Shop


donation from lilbird2donation from lilbird

3. A “Peace” Vintage Dictionary Pendant & Pretty Flower Coffee Cuff from Jaime at Little Bird Creations.

plum posh1plum posh3plum posh2

5. Several adorable items from Tara at Plum Posh.
A Red Flower Hair Clip with Feather, a Black and White Silk Fabric Flower Clip, three Yoga No Tug
Elastic Pony Tail Holders / Bracelets " Team Edward " and a $10 gift card to Plum Posh Boutique as well!

6. A $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Kindly donated by my sister Maggie’s brand new sister-in-law, Heather McRoy.


7. An adorable clutch wallet handmade by a family friend, Kathy Tucker.

plastic buckets in actionsuperhero buckets dec
8. $20 Store Credit to my Etsy shop, Haus of Girls


9. A personalized light up bucket from Erin at Lizzie Jeans Cookies.


10. A pair of adorable handmade rosette earrings made by my sister Maggie Viefhaus Panter.


11. Two super cute handmade picture frames made by my friend Stacie at EST.

CM Handmade

12. Two items of your choice from Heather at CM Handmade!
The cutest little boys' bowties or bowtie headbands for the girls.


13. A $10 ITunes gift card donated by my sweet friend, Kelly Berg.

eli 1

14.  And finally, how about this adorable Brown Lid…


…and Pink Tee from Kara at Eli’s Lids?
Can you handle the cuteness?!

Amazing right?
I know you want to win it all. So, how do you enter?

One $10 donation to the Project 320 Well equals ONE entry.

First, Donate at the Project 320 Charity:Water page.

Then come back to this post and leave one comment for each entry.
$10 equals one entry.
$50 equals five entries.

*Please make sure that either your email is attached to your profile, or is included in each comment.

Comments will stay open until midnight pacific time on Sunday, December 19th.
One winner will be chosen on Sunday, December 18th.

The winner will receive all 14 prizes in this Girls Rule Bundle of Goodness!

Think about it.....$10 will give one person in Africa clean water for 10 years!
(For us, $10 is 2 Starbucks. Wow.)

charity water

Help build another well this year.
Win prizes & Save lives.
Thank you for making a difference this Christmas!

Don’t forget to go check out the the Project 320 Blog to see all the other fantastic giveaway bundles to be won.

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

‘Tis the Season


For building a well.
Who is ready to help us do this again?

Just like last year, you can enter any of the amazing giveaway bundles that we will have next week by donating $10 to our Project 320 Well.
For every $10 donated, you can enter once to win any of the bundles. 
So one comment = one entry.
Get it? Easy peasy. 

Let’s do this.

I will have a fun little bundle next week that I’m pretty sure every single one of you will want to win.
It will be filled with clutches, zipper pouch wallets, dresses, Starbucks, rosette earrings and more!

Until then, here’s a little Christmas cheer from Haus of Girls.
Gracie Lou, brilliantly performing a rendition of Jingle Bells in her very own unique  sing-mumble fashion.


Monday, December 5, 2011

It’s OK to be Different.

It's ok to be different horse photo

                                                       Photo taken from here.


Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of things like this.
It’s ok to be different.  It’s ok to be yourself. 

I showed this to my girls tonight, who are a tad bit obsessed with horses, and it was cute to see their faces light up.  They all wanted a copy framed and on their wall immediately.
Then after the oooohhs and ahhhhs, we talked about the photo and what they thought about it.

Mia loved how the “different” horse was black because, just like Black Beauty, black horses are her favorite.
Sophie felt it was the perfect example that not all of us look the same on the outside, but that doesn’t matter as much as what’s on the inside.  
Gracie cheered, “go horsies, go!” and started yelling “giddy up!” at the top of her lungs while sprinting around our upstairs hallway in her undies. 

Three year olds are my fave. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday JOY

JOY 2011

Hoping your weekend was filled with JOY!

We went to see Santa Claus yesterday and two out of three girls loved him.
Can you guess which little girl did not?

*For only a few more days,  you can get your very own set of my JOY letters in my shop.
They are perfect for your cuties to wear for a fun and unique Christmas card photo!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wedding Recap

I’m baaaaack! Sort of.

What a whirlwind the past few months have been for us!
Between our beloved St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series and my hubby going to almost every home game throughout the series, to planning my sister’s couples costume wedding shower, to spreading joy with the Happy Day project and then finally living it up during my sister Maggie’s actual wedding weekend, it’s been a complete circus. Here, there and everywhere. And I have loved every minute.
And now, it’s almost THANKSGIVING? Seriously?

I want to catch up on some photos from the past few weeks so here we go…


The Day the Cards Became World Champs…. Again:


For game seven of the World Series, my whole family headed downtown to celebrate if they won.
Some of us were actually in the stadium and a few of us were outside pretending to be in.
They won and we had so much fun partying like rock stars (middle-aged ones) with the entire city of St. Louis.

        img_0992 img_0993 img_0995 

The Day of the Couples Shower:


Maggie and Austin kindly took my girls to a park for a few hours so Steve and I could set up for the shower.


And set up we did. Haley made all the desserts like pumpkin shaped peanut butter cookies and mini vanilla wafer sandwiches with peanut butter and banana centers surrounded by sprinkles.
She also made those fabulous candy apples with real sticks from the back yard.
She’s amazing.

img_1015  img_1020

Steve and I were Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf.


Maggie and Austin were Snooki and the Situation.

sisters halloween

Adie was a paper doll and Haley was the Toy Story Barbie.
Such a fun night!


The Happy Day Project:


The girls loved participating in The Happy Day Project.
I mean, really, really loved.
Every morning they would run downstairs to read what our task was for the day.
Since it was the week before Maggie’s wedding, we didn’t quite succeed on all of them, but we did pretty good making so many people smile and feel special.


Fresh baked cookies delivered to some of our favorite neighbors by these three crazy girls.


Handwritten notes to all my faves.

img_1166 img_1178 img_1180

On top of the happy day fun, I helped make some programs, a CARDS holder and some fun hair bling for some super cute flower girls.


We read this book 500 times and broke out the cookie cutters…. and Christmas music.
I love this time of year!

The Rehearsal Dinner:

  img_1224 img_1222

The rehearsal begins.                                                                     My dad, mom, Maggie and Austin listening to this…


This is one of Maggie’s students.
He’s amazing.


Dinner time! 
Maggie and Austin loved the little scrapbook the girls and I made for them.

me and mom rehearsal dinner   Me and my momma.


The Wedding Day:


Salon fun.


I loved my hair so much.
Thank you Elli!

img_1257 img_1260 img_1264

And Gracie loved hers too, all thanks to Aunt Haley’s mad skills.

flower girls

The flower girls all ready to go.

happy couple

The beautiful couple after their I Do’s.

family photo shot at wedding

Family photo, thanks to Hales, after the ceremony.


Taking over Maggie and Austin’s favorite little bar, Chick ‘N Elly’s, after the party bus fun.      
Yes, they have fried Twinkies.                    


Family wedding photos in an old window on the table next to the entrance to the reception hall.



Their guestbook.
Thumbprints along with guest’s signatures on this cute tree Adie drew.  


Wheat centerpieces from Austin’s father’s farm. 

maggie and dad dancing

Father daughter dance. Love.
Also notice the cute wheat boutonniere all the men wore.


Four sisters.
Four married sisters.

 girls and I

Girls rule.
As do the wedding party’s personalized mason jar mugs!


Gracie and her new boyfriend, Bryce.                                    The Michigan groom’s cake made by our friend Erin.


dance floor

Rock concert or wedding reception?


A family tradition.
The “Alligator Dance” to Proud Mary.
Yes, we are rolling on the floor.

steve and I dancing

Steve and I slow dancing like pros.


My parents leading the train throughout the hotel.

cowgirl boots

Maggie’s cute cowgirl boots sparkling like crazy as Austin went in for the garter.

steve and girls dance floor

Late night dance with daddy in their jammies.

white castle crazies

And the perfect ending to a perfect day?
A white castle wedding cake hand crafted by Haley’s hubby, Jimmy.

Claaaaaasic Jimmy.

cake topper pose

The happy couple reenacting the white castle cake topper.

Claaaaaasic Viefhaus family evening full of LAUGHTER, LOVE and MEMORIES.




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