Monday, March 20, 2017

Top Ten List: Why Megows Love Spring

10) I can skip the bathtub and start just throwing soap on the kids in the kiddie pool. This year, I'm going try mixing in some No Tears Shampoo/Body Wash in some water balloons and just setting a big bucket in the backyard. I'm gonna call them "clean bombs".

9) Spring means time for me to bust out my cut-offs. Also, it's a terrifying reminder of my growing gut. So that's some motivation to lay off the root beer floats and pork rinds.

Sorry ladies. Say goodbye to this dad bod this spring ;)
Support Groups are available if needed.

8) I'm no longer the scourge of the neighborhood since I finally remove the Christmas decorations off my porch. 

7) It's the perfect time to go digging 'round for some bugs and critters :)

"I found a millipede. I'm going to name his Charles."

6) Tax return season. I have four kids. You do the math. #whowantstogoforicecream #noshameinmygame

5) There's no need for flashlights at night since my skin still has it's neon white glow from winter.


4) Spring means wildflowers. My kids are always picking people wildflowers, and truthfully it's one of my favorite things in the world. 

Cute, squishy, tiny Baby Olive enjoying God's creation

3) Aprils Fool's Day!! Forget Christmas or New Year's. Megows get straight up crunk on A.F.D. Just FYI, no one is safe... ;)

2) Spring Break. Not for fancy vacations or spring cleaning. Mostly, I'm just ultra excited that I don't have to get four kids up, fed, dressed, and ready for school for an entire week. That also means I don't have to worry about tardies for five sweet, perfect days.

1) Finally, it's still cool enough in the evenings to light up our firepit (And speaking of tardies, this is the perfect way to dispose of the school's notifications letters about my kids excessive number of tardies which consequently start arriving around this time of year)

"Burn baby burn... Tardy Inferno"

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Keepin' it Weird

 “Look how weird I drew this dragon. Will you hang it up?” – Stevie
“I like being called weird.” – Neela
“This food tastes weird. That means I like it.” – Titus
“Daddy, you got a weird neck. I love to squish it. It's my favorite.” – Olive

Being weird gets a bad rap in our society. While I don’t view it as derogatory for people to try to be normal, I just think everyone has some stuff about them that’s 100% unique. It’s so sad when people choose not to embrace it. In the Megow house, being “weird” is viewed as something we each strive to achieve. Not to just be weird for weird’s sake, but for each of us to be 100% ourselves. As a parent and a former “weird kid”, it’s so interesting seeing and nurturing my kids’ own individualism. Mostly, I just want to foster a safe place in our home for my kids to be completely themselves. I think one of my main goals is to really, highlight and compliment little things that are uniquely them.

I’m a big believer in the concept of nature vs nuture. Some skills and attributes can be learned or taught; however others are just kinda engrained in our DNA. I like to think every family tree has their own special mini superpower. Whether it is athleticism, organizational skills, musical talent, charm, drive for success, or any multitude of various intelligences, I believe everyone is born with something that just runs in their gene pool. The other day I randomly realized what the Megow family engrained mini superpower was. We are almost all impervious to peer pressure. I’m dead serious. Megows just kind of do whatever the heck they want and really don’t pay much mind to fitting any sort of social mold. If you know my family, I believe you will immediately recognize this. My parents are completely themselves.  As I lovingly explained earlier, they are pretty weird. Tom and Denise just do their own things. My dad wore wooden clog shoes as a nurse anesthetist in the hospital for decades without really caring whatever anyone would think. Just because he liked them. Then transitioned careers to start a local food bank. That career move was a significant decrease in pay. I’m sure he could have measured his career by his peers or people that voiced their strong opposition to his decision. But he just did what he felt led to do.  And well my mom… I have literally never met a person who is so hard to explain with words as Denise Megow. I talk about her (or do my impression of her… which she loves. hahaha) quite frequently with my friends. I love trying to explain her larger than life personality mixed with a quirky artistic flair and a gentleness that can be reserved at times, but it still very evident when it needs to be. She could not care less about whatever you think about her. She is not influenced by your opinion or thoughts on her decision. I freaking love that about both of my parents. They embrace their weirdness.

Tom: "Hey Honey. What should we do for this year’s Christmas Card photo?”
Denise: “I have a good idea. Let’s all go in the goat yard and just kinda see what unfolds on film.”

Megow Holiday Picture Circa 1996

So moving on from parents to me and my crew, I absolutely love the idea of my kids not giving a rip about what other people think. True; there are social norms, common courtesy, and a moral code to uphold, but I’m talking about them just being themselves. If they choose to be interested, dress, act, more mainstream, I’m completely cool with that as well. Mostly, I just want them to be the truest version of themselves. I kinda view it like dancing in public. How many of us dance around the house or in the car listening to music? But when the same song comes on at a wedding reception or social event, we just stand there and stare at the one “weird person” cutting a rug on the dance floor. My goal is for my kids to always be that “weird person”. Just completely void of peer pressure to live life the way they want.

Seth. Keepin' it classy. 

Now, I’m not saying weird people are the best (but we secretly are right? *wink* ) I just wanted to express how much I love when people are truly themselves whatever that may look like. My kids love to wear their clothes on backwards and inside out. They think it’s so fashionable. Do I let them go everywhere like that?  No. But when we go to the park or go out to eat, I let my kids wear whatever the heck they want. When we go to the park, if they want to crawl around on all fours like baby cats and pretend to hawk up hairballs by the swings then I say, freaking go for it. Why not?

I don’t know if it’s my complete lack of influence to peer pressure or if it’s a single dad thing, but I’ve kinda just given on up making my clan fit into a mold of society. Of course, I train them that there are times to conform a little (don’t give your friends cat baths at school or you can’t wear inside-out bathing suit trucks with a tuxedo shirt to church, etc.) However for the most part, if my kids want to do, eat, wear, or act a certain way that’s not inappropriate or disrupting I’m pretty cool with it. I view my responsibility as a parent to be a role model for kindness, love, hard work, integrity, and encouragement. Like I said earlier I still teach them social norms, right & wrong, and appropriate behavior, but besides that I love my kids being themselves, in whatever way that might look.

Seth: "Ok guys. No school today, so you get to come to work with dad,
 and you can wear whatever you want."


Who knows if my kids will decide to go full weird? Maybe they will choose to be like their dad and decide to wear only polyester disco shirts their entire eighth grade year of school. Or maybe not. Mostly, I just want them to comfortable expressing however they choose to be. And one day when they do get called “weird” to be able to confidently look at the person, smile, and say “Thanks. You’ve made my day.” And they just continue on their way…

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

God and Parenting

First things first. I love the diversity in this little “iPad in the dishwasher” readership community.  My goal was to create something that would appeal to an extremely broad spectrum of people. Whether it be: gender, age, socioeconomic status, parent or non-parent, single or married, etc., I love the variety of people that enjoy sharing the experience of life together with the Megows. Another thing that I feel I’m truly blessed with, is a pretty diverse audience when it comes to spiritual or non-spiritual beliefs. I don’t take this as a platform to be preachy nor sway anyone’s opinion by whatever I write. To be fair about 87% of all of this is probably fart jokes and embarrassing dad stories, so I’m not sure how that would relate in that area anyways. While I have my own beliefs and think it’s important for others to have theirs, I’m neither pretty positive that most people simply dislike debating, nor do they enjoy have people try to convince me of anything with “facts”. Most of these conversations end up with people becoming more entrenched in their own ideas and sometimes leave a bitter taste in our mind of the other person or their point of view.  So all of that being said, I want to discuss God and Parenting. Hopefully, that won’t turn anyone off to reading this post, but if it does, I promise the next post will be back to the normal nonsense. :)

I rarely talk about my faith in depth on the blog. Not that it’s not important; to me it’s the most important aspect of my life. Like I said earlier, that’s just not my style. To be honest, I'm not one to initially engage people much on the topic of my spiritual beliefs. Again, that’s just the way I’m wired. I prefer to just live the closest I can to Jesus. My goal is to life in such a way that there’s something refreshing and peaceful amidst this background of the chaos of the world. I truly believe that draws people. (Not that there’s anything wrong with anyone just bluntly bringing up their spiritual beliefs with anyone. In fact, I think that’s great. It’s just not the way I do it. We are all wired differently. Isn't that so neat!!) I love the idea that my life is so radically changed from once was. I love that God made me an encourager. I love the God gave me the gift of joy. I just love the way God wired and continues to wire me. I just love God. I want that love to be curious to anyone who wants to know more. I’ve talked to quite a few people about what I believe once they have asked me about my life. I love to share because it’s shockingly simple. I think that’s also how I incorporate loving God into being a parent.

I think my biggest fear is that my children might see me as a hypocrite. I know that’s pretty blunt, but it’s the truth. I couldn’t imagine a worse scenario for my children’s and my relationship. “Well, dad says this, but dad does this. Dad says God wants us to live this way, but dad doesn’t live like that.” That’s utterly terrifying to me as a parent. They soak up EVERYTHING. My kids can still recall the time I yelled at them 3 years ago for letting the bath water fill the bathroom.  The good and the bad, they just soak it up. So first of all, I make sure that whatever I teach them, I’m actually doing in my own life or else it’s not only going to not be effective, but probably lead to some trust issues and confusion later down the road.

Also, children are so wonderfully inquisitive. My kids love to hear Bible stories or ask questions about heaven, right vs wrong, church, etc. At that young of an age, they just have the ability to sense peace & love and are drawn to that. I love to talk about God with them. I love to talk about why I love Jesus with them. They are quick to ask questions and are already forming their own individual opinions that are probably different than mine. I just think that’s great. I don’t want my kids to just have a copy & paste theology of whatever I believe. I want them to have their own unique God encounters. I can show them building blocks of believing and living like Jesus, but I want them to be passionate about finding out more. In my opinion, if I try to give my kids the full definition and describe the full personality of God that would be doing them a disservice. I think that’s one thing I really appreciate about the way my parents raised me. They gave us basic building blocks, but pretty much encouraged us to get to know Him personally.

Next point. Children have so much faith and willingness to believe their parents. I teach my kids about God, and they want to learn. However, while I believe the faith of a child is probably the most beautiful thing ever, there is such a complexity and just awe about God at the same time. At times it can be just a lot to take in for a little kid. In Sunday school they memorize verses, at dinner we read devotionals; at VBS they do Christian crafts. All of these things teach them about God. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love all of those things. I just don’t want my kids to be drowned in a sea of cute crafts and bible verse memorization games, that they miss real world application. This is my job as a parent. I’m nowhere close to perfect. My kids see my screw up daily. However, I want them to also see me forgive daily. I want them to see me go out of my way to help someone just because. I want them to see dad return cruelty with kindness. I can’t think of a better way to instill a solid foundation of kindness and love. Pretty much, I want them to see me love people because I love God. Then, I want to bring them in, and let them see how incredible it feels to serve others. That’s basically my entire goal. And yes. Wow. That’s such a responsibility. How many people do you know get turned off from their parents’ beliefs because of the behavior of their parents? So yes, I teach my kids. But I want them experience to actually experience serving God and serving others. I want to show them the best way I know how to live a self-less life.

The funny thing is that I believe that my kids are so much cooler than me. I am already seeing them love people so much more intentionally and personally than I could ever imagine. They make it a point to either hug or compliment someone literally everywhere we go. I guarantee they will pinpoint at least one person and shower them with love. Tonight we went to the grocery store and while we were checking out, Stevie peeked over the counter and said to the cashier “I love your name. It’s so pretty, just like your face. Can I give you a hug?” Duh. My heart melted. Speaking of heart melting, this is probably my favorite Megow activity. I’ve never shared it before, but I think now’s a fun time to share. About a year or two ago, we randomly bought a cashier a candy bar when we were checking out. It just made her day. Her face literally lit up with joy. Now almost EVERY time we check out, I let the kids take turns asking the cashier what his/her favorite candy bar is, finding that candy bar amongst the selection near the register, sneaking it into the back of our groceries, and finally after we pay they exclaim with a huge smile “That candy is for you!” I’ve seen cashiers cry before from these little sweet kids picking them out candy and buying it for them. I mean, of course, I’m the one paying. But I’ve just seen this amazing development in their hearts and mind at the checkout. They have shifted from asking for candy for themselves to guessing the cashier’s favorite candy. That’s something I never would have done as a child. They are just so amazing, and I love it so much.

Now I say all of this to say I am far from the perfect example of Godly parenting. I’m still selfish, grumpy, and yell enough to convince myself of that. My kids and I are still learning all of this each day. I wanted to write this post, mostly just to talk about how neat and fulfilling it is to be able to experience all of this as a family. To see my kids grow and flourish in ways I couldn’t even plan or comprehend yesterday. It’s just a gift that we get to experience with each new day. :D

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,