The Cover, The Idea and The Hot Water Pipe!

 

If the last two weeks could have any more packed into it, I wouldn’t have known where to put it!

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It all began with my oldest son, Lynden having his high school band Christmas concert. This year’s performance was held in the smaller gym which made for a tight fit but we made it work! These kids work so hard and sounded incredible! This set off the Christmas feeling for me!

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The following day, I completed my 12th book in a row reading! CAPITAL GAINES by: Chip Gaines is an amazing and heartfelt book written as thought you are right there in your room talking with the author. If you are looking for a book with character and offering a boost to your self-improvement, you must read this book!

Two days later, Lynden rode to Charleston, Illinois to the campus of Eastern Illinois University where he had been invited to play as a member of the EIU Honor Band. He went up that morning and went through an entire day of practice for a performance later that evening. My younger sons, Ethan and Rylen, made the journey with me later that evening to attend the performance and to say that this was anything less than my blowing would be flat out dishonest! This was simply incredible to watch!!

1214171256As the week began to wind down, I went for a run on the coldest day of the Fall. With it only 20 degrees, I got in my four mile trek around the state park and with three layers covering me, nothing was going to stand in my way of getting this one in! I love running at the state park near my home! From the squirrels barking in the trees, the fallen leaves blowing around in the cold breeze or the sounds of geese on the lake, running is nothing but fun and having fun is the name of the game!

1214171354_HDR The running has changed my life this year and when people everywhere began commenting on my weight loss, I could not help but find these two photos and become awe-struck at just how much my mindset has gotten me in one year! August 8th marked the final day that I drank a soda and I have not touched one since that day. A big shout out to my son Lynden and good friend Dr. Coyte Cooper for giving me the right environment at the right moment for the resolve! 50 pounds lost this year!

This week, I have also been blessed with so much time and memories with my children! My sons are the reason for everything and the success that I am discovering is because of the hard work that comes from my love for them and their love for me! I am so blessed!

Next came an idea! The idea for four up-and-coming entrepreneurs, authors and speakers to get together for the purpose of impacting lives! As of right now, the four involved are on board for what will become nothing short of a crazy, impactful and memorable event on the horizon! #boydbarlow #jimmywarr-mize #nicolezeine-cox #levibfox

1220171228_HDRNear mid week, my 13th book arrived and I began to dive right in! THE MAGNOLIA STORY accounts the beginnings of Chip and Joanna Gaines and is a heartfelt read of just what it takes to make life a real success, and I’m not just talking about $. I recommend this book already from the manner it is written and how personal the conversation is between these good people and the reader!

As for the hot water line that had to be replaced under my rental house, my craftsman neighbor climbed under a week ago and put a repair clamp on the old and rusted hot water line in hopes of being able to avoid a complete replacement. Not being one for tight places and spiders, I was grateful for all of the help Adam gave for this. We turned the water on and it seemed to be holding. Later on I noticed that the water meter had a slow turn and the line was leaking in a new location. This meant yesterday, I did what any person with a growth mindset would do. I sucked it up, crawled under the house and cut out the old line and replaced it with new. Problem solved! After all of the hard work Adam put in for free, I could not allow him to do this much again and consider myself a good neighbor. Now with just a few blinds in the windows and some woodwork to clean up, my rental house will welcome the new year and a new renter!

With Christmas approaching, let me wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Blessed Kwanzaa! May wonderful memories fill your lives!!!

P.S. The book cover for my new book will be revealed on New Years Day!

 

Design Tuesday!

The beginning of the work week found me almost finishing up work on my rental house. I have to admit that after two years of working on it 95% with my own two hands, I am glad to be in the home stretch and about ready to rent. It has been a long road but the end result is going to be worth it!

As for the new book, I added a dedication page to my children and got the back cover text finalized. Now I have an appointment with Hannah, the designer who will take my photo provided by my good friend, Dr. Gage Caudell and the back cover text and will work with playing around with the design over the next week.

I am not sure how I will do the reveal of the cover yet but am looking forward to sharing it with others once completed!

Once back from the designers, it will be all hands on deck for the writing of this weeks column. Only three more weeks before I complete my 52nd article and I am pumped about that!

Well, I hope that your week is finding you well, happy and moving along! Enjoy every moment!

What A Wonderful Week!

Sunday night I completed another goal!

When I sat out one month ago to write my ninth book, I did so with the intention of doing so in 30 days. I have been pushed by several friends to write my story, my story of struggle and success and what I have done to keep moving on.

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I was inspired by my friend Nicole, who grew up in the foster care system and has used that to become a successful speaker and bestselling author. Her book: ‘Foster To Fosters‘ is her story of success by trial and fire. Because of this, I sat down on October 30th and began my own story.

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Sunday night, November 26th, 2017, I completed my 215th page and ended my story with my ninth book entitled: ‘When The Storm Runs Out Of Rain‘! The book is broken down into four ‘Stages’.

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Stage One puts myself under the microscope and discloses all of the negative things that have happen in my life so that every reader gets a real sense of my honesty to them and perhaps something that has happen to me has also happen to them and that will be relatable. Stage Two continues by spotlighting the successful events that have come into my life from sticking to my guns. Stage Three is a laid out plan of action using my ‘Go 2 Grow’ system that I have used as my own guidelines for reaching┬áthe things that I want. Stage Four is the reader’s self reflection stage. A 14 question self evaluation that will help every reader go a little more in-depth on themselves and see where they excel and where they can improve to live a more exciting life.

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This news is one I am so proud of and I shared this this past Monday with the students of Lancaster Christian School! I was asked several weeks ago about coming to Lancaster and putting on a presentation for Barney & Lexi. I have to say that this is an amazing little school in the countryside of southern Illinois!

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When I arrived, I was met at the door by Cherie, the office manager for the school who welcomed me in and gave me a tour of the school. If you know me, you know that while I love every school I visit, its the old schools that have so much character to me! I loved the small classroom sizes, years of students photos lining the hallways and the kind and considerate staff who work there.

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Not to long later, recess would end and the students assembled into the day room and off we went! I love how children respond to Barney & Lexi and how I am able to get teachers involved as well. I love the giggles and the questions as children who are shy to start with open up during our time together. I’m all about making the kids feel important and valued!

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I signed books for all of the students and as our time ended, I watched the students file into the gymnasium which also doubles as their cafeteria as they prepared for their lunch hour. I fell in love with this little school and it will rank near the top of my most favorite visits!

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This visit found its way into two newspapers which I am humbled to be in. Papers don’t have to print anything they do not want and to make the front pages of both leaves me with gratitude and thankfulness! Lancaster also became the focus of my weekly column in The Sumner Press.

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Yesterday I completed 20 Barney & Lexi mailers to school across the country and got them in the mail for school approval! Now it’s time to begin work on the front and back cover designs for my new book. A quick bite of pizza for lunch and I’m off to the races! It is my hope that this day finds you in great rewards!

 

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