Crushing 2018

I can’t say enough about how wonderful 2018 is and will be! This is the year that I continue the journey towards achieving my goals and making my dreams a reality!


It snowed here on Friday, enough that they closed the local schools and I spent the afternoon with my sons in the backyard. We made snow angels, threw snowballs and drank hot chocolate as we warmed up! I may be finding my was to success but it means nothing if I am not making positive memories with my children who are my why!

After my sons went back home, which is just next door as I rent a home to their mother and step-father. I love being so close to my kids and thank my God for allowing such an opportunity to be here. Anyhow, after they walked home, I found myself online when I came across a question from my friend Boyd, a biohacker extraordinaire, who ask for all of his friends to post a song that fit their moods right then.

I had been pumped for 2018 and began thinking of a movie that I had not seen in some time. An eighties movie called ‘The Secret of My Success’ staring Micheal J. Fox. That soundtrack has a song performed by Pat Benetar called, ‘Sometimes The Good Guys Finish First’. I had to post that song!

Thank got me to really thinking about what I still feared and the desire to take those head on! We have but one life and I am a successful author and speaker, now it is time to go out there and get what is mine!

I woke up and went in on this Martin Luther King day (my personal thank you to Dr. King for having his own dream and going after it), and went into work at the high school and helped clear snow off the walkways. I was blessed to use a snow blower but found myself getting quite cold after four hours. I watched as the snow came out and thought to myself, ‘There is more and I am going to get it!’

Now, with school being out tomorrow also due to the weather, I will be returning to work in the morning to do a bit more before moving inside for a short time. It will be a short day but enough to inspire me to work even harder to make each day my own! Before I go, I want to wish you a safe and warm rest of the week. If your reading this and have a school I can come and speak at, LET ME KNOW! We’ll make something happen! Have a great day ahead everyone!!

P.S. I got back into The Boondock Kids today and completed pages seventy-three and seventy-four!

Cover Reveal!!!!


I want to begin by wishing you a save and happy new year! My hope for you is nothing less than the magnificent life you have waiting for you!

It has been a long time coming for this moment. Once an idea in my head for a couple of years, now to the point that I am able to reveal the cover for my new book: WHEN THE STORM RUNS OUT OF RAIN!

This cover comes with the help of my good friend, Dr. Gage Caudell, not only a surgeon but a successful photographer who blessed me with the image seen above! This photo captures the very heart of this book and I am blessed to have him so graciously allow this cover to be here now!

I want to thank my son, Lynden for so much positive support through the writing of this book. My mentor and good friend, Dr. Coyte Cooper, for coaching me through some crazy moments and writing two books himself (Impressions, Make Your Mark) and being a guide for what a book should say. My new friend, Nicole Zeien-Cox, author of Foster To Fosters, for being the straw that broke the back of this camel and set the pace for a crazy 30 days of writing!

This book is now in editing and then to interior layout. It is scheduled for a 2018 publication date.

It is my wish for everyone who reads this book that they find the power, belief and will to make every goal they set a reality and know that sometimes a setback is the beginning of a comeback!

More posts will follow as time draws near publication. Wishing everyone a wonderful 2018!!!!

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!


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!


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!


What Family Can Do!

My Great-Grandma, Hattie, turns 90.

My Great-Grandma, Hattie, turns 90.

If I could have imagined that my weekend would have found me so happy, I would not have believed it at first. I began by picking up my sons early and returning home to everybody getting cleaned up for a special evening out. With button ups shirts, khakis and dresses on, our family made its way to the local university for a special celebration.

We were going to the university to help celebrate my Great-Grandmother’s 90th birthday.

I have always admired my Great-Grandma, always a woman of class and modesty, always looks wonderful, and to still be living at home by herself, until now, is a tribute to a wonderful quality of life. To see her reach this milestone is one that I am grateful to be at and have my family there to be a part of it as well.

Upon arriving at the university, we saw family that had come from all over, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Vermont to celebrate. A diverse mixture for sure, see my family covers many areas of skills, many from the fields of engineering, auto manufacturing, design, literature, oil manufacturing, music and education were represented.

It was wonderful to see family that I have not seen in several years and be taken back to a time that we would get together at least once a year. I also saw those who were very much children when I last saw them and now realize that they are now adults, on their way to chasing their own dreams.

Marcey and I watched as our children ran around the open end of the banquet hall and used their imaginations to have fun. The kids were so excited to see their Great-Great-Grandma. Not many have that and for out children to be 6,7,7 & 11 for them to remember this evening is more than special.

To see my Great-Grandma look so wonderful at 90 is beyond words, with her rings, necklaces, jacket and hat, she continues to have that style about herself that even father time can not take away. In a wheel chair only to be more comfortable than sitting in a stiff chair, she visited with everyone and seemed to shed some years as old memories came back and time stood still.

It was a catered meal, very fancy. Our dinner was served in silver pans and platters. Ham, Chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, salads and rolls were served and I would be lying if I said our kids didn’t eat well. We drank out of fine glasses and had cake as stories ran rapid and a good time was had.

We sang Happy Birthday and then listened as my Great-Grandma gave a great talk about family and how she was touched that the very best of the family were there and how happy she was to see them. I also connected with new Facebook friends in the form of cousins that are also writers and musicians.

After three hours we all left the university, happy, full and fulfilled.

Then today, my aunt from Vermont, cousin from Minnesota and grandma came over for a visit and brought pizza. It was nothing more than a continuation of the previous night as the kids got to spend time with their family and enjoy all the pizza they could eat. It was great to have family over and share in the stories and catch up on old times.

My wife also got to show off some of her designs from Fox Notions ( to great response and my first picture book was passed around, also to a great response! It has left us discussing Ideas and laying out plans to expand my wife’s operation with her ideas! I am so very proud of her!

This weekend has also brought me back to The Boondock Kids and the difficulty I have had in developing the next scene after leaving Mrs. Nellinfelter’s. It will take place back at school but lead elsewhere. Tomorrow night will be interesting as I will sit down and work through it! I will let you know what happens!

Until then, I wish you a very good week ahead and a wonderful Monday, filled with joy, happiness and success!

Live With Passion!