Saturday, November 29, 2014

Paladin Pawn Blog Tour

Paladin Pawn by Michael Young

Author Name: Michael D. Young
Book Title: Paladin Pawn
Book Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: November 28th, 2014
Publisher: Trifecta Books
Tour Host: Silverbow Promotions

Book Synopsis:
When nerdy Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a Paladin, a white knight, in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life.
Rich’s grandmother leaves him with one thing before disappearing for good: a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life or death contest against his Nemesis, a dark knight in training, all while dealing with math homework and English projects. With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his Nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead.
As Rich rushes to complete the tasks, he realizes the chilling truth: his Nemesis is masquerading as someone at school and will stop at nothing to make him fail. As the tasks grow ever harder, the other knights reveal to him that his failure will break a centuries-old chain and bring the Paladin order to ruin. If he fails, the dark knights win the right to control the fate of the world, a world without hope or the possibility of a new dawn. So this is one exam Rich has to ace, with no curve and no extra credit.

Author Bio:
Michael is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Western Governor’s University with degrees in German Teaching, Music, and Instructional Design. He puts his German to good use teaching online German courses for High School students. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. Michael enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
He is the author of the novels The Canticle Kingdom Series, The Last Archangel Series, and the Chess Quest Series. His also authors several web serials through He publishes anthologies for charity in his Advent Anthologies series. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Bards and Sages Quarterly, Mindflights, Meridian, The New Era, Allegory, and Ensign.

Follow Michael . . .



It's on Amazon!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So excited!

Samuel got his first tooth in!  Luckily it's a bottom tooth, so I still have a little longer without biting!  He also got his 6 month shots.  He's now 21 pounds and 27 and a half inches long!  He's growing so fast that I can't keep up with clothes!  As soon as he gets to 18 month size we're good again!  :)
My mom's letting me borrow her sewing machine, so I can get to cranking out the Christmas presents!  All of my kids want blankets and I'm doing fun shaped ones.  Ben's getting a dragon with fire coming out it's mouth.  Kira is getting an owl (how the whole shaped quilt started, since her's is a pattern).  Emma just wanted a rectangle, such a sweetheart!  Leah's requesting a butterfly (another part of the owl pattern).  Cecilia's getting a flower (the third part of the pattern).  Josh is getting a car, but I think I'm going to make it so that it has 3 sides, I'm still working out the logistics.  And Samuel isn't picky, just soft.  I also want to make a family one for the couch-a branch with an owl for each of us using a t-shirt, should be a fun take on a t-shirt quilt!  I'm super excited!  I love doing crafty things, especially that can be used for a long time!
Speaking of crafty things, on Friday night, almost everyone was asleep by 8, so I had a little craft party and did the glue yarn trees.  Have you seen those?  They look awesome!  I took one off the paper cone early (the next morning) and only the top stayed, the rest crumpled into a mess of yarn.  So, I haven't been brave enough to take the other two off yet.  Okay, I took the one off-and the top half looks great!  The second one the bottom half looks great!  How funny!  I think I might do it again with green paper as a base and use rainbow colors of yarn to "decorate" the tree and just leave it on the paper.  I also took some of Ben's mostly chewed up shirts (he chews on his shirt collars) and made some no-sew t-shirt bags.  I made more yesterday, they're pretty fast and easy.
We've had so much help recently!  My in-law's are pretty awesome and they have really shown it this week!  My mom-in-law was able to come and watch my kiddos and let Scott drive her car to get kids to appointments on Friday.  My sister-in-law helped us out a ton with our car and laundry problems.
So, life in general is going well!  After tomorrow we'll have 2 vehicles again!  Tuesday is Kira's class auction (such a fantastic idea) and then Wednesday is Ben's birthday!  I can't believe I'll have a 12 year old!  Next year I'll have a teenager!  Crazy!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fun kids

Josh is totally a momma's boy.  It surprises me, because he is so big on the men in his life!  But, he is absolutely adorable, until about ten when I start desperately wanting to go to bed.  He wants to sit on my lap on "this side" (usually the left leg).  He wants "last one book," about six times.  We have a dinner ritual where everyone tells us at least one happy thing.  Ben's is usually telling a story.  Kira's always different.  Emma and Leah's are usually something about school and the dinner being good.  Cecilia's is usually something from long ago that she pretends happened today or from her imaginary school or it sounds like a prayer.  Josh usually says car.  Once he said me and I was very excited.  Well, a couple nights ago, we're going around and we get to him.  He doesn't say anything, so we start guessing (it's what we do).
Josh:  No toys.
Your happy thing isn't toys?
Josh:  Trick you!  Happy, toys!
Yes, he did trick us and it was hilarious!
He's starting to talk more and in sentences.  I love it!  That little guy has quite the funny personality!  I see a Chris in the making (my hilarious little brother).  And he's so smart,  Today I was sleeping in, so I was still in bed and he starts bringing two of things.  One for me to open for him and one for me.  So smart.  I got breakfast in bed-2 string cheeses (one went to Cecilia) and a bag of Sunchips.
A few nights ago at dinner, someone made us laugh and Ben happened to be drinking at the time.  He choked a little and proceeded to cry that he felt like he was drowning.  Poor kiddo!  It was something that we had to get used to with Chris at the table, growing up.  Even now when we get together, seriously awesome times, because he is SOOOO funny!
My parents and my nephew Tony came again on Friday.  My poor Dad keeps trying to fix our van with no luck.  It's tough having one car and working so far away, and I sure appreciate all of the hard work and groceries! (Thanks Mom!)  I have the best parents ever!
I finally downloaded pictures.  I'm going to warn you that they aren't the best, but since I'm not a trained Professional, please don't expect the best.  I've taught myself everything I know.  I just look for the beauty and take pictures.  So, sorry if I found beauty where others don't.  I love to take pictures, and I love to share them.  I'm working on not taking pictures of anyone but my immediate family and class kids, so that way I don't have to hear about my bad pictures.  I was pretty miserable for a couple weeks about it.  But, I'm a lot better now!  :)  I set up the tripod to take our family picture, which isn't horrible, but we had twenty minutes on the only warm day this week, so that's my excuse.  Anyway, here is the picture dump.
 Most of my kids have worn this Halloween costume, I think it started with Emma?
 All of my kiddos wanted to take a picture with "hot stuff."
 This face cracks me up!

 My favorite of the tripod ones.
 Samuel loved the leaves!
 But he really loved the car!

 She loves flowers and bugs!
 With her beautiful teeth
 Getting groceries with my mom and Tony.  Those boys are absolutely adorable together!
 Closeups of some of the bows I made last night
 Samuel loves the extra morning time with Mom on weekends!
 Samuel and his first snow
All the bows I made last night.  Ben was helping me make the silk flowery ones (on the far left) and loved them so much he wanted one of his own, to wear on his lapel.  Which he totally put it on his pocket and wore it to church.  It works!  I was making bows for Leah's friend's birthday.  I always go big or go home.  So, 25 bows later, I'm feeling a lot better!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas Already!

As I'm doing my daily thankful Facebook posts, it's funny that I'm just now getting around to Christmas!  Usually I've garage saled like crazy and gotten everything I need by now.  Not so this year.  I've got zilch.  Zero.  Nada.  Nichts.  Nothing.  We have no extra money to work with, since everything I make goes to bills or gas.  I worked super hard with the kids to figure out exactly what they want/need!  I even made a google doc with links and everything (since my family is so awesome)!  And I'm super excited that all of my kids have agreed to let me make them a themed quilt for Christmas!  Using only the fabric I have now (which may or may not include previous blankets), I'm going to make each of my kids a blanket.  Ben wants a dragon with fire coming out of it's mouth.  Kira is getting an owl.  Emma wants a crazy detailed one that's never going to happen, so we'll see how that one goes!  Leah wants a butterfly.  Cecilia wants a flower.  Josh will probably get a car.  And Samuel will just get something.  Maybe a rectangle blanket with a big S on it.  Either way I'm excited for the challenge.  Not so excited for the amount of time I have.  Luckily I had already bought the pattern before the spending freeze (it was $6, but it's for the owl, flower and butterfly).  I, of course, will be making my own way with the pattern as a general help.  I also sketched out a quilt I want to make for the futon.  Me, I mean me.  It's a regular size quilt with a huge branch with 9 owls, 2 big and 7 varying sizes.  I'm going to use two shirts that each person has worn or grown out of to make an owl.  So, combination t-shirt quilt and owl quilt.  Maybe I'll finish it before my birthday.  :)  I also have a ton of worn out jeans to work with, so I'm going to be making cute jean purses/bags for my girls and jean roads for the boys.  I'll be using scholastic points and free book coupons to be getting some of their something to read presents.  I'm super excited!  I doubt I'll be sleeping much, but maybe I'll convince Scott to cut out pieces for me...
Monday was Cecilia's dental surgery which turned out pretty well!  Kim watched the kids and my Mom and Scott helped out Cecilia!  We all headed to my mom's house and got to celebrate her birthday a day early.  Cecilia recovered pretty fast (thankfully)!  We ate at Cracker Barrel, and I forgot to take pictures with this whole picture fiasco.  (I found out that some of my in-laws had complained about my pictures, so I haven't been taking near as many pictures and I haven't been posting them on Facebook, because I really don't want to subject them to my non-professional pictures. I've just been texting my pictures to my family, which works for me!)
Thursday night I got to go meet up with my parents and sister with Cecilia in order to get Dad's new Disabled Veteran's license plate on his car that we borrowed for most of this week.  We got pie.  Yum!
Friday was our Veteran's Assembly and my Mom and Dad got to come.  That was HUGE!!!  I was so excited that I talked to all of my third graders about my Dad and how important Veterans are!  I was a sobbing mess though!  My Dad cries about a lot of things now, it's one of the side effects, and I cry when I see someone else crying.  I was also crying for the thought that he might not be around next year for this.  And since Veteran's Day is his birthday, I'm going to assume that that day will not be happy for me.  But, he could live for a long time and I really shouldn't worry about it!  He's on God's time table!  Either way, my kids all saw me cry, but I don't think it was a bad thing.  I know that they all behaved amazingly well!  I was super impressed!  My kids all made a Thank you poster to Veterans, and a few of my kids had veterans to give them to, but most of them wanted to give it to my Dad (which I was secretly hoping for)!  They were so excited to see him!  I had tons of kids ask me which one was my dad!  I sure love my Dad and I'm so grateful that he was willing to come and Mom was willing to come with him!  It sure meant a ton to my kids!
In the meantime, we got to spend some time downtown yesterday, doing an Ornament Walk, or Scavenger Hunt as my kids called it.  We had to be one of the first 100 people to get a map, and then we walked around to twelve different stores and got a free ornament!  They're pretty cute ornaments too!  It took us two hours, but we got free food, free ornaments, free exercise, and some cute pictures!  My kids are all wanting homemade soap and Irish cream candles now.  They're awesome!
Then my parents came with my nephew and the kids all had a blast!  My kiddos were super excited about the groceries Mamaw brought back!  They have ready made snacks!  Dad and Scott worked on the van, but still don't know what's broke.  Bummer!  Kira and I did our weekly Saturday night drying clothes at the Laundromat.  Good times.  Then we got a phone call saying that we needed to get the stuff from the car we had borrowed, since nothing had been taken out.  Ooops!  So, Kira and I had the opportunity to drive halfway and meet my Mom and sister to get our stuff.  They're so sweet to meet us halfway!
  I figured out how to download some of my pictures from my phone, so enjoy!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

So much better!

Monday our ceiling got fixed, but there's no way I'm moving my kids back there, so now it's a storage room!
We got a ton of food thanks to our awesome church and my parents!
Halloween parties went well and Scott took the oldest five out for trick-or-treating after my parents left.  They're so good to us!  I got to stay home with my two little men.  It was great snuggling!  Ben chose to scare Emma with talk of poison in candy.  She hardly had anything.  He also asked people if they had anything without chocolate, which got the kids an apple.  They were scared by a guy slithering after them on the grass!  They were very excited about their candy.  We filled a bag to send to the Soldiers and let the kids each keep a sandwich bag of candy.  So much better!
It got c-c-cold, but our motor didn't freeze!  Then yesterday that van got fixed!  It still needs new tires and an alignment, but I won't have to put water in daily!  :)
We cleaned although we know it never lasts!  Kira made dinner while I fed Samuel. It burned at the bottom, but I'm still super proud!
I dried ten loads of laundry at the laundromat.  Kira helped me!  She's growing up so amazing!
So now we're short some worries and life has been a lot happier!
I feel my Savior's love in all the world around me...