About Me

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I am a twenty-something second year teacher living in the midwest. I am a Christian woman and proud of it! I am the middle child of three girls. I am the proud aunt of the very beautiful Lil E and Lil C!! I love TV, movies, reading, and baseball. I am in my second year of teaching , but my first year teaching kindergarten. It has been quite the journey!

30 January 2011

Oscar Double Feature 2011

As I wrote about here, it is my tradition to go to the movies and see a double feature of movies nominated for Oscars. Well, Oscar nominations came out Tuesday and so the Third Annual Jillibean Oscar Double Feature happened on Saturday!

The past two years I've gone to see the movies on my own, because I couldn't convince my friends to go see two Oscar contenders with me. But this year, since I'm back home with the fam, I had some company.

I had a tough time deciding what I wanted to see this year. My first year I saw Revolutionary Road and Slumdog Millionaire. Last year I saw Invictus and Crazy Heart. I loved all of them except Revolutionary Road.

This year I really wanted to see The King's Speech so that was a must. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about it. I had a super difficult time choosing between True Grit and The Fighter. Momma and Daddy had already seen True Grit without me, but I love Jeff Bridges and for some reason it just looks really good to me. But I love Christian Bale and have heard wonderful things about the Fighter. Eventually I made Lil Sis choose which one she'd rather go see. She chose the Fighter. The King's Speech was rated R, but only for swearing that happens as a part of his therapy. The Fighter I believe is also R, again, just for language, but not as part of any therapy :) Both of them are tremendous movies though, so you should definitely see them both!!

Daddy decided that he wanted to see the Fighter with us, but Momma stayed home, but they both wanted to see the King's Speech. So we go to the theater and bought three tix for The Fighter and four for The King's Speech. I think the ticket guy thought we were crazy... We also got a huge popcorn and ICEEs and planned to take full advantage of the free refills :)

I loved the Fighter. It was a beautiful story with wonderful actors and not too much boxing :) The basic story is that Micky (Mark Wahlberg) is a boxer, who is trained by his brother, Dickey, a former boxer and current druggie/loser. After Dickey gets into some trouble and Micky meets a nice girl (Amy Adams) he decides to get some real trainers and keep fighting. Then there's some boxing... but not too much, really.

I love Christian Bale and he was excellent as Dickey Ecklund, a washed up boxer who's now a druggie. It was sad to see Christian bale as a druggie/crazyface. I much prefer to see him this way...

Or especially this way...

... but his acting was excellent!!

Amy Adams was in it too. Love her! I couldn't find a good picture of her (i.e. one where she was covered up) that I liked so I used this one from Enchanted (also because it has Patrick Dempsey in it...) She was wonderful as Micky Ward's girlfriend.

It was a great movie, I would definitely recommend it.

Then Daddy went home to hang out for a bit and Lil Sis and I sat around the theater for 2 hours until The King's Speech started. We could have left to shop or something, but then we couldn't get free refills on our popcorn and ICEEs. So we sat by the arcade and chatted/people watched.

While we were waiting Lil Sis asked why I kept calling Mark Wahlberg, Marky Mark. Because that was his rapper name of course! She didn't know that he used to be a rapper named Marky Mark, so I had to google him on my new smartphone. Did you know that in addition to being Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, he was also an original member of NKOTB with his brother, before he left (because he didn't like their bubble gum pop image) and was replaced by Joey McIntyre? The things you learn chilling at the movie theater.

Then we got refills and headed in to The King's Speech. Momma and Daddy met us. When they got their Lil Sis and I were the youngest people in the theater by about 30 years. Once Momma and Daddy got there they were probs the next youngest people... until a like twelve year old boy came in.

I love, love, loved The King's Speech!!! It was beautiful, the story was very moving, the acting excellent. If you haven't already seen it, go see it now! I'll wait...

The movie is about Albert, the Duke of York, son of the King of England, set between the two world wars. He has a terrible stammer; the movie starts with him struggling mightily through a speech. I seriously wanted to reach through the screen and give him a big hug as he nervously awaited his turn to speak :( He starts meeting with a speech therapist who has some unconventional methods to try to help him. Eventually after some death and mishagosh, he becomes king, at which point he really needs his stammer to be gone, like yesterday.

Collin Firth is stupendous as Bertie, aka the Duke of York, aka King George VI. He made you so sympathetic and empathetic towards Bertie. And did an amazing job making the stutter sound real. Give him the Oscar already!!

I didn't find it at all strange seeing

but Lil Sis couldn't help thinking "You killed Sirius!" every time she saw her...

We all loved both movies and would definitely recommend them. But really both movies were so wonderfully done, everyone should see them!!! The Oscars are Feb. 27th so there is still plenty of time to see them. I'll have seen at least 5/10 Best Picture Nominations :)

18 January 2011

1/2 Birthday Girl!

Happy Half Birthday Lil E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe that it was already six months ago that we were frantically rushing across state lines to see you!!!!

Love you sweetie!

Impromptu Sister Weekend

I didn't have much planned for last weekend, until I got a text from Lil Sis Thursday night asking if I wanted to visit her for the weekend. After a little strategizing (figuring out if I could still get my teacher homework done) and rearranging a bowling date (Sorry Jessie!) I decided to go up Friday night and come home Saturday evening.

Even though we only had 24 hours notice and about 24 hours together it was a pretty fun trip!

I got their Friday evening and we went out to dinner with Kev and his roommate Kyle. We went to Bennigan's because we can never go there with Momma and Daddy because Momma once got a kidney stone after eating there... After forcing me to choose the restaurant the boys proceeded to give me a hard time for choosing a place where we had to wait. We got seated after only 8 minutes and ordered. We were talking and laughing, when our waiter came up and started apologizing about how long it was taking to get our food. He said it had been half an hour, but honestly we hadn't noticed... He said he would try to get us a free dessert.

A few minutes later he came back and said that he was going to talk to his manager and get us each a free dessert of our choice. We were pretty stoked because we weren't even annoyed that it was taking a long time! Just as the manager walked up to talk to us, Kyle said something to the effect, "Move, or I could just urinate right here." Awkward. But luckily the manager still apologized and offered us free dessert.

Right as the waiter came to take our dessert orders (3 huge chocolate cakes and a brownie sundae) Lil Sis pushed her plate towards me and said, "You can just spit on it now." (So that she wouldn't eat anymore.) Awkward again. The employees must have thought we were crazy! But we got our enormous, delicious chocolate desserts and were in Heaven.

Then we hit up Family Video hoping to rent a Bug's Life which ABC Family erroneously told us would be on last Saturday evening and it was not. Sadly it was rented. So we rented Flipped and Easy A. We watched Easy A first. I had already seen it and loved it. Love Emma Stone (though not so much her blonde hair at the Golden Globes...) I love Stanley Tucci and he is fabulous in this movie as Emma Stone's dad. (What you're adopted? Who told you?") Lil Sis hadn't seen it yet, but she loved it too!

Then we watched Flipped. I've had the book for forever, but the real reason I wanted to watch it is because a little boy I used to babysit for was an extra in it! Exciting! According to the interviews his Mom gave to the local papers he was right near the leads in lots of scenes at the school, but I didn't see him. He's only probably eight or nine, so he would probably just have been in the scenes in when the leads were in elementary school, which was only four or five minutes, so I probably just missed him (He's a cute, little red-head. If you happen to notice him, let me know!), but it was still a cute movie.

Saturday morning we slept in and did some shopping. I got prizes for my school store at Dollar Tree and Lil Sis returned something at the school bookstore. We also stopped at Joann's to buy fleece to make no-sew fleece blankets. We couldn't believe that we are young, female college students who own not a single tie fleece blanket. We decided to remedy this problem. Lil Sis found adorable pink fleece with lime green tennis rackets, and green, pink and white flowers. So cute! She got pink and white plaid for the back.

Here's Cody modeling my finished blanket:

How 'bout the flip side?

It is soooooooooooooooooooooo cozy and warm!!! I love it!

After an hour and a half of blanket making while watching Disney Channel, we decided to go bowling with Kev, Kyle, one of Lil Sis's roomies and their friend Ryan. It was lots of fun! The first game I got a 122, which was second best! I didn't do so well in the second game, just a 93, but for the two-game series I still came in second!

After bowling, we went to Pizza Hut for dinner before I rushed off home. It was a very fun weekend!

Then on Sunday I woke up feeling really lousy, so I cancelled my postponed bowling date (Sorry Jessie!) and just lounged around the house in my PJs, watching TV and reading. I finished re-reading I Am Number Four and read most of The Golden Spiral- sooooooooooooooooooo good! I love me some Dante.

14 January 2011

I am Grateful For...

I am Grateful for... books!

I love books so much. Sitting on the couch or a bed, cuddled up with a good book is the best. Laying out on the beach, reading a book to the sound of the gentle waves is also the best!

It breaks my heart when I tell my students that it is time to read and they groan. And I tell them this. That I love to read and that I hope they do too, because I love books so much.

At school this week we were talking about needs and wants and one of the students said she needed books. I agreed, I NEED books. My life would not be nearly as full without them!

I have always loved books and reading. I can still remember the first book that I ever read by myself. It was a Richard Scary anthology. The good old stories of Mr. Dr. Doctor and Mrs. Dr. Doctor and their friends in Busy Town. I remember going around to all of my relatives at a family party reading each person a different story :)

My copy of The Golden Spiral arrived yesterday. I can't wait to get started, but I'm in the middle of re-reading I Am Number Four before the movie comes out. After the Golden Spiral I also want to re-read Clockwork Angel and maybe the Gemma Doyle trilogy... So many books, so little time.

13 January 2011

I heart award shows

The Golden Globes are on this weekend. If you hadn't noticed from this post or this post or this one) I love awards shows.

I love the fashion on the red carpet. I love (some of) the celebrities. I love movies and TV, so it makes sense. Even though they usually make me really mad because the stuff I love doesn't win...

The past two years I've done an Oscar Double Feature a couple of weeks before the Oscars, where I go to see two Oscar contenders back to back. Lots of fun. I'm just starting to think about which movies I want to see this year. I really want to see the King's Speech, but I'm not sure that it's playing around me...

Anyways, here are my picks for the Golden Globes this weekend.
Best Motion Picture Drama: The Social Network, because it's the only one I've seen, plus it was a good movie.

Best Actress in a Movie Drama: Natalie Portman, because I've heard that she's awesome in Black Swan (could never see the movie...) plus I love her

Best Actor in a Movie Drama: I'd be OK with either the Facebook guy or James Franco (love him).

Best Movie Comedy: I haven't seen any of them, but I want to see The Kids Are All Right, so I'll go with that...

Best Actress in a Movie Comedy: I'd be happy with either Emma Stone for Easy A (also she'd be a great Katniss) or Anne Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs.

Best Actor in a Movie Comedy: Jake Gyllenhall, would like it better if he was still dating Taylor Swift and brought her as his date...

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3, duh! But also love Tangled and Despicable Me.

Best Supporting Actress in Movie: Amy Adams- Loved her since Enchanted.

Best Supporting Actor in Movie: Christian Bale *sigh* Laurie

Best Original Song: There's a Place for Us, Chronicles of Narnia, The Dawn Treader. Loved the movie, love Carrie Underwood.

Best Television Series Drama: The Good Wife! So good, plus I just read that America Ferrera is going to guest star on three episodes :)

Best Actress Drama Series: Juliana Marguiles. This E.R. alum is the best.

Best Actor Drama Series:Hugh Laurie, since this is the only show I've actually seen.

Best Series Comedy/Musical: Glee!!!!!!!

Best Actress Comedy/Musical: I'd say Lea Michele, but I don't really think that she's probably the best actress in the category...

Best Actor Comedy/Musical: Steve Carell, it is his last season after all.

Best Mini-series/TV Movie: Temple Grandin, so good.

Best Actress in a MS/TV Movie: Claire Danes, such an amazing performance!

Best Supporting Actress TV: Jane Lynch. Best. Ever.

Best Supporting Actor TV: Chris Colfer for I Wanna Hold Your Hand. But if Chris Noth won I wouldn't be disappointed. Team Florrick.

Hopefully they'll all win!

12 January 2011

The Hourglass Door

I just finished an amazing book- The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum. I came across this book on Amazon by looking at the "customers who bought this book also bought..." My aunt and uncle got it for me for Christmas, and it is a signed copy!

It is soooooooooooo good. The main character is Abby, just a normal high school senior, with her normal high school boyfriend Jason. Enter Dante, an Italian "foreign exchange student." He is mysterious and sexy and did I mention Italian.

The beginning of the book was a bit slow, but by the time I got to the middle I was hooked.

Dante stole my heart, he is the best. I love how truthful he is with Lisa, he tells her his secrets as soon as he can trust her. He doesn't seem like one who lies or keeps secrets or acts because he knows what's best for her as I find some men like to do. He lets her make her own choices. He doesn't tell her what he sees in the future because he wants her to be able to make these choices. Plus he speaks to her in Italian. He is incredibly romantic.

I love it when he says, "Be sure of your heart before you answer." True dat.

I love me some Dante.

I cried and cried at the end of the book. I wasn't sure as I was nearing the end if it was a stand alone book, or if there were more to come... After I flipped the last page, there was an ad for the second book, The Golden Spiral, which it said is coming May 2010 :D Cue big smile from Jillibean because the second book is already out!! Yay! So I've already bought it on amazon. Can't wait to get started.

p.s. the third book, The Forgotten Locket comes out in May!

10 January 2011

It's Not that Hard People

The Jillibean has one major pet peeve, when people say things like...

ATM Machine


PIN Number

umm hello people, that's repetitive, and redundant. That's repetitive and redundant (Gilmore Girls anyone?)

ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine. If you say ATM Machine you are really saying Automated Teller Machine machine. Completely unnecessary.

Same for PIN. It stands for Personal Identification Number. Adding Number to the end leads to the stupid Personal Identification Number number. Dumb.

Lil Sis recently pointed out a new acronym that is sure to annoy me. Oprah just launched her new channel. OWN. Oprah Winfrey Network, but you know that people will be calling it OWN network. Oprrah Winfrey Network network. I can't wait....

p.s. I was just rereading I Am Number Four last night and it mentioned the GPS System... dang editors.

09 January 2011

1/2 Birthday!!

Today is my 1/2 birthday! I am officially 22 1/2 years old.

This used to be a big day for me in elementary school. Since my birthday is in the summer I would bring my birthday treat in on my half birthday (usually donuts or Daddy's amazing chocolate chip cookies!).

So now it's kind of a let down that nobody cares about my 1/2 birthday...

08 January 2011

The Chronic- What? -cles of Narnia!

For our annual New Year's Girls Movie Day while Daddy Watches Football, this year we chose to see The Dawn Treader, the third movie in the Chronicles of Narnia. We, three girls, had all seen the previous two and loved them, but Momma hadn't seen either. She was fine with us just telling her about them, but I wanted her to see them first. (Plus I wanted to see them again, so I remembered everything.)

So, the night of Dec. 30th we all watched The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Love this movie! Lil Sis and I originally saw it in theaters with our friends Lauren and Katlyn who just happen to be sisters as well. We had such fun, goofy time. We went to Pizza Hut afterwards and could not stop giggling :)

Also I love James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus. The best!

And I love the names the kids are crowned with at the end. High Queen Susan of the Southern Sea and all that. Good times.

We were all off doing different things New Year's Eve, so we couldn't watch Prince Caspian then. After a long search for Prince Caspian at the local video store (I searched under practically every category in the Ps (children, family, Disney, New Releases... nothing) until finally I realized that since Eclipse was under the Ts for the Twilight Saga: Eclipse that Prince Caspian was probably in the Cs for the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Momma and I somehow managed to squeeze in a viewing of Prince Caspian just before we left for the 5:45 showing of the Dawn Treader.

I love this movie too. Prince Caspian is the bombdotcom. Love his accent, such a cutie! Yes please!

I love going to the movies, the popcorn, the ICEES, the huge screen. Good times. I really liked Dawn Treader.

The kid who played Eustace was so good at being annoying. The special effects were good. I would have liked more of the older kids, but I know that is following the books, so I can't complain. And of course I like me some Prince Caspian.

There was this five-ish year old boy sitting on the other side of Momma who kept asking his mom questions throughout the movie. Lil Sis and I thought he was adorable (the first time a faun came on scream, he said, "Mr. Tumnus!) and he knew a lot of the characters for being five. But Momma was really annoyed by him because I guess his Mom kept answering his questions and threatening to make him leave and stuff, that we couldn't hear... oops.

I love watching these movies and looking for the Christian influence and symbolism. I wrote a paper in college about the Christian perspectives in The L, The W, and the W and it is really interesting to me. Very good stuff.

Check out this video from SNL about the Chronicles of Narnia, which inspired this blog's title

01 January 2011

Christmas Break Comes to a Close

My two week Christmas break has come and almost gone. But I had a wonderful Christmas season.

I had a lovely Christmas party with my high school girlfriends. They came over to my house. We had dinner, exchanged gifts and had lots of good girl talk. We each bought a tenish dollar gift and chose them White Elephant style. I had a really pretty headband and pearl necklace for a long time, before they were stolen on the last turn. I did however end up with a nice white purse and a teal picture frame. We got to meet my friend Holly's cutie pie boyfriend who was visiting from Mexico, which was nice. It was great to catch up with these girlies. Love them!

Christmas Eve- Momma, Daddy, Lil Sis and I went to church in the afternoon. Father talked for a long time and we barely got finished before the second service two hours later! Then we went to McDonald's as is our tradition :) Then we opened a few presents (those from Lil Sis and I) and played Apples to Apples. Finally we finished up the night watching the Grinch (the original cartoon, of course) and the Muppet Family Christmas (uh, uh pass it on!) Daddy read us Twas the Night Before Christmas before we went to bed :)

On Christmas we woke up at eight to open our presents. The highlights of my gifts from Momma and Daddy are a remote car starter, a coat rack to hang my purses on

and Tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!!!!!!!!! Lil Sis and I are going to Florida this spring, so this was very exciting :D Then we got ready for the day and headed to my aunt and uncle's house. We had lots of fun playing with our cousins. I spent time playing floor hockey in the basement with my seven-year old cousin and sorting a one pound bag of colored beads with my cousin for about an hour, did I mention she's four years old and this is what she wanted to spend her time on Christmas doing, sorting beads? She's adorable.

The day after Christmas, we headed out to see Big Sis, BIL and Lil E. We had a great time. Lil E did a great job of "helping" to open her presents. She would grab hold of the paper, rip it off and put it directly into her mouth! We had lots of fun playing with Lil E, playing games, eating out and doing some shopping. Sadly after a couple of days we had to head home.

New Year's Eve- I went over to my friend Stefanie's house. It was pretty low-key, just five of us, but we had fun. We played this weird, Cranium-like game called Quelf, Apples to Apples and Catchphrase. Then we watched New Year's Rockin' Eve so that we could see the Backstreet Boys!! Good times.

I hope you enjoyed your Holiday Season as much as I did!