Saturday, May 31, 2008

I wrote this last Sunday.

We took a Turkish man to church today, as a favor for a friend, and it ended up being a bigger favor to us. (side note: I'm writing this to the opening scene of "The Great Debaters". This music is gospel on steroids. My attention is occasionally being jolted back to the TV screen when the women belt out something like "ooo ahh! wit a God as my wid-ness! oo o ahhhhh." So bear with me. And forgive the occasional exclamation points.) It turns out that our new Turkish friend, Ali, is an extremely well-known chef, and he even had a write up in the NY Times. We came to know all of this through his very broken English--- (which oddly wasn't at all painful for us. we just laughed and communicated through exaggerated hand motions. like for the word "why?" we just shrugged our shoulders & (instinctively) raised our eyebrows, Stephen's was ultra cute). Ali explained that he's served as the head chef for several Turkish restaurants in North Carolina, NY, and now Dallas. He's apparently a very sought after chef. Anyway, he made us Turkish chai (tea) which I LOVE (it's basically black tea with sugar) and we sat in his living room and listened to him persuade us to partner with him in opening another Mediterranean restaurant. We all liked the idea. I've always thought it would be cool to own a restaurant (well I really just want to decorate one). And of course my mind thinks "Could this be a detour to reaching the Nations?....Are we supposed to stay here and open restaurant?" (I'm also a visionary. Today alone I wanted to open my own health fast-food restaurant [this is one i think would really take off], a christian yoga studio & a Turkish ice cream parlor. The bottom line is that I can "see" us doing a lot of things, but don't always get to the point of "execution".)

So anyway, I wanted to elaborate on what really struck me about this whole scenario. Our friend Rhanda who invited him to church is completely blind. Rhanda has faithfully visited Ali's restaurant for the past three months and shared with him her love for God and genuine fascination with Turkish culture. She bought him a bible in Turkish and has tutored him in English. Ali loves Rhanda as if she was his blood relative. She walked into the church today, we saved a seat for her next to Ali, and he gave her such a hearty hug and planted a big fat smooch on the top of her head. It was moving. And Ali says from now on he's coming with us every Sunday. That's it. Just like that.

And one more thing. I want to point out that God uses us at the most unlikely times. We weren't "happily married" this morning (you know the occasional "church morning tiffs") and I felt so self-centered, so unable to be of any good use. But God allowed us to be a part of all of this anyway. Isn't that nice of Him? At the most undeserving times God shows his kindness to me, and it works every time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Haley's Graduation

Last night Stephen and I went to Haley's 8th grade graduation.  For those of you who don't know, Haley is my bosses daughter and one of the dearest people in my life, she's like my little sister.  I've been their nanny for over four years now.  The reason this graduation was so significant for Haley was because she has attended the same private school with the same classmates for most of her life.  My favorite part of the graduation was when each student graduating came on stage and the faculty read a specific scripture that described that student and specific things about their life and character.  It was so touching.  The scripture they gave to Haley was 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  They said that Haley lives the love Paul described.  She is always patient with others, refraining from judgement, never rude, and always puts others before herself.  I cried as they read her this encouragement, she's my girl.  Then we watched their video/slide show from when they were young until now, it was precious.  Oh, and I helped her pick out those adorable heels and posted them b/c I just had to share their cuteness.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Welcome Mrs. Tomato & Mr. Apple

So I took the plunge, I bought organic.  Definitely more pricey, but I think it may be worth it.  This tomato alone (and it's small) was $1.65. (that's why I only bought one).  Normally I could buy three tomatoes, non-organic mind you, for $1.65.  But, the tomato was super juicy and sweet, noticeably different from the non-organic. However, the apple was only $.89 (comparable to $.79 non-organic) and when I served it to Stephen with whole wheat crackers and sharp cheddar cheese he was lovin it.  He said (not knowing it was organic), "That apple was good, it tastes different."  To which I replied with a toothy grin, "It's organic."  I also bought cilantro which was $.99 versus $.79 for non-organic.  I am going to try and establish the organic habit in my grocery trips.  My next step is frozen organic strawberries for our daily smoothies (however, we have a giant bag of non-organic from Sam's to finish first).  More to come...

PS~My hubby took the portrait of our lovely new fruits.  Isn't he talented?  (I married up.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

2:21 AM !

It's 2:21 am on a Sunday night.  We've never stayed up until 2:21am on a Sunday night since we've been together.  It's really fun and adventurous-like.  And to make it even cooler (ahh we're such dorks), at about 11ish Stephen said, "Do you want to see if Chelsea & Trevor are still up?" (our other non-kid married friends).  And so....we made a run to Sonic for a grilled chicken wrap, cherry limeade, and (dare I say it) chilicheesetatortots (I had to get that out fast) and we headed to their house at 1130 PM!  We had so much fun.  We talked around their dining room table and looked at their new bedroom paint color.  Yep friends, these are the highlights of married life. Those rare nights you stay up past 9:30pm, analyze paint colors with other married folk, and eat chilicheesetatortots.  And I'm not even a night person (like at all) but this is fun.  Just had to share this moment of marital glee.  (Going to sleep now).

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I'm a bridesmaid this summer in Tori's wedding.  Here's our dress (the lipstick color).  Fun huh?  It's reminds all of us of Beverly Cleaver.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Organic Foods

I read this insightful article about organic foods (and why exactly they're better for you).  I particularly appreciated the "dirty dozen" list.      If you can only buy some things organic these should be at the top of your list: Peaches, strawberries, nectarines, apples, spinach, celery, pears, sweet bell peppers, cherries, potatoes, lettuce, & imported grapes. Good to know. (However, in my mind I'm thinking, "Uhh what's left?").

Friday, May 16, 2008

Top Three Best buys (two under $20)

I have ranked my top three "best buys" over the past year (& two of them are under $20):

My Target rainboots:

These puppies have come in handy on a weekly basis here in Dallas.  Unlike California, Texas weather is entirely fickle.  One second it's 82 degrees, you're laying out by the pool, and twenty minutes later you're sprinting to your car (in flip flops) because it's pouring down rain.  It used to
annoy me, now I just put on my $20 rainboots.

My Orgins Lip gloss:

This stuff is genius.  I searched high and low for a lip gloss (I don't like lipstick) that wasn't waxy, that didn't feel like sticky honey on my lips, and also one that looked natural.  I found it at Orgins.  This lipgloss isn't at all sticky and it
actually feels refreshing.  Orgins prides themselves on being all natural, no synthetic colors or chemicals.  My favorite shade is "Sheer Fruit Punch."

My gold sandals:

I bought these sandals about a year ago at Macy's because they were 50% off, 
I had a gift card, and they were flashy-cute (initially I thought they were
a little "too much", but I've since proved myself wrong).  I wear them almost every other summer day (when I'm not in
my rain boots ;), in fact, I just happen to be wearing them today. 

Runner up, my brown sweater:

I picked this sweater up at TJ Maxx for $25.  I don't have it with me (sorry no picture).  The collar is the best part of the sweater, it's curved and pleated and it adds subtle flare to an outfit. It's my winter/fall staple sweater.  Because it's solid brown it goes with anything and because it has a tiny bit of wool (not enough to itch), it keeps me warm.  

So...there you have it....a little window into my wardrobe (and makeup drawer;).

Monday, May 12, 2008

...Umm Yeah.

Giraffes, Game Boards, and Missionaries

We had such a fun day on Saturday with Eileen. We woke up around 6am (a painful time for us on a Saturday morning), got ready and headed to Fossil Rim, Wildlife Center.  This was a hoot. Basically, you drive your car for about 2+ hours through a 9.5 mile windy road and see free-ranging wildlife, (aka "domesticated" animals. the giraffes, zebras, auodats, & deer have learned to politely stick their head inside of your car cabin and order breakfast).  My most favorite part was feeding the giraffe from the palm of my hand (you can barely see my fingertips in the pic above).  The giraffes and the deers were so completely gentle, they lightly nibbled the food from my palm.  The zebras had really cute personalities too.  I love the pic Stephen got of a mama zebra and her baby hugging (and of the zebra mooning us... nice). Stephen and Eileen both got some really cool close ups.  I took the one of the giraffe pursing his lips at me (he made Stephen jealous).  I loved that big guy.  I also took the one of the antelope poking his nose into the camera.  He had a crush on Eileen and when any other guy would try to ask for food he shooed them away.

After our drive through the park we went to lunch at a local dive-type cafe.  I ordered the kids Mickey Mouse banana pancakes, Stephen- Juevos Rancheros, and Eileen- Chili Relleno.  No complaints there.  After lunch, Eileen and I went to a consignment store and an antique store. We love shopping in antique stores (and Stephen loves resting in the car).  I bought a white milk glass vase from the 1950s, with raised polka dots & a wavy rim. I LOVE this vase! and its now the holder of my post-it notes and pens in the kitchen.  I also bought a antelope horn candle holder (don't ask) in effort to have something kinda unique to go with my traditional stuff.  But thus far, I can only successfully place it on the bottom shelf of our giant antique china hutch.  Eileen loved it too and I think she's going have to help me decide where it should go. Eileen bought two things: an antique metal mustang horse (it lies flat and it's meant to hang on the wall) and a set of antique game boards (to help complete her wall of antique game boards).

Yesterday, we took Stephen's mom out for Mother's Day to her favorite (and my favorite) Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas "Pappasittos."  We ate yummy shrimp brochette, lobster tail, and chicken & beef fajitas on homemade tortillas.  It was so delicious, so filling.  And then last night we took the pastors from India out to our favorite asian restaurant (we ate very light mind you).  We felt so enriched by their wisdom and insight.  We shared with them the details of our desire to live overseas and asked lots of questions about the work they're doing.  They would love us to join them (as is the case with most church planters...they all need workers) and we may actually visit them next year.  We're considering taking a "scouting trip" and visiting the various church plants that our local church (Trinity Dallas) has been involved with over the years.  All we know right now is that every time we hang around people in full-time ministry overseas, we feel our calling is further confirmed, our fire is re-ignited, if you will.  It's just a matter of staying on God's time table.  So, for now, we wait and enjoy feeding giraffes and buying milk glass vases, however long that may be :)....

Friday, May 9, 2008


I didn't get to anything else last night except for the bookshelf.  I'm not so happy with the bottom shelf, doesn't match my effort to go monochromatic & isn't nearly as cheery as the other shelves.  Any suggestions?  The top shelf is my favorite.  That art piece is the print Tori made me for my birthday in 2006.  I love it, it's very special to me.  For you non-Dallasites, Tori one of my closest  friends from college, who's a very gifted artist and she's graduating with her Masters in Printing Making from WASH U this week.  

Bottom shelves


Middle Shelves


Top Shelf


Before & After


Thursday, May 8, 2008


I'm hoping to knock out two of my projects tonight:
1) Painting the breezeway door
2) Redecorating the bookshelf.
I just bought the paint at Home Depot, it's like a dusty plum color.
I also bought two plumbing facets with gold finishing,
I'm going to use them to hang the fabulous aprons Mandy made me,
(these aprons are like pieces of art).
We'll see what happens. Pictures to follow....

Here's my inspiration for both projects:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


A friend shared something cute and yet profound with me today....
God made tears come out of our eyes, so that people look directly at us when we cry. When we're being vulnerable with our hurts, crying, people get a brief, tender window into our soul. What a gift.
Sweet moment I thought I'd share :).


Our good friend Joshua took this picture of Hayden at our wedding (one of our twin ring bearers). It's one of my favs.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Shoot Boy

We went shooting yesterday. I was the one behind the camera, Stephen was the one behind the gun. I'll explain the pictures and how shooting clay pigeons works. First is the pic of orange discs, these are the clay pigeons. They mechanically shoot out of the top at different angles. Each shooter rotates between five stands (the distant looking pic above), in order to change his position and attempt to hit these neon orange buggers. You have to re-load your gun in between each set of discs (and empty your shells into the trash can). The three camo bags Stephen is wearing are full of bullets, however, most shooters have fancy leather bags (not my man). The disc operator (he lives in that green tower) releases a total of 30 discs per shooter (only two per turn) and tells you how many you hit when the entire round is all over. One time Stephen hit 28/30, very exceptional. In conclusion, my top three shooting companions: Ear Plugs, Sunglasses, and now, Sunscreen (my shoulders are paying the price of that lesson today).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Quote of the day

"No one ever said, 'I wish I didn't go to the gym today.' " ~Nike

Email exchange

Our email exchange today. I thought this was particularly cute (of my husband):

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 3:09 PM, Stephen Keilers wrote:
Why do I get satisfaction of using a pen until all the ink has gone out…? It satisfies me on a certain level.

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 4:24pm, Crystal Keilers wrote:
Because you hate wasting anything. It makes you feel like you've used every penny that went into that ink.
(I love when you share these details with me.)