Thursday, November 25, 2010



"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near." Psalm 75:1

"Never let us neglect thanksgiving...As the smiling flowers gratefully reflect in their lovely colours the various constituents of the solar ray, so should gratitude spring up in our hearts after the smiles of God's providence....We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks. Faith promises redoubled praise for greatly needed and signal deliverances. For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. God is at hand to answer and do wonders—adore we then the present Deity. We sing not of a hidden God, who sleeps and leaves the church to her fate, but of one who ever in our darkest days is most near, a very present help in trouble. "Near is his name." Glory be unto the Lord, whose perpetual deeds of grace and majesty are the sure tokens of his being with us always, even unto the ends of the world." Charles Spurgoen, Treasury of David

We hope that your day is beautiful!  Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Abi Diet – Holiday Edition – Pear Pandowdy

Good ol’ Martha Stewart – she is always inspiring – at least in the kitchen!  Whenever she does a special on the ‘Today Show’, I am always salivating at the end of the segment.  So a recent indulgence…Pear Pandowdy.  I didn’t know what a Pandowdy was (go figure, my dad did though!) – and I believe the “official” definition is a ‘deep dish spiced dessert with a thick crust.’  Typically pandowdy involves apples…but leave it to Martha to break tradition.

PS – I had some pears to use up – this helps in motivation!


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

  • 4 pounds firm, ripe pears such as Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 -inch wedges
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried figs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Directions

    1. Make the crust: Pulse flour, hazelnuts, granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until just combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add 1/4 cup water and process until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.

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    2. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 disk until firm, about 1 hour. (Freeze remaining disk for another use.)
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a piece of parchment. Cut dough into 2-by-3-inch pieces. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine pears, granulated sugar, figs, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Transfer filling to an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.


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    5. Arrange dough pieces in a patchwork design, overlapping slightly and leaving holes in between as steam vents. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling in the center, about 55 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


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    Happy Baking!

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    A Combo Post: Baby Wallace: 27 Weeks & On Being Thankful

    Nothin’ like a good ol’ combo post to speed along the blogging list that is ever in my mind!

    Week #27 has been here and is now gone!  This is life, isn’t it?! 


    (Not the most awesome preggo pic in terms of visuals of the belly, but we love it for reasons to be listed below!)

    At week #27 of growth, baby Wallace:

    Is still a mystery!  But, I am increasingly more convinced that baby is a boy, 3 dreams later!  Just laugh at me if I’m proven wrong in early February!

    Is the size of a head of cauliflower, about 14 1/2 inches long and weighs 2 pounds!

    This week of life has proven busy (with a trip to Houston to celebrate nephew Joshua’s upcoming 3rd birthday!) and trying to really get the big items checked off of our “Family Do” List.  Sometimes I would just kill for more hours in the day.  But, this would be silly and a waste as I am dead to the world come 9:30 PM.

    I thankfully passed the glucose-screening test – hooray! 

    I am really starting to feel pregnant.  I definitely think that I look further along than I am, but thankfully every other momma with multiple pregnancies tells me the same thing!  Just no tummy muscles left in there!  Baby keeps on moving and moving.  Up at night – sometimes almost feeling like a sick-to-my-stomach feeling because of this little gymnast!

    Amazing baby changes this week: Baby is awake and asleep at regular intervals, opening their eyes, and maybe even sucking that darling thumb!  Baby hiccups are in the forecast too.

    Abi changes:  Still convinced she’s getting a brother, with an occasional sister thrown in there.  She is so darling and special it just melts my heart.  She constantly talks about how much she loves the baby, that baby is always included in her activities (we’ll see the validity of that in May of next year!), and is just so inclusive in her view of our family!  I am so humbled by her beautiful little heart.  We have begun to talk about Abi getting a new bed and that baby will be getting her current one – and this is an exciting prospect…long may it continue!



    You may think that there are just three people pictured in the snapshot above…but there are 4!  We are so excited that Abi will be getting her first girl cousin in April of next year!  HOORAY!  We are so thankful for the family that God has graciously given us, it truly is humbling.  We know that beautiful baby girl McGown will be loved and cherished, and we pray a beautiful and significant life over her!

    To our McGown family:

    Thank you for your generosity and hospitality when we are in Spring.  We love being in your home!  Thank you for driving the long I-45 to Dallas and making special weekends a priority.  Thank you for loving our Abi and encouraging her to be the little lady that God has designed her to be.  Thank you for your love, thoughtfulness, and encouragement in life.  We are grateful!

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    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    The Co-Op

    Oh goodness, have we found something that makes us happy!  About 2 months ago, our family joined a Farmer’s Market co-op in the area – and it has been amazing!  (Truth be told, we actually split with donald’s parents at times because we can’t eat everything!).  With the co-op you’re able to get amazing deals on produce, because you buy by the case – something that is doable when 12 families are pitching in!

    It was our family’s turn to shop this past week – and donald’s parents watched abi for us in the AM – enabling donald & I to have an early morning date!  Delight.  What a treat to rise at 5:00 AM…hit up starbucks…and meet some farmers at the farmer’s market!  I was both giddy and intimidated!  When we arrived at the FM – I didn’t quite know what to expect – you see Abi and I used to go all the time before we joined the co-op – but that was a TOTALLY different experience than what we experienced at 5:45!  It was awesome talking to the farmers (they’re there at 3 in the morning!) – getting phenomenal deals (we are totally robbed at the grocery stores) – and really enjoying a totally new experience!

    Upon arriving…


    And upon departure…


    All our goodies when we got home, unloaded and ready to sort for the other families to come and pick-up!


    Abi & Malia sorting…


    Beautiful.  This picture just makes me happy.  Thankfulness!


    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    On being thankful

    I am always just so satisfied when the month of November arrives.  There is something in me that just feels at peace and it is so good. 

    It is revitalizing how our spirits become uplifted at the thought of expressing our thanks.  It is such a wise practice.  One that I want to be more intentional in.  One that I want to model for my daughter more consistently.  One which I am called to do continually.

    So, I will strive to be more faithful in this area during the wonderful month of November, when we are reminded in a more heavy way to be thankful.  I hope that I continue this well into 2011.


    First off…I am thankful for my dear friend Sarah.  She is patient with me.  She shows me grace when I take way too long to call her back.  She is wise.  She is hungry and ready to hear from the Lord, and always has such a beautiful way of relating that onto others.  She loves life and is ready to actively participate in it!  She knows that I love the fall and miss my childhood home so much during these months, so she sends my family fall leaves.  She is my pen pal (and remains faithful in this even when I go too long without writing back).  Sarah, you are a blessing to me!  I am so thankful for you.


    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    And it indeed was a celebration…

    I just love my husband.  He is most everything I can imagine a good and gracious God giving me in my best friend.  I am thankful.  Woosh…loads of happy.

    So, here I am…a month (and then some) late, but we were so thankful to be able to get away for our 5 year anniversary and to just enjoy being together.  To not order our day around nap times; to sleep in if we wanted (although there was not a single day that we did!); to have long conversations, uninterrupted, one after another; and to be able to just focus on the other person.  It was a dream. 

    Oh my goodness, and we got to experience the celebration of 5 most beautiful (and crazy, and humbling, and not easy yet ever so worthy) in the most amazing country of Ireland.  So grateful.


    (do you like our fortune from Pei Wei on our evening out when we bought our travel book?!)

    I truly don’t even know when to begin.  I’ve actually been putting this post off for some time now because I feel like this was just a treasure of a time period for us – how do I begin to document it with words?!  But (laugh with me, please!)  I’ll want this in our blog book, so I’m going to post some highlights of this most incredible part of the world we got to love in!

    Day One: Beginning our adventure in Cork and driving to Dublin


    Day Two: Beginning in Dublin - this is silly, but I gave the Guinness Tour it’s own collage…


    Continuing on from Dublin / Day Three of the amazing, AMAZING western coast:


    The Cliffs of Moher, I truly don’t have the words:


    What would a true Wallace blog be without our food?  This is a compilation of all the deliciousness:


    Day Four: The Dingle Peninsula, my favorite part of the trip!


    It was a beautiful time.  Our memories are rich, we are thankful!


    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Baby Wallace Pregnancy – Week #26

    Oh, sweet baby – I’m so sorry.  Mommas has not documented your beautiful little life for a few weeks.  I do apologize.  Well, here we are.  Week #26, approaching that final trimester and still having that little detail sealed away in an envelope…much to the disdain of many-a-loved-one!

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    At week 26 of growth, baby Wallace:

    Is the size of an English hothouse cucumber (about 14 inches), weighing 1 2/3 lbs!

    The last few weeks have been busy, but the kind of busy where you don’t have anything really “huge” – just the state of life where intentionality becomes essential to live in a purposeful and wonderful way!  So, that’s what we’re trying around the wallace household…purposeful and wonderful!  I am starting to really “feel pregnant” and by that I mean I’m getting a bit more uncomfortable!  Back hurting – yep.  Sitting on that beloved bouncy ball – all the time.  Grunting when leaning over –uh-huh.  Oh, it is a unique phase of life!  I’m so thankful.  Gestational diabetes test is this Friday, so fingers crossed that all of that Halloween snacking wasn’t too harmful!  Baby is M.O.V.I.N.G!!!!  He/she is all over the place!  I feel like this sweet one is way more active than I remember our dear Abi.  And at the most inopportune times…oh dear.  Lots of long nights ahead in our future?!

    Amazing baby change this week: Baby’s ears are getting more and more sensitive and they are really able to distinguish voices!  They are inhaling/exhaling more and more amniotic fluid…getting ready for that marathon in February!

    Abi updates: She is still holding pretty strong to the idea that she’ll be a big sister to a little brother, but the ‘sister’ card has been thrown around with more frequency.  We’ll see!  She loves the baby so.  It truly brings such joy to our hearts to see our family molding into a future picture already and the love in her heart for this child.  So special.  She talks about “our baby” quite frequently – whether it is if baby wants a bite of her Halloween candy, what type of music does baby like, is the baby awake, etc.  We love watching her grow in this area!