Friday, April 17, 2009

Praying over daughters and a new family photo

Yesterday was pretty busy day in our family. With the family visits wrapped up for the day, and the baby snoozing, Brenda and I tried to get some sleep. The nurse helped Brenda get out of bed and helped her get refreshed a bit, we checked on Hailey one more time and then at long last, lights out. Brenda and I had only slept for about 3 hours the night before, and aside from a couple of very brief cat naps, we were up all day.

So with the lights out, we laid down to sleep... for about 20 minutes before Hailey cried out. The poor girl was pretty gassy and just wanted to be held. Brenda was wiped out from all the days activities and after trying in vain a couple of times to get her to settle back down, I picked her up and rocked her in the glider in our darkened room so that Brenda could try to get some rest.

When you are tired and the baby is restless and your options are limited (we can't very well take her for a drive to help her fall asleep or take a walk around the block), this is the ideal time to pray. As I held her and rocked her and loved on her it occurred to me that this was my opportunity to pray over my daughter. Mind you, all day long in small pockets of time, I had thanked God for this precious gift, and countless times during Brenda's pregnancy I had prayed over Hailey's development, but this was the first time, with Hailey in my arms that I could pray over her and for her.

I am sharing this incredibly personal time because I feel that there may be a few parents out there who aren't sure "how" to pray over their children. I can't imagine a more powerless position as a parent than simply wishing and hoping that our children grow up well. And while this may not be the perfect prayer to pray over your children, maybe it will spur some ideas for you. This is the prayer that I pray over Grace every night, and the prayer that I got to pray over Hailey for the first time last night.

Holy Father, thank you for the gift of this day
with my precious daughters. Grace and Hailey are jewels in Your crown,
hand-crafted, special gifts of Your creation that You have entrusted to me.
Thank you for such a lavish and magnificent gift. Tonight as they sleep, help
them to grow physically, mentally and spiritually that they may grow to be
strong women after Your own heart. I pray Father that they will come to know You
at an early age, that they may serve You all the days of their lives. Help me to
grow as a daddy too. Give me a lion's strength to protect and defend my family.
And give me a soft spirit, able to lift the salty sting of their tears from
their faces and able to hear the soft words of their hearts. Give Brenda the
strength to demonstrate Your grace, wisdom and service as they grow. Protect us
as we sleep tonight. Send your angels to camp in our home, and watch over us. In
Jesus name, amen.

It is a pretty simple prayer, a prayer that recognizes some things that we take for granted, such as the fact that each day is a gift. It also reminds me that God is an artisan and a craftsman. Both of my precious daughters were lovingly crafted, not from a mold, but from a plan that He drew up for each of them personally. It is a constant amazement to me that He entrusted these gifts to our care, and that He determined that Brenda and I have, or will have every tool, resource, talent and gift that will be needed to help Grace and Hailey grow. It also reminds me that such a perfect and wonderful gift is attractive not only to me, but also to an enemy that seeks to destroy God's perfect creations. My role isn't an onlooker role, but rather my role is to shepherd them, to train them up and to protect them. What an awesome responsibility. Nobody other than God himself can enable me for that job.

On a much, much lighter note, I am very proud to share the first photo of our newly expanded family. One day soon, a professional photographer will take dozens of pictures of my family and we will select a print that includes the perfect lighting, a couple of well placed props and probably well-groomed, happy smiling people. But no image on that day will be able to capture what this image does, because this image shares a proud daddy, a beautiful bride and mommy, a wide-eyed amazed big sister and our new bundle of joy just a few hours into her life.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hailey Michelle Cornish is here!

It's 6:45 am right now and we are at the hospital, in pre-op, preparing for Hailey's arrival. We are so excited to welcome Hailey Michelle Cornish into our family.

It's kind of funny how different Brenda's pregnancies have been. Part of it is because as first time parents with Grace, everything was new. With Hailey, there haven't been many surprises. We were blessed to have wonderful, healthy pregnancies with both, and fantastic care from Brenda's doctor and the staff at the hospital.

With Grace, we had hoped for natural delivery. Since Grace ended up being a c-section, and the opportunity was available, we actually scheduled this day for Hailey quite some time ago. Since we actually still a week away from Hailey's actual due date, baring any emergency, we have known that today would be the day.

With Grace, the change from a natural to a c-section delivery brought a bit of sadness. We had been here at the hospital for a couple of days, trying after being induced for the natural delivery. With Hailey's scheduled c-section, we have the peace of mind that comes with a scheduled surgical procedure.

It's 11:30am - Hailey is absolutely precious. This time it took quite a bit longer to get from the operating room to Brenda's post-partum room. During that time, Brenda was tended to, Hailey has been measured, cleaned and checked out by our pediatrician's office. We are so blessed. I am adding pictures to our photo album. Look at the right hand navigation bar, under Some of our Favorite Places to check them out.

By 12:30pm, by the miracle of modern technology, Hailey's great grandmother in a nursing home 4 hours away recieved a beautiful floral arrangement complete with 3 glossy 5x7 photos of her newest great grandbady. If health would have allowed for her to make the trip, my mother would have had an impossible task of trying to keep her out of her car. She never would have dreamed that today she would get "see" her newest great grandchild, she was simply hoping for a good report in a phone call. Needless to say, she is extremely proud and the center of attention at her facility. Mema is proud, beaming great grandmother, happy to share all the stats on the newest addition to the family.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

It is not even noon yet on Easter, and we have already had an event filled and busy weekend. On Good Friday, we ate dinner with some great friends at Posado's, one of my favorite spots to eat Mexican food. We talk a lot about wanting to get together with so many of our friends. It is something that we actually do far too little of. It was great company and Grace did very well eating and playing by herself.

On Saturday Grace and I went to cooking class at Young Chefs Academy while Mommy and Gram went for some pampering. Grace and I learned how to make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (yum!) with a full class of kiddos. Its funny to think back to the first couple of classes at YCA when Grace was the only kiddo. This weekend, there were 5 kids and the full class made it so much fun. All of the kids were very excited to help and they all did a great job of being patient and waiting their turns. They also were fantastic at encouraging each other. It is truly special to hear toddlers telling each other that they "can do it" and telling each other that they "did a good job" and cheering each other on. Grace and I have learned some neat new things about helping in the kitchen during these classes, but more importantly, Grace has gained confidence, is more social, and she is much better about trusting other adults.

After class I ran some errands while Grace and Mommy took naps, then came home and mowed and raked the front yard... again. The hail storm a couple of weeks ago came just a few days after I had spent the entire weekend cleaning up the yard (14 bags of grass and leaves). The storm that brought the hail also dumped as many leaves back on my yard as I had just picked up.

We also took the opportunity to attend a Saturday night Easter service. What a fantastic service, we are very blessed by our church family. The depth of talent our church body shares seems limitless. After church, we were off to Mama Fu's for dinner with Gram and Granddad.

Since we were getting up early to go to church on Easter morning, we took the opportunity to sleep in a bit. Then, while Mommy caught a few more winks, Grace and I got up and made pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Once Mommy was up and our tummies filled to the brim with pancake bliss, we hunted Easter eggs. The sun is just now starting to break through the clouds, and while this leaves us hopeful for a sunny afternoon outside at Gram's, this morning's weather definitely called for an indoor egg hunt.

Easter brings a wonderful chance to recount our blessings. We celebrate a risen savior. How awesome is it that we aren't just memorializing an innocent man who died a savage sinner's death, but rather celebrating a Lord that defeated sin, conquered death and rose again so that we may have hope for all eternity.

As I mentioned, the sun is coming out, which means I should probably get outside and use this opportunity to clean up the back patio and the pool.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

We saw this at church a couple of years ago, just before Easter. It really stuck with me and I think it is AWESOME.

And here is the rest of the story.

May you and your's be truly blessed this Easter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting ready for Easter

Grace had "vewy bizzy" day today at Gram's. Gram helped her dye Easter eggs! She was excited to tell us about it tonight at dinner, and Gram sent pictures. There are more pictures on the Photo Album. You can access our photo album from the navigation bar on the right.
Grace has really been enjoying her cooking classes at Young Chefs Academy. At our last class, Gram came with us and got to see how much she is learning there. Because Grace really does seem to enjoy being in the kitchen, Gram and I welcome her in our kitchens as often as possible.
One of the wonderful benefits to having Grace "play" in the kitchen while we cook is that she is far more apt to try something that SHE helped cook. Brenda kind of cringes when she sees Grace eat raw onion, like she did while we were cooking tonight. But I think it is great. No, I don't particularly care for raw onion myself. But Grace is discovering texture and taste and learning, whether she knows it or not.
Tonight, I made a chicken fried rice. Grace was not a fan. But instead of her turning up her nose, pitching a fit and refusing to try it, she ate several bites and kept trying it. I caved and asked her if she wanted a Lunchable for dinner instead which brought an immediate smile to her face. We were just really proud that she tasted it first, and even tried some of each component of the dish.

One last note. We had Brenda's last doctor appointment this morning. She has been a champ throughout and though is at the point of misery, we are so very excited that we are now less than a week away from welcoming Hailey Michelle into our home and hearts. We would welcome your prayers as we head into Easter weekend and get ready to bring Hailey home. Please pray for rest for Brenda, peace for me and grace for Grace!
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