The Capital

ARNOLD, Md. (AP) — “Our Little Family,” a new TLC reality show series, debuts Feb. 17 at 10 p.m. following the premier of “19 Kids and Counting.”

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Unlike the reality shows on the air, this one is different — most of the show was filmed throughout Anne Arundel County.

The cameras follow an Arnold family, headed by Dan Hamill, 48, a native of New Brunswick, Canada; and Michelle Parisi Hamill, 40, a 1992 graduate of Broadneck High School. The couple has three children: Jack, 6; and twins Cate and CeCe, 3.

The Hamills were born with a genetic condition called achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism.

Dan Hamill is a professional woodworker known regionally for his furniture, cabinetry and architectural wood work. He has been the proprietor of three businesses, and was the president of the Rotary Club of Greater Severna Park.

“Our Little Family,” produced by Discovery Studios, follows the Hamills as the parents use their experiences to anticipate and overcome the physical and emotional challenges that come with being a little person.

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The show’s producers found the Hamills through a Facebook furniture design site, Littlepeople Bigdesigns.

“The show was originally about Dan’s work in people’s houses, but its focus gradually changed to the family,” said Michelle Hamill, a stay-at-home mom. “Some of Dan’s handiwork is still in the show.”

Ten episodes have been produced and will be shown in double time slots over a five-week period.

As seen in this youtube.com clip, http://capgaz.co/1Lf3tlM, viewers will watch the family as it navigates through a birthday celebration, and the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the travails of settling sibling disputes.

During the filming, the family paid on-camera visits to Cakes and Confections, in its new Severna Park location on Ritchie Highway, and cut a Christmas tree down at Friendship Trees, a tree farm in Friendship.

While at the farm, the children clustered around a “real” Santa, actually North Beach resident John Balano, a professional sailmaker and retired career naval officer, who happened to sport a real, fluffy white beard and a red Santa cap. He was there to cut his own tree. Caught unaware, Balano didn’t want to disappoint. He quickly went into “Santa Mode” as the cameras rolled.
Information from: The Capital, http://www.capitalgazette.com/

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