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Seth is playing baseball

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We didn’t know what all to expect for Seth when he was born with Down syndrome. I’m not sure I expected him to be able to make good contact with a pitch when he was five years old. Whatever our expectations were, Seth continues to exceed them. In this case, he is participating on a baseball team with some of his buddies from church. You’ll note that he’s not nearly as interested in playing the field as he is in hitting that ball. In this league, the coach will pitch five to ten pitches to the players and if they don’t make contact, the tee will be brought out and the player will hit off the tee. I fully expected the tee would be the standard for Seth, but through three games, he’s made contact with a pitched ball twice out five or six “at bats”. The bigger point is that Seth’s teammates and coaches have fully embraced his participation and have cheered him along like all of the other players. Bottom Line: Seth is playing baseball, and that’s pretty cool!

Watch him in this video:

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My Little Cowpokes…..

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It’s rodeo season here in Texas, and all the FunHouse little ones have ALL had fun recently dressing up in their best western (not the hotel) gear.

While I realize that Sully’s costume doesn’t exactly fit with our western theme here at the ranch, I couldn’t help but capture our precious Jack-Jack who is growing by leaps and bounds now that he’s a 6-month-old!

Sullivan isn’t scary at all and Woody wears his hat well.


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Celebrating Ella’s Eighth Birthday

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Ella turned eight years old on November 28, 2013, and she did it in style. The Fun House enjoyed celebrating with family and friends. There are plenty of opportunities to do that on her birthday since it falls so close to Thanksgiving. I’ve always told Ella that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I can’t think of too many better things to celebrate and be thankful for than Ella. Ella is the reason we started this blog back in 2005, and I’m so glad we kept it going because God has used this blog to show his goodness, his mercy, his humor and his miraculous power over the last eight years. Hopefully this blog has been an encouragement to a few. It’s been fun for us. And without further delay, here’s Ella’s birthday video.

We love you Ella and pray that God will continue to use you as a light to display His glory.

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Celebrating Kyle on his third birthday

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The days have passed quickly since all of the activity at the end of September with Jackson’s multiple TV appearances. However, in the midst of all the excitement with Jackson, the Fun House were so excited to celebrate Kyle’s third birthday. We enjoyed hosting my parents and Emily’s parents to celebrate Kyle.

Kyle's birthday brought out both sets of grandparents.

Kyle’s birthday brought out both sets of grandparents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today Show Follow Up Interview – Jackson’s Live TV Birth

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Well, just when we thought the fun was over, we were asked for a live follow up interview on the Today Show to discuss Emily’s live TV birth of Jackson on Monday as part of the Today Show’s #BornTODAY focus. Here’s the relevant footage of our family during this morning’s program.

This morning was about the most challenging it gets from a parenting perspective. Seth woke up cranky and Kyle, who is entering his most challenging toddler age, was flexing his independence muscles with force. All the new people and the change in routine wasn’t ideal for happy, compliant children. Thus, sitting on a couch for “look-ins” every seven minutes and then doing the actual interview required plenty of cajoling and other forms of “encouragement” to get Seth and Kyle to cooperate. The camera, production guys, and producer NBC used were all great along with the representative from Woman’s Hospital of Texas who provided extra hands to go along with Emily’s parents. Emily was happy to see that Dr. Cone got some more face time on the footage of the birth that hadn’t been shown on Monday. He deserves the recognition for his excellent work in delivering all four of our children and his special care for Emily over the years. Needless to say, we won’t be forgetting this week, and not primarily because of the media exposure. The TV folks go away, but we get to enjoy the precious gift of Jackson for a long time. We praise God for him and pray that he magnifies the name of Jesus with his life.

Setup NBC interview

They moved some furniture to get the shot

This NBC team made us look good

This NBC team made us look good

 

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Baby Jackson is born on NBC’s Today Show

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The whole process started with Emily’s doctor asking her if she would be interested in participating in NBC’s Today Show’s attempt to get as many live births on TV during their program on September 23rd. Emily was due on September 28th but she had delivered two weeks ahead of schedule for each of the births of Ella, Seth, and Kyle. After talking it over, she decided she was game. All of this was contingent on Emily not starting labor before that day on her own. Well, the night before the big day Emily’s water broke at home and she began labor on her own. I got the opportunity to run around the house like a mad man, pack the car, and drive faster than usual from our home to the hospital about 27 miles away. Needless to say, we made pretty good time getting there. However, once we got to the hospital, Emily’s contractions were regular but weren’t getting closer together. She ended up laboring all night on her own, which put her into the group with a high probability of giving birth on the Today Show.

Woman's Hospital of Texas had a professional photographer take this pic.

The Hospital had a professional photographer take this pic. Also seen at Woman’s Hosptial Facebook page.

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Ella attempts to hatch a chicken egg in her room

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Ella tries to re-create a science project from school in her room. When mom is helping clean her room, she discovers this chick hatching project. Never a dull moment in the FunHouse.

Sneaky Ella trying to hatch a chick at home

Sneaky Ella trying to hatch a chick at home

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The summer of 2013

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We are back with an update of our 2013 summer. The five of us had so much fun going to the hill country to start the summer.

Good family time in the hill country

Good family time in the hill country

Then, Emily and I were able to get away by ourselves to San Diego for a long weekend.

Amazing view at La Jolla

Amazing view at La Jolla

Nana and Pappy did an amazing job taking care of them while we were gone. And finally, we spent a great time in Galveston with my brother Jamy and his family along with my mom and dad.

Thankful that our extended family are some of our favorite people.

Thankful that our extended family are some of our favorite people.

I put together a short video to capture the memories. We hope you enjoy! Feel free to sing along.

Now we are waiting for baby Jackson to come anytime between now and the end of September. We are so excited to meet him, but Emily said she would be more than happy to wait until Seth starts kindergarten and Ella begins second grade in just one week. My how time flies! Until next time…

 

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Video: The Kids Find Out About Baby #4

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Watch this video of the kids finding out about baby #4 (who we now know is Jackson) for the first time on Valentine’s Day. It was back in February, but it’s an unforgettable moment that we wanted to share. Ella was blown away. Seth and Kyle took it in stride.

This news drew happy tears from Ella.

This news drew happy tears from Ella.

We can’t wait for September to welcome another little one to the Fun House.

 

 

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Video: Seth Turns Five Years Old!

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Happy birthday to our Seth!!  Time does indeed fly by, as we can hardly believe that we just celebrated his fifth birthday. What a journey these years with him have been.  I say it each time- we wouldn’t trade what we’ve learned these last five years for all the world.

Seth is a treasure I wish the whole world could know.

It’s funny how Seth can be both our easiest and our most difficult child all at once.  Let’s start with easy:  he is the most content child I’ve ever known.  His favorites are easy:  Jesse and Woody (Toy Story) dolls, monkeys, bubbles, outside, Sports Illustrated football, basketball and baseball encyclopedias, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins (mainly for Burt), watching replays of A&M football games, playing tackle, dancing, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, chocolate and DADDY.  Everything else I think he could give or take, but those are clearly his favorites and truly a win-win every time.  What makes him the most difficult?  Seth is by far the most stubborn of all our kids.  He will refuse to do even the simplest or most necessary of tasks (for example, go to the bathroom and wash your hands) just because he’s made up his mind that he doesn’t want to.  Forget bribery, forget pulling out the list of favorites.  If he’s decided no, we figured out finally that we’d better decide to put on our patient hats.  Seems we don’t have enough of those around here some days.  ;)

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