Friday, February 27, 2015

Bates Discuss Brandon's Visit


What do Michaella's parents and siblings have to say about Brandon's extended visit with the Bates family, which aired on last night's episode of Bringing Up Bates?

Kelly and Gil were thrilled to spend time bonding with Brandon and are looking forward to the day when he officially becomes their son-in-law.

"We encourage our children to bring friends to our house, because we like to be involved in their lives," explains Kelly Bates. "We especially enjoy spending time with someone that is involved in a courtship with one of our children because it offers some bonding time with the rest of the family that will establish long lasting relationships once married."

"I was so glad that Brandon was able to spend a few weeks with the family," says Zach Bates. "I know how important it is to establish strong relationships with family members, and that takes time and involvement. Once he gets married, they are likely to move, so this time together will be treasured memories."

Alyssa Bates Webster lives in Florida with her husband, John, and wasn't able to join in on Brandon's visit, but she knew before he arrived that her future-brother-in-law was in for a chaotic two weeks. "There are no secrets in our house, nor is there a lack of opinions, and the new guy on the scene gets to hear them all! I’m sure Brandon’s time with the family will be an unforgettable one!"

Lawson Bates is serious about protecting his sisters. "Well, Nathan and I have gotten the reputation of being the ones that make it hard on the guys! He’s got to meet our approval, cause in our opinion, they deserve the best! Brandon passed, but we’re still trying to use our brotherly persuasion to talk him into moving to Tennessee!"

Photo: Courtesy of UP

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recap: "Michaella and Brandon"


Bringing Up Bates, "Michaella and Brandon"
  • Brandon comes to Rocky Top, Tennessee, for a two-week visit with the Bates family. His relationship with Michaella has been long-distance since the two started courting on December 30th, 2013, so Gil and Kelly suggested he come for an extended stay to bond with the rest of the family.
  • "I have been counting down the days since I first found out he was coming," says Michaella. "I have been so excited about having this time to spend with him and seeing him interact with my siblings."
  • When he arrives, Brandon surprises the kids with candy. "It was the bestest!" says Judson. "He's my favorite."
  • "Brandon was smart to bring candy in one way, but he would have been smarter to bring earplugs," jokes Zach, who admits he is enjoying the quietness of married life with only one kid.
  • As the third youngest of ten kids, Brandon's upbringing was busy, but definitely not as chaotic as Michaella's. "It's kind of overwhelming at times, but it's also kind of fun, just to be able to be in the atmosphere," he says, smiling. "They are all very loving people."
  • Michaella and Brandon met at a homeschool conference about five years ago. "The more I get to know her, the more I realize how honored I am to be in this relationship with her," says Brandon.
  • Gil and Kelly share one rule with the couple: they cannot be alone in a room together.
  • While Michaella works her day job as a nanny, Brandon, born and raised in Michigan, accompanies Gil and the boys on a tree job. "He might be a Yankee, but he works," says Tori.
  • The future Bates son-in-law is cautious at first, but by the end of the day, he is pulling his own weight. "Brandon was working so hard that he was making me start to look bad," says Trace.
  • Later, Gil and Kelly take the courting couple on a walk in the woods. They give Michaella and Brandon some privacy by stepping back and allowing their daughter and her boyfriend to go on ahead. 
  • "When you have chaperones, sometimes it's awkward to carry on really in-depth conversations together," explains Kelly. "So we like for all the courting couples to have opportunity to have all the conversations they need to have..."
  • Gil and Kelly pray with Michaella and Brandon and give them a book, which is also used by the Duggar family. The "Getting Ready for Marriage Workbook is available on the Store page of the Duggar Family Blog.
  • Michaella and Tori take the little kids to an indoor bounce house, and Brandon comes along. Tori tries to force Brandon to go bouncing and go down the slides with her. At one point, she grabs his arm, and Michaella, in fun, shouts, "Tori, hands off!"
  • "If I'm not going to touch him, then she can't either," says Michaella, laughing. Tori shares her side of the story: "It wasn't like I was trying to hug the guy for crying out loud. I was just trying to get him to come have fun with me."
  • Next, Brandon goes bowling with the Bates boys. "When do you think you're going to get engaged, man?" asks Nathan. "It's hard to say," responds Brandon, who admits that he is thinking about proposing but that he wants to keep the details a secret.
  • At the end of the evening, Michaella's brothers put their stamp of approval on Brandon.
  • To get a feel for Michaella's style, Brandon takes Tori, Carlin, and Josie ring shopping. Each sister has a slightly different idea about which ring Michaella would like best. In the end, everyone knows that Brandon will make the final decision.
  • "Brandon handled all the connections with the kids in a great way, and I think he's really a star player," says Gil sincerely.

Tonight... An Update on Michaella's Courtship

Tonight's new episode of Bringing Up Bates is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. When Brandon Keilen travels to Tennessee for an extended visit, it quickly becomes clear that he is preparing to take the next step in his courtship with Michaella.

Tune in to UP at 9pm ET/8pm CT, and come back to the blog after the show for a written recap.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1 Duggar & 2 Bates Leave for Philippines

Lawson Bates, Nathan Bates, and Josiah Duggar spent the day in New York City before heading to the Philippines for a three-week mission trip. ABC's Juju Chang gave them a tour of the Natural History Museum and ABC studios.

Lawson Bates, Josiah Duggar, Juju Chang, Nathan Bates, and two NYC producers

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dinner with Mom & Dad

"Another surprise? Really? Really? Can I handle this all in one day?"

Share in this heartwarming, daddy-daughter moment as Gil Bates presents 16-year-old Carlin with a purity ring (video below).

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recap: "The Purity Ring"

Tonight on Bringing Up Bates, "The Purity Ring"...
  • Lawson Bates prepares to sing the National Anthem for 15,000 people at a University of Tennessee men's basketball game. When he first mentioned the idea to his parents, they thought it wouldn't be possible, but Lawson made it happen. "He doesn't give up," says Kelly. "He kept pursuing, and that's encouraging as a parent."
  • The rest of the Bates clan attends the game to support Lawson. This is the first major sporting event they have attended as a family.
  • Before the performance, Lawson admits he is extremely nervous, but he ends up doing very well. Lawson's parents and siblings are proud of his accomplishment. Gil tears up as he listens to his son sing.
  • "It was absolutely awesome," says Carlin. "The crowd loved it," says Nathan.
  • Later, Carlin is shocked when she receives a special delivery: a bouquet of flowers, a fancy dress, and an invite to a dinner date with Mom and Dad.
  • Carlin is all smiles as she and her parents enjoy a meal at an expensive restaurant, just the three of them.
  • Gil starts to cry as presents her with a purity ring. "This is a little gift that we got you," says the father of 19. "It's valuable, but what you are is way more valuable than any gift we could give you, and what God's given you is a wholesome, pure life. And I want you to keep it until the day that I hand you off to some fine young man that loves God, and then he will begin to take care of you."
  • Kelly says that she expects Carlin to start forming friendships with guys and to enter into a courtship when she finds a guy she really likes.
  • "For us, a purity ring is something we have given our girls, just as a symbol for them and a reminder for them to keep their heart pure and to put God first in their life and to save themselves for marriage," says the mom of 19.
  • At Zach and Whitney's house, the couple shares how they are adjusting to life with a new baby. "Whitney is an amazing mom," says Zach. "I'm just blown away. The way her and Bradley bond, you'd think she'd had 20 or 30 kids of her own already." Whitney says her husband is an excellent father.
  • The Bates brings a pile of frozen pizzas over to Zach and Whitney's for some family bonding time. Kelly comes up with the idea of getting together every other Friday night, and everyone agrees.

Tonight on UP

Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a new episode of Bringing Up Bates (video preview below). In "The Purity Ring," Carlin spends a night out with her parents, and they have a special surprise for her. Later, the Bates family visits Zach and Whitney as they adjust to being first-time parents. Then, Lawson sings the National Anthem in front of 15,000 people. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Erin's Makeup Tutorial

How does Erin (Bates) Paine do her eye makeup? Watch her tutorial to find out (video below).

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Mommy First, Daddy."

In this video clip from last week's episode of Bringing Up Bates, Kelly gives Zach's baby book to Whitney as a gift.

Another Double Birthday

Just a couple weeks after celebrating Trace's 18th birthday and Jeb's 3rd birthday on February 1st, the Bates are prepping for another double birthday celebration! Today, Jackson Bates turns 13, and Addallee Bates turns 9.
Happy Birthday to these two!



Photos courtesy of UP

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bates Fam Celebrates Love

For Gil and Kelly Bates and their kids, Valentine's Day (aka I Love You Day) is a family affair. The entire family dressed in their fanciest clothes and gathered to exchange gifts. All the married couples were present (Zach and Whitney and Bradley, Erin and Chad, and Alyssa and John), as well as Michaella and her boyfriend, Brandon.

The Bates family celebrates Valentine's Day

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kelly Jo's Favorites

In honor of Valentine's Day, known as I Love You Day in the Bates household, Tori Bates hosts a special edition of Name That Bates (video below). See how well Gil knows Kelly!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Recap: "Welcome Grandbaby Bates"


Tonight on Bringing Up Bates, "Welcome Grandbaby Bates"...
  • Only 12 days until Bradley's due date! Whitney is excited, but Zach, who has more experience with babies, is nervous.
  • While shopping for discount baby clothes at a thrift store, Zach and Whitney discover that they have slightly different tastes.
  • "Is this cute?" Zach asks his wife. Whitney shakes her head. The father-to-be holds up another outfit: "Do you like this sweater thing?" "No, not really," Whitney replies. "But it matches his bedroom!" Zach protests. Whitney pats him on the shoulder and continues shopping.
  • Bradley's nursery is nowhere near finished, so Chad comes over to lend a hand.
  • Back at the Bates ranch, Gil and Kelly and the younger kids crowd around Kelly's phone to video chat with Alyssa and John. 
  • "Whenever we video chat with Alyssa, you can't talk to her hardly," says Katie. "If you want to talk to her, you have to go in a room and lock yourself in there," adds Josie.
  • Kelly takes Whitney out for lunch before the baby arrives. The mom of 19 brings Zach's baby book and presents it to her daughter-in-law as a gift.
  • Kelly reads an entry she made when Zach was two-and-a-half years old: "Lately when Daddy comes home, you hold yourself back like a little gentleman, as hard as it is, and you say, 'Mommy first, Daddy,' then wait patiently for your turn of hugs and kisses."
  • What does Kelly think about entering the grandmother stage? "Everybody is always telling us it's going to be better being grandparents because you send them home. I don't see how that can be true because we don't like sending them home!"
  • Chad and Erin take Gil and Kelly on a double date to share some big news: They are expecting! But when Erin tells them it is a high risk pregnancy, Kelly breaks down crying. Erin has had three miscarriages.
  • Chad and Erin hope to keep the news a secret for another couple weeks, but word gets out. "You think I can keep a secret like this for that long?" Kelly jokes.
  • On Whitney's due date, the Bates ladies take her on a brisk walk to jump start labor. Brisk walks are one of the methods Kelly has used over the years.
  • Later that night, Whitney starts having contractions. She remains calm, but Zach is anything but calm. Gil and Kelly and a few of the kids come over to hang out, but it turns out to be a false alarm. Whitney doesn't end up going to the hospital.
  • Seven days past Whitney's due date, Dr. Vick, who has delivered the last three Bates babies, induces labor, or as Zach says, gives Bradley an "eviction notice." Whitney checks into the hospital at 6:00am. At 7:30, she receives her first dose of Pitosin.
  • Contractions become more painful and frequent after she opts to have her water broken. "It's a lot harder watching than going through it myself," says Kelly, who tears up seeing her daughter-in-law in pain.
  • After being in labor for a couple hours, Whitney requests an epidural. "Whoever doesn't get an epidural is crazy," she says.
  • By 9:30pm, Whitney is 7-8 cm dilated. While she waits for Bradley's arrival, various members of the family stop by to visit. When it finally comes time to push, everyone but Zach, Kelly, Whitney's mom, and a few of Zach's sisters leaves the room.
  • Bradley Gilvin Bates enters the world at 10:12pm on October 29th, 2014. He weighs 7lbs 10oz. "There's nothing like just holding him and seeing him for the first time," says Whitney.
  • "It was a huge honor that Whitney invited us girls and let me go," says Michaella. "It was so special."

Photos courtesy of UP

Tonight on UP

There is a lot in store for the Bates family on tonight's hour-long episode of Bringing Up Bates, "Welcome Grandbaby Bates"! (Written summary and video preview below.)Tune in to UP at 9pm ET/8pm CT, and come back to the blog for a recap after the show.

With less than two weeks to go before the first Bates grandbaby, Bradley, is due, the nursery at Zach and Whitney’s house is nowhere near ready. Luckily, brother-in-law Chad lends a hand. Chad is handy at everything. Meanwhile, Kelly takes Whitney to lunch for one last outing before the birth. Kelly gives her Zach’s baby book and imparts some of the wisdom she’s acquired through birthing and raising 19 kids. Later, Erin shares surprising news with her parents about her ability to have children. As Zach and Whitney put finishing touches on the nursery, they talk about how prepared, or not, they are to become parents. The baby’s due date passes, and the family’s doctor thinks it best to induce labor, but Whitney has reservations. When the time comes for Bradley to be born, the Bates clan rushes to the hospital praying for a healthy birth.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bates Fam Preps for "I Love You" Day

With three married children and one in a courtship, you can bet there are going to be at least a few boxes of chocolates and bouquets of red roses being purchased by members of the Bates clan. But the 15 Bates children who are not in romantic relationships are also looking forward to Valentine's Day. Some of Gil and Kelly Bates' kids say that February 14th is their favorite holiday. Find out why in the following video:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lawson Sings about Pork Rinds

Lawson Bates is multi-talented! In the following YouTube video, he combines his ability to make people laugh with his music skills.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Poochie Lip Disease

On Thursday's new episode of Bringing Up Bates, Carlin and Kelly led the children in a round of "The Poochie Lip Disease" to get them in the mood to rehearse for the Tennessee Fall Homecoming festival. For those of you who are interested in singing "The Poochie Lip Disease" with the young kids in your life, check out this video:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bates Sing "In This House"

If you missed last night's episode, check out this video of the Bates family performing "In This House" at the Museum of Appalachia's Tennessee Fall Homecoming festival. (Click here to watch the "In This House" music video that the Bates kids filmed in 2012.)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Recap: "Organized Chaos"

Tonight on Bringing Up Bates, "Organized Chaos"...
  • Gil and Kelly and the kids go through the lengthy process of pulling out winter clothes and packing away summer clothes. "It takes us all day to go through clothes," says Josie. "And sometimes another day," adds Katie.
  • "That's mine!" is one of the most common phrases heard as the family sorts through clothes.
  • Kelly decides to donate her maternity clothes. "I'm getting old, and there's not been a baby in a long time, and so I thought, we're just keeping clutter," says the mom of 19, who would still love to have another kid, as would the rest of the family.
  • Kelly adds: "Somebody said, 'If you get rid of all your clothes, watch what will happen, you'll get pregnant.' So I said, 'Good idea!'"
  • The Bates family prepares to sing at the Museum of Appalachia's Tennessee Fall Homecoming festival. To get the little kids in the mood to sing, Carlin and Kelly lead them in a round of "The Poochie Lip Disease."
  • The evening before the festival, the whole family, minus Alyssa and John, gather to rehearse "In This House," the song they will be singing at the event. It doesn't go as well as they had hoped. 
  • On the day of the performance, Kelly says she is most nervous about the older girls giggling and the little kids not being attentive.
  • The performance turns out well, and the whole family is relieved. Carlin also showcases her yodeling skills, and Lawson sings one of his original songs, "Freedom Sure Ain't Free."
  • When the Duggars helped the Bates add an addition onto their house back in spring 2008, the old part of the house became a storage room. Chad and Erin come over to help the family organize the space so it can be used.
  • "We are great project starters, but Chad is a good project finisher," says Nathan.
  • In the middle of the project, Michaella receives a text from her boyfriend, Brandon. "Brandon is my greatest distraction, and I love being distracted," says Michaella.
  • "When Brandon texts, [Michaella] is no help around here," laughs Gil.
  • The Bates boys pause the cleanup project to do home haircuts. Chad is a self-taught expert at trimming men's hair. "My brothers, they are very, very, very particular about their haircut," says Erin.
  • "You are definitely the best guy that Erin has ever married," Gil tells Chad jokingly. The dad of 19 makes a point to reward his son-in-law for helping with haircuts.

Lawson Introduces New Song

In the following video, country and bluegrass musician Lawson Bates shares the story behind his new song, "Problems." Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a new episode of Bringing Up Bates.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Coming Up on UP

What's in store for the super-sized Bates family on tomorrow's new episode of Bringing Up Bates? Watch the following preview video to find out. Episode six of Bringing Up Bates, "Organized Chaos," airs tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT on UP.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Another Bates Wedding?

When does Michaella Bates plan to tie the knot with boyfriend Brandon Keilen? Find out in the following video:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Double Bates Birthday

The Bates family has four birthdays in February--two on the 1st and two on the 17th. Happy birthday to Trace (#8) and Jeb (#19)! Trace turns 18, and Jeb turns three. Hope you are all having a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday.

 Trace Bates

Jeb Bates

Photos: Courtesy of UP