Monday, August 31, 2015

Gil Preaches a Sermon

For those of you who have requested that we post one of Gil Bates' sermons, we have one to share! This is a sermon that Gil preached two years ago at South Haven Baptist Church.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Michaela & Brandon's Honeymoon

Two weeks after their wedding in Knoxville, Tennessee, newlyweds Michaela (Bates) Keilen and Brandon Keilen are headed back to their new home in Chicago, Illinois, where Brandon is on staff with a local ministry. They spent their honeymoon in the picturesque, American Rocky Mountains.









Photos courtesy of the Bates family

Bates #5 Turns 22

Wishing Nathan Bates a blessed 22nd birthday! Did you know that his full name is Kenneth Nathanial Bates?

Nathan Bates and Lawson Bates in the Philippines, 2015


Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recap: "Addee & Ellie's Pool Party"

Bringing Up Bates, "Addee & Ellie's Pool Party"
  • Gil fulfills his promise of giving Josie a private tennis lesson.
  • “Sometimes we…treat the family like a herd or a flock, instead of like individual people that are valuable, special, important,” shares Gil, as he emphasizes the importance of spending one-on-one time with each child.
  • Gil grew up playing tennis and says that his “claim to fame” was when he finally beat his dad on his dad’s 50th birthday. He is proud of Josie for wanting to learn a new skill.
  • Meanwhile, Kelly takes Trace clothing shopping at a local thrift store.
  • “All of our boys are probably just as picky about clothes as our girls are,” shares Kelly. “They know brands, they know what they like, they know what they think looks good or doesn’t look good. So I feel like I’m the old lady out of style when I’m shopping with the kids.”
  • Trace will graduate high school in December. Kelly asks if he plans to continue working with Gil, but Trace says that he “really ain’t big into that tree business.” 
  • The mom of 19 encourages her son to experiment with a few classes at The Crown College of the Bible and reminds him that she and Gil will pay for his first semester, but she assures him that she will be happy with whatever choice he makes.
  • Trace thanks his mom for taking him shopping and says he “had an amazing time” with her.
  • Addallee and Ellie’s birthdays are in February and April, but the girls have been holding off for an outdoor pool party. Now that summer has rolled around, Gil and Kelly decide it’s time to fulfill the girls’ wish. Whitney’s mom, who has a pool, invites the family over to her house.
  • “My parents have always really tried to make every birthday really special, especially for the younger children,” says Lawson. Gil and Kelly make a habit of taking the birthday kid out to a restaurant and then allowing him or her to have a party.
  • After the Bates arrive at the pool, everyone jumps in the water while Kelly prepares lunch. “Where’s the birthday cake?” asks Zach. Turns out, Gil was in charge of picking up the food on Kelly’s list, and he bought two boxes of cake mix and brought them to the party.
  • “Who’s going to cook a cake mix while we’re in the pool?” Lawson asks his dad. 
  • “What about all the things I got right?” says Gil. “You did good, you did good,” Kelly assures her husband.
  • Michaela saves the day when she arrives with a store-bought cake. Before chowing down, the Bates take turns sharing praises about Addee and Ellie, which is something they do at every birthday celebration.
  • “If you’ve ever heard of constructive criticism, it doesn’t feel too constructive if you’re the one getting it,” says Gil. “But praise, or encouragement…is a powerful, powerful thing.”
  • “Affirmation from other people, when it’s real, means so much,” shares Nathan.

A Bates Pool Party

Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for an all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates (video preview below). And be sure to tune in before and after the show for reruns of past episodes.

7pm ET/6pm CT: A Big Bates Thanksgiving
8pm ET/7pm CT: Training Up Bates
8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT: The Bates Go to Florida
9pm ET/8pm CT: Addee & Ellie's Pool Party! (NEW)
When you have 19 kids, it's hard to spend one-on-one time with any of them. But it's not impossible. Kelly makes a point to spend the day with Trace, while Gil and Josie take off on a father-daughter adventure. Afterwards, the whole family gathers together to celebrate Addee and Ellie's birthdays with a joint swimming party.
9:30pm ET/8:30pm CT: Boating with the Bates
10pm ET/9pm CT: Addee & Ellie's Pool Party! (NEW)
10:30pm ET/9:30pm CT: The Quest for the Dress

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Daddy-Daughter Tennis Date

In the following video clip, Gil Bates gives 16-year-old Josie Bates, his 10th oldest child, a private tennis lesson.

"Our children don't care how much money we make, and they don't care what kind of cars we drive," shares Gil Bates. "They really care about how much time we're willing to really spend with them. I'm really thankful to have a daughter that loves her dad and family and wants to take time with me," says Gil.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Baby Carson, 3 Months Old

Happy Monday! We love this picture of Chad Paine and the adorable Carson Paine. Carson was born May 14th, which makes him just over three months old.

Chad and Carson Paine


Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meema's Love For Children

For those of you wondering where Kelly Bates gets her love for children, it becomes quite clear when you hear her mom's story. "Her whole life has been devoted to children" said Kelly during a recent interview for Bringing Up Bates.

After Kelly and her siblings had married and moved out, Kelly's mom--whom the family affectionately calls Meema--was very lonely. At the age of 50, she adopted a newborn daughter, Beth. One year later, Meema decided she didn't want Beth to grow up alone, so she adopted Becca.

"We all thought she was crazy, only because, we're thinking, 'Who would tackle that at her age?'" Kelly admitted to her adopted sisters at Beth's wedding shower earlier this summer. "Our kids adore y'all. I just want y'all to know, y'all are so special to me, and I think that y'all were both one of the best decisions that Mom ever made."

Kelly Bates shares a sentimental moment with her adopted sisters, Beth and Becca


Photo courtesy of UP

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Recap: "The Quest for the Dress"

Bringing Up Bates, "The Quest for the Dress"...
  • Kelly and Michaela meet with Kim, Kelly’s older sister, to discuss flowers for the wedding. Kim has a flower shop in Mebane, North Carolina, called Gallery Florist. She has done flowers for each of the Bates kids’ weddings, as well as for Kelly’s wedding.
  • Michaela wants cherry blossoms, but since they aren't in season in August, she settles for silk flowers.
  • After Kelly married Gil, her mom adopted two daughters. One of those girls, Beth, is getting married the month before Michaela, so Kelly and Michaela meet up with the rest of the family for Beth’s wedding shower. Michaela and Beth are only a year apart in age and are close friends.
  • For one of the shower games, guests divide up into teams and create toilet paper wedding dresses. Afterwards, Gil the penny pincher gathers the leftover toilet paper to take home. “Man, look at all this savings!” exclaims Gil. “This is the soft kind.”
  • Later, Erin and Chad have a photographer take newborn pictures of Carson. “I have never known why people want to go take pictures of itty bitty babies,” says Nathan. “And then the next thing is, why they always want to take their clothes off and put them in a little bucket or something."
  • Michaela, accompanied by her mom, sisters, and sister-in-law, heads to White Lace & Promises in Knoxville, Tennessee, in search of the perfect wedding dress. The bride-to-be wants a simple gown that makes her look skinny and has a train and sleeves.
  • As expected, Michaela is hit with an onslaught of opinions each time she tries on a dress. “I’m going to tell you something about the Bates,” says Josie. “They are not scared to say what they think. They just blurt it out. Whitney doesn’t do that, but we do that.” 
  • “It is good to be honest,” agrees Whitney. “But you have to do it in a loving kind of way.”
  • Tori and Carlin turn out to be the biggest critics.
  • After trying on a bunch of wedding dresses, Michaela admits to feeling discouraged. “I was thinking, ‘Maybe we should just elope or have a tiny wedding that nobody is going to see,'” she shares. 
  • But before long, Michaela finds exactly what she has been looking for. The gown will need extensive alterations to remove some of the poof and add capped sleeves, but everyone agrees that it is very “Michaela.”
  • The only catch is that it will cost nearly $2,000, which is significantly more than Michaela had allotted for in her wedding budget. She resolves to pray about it and make the final decision in a few days. 

Tonight: The Quest for the Dress

Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a few episode of Bringing Up Bates, "The Quest for the Dress" (preview below).

Michaela Bates takes Kelly Jo and her sisters into town to look for the perfect wedding dress, but after hours and hours of searching, she gives up. None of the gowns are right. The wedding is only two months away, and Michaela is starting to get nervous.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bates-Keilen Wedding Pics

Michaela (Bates) and Brandon Keilen have been newlyweds for four days! Check out these pictures of their beautiful wedding, which was officiated by Gil Bates. Tune in to UP tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT to watch Michaela choose her bridal gown (preview coming soon).

Did you know that Michaela and Brandon met more than six years ago? Their feelings for each other grew steadily until, on December 30th, 2013, Brandon asked Michaela to begin a courtship.

Look closely at picture five, and you'll notice that the couple's unity candle is perched on a tree stump that has their names engraved in a heart. When your dad and brothers do tree work, why not get a little creative?

 The Bridesmaids!
Left to right: Angie Keilen, Alyssa Bates Webster, Tori Bates, Erin Bates Paine, Michaela Bates Keilen, Kelly Jo Bates, Jana Duggar, Becky Keilen, Christy Keilen


 Michaela poses with her mom and three of her sisters

 The ceremony

 Michaela and Brandon light a unity candle

 The kiss!

 Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Keilen 

Jana Duggar and Michaela Bates Keilen

 The Bates-Keilen wedding party

 Brandon & Michaela Keilen with Gil & Kelly Bates

 The bride and groom



Photos courtesy of UP

Monday, August 17, 2015

Marriage Advice for the Keilens

Four Bates weddings down and 15 more to go! Michael Bates married her sweetheart, Brandon Keilen, on Saturday afternoon. What marriage advice do you have for the Keilens as they start their new lives together?

Michael (Bates) Keilen and Brandon Keilen

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bates Wedding #4 is Here!

It's wedding day for Michael Bates and Brandon Keilen!

The couple began their courtship on December 30th, 2013, and got engaged nearly 16 months later on April 13th, 2015. Michael and Brandon will tie the knot this afternoon at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Michael and Brandon during their courtship

Michael and Brandon after their engagement


Photos courtesy of the Bates family/UP

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bates at the Lake (Screenshots)

During last night's episode of Bringing Up Bates, we checked in with Erin, Chad, and baby Carson; watched Tori show off her new wardrobe; and headed to the lake with the entire Bates clan (minus Alyssa and John Webster).

For those of you who were unable to tune in, be sure to read our recap and check out these screen shots.

 Erin and Chad Paine are home from the hospital and loving being parents to baby Carson

 Chad Paine hands off Carson to his eager mother, Tammy Paine

 Tammy spends a few days with Erin and Chad to help them adjust to parenthood

 Tori's younger siblings gather around to admire her new clothes from Burlington Coat Factory

 Carlin and Tori are two-and-a-half years apart in age and are very close

 Tori models a blouse she bought at Burlington 

The rest of the family loves Tori's new clothes, and Gil loves that he didn't have to pay for them

 The Bates clan spends a fun-filled day at a nearby lake

Bradley loves playing in the water with Zach and Whitney


Photos courtesy of UP

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Recap: "Boating with the Bates"

Bringing Up Bates, "Boating with the Bates"
  • Now that Erin and Chad are home from the hospital with Carson, Chad’s mom, Tammy, is staying with them for a short while to help out.
  • Carson arrived one month early, weighing 6 pounds at birth, but miraculously, he was healthy and did not have to be admitted into the NICU.
  • Tori goes shopping at Burlington Coat Factory using a gift card that Mama Jane, Gil’s mom, sent as a reward for earning straight A’s in her first semester of college.
  • When Tori returns home, the entire family gathers around to admire her new clothes. “Mom, she got a tractor load full of clothes!” exclaims Carlin.
  • “Is this, like, my money?” Gil asks his daughter. When Tori assures him that she used the gift card from “Janey,” Gil smiles and says: “I love shopping with Janey!”
  • The family begs Tori to model her clothes. “Her outfits were awesome,” says Carlin. “So all you guys out there, don’t mess with my sister.” Tori covers her eyes in embarrassment. “Carlin, stop,” she says, laughing. “She don’t want me to chase them off,” replies Carlin.
  • Gil calls a family meeting to discuss plans for the week. Nathan announces that he is going to the lake for a day, and Kelly suggests bringing the entire family. Kelly grew up on a lake. Gil grew up close to one, and he also proposed to Kelly on a lake. Needless to say, the Bates family loves lakes.
  • Everyone pitches in to gather supplies, including swimsuits, life jackets, a jet ski, and a lot of towels. (Gil suggests sharing towels, but the girls refuse.)
  • The next day, as the family is about to leave for the lake, Michael’s bridesmaid and flower girl dresses arrive. Naturally, some of her sisters have to try them on immediately.
  • The Bates arrive at the lake around lunchtime. They are thrilled to have Zach, Whitney, Bradey, Erin, Chad, and Carson join them.
  • The Bates ladies swim in stretchy skirts and leggings, but according to Whitney, it really isn’t a big deal. She says you hardly notice it.
  • Partway through the day, the skies open up and pour down rain. A strong bolt of lightening makes the girls scream.
  • After the storm passes, Gil shows off his extreme waterskiing skills. “Dad is the coolest guy on the planet,” says Carlin. “My dad is an outstanding skier,” boasts Nathan.
  • “My children are the funnest people to play with in the world,” says Gil. “They make me feel special, even thought I am just an average person. I hope I can encourage them as much as they have encouraged me.”
  • Gil even dives off the top dock. “The problem with me trying to keep up with those kids; I hurt so much more after it’s over,” says the father of 19.

Bates Hit the Lake

Another week is almost over, which means it's time to check in with the Bates clan. Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a new, 30-minute episode of Bringing Up Bates.

9pm ET/8pm CT: Boating with the Bates
It's time for the annual Bates family lake trip! The kids waste no time swimming, boating, and skiing. But what starts out as the perfect day soon turns to disaster when thunder strikes and the family has to head for the hills.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shout-Out to UP

Hope you're having a relaxing week. We want to do a quick plug for UP, the network that airs Bringing Up Bates. These guys do a fantastic job at documenting the lives of Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 children. They exist to broadcast uplifting, feel-good TV in the midst of this dark world. Way to go, UP!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Erin's Guilty Pleasure

What is Erin Paine's guilty pleasure? Cheesecake!

"She gets happy when she eats cheesecake," shares Chad in the video below. "And fat," adds Erin, laughing. The couple spends a special night together in downtown Knoxville before Carson's arrival.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Recap: "Erin's Little Miracle"

Sorry for the delay in posting the recap of Thursday's episode. The technical difficulties were finally resolved, so I (Ellie) woke up early this morning to finish it off before leaving for church.

Bringing Up Bates, "Erin's Little Miracle"
  • As Carson's due date grows closer, Erin and Chad make the finishing touches on the nursery.
  • Chad surprises Erin with a night away at The Oliver Hotel in downtown Knoxville. Erin is in shock as they walk into a beautiful hotel room and Chad presents her with a gift basket filled with her favorite things.
  • "It's my job to make sure that, occasionally--at least every day--that she gets pampered somehow," says Chad, who takes his wife for a mani-pedi, something he is clueless about but knows Erin will love.
  • Later that evening, Erin and Chad browse through furniture and decorations at a small vintage shop downtown. Chad works eight hours a day at a metal recycling company, but on the side, he enjoys refinishing furniture and hopes he can turn that hobby into a full-time job someday.
  • Chad treats Erin to a romantic dinner and gives her a long, sentimental letter.
  • Meanwhile, Michael and Brandon continue preparing for their wedding.
  • Kelly's sister Kay, who is a baker, brings over different flavors of cakes for the bride and groom to sample. They choose strawberry and plan to do a small tiered cake for pictures and larger sheet cakes for the guests.
  • Brandon suggests a white cake with cherry blossoms. (He and Michael got engaged in Washington D.C. when they cherry blossoms were in bloom, so that is the theme of their wedding.)
  • Michael's bridesmaids are Erin, Tori, and Alyssa; Jana Duggar; and Angie, Becky, and Christy Keilen (Brandon's sisters). She is having Kelly as her maid of honor because her mother is her best friend and she doesn't want to have to choose between three sisters.
  • The Bates ladies browse DaintyJewells.com for bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. Michael's plan is for the flower girls to wear the Dreaming in Vintage gown and the bridesmaids to wear the A Night in Paris gown.
  • Tori, Carlin, Josie, and Katie head to a local thrift store with Judson and Jeb to buy baby outfits for Carson. “Jud and Jeb are a handful to handle in a public place,” says Gil.
  • On the way home, the crew stops by to deliver the clothes to Erin, who is thrilled. She and Chad cannot wait to meet Carson. “Anytime I see baby clothes now, I get so excited,” says Erin.
  • For several nights leading up to Carson’s birth, Carlin sleeps at Chad and Erin’s house because she wants to be there to support her sister and brother-in-law.
  • Erin wakes up one night with painful contractions about five minutes apart. Dr. Vick instructs Chad to bring her to the hospital. While they are leaving the house, Erin’s water breaks, and her contractions become even more intense.
  • As soon as Erin is checked into the hospital, she starts insisting on an epidural, but at that point, she is only 1 cm dialated.
  • “The one consoling thought to me during the whole labor was, ‘I’m about to see Carson,’” says Erin.
  • Kelly joins Erin and Chad in the delivery room, and Gil stands on the other side of the curtain, pacing and praying.
  • “I think that was probably the most helpless I’ve ever felt in my entire life,” says Chad. “All I could do was hold her hand and just try to talk to her.
  • About 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital, Erin stats screaming, “I’ve gotta push! I’ve gotta push!” Before long, she is 7 cm dialated, and Kelly tells her that it’s time to have the baby. “And at that point, I think I realaized that, ‘I don’t think I’m getting an epidural,’” she says.
  • Carson arrives less than two hours after Erin’s water breaks. Both Chad and Erin cry tears of relief and joy. “I really can’t put it into words, to have something that we hoped for for so long,” says Chad, as he holds his son soon after delivery.
  • “You guys, I thought I was going to die,” shares Erin, looking at her mom. “If you did that nineteen times…”
  • After the delivery, Dr. Vick explains that Erin had a placenta abruption, which means the placenta lining had separated from the uterus. That was the reason she had such intense contractions. If Carson had not arrived so quickly, the Paines could have faced serious complications.
  • “God worked it out,” says Chad. “God knew there wasn’t time for an epidural.”
  • It isn’t long before several of the older Bates kids arrive to meet their nephew. Erin had told her mom that they could come as soon as she got an epidural, but of course that never happened.
  • “Holding Carson was just literally overwhelming,” says Michael.
  • “I’m just so grateful that God answered our prayers, and Carson’s here,” says Erin. “I can’t wait to see him grow up.”

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Watch Carson's Arrival on UP

Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a one-hour special of Bringing Up Bates, "Erin's Little Miracle" (video preview below).

Erin and Chad Paine have their final appointment with Dr. Vick before Carson's arrival. During the dramatic, high-risk delivery, the entire family is on pins and needles, hoping and praying that all goes well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Next Bates Pregnancy?

We're curious to hear which Bates couple you think will be the next to announce a pregnancy. When Michael and Brandon tie the knot on August 15th, there will be four married Bates kids. And don't forget about Gil and Kelly Bates. They have said many times that they would love to have more children.



Photo courtesy of the Bates family/UP

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bates #10 Celebrates Sweet 16

Wishing Josie Kellyn Bates a blessed 16th birthday!

Did you know that Josie is the only member of the Bates clan who has naturally curly hair? 




 Photos courtesy of the Bates family/UP

Monday, August 3, 2015

Alyssa's New Look

Alyssa Webster, the sixth oldest of Gil and Kelly Bates' 19 children, recently made a big change to her appearance. Previously a blonde, she is now a proud brunette.

Alyssa Webster shows off her new do


Take a look at these photos from a few years back to see Alyssa's natural hair color. 

Alyssa Bates

Alyssa Bates and Jana Duggar


Photos courtesy of the Bates and Duggar families

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bates #17 Turns 6

Wishing Callie-Anna Rose Bates a blessed 6th birthday! Don't you just love this little girl's "elephant ears," as her family calls them? We snapped this photo of Callie last summer during a visit with the Bates clan. She refused to have her picture taken until someone agreed to push her around on a bicycle. Smart girl! Today is also Jennifer Duggar's 8th birthday

Callie Bates