Saturday, April 30, 2016

32 Weeks!

As we roll into May, Whitney Bates is only eight weeks away from her June 25th due date. At 32 weeks, Kaci Lynn Bates is around 16 inches long. (Click here to see her first ultrasound photo.)

In the photo below, Whitney poses with Taryn Yager, the talented photographer who has taken pictures to commemorate many Bates family milestones. Taryn is also expecting and is due in July.

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bates Mother's Day Special

We know you are all counting down the days until the June 2nd season four premiere of Bringing Up Bates. You'll be thrilled to hear that UP has just announced a Bates Mother's Day special, set to air next Thursday, May 5th, at 9pm ET/8pm CT (promo video below). 

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Life in FL and IL

"It was a little shocking when there was snow--a lot of snow--near Thanksgiving."
-Michaella (Bates) Keilen

"Florida, and then a month of cold, and then hot again."
-Alyssa (Bates) Webster

Michaella, who moved to Chicago, Illinois, last year, and Alyssa, who has lived in Clermont, Florida, since spring 2014, share their favorite things to do in their new cities and what they miss most about East Tennessee.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Ellie Turns 9

Wishing Ellie Bates a blessed 9th birthday! Her name, Ellie Bridget, means "strong light," and her favorite activity is horseback riding. Did you know that Ellie is only 14 months younger than Addallee? Those who watch Bringing Up Bates have probably noticed that the two sisters are very close.

Addallee "Addee" Bates and Ellie Bates

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Celebrate with the Bates

Are any of you planning to attend Carlin Bates and Trace Bates' graduation party this Saturday? (Click here for details.)

A few of you asked why the two teens are celebrating their high school graduation together when they are 14 months apart. (Carlin turned 18 on April 11th, and Trace turned 19 on February 1st.) Trace actually finished school in December but held off on his party until now. We think it is going to be worth the wait, as this Bates celebration is sure to be huge!

Josie Bates, Nathan Bates, Trace Bates, and Carlin Bates 
visit the UP head office earlier this week

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Big Bates News!

The Bates family is currently in Atlanta Georgia visiting UP's head office and filming interviews. You'll be thrilled to hear that the network was able to use a bunch of the questions you submitted to us! The interviews will be available in the coming weeks.

Look for some all-new Bates specials, starting Thursday, May 5th at 9pm ET/8pm CT!

Here are a few snapshots from today:

Photos courtesy of UP

Monday, April 25, 2016

Submit Your Questions For the Bates

Do you have a burning question for the Bates family? They are currently in Atlanta, Georgia, visiting the UP head office and filming website content.

Submit your questions now--either for individual family members or the Bates clan as a whole--and we will forward them to the network for possible use in this week's interviews! Ready, Set, Go!

Photo courtesy of UP

Hear From Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah,

For a change in pace, 14-year-old Jackson Bates hosts a segment of Name That Bates with Warden Bates, 12, and Isaiah Bates, 11. The three brothers discuss a handful of serious topics, including time travel, superpowers, and the circus.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Sunday, April 24, 2016

1st Trip to the Zoo!

Zach and Whitney Bates recently took 18-month-old Bradley Bates to the zoo for the first time. According to Whitney, Bradley tried to "moo" at all the animals (see photo on the top right). Does your family enjoy visiting the zoo?

Whitney is 31 weeks pregnant with Kaci Lynn Bates, and she and Zach say they cannot wait to hold their daughter in their arms.

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Friday, April 22, 2016

Coming Up On Season 4...

Have you heard the big news? The Bates' hit reality TV show is returning to UP on Thursday, June 2nd! To find out what the family has in store for viewers in season four of Bringing Up Bates, read the summary below. And click here to watch select episodes from seasons one, two, and three.

In the new season, change is in the air as a lot of the kids are beginning to forge their own paths outside of the family. From new loves, to new careers and new babies, the Bates are growing up and experiencing both the highs and lows of life. 

Amidst all of the change, the family is tested when patriarch, Gil, has a health scare. But through it all, the Bates persevere, and the family never falters. Led by devoted father Gil and his loving wife Kelly Jo, the Bates do everything in bulk while staying true to their values and rules for the family. But lately–as viewers will see–their simple rural lifestyle in Tennessee is in a flurry of transitions and is continually challenged by the modern world. 

“Raising a family with 19 kids guarantees that life is full of adventure, and we wouldn't have it any other way,” say Gil and Kelly Bates. “In fact, each time one of them leaves the nest, we remind ourselves that before too long, they'll all be gone, and we can hardly bear the thought! Until that happens, we'll work to create memories as a family.  We're thrilled people want to come along for the ride.” 

Photo courtesy of UP

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Season 4 Premiere Date!

UP has announced the premiere date of Bringing Up Bates season four, and as we promised, it's in June! Tune in to UP on Thursday, June 2nd, at 9pm ET/8pm CT to watch this beloved supersized family from the hills of East Tennessee.

Are you curious to see how the network created the artwork above? Check out this video for a behind-the-scenes look:

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Keilens Reflect on Married Life

Michaella (Bates) Keilen and Brandon Keilen reveal that are enjoying married life and that it has been a "sigh of relief" after such a busy season of life. "It was definitely very enjoyable, but I don't remember everything," Brandon says of their wedding day (video below).


Photo/video courtesy of UP

Watch 'Bringing Up Bates' Season 3 Online

This announcement is sure to make your day...

The first three episodes of Bringing Up Bates season three are available for free on! Click the links below to watch:

Bringing Up Bates Season 3
Episode 1: Welcome Back Bates
Episode 2: Sweet Tea & Sit Ups
Episode 3: 15 Kids and an Empty Nest

The following episodes from seasons one and two are also available for free streaming:

Bringing Up Bates Season 1
Episode 101: Meet the Bates
Episode 103: Bates Gone Wild

Bringing Up Bates Season 2
Episode 201: All Together Again
Episode 202: Future In-Laws?
Episode 203: High Risk, High Hopes

Photos courtesy of UP

Bates Grad Party Final Details

The Bates family has announced the final details of Trace Bates and Carlin Bates' graduation party. Anyone who is in East Tennessee on Saturday, April 30th, is invited to celebrate at Mount Moriah Camp, located at 200 Cruze Road in Powell, Tennessee, from 2-4pm.

The camp has ball fields and volleyball and basketball courts; those who are interested in playing are welcome to bring sports equipment. To RSVP, email

Photo courtesy

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tori's Indignation

For those of you who are eager to learn more about Alyssa and John Webster, we have yet another Name That Bates clip to share! When Tori Bates asks which Bates family member they are each closest to, their responses aren't quite what she had hoped for.


Photo/video courtesy of UP

Celebrating Chad Paine

Happy 29th birthday, Chad! He and Erin have been married since November 2013 and live in a small cottage-style home near Gil and Kelly Bates. Chad works for a metal company in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and enjoys refinishing furniture as a side hobby.

Charles "Chad" Stephen Paine III and Erin Paine welcomed their first child, Charles "Carson" Stephen Paine IV, in May 2015 and are expecting their second, Brooklyn Elise Paine, in August 2016.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Country Folk in the Big City

"New York City is the last place you want to be when it's raining." (Nathan Bates)

Do you think the Bates could survive in the Big Apple? While visiting Nathan's girlfriend, Ashley, several Bates family members struggle to catch a cab in the rain (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Season 4 Coming Very Soon

Just wanted to share the latest update with you all regarding the Bates family's return to UP. Season three of Bringing Up Bates ended last week, and season four is set to premiere in June! The exact date will be announced soon.

Photo courtesy of UP

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Celebrating Christmas Bates-Style

In this deleted scene, the entire Bates clan gathers together for the annual family Christmas party. This is a year of many firsts, including the first Christmas that Michaela and Brandon Keilen are celebrating as husband and wife, the first Christmas with granddaughter Allie Webster and grandson Carson Paine, and Nathan's first Christmas with girlfriend Ashley Salyer.

What "firsts" do you think the Bates will celebrate next Christmas?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Gil Bates: How We Ended Up Here

You may be surprised to hear that Gil and Kelly Bates do not see children as a parameter for how much trust a couple has placed in God.

In a recent interview with Christian Examiner, Gil Bates shares how he and his wife ended up with 19 kids and why they decided to film a reality TV show.

"It's not a matter of how many children God gives you; it's really a matter for us of finding God's will for your life, and being willing to trust Him in whatever He's asked you to do," Gil tells Christian Examiner. "How did we end up with 19 kids? It was really nothing we planned for, but it was something we believe God led us to trust in Him. We didn't know it would be 19 kids, but I don't think we would have seen and experienced some of the amazing blessings we've seen in life had we not chosen to trust God."

When the Bates were offered a spot on reality TV, they were hesitant to accept, unsure of how a film crew what effect their family dynamic. But after much prayer and discussion, they decided to give it a try, seeing it as a ministry opportunity.

"So with a lot of shaking knees and a little reluctance, we moved forward one step at a time," Gil tells Christian Examiner. "It was a drastic change for our kids, but it's been a wonderful experience so far. It's been a positive for our kids and for us."

The production company chooses the family events that it will cover months in advance and only ends up filming two to three days a week. "They try to be really mindful of our family, realizing that our primary goal is to raise our family and live for the Lord," says Gil. " The show is kind of an outreach from our family."


Photo courtesy of UP

Monday, April 11, 2016

Too Many Shoes? Alyssa Says No Way

Alyssa and John Webster sure are a hoot! Here's a new Name That Bates video--hosted by Tori Bates--featuring the [sort of] newlyweds.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Double Bates Birthday!

Carlin Bates, Josie Bates, Alyssa Webster, and Allie Webster

The Bates family is celebrating two special milestones today. Carlin Bates-Gil and Kelly Bates' ninth oldest child--is turning 18, and Allie Webster, the second oldest Bates grandchild, is turning one year old.

Did you know that Carlin can yodel? She also has a love for children and leads character lessons for the church kids on Sunday nights. Click here for information on Carlin and Trace's joint graduation party, which they have opened up to the public.

Allie is an easy-going baby whose middle name, Jane, is in honor of Gil's mother, whom the Bates call Mama Jane.

Photo courtesy of the Webster family

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Season 4?

Do you agree that season three of Bringing Up Bates went back too quickly? Are you eager for the Bates family to return to UP? Well then stay tuned for an announcement regarding season four!

Photo courtesy of UP

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bates Grad Party Details

On Monday, we announced that Carlin Bates and Trace Bates had decided to open their graduation party up to the public. We have a few details to share with y'all!

The party will take place on Saturday, April 30th, from 2-4pm at Mount Moriah Camp (200 Cruze Road in Powell, TN). Additional info coming soon.

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Recap: "The Big Apple of Nathan's Eye"

Bringing Up Bates "The Big Apple of Nathan's Eye"
  • Nathan is planning to surprise his girlfriend, Ashley, in New York City and ask her to begin an official courtship. For the Bates family, “courtship” means “going steady.”
  • “The main goal for us in courtship is the desire to stay pure in the relationship,” shares Kelly. According to Gil, courtship is not a guarantee that the couple is going to marry, but if the relationship does not end at the altar, the two will part as friends.
  • Lawson helps Nathan pick out a courtship gift. “If Ashley is going to kind of fit into our culture, she needs to get her a pair of cowboy boots,” explains Nathan. His three youngest sisters are not impressed by his gift. Nathan ends up purchasing a pair of earrings to go with the boots.
  • Lawson doesn’t agree with Nathan’s decision to pack Western attire for his trip to New York City. “I’m proud of where I’m from, but sometimes you’ve got to adapt to the environment,” says Lawson.
  • Nathan had originally planned to go to NYC alone but ended up inviting his mom to come. Before he knew it, Gil, Lawson, and Erin (along with Carson) had expressed a desire to tag along.
  • Nathan is a bit concerned that Ashley will think he is proposing.
  • The Bates show up at Ashley Salyer’s apartment in the Bronx. The Salyers are a homeschool family with seven children. Ashley’s father, Tim, works in the probation system, and her mother, Ana Maria, runs an in-home daycare.
  • They have one hour to decorate the apartment with streamers, balloons, and posters before Ashley returns home. Erin draws a picture of two ducks (labeled Nathan and Ashley) kissing. Nathan hangs it front and center, but Gil has a different suggestion: “We’re going to put that one on the back burner.”
  • When Ashley walks in, she is overjoyed to see Nathan. The two embrace in a big hug. Ashley admits that she had suspected that something was up, but she hadn't expected such a big ordeal.
  • The next morning, Ashley and a few of her siblings take the Bates on a boat tour to see the Statue of Liberty. They visit China Town, where Erin and Ashley try their hand at making noodles, and then end the day at 10Below Ice Cream.
  • On the second day of the trip, Nathan takes Ashley on a carriage ride through Central Park. “For some reason, they didn’t want me to go along and enjoy that moment with them,” laments Lawson.
  • Kelly explains that in a big city, there are plenty of eyes on you at all times. For that reason, the couple does not take a chaperone along.
  • The next stop is the outdoor ice rink at Bryant Park. While Nathan and Ashley are skating, Lawson sets the gift bag in the center of the rink.
  • “I’ve had a great time hanging out this week, and I love you a lot, and I thought we’d get you something to help you fit in with our culture a little bit,” Nathan tells Ashley. He has to get down on one knee to pick the bag up and is afraid she will think he is proposing. When he pulls out the earring box, he makes sure to tell her that it’s not a ring.
  • “We’d like to start courting, if you’re okay with that,” says Nathan. “Of course I’m okay with that!” responds Ashley.
  • Nathan unveils one final surprise, as he informs Ashley that he has purchased a ticket for her to return to Tennessee to celebrate Christmas. Ashley is elated!
  • Back at the Bates home, it’s time for the annual Christmas party. Michael, Brandon, Alyssa, John, and Allie make a surprise visit. Nathan and Ashley tell their courtship story. 
  • Zach and Whitney hand Kelly a box filled with either pink or blue balloons. When she opens it, everyone is thrilled to find out that Bates grandbaby #4 is a girl!

Nathan's Courtship Gift...Yay or Nay?

What do you think of Nathan's courtship gift? His younger sisters aren't impressed...

Check out the video below, and then tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a one-hour season finale episode. Don't worry, it's not the series finale. :)

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Season Finale Snapshots

On tomorrow's season three finale episode of Bringing Up Bates, Nathan Bates, accompanied by a few family members, heads to New York City to ask his girlfriend, Ashley, to begin an official courtship. While there, they explore Times Square, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, take a ride in a horse drawn carriage, and rent ice skates.

After returning from NYC, the Bates clan gathers in Tennessee for a big announcement. Zach and Whitney Bates are having a girl!

 Ashley is overjoyed to see Nathan!

 Nathan and Ashley enjoy time together

 The lovebirds pose for a picture with Gil and Kelly Bates

 The Bates family braves the hustle and bustle of New York City

 Nathan and Ashley hit the ice

 Nathan surprises Ashley with a question (and a gift)

 Every city gal needs a solid pair of cowboy boots!

 Making memories together

 Nathan treats Ashley to a ride in a horse drawn carriage

The newest Bates couple!

 Chilling with the rest of the Bates clan back in East Tennessee

 Nathan and Ashley pray together

 Jumping for joy!

 Erin and Chad Paine pray together

Photos courtesy of UP