Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Zach is the Man with a Plan

"As Zach says, 'If you ain't got a plan, make one up.'"
-Jackson Bates

Another week down and another new episode of Bringing Up Bates is coming your way tomorrow. Sometimes we just can't believe how quickly life marches on. Scroll down to read the summary of this week's show and watch a sneak peek scene featuring the boys' camping trip.

Thursday, August 24, 2017
8pm: The Night the Lights Went Out in Tennessee
8:30pm: Don't Worry, We've 'Goat' This!
9pm: The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys (NEW)
Since Zach has moved out of the Bates house, he misses spending time with the middle boys, so he organizes a camping trip in hopes of having some bonding moments with his brothers. But in between skeet shooting and fishing, Zach gets a call that might put his overnight camping trip plan on pause. Later, Kelly Jo, Erin and Whitney gather up the younger kiddos for a swimming lesson. But will Kelly's fear of the water cause Callie, Jud, and Jeb to hesitate from diving in? Or will the kids take to the water like a school of fish?
 10pm: The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Driving the Bates

Kelly Bates: "Well I guess you can write yourself. Do you really think you're the best driver?"
Josie Bates: "Oh ya!"

The Bates can't quite come to a consensus on who the best driver in the family is (Kelly says there are no quality Bates drivers). But hey, at least they can almost agree on who takes the title as the worst driver...

Who are the worst/best drivers in your family?

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to check out our other blogs ( and

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bates Watch the Solar Eclipse

This afternoon, the Bates gathered at a friend's pool to watch the solar eclipse. Even Michael and Brandon Keilen drove down from Chicago for the event. The film crew was present, so you can look forward to the festivities on an upcoming episode of Bringing Up Bates.

Were you able to see the eclipse?

Photo courtesy of Carlin Bates/

Yodeling in the Philippines

As we shared in our recent Bates Updates post, Lawson Bates, Nathan Bates, Trace Bates, and Carlin Bates just returned from a two-week mission trip to the Philippines. They helped with medical missions and shared the Gospel with the adults and children whom them encountered. Some of the local schools even allowed them to speak to large groups of kids.

Scroll down to see a dozen snapshots and a video of Carlin yodeling. 

 Carlin Bates

 Lawson Bates


 Nathan Bates




 Carlin and Lawson





And here's that video we mentioned...


Photos/video courtesy of, Carlin Bates,

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bates Updates August 2017

The Bates have had a busy month. Nathan, Lawson, Trace, and Carlin have been on a medical mission trip in the Philippines for the past two weeks. They return home today and have truly had a wonderful time ministering to the people they have crossed paths with.

For those who have been asking about Nathan, he spent six months in Mississippi, but he is now living in Tennessee with the family and doing flight training.

Michael and Brandon Keilen just moved into a new place in Chicago. Kelly and Erin flew up there on Wednesday for a one-night trip to help Michael decorate. The Keilens are still struggling with infertility, but they are learning to trust God in a deeper way.

Josie Bates just started her last semester of cosmetology school. She now has a "special friend," Kelton Balka, and the two are enjoying getting to know each other. Kelton lives nearby.

Alyssa and John Webster are continuing to build their commercial cleaning business, while raising their two little girls. They recently shared that they plan to wait a while before having another baby but that they plan to eventually have six children.

This weekend, Gil and Kelly and the kids are on a camping trip. Kelly's flight from Chicago was delayed, so she was late meeting up with the rest of the family.

Brooklyn Paine, who spent a week in the hospital in late July due to an infection, is doing very well, and her parents are grateful for the prayers lifted up by friends and fans. Brooklyn just celebrated her first birthday.

 Carlin Bates and Lawson Bates in the Philippines

Lawson Bates in the Philippines

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bradley and Sissy

"I'm, when I have kids one day--a long time from now--probably going to have my kids take one-year-old photos, whenever I find out what they really are for."
-Jackson Bates

Jackson may not fully understand the value of baby pictures, but Kelly and the married Bates kids sure do. In this extended scene from last night's episode, Zach and Whitney Bates visit Taryn Yager to have one-year photos taken of Kaci Lynn Bates. Bradley Bates loves making his "sissy" smile during the shoot!

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to check out our other blogs ( and

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, August 17, 2017

'The Night The Lights Went Out in Tennessee' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "The Night The Lights Went Out in Tennessee"

  • For the past six months, Nathan has been living in Mississippi and working as a flight instructor. “I really have enjoyed learning how to fly, and I wanted to be able to kind of pass that along,” says Nathan.
  • On tonight’s show, Nathan instructs a man who is working towards his commercial pilot’s license.
  • “There’s no doubt Nathan…has a whole new respect for safety, life, caution, so that is really a mark of maturity up here for such a risk taker as Nathan,” says Gil.
  • Zach, Whitney, Bradley, and Kaci pay a visit to photographer friend Taryn Yager’s in-home studio for Kaci's one-year photo shoot. Bradley does a great job helping make his little sister laugh. When it comes time for the smash cake, Kaci is all smiles.
  • “I cried looking through every picture because [Taryn] seriously captured some of the sweetest pictures that she’s ever gotten,” says Whitney.
  • Nathan returns home and begins putting up the family's new smoke detectors (which are also carbon monoxide detectors). “The fire department showed us where all the fire detectors go, and we were supposed to put them up, and then they went into a box until Nathan got home,” admits Jackson. “He’s got some initiative.”
  • According to Gil, Nathan is an energy giver and a great motivator. He convinces Lawson and some of the other boys to help. While the guys are working, Kelly and the girls clean out the family’s two refrigerators.
  • “Mom is the most thorough refrigerator cleaner-outer, and I just can’t be around when it happens because I hate waste,” says Gil.
  • While one of the boys is up on a ladder and the ladies have food piled up on the kitchen counter, the power goes out. They quickly put the food back in the fridge and grab candles and flashlights. “No lighters for Judson and Jeb!” shouts Lawson.
  • Everyone puts their pajamas on, and Kelly brings out a family favorite game, Surprise Spin. Each person takes turns spinning the rolling pin. Whoever it lands on draws a piece of paper, which either instructs them to do a chore or grants them a fun privilege.
  • Isaiah draws, “Good for $5.” “Daddy’s going to love that we played this game, isn’t he?” remarks Kelly. Lawson is stuck with cleaning out the van and changing all the sheets.
  • The lights come back on, but the kids still want to party, so they grab ice cream from the freezer.
  • “When the power goes out, it goes to simplicity really fast, and having that time to just huddle as a family, play a game, and focus on each other, that was really special,” says Lawson.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bates in the Dark

When the power goes out at the Bates home on tomorrow's new episode of Bringing Up Bates, mama Kelly Bates must find a way to keep the kids calm as they wait for the lights to come back on. Check out this sneak peek scene. What is the longest period of time you have gone without power?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Michaela and Brandon

In honor of Michael and Brandon Keilen's 2nd wedding anniversary, we wanted to share a couple snapshots from a recent photo shoot with the talented Taryn Yager.

Two months ago, Michael opened up about the struggles she and Brandon are having with infertility. Her words ministered to and struck a chord with many. For those who have asked, the Keilens have not announced a pregnancy, but we know they appreciate prayer as they continue to trust God.

 Michaela and Brandon Keilen

Photos courtesy of

Johnny the Dog

"You can hit a golf ball anywhere on this 25 acres, and he thinks it's fetch time."
-Lawson Bates

Who is Lawson talking about? Johnny, of course! Who is Johnny? He is the Bates' faithful, elderly dog that has been a member of the family for many years. Hear all about him in this Name That Bates video.

And if you want more of Johnny, check out this clip from two years ago.

Photo/videos courtesy of UP

Keilens Celebrate 2 Years

Wishing Michael and Brandon Keilen a very happy two-year wedding anniversary! A few days ago, Brandon went skydiving as an early 28th birthday present. (Michael went skydiving at age 18.)

Photos courtesy of, UP

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bates Babies

"My mom loves pictures of every...kid in our family."
-Judson Bates

Can you imagine how many baby pictures the Bates must have floating around, with 19 kids? Mama Kelly says she can identify them all, but she might just be the only one who can do that. Even Gil admits he gets them mixed up. In this video, the family shows some of their one-year pictures. To see more Bates baby pictures, click here to be redirected to a post from 2015.

Photo/video courtesy of UP,

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Allie the Night Owl

"When she knows stuff's going on and there's noise and stuff out's like a little beacon. She's like, 'Oh, people are up. I must need to be up, too.'"
-Alyssa (Bates) Webster

Life with a toddler and a new baby is difficult, especially when your toddler doesn't like to sleep. In this extended Bates scene from Thursday's episode, Alyssa shares the struggles she faces on a nightly basis when putting her girls down.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Josie Bates and Kelton Balka


Did you catch tonight's new episode of Bringing Up Bates? If not, click here to read our recap.

Earlier today, we teased that there might be something going on between Josie Bates and Kelton Balka, Bobby's college roommate. Coincidentally, Kelton lives in Tennessee near the Bates and knew them before Bobby did.

Kelton just graduated with a degree in finance from Pensacola Christian College and is also a licensed plumber. He is working in his uncle's plumbing business, both in the office and in the field. Josie has just one more semester of cosmetology school

Now that the episode has aired, we can share that Josie and Kelton are indeed "special friends." For the Bates and their significant others, friends turn into "special" friends, who turn into boyfriends/girlfriends. From there, they start courting, get engaged, and get married. So Josie is in the second stage of getting to know Kelton, but (lucky for Gil), they still have a long way to go!

Photos courtesy of UP

'One Cap, Two Gowns' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "One Cap, Two Gowns?"

  • Carlin helps Tori pack for Bobby’s college graduation. She also lends Tori a few articles of clothing. “The people of the same size, they just have this real problem of stealing,” says Lawson. “It’s not stealing,” responds Nathan. “If clothes fit you and they’re in this house, hey, if you want them to be your clothes, you keep them somewhere else. But if you keep them in this house, it’s part of the family closet.”
  • “Tori and Nathan are our two that they’re like, ‘Oh it’s in the closet, it grabs for anybody,’” says Kelly.
  • Down in Florida, Alyssa and John show us a glimpse of their life with two kids. John works in his family’s air conditioning business, and both of them have a joint cleaning business on the side.
  • One particular evening, John comes home to watch the girls for the evening, and Alyssa immediately runs out to clean and doesn’t return home until after 9:00. At that point, John heads out to fix an A/C unit. “We’re going to stay right at two kids for right now,” says Alyssa.
  • “I think Alyssa learned a lot from cleaning big messes from this house,” says Judson, matter-of-factly.
  • Tori and Josie head down to Florida for the grad party. They kick off the trip with some disk golf. Josie plays on a team with Kelton Balka, a friend of Bobby’s who lives near the Bates and knew them before they knew Bobby.
  • “I was super excited to get to go with Tori to the graduation because one of my friends is actually graduating,” says Josie. “Kelton is a guy that I’m kind of talking to and getting to know, and he’s pretty great.”
  • “What’s it with all these special friends?” says Gil.
  • “We’re going to be seeing lots of Kelton and Bobby,” says Kelly. “Well I like them boys,” responds Gil, with a combined look of stress and joy written on his face.
  • The next day, Gil and Kelly and some of the kids show up for the party. “Bobby’s house is a lot different than our house,” comments Jackson. “Theirs is actually clean. I would be surprised if they didn’t mop this house more than once a day.” Bobby’s family lives in Tampa, in a gated community that sits on a lake.
  • “You’ve got nice things, we can break them,” quips Nathan.
  • Bobby is graduating with a youth ministry degree and will be moving up to Tennessee at the end of the summer. Kelton graduated with a degree in finance and is going to work in his uncle’s plumbing business in Tennessee.
  • During the party, Tori sneaks off with Bobby to give him his Bible. He loves it.

Another Bates Courtship?

 Josie Bates and Kelton

On tonight's new episode of Bringing Up Bates, Tori Bates and Bobby Smith openly discuss engagement. Meanwhile, Josie Bates could be in the early stages of her own romance. Bobby's friend Kelton, who lives in Tennessee, pays special attention to Josie during Bobby's graduation party. Are the two moving towards a relationship? Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT to find out!

Photo courtesy of UP

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dad Webster on Duty

John Webster with Allie Jane Webster and Lexi Mae Webster

Tomorrow on a new episode of Bringing Up Bates, we will catch up with Alyssa and John Webster down in Florida and find out how life with two kids is treating them. Somehow, they manage to juggle two businesses, as well! In this clip, John cares for Allie and Lexi while Alyssa is away.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bates Mom Shows Her Playful Side

"I was trying to teach the boys manners, but whenever you're with your kids, part of the goal is to have fun, too."
-Kelly Bates

Is Kelly Bates all work and no play? Watch this video, and you'll agree that she certainly is not. While practicing manners with Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah at the fancy McCloud Mountain Restaurant, the mom of 19 shows her sons something unexpected.

Have you ever seen someone do the trick that she demonstrates? If not, you're going to want to grab a straw and some water and try it for yourself.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bates in the Philippines

The Bates are requesting prayer for Lawson, Nathan, Trace, and Carlin, who just embarked on a two-week mission trip to the Philippines. They will be aiding pastors and doctors who are working to share the Gospel and provide medical care.

If you have been a long-time reader of the blog, you may remember the photos we posted two years ago from the Philippines mission trip that Lawson and Nathan took with Josiah Duggar.

 Lawson Bates, Carlin Bates, and Nathan Bates at the airport

 Trace Bates and Lawson Bates on the airplane

Photos courtesy of

Marriage and Motherhood for Tori?

"As soon as Bobby graduates, that means he can go home and make the moola and get a ring and propose...and then get married and then whatever comes after that."
-Tori Bates

Tori has been looking forward to Bobby's graduation day since she first met him almost two years ago, and the day has finally arrived! In this sneak peek of Thursday's new episode, Carlin Bates helps Tori pack for Florida, and Josie Bates reminds viewers that motherhood might not be too far away for this soon-to-be-engaged gal.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Grand-Bates #5 Turns 1

Wishing Brooklyn Paine a very happy 1st birthday! As the first daughter, Brooklyn shares a middle name with mama Erin.

Cousins Carson Paine, Brooklyn Paine, Allie Jane Webster, Lexi Mae Webster,
Bradley Bates, and Kaci Lynn Bates

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Photos from the Music Video

As many of you know, Lawson's "Past the Past" music video was released on Thursday. (Click here to watch it.)

We have some behind-the-scenes shots to show you, sent to us by Coffee County News. The music video was filmed on May 4th at multiple locations in Manchester, Tennessee, including Coffee County Central High School, Jiffy Burger, and Carden-Jarrell Stadium. Lawson invited the Coffee County community to join in as extras.

These photos are from the football game scene:

 Lawson Bates, Sadie Robertson, and Robert Brandon (Lawson's stunt double)

 The crowd, including Gil and Kelly Bates

 Sadie Robertson

 Lawson Bates and Sadie Robertson

 Nathan Bates, Sadie Robertson, and Lawson Bates

 Sadie Robertson

Isaiah Bates, Warden Bates, Lawson Bates, Sadie Robertson, and Nathan Bates

 The crowd

 Lawson's stunt double takes a hit

 Gil Bates and Jeb Bates

 Lawson Bates

 Sadie Robertson and Nathan Bates

 Nathan Bates, Sadie Robertson, and Lawson Bates

And here are a few photos from the meet and greet, which took place Thursday night in Manchester:

 Lawson Bates and a fan

 Lawson Bates and music video director Josh Lockhart

 Lawson and fans

 Lawson performs music

Lawson signs autographs

Photos courtesy of John St. Clair/, Rebekah Hurst/Coffee County News