Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gil Bates: 'We care for you'

"Getting a purity ring from my parents is really special, and it shows how much they care about me and want the best for me."

-Katie Bates

Thursday evening on Bringing Up Bates (click here to read our recap), Gil and Kelly Bates gave Katie Bates a gold heart purity ring. In this deleted scene, they further explain the significance of the ring and why they spend time and money on a fine piece of jewelry, a bouquet of flowers, and a fancy dinner for each of their teenage daughters.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Saturday, January 21, 2017

'You Guys' vs "Y'all'

The Bates have more tidbits of knowledge to share in this new Southern speak video. Last time, they unpacked the phrase "Bless your heart," and today they're discussing whether "You guys" or "Y'all" is the "correct" way to address a group of people. Do you agree with their opinions?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Recap: 'A Birthday and a Birdie'

Bringing Up Bates "A Birthday and a Birdie"

  • Gil and Kelly have a tradition of giving a purity ring to each of their daughters on her 16th birthday. It’s Katie’s turn, and her older sisters help her find an outfit to wear for her dinner date with Mom and Dad. Katie says she isn’t a dressy person, but they insist she wear something fancy.
  • “Watching these young girls grow up to be young ladies is really hard for a dad,” says Gil.
  • When the producer asks why the guys don’t get purity rings, Zach jokingly responds that “the guys in this family don’t get a lot of free things.”
  • “Don’t worry about the ring,” says Lawson. “But if you want to get me a new saddle, maybe even a new pickup truck.” The younger boys say they would love a steak in place of a purity ring.
  • At the restaurant, Gil and Kelly explain the significance of the ring. “This is valuable, but your purity and your life is way more valuable than any ring or trinket or anything in the whole world,” shares Gil. 
  • Katie will wear the gold heart ring--a symbol of her commitment to stay pure, the talk she had with her parents, how much her mom and dad love her, and the goals she has set for herself to pursue godliness--on her right ring finger until her wedding day.
  • “Going into this dinner, I was really nervous, not really knowing what to expect, but it was just great spending time with Mom and Dad, and they made me feel really special.”
  • Later, Gil and Kelly, who have been looking for a permanent meeting place since they started their church plant more than three years ago, visit the building that they recently secured. It doesn’t have a steeple, so they are having one added.
  • Papa Bill and Mama Jane (Gil’s parents) are visiting from South Carolina. Gil, Papa Bill, and Lawson go on a golfing outing. “He’s just been one of my best friends, and I look forward to any chance to be with him,” says Gil of his father, who is 78.
  • “Lawson is a card,” says Papa Bill. “He is very funny. Lawson enjoys golf, but this game doesn’t quite go as well as he hoped it would.
  • Gil asks his son if he needs to have a “large talk,” which is Bates code for, “Are you interested in any girls?” Lawson says no; he is married to music right now.
  • Papa Bill offers up wise advice: “Just remember, whatever decision you make today will determine what decisions are available to you tomorrow.” 
  • At dinner that night, Gil and Kelly single Katie out. “She was ready to hide,” laughs Kelly. “She does not like attention.” While they eat, the family shares birthday praises. Gil's words bring everyone to tears.
    • Carlin: “Katie never ceases to make me laugh.
    • Erin: “Katie is like one of my best friends. I would kind of like to adopt her if mom would let me.”
    • Mama Jane: “Katie tries to make sure I don’t say anything that’s not acceptable. And that’s been a little problem with me through the years. Things I think just come out. But she corrects me.”
    • Kelly: “You’re just so content and so grateful for anything.”
    • Gil: “When I’m getting stressed out about stuff, you say, ‘Dad, it’s alright. It’s going to be okay.’ You help me get the right perspective on things.”

Golf, Purity Rings, and a New Church

It's Thursday, and you know what that means! A brand-new episode of Bringing Up Bates airs in less than six hours. Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Did you see the promo video and snapshots we posted yesterday?

Below are two additional videos. The first is a quick overview of the whole episode, and the second is a scene from the golf game that Gil, Lawson, and Papa Bill play. Be sure to listen closely to Papa Bill's advice towards the end. What do you think of his words?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Win Lawson's New CD

 Lawson stops by Ellie and her husband's house to deliver CDs for the givaway

Who doesn't like free stuff? We're giving you another chance to win Lawson Bates' new CD, What Country Means to Me! Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win one of four copies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Carlin Meets a Kangaroo

Last week, we announced Gil and Kelly Bates' speaking engagement Down Under. While there, they took the opportunity to experience attractions unique to Australia. They visited Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo located in rural Victoria, Australia, that is home to a host of native Australian animals. 

Carlin also went on the trip, and she enjoyed getting to know Kanga the kangaroo (pictured above). Have you ever pet a kangaroo?

For those who live in the United States, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere has an exhibit that allows visitors to touch kangaroos. (Read about it on, written by Bates Family Blog author Ellie.)

Photo courtesy

Photos: Golfing and Sweet 16

The Bates have a lot in store for viewers on tomorrow's new episode of Bringing Up Bates. In addition to announcing their new church building, Gil and Kelly take Katie out for a special outing in celebration of her 16th birthday. Papa Bill and Mama Jane come to Tennessee to visit the new great-grandchildren, and Papa Bill goes golfing with Gil and Lawson.

The show starts tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT on UP. Visit our Showtimes page for more details. To get yourself in the mood for a new episode, scroll through the snapshots below.

 The Bates family

 Gil and Kelly Bates

 Gil Bates, Kelly Bates, and Katie Bates

 Gil Bates, Kelly Bates, and Katie Bates

 Katie Bates

Katie Bates

 Lawson Bates, Gil Bates, and Papa Bill

 Lawson Bates, Gil Bates, and Papa Bill

 Lawson Bates, Gil Bates, and Papa Bill

 Lawson Bates, Gil Bates, and Papa Bill

Lawson Bates (looks like he missed the hole by quite a bit)

 Warden Bates, Kelly Bates, Jeb Bates, and Judson Bates

 Carlin Bates and Katie Bates
(Look at all those hangers!)

 Whitney Bates, Bradley Bates, Gil Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates, and Mama Jane

Papa Bill and his granddaughters

Photos courtesy of UP

Interior Decorating; Gil vs. Kelly

"[Gil is thinking functional changes, I'm thinking cosmetic. I'm thinking change the lights, change the paint. He's only thinking about size."
-Kelly Bates

Tomorrow on an all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates, Gil and Kelly Bates are thrilled to announce that they have finally found a building for their church congregation, which has been meeting in a hotel for more than three years. Check out the sneak peek scene below:

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Watch the Bates Online

Many of you have asked when the newest episodes of Bringing Up Bates will be available online, and we have answers for you. (The blue/orange text represents a link; just click to follow.)

Watch Bringing Up Bates on iTunes
Seasons 1-4, as well as the first two episodes of season 5, are available for purchase on iTunes. You can buy individual episodes ($1.99 for SD or $2.99 for HD) and full seasons ($16.99 for SD or $25.99 for HD).

Watch Bringing Up Bates on Amazon
Seasons 1-4 are currently available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video. Full seasons and individual episodes are listed at prices similar to iTunes. According to the network, season 5 will be available soon.

Watch Bringing Up Bates on Up Faith & Family
Available through xfinity, Amazon Channels, and Dish. Amazon is currently offering a 7-day free trial. The service costs $4.99/month after your free trial expires. Follow this link, or search 'UP Faith and Family' on Amazon, click "browse all," and scroll down until you find Bringing Up Bates. The network plans to upload season 4 on January 25th, but season 5 will most likely not be available until after all the episodes have aired.

Photo courtesy of UP

Monday, January 16, 2017

Deleted Scene: Chattanooga Getaway

In this deleted scene from last Thursday's episode of Bringing Up Bates, Erin Paine finalizes the details for Kelly Bates' 50th birthday celebration. The entire family (including the Websters and Keilens) is headed to a cabin in Chattanooga to honor the Bates matriarch. Have you ever been to Chattanooga?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Win a Bates-Cation 2.0

Bates-ca·tion (bāts-kā-shən) n. a time of rest away from the demands of work, school, and household chores that includes tons of exciting adventures with the Bates family.

The Bates-cation promotion is back! Two weeks ago, Gil and Kelly Bates and most of their 19 children went on a ski vacation Massanutten Ski Resort in northern Virginia with Danielle, winner of the first Bates-cation raffle.

Visit the Bates-cation page on the UP website to read the rules and enter the contest. This promotion ends Friday, February 24th, at 3am ET. At that time, 70 finalists will be randomly selected and asked to submit a video. On or around April 13th, 2017, the grand prize winner will be announced. He or she, accompanied by one guest, will meet the Bates at a vacation destination.

Photo courtesy of UP

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bates Interpret 'Bless Their Heart'

UP just started a new series of videos called "Bates Family Southern Speak." In the clip below, the Bates discuss the phrase "bless your heart" and whether it is a positive statement or a negative statement. Do you agree with the Bates 'interpretations?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Recap: 'Plans, Bands and Mashed Potatoes'

Bringing Up Bates "Plans, Bands and Mashed Potatoes"
  • Erin gathers her siblings to discuss a surprise weekend getaway for Kelly's 50th birthday. "This is going to be a complete surprise, so the main thing is that nobody talks about it," Erin tells the little kids. Judson and Jeb claim they can keep a secret, but that remains to be seen.
  • A few weeks ahead of Lawson's concert tour, he has the band over to rehearse. Some of the members don't know the songs, so the practice is a bit rough. "I'm sure that the pressure is setting in and that Lawson is starting to feel nervous," says Kelly.
  • Later, Gil and the boys discuss building a "basketball goal" in the yard. They have been playing on gravel for more than 10 years and have been saving money to pour a slab of concrete. 
  • "When you learn how to play basketball on gravel, you have home court advantage over anyone that comes to your house because most people don't have that talent," says Nathan.
  • Everyone has their own idea about where the court should go. "Lawson always has the perfect plan, no matter what anyone else says," says Erin. They decide to shoot for it. Whoever makes a basket makes the final call.
  • "I know one thing for sure," says Kelly. "You boys definitely need a court. You need some practice. How about y'all take up a different sport."
  • Kelly suggests the guys tear down the junk shed and use that concrete slab for their court. Gil says that will cost too much money. "That doesn't cost a dime, darlin,'" says Kelly. "One match."
  • So Kelly decides to shoot a basket. "I've never even seen my mom throw a basketball, in her life," says Zach. And she makes it! 
  • "When I saw my wife make that shot...I'm kind of shaking in my boots," says Gil. It still might be a while before the actual project goes down though. The Bates do operate on Bates time, after all.
  • Warden heads over to Erin's house, which is about 30 minutes away, for a cooking lesson. He makes chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, salad, and cookies.
  • "In a lot of households, the guys kind of do these things and the girls do these things, but in our house, it's not really that way," says Lawson. "It's all hands on deck." Zach jokes that he is the best at everything because he is the oldest.

Bates in Australia!

For those of you who live in Australia and have been eager for the Bates to visit your country, Gil and Kelly Bates are finally headed Down Under!

Alongside David and Priscilla Waller (Anna Duggar's sister and brother-in-law) and their three children (Paul, Davia, and Phillip), Gil and Kelly will be speaking at the Institute in Basic Life Principles Walk in the Light Family Conference in Lilydale, Victoria, Australia. (Lilydale is northeast of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.)

The conference runs from Sunday, January 15th, to Wednesday, January 18th. Visit the IBLP Australia website for details on late registration. Sessions on Sunday and Monday night will be free for guests. Contact the IBLP Australia office (details on the website) for more information. If you end up attending, please send pictures and let us know if you were able to meet the Wallers and/or Bates.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This Week on 'Bringing Up Bates'

Are you ready for another round of all-new footage featuring UP TV's largest family? Episode two of Bringing Up Bates season five, "Plans, Bands and Mashed Potatoes," premieres tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT and 11pm ET/10pm CT. It's only a 30-minute show, but you'll still see several story lines.

Ahead of Kelly Bates' 50th birthday coming up on October 26th, Erin Paine gathers her siblings together to discuss plans for a surprise party. Jeb and Judson Bates vow to keep their lips sealed, but some of the older siblings are wondering if the two youngest Bates kids will actually be able to keep a secret.

 Bates kids

Later, Gil Bates and his older boys head outside to find a location for a basketball court. They have always played on gravel, but Gil and Kelly agree that it's time to build a solid foundation.

 Who knew Mama Bates could shoot hoops? Does she make the shot? Find out on tomorrow's episode!

With all the older girls either married or busy with college, Kelly has to rely on the boys for help with meals. (The Bates mom says that has been a big adjustment.) Warden, the Bates' budding chef, visits Erin to learn how to cook a family favorite.

 Warden Bates

 Erin Bates Paine and Warden Bates

Max the puppy is growing! He waits eagerly for Chad to return home from work.

 Chad Paine and puppy Max Paine

Later, Lawson Bates hosts a band practice for his upcoming concert tour. 

 Lawson Bates and his band

Carlin Bates rehearses with the band

Photos courtesy of UP

Monday, January 9, 2017

Secret Keepers

Coming up this week on Bringing Up Bates, Erin gathers her siblings to discuss plans for Kelly Bates' 50th birthday. After sharing the surprise, Erin begins to wonder if the two youngest Bates kids will be able to keep it on the down low. Check out the videos below, and visit our Showtimes page for TV listings.

Are you a good secret keeper?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Buy Season 5 on iTunes

For those who have been asking how to watch Bringing Up Bates season five online, it is now available for purchase on iTunes. Just open the iTunes store and search "Bringing Up Bates season five." Season five has not yet been uploaded to Amazon.

Photo courtesy of UP

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Deleted Scene: Tire Mishap

On the way to pick up Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah from overnight camp, one of the tires on the Bates' van blows, and the family is forced to stop.

Gil Bates takes advantage of the opportunity and gives all the kids a tire changing tutorial. "He is very slow when he's trying to teach things," laughs Tori Bates, who is eager to see Bobby and not so eager to learn how to change a tire. Have you ever had a tire mishap at an inopportune time?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tori and Bobby Ride the Swing

On last night's season five premiere episode of Bringing Up Bates (click here for recap), we watched Gil Bates and the kids trick Kelly Bates into taking a ride on the massive swing at The Wilds, the overnight camp that Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah Bates attend.

After Gil and Kelly's ride is over, Tori Bates and boyfriend Bobby Smith take a turn. Just like her mama, Tori is quite freaked out. And as her parents look on, they wonder if they should be allowing the young couple to snuggle up so close to each other. Watch the ordeal in the video below:

Photo/video courtesy of UP

First Snow in TN

Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, and Bradley Bates

Did you wake up to snow? The Bates family (and many other folks in the mid-South) did! It's below freezing, but Zach, Whitney, and Bradley didn't let a little cold weather stop them from enjoying the great outdoors.

For those who have wondered how Whitney stays so fit, she strives to drink 6-8 bottles of water each day, eat a good breakfast, minimize carbs, and work out a few times a week (even if its an at-home workout). She also tries to avoid eating after 6pm.

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Season 5 Premiere Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Summer Lovin', Guitar Strummin and a Surprise a Comin'"...
  • The Bates head to The Wilds overnight camp in North Carolina to pick up Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah. This is the first time any Bates kids have gone to sleepaway camp without the rest of the clan. Bobby Smith, Tori's boyfriend, is a counselor at the camp.
  • Tori gives an update on her relationship with Bobby: "We've been together for about a year now, like officially, unofficially, like technically but not technically. We're together but we're not together. It's confusing. We're gonna get married."
  • "Bobby was interested in a courtship," shares Gil. "I said, 'Well you need to get to know each other a little more before we really move into something more official.' So it looks like they're moving in that direction, and we'll see what happens." 
  • Bobby lives in Tampa, Florida, and also goes to school in Florida, while Tori lives and attends school near Knoxville, Tennessee.  
  • "I think every parent wants to see their children happy," says Kelly. "And of course if Bobby's anywhere nearby...Tori is bubbling over, so as a parent, I'll be anxious to see where her future is leading over the next few months.
  • Bobby gives the Bates a tour of the camp. The first stop is the giant swing. "I saw the cables, I saw the spring, I saw that thing, and I knew, this is something my wife would never do," states Gil. The kids know their mom will never agree to ride if she knows how it works, so they don't tell her. She goes into it thinking it's a calm, romantic ride.
  • When Kelly realizes what's happening, it's too late. "What are y'all doing to me?" she shouts. "This is not a ride, this is a torture contraption!" The Bates mom screams the entire time. 
  • Next stop is the lake, which features jumping platforms, a giant blob, and ziplines. 
  • Back in Tennessee, Lawson is preparing for a short concert tour to showcase his new CD. He heads to the studio to record vocals, accompanied by Kelly and Josie. "My mom is my number one supporter, and I appreciate all of her encouragement," says Lawson. The first song is a duet with Emily Ann Roberts. 
  • "When you see your child strive for something, you can't help but be proud as a mom," says Kelly, beaming.
  • Later, Gil, Lawson, Nathan, and Carlin help Trace practice for his Dixie Stampede audition. In addition to trick riding, Trace is going to have to learn showmanship and dancing. 
  • Dancing is something the Bates have never done. Kelly says her son might have to take some lessons. "Dancing is not in my comfort zone," admits Trace. 
  • "I don't think I ever dreamed I would see the day when my mom would be encouraging anyone in my family to take dance lessons," says Zach, smiling. "We're all starting to realize that there are extremes with everything, but what's your heart? Are you wanting to do this in a good, uplifting, and appropriate way, or is this more in a negative connotation?"
  • "We never really danced as a family, probably because a lot of the teenage dancing gets a little bit too close for comfort for Gil...," says Kelly. The Bates parents admit they are having to reevaluate now that the kids are growing up.
  • "[Trace] kind of was the shy one, but he's coming out of this box, and he's finding out who he is on his own without following in his brothers' shadows," says Kelly.
  • At Zach and Whitney's house, the family of four enjoys time together on one of Zach's days off. He is in law enforcement and works 12-hour shifts, which is difficult for his wife and kids. They head over to Gil and Kelly's house for a family day with the whole clan (minus the Websters--or so everyone thinks--and Keilens).
  • After everyone arrives, longtime friend Mrs. Dingus surprises the family with a visit. She is carrying flowers and a basket of gifts. The Bates automatically assume someone is pregnant. The kids are even asking Mom if she's expecting. Everyone gathers around, and Mrs. Dingus passes out the gifts. Inside are two of Alyssa and John's maternity photos. They are expecting a baby girl whose name will be Lexi Mae. The family is shocked. They run outside to greet the Websters.
  • "I don't think there's any...emotional word to capture what you feel like when you find out you're going to have a new granddaughter," says Gil.

Bates Season 5 Starts Tonight

The big day is finally here! Season five of the hit reality series Bringing Up Bates premieres on UP tonight. The hour-long episode starts at 9pm ET/8pm CT.

Come back to the blog right after the show for our recap. Are you looking forward to seeing what the supersized Bates family has been up to?

Photo courtesy of UP

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Season 5 Premiere Snapshots

The season five premiere of Bringing Up Bates is almost here! (Hey, that rhymes...) Check out our posts from Monday and this morning to watch promo videos, and be sure to tune in to UP tomorrow evening at 9 ET/ 8 CT. As always, we will post a recap after the show.

To get you in the mood to watch the Bates, check out these snapshots from the season premiere episode...

 Gil and Kelly Bates take a ride on a large swing

A "Bates-sized" ball!

 Kelly Bates shows her athletic side

 Water fun with Gil Bates and Bobby Smith

 The Bates gather in the living room for a big announcement

 Alyssa Bates Webster makes a surprise visit from Florida,
accompanied by John Webster and Allie Jane Webster

 The Paines, party of 4

 Enjoying a family meal

The little Bates family

Photos courtesy of UP