Monday, March 27, 2017

Meet Carlin's Boyfriend

Carlin Bates receives a care package from Evan 

As promised in our last post, we have some neat info to share about Evan Stewart, Carlin Bates' boyfriend. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is the second youngest of six children (four girls and two boys). Since he was young, Evan and his parents and siblings have traveled as a family gospel band called His Own. Here is a video of the siblings performing a song:

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Photo courtesy; video courtesy

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart

 Carlin Bates and boyfriend Evan

Those who watched Thursday's episode of Bringing Up Bates were introduced to Carlin Bates' ski buddy, Evan Stewart. Their relationship is progressing, and the two have been spending quite a bit of time getting to know each other. Carlin will turn 19 in April, and Evan is a couple years older.

Although they call each other boyfriend and girlfriend, Carlin shared on Thursday's episode that she and Evan are not yet in a courtship. In Bates terms, there is an unofficial period before courtship, during which a couple often refers to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend.

For Tori Bates and Bobby Smith, exactly one year passed between the time they started pursuing a relationship and the time Bobby asked Tori to officially start a courtship.

Stay tuned for a post about Evan and his family!

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Photo courtesy

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thrifty Bates

Just weeks before their big ski trip (shown on Thursday's episode of Bringing Up Bates) the Bates lost all their winter clothing in a fire. But in true Bates fashion, they hit the thrift stores and managed to replace it all. In the video below, you'll learn a family secret that involves a clever use for kitchen garbage bags.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Friday, March 24, 2017

Carlin and Josie Chop Their Hair Off

Josie Bates, who turns 18 in August, is currently in cosmetology school. Did you know that she is the only Bates with naturally curly hair? When you see her with straight hair, it is because she has straightened it.

Both Carlin and Josie recently made major changes to their hair. These photos were taken just a couple months ago:

 Josie Bates

Carlin Bates

And here they are now, with their hair chopped off. The photos aren't that great, but you will see more of the girls' new hairstyles in the future. :)

 Josie Bates

Carlin Bates

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Photos courtesy of UP,

Thursday, March 23, 2017

'Mass-a-somethin'" Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Mass-a-something'"

  • At a condo at Massanutten Resort in Virginia, the Bates are rushing to get ready for their ski lessons. Gil is the only family member who has been skiing, so the rest of the clan is in for an adventure.
  • Kelly insists that the little kids wear multiple layers under their snowsuits. “You’re going to be hot as a firecracker on July the 4th,” Gil tells Jeb.
  • Just before everyone heads out the door, Kelly receives a text from Michael informing her that a mother and her daughter had fallen off a chairlift and died the week before. The mom of 19 is very nervous for her children’s safety.
  • Renting skis and snowboards takes close to an hour. Most of the family takes ski lessons, but the older boys elect to try snowboarding.
  • Tori’s boyfriend, Bobby Smith, joins the family on the slopes, as does Carlin’s “special friend,” Evan. Carlin met Evan and his family about five years ago, but it has only been a few months since the pair really started talking. (They reconnected at a ladies banquet, where Evan was serving.)  “Yes we like each other,” says Carlin. “We’re trying to get to know each other, but there’s no official thing right now.”
  • Trace’s friend, Campbell Roberts, also comes along. At the end of the trip, she insists that Trace did great.
  • When it comes time for everyone to ride the chairlift, Kelly is a nervous Nelly. They all make it out alive, although Kelly has the attendant at the top stop the lift so she can get off slowly.
  • Nathan arrives that evening. He has been at flight school in Mississippi, taking tests to earn his commercial pilot’s license.
  • The next morning, the family goes tubing, another great adventure. “I hurt my heinie” says Judson.
  • That afternoon, Kelly teaches Nathan everything she learned in ski school. “If you think you’re going to hit somebody, fall,” she tells her son. “I got a lot of practice doing that yesterday.”
  • Nathan picks it up quickly. “She’s actually an incredible teacher,” he says. “A mother that has spent her entire life teaching children things. I would rather have nobody else give me a lesson than my mom.”
  • Everyone is sad when it comes time to head home.  “I think skiing is a great family experience,” says Erin.
  • “I’m really impressed,” says Gil. “My wife was the funnest and the funniest and the most heroic. She didn’t give up. She didn’t quit. She even taught lessons.”
  • “I think we’re going back,” says Gil. “Massanutten is going to get a mass-a-Bates.”

Bates Take on the Slopes

If you're a skier, you'll enjoy watching the Bates take on the slopes at Massanutten Resort on tonight's episode, and if you're not, you'll be eager to give it a try. Tune in to UP at 9pm ET/8pm CT for Bringing Up Bates "Mass-a-somethin.'" Scroll down to view snapshots and a promo video.

Although Kelly is a nervous Nelly and is concerned for everyone's safety, she decides to give skiing a try. (She and Gil are in white and dark green in the photo below.)

Some of the kids invite friends of the opposite gender. Carlin and her "special friend," Evan, sure do make a cute couple!

Bobby Smith, Tori's boyfriend, also comes along.

Everyone is surprised at how well the little Bates do after a short lesson.

 And what's a day on the slopes without sampling the snow?

 The older boys all elect to try snowboarding, while everyone else goes skiing.

During a break, the family FaceTimes with Alyssa, John, and Allie Webster, who are looking forward to the arrival of Lexi Mae Webster in just a few weeks.

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Photos/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bates on Skis

"It was crazy watching my little siblings learn how to ski. Some of them were just really good at it."
-Erin Bates Paine

Tomorrow on Bringing Up Bates, watch the Bates clan take on the slopes at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. It's their first time on skis, but they end up picking it up very quickly. Check out the sneak peek clip below.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kaci Bates Turns 9 Months Old

Yesterday was Kaci Lynn Bates' nine-month milestone! It was also the first day of spring, and the Bates enjoyed temperatures in the mid-60s in East Tennessee.

Kaci is just three months away from her first birthday. Zach and Whitney Bates announced their second pregnancy at son Bradley Bates' first birthday party. Do you think their third child will be on the way soon?

Kaci Bates

Photo courtesy Zach and Whitney Bates

Monday, March 20, 2017

Keilens in D.C.

Just one month short of two years ago, Brandon Keilen proposed to Michael Bates in Great Falls, Virginia, following a perfectly planned scavenger hunt through Washington D.C. The iconic D.C. cherry blossoms were in full bloom, which made a beautiful backdrop for photos.

 Michaela Bates and Brandon Keilen in D.C., April 2015

This weekend, Brandon surprised Michael with a surprise trip to the East Coast to relive their engagement moments. They visited the cherry blossoms, which started blooming just in time for their arrival.

Michael and Brandon Keilen in D.C., March 2017

They also stopped by the exact spot where Brandon proposed in April 2015.

 Michaela Bates Keilen and Brandon Keilen, March 2017

If you have been following our blog for a couple years, you will remember these candid photos from the proposal.

 Brandon Keilen proposes to Michael Bates, April 2015

Photos courtesy of UP,

Carlin Bates' Ski Buddy

"All of the sudden, our family is almost doubled."
-Gil Bates

The Bates are embarking on what could be their biggest adventure yet (video below). This super-sized family that has never been skiing is taking on the slopes at Massanuten Resort in Virginia!

Their group quickly grows when the older kids invite friends who live nearby. Tori Bates' boyfriend, Bobby Smith, also comes along, as does Carlin's friend, Evan. For those who have been asking if Carlin Bates is in a courtship, nothing has been announced, but when/if it is, we will post the announcement to our blog.

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Photo/video courtesy of UP

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Southern Speak: Doohickey

Katie Bates and Nathan Bates

What's a doohickey? Well that's easy; a doohickey is a thingamabob! See how the Bates define it in the Southern Speak video below. Have you ever heard the word doohickey, or any of the other terms mentioned in the clip?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Allie and Lexi Webster, March 2017

Are you ready for a flood of cuteness? Twenty-three-month-old Allie Jane Webster and seven-week-old Lexi Mae Webster are as cute as can be, and you can definitely tell they are sisters. Hear from them in the two clips below.

This particular video format cannot be viewed on all smart phones, so if you are unable to play it, head to a desktop or laptop computer.



Photos/videos courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

'Bike Racks, Barbers & Big Duets' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Bike Racks, Barbers & Big Duets!"

  • Lawson and Nathan head to Mount Airy, North Carolina, to prepare for Lawson’s show. Mount Airy is Andy Griffith’s hometown and considered to be the inspiration for the Mayberry of The Andy Griffith Show.
  • Lawson is invited to be a guest on a local radio program. “Live anything is really something I’ve really been trying to adjust to and get better at,” he admits. “When it’s life…you can’t take it back. You can’t hit the edit button.”
  • Nathan and Lawson take a tour of the town in an old squad car. They also visit a replica of Andy Griffith’s office.
  • Back at home, Gil and the other boys set out to turn a big log into a bike rack. Bikes are constantly left out in the Bates’ yard, and they are often run over.
  • Everyone is extremely impressed by the finished product, and they are equally as impressed that the Bates started and finished a project in the same day.
  • “That was the most genius thing I have ever seen,” says Tori.
  • When the rest of the family makes it to Mount Airy, it’s crunch time. Emily Ann Roberts arrives, and the sound check begins. Fans begin lining up outside the historic Earle Theatre.
  • “I think Lawson’s stage presence has just improved so much,” says Nathan. “It’s remarkable how much better Lawson has become.
  • Lawson is pleased with the way the evening turns out. “Overall, I think the concert was a blast,” he says.

When in Mayberry...

Bringing Up Bates "Bike Racks, Barbers & Big Duets!" (episode 11 of season five) premieres tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT and 10pm ET/9pm CT on UP. Tune in at 8pm ET and 8:30pm ET for reruns of "Fire Trucks and Diaper Dumps" and "Loads of Laundry and Lots of Lessons." See our Showtimes page for more details.

On this evening's show, Lawson Bates, accompanied by Nathan Bates, heads to Mount Airy, North Carolina, to prepare for a show at the historic Earle Theatre. He starts of with an on-air interview at a local radio station.

The Bates are huge fans of The Andy Griffith Show, so the guys spend the day visiting iconic Mayberry sites from the beloved TV series.

The rest of the Bates family arrives as Lawson and Nathan are wrapping up their squad car tour of the town.

Everyone helps Lawson pull together an incredible show, including duets with The Voice runner-up Emily Ann Roberts.

Photos courtesy of UP

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bates Visit Mayberry

Tomorrow on Bringing Up Bates, the family visits the small town of Mount Airy, North Carolina. As Andy Griffith's hometown, Mount Airy is said to be the inspiration for Mayberry, the setting of The Andy Griffith Show. Lawson Bates and Nathan Bates have some fun with an old police car in the entertaining video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Woodman's Bicycle Rack

 Jeb Bates and Judson Bates

"Two things we have a lot of here: bicycles and logs."
-Judson Bates

Bikes are constantly being flattened by the Bates' many vehicles, and it drives mama Kelly Bates bonkers. Gil Bates has a solution, and he enlists his son to help bring it to fruition.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bates Southern Speak: Cattywompus

Have you ever heard the term "cattywompus"? If so, what does it mean to you? In the video below, the Bates discuss the word and how they have heard it used.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bates Give Back

"For little kids, it's just natural...for them to be self-absorbed at that age. As parents, we have to really work on teaching them to look past themselves."
-Kelly Bates

In this deleted scene from Thursday's episode (click here to read our recap), Gil and Kelly Bates show their younger children the toys Kelly purchased for families who lost everything in the Gatlinburg fires. The parents of 19 use this as a teaching moment to demonstrate to their kiddos how to find ways to reach out to others.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, March 9, 2017

'Loads of Laundry and Lots of Lessons' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Loads of Laundry and Lots of Lessons"

  • The Bates are staying at a local hotel while their house is aired out. They have two, two-bedroom suites. “I think the initial thought of staying at a hotel was, ‘This is going to be fun,’” says Gil. “But about 48 hours into it, this is not the vacation we were thinking about.”
  • Managing laundry and meals while living in a hotel proves to be a difficult task for the super-sized Bates family, but they are grateful that the damage to their house was minor and that no lives were lost.
  • “In the long run, life could have been a whole lot harder,” says Gil. “You know, like the fires in Gatlinburg. Our little problems were really nothing compared to what other people were facing.”
  • As they continue to teach Judson and Jeb about the dangers of fire, Gil and Kelly, along with Lawson, take the boys up to Gatlinburg to see the shell of a home that was destroyed in the Gatlinburg forest fire, which happened at the same time as the Bates’ house fire. “I want that to be a picture that you guys remember every time you’re tempted to disobey,” Kelly tells her two youngest sons as they stand there looking at the house.
  • The Gatlinburg fire, believed to be started by two juveniles, killed 14 people, injured approximately 150 individuals, and destroyed more than 1,700 structures.
  • Gil, Kelly, Lawson, Judson, and Jeb bring gifts to a family that lost everything in the Gatlinburg fire. “We went there to teach our children a lesson, thinking we’re going to be a blessing," shares Gil. “...I wasn’t just Jud and Jeb that learned a lesson. I think more than them, me and Kelly learned a lesson. And that family was a great testimony of going through difficult times, staying close as a family, and having the right perspective.”
  • Later, Gil and the boys head over to the newly purchased church building to make plans for construction. “It’s really little, and it needs a lot of work,” says Trace, “But it’s just so awesome, now we’ve actually got our own church building.”
  • Back at their house, the Bates accept a delivery of their emergency clothes that had been professionally cleaned. They walk through the second floor, sniffing everything, to make sure the smoke odor has left. The plan is to redo the sheetrock, floor, and paint in the laundry room.
  • To get their mind off the fire, Gil and Kelly take the family to the ARK Encounter in Kentucky. For those who haven’t heard about the ARK Encounter, it’s a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark that opened in 2016. Inside the structure is a museum.
  • With a bunch of little kids in tow, Gil doesn’t have time to read all the displays, so he takes pictures of just about every single one of them so he can look back at them later.
  • Between the fire, the new church building, and the tree service, the Bates have a lot on their plate. “I don’t know how [my parents] do it,” says Lawson. “They’re like super people.”

Fire Cleanup and Life-Sized Ark

 Katie Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates, and Josie Bates

It's Thursday, and you know what that means! An all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates is coming your way. For a sneak peek at what the Bates have in store for viewers tonight, scroll through the snapshots below, and check out the promo video. Be sure to come back to our blog after the show for a recap.

Thursday, March 9, 2017 
8pm ET/7pm CT: Sweet Home Spartanburg
8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT: Fire Trucks and Diaper Dumps
9pm ET/8pm CT: Loads of Laundry and Lots of Lessons (NEW!)
A fire in the laundry room caused severe smoke damage inside the Bates house, and the family has temporarily relocated to just two rooms at a hotel. How will they handle their daily routine as the fire damage is cleaned up? Later, Jeb and Judson learn important life lessons when Gil and Kelly try to help them understand the true dangers and consequences a fire can have. To try to get their mind off things, the Bates head to the ARK Encounter.
10pm ET/9pm CT: Loads of Laundry and Lots of Lessons

Photo/video courtesy of UP