Thursday, December 31, 2015

Recap: "Best Bates Moments"

On this New Year’s Eve special, the Bates review the best moments from the first two seasons of their show.
  • On Valentine’s Day, Zach surprises his wife by arranging to have “Three Nice Guys,” an acapella quartet, stop by to perform two love songs. 
  • Alyssa announces her pregnancy to the family with a shirt that says “Bun in the Oven.” 
  • Erin and Chad share their pregnancy news with Gil and Kelly during a double date. 
  • While Mom and Dad are away, Erin and Chad and the kids remodel the master suite. 
  • Kelly and the children throw a surprise 50th birthday party for Gil, to which they invite friends he hasn't seen in many years. The kids give speeches and perform skits that bring their dad to tears. 
  • The Bates travel down to Florida and crowd into Alyssa and John’s tiny house.
  • While helping Zach finish Bradley’s nursery, Gil reminds his oldest son that “Bradley and Whitney are more important than anything else you’re trying to do.”
  • To celebrate Carlin's entry into womanhood, Gil and Kelly take their fifth oldest daughter out for a dinner date. Carlin is overjoyed when her parents give her a beautiful purity ring. 
  • The older boys attempt to take over their younger brothers' fort using air-soft guns, but they don’t end up succeeding.
  • The Bates make memories on a family camping trip.
  • Gil and the kids convince Kelly to ride the Wild Eagle roller coaster at Dollywood. “That by far is the scariest thing I’ve ever been on,” says the mom of 19, who screams the entire time.
  • Lawson turns up the drama after his wisdom teeth extraction, and the family enjoys teasing him.
  • Erin is touched when her friend Kelsey not only throws her a baby shower but also organizes a balloon release in memory of the babies that Erin and Chad miscarried before becoming pregnant with Carson.
  • Kelly brings the family to tears when she shares how thankful she and Gil are for their children. “Many times we look back, and we feel like failures as parents…and y’all are the greatest kids in the world,” she says. “Y’all encourage us so much.”
  • Kelly and the girls take Whitney on a walk to jump-start labor. When Whitney is admitted into the hospital to give birth to Bradley, so invites her mother, mother-in-law, and oldest sisters-in-law to join her during labor. 
  • When Allie Jane Webster arrives, Gil and Kelly drop everything and head down to Florida to meet their first granddaughter. 
  • After a difficult pregnancy, Erin endures an especially painful labor, but the new mom says Carson is more than worth it.
  • Brandon organizes a complex scavenger hunt through Washington D.C. for Michael, which culminates with his proposal. 
Tune in to UP on Thursday, January 7th, for the season three premiere of Bringing Up Bates. (Click here for episode summaries.) We wish you a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bates Marathon Starts Soon!

Looking for family-friendly entertainment on New Year's Eve? Gather around the television for a Bringing Up Bates marathon!

Starting at 9am and continuing into 2016, UP will air every episode from seasons one and two. At 8pm ET and 11pm ET, tune in for an hour-long special, "Best Bates Moments." We will post our recap after the show.

Visit our Showtimes page for more TV listings. 

Thursday, December 31st
9am: Meet the Bates
10am: Courtship & Marriage
10:30am: Bates Go Wild
11am: Training Up Bates
11:30am: Nashville Son
12pm: Welcome Grandbaby Bates
1pm: The Purity Ring
1:30pm: Michaella and Brandon
2pm: A Big Bates Thanksgiving
3pm: The Bates Go to Florida
4pm: All Together Again
5pm: Future In-Laws?
5:30pm: High Risk, High Hopes
6pm: Meema Moves In
6:30pm: Blessings...and New Beginnings?
7pm: Brandon Pops the Quesiton
8pm: Best Bates Moments (NEW!)

In this one hour special, we will meet the lucky winner of the 'Be the 20th Bates' contest and highlight their day with the Bates family! We'll also be counting down the very best Bates moments of the past year and get an exclusive look at the upcoming season.
9pm: Doctor's Orders
9:30pm: Life Lessons
10pm: Erin's Little Miracle
11pm: Best Bates Moments (NEW!)

In this one hour special, we will meet the lucky winner of the 'Be the 20th Bates' contest and highlight their day with the Bates family! We'll also be counting down the very best Bates moments of the past year and get an exclusive look at the upcoming season.

Friday, January 1st
12am: The Wedding To-Do List
12:30am: Boating with the Bates
1am: The Quest for the Dress
1:30am: Addee and Ellie's Pool Party
2am: Hello Dollywood!

Video courtesy of UP

Bates #1 Turns 27

Wishing Zach Bates a happy 27th birthday! Twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah Duggar, who are ten years younger than Zach, are also celebrating a birthday today.

The following two photos are used with permission from Taryn Yager.  Learn more about this gifted photographer on her website or Facebook page.

 Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, and Bradley Bates

 Zach Bates and Bradley Bates

 Photos courtesy Taryn Yager Photography

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bates Family Holiday Traditions

 The Bates family celebrates "I Love You Day" 2015

Kelly Bates recently sat down with International Business Times to discuss her family's Christmas traditions.

During the weekend before Christmas, the entire Bates brood gathered in Tennessee for a holiday meal of roast beef.

While Gil and Kelly always strive to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with as many family members as possible, they recognize that their married children have other obligations. Several years ago, Alyssa suggested that the Bates set aside Valentine's Day, or "I Love You Day," as their family's main holiday.

As featured on season two of Bringing Up Bates (click here to read the recap), the family celebrates February 14th with a fancy meal and a gift exchange.

At Christmastime, the Bates swap gifts with extended relatives. They focus on serving others by singing Christmas carols at local nursing homes and hospitals.

Kelly shares a tidbit of wisdom with fans: “Aim for quality time, and let your family know by both your words and actions that you not only love them immensely, but also that you are incredibly proud of them. Nothing builds stability and bonding like admiration and love. Don’t get so busy or so stressed that we lose what makes us feel so blessed."

Read the full interview on, and hear more about the Bates' Valentine's Day celebration in the video below, which features Trace Bates, Tori Bates, Lawson Bates, and Katie Bates:

Photo courtesy of, video courtesy of UP

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Newlyweds' 1st Christmas

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas. We know these two lovebirds did! Michael and Brandon Keilen have been married for four months and are celebrating their first holiday season as man and wife.

Michael and Brandon Keilen

Photo courtesy

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

From gathering together as a family to singing carols to hospital patients, the Bates have plenty of Christmas traditions. May this video of Lawson Bates, Carlin Bates, Josie Bates, and several of the little ones singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" remind us all of the real reason for the season.

Season three of Bringing Up Bates premieres at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Thursday, January 7th.

Video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'Bringing Up Bates' Episode Summaries

Calling all fans of Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 children! Season three of Bringing Up Bates premieres in just over two weeks. Click here to read UP's written preview and here to watch the network's latest promo video.

As you all know, Michaella's wedding is the main event of the upcoming, 13-episode season, but there are plenty of other surprises in store. Take a look at the summaries of the first four segments:

Thursday, January 7, 2016, at 9pm ET/8pm CT
Bringing Up Bates “Welcome Back Bates” (1 hour) 
The past year has been one of enormous change and growth for the Bates. In the Season 3 premiere, the Bates clan rallies together to help Michaella finally find the wedding dress of her dreams. Later, the family braves a stormy outdoor wedding for Kelly Jo’s sister and celebrates Gil’s dad, Papa Bill, with an awesome 4th of July birthday party!

Thursday, January 14, 2016 
Bringing Up Bates “Sweet Tea & Sit Ups” 
With Michaella’s wedding quickly approaching, Gil and Kelly Jo wager to see who can get in shape to look their best for the big day. While Kelly Jo enlists Tori to motivate her and help with workouts, Gil finds that his coach, Lawson, uses a more hands off approach to whip him into shape.

Thursday, January 21, 2016 
Bringing Up Bates “15 Kids and an Empty Nest”
With the big wedding just days away the family is busier than ever. Erin hosts a laughter filled candle making party for Michaella and her bridesmaids. Meanwhile, Nathan, Lawson, and Trace take Brandon to a skating rink, but an accident on the ice could put the wedding in jeopardy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016 
Bringing Up Bates “A Big Bates Wedding” (1 Hour) 
The day that Michaella has been waiting for is here! After months of planning, it's a bittersweet moment for the Bates family when they realize that their oldest daughter will soon be leaving home. There's a lot to do before 800 guests arrive to celebrate and see Michaella and Brandon say, "I do" and finally share their first kiss.

Photos courtesy of UP

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bates Baby Statistics

 Gil and Kelly Bates pose for a photo with Brandon and Michael (Bates) Keilen
Bates-Keilen wedding, August 15, 2015

In honor of Gil and Kelly Bates' 28-year anniversary, which the couple celebrated yesterday, we thought we would share some Bates family statistics. This post might just blow your mind!

Gil and Kelly tied the knot on December 19th, 1987, and welcomed their first child, Zach Bates, just over one year later. Between December 1988 and February 2012, a span of 23 years and two months, Kelly Bates gave birth 19 times.

Aside from the 27-month gap between Ellie Bates and Callie-Anna Bates, all the children are 13 to 17 months apart.

Now, did that blow your mind? 

Photo courtesy of UP

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bates #7 Turns 20

Wishing Tori Layne Bates a blessed 20th birthday!

This bubbly Bates gal is working towards an education major at The Crown College of the Bible, located near the Bates' hometown of Rocky Top, Tennessee. That's the same school that Joseph Duggar attends.

Carlin Bates and Tori Bates

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Saturday, December 19, 2015

28 Years of Marriage

 Gil and Kelly share a precious moment with their newborn grandson, Bradley Bates
October 2014

Wishing Gil and Kelly Bates a blessed 28-year wedding anniversary! This couple's unconditional love for each other is contagious, and their godly union is a witness to millions of individuals around the world.

Watch this video, filmed just before the first season of Bringing Up Bates premiered on UP, to find out how Gil and Kelly met and what attracted them to each other:

Photo and video courtesy of UP

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Season 3 Details

The much anticipated season three premiere of Bringing Up Bates is only three weeks away!

“With 19 kids, three grandchildren, a multitude of incredible personalities, and never ending love, there’s a lot going on in this fun and loving family,” said Amy Winter, general manager and executive vice president of UP.  “We have a season full of heartwarming and relatable moments from a household where each and every individual is special and celebrated. Bringing Up Bates offers a unique blend of heart and humor.  It’s no wonder viewers have fallen in love with the Bates family.”

The first of thirteen new episodes of Bringing Up Bates airs at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Thursday, January 7th, exclusively on UP.

Starting at 9am ET/8am CT on New Year's Eve, a Bringing Up Bates marathon will continue into 2016, with a one-hour special, "Best Bates Moments," airing at 8pm ET/7pm CT and 11pm ET/10pm CT.

Are you excited? Here is an extended written preview of season three, courtesy of UP:

The new season picks up with a bevy of excitement and a bit of a scare, as the entire family prepares for Michaella and Brandon’s charming rustic wedding in Knoxville, Tennessee. From choosing Michaella's dream wedding gown, to getting in shape to look their best on the big day, to attempted pranks and a bachelor outing that goes awry, the family joins together to make this special time eventful and memorable.

When the big day finally arrives, viewers will get a front-row seat at the huge but warm wedding with over 800 guests, including some very special friends that share in the beautiful ceremony. With laughter and tears, it’s a bittersweet moment for the entire family, knowing that they must say goodbye to Michaella as she leaves the family nest and moves to her new home in Chicago.

With such a big family filled with talented, precocious, and uniquely different children and married couples – all sharing a close, loving bond – there’s bound to be more big excitement. Accomplished pianist Erin prepares for a trip to Nashville to promote her music career, and country gospel music singer Lawson continues to pursue his dream with a big performance. 

Eldest son Zach takes the next step in his law enforcement career as he completes a rigorous training program and graduates from the Police Academy. He and his wife Whitney plan for the first birthday of their son Bradley, the Bates’ first grandchild. 

There’s also vacation time, as the family packs up for a fun-filled, trip to sunny Florida. As always, there is organized chaos, as mother Kelly Jo navigates all of the homeschooling and various chores for the family, while dealing with individual opinions and bigger-than-life personalities of the ever-expanding group. Doting father Gil prepares both his heart and his wallet for all of the new challenges and changes.

Photo courtesy of UP

CD Giveaway from The Johnson Strings

Everyone loves a giveaway! The Johnson Strings is a nationally touring family orchestra that consists of Paul and Linda Johnson and their six musically talented children.

The Johnsons have produced six CDs and have offered us four pairs of their two latest to raffle off to our readers. Their family had the privilege of sharing their melodic music with Gil Bates and Carlin Bates last summer.

Scroll down to watch The Johnson Strings' "B Minor" music video and to enter the giveaway, following the directions on the Rafflecopter widget.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bates Christmas Traditions

Do you need some holiday cheer? Listen to Erin (Bates) Paine and Alyssa (Bates) Webster, accompanied by Carson and Allie Jane, share their favorite childhood Christmas memories (video below).

Only 23 days until the season three premiere of Bringing Up Bates! (Click here to watch the latest promo video.)

Video courtesy of UP

Monday, December 14, 2015

2 Reasons to Celebrate

Wishing Zach and Whitney Bates a blessed two-year anniversary! Erin and Chad Paine also have a reason to celebrate today, as their son Carson Paine reaches his seven-month milestone.

 Whitney and Zach Bates

The adorable Carson Paine

Photos courtesy of Zach & Whitney, Erin & Chad

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Erin Paine: Life On Camera

Erin (Bates) Paine discusses reality TV life, motherhood, and her budding music career in a recent interview with SheKnows.

 "UP TV is definitely putting on a reality show," says Erin "Everything is really realistic. It's amazing how they've really captured our family."

According to the third oldest child of Gil and Kelly Bates, being filmed for Bringing Up Bates has not resulted in any drastic changes to her routine. Since taking on her new role as a mother to Carson, who turns seven months old in two days, Erin says she "can't imagine being happier." 

Visit to read the full interview. Below is a video of Erin's performance of "Jingle Bells," accompanied by Andy Leftwich, at her Comfort & Joy CD release party

Photo courtesy of Chad & Erin Paine, video courtesy of UP

Thursday, December 10, 2015

#TBT: Bates Family Christmas Pics

Only 15 days 'til Christmas! (And 28 days 'til the season three premiere of Bringing Up Bates!)

As Zach, Erin, Lawson, Tori, and Carlin perform their rendition of "Jingle Bells" in the video below, watch for snapshots of Bates family Christmases from years past.

Video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More on Michael's Bridesmaids Dresses

As many of you know, Michael (Bates) Keilen purchased her bridesmaid dresses from The upcoming issue of Girlz 4 Christ--a digital, Christ-focused magazine for teen girls--features a fashion submission from the staff at Dainty Jewells that we know our readers will enjoy.

The magazine's editor has graciously allowed us to post a sneak peek of the article, shown below. For more photos of Michael's bridesmaids dresses and other Dainty Jewells gowns, sign up for a free subscription to Girlz 4 Christ. The magazine, published four times per year, is delivered via email for easy viewing on a laptop, smart phone, or tablet.

**The issue containing the Dainty Jewells article will be sent out on Friday, December 11th, so be sure to subscribe in the next two days. If you miss the deadline, email to request a copy of the Winter 15/16 issue.

What can you expect to find in Girlz 4 Christ? The magazine features devotionals, media reviews, spotlights on interesting service projects, and more.

The Winter 15/16 issue also includes an article by Marjorie Jackson, the gal who was in a courtship with Josiah Duggar for three months this spring and summer. (Did you know that Marjorie is an author? She published her first book, The Greatest Book You've Never Read, at age 15.)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Newlyweds in DC

As Michael and Brandon Keilen approach their four-month wedding anniversary, the couple spent the weekend in Washington D.C. with several members of Brandon's family.

One of the highlights of the trip was watching "Miracle of Christmas" at Sight and Sound Theatres in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Michael and Brandon at Sight and Sound Theatres

The newlyweds also took the opportunity to relive memories from their engagement, which took place eight months ago in D.C.

Michael and Brandon under the Capitol Christmas Tree 
(Located on the lawn of the United States Capitol)

Photos courtesy of the Bates family/Keilen family

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Season 2 Available Online

The second season of Bringing Up Bates is now available on iTunes and gMovies!

gMovies, a family-centered and faith-friendly alternative to Netflix, costs $4.99 per month and allows subscribers to stream videos on their computer or mobile device. gMovies is also available to DISH customers. (Call DISH at 800-333-3474 for more information.)

For those wishing to watch Bringing Up Bates on Amazon, season two is not yet available for purchase.

Photos courtesy of UP

Bates By the Numbers: Vehicles

We know you all will get a kick out of this infographic created by UP. Since Gil and Kelly's oldest child, Zach, was born in 1988, the Bates family has owned 29 vehicles. Does that sound like a lot to you?

Infographic courtesy of UP

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

37 Days 'til Season 3

Are you counting down the days until the season three premiere of Bringing Up Bates? We sure are! The fun-loving, super-sized Bates family returns to UP at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Thursday, January 7th.

For those who haven't heard our big announcement, readers who can't tune in live can watch past episodes on iTunes, Amazon, and

You're going to love this promo video:

Video courtesy of UP

New Blog Header

What do you think of the new header? We are grateful to a loyal reader from Norway for taking the time to design it for us.

Less than six weeks to go until the season three premiere of Bringing Up Bates! Did you know that season one is available on iTunes and Amazon Instant video? Check out Sunday's blog post for details.

*We apologize for the typo in Gil's name and have asked the designer to correct it. 

Photos courtesy of UP/the Bates family

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Watch 'Bringing Up Bates' On Amazon

 The Bates family attends a University of Tennessee basketball game

For those of you who are looking for another way to watch Bringing Up Bates, we have a big announcement to share. Season one is now available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video. (Click here to be redirected.) We will let you know when season two has been uploaded.

The first season is also available on, a monthly service similar to Netflix, and UP plans to add the second season by the end of the year.

For fans who wish to watch United Bates of America--the first reality TV show starring Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 children, which aired on TLC in 2012--those episodes are on Amazon Instant Video, as well.

**Update: Our lovely readers have informed us that Bringing Up Bates is also available for purchase on iTunes. 

Photo courtesy of UP

Friday, November 27, 2015

Keilens Say Marriage is a Blessing

This Thanksgiving season, newlyweds Michaella and Brandon Keilen are thankful for each other and the blessing that marriage has been to them. "I knew I was getting a gem," says Brandon in the video below. "I didn't realize how much of a gem that was."

Video courtesy of UP

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kelly: 'I'm Just Blessed Beyond Measure'

Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! Watch these two videos to find out what the Bringing Up Bates stars are thankful for:

Erin (Bates) Paine, Kelly Bates, and Alyssa (Bates) Webster

Tori Bates and Carlin Bates

Videos courtesy of UP

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chicago Snowstorm

Starting Friday night and continuing into Saturday afternoon, Chicago and the surrounding area received an unexpected, pre-Thanksgiving dump of snow. Some of the northern suburbs saw more than 15 inches, making travel dangerous. Check out this picture of the newlywed Keilens enjoying the winter wonderland.

Michael (Bates) Keilen and Brandon Keilen

Photo courtesy of the Keilens

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Bates Fam

Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 children, stars of Bringing Up Bates, would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas (video below).

Video courtesy of UP

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bates Son-In-Law Turns 26

Wishing John Webster a happy 26th birthday!

John Webster, Allie Webster, Alyssa (Bates) Webster

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Friday, November 20, 2015

Christmas on UP

Bringing Up Bates, set to return for its third season on January 7th, is one of UP's most popular TV shows. Can you find the Bates kids scattered throughout this UP Christmas promo video?

Video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Win Erin's New CD (Autographed!)

As we announced two weeks ago, Erin (Bates) Paine has released her first Christmas album, Comfort & Joy. UP is giving viewers a chance to win one of 10 autographed copies of the CD. Visit the network's website to enter to win.

Unfortunately, this giveaway is reserved for legal residents of the United States (including the District of Columbia) who are 18 years or older. Only one entry can be submitted per person, and each entrant must use his or her own email address. The promotion ends at 8:00am EST on Monday, December 7, 2015.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Carson's 6-Month Milestone

Charles Stephen Paine IV, known by his family and friends as "Carson," is six months old today! Chad and Erin Paine call Carson their miracle baby, due to the multiple miscarriages Erin endured in the couple's first year of marriage and the health risks she faced during her pregnancy. The proud parents say that Carson was an answer to their prayers.

Erin Paine and Carson Paine

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Friday, November 13, 2015

More Musical Bates Kids

Earlier this week, we shared a video of Erin (Bates) Paine playing a unique piano version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" at her Comfort & Joy CD release party. It's time to show off the talent of two more of the 19 Bates children. Watch and listen as Lawson Bates and Carlin Bates perform "White Christmas," accompanied by fiddle legend Andy Leftwich.

Season three of Bringing Up Bates premieres January 7th, 2016, on UP.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Talented Erin Bates Paine

Last Friday, Erin and Chad Paine hosted a release party for Erin's new Christmas CD, Comfort & Joy, and invited family, friends, and fans. Attendees snacked on Christmas cookies and sipped hot chocolate while listening to live entertainment. 

One of the songs Erin performed for guests was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." But there's a catch! She played it while facing away from the piano. Can you say talent? Check out the video:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bates #6 Turns 21

Happy 21st birthday, Alyssa! Alyssa's full name is Alyssa Joy Webster (née Bates), but her family calls her "Bizz." She and John began courting on November 6th, 2013, after getting to know each other while Alyssa helped John's father, Congressman Daniel Webster, with his campaign in 2012.

The couple tied the knot on May 24th, 2014, and welcomed their first child, Allie Jane Webster, on April 11th, 2015. Random fact: Alyssa's favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.

John, Allie, and Alyssa Webster
October 2015

Photo used with permission from Photography By Britton. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Season 3 Promo Video

We have big news. UP has released a promo video (embedded below) for season three of Bringing Up Bates, which premieres at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Thursday, January 7th, 2016. That's only two months away! How excited are you for the Bates' return to reality TV?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mr. and Mrs. Keilen

Can you believe that Michael (Bates) Keilen and Brandon Keilen are coming up on their three-month wedding anniversary? The newlyweds live near Chicago, Illinois. Check out these adorable pictures of the couple enjoying the beauty of fall and God's creation.

Photos courtesy of the Bates family

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Webster Family Photo Shoot

Alyssa (Bates) Webster and John Webster, along with daughter Allie Webster, recently had family photos taken by Britton and Erika Felber, photographers who have taken pictures for members of both the Duggar and Bates families.

The Felbers gave us permission to share their beautiful work with all of you. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.

 Alyssa and John Webster

 John, Alyssa, and Allie Webster

John, Alyssa, and Allie Webster

Photos courtesy Photography By Britton

Monday, November 2, 2015

Paines Celebrate 2 Years

Wishing Erin and Chad Paine a blessed two-year wedding anniversary. Have you heard the Paines' big announcement? Check out yesterday's post for details.

Photos courtesy of the Bates family. Left: Erin and Chad Paine. Right: Erin, Chad, and Carson Paine

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Erin and Chad's Big Announcement

Erin (Bates) Paine and husband Chad Paine have finally reveled the big surprise that they hinted at in mid September. We know you all are on the edge of your seats, so we won't keep you waiting. Erin has just released her third CD, Comfort & Joy.

Erin, Chad, and Carson Paine share the details in the following YouTube video:

The CD includes 12 Southern gospel Christmas arrangements (listed below) that feature the talented Erin (Bates) Paine on piano and well-known bluegrass musician Andy Leftwich on fiddle and mandolin.

Comfort & Joy is available for purchase on the Bates family website, CD Baby, and iTunes.

For those of you who live in the Bates' neck of the woods, the family is hosting a CD release party on Friday, November 6th, at Crown College in Powell, Tennessee.

Comfort & Joy
  1. Let it Snow
  2. God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  3. Joy to the World
  4. Away in the Manager
  5. Silver Bells
  6. Go Tell it on the Mountain
  7. Frosty the Snowman
  8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  9. Jingle Bells
  10. Silent Night
  11. Marshmallow World
  12. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Photography courtesy of Paine

Friday, October 30, 2015

Visit the Bates at Church

Are you looking for a church near Knoxville, Tennessee? The Bates family attends Bible Baptist Church of East Tennessee, a congregation that meets in the Holiday Inn Express Conference Room at 111 Hillvale Road in Clinton. Service times are 10:00am, 11:00am, and 6:00pm on Sundays and 7:00pm on Wednesdays.

In addition to his job as owner and operator of Bates Tree Service, Gil Bates pastors at Bible Baptist.

Carlin Bates (then age 16) and Gil Bates in California, 2014

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bradley Bates Turns One!

Wishing Bradley Bates--the only child of Zach and Whitney Bates and the eldest grandchild of Gil and Kelly Bates--a happy 1st birthday!

Photos courtesy Taryn Yager Photography, UP, the Bates family

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gil: 'They All Push Each Other to the End'

Who do you think is the most competitive member of the Bates family? According to Kelly Bates, all the kids have a competitive spirit. "They get it from their dad," says the mom of 19 (video below).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Celebrating the Bates Matriarch

Gil and Kelly Jo Bates have been married for nearly 28 years and have 19 children and three grandchildren, as well as four miscarried babies waiting for them in heaven.

Wishing Kelly Jo a blessed 49th birthday! She is a godly inspiration to many people throughout the world.

Photos courtesy of the Bates family. Left: Gil and Kelly Jo Bates on a beach vacation in 2006; right: Gil and Kelly Jo Bates in 2014

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bates Updates

What is the Bates family up to? Let's take a look!

Alyssa and John Webster have had an exciting week down in Florida, with visits from Erin and Chad Paine and Gil and Kelly Bates.

 John Webster, Alyssa (Bates) Webster, Kelly Bates, Allie Webster, Gil Bates

 Erin (Bates) Paine and Chad Paine with niece Allie Webster and son Carson Paine

Meanwhile back in Tennessee, these two gals are still cuter than ever!

Addellee Bates (age 9) and Ellie Bates (age 8)

Photos courtesy of the Bates family

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bates Home Makeover

Last season on Bringing Up Bates, Gil and Kelly Bates accompanied Michael, who was not yet engaged, on a trip to Chicago to spend time with Brandon Keilen and his parents. While they were away, Chad and Erin Paine stayed at the house and enlisted the children to help with a special surprise for Mom and Dad.

When Gil and Kelly walked through the door of their bedroom after the trip, they were shocked to see what the kids had been up to: an extreme home makeover.

"...Just the thought that our kids would want to do something like that for us, it was really sweet," shared Kelly, after the initial shock of the surprise had passed. Check out this video:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nana Paine's Ginger Snaps

We decided to bake a batch of ginger snaps, using a recipe from Erin (Bates) Paine's mother-in-law. They were delicious! 

Nana Paine's Ginger Snaps

2-1/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and cloves. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, oil, molasses, and egg (beaten).  
  • Form balls of dough, and place on cookie sheet. Press balls of dough down with fork.
  • Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes. (We recommend 7.)
  • Optional: Combine 6-8 oz cream cheese with 8 oz canned pumpkin pie mix, and serve with cookies

Photo: Lily and Ellie/Bates Family Blog

Monday, October 19, 2015

'Bringing Up Bates' Theme Song

For those who regularly tune in to Bringing Up Bates, you might occasionally find yourself singing along to the catchy theme song. If you have never the show, you are probably wondering what the opener sounds like. It's called "Talkin' About Family," by the band Max & Simon.

The song is not currently available for purchase, but we have embedded a video below, so you can watch and listen to it as many times as your heart desires. (Warning: There is a good chance that it will get stuck in your head.) Season three of Bringing Up Bates premieres in January 2016.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lots of Surprises Ahead!

Are you looking forward to the Bates' return to TV? New episodes of Bringing Up Bates are scheduled to premiere on UP in January 2016. On the season two finale, we watched the entire family vacation in Dollywood (see video below).

At that point, Carson and Allie were still newborns, Michaela and Brandon were not yet married, and there were no other Bates courtships in the works. The upcoming season of Bringing Up Bates is sure to be filled with lots of surprises and new footage. What are you most looking forward to seeing?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bates #14 Turns 11

According to Gil and Kelly Bates, Isaiah Courage Bates "has a smile that will melt any heart" and is quick to dish out compliments to his sisters. Have a blessed birthday, Isaiah!

Isaiah Bates

Photo courtesy of UP

Thursday, October 15, 2015

More of the Little Bates Fam

Three days ago, we posted a handful of snapshots from Zach and Whitney Bates' recent photo shoot with Taryn Yager. If you thought those were cute, then you're going to love these! Thanks for giving us permission to share your work, Taryn. Learn more about this gifted photographer on her website or Facebook page.

 Whitney Bates and Bradley Bates

Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, and Bradley Bates

 Zach Bates and Bradley Bates

 Bradley Bates

 Bradley Bates

 Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, and Bradley Bates

Bradley Bates

 Photos courtesy Taryn Yager Photography