Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tonight: Meema Moves In

It's Bates night! Tune in to UP tonight at 10pm ET/9pm CT for a new episode of Bringing Up Bates. We are in wedding mode this week, so we won't be able to post a written recap, but rest assured that we will be back to our normal blogging schedule early next week. 

10pm ET/9pm CT: Meema Moves In
Gil and Kelly take Trace and Josie to the orthodontist to get braces, and Gil reveals how he can afford orthodontia for so many kids. Later, Kelly's mother, Meema, announces that she wants to live closer to the kids. Kelly takes her house hunting, but the task proves tougher than anyone could have imagined.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to Gil Bates, Zach Bates, Chad Paine, John Webster, and all the other dads out there! In the following video, Chad shares his perspective on celebrating Father's Day for the first time.

We will be offline for the next several days preparing for Ellie's wedding, but we have posts scheduled during that time.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Recap: "High Risk, High Hopes"

Tonight on Bringing Up Bates, "High Risk, High Hopes"...
  • Erin and Chad visit Dr. Vic to see how Erin is progressing in her high-risk pregnancy.
  • Dr. Vic explains that with Erin's condition, there is a risk of having a stillbirth. 
  • "This is one of those situations where there is nothing you can do but pray," says Gil.
  • "You just have to pray that God knows best and that we're doing everything we can to have a healthy baby," says Erin.
  • Back at the Bates house, the younger kids build an underground fort. Gil and Kelly don't have broadcast TV, so their kids spend a lot of time outside.
  • Then, Lawson, Nathan, and Trace take Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah to a driving range for a golfing lesson, which, according to Zach, is just "the blind leading the blind."
  • When they return home, the older boys load their airsoft guns and try to take the younger boys' fort. The Bates have one rule for airsoft wars: Everyone must wear eye protection.
  • The rest of the family watches from the window.
  • Erin prepares dinner for Zach, Whitney, and Bradley. According to Tori, "Erin, for the longest time, was the worst cook ever."
  • "When Erin cooked at the house, we would say, 'When the fire alarm goes off, dinner is ready,'" teases Zach. Since marrying Chad and having a reason to develop her skills, Erin is now a great chef.
  • "Zach doesn't say it much, and he doesn't show it, but he has a hard time watching his sisters grow up and get married and have babies," says Whitney. "It makes him sad."

Tonight: High Risk, High Hopes

Tune in to UP tonight at 10pm ET/9pm CT for a brand new episode of Bringing Up Bates (preview video below).

10pm ET/9pm CT: High Risk, High Hopes
Erin and Chad meet with Dr. Vick to discuss the risk of having a stillbirth and the precautions they must take for the rest of Erin's pregnancy. Later, the couple invites Zach, Whitney, and baby Bradley over for dinner. Then, the older Bates boys square off against the younger boys in a giant Airsoft battle.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Man-to-Man Talk

In last week's episode of Bringing Up Bates, Brandon Keilen cornered Gil to ask his permission to propose to Micheal (video below).

Friday, June 12, 2015

While Mom and Dad are Away...

On last night's episode of Bringing Up Bates, Gil and Kelly accompanied Michael to Chicago to meet with Brandon Keilen and his parents. While Mom and Dad were away, Erin and Chad Paine stayed with the rest of the kids. In addition to redecorating Gil and Kelly's bedroom, they also did a few crafts. One day at lunch, Erin had the kids create animals with their food.

The kids all agreed that Dad would not approve of this craft, as he does not like to waste food. Erin's response was that they were making memories, so it was worth it. They also ate most of their creations when they finished. 

Photos courtesy of UP

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Recap: Future In-Laws?

Tonight on Bringing Up Bates, "Future In-Laws?"
  • Gil, Kelly, and Michael head to Chicago to meet with Brandon Keilen (Michael's boyfriend) and his parents. Erin and Chad come over to help with the little ones while Gil and Kelly are away.
  • Brandon's family lives in Michigan, but when Brandon and Michael get married, they will live in Chicago, where Brandon has been working since graduating from school. (Brandon proposed soon after this episode was filmed, and the wedding is set for August 15th.)
  • Gil requests that they have Chicago pizza, so they enjoy a meal at Giordano's. Kelly and Michael are eager for Brandon to propose, but Gil is a little more laid back. "I know that [Brandon] has got to be thinking engagement," says Kelly. "It has to be on his mind, because it's on all of ours."
  • The following morning, they head to an art shop, where they each paint a piece of pottery.
  • At lunch, Brandon pulls Gil into the men's room to ask for permission to propose in the next few weeks. Brandon tells Gil the date, but Gil doesn't plan to tell Kelly because he knows she will spill the beans.
  • While they are eating, Kelly pulls out a 2015 calendar and asks Brandon if he wants to choose a date for the wedding. Brandon jokes that he is planning on Valentine's Day of 2015.
  • Back in Tennessee, Erin and Chad and the kids prepare to redecorate Gil and Kelly's bedroom as a surprise. Chad and the boys work on refinishing the antique bedroom furniture, while the girls decorate.
  • While Erin is babysitting, she has the kids use their food to make animals. Gil doesn't like wasting food, so the children say he would not approve.
  • When Gil and Kelly return home, they are blown away by their newly decorated room. Gil tells the family that he had a special talk with Brandon but won't reveal the details. "I hardly ever know anything everybody don't know," says Gil.

Meet Brandon's Parents Tonight

Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for a new, 30-minute episode of Bringing Up Bates (video preview below).

Gil, Kelly Jo, and Michael head to Chicago to meet with Brandon Keilen and his parents. Brandon corners Gil for a "heart-to-heart" talk in the most unlikely of places. Meanwhile, back in Tennessee, Erin and the kids rush to redecorate their parents' bedroom before Gil and Kelly Jo return. Come back to the blog after the show for a written recap.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Michael or Michaella?


What is the story behind the oldest Bates daughter's name? When she was born, her parents named her "Michal," but when Gil and Kelly realized the negative connotation of the name while reading through their Bible, they changed the spelling to "Michael."

As a young child, Michael was unhappy about having a name that was traditionally male, so her family started calling her "Michaella." Today, she goes by either Michaella or Michael and does not prefer one over the other, but her legal name is still Michael.

Photo courtesy of UP

Michaella & Brandon

In just over two months, Michaella Bates and Brandon Keilen will become husband and wife. Brandon, who is from Michigan, asked Michaella to begin a courtship on December 30, 2013, and proposed on April 14, 2015. Their wedding date is set for August 15.

Michaella Bates and Brandon Keilen at Parrot Mountain in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Photo courtesy of the Bates family

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Recap: "All Together Again"

Bringing Up Bates "All Together Again"
  • Alyssa and John arrive from Florida. Alyssa is only several weeks away from her due date.
  • The entire Bates family gathers to celebrate "I Love You Day" (aka Valentine's Day), which many of the kids say is their favorite holiday. Brandon Keilen, Michaella's boyfriend, flies in to join the celebration.
  • "I hope this is the last Valentine's Day before I get married, says Michaella."But if it's not, we'll have another one to celebrate together." (Update: Brandon and Michaella got engaged in April and have set their wedding date for August 15th.)
  • Gil and Kelly gather everyone in the living room for a family meeting. Four older men dressed in matching suits stop by to surprise Whitney. They hand her a card and a rose from Zach and sing two love songs.
  • "It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen," says Whitney. "I was proud of myself," says Zach.
  • "Gil has always been very thoughtful," says Kelly. "And I think growing up, all of the boys in the family saw it was worth spending your time, your money, your effort on making your marriage fresh and alive."
  • Gil and Kelly take all four couples (Zach & Whitney, Erin & Chad, Alyssa & John, and Michaella & Brandon) on a date to a Japanese restaurant. The chef cooks the food in front of them and provides entertainment, as well.
  • To celebrate "I Love You Day," the Bates family draws names for a gift exchange. Gil and Kelly encourage the kids to focus on what they will give, rather than on what they will receive. Each family member spends about $25. 
  • Later, Gil and Kelly and the younger kids go shopping for gifts. "Whenever we go to any store, my dad starts sweating like crazy," says Lawson. To cut down on costs, Gil goes through the gifts and takes out a few knick knacks that he doesn't think his kids need.
  • Back at home, everyone helps prepare for the big Valentine's dinner. As usual, there are a lot of opinions flying around. According to Kelly, the only thing the entire family ever agrees on is to have more kids.
  • Lawson and Nathan work out a plan to hang a piƱata in the house. They back a crane up to the door and extend the arm through the doorway. "Y'all make the simplest things so complicated!" says Carlin.
  • Everyone dresses up in their fanciest clothing and gathers for dinner. Then they distribute gifts, one at a time.
  • The kids clap and cheer when Gil receives a new pair of jeans from his "special pal." "We have tried for a very long time to get my dad jeans that actually look good," says Tori.
  • Brandon and Michaella unveil a big surprise for the family: a 3-D Bates family tree with a picture of each family member.
  • The following day is Alyssa's baby shower, so Kelly makes a midnight grocery store run to buy food.
  • The whole family attends the shower. Alyssa & John, Gil & Kelly, Papa Bill & Mama Jane (Gil's parents), Jenny & Greg (Gill's sister and brother), and Meema (Kelly's mom) & Nathan compete against each other to see who can correctly match price tags with baby supplies. The teams tie.
  • "My family did a great job," says Alyssa. "People were so generous and thoughtful," says John.
  • "I have the greatest life of everybody I know," says Gil.
  • At the end of the shower, Gil and Brandon plan a meeting with Brandon's parents to discuss his relationship with Michaella.

The Bateses are Back!

Tune in to UP tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for the season premiere of Bringing Up Bates. The family gathers to celebrate "I Love You Day" and Alyssa's baby shower. Watch a video preview below: