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