Thursday, February 23, 2017

'Sweet Home Spartanburg' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Sweet Home Spartanburg"
  • As part of her 50th birthday celebration, Kelly takes the family to her hometown--Spartanburg, South Carolina. They meet up with Kelly's mom (Meema) Kelly's sisters (Kay and Kim) and Gwen, a gal who lived with Kelly's family, and are able to walk through the house where Kelly and her siblings grew up. (The couple that lives there now had agreed to give them a tour.) Kelly also had a brother, Chip, who passed away.
  • Kelly admits she was the "tattletale," "brat," and "baby" of the family and that she used to sit up in a tree by the road and take detailed notes on the things she heard her siblings say and do so she could report back to her mom. She says she especially enjoyed listening in on Chip's conversations with girls that he brought home. 
  • The mom of 19 also used to sneak into the bathroom through a closet while one of her siblings was showering and dump cold water onto them.
  • After the tour, the Bates rake leaves for the couple to thank them for opening their home. They all enjoy jumping in the leaves, even Kelly and her sisters. "I think that gave us kids the first clue that they were really going back to their childhood," says Erin. The four girls also pray together.
  • Kelly was in third grade when her parents got divorced. She stayed with her mom in South Carolina, and her siblings moved to Tennessee with her dad. "It was a very difficult thing to go through, but it also made me who I am today," shares Kelly. "I think we took something that was hard, and I think all of us, children and parents, tried to learn from it and turn it into something positive."
  • After her parents' divorce, Kelly says she poured herself into her studies. She takes the family to her high school and introduces them to her two favorite teachers. "[My mom's teachers] helped develop in my mom such a love for education and to meet those people who gave her that love for learning...[we are] grateful for them because it has definitely played a role in all of our lives," says Michael.
  • One of Kelly's science teachers takes the family into a science classroom to do an experiment. 
  • "[My kids] are homeschooled, and the ones that haven't gone to college yet, they've never really sat in an actual classroom at desk, where the teacher is up front drawing on the board, so I think they were curious and interested," says Kelly. 
  • Later, the Bates head to an iconic local restaurant, The Beacon, to meet up with Kelly's childhood friends. Her best friend, whose name is also Kelly, had called a bunch of their classmates to invite them, and quite a few showed up. Kelly has tears in her eyes as she shares the impact that each of her friends had on her life.
  • Down in Florida, Alyssa and John Webster are looking forward to the arrival of Lexi Mae.


  1. I love your show, especially the episode in Spartanburg because I'm from Spartanburg too! You and your family are inspiring and entertaining. Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for these summaries. Where I live there's no broadcast for the Bateses' show. This sounds like such a tender and touching episode. Kelly has really gone through a lot. God bless her family.

  3. I live near Spartanburg and we've seen them several times 😁

  4. can anyone tell me the song played when kelly jo and her sisters jumped into the leaf pile? Thanks!


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