Thursday, August 31, 2017

'Here's the Scoop' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Here's the Scoop!"
  • Erin will be taking her first trip to Michael’s house in Chicago. “She is so excited about you coming,” Kelly tells Erin. “I have never heard her this excited.” Carson, Kelly, and Tori are going along.
  • Kelly pulls up the AARP travel site for Chicago to start planning. “We actually are old enough to join, but Gil was putting it off because he didn’t want to admit that he qualifies for being old enough, but I was kind of proud of my age, so I was eager to join,” says the Bates mom, who turned 50 last October.
  • Michael says she is adjusting to life in Chicago. “Sometimes I miss home, but I’m definitely falling in love more with it here,” she shares.
  • The group arrives in Chicago, reunites with Michael, and heads downtown to Navy Pier. Erin drives, and Kelly is terrified. 
  • Their first order of business is to ride the Ferris wheel. “I will say, big city is definitely not my thing,” says Tori.
  • Next, they take a boat tour. Carson is beyond excited.
  • When they return to Michael’s apartment, Michael and Erin take the opportunity to cook together. Michael says she and Brandon aren’t set on staying in Chicago permanently. “I would love to move somewhere back to the mountains, and I think Brandon would, too,” says Michael.
  • Michael tells Erin that she has found a fertility specialist. “Right now, it’s undiagnosed, so that’s hope,” says Michael, nearly in tears. “So there’s a lot of bloodwork and a lot of ultrasounds. It’s something I never thought I’d experience.”
  • “I know everybody says they pray for you, but there’s not really something you can say,” Erin tells Michael gently. “You’re doing great. It’s okay. It’s okay to cry.”
  • Erin can relate to Michael’s unfulfilled longing for a child, as she suffered multiple miscarriages before Carson came along.
  • “There’s days I cry a lot, and then there’s other days I don’t seem to be fazed,” admits Michael. “Someday, maybe, and if not, I’ll adopt me a baby.”
  • Brandon returns home and shows Kelly the rough draft of his children's book, which is set in the medieval times and has a strong message of character. His illustrations are beautiful.
  • Back at the Bates home, Carlin, Katie, Nathan, and Lawson head up an ice cream making competition. They divide the kids into teams, with older ones as team captains, to see who can make the best flavor of homemade ice cream.
  • “This was about having fun with the little guys and keeping them preoccupied, but of course since it had Lawson and Nathan in there, they made it all about the competition,” says Carlin.
  • Katie is the judge. Team Carlin makes mint chocolate chip, and the flavor is overpowering. Team Nathan makes mint cookie dough, and Katie says it has the worst flavor she has ever tasted. Team Lawson makes cookie dough, and Katie crowns them the winners.

Tonight: Michaela Shares Infertility Struggles

An all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates is coming your way tonight. Tune in to UP at 9pm ET/8pm CT for Bringing Up Bates "Here's the Scoop!"  Episode photos and two video clips can be found below.

Thursday, August 31, 2017
8pm: The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys
8:30pm: Stop, Drop and Wash
9pm: Here's the Scoop! (NEW)
10pm: Here's the Scoop!

Erin, who had not yet visited Michael, plans a mini vacation to Chicago with travel companions Kelly, Carson, and Tori. Erin and Kelly take to the internet to create a travel itinerary. 

When they arrive in the Windy City, little Carson is blown away (no pun intended) by the sights and sounds of downtown. The Bates take a boat tour and ride the Navy Pier Ferris wheel.

Later, Michael gets candid about her infertility struggles with Erin and shares an update on how things are going. She also answers questions about whether she and Brandon see themselves living in Chicago permanently.

Back at home in East Tennessee, the older siblings host an ice cream making contest for the little ones.

Photos/videos courtesy of UP

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Video: Bates Do Rescue Work in TX

Lawson Bates and Nathan Bates have made it down to Texas and are currently doing rescue work by boat. Please pray for their safety and the safety of those in harm's way.

Photo/video courtesy of

Bates' New Church Info

 Inside the Bates' church

Gil and Kelly Bates call their church plant, which they started a few years ago, an endeavor they had never anticipated.

Until July, they had been gathering in the conference room of a local hotel. We are thrilled to announce that after many months of hard work, the Bates are finally meeting in their new church building! They gave us the address so we can share it with our readers. They love visitors, so go ahead and stop by if you live in the area or are passing through.

Bible Baptist Church
4826 Andersonville Hwy
Andersonville, TN

Service times:
Sunday school: 10am
Sunday worship: 11am
Sunday evening: 6pm
Wednesday prayer meeting: 7pm

Photo courtesy of UP

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Nathan Spends Birthday in Texas

Wishing Kenneth Nathaniel Bates (aka Nathan Bates or "Kenny") a very happy 24th birthday!

Nathan recently spent six months living in Mississippi doing flight training, but he is back in Tennessee now, still doing flight training.

Rather than using his special day to focus on himself, Nathan is en route to Texas to help hurricane victims. He has emergency medical training and has previously worked as a volunteer fire fighter and as an EMT.

Nathan Bates

Photo courtesy of UP

Bates in the Big City

Kelly Bates: "Thinking of traffic in downtown Chicago, that just terrifies me."
Gil Bates: "No, that is not your cup of tea."

It's no secret that the Bates are small town folks, but with Michael and Brandon Keilen living in Chicago, they now make frequent trips to the area. Sometimes, they even venture downtown. In this preview of Thursday's new episode of Bringing Up Bates, Kelly, Michael, Erin, Tori, and Carson take on the Windy City.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, August 28, 2017

An Engagement and A Courtship?

 Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart have "large talk" with Gil and Kelly Bates

Before too long, Gil and Kelly Bates could be giving away three more daughters in marriage! Tori Bates, Carlin Bates, and Josie Bates are all in serious, marriage-minded relationships. In fact, they gathered their guys for a triple date in Downtown Knoxville this weekend.

The last official word was that Tori and Bobby were courting, Carlin and Evan were boyfriend and girlfriend, and Josie and Kelton were "special friends," but stay tuned for some exciting announcements!

Looking ahead to next Thursday's episode of Bringing Up Bates, Evan and Carlin will sit down with Gil and Kelly for a "large talk" to discuss entering an official courtship.

Tori and Bobby have said many times that their original plan was to tie the knot next May but that they could see themselves moving that day even closer. Also on next week's episode, Bobby will ask Gil a very important question.

Josie has just started her final semester of cosmetology school, and Kelton is already a college graduate.

If you had to guess, when do you think each of these Bates weddings will be? 

Photo courtesy of UP

Saturday, August 26, 2017

More Philippines Photos

Happy weekend, blog readers! A few days ago, we posted photos from the recent medical missions trip that Lawson Bates, Nathan Bates, Trace Bates, and Carlin Bates took to the Philippines. They just sent us a bunch more, so here's another batch. Enjoy.

 Nathan Bates

 Speaking to a group of kids

 Carlin Bates

 Nathan Bates

 Lawson Bates

 Nathan Bates

 Trace Bates

 Sharing music with kids

Carlin Bates and Trace Bates

Photos courtesy of

Friday, August 25, 2017

Just Like Zach

"You want to see what Zach was like when he was 15, you look at Jackson. You want to see what Jackson is going to probably be like when he's 27, 28, just look at Zach."
-Gil Bates

It is a widely known fact among the Bates family that 15-year-old Jackson Bates is the mini-me to 28-year-old Zach Bates. Although there are 13 years (and 10 Bates siblings) separating them, they go together like two peas in a pod, right down to the way they dress and what they enjoy talking about. Do you have a min-me? Or maybe you are someone's min-me.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Evan Turns 22

Wishing Evan Stewart a very happy 22nd birthday (one day late). For those who didn't know, Evan is Carlin's boyfriend. They have not yet announced an official courtship, but stay tuned!

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 24, 2017

'The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys"

  • Zach arrives at the Bates house to pick up Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah for an overnight camping trip in nearby Clinch River, Tennessee. “Zach is always trying to think of ways to invest in his little brothers,” says Gil.
  • When the guys arrive at the campsite, they decide to test out their skeet shooters, only to find that they are broken. “My inventive mind went to work, and I engineered one of the most powerful skeet throwers ever seen by the world,” says Zach. “Oh good grief, what did you do?” questions Whitney. “I threw the skeet!” replies Zach.
  • While putting up the tents and starting a fire, the guys realize that they are missing multiple items. But there’s no need to fear, as Jackson has everything they need in his ginormous backpack. “Jackson’s backpack is like a bottomless bag,” says Isaiah.
  • Meanwhile, Kelly, Erin, and Whitney take Ellie, Callie, Judson, Jeb, Bradley, and Carson to a local hotel pool for swimming lessons. Two teachers meet them there. Nathan, who has taught several of the children how to swim, comes along to help.
  • All the kids love it, even Bradley and Carson. “I’ve been working with Bradley since then, and he is coming along on the Michael Phelps tradition,” says Zach matter-of-factly.
  • Later, Gil and the rest of the guys meet Zach, Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah at the campsite. They all head to the river to do some fishing, but they don’t end up catching anything. “There’s two different things: There’s fishing, and then there’s catching,” says Lawson. “Hey, the Bates are amazing at fishing,” adds Trace.
  • “If our fishing was our living, we would be lean and mean,” laughs Gil. The crew returns to the campsite to cook hotdogs and hamburgers. Just as they’re getting started, Zach and Bradley have to head out to meet Whitney on the interstate and change her tire.
  • Later that night around the campfire, Gil and the boys go around and list things they are thankful for. “Remember, it’s your family that’s going to be there for you,” says the Bates dad. “Family is for the rest of your life.”

Backwoods and Backstrokes

Get your dose of family togetherness tonight on Bringing Up Bates (new episode premieres at 9pm ET/8pm CT on UP).

Since Zach has moved out of the house and started a family of his own, he is not able to spend as much time with his nine younger brothers as he once did. Still eager to invest in their lives, he plans a camping trip. He and Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah leave first, and Gil, Bradley, and most of the other boys meet up with them later that evening to join in on the fun.

The first order of business is fishing...

And then making dinner over an open fire. But wait, why are they cooking hotdogs rather than fish? Well, lets just say that the fishing may or may not have gone as planned.

But hey, at least they have a watermelon and a makeshift cutting board! Unfortunately, Zach receives a call from Whitney and must leave to go rescue her from a sticky situation.

While everyone is gathered around the fire later that evening, Gil seizes the opportunity to talk about the things that really matter in life.

Also on tonight's episode, some of the the youngest Bates kids and the oldest Bates grandkids take swimming lessons at a local hotel pool.

Nathan, who has taught several of the kids how to swim, goes along to help.

Photos courtesy of UP

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bates Babies Learn to Swim

"Mom has always been very overly cautious around water. I think I feel more secure knowing that Carson will know how to swim at a younger age."
-Erin (Bates) Paine

This week on Bringing Up Bates, the Bates babies are learning how to swim! Gil and Kelly's older kids had a difficult time learning because they were always required to wear life jackets (or "floats," as the Bates call them) in water. But that's all about to change for Ellie, Callie, Judson, Jeb, Bradley, and Carson. It's time for swimming lessons!

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Zach is the Man with a Plan

"As Zach says, 'If you ain't got a plan, make one up.'"
-Jackson Bates

Another week down and another new episode of Bringing Up Bates is coming your way tomorrow. Sometimes we just can't believe how quickly life marches on. Scroll down to read the summary of this week's show and watch a sneak peek scene featuring the boys' camping trip.

Thursday, August 24, 2017
8pm: The Night the Lights Went Out in Tennessee
8:30pm: Don't Worry, We've 'Goat' This!
9pm: The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys (NEW)
Since Zach has moved out of the Bates house, he misses spending time with the middle boys, so he organizes a camping trip in hopes of having some bonding moments with his brothers. But in between skeet shooting and fishing, Zach gets a call that might put his overnight camping trip plan on pause. Later, Kelly Jo, Erin and Whitney gather up the younger kiddos for a swimming lesson. But will Kelly's fear of the water cause Callie, Jud, and Jeb to hesitate from diving in? Or will the kids take to the water like a school of fish?
 10pm: The Fabulous Backwoods Bates Boys

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Driving the Bates

Kelly Bates: "Well I guess you can write yourself. Do you really think you're the best driver?"
Josie Bates: "Oh ya!"

The Bates can't quite come to a consensus on who the best driver in the family is (Kelly says there are no quality Bates drivers). But hey, at least they can almost agree on who takes the title as the worst driver...

Who are the worst/best drivers in your family?

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to check out our other blogs ( and

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bates Watch the Solar Eclipse

This afternoon, the Bates gathered at a friend's pool to watch the solar eclipse. Even Michael and Brandon Keilen drove down from Chicago for the event. The film crew was present, so you can look forward to the festivities on an upcoming episode of Bringing Up Bates.

Were you able to see the eclipse?

Photo courtesy of Carlin Bates/

Yodeling in the Philippines

As we shared in our recent Bates Updates post, Lawson Bates, Nathan Bates, Trace Bates, and Carlin Bates just returned from a two-week mission trip to the Philippines. They helped with medical missions and shared the Gospel with the adults and children whom them encountered. Some of the local schools even allowed them to speak to large groups of kids.

Scroll down to see a dozen snapshots and a video of Carlin yodeling. 

 Carlin Bates

 Lawson Bates


 Nathan Bates




 Carlin and Lawson





And here's that video we mentioned...

Photos/video courtesy of, Carlin Bates,