Thursday, April 19, 2018

'Countdown to I Do' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Countdown to 'I Do"
  • Kelly, Tori, and all but three of the bridesmaids make one last trip up to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, for a final dress fitting at Renee’s Bridal.
  • Renee Miller unveils the completed wedding dress, and everyone loves it. “That’ is the most beautiful dress in the world,” says Kelly, who was not a huge fan of the gown before the alternations. “The bling is so awesome,” says Tori. The bridesmaids who are present try on their dresses, and they look great.
  • Back at the Bates house, Gil and the boys cut down small trees to decorate the sanctuary.
  • “When a girl gets married around here…it’s a family project,” says Gil. The guys are all a little unsure about what Tori and Kelly want, so it’s a bit of a guessing game. They think they have it all figured out, until Kelly returns. “That’s kind of scrawny,” says the mom of 19, looking at one of the trees that was cut down. “It’s gotta look like a tree, big tree, fluffy tree.”
  • Six days before the wedding, Kelly takes a few trees to the church to see how they look. “If this was any wedding except for a Bates wedding, I would say we are way behind,” says Kim Nafziger, friend and wedding planner. “But because this is a Bates wedding, this is kind of typical.”
  • Erin, Chad, and Carson visit Dr. Vick’s office for an ultrasound. “I’m going to hold her hands,” says Carson, when he sees his baby sister on the screen.
  • Dr. Vick gives Erin a clean bill of heath. “16 more and you’ll be there,” he jokes.
  • “Every time, I say this is my last,” says Erin. “I don’t know what happens. I’ve gotta stop looking at newborn babies. I think three strikes and I’m out.”
  • During a lunch break at work, Bobby works on honeymoon details. He and Tori are planning to go out west to the Yosemite area. Bobby admits he has never planned a vacation or seen a significant amount of snow.
  • Kelly gathers the planning team and drops a bombshell. She is having laser surgery to correct her vision as a 30th anniversary present, and she is considering having the procedure four days before the wedding. Kim is very uneasy.
  • After seeing the doctor, Kelly ends up deciding to wait on the surgery. The doctor says Kelly’s thin cornea will require a type of laser surgery that has a 4-5 day recovery.
  • Carlin does a hair trial for Tori’s wedding. “Are you putting your hair in a bun?” asks Nathan. “On your wedding day, you never put your hair up or in a bun. You leave it down.” Tori wants an updo because she doesn’t want her hair to take away from her dress.
  • Nathan holds to his opinion. “At the end of the day, a girl is going to look her very best when her hair is down. Now up hair is great. There’s times for that. There’s times to wear buns. Hey, there’s times to wear your hair in a shower net, but your wedding is not one of those days.”
  • To celebrate their anniversary, Gil and Kelly enjoy a romantic dinner at The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, which is where they spent their honeymoon. “This was a really needed break,” says Kelly.
  • One week before the wedding, Lawson plays a Christmas charity concert. In the middle of the show, Nathan jumps up on stage and invites his parents to join him. He gives them flowers and tells the audience how dedicated his parents have been to each other and their children over the years. Lawson and Carlin sing one of Lawson’s original songs, “I Will Always,” for Gil and Kelly, who are incredibly touched.
  • “My life was mapped out different in my mind 30 years ago,” shares Kelly. “I was very much going to be the career woman, and I wasn’t going to have children for at least five years.” The mom of 19 says she wouldn’t have chosen the life that she is now living but that she couldn’t imagine anything better.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bates Son-in-Law Turns 31

Wishing Chad Paine a very happy 31st birthday! Chad is the oldest of all Gil and Kelly's children and children-in-law.

Chad Paine birthday

Do you remember the surprise trip that Erin planned for Chad's 30th? And the posters she made for him? Now that was one memorable birthday!

Photos courtesy of UP

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Paine Siblings

One week after Everly Paine's birth, Erin and Chad had newborn photos taken by photographer friend Taryn Yager. As is always the case with Taryn's pictures, the results were beyond adorable. See them below.

Carson Paine, Brooklyn Paine, Everly Paine
 Carson Paine, Brooklyn Paine, Everly Paine
(Carson is very protective of both his sisters and sometimes won't even let others hold Everly.)

Photos courtesy of

Name That Price...Keep Trying

"I hate shopping. I don't shop very often, and typically when I shop, I don't look at the prices. Well I do now because Bobby said I have to. I'm just going to let him shop."
-Tori Bates

In this web exclusive clip from their wedding shower, Tori Bates and Bobby Smith compete in a game that has them guessing prices of grocery items. Their results are a tad bit embarrassing.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, April 16, 2018

Youngest Bates to Court

Bates Courtships
 Josie Bates and Kelton Balka enter an official courtship

Five of Gil and Kelly Bates' 19 children are married, and two are in serious courtships. All the kids' relationships have had similarities and differences, and it has been neat to watch them unfold.

So far, Josie has been the youngest Bates daughter to enter a courtship. She and Kelton Balka made their relationship official earlier this year. They actually started talking three years ago, and things quickly became serious. At that point, Gil asked Josie if she would be okay with putting a pause on the relationship for a while, since she was so young. She agreed, and she and Kelton took a break. They resumed their relationship a little over a year ago.

For comparison, we have calculated the ages at which each of the Bates daughters began courting.

Michael: 23
Erin: 21
Tori: 20
Carlin: 19
Alyssa: 18 (three days before her 19th birthday)
Josie: 18

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bates Fan File 715

Hope your weekend has been great. My weekly Fan File is up and is embedded below. If you haven't already, be sure to take a look at my written recap, as well.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

More Newborn Photos of Everly and Zoey

Everly Paine and Zoey Webster are just over two weeks old. The Bates were able to travel down to Florida last weekend to meet Zoey, celebrate Allie's third birthday party, and visit Sea World. And over course, with the Paines living so close to the big house, the family has had many opportunities to cuddle Everly.

Kelly Bates and Everly Paine
 Kelly Bates and Everly Hope Paine

Carson Paine and Everly Paine
 Bradley Bates and Everly Paine

Carlin Bates and Zoey Joy Webster
Carlin Bates and Zoey Joy Webster

Alyssa Webster and Zoey Webster
Alyssa Webster and Zoey Webster

Callie Bates and Lexi Webster
Callie Bates and Lexi Webster

Photos courtesy of

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Bates Celebrate Thanksgiving

Ellie Bates
 Ellie Bates

Thursday's episode was jam-packed with entertaining and heartwarming footage of the Bates' Thanksgiving celebration. Josie and Kelton sit down with Gil and Kelly to discuss their relationship, and they successfully receive approval to begin a courtship. (Kelton says he still plans to wait until after New Year's.)

Josie Bates and Kelton Balka
 Josie Bates and Kelton Balka

The guys help Papa Bill build a barn, while the ladies pick pecans and make Thanksgiving dinner. 

Kelly Bates and Allie Webster
Kelly Bates and Allie Webster

Papa Bill and Mama Jane Bates
Papa Bill and Mama Jane Bates

Alyssa Webster and Whitney Bates
Alyssa Webster and Whitney Bates

Zach Bates and Lexi Webster
Zach Bates and Lexi Webster

Photos courtesy of UP

Friday, April 13, 2018

Wedding Episode Coming Soon!


Did you enjoy last night's show? We know you all have been eagerly awaiting Tori Bates and Bobby Smith's wedding episode. We are thrilled to announce that it's less than two weeks away! Below are the episode times and summaries for the next two Thursdays. As always, be sure to check our Showtimes page for the latest details.

Thursday, April 19
8pm: Another Beautiful Season of Blessings
9pm: Countdown to 'I Do' NEW!
The Countdown has begun! Before Tori and Bobby say, “I Do,” there’s a million things left to do! Tori has her final wedding dress fitting, and she sits down with Carlin to come up with a hairstyle for her special day. Meanwhile, Gil, Nathan, and the middle boys get to work on cutting and trimming trees for Tori and Bobby’s “winter wonderland” wedding decor. Will the boys' lack of progress put Kelly Jo in a panic? Meanwhile, with Baby #3 on the way, the Paines take a family trip to the Doctor for Erin’s ultrasound. In honor of their 30th anniversary, Gil and Kelly Jo have a memorable date night and attend Lawson’s charity Christmas concert. But when Nathan jumps up on stage unannounced, the family is in for an unexpected surprise!

Thursday, April 26
8pm: Countdown to 'I Do'
9pm: Tori's Winter Wonderland Wedding NEW!
It’s a very “Marry” Christmas for the Bates, as Tori and Bobby’s wedding day is here! The family hustles to take care of last minute “winter wonderland” wedding decorations, and Tori and Bobby begin to prep for their California honeymoon. The night before the big day, the family hosts a chaotic rehearsal dinner, which is to be expected when you have a wedding party as large as Tori and Bobby's. When the big day finally arrives, everyone is full of emotion, especially Gil as he prepares to give another daughter away. And once the vows are exchanged, it’s time for the couple’s first kiss! Will it be everything they've been waiting for? And with any Bates wedding, you have to wonder, who’s next?

Photo courtesy of UP/

Thursday, April 12, 2018

'Another Beautiful Season of Blessings' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Another Beautiful Season of Blessings"
  • As the show opens, the Websters and Zach and Whitney are sitting on the porch at Papa Bill and Mama Jane’s house in Honea Path, South Carolina, waiting for the rest of the family to arrive for Thanksgiving.
  • Is Gil’s mom ready for the chaos? “I don’t think you ever get ready,” says Mama Jane, chuckling. “Having Thanksgiving here with all the children, it really is a wonderful thing. I know the children love it, and I know they want to keep coming, but I don’t know how much longer I can lift that turkey.”
  • Papa Bill needs help building a barn, so the Bates guys get to work immediately. “I like to see them working together…but I don’t stay long because I get a little bit nervous,” admits Kelly. “I’m just seeing an accident waiting to happen.”
  • The guys are hoping to finish the project before they leave. “My family, we love to help,” says Zach. “We can bite off a great project and leave you hanging right in the middle of it.”
  • Kelton pulls Evan aside and asks for pointers, as he is planning to seek Gil and Kelly’s permission to court Josie.
  • “During our building project, we had some other people competing for our workers,” says Nathan. “Every few minutes, I’d see some little pretty girl walking over there, like one of my sisters…and off they go.”
  • Meanwhile, the ladies and kids pick pecans, a Bates family Thanksgiving tradition. They also help Mama Jane make brownies. “Mama Jane has a reputation for being quick to fuss about people being in her kitchen,” says Kelly. “She likes a clean house. But deep down, she loves the kids being there.”
  • The following day, Alyssa and Whitney help Mama Jane with supper. Mama Jane asks Alyssa if she’s following in her parents’ footsteps with a baby every year. “This might be the end,” says Alyssa. “Jane, I ain’t having 19 kids. This body needs time to heal.” She also says that she definitely plans to stop if she ends up with four girls. “It’s the drama,” says Alyssa. “I can’t handle it.”
  • At lunchtime, the ladies bring food to the workers. “I don’t like to stop work for many things, but I’ll stop anything I’m doing for food,” says Zach. While they eat, the engage in a competition to see who can climb a big tree in the least amount of time.
  • “There’s all levels of crazy, and the Bates crazy is on the top level,” says Nathan.
  • In the midst of all the chaos, Gil and Kelly sit down with Josie and Kelton for a relationship check-in. “We definitely feel like God is leading us toward the courtship,” says Kelton. He wants to ease into it and asks for permission to make it official around New Year’s.
  • Josie and Kelton have been talking for three years, but when things started getting serious early on, Gil asked Josie if she would be okay with “putting the breaks” on the relationship until she got a little older. They ended up taking a break, but Kelton stuck around, and it has been about a year since they got back together. Gil and Kelly grant their permission for the couple to court.
  • After the barn is finished, the guys play football (another Bates family tradition). When Mama Jane calls everyone in for supper, they sit down and share what they are thankful for before eating. Gil gets emotional: “I just thank the Lord for getting to grow up here, for my mom and dad and all they did to invest in me, to have a brother like Greg, a sister like Jenny. And I’m just grateful that Mom and Dad are still here, and praise God we get to all be together as a family.”

Allie's 3rd Birthday Party

It's hard to believe that little Allie Jane Webster is already three years old! Last weekend, the Bates traveled down to Florida to visit Sea World and attend Allie's birthday party. Are we just imagining it, or is Allie the spittin' image of Alyssa?

Allie Jane Webster

Allie Jane Webster birthday party

Photos courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

These Cows Aren't Pets...

 Running from the cows

“During our building project, we had some other people competing for our workers. Every few minutes, I’d see some little pretty girl walking over there, like one of my sisters…and off they go.”
-Nathan Bates

During a break from barn building, Kelton Balka takes Josie Bates over to the pasture to pet the cows. The result isn't exactly what they had hoped for. Check out this sneak peek of tomorrow's episode.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Carlin Turns 20, Allie Turns 3

Just two weeks after becoming a big sister for the second time, Allie Jane Webster is turning three years old. (Until now, Alyssa and John Webster have had three under the age of three!)

But that's not the only excitement for the Bates today. Carlin Bates is also celebrating a birthday, and she's turning 20. Happy birthday, Carlin and Allie!

Evan Stewart and Carlin Bates
 Evan Stewart and Carlin Bates

Allie Webster and Zoey Webster
 Allie Webster and Zoey Webster

Alyssa and John Webster; Allie Webster, Lexi Webster, Zoey Webster
 Alyssa and John Webster; Allie Webster, Lexi Webster, Zoey Webster

Carlin Bates, Kelly Bates, Josie Bates
Carlin Bates, Kelly Bates, Josie Bates

 Photos courtesy of, Carlin Bates, Alyssa and John Webster

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Kelly: 'That smell...rough'

Bradley Bates

The Bates aren't the most adventurous folks when it comes to trying new foods, but when they do step out of their comfort zones, it sure is entertaining to watch. In the video below, they try another international dessert and attempt to guess the country from which it comes. Three-year-old Bradley might just be the most adventurous Bates!

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bates Visit Florida (and Sea World)

This weekend, the Bates traveled down to Florida for a mini vacation. They visited with Alyssa and John Webster, celebrated Allie Jane Webster's third birthday, and showered not-yet-two-week-old Zoey Joy Webster with lots of love. Some of the family members also visited Sea World.

Evan Stewart, Carlin Bates, Alyssa Webster, John Webster
Evan Stewart, Carlin Bates, Alyssa Webster, John Webster

Lawson Bates and Zoey Webster

Photos courtesy of Carlin Bates,,

Sunday, April 8, 2018

100th Episode Celebration

On Thursday's new episode of Bringing Up Bates, we watched the Bates' 100th episode celebration take place behind the scenes. Below are a few snapshots from the photo booth. Visit the UP website to view more.

 Bates kids and grandkids

Carlin Bates and Executive Producer Matt Hightower
Carlin Bates and Executive Producer Matt Hightower

Bringing UP Bates crew members
Bates and crew members

Katie Bates and Bringing Up Bates crew member
 Katie Bates and crew member

Photos courtesy of UP

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bates Fan File: Episode 714

My weekly Bringing Up Bates Fan File segment is "up" on the UP website! Check it out below:

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Friday, April 6, 2018

Trick Riding with Trace and Lawson

Lawson Bates and Trace Bates trick riding

Trick riding is one of Trace Bates' passions, and viewers have seen him display his skills on past episodes of the Bates' show. His dream of performing in a show became a reality last weekend, when he participated in the Shipshewana Wild West Show in Shipshewana, Indiana. Lawson Bates also did some trick riding and sang at the event.

The film crew was present, so you'll be able to watch the brothers in action on an upcoming episode of Bringing Up Bates

Lawson Bates, Nathan Bates, Trace Bates
 Lawson Bates, Nathan Bates, Trace Bates

 Photos courtesy of Trace Bates and Lawson Bates/;

Cooking for an Army?

Kelly Bates: "As a mom, it's neat to see everybody back together again, as if we were still under one roof together again. I miss those days."

Michael Keilen: "Mom thought we were cooking for the whole family and all the relatives, so that's how much food we had, when really it was only 10, but that's okay."

In this web exclusive from last night's episode (be sure to check out our written recap), the Bates ladies share a meal together at the beach house. Kelly's daughters make jokes about her massive, soupy lasagna, but Kelly laughs it off. The mom of 19 is just glad to have all her daughters together under one roof.

 If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs ( and

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, April 5, 2018

'Beach Blanket Bachelorette' Recap

Bringing UP Bates "Beach Blanket Bachelorette"
  • A few weeks before Tori’s wedding, Kelly and her daughters (minus Whitney, who isn’t able to make it) check into a vacation rental on an island on the Gulf. Carson joins the ladies as the only guy. “I just could not stand to leave Carson behind,” says Erin. “Me and him are like inseparable. We do everything together.”
  • During their first excursion, a boat ride, the Bates are thrilled (literally jumping for joy) to see dolphins.
  • Later, they go for a walk on the beach. After seeing tons of jellyfish lying in the sand, no one wants to go swimming. The adults sit on blankets so the kids can play. The married daughters offer up marriage advice for Tori. “It’s survival of the fittest,” says Alyssa. “There is no advice. It’s, do your best to survive.”
  • Tori shares the details of her apartment, which is two bedrooms and almost 1,000 square feet. Kelly considers that to be huge, given that she and Gil lived in an 800-square-foot house with eight kids. When they were first married, Gil and Kelly could fit all their things in a small closet.
  • Next on the agenda is painting sand dollar ornaments at a local boutique. Tori, who says she isn’t artsy, sits this one out. “One thing I’m learning from this is that art was not my talent,” says Kelly. Josie paints a Volkswagen hippie van on her sand dollar. 
  • After their art project, the ladies get ice cream. “Everybody in the family knows, Katie’s biggest love is ice cream,” says Kelly. “She tells her sisters, ‘Y’all get your boyfriends. I’m going to stick with ice cream.’”
  • That evening, everyone gathers back at the beach house to give Tori some personal care items, including plenty of lotion and perfume, with which the sisters say Tori is obsessed. 
  • Back in Tennessee, the younger guys help Bobby move his belongings from the camper into the apartment that he and Tori will share once they are married. “Man Bobby, you have a lot of stuff,” remarks Judson.
  • Gil, Lawson, Nathan, Bobby, and Kelton spend an evening at Veloce indoor go-kart speedway. The go-karts are able to reach speeds of up to 50 miles-per-hour!
  • Kelton ends up winning. “The plumbing man brought home the trophy,” says Nathan. “Kelton drives a plumbing van every day from house to house doing service calls. Unbelievable.”
  • During the commercial breaks, viewers go behind the scenes with the Bates. Gil and Kelly introduce everyone to executive producer Matthew Hightower, as well as the rest of the crew.
  • Matt interviews the family about the show:
  • “I never though it would make it through the first season, much less, here we are looking at shooting the eighth season,” admits Gil.
  • “When we heard that [UP’s] goal was to be uplifting and encouraging to other families, we said, ‘That’s something we can support,’” says Kelly. Matt reads comments from viewers about how much the show means to them, and the Bates are touched.
  • Matt asks Chad, Whitney, and Bobby what it was like to marry into the Bates family and become a part of the show. “I still…don’t think I’m comfortable around cameras, but it’s definitely an experience, and we’ve had a lot of fun doing it,” says Chad.
  • Matt sits down with Lawson, Carlin, Josie, and Katie and talks about what they think of filming relationships that may or may not end in marriage. The kids say they knew when they agreed to do the show that all of that would be fair game. 
  • “If y’all are down for 100 more episodes, so are we!” says Lawson. “That’s up to the viewers.”

Tori's Beach Bash

On tonight's all-new, hour long episode of Bringing Up Bates, the Bates ladies take a beach vacation (photos below), Bobby moves into the apartment that he and Tori will live in after the wedding, Gil and some of the guys race go-karts, and the family has a behind-the-scenes 100th episode celebration.

Lots of exciting footage coming your way at 9pm ET/8pm CT! Be sure to come back to the blog after the show for our written recap.

Tori Bates bachelorette party

Allie Jane Webster
 Allie Webster

Bates family at the beach

Bates family at the beach

 Ellie Bates, Carlin Bates, Carson Paine, Erin Bates Paine

 Erin Bates Paine, Tori Bates, Carson Paine

 Alyssa Bates Webster, Tori Bates

Photos courtesy of UP

Accessing My Duggar Blog

Good morning! Many of you also read my blog on the Duggar family, Over the past week, I have been making some updates on that blog, and some readers have been unable to access it. Please let me know if you are still unable to access. (You can leave a comment or email me at

Be sure that when you are accessing the site, you don't add an 's' to HTTP. That will result in an error message. To access, either type,, or in the URL window of your web browser. ( will not work.)


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Girl Time with the Bates

"It was just so much fun getting to cook a big meal and sit down together with everybody. It was just so fun to have a big group again."
-Michael (Bates) Keilen

During their beach getaway, the Bates ladies enjoy cooking and eating together, just like old times. (Where Bates gather, there is always food!) Check out this scene from tomorrow's episode, which will be one hour long.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Adjustments in Marriage

"I think you will be shocked. You've been living in a room with your sisters for 20 years. It's great. It's like college life all your life. But then you move in with your husband. It's so quiet! It's a big change."
-Erin (Bates) Paine

This week on Bringing Up Bates, the Bates women and girls host a bachelorette beach getaway for Tori. The bride-to-be is eager to walk down the aisle, but her older sisters remind her that there are many adjustments that come along with marriage.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, April 2, 2018

Bates Easter 2018

Hope you all had a blessed Easter celebrating our risen Lord and Savior. The Bates sure did! For a family that loves the Lord, church, and fancy clothes, it's the perfect holiday. Below are a few snapshots.

Gil and Kelly Bates
 Gil and Kelly Bates
(Gil is the pastor at Bible Baptist)

Bates siblings
 7 of the 19 siblings: Josie Bates, Trace Bates, Katie Bates, Isaiah Bates,
Carlin Bates, Lawson Bates, Ellie Bates

Zach and Whitney Bates, Bradley Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates
 The little Bates family
Zach and Whitney Bates, Bradley Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates

Michael and Brandon Keilen
 Michael and Brandon Keilen

Carlin Bates and boyfriend Evan Stewart
Carlin Bates and boyfriend Evan Stewart

 Erin and Chad Paine, Everly Paine (born Friday)
(The Paines were released from the hospital on Easter)

 The Websters
Alyssa and John Webster, Allie Webster, Lexi Webster, Zoey Webster (born Wednesday)

Photos courtesy of,,,, Zach and Whitney Bates, Alyssa and John Webster