Thursday, May 31, 2018

Interview with Carlin Bates

In a recent interview with TV Insider, Carlin Bates discusses the latest Bates happenings, her relationship with Evan Stewart, and what it's like to film a reality show.

Carlin and Evan have been courting since August 2017, which means that a Bates-Stewart wedding might not be too far away. Carlin admits that she and Josie downloaded Pinterest when they each started dating and that they are "pinning stuff left and right."

And while the Bates seem to be consumed by relationships and weddings, they still have over a dozen younger kids who are nowhere near marriage. Carlin tells TV Insider about a conversation that took place among her family members: "Last week, we were all talking about weddings, and my little sisters were like, 'We are already booking our colors, so nobody can take them since there are so many girls.'" But if you think about it, with 19 children, it will definitely become increasingly difficult for the little ones to plan a wedding that is unique.

Carlin ends by expressing how excited she is for all the new milestones taking place in the Bates family. "We love that not only we get to share it together, but the world gets to be a part of it and be alongside us for the different roads that our journey leads us," she says.

Those were just a few snippets from Carlin's lengthy interview. Visit the TV Insider website to read the entire thing. And stay tuned for an interview with Josie Bates next week.

Photo courtesy of Carlin Bates/

Eye Love You Day

new episode of Bringing Up Bates

Tonight's episode of Bringing Up Bates is a rerun, but next Thursday and the Thursday after, UP has some exciting new content in store for viewers.

June 7th will bring Tori and Bobby Smith's honeymoon and the start of Josie Bates' courtship. And on June 14th, stay tuned for Kelly's eye surgery and the Bates' "growing old together" Valentine's Day celebration. (Click here for a sneak peek at their costumes.) Scroll down for a video preview of "Eye Love You Day" and written episode summaries.

Thursday, June 7
8pm: Tori's Winter Wonderland Wedding 
9pm: A Heavenly Honeymoon & A Courtship Countdown NEW!
After a picture-perfect wedding ceremony, Tori and Bobby head out for their honeymoon. Upon arriving in California, the newlyweds take a romantic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and set sail for a picturesque boat ride on Monterey Bay. But after Tori has a video chat with her Mom and Dad, will she feel homesick for Tennessee? Meanwhile, the courtship countdown is on! Now that Gil and Kelly Jo have granted Kelton permission to officially ask Josie to court, he begins to put his plan in motion. After taking Josie on a scenic tram ride and ice skating adventure in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, will Kelton finally take a leap of faith and ask her the “big question?” And later, Tori and Bobby continue their honeymoon adventures in Yosemite National Park.

Thursday, June 14
8pm: A Heavenly Honeymoon & A Courtship Countdown
9pm: Eye Love You Day NEW!
Tori and Bobby’s wedding might be behind them, but Kelly Jo isn’t slowing down! She’s finally getting eye surgery to correct her vision. But how will the Bates household hold up while she’s in recovery mode? Meanwhile, 'tis the season for love, as the family preps for this year’s “I Love You Day” festivities. Will the “growing old together” theme lead to some unexpected costumes? And will the single Bates boys finally secure a seat at the table for the couples’ dinner?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Bates' Memorial Day Photos

Memorial Day is a great reminder to honor those who have died serving our country, knowing that without the brave men and women who have fought, both in recent wars and in battles that took place more than 200 years ago, America would be a very different place. Did you do anything to celebrate those who have given their lives for our freedom?

Below are a few snapshots of the Bates from Memorial Day weekend.

Brooklyn Paine and Carson Paine
Brooklyn Paine and Carson Paine
(wheelbarrow made by Chad Paine)

Whitney Bates and Kaci Lynn Bates
Whitney Bates and Kaci Lynn Bates show off their red, white, and blue

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart

Photos courtesy of, Zach and Whitney Bates, Carlin Bates,

Monday, May 28, 2018

'It's Just Me and You'

We’ve seen their wedding, and now it’s time to watch them take their West Coast honeymoon. As Tori and Bobby Smith leave the church in the video below, the fact that they are married and alone together for the first time starts to sink in. Bringing Up Bates "A Heavenly Honeymoon & A Courtship Countdown" airs next Thursday, June 7th.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Honeymoon & Courtship Episode

In two weeks, the Bates will return to UP with all-new episodes. (Next week is another supersized rerun.)

The show will feature Tori and Bobby Smith's honeymoon, as well as Kelton Balka's courtship proposal to Josie Bates. We posted a promo video earlier this week, and below is the written summary.

Thursday, June 7
8pm: Tori's Winter Wonderland Wedding 
9pm: A Heavenly Honeymoon & A Courtship Countdown NEW!
After a picture-perfect wedding ceremony, Tori and Bobby head out for their honeymoon. Upon arriving in California, the newlyweds take a romantic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and set sail for a picturesque boat ride on Monterey Bay. But after Tori has a video chat with her Mom and Dad, will she feel homesick for Tennessee? Meanwhile, the courtship countdown is on! Now that Gil and Kelly Jo have granted Kelton permission to officially ask Josie to court, he begins to put his plan in motion. After taking Josie on a scenic tram ride and ice skating adventure in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, will Kelton finally take a leap of faith and ask her the “big question?” And later, Tori and Bobby continue their honeymoon adventures in Yosemite National Park.

Photo courtesy of UP

Friday, May 25, 2018

Win a Mumbelli Infant Bed

 Calling all moms, moms-to-be, or anyone who needs a gift for an expectant mother. I recently heard about the Mumbelli and was immediately intrigued. A baby's transition from the womb to the outside world can be rough, as they are forced to leave the surroundings they have grown accustomed to and adapt to a new way of living. But Mumbelli can help. A womb-like infant bed with an adjustable foot insert, Mumbelli allows your newborn to feel more safe and secure and thus get better sleep.

I have seen many positive reviews of Mumbelli, and Alyssa Webster is among the moms who love it. I am thrilled to be partnering with Mumbelli for a giveaway. Upon receiving my Mumbelli in the mail, I was highly impressed by the level of quality with which it is made. In a day when manufacturers constantly cut corners to increase profits, quality is something that I value.

The Mumbelli infant bed has a removable cover that can easily be laundered in the washing machine, and it comes with a carrying bag for travel. No need to lug a huge bassinet over to the in-laws' house when you go for a visit! It is soft to the touch but still firm enough to be safe for your baby. My husband and I are looking forward to starting a family, and we cannot wait to use our Mumbelli!

Mumbelli is sold on the Mumbelli website, as well as on Amazon. You can follow Mumbelli on Facebook and Instagram (@mumbelli.official).

To enter for a chance to win a Mumbelli, follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Everly and Zoey Meet

This week, several of the Tennessee Bates traveled down to Florida to visit the Sunshine State Bates (also known as the Websters). Among them were Erin Paine and her three kids. Zoey and Everly are two days apart and are eight weeks old, and this was their first time meeting. The girls won't remember it, but their moms sure had a blast.

 Alyssa Webster, Everly Paine, Zoey Webster, Erin Paine

The four older cousins had a great time, too. Carson and Allie are one month apart, while Brooklyn is five months older than Lexi.

Carson Paine, Allie Webster, Lexi Webster, Brooklyn Paine
Carson Paine, Allie Webster, Lexi Webster, Brooklyn Paine

There were plenty of baby snuggles to go around!

Kelly Bates, Zoey Webster, Addallee Bates, Everly Paine
Kelly Bates, Zoey Webster, Addallee Bates, Everly Paine

Photos courtesy of

Websters Celebrate 4 Years

Today is Alyssa and John Webster's wedding anniversary. They married four years ago during a dreamy, pink and blue ceremony. Alyssa was 19, and John was 24. Happy anniversary to these two lovebirds!

Alyssa Bates and John Webster

Alyssa Bates Webster and John Webster

Alyssa and John Webster

Photos courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Zoey Webster, 8 Weeks Old

Today is Zoey Webster's eight-week milestone! We just love this new photo of her adorable smile.

Zoey Webster and Alyssa Webster
Zoey Webster and Alyssa Webster

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Favorite Day of the Season

Although it's still technically spring for another four weeks, I'm officially in summer mode because my summer FabFitFun box just showed up! I love being a #FabFitFunPartner.

FabFitFun is a subscription box that has been all over Facebook and Instagram. Once you subscribe, you'll receive one to your doorstep each season. It's a blast to open the box and look through all the beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and fitness products. The total retail value of the items is over $200, but the box sells for a fraction of that.

To see what's inside the 2018 summer box, check out my unpacking video below. If you would like to order a box of your own, enter the code ELLIE at to get $10.00 off. I was invited to be a #FabFitFunPartner, which means I receive the box for free in exchange for my reviews. All opinions are my own.

Which Bates is the Nicest?

The littlest Bates kids sure are full of personality, and it seems like they always have something to say. In this clip, the youngins take part in another round of Name That Bates Junior, as they share which family member they think is the nicest and which person they most enjoy talking with.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Season Isn't Over

Although the Bringing Up Bates episodes shown this Thursday and next Thursday will be reruns, the Bates family has plenty more in store for viewers in the coming weeks. To catch a few glimpses of the footage slated to air during the remainder of season seven, check out this video. You won't want to miss it!

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Bates Boyfriends

Hope you are having an enjoyable weekend. The courting Bates couples sure are!

Josie Bates and Kelton Balka
 Josie Bates and Kelton Balka enjoy the great outdoors

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart
Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart
Stewarts' church family celebrates the first Sunday in their new building
South Haven Baptist

Photos courtesy of Josie Bates, Carlin Bates,

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bates #13 Turns 15

Wishing Warden Bates a very happy 15th birthday! In the state of Tennessee, he is now old enough to apply for his learners driving permit.

Warden Bates

Warden Bates

Photos courtesy of, UP

Thursday, May 17, 2018

'The Bates Royal Wedding Celebration' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "The Bates Royal Wedding Celebration"
  • “Our goal is for our children to be morally and spiritually and emotionally pure when they get married,” shares Gil. “We have chosen a route that we didn’t even know about when we were growing up. There’s a lot of names for it, dating with a purpose or courtship, but we don’t do the traditional dating.”
  • Zach and Whitney relive their proposal: Zach surprised Whitney with a surprise trip to Florida, where he surprised her on the beach with flowers, a candlelight dinner, and, of course, a ring.
  • Chad proposed to Erin under a gazebo after taking her on a ride through a park in a horse-drawn carriage. He pulled out a ring and popped the question: “Erin Elise, will you marry me?” They both cried and hugged. “Erin, she was the highlight of it all,” says Chad.
  • The Paines also look back on their wedding, which was the first on both sides of the family. They show photos, although they don’t show scenes.
  • After her engagement, Michael bravely allowed some of her brothers to tag along. Lawson and Nathan have different opinions when it comes to telling a lady how she looks. Lawson shares his: “If the girl ever comes up to you and says, ‘How does this look on me? What do you think?’ Wonderful, beautiful, perfect.” Nathan, on the other hand, says, “I’m an honest man. If it don’t look their best, I’ll just kind of say, ‘That’s not your best.’”
  • John and Alyssa met at a mutual friend’s wedding after Alyssa got to know John’s brother on a mission trip to Romania. They fell in love while Alyssa, Tori, and Lawson were helping John’s dad campaign for Congress.
  • Alyssa admits that she was extremely nervous for her wedding. “He’s going to raise another Alyssa,” she joked to her dad just before walking down the aisle. Afterwards, she described it as “absolutely blissful,” and told the camera that John cried quite a bit.
  • “We’ve got a lot of excitement around, a lot of things happening, a lot of kids changing,” says Gil.

Gil and Kelly's Love Story

Gil Bates and Kelly Jo Callaham

Gil Bates and Kelly Jo Callaham met in a college chemistry class and were married one semester before graduation. Gil was 22, and Kelly was 21. On tonight's episode, you'll hear more details of their love story (video preview below).

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Erin and Chad's 1st Kiss

Erin Bates wedding

"I'm not going to lie, I was scared to death about my first kiss. I really think nobody can have a perfect first kiss, to be honest. It was pretty close...but but practice definitely makes perfect in that area."
-Erin (Bates) Paine

Tomorrow evening on UP, the Bates are looking back at past engagements and weddings, complete with some never-before-seen footage. In the preview below, Erin and Chad discuss their wedding and the kiss they shared at the altar.

If you live in the United States and are 18 years of age of older, UP is giving you a chance to win a Bringing Up Bates prop--a bouquet of flowers that Tori (Bates) Smith used during a season seven photo shoot. Click here to enter the giveaway on the UP website.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

35 Bates and Counting

Gil Bates, Kelly Bates, Alyssa Webster, John Webster, Zoey Webster
Gil Bates, Kelly Bates, Alyssa Webster, John Webster, Zoey Webster

How many members has the Bates family reached, and how quickly have they grown? We posted a similar list to our blog about the Duggar family, so we decided to make one for Gil and Kelly's clan, as well.

At most points over the past 11 years, the Bates family has been just a little bit smaller than the Duggar family, although for a period of three months in 2016 (after the birth of Brooklyn Paine in August and before Jeremy married Jinger in November) both clans had 30 members.

Our readers on the Duggar blog predicted that it won't be long before the Duggars add their 50th member. When do you think the Bates will reach 40?

2007:18 Bates (2 parents, 16 kids)
2008: 18 Bates
2009: 19 Bates
2010: 20 Bates
2011: 20 Bates
2012: 21 Bates
2013: 23 Bates
2014: 25 Bates
2015: 28 Bates
2016: 30 Bates
2017: 32 Bates
2018: 35 Bates

Photo courtesy of

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bates Royal Wedding Celebration

 Alyssa Bates and John Webster, May 2014

This week's episode of Bringing Up Bates will be another special. Since the show began three years ago, we have watched two proposals and weddings, but what about the older kids?

On Thursday's special, you'll be treated to some never-before seen footage from weddings and engagements that have been covered on the show, as well as footage from events that have not been covered on the show (video preview below).

For those who have asked if the season is over, we want to assure you that it's not. Amazon and iTunes often don't sell the episodes that are considered specials, so if you don't have access to the UP channel, you may have to wait until new episodes resume to watch Bringing Up Bates.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Carson Turns 3

Erin and Chad Paine can no longer say that they have three children under the age of three. Today is Carson's third birthday! Although the third oldest Bates grandchild is called Carson by all, that's just his nickname. His given name is Charles Stephen Paine IV. Happy birthday, Carson!

Carson Paine and cousin Kaci Lynn Bates
Carson Paine and cousin Kaci Lynn Bates

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Loudest Bates

Callie Bates, Addallee Bates, Ellie Bates

Which member of the Bates family is the loudest? Isaiah asks the question, and Addee, Ellie, Callie, Judson, and Jeb weigh in. Do you agree with their choices?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tori's Pregnancy

Have you heard Tori and Bobby's big announcement? They're expecting a baby! The news was revealed just three days after Tori's college graduation. Baby Smith is due in November, and the couple is eager to find out the gender.

In an exclusive statement, the parents-to-be told Us Weekly, "We are thrilled that God has blessed us with this amazing privilege, and we cannot wait to meet our precious little gift from Him." Tori has been experiencing persistent morning sickness during the past weeks.

Bobby Smith and Tori (Bates) Smith

Photo courtesy of Tori and Bobby Smith

Thursday, May 10, 2018

'Mother's Day Special--UPdated' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Mother's Day Special--UPdated"
  • They may have 19 kids, but Gil and Kelly still make a point of spending one-on-one time with each child on a regular basis. “One of our priorities is to become best friends with our children,” says Kelly.
  • And the Bates kids say their parents do a great job at keeping up with all of them individually. “Somehow they always make time for everybody,” says Michael. “No matter how crazy or hectic their life is, they’ll take that time to talk with us and make sure it’s just us and them and keep that communication open,” agrees Lawson.
  • In this episode, the network shares “proud mommy” moments from the past seven seasons, including birthdays, births, graduations, and baby announcements.
  • “Mom’s whole life has been an investment into our lives,” says Lawson. “She is never thinking about herself,” says Erin. “It’s always somebody else.”
  • “She is able to keep us all happy,” says Gil of his wife. 

Baby Smith Coming Soon!

Bobby Smith and Tori (Bates) Smith

The big announcement has just been made! Those who guessed that Tori and Bobby are expecting a baby are correct.

Photo courtesy of Tori and Bobby Smith; video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Prayers for Meema

Kelly Bates, Meema, and Kay (one of Kelly's sisters)

If you saw our post on Tuesday, you know that three of the Bates kids graduated from college on Monday. It was an exciting day for the family!

Kelly’s mom, whom the family calls Meema, drove to Tennessee from North Carolina for the event, but she fell on Sunday and fractured two of her lower vertebrae. She had surgery but has a long road to full recovery. We know the family would appreciate your prayers, especially as Meema attempts to travel home tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of

Mother's Day Special

"I love being a mom. I love seeing Chad as a dad."
-Erin Paine

In honor of Mother's Day, tomorrow's episode of Bringing Up Bates will highlight some of the Bates' most "motherly" moments. To get you in the mood, below is a clip filmed three years ago, when Carson Paine was less than one week old.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

3 Bates Grads

Last night, the Bates family attended The Crown College of the Bible's graduation ceremony, during which three Bates children walked across the stage. Talk about an exciting evening!

Tori graduated magna cum laude (with great honors) with a bachelor of science in elementary education. Josie graduated from the cosmetology school and the Bible program. And Trace graduated from the Bible program.

Tori (Bates) Smith, Trace Bates, Josie Bates
Tori (Bates) Smith, Trace Bates, Josie Bates

Gil and Kelly Bates kids college graduates
 Gil and Kelly Bates with the graduates

Josie Bates and Kelton Balka
 Josie Bates, Kelton Balka, and Kelton's dad

The graduates with [some of] the family members who attended

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

Photos courtesy of

Monday, May 7, 2018

Josie and Kelton, May 2018

Don't Josie and Kelton make a beautiful couple? They have been courting for more than three months. We know you're holding your breath for an engagement announcement from the two of them, as well as one from Carlin and Evan.

 Kelton Balka and Josie Bates

Photo courtesy of Trace Bates/

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Everly's Dedication

This weekend, five-week-old Everly Paine was dedicated to the Lord. Several family members joined Erin and Chad Paine at their church, Clear Springs Baptist, for the occasion.

Abby Paine (Chad's sister), Aunt Jenifer (Gil's sister), Carson Paine, Chad Paine, 
Everly Paine, Erin Paine, Brooklyn Paine, Papa Bill and Mama Jane (Gil's parents), Carlin Bates

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Big Bates Announcement Coming Soon

Big Bates announcement

UP has just revealed some exciting news. On next Thursday's episode, a big announcement will be made about one of the Bates family members featured in the second half of the video below. Who do you think it is, and what news do you think will be shared?

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, May 3, 2018

'The Bates Get Candid' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "The Bates Get Candid"

  • Small groups of Bates family members sit down with executive producer Matt Hightower to talk about what it’s like to film Bringing Up Bates.
  • Gil and Kelly go first. “If we watch a show…Gil’s usually in tears,” says Kelly. “It really is tender because we realize now more than ever with five kids married that our kids are growing up fast, and there’s going to be a day, even though it’s hard to picture, that we’re sitting in an empty house.”
  • “I don’t know if the house will ever be empty because I don’t think we can ever get the boys married off,” adds Gil, jokingly.
  • “When I’m having a gloomy day, I want to call one of the kids or just talk to somebody, and it just kind of cheers you up to know that somebody’s just thinking of you or going through the same thing,” says Kelly. “And I think that was the goal for this show. It certainly wasn’t because we had it all together, by any means, because we don’t. It was just to say, ‘Hey, we’re going through some trials, some lessons, some growing pains, as well.’ And maybe it will encourage some other families to just stick it out.”
  • What’s Gil and Kelly's secret to having a close-knit family? Praying together, playing together, and laughing together. “Laughter is a big part of our house,” says Gil. “I’ve got some really unusual laughers, some loud laughers, but we do a lot of laughing.”
  • Next, Zach and Whitney, Erin and Chad, and Tori and Bobby come on set. What’s it like to have small children who have been on reality TV for their entire lives?
  • “Carson, I think he still freezes up, even though he’s used to it like three days a week,” admits Erin. “He doesn’t quite act himself yet.”
  • “Kaci, I don’t know what she thinks about it, but she just stands behind the cameras,” says Whitney.
  • The last interview is with Lawson, Carlin, Josie, and Katie. Matt asks them what it has been like to live life in front of a camera.
  • “Not growing up with a camera in my face when I was really little made it a harder adjustment, but little guys like Jeb and Jud and Callie…I think sometimes they may be just a little too loose on camera,” shares Lawson.
  • Do the Bates watch all the episodes? The older kids admit that they don't, saying they would be too critical of themselves. Kelly approves them, and she sometimes gives the children who are featured in a particular episode a heads up so they can watch it. 
  • When asked when she expects to get married, Carlin answers, “Definitely within the next year.”
  • And the million dollar question: Which Bates is Matt’s favorite? “I love you guys, all of you,” says the executive producer. The Bates and their crew say they have become family.

Tori: 'It’s just not me to be perfect'

“The whole wedding, I was just honestly trying to make everything so perfect and do everything so perfect. It’s just not me to be perfect.”
-Tori (Bates) Smith

Did you have a chance to watch the Bates wedding special? If you did, you probably noticed a hiccup during Tori and Bobby's vows. After stumbling over the words "lawful wedded husband," Tori starts laughing uncontrollably. UP captured the moment in the video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bobby's Impressions of the Bates

Bringing Up Bates

"You have to second guess and question like every single move you make."
-Bobby Smith

What is it like getting to know an unusually large family that also has a reality TV show? On tomorrow's new episode, "The Bates Get Candid," the clan answers questions about filming Bringing Up Bates. Bobby admits that he was a bit apprehensive when he first met Tori's parents and siblings. Hear from him in the preview clip below.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Bates #3 Turns 27

Wishing Erin Paine a very happy 27th birthday!

Erin Paine, Chad Paine, Everly Paine
Erin Paine, Chad Paine, Everly Paine

Chad and Erin Paine, I Love You Day 2018
Chad and Erin Paine, I Love You Day 2018

Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Nurse Katie?

 Katie Bates

Following in the footsteps of several of her older siblings, Katie Bates, who turns 18 in October, is currently attending The Crown College of the Bible. (Joseph Duggar also attended Crown.)

Katie is in the one-year Bible program. Next semester, she hopes to start studying nursing and is seeking direction from the Lord as she prepares to make her decision.

Photo courtesy of