Monday, December 30, 2019

Bates #1 Turns 31

Happy 31st birthday to Zach Bates! Today, he is celebrating with his wife and three kids, including seven-week-old Khloe.

Whitney Bates, Kaci Bates, Zach Bates, Bradley Bates
Whitney Bates, Kaci Bates, Zach Bates, Bradley Bates
4th of July 2019

Zach and Whitney Bates
Zach and Whitney Bates
Chuck E. Cheese with the family, summer 2019

Whitney Bates and Khloe Bates
Whitney Bates and Khloe Bates
Christmas 2019

Photos courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates,

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bates Christmas 2019

Gil and Kelly Bates

Christmas on the farm! Papa Bil and Mama Jane (Gil's parents) hosted Christmas for their three children and many grandchildren at their home in South Carolina. Some of the married couples were with their other families and were unable to make it. Last weekend, Gil and Kelly had all their children over for a Christmas celebration and white elephant gift exchange, so it has been a week of partying for the Bates clan.

Photo courtesy

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Willow's 1st Christmas

Five-month-old Willow is ready for her first Christmas. It has been quite a while since we have posted a new photo of this little cutie, so we thought it was about time. And it's no surprise that her stylish mama, Josie, has perfectly wrapped presents under her beautiful Christmas tree. Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Willow Balka
Willow Balka

Photo courtesy of Josie Balka

Friday, December 20, 2019

Hallmark Movies in Pigeon Forge

Gil and Kelly Bates
32nd anniversary
How did Gil and Kelly Bates celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary? Poor Kelly Jo broke her foot last Friday when she tripped on the last three stairs in the dark and is now in a boot. She and Gil headed to Margaritaville Island Inn in nearby Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where they enjoyed a relaxing evening that involved a to-go meal and Hallmark movies. Does anyone else like to watch Hallmark at Christmastime?
If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs ( and

Photo courtesy of

Bates #7 Turns 24

Wishing Tori Smith a very happy 24th birthday!

Kade Smith 1st birthday party
The Smiths
Kade's 1st birthday party

Kelly Bates and Tori Bates
Kelly Bates and Tori Smith
Modeling dresses for Bates Sisters Boutique
Tori with newborn Kade Smith
Bobby and Tori Smith
Tori's graduation
Bobby Smith and Tori Smith

Tori Bates 2016
Tori Bates 2016

Photos courtesy of UPtv, Tori and Bobby Smith,

Thursday, December 19, 2019

3 Bates Anniversaries

Mid-December is a busy time for the Bates family. In less than one week, three of the couples have anniversaries. Rather than bombard you with three separate posts, we decided to do a joint one. Zach and Whitney Bates celebrated six years on December 14, Tori and Bobby Smith celebrated two years on December 16, and Gil and Kelly Bates are celebrating 32 years today. Happy anniversary to these six Bates!

Gil and Kelly Bates
Gil and Kelly Bates

Zach and Whitney Bates

Bobby and Tori Smith
Bobby and Tori Smith

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

Photos courtesy of the Bates family,, the Smith family

Monday, December 16, 2019

Non-Contact? What's That?

Gil Bates

"...This is non-contact, as far as like really hurting people."
-Gil Bates

Does your family play team sports during holiday get-togethers? The Bates do, when they visit Papa Bill and Mama Jane's South Carolina farm. The games are intended to be non-contact, but that doesn't always work out. In this Bates Legends video, Gil, Kelly, Lawson, and Nathan tell the story of Gil's leg injury that landed the Bates dad in the emergency room...and ended up being less of an injury than he had hoped (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Sunday, December 15, 2019

New Family Photos

This holiday season, you can probably guess what the Bates are thankful for. Their newest additions, Khloe Bates (born November 7) and Holland Paine (born November 26) are approaching their first Christmas. We just love the family photos that Taryn Yager took for the Paines and the little Bates.

Erin Bates Paine and Chad Paine Holland Paine
Chad Paine, Erin Paine, Brooklyn Paine, Everly Paine,
Holland Paine, Carson Paine
Zach Bates, Bradley Bates, Whitney Bates, Khloe Bates, Kaci Bates
Zach Bates, Bradley Bates, Whitney Bates, Khloe Bates, Kaci Bates

Photos courtesy of

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Cruising Websters

John Webster and Alyssa Webster Bahamas cruise
John Webster and Alyssa Webster
Bahamas cruise December 2019
You may remember our October 2017 post about Alyssa and John Webster’s Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas. At that point, Alyssa was pregnant with Zoey but was still a few weeks away from announcing to the world.

Yesterday, the Webster duo embarked on another cruise to the Bahamas, this time to celebrate John's 30th birthday, which was on November 21st. They are with other couples from John’s side of the family.

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Win Brandon's Book

Have you heard about Brandon Keilen's new book, The Quest of Quinton: The Mystery of the Golden Scroll? We posted about its release in October. UPtv is giving viewers a chance to win one of five autographed copies. You can enter on the network's website. Hurry, the giveaway ends on Sunday at 11:59 PM ET.

Brandon's book can be purchase on Michaela and Brandon's website. The Keilens are currently running a Christmas promotional--two books for $20.

Photo courtesy of

Monday, December 9, 2019

4 Kids in Less Than 5 Years

Holland Paine
Born November 26th, 2019
Taryn Yager, the Bates' photographer friend, delivered her fourth son on November 21st, just five days before Erin and Chad welcomed Holland, but she has been sweet enough to take newborn photos for the Paines (picture above). For fun, we have included newborn pictures, all by Taryn, of Holland's three siblings, as well.

Carson Paine
Born May 14, 2015
Brooklyn Paine
Born August 6, 2016

Everly Paine 
Born March 30, 2018

Photos courtesy of

Friday, December 6, 2019

Katie and Travis

We tried to put this post up a couple days ago, but it never went though. How embarrassing! Better late than never, right?

It has been quite some time since we have shared a photo of Katie and her beau, Travis, who is from the East Coast. By looking at the picture, can you tell where they are?

Travis Clark and Katie Bates
Travis Clark and Katie Bates

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

Photo courtesy of Katie Bates

Christmas Cookies with the 'Little' Bates

Khloe Eileen Bates will be one month old tomorrow! And look at those chubby cheeks. Zach and Whitney made Christmas cookies with their three kiddos last night.

Kaci Bates, Bradley Bates, Zach Bates, Khloe Bates
Kaci Bates, Bradley Bates, Zach Bates, Khloe Bates

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Bates' Fiery Furnace

Lawson Bates: "When you pull up to a red light or you're driving around town, you don't get enough wind to blow 100-degree weather out of East Tennessee out of your fiery furnace."

Kelly Bates: "...The entertainment was the kids singing."

Zach Bates: "We were so loud."

Do you have any childhood memories like the vehicle that the Bates call the "fiery furnace"? Kelly Jo and her five oldest kids share the story of this infamous van in the video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Friday, November 29, 2019

Baby Cuddles with Holland

Erin Paine and Holland Grace Paine

Have you heard the exciting Bates news that was announced on Wednesday? Holland Paine arrived on Tuesday (details can be found in our "Holland is Here" post). And if you follow our blog about the Duggar family, you know that a member of that clan also had a baby this week. Anna Duggar delivered Maryella Hope Duggar yesterday morning.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Holland is Here!

Carson Paine, Erin Paine, Holland Paine, Everly Paine, Chad Paine, Brooklyn Paine
Carson Paine, Erin Paine, Holland Paine
Everly Paine, Chad Paine, Brooklyn Paine

Khloe Bates is no longer the youngest Bates grandchild. The Paines welcomed Holland Grace Paine yesterday morning (Tuesday, November 26) at 5:24am. Holland weighed 5 lbs 5 oz and has three adoring older siblings.Visit the UPtv announcement page for more photos. 

Erin Paine, Chad Paine, Holland Paine
Erin Paine, Chad Paine, Holland Paine

Photos courtesy of Taryn Yager Photography

Monday, November 25, 2019

Granny and Khloe

Kelly "Granny" Bates and Khloe Bates

Khloe Bats is 18 days old! As you can imagine, Zach and Whitney Bates and the rest of the Bates clan are enjoying all the newborn snuggles. Erin Paine is due with Holland Grace Paine in December, She delivered early with all three of her other babies, so it won't be long before you'll be reading another birth announcement.

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

Photo courtesy of Gil and Kelly Bates

Unity Tree?

Whitney Bates, Carlin Stewart, Erin Paine
Whitney Bates, Carlin Stewart, Erin Paine

"I really think that this plant is really important. It does need to survive, if this is like your unity plant. I mean, it's not a good sign if it dies really soon. So you'd better water it."
-Erin Paine

When it comes to the unity ceremony at a wedding, there are a lot of options. You can light a candle, pour sand, tie a braid or knot, take Communion, wash each other's feet...and the list goes on. During their wedding, Carlin and Evan chose to plant a tree (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Watch the FULL Bates/Stewart Wedding Ceremony

UPtv has requested that we pass on an exciting announcement to our readers.

This evening, the Bringing Up Bates episode featuring Carlin and Evan's wedding aired on TV. It was one hour long, but of course it didn't include the entire wedding ceremony--just bits and pieces, as well as footage from the rehearsal and reception. What if we told you that you can watch the ceremony in it's entirety, shot by multiple cameras, just as Carlin and Evan's wedding guests did?

For the first time ever, UPtv is making a full Bates wedding ceremony available to viewers, via its online streaming service, UP Faith and Family. If you aren't yet an UP Faith and Family subscriber, you can start your subscription with a 14-day free trial. Once you log in, the wedding ceremony will not be listed with the regular Bringing Up Bates episodes. It will be found in a series titled "You're Invited." Visit the UP Faith and  Family site to begin.

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

Artwork courtesy of UPtv; photo courtesy of Aubree Belle Photography/UPtv

Thursday, November 21, 2019

'A Wedding Worth the Wait' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "A Wedding Worth the Wait"

  • The wedding is almost here! Carlin and Evan are practicing their first dance, to a song that Lawson wrote. “I had never imagined that this could just get this complicated,” Lawson says of the dance steps.
  • “I’m thinking y’all are going to need a lot more practice before Saturday,” says Trace, chuckling.
  • “I feel like, if you stumble and mess up the whole dance but you get the ending right, it’s okay,” says Carlin.
    Carlin arrives at the nail salon with her best friend, Joy (Duggar) Forsyth. “My friendship with Joy is just such a treasure to me,” says Carlin. “So for her to be here is just so sweet, to spend that last bit of time single with your best friend.”Erin and Tori, who are also bridesmaids, arrive soon after.
    “Carlin is so sweet,” says Erin. “I think she’s pretty much asked my opinion about every little detail about her wedding, which makes me feel so honored and special. I feel like, ‘Wow, I’m getting to kind of redo my wedding in a way and change up all my choices.’” Chad laughs.
  • It’s 94 degrees during the rehearsal. Carlin’s wedding Bates party is the largest so far, with 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen.
  • As the couple stands before Gil, one of the two officiants, he encourages them to stand close. Carlin puts her arm around Evan’s neck, but Gil puts the kibosh on that. “Hey, hey, woah, no, we’re not into that!” he exclaims. “You’ve got 23 more hours and 27 minutes.”
  • After the rehearsal, everyone is eager to get to the rehearsal dinner, which is in an air-conditioned building. The Stewarts have done an amazing job. Carlin stands up and shares heart-felt words of gratitude with her parents and siblings. Evan does the same. “I thought Carlin’s speech was wonderful,” says Lawson. “…It really just shows how close everybody is and how many memories there are.”
  • On the day of the wedding, all the ladies get ready together, while the groomsmen quickly put their clothes on and then enjoy refreshments and games in a room at the venue.
  • During pictures, Callie breaks down. “On the day of the wedding, it just starts dawning on me that they’re leaving for good,” says Callie. Carlin gives her a big hug.
  • Another emotional moment comes when Gil sees Carlin in her dress for the first time. The bride gives her dad a tie with the inscription, ‘I’ll always be your little girl.’
  • Just before Carlin walks down the aisle, Erin and Whitney pray with her. “I don’t thing [Carlin] could have picked a more perfect place for her and Evan to have their day at,” says Lawson.
  • Evan sees the dress for the first time when Carlin walks down the aisle, and he gets quite emotional.
  • “It’s a hot day, so I have been informed that my charge needs to be short and sweet,” says Gil during the ceremony. At the altar, he reminds Carlin and Evan to cherish each other and not to let anything come between them. “Carlin, you treat this man like he’s Superman, and he will be Superman,” encourages Gil. “The more you brag on him, they better he’ll get. It just works for all guys. You tell them they’re good, even if they can’t fix anything…they’ll find out how to do it. They want to be your hero.”
  • The couple exchanges traditional vows. When it’s time to sing the duet, they pull it off beautifully. “Baby I’m going to show you, with every step that I take, all of my ‘I dos,’ vows that I make.”
  • When it’s supposed to be time for the kiss, Evan’s pastor says, “Let us pray,” which is apparently something that he has done during past weddings. After the prayer comes the kiss.
  • Carlin and Evan run down the aisle and disappear. They arrive at the reception a short while later. The guests have been fed, and it’s time to cut the cake, made by Kelly’s sister Kay. Carlin and Evan do end up rubbing cake on each other’s faces.
  • Ethan, Whitney, and Erin give speeches. During hers, Erin makes a cryptic announcement: “So it’s my bet that out of all of Mom and Dad’s children that you will be the best to have the most children. Me personally, I’ve made my contribution, contributions. Four is getting close.”
  • The guests look around, wondering why Erin said four instead of three. “Oh, sorry, four,” says Erin. “Yes, I’m pregnant, for everybody that didn’t get that.” Everyone cheers.
  • “I accidentally slipped,” says Erin later. “I was not planning on that. I think it’s just cause it’s on my mind. Like I’m so shocked at myself for having four children. I mean, that’s a huge feat.”
  • After the speeches, everyone gathers around the outdoor dance floor and watches the couple share their first dance. Then comes the daddy-daughter dance. “Just watching Carlin enjoy that time with Dad, knowing the effort that Dad put into it--because he doesn’t dance--they did a beautiful job together, and it was just a really sweet time knowing how much it meant to her and knowing that he was willing to do anything to make her day special,” says Michael.
  • The episode ends with the sparkler send-off, and the couple drives away in a green sports car.