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