Thursday, April 9, 2020

Surgery and Celebrations

Brandon Keilen and Michael Keilen
Brandon Keilen and Michael Keilen

It's Thursday, and you know what that means. Tonight is Bates night! Tune in to UPtv at 9pm ET/8pm CT for an all-new, 30 minute episode of Bringing Up Bates.

8:30pm ET: Texas or Bust? 
9pm ET: Surgery and Surprises NEW!

The Bates family gathers to find out the gender of Carlin and Evan's first child.

Erin Paine preps for the gender reveal

And Gil is able to attend, with a sling, of course.

Gil Bates and Kelly Bates

Isaiah Bates and Kade Smith
Isaiah Bates and Kade Smith

Josie and Kelton go out on a date in honor of their one-year wedding anniversary...
Josie Balka and Kelton Balka
Josie Balka and Kelton Balka

...While Michael and Brandon babysit Willow. 
Brandon Keilen and Michael Keilen with Willow Balka

Photos courtesy of UPtv

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Gil's Last Words

Gil Bates
Prepping for shoulder surgery

"Every time something like this happens, it makes me think about all the things that I haven't done. And I love you."
-Gil Bates to Kelly Jo

In addition to the Balkas' first anniversary date, the Keilens' babysitting experience with Willow, a Bates family game night, and the Smiths' big announcement, you'll also see Gil's shoulder surgery on tomorrow's new episode of Bringing Up Bates. And you probably won't be surprised to see him get a bit emotional as he sends a video to the kids just minutes before the start of his procedure (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Monday, April 6, 2020

Bad-Flavored Slime

This week on Bringing Up Bates, new parents Josie and Kelton Balka eat at a fancy restaurant in celebration of their one-year wedding anniversary. In this clip, Josie tries new seafood dishes and shares her reactions.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Kade and His Newborn Brother

Kolter Gray Smith is 10 days old! According to proud parents Tori and Bobby Smith, Kade adores his new little brother.

Kade Smith and Kolter Smith
Kade Smith and Kolter Smith

Photo courtesy of Tori and Bobby Smith @bobby_torilayne_smith

Friday, April 3, 2020

Bigger [Courtships] in Texas

Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, Kaci Bates
Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, Kaci Bates
"It would make me very nervous if I was Trace. As big as all of the courtship things have been back in Tennessee, you know that everything has to be bigger in Texas."

"Always make sure it's around food. A girl hungry is hanger problems."

Zach has some pretty good advice for Trace as he prepares to ask Chaney to be his girlfriend (see video below). And while Lawson and Nathan would like to offer their words of wisdom, as well, Trace says he would rather listen to someone who as "made it all the way through."

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Thursday, April 2, 2020

'Texas or Bust?' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Texas or Bust?"

  • Trace stops by Zach and Whitney’s house to discuss his upcoming trip to Texas. For almost nine months, he and Chaney have talked every day but one. Trace admits that he is nervous, as he will be asking Chaney to be his official girlfriend.
  • Trace, Gil, and Kelly arrive at the Kahle house in Colleyville, Texas. “I’m trying to play it cool…but it’s not just another trip,” says Trace. They exchange hugs and side hugs with Chaney, her parents, and her siblings. The Kahles are fellow homeschoolers and are just as competitive as the Bates family.
  • Chaney’s dad suggests electric go-karting at K1 Speed to kick off the visit. “You know, I’m known by my family, I do not like things that are dangerous, risky, fast,” says Kelly. “I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to see them get hurt. I know even on safe rides, they can be dangerous.”
  • Kelly insists on driving her own go-kart so she can control the speed. “I don’t think my mom was meant to be in any fast car ever, with anybody,” says Tori. “She will probably be screaming and hollering the entire time and thinking she’s about to die.” The Bates mom creeps along, as others pass her.
  • At the end of the race, the score board reveals Chaney in first place and Trace in second. “I’m really happy for her because she is really athletic, and she loves doing sports, and she loves getting out there, and I love that about her,” says Trace.
  • After the race, the two families eat Tex-Mex at Joe T. Garcia’s. “It just means Mexican food in Texas,” explains Kelly. “You know Texans, they think everything is bigger and better in Texas, so they have their own name for it, Tex-Mex.”
  • Trace says he could consider moving to Texas. “How is Trace going to come to my house…and hang out in Texas?” says Zach. “Do I live in Texas? No, I live here.”
  • During dinner, Kelly nonchalantly suggests going on a picnic the following day. She and Chaney’s mom and sisters secretly have plans to set up for the big moment while the others visit the batting cages.
  • At the batting cages, Trace steps aside to ask Mr. Kahle’s permission to date Chaney. He says yes but then adds, “But like I told you…I didn’t raise them to move off, I raised them to say close, so we’ll see how it works out.”
  • Meanwhile, the ladies are setting up decorations and food at a picnic spot by the water. “We’re all trying to keep it in Chaney’s tastes but also simple because that’s what Trace asked for,” says Kelly. “He doesn’t want it so over the top that it looks like an engagement.”
  • When Trace and Chaney arrive, they are blown away by the scene. “I’m used to going big or going home,” admits Kelly.
  • After dinner, Trace asks Chaney to take a little walk. They stop at a spot covered in flower petals. It is close enough that the family can still see them but far enough away that they can have a private talk. “…You are my best friend now,” Trace tells Chaney. “And the more we get closer and the more we hang out, the more I know I’m falling in love with you every single day. I do love you, and I do want to take the next step.”
  • “Chaney, I wonder if you’re willing to take the next step with me and just start a relationship and start dating me and make it official?” he asks.
  • “I would love to!” Chaney responds. Trace gives her a bouquet of flowers and a bracelet, and the two share a few front hugs. Now they can officially hold hand!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tomorrow: Bates in Texas

Trace Bates and Chaney
Trace Bates and Chaney

An all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates is coming your way in exactly 24 hours (as of 9pm ET on Wednesday).

Gil, Kelly, and Trace take a trip to Texas to visit Chaney. In addition to sampling Tex-Mex food, spending time at the batting cages, and going go-karting with Chaney's family, Trace has an important question to ask his leading lady. He wants to know if Chaney will be his official girlfriend! Find out what her answer is tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT, only on UPtv.

Gil Bates, Kelly Bates, Trace Bates, Chaney
Gil Bates, Kelly Bates, Trace Bates, Chaney

At the batting cages

Trace and Chaney
Trace and Chaney

Thursday, April 2
6:30am: The Purity Ring
8:30pm: Happy News and Health Concerns
9pm: Texas Or Bust? NEW!
Trace, Gil, and Kelly Jo are headed to Texas, where Trace is planning to ask Chaney to be his girlfriend, and the pressure is on to make it a memorable moment.They spend quality time in the Lone Star State with Chaney’s family enjoying Tex-Mex and some friendly competition. First stop is go-kart racing, where it appears Trace has met his match! But later at the batting cages, will Trace get the green light from Chaney’s dad to date his daughter? Meanwhile, Kelly Jo and Chaney’s mom put Trace’s courting plan in motion when the two families come together for a picnic. Trace takes Chaney aside for the perfect moment alone to ask her if she will be his girlfriend; will she say yes?

Photos courtesy of UPtv

Monday, March 30, 2020

Kelly on a Go-Kart

Go-Kart Racing with Kelly Jo Bates

Kelly Bates: "You have control of the pedals. You do not have to choose to get out there and drive like a crazy driver."

Gil Bates: "That is true, but they don't call it go-kart driving. They call it go-kart racing."

Would you rather go go-karting with Kelly or Gil? It likely won't come as a surprise they they have different opinions on the purpose of the activity. You'll hear from both of them in the video below, which is a sneak peek of Thursday's episode.

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

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Everly Turns 2

Zoey Webster turned two years old two days ago, and today, Everly Paine turns two. Happy 2nd birthday, Everly!

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

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Quarantining Stewarts

Evan Stewart, Carlin Stewart, Layla Stewart
Evan Stewart, Carlin Stewart, Layla Stewart
To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Stewart family of three has been practicing social distancing. It has been a while since we have posted a new photo of little Layla, so we thought it was about time. Can you believe that she will turn two months old in just two days?

Photo courtesy of Carlin and Evan Stewart

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Meet Kolter Gray Smith

Bobby Smith, Kolter Smith, Tori Smith

Have you heard the news? Tori and Bobby welcomed Kolter Gray Smith on Wednesday. He weighed 6 lbs 6 oz and measured 20 inches long. One thing that was unusual about this birth, compared to past Bates deliveries, is that Bobby was the only family member allowed in the hospital due to coronavirus, which means that little Kolter has not yet met his brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins.

We think Kolter looks just like Kade. The photo above shows the proud parents with newborn Kolter, and the photo below, taken in November 2018, shows Tori and Bobby with newborn Kade.

Tori Smith, Bobby Smith, Kade Smith
Tori Smith, Bobby Smith, Kade Smith

Photos courtesy of Dr. George Vick/The Bates family; UPtv

Zoey Turns 2

Happy 2nd birthday to Zoey Webster! Until two years ago, the Bates family did not have any March birthdays. Now, they have three to celebrate at the end of the month. Kolter Smith was born on three days ago, and Everly Paine turns two on the 30th. All those birthdays in one week means that Kelly Bates (aka Granny) will have lots of presents to buy in a short period of time!

John Webster, Alyssa Webster,  Lexi Webster, Allie Webster, Zoey Webster
John Webster, Alyssa Webster,
Lexi Webster, Allie Webster, Zoey Webster

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Welcome, Kolter Smith!

Kolter Gray Smith has arrived. He was born yesterday (March 25) at 4:17pm, weighing 6 lbs 6 oz and measuring 20 inches long. People Magazine has the exclusive story and photos. We think Kolter looks just like older brother Kade.

While they were initially planning to spell his middle name Grey, Tori and Bobby changed their mind and spelled it Gray.

Photo courtesy of Taryn Yager, UPtv

'Happy News and Health Concerns' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Happy News and Health Concerns"

  • Carlin and Evan have their first ultrasound at nine weeks. “For me, I’m still shocked that I’m pregnant,” says Carlin.
  • “I feel like Evan and Carlin are definitely ready to be parents,” says Lawson. “Evan [has] got the personality of the cool dad, and Carlin has been great with children all of her life.”
  • When Dr. Vick meets with the expectant couple, he has to break the news that Carlin has the same blood clotting disorder as Erin. She will require blood thinners to prevent her baby from getting a blood clot, which would cut off the food supply in the uterus and cause a miscarriage. Erin had multiple miscarriages before being diagnosed with MTHFR.
  • “Finding out about this, I’m definitely a little nervous about it, but her side of it is definitely worse than mine,” says Evan, who will be the one to administer shots twice a day. Carlin will also have to take pills.
  • “No one wants to hear the news that you have a health risk, but at the same time, finding this out early on is life saving, not only for the baby but for Carlin also,” says Kelly.
  • Later, Erin, Carlin, and Whitney show off the warehouse that Chad has almost finished. Located in Zach and Whitney’s backyard, the building was previously a carport.
  • Meanwhile, Kelton and Bobby are working together at The Plumbing Authority. Bobby is a plumbing apprentice and is also working in the office. “One thing that I am loving about being able to learn all this stuff from Kelton is that, hey, finally, when all these guys are using their hands and being useful and putting stuff together, I might be able to actually know what tools to bring them,” says Bobby.
  • Gil and Kelly visit Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic to discuss Gil’s shoulder pain. When Gil preaches to youth groups, he challenges the kids to do as many pushups as they can and then proceeds to do twice as many but with only one arm. On one of these occasions, a kid did 75 pushups, and Gil’s shoulder snapped in the 80s.
  • The orthopedic surgeon tells Gil that he could settle for rehab but that without surgery, he will never again have the strength to lift out in front of his body. That poses a problem for his tree service business. While the recovery time will be four-and-a-half months, both Gil and Kelly are on board with surgery. “Because of his confidence in what he’s doing, it really boosted my confidence,” says Gil.
  • “I’m scared about all of it,” says Kelly. “Gil is tough as nails, but like any guy, when it comes to pain, no guy likes pain.”
  • “I’m a big crybaby,” admits Gil. “My wife has babies, and she don’t complain. Man, I get a splinter, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, we’ve got to have some relief, honey. I’ve got to go to the doctor.’”
  • Tori and Josie take Kade and Willow for a walk. The discussion turns to babies, and Tori, who is six weeks along with her second child, spills the beans. “Okay, I’m just going to tell you,” she says. “I’m pregnant again. I can’t keep a secret.”
  • “Being one of the first people knowing, I now have to keep a secret, too, which none of the Bates are very good at doing,” says Josie.