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.

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.

Homeschooling with Kelly Bates

Homeschooling tips from mother of 19 Kelly Bates
Homeschooling tips from mother of 19 Kelly Bates

"Remember that your attitude is going to set the atmosphere for your school room."
-Kelly Bates

The Bates have been homeschooling their children from day one, so they have a leg up on the rest of the world right now. The coronavirus pandemic has forced parents across the globe into homeschooling for the time being, and Kelly Bates has some words of wisdom (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Missing the Baby Stage

Kade Smith
Soon-to-be older brother
Tomorrow's new episode of Bringing Up Bates is all about Bates babies...well, almost. Carlin and Evan Stewart have their first ultrasound, and their doctor reveals some difficult news. Carlin has the same disorder as older sister Erin Paine, which causes concern about the pregnancy. Later, Tori Smith shares a baby announcement of her own during a walk with Josie and Willow Balka. And Gil meets with his doctor to discuss shoulder surgery.

Perfect timing for the video below, as we await news from Tori and Bobby of Kolter Grey Smith's arrival. Coming soon to a computer screen (or smartphone) near you! Most everything in life has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but births are one event that cannot be delayed. And let's be honest, we could all use some UPlifting news right about now.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Monday, March 23, 2020

Bad News from the Doc

Gil and Kelly Bates

Last fall, we shared news of Gil's shoulder surgery and urged our readers to pray for him. On this week's episode of Bringing Up Bates, you'll see Gil and Kelly meet with orthopaedic surgeon Matthew Rappe and receive some difficult news. Not only does the doctor recommend surgery, but he also informs the Bates that the recovery time will be about four-and-a-half months (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Stood Up By Gil

Kelly Bates tells the story of her first "date" with Gil

"I was determined to show him that I was mad about that. He said, 'Why are you so mad at me?' And I told him that story."

-Kelly Jo Bates

You may have heard Gil and Kelly Bates talk about this on a previous episode of Bringing Up Bates, but it has been a while. They recently filmed a Bates Love Legends clip discussing their first date, or lack thereof. Gil stood Kelly up! Hear how it happened in the video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Friday, March 20, 2020

Bates Love Legends: The Keilens

Brandon Keilen
Brandon Keilen
Smiling as he tells his love story

"I was out walking with my sister. She looks at me square in the face and is like, 'Brandon, if you haven't noticed Michaela Bates, you're blind as a bat,' basically is what she told me."
-Brandon Keilen

Michael met Brandon when she was only nineteen years old, and the act of kindness that first attracted her to him is sure to make you smile. Viewers first met Michael on season one of Bringing Up Bates at age 24, one year before her wedding. So how did she and Brandon go from acquaintances to boyfriend and girlfriend? You'll find out in the Bates Love Legends video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Thursday, March 19, 2020

'First Home and Strict Chaperones' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "First Home and Strict Chaperones"

  • At her apartment in Clinton, Tori, who earned a teaching degree in college, is watching Bradley, Kaci, Carson, and Brooklyn. She has been helping homeschool them, which she says enjoys. “Kade loves when all of them come over,” says Tori. “He gets so excited.”
  • “I guess with a bunch of kids the same age, it can be kind of crazy, but it was fine,” says Tori. “It’s just a matter of me being a step ahead of them in what I have planned because if you do one thing too long, then it gets crazy.”
  • Meanwhile, Kelton and Josie are at their new house doing renovation work. They closed on the house about 10 days after Willow was born. With help from Kelton’s dad, Lawson, Chad, Warden, and Kelton’s brothers (Grant and Carson), they put up a load-bearing beam. “It is such a blessing to have family, not only that is willing to help, but also extreme trade talent on both sides of the family,” says Kelton.
  • “…Thankfully, there’s a lot of us, and you know we’re going to pitch in,” says Zach.
  • On another day, Evan comes over to help with electrical. Carlin helps Josie paint. “It’s just so fun to have sisters that are going through so many of the same things,” says Josie.
  • Later, it’s photo shoot time for the Bates Sisters Boutique. “The problem is, us Bates are all short, and people kept asking, ‘I’m tall, what do the dresses look like on a tall person,’” says Kelly. So they invite Chaney to model for them.
  • “The sisters made me feel so comfortable and special and definitely pretty because they did my makeup, my hair, everything, so it was a lot of fun,” says Chaney.
  • Trace takes Chaney on a bowling date with Jeb and Judson as chaperones. Chaney dominates, with multiple strikes and spares, even though she claims that she doesn’t bowl often. Jeb plants himself between them on the bench. “I think Mr. and Mrs. Bates would be very proud of how strong Jeb was today for us,” says Chaney. “He really held up.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Lots of Work but Plenty of Play

Brooklyn Paine

An all-new episode of Bringing Up Bates is coming your way tomorrow evening. It's the perfect evening activity to take part in while you practice social distancing due to coronavirus. Tune in to UPtv at 9pm ET/8pm CT for "First Home and Strict Chaperones."

Tori teaches four of the Bates grandchildren at her apartment. (See the video we posted on Monday.)

Tori Smith, Kade Smith, Carson Paine, Brooklyn Paine,
Kaci Bates, Bradley Bates

Josie and Kelton work on renovating their new home, with help from contractor Chad Paine and other family members.

Chad Paine and Kelton Balka
Chad Paine and Kelton Balka

Josie Balka and Lawson Bates
Josie Balka and Lawson Bates

While in town visiting Trace, Chaney is invited to model for Bates Sisters Boutique.

Chaney with Carlin Stewart

Chaney and Trace enjoy a bowling date with chaperones Jeb and Judson.

Jeb Bates, Chaney, Trace Bates

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

Photos courtesy of UPtv

Monday, March 16, 2020

Homeschooling the Bates Grandkids

Carson Paine and Bradley Bates
Now that the oldest Bates grandchild is five years old, it's time to start homeschooling the next generation. With Tori Smith back in East Tennessee, she has been using her education major to teach Bradley, Carson, Kaci, and Brooklyn. The video below is sure to make you smile.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Grilling with Gil and Zach

Grilling with Gil Bates and Zach Bates
"I'll tell you what. Folks these days, wasting good hotdogs."
-Gil Bates

Amidst all the coronavirus chaos, this video is sure to make you laugh. Gil and Zach team up to cook hot dogs and burgers for the Bates family, but they quickly discover that their grilling styles are quite different. Do you side with Gil or Zach? Go ahead and share your response as a comment.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv