The Bates Family


by Kelly on May 6, 2011


Our time at the homeschool conference in Big Sandy, TX was extremely rewarding! We listened to good preaching, met new friends, and enjoyed wonderful fellowship! The days were spent in sessions for old and young alike (With lots of activities for the little ones), and our _MG_6939evenings were filled with food, fellowship, Rook and other games with friends, and sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness!

We were abl_MG_6960e to participate in a Questions and Answers session  with the Duggars and Gil was able to share a message from the heart for families at the conference! We were blessed to listen to Tom Harmon, Don Richardson, and so many other terrific speakers.

We enjoyed the fellowship so much that we had a hard time leaving and cried upon departure… but we’ll look forward to the next opportunity to be with dear friends and to encourage one another in the Lord! Until then, we’ve been refreshed and are eager to serve the Lord in our own community with a renewed _MG_6131zeal!





{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi May 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Looks and sounds like a lot of fun. :)



Lynsey May 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

looks like you guys had a great time with friends and family! :)


Melissa beach May 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Gil and Kelly,

We so enjoyed meeting you at ATI conference
In Big Sandy Texas. Thank you so dearly for sharing
Your hearts. I was also blessed by the speakers
And amazing fellowship.

Love and blessings,
The Beach Family


Reva May 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Aww, I wanna go! It looks like so much fun. My kids would love it too-we homeschool as well, and they would LOVE to be around a bunch of other hs’ers. :D


Julie Williams May 7, 2011 at 10:54 am

Gil & Kelly,
We were so blessed to be able to meet you both at the ATi conference in Big Sandy last week and loved hearing your heart. We left in tears as well, but are determined to take all the info gleaned and apply it to our lives!
I can not wait to meet up with again soon!
The Williams Family
Matthew & Julie
Florence, KY


Julianne May 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Looks like a great time of fellowship! Thank you for sharing!


Chad May 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Love the pics!…It was a great week with ya’ll!…A wonderful memory for sure. God bless!


Thomas May 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Looking forward to Nashville TN! :-)


Kay Walter May 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Great fun!! More pictures???


Karen May 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Wow….looks like a great time!!! I’m sure y’all were a blessing to all who were able to hear you speak.


Kay Walter May 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

Looks great!! More pictures??


Carrie May 8, 2011 at 2:57 am

Oh I so wanted to go, but it just was not ment to be. I thank you Sis Kelly for your encouraging words and suggestions for us going…but my dear husbands new job position just did not allow. We are definitely going to put Big Sandy on the priority planning for next year! We are even possibly looking at a trip to TN this summer! :-)

I want to wish you a very special and blessed Mother’s Day tomorrow!

God Bless…..


Debbie May 10, 2011 at 1:59 am

Have enjoyed finding your blog. We hope to be in Nashville.


Emma May 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I have a few friends that homeschool their children and they love it! Kids and parents alike. One friend had several homeschool families in the same area and they would do field trips together and meet once a week and 1 or 2 mother’s would teach some of the kids a certain subject. All say homeschooling was a great option instead of public school and would go along with their religious beliefs. If their kids wanted to play sports they could with their local school district. they wasnt knocking public schools. Just they liked how homeschool worked for them.


brittani May 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

at least your family and the duggar were all safe when that torando was in the area i heard about it and it was bad, i hope that your family and duggars had fun the homeschool confernce.


The Ellison Family May 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hey Bates Family!
I am sure y’all had an awesome time at the ATI conference with the Duggars!!! I hope it was a growing time with the Lord for all of y’all.
We are part of ATI but haven’t gone in a while since there are so many things that we do around that time. We miss it very much and hope to go soon sometime.

The Ellison family

Glenn and Lynn, Jordan, Grace and Luke, Walker, Major, Hunter,(twins) Hope, Glory, Justice, Mercy, and Promise


Mary Allen June 3, 2013 at 5:28 am

Hello mr and mrs bates
Do u teach during the summer or do u give ur children a summer break.
I have four nieces and my brothers two older daughters his oldest past to 5 grade and she had past the star test with a high score it was 100.53 and then his second to the oldest past to kinder and then he has twins and they are 3yrs old
Thank god for children


Kelly June 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Dear Mary,
We’ve tried it both ways. I prefer teaching through the summer, and spacing my weeks off throughout the whole year. There is less review time needed and it helps us use vacation weeks for travel time. Love, Kelly


Misty Pray August 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Sounds like a great time was had. Our family is considering and praying about joining ATI. We don’t know any other ATI families but have been so encouraged by your testimony with them. The testimonies of you and your husband have been such a blessing to me and mine as we have watched your videos over and over and over again through Embassy Institute. Your family is a true blessing from the Lord, keep doing what He has called you to do and you will continue to bless many along the way. Love, Misty


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