The Bates Family

More Photos from Missouri

by Kelly on July 23, 2011

While Zach, Alyssa, and Trace were visiting the Reiths in Missouri last month, Alyssa took the opportunity to use Zach and Sarah’s courtship as the theme for a photo shoot. She loves any chance to get behind the camera and the new couple didn’t seem to mind being posed together!

One month has passed and Zach is currently visiting the Reiths again with sisters Michaella and Addallee joining him. He wanted to be there for the actual anniversary of the beginning of their relationship. We continue to pray for God to give them direction, wisdom, purity of heart and mind, and His perfect peace!_MG_9334

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{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda July 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Beautiful!

Amanda
Matthew 6:33

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Kay W July 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Alyssa, once again you have nailed it!! I have to admit you sure have two good looking subjects to work with. Good job, and much happiness is wished to the couple.

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Luann July 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

those are great pictures Alyssa! i would hire you. these pics look better than our engagement pics (sadly) !!

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Annonymous July 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Awww your son sounds like such a gentleman and a sweetie. Sarah is very lucky to have such a caring guy courting her. I pray their courtship continues to go well for the two.

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Tabitha Walker July 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I have been a huge fan of the Bates family, since I first saw you guys on TV with the Duggars. I just want to say Congrats to Zach and Sarah. I hope god brings the best in life for you too. :}

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Heather Ferguson July 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm

have they picked a date yet or have any ideas on when there whating to be husband and wife? and am so happy for them and hope god blesses them with his greatness and gudness

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Gil July 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Dear Heather,
They want to really focus on learning to communicate and learning more about each other, so they’ll wait a while and will be open for God’s guidance. Love, Kelly

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Sarah July 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Alyssa you did an AMAZING job on these pictures!! Keep it up!

Love Your Friend,
Sarah

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Cindy Lopez July 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I am so happy for them. They look cute together. I admire your whole family. I hope to be able to meet you someday. If you are ever in NC please let me know. We live in Trinity, NC. You are a beautiful family. May the Lord bless you and continue to guide Zack and Sarah. She looks very sweet. :)

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Kay W July 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I have a question and this is most assuredly not directed at Zach and Sarah, who surely have that glow about them, but just me wondering…what would happen if a courtship did not result in an engagement or an engagement not result in a wedding? Has this ever happened?

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Dear Kay,
Unfortunately, we’ve heard of it happening many times. In the cases we have heard about, the couple either rushed into a relationship without really knowing each other and without having like beliefs and goals, or one of them was dishonest and presented themselves as being something they were not. Both of these scenarios could be avoided by getting to know each other before moving into a courtship relationship. However, if there has been a mistaken view of one another, it would be better to discover that early on before entering marriage. Asking parents, pastors, and other older married couple’s counsel could be a protection to avoid that heartache, since married couples often recognize red flags from their own wisdom and experiences. Love, Kelly

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Jennifer July 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

She has some really creative ideas for poses. I love these shots!

I notice you use the phrase “learn to communicate”, does that mean anything in particular? Does that just mean they focus on talking with one another or are they actively doing things to be better communicators? I am already married but I certainly have a lot to learn about communicating better myself!

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Dear Jennifer,
Many married couples share that they don’t have good communication skills or they say they only talk “surface” talk. Zach and Sarah are desiring to be able to communicate on a deeper level. They are learning to share their goals, weaknesses and strengths, as well as learning to study their Bible together and learning how to talk about spiritual beliefs and concerns. They are reading as many books as possible and watching sermons focusing on relationships. Love, Kelly

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Kaelah July 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Very pretty pictures, Alyssa! One of my cousins is a photographer, and we’re constantly enjoying the fruit of her labor!

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Erica July 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Beautiful pictures!! They make a very cute couple and I really appreciate you sharing their courtship experience with everyone :)

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Mrs. Brown July 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Alyssa is an amazing photographer God Bless her! Zach and Sarah make such a beautiful couple! I’ll be praying for wisdom for them both! :o)

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Jennifer July 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Great job Alyssa on the photos. They are so beautiful. You truly have a gift from God taking photo:)

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Robin July 24, 2011 at 12:36 am

Addallee must have been over the moon to get to go with her big brother and sister :) and Alyssa has a real gift which I am sure will get put to good use over the years making photo memories for the family to cherish.

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Doris July 24, 2011 at 1:06 am

Sweet Couple and beautiful pictures.

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Kay July 24, 2011 at 1:16 am

Alyssa, wow great pictures! What delightful memories these will bring to Zach and Sarah in the future. My favorite specialty picture is the 2 pairs of boots.
Somehow, your capturing their caring for each other also increases love around the viewer. I’ve known that what one sees/watches can harm one’s soul, but I hadn’t realized that spirit-filled pictures could help heal the soul. Thank you for being in ministry with your camera.

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Jessica July 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

Beautiful pictures! She did a great job taking them. And they are a cute couple. I just love seeing all the photos, reminds me of my own courtship. :)

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Johanna Kautt July 24, 2011 at 2:12 am

Sweet photos… :)

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Jess July 24, 2011 at 3:06 am

Alyssa, you have true talent! The pictures are beautiful! I’m sure Zach and Sarah greatly appreciate all the memories that you are capturing on camera for them.

I also had a question: are the boundaries that Zach and Sarah have completely self-inforced or is it partially Bates/Reith family rules that abide for all children?

Thank you for being a truly inspiring family! God bless!

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Dear Jess,
Actually, they decided themselves and we thought they used excellent reasoning skills to make their decision. Love, Kelly

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J July 24, 2011 at 3:17 am

Did Addallee go along because she is Michaela’s buddy?

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Dear J,
Zach is trying to take turns with all of the siblings to give them time with the Reiths. Michaella begged for Addallee to be able to go with her! They are very close and I guess Addee’s sweet smile was too irresistable! Love, Kelly

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Erica Miller July 24, 2011 at 3:24 am

Watching this relationship blossom almost brings tears to my eyes. It is so precious to see young people walking in purity and approaching relationships in a godly manner. Thank you for sharing this aspect of your lives. It gives me hope :)

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Emily S. July 24, 2011 at 4:11 am

Alyssa did a beautiful job on the photos! They look so professional! Congrats again to Zach and Sarah!

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Hannah July 24, 2011 at 4:11 am

Dear Kelly and Gil, Thank you for sharing so openly your lives with us. I have been particularly encouraged to see how you and your family handled the recent loss of your unborn baby. My husband and I experienced the same sorrow Jan 3 of this year and it has been a difficult road for us. It was our first pregnancy. You are such a blessing and my congrats to you on the news of your pregnancy. Doctor’s appt for me Mon! Praying for good news!

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Dear Hannah,
We will pray for your appt. May God bless, Kelly

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brittani July 24, 2011 at 5:17 am

today is my birthday

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Dear Brittani,
Happy Birthday from the Bates Bunch! Love, Kelly

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Lacey July 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

I am so excited for Zach and Sarah! We are all hoping to see the wedding as a special on TLC!!! :D

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Melody July 24, 2011 at 7:34 am

Alyssa you take awesome pictures. What kind of camera do you use?

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Dear Melody,
It is a Cannon 20D. Love, Kelly

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Lynsey July 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

Alyssa! these are beautiful!!! they make such a good couple!!

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Sarah July 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Great pictures, Alyssa! What kind of camera do you have? Do you use any editing software? Thanks!

Sarah

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Dear Sarah,
She has a Cannon 20D that was given as a gift from the Duggars. She uses Picassa for editing. Love, Kelly

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Crystal July 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Beautiful Pictures!!! I wish yall could get a TV show like the Duggars! Sweet family and you are such a inspiration to many!!

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Lisa July 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Beautiful photographs!

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Denise July 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Love the pictures. Alyssa did a fantastic job!! Zach and Sarah make such a sweet couple. May God bless them both on their courtship. Thanks for sharing your pics with us. Hope you are feeling well Kelly.

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hackels July 25, 2011 at 12:02 am

Alyssa, You take amazing photos! Your pics are absolutely wonderful of course it helps that the couple you were photographing are so cute together. All the props are amazing. Sarah, I want your boots! : ) Love Ms. Kris

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Kate July 25, 2011 at 12:31 am

What a sensible young couple. Although my husband and I didnt court we focused strongly on communication and getting to know each other. Working out whether you are compatible and God’s match for each other is so important and it is so wonderful that they dont have physical distractions to get in their way of discovering who the other person truly is. I wish them the best and I hope they have found in each other what I have with my wonderful husband xxx

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Molly July 25, 2011 at 3:23 am

How is the littlest Bates doing? I hope this pregnancy continues to be successful for you.

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Dear Molly,
We had a good 10 week check up, but are still praying for protection all along the way. love, Kelly

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Rosemary July 25, 2011 at 9:38 am

What a precious time in the life of your family. Congratulations to Zack and Sarah. It is so refreshing to see young people seeking God’s guidance in their lives. Prayers and best wishes to them and your whole family.
Congratulations to you, Gil and Kelly, on your new little one!

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Anna July 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

Is it common in the Quiverfull movement to not hold hands? I’ve seen Josh and Anna Duggar holding hands before their marriage, so I’m quite curious… What do you think is more common?

By the way, the pictures are so sweet. =)))))

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Gil July 25, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Dear Anna,
We do not know what the quiverful movement is and are not associated with any movement of any sort, so I can’t speak for that group. There are a wide variety of opinions of what courtship is and what it should or should not involve. We are almost leary of using that term because it has become associated with so many opposing opinions. However, we used it because it does show that we’re choosing a different route than traditional dating. As for guidelines, there are a lot of suggestions people make, but the decision ultimately will rest on Zach and Sarah. We feel that the couple should spend time in prayer seeking God’s will for themselves, along with listening to counsel from others. Zach and Sarah chose to not hold hands during courtship, not because of any movement or any suggestions, but because they thought it could help them focus on learning to communicate with one another first. One thing we have come to realize is that every body is different… each example of marriage in the Bible is very different. Josh and Anna chose to hold hands after courtship and during their engagement. Zach and Sarah may gleam insight from the examples of others, but they will have to seek God for direction for each step along the way! Love, Kelly

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Angela July 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm

beautiful photos!!!

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JenT July 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Awesome, awesome pictures! Alyssa is very gifted. And the subjects look very nice, too. :) We’ll be praying for Zach and Sarah.

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Mandi July 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Wonderful pictures! Alyssa has such talent.
Mandi

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brittani July 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm

dear mrs.bates thank and tell your family thank for wishing me a happy birthday my birthday yesterday was great i wish that your family can visit me here in michigan is your family in michigan for something or it is one of your kids and husband let me because i want to meet your family because i got to meet the duggars at their book signing and want your family now and i want to meet the duggars agian like hang out with your family and the duggars for a day let me know ok

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Gil July 26, 2011 at 1:28 am

Dear Brittani,
The Michigan conference is allowing our family to sing, but part of the children will have to leave early to fulfill other work commitments. Love, Kelly

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melissa July 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm

hey congrat of ur son and new girlfriend sarah get married when? hey kelly and gil i hope you will everthing is well ur perganat #19. God Bless You . i will pray for gil and kelly bates. they is pertty big family wow. nice meet to you! :)

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Emma Culverhouse (England) July 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Dear Kelly,
I just had to tell you about my wonderful evening last night, spent at my local churchs ladies night. The pastor preached about the strength of women and the powerful life we can lead and show mothers if we put Christ at the centre of our lives. I immediately thought of you Kelly and the wonderful ministry you give through this site and the beautiful Christian children you are raising. Thank you again for your true inspiration xx Love Emma xx

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Dave and Kristy Edmisten July 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm

She is so talented with the camera! What a blessing she is to her big brother Zach; such beautiful pictures they shall cherish for years!

As parents of still “little ones” (we have four children ages 9 and under, plus one more due next month), we love following your story on his courtship and relationship – such learning experiences for us as parents, so thank you to you all for sharing!

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Sandy July 26, 2011 at 12:43 am

The pictures are beautiful! Zach and Sarah look like are learning about each other, which is so important before marriage. Even holding hands may distract from focusing on real issues that need to be prayed on, and discussed. With God’s guidance and approval, there will be plenty of time to hold hands when the time is right!

Alyssa has a wonderful talent! God Bless!

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Annette July 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I think it is wonderful that Zach and Sarah are working dilligently to understand their deeper levels to see if they are right for each other! Too many times people emphasize the physical attraction and cannot find a middle ground to build a relationship! Sarah and Zach are building the relationship first which is how it should be! And they do seem to have a few things in common which is a good base!

I pray for you every day that your pregnancy stays well, Bless You for sharing a different way of life so others can learn from it!

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Cindy Lopez July 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Dear Kelly, I was wondering how your pregnancy is going. I am so happy for you all. Maybe you’ll beat the Duggars in having children. :) I’m just teasing. I know that you are not competing. I would love to have alot of children. We have 4 now. I wish I could talk to you or Michelle in person about having children. I have some questions that I would like to ask you. I hope that you have a beautiful week. May the Lord continue to bless your sweet family. You’re an encouragement to me.

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Alexis July 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,

I just wanted to thank you and your family for being such a diligent source of inspiration and ministry through you website. It is a pleasure and a support to see how you are raising Godly children who remain on the right path through adulthood. It is a pleasure to read not only your original posts but also your responses to other’s questions.

I will continue to pray for the Lord’s wisdom in Zach and Sarah’s relationship.

Have you considered writing a book? I know I would love it and I am sure many other’s would too.

Love,
Alexis

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Heather July 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Alyssa,
What amazing talent you have! I went to photography school and your photos are as good if not better than a lot of my classmates. Fantastic job! It doesnt hurt to have beautiful subject matter either! Keep up the great work!

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Kristen July 27, 2011 at 4:38 am

Hello Kelly and Gil and the rest of the Bates family!!! :D
I have a question that I hope you will have time to answer……If one of your sons were to marry a girl who doesn’t follow your guidelines of modesty but is still modest in a way that isn’t defrauding to men like wearing pants and shorts or if they were a different religion but had the same views on courtship like no kissing, purity, and no holding hands. Would they be allowed to courtship with them or eventually marry them? What is your view/ thoughts if that were to happen?

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Gil August 2, 2011 at 3:37 am

Dear Kristen,
Our older children have each made their own lists of qualities they would like to find in a mate. As for likenesses and diffences, there are some areas that they feel is importrant to have the same views… For instance, they want to marry Christians that love the Lord. However, there are some areas that would not hinder them in any way from entering a relationship. Love, Kelly

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Rachel July 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I was wondering if you would be willing to post some of your families favorite recipes

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Marie July 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Hi Kelly and Gil
Congrats to the courting couple!

I have a question. Sometimes, as in life, courting doesn’t work (not that I am not wishing the absolute BEST to the courting couple). What happens then? I know you said better now then when married. But I’ve also read/heard you talk about dating as “giving away a piece of your heart.” If courting didn’t work out, doesn’t that piece of your heart “grow” back when you do find the right one?

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Beth Miles July 28, 2011 at 3:44 am

Hey Kelly! Love ya’ll!

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Sara July 28, 2011 at 4:35 am

Just wanted to write a few comments. Congrats to Zach and Sarah I think it is nice you are taking your time getting to know each other. When I got married my brother gave me some great advice. He is a man of few words, but him and his lovely wife have been married going on 14 years. He looked at me and said, “Accept the things you can not change and work to change the things you can.” As nervous as I was that calmed me down. With marriage you have to be able to accept the person you are with for themselves; but work together to try and improve each other to make yourselves a stronger couple, and yourself a better person in the process.

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Gil August 2, 2011 at 3:28 am

Dear Sara,
Good advice! Love, Kelly

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Zoe July 28, 2011 at 8:46 am

I’m confused. They are celebrating their anniversary but surely they haven’t been together one year, yet?

“An anniversary is a day that commemorates and/or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event.”

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Gil August 2, 2011 at 3:25 am

Dear Zoe,
I guess they’re so excited that they wanted to celebrate each month. Maybe they need to coin a new term for their monthly memories! love, Kelly

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Emma July 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Beautiful pictures and lovely couple!
Don’t forget about the bakery a half a mile up the road from the conference!

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Anonymous July 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

When is the next time Zach will be going to Missouri? In what city of Missouri does she (Sarah) live in? Who is Zach taking next, out of his siblings, when he returns for another visit to Missouri?
Love you all and I am praying for the safe arrival of the next little one!

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Gil August 2, 2011 at 3:23 am

Dear Anonymous,
Zacxh is actually with the Reiths now. He hopes to make one visit per every month or two. Carlin is hoping to get to go and has sure been wearing large smiles around big brother lately! Love, Kelly

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A July 29, 2011 at 5:34 am

Dear Bates Family,

Thank you for your Christlike example. I am so glad to see like-minded families in our world. Blessings on your pregnancy, Kelly. And blessings on the courtship for Zach and Sarah! I am so glad that there are people out there waiting for the one that God has for them! You probably have these up on your website, but do you have special recipes for cooking for a big crowd? I am in charge of that from time to time, thus any suggestions would be awesome!
Alyssa, you have a true talent for photography…just had to say that! :)

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Gil August 2, 2011 at 3:18 am

Dear A,
Most of the meals we cook are without recipe. My grandmother used to cook that way, so I guess we picked up the habit. I think the Duggars have several posted on their website. when we have large crowds, we try to think of menu items that spread a long way like bar-b-que chicken or roast sandwiches! Love, Kelly

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Mac July 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Alyssa, you are very talented…those are beautiful pictures!

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Jason Manion July 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Congrats again to Zach and Sarah. And agreed about the nice photos!

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Molly July 30, 2011 at 2:59 am

Wow, what great pictures! Alyssa sure is talented! I love the ones where Zach has the flowers behind his back – what a creative pose. I also really like the one of Sarah sitting up on the fence and Zach looking up admiringly at her – very sweet! The look like a lovely couple!

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Marnie July 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

My husband and I dated long distance for seven months before becoming engaged. We were married almost five years ago and have two beautiful children. Being long distance really helped us focus on communicating–whether with a phone call, a text message, or a face to face chat. So much of marriage is based in the unspoken so I encourage Zach and Sarah to learn each other. I have also learned in my few years of marriage that my marriage is stronger for our ability to compromise (nothing beats the power of seeing your spouse shine when you say “Yes, dear!”) May God bless them richly with the vision to really see each other always through loving eyes!
Alyssa, your talent is evident! What a gift you have!
Prayers to all of you!

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Patti August 1, 2011 at 5:44 am

I always love the pictures you post…big compliments to your family photographer!

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Nicole-Elizabeth August 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Will Alyssa be starting her own photography business?
Honestly, she has a rare talent.

I almost shudder when I think about the silly cost of our wedding photography. They were nowhere near this good and natural looking. The lovliness and joy that raidiates from these is awesome to behold.

Congrats to the new couple

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Karen August 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Now that’s a good looking couple! Many blessings and happy years to come.. Congratulations. Karen

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Elizabeth August 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Amazing photos…just beautiful. Few things this side of heaven are more beautiful than a couple enjoying a pure, Godly courtship. Bless them.

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Katie Beth August 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Gil and Kelly,

I just want to thank you so much for your inward and outward obedience to Jesus! I’ve been watching the Duggar’s show for a few years now and have been so encouraged by your family and the Duggars. Yall are setting a standard for Christians and Jesus is changing lives because of your example. My husband and I are proof of just that! We are so thankful to be learning how to have a solid, Christ-like marriage and how to train up and love our children (Norah-2 and Everett-15 mo) while we are still young (28 and 25). I was just telling my husband (Rory) last night, “I can’t wait to hang out with Kelly Bates and Michelle Duggar when we all get to Heaven! I can’t wait to thank them in person for the positive impact they had on my marriage and parenting!” I love yall and thank yall for all that you do! And, if you’re ever in Montana, we would love to have yall over for dinner!

God bless,
Katie Beth Blake

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Gil August 7, 2011 at 1:48 am

Dear Katie Beth,
I’m no perfect person, although I do appreciate your prayers! My son Zach is in Montana with the Reith family for about 10 days. They will be at Faith Baptist Church in Kalispell, MT on Aug 10 (You can look at their website for more info: http://www.southernraisedbluegrass.com). I wish I were there too! Love, Kelly

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Katie Beth August 7, 2011 at 2:39 am

Kelly,

I live in Kalispell! How exciting! I definitely want to see and hear them play in person. Let them know that if they want a home-cooked meal, I’m absolutely serious about having them at the Blake house! And thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment!

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Gil August 7, 2011 at 4:03 am

Dear Katie Beth,
What a sweet offer… Tell Zach his Mom sends hugs and kisses!!!! I’ll tell him of your thoughtful offer! Love, Kelly

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Amanda August 7, 2011 at 3:29 am

Wow she has real talent with a camera! Beautiful!

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Nan August 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Congratulations on your exciting news! A courtship and a new baby on the way! Has Zach set a date yet? Have you all considered whether you will be airing the wedding on 19 Kids and Counting?

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Natasha August 9, 2011 at 12:28 am

Kelly, I am so happy for your son and your family. I’m sure your family is thrilled for Zach in finding such a caring and Godly woman. This brings back memories of my older daughter and her courtship to her husband since it’s a similar situation. We come from a family of singers and musicians. Both my daughter and son in law love to play music and sing that is pleasing to the Lord. When they both got married, they knew they did not want to give up music so they decided to create their own “band” of just them two, traveling around the country, performing at churches, Christian festivals, etc. It’s nice because they’re always together and they both can enjoy what they love-music. I was wondering if Zach and Sarah have thought about doing something similar in that sense? I’ve heard Sarah and her siblings play and I would hate to see her put it away once marriage. Since your son also loves music, it would be so cute and sweet to see them continue music as a couple. God Bless you and your family!

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Gil August 9, 2011 at 2:44 am

Dear Natasha,
They do plan to continue music. They both enjoy music and love the opportunity to minister. Love, Kelly

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Lora R. August 9, 2011 at 1:01 am

Dear Mr and Mrs. Bates,
Congrats on the new pregnancy and courtship. Your continued strength through your past miscarriages give me hope that I will have more children too since my recent miscarriage.
I was also wondering, didn’t I hear mentioned that there is a house on your property that Zach is fixing up.
Your family is in my prayers, especially Erin since her surgery. I hope she is doing much better with physical therapy.
In Faith,
Lora R.

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Gil August 9, 2011 at 2:42 am

Dear Lora,
No, the only house Zach has worked on at our property is the one we live in. He did work as a framer for 2 1/2 years and hopes to build one day! Love, Kelly

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Kim August 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm

What beatufiul pictures. Thank you for sharing with everyone. Your family is a great encouragement during the times we live.
Praising Him,
Kim

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Aine August 25, 2011 at 12:13 am

Dear Ms Bates

I was wondering if you or your good husband had thought to put up some recipies that you use a lot. Also it would be a neat idea for others to follow suit with some of their own suggestions. ALSO Alyssa takes such beautiful photos. I think that there would be a market there for those courtship announcements for couples you follow in God’s teachings.

Best wishes for a safe pregnancy for Miss Kelly, a safe recovery for Erin, and a happy direction to Zach and Sarah’s courship

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Shannon Wedge August 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm

My husband and I live next door to my parents, and last night we all gathered around the TV and watched the show about your family on Primetime Nightline. It was SO refreshing to see a *normal* family on TV. :-)
My husband and I “courted” – what a blessing! And when they got to that part of the story, we just smiled. And then there was great commotion, “Wait a minute! That was the Reiths!” and then “Oh my goodness, he’s courting Sarah! How sweet!” Well, what a way to find out a friend is courting but on national television. hehe :-) We went to church with the Reiths here in Missouri a few years back. I haven’t seen them in a while though, and had wondered what they were up to. Looks like a little excitement!
So, my hearty congratulations to Zach and Sarah! Praying for them as they seek God’s wisdom through this relationship. :-)
Blessings!
Shannon Wedge

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Awwww August 28, 2011 at 2:53 am

They are so cute together and I love how he is always putting flowers in her hands.

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Joyce August 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I love the cowboy boots!!! They are just lovely together…can’t wait for the wedding!!! :D

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Crystal September 1, 2011 at 3:17 am

Wonderful pictures. I love “Courtship”….so pure. Blessings to the couple!

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Becky September 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

What beautiful pictures. These two are so cute together and can’t wait to see the wedding pictures. Love your family Gil and Kelly!!!! Loved watching your family on Primetime last week….I even recorded it. LOL!! GOD bless you all!! Much love.

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Jamie September 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

These photos are just beautiful! God has certainly blessed you with a wonderful talent. Always be sure to use it for His Glory. Also, loved you all on Primetime last week.

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Rachel September 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I love the pictures you a good eye for capturing just the right moment. Is this something that you would like to do for a career. By the way I am so inspired and encourage by your family and the Duggar family. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with the world. I have been looking for a mother figure to follow my whole life and have finally found Kelly and Michele to help me know what a my is and should be. Thank you so much.
Love Rachel Enfield,CT

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Dear Rachel,
Alyssa loves taking pictures and would love to major in photography. Love, Kelly

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Christina Engleman October 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Dear Bates Family,
I have written before to tell Miss Alyssa how wonderful her photos are, but I wanted to take this opportunity to write again to tell her that she has such an amazing gift of photography! She does such an incredible job at telling a story and she really captured the special feelings between Zach & Sarah! Fantastic Job Alyssa! Also please know that I will add to the prayers of Zach & Sarah’s courtship! May the Lord guide them on this new phase & journey! May they continue to be a blessing in each other’s lives! Thank you Kelly & Gil for your willingness to share your testimony and your family with all of us! You are such an inspiration! God Bless All of You!

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Bayley October 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Dear Kelly,
What are your older daughters interested in? I know that Erin wants to be a music teacher. What are Michaella, Carlin? What do they want to do as a possible career.

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Dear Bayley,
Michaella is content to do whatever she feels the Lord leading her to do, but her heart’s desire is to some day be a mommy. Until then, she gets plenty of time helping with babies at home and at her babysitting job. She also thoroughly enjoys her volunteer work as an EMT. Love, Kelly

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Andrea October 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Dear Kelly and family,

You and your family are such an encouragement for all. Religious or not, one can not deny the stability, loyalty, and love you strive to give your children and each other. I also believe things happen for a reason, there are lessons to be learned and the best lessons are usually the hardest lessons learned. I happened to have a miscarriage around the same time Kelly did and was completely devistated for the loss of my baby but also for other medical conditions that were found during my ob/gyn follow up appointment. Concerns of precancerous growths and hormonal imbalances were tested and retested for months, with the eventual proclamation of no cancer but no more children… ever. A blow to my womanhood for sure, but relief in that I would be around to love and appreciate my 4 beatiful children and husband. I was taught a hard lesson; you don’t know what you have until it’s gone and it all can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye.

I read your stong words of faith and family and wanted to let you know Kelly that your words reached this mother of 4 all the way up here in New York and they were and are greatly appreciated. I would be lying to say sadness wasn’t in my heart for the lose of my baby and the ability to have more children, but I realized that I have no control over such things! I put down all of my sadness and stress over that which I have no control and embraced the things that I do. Surprisingly while at my last follow up with my ob/gyn,that was in June, we both had a immeasurable shock, I am pregnant! Again, I put down the stress and anxiety and accepted what was to happen in my heart and I’m rejoiced to tell you that the baby is still doing fine and I am 16 weeks along!

Again, we are traveling a similar road you and me Kelly, but this time I know what you and your family know; I am not alone! Peace and blessings to you Bates family and a special thank you to you Kelly for being such an insirational example to learn from and follow! With love from my family to your,Andrea.

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 2:54 am

Dear Andrea,
I will pray for you. I hope yours and baby’s health continues. Your attitude of acceptance and contentment is inspiring. Love, Kelly

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konny October 15, 2011 at 4:03 am

First, I would like to congrats to the Blessing New Couple. Second , to The Bates Family, I want to praise The Lord that He blessed your wonderful big family. I am blessed to see your photos… Praise the Lord.

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Beanie November 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hey, are the Bates going to come to Florida anytime soon?

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Gil November 15, 2011 at 6:03 am

Dear Beanie,
No more long trips are planned until the school year ends. Love, Kelly

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Beanie November 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

My brother is courting, too. The sappiness! :) Thank you for replying. :D

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Beanie November 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Man Alyssa! You must have so much fun taking pictures!! I really love photography too. I’ll bet it’s fun to have people pose for you; i wish my sisters and brother would do that for me! :) Praying!

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