The Bates Family

A Duggar Drop-In

by Kelly on August 23, 2011

A few weeks ago we had opportunity to have a Duggar/Bates Reunion at our home. It was a sentimental occasion because it was the first time the entire Duggar family has been able to_MG_0253 see the finished results of our house renovations they began 2 years ago!

Little Josie Duggar was able to accompany the family after successfully achieving so many milestones in her life! What a joy to see her walking, talking, and playing… To God be all the Glory!

While here, the Duggars gave us a copy of their new book, A Love That Multiplies, which documents the difficult road they traveled when Josie was born at 25 weeks gestational age. As we began to read their story together aloud, our hearts were deeply touched and encouraged by their faith and dependence on the Lord! We cried and laughed and grew as a result of their testimony!

May God give each of us strength and grace to trust Him and to follow Him through our dark valleys, so that we can cling to Him more closely in the good times!

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God On The Mountain Lyrics

Verse 1: Life is easy when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind like you’ve never known.
But then things change and you’re down in the valley.
Don’t lose faith for you’re never alone.

Chorus: For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He’ll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

Verse 2: You talk of faith when you’re up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy when life’s at its best.
But it’s down in the valley of trials and temptation

That’s when faith is really put to the test.
("God On The Mountain" words and music by Tracy G. Dartt)

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{ 154 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Wow she’s getting so big!! Prayes God for little Josie!! When do your kids start back to school? God Bless Sarah!

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Gil August 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Dear Sarah,
They’ve already started back (Except for the college students, who start back Friday). Love, Kelly

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sonja petersen August 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm

God is good. He’ll always be there even through dark valleys and in dark hours. I trust in him in every step I take. He gives strength and grace- may everybody feel and see God’s love and grace. In Josie’s eyes I can see God’s love! what a blessing.
love, sonja

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Stephanie August 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Wow…what an amazing and rare friendship you guys have with the Duggars!! You are all so truly blessed by it :)

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Nan August 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Praise the Lord! Thank God for Josie’s health. You all are such a blessing. What a tremendous blessing it would be if the Lord called a Duggar and a Bates to marry! Any news on Zach and Sarah’s courtship?

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Gil August 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Dear Nan,
They’re doing great… Zach just spent 3 weeks travelling with their family for singing engagements through Minnesota, North Dakpta, and Montana. Love, Kelly

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Gabrielle August 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Do you have any more Duggar/Bates pictures together that you could post! Josie Brooklyn is adorable! Thanks for sharing!~Gabrielle

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Robin August 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Ms.Kelley, are you feeling well yourself?

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Gil August 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Dear Robin,
I’m doing fine… Thank you! Love, Kelly

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Robin August 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I am so glad! It is such a blessing to have close friends who share your ideals and believes about family and God.

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Teresa August 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

It is so wonderful that your two families were able to spend some time together! We were able to meet the Duggar’s at a book signing in Nashville. It was awesome! Glad everything is going well with your pregnancy.

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Anna Hackel August 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm

If only I stayed with the Duggars a little longer I would have been there!! :)
love you guys!

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Emma Culverhouse (England) August 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Dear Kelly,
Gorgeous pictures as ever, Michael looks like his big sister, don’t you think? At church this Sunday, I witnessed water baptisms, it was beautiful & so inspiring to hear people give their testimonies on how Christ has changed their life.
Glad to hear you are feeling well and I will continue to pray for your pregnancy ,
love Emma x

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Juanita August 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm

That was lovely; I can just see both your families singing that song together. It’s a beautiful song that can keep me going while I’m in my own “valleys”. Thanks for the updated pic of Josie; praise God for her progress!

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Sarah August 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thats awesome but im sure your schedual has gotton busyier! I start back next Wednsday and sadly I am going back to public school I had a feeling that is what my parents wanted me to do!! So hopefully all goes well with that! Tell Alyssa I said hi. Lots of Love Sarah!!

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Gil August 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Dear Sarah,
You are right to show honor to your parents and God can use you as a bright light in your school. Take courage and know that you can turn to the Lord for strength and guidance! Love, Kelly

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Nan August 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Hi Kelly,
I notice you review your comments before posting them. Is that because you’ve gotten nasty messages from people? I hope it isn’t the case! You all are such a blessing!
Nan

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Gil August 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Dear Nan,
Yes, that can and does happen. Also I don’t want it to become a place where people debate each other’s ideas: commenting on others messages back and forth. I’d rather it just offer encouragement and hope, since there’s already plenty of places on the web for negative comments or debates. God Bless, Kelly

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Maria August 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

Mrs. Bates: I hope your pregnancy is going well. I admire you so much and you remind me a lot of my mom that passed away when I was 8 (12 years ago). I hope you and your family keep spreading the word of God. Thank you so much for doing this blog and let us be inspired by your close relationship with Him.
Maria.

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Jennifer August 24, 2011 at 1:12 am

I loved their book and refer back to it often! There are just so many great tidbits of wisdom that Michelle shares with everyone about childrearing and speaking softly. I didn’t grow up in a house where soft words were used and it was a fear of mine for a long time that I would not know how to speak lovingly to my own children.
I struggled for years with infertility and I really believe that God aligned my start in motherhood with the Duggar programs and blogs like your as an answer to my prayer that I have a tangible example in my life of how to mother the way my heart desires. I am getting teary eyed thinking of it but it just makes me so grateful and happy.

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Jessica August 24, 2011 at 3:18 am

I love all the photos. I can’t wait to get their new book. Their first one was such a blessing!

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Ness McGregor August 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

My parents have just ordered me the Duggar’s new book for my 19th birthday & we’re all the way over in New Zealand :D ! I’m super excited to read about their journey with Josie & the blessings that God continues to pour out abundantly :D . It is so encouraging to see two families such as yourselves who are so on fire for the Lord! I don’t even know you guys, yet God has used you to speak to my heart on the other side of the world :) ! Thank you for just being the people God has called you to be! And congratulations on baby number 19! May you have peace in your hearts knowing that God already knows your child inside & out & holds him/her in the palm of his hand! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18! Your sister in Christ, Ness. Xox

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Michelle August 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi All,
Been following your activities for a while, but this is my first time posting. My kids think your family are great. They are busy trying to memorize their names and pick their favorite. It’s a bit more difficult than the Duggars as they don’t all begin with the same letter. You have a beautiful family and they all seem so talented.
It’s great to see a family with such good Christian values, you don’t get that a lot these days, even here in Ireland. You have certainly set me thinking about the way we live our lives as a family.
Looking forward to keeping up to date with all your adventures. Any sign of a wedding for Zachary and Sarah. they seem such a nice couple.
Love
Michelle

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Laura Jones August 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

Beautiful photos! Jenny is really growing into a beautiful young lady! Judson is adorable! Glad the courtship is going well-we’re all praying for them! Would love to see a new Duggar courtship as well (hint). Hope you continue to have a healthy pregnancy Kelly!

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Brenda August 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Good Morning!
It is always wonderful to be with friends!Thank you for sharing-loved seeing the pictures especially Michael James haven’t seen any pictures since the show about his birth. I am so excited to see that your family will be on Nightlines Primetime show tonight on ABC!!Have been waiting all summer. Glad you are feeling well Kelly. You are in my prayers. God Bless! Brenda

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pam August 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Josie looks wonderful! But I wish you could have found a better picture of the older girls. Something besides cooking?

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Gil August 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Dear Pam,
I know…. Alyssa’s camera needs to be sent off to have the lens cleaned, so she wasn’t real happy with most of the photos she had taken. Sorry! I’ll try to have Jinger Duggar send some of hers. Love, Kelly

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Amanda August 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Dear Kelly,
You and the Duggars have been such an great encouragment to me and my family. I love when I get to get the dvd’s of the Duggars shows. Both of your web sits have great resources. Thank you so much for being a great Godly example of a wife and mother. We have also decided to let God decide of timming and number of children we will have but my family does not agree with this decision and think the 3 children we have in enough. Do you have any advice on how to handle this. I love my parents very much but I feel that the right thing to do if follow what the Lord had put on our hearts. Thanks

Blessings,
Amanda

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Gil August 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Dear Amanda,
Even if your parents don’t agree with you, be grateful for them. Sometimes they might not agree with our decisions because they have fears and concerns. Understand they love you and might not have the same faith or same goals, but respond to them with honor and appreciation. Our parents didn’t always agree with us, but it never stopped us from thinking they were the greatest parents in the world. Instead of arguing, Gil just politely trusted that the evidence would one day show forth and as they watched our children grow… we were so glad we had kept a close relationship! Our children are close to their grandparents, and inspite of any differences in our beliefs, we are so thankful for them! Love, Kelly

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Sarah August 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Kelly I wanted to thank you for your encouragement it really does mean alot to me! Since my family isnt Christian its kinda hard. I am really thankful that we have been able to talk back and forth since your family is about the only family I know who practice there faith 24/7, I know alot of people who say there Christian but just practice there faith on Sunday so I thank you and your family for your encouragement and if there is anything I can EVER do for you or your family PLEASE let me know. Lots of Love Sarah!

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Emma Culverhouse (England) August 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Dear Kelly,
I often wonder why people comment negatively on the web & peoples pages, I personally only look at pages I am interested in & wish to gain encouragement from. I am glad you are happy to respond to my comments as I find them immensely encouraging in my walk with God.
Love Emma x

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lyn August 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Awww, yes little Josie is a miracle baby. God is so awsome!!! He blesses us in so many ways. Mrs. Duggar was so strong in the Lord during this time. From the videos I have seen when Josie was in the hospital, you could see Mrs. Duggar praying over her child. God is our strength in times of trouble, even when were not in trouble He is always there.
How are you doing Mrs.Bates? I hope all is well!! I really admire you and your family. God Bless!! Were praying for all of ya!! :)

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brittani August 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

what grade is your kids in for homeschool
- brittani

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Gil August 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Dear Brittani,
We have children in almost every grade, plus college! Love, Kelly

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Anita August 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Dear Gil and Kelly: I am writing from Buenos Aires Argentina, I’m glad to have met again with the Duggars, a family that goes on in spite of the roadblocks that have had to learn to cope with his little Josie, thank God has manifested in it, save and strengthen it further develops normally. Reading one of your answers I see that your parents are not quite agree with your beliefs, we also have criticized us and even put aside our family and friends, leaving aside all religion in the Andavo before, but one thing is true, when one knows and accepts Christ as the only and sufficient Savior, start a new life, leaving behind a life empty and meaningless. Christ has changed greatly over the past 13 years, and for the world we leave, everything we do in our family we do in the name of it. This has made many of us fans Tilden bored or because we all go to church on Sundays, and sometimes other days in the week, because we have a different lifestyle in the world but the world we live in are not of this world his word says, we are of good reputation where we only want to please God and keep his word and commandments. Sister Kelly may God continue to bless and hopefully I can answer soon. Blessings in Christ Jesus.

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Krista August 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Dear Kelly,

I was just wondering if one of your children feel they will best succeed in attending a public college, would you let them go? I remember seeing in an interview you don’t necessarily wish for them to attend a public college, but I myself simply commute to a public university, so because I live at home with my family, so I don’t really see a lot of the partying scene college residents see. I’ve read it’s less expensive than online schools. I’m going into the education field myself, so I’m hoping to bring light to children who may not ever be able to see it in their homes. Thanks and God Bless :)

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 4:15 am

Dear Krista,
Zach and Michaella both attended a small local community college for a semester last year, then did the next semester with that same college on-line. We are all open to seek God’s will for each of them individually, knowing that each will have different goals, direction, and desires. Love, Kelly

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Aine August 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I just wanted to say that I enjoy getting to watch you family when you are on the duggers show. I don’t share the same religious convictions but i do agree with certain things that you do. Finally I would like to wish Ms Kelley a safe pregnancy, Erin a full recovery and for a joyful courtship to Zach and Sarah.

Best wishes from Ireland

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Melody August 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Hey Bates Crew,

I see your special is finally going to air tonight. I’m looking forward to watching it. If you are in the Cleveland,OH area it’s going to be on @ 10pm on channel 5.

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Melody August 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Oh and the new Duggar book is an amazing testimony of their life. I’m almost done with it. I’m on Do the Duggars Date?

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Brenda August 25, 2011 at 12:52 am

I understand what you mean Kelly about the negative & cruel things that people post online. I have personally witnessed what it can do to young people-especially teenage girls! I look forward to reading your blogs & comments. It gives me food for thought & to remind to place myself & my family in the Lord’s arms to help carry us through the rough spots.
I have also been encouraging my 6 children ( ages 12-23) to have a giving heart instead of a “gimme heart.”
Thank you& God Bless! Brenda

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Meg August 25, 2011 at 2:10 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,
Im 17 and i have some more conservative veiws then most people including my family.. thankfully my parents support me in those convictions.. i am so thankfull for the family i was given because if i havent have been with them i may have never come to know christ.. and well i love my family.. but anyways.. its so encouraging to see that other people think the same way.. i have enjoyed seeing yall on the duggars tv show and have been looking threw your blog the last couple of months.. i one day hope to have a large family if God sees fit.. thanks for posting the blog!
Lamentations 3:22,
meg

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lyn August 25, 2011 at 2:19 am

Mrs. Bates,
How do you get your children to sit and do bible study. I have been saved for 6 months now, and the Lord layed it on my heart to have bible study with my girls. So the past 3 weeks, I have been doing bible time with them before bed, or before school. They cant sit still and bicker I think my goodness somthing has to come out of this. We have been memorizing Bible verses, and they seem to be catching on to that. I also find that they catch me doing something and they say o mom not suppose to do that!! I allow them to read in the study and pray and talk freely but sometimes it just seems like they dont listen. I get really discouraged about it and I feel like I am failing. Please give me some advice. Thank you!!

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 4:10 am

Dear Lyn,
Try shorter times at first. It’s hard to keep little ones attention, so try some creativity, enthusiasm, acting, etc. Everyone loves a story time when its interesting (even adults), so study, pray for wisdom, and put your heart into it. In addition to learning to captivate their attention, begin to teach character lessons on attentiveness, patience, respect, etc… Then ask them to apply these lessons to Bible study time. Give out rewards/praise for the most attentive. Ask quiz questions at the end and give prizes for right answers. Try to arouse their curiosity by leaving out details in the story and having them guess the characters or the outcome. Have 5 minute practice times during the day to see who can sit still and keep their eyes focused… Remember to encourage their progress. Don’t be too critical or have too high expectations at first, because it’s a new idea for everyone. Work together as a team. Ask them to pray for you to learn how to teach and for all of you to learn to sit together. Show them you are just as much in need as they are and work together to please God and build a cooperative spirit! Love, Kelly

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Bridget August 25, 2011 at 3:54 am

Dearest Gil and Kelly,
Just saw your Primetime special and although I’ve seen you guys many times on the Duggar’s show it’s great to see you guys getting some recognition! You have a beautiful family! My question is that they mentioned a possible courtship between one of your sons and one of the Duggar girls, I didn’t catch their names. Plus JU JU fell in love with you guys. That was very apparent. May the Lord Bless you and your family! Great luck on the pregnancy!

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 3:59 am

Dear Bridget,
Actually the coutship is between Zach (Our oldest son) and Sarah Reith (Someone the Duggars introduced us to). I have to say, we all fell in love with JuJu too (and with Claire Pedersen, the producer). Love, Kelly

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~dana~ August 25, 2011 at 3:57 am

Thank you so much for placing your family in the eye of the public in order to stand for God and spread the word of just how amazing he is. I love being encouraged by your family. Our children, who are also hsed, love getting to see glimpses of other christian hsed children on television every now and then. It makes us all feel more centered in a world that lacks such! May God continue to bless all those that you love and cherish.

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Lili August 25, 2011 at 4:15 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,
What a joy it is to be able to witness yet another family raising Godly children. Our ladies bible study has been talking about the challenges of raising Godly children and how much you and the Duggars have done in showing that even in these days it can be done. Also, my 6-yr old son has very much enjoyed your daughter Erin’s youtube postings of her playing the piano and I taped your special for him to see. I hope that he will see the examples set by your husband, Zach, Mr. Duggar and Josh and find his way to leading a strong Christian family.
Yours in Christ, Lili

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Amanda August 25, 2011 at 4:20 am

Dear Kelly
Thank you for that song today. It really hit me hard today as I am in the middle of one of the deepest valleys of my life. I am a single mom of two young boys with health problems of my own (just a little brain surgery- no big deal :) and theirs. Trying to figure out where God wants me to go in my life, but I have to tell you I keep getting hit and had felt abandoned. When I read your song posted, I dug out my picture frame of footprints and I now feel the love of his arms around me.
God’s Blessings.
Amanda Devon and Brandon
PS our favorite Duggar episodes are the ones with your family in them! It is always nice to see the two families get along.

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Dear Amanda,
May God give you strength and peace as you face this surgery. I will pray for you and your family. Love, Kelly

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Beth Miles August 25, 2011 at 4:32 am

Hello All, Just watched your “Primetime nightline” special tonight. It was very nice. Thanks for sharing your wonderful values with everyone. Love ya’ll, Beth

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Kim C. August 25, 2011 at 7:20 am

I just watched the ABC special and I am so grateful to you and your family for showing the people of America that conservative christian traditions, life styles and world views are something to strive for. Your family, along with the Duggars are a blessing.
I also wanted to tell you that I am so glad to hear that your baby is doing well and growing inside you. I will be praying for you. God Bless! Kim

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Lynn August 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

Dear Kelly & Gil,
Your family and the Duggar’s have been such an inspiration to myself and my husband since we first saw you on the TLC network. So happy to hear you were ALL together enjoying one anothers company once again. I watched your Primetime Nightline special last night on TV and was so touched by your lives and even cried during some special moments. I have never missed an episode of the Duggar’s TV show and especially find joy when watching your family interact with them. As always GOD BLESS and may I ask a favor from your family?? I live in NH and Hurricane Irene is heading this way expecting to hit Sunday. May it be possible for your family to say a special prayer for our safety and for the safety of all in Irene’s path? Once again GOD BLESS Bates family!! Your are truly an inspiration to so many!!

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Dear Lynn,
We will certainly pray for you and all the others who are in the hurricane’s path! God bless, Kelly

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Diane Lee August 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thank you so much for allowing us inside your home and to meet you and your BEAUTIFUL family a little closer.. I just love when you are all on the Duggars show. My questions are 1. Do you ever think you guys will have a tv show of your own, or at leaast some more specials? I really hope so. 2. I am not sure when last night special was filmed but I did not see the red bus that Jim Bob gave you? Do you still have it? I thought that was a WONDERFUL idea that God gave to Jim Bob, and somthing that your family really needed!!!
Thanks so much for sharing your Faith and Family with all of us.. YOu are in my prayers.. Do you know boy or girl yet??
Sincerely,
Diane Lee

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Dear Diane Lee,
So far we haven’t pursued doing a consistent show because of the time commitment, but we’re not sure what the future holds as far as what we think God’s direction for us further down the road might be. The shows we have done, we have hoped to communicate God’s faithfulness and love in order to bring hope to others. We do want to always be actively involved in ministry opportunities, but at the same time we don’t want that to take any priority over our family and responsibilities. We do still have the bus and what a tremendous blessing it is!… It was in the shop during that filming, but it is back running again and we are so thankful for the extra elbow room!! As for the baby gender, we like to be surprised!! Love, Kelly

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Taryn August 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I watched your family on tv last night. It turned out very well. Praise the Lord. I cried when you did. We have 6 children(4 sons,2 daughters,5 granddaughters) and home educated 1985-2011. We liked Abeka, keepersofthefaith.com,Rod and Staff, Christian Liberty Press(kindergarten readers,they sell Abeka Books,etc.)-we preferred books(not booklets) that used the KJ Bible. The children don’t use the computer until they are older. Our sons have been generous to us as well. Your house and home are beautiful.

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Sarah August 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I wanted to tell Lynn that there is a gret character qualityes chart on the Duggar Family website. It has really helped me alot and has been a blessing to me I think that would also be a blessing to your family if you havent already got one. Love and God Bless Sarah!!

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Dear Sarah,
There are also Character Sketch books (3 volumes) available from IBLP on-line bookstore (The same ministry that produced the character chart you’re referring to). Love, Kelly

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brittani August 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

i watched your family on tv last night it was cool and seeing how your family work with the buddy team your family and the duggar family do it the some way some how, and can you tell me your buddy teams of your kids and i hope your family can come back up to michigan agian before i start school because i really want to meet your family so bad can your family work it out some how to do that.
- brittani

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Dear Brittani,
I’m afraid we won’t be able to come back to Michigan because we have already started school back. We only have one more long trip to Iowa which falls on Labor Day holiday… any other preaching trips during the school months are close enough to home that we can travel on the weekend and be back for classes! Sorry! Love, Kelly

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regina August 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm

dear bates family…i love your family….they are beautiful!! i just watched the one hour nightline special on tv last nite, and recorded it also so i could “rewatch”..lol. your family is a shining example of christ’s love.. god’s richest blessings to all of you!!

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Courtney Sanchez August 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I saw your ABC show last night.I loved it! They did such a good job portraying your faith and family. I always like to watch you and the Duggar’s when I get the chance. We have 9 so far and are the only ones in our church with more than 3. I need some practical help and encouragement from time to time! Thank you for doing this show- it WAS an encouragement. I loved what you said, Kelly, about taking the progesterone to save the life of your little one. You are so well spoken! And, I’m going to do that science experiment for homeschool this year- I’m planning it out right now, Haha! Blessings to your family!
Courtney

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Lindy August 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Hi Bates Family,
Thank you so much for the encouragement and example y’all are for myself and others! God’s love and light truly shines through all of you! I first found out about your family from watching TLC and 19 Kids and Counting. I like your new website and all the updates about your family. Thank you for being willing to share. Prayers for all of you and especially for the new baby.

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chelsie August 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I saw your family last night on Nightline and I was so excited…I love watching when you are on the Duggars show. Your family is such an inspiration. Many blessings on the new baby! Will you be finding out whether it is a boy or girl? After watching last night I am betting all the kids are hoping for a boy ;) .

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amber landers August 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Dear Kelly
Glad to see that you all had a great time! She did a great job with the pic! Love them all as always! Glad to hear that you are feeling well, and things are going well for Zach and Sarah!

God Bless
Love Amber

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Lisa August 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I like that you are open and welcoming to people who may not totally agree with you. I do not mean posting comments that are truly mean and intentionally disrespectful. I’m glad you allow some discussion here in spite of the time it takes to reply. In spite of our own differences, I am praying for your new baby and a safe pregnancy.

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Diane Lee August 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thank you SO much for answering my questions, I know how busy you are with your family and I TRULY appreacate it. The shows that you do have absolutely brough hope and faith to me as well as countless others, no doubt. I so enjoy watching you and Gil with your children that I hope TLC will show us more to bring more hope to people. GOD know we all need it!! So glad to hear that you still have the bus. When I had my child, my only one, I did not find out either, so I know what you mean about being surprised.. God Bless you and I will keep you, especially in my prayers.
Again Thank you and your entire family for letting us share in Joy!!
Sincerely,
Diane Lee

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Sarah August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Thank you so much Kelly I will have to take a look at that!! I was also woundering if I am able to e-mail you about something that is currently troubling my heart? If not I understand! Love and God Bless Sarah!!

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Dear Sarah,
Please do e-mail, but I’m very slow responding because I can only spend a few hours each week answering. I will do the very best I can though!! Love, Kelly

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Sandy August 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

My children and I saw the special last night on ABC, and were thrilled to see how the Lord is working in your lives! My children were impressed. May God continue to bless you! Also praying for you Kelly, to have a joyful pregnancy! Blessings!

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Sarah August 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Thank you so very much! I did go ahead and e-mail you. And I hope im not a bothersome to you and your family. Love Sarah!

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Gayle August 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I wasn’t able to watch the entire nightline show last evening. Do you know if it will re-air?

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Gil August 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Dear Gayle,
I’m not certain. Sorry! Love, Kelly

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Carrie August 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Oh yeah, so glad that the Duggars were able to see the finished product of the house!!! :)

We loved, loved, loved their new book!!! So encouraging!!!!

So glad baby is growing well in your tummy! You all look fantastic. We start our school up soon too!
Actually my oldest daughter will be attending “school” for the very first time. She was accepted into the Vocational Program. She is looking forward to school shopping for the first time!

BLessings to you and yours!
Carrie

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Patti August 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm

What part of Iowa will you be in over Labor Day?

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Gil August 30, 2011 at 1:21 am

Dear Patti,
Sorry I overlooked your e-mail… They get jumbled in a long list! We will be in Kalona, Iowa. Love, Kelly

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Kelly August 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Hi Kelly!

I enjoyed watching your family’s special last night. It’s awesome to see the kids moving on to different things.

I have a couple questions, if you don’t mind.

Do you guys tend a garden or raise animals to help feed your family?
If you pride yourself on not taking government assistance, why is it okay to take from your teen-aged child? I don’t mean to sound critical but how is it that one boy can be able to loan so many family members money and where is the end for poor Lawson?

I hope your pregnancy is going well.

God bless,
Kelly

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Gil August 26, 2011 at 3:36 am

Dear Kelly,
Thank you for your concern for Lawson. Actually, he volunteered to extend that money. Erin taught piano and paid hers off. Zach paid his off through his work. It was his own choice and we were so grateful he had such a generous willing heart to do such a kind deed for his family! We teach the children responsibility and gratitude, so the children were faithful at keeping payment records and I think their hearts were all drawn closer together as a result of seeing their brother’s sensitivity to them. Zach had already determined to turn the car down and Erin had already decided not to return to school when he made the offer to help. We were all so blessed!!! I wouldn’t trade that character for anything and I’m so glad the children showed their gratefulness in return by paying him back. As for the end for Lawson… none of our children asked him; it was a willing offer that he never had to make… I’m so glad that money was not his first priority, but rather investing into the lives of others. We’ve all learned from his example! He may never loan anyone money again, but he certainly made a lasting impression this time! Love, Kelly

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Jessica August 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Gayle, you can watch the Nightline special on “hulu.com”

Dear Kelly, I watched the episode last night and wondered if you guys have a Costco or Sam’s club nearby. You have to pay $50 a year to be a member but if you go with the executive membership (we had our account for a couple years so we only had to pay $35 for the executive membership; up front it’s a bit more than that) at Costco you get a percentage of what you spent back. They have a lot of things in bulk at discounted prices. For example in my area a large jar of Skippy’s peanut butter costs about $5 at the grocery store, but I can get a two-pack of the large jars at Costco for $6.75. If your family likes oatmeal, you can get 10-pound cases of it there for $5, 25 pound bags of beans for $12, 50 pound bags of flour for a little less than $1 per pound, giant bottles of ketchup and other condiments, fruit and vegetables (fresh and frozen) in bulk, 2 gallons of milk for the price of one gallon, whole chickens for 89 cents a pound, and so on. Just thought I’d pass that along. :)

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Gil August 26, 2011 at 3:25 am

Dear Jessica,
We don’t have Costco and the closest Sams is about 35-40 minutes away. Wal-mart is 5 minutes away, but we do love to save money! love, Kelly

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Krysta Lee August 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I was just wondering after watching yourr show last night, Do you really think that insurance is unbiblical?

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Gil August 26, 2011 at 3:24 am

Dear Krysta Lee,
Oh no, we think it is wise to prepare and insurance can be a huge blessing. We have just found that medical insurance prices are extremely high and we have had more success paying our bills as self-pay patients. Sometimes Gil is able to use his tree service to help chip away at bills. We are not against insurance, we’d love to discover a reasonable one. We have house, car, and term insurance. Love, Kelly

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Alexis August 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Dear Kelly,

Praise the Lord! He is great, loving, and generous. With so many stumbling blocks I was having a difficult time acting the way I know a godly Christian woman must behave, speak, and think. Just when I though I could do no more I got on my knees to pray, crying to Our Savior for help, strength and guidance. Two days later while I was volunteering at a local food pantry I met a wonderful, Christian lady who got saved as an adult and I have been able to fellowship with her and get some help in planning and doing everything before the wedding. God is great! I just wanted to thank you for your ministry and perseverance as it has been such a source of strength for me. If you got a chance to pray for me I thank you!

I am so happy to hear the Lord is protecting you and your baby and that all of you are well and thriving.

Love,
Alexis

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tammy August 26, 2011 at 12:29 am

Hi Mrs. Bates,
I just got thru watching nightline, want you to know, I laughed when you all laughed on there and I cried when you all cried. You all are certainly blessed. I love the way you live, The way you bring your famiy up in this world knowing God, the respect your children show you and others. I want this kind of life with my family, a family of God!!! We need more people like you all. I may sound a little silly right now, but, I am praying my family becomes a God fearing loving family.
Please pray for my family, and bless you all for sharing your lives with us. Tammy

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Sheri August 26, 2011 at 12:54 am

Dear Bates family,
You’ll never truly know how many lives you’ve impacted by being willing to put your family in front of TV cameras. But we thank you for it and God will continue to bless you for it. We give our sincere thanks to you for being such an encouragement to our family. We live surrounded by families who don’t home school like us, who think we are “odd” because we don’t watch TV, etc., etc. It is wonderful to have access to families like the Bates and Duggars (and many others) throughout the year so our children can see that we really aren’t the only people living this way. Thank you so much!

We are planning to drive down to Iowa from our home in Minnesota to the Bontrager’s family event on Labor Day. Perhaps our family can meet yours in person. It is worth the drive for such a great fellowship opportunity.

Blessings from the George Family.

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Kay W August 26, 2011 at 3:12 am

Awwww…aren’t Judson and Josie just so cute. Maybe they will be the Bates/Duggar match that everyone seems to want. Beautiful kiddies, all of them! God Bless, Kay

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Sara August 26, 2011 at 4:00 am

Your views about insurance are fairly common for people who have individual insurance plans. As someone who works in the industry I see both sides and it can be truely complicated and difficult at times. Ater all I handle Medical Customer Service calls, so you can just imagine how rude people can be and it is because ofter times people do not take the time to understand their policies or how to make the most of them. Also it’s because I’m a faceless indentity who is representing a large company. I do not write the policies, but I have to explain them and try to diplomatically have sympathy at the same time. I tell you if you want to learn patience and kindness go work in a call center for 6 months or more. I know the Duggars have to be big advocates of insurance, because of Josie. I honestly think cost control is something nobody wants to touch with a ten foot pole. For example we had a member who had to have emergency surgery while in California, unfortunately no facilities or doctors are on the panel in that state. The hospital charged a bill of $26000.00 dollars for a very simple procedure. After numerous phone calls the insurance company convinced the hospital to write off nearly $24000.00 of the bill. Their response was oh we can afford to write that off because that is the cost mark up. Basically I always tell people shop for medical procedures. After all facilities and doctors prices vary widely and fight for you patient rights. Also for people on employee sponsered plans remember your employer dictates what they want the insurance to cover. Sorry for the long rant, can you tell it’s been a choatic week @ work or what. Anyway glad to see everything is going well with you guys. Oh even though you said you want to be suprised do you have any inclinings of the gender for the baby. I remember with my son my husband kept giving me girl names, and I said you better get use to the boy name I picked since I think I’m having a boy.

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Gil August 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Dear Sara,
I don’t have a guess yet, but usually i’m wrong about the gender and Gil’s right. love, Kelly

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melody August 26, 2011 at 9:19 am

I watched the special. You two have an amazing family. I love how you take the time with each of them to teach them how to walk with God. I didn’t go on line to talk about is it right to have that many kids. I’m acutally praying about doing a blog about it. People may not like my opion. But that’s ok it’s my first admendment right.

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Kelly August 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Kelly,

Thank you for answering. I guess the way it came across differently on the show. I’m so glad everything worked out.

Kelly

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Tamyra August 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Dear Gil and Kelly,
I have been so inspired by your family. I have watched the Duggars for a few years and have enjoyed seeing you on their show. I was so excited when I found your website. I have been struggling for a few years with my teens since they have entered high school. I am considering homeschooling our little one when she is old enough. The temptations they face so early is frightening. We are a Christian family, but I feel they are slipping away at times. We are working and praying very hard for them. I have learned alot from the Duggars and from your family about what God wants from us as parents. I really enjoyed your special and thanks for the picture of Josie. I was wondering how big she was getting. She is 2 months older than our little girl. Have a blessed weekend and Kelly take care of yourself. God Bless all of you.

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Nancy August 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm

thank you Bates family for posting this and i would like two say i like to see when the Duggar family and Bates family reunite i love to see this family on TLC since i have a big family too 5 sisters and 2 brothers in total 7

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lynn August 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Mrs. Bates thank you for giving me the advice on bible study with my kids. It went better last night and cant wait for tonites bible study. Lynn

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brittani August 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

maybe your family can come back to michigan to visit me for the holidays or something your family can work that out some how let me know ok.

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Krysta Lee August 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Dear Mrs. Kelly,
Thank you so much for answering back!
I understand what you are talking about.
I just read on the Internet that someone said ya’ll thought that insurance is unbiblical. Can’t ever trust what strangers say…
Thank you for clarifying though.

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Juanita August 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I watched the online snippets of your special yesterday; not sure I got the whole thing, but I enjoyed what I did get. It was very inspiring. Yeah; when one of your girls said they hope you have twin boys, well, I too hoped and prayed for that for you too! Looking forward to the next updates.

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Sarah August 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm

If you didnt get to catch the Nightline program on ABC you can go to there website and watch it! Kelly I wanted to tell you the bathing suites the girls were are so pretty and I can’t waite till I have enough money to get me one!! Lots of Love Sarah!!

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Kaycee August 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Kelly,

Wonderful show!

I was wondering. . . do you pay for the medical care you get at the ER? If not, isn’t that kind of the same as taking government assistance (since the government ultimately makes up the hospital’s loss through Medicare?).

I don’t mean to be critical but I am struggling with the ethics of this situation myself.

Thank you, I do hope I’ll have the pleasure of watching your beautiful family again soon!

Kaycee

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Gil August 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Dear Kaycee,
Yes, we do. We do ask for the same consideration of discounts that they give to insurance companies… and from there we make monthly payments. With our lttle Addallee who was in ICU for 19 days, we made payments of $400 each month for 4 years to pay off the bill… but she was worth every dime and the children’s hospital and doctors were worth that and soooooo much more! It was steep for our budget because there were other bills that we were always chipping away at, but we managed with God’s help. It certainly reminded us of our dependence on God and it was a huge faith builder! I think the easiest route would be insurance, though, if a reasonable was available. Love, Kelly

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Jamie August 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

http://www.hulu.com/watch/271402/abc-primetime-nightline-my-extraordinary-family-bates-18-kids-

The web address for the show that aired a few days ago.

Thanks for sharing your family. :)

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Marnie August 27, 2011 at 12:24 am

Dear Gil and Kelly,
What a wonderful ABC special! My husband and I enjoyed it so much and my heart was aching and rejoicing along with you.
I wanted to share a moment from my day today. At bathtime, my four year old daughter wasn’t obeying and seemed determined to fuss with me. I felt myself becoming frustrated and angry with her (and I have been trying hard as a Mom to work on my patience). Instead, I thought about how to handle the situation in a better manner, in a Godly manner. I found myself playfully sprinkling water on her and my 19 month old son (who was watching us). A moment of tension dissolved into a moment where I was able to gain her attention, meet her gaze and redirect her peacefully. In all honesty, in the past, this moment might have led to outbursts from both of us. By thinking hard about how to mother with better character, I was able to show her the behavior I wanted from her and change the moment between us. What a rich reward it was to have smiles from all of us! Thank you Gil and Kelly for showing a model of good parenting to those of us imperfect parents who are still learning! Your example helped me, and so I am very grateful for your family.
Please keep us in your prayers this weekend as we live in northern NJ and are in the path of the hurricane. Whatever it brings, we trust God will see us through (although we might need Gil’s tree expertise!)
God Bless!
Marnie

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Gil August 27, 2011 at 5:52 am

Dear Marnie,
I’m sure your testimony will encourage so many (including myself). We all have weaknesses and can become frustrated! I’m so thankful you shared that. Our hearts are with all of you in harms way, and we are praying for safety! Love, Kelly

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Jennifer August 27, 2011 at 12:59 am

I just finished watching, I really liked what you all shared about how you wanted to give your children the same medical care whether they were two days past conception or twelve years old and playing in the yard. I wanted to add as well that after this baby is born (since you plan on more) you can also take a baby aspirin daily. It’s good for your heart but it can also improve the uterine lining so that implantation is better (I’ve forgotten why this is but it was recommended to me when I was having troubles). Obviously your Drs advice is more important but I wanted to pass that on. You have to discontinue as soon as you’re pregnant though.

I had a question about Juju wearing a modest outfit for swimming. Was this something you all requested or something she offered? If you did, or would have requested it, how do you word that kind of request? How did she know that you would not be able to swim with her otherwise?

You and Gil have such knack for expressing your beliefs in a non offensive way. If there is a book that you learned that from I would love to know about it!

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Gil August 27, 2011 at 5:50 am

Dear Jennifer,
JuJu was so sweet and considerate. She thought of that on her own. We did ask if we could swim after hours and make sure no one else was in the pool area, because we knew they were filming and didn’t want the show to be awkward for anyone viewing it that might have the same concerns about modesty. On the other hand, we certainly don’t want to look down on anyone else who might not have the same beliefs. We respect their freedom of choice. Love, Kelly

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Mrs P August 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

Kelly,

You and Mrs. Duggar are two of the most gracious ladies I’ve ever seen. I admire you both very much. You two have really inspired me to work hard at being patient and using a soft, kind voice with my children. Thank you for your witness for the Lord!

My children (ages 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, and 2) are so excited that you all are having another baby! We congratulate you! We would love and adore to have another one, but God has not blessed us yet :( That is sad, but I’m trying to accept His will and trust His timing. I’m hoping to have many more, and that He’s not finished with me yet(since I’m only 32).

We are praying for your health and the baby’s health in this pregnancy and delivery!

If you could pray for our family, I’d appreciate it. We are truly struggling.

Thanks,
Mrs P

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Jennifer August 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for responding. The show made it sound like you would not swim with her if she was dressed immodestly but I did notice that Lawson was taking great care to answer her questions in the store in a way that respected ya’lls differences.

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Chris C August 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Although i don’t live in the States and so don’t need health insurance, a conservative Christian Family’s blog I read (in fact Kim C commented here earlier) use and recommend Samaritan Ministries. I enclose a link in case you haven’t found them before and would like to go and look.
http://samaritanministries.org/
all my love, Chris

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Gil August 28, 2011 at 1:03 am

Dear Chris,
Thank you! We’ll check into this. Love, Kelly

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Kay W August 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm

As I know from working in hospitals my entire adult life, there are foundations and trust funds which kind and generous people have set up to help those without insurance. I would not call that taking money from the government, I would call it using that money for the purpose that money was intended. Aside from that, there is Medicaid, or whatever it is called in TN. I would also call that using government money for the purpose it was intended. Whether a couple has one child, or a dozen, a 19 day stay in intensive care would be a financial catastrophy without insurance. I know, I know, here I go again, sticking my big nose in your business.

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Sarah August 28, 2011 at 2:13 am

Kelly I am so sorry I worded that wrong. I hope that you will forgive me! I do have patience im so sorry!

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Gil August 29, 2011 at 1:59 am

Oh Dear Sarah,
No apologies needed… I’m quite the late person sometimes! I searched for what e-mail you might be referring to and could not find it… Could you maybe post again? Love, Kelly

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Donna Hunter August 28, 2011 at 3:32 am

Just wanted to let yall know what a great family yall have.I am number 7 out of 7 that my Mom had so I do have a big family.My husband and I only have 1 child and she is a blessing she is 29.Tried for more but guess God only meant for us to have one.I am writing to yall to tell yall about a great christian movie we just saw SOUL SUFFER about the girl whoes arm was biten off by a shark.

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Annette August 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Kelly

I don’t know if you egt the HSLDA monthly but it does have an ad for a Christian based Health insurance. It may even be the samaritanmiinistry -I cannot remember. But do ask for it if you don’t we get it as part of our membership. I wa shappy someone posted the Url for the show we don;t have TV in our home either so I find the shows online too. So happy for you the pregnanacy is progressing I think of you every day and pray for the best. I love babies and am going to start studying to be a doula soon- I feel that so many young women need a person who supports them while they give birth – so many have no clue anymore as they do not grow up in large familes so do not see many pregnancies or young babaies til they have one of their own!
Glad that Zach and Sarah seem to be progressing in their relationship and that all your family is well!
Bless You All

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Hannah in England August 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Dear Bates family,
I really enjoyed watching your special on TV and I hope you do end up doing a TV series (as long as it doesn’t impact negatively on your family life as sometimes these shows appear to in the long term)as I love to have the insights into how you organise your home and how you interact as a family. It is such a breath of fresh air compared to most of the things on TV and the internet. It seems from the comments here that there are many people worldwide searching for more guidance in these things, particularly young couples like myself. I also feel very blessed to live in a country where free medical care is available to everyone and where the anxiety of paying for large hospital bills is not added to the worry of having a loved one fall ill. I think I heard mentioned that one of your little ones has some hearing difficulties. I am actually a specialist in hearing impairment and work at a university in England. I’m sure you have all the advice you need and she has many supportive siblings to help but if you did need any tips I’d be happy to help,
God bless you all,
Hannah

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Michelle August 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

What an inspiration your family is! I love seeing your family on tv when you visit the duggars, it looks like a blast! I am about to be 21 and find so much encouragement in watching the duggar girls.. and your girls when they are on tv (thank you so much for inviting the cameras into your home!). I am also from TN and was wondering if you and your family were planning on doing any type of conference or something out in the community where other girls (or just people for that matter) can come and fellowship? I would love to get to talk one on one to you and your family it would be such a blessing! I hope school is going well for all your kids! (I started back tuesday but wasn’t quite ready too!) God Bless, Michelle

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sara( italy) August 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Dear Kelly,
I have seen your family on a german tv-programm today, where they said that you are living in Texas :) .
You are such a great example, especially Lawson, young men with such a giving heart are quite rare nowadays. Most Boys my age I know spend their money for themselves, instead of investing it in the lifes of others.
Knowing that Alyssa loves to cook, I will send her the recipe for a traditional southtyrolean food.Love,Sara

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Sarah August 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Dear Kelly,
I sent it again I think. I am so sorry!! Am I starting to bother you because I dont mean to?? I feel really bad. Lots of Love Sarah!

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Gil August 30, 2011 at 1:19 am

Dear Sarah,
You’re not a bother, but I still can’t find the question you referred to. Love, Kelly

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Amie August 29, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Aw, I don’t think that the Bates should have their own tv show, it would just take away from the Duggar’s show. Plus, the Duggars are wealthy and they can travel so that is something interesting the that the cameras can tape. The Bates rarely travel.
Just commenting on another comment above.

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Emily S. August 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Did Michaella use a pattern for the dresses she made in your family picture? If so, which one is it? Does it button or zip up in the back- I’m looking for something that is a simple pullover style. Michaella should connect w/someone that knows how to draft patterns & make her own modest dress designs! That would be a great little business! She’s so talented :-) Hope you are feeling great & baby is doing well!

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Gil August 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

Dear Emily,
She didn’t use a pattern, and they do have zippers in the back… Wish we could be more help. Love, Kelly

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Kate August 30, 2011 at 1:02 am

Does anyone know where I can watch the show? I am from Australia and the link posted earlier wont allow me to watch it outside the US.

Even if I cant see it I just wanted to say thank you Bates family for allowing cameras into your home inspiring so many families to do better. What a great example you all are.

Take care and Mrs Bates I am praying the rest of your pregnancy is problem free and you will be hugging that blessing soon

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Annette August 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

For the ladies lookign for a similar pattern to the Girl’s dresses I found one http://www.simplicity.com/p-2603-childgirl-dresses.aspx . Hopefully it helps also very reasonable in price!

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Jennifer August 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Kate do you get the show Primetime or the Nightline in Australia? You can go to the channel’s website (abc) and watch it as well but if they plan on airing it over there they will block it on most sites until they can broadcast it first. If Hulu blocked it my guess is that they plan to air it there at some point.

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Sarah August 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Dear Kelly,
I so sorry, I don’t know why that is. Don’t worry about it. Lots of Love Sarah!

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Hayley August 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

When do you allow your girls to wear makeup?

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Amber August 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Hey there Gil & Kelley:
My name is Amber and I have enjoyed seeing your family on the Duggar’s show, as well as, your own special on ABC. You are such an inspiration to me and I hope to learn more about your family. I only have 3 children so far but do hope that the Lord will bless us with as many children as he has planned. My biggest struggle is raising my voice to my children. How can I purpose myself to ONLY speak to them in a soft, gentle tone (only firm when needed)? I know prayer will help but I was wondering if you have any tips in this area? I will pray for your beautiful family and the Lord’s many blessings for years to come. Thank you for taking the time to read this. God Bless

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Gil August 31, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Dear Amber,
Michelle Duggar shares a beautiful testimony of how God convicted her to use a quiet, soft answer when responding to her children. I believe her testimony is on their website and in their book. Gil shared a message this year at the Indianapolis homeschool conference on the subject of anger (You can call IBLP and see if it is available). Different reminders work best for different people, just like different tactics help relieve pain when in labor. Certainly, God is our ultimate strength and the more we saturate ourselves in prayer, Bible reading, Scripture memorization, sermons, and Christian fellowship, the stronger we will become. The goal is to feed our “spiritual” nature, while saying “No” to our flesh… That boils down to learning self-control. Self-control is hard for all of us, whether it is in the area of eating, anger, lust, greed… It’s just plain hard to say “No” to appetites and habits we’ve developed. We must have a stronger desire and a more sure reminder than the power that our bad habit holds over us. I try to focus on the consequences. What results will my anger yield?= A bad relationship, hurt feelings that lead to bitterness, terrible childhood memories, the reproduction of those same habits in my childrens’ lives… Can you picture your child describing his/her home life to his/her spouse and children one day if their memories are bad memories?? What a sad outcome… Is the little bit of spilled milk or lack of cooperation worth those results? Is there a better way I can accomplish my real goals of training without producing such unneccesary behavior? Meditate on the outcomes of a harsh reaction vs. a quiet, loving spirit… I think the fruit of the latter will remind us to think before we react. Love, Kelly

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Steff August 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I would love to see the Bates family have their own show! The Duggar family is definitely interesting to watch, but I almost feel like the Bates family are a little more..down to earth, if that makes sense? My family can’t afford to travel all the time, etc, and I would just like to see the Bates and their every day life. I feel like the Duggar family is always doing something-I would like to see their every day life as well!

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melinda September 4, 2011 at 5:10 am

Mrs. Bates, your reply to Ms. Amber’s post was profound. I am grateful for your wisdom. God Bless.

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Sarah September 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Looks like a fun visit!

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Beth September 8, 2011 at 1:53 am

Mrs. Bates,
As a daughter of Christ, loving wife and mother to three small blessings, I have found great inspiration from both you and Michelle Duggar. God is certainly using both of your families to spread the good Word! Thank you for being obedient to His calling!!

I have two questions for you. I have heard/read both you and Michelle Duggar refer to listening to sermons. Can you recommend any specific ones and where to find them?
My second question is about raising and training a very active little boy who struggles with remaining on task. Our sweet little boy is a mere 6 years old and already many want to label him with an attention disorder. With so many little boys in your home, you must have some that are easily distracted, lack focus etc. If so, how do you help them with those issues? We love him just the way God made him and only want the best for him.
Thank you again for your Godly example!
Blessings

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Gil September 9, 2011 at 4:11 am

Dear Beth,
I’ll try to do a post on some of our favorite sermons. Check on sermons by SM Davis, David Gibbs, Kim Schettler, Rand Hummel, Frank Gagliano, and Ken Graham.
As for Mr. Wiggle Worm, we can identify… We have a little squirmer too that adds lots of fun and adventure to our family life… Check his diet, since some have associated sugar and red dyes with hyper activity. When you give him tasks, make eye contact with him to ensure he is focused on the instruction and have him repeat the instructions back to you. Set a timer for 20-30 min. and have him check his progress and repeat his goals. Give some time for running and fidgeting to release energy, before starting a new task. Love, Kelly

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Denise September 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

it is nice to be able to see old friends. I glad your home is finished, would love to see the finished work. As always your family is a blessing to many. I pray one day that I can be a blessing to others.

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Kay W September 16, 2011 at 2:39 am

Kelly, I have a question for you, I had the thought that maybe John David was courting Priscilla Keller at one time because she seemed to be at the Duggars so often. Apparently I was wrong, but when I mentioned the ‘possible courtship’ to someone else they said that among people who believe in Mr. Gotherd, a young man would never marry a woman who was a year or two older because it would threaten his dominance of the family. Have you ever heard that?

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Gil September 18, 2011 at 4:11 am

Dear Kay,
Unfortunately, a lot of preachers get blamed for ideas that others might erroneously state. To our knowledge, that has never been taught by Mr. Gothard. Some may have that preference, but if their security in the relationship is based merely on age… that would seem to be a shaky relationship. As for Priscilla’s close ties with the family… she is a precious, godly young lady and is Anna Duggar’s sister. Love, Kelly

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Kay W September 20, 2011 at 12:47 am

“she is a precious, godly young lady and is Anna Duggar’s sister. Love, Kelly”

Not to mention pretty, cheerful and outgoing. I thought it would be really nice for Anna to have a sister living close by, as well. It seems I was wrong, but sometimes speculating is fun. Love to all, Kay

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Bayley September 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Dear Kelly,

Who are the Duggar kids closest to in your family? I noticed that on the Duggar’s show they mentioned that they teach their babies sign language. Do you teach your babies sign language and if so what program do you use?
Also, what homeschooling material do you use? I deeply admire your family and wish the best for you to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

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Gil September 27, 2011 at 4:40 am

Dear Bayley,
Our boys are close to John since they keep in touch the most frequently. We do teach some signing to our babies also… just simple signs to help them verbalize what they want or need before they can speak (Like please, thank you, more, etc). We used a video that IBLP sold 10 years ago. I noticed the same DVD is offered through Timberdoodle (One of my favorite homeschool supply catalogs). Love, Kelly

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Beth September 28, 2011 at 12:59 am

Kelly,
Just wanted to thank you for your reply to my questions about our little “wiggle worm” fella! I know that you are a busy lady and I really appreciate it!
Blessings!
Beth

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Gil September 28, 2011 at 4:09 am

Dear Beth,
There is a humorous song about “The Wiggle Worm” from Patch the Pirate that we absolutely love! I giggle every time I hear the children sing it! You should learn it and sing it before Bible study and before school! Love, Kelly

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Susan October 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Dear Kelly,
It is so wonderful that you have been blessed with so many children and that you consider it an honor to be a parent. I was only able to give birth to one child due to medical complications and I have treasured every one of his 31 years! Thank you for sharing your love and children with us via the internet. I love how you parent and think you are a wonderful role model for young mothers who want to live their lives following God’s teachings. Thank you so much!

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NM October 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Oops, the Bates mispelled Josh and Anna’s daughter Mackynzie’s name wrong. I would think that knowing the family as well as you do, that would have gotten her correct. :)

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Gil October 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Dear NM,
Sorry about the mispelling. Actually, as much as I love the Duggars, due to more pressing responsibilities I’ve never studied up on any of the name spellings… Thanks for correcting the error for Mackynzie’s name, though. I’m always amazed at the many creative options for parents now days! Love, Kelly

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Regina Smith November 9, 2011 at 1:37 am

Just wanted you to know what a blessing it is to see your family and the Duggers on TV. Love their show and seeing you all occasionally on there. You have beautiful children and it is so refreshing to see Godly parents on TV. I love to hear you all sing – you have such beautiful harmony. We live in West Tennessee. Praying many blessings on your family.

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Robert & Tammy Rutherford November 10, 2011 at 5:30 am

Gil & Kelly,

I was a great blessing meeting you both at Chickfila. We had experienced a really hard day and was so uplifted talking with you both. We know that God has called us to be foster parents and have been blessed with our three adopted daughters. This last removal of the two boys has been devastating for us and has caused us to question many things. I told Gil if my wife had her way we would have more kids than you guys. Your faith and the raising of your children is amazing. I would love to talk again sometime just for advice and encouragment. My wife cried going home saying how God placed you in our paths tonight.

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Samantha November 13, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Hello Mrs. Bates,
I just wanted to take a minute and thank you and your family for being such a positive influence in this world. In an earlier episode of the Duggar’s show, I believe Jim Bob said that your two families hadn’t seen eachother in 7 years, I was just wondering why that was.
Thank you for your time,
Samantha

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Gil November 15, 2011 at 6:02 am

Dear Samantha,
The pause occured in not seeing each other becsause the home school conference that we attend used to be held in Knoxville, TN. The Duggars often stayed with us during that week, but when the conference changed locations, we didn’t see each other. Now, we both attened the Texas conference. Love, Kelly

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Beanie November 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Tori looks so much like one of my “sisters”!

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Livvy February 4, 2012 at 7:17 pm

That can’t be Josie can it!
She is so beautiful!
(Not that she wasn’t it’s just that she has grown SO much, she doesn’t look the same at all.)

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lizzy April 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm

how is little jeb doing i would really like to meet him but everyone wants to so it probably wont happen

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Octavia May 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

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Kelly May 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Dear Octavia,
I noticed that and I’m not sure how to fix it. I’ll ask for insight from someone else. Thanks! Kelly

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