The Bates Family

Father/Son Weekend

by Kelly on September 10, 2011


Nathan’s birthday recently gave us opportunity to host a father/son camp-out at Watts Bar Lake. Our boys have always enjoyed their father/son retreats with Dad and other participating families. No matter what the activities may include: rafting, camping, repelling, hunting… the time to get away for fellowship and Bible study has been time well spent!

These weekends remind us how fast our boys are growing up! One day when they’re long gone, we may wish we had prepared more for quality times together…

Let’s all choose our priorities carefully, and put our family relationships near the top of that list!

(Special “Thanks” to Hank & Lois Brink for use of their beautiful property! Photos courtesy of Andrew Patton)




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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Johnna September 10, 2011 at 6:06 am

Wow! That looks like a blast. How many families were gathered together for the event?


Gil September 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Dear Johnna,
Six families were represented, and four fathers were able to participate. Love, Kelly


JenniferL September 10, 2011 at 6:55 am

Looks like lots of fun! I assume Judson isn’t quite ready for such adventures yet? :)


Gil September 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Dear Jennifer,
He went the first day to watch for a few hours, while I helped organize the boys food and supplies! Then we both retreated back to the safety of home life far from the water! Love, Kelly


Lynsey September 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

looks like a blast!


Melody September 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Looks like everyone had a blast!!!


Stephanie September 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm


I have followed your blog for a while and just have to say that I find your postings and your responses to readers’ comments very uplifting and encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to post and share your beautiful family life with your readers. I have a very different life than yours. I am a Christian and the mother of two beautiful little girls, but I’m also a working professional, and feel stuck in the rat race. Basically, the result of too many poor choices made when i was younger and really didnt know any better. I chose a career and incurred debt to get my degrees based on what the world and my parents (who were good people but not Christians) told me would make me happy/fulfilled/financially secure. I would love a life that had more room and time for family, fun, fellowship and the things that are really important, but I feel so busy and tired all the time. I just wanted you to know that your post was a wonderful reminder to me this morning to put the most important things first, and trust God more fully with with the rest of it. Enjoy your pregnancy and so glad it’s going well. I experienced multiple pregnancy losses myself and know how hard it can be to fully enjoy it in those earlier weeks. So glad you have made it this far and are now able to just ENJOY growing that little life and anticipating his or her arrival. Take care and God bless you and your lovely family.


Gil September 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Dear Stephanie,
Thank you! I’ll pray for you. I know how overwhelmed I feel at times, so I know you must feel even more pressure from job and family responsibilities… But we can both run to the Lord for the strength and encouragement we need to press on!! I often find myself singing the hymn “Come Unto Me.” Love, Kelly


sonja petersen September 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Wow, that looks like a really great day for boys and men! I’m sure they’ve had a great time in the beautiful nature and lots of fun.
God bless their hearts! And happy birthday, Nathan!
Sonja from Hamburg


Pam September 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Slalom ski…way to go, Gil!!!

Looks like everyone had a blast!


Juanita September 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Wow; I actually get to comment first…..Awesome pics! I’m glad you got to do this, and share time with other fathers and sons. I’m glad the Duggar boys got to be there, to celebrate both Nathan’s and Josiah’s birthdays! I hope and pray you can keep on encouraging each other to be godly men; Jimbob commented during the “dating” seminar how we need more of that!


Casey September 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Wow – looks like such a fun weekend! Great pictures!


Marilyn September 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thank you for sharing the pictures. It looks like all had a great time. Do you or any of the girls water-ski or tube? I love tubing but have never got the hang of skiing. How’s your autumn been so far?


Gil September 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Dear Marilyn,
Yes, I ski… but only when I’m not pregnant (and not nearly like I used to as age has set in!). A couple of the girls ski and they all love to tube. They’re talking about having a girls day at the lake! Love, Kelly


Janet Kiessling September 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm



Lauren Sharpe September 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Hi Kelly,
Looks like the guys had a blast!! That’s great :) I was wondering if my letter arrived there safely? We seem to have some issues with our mail carrier. Hope all is well! Love the pictures you posted. :)



Gil September 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Dear Lauren,
I’m not sure about the mail… I’ll have to check. I have a stack of letters to read & respond to. It usually takes a while, because I only tend to mail once a week for brief periods. Love, Kelly


Lauren Sharpe September 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Oh okay. I’ve learned I have to take my mail to the post office to make sure it gets where it needs to go. Thanks for messaging back. Hope all is well and that we hear from ya’ll soon! Love, Lauren


Kay W September 11, 2011 at 12:01 am

A father son weekend was a wonderful idea and sure looked like a whole lot of fun. Is it OK to mention that all of the kids are good looking, but Lawson is turning into a handsome young man! More than a few hearts will be broken when he chooses to court, except for the lucky gal.

On another note I have been under the weather for several weeks. I have emphysema and had a stroke a couple of years ago. Things could be a whole lot worse, and I am very grateful to have lived long enough to see 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Not that I am on my death bed, but I am becoming aware that life is short so make the most of it. I always enjoy your blog and pictures so much.


Gil September 11, 2011 at 2:54 am

Dear Kay,
I had said a prayer for you just today because it had been a while since I’d heard from you! I’m hoping you’ll still make the trip to Tennessee so you can see all the beautiful decorations you’ve sent (plus all of the fabric and many other fun toys!) Love, Kelly


Christy September 11, 2011 at 2:52 am

looks like tons of fun! Would love for my boys and husband to be a part of something like that… being around men of Character…. I’m sure many memories were made! :)


Kay W September 11, 2011 at 4:19 am

Thanks, Kelly, and you might not believe this, but tonight I feel better than I have in a while. Must be you have a direct line to God. Michaela told me you are planning to show off the dresses she made one of these days. That young lady is so sweet! I imagine she will be busy with college now, so I’ll suspend the fabric for a while. My cell phone went through the washing machine in the pocket of my shorts and I haven’t gotten around to replacing it, so if she texted me, that’s why I didn’t answer.


Gil September 11, 2011 at 4:26 am

Dear Kay,
Thanks for the update and we’re so glad you’re better. I’m always a few weeks more behind on updating posts or answering mail than I’d like to be, but one step at a time!! Love, Kelly


Romina September 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm

What a great family is the love you have for your children is amazing, I wish there were more families like yours.
My prayers are with his family to have a great year.

many greetings from chile …


Daniel September 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Nice camp out.


Kate September 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Hi Mrs Bates

Looks like a wonderful weekend for all the boys and men.

My beautiful sister has just told me she is expecting her first child in late April next year. To say I am excited would be an understatement.

I am praying each day for my niece/nephews safe arrival and I am praying for you and your upcoming bundle of joy at the same time.

Take care and God bless you all



Sarah September 12, 2011 at 12:51 am

A girls day at the lake sounds like so much fun!! I bet they would enjoy that so much! I keep praying that one day I will be able to meet you and your family Kelly if that is God’s will! But if not I will keep praying for you and your family!!


Kay W September 12, 2011 at 12:57 am

Dear Kelly, I know that you are busier than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs and I’ve learned that things are answered faster on your blog than email, too. Still hope to visit Tennessee, but now I’m wondering about March so I can hold the new little Bates. Would that work for you? Kay


Gil September 12, 2011 at 2:52 am

Dear Kay,
We’ll pray for health for you in March then! Love, Kelly


Sarah September 12, 2011 at 3:33 am

Dear Kay Walter,
I wanted to let you know that I will be lifting you up in my prayers tonight. And that we may not understand the trials God put’s in are life but remeber that he has a master plan for us all, praise God in the good times and in the bad! Love and God Bless you Sarah!


Amanda September 12, 2011 at 3:49 am

Mrs. Bates
Thank you for praying for my surgery and my family. My surgery was a success, with minor lasting side effects of the disease. Also a success was my first day as leading a devotional lesson for my Sunday School kids, I was really nervous; then I saw a church elder in the back, he is very good, relaxed at these things. I didn’t want to look at him because I was nervous, until I did look at him and he was smiling and laughing along and helping to get the kids involved. It helped calmed me down a lot. Prayer is a powerful weapon in our lives and I appreciate any prayers I can get in my life as I struggle to live with the lasting effects of the surgery, and changes in my life. Thanks so much! Also, the pictures look like your boys had a blast!!!


Jennifer September 12, 2011 at 10:45 am

Just wanted to say your family inspires me so much:) You show a wonderful example of what Christians should be!! I just recently moved to TN because my dad got a new job:) I have noticed you talk about the seats family on here sometimes. I have had the pleasure of hearing them many times at my church back in NC and at a local youth jubilee in NC every year. Plus friends that I went to church with in NC got to meet you they were the miller family:) Hope you have a blessed day and God bless!!


Jason Manion September 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Looks like y’all had a blast! I just got to go tubing and skiing for the first time at Lake Couer D’Alene, ID a few weeks ago with some of the CollegePlus! guys up there. It’s a lot of fun!


Kay W September 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Dear Sarah, How thoughtful you are and how appreciative I am. Actually I do feel better than I have in several weeks. Sad to say but this is a trial I put into my own life for smoking for many years. I am just working at learning to playing the hand I was dealt and God does allow me to have many, many more good days than I probably deserve. Thank you for the prayer, it’s appreciated. Kay


brittani September 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

it looks like the boys had fun out on the water


Kay W September 13, 2011 at 4:02 am

Kelly, I forgot to ask, did Judson get his birthday horse? Aol took the liberty of putting all my email into ‘files’ that I can’t seem to find so I can’t track packages for awhile. Kay


Gil September 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Dear Kay,
We received the package for Judson today… It was adorable… so adorable that Erin is trying to claim the horse and the picture for her own room! (She reminded me that it matches her room perfect.. and at one year old, she thinks Judson will be pleasantly willing to share! Ha! Ha!) The HUGE ball was also a BLAST! Love, Kelly


Beth Miles September 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Hello Kelly, Just stopped by to say ‘Hello”. Have a blessed day…..Love ya’ll, Beth


Kate September 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Dear Gil,
I find reading your posts so encouraging! I am a 15 year old girl and am the only christian in my immediate family. By reading your posts I am reminded to keep putting my faith in God. I am thrilled that the boys had fun. Happy belated birthday to Nathan! I am the same age as Tori so I enjoy hearing about how she is growing up and how her relationship with God is strengthening. I would absolutely love to meet you and your family I(if that’s God’s will) as you have made such an impact on my life, however I live in London, England so that’s not very likely.I will continue to pray for you and you’re beautiful family (and for good health in your pregnancy).
P.S what books are your children allowed to read? I was thinking of sending them some traditional English novels to say thanks for brightening my day!


Gil September 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Dear Kate,
Thank you for your encouraging note. I actually write the posts, because Gil does not enjoy using a computer (The label reads “Gil Bates” , since I don’t know how to change that)… Gil’s often with me and we talk about all that is transpiring, so I’ll pass your note along to him. Love, Kelly


Brenda September 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

HI Kelly,
I am so glad that you are feeling well & the little one is growing!
I agree 100% about family relationships being a priority. This past June my husband took our two sons 23& 12 on a father-son campout in upstate New York. Just the 3 of them. As John put it with 6 children ( there are 4 girls between the boys,we refer to the boys as our bookends!) he needs to make time to spend with his sons. Male Bonding! One minute they are babies the next adults! As you know not very easy to make time to spend one on one, but we do try to carve out time with each-even if its a trip to the supermarket.
I have one question. I know the girls wear modesty bathing suits. Do the boys have something special they use as swimwear?
Thank you for taking the time to read our comments & answer our questions!
God Bless you & your family!


Gil September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Dear Brenda,
Michaella made swim pants for the little boys that come between the knee and ankle. Jeans tend to chaff the boy’s legs once wet, and they’re heavy to swim in. The big boys usually swim in athletic type pants that are water resistant type material. If they can’t find them, they’ll jump in wearing whatever they happen to have on (Which was the case with Lawson & Nathan on this particular trip… boys lose everything!) We bought swim trunks once and added a little length to them by sewing an extra band of material around the bottom, and I think that worked best of all. The material Michaella uses is called taslin material (It is water resistant and feels similar to parachute material). Love, Kelly


Sarah September 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Dear Kate,
I just wanted to say your testimony is great I am also 15 and I am the only Christian in my family also. So I know how that feels :). I just wanted to encourge you to keep following the Lord with all your heart!!
Love and God Bless,


Kay W September 14, 2011 at 12:05 am

The picture was actually for anyone who liked it, but tell Erin the horse is definately the Birthday Boy’s. Glad it got there just in time.


Leah Burnette September 14, 2011 at 1:42 am

Dear Sister Kelly,
I must say that my family and I watched the your show done by
ABC,and I was very impressed.It was like seeing your updates
come to life.My, you are a good writer.
Wow!Great shots!! I would love to tube someday!!
Have the e-mails I sent to Tori arrived?
How old are your children?
I am praying that we can meet someday.
Love, Leah


Addallee Smith September 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Hello Kelly,
Wow, it seemed like your young men and their friends had a blast at that lake for the weekend! I’m sure they were so tired when they got home, but were so glad they were able to do that. How old is Lawson and Nathan now?
Your eldest daughter, Michaella, is very talented in sewing! She has a great gift in that area, and I know the Lord will use her to glorify Him in a special area like that! Love, Addallee


Gil September 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Dear Addallee,
Lawson is 19 and Nathan is 18. Thank you! Love, Kelly


Kate September 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Dear Kelly,
Oh i’m so sorry the message was directed to you, I guess it was a typo. Please only answer this if you have time, I don’t want to be a nuisance! Here is my original post:

I find reading your posts so encouraging! I am a 15 year old girl and am the only christian in my immediate family. By reading your posts I am reminded to keep putting my faith in God. I am thrilled that the boys had fun. Happy belated birthday to Nathan! I am the same age as Tori so I enjoy hearing about how she is growing up and how her relationship with God is strengthening. I would absolutely love to meet you and your family I(if that’s God’s will) as you have made such an impact on my life, however I live in London, England so that’s not very likely.I will continue to pray for you and you’re beautiful family (and for good health in your pregnancy).
God bless,
P.S what books are your children allowed to read? I was thinking of sending them some traditional English novels to say thanks for brightening my day!


Gil September 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Dear Kate,
They read character based books, history books, Sherlock Holmes, devotional books, Christian biographies, missionary stories, and such. Love, Kelly


Brenda September 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Hi Kelly,
Thank you for answering my question about the boy’s swimwear! I know how busy you are. I was also wondering- how Erin is doing? And I hope things are going well for Zach & Sarah!
I live on Long Island (NY) & boy after hurricane Irene we sure could have used the Bates Family Tree Service! :)
Thank you & God Bless!


Hayley September 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,
I was wondering… how is showing guy’s knees on down immodest?
Maybe for the girls, but the boys?
Anyway, it looks like they had a great time and I must agree with Kay W. that Lawson looks soooo handsome!!!


Gil September 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Dear Hayley,
We don’t have a problem with the boys wearing long swim trunks… they just like them a little longer. They prefer them to fall a little below the knee… Nathan and Trace wore some of the Duggars suits some of the time, but didn’t like them as well as their athletic pants. My favorite is swim trunk material because it is lightweight and water repellant, but you know how tough boys are… just show me the water and I’ll jump in wearing this! Love, Kelly


Marlina September 15, 2011 at 12:11 am

I recently found your blog, and have enjoyed it so much. My favorite show on TV, (basically the only one I watch) is the Duggars, and I love it when your family goes to visit them, or vice versa. Both your family, and the Duggars are such an encouragement to me. We “only” have six children. :) It used to seem like we had such a large one, but now it seems tiny.
I have to tell you, we have some good friends that come from out-of-town, several times a year to stay with us for a few days. When I see you and the Duggars together, it reminds me of our visits with our friends. We all are Christians, and homeschool, so we are very like minded.
Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your lives with us! I look forward to learning more about you all. :)
God bless you.


Juanita September 15, 2011 at 2:47 am

I know it’s a few hours early, but happy 1st birthday Judson!


Zoe September 15, 2011 at 3:29 am

Dear Kelly,
I love your family so much! I hope to one day have a large, Christ centered family as you do now. I saw your special on Primetime Nightline & really agreed with a lot of your beliefs. I pray for you and your growing baby that he/she continues to be healthy. I recently suffered a miscarriage & the pain is still very fresh for me. Please keep me in your prayers as I am going through some difficult times right now. I look forward to continuing to read your blog.
Love & God Bless!


Gil September 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Dear Zoe,
Have you ever heard the hymn “Does Jesus Care?” Sometimes singing can help us through our tough times. When there is a song in our heart, it eases the pain and redirects our focus on the Lord! Love, Kelly


Kay W September 15, 2011 at 6:43 am

Tell Erin to check the mail in about 5 days and NO she cannot trade with Judson :-)


Abygayelle September 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Happy Birthday Judson!!!!!!!! I can’t believe you are ONE today!!!! May God bless you as you turn your first year, and I hope you have a wonderful blast celebrating with your family!

Showering you with wonderful hugs and kisses from far away,
Abygayelle :)


Bayley September 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Dear Kelly,

Do you have filtered internet? Do you use sign language with your babies and if the answer is yes what do you use?


Lauren Sharpe September 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Dear Kelly, I am going to the Dr tomorrow to have my regular yearly checkup. I was wondering if I could ask for your prayers because I think I could be pregnant but I’m unsure because it’s still early to find out. I’m just hoping the Dr can tell. I am not supposed to have anymore children because of my last pregnancy it was high risk and after I had my son I developed blood clots in my lung and legs. Dr’s say that will happen again. I’m so scared Kelly! I know I probably shouldn’t have posted this personal business on your blog, please forgive me. I just couldn’t wait for your letter to get here (if you wrote again) to write you and tell you about what’s going on since my appointment is tomorrow morning. Prayers please that whatever happens I will be healthy and have a healthy outcome. If I am pregnant it was not planned considering we already know the risks ahead of me. Much love, Lauren


Sarah September 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

Dear Kelly,
I was woundering if it would be possible if you could tell me when Alyssa’s birthday is I would Love to give her a birthday gift??
Lots of Love Sarah!!


Gil September 18, 2011 at 4:13 am

Dear Sarah,
She will turn 17 in November! Love, Kelly


Christy September 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

kelly! this is a link for Lawson. It’s a movie this young man made about the harm of dividing the youth from the rest of the church. Thought he might be inspired as a young film maker made this. :)


Carrie from NJ September 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

WOW!!! That looks like a blast!!! :) We love to camp too, although I must say I am spoiled. We have a wonderful camper and pretty much anything in my kitchen at home, I have in my camper kitchen!!! :)

I hope that someday my husband will have other Godly men to do this type of thing with. It’s a rare commidity in these parts!

We live in an area that needs our Lord, something fierce. I often say this area is our mission field.

Many talk the talk, but few walk the walk.. I am continually reminded that the path is wide and the gate is narrow.

Praying for others out there too, that are looking for this kind of Godly influence for thier husbands as well!!!



Addallee September 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for responding! Okay, so that’s neat! I really think that is neat that me and your daughter have the same name! :) Anyways, how do you pick out a name for your kids when they’re born? Do you just pop out a name like popcorn to Gil (and/or your children) or do you really just search out a name that all of y’all like, and see what the meaning is or do you go with a lot of family names like a tradition or do you let your kids pick out a name or do you take votes over certain names with your family or?…many ideas! Thanks! ~Addallee


Gil September 18, 2011 at 4:03 am

Dear Addallee,
We’ve tried to look at meanings with each of them, but as the other children have gotten older we’ve allowed them to help make suggestions also. Addallee’s name was chosen because of it’s meaning “God is my refuge and strength.” Her middle name, Hope, reminds that He is also our hope! Gil chose that particular spelling (double letters) as a reminder that God gave her a second chance when He spared her life. Love, Kelly


brittani September 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm

oh i forgot the judson birthday was on the 15th happy birthday to him then


Bayley September 17, 2011 at 12:08 am

Dear Kelly,
What are the younger boys (Judson, Warden, Isaiah, and Jackson) favorite things to do? What are the younger girls favorite things to do (Callie,Ellie, and Addee)? Do any of your children have a special bond? How do you handle jealously with toys or attention?

Thank you.


Gil September 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Dear Bayley,
Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah love to fish, rollerblade, dig trenches, climb trees, jump on the trampoline, and play football. Judson is happiest when he’s walking and exploring! Addee, Ellie, and Callie LOVE to color and look at books! There are certain personalities that just seem to click, creating very special bonds. Zach and Michaella are easy going and are close to everyone. Michaella is especially attached to the 3 youngest girls since she loves babies so much. Erin and Tori are both full of energy and have similar interests and are very close to each other. Carlin is usually close by Erin’s side also. The 3 little boys are almost inseparable. As for jealousy… that is something that even we adults must face and learn to deal with, so it is expected that it will arise in children also… Its our job as parents to help them learn to deal with it properly: constructively instead of destructively. That’s where character lessons come in: gratefulness, contentment, kindness, sharing, yielding rights, etc. But even with the greatest lessons, children forget just like we do and need gentle reminders occassionally… For instance, if Callie is stealing Ellie’s crayons and screaming when Ellie asks for them back. She needs to be reminded that she should ask nicely instead of stealing or she may need to be reminded to look for a different toy until the one she wants is available. If a squabble continues over a certain toy, the toy may be put away for a few days and we may sit and talk about better choices that we could have made that would have led to different results. Love, Kelly


Hayley September 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm

So how many children do the Dempster’s have?
Looks like ya’ll had a great time!


Gil September 18, 2011 at 3:56 am

Dear Hayley,
There are 5 children in the Dempster family, but only the 2 oldest boys went on the camp out. This is the family that allowed Lawson, Nathan, Alyssa, and Tori to accompany them on a missions trip to Guatemala. They are very dear friends. Love, Kelly


Christy September 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Kelly, you’ve said 2 of your youngest have life threatening things happen when they were very young. Addallee and Isaiah? Just wondering what happen, if you don’t mind sharing.
bless you!


Gil September 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Dear Christy,
I did not know it, but I had a beta strep infection when Addallee was born. Beta strep can cause a baby to stop breathing and their heart can stop up to 72 hours after coming through the birth canal. Addee stopped breathinbg and her heart stopped for 7 minutes. She was recuscitated and spent 19 tumultous days in NICU! We are so grateful for the care she received there! For those that might be concerned about beta strep, there is a simple test that will show if you are positive or negative. If you have ever tested positive, the simple remedy of a penicillin IV during labor takes care of the problem.
Isaiah’s scare occurred at a vacation inFlorida that we went on following Josh and Anna’s wedding. We were staying in a beautiful 3 story condo on a very private beach that a friend graciously allowed us to use. Isaiah was on the 3rd story deck with Gil and Michaella and was waving to his siblings who were eating lunch on the bottom deck. What we didn’t realize was that the salt water had rooted most of the wooden spindles on the railing, and Isaiah fell through as 2 of the spindles popped out. It just so happened that a retired nurse and an EMT were on that deserted stretch of beach and saw him fall 3 stories. They were there in a flash. The ambulance carried him to the closest hospital an hour away where doctors decided he needed to be transported via helicopter to a chidren’s hospital another 3 hours away. We were told he had swelling on the brain, a broken shoulder bone, and he was unconscious. After much prayer from all over, we were delighted to hear the doctors could not find any swelling, nor broken shoulder… not even a scratch! The doctor was amazed, and being a fellow believer in God and miracles, he joined us in praying and thanking God for sparing Isaiah’s life. Isaiah had no recollection of his fall. He left with a small buckle fracture on his wrist and a condo full of presents that had been deliverred by a nearby church. Love, Kelly


Addallee Smith September 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Wow! Yes, it DOES have a powerful meaning, and I appreciate you sharing that with me! I noticed that Abygayelle and Brittani commented about Judson’s birthday. How did that go? I’m sure it was blast! Especially for him!
5 months, Kelly! You’re almost there! :)
Praying for your new arrival,


Gil September 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Dear Addallee,
Judson had a wonderful birthday. A dear friend of our, Rachel Leftwich, shares the same birthday… so her and her husband Andy (who accompanies on a song on Erin’s CD) came and spent the weekend with us! Judson started walking the weekend before his birthday, so he’s on the go! Love, Kelly


Olivia September 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hey Mrs. Bates!

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you blogging like this on the internet. It is so wonderful to see what your family has been up too. You guys are such a testimony and a blessing to me in my walk with Christ. I just found out a few weeks ago that you are expecting again! I will be praying for a safe pregnancy and delivery. When is you due date? Can’t wait to see what the new little Bates will look like!

Love, in Christ,


Gil September 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I am due on Valentine’s Day! Love, Kelly


Christy September 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Praise God for His protection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How incredibly scary!
I didn’t know how serious Beta Strep was. I had it with my last little guy but he was born via c-section. I thought our little guys had been through some scary things but nothing like that. Thank you so much for sharing. I know I read this a lot on here but it is so true. You have no idea how impacting your family is. Soooooo much encouragement! I know you don’t know us (my husband and Gil have spoken on the phone a few times, but that’s it) but if there is ANYTHING you need, please plase, contact us… we would drive to help you! (Currently in Central Florida)
Blessings to you!!!


Rudy Tecat September 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

How’d that retread work out for you, eh? Kinda wish you had spent real money on a real, new tire?


Gil September 27, 2011 at 4:42 am

Dear Rudy,
It wasn’t a retread… but saving money can sometimes be adventurous! Love Kelly


Connie September 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I met your husband Gil years ago when we attended our first Basic Seminar. Gil was hosting it in a church you were going to in West Knoxville. It’s nice to see your children, who were young then, so grown up. We don’t live far from you, about a hour. Do you still use Wisdom Books for schooling? If not do you mind me asking what you do use? Also, if you have a child that struggles in schooling I would love to talk to you to see how you handle that.
We are a family of 8. I have had several miscarriages and during the last one I had to be rushed for emergency surgery. We were since told I have two genetic problems and I should have never been able to carry a baby to full term, and if I did it would have been mentally retarded. I looked at that doctor and told him I had 6. He was very suprised! If nothing else, that told us all our children were her through God’s Grace. After all the people telling us we shouldn’t have more this was very encouraging that we had followed the right path.
We are having problems finding a home church right now.
I would like to ask for your prayers for our child with Epilepsy and for our search for a church home.
If you need our prayers in some area please let us know.
You are welcome to email me privately if you would like. We would welcome the fellowship. :)


Gil September 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Dear Connie,
Yes, we do still use Wisdom Booklets. We do that in the morning as our character lesson for the day. Then we supplement with other curriculum. I allow my older children to help choose what works best with their particular learning style. We have a couple that use Switched on Schoolhouse because they like being self-paced. We have several that prefer workbook style including ABeka, Easy Grammar, Jensen’s Grammar, Wordsmith, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Perfect Paragraphs to Easy Essays, Writing Sentences, Apples for Spelling, Principle Precepts and Theories of Biology, and Character Quality Language Arts. We have some that prefer learning with a visual DVD like The Teaching Textbook (for Algebra and up), Bob Jones History and Science DVDs, Biology 101 DVD. Some have tried one curriculum that ansibling liked, but found that they didn’t learn as well that way and switched the next semester. The key, I believe, is in finding the curriculum that best suits them and helps them to be motivated about learning. Love, Kelly


Diane September 27, 2011 at 1:25 am

I’m not a father or a son but can I come next time? ;)


Connie September 29, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Thank You for taking time out of your busy life to reply!
I am trying to find what each child likes as you said. Thanks for the encouragement.


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