The Bates Family

Zach’s Road Trip Continued

by Kelly on October 11, 2011

 Zach’s trip with the Reith family was an incredible 3 week experience. Their singing engagements gave opportunity for them to see some of America’s beautiful countryside. They visited Glacier NatiVacation #2 summer 2011 586onal Park and Yellowstone National Park during their trip, and marvelled at God’s handiwork.

As fascinating as it is to see how God has formed and created the beauty around us, even more astounding is the revelation thaVacation #2 summer 2011 561t He can take all of our mess ups in life and mold them into something beautiful when we yield to Him.

May God give Zach & Sarah, and each of us, the desire to surrender our lives to Him, so that He can create something beautiful on the inside! Outward beauty will fade, but true inward beauty will bring glory to God! (Photos by Reith Family)

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara October 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

Wow!! These pictures are amazing! LOVE the sunset ones!!

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Casey October 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

These pictures are just too adorable, especially love the sunset shots. I’m so glad Zach got to see those parks – they’re on my to-do list, I’ve heard they’re just beautiful. The mountains in your pics are amazing! As always, a beautiful and inspiring post.

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Hayley October 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Everyone looks so beautiful and happy!
I am so happy for Zach and Sarah, their relationship seems to be blossoming! Wow, he was gone for 3 weeks? Was Michaella and Addee and Lawson gone that long too? I am sure you missed them! So is Alyssa the one who likes to cook? I just remember that from the tv program about ya’ll a couple weeks ago. About the only thing on tv that I can watch! Haha!

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Gil October 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Dear Hayley,
Michaella, Lawson, and Addee returned to us after one week. Yes, Michaella and alyssa both love to cook. Michaella is gone more often, so Alyssa and I do a large majority of the cooking. Love, Kelly

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Brenda H. October 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

What beautiful pictures! Sarah & Zach look so happy together.Thank you for the beautiful message of surrendering oursleves to God- a meesage I need to be reminded of right now in my life.
Kelly I hope you and the little one are doing well. Your are in my prayers.
God Bless!
brenda h.

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Christy October 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm

fantastic pictures! what fun!

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Shannon October 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm

What beautiful pictures of a beautiful family! Thank you for allowing us to share in your families lives.

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Sandy October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Blessings! Another great set of pictures! Looks like the Lord gave you a wonderful and wholesome time together! These pictures will tell a beautiful story in the years to come, God willing.

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Glory October 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Reading the comments, does Tori or Carlin like to cook? If so, do they cook a lot? That is so interesting! I am one of ten children, and many of your kids’ names, I noticed, are many of my siblings’ names like: Grace, Hope, and Justice! That is so neat!
We are in ATI as well, but haven’t gone in a few years do to things coming up each year, like two weddings one in July 2010 and one this past June. (My two sisters, Jordan and Grace) I love you and all the Duggars so much! And you all are such an inspiration to me!
Tell everyone I said hello from Florida! Love, Glory

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Gil October 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Dear Glory,
They all have had their share of cooking some… whether meals or deserts… Some just seem to enjoy it more and are prone to ask to do it more often. Its one of those things like music… I think its a good foundational knowledge for everyone to learn, but some enjoy it and it becomes their love… while others do it simply as a fulfillment to an educational requirement. As part of their school, all of the girls learn home economic skills like cooking, sewing, etc… but for some it is not as interesting. Love, Kelly

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Hayley October 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Oh okay, did they drive up there and back or did they fly? How far away is Missouri from Tennessee?
I was wondering, do your older boys get attention from girls, (cause their so handsome) and how do they handle this attention?

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Gil October 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Dear Hayley,
They drove on the trips to the Reiths.
Hmmmmm… good question. They do get some attention, but have learned to be friendly while still protecting and saving their hearts for the relationship with their future spouses. Love, Kelly

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sonja petersen October 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

America the beautiful! Really nice pictures, God bless Zach and his Sarah, and may God protect their young love.
Regards, Sonja

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Lauren October 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

These photos are absolutley beautiful. They show God’s handiwork as you said, but not just in the landscape. He is showing His handiwork in shaping the lives people. I wish Zach and Sarah the best of luck in their courtship. I’m sure it is such an exciting time for them. As Sharron said above, thank you and your family for sharing your lives with us. You are an inspiration to many, myself included. I think your blog is wonderful place to come for encouragment when I just need a reminder of whet God can do in peoples lives. You are so blessed. May God continue to bless you and your family and may you continue to be an encouragement to others to seek Him.

Yours in Christ,
Lauren

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Patti October 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Once again you have amazing pictures! Thank you for sharing them.

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Jana October 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

just wondering… do your children ever get on this blog and look at the comments?

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Gil October 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Dear Jana,
They look occassionally when I am in the room and am supervising. Love, Kelly

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Glory October 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Oh thank you! I totally agree! I sing a lot and enjoy being in my church choir, but I don’t like singing by myself in front of people, but my sister, and my older twin brothers, and my oldest brother, really LOVE to sing and have held a concert in Live Oak, FL before. They enjoy singing a lot, and my brother, Walker, is very musical and can play the piano VERY well by ear, and is sometimes on the radio. I am not so musical as them though! :)

How did Michaella learn how to sew? Did you teach her? Does she follow patterns for her sewing, or just “makes up one”? Does any other of your girls know how to sew? Thanks! Love in the Lord, Glory

P.S. I meant to say in my previous comment that my siblings’ names are the same names as some of your children’s MIDDLE names! Sorry about that!

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Gil October 8, 2011 at 1:36 am

Dear Glory,
When Michaella was 9 or 10, I asked a young girl from church if I could hire her to teach Michaella and Erin to sew. Since this young lady often babysat for us, it was a convenient and economical way for them to learn. Michaella immediately fell in love with sewing and never slowed down. She does not sew with a pattern usually, but did learn to read one about 1 1/2 years ago. When Alyssa showed interest as a young girl, Michaella taught her to sew. Love, Kelly

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Jana October 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Kelly,
I know that Alyssa will be the only one who will know the gender, but will she be the one to choose a name for the baby? Will she, through the rest of the pregnancy, (and even the labor) keep it a secret? Will she be the one to shop for the clothes secretly? :)

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Gil October 7, 2011 at 4:33 am

Dear Jana,
No, Gil and I will still choose the name, but we do ask for everyone’s opinion. In the past 2 pregnancies when older children found out the gender, we asked them to be non-biased when we were talking about names or shopping for clothes – making sure to give opinions for both genders, in order to keep the secret. So far, no one has ever squeeked! Love, Kelly

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Stacy October 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Wonderful pictures!! The sunset ones are amazing! kelly how are you feeling? Thank you for sharing your family with us =) God bless you!

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Gil October 7, 2011 at 4:30 am

Dear Stacy,
I feel great and am 21 weeks! Its a fun and busy week for us, because we sing at the Museum of Appalachia’s Homecoming (one of our favorite time of year) and the Reiths are here to sing also (Plus Papa Bill and Mama Jane came up to meet them!)… Lots of exciting fellowship and activities!! Love, Kelly

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Rachel October 7, 2011 at 1:04 am

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you Kelly for this blog. I have been reading for a while, but this is my first comment. It is such a blessing to see the many ways God provides, teaches and cares for your family and to see the love and devotion you all have for God and one another. I am expecting our 2nd child, who will only be 18 months apart from our first, and sometimes I get discouraged with the weighty thought of the huge responsibility I have before me. Reading your blog encourages me that it is always worth it and that God is the source of our strength. Thank you and God bless.

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Lili October 7, 2011 at 1:36 am

There is nothing that beats the look in your child(ren)s eyes when the Light of God is glowing there. It must be a real joy to see that in your son’s eyes as he looks on God’s Creation and at the future that awaits him. May His Blessings fall on both your families.

Lili

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Kay W October 7, 2011 at 2:44 am

Dear Kelly, who is taking the pictures that you have displayed the past few times with Zach and Sarah? Did Alyssa get the lens cleaned on her camera yet? I miss her family pictures.

It is wonderful that with 18 children that you take time to allow them to be themselves as much as you do! I’m in full agreement that there are things we must learn, but they don’t have to be our destiny if we are talented in some other area.

Do any of your boys show an interest in cooking? Both of my sons enjoy cooking, too. In fact, a few years ago, Steven cooked Thanksgiving dinner for his family because Cheryl was working. My kids, who are all between 40 and 50 now, never cease to amaze me!!

A tour of the National Parks has always been part of my ‘bucket list’ and I’m glad Zach and Sarah got to enjoy them. The matching cowboy/cowgirls shirts are so nice.

Love and God bless you all!

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Gil October 7, 2011 at 4:26 am

Dear Kay,
The most recent 2 posts with Zach and Sarah showed pictures taken by the Reiths. Alyssa’s regular lens has not been to the shop for cleaning; she didn’t want to part with it for the several weeks required. She has been taking pictures with a zoom lens that she was given. Yes, Zach loves to cook certain foods and does a better job seasoning them than I do. Love, Kelly

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Melody October 7, 2011 at 3:10 am

Thanks for sharing these amazing photos. I really love the sunset one with Zach and Sarah.

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Lauren Sharpe October 7, 2011 at 3:52 am

Oh Kelly! These are such wonderful pictures! I love them especially the ones of Zach and Sarah in the same cowboy shirts, and the dark picture of Zach in the cowboy hat with Sarah. That’s neat how they did that. Hope all is well :)

Lauren

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Kay W October 7, 2011 at 5:11 am

Men do seem more inventive with seasoning, don’t they? When I look at recipes written by men, I often think, ‘huh???’ only to find that it’s good.

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Kristal October 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I love reading your blog!!! Your family is so beautiful. Zach and Sarah will cherish their courting pictures for the rest of their lives. I’m glad they are getting to document them so beautifully.

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Marion October 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Hello from Nova Scotia, Canada. I watched your special on TV (have it DVR’d and have watched it a few times since) and I’ve seen you on The Duggar’s show….you have an amazing family! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Take care
Marion

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Hayley October 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

So when do ya’ll go to the Appalachia’s Homecoming? What exactly is that? Is your whole family going to be singing there?
Many blessings!

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Gil October 8, 2011 at 1:28 am

Dear Hayley,
The Appalachian Museum Homecoming is Thursday -Saturday of the first week in October. Since it ie only 5 minutes from our house, its a fun family time for us all. There are old fashioned crafts, bluegrass instruments, gospel singing, and such. Love, Kelly

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Kathryn October 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Dear Kelly,
Has any come up to you or Gil and told y’all they would like to persue a ralationship with one of your daughters or have even expressed how much they admire your girls, etc.? If so, what have you and Gil told them? How can you say to go away or wait,(if that is the descision y’all have made) or even you tell them nicely that they are not suitable for your daughters without hurting their feelings or them getting angry? How do you wisely phrase your words so they do not get mad? Have your daughters ever expressed to you or Gil a man they might possibly want to be in a relationship with and court, and possibly marry if that is the Lord’s will? I appreciate YOU so much! You are a great inspiration to me and my family! Sorry about all the questions!
Love, Kathryn

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Dear Kathryn,
We are still in the learning process of courtship and relationships. We appreciate the many who have set examples for us. We’re trying to learn from others as we go. I think communication is a key factor…especially in knowing your child’s heart and the intentions and background of their prospect. A wise suitor will develop a relationship with the parents to earn their respect and approval, before seeking a relationship with a girl. Love, Kelly

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Marilyn October 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Dear Kelly,
Wishing all the Bateses a Happy Thanksgiving from Canada. We celebrate it this weekend. Looking forward to seeing family and having turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie! Any favourite family traditions or recipes for Thanksgiving you’d like to share?

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Gil October 8, 2011 at 1:25 am

Dear Marilyn,
My children’s favorite food at Thanksgiving is macoroni and cheese casserole. They also love their Aunt Casey’s pumpkin pie! Thanksgiving is a special time for us to visit with family. We also take time to share praises about God’s provision, protection, and guidance in our lives. Love, Kelly

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Sara P October 8, 2011 at 1:18 am

I know you mentioned your children do occasionally look at the blog comments, have you ever thought about allowing them to respond directly to questions about themselves? Have they asked to or do they consider it more your thing?

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Gil October 8, 2011 at 1:22 am

Dear Sara,
Since we monitor internet usage in our house, it would be inconvenient. Most of them are too busy with college, school, music lessons, ministry outreach, and such to take the time. Love, Kelly

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Emma Culverhouse (England) October 8, 2011 at 6:21 am

Dear Kelly,
I just wanted to ask why only your girls have Home Economics as part of their schooling?
Glad to hear all is well with your pregnancy, I myself am so busy these days which is an enormous change from a couple of months ago before the Lord entered my life. Your posts are so inspirational to me as a new woman of Christ,
Thanks again,
Emma x

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Gil October 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Dear Emma Culverhouse,
I like for my boys to learn enough home economics to survive and to be a help to their future wives. I like for them to know how to do their own laundry, iron their own clothes, sew on buttons when needed, help with the housework, and cook some meals. I don’t require it to be part of their school or vocation, but rather part of life skills. I like for my girls to know how to pump gas, add oil to a car, start a fire, etc… but I don’t require them to take auto mechanic classes… just to learn enough for basic life skills. Alyssa loves to go on tree jobs with her Dad, but it is by choice. Zach loves to cook pancakes and homemade spaghetti, but he enjoys it. Love, Kelly

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Juanita October 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! Macaroni and cheese casserole sounds good; I made it one year for having youth from my church over. But I’ve learned that, when family gets together for a certain holiday, it doesn’t matter what we eat, the reason for the holiday still exists. I found some YouTubes of you, and some of your children singing/playing, and what a blessing!

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Hayley October 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm

That sounds like a really fun thing for the whole family to do!
That kinda sounds like what our family would do… all 12 of us!
You should really post something about the younger kids so we can all know how they are doing! I bet Judson is all grown up now!
Thank you so much!

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michelle October 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

love the pics, is the courting process on a time frame and then they get married or is it whenever they feel ready? i guess my question is how does the courtship work and is it for a specific amt of time? nxt have u thought abt adding a recipe section?

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Glory October 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Wow! That’s amazing! Yes, my sister, Grace, learned to sew when she was in either 9th or 10th grade (she is 21 now) and she has never stopped since either! Does Erin or Alyssa still sew a lot? Do they enjoy it like Michaella does? Thanks! Glory

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Gil October 9, 2011 at 2:33 am

Dear Glory,
Erin & Alyssa can both sew, but business and lack of interest cause Erin to not be as active in that pursuit. Alyssa does enjoy it, but has recently been devoting too much time to school and reading to get out the sewing supplies! Love, Kelly

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Kathryn October 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Hi, Kelly,
I think I left a brief comment here before, but I kept meaning to come back and say something more substantial, though, thanks to life’s business, I didn’t get around to it until now. I found you blog after watching the Dateline special about your family (how cool must if be to actually have a Dateline special about your family, really?!) I always enjoy learning about different types of families, and one thing that’s become really clear to me is that it really is love that makes a family, and it’s super obvious that you all has so much love for each other. I know you’re a crazy-busy mom, so I hope it’s alright if I ask you a couple of questions that I’ve had brewing–forgive me if they’ve been asked before, I haven’t read your entire blog!
I remember from the special, that you homeschool your children. Different educational styles and philosophies have always fascinated me–my parent’s are teachers, and my husband was actually homeschooled (though not until high school) and he is hoping to become a certified Waldorf teacher one day. We have entertained the possibility of homeschooling or partial homeschooling or even unschooling at some point. Anyway, I’m wondering what you and your husband majored in college, and if, in general, you find those particular subjects the more fun/easy to teach? And also, if you’ve noticed that your children tend to be most interested/adept in the topics that you both are most interested in? I’m also curious if you belong to any sort of a homeschool coop or if your school age children take classes in addition to their work at home?
(Just hoping for some info from someone experienced that I can bank for the future, I hope I don’t sound like I’m prying!)
I also just wanted to say that your son that does the grocery shopping seems like SUCH a sweetheart (all of your children do, but I thought that a teenage boy doing the shopping for his family was so sweet that I just had to mention it :) )
Thanks for you time, and be well!

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Gil October 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Dear Kathryn,
Gil majored in Phys Ed and minored in Biology. I majored in Human Services and minored in Special Ed. I don’t rely on the classes I majored in for homeschooling, but I do find it easiest to teach the subjects I was strong in and enjoyed most (which for me was English, Math, and science). History was difficult for me, but most of my children LOVE it. Thankfully, there are enough choices and helps available with today’s technology that most any learning styles or weaknesses can be accomodated for. There are lessons on computer, DVDs, old fashioned workbooks, hands- on… and on and on the list goes. Every one’s preferences are different because learning styles, time factors, family size, and budget all differ. The best thing to do if you’re new at homeschooling is to attend a homeschool fair where different curriculum choices are displayed or demonstrated. Love, Kelly

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Kathryn October 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Oops! I meant life’s “Busyness” not “business…” but really, the latter works too!

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Tina Clabo October 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE these pix!! They are just breathtaking! So glad to hear the pregnancy is going well too! I just realized you are very close to our FIRST GRANDBABY’s due date!! It’s a girl!! We are SO very excited! Our middle daughter Leanna is expecting around Jan 7th (but the ultrasounds are a bit conflicting so we will see!). Can you believe we are going to be GRANDPARENTS?! It seems like yesterday we were holding her in our arms and now she’s about to be a mother! Thought you might remember her from the New Hopewell Baptist Church days! Keep up the great mission work you all are doing! Love, Tina

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michelle October 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

can I have the mac n cheese casserole recipe?

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Gil October 13, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Dear Michelle,
We boil macoroni noodles (enough to make 2 layers in a 9×13 deep dish casserole). Drain noodles. Cover bottom of dish with butter and first layer of noodles.Crumble saltines on top of noodle layer. Add shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Repeat. Mix canned evaporated milk, one egg, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over casserole. Add milk til quarter inch below top layer of cheese. Bake 350 degrees for 40 – 45 min. (Casserole should not be too dry or too runny, check with fork). Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe October 9, 2011 at 2:36 am

Dear Kelly,

You do NOT need to lose any weight. You look fantastic!! You’re absolutely beautiful :)

Love,

Lauren

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Christy October 10, 2011 at 2:37 am

Hey Kelly!
I was wondering if you could ask Gil what he would recommend for a devotional for a dad to use with his family. One with young boys.
Thanks! :)

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Gil October 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Dear Christy,
He has at times just read through the old testament, making the stories come alive with some drama or discussion. At other times, he has used children’s character stories to base a Bible lesson on. He has used books like Science and the Bible (from Timberdoodle) that gives science experiments that relates them to Bible lessons when he needs to spice things up a bit. In the mornings, we use the Wisdom Booklets (from Advanced Training Institute) for our morning character lessons. The Character Sketch Books (from IBLP) are also tremendous Bible lessons based on Scriptural truths we can learn from nature and animals. Love, Kelly

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Gil October 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Dear Christy,
I think I answered the devotional book question elsewhere, but I thought of some great books for young boys. Tiger qand Tom and Other Stories for Boys, The Secret Message Series, Wisdom and the Millers Series (All from Keepers of the Faith). Many of these stories are great to spark a conversation with spiritual lessons. Love, Kelly

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Kay W October 10, 2011 at 6:58 am

Well said and true, Lauren!!

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Lauren Sharpe October 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Just being honest! :D

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Stacy October 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Kelly,
PRAISE THE LORD!!! I am so happy that things are going good with you and that sweet baby =)
God bless you all!
Stacy

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Patti October 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I was wondering if Michaella will be making a “My First Outfit” for the new baby?

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Gil October 11, 2011 at 2:49 am

Dear Patti,
She usually makes matching dresses for baby girls, but has never made a baby boy outfit. Love, Kelly

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Kristal October 10, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Kelly,

I just want to say what an inspiration you and your family are. My husband and I are halfway through the Basic Seminar course via online and must say it’s done wonders for our family. It’s given my husband and I much to talk about on how we want to pursue our lives with God as our center.

I have a quick question though. My daughter is two and starting to understand that what she is doing is wrong but will continue doing this anyways (which is a given seeing as she is just a toddler). She has also most recently started ignoring me calling out to her or running away when I ask for something. I’m trying hard to stay consistent with her, but as a mother with a new infant I’m finding myself getting frazzled and losing my cool with her often. I’m trying hard to maintain a calm attitude when I talk to her about what she is doing, but the buttons keep getting pushed. Do you have any pointers or words of encouragement? As a mother of 18 going on 19 I’m sure you have been in this place before.

Many blessings!
Kristal

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Gil October 11, 2011 at 2:48 am

Dear Kristal,
I can’t give enough praise for the influence Growing Kid’s God’s Way had on our early parenting years. We listened to audio tapes, but I understand DVDs are available (although expensive). It would be ideal if you could locate a church or Bible study group going through the series. The tapes are by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. Love, Kelly

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Alexis October 11, 2011 at 2:17 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,

You may remember (and if you don’t I very much understand) but a few months ago I wrote to you in crisis. Being a born again Christian I found the Lord through love but had yet to be “baptized” through trial. While it was very difficult for me, I kept reading the Bible… and had an “aha” moment. If God sent His only Son to Earth, and Jesus died on the cross for our sins how could I complain about my temporary difficulties. Realizing and bathing in God’s will and sacrifice really became my strength. Praise be to Him , things work our as they should. Although I am no longer engaged (he went back to his family and to being a Muslim), I am serene in following His will for my life. I have moved to California to help get my degree and I am excited about being back in school. I am looking around for a Bible-teaching church with a ministry outlook and an open heart for single people.

I am so encouraged to see Zach and Ms. Reith’s courtship.And that you and the baby are well. You and your entire family are such a source of inspiration.

Yours in Christ,
Alexis

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Gil October 11, 2011 at 2:45 am

Dear Alexis,
I hope we can all have that perspective when trials come. Thank you for your example and reminder. Love, Kelly

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Allison October 11, 2011 at 2:51 am

I think my post disappeared! I was wondering if the next time you speak with the Duggar’s you could ask Josh and Anna where they purchased the comforter (or who the comforter is made by) that was shown on one of their previous episodes. It appeared to be a brown/black silky material with colored flowers in the center. It is so adorable and I cannot find it anywhere. I am so glad you and the baby are doing well. I really enjoy reading the updates!
Thanks so much,
Allison

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Katie October 11, 2011 at 5:57 am

Sarah and Zach are so sweet, and those matching shirts are precious! :)

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Kay W October 12, 2011 at 3:06 am

Dear Kristal, You are much too young to be the mother of 2 children, however having said, that you do have 2 children. It’s possible your daughter is ‘acting out’ for attention (and negative attention will do, if it works) since you have a new baby. Do your best to involve her in the baby’s care. Have her bring you a diaper and ‘help’ with the baby’s bath,etc. Get her a doll baby of her own to care for, and suitable accesssories for it. As long as possible, make everything fun and make a game out of it. Reward positive behavior for being, ‘Mommy and Daddy’s big girl’ and to the extent that you can, ignore negative behavior. A two year old does not really understand what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and she won’t fully understand until she is about 6. What she does know is what gets your attention. The behavior of two year olds has been a trial since life on earth began, and it will be ever thus. The good thing is that if you are loving and have fun with her, you have made yourself a friend for life! Keep in mind that, God willing, you will share the rest of your entire life with her, so think big. I only had six children, so Kelly may have better ideas. Just take what works. Love Kay

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Koni October 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Kelly,
I was wondering, when and where did you meet the Duggars? At an ATI conference? How many kids did you and Michelle have then?
How often do you corespond/talk/visit with all of them?
Thank you so much! I love your blog! Love, Koni

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Gil October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Dear Koni,
We met through ATI. We had 8 children at the time and I believe they had around the same number. We see them whenever they are travelling near our area (which is usually 3 times a year maybe?).Love, Kelly

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Julianne October 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Those are some beautiful sunsets! What an unique opportunity for Zach to spend time with both Sarah and her family!

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Kristal October 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Dear Kay,
When I said “As a mother of 18 going on 19″, I was referring to Kelly. As she is a mother of currently 18 children, soon to be 19, and is full of vast knowledge of child rearing. I am very much old enough to have two children (smiles), but thank you for your comment and suggestions.

-Kristal

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Jennifer October 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Just wanted to say that you are very wise to think of how they can be a help to their future wives. My husband does not know how to do a lot of domestic things like cook etc but he is learning. His parents wanted to encourage their boys towards more traditional gender roles and in their country housekeeping is inexpensive. I was happy to cook and didn’t think much of it.

However with both of my pregnancies I had hyperemesis. This is a very severe type of morning sickness that used to be life threatening before they had medications to keep the food down. I HAD to stay away from the kitchen and take my medicine. Sandwiches and frozen meals for months really left him wishing he was able to do more for himself in the kitchen. It’ll be nice to have the help for less severe illnesses as well!
We plan on doing the same with our kids.

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Emma Culverhouse (England) October 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thanks for the reply, it’s obvious to me from what I have seen on tv & read on your blog that you are endeavoring to raise self sufficient and independent children. Perhaps I have been a single mum too long and am a slight feminist!? ;) Also I think we may have some cultural differences as we do not have ‘shop’ classes here & school is legally compulsory and not many are homeschooled. Would you ever consider coming to the UK?
Love Emma xx

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Bayley October 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Dear Kelly,

What are your kids favorite foods? What games do you like as a family? Do your kids enjoy board games? If the answer is yes, what board games do they enjoy to play? Do any of your kids have a competitive side?

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Dear Bayley,
Fried chicken is at the top of our list for favorites. We love mashed potatoes too! Gil, Lawson, and Trace are probably the most competitive ones in our family… they love to play basketball or football in the yard! Love, Kelly

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Christy October 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Hey Kelly! Thanks so much! You know the funny thing is I have the Character sketch books… just didn’t think of them for this, but great idea! I will look into those other books as well. My husband is just finding starting just anywhere is the Old Testament a little difficult. He will be grateful for the suggestion. :) Would you mind telling Gil “Hi” for him. (His name is Jimi)Thanks!
Blessings to you!

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Kenley October 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Hey Mrs. Bates!
I just wanted you to know that I LOVE your blog and I am so encouraged by it! I have always wanted a big family (Lord-willing) like yours, and I love it how I am in a big family as well…:) (10 kids) Your kids seem so delightful and very Godly, and I can tell that their character and love for the Lord outshines anything else that is still so wonderful about them! I am very much into name-meanings, and I enjoy looking up my favorite names and see what their meanings are…I was wondering, where did you get the name, “Michaella”? It is very pretty and unique! Is it a family name? How did you get the name, “Erin”? I especially love the names, Carlin and Addallee and Ellie. Very pretty names! I absolutely LOVE the name Courage, for Isaiah’s middle name! How did you get such a wonderful name? Thank you so much for your time, because I know how busy you must be with raising all of your sweet kids and another on the way! :) I can’t wait until Valentine’s Day!
By the way, have you ever had a preemie?

Love, Kenley

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Dear Kenley,
“Michaella” is the female version of Michael and means “Who is like Christ.” “Erin” means “peace,” and having three children that were aged 2 1/2 yrs. old, 1 yr. old, and newborn… we knew we needed some peace in our home! “Calin” means “little woman” and put together with her middle name “Brianne,” it means, “Little woman of strength, virtue, and honor.” “Addallee” means “God is our strength and refuge.” Ellie means “Light.” We heard the name Courage from someone else and it fit the hymn Gil had been praying over our baby, “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” Since Isaiah means “God is my salvation”, Isaiah courage meant “Because God is my salvation, I can take courage.” We have had two babies that were preemies: Zach and Addalllee. Love, Kelly

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Lauren October 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Dear Kelly,
I commented before on how beautiful these photos are …and they really are great. However, I thought I’d voice a question I’ve had for a while(please forgive me if this has been asked before). How do you find the balance between protecting your children and giving them adequate knowledge of the world around them?? I know often parents who shelter their children too much end up having children who are scared or naive about the world (I’ve seen this myself ). Then others do not protect their children enough which can cause other issues. ( this is not meant to judge or offend anyone… just an observation). You seem to have found a nice balance with this issue in your home. So I guess my question is how do you with 18 going on 19 children find the balance between preparing and protecting your children?? What would your advice to young mothers looking to find this balance as well??

And once again thank you for taking the time to share your life and wisdom with us here on your blog. I hope all is well with you and your family.

Yours in Christ,
Lauren E.

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 3:04 am

Dear Lauren,
You’re so right… we do need balance in all areas! We’ve all seem parents that have been extreme in discipline: either too lenient or too strict, too extreme on protection: either sheltering too much and too long or not nearly enough…. and the list goes on. I think the goal is to protect our younger children, but to begin to prepare our youth and older children for that time when they will make their own homes. A child that has never been allowed to make any choices or face any challenges, might be in for a shock when he / she faces hurdles for the first time alone. For us, a gradual goal of learning to stand alone and make decisions while still under our guidance, allows us opportunity to talk about and evaluate their choices and the outcomes. On the other hand, not having paramaters of any sort or removing them too soon could be very damaging. Since the particulars are not clearly laid out for us in Scriptures, it would be wise for us parents to constantly evaluate our situation and our goals. I think learning from the examples of others is invaluable (I love to read parenting books for that reason). And certainly, we all need to diligently pray for wisdom. Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe October 15, 2011 at 3:15 am

Kelly,

I was wondering if I send Michaella some fabric would she mind sewing me some dresses and skirts? I understand if she’s too busy to do so. I don’t know how to sew nor do I own a sewing machine. Although I want to learn and have a sewing machine one day. I just need new skirts and dresses because I am losing weight but do not want to go buy expensive clothing at the moment. If needed I can pay her if she doesn’t mind getting a money order in the mail.

Lauren

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 2:51 am

Dear Lauren,
Michaella doesn’t enjoy sewing for older girls… although she has, she prefers young girls clothing. Sorry! Love, Kelly

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Bayley October 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I meant what board games you like to play as a family in my last post.

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 2:49 am

Dear Bayley,
They like Monopoly, Risk, Guess Who, and similar board games. love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe October 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

That’s okay :) I need to learn to sew one of these days anyway. Just not sure how to go about that because I know none of my friends know how.

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Gil October 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Dear Lauren,
I hope you find a teacher! God bless, Kelly

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Alexis October 17, 2011 at 2:51 am

Dear Mrs Bates,

I am just wondering if you and Mr Bates have any advice for me regarding courtship. It is the way I think God wants me to go about finding my future husband. However, because the rest of my family is not Christian I am finding it difficult to have a proper courtship, any advice on how you would recommend handling this?

I also wanted to ask, I’d like to send you something in the mail, might I have your address?

Love,
Alexis

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Gil October 26, 2011 at 3:40 am

Dear Alexis,
SM Davis has some wonderful DVDs on courtship. Vision Forum offers some material on the subject. Elizabeth Elliot wrote a book called Passion & Purity. There is a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye (I haven’t read this, however). IBLP offers a book and several testimonies on courtship. Hope these resources help. If you’d like to send a letter, our PO Box is 544 Lake City, Tn 37769. Love, Kelly

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Lauren October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. I find it extremely helpful to see how others view things. It is always an encouragemet to me to find the right path.

Thanks,
Lauren E.

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Alexis October 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Dear Mrs Bates,

Thank you for the resources, I will send you the letter soon.

Hope you are feeling well.

Love,
Alexis

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