The Bates Family

Merry Christmas

by Kelly on December 24, 2011

We tried to post this several days ago, but had trouble getting it to show up… Sorry for the delay and post dated message!bates_810

What a special time of year… A closer look at Christ’s love, memories with family & friends, the joy of giving & sharing, festivities & celebrations, Christmas hymns & manger scenes… What an opportunity to spread the love of Jesus with others!

Consider a way that your family might spread Christmas hope and cheer to others this year: maybe a special meal prepared for a sick or needy family, maybe a visit to a nursing home or hospital, maybe spreading God’s word through giving to a Bible printing ministry…

In a country full of goods, its easy to focus only on ourselves, while losing sight of Jesus’s humble entry and life here on earth… Let’s look for ways to serve others as we remember that: “Jesus is the Reason for the Season!” 

(Family Photo by Chad Paine at IBLP Christmas Conference 2011)







erin tori_MG_4584



{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah December 24, 2011 at 5:26 am

What beuitiful pictures! The little guys are so cute and I love the family one! Did you get my Christmas gift by chance? Love Sarah Deut. 6:5


Kay W December 24, 2011 at 6:35 am

Very nice pictures!!


JenniferL December 24, 2011 at 6:44 am

Have a Merry Christmas filled with many blessings!!!


Cynthia Lewis December 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Merry Christmas, Bates family! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.


Johnna December 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

What beautiful pictures and ideas for spreading cheer. Will the courting couple get to spend any time together for Christmas?
Merry Christmas from my family to your!


Gil December 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Dear Johnna,
They actually saw each other near the beginning of December to exchange gifts. Love, Kelly


Kaelah December 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Beautiful pictures! Have a very merry Christmas and happy new year!


Jessica December 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Merry Christmas!


Alexis December 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Dear Kelly and Bates family,
Merry Christmas to you!!! Thank you for being such a godly family and proclaiming His glory in your lives and onto the world. I hope you are feeling well Kelly.

Love ,


Allison W December 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

May your family have a wonderful Christmas and a very Blessed New Year. I would like to know what so traditions your family does each year to celebrate the holidays. God Bless!
Love In Christ,


Juanita December 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Beautiful pictures! I’m so thankful for all of you; your sharing is an encouragement to me. Christmas blessings to all of you and prayers for more of that in the new year.


Alicia December 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

God bless you all and have a wonderful Christmas.


Kathryn December 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Happy Holidays to you and your family :)
Love the little girls’ angel costumes. I was just reminiscing to my husband this morning about how I used to dress up as an angel for the annual church Christmas play each year–complete with tinsel halo!


Linda December 24, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Dear Gil&KellyBates & family, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hope 2012 is better year for you.The Pictures beautiful.


Henry and Family December 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Our prayers are with you. God bless!


Brenda H. December 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm



brittani December 25, 2011 at 12:46 am

nice pictures and merry christmas and happy new years.


Lauren Sharpe December 25, 2011 at 2:43 am

Merry Christmas Bates!!


Franicia December 25, 2011 at 3:15 am

Very beautiful!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Your updates and product recommendations have been such a blessing! We got to hear that great Bitterness sermon and the places the pastor mentions are where we used to live. :-)

I haven’t been able to comment for a while. Our household was down for a little bit with some coughs and we had minor surgery done for our daughter Heistheway’s throat to drain her left tonsil. We are so glad she is doing much better.

We continue to pray for you all especially as you are with child.

Franicia for the White family


Jody December 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Merry Christmas, Bates Family! I pray that 2012 is an amazingly blessed year for y’all.


Sarah December 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Merry CHRISTmas to The Bates Family!

~ Sarah


sonja petersen December 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Dear Bates,
your new familyphoto looks beautiful- how big the little ones have grown!
i do believe in helping the weak and poor is the best gift, especially for christmas, so i went to our local animalhome to bring all them homeless dogs and cats lots of food and goodies. i spent some time to give them a little love and comfort. it is our duty to help the animals.
i wish you FROHE WEIHNACHTEN dear Batesfamily and take good care and God bless all of you!


Denise December 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I hope your family had a blessed holiday and the New Year will have many blessings and happiness.



sara( italy) December 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Dear Bates family, I hope you have a joyful Christmas time and I wish you all the best for the year 2012! Sara


Pam December 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Your family portrait is gorgeous! May the spirit of Christmas be with you all year and thank you for reminding us all about that very spirit!


Gil December 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Dear Pam,
The credit for the picture goes to the photographer, not the subjects. Chad came in and took 3 pictures in a total of 5 minutes and announced he was done! We were quite shocked since we usually spend an hour or two taking hundreds of shots just to get one photo where everyone is actually looking! Thanks for the encouragement! God Bless! Kelly


Amanda December 28, 2011 at 3:17 am

Beautiful pictures! I love the little girls angel costumes! Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas!


Grace Shiflett December 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Love the pictures!!! Everyone looks so good. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Looking forward to finding out what your new bundle of joy will be…
Much Blessings!


Melissa December 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Merry Christmas!!!


Aine December 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Hello Bates family. I hope you all had a merry Christmas and will have a happy new year. We had big family news at Christmas. My brother flew from ireland to Wisconsin to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal. My niece also got engaged on Christmas day. Such happy times for our families and now we have two weddings to look forward to. I come from quite a large family, six children, eight grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren plus all the in laws, aunts uncles and cousins. There is nothing better than to have a big family get together to celebrate all the mile stones in life. God bless.


Brandi C December 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm

A friend of ours from church recently accepted Christ, so he and his father came up with an idea to make Birthday cakes for Jesus’ Birthday, but instead of eating them or giving them to friends and family, they would deliver them to local shelters and nursing homes for Christmas. I thought that was such a sweet way to share the Gospel during Christmas.

In Christ, Brandi


Kym December 29, 2011 at 2:09 am

As the others have said, your family photo turned out SO nice! It’s hard enough to get my five nieces and nephews to all look at the camera at the same time–on the few occasions when we’re all together. :) You were able to hear Pastor Schettler speak again? How nice! Did you get to meet Marilee? Maybe this summer I’ll go hear him at the Wilds–it would be great to hear him preach again! Happy New Year to your whole family!
Love, Kym


Gil December 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Dear Kym,
Yes, Pastor Schettler’s messages were tremendous and they were taped! His wife was with him and we enjoyed meeting them both! Love, Kelly


DeLyssa Davis December 29, 2011 at 7:16 am

So Beautiful — can’t wait till your newest addition will be born!! So exciting!!


Natalie December 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Merry christmas !!


Kay W December 30, 2011 at 7:22 am

I just noticed that Carlin is growing into a very pretty young lady. She seems to look a lot like Tori. Hard to believe that it only took 5 minutes to get that picture of all of you! Even with my six kids it always seemed one of them wasn’t looking, had his/her eyes shut, or something was askew. Love, Kay


Lauren Sharpe January 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Dear Kelly,

Happy New Year!! I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed 2012 and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Much love and God Bless,
Lauren Sharpe


Mary January 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Beautiful family picture! Looking through your web site I realized that I know your pastor, Bro. Jack Gwinn! He led my pastor, Bro. Steve Morris, to the Lord and I also knew him from when he pastored Averyville Baptist in E. Peoria, IL. Small world, huh? :)


makenzi January 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

i just got a violin for Christmas and was wondering how long your daughter tori has been playing? i came across a video of her playing and she’s amazing..i hope to be as good as her one day :) tell her to keep up the great work!!
<3 makenzi


Gil January 5, 2012 at 12:00 am

Dear Makenzi,
I think she’s been playing around 3 yrs… but she devoted more time to her piano until recently. Love, Kelly


Bayley January 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Dear Kelly,
I posted a question on New Year’s Eve about linking your blog to a Fan Page on Facebook
that I am one of the admins of.
I didn’t hear a response yet?


Gil January 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Dear Bayley,
That would be fine… Sorry for the delay… Some messages accidentally get overlooked or posted to spam. Love, Kelly


Leslie January 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Dear Bates family:

I love watching you all with the duggar family, you all look so nice, and the children are very beautiful.


Bayley January 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Thank you so much, Kelly.


Diane January 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

When is baby number 19 due?


Gil January 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

Dear Diane,
We have 4 weeks left! Love, Kelly


sheila January 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm

You guys are the cutest couple!! want to pinch your cheeks..i can tell by your interaction with each other you are sooo in love..


Maria January 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Your children are all so talented! Beautiful pictures!


Marina February 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I have a quick question to your beautiful family. Do you know where we can get more info on Pastor Jim Schettler? I have tried to locate some of his sermons because he was a pastor at PCC in Pensacola, FL when I attended in 1999. Do you know if there is a website for his ministry by any chance? I would really appreciate your response and may the Lord bless your lovely family.


Gil February 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Dear Marina,
Pastor Schettler is at First Baptist Church of Santa Maria, CA. The website is Love, Kelly


Janet Daly March 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Dear Gil and Kelly, I am an avid viewer of 19 kids and counting. I love both yourselves and the Duggars. I am most inspired by the way you raise your children. As a psychologist, I find that many of the practices you employ raising your children, guided by the teachings of the bible are similar to psychological guidelines for parenting. It is correct to train children in self discipline and control. Children should be trained to assist with household tasks and helping each other and so on. A strict routine provides structure and stability for children. Children thrive best in these circumstances.Along with loving parents and siblings a tight supportive family unit will be formed that will aid each other throughout the trials of life. I am from Ireland and large families were the norm here 40 and 50 years ago. Many people now mourn the passing of this era. Many families find themselves living in communities miles away from parents and both parents and families are sadly lacking in the support that a tight knit family can bring. The Church also has suffered a demise here. I sometimes long for the days when I was a member of a large family and a tight knit community just as you are providing for your family. Gil and Kelly, I am envious of your beautiful family and I am looking forward to seeing your new show, whenever it is aired in Ireland.


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