The Bates Family

A Duggar Day

by Kelly on January 21, 2013

DSC09956While in Oklahoma for Christmas, we drove with the Paine family 2 hours to see the Duggars! What a special reunion with treasured friends! We are so thankful for the impact others have made on our lives!









{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

brittani January 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

thats cool your family got to see the duggars again was fun see them and your kids and the duggar kids were happy to see each other again after the last them you saw them


Rebecca January 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Congratulations Erin and Chad! What a beautiful couple! I love the picture with Josiah, very cute! Wishing you all many blessings in the coming year. You are such a positive influence on me and my family.


Susan January 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Our saying was always “Make sure you can fit Peter, James, and John in between you!” Of course someone made the comment one time that they weren’t dating Peter, James, or John ;) Glad to see you guys had such a good Christmas season!


Brenda H. January 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Hi!I It is always wonderful to be with friends.
Love the pictures. Especially the one with Josiah, Erin & Chad! Great sense of humor-who’s idea was it? God Bless All.
Brenda H


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 2:38 am

Dear Brenda,
It was ALL Josiah! Gotta love that kid!!! He is ALL personality!! He can make a sour apple laugh! Love, Kelly


Bex January 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Wish there was a like button for that last picture, it made me laugh! They are so gorgeous together!!! Best wishes for them and the rest of your family from my family!


Tina January 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm

We just love seeing your families getting together! SO happy for Erin and Chad too; they are a beautiful couple. We really miss the weekly encouragement from your show and the Duggars too. Is there anything new on that front? I’ve tried to contact TLC to no avail. Are the Duggars coming back anytime soon? Thanks for any update and especially updates on the new courtship! <3


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 2:37 am

Dear Tina,
The Duggars usually take a 3 month break, but their show will be back. I don’t think there are any current plans to continue our show, so we will try to joyfully fulfill our many responsibilities at home and church! We are very grateful for the time we filmed; it revealed many things we need to work on, and it helped us set some new goals (Like when you have company into your home and all of a sudden you see all the things you failed to see before… like messy rooms and schedules that need to be tweaked and the need for more patience!) It was a terrific learning experience! Most of all, it was a wonderful time of bonding! Love, Kelly


Ellen January 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

Dear Kelly,

I enjoyed watching your show and watching the interaction between your children and the fun, loving and peaceful atmosphere in your house. It is also nice to read on this blog about the personalities of your children and your views on courtship. It is nice to see that, althought the Duggars are good friends and you are both big families, there are differences between you and the Duggar family. Because you said ‘it revealed many things we need to work on,’ I hope it does not mean that many things went wrong. It seems to me that the reason why the rates were not that high, was that the show aired right after the Duggar show and the content of both shows were quite similar and not beause of your family. Then I have a smal question for you as well: what are your view on a college education? Do you feel that it is important for all your children to get a college education or does it work differently? Would it be all right for you if your children chose a career that obliged to go to a secular college that does not support your Christian values? Love, Ellen


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Dear Ellen,
College is a choice that is made with each individual child, and is prayed about quite a bit. Zach and Michael attended a small community college to take their EMT classes together. Next, they began taking CLEP tests and working with College Plus. Erin decided to attend Crown College of the Bible. She appreciated their values on music, modesty, and ministry. Lawson has not chosen to pursue a degree at this time. Nathan is pursuing the one year Bible program at Crown College. He might decide to complete a degree after his first year, but he is still praying about that. He thoroughly enjoyed his first round of Bible classes. Alyssa and Tori are in their senior high school year, but began the new dual enrollment program that most colleges are now offering. They attended Crown with Erin for a minimal amount of classes, while completed their home studies, as well. I don’t know if they’ll work towards a degree or not, but we were all so impacted by hearing stories from Erin, that we really urged them to atleast take a few Bible classes and other areas of interests. Crown has certainly been a blessing to our entire family as we’ve enjoyed Erin sharing truths that she has learned! So for our family, each person and each calling is unique. I think it depends a lot on a person’s goals, maturity, and God’s plan!
As for the comment about having much to work on…lol…I was referring to all of those little things you tend to notice when you have company in your home! …Like I need to be more organized, more scheduled, more clean, more patient…lol…MORE of what Christ wants me to be! Always room to grow…Guess that’s what keeps us all looking to the Lord for strength, huh?! Love, Kelly


Rebekah@Greyson14 January 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm

God bless you all, these pictures look adorable!!! Hope you all had an amazing christmas, it certainly looks like you did! You and your family give me home that my 8 girls will all find their prince charmings!!!

Lots of love, and may the lord watch over you all!

The Greyson’s


Olya January 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Thank you for the posts, we love reading/ seeing you all.


Patti January 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Ok, I have to ask…when the 3 families were together, how many people were there?


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 2:32 am

I think there’s always a crowd at the Duggars…lol! They have to be the most hospitable people we’ve ever met! We have much to learn from them! Love, Kelly


Lisa January 22, 2013 at 9:01 pm

The photo with Josiah is just priceless! :-) Very, very sweet. I am so grateful for the beautiful witness that you all give by the very way you live your lives and wanted to let you know what a positive impact and influence you have on others, my family included. Many blessings, Lisa


Janet January 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Great pictures of the all the families. My very best to all of you. Saw that Michael has a ring on her fourth finger on her left hand. Is she engaged?


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 2:31 am

Dear Janet,
That might have been her promise ring that you saw. Michael has never been engaged. Love, Kelly


Austin January 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Kelly and Gil, I am so happy for you guys, and for Erin! She is an amazing young woman, and by applying what she has learned from her amazing parents, she will make a wonderful wife and mother. Mr. Paine is a very blessed man to have her in his life.

I My wife and I were both wondering… Do you know what Erin’s plans are for future musical projects during her time of motherhood? I can imagine her using her tallents to teach her children about music, and while doing so, being able to arrange and record every now and then. With us, being musicians has taken a very far back seat to being parents, of course, but we have still managed to get the children intersted in music, and the ones that are old enough for lessons are really taking off.
Either way, I know Erin will be happy, since she has so many other tallents aside from her music.

God Bless.


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 2:30 am

Dear Austin,
I know she really, really wants to record a Christmas CD. She hopes to teach lessons at home, while Chad works…which will give her a goal to accomplish and opportunity for ministry during those alone times! Love, Kelly


JenniferL January 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

LOL at Josiah the chaperone!


Courtney January 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm

This has absolutely nothing to do with the above post.. But I just wanted to tell you that I recently bought Erin’s CDs to rock my baby by as we go to bed at night and we are really enjoying listening to them! I have been looking for a gospel instrumental only disc since he was born.. So that I can sing along.. And this fits the bill perfectly!

God bless yall


Hannah January 23, 2013 at 1:28 am

Funny six inches picture. My brother and the girl he is courting put a bible between them. As she says, “you have to make space for Jesus” !!!



Nohely January 23, 2013 at 2:52 am

Awesome!!! Lots of fun, and Michaela (sorry if I spelled it wrong) looks very pretty love her hair.
God Bless you all. :)


Lisa Mitchell January 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Lovely photographs. Very disappointing to read that there are no plans to continue your show at present. We need to see more programmes like yours that show love and encouragement to others and not some of the more recently broadcast shows, which shall remain name less! Wishing all of you the best for the year ahead.


Kirsty January 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Looks like great fun. Your family are a real inspiration.


Bly January 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Congrats to Chad and Erin! What beautiful pictures! Visiting with friends is always lovely. I love the “six-inches” picture- very few people I know take ideas like that seriously. Thank you for your example of a godly relationship. It’s very encouraging to see others putting God first in in all. One question, the pictures Carlin took are gorgeous. What photo editing program do you use? I especially liked the Psalms 121 picture. Beautiful!


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Actually, the Paines took some pics too. If it had a verse on it, Chad edited it. He is an amazing photographer and editor :) He designed Erin’s most recent CD cover. Love, Kelly


Natalie January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

When you were at their house were they filming? I would LOVE to see you on 19 kids and counting! And do you think your show will ever return?


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Dear Natalie,
They were not filming while we were there. I don’t think there are any current plans to film more of The United Bates of America shows. Love, kelly


Natalie January 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Thanks, just wanted to see you on T.V. again.


Nate P. January 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Thanks SO much for posting! Yes, it was a VERY special time…I was blessed!!! Love you guys and I am praying you, blessings!
~ C.T. ;)


Sarah January 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Dear Kelly,
It is so nice to see that you are all doing great!! This is such a joyful time for you and your whole family!! I was wondering how Alyssa is doing and what she is up to these days? I haven’t heard from her in a while, maybe she is just really busy!! Which I totally understand but if you could just tell her I said hi that would be great!! Praying for you all Love Sarah!!


Shannon Beth January 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I love all of your pictures!! I love the picture with Josiah…he is quite the funny guy!! I have a beauty question for you!! I would love to be able to style my hair like Erin’s. I have very thick/wavy hair that usually gets thrown into a braid or a ponytail because I have not been able to find a way to effectively “manage it”. Does Erin use a curling iron or use hot rollers? And does she use any special products for helping the curls hold? Her hair always looks so flawless and well put together so I thought I would ask :)

Have a blessed day Bates family!!


Kelly January 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Dear Shannon,
She uses sponge rollers so the heat won’t damage. Her hair has a lot of body, so it holds curls really well. Love, Kelly


Alisha Ann January 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

It looks like you had such a great time with the Duggar family :D
I really like the picture of the 6″…I especially love the faces the three of them are making!
Are the Duggar’s done with their show? I miss watching “19 Kids and Counting”! Are you all done? I was never able to see yours :(

Serving HIM,


Charity January 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

hey, we’ve been able to purchase and watch the episodes of United Bates of America online from since we don’t have TV – they’re so fun and worth the money!


Carol January 23, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I love being reminded that you all are real people like the rest of us. :) Thank you for sharing your lives with us!!!


Courtney January 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Great pictures! Who is that sweet baby that Jennifer is holding in the top picture?


Kelly January 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Dear Courtney,
A couple from the Duggar’s church had just had a baby. Jennifer is holding the new born! Love, Kelly


Cheyenne A January 24, 2013 at 1:14 am

Hello Mrs. Bates, Great to see you all enjoying time with the Duggars! You have such a wonderful family. I do have one question if you don’timd me asking, what bible do you all use? I use the KJV but sometimes I have a hard job with understanding scripture & someone suggested the NASB bible & to use Charles Stanley In Touch to help me out. I was not sure. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you :)


Kelly January 26, 2013 at 5:14 am

Dear Cheyenne,
Our personal preference is KJV, but we also suggest using other study helps when you study. Love, Kelly


Priscilla January 24, 2013 at 5:39 am

Dear Kelly,

Thank you so much for the wonderful updates you post about your family. Your family is such an encouragement to me. Would love to meet you and your family some day, maybe if we are in the area. We live in OK and our church youth camp is Franklin TN. Not sure if you’re close to there.



Charity January 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

What a beautiful couple, and they look so “lit up” and happy together! We’re excited and happy for you all! My little girls (5 and 3) have absolutely loved seeing your little girls in the season of United Bates of America – we think you’re amazing! God bless.


T. Gates January 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

It looks like y’all had a wonderful time together! I love the picture of Josiah, Chad, and Erin!


Jennifer January 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

I love your family… Everything you stand for! I recorded every episode of your show and continue to rewatch them on days when I need encouragement! Thank you for all you do!


Khiana Burrell January 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I’m glad see that you reunited with the Duggars. Will this air on 19 Kids and Counting this upcoming season?


Rosalie January 26, 2013 at 2:38 am

I had to write a post to Michaela (forgive me if I spelled your name incorrectly) You look is gorgeous!
Also, Congratulations to Erin, Chad, and both families. Look forward to seeing more pics of the love birds and their courtship.
Lastly, we do not have broadcast TV so I was wondering if your show was going to be available on dvd??
Abundant Blessings!


TMichelle January 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Ditto to all of this. We don’t have broadcast TV either but would look into buying the DVD if it becomes available.

Also, I wholeheartedly agree, Michael looks quite beautiful! (All your girls are very pretty).


Amy February 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

If you have Internet you can purchase United Bates of America on Amazon for I believe 1.99 an episode. We purchased each show the day after it aired on TV. Those evenings always turned into a family night. They are so worth buying and they stay in your amazon account to watch at anytime. You can also purchase 19 kids & counting. I was so hoping your show would continue. Your family has been such an inspiration to us.


Michelle January 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I just love your family! What a blessing from God you all are and how wonderful to spread Gods love for us! I am also a homeschooling mom and really respect your values!! We need more family’s to represent what you guys do! Wish your show was on tv a lot more often! Blessings!!


Jessy January 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

you have such a lovely family! and erin & chad – oh my gosh they are going to have such beautiful children!! (haha, forgive me for thinking about the next next next step!) wonderful couple! God bless you all! :)


Christy from Florida January 29, 2013 at 2:18 am

So fun!


KT January 29, 2013 at 3:11 am

Love to see updates here as they are such a lovely encouragement! I am so happy for Erin and Chad and pray that God may bless them, and bless them abundantly.

Fun to see Erin playing the piano with friends! Her CDs are wonderful, and she has been given such a wonderful talent that is a testimony in itself to the greatness of the Lord.

I was wondering, what are some of your family’s favorite hymns? We would like to learn more, and would love some suggestions.

Blessings and peace!


Kelly February 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Dear KT,
We try to learn a hymn a month in our character lesson time each morning. We love all hymns and we especially love to look up the history of the hymns and share the incredible stories during our evening Bible study time. You can get a hymn book and a book on hymn histories at any Christian bookstore! Love, Kelly


Alicia LeBlanc Litchfield January 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

Dear Bates Family,
Our family enjoys your show very much, it is very sad to hear that you will not be filming again. We began watching The Duggars and fell in love with their family, and was then introduced to your family when the Duggars helped with the building of your addition, and we fell in love with yours. The bonds that both of your families hold together in friendship is a truly remarkable quality that I find dear. True friendships are hard to come by in today’s world.
Our daughter Taziana is 15. For her 13th birthday she asked for a purity ring. She treasures it! She recently joined a group called YoungLife, and it has changed her life completely. Not only has she found true friends but also a newfound purpose for her life following in the Lord’s path for her. She has finally accepted the Lord.

Our family has a long history, but in brief…16 years ago, I was engaged to be married, found out to be expecting, was told that I was going to have an Abortion or he would give me one himself, I left him and raised my daughter alone. 8 years later, a wonderful man came into our lives and we got married and my daughter now has a male father-figure in her life. Her father has 11 children in all (disgraced!) I unfortunately was never able to have anymore children. The only thing I ever wanted was to have a child and do it the right way…after I was married. I also prayed that my daughter was to have a sibling so that she could become an Aunt someday & would have family for support should something happen to me. Also, being an only child (caused her to not appreciate certain things, taking things for granted, being spoiled.)

It has been a dream of mine (I PRAY and PRAY and PRAY) that our daughter could meet your family or the Duggars. One that have similiar family morals and values, and that could show her a little bit more about how a family should treat one another. A Day in the Life of the Bates, we could call it. Put her to work, share testimony, worship with her. I think it would give her more respect and teach her that she could live with less things (possessions) and live her life by serving the Lord unselfishly while gaining quality character traits.

Would love to hear from you and your family (especially if you would like to host her :). Erin and Chad are so beautiful together :) Congratulations on yur ever-growing family. Love to you and your friends, The Duggars….
From our Family, God Bless!
Shawn, Alicia & Taziana LeBlanc-Litchfield


Kelly February 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Dear Shawn & Alicia,
I’m so thankful you chose life those many years ago. Thank you for sharing your story. We’d love to have your family visit our church! I’m excited to hear about your daughter’s testimony of faith and her growth in the Lord! Love, Kelly


Charity M. January 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

SOOOOOOOOOOO EXITED for you Chad and Erin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My sister said to me, “Erin Bates is courting!” “Cool! :)” “She’s courting Chad Paine.” “REALLY?! THAT’S AWESOME!!!!!!!” :) :) :)


elena February 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Hi Kelly,
Firstly, congratulations to your daughter Erin and Chad. Im glad they were brought together. Thank you for updating us (fans)to your lives. Please know that your family and the Duggar family have changed my life so much. Although I considered myself a christian catholic, I really did take all of it for granted. We were Catholic and that was that. My parents were imagrants from Italy, they had a lack of the english language and never spoke of God and Jesus as they should have. We recieved all our sacraments and were taught about Christ through school but it wasnt in my home the way it should have been. It was when I began watching the very first episodes of the Duggars that I began to really to think about God and his word. JimBob and Michelle are extrodinary people, as you and Gil are. Ive changed my life with my husband and my children. I constantly, speak of God and what he would want from us. I am truely trying to study the bible and implement his words in my life. Im teacher to my kids. I take that seriously. I thank you and Gil and your ministry. You are changing peoples lives!

With great respect..


Annalee February 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm

That looks like way too much fun!!!


Rachel S March 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hello Kelly,
I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you and Gil for the wonderful christian example you set for marriage and family. I appreciate the opportunity to watch y’all and wish I could spend a day with you to pick your brain on marriage and parenting. Blessings to all of you.
Love and hugs, Rachel


Nicole April 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Does Erin Bates CD have her singing the songs,or just playing the music?
Please reply


Kelly April 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Dear Nicole,
Erin’s Cds are both instrumental. Lawson is making a vocal Cd and Erin will do some of the harmonies. He’s about half way finished with the recording. Love, Kelly


Rebekah Shashaguay April 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I love the “pout picture”! So funny! If y’all are ever in Michigan,we’d love to meet you! We are a family of 7, just 5 kids…. Plus 33 animals! Rabbits,ducks,chickens,goats,dogs,cats,and,one horse. I know y’all have animals too,but all I’ve ever seen on the Duggar’s show are horses,cats,and dogs. Do you guys have livestock as well? Thanks, Bekah S.


Kelly April 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Dear Rebekah,
We have had all sorts of animals in the past: horses, goats, sheep, bunnies, dogs, cats, chickens, hamsters, snakes, and fish! My favorite is sheep and goats! Love, Kelly


samantha ripak May 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

hello, i love your amazing family.


Brandi F June 16, 2013 at 12:11 am

I love seeing all the wonderful pictures of your family and the Duugars. You all have been a great influence in my life. Thank you so much.


Rebecca August 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Hi Kelly! U have such a beautiful family! Do your daughters make their dresses or buy them? They are just so pretty!:)


Kelly August 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Dear Rebecca,
Michael sews for Carlin, Josie, Katie, Addee, Ellie, and Callie. If we’re not going somewhere special, though, they just wear their play clothes from thrift stores! Love, Kelly


Cari Elena October 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I know that this was awhile ago but I just wanted to say your family and the Duggar family are a big influence in my life! And now I have the opportunity to get to know the Paine family since they are part of my church family. :)


Taylor November 12, 2013 at 2:30 am

SO CUTE! Hey, Can you tell the duggurs I am there BIGGEST fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Teri January 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Thank you Bates family for being a mentor to me and my family. When I started doing foster care eight years ago and had two or three extra little ones along with my 3 bios I watched the Duggars while I fed the babies just to be assured that it could be done. Then put all of you on my iPod for extra encouragement. Now we have adopted 6…yes it can be done…and We know that children are a blessing from the Lord! (Maybe you could record an extra video, just for me, of the Times when your house is a mess and all of them are are calling your name at once and none of them want chicken and dumplings for supper because that,s what my reality show would look like!)


Kelly January 11, 2014 at 5:17 am

Yes, that’s often our reality too! Its messy, loud…and lots of fun! Love, Kelly


jennifer February 20, 2014 at 2:16 am

Kelly…I LOVE your family !!..I SO wish you all were still on tv :/ I love seeing you all when you visit the Duggars…its the only time I get to see you all <3 I was born and raised (until 9yrs.ago)in Illinios..So I kinda feel like both of your families were my "neighbors"…Love yas !! Its kinda funny that ( I think) both Jackson's act kinda the same. There so funny and sweet…My favorites…lol…Hope you all have a great day….Jennifer


Russell and Amanda Dickard May 8, 2014 at 2:07 am

Hello all,
We wanted to say you have a beautiful family and are truly Blessed beyond measure! Congratulations to Kelly and both Duggar girls for your engagements. We hope you will continue to put Jesus first in your marriages and future families. May you all feel the love of Christ every hour of every day! God Bless you all, Russell, Amanda and Alaina Dickard


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