The Bates Family

A Dream Come True!

by Kelly on February 1, 2013


  December is a special month for us for many reasons: holiday fun, friends & family, the celebration of Christ’s birth… and our anniversary!! This anniversary was an extra special occasion – 25 years!

  The children were constantly whispering, so I knew something was up! I watched the kids giggle as they urged their dad to plan something really big! Gil had been secretly saving for an extra-incredible, once-in-a-lifetime celebration… but his plans crashed when unexpected repairs chipped away at his savings! I was anticipating a dinner out or maybe an overnight retreat to Gatlinburg, but the kids continued to echo, “25 years has to be special!”

  One night Nathan was on the phone with a friend he had met at a Journey to the Heart ( ) While talking, Nathan mentioned our anniversary was coming up. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, Nathan’s friend, Elijah Kaneshiro, made a series of calls to invite us to his20121217_172319 home town in Hawaii.

  Elijah had a church friend, Fern Hamai,  who graciously allowed us to stay in a condo overlooking the ocean on the extremely isolated island of Molokai. Elijah had just earned his pilot license and also offered to fly us around to various islands. After negotiating for ticket prices, Gil made an out-of-the-ordinary decision to fly to Hawaii for an unforgettable 25th anniversary adventure!20121213_111833

  What can I say?? 25 years was enough to be ecstatic about… but Hawaii?? A travel agent friend heard us describe our trip and said it sounds like a $25,000 trip… Gil managed to squeeze it down to two $600 plane tickets, a few meals and souvenirs, and fuel cost for Elijah’s plane. We know the Lord worked through many people and circumstances to make a dream come true!!

  hawaii edits20121211_143321(0)



{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie February 2, 2013 at 4:33 am

How exciting!!! Congratulations!!


Leah February 2, 2013 at 5:20 am

Happy belated 25th Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Bates! I’m so glad that it worked out well that you guys can go to Hawaii! My favourite picture is the last one. I love rainbows and it’s one of my favourites of God’s creations on earth.

I missed watching your show and still have all the episodes that I taped. But am happy that you blog to keep us updated. Your family and the Duggars family inspired me a lot.


Sharon February 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I love the Bates and decided to create a petition to bring back their show. If you’d like to see the Bates on a weekly basis like me, please click the link below or copy and paste to your browser. We have to start somewhere. THANKS!


Kelly February 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Dear Sharon,
That’s very sweet of you to try to help promote the show, but to be honest we are perfectly content to just rest in God’s timing. If it’s not His will for us to film, our lives are fully blessed just being a mom and dad and serving in our church. We left it in His hands to open or close the doors. It was a great experience that we’ll never forget, but at our house there’s NEVER a dull moment… fiming or not…lol! Love, Kelly


Kirsty February 2, 2013 at 5:46 am

Sounds lovely. Congratulations on 25 years!


Piper February 2, 2013 at 6:37 am

Congratulations on 25 years! Looks like a lovely trip :)


Angie D February 2, 2013 at 6:58 am

Glad that two such sweet people were able to have a wonderful anniversary!


Amy February 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

After all the years that you have met each day with laundry, faces to wipe ,late night feeds and squeezing date nights in with your husband, did you ever imagine you would be winding down on one of the worlds most beautiful beaches in HAWAII!! Thank you for the encouragement you bring to readers of your blog concerning remembering to cherish your marriage and family. Appreciate it! God bless from Australia


Peggy February 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Congrats on your 25th anniversary!!! We lived on the island of Oahu for 3 years while my husband was in the Navy. All of the islands are just beautiful. I still have mental pictures of its beauty and we left there 29 years ago!!! I love the rainbow picture! We tried so hard to capture a picture of a rainbow while there, but way back then we only had film cameras, not digital!!


Stacey Happel February 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Sounds like you two had a great time. Looks like the weather cooperated for you, Heres to 25 more!!


Karia February 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hey Bates:)
Just wondering-why was your show canceled?
And so happy for your anniversary!! May God bring many more:)


Sue Grumley February 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Isn’t God good! Kelly, have you ever seen the pattern from Hook Publications for modest playwear? It’s coulottes with a skirt on top! My girls love them. We even had some made of swimsuit material for swimming. Skirts have a tendency to float up! They were also helpful at amusement parks when they had to be buckled in; they could still be modest!
Love your blog!


Elijah Kaneshiro February 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm

that was so much fun flying y’all around. A lot of memories glad y’all had a lot of fun maybe next trip it can be all of your family. God bless you


Nikki February 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm

How wonderful! Happy (late) anniversary to you two.


The Burggrafs February 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Gil and Kelly,

Congrats on your 25th! We need to get together and hear all about the trip. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.


Elijah Kaneshiro February 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

thanks guys that was some great memories, flying y’all and going out on the road in that car! oh that was amazing. any way im glad y’all enjoyed it and maybe next time it can be all of you lol. God Bless


Marlana Ward February 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Wow! That’s amazing! Congratulations to the both of you for such an inspiring marriage!


Denise February 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Happy Anniversary may God bless you with many more


Shannon Beth February 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

What a wonderful surprise!! God bless you both on 25 years together and may He give you many more years to celebrate :)


Marilyn February 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Happy Belated Anniversary, Gil and Kelly! What a beautiful place! Did you do a lot of site-seeing? You must have been so surprised. Glad you both could get away for your 25th!


Jill Kempf February 4, 2013 at 1:14 am

How GREAT is our God!! Congrats on your 25th anniversary! May the Lord bless you with many more! LOVE the pic with the (what looks like a double rainbow almost) rainbow… God is so good.


Alison February 4, 2013 at 1:41 am

What a special celebration! Twenty-five years of marriage and nineteen children, along with following and obeying the Lord definitely merited such a wonderful trip. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Bates!


Annalee February 4, 2013 at 5:11 am

Sweet! I’m so glad you guys got to do that. You deserve it! And, you’re looking very young and beautiful, Kelly! Congratulations on 25 wonderful years-you have so much to show for your time together:)


Samantha February 4, 2013 at 5:56 am

I wrote in a while back, last spring I think, asking what you do when you want another little one so very badly, but the Lord has not seen fit to bless you with another one. I was really struggling with the idea that my family might be ‘complete’ with only six (yes I realize that a) that seems silly to a lot of people, and b)that seems selfish since some cannot have any or only one or two. But I truly longed for another little one).

You encouraged me to trust the Lord both ways, with giving the babies and NOT giving the babies. I struggled hard but gave it up to God.

In July 2012, we found out we were expecting our seventh. :) Praise God!! I am now 6 weeks from having our 7th little blessing, and it’s even MORE special, b/c it will be our first girl in 9.5 yrs. :) We have 3 girls, ages 14,5, 12, and 9.5 yrs, and 3 boys, ages 7.5, 5, and 3.5 So our 9 yr old daughter was so thrilled that she will ‘finally’ have a little sister!! The children were so thrilled when I announced our pregnancy this time, the oldest daughter cried and told me how happy she was, and my 9 yr old even said ‘Mommmy, I’ve prayed SO hard for a new baby!!’

My 5 yr old son was disappointed. Wait til you hear why. He asked how many babies were in my tummy. I said one. He got all pouty looking and said ‘I asked Jesus to give you TWINS!’ LOL so sweet! He’s over it now and looking forward to a new little sister.

Thank you for your advice, and your prayers.

Love Samantha


Kelly February 4, 2013 at 6:53 am

Dear Samantha,
We rejoice with your family! Love, Kelly


Joshua Kaiser February 4, 2013 at 6:38 am

Congrats on 25 years of marriage that is so awesome. My Wife Megan parents celebrate their 25th this year. When is your Anniversary? Ours is on 12/12. Blessings Joshua Kaiser


Kelly February 4, 2013 at 6:52 am

Dear Joshua,
Our anniversary was 12-19! Love, Kelly


Megan Kaiser February 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

Aww Congratulations! Love the pictures. My Dad and Mom (like my hubby said) celebrate 25 years on 12-17 this year! That is so cool we are all December anniversaries! :D Blessings to you!


Cathrine from Norway :) February 4, 2013 at 8:50 am

Congrats on 25 years on marriage! :)

I watched your show united bates of america. And on the episode Duggars & Bates reunion, I noticed some pictures where your dinning table are. It was the pictures in the same style of a chicken, cow and sheep. I wonder where you bought these, would like to buy some to have in my kitchen :) They were so nice! :)


Kelly February 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Dear Catherine,
Those pictures came from a yard sale. I’m not sure if they have yardsales in Norway, but that’s where families sale goods they no longer use, at discount prices. Usually they have these sales on weekends, and several houses in one neighborhood will participate. It’s easy to find clothing for 50 cents each, for example. I think I paid $2 for all three framed prints. Love, Kelly


Kari February 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Congratulations on your anniversary! It looks like you had a wonderful trip! I’m so happy for you!


Cathrine from Norway :) February 5, 2013 at 7:35 am

Thanku for your answer, looks wonderful in Hawai! :)


Pam A. February 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

What a beautiful and special trip to celebrate 25 years of marriage! Hawaii is a dream trip for my husband and I, as well-our 25th anniversary has passed -maybe for our 30th!


Joshua Kaiser February 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I’m just curious how Mr Bates was able to get tickets for that good of a price? I need to talk to him lol. I couldn’t find anything less than 1200 a ticket for Megan and I.


Kelly February 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Dear Joshua,
We flew into Honolulu, because it was cheaper… then Elijah flew us to the other islands. We looked up the tickets on priceline, then we made an offer. You can submit a bid of what you’re willing to pay. You can usually get tickets up to 40% off. You can pick the dates, but not the actual time of departure. You’re guaranteed no layovers longer than 1 1/2, but usually its less! We flew the week before their peak season, so it was quite slow! Love, Kelly


Joshua Kaiser February 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm

That’s Awesome, I always wondered how work. I will have to check it out. Thanks so much for the advice.

Another question for you, under the contact us link listed above, when I try to send you all a message, it comes back with an error message that states contact the Administrator and check back later. Are they going to fix the glick? Just wondering


Kelly February 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Dear Joshua,
Thanks for letting me know. I’ll get in touch with the people that help with our web. Love, Kelly


Sue from Lititz, Pa February 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

Happy 25th Anniversary. I’m so glad you didn’t pass up the opportunity God placed before in the guise of angels. hard work, friends and the love of your family in putting this together and making this happen. May God continue to bless you and may you feel His hand upon you. Thank you Bates children for all you do for mom and dad , in your teamwork with each other and living in His will. In God’s precious love, Sue


Alice Hull February 8, 2013 at 3:42 am

So happy you made it to Hawaii for your 25th!! We thought about it for our 50th 12/22/12, but decided we had better not. It was the right decision since I got shingles on the 12th and was miserable for six weeks! I enjoyed all the beautiful pictures and praise the Lord for His making it possible for you both.

Much love, Alice


Mary Lowe February 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm



Ruthie February 10, 2013 at 4:24 am

Happy Belated 25th Anniversary! My parents went to Maui for their 20th anniversary!


Lori Buckner February 17, 2013 at 6:44 am

Kelly, When you told me Gil took you “some place else” (other than FL) you weren’t kidding!!!! Wow, that’s definitely some place else! What a tremendous blessing for a lovely couple :)


Brenda Taylor February 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Happy belated 25th Anniversary!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful trip with all of us. I will be married 11 years this September & I hope one day too, to go to Hawaii for an anniversary trip!
Take care,


Kristine March 13, 2013 at 3:38 am

Congradulations on 25 years! My husbend and I were married on 12-19 seven years ago. I pray we make 25 years as well. Blessing to you and your family!


Jody April 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Congratulations and what a wonderful surprise! Steve and I will have our 25th anniversary on June 25th this year! Wow! How time flies! We have also heard our children whispering a bit, but I do know it is NOT a Hawaii vacation! That would be wonderful, but well, it just can’t happen here, and we are not big travelers anyway. I don’t want anything big either, I LOVE to do big parties for others but I don’t want that for myself, they did that for my 40th b-day a couple years ago and that was really hard, but it was fun as well. Anyway, glad you had a wonderful time and the pictures are amazing! You have a lovely family! Blessings to all!
In His Grace,


J Kestenbaum December 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

I sent Erin a wedding gift from Target. Did she get it? I always look for “made in USA”, when I buy new. When I buy at garage sales I never look because it was already imported. I like to buy used because it is better fot the environment. Less for the landfill.

My biggest mistake in life was not having more children. I only had two because I did not think I could afford more.

Love your family.


Kelly December 30, 2013 at 4:59 am

Dear J. Kestenbaum,
I know she’s been working quite some time trying to complete thank you’s ; I will double check with her. Yes, we all look back at choices and realize sometimes we neglect what’s really important for something temporal. But we can use that hindsight as a motivation to try to redeem our time and make the best use of it! We often don’t realize what a blessing children really are until they’re grown and gone! Its never too late for us to invest in our children’s lives, though! Time is the greatest gift we have to share with them. Love, Kelly


amanda May 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

o wow that rainbow is sooooooooooooooo Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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