The Bates Family

“I Love You” Day, 2013

by Kelly on March 20, 2013


    Our last yearcallie’s “I Love You” Day  celebration was a formal dress up occasion (obviously voted on by the girls in the family!)

     This year, the boys got to pick, and of course, it was a jean affair with hamburgers on the grill!

     We kept the names that were drawn for the gift exchange anonymous… well, at least we tried! Some of the siblings squeaked, but we had a really good time together… and that’s what it’s all about, saying, “I love you” in a special kinda way!!



isa and warjack


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Hope March 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Beautiful pictures, Kelly! I always enjoy reading and looking at your family on your blog. What has your family been doing lately? Will ya’ll be going to the ATI conference in Big Sandy, TX? My family of 12 will be coming this year! Although a couple will not be able to make it! We are looking forward to seeing your family next month if you will be going.


Kelly March 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

Dear Hope,
Lord willing, we’ll be in Tx! We’ll look forward to seeing you there! Love, Kelly


Natalie L. March 21, 2013 at 3:57 am

FUN! Did all the girls get shoes?


Kelly March 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

Dear Natalie,
No, every present was different since each sibling did their own shopping. Several that shopped together ran into a shoe clearance, though! Love, Kelly


Kirsty March 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

Looks like great fun!


Rebekah M. March 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Looks like such a wonderful time! I’m sure the guys felt a little more comfortable in their jeans instead of all dressed up. :) I think this is a wonderful tradition your family has.


tammy March 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Hey Kelly,
That’s so sweet . Hope all of you are doing good. Do you remember my friend that went on a mission trip to Africa , she would be wonderfull to have and share her testomony with God’s children. Soon as you meet her you can fill the Love She has for God. She was home schooled. She is 20 years old, her dad is baptist preacher . If you would like for her to come just call, or send me a email. I can’t get over how much your children have grown and changed. Tell them the sock lady and family said hello and God Bless.


Libby Mathews March 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I just love reading about your family Kelly! It is a joy to see such well mannered, respectful, joyful & loving children. Your children care about one another, think of another before him or herself. I’ve taught that to my children as well. It feels good to care for others. It is the way God wants us to be. What is so missing in our society now-a-days — people helping, caring ….. Your family as well as the Duggars give hope to what can be for others. To see your husband tear up when talking about his family is testament to HOW a man should feel. If I ever get to meet you, I would love to share with you how I met my husband. It IS proof that if you leave GOD to guide, he will. With that said — if my husband and I are in your area I will try to stop by to your Church. We live in Maryland but are planning an October 2013 vacation to the family North Georgia cabin in Blairsville, just a train ride away from TN. Have a wonderful day to all in the Bates Family…..Libby Mathews


Kimberly March 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Oh how sweet! You have such a lovely family. I try and get to your website daily to see if there are any updates and when there are it just brightens my day. I have cancer and when I see such happiness and joy it makes me feel good inside and thank the lord I am here another day to enjoy such things. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Thank you and god bless!


Kelly March 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

Dear Kimberly,
Praying God will strenthen you and rid your body of the cancer. Much love, Kelly


kendra zickafoose March 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I have never commented before, but wanted to thank you for being an inspiration! I love the idea of ‘I Love You’ day. Thank you for shining your light.



Nicky March 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Love the pictures! My kids were just watching recordings of your last year “I love you” day. They love your show and keep asking if there will be any new ones coming on. I’m very cautious with tv around our house and the kids always pick your shows to watch. You are an inspiration! God Bless


#1batesfan! March 22, 2013 at 3:05 am

Aww it looks like you had a wonderful time! What did Alyssa get for a gift? I would just love to be pen pals with her!! And my sister would love to be pen pals with Tori!


Kelly March 25, 2013 at 7:21 am

Alyssa was given a charm bracelet by her older brother Zach. Love, Kelly


Ruthie March 22, 2013 at 5:33 am

I really love the idea of I Love You Day Party! Whenever I have a family of my own, I think I may do this or something similar. You all need to come to Florida some time!!!


Bethan S March 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

Hi Kelly!

I am 16 and from Australia. I love watching 19 Kids and Counting and that’s how I heard about your family!

I would just like to say that I love reading your family updates! I too am a Christian, and even though we may have different convictions, I am very inspired by the way your family live!

Thank you for being an encouragement to young people like me!

God bless and all the best,

Bethan :)


Jerene March 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

We did our very 1st “I Love You” party this year. We got our idea from your TLC show. It was so much fun. The kiddos earned money to buy presents for the one they pick out of the hat. We had a wonderful dinner and Red Velvet cake! Thank you so much for the idea. It will be an annual event for us too. Blessings to You all. The pictures look great. Your kiddos look like they had a blast :)
Jerene Broker


Ellen March 23, 2013 at 1:33 am

It is such a fun, cute and creative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I know a family that only exchanges gifts that they already own or give a service that they can provide. They do that in order to ensure that the focus is on giving instead of receiving. I thought it was a nice principle.
Kind Regards


Pat March 23, 2013 at 3:41 am

Hi Kelly – love your family! Will you be on the Duggar show this season?


REBEKAH W. March 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I love the way your family celebrates this day,so sweet. I might start doing this with my kids. Enjoying reading all your family blogs! How is Erin and her guy doing? May God continue to bless all of you!


Annalee March 24, 2013 at 12:45 am

Looks fun! Just curious-do you do this instead of gifts at Christmas? I’ve always been bothered by the way that so much emphases and time is focused on that instead of Christ. Or was it more like a Valentines thing?


Kelly March 25, 2013 at 6:46 am

Dear Annalee,
Since the children are given presents from relatives at Christmas, we felt they were getting a little too much at one time, and losing some of the sentiments of the message of Christ during the season… so we decided to share gifts within our immediate family at another time of year. At first, we initiated a holiday that we made up and affectionately called “Children’s Day.” It followed Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, landing a place in the summer. Soon gift funds started being saved for a family summer trip instead, so one of the children suggested moving our little tradition of celebration to another time of year. We thought of calling Valentine’s Day “I Love You” Day and drawing names for the siblings to exchange gifts at that holiday instead. It has stuck ever since and the children really look forward to it! Love, Kelly


Natalie August 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm

On the calendar, their is a real children’s day!:-) My dad always says, “Every day is children’s day!”


Christy March 25, 2013 at 1:59 am

So sweet!


Sarah April 14, 2013 at 1:28 am

Dear Kelly,
I really like that your family has an “I Love You Day” instead of Valentines Day. Good job, and I’m going to ask my parents if we can do that next year! :)

Your Sister in Christ,
Sarah C.


Sharon April 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I was wondering if your family ever celebrated May Day in the past and what is your bibical thoughts were on it today?

Many thanks!

Thank you for taking the time to respond to each question! Love that you open up to the world and stand for up for Christ!


Elizabeth September 23, 2013 at 7:46 am

I love this idea- it is so sweet! When I have a family I might do this tradition. I have a question though- isn’t it unfair to the girls when the boys are allowed to wear jeans and they are not allowed to wear pants? I don’t understand why the girls aren’t allowed to wear pants- they must get so sick of skirts. I personally don’t buy the “pants are too masculine” theory!


Kelly October 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Dear Elizabeth,
None of us have ever viewed it as unfair or as a negative thing. I actually enjoy skirts. Its not something that is the heart of who we are, though. That’s just an outward thing, while we try to put the emphasis on the inward. Love, Kelly


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