The Bates Family

Night on the Town

by Kelly on March 24, 2013

IMG_2796    Chad couldn’t make it to Tennessee to see Erin for Valentine’s Day, so he sent 3 dozen roses and a poem that he wrote, “101 Reasons I Love Erin!” 

   But better late than never, he was able to join us for a belated “I Love You” / Valentine’s Day date night in March. Dad, Mom, Alyssa, and John Webster all tagged along, enjoying a night on the town together!… Making memories!!

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{ 114 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheyenne A March 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Very nice photos! Everyone looks so happy and like they are having a great time! Is Mr. Webster a gentelman Alyssa is in a courtship with? On a different note how is the church going that you all started? Thank you for sharing your pics & God bless you all.

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 6:33 am

Dear Cheyenne,
We are so excited about what God is doing in the church! We love the families God has brought our way! It’s such a blessing to have so many little children around! Love, Kelly

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Denise March 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I love the pictures! Everyone is so happy! Am I wrong in assuming Alyssa and John are courting? Not sure if that is the correct word or not. I kinda thought that from the pictures when they went to Washington DC.

Thanks for sharing them. You all look so good!

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 6:31 am

Dear Denise,
Right now, they are just very very good friends that greatly enjoy spending time together…lol! Love, Kelly

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Sunny J. March 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm

That is so precious! Erin is one lucky girl!

Are John Webster and Alyssa courting? They would make a very handsome couple :)

You and Gil look so happy- it must be wonderful to see your daughters blossom into beautiful and godly young women.

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Olivia March 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Everyone looks so beautiful!
Are Alyssa and John courting?

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Nan March 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Looks like Alyssa is courting as well! Congratulations!

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 6:30 am

Dear Nan,
No, they’re not courting. They are getting to know each other! Love, Kelly

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Leah March 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Are Alyssa & John courting too?

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

Dear Leah,
No they’re just good friends :) Love, Kelly

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L. Havelka March 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Looks like a fun night – a triple date? Who is John Webster, and are he and Alyssa courting? Sorry for being nosy, you don’t have to answer. :)

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

Dear L.Havelka,
John Webster is a friend of the family… and obviously, one of Alyssa’s friends. We greatly admire him and his family. Love, Kelly

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Julie Martin March 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

So cute! Is Alyssa and John courting? They look so good together! God Bless, Julie

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 5:28 am

Dear Julie,
No, they are very good friends, and are getting to know each other. We have all grown to love John, though. He’s a wonderful example! Love, Kelly

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Ken March 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Beautiful photos. Could it be there is another courtship going on with one of your daughters?

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 5:26 am

Dear Ken,
Hmmm…. Who knows what the future might hold, but we’re sure enjoying watching it unfold. Currently, Erin is our only child in a courtship. Love, Kelly

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Lex March 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

These photos are lovely!!

Is Alyssa in a courtship as well?

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 1:37 am

Dear Lex,
No, Alyssa is not courting. She is getting to know John, and they are becoming special friends. Love, Kelly

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Jennifer from Texas March 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I love your family and you have brought so much joy to my life through your TV show and now through you blog! May all of your family’s budding relationships be filled with endless blessings! You have beautiful children that reflect your own beautiful spirit. Thank you for setting such a wonderful example for families and children everywhere!

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Laura March 25, 2013 at 12:14 am

Looks like another romance might be in bloom! ?

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Sunshine March 25, 2013 at 12:18 am

YAY!!!! Glory be to GOD!!!

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Piper March 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

Looks like a lovely evening :)

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Cindy March 25, 2013 at 1:13 am

How wonderful that both girls have such awesome guys in their lives. Any update on when Erin will be getting married?

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Dien March 25, 2013 at 1:24 am

You all look beautiful and the men look handsome! As a person who got pregnant before marriage, I know now how important it is to court instead of date. I am not saying my marriage is not great, but we had a lot of heartache because of it. We lost that pregnancy to miscarriage at 9 weeks. We are now married for 5+ years and have two wonderful boys. The Lord does forgive! I am glad to see you teaching your children this. I hope a wedding and another courtship are soon in the making for you and your children.

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Annalee March 25, 2013 at 2:04 am

How fun! :)

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Melissa March 25, 2013 at 2:47 am

So sweet. Beautiful family!

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Harvest March 25, 2013 at 2:51 am

Beautiful pictures! How exciting to see Alyssa in the getting to know phase with John. It looks like it won’t be too long before an announcement is made on here, regarding another courtship? It’s so nice to see you and Gil allow your daughters, especially Erin, show love and affection during this phase! I told Chad on his blog how the pastor, growing up, told everyone the dangers of letting your emotions run during the courtship phase. He believed that a courtship phase should be more “business like” and emotions should come after engagement. He also preached the importance of keeping “6 inches” from one another until marriage to avoid temptation and did not believe in saying “I love you” before engagement. Thankfully, my parents did not believe in that. My dad told us that during the “getting to know” phase, we should not let our emotional part run too high because it would cloud our judgement, however, once the courtship occurs, he encouraged us to be affectionate. My momma said “If there’s no love now, how will you gain it after marriage?!”, which is true! You can definitely be affectionate and loving while still learning about the other person at the same time! It’s so precious to see how cute Erin and Chad are and it always brings back memories of me with the husband during that precious phase in the past.

Enjoy this precious time because it’ll go by so fast! Good luck to Alyssa and John-wishing them well and hope things turn out well for them, in the end :) . God is good and if you put your trust in Him, He will show you the light! God blessed me with the most amazing man and it’s all because I put my trust in Him, 100%!

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#1batesfan! March 25, 2013 at 2:59 am

Ahhh YAY I’m so happy for you Alyssa!! I absolutely love how you and Erin matched your dates! You girls are the cutest! Does John Webster also have a big family? Have your family’s been friends for awhile?

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TMichelle March 25, 2013 at 3:18 am

Do your girls make most of their clothes? If not where do you find them?

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Kelly March 25, 2013 at 4:52 am

Dear TMichelle,
They shop at thrift stores, Cato, Penneys, and a few other places. Michael loves to sew for the younger girls. Love, Kelly

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Natalie L. March 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Dear Kelly,
If you girls are ever trying to find a dress, Burlington Coat Factory has many modest dresses.

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Nicky March 25, 2013 at 3:24 am

Great pictures. God bless!!

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JenT March 25, 2013 at 4:03 am

It’s so awesome to see the girls I knew grow up into such sweet, Godly young women. We are so happy for Erin. I love “watching” this courtship.

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louise March 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

beautiful pictures , thanks for sharing x

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Chad March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

It was such a Special time!…One that I will cherish and remember forever! =’)
I Love you, Erin! You have truly blessed my life and challenged me to be the man that I should be! Thank you for being my Best Friend and for Loving me even when I am not Lovable! =’) I Love You, Honey!<3<3
~ yf….for Always ~
Psalm 121:1-2

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Rebekah M. March 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Those are such sweet pictures! It looks like everyone had an extra special time. Thanks so much for sharing your lives with us. I’ve been praying for Chad and Erin, now I’ll add John and Alyssa as they get to know one another. God bless you all!

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Michelle March 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I could not help but laugh at the times you had to post about Alyssa. But you’ve got to understand it’s wonderful to see such beautiful children as yours grow and handle relationships properly. I love the fact that these young adults have put God first in everything. I have been happily married for over 21 years now to a wonderful husband but it didn’t start out that way. It took a lot of hard work and we didn’t give our lives to Christ until after marriage so you can imagine how we were in the beginning. SELFISH! (Thank God we submitted ourselves to Him and now my husband isn a pastor of a small church) That’s why I (and probably many others like me) enjoy seeing your children living a Godly life. I pray I have done the same with my boys.
Praising God and giving Him the glory always,
Michelle

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Kirsty Louise Morley March 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Hello Bates Family, greetings from snowy England (UK). I mainly wanted to say thank you for sharing your testimonies, stories, memories and experiences with the world at large. I sometimes feel surprised by how much encouragement, help and support I experience from reading a web-site by a family who are, after all, strangers to me. But encouragement, help and support is the result of following the story of your lovely family. Thank you again for the continued effort you put into sharing your lives with the world. I feel that what you share is a blessing to many people, myself included. One last thing before I go. I wanted to say how beautifully Erin, Alyssa and Mrs. Bates are dressed in these photos. The Bates ladies show how modest dress has nothing to do with being frumpy, dowdy or old-fashioned. You are a wonderful inspiration to ladies like myself who place importance on modest dress but who also wish to feel beautiful (especially on special evenings like the evening in these photos). Peace and love, Kirsty Morley, Cheshire, England.

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Kirsty March 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

oooh! It’s all very exciting! Looks like you all had a lovely evening.

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Kari March 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Wow, great pictures! Everyone looks fantastic! How sweet!

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Mim March 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

How tall is John Webster?!! Love the beautiful photos.

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Kelly March 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Dear Mim,
Hmmm…good question…REAL tall…especially beside Bates! Love, Kelly

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Beth November 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I was going to ask the same thing…haha:)
God bless!!

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Blair Krisman March 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Kelly,

I was curious how your able to get the baby weight off after each baby. I just had my 4th and we have given our family size to God, but I’m trying to get my weight off before I get pregnant again.

God Bless your Family

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Kelly March 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Dear Blair,
Hmmm…that’s why I’m sitting in the pics…It’s actually not off…lol!!! I’ve been trying to muster up the determination to eat better and excersize! I would love to drop about 40 lbs… but no self-control! I’m working on it…Until then, girdles…lol!!! Love, Kelly

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Teresa H March 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

These pictures show how much love and happiness shines when you love The Lord. Beautiful pictures. Happy Easter!

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TeacherInLanna March 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Everybody looks stunning in these pictures. Alyssa has blossomed into a beautiful and chic young woman too! Love your shoes Alyssa! Wishing you guys nothing but everlasting true love and happiness.
N. :)

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Tara G. March 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

My favorite picture is the one of all six of you on the bench!!

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Jessica March 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Just wondering, how old is Alyssa? Thank you.

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Kelly March 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Dear Jessica,
She is 18 going on 24…lol! Love, Kelly

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Pam A. March 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Everyone looks very happy and great together!!! Must have been a very special time for all :)

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Natasha March 25, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Your family is such a wonderful example of God’s love and purity. Thank you for sharing your lives with us all!

I will continue to pray for you all and the mighty works that God is doing in each of your lives! It would be great to hear about an update on how the Lord is growing your ministry – hope to hear about it soon!

God Bless,
Natasha

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Lea March 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

My husband and I are in our 50′s. We have 4 grown children ( all fellas) and one daughter in law, but everyone is out of the nest and it is just Chris and I. I so love following your blog and watching your children grow and become godly men and women, it brightens my day a bit as I wander trying to find out who I am and what to do in these days after homeschooling and child rearing. I suppose I never ever thought it would be over and the gaps would be filled with grandchildren, but the Lord knows what he is doing , and we find folks to love on and do for . When I read your blog updates I can take a minute to pray for your children and their decisions because after all, we are all family in Christ.

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Nikki R March 26, 2013 at 12:09 am

What sweet memories being made together. So happy for you all. God bless!

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Ashley P. March 26, 2013 at 1:38 am

Thank you for sharing your family pictures with us. If y’all are ever in the Pigeon Forge or Wears Valley area we would love to meet you. Please check out our website http://www.wvr.org. We are part of Wears Valley Ranch and are always looking forward to sharing the ranches story with others. We also love to have volunteers come out. May God continue to bless your sweet family.

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Brenda H. March 26, 2013 at 3:56 am

Beautiful pictures! Everyone looks so happy. I read your replies to others that Alyssa and Mr Webster are friends- its good for a man & woman to start out as friends. I have told my daughters that by being friends with a young man first helps to discern his character and qualities! Thank you for sharing your family’s special times with all of us! God bless.
Brenda H

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Hannah March 26, 2013 at 4:06 am

Aaawwwwwwww it looks like you all had so much fun!! I just LOVE the girls dresses!!! They are so pretty and modest! :) where did you find those? Does John live in Tennessee or another state? It is so sweet Chad would wear pink for you Erin!

Blessings-Hannah

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Kelly March 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Dear Hannah,
The matching ties were a gift to the guys from Michaella… She knew the color of the girls dresses…lol! The dresses came from Penneys. John lives in Orlando, Fl. Love, Kelly

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Ruthie April 12, 2013 at 3:59 am

Does John have any brothers? I live close to Orlando ;) lol

I know God will bless me with a godly Christian man one day!

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Dear Ruthie,
He has 3 older brothers: 2 married brothers and one that is courting. Love, Kelly

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Allison DeBartolis March 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Very Very sweet. All of you. It is a pleasure to see you “showing” your love for each other in being “close”. There is a Godly energy when one is in Love to want to be near to one another. Erin and Alyssa do it with grace and respect for the men in their lives.
Spring is a wonderful time to fall in Love!!!

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Tonya March 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Has Erin and Chad set their date yet? :)

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Kelly March 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Dear Tonya,
They haven’t set a date yet, but its a favorite topic of conversation! :) Love, Kelly

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Tina March 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Beautiful pix of a beautiful family! We are so encouraged by your obvious joy in the Lord and His blessings to you all.

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Pamela April 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hello Bates Family,
You all are such a beautiful family!! You have really touched my life. I have 5 children ranging from 19 to 7. And 3 little angels in heaven. I have always wanted to have a large family, but after all the miscarriages I have a fear of loosing another child. Do you think that fear can be what is preventing me from having another child? I will be 41 this year. Please keep me in your prayers.
God’s Blessings,
Pam

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Dear Pamela,
Yes, I do think that can affect pregnancy… so can worry and anxiety!I understand it is very hard to go through a miscarriage and I battle fears also after losing 4. However, we have to daily remind ourselves that God’s plan is bigger than our little minds can comprehend. He loves us and He cares for us. We have to trust Him by faith. We have to remember that our children belong to Him; He has just entrusted them into our care for a short time :) Love, Kelly

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Cheryl April 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm

It is so refreshing to see a boy and a girl just being friends… because it is possible! Something which is rare these days. Thanks for being bold and posting these pictures even though you had to answer a lot of questions about Alyssa and John.

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Nichole April 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

Lovely photos!!!!! I miss watching your show on TLC. So thankful you have this blog for fans to keep up with your family. God bless you all!

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Susan April 13, 2013 at 3:35 am

Could you please update us on Zach and Michaella?

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Nicole B. April 13, 2013 at 4:31 am

Dear Kelly,
Lovely photos! I miss watching your family’s t.v. show. Thankful you have the blog for all of us to keep up with your family. God bless!

Nichole

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Sarah April 14, 2013 at 1:24 am

Hello Kelly. I just wanted to say that your family is such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing your personal convictions and tips with us! I was wondering if Alyssa is in a courtship too?

Your Sister in Christ,
Sarah C.

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Dear Sarah,
She’s not courting! We’ll wait to see how the friendship develops, but in the meantime,we’ve enjoyed our time together!Love, Kelly

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Carolina April 17, 2013 at 3:42 am

Hello Bates family!

I want to thank you for your being an example to us all, it’s too bad I live so far away otherwise I’d be knocking on your door for advise and guidance in all aspects of life as I have three boys myself. I don’t know anyone like your family where I live. Anyway, I normally never leave messages on blogs, but I just wanted to let you know that I pray for your children and your young adults, what beautiful souls! That they may walk in the path the Lord has chosen for them, God bless your beautiful family! I hope TLC will do more “Bates movies” :D

All the way from Edmonton, Alberta

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Dear Carolina,
Thank you for your encouragement! And a double “Thank you” for the prayers!That is very comforting! May God bless, Kelly

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Donna April 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I’m just checking…there hasn’t seemed to be any new comments posted since March 26, 2013 on the Night on The Town update page. Is it my computer? Just checking because I enjoy your blog sooo much, and miss reading anything that’s on here….even just people’s comments. Thank you. Love your family, and thank you.

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Dear Donna,
Hmmm… it’s been computer chaos here! My laptop broke, so I’ve been unable to make posts. I’m juggling borrowing Erin’s so my posts may be a bit sporadic for the next few weeks…but thanks so much for your patience and concern. Love, Kelly

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Rebekah Shashaguay April 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Dear Bates, for Christmas my Momma purchased the ‘Down Home Gospel’ c.d. for my sister and I , WE LOVE IT! We listen to it while doing our schoolwork and at night before bed… I especially enjoy ‘When the Saints’ and ‘Come Thou Fount’. Sometimes we do get distracted by it though,like when our favorite hymn starts playing and we start singing along! I noticed on the family biography that Lawson is working on a c.d. as well,can’t wait for it! :~) Thanks for being a great example of a godly family, Rebekah Elise Shashaguay

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Christina April 22, 2013 at 12:43 am

What beautiful pictures! It looks like you all had a wonderful evening. Blessings to your entire family on the many new journeys you are embarking on. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us! Your love for the Lord, each other is truly inspirational! God Bless!

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Vittoria Zanchelli April 22, 2013 at 2:19 am

Chad it is so kool that u ware a pink tie for Erin

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Arminda Dozier April 23, 2013 at 5:01 am

Hey Bates Family! Just wanted to send a shout out! Hope you read this comment! I miss you guys! It’s been so long! Cant wait to seen you again! Oh and please tell Erin congrats for me! I am so happy for her!

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Dear Arminda,
It’s soooooo good to hear from you too! You’ll always hold a special place in our hearts as one of our first babysitters! And family photographer…lol! and seamstress… You were always available to help! Thanks! God bless you and your little ones! Love, Kelly

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Brenda H. April 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm

HI Bates Family
Haven’t seen any now posts in a while. I hope all is well with the family.
God Bless!
Brenda H.

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Dear Brenda,
Oh I know… it has been a long time… I’m sooooo sorry! My laptop broke! I’ll try to catch up! Thanks for thinking of us! Love, Kelly

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Janine April 24, 2013 at 1:26 am

I love Alyssa’s shoes where did she get them?

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Dear Janine,
lol! Alyssa packs a few outfits and a suitcase full of shoes! She’s a shoe fan all the way!… quite opposite of her Mom’s dull flats! She got those at Marshall’s, I think. Love, Kelly

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Jamie Z April 24, 2013 at 1:30 am

Thank you so much for the updates. Your family is such an inspiration :)

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Amanda April 24, 2013 at 3:09 am

What beautiful pictures! I would love to meet you guys someday. We live in Spartanburg, SC. My husband and myself have similar beliefs as you do. We only have four children so far but we are young (I’m 26 he’s 29) and have only been married almost 7 years. Our kids are all little at 4, 3,2 and 4 months. We pray to be blessed with more in the future. As a Mom of all little ones you are such an encouragement to me.

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Dear Amanda,
What a small world! Spartanburg is my hometown!I miss my favorite restaurant, Wade’s! I’d love to meet you too! I haven’t been back to Spartanburg since my wonderful, Godly step-grandmother died. I have 3 step brothers that live there that I’d love to return to catch up with! God bless, Kelly

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Amanda May 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I have heard so much about Wades here recently, we have never been but friends have highly recommended it. We are hoping to eat there soon. Anytime you are in the area we would love to meet you, just email me. :) God bless-Amanda

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Lynn April 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Very nice pics I love the dresses!
are you guys OK? you haven’t posted for a llooonng time, I miss it!
So please do it soon?

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Dear Lynn,
Thanks for your concern and patience… My laptop broke, hence posts and emails have suffered. My schedule finally coordinated with my daughter’s so that I could borrow hers and do some catching up!Love, Kelly

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Alaina April 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Great pictures! Excited to see a family living out their faith in God. How us the new church going for your family? Great I hope. My parents travel a long way to get us to church but it is worth it! How far do you all have to travel? You have a wonderful family God Bless!

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Dear Alaina,
We feel so blessed to be part of Bible Baptist Church!God has brought some precious families with sweet children! We are learning and growing together. We only have to drive 10 min. to church, so we are very fortunate… but a good, conservative church is well worth in drive or sacrifice!Love, Kelly

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Samantha April 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Hi Kelly is Alyssa in a courtship now? and Erin is a very lovely girl!!!! are.her and Chad thinking about marriage in the future??

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Dear Samantha,
Alyssa isn’t courting yet. We’re anxious to see how the future unfolds. Right now, she’s just enjoying getting to know John better!We greatly admire John and always look forward to the time we spend with him or his family members. I was greatly impressed by the closeness they all share. Each week, the brothers play basketball and softball together on a team- the married families, and the unmarried Webster children – so they stay very close! I love that!
Erin graduates in December, so I imagine they’ll be picking their month soon afterwards. We keep hinting for Chad to take a trip to the jewelry store…lol! Love, Kelly

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Disa April 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Dear Kelly,

Just a question, how old do your children have to be before you allow them to begin courting? Also, would you allow your children to court someone who was a Christian who came from a non-Christian family?

Disa

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Kelly April 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Dear Disa,
I realize different children mature at different rates, but for us personally, we prefer our children to wait until 18 to pursue relationships. This allows them to not be distracted from their school responsibilities. That’s purely preference, and is based on seeing others who have gotten involved in a serious relationship too soon, causing them to drop out of school or to neglect important priorities.
Biblically, we believe that a couple should be equally yoked… meaning Christians should date Christians. There is great wisdom in also having like-minded convictions. As for family background, we would hope that they have the same family values. Can a Christian from a non-Christian home be eligible? Sure, if they themselves are Christian, like-minded, Spiritual-minded, and have strong family values. Of course, we don’t choose for our children. We offer counsel, but we feel that they ultimately should make that choice, after seeking God’s will for their lives.
God bless, Kelly

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Misty May 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I was going to ask if Alyssa and Mr. Webster are in a courtship but I saw that everyone else was wondering the very same thing. I couldn’t help but laugh as Kelly so graciously answered this question time and time again.
What a beautiful family. I enjoy keeping up with your family. I feel a special bond to other husbands and wives who have allowed the Lord to bless them as many times as He sees fit. God bless the entire Bates Family!

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David Waun May 2, 2013 at 2:04 am

We would like to welcome you to Michiana baptist camp meeting coming in may 17 through the 21 here in walkerton Indiana. sorry for all the messeges just did not know if you received it. God Bless

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bethany m May 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Dear Kelly,

What a wonderful family you have. Learned of your blog last year and just love your inspiration, holiness, gentleness, and everything in between. Some day I hope to meet you and your beautiful family and most of all attend a service with!! What joy awaits!

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Jessie H May 8, 2013 at 2:36 am

Three lovely couples! Looks like you had a wonderful time together!

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Chels May 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm

beautiful pictures!! Alyssa was going to show me a bunch of them at Big Sandy but then I totally forgot about it and never got to see them! So it was fun to see some on here…everyone looks so great!
Pretty sure Alyssa’s smile can’t get ANY bigger these days. =)
love to you all..
chels

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Francesca May 14, 2013 at 5:11 am

My goodness, your girls are so beautiful, inside and out. I love how confident your older daughters appear to be, you must be great parents. Do you have any tips for raising children’s self esteem?
I love your blog, Kelly. At times when I am feeling down or stressed I read it to catch up on your news and it is a great source of peace and encouragement to me.
Thank you!!

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Kelly May 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Dear Francesca,
The only advice I have is praise, praise, praise! They grow up fast. Communicate and spend time together! Make memories and cherish those moments! Love, Kelly

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lauren May 21, 2013 at 5:51 pm

are erin and chad going to get married?? what are all the kids middle names?

Lauren M.

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Kelly May 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Dear Lauren,
Yes, they are planning on getting married! It’s so fun to think about their future! Can’t wait to see what God has in store! Love, Kelly

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Katy May 21, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Mrs. Bates,
I was just wondering, how did Alyssa and John Webster meet, since he lives in Orlando, FL? FL is such a beautiful place! I have had the privilege of living there all my life!
Thank you so much for continually updating and taking the time to answer everybody’s questions! Thank you for being so personal to your blog-readers and taking the time out of your busy schedule! :) Your posts are always so encouraging!
God bless,
Katy

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Kelly May 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Dear Katy,
The girls actually met John’s brother Jordan first. They went on a mission trip together. Through that friendship, they got to know John as well. Love, Kelly

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Hannah May 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I’m a little confused. I noticed that neither of the girls were holding hands with, or making any sort of contact with, the guys. And in the picture you all took together you & your husband are the only two making any contact. Are they not allowed to touch or hold hands? I mean is that all part of the courting process? I’ve only ever dated so I don’t really know anything about courting. If you could clear that up for me I’d appreciate it. :-)

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Kelly June 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Dear Hannah,
We allow our children to make that choice when they begin courting. Chad and Erin decided to wait for now. John and Alyssa are not courting yet. Love, Kelly

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Elle C May 31, 2013 at 12:05 am

I just love these pictures Ms. Kelly. You have such a beautiful and talented family. May the Lord richly bless you and your family now and forever. I think Chad and Erin make an awesome couple and I look forward to hearing more good news in the future. And may I add that you and Mr. Gil are doing a beautiful job raising your children.

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Paul Anthony Menchaca July 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Michael is she going to be a EMT you guys have such good kids ever seens I watched your guys show I have all ways wanted to meet Michael

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Jamie Reed July 6, 2013 at 3:28 am

Such a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your wise words and family updates. It’s encouraging to read about a family that has such great values. Blessings to you all!

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Billie May 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Beautiful family! I am so thankful for families like yours that are true examples. I did not know that Spartanburg, SC was your hometown. My husband pastors a church in Spartanburg, SC, if you are ever back here, we would love for you to visit :-) Our oldest son is in a courtship now and I cant wait to see what the future holds for him and for your precious family as well..

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