The Bates Family

Courting News

by Kelly on November 7, 2013

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November 6, John Webster and Alyssa began courting, just three days before her birthday!

First they took a walk along the river boardwalk at IJAMS nature center, where John gave Alyssa roses and a beautiful necklace.

They ate a brief lunch on the porch at Rafferty’s, then headed for Rock City in Chattanooga, TN.

The weather couldn’t have been better, the scenery more beautiful, nor the couple any happier!!

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{ 349 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan November 8, 2013 at 7:59 am

So wonderful! I am sure your heart is having many bittersweet emotions with your nest emptying so quickly :)

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Shelly Cuellar November 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

Awe….Congratulations to another Beautiful Bates daughter. God is so GOOD!! Thank you for sharing your family with us.

P.S
Will be able to see pictures of Erin and Chad’s wedding? Will we be able to see the wedding? Was it filmed?

God Bless your incredible family!!

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Kelly December 5, 2013 at 6:38 am

Dear Shelly,
Sorry I’m slow posting the pics. We still don’t have many yet. It was filmed and will air on TLC with the Duggars. Love, Kelly

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Shelly Cuellar November 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

I also wanted to say Happy Birthday to Alyssa!!!

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Danielle M November 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

Congrats! Can’t wait to see more updates :)

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Maja November 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

Congratulations! They seem to be really happy together! Alyssa is the same age as me so I can relate to that. It looks really romantic:)
I’ve got a question. Are you going to post something about Chad and Erin’s wedding? I’ve already seen some photos on your fanpage on facebook…really bad quality, though. Her wedding dress was gorgeous!! What I’m talking about.. the whole wedding looked perfect!:)
God Bless,
Maja

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:12 am

Dear Maja,
I’m not sure who runs those sites, but I will post as many pics as possible. The photographer emailed about ten for me to do one post, but will be sending a CD soon of more hopefully. Love, Kelly

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Aria November 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

What a gorgeous couple! Congratulations to everyone.

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Lisa November 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

Congrats to the young couple! However, I noticed she wore wedges to Rock City! My feet got blisters from all the walking we did there just from wearing flip flops! I promised myself I would only wear tennis shoes there from now on. I can’t imagine how badly her feet hurt afterwards lol.

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Dear Lisa,
Yeah, we forgot to prepare her where her surprises would take place…lol! Love, Kelly

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Jamie November 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

That’s great news, congratulations!

ps: is michael courting anyone?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Dear Jamie,
Not yet…just trusting the Lord. Love, Kelly

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Sophie November 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

Congrats to Alyssa and John!!
I see that they are holding hands and hugging already, did they change the ‘rules’ a little bit??

God Bless you and your lovely family!
Love, Sophie

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Dear Sophie,
No, we allow each couple to decide if they want to hold hands in courtship, or engagement, or not til marriage. Our goal for them is purity and honoring Christ. We feel that holding hands can be done innocently if they are careful. But we leave that choice to them. We meet and talk often about any temptations, goals, changes, etc. Love, Kelly

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Sara November 12, 2013 at 1:10 am

Kelly, I just saw your reply to Sophie and I love what you said. I always found it interesting that families approach courting differently, so I think it’s even more so that each of your children may come up with different goals, guidelines, etc pertaining to courtship because each person is different and each person is courting someone different. That’s why I love learning more about your family- your children are not carbon copies of each other so it’s not “wash, rinse, and repeat.” :) Congrats on courtship #3! I wish I had your organizational skills. To raise a big family is one thing, but to possibly have 3 weddings in the span of a year? I need a nap just thinking about it. :) So excited for your family.

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Christina Chimot November 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Good for you Bates family! I agree the young couple are adults and should be allowed to make some decisions on their own with the Lord. The fact that they are being chaperoned helps with the temptation I’m sure. What is the most important is the heart issue. Some couples could abstain from any physical touch until marriage but be burning with lust in their hearts. I admire the way you and your children have such close relationships and that you can talk openly to each other and help out when needed. Praying my husband and I can develop the same with our 5 children.

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Taylor May 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Good words! I saw that the new couple (now) were a little “Close” in hugging???

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Kelly June 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Dear Taylor,
Yes, they hug for pics and when they see each other for the first time, or when they depart and say goodbye. We feel that public hugs are safe hugs. Our family is a very hugging family with close friends and family, so its only natural that two in love would as well, under supervision and maintaining a commitment to purity. Love, Kelly

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Amanda November 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

Wow, congrats Alyssa! One after another for courting and weddings ;-)

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Barbara Noe November 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

Congratulations! I knew the Lord wanted these two together when you posted a picture of them together about a year ago. They were ment to be a couple. Hope their courtship goes well. God Bless, From Seattle, WA

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Barbara Noe November 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

I forgot to say, Love is in the air at the Bates house!

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HowLovely November 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

Wow Mrs Bates,

Your family SURE is blessed. 3 beautiful young couple in such short period of time! Congratulations to Miss Alyssa and her Suitor! Whomsoever comes to your blog at whatever time, sure is in for some huge surprises.
God bless! : )

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Renee Heller November 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Awww so happy for them as well as for your family. Alyssa looks absolutely radiant! Truly an encouragement to all us girls out there that you can have high standards and not have to compromise them for a young man. Best wishes to all of you.

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Teboho November 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Congratulations to John Webster and Alyssa. They are such a cute couple. We will be praying for them. Mrs Kelly you are truly blessed to have kids who love the Lord. May I please ask (I hope it’s not too personal). How old is John and Alyssa?

Thanks
Teboho, South Africa

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Dear Teboho,
Alyssa turns 19 tomorrow, and John turn 24 in November. Love, Kelly

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Rita November 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Congratulations!! :) I see Alyssa and John are hughing and holding hands already
What are their personal convictions about courtship?

They make a lovely couple by the way :)

Yours, Rita

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Dear Rita,
We allow them to choose if they want to hold hands during courtship, engagement, or not at all. Each have given public hugs for special occasions and pics. Love, Kelly

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Sheri November 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Oh Kelly, what joy! And to think you get to experience this joy another 17 times after this. How blessed you all are!

Thanks for sharing your life -it’s an encouragement to our family (particularly to my children who are too young for courting but are at a transitional age). It’s a joy to show my children what a Godly relationship looks like! They have already committed to courtship (or “dating with a purpose”) rather than dating the world’s way. They can see the Godly commitment and the true joy that comes from it though families like yours. And they can also see how each relationship is different – not just a set of dos and don’ts but a couple’s purposeful decisions along the way that are God-honoring, under the authority and protection of their family!

Lv,
Sheri

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Rene November 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

God bless your family :-) I am so overjoyed to hear all of God’s blessings showering onto your family as the fruits of your labour & inspiring parenting are being rewarded. Just wondering on some advice as I have an amazing 15 month old who is somewhat fearless & free spirited and loves to run off & not come to mummy or walk with mummy willingly as everything else is more interesting :-) how do you encourage your little ones to stay close when needed & obey at such a young age? Also how do you deal with feeling overwhelmed, frustrated & sometimes angry at those times when parenting seems to be not going as one would hope? Thanks so much for inspiring me to be a better wife, mother & daughter of God :-)

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Kelly December 5, 2013 at 6:36 am

Dear Rene,
Yes, toddlers love to run…LOL! Try to talk eye to eye, so you know you have their attention. I say, “Look at mom’s eyes. Listen. This is important…” Set the stage by having them look at you first, and remember they have short attention spans. Turn their chin toward you as you say softly, “Look at mommy,” then begin to explain your concern… “I want you to stand right by mom. See that car over there? I don’t want you to get hurt by a car that doesn’t see you.” Always explain…and be patient. They might not understand at first. Point, illustrate, talk often. It’ll start to catch on.
Hmmm… when I’m feeling frustrated I start to hum hymns to myself. Its amazing how its hard to pout when you are humming a hymn. I pray. I count my blessings. I remind myself of our old preacher’s(Jack Gwinn’s) favorite consoling verse, “This too shall pass.” I use my hubby’s shoulder to cry on if I need him to help encourage me and help me refocus! Go sit somewhere that you can watch outside…take a good look around you…we’ve got so much to be thankful for…Remember the saying, “Too blessed to be stressed!” Love, Kelly

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Tawna Jones April 26, 2014 at 5:24 am

Thank you for this, Mrs. Bates! I have a strong willed 7 year old daughter who is loving, but has a stubborn streak. My husband and I try to encourage her good behavior by telling her that her 4 siblings are watching her as actions. Also I ask her to try and think if God will be happy with her actions and the things she says. I am so glad that we are homeschooling our children. She is getting a lot better and tells me what she thinks about saying but chooses not to say it:)

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Pam A. November 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Awww…more beautiful Bates family news!!! John and Alyssa look super happy together- her eyes just sparkle!

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Rene November 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Congratulations Alyssa & John, may God guide & Bless you both :-)

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Khiana November 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Congrats John and Alyssa. You make a beautiful couple.

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Bianca November 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Aw they look great together! Congrats John and Alyssa! :D

All the way from New Zealand ;)

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Kimberly November 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

What a blessing. It may seem hard that a lot of the children are starting their own lives but it is a blessing. I pray they remember all you have taught them and follow with the love of Jesus in their hearts.

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Doris November 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

They are a beautiful couple. Congratulation to them both. May God richly bless their relationship together. I enjoy following your blog and thank you for all your wonderful updates.

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Jody November 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Congrats, Alyssa! So much exciting news coming from your family this year.

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NathaLee Hutchins November 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

BEAUTIFUL COUPLE!

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Susan November 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Congrats to Alyssa and John. :)

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Amy Faulkner November 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Oh, yay! Your family is getting romantic news left and right! Bless them!

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Donna November 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Oh my gosh, how wonderful. Gil and Kelly are you ok. So much excitement in the air. Such changes coming but in the most wonderful way. Blessing just keep multiplying for the Bates families and now their spouses and soon to be spouses.
Praise to God and glory to his name for these children are lights of him. Going out into the world to find the lost and help them to see.
Blessings and christian love to all.

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Rebekah M. November 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

How sweet! I’ll be praying for John & Alyssa. Your children certainly are keeping you busy. :) I’ve been so blessed and encouraged by watching your family and seeing how the Lord has led in so many ways. Thank you for being a channel to share His blessings with others on this blog.

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Patricia Koppelaar November 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm

congratulations and beautiful pictures :) when will we see pictures from erins wedding. looks like they had an awesome day from some pictures that I seen.

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JamieP November 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Congrats to the new couple. My Husband and I went to Rock City/Ruby Falls for our 1 year Anniversary back the last weekend of September. It was so beautiful.

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Sarah Hughes November 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I really enjoy reading you all’s blog page.
Wow Mrs bates once one fall’s in love they all do!
With one just being married, another soon and one courting
you have your hands full :) . I love reading how God has brought the right one at the right time. And it encourages me to wait on the one The Lord has for me. I have 12 brothers and sisters. My older brother and younger sister is married. And Evan though its sad to see them leave. It’s exciting because we say we don’t lose a brother and sister we gain a brother and sister. Thanks so much for posting. Are their pictures of Erin and chad wedding yet?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Dear Sarah,
I hope to have wedding pics soon. Love, Kelly

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Cameron November 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Beautiful example of God’s hand in a relationship!

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Katrina November 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Congratulations on this new chapter for both of yous! It is so nice to see other young people living passionately for Christ in love and seeking His direction- there’s a certain “radiance” about it! Congratulations Bates and Webster families, I’ll be praying for yous! :)

Love,
Katrina

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elena November 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Hi Kelly,
Oh boy, things are certainly moving along in your family..As Im sure you knew it would. Congratulations to Alyssa and John. It must be so beautiful to see your family finding love and moving on to the next faze of their lives. Its the natural process of life. Praise God..

Hoping to see the wedding photos soon!
God Bless
xoxo

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Kristy J. November 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Oh my how the Lord has blessed you in this season of life! Two weddings and a courtship all within a month or so! This is amazing news and they look very happy. The pictures are great! I hope that Chad and Erin’s wedding went off without a hitch! I can’t wait to see pictures of the big day and I pray that Zach’s wedding plans are going smoothly as well. Blessings!
-Kristy Jeske

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Lily Kate November 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Hi Kelly!

Congratulations to Alyssa! Also, congratulations to Erin for getting married! I love hearing about your family. God bless.

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Charity L November 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Wowzers!!!!!!
What a beautiful couple! They seem to love each other positively to pieces. God is so good!
Congratulations!

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NaomiM November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Congratulations on the courtship! The pictures are beautiful–the scenery, the flowers, the views, not to mention the couple! Praying God blesses you both. So, congratulations once again, and Happy Birthday, Alyssa!! What an incredible gift:)

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Symphony November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Awww, that is so priceless! Beautiful pictures! Congrats John and Alyssa! May god bless you and I will continue my prayers for you!
Love,
Symphony

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Ellen November 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Congratulations! 2013 is quite a year for your family. Three children in a courtship and two of them getting married. Alyssa would propably do better if she did not walk on open shoes and high heals in a nature park :-)

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Julia November 24, 2013 at 12:55 am

I was kinda thinking the same thing…but she didn’t know where they were going…so ;-)

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Wendy November 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Oh what an exciting last few months yall have had!! I love reading and seeing how God has blessed your precious family!! Congrats to Alyssa and John!!

At what age do you start talking about and encouraging pursuing a courtship relationship? Do you have any books or verses that you go to to help your kids understand the importance of purity and or courtship? Looking forward to seeing pictures of Chad and Erin’s wedding!

Wendy ♥

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Kelly December 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Dear Wendy,
We encourage our kids to talk to us whenever they have any attraction. We tell them attractions are normal, but we tell them they are responsible to manage their thoughts, since wandering thoughts can become dangerous thoughts. We encourage them to become distracted by working and being involved in ministry, etc when they feel themselves tempted to let their minds wander. We feel that relationships shouldn’t actually be pursued until they are prepared to think about and follow through with marriage if the Lord directs that way. Dating before they are prepared for marriage can lead to lots of extra temptations from lengthy relationships. Each family feels differently about appropriate ages and ways relationships should be conducted. That’s a personal choice and respect should be given for individual choices. It is our choice to wait until graduation, at least 18 years old to pursue any relationship. Obviously, an older age could be a better advantage, and we encourage them to not be so caught up in relationships that they cannot focus on other things. Our children have been different ages, some younger and some older.
The Bible is clear about the sin of fornication (impurity prior to marriage). Look up that word in a Strong’s concordance for a good Bible study on the topic. There are lots of books and sermons on the subject of courtship. Reading some together will be an encouragement, but remember that there are a lot of opinions on the subject. Choose what’s best for your family based on God’s direction for you. Love, Kelly

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Caroline November 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Congrats to them both. What a gorgeous couple!!

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Christi P. November 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Praise God what wonderful news! The beautiful couple looks so happy and Alyssa looks genuinely surprised!!! Congratulations and many prayers to Alyssa and John’s courtship!!!

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Becca November 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Aww how very sweet!! Congratulations- so much to celebrate in your family this fall!! :)

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Rebekah Abdullah November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

That is so exciting! My husband and I started courting November 10, 2005. He proposed to me on November 10, 2006, and we got married on November 10, 2007…So needless to say, we love November :)

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Allison DeBartolis November 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Bates Family,

Congratulations on this wonderful news!! I guess we all saw this coming :-) .
Lovely displays of affections as well. Spring wedding perhaps?
Fondly
Allison

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Latisha November 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Oh how exciting!!! I am so happy for Alyssa, so glad to see it worked out for them. ( night on the town post). Does John live locally or away like Chad did? Cant wait to see more about there relationship. They are so cute and I pray for Gods best for them

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Dear Latisha,
He lives in Orlando, Fla…about a 10 hr. drive! Fortunately, flights through Allegiant Air to Orlando can be purchased between $39-$59 if its the right time! Love, Kelly

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Tina November 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

How did the happy couple meet? They are so precious together! Happiness to them and congratulations! ♥

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:40 am

Dear Tina,
They met John’s brother, Jordan on a mission trip. Later they met each other, but didn’t start liking each other until Alyssa was helping campaign for Mr. Webster. Love, Kelly

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Latisha November 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Well Happy Birthday to Alyssa! That is quite a distance! Well it is so nice to here how God is working in there lives, and how all there waiting is paying off. I am about the same age as Alyssa (from what you said in response to other people) and I am in a cortship myself. It is nice to see someone about the same age in the same part of life :)

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Annie November 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

We’ve been praying for your sweet family. Surely there is much activity!!! Praise the Lord for your testimony walking with Him. It’s so great to have others go before us walking in the ways of the Lord. We will be praying for this new relationship and that the Lord continues to lead and guide them.

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Kate November 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Congratulations! Another beautiful couple in the family. You’re children are wonderful role models. You’ve done a wonderful job raising such lovely people.

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Kaylee November 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Wow! Congrats

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Beth Collins November 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm

What a beautiful couple and what an exciting time in your family! May God continue to bless these two as they move forward in their life together.

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Kelly A November 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Yay! Now you have one child who is married, one child who is engaged, and one child who is courting just in time for the holidays. :) Hope you don’t mind me asking, how old are Alyssa and John?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Dear Kelly,
John will be 24 in a few days and Alyssa will be 19 tomorrow. Love, Kelly

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caryn November 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Dear Kelly & family,
Congratulations on another lovely courtship! How much fun you must be having!!! Thank you for sharing the lovely photos, what a beautiful place to live & the perfect setting for Alyssa & John’s special day! Much love, Caryn

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Maggie November 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm

YAY!!!! Congratulations!!!

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Rose November 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

What exciting news!!! This is turning out to be a very very special year for your family,lot’s of wonderful things are happening.I wish you all the very best in your Courtships, upcoming Weddings,and in all you do.Blessings to you all.

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Ebersole Girls November 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

wow what a happy Couple! they are Very Cute! love it!

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shannon November 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

So sweet!!! Congrats
When will you put up the pics for Erins wedding?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Dear Shannon,
I’ve gotten a few sent to me via email, but am waiting to get some more pics first. Hopefully, I’ll do a post in the next few days. Love, Kelly

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shannon November 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Thanks!! So happy for your family. It is growing in a new way now

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Anna November 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

That is so exciting!! Pretty pictures! I love courting news! My friend just entered a courtship on the 2nd! I would be glad to volunteer if y’all are ever looking for someone for Lawson to court :)

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Laura November 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Congratulations! God bless and guide you on this journey!

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Olga November 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Wow, congratulations! I am so happy for them!

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Jennifer November 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

LOVE them! So happy for your growing family!

Most of all, I want to express how much I respect you and Gil for allowing your children to express love in ways they are comfortable with while knowing you have raised them to make smart choices! I hope you wake up every morning knowing you have set a wonderful example for your children and you are reaping the benefits of establishing healthy relationships within your family.

May this season of life bring endless blessing!

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Christy November 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

How sweet!!!! They were so cute at the wedding!!

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Emory November 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

That’s so awesome! I am so happy for them! They make a beautiful couple!!

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Kari November 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Awesome news! Congratulations to all!

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Laura November 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Wow! Y’all have had lots of excitement this year! So happy for your whole family and the beautiful couples, inside and out, who are finding each other. What a time of joy this must be for you. God’s blessings for your faithfulness, I’m sure! I wish the best for John and Alyssa during their courtship

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Lisa E November 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

The pictures are beautiful. Congratulations Alyssa and John. This is an exciting time in yours lives. I pray God guides and directs your steps.

Lisa

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Emily November 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

AWESOME!!!!! Alyssa is my favorite!!! She is such a role model!

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Traci Fields November 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Congrats to Alyssa! When will be seeing pictures of wedding?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Dear Traci,
Hopefully in a few days…lol! Love, Kelly

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Kari November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Your home is emptying so quickly :( blessings to the new couple though and such a joy :)

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Bethany J. November 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm

What a sweet couple! Congratulations!

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Kirsty November 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

It’s all very exciting! Any wedding photos of Erin and Chad? Can’t wait to see them!

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Dear Kirsty,
Yes, I’m hoping to do a wedding post next. Andrew Patton took 750 pics miscellaneous through the wedding and preparation days prior, so I’m waiting to get a copy! Love, Kelly

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Rose November 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Does Andrew Patton have a website?

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Kelly December 22, 2013 at 3:39 am

Dear Rose.
I’m not sure. Love, Kelly

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Marie-Louise November 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Congratulations Alyssa and John! May God bless you!

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Alexandra November 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Congrats! they look very comfortable with each other which is great!! What a great early birthday present!!

Hopefully we hear wedding bells!

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jane shaw November 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

looks like it could be an expensive year for weddings, what a lovely couple xx

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Sarah November 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

How exciting!! Congratulations from Nova Scotia! The photos are beautiful.

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Lynn November 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Wonderful news Kelly. So happy for your family. They are a beautiful couple. God Bless.

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Symphony November 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Will John and Alyssa be holding hands from here on? Alyssa’s outfit is super cute, and she is so pretty! I especially love her shoes, do you know where she bought them? I’m a shoe person:) also I was wondering if Alyssa’s earrings are “real” or “fake”? She looks like her ears are pierced and I know you’ve said before you only wear clip-on’s
One more thing, (sorry this is so long!) are you going to do a post on Chad and Erin’s wedding? I am so looking forward to a long post with TONS of pictures:) I can’t wait!!!=,)
Love, symphony

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Dear Symphony,
Yes, they will hold hands through courtship and hug on special occasions when not in private. Her shoes were from Wal-Mart and the earrings are clip ons from Cato. Yes, I’ll post Erin’s wedding pics as soon as some friends send us some! Love, Kelly

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Megan November 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Congratulations!!! You and Gil are truly blessed with a beautiful family and and fast growing extended family! Your family is a true model to younger/older families alike across the US. Thanks for sharing with us!

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Marcy November 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Congrats….I love following your beautiful family.

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Donna November 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

The good news just keeps coming!!! Congrats to Alyssa & John. My gosh, they are a good looking couple….two cutie pies!!! Beautiful pictures…the scenery is extraordinary. And, I notice that they too are holding hands at courtship, just as Zack & Whitney did, but Erin & Chad did not. Each person is different, and I respect each person’s individual decision. You are truly a blessed family, and your children have been very fortunate to have such sweet, Godly parents that have so much love and respect for each child’s individuality. I am a true fan. Love, love, love your blog.

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Alexis November 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Dear Kelly,

My heart sings with joy at the outpouring of good news coming from you and your family. I am certain Erin’s wedding was beautiful… Now you have Zach engaged and Alyssa courting :) . Thank you for sharing the light with us. I am celebrating with you all from afar.
Love,
Alexis

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Kari November 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

What a lovely couple!

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Christina November 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll be praying for you Alyssa!!
-Christina
Philippians 4:13

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Carrie November 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Congradulations Kelly and Gil

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Anna November 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Congratulations John & Alyssa! you are such a beautiful couple and the pictures are gorgeous. I wish you all the best in this new phase of life and most of all MAY GOD BLESS YOU!!!

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Alison November 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Awesome news! What a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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Ashley Moore November 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Congratulations to Alyssa for this new chapter in life that is unfolding. Kelly your children have been brought up is a wonderful Godly way and their future partners are so blessed to have them. Kelly and Gil I am so glad that yall are at so happy with Erin’s decision to get married. You just know that it is right when that man or woman comes along that you have been praying so long for because you are at peace with it.
So happy for yall! Miss your show on TLC. Thanks for keeping this website going.
Hugs sent your way,
Ashley from Alabama

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Cassidy November 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

awww……… that’s so wonderful!! congratulations on this new stage of life! God bless you two and your families and happy birthday Allyssa!!!! <3

Love,
Cassidy (Waterloo, Ontario)

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Brandi November 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

What a blessing! So happy for the couple! I just wanted to say how much of an encouragement your family is to me. Do your kids use the courting process as a getting to know you period prior to engagement?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Dear Brandi,
We encourage them to become close friends and get to know each other BEFORE entering courtship. By the time our kids are ready to court, they’re best friends and feel that they are moving forward to see if they should marry. During courtship, they’re obviously getting to know each other in a much different way, with the thought of marriage in mind. They are boyfriend and girlfriend at this point, not just friends. They do Bible study together, share beliefs, goals…It’s a time that they can be sparky and say, “I love you!” and go on dates, and buy gifts for one another, and express their feelings. Then engagement, for us, is a time of wedding planning. Every family is different in how they view the courtship process. There are many books and DVDs and MANY opinions. We have chosen what we feel is best to help us meet our goals, but others might pursue relationships in a different manner. Love, Kelly

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Sara November 12, 2013 at 1:18 am

“Be sparky” …I like that! :) You bring up a good point, Kelly. Have all of your children decided it’s fine to say “I love you” during courtship? I know some who save that for engagement.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 2:44 am

Dear Sara,
Erin and Chad began after a month of courtship, but the rest began at courtship! Love, Kelly

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Tashia November 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Aww I’m so happy for them both!! God Bless you Alyssa and John!! And how in the world did she take a walk in those heels?!? ~Tashia
(Looking forward to seeing Chad and Erin’s wedding pictures!) :D

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Dear Tashia,
Yeah, I don’t think she realized all the surprises John had in store and how much walking she’d be doing! Love, Kelly

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Lisa November 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Congratulations to Alyssa and John! They look very happy and in love, and Alyssa, as always looks so put-together and stylish, :)

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Sophie November 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Wow, I just realized how much Addellee looks like Alyssa. They are definitely sisters..LOL

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Fotini November 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Congratulations!!! are they planning for a long courtship?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Dear Fotini,
Hmmm…. John hasn’t told us that yet… but they’ve been best friends for a while now so I suspect they’ll be excited about moving forward in a reasonable amount of time. Love, Kelly

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Sara November 12, 2013 at 1:21 am

Kelly,

I’ve seen you use the term “best friends” when referencing your courting children. Maybe your definition varies from mine, but I was raised to avoid being best friends with a man that was not someone I was engaged to as a way of protecting my heart. Could you please elaborate on the balance your daughters especially have with that?

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Kelly December 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Dear Sara,
I understand your family’s caution in that area. There is cause for concern and I think each family must decide how to address this area. We’ve been on both sides. After reflecting back on our own past, however, Gil and I realized we both had friends of opposite genders that were merely friends. They was caution and wholesomeness in those friendships, and we were often grew in the Lord as a result of those friendships. On the other hand, a friendship can turn into more so choose your friends carefully. We communicate often with our children and they share with us if friendship ever turns to attraction in a different way. Some families might not be comfortable with that, and we respect and understand that. We have felt that way before. We think our children have become more balanced in their communication skills and more prepared to not be as easily moved emotionally by any conversation from the opposite gender. Don’t base any decisions on our choices, however, because we often make mistakes…we’re only human…this is an area that requires careful discernment from the Lord for each family. Love, Kelly

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Brenda H. November 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Congratulations to the Happy Couple!!! Their smiles say it all! May God Bless them and bring them much joy and happiness. Such a Happy time for your family- as they say Love is in the air. Thank you Kelly for sharing your family’s philosophy regarding courtship, etc- it gives us much food for thought! Saw some pictures of Erin & Chad’s wedding- so much joy in their faces! Look forward to reading your post. God Bless!
Brenda H

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Alexis November 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I love looking at those pictures.

Alexis

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Barb November 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Wonderful news for the family again! How are you doing with all of the changes happening around you? Will the girls be moving away or staying close to home?

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Dear Barb,
Its actually exciting watching how thoroughly happy and in love they are!!! Chad made it easy to give Erin away, because we know he adores her and takes such good care of her. She’ll be living about 20 minutes away to begin with. Love, Kelly

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Nicole November 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Hi Kelly,
Congratulations to Alyssa and John and to Erin and Chad on their recent wedding/
Your family is such an inspiration to how they begin a relationship, I wish it was more popular.

God Bless and love from Ireland,
Nicole

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Avelien November 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm

So exciting!! The love just keeps multiplying in your house. Praying for all of you in these exciting times. Congratulations to Chad and Erin on their wedding! Hope all the wedding planning is going great for Zach and Whit!

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Gina November 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Congrats to the happy couple! They are adorable!! Alyssa is beautiful and so stylish yet modest! Does she work out? She has a great figure! Do John and Alyssa study at college or work? How did they meet? Sorry for all the questions!!!

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Dear Gina,
She does excersize, but not excessive. Erin, Alyssa, and Tori met Jordan Webster on a mission’s trip. They eventually became friends with the whole family. They noticed each other and started developing a closer friendship last year, while Alyssa was helping campaign for Congressman Webster. Alyssa took dual enrollment classes at Crown College during her senior year. She took this semester off, along with Tori and Erin to help with all the wedding prep. They’ll resume in the spring unless her relationship with John leads her to Florida…lol! Love, Kelly

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Nancy November 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,
It’s exciting news to read about this new courtship, and I hope everything works out well for them :) I saw some of Erin’s wedding photos on the Paine’s family website. It looked like a pretty wedding :) It appeared as if Michaella wasn’t one of the bridesmaids. Was she a part of the wedding in another way? If you don’t mind me asking, is there any courtship news on the horizon for her? We pray and hope that she meets someone really special, she seems like a real sweet and devoted daughter, sister, and a very beautiful person :D God Bless Y’all

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Dear Nancy,
She was busy sewing bridesmaids dresses and dresses for her sisters for several weeks leading up to the wedding. She didn’t want to be a bridesmaid, because she prefers more behind the scenes roles. But as it turned out, Callie started to cry when it was her turn to walk the aisle. Michael suggested just skipping having a flower girl, but Erin asked Michael to walk with her and encourage her to try. So, Michael walked the aisle after all…but Callie still didn’t last and they had to turn and exit! lol!
She is just waiting on God’s timing and person…in the meantime, she busies herself with trying to serve others. Many often tell me she is such a wonderful example of love! We are always amazed by her selflessness. Once in Bible study, Gil asked the kids if someone came to mind when they thought of a great Christian. To Michael’s srprise, most of her siblings named her as that example! Love, Kelly

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Wen Mikulcik November 9, 2013 at 12:51 am

What a great example she shows her siblings. You guys have done a great job parenting.

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Fotini November 9, 2013 at 6:39 am

Kelly, all your children are lovely, but in my humble opinion Michael stands out. She is a beautiful young lady anyway, but her kindness and servant’s spirit shine through and enhance that beauty!
Being a big sister myself, I can surely relate to serving and protecting the younger siblings. It is not an obligation, it is a calling, and it gives you tremendous joy. Also, it lasts a lifetime :) . We are all grown ups now, with families, but I ‘m still their “go to” person when things get tough.
I pray that her life is always full of God’s love, the family of her choice and people who really appreciate her giving nature!

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Maria Hanson November 8, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Oh Kelly,

How are you doing with all this excitement? One wedding down, one more to come in less than a month and a new courtship. I can only imagine! I have been on my knees for you and will continue to be.
I did notice that all three young couples are so joyful. That is what flows from Alyssa and John’s courtship photos…pure joy, the kind that only comes from Jesus.

Love, Maria

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Cara November 8, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Exciting news! I had a feeling this would be posted sometime soon! I love all the pictures! Elated to see how God will use them as a couple for His glory! Happy birthday to both of them!

How did John and Alyssa meet, since he lives in Orlando?
Looking forward to your next posts! Thank you for sharing your life with the world! I know the Lord will continually bless you and your sweet family!
Love, Cara

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Kelly November 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Dear Cara,
Erin, Alyssa, and Tori met his older brother Jordan on a mission trip. They gradually became friends with the whole family. Love, Kelly

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Tina November 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

Kelly I’d asked this question before reading these posts!! Just DISREGARD my previous question…bless your heart, you’ve already answered it over & over and then I ASKED again! ♥

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Kim November 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Congratulations to Alyssa, John and their families! What an exciting time for everyone. Such a blessing!

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Rachel November 8, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Congratulations to the happy couple! I am so happy for them and your other children who have found their soul mates! I really wish you all would come back on tv! I loved watching your show and often was brought to tears watching how sweet and loving your whole family is! I would love to meet you all! Me and my family are also from TN, we only live around 2 hours away! Do you know if your show will ever air again, and will any of the weddings be filmed?

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Kelly December 5, 2013 at 6:27 am

Dear Rachel,
Erin’s is supposed to air on TLC on the Duggar’s show, but I don’t know when. Love, Kelly

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Sandra November 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Congratulations Alyssa and John!!! You make a lovely couple and you look so joyful and happy together. It is all very romantic. Beautiful pictures! May the Lord continue to guide your steps. And congratulations to Erin and Chad on their recent wedding. Erin was such a beautiful bride!!!
Sandra from Canada

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Susana November 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Hello Mrs. Bates I came across your t.v show some nights ago!!!!!! It’s AMAZING, what a really lovely family =)
I deeply admire your determination to fight for christian values in this trouble times, although I’m not a member of your faith (I’m mormon) it’s quite a blessing to see godly parents raising a beautiful next generation of good citizens.
Congrants on your exciting family news.
Suz,
PS: I apologize for my english, I’m from Spain….

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Denise S. November 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Oh what great news!! I am so thrilled for them. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. Who took them? I just love the fall colors!! Love the look of surprise. I knew something what up I seen pictures of them in Washington DC. So happy for you all and hope everyone has recovered from Erin and Chads wedding. How are things coming along for Zach and Whitney’s??

Congrats to all and God Bless you!!

Love, Denise

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

Dear Denise,
I took them, but believe me, it was the good camera, not the photographer… Yes, recovering from Erin’s and so not prepared yet for Zach’s! Praying it all falls into place smoothly…lol! Love, Kelly

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Sarai November 9, 2013 at 12:41 am

Congrats to Alyssa!!
Ps: Will you be posting any pictures on Erin and Chad’s wedding

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Kelly November 9, 2013 at 3:40 am

Dear Sarai,
Yes, in the upcoming days :) Love, Kelly

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Amy Faulkner November 9, 2013 at 1:22 am

I’ve already commented, but I’d love to know more about John! Is he going or has he gone to college, and maybe what kind of work he does? Does he come from a large family?

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Kelly November 9, 2013 at 3:39 am

Dear Amy,
There are six children in the Webster family. John works with his brothers in the family air conditioning business. Love, Kelly

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Marnie November 9, 2013 at 1:29 am

Congrats to all of you on all the wonderful news! I hope Chad and Erin are enjoying life as newlyweds and that Zach and Whitney are looking forward to their special day! Alyssa and John are beaming with happiness!
Seeing these posts makes me recall my own courting and engagement to my husband eight years ago! Three little ones later, finding those special moments as husband and wife are often hard to carve out (somewhere between meals and the laundry and schooling!).
My prayer for all of these beautiful young couples is that they always keep that spark–with a special glance, a touch, a gesture of love for each other every day! That is truly God working in a marriage!
Michael–God has a special person waiting just for you! I didn’t marry until I was 30 and it was by waiting for just the right guy that I learned so much about myself and my faith! I’m sure there will be a post about your good news in God’s good time!

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:10 am

Dear Marnie,
Great marital advice!! Make time for romance and intimate conversations! Make it a point to keep the flames in your marriage! We recommend EVERY married couple to read the book Love Life for Every Married Couple by Dr. Ed Wheat, written to help teach how to fall back in love! Love, Kelly

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Julie November 9, 2013 at 1:31 am

Hi!

Congratulations!!! Imagine, 3 in a row like this, you must be so excited!!

Quick question, I love the jean skirt Alyssa’s wearing, where do you get all your jean skirts. I love wearing them, but can never find them anywhere. Thanks!

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Kelly November 9, 2013 at 3:37 am

Dear Julia,
Their skirts are mostly from thrift stores. Love, Kelly

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Melissa November 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Julie,
You can also find many beautiful skirts at Cato. I have a difficult time finding mine at thrift stores due to being plus-size but I always have luck at Cato and they have a very affordable clearance rack :)

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T. Gates November 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I find my jean skirts at thrift stores and at Cato. :)

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Elena November 9, 2013 at 2:11 am

Congratulations to Alyssa and John! I notice she’s wearing a ring on her left hand..is that a promise ring, purity ring, or just a ring she really likes? Reminds me of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring :D .

If you don’t mind me asking, I have a question for you, if you don’t mind answering. When Zach and Sarah were courting, you guys clearly had more “conservative” standards compared to now, with the distance between them and such. There are some families I know who, even after a few failed courtship, still continue with their courtship model because they feel that’s the “right” way and do not want to change some viewpoints from child to child. Was it difficult for you and Gil to “loosen” up your standards on what courtship should be about or was it an easy transition after Zach’s first courtship? What made you guys realize “You know what? We’re acceptable with holding hands and expressing love and feelings during courtship period”? Like you said, everyone views courtship differently and no view is the right one..after all, what works for one family may not work for another family.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:07 am

Dear Elena,
Yes, that is her promise ring. Yes, change is always hard. Sometimes we swing too far to the left and sometimes too far to the right, so achieving balance is difficult. We constantly try to evaluate, hear the kids input, and pray for wisdom! We try not to be too prideful to admit when we’ve been wrong and need change or insight or help. With Zach, he realized at the end of courtship he didn’t even know how to communicate with a girl to get to know her. He was very shy. All of our children had avoided casual friendships with the opposite gender in trying to be wise in relationships. However, we began to talk and think and ask questions. Can there be value in friendships with opposite gender, while still maintaining wholesomeness and avoiding the typical dating for fun mindset? Our own past convinced us they could with certain cautions and open communication. We began to as a whole emphasize friendships that help strengthen each other spiritually, rather than focusing on relationships that lead to courtship. Their conversations with friends often center around Bible doctrine, or life struggles that they are encouraging each other through. In the process, Zach learned to communicate with girls! Not all of our children shared his same shyness and timidness, but he was much more prepared in his relationship with Whit since they learned to communicate on a very real and vulnerable level. They are better prepared for marriage than most couples we counsel, yet have still maintained wholesomeness and purity. We think a little emotion and sparkiness is actually healthy, since we see so many marriages missing it! The goals must be to honor God and maintain purity, so of course, there’s still accountability and lots of talking and evaluating. Love, Kelly

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alexia November 9, 2013 at 2:39 am

sweet!!
when are you going to post about erin’s and chad’s wedding can’t wait to see!!

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Kelly November 9, 2013 at 3:34 am

Dear Alexia,
In a few days hopefully. Love, Kelly

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Julia November 9, 2013 at 2:43 am

ooooh yay!! Thats great! Will the chad and erin’s wrecking be televised??? Hope so…so happy for allysa and john

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Kelly November 9, 2013 at 3:33 am

Dear Julia,
Yes, it will be on 19 Kids and Counting. Love, Kelly

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Julia November 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm

yeahhhhhh! thanks for replying

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Candace November 9, 2013 at 2:47 am

What a cute couple hope to see wedding bells soon. Are pictures of Erin’s wedding going to be added to this site. :)

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Kelly November 9, 2013 at 3:32 am

Dear Candace,
Yes, I’ll post them next. Love, Kelly

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Marika November 9, 2013 at 2:53 am

Congratulations on all the blessings your family has been receiving. It is such an encouragement to see such Godly people. I truly pray that when I meet the man I am supposed to marry he will be like one of your boys.

God bless,
Marika

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Kath November 9, 2013 at 3:17 am

I am sure they hug when they are alone. Aren’t you?

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:53 am

Dear Kath,
Actually, they are not alone. They use chaperones for accountability. Yes, they could figure out ways to sneak if they wanted, but they want to save some of those special close times for marriage. That’s their desire as well as ours. Love, Kelly

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Natalie November 9, 2013 at 3:27 am

Happy birthday Alyssa, and Congrats!!!

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Georgette November 9, 2013 at 3:39 am

Such wonderful news for your family. You have raised beautiful children who love the Lord, and live for him. You and Gil are an inspiration! Your daughters are just beautiful, and make beautiful brides. May they have many many years of happiness ahead. I am sure it seems strange to have three all at once courting and getting married and leaving the home, but you have prepared them well. May God continue to bless and keep you. Thanks for the updates on your incredible wonderful family.

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Veronica November 9, 2013 at 3:47 am

Happy Birthday, Alyssa and congrats! Mrs. Bates, you and your girls are an inspiration to myself and my daughter. Thank You!

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Ruthie November 9, 2013 at 4:11 am

What an exciting time for the Bates family! Erin and Chad’s wedding, Zach and Whitney’s engagement and now Alyssa and John’s courtship! :) May more of God’s blessings pour out on to you and your family! Anyone else getting to know someone special? Happy early Birthday, Alyssa!

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 5:49 am

Dear Ruthie,
Not yet…Love, Kelly

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Kasey November 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

Dear Sweet Kelly,
Will Erin and Alyssa be living close by you guys?? I cant wait to see the pictures of Erin and Chads wedding!! Also my husband and I were thinking of joining ATI:-) Can you tell me a few things about it like what you like or dislike about it. We have a 7 and 5 year old boys. Is there a program for those ages as well?
Love Kasey

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 5:48 am

Dear Kasey,
Erin currently lives near us. John’s job is in Orlando, so Alyssa will be Florida bound!
We love the family emphasis and the spiritual insights from ATI. We use it for character lessons, though, not as a total curriculum. Some say they use it as a total curriculum, but we have always supplemented. It is a home school curriculum and support group, not a church…Obviously, we don’t agree with everything that every speaker says, because people are not perfect, but we learn and use what we do agree with. It has helped our family tremendously in building character, harmony, and discipline…but that needs to be balanced with teaching from a good church to learn doctrine. ATI has encouraged us in our Christian walk, our marriage, our family relationships, and our faith. It gives hope to our children to meet others walking the same path. It is not perfect and the people that make it up are not perfect, however, it is a tool to help us accomplish the goals we’ve set, which include: raising godly children, fellowshipping with like minded families, growing in the Lord, sharing our faith, strengthening our family, etc. We encourage families that use it to supplement with additional curriculum, and don’t let it substitute a good local Bible believing church. It is one of the most rewarding things we’ve been involved in as a family and the Basic Seminar has been the most helpful family strengthening tool we have ever known. Love, Kelly

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Kasey December 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Kelly,
Thank You so much for your reply. It really helps to get feedback from other believers. We hope to be joining ATI soon. Maybe we will spend some much needed time with your family.
Love Kasey

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Motia Teata November 9, 2013 at 4:36 am

Hi Kelly,
Congratulations to Alyssa & John on their courtship!!!
Congratulations to Erin & Chad on their special wedding day!!!
Many warm wishes all the way from Australia to Zach & Whitney’s upcoming wedding!!!
***Your family is an inspiration***

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Diva November 9, 2013 at 5:48 am

What a wonderful time for your family! Your girls are all so beautiful and your boys are adorable! On a more serious note, thank you all for being so willing to share your lives with us – your family is a wonderful example for those of us who are “new” to having a relationship with the Lord and it is MUCH appreciated!

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Geyce November 9, 2013 at 6:42 am

Mrs. Bates, God bless you for your patience with us all. Thank you for posting and answer and open your family to us. You are an example and a mentor to me. I didn’t grow up in a Christian family and your example and teachings has being and answer to prayer.

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Samantha Pope November 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

When are you going to post pics of Erin and Chad’s wedding? I know you are so proud of how her and Chad are so loved by all your fans.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:50 am

Dear Samantha,
Sorry it took so long. I’m hoping to get more posted soon! Love, Kelly

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Diva November 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

Quick question – is there an “age limit” rule that your family is guided by for courtship – a “how young is too young,” I guess is what I’m asking, or is it a “depends on the kid” sort of thing?

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:49 am

Dear Diva,
We advise them that age is often a wonderful source of maturity and wisdom. Nonetheless, we ask they not pursue a relationship until 18…but that doesn’t mean they are all ready to jump right into a relationship at that point. Each are different with different personalities, goals, interests, etc. Love, Kelly

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Rachel November 9, 2013 at 8:24 am

Alyssa looks lovely! I think the picture of her receiving the flowers is so sweet. By the way, is Alyssa in college or pursuing a career? And is there an age minimum for your children of when they can start a courtship? / God bless.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:47 am

Dear Rachel,
We ask that they not pursue any relationship until they are 18. She has been taking duel enrollment college classes before her high school graduation. She took this semester off to help with weddings. Hopefully, she’ll start back next semester…unless wedding bells distract her pursuits next year! Love, Kelly

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Bianca November 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

Happy Birthday Alyssa!!!

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ron November 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

do ur kids ever play games like MINECRAFT or or call of duty or halo and do they SKYPE or have GAME SYSTEMS and play MULTIPLAYER ONLINE (:

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:44 am

Dear Ron,
I don’t know what those names are, but they do not play any video, computer or electronic type games. We play board games, cards, cherade type games, and lots of outdoor type games. Love, Kelly

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Jennifer Watson November 27, 2013 at 1:05 am

I am so happy to hear/read that you do not know what Minecraft or call of duty or halo or other game systems are. I sometimes wish I never heard of Minecraft or Call of Duty or Halo. My niece, nephew, brother-in-law, and uncle and cousin like to play video games and I can’t stand them. Call of Duty and Halo are war type games and they are very violent. My nephew does not understand why my mom and I do not like them.
There are also quite a bit of other things that I wish i never came across by accident by channel surfing/flipping channels on the television and the celebrities who I feel that some of them do not set very good examples for our young people. I’m 22 so I fall into the young people category. I love watching the Duggars and your family because you live what you teach and you are very good influences even though I know you are still learning and do not have everything figured out. There are a few celebrities who came to be christians but by the way the act, it goes against what christians should not be doing. I understand they are not perfect and I am not trying to judge but they need to set higher standards for themselves.
Sorry this is so long. I had to vent.

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Cateau November 9, 2013 at 9:26 am

Dear Kelly,

How does it feel to see your children fly out now?
And for how long do Alyssa and John know each other?

God Bless!
Cateau

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:42 am

Dear Cateau,
It’s been really sweet and special to watch them together… We get to see them pretty often since we go to church together and they live close by. John and Alyssa have known each other over a year, but have actually liked each other for a year. Love, Kelly

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Emily R. November 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

I love reading updates about your family. You all are such an encouragement! Love all the photos. With all the beautiful photos that your family takes, do you or your daughters scrapbook or create photo books?

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Dear Emily,
No, I used to…but have been to busy! I’d like to play the pics on a slide show somehow on our monitor in the living room. Love, Kelly

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Alexis November 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Dear Kelly,

Does your PO Box accept packages? If not is there another address I could send you a small package?

Love,
Alexis

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:46 am

Dear Alexis,
Yes, they do but you don’t need to send anything :) Love, Kelly

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Mary November 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I’ve noticed a lot of people who start courting take photos while the guy is asking the girl to start a courtship, or just right after he has asked. It just seems kind of odd to me because they haven’t decided that they will ultimately get married down the road yet. If a courtship doesn’t work out, does having these photos make it more upsetting? I guess I just don’t really understand why….I mean I get a lot of people do end up getting engaged, but for those who don’t….I feel like it might make them feel bad about the courtship ending.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:16 am

Dear Mary,
I guess everyone that enters a courtship hopes it will work out, so they are excited and want to tell the world. Pics are a way of sharing the moment with others. Of course, there’s sadness if a courtship ends, and I’m sure everyone has different opinions. For us, it was part of our life…it can’t be erased. Its nothing we hide. Instead, we try to learn from it and grow. In that sense, it was a stepping stone to help us become a better person. Love, Kelly

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Cheryl November 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Congrats to Alyssa and John. Happy Birthday Alyssa. What an exciting time in all of your lives. I loved watching your shows and have bought the dvd. Just wondering what Alyssa is going to college for? John and Alyssa look so happy together. How are all the younger children adjusting to the older ones getting ready to move on with their lives? If you ever get to St Louis, I would love to meet all of you (especially you and Gil).

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:38 am

Dear Cheryl,
She has taken Bible classes, history classes, and general requirements so far. Love, Kelly

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Shawnna November 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Just wondering, the pictures are so good-who took them and what kind of camera did they use?

Thanks,
Shawnna

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Dear Shawnna,
i did. I used Alyssa’s camera (Cannon 20D) from the Duggars. Love, Kelly

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Julia November 24, 2013 at 12:59 am

Wow mrs.bates…your a good photographer!!!!! You should do that for a side job sometime… Good job!

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Tonya November 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm

CONGRATS!!!! Such an exciting time for Alyssa and the whole family. May God bless this couple!! Also can’t wait to see all the amazing photo’s from Erin’s Wedding!

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Courtnie November 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Aww I knew it would happen soon! They are such an adorable couple! Hope to see y’all soon! :)
Love
Courtnie

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Amanda Smith November 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Congratulations on another happy announcement. They look so happy in their pictures. What a beautiful backdrop with the pretty fall colors. I guess the saying is true that things happen in three’s!!! It must be a whirlwind in your household. Can’t wait see pictures of Erin’s wedding? Did they go on a honeymoon?

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Dear Amanda,
They stayed in Gatlinburg the first two nights. They flew to Ireland for a week after that. Love, Kelly

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Sarah Hughes November 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I really enjoy reading your blog page. Wow Mrs Bates with one just being married another engaged and one courting you must have your hands full :)
It is so neat how God brings the perfect one at the perfect time.
I have 12 brothers and sisters. My oldest brother and younger sister are married. And even though its sad to see them go We say we didn’t lose a brother and sister we gain a brother and sister.
Thanks again for posting. Your blog pages are very encouraging. May God Bless!
Congratulations John and Alyssa!! Remember to keep Jesus first in your relationship.
Are their wedding pictures yet from Chad and Erin’s wedding?
Sarah Hughes

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Dear Sarah,
They just flew in from Ireland on the 11th. They’ve been busy unpacking boxes and clothes at their new house these past two days, but I hope to get pics from them soon. Love, Kelly

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ER November 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

This may be a silly thing to praise, but I LOVE the quality of pictures you post of your family and I love that you guys put such an effort into capturing big moments in your children’s lives. There are no pictures when of when I got engaged (I know this is different than courting, but still…) and while it’s still forever a special memory I wish I had photos of that moment to show my children some day.

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Symphony November 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Mrs. Bates, would you please tell Alyssa that I said Happy birthday, I’m so xcited for her courtship and I will continue to pray for her? Also I think she is a very beautiful lady!
Oh, I Was wondering if you knew if you’re seven oldest daughter had gotten the letters that I had sent them? Thanks!
Love, Symphony

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Jennifer Lynn November 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Hello Kelly. Congratulations on Erins wedding. Congratulations on Zachs wedding coming up. And finally, congratulations on the courtship of John and Alyssa. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for them and your family.
I wanted to ask you Kelly, do your girls wear makeup at all? If they do not, could they wear it if they wanted to? Do any of you girls have naturally curly hair?

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:37 am

Dear Jennifer,
Yes, they wear makeup. Some do every day, some occasionally, and some none at all. They all have different tastes. We just ask them to wear it tastefully. Yes, Josie has naturally curly hair. Love, Kelly

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Sharon Sherbett November 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Congrats on the great news! Was wondering if you could please pray for my family! Thanks!!!

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Dear Sharon,
I count it an honor when asked to pray and I try to make the habit to stop and pray before I even reply, then I also jot down certain request in a notebook as well. Love, Kelly

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Sharon Sherbett November 15, 2013 at 1:00 am

Thank you !! We are feeling those prayers!!

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Carrie November 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Wow, you are very blessed! I am grateful you share your family with us. Will Zach & Whitney’s wedding be televised as well?

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Dear Carrie,
We haven’t heard from TLC, but our old producer Matt Hightower will be filming it. Love, Kelly

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Johanna November 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm

What a sweet and happy couple! :)

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Denise November 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hi Kelly,

I have commented a while back but now sure if you got it or not. I was wondering what your take was on interracially dating. I know that some Baptist are against and just wanted to know your take.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:35 am

Dear Denise,
I’m sorry for the delay. I’m just now answering comments from the many weeks before the wedding. I think God will direct the families and the couple about marriage. The most important question is “Are they equally yoked?,” meaning both Christians. There are other things to consider like, “Do they have the same doctrine and beliefs?” “Do they have background differences that they might need to think and talk about?” “Are there health issues to consider?” “Are there personality preferences or differences that need to be discussed?” In pursuing a relationship, the important questions are: “Is this God’s will?”, “Will our relationship together cause us and others to become closer to Christ?” “Are there issues or beliefs in our lives that will cause us disharmony in our home?” “How can my marriage to this person bring glory to God?” When our hearts are bent on following God’s plan, I think He’ll direct and help iron out any of the seemingly little obstacles that seem to lurk in our path or give us guidance and growth as a result. Love, Kelly

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Denise Johnson December 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Yes, but shouldn’t you consider those things anyway with whomever you are pursuing, and just if the person is a different color or race than you?

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Kelly December 30, 2013 at 4:33 am

Dear Denise,
Yes, I was meaning that these are the more important things for EVERY couple to consider, rather than just skin color. Love, Kelly

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Hannah C November 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Happy birthday Alyssa! God bless you and congratulations on your courtship

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Edith November 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Beautiful couple! Congratulations!!! Happy Birthday, Alyssa.

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Edith November 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Beautiful couple! Congratulations!!!

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Lisa November 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Dear Kelly, Congratulations! What a beautiful time for your family. The photos are just breathtaking. Please give our love to Alyssa and John. Are there books that you would suggest or ones that you have used regarding courtship that I could read with my teenaged children? We hope to meet you someday at an ATI convention. We are praying that we will be able to afford to attend this year. Many blessings, Lisa

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:24 am

Dear Lisa,
Erin enjoyed books by Eric Ludy. I read Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliott. I’ve heard others suggest I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris, but I haven’t personally read it. Love, Kelly

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Lynsey November 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm

LOVE this!!!!! They are adorable!!

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Holly Howell November 9, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Kelly-
This is such wonderful news……. and I have to say, I thought so!! It seemed like a possibility from previous photos posted. How fun!
Do you and Gil have a certain age that you want the children to wait to get married til? I was married at 21, and looking back, I was such a baby! Haha! But I knew the Lord had put it on our hearts to be married, and we still are, 13 yrs later.
And another question if you will allow: do you have a set budget you and Gil have for weddings or do you just think you’ll take it one at a time? My parents had my now husband and I, pay for ours. I have 4 children as of now, and I value your opinion, and am curious if this is something I should consider to save for, or what? Thank you for your thoughts, advice, and how you consistently and I might add, very patiently answer all of our questions. Truly a kind and loving heart you have. :)
Love, Holly from Seattle

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Dear Holly,
We don’t allow them to court or pursue a relationship until they are 18. LOL…we’re just going through all of this for the first times…so we’re learning. Our views might change, if we go through some hard times and take a closer look…We learn through talking to others, praying, experience…but we’re not authorities on any of these subjects and we’ve made wrong decisions before…so when you ask any question, keep in mind that we make mistakes, and these are opinions….best advice always is try to discern God’s will! But for now, our limit to begin a relationship is 18. We’ve seen kids get married young whose marriage thrived (ex: Duggars); we’ve also seen the opposite of couples who just weren’t quite ready. We’ve seen couples that were older whose marriage thrived, and we’ve seen the opposite where age didn’t help the relationship…. so, I think knowing your child and their particular strengths and weaknesses is important. I don’t think age is the most important factor…I think commitment, faith in God, determination to work on the relationship, spiritual priorities, and selflessness are much more important factors in helping a marriage thrive. Certainly, nothing is wrong with waiting til you’re older. Erin is glad she waited until she was 22….But Gil often jokingly says he wishes he had gotten married to me ten years earlier (of course he would’ve only been 12!!) LOL!!
Paying for weddings…lol! Now that’s a fun subject…seeing as we have a lot to look forward to!! haha! We take one day at a time. We look for bargains. We shop at thrift stores for trays and platters. We borrowed most of the decor. We traded tree work when possible. We all pitched in…both families and the couples!! Some people donated food. Many helped with the workload. The invitations were donated by Widby Printing as a personal wedding gift to Erin. The chicken salad and pimento cheese was donated by our favorite fast food restaurant: Vol’s Market as a wedding present. The cheese straws were donated by a sweet lady in Atlanta. Erin and Chad both saved diligently and we tried to help as much as possible, as well. Love, Kelly

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caryn November 14, 2013 at 3:52 am

Kelly,
It’s so great to hear how you all pitch in to make things work! I wanted to tell you that I have been listening to Gil’s & your messages on Embassy Institute! Such great stories about real life that you both share!!! I’ve gotten lot out of it and my children like to listen to Gil speak! Take care, Caryn

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Audra November 10, 2013 at 2:35 am

Your girls are all so lovely! I have really enjoyed you sharing your children’s courtship stories. It is so wonderful to read about Christ-centered love stories. I do have a question.. I love your family’s modest dress. Is there a particular brand of modesty tees or tanks your girls wear. I have a hard time finding modest layering pieces..

Thanks and God bless,
Audra

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:21 am

Dear Audra,
Their tanks mostly come from Wal-Mart or Goodwills. You can purchase “body tape” that is double sided to hold tanks in place. Love, Kelly

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Andy November 10, 2013 at 3:11 am

Congrats! I’m believing and hoping I will be blessed with a courtship and marriage one day.

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Jennifer Watson November 10, 2013 at 3:54 am

Hello Kelly.
I wanted to congratulate you on marrying off your daughter Erin. There have been pictures posted on Facebook and the pictures from the wedding look amazing.
I also wanted to congratulate you on the courtship of Alyssa and John. The pictures of them look great. Did Alyssa’s feet hurt at all from wearing those heels? I have a pair of shoes like hers but mine are silver and I got them at payless.
I wanted to ask you kelly, do your girls wear make-up at all? If they do not, could they wear it if they wanted to? Would you/Do you have standards as to what colors of eye shadow and how much make-up they could/can wear? What are your feelings about make-up? Do you emphasize proper skin care with your girls/sons (boys can have skin problems too)?
Sorry for all the questions, I’m just curious.
Jennifer

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:19 am

Dear Jennifer,
Yes, some wear makeup. We tell them the best makeup is the makeup that looks natural on you. Some wear more than others. Some prefer none at all. We don’t like a caked on unnatural look, but do not mind it at all if applied tastefully. Yes, we do emphasize skin care. Gil’s mom is a nurse and was wise enough to take her children to a dermatologist when they were young. That knowledge can be a great help to youth that struggle more with blemishes. All skin types are different, so some cleansers and lotions are better than others. My girls prefer Cerve brand. Love, Kelly

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Abbie D. November 10, 2013 at 4:04 am

Hi there!
Wow! What a sweet lookin’ couple! I’m so happy for them. May the Lord be blessed and honored through their relationship. I’m sure this is exciting for all of you! How long have they known each other for?
Love in Christ,
Abbie

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:14 am

Dear Abbie,
They’ve known each other over a year, but they liked each other for exactly a year to their courtship date (that date was special to them since it was when John realized he wanted to get to know her more than just as casual friends). Love, Kelly

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Penny November 10, 2013 at 4:05 am

All this wonderful excitement…..how are you and Gil handling the “stress” or thoughts of a bit of a empty nest at home? It must feel strange not seeing sweet Erin around the house. Next Zach and then Alyssa.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:12 am

Dear Penny,
Thankfully, we’ve gotten to spend a lot of time together with them as newlyweds! But it was sure a tearful few days the first week after their wedding!! Chad made it easier on us, though, seeing how thoughtful he is of her and how happy they are together! Love, Kelly

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Angela November 10, 2013 at 6:31 am

Congrats! It is all so exciting. I really love the last picture with Gil! Thank you all for being such and inspiration, and encouragement, praise be to God.

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Smith Girls November 10, 2013 at 8:47 am

Hi, Kelly. You seem sincere that you will answer questions. I am sincere in asking them.

What do you have to say about Doug Phillips resigning after admitting to an inappropriate relationship? It hasn’t come out yet whether this relationship was with a male or a female.

As you know, The Values Voter organization voted Michelle Duggar as the Mother of the Year. As you also know, Josh Duggar is now employed by the
Family Research Council, which hosts the Value Voters Summit, which Doug Phillips owns.

I do expect a reply from you just as I would expect a reply from you if I didn’t ask the hard questions. Or maybe you just answer the easy ones that go in your favor. Respectfully asked and reply respectfully asked for in return.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 3:06 am

Dear Smith Girls,
We have not been involved with any ministries associated with Doug Phillips, so I can’t comment on someone I don’t know and have never met. I can talk about sin, though. Its effects are heartbreaking and far reaching. Satan loves to target families in ministry so it should be a warning to stay on guard and remain humble and accountable. Sin is tempting; that’s why we all struggle. The Bible says it is pleasurable for a season…but then the consequences come, the grief and sorrow and guilt, the loss of testimony and the harm to the ministry. Its a sad reality that many ministers fall to immorality. I lived through that experience in my own home growing up and watching a divorce tear a family and ministry apart…Even David, a man after God’s own heart, fell to horrible sin in this area. We must, therefore, take so many precautions to stand strong. We advise that men should never counsel women alone or meet alone. We advise having accountability partners that are aware of struggles and weaknesses that require extra prayer and protection. I heard one person say that Billy Graham wouldn’t even ride an elevator alone with a woman. Some might say this is too strict, but I’d rather have stricter guidelines than a broken marriage and ministry. None of us are too good to be exempt from failure…in fact, just the opposite, we are ALL susceptible! We are in a battle, and when you are in a spiritual battle you must be dressed right, equipped right, prepared, alert, and supplied with teams to help! May we each learn, but let’s learn with humility, being careful not to cast stones at fallen soldiers. They need our help and our prayers! We are not Calvinist in our doctrine, so we have not been involved in Vision Forum’s Ministries, but I’m sure they could use all of our prayers as they try to mend the wounds! I woulkd much rather comment on the dangers of temptation, the need to take cautions ourselves, and the duty to pray for this family, than to cast stones at the offender. Love, Kelly

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lesa November 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Dear Kelly:
I know nothing of this scandal either, and am VERY thankful for your spirit, guidance and UNWAVERING devotion to the LORD’s true path.

Thank you for not casting stones and admitting that we are all vulnerable to sin and temptation.

More women should display your strength and devotion.

Thank you and lol and prayers for you and your family.

P/S Will you be updating the family photo section anytime in 2014 to include Whitney ( and hopefully John too?)
God bless and please say a little prayer for me if you have a moment.

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Kelly December 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Dear Lesa,
Hopefully we’ll redo our whole website, but the man who runs the site had a tragic family accident. His toddler was in a lawn mower accident and has been hospitalized since the accident with numerous surgeries. The family has been through a considerable amount of hardship, thus it has been delayed. Love, Kelly

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Patti November 10, 2013 at 9:42 am

Congratulations to Alyssa and John!

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Terry November 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I will not ask about posting Erin’s wedding pictures LOL!
But just a general question, does it not concern you how quickly the young people go from first meeting to getting married. It seems like such a short time.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 5:31 am

Dear Terry,
Actually, it seemed long to us…lol! We were counting the days with anticipation! First they knew each other as friends or acquaintances for a period of time. Next, they expressed an interest in getting to know each other on a deeper level to see if they wanted to pursue courtship. Then they spent several months in courtship, learning to give of themselves and put the other first, and show thoughtfulness. Then they spent several months in engagement, planning and setting goals and learning to love. I feel that they’ve all been very prepared in their communication skills with each other, their learning about one another, and in sharing spiritually. Chad and Erin liked each other, courted, and was engaged for about a two year period total. Zach and Whit from start to finish will be about a year and a half. John and Alyssa have already liked each other for a year, not counting courtship and engagement. Obviously, its a progression; they know each other on a deeper level further on after they’ve shared experiences, trials, and triumphs. I’m still learning about and enjoying my husband daily!! For us, a relationship that is too short can be dangerous by not really knowing each other and not establishing clear understanding of goals and beliefs. However, too long of a relationship can be dangerous in that the closer you become, the more temptation you experience. So we think balance is key! Love, Kelly

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Gabrielle November 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Congratulations!!! Happy birthday too by the way!
Soo excited for y’all! Can’t wait to see pictures of Erin’s wedding!:)
God bless!
~Gabrielle~

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Linda Robinson November 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Dear kelly, Gill, and all the family. May I offer my congratulations on the new courtship of Alyssa & John, what a lovely couple they make. I admire the strength and convictions of purity for marriage you teach your family, but I also admire you Kelly & Gill for allowing your young people to be able to make their own choices about how intimate they make their courting relationships. I personaly think it is right and natural for couples to want to share some physical affection before marriage.

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janet November 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Congratulations to all the happy couples.
Think of all the grandbabies that will come your way!

janet

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Nicky November 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Congratulations!! Such pretty pictures!!

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Jackie November 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Wishing joy to Alyssa and John!

Also congratulations to Lawson on a fantastic CD. I enjoy “Happiness is the Lord.” May I request he cover “I’ll fly away,” a great hymn!

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Jackie November 11, 2013 at 1:22 am

Congrats Alyssa! Wow like you have no idea how encouraging it is for me to see this. It’s just SOOoooo encouraging to see that yes it actually happens when you wait on God. Thanks for being who you guys are!
Jackie

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Carrie November 11, 2013 at 2:25 am

Hi Kelly!

Congratulations on Alyssa and her courtship! I have a weird question. All of your girls hair always looks pretty and professional. Do each of your girls do their own hair, or does one of your daughters do the other girls hair? Have a blessed day!

Carrie

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Dear Carrie,
They each do their own, and they each have different tastes and styles. Love, Kelly

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Piper November 11, 2013 at 3:22 am

Happy birthday to Alyssa and congratulations to both of them :)

I’ve seen a few pictures from Erin’s wedding and look forward to seeing more when you have a chance to post them :)

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Stephanie November 11, 2013 at 3:34 am

Aylssa looks beautiful, and extremely attractive.
He must be a very smart man to snag Alyssa quickly. What kind of work and education does John do? I might have missed something about his biography somewhere.

P.S awesomely cute wedges. As tall as he is it looks like high heels are in Alyssa’s wardrobe now and good for her. Ladies love a pretty shoe and she looks like a classy young lady in them.

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 5:18 am

Dear Stephanie,
He works in his family’s air conditioning business. Love, Kelly

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Priscilla November 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

What wonderful and exciting news! Thank you for the updates about your family. I love hearing about how the Lord is blessing you all in so many ways! I’m sorry if I missed it, but when is Zach and Whitney’s wedding?

Blessings, Priscilla

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Dear Priscilla,
Zach and Whitney’s wedding is Saturday December 14th. Love, Kelly

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Becky T. November 11, 2013 at 9:01 am

Kelly Jo and Gil,
Are your heads spinning! How was the wedding a few weeks ago, then you have another daughter corting! Now you have wedding number two coming up. Praying for the final plans and other details!!

Blessings, Becky

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Symphony November 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Is Alyssa wearing a purity ring or just an accessory one? And do you guys buy purity rings for each of your daughters at certain ages?
Love, symphony

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Dear Symphony,
Yes, we do buy them purity rings. The ages we’ve given them has varied. Love, Kelly

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Emory November 17, 2013 at 12:57 am

I hope it’s okay to ask…where do you usually buy their purity rings?

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Kelly November 18, 2013 at 4:21 am

Dear Emory,
At JC Penneys or Kays. Love, Kelly

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Jillian November 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Christian Teen Shop has a lot of beautiful Purity rings that are affordable. Their website is http://www.christianteenshop.com

Nancy November 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,
Thank you for replying to my last comment. This is off the subject, but my Mom and I were wondering if your husband’s tree cutting business would ever travel for a job. If not, would he have any recommendations for a tree-cutting service in Texas?
Thank You and God Bless, Nancy
P.S. We’re also wandering how your family goes through airport security, with the invasive screenings and pat downs?

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Dear Nancy,
He has traveled for tree work, but he doesn’t take his trucks that far. He has to climb them or rent a lift. We go through airport security like everyone else. Fortunately, the workers that I’ve seen have tried to be considerate and respectful. Love, Kelly

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Laura November 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

That’s fantastic news! I will keep them in my prayer!

Are Erin and Chad still in Ireland? That’s where I live,I would happily give them advice on where to go and see that’s extra special!

Regards,
L

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Dear Laura,
Thank you so much…I’m sure they wish they were still there from the few stories they’ve told. They said you could literally spend months there and not run out of things to see. They were sad to leave. Love, Kelly

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Laura November 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Aww I’m so glad they enjoyed their time here! God bless x

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Gracie November 12, 2013 at 2:11 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,

I have been so blessed reading about your family! It is so, so encouraging to see another family on the other side of the world (I’m Aussie! :) ), living a life with a desire to serve the Lord together, and glorify Him. I am so happy for Alyssa and John – may this exciting new chapter be one of great growth and blessing for them and Jesus be glorified! It has really blessed me to see Erin and Chad’s, and Whitney and Zach’s stories unfold, and seeing the Lord bringing them together – it is so beautiful!
I have a young man who is pursuing a relationship with me at the moment, with the intention of a courtship and marriage. It is just in the ‘getting to know you’ and ‘really seeking the Lord if this is His Will’ stage (both our parents are very involved! :) ). I was just wondering what your thoughts were in regards to how long this period of time should be, before a courtship comes into being? In the case with your children, did they know quite certainly that they wanted to marry as they entered a courtship, or they still were not sure as to whether he/she was the one God had chosen? Please don’t feel you have to respond to my rambles – you are such a (beautifully!!) busy lady… but if you have a spare moment, I was just interested in hearing what you thought! I am the eldest of many, so this is all new territory – and although my parents and I have discussed this a lot, I am keen to hear of other peoples’ thoughts! :)

Have a delightful day, and may the Lord richly bless you and your lovely family as you seek Him!

Love,
Gracie xx

P.S – I am exactly 3 weeks older then Alyssa!!! :)

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Dear Gracie,
That would depend on you, your parents, and the other family involved. There are many opinions about the subject. We know families that go into a courtship with the intentions of getting to know each other during that phase. For us, since courtship is the idea of finding if this is the person I’m to marry, we feel they should already know a great deal about each other and be very good friends. That is just our opinion, and there are many who hold a different opinion. For us personally, I couldn’t imagine pursuing marrying someone that I’m just learning to know… but every one has their own ideas. How long it takes you to realize that friendship is ready to turn to courtship probably varies greatly depending on how often you see each other or communicate, how effectively you communicate, etc. I wouldn’t set a time limit on something that can be so different for each person and each situation, but I’m sure God will let you both know. Love, Kelly

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Taylor November 12, 2013 at 2:25 am

So cool! Congrats on courting! Ya’ll make a great couple!!!

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Caitlin November 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Hi Mrs. Kelly! We love watching your family on tv with the Duggar family, and are so excited for Chad and Erin, Zach and Whitney, and John and Alyssa!! Would you mind sharing with me what makeup your girls like to wear? I especially like the way Erin”s skin is so pretty. I am looking for a good skincare routine, and would love to know what your girls do. Thank you so much!

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Dear Caitlyn,
They use Neutrogena skin clearing foundation and Rimmel powder. Love, Kelly

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janice November 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Congratulations to your 3 couples and also to your other ones for staying on track and practicing self discipline. I am curious if John has aspirations to go into politics like his father? Heaven knows we need more principled politicians.

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Kelly November 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Dear Janice,
I haven’t heard him express that goal, but I do pray God will raise up more Godly young men to help lead our country. Love, Kelly

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AB November 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Hi Kelly,
I was wondering if you could explain what you meant when you said you encourage your children to become best friends before starting to court, through texting, etc., I assume. Doesn’t this give a great chance that while becoming “best friends” with someone, that they may not end up marrying or may not be the best person for them, that they become emotionally attached to this person before they know if this is what God has for them? Making it very hard to not proceed on to a courtship or dating relationship, even if this is not the best for them? I know these are all hard questions, and as someone who is pretty familiar with the current courtship and dating model (my sister courted and is now married, but I followed a somewhat different pattern by on separate occasions becoming close friends with several young men, with the intention of beginning a courtship after we got to know each other better, but instead ended up emotionally scarred and broeknhearted) and so I understand there are many different issues involved.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 5:12 am

Dear AB,
Yes, we’ve thought and talked about your questions often. We tried the route of getting to know each other with no emotions, even pursuing courtship with no emotions (to protect from hurt, just in case it didn’t work out)… The problem with that goal for us was that it wasn’t realistic. Although no emotions were ever expressed, and they sat miles apart, and barely talked, there was still hurt. The fact is that emotions are just part of us, you can avoid expressing it…but they are still there. We knew a girl once whose family had a belief that their daughters shouldn’t roll their hair with rollers of any kind, Instead, the daughters rolled their bangs on a pencil and held it in place for an hour (same result, just a lot of wasted time in order to hide behind reality…the reality that they were still curling their hair). Hiding emotions is the same thing in my mind. They are there. The question is what to do with them. We think they should be kept in check and monitored… but the hurt is there, nonetheless, in any broken relationship, no matter what caution is taken. I would guess that had you taken a much more safe approach, if your courtship ended, you’d still have experienced pain. You can have pain from any relationships, including family and friends…pain is sometimes part of growing. Your sister might have had a happy story because she had a happy ending. Someone who has had a painful ending can still experience joy if they allow that pain to draw them closer to the Lord. Another thing to consider for us was, would we want someone to pursue marrying one of our daughter’s if he didn’t have emotions for her or didn’t know how to express them at all? We’ve seen so many marriages that we felt lacked thoughtfulness and affection. It was never learned and developed. For us, our emphasis is on wholesomeness, so we don’t want our children to be flippant in showing too much attention to others. Wholesome, Christ honoring friendships won’t be flirty and attention focused. That’s why we put guidelines in place and accountability. Friendship with the goal of spiritual growth doesn’t have to mean a hidden agenda to pursue relationships. Friends can be friends that encourage. Relationships need parameters…and LOTS of them…but emotions are part of that process. The question in all of our hearts needs to be “What is my real motive?” “Am I trying to glorify God in my thoughts and actions?” and “How can I set my affections on things above?” Love, Kelly

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Mary November 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Kelly,

Alyssa and John make such a lovely couple! And, I just say, that I see so much of your pretty smile and facial features when I look at Alyssa. I pray that this courtship with bring blessings to the happy couple and to your whole family. I love hearing about your family and your latest life events.

Congratulations to Erin and her new husband as well. It is wonderful to see the joy your family shares in celebrating these milestones together.

Sending love to all of the Bates family from Minnesota!

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Natalie November 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm

What God is doing in your family is truly inspiring! Our hearts desire and prayer is for a young man with the spirit and godly character of the Bates young men to court our teenaged daughter but the young men at our homeschool co-op and even at our church seem to be either worldly, lost, irresponsible or oftentimes all three. In our area, we know of only one other family who is even interested in the idea of courtship/dating with a purpose and they have all daughters. It’s disheartening. Do you have any advice? Thank you!

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:48 am

Dear Natalie,
Hmm… wait on the Lord and widen your social circle of home school families. Go to home school get togethers and camps, church meetings, etc. Love, Kelly

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rose November 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Congratulations and happy belated birthday Alyssa! My daughter also entered a new phase of life November 6th. She surrendered her heart and accepted the lord as her saviour at the ripe age of 18. Oh to see my children walk in the way of the Lord!!! Makes my heart glad.

God bless y’all.
Rose

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Lauren H. November 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Hi Kelly and Gil,

Have you thought about writing a book on courtship? I know you say you aren’t experts, but you seem to have such a healthy view of the process, which I often see lacking in many families. Some are so strict and dogmatic, and I think it would be a great encouragement to see a family that has allowed their children do things differently and still reach the same goals.

Also, Congrats to Alyssa and John!

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:45 am

Dear Lauren,
LOL…I consider myself still learning! Love, Kelly

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Teresa November 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Hi Kelly, I am a new subscriber to your blog. Signed up a little while ago, but I did not receive an email update on this latest post. I just happened to check the blog and found it. Will I somehow get added to your list so I can get updates automatically and not have to check the blog? Thank you, love your family.

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Kelly November 16, 2013 at 1:33 am

Dear Teresa,
I’m not sure how all that works but I’ll ask Ryan (He helps keep up our web). Love, Kelly

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Cheryl November 14, 2013 at 12:24 am

Congrats to Alyssa and John. Happy Birthday Alyssa. What an exciting time in all of your lives. I loved watching your shows and have bought the dvd. Just wondering what Alyssa is going to college for? John and Alyssa look so happy together. How are all the younger children adjusting to the older ones getting ready to move on with their lives? If you ever get to St Louis, I would love to meet all of you (especially you and Gil).

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 4:43 am

Dear Cheryl,
She was just taking regular required classes, along with Bible classes. She had not chosen a particular major. Love, Kelly

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EmilyD November 14, 2013 at 12:39 am

Congratulations to Alyssa and John… such a precious time for you all… may our Lord Jesus richly bless you all!

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Annette November 14, 2013 at 2:59 am

Goodness you are having a BUSY year! You might catch up with my Mum’s year in the 80′s (we were 4 kids married and 2 grandbabies all in 11 months! Best Wishes to the newest courting couple!

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Jessica McMillen November 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Congrats to Alyssa and John that is exciting news seems like all your kids are going at once. Erin and Chad, Zach and Whitney and now Alyssa and John. Congrats to all the couples. You could be looking at a number of grandchildren all close to the same age which could be fun. I saw someone asked how old John was and you said soon to be 24. I read on the Paine’s blog that Chad is 25 is that right and would you mind answering how old Whitney is if it’s not to much trouble. Thanks loved your show glad you keep blog s0 we know what’s happening.

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Kelly November 16, 2013 at 1:30 am

Dear Jessica,
Chad is 26 now. Whit is 20. Love, Kelly

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Jessica McMillen November 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Kelly thank you for responding can’t wait to see Erin and Chad’s wedding on 19 kids and counting. Best of luck

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Missie November 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Congrats to the beautiful couple!

Kelly, have you and Gil ever thought about writing a book about your family’s perspective on courtship? I can say with certainty that your thoughtful blog posts on the subject have given me some deeper thoughts that will be most helpful when my children reach courting age. Just a thought… thanks for sharing and God Bless.

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Franny November 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures Mrs. Bates! As we wait for the wedding pictures, I’m wondering if Erin and Chad took some pictures in Ireland they would share with us? My husband and I went to Ireland a few years ago and loved it so much (we did Dublin, Killarney, Galway, Aran Islands), I’d love to see what the happy couple did and where they went while they were there. Also, do Zach and Whitney know where they’re going for their honeymoon? God bless!

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Kelly November 16, 2013 at 1:29 am

Dear Franny,
Yes, I hope to post some Ireland pics too and share some of their adventures. Zach is hoping to go to Hawaii, but is checking prices still. Love, Kelly

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Ruthie November 15, 2013 at 1:45 am

Congratulations to all your kids who are entering into marriage or courtships! :) Prayers for His blessings and favor of their lives.

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Emily November 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Yay!!!!! So happy for you guys!!! Is Erin is married? John and Aylissa make a cute couple!

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Kelly November 16, 2013 at 1:24 am

Dear Emily,
Yes, they’re married. Love, Kelly

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Lists November 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Kelly.. Do you feel you’ve made a difference being on tv? I’m gonna be honest. Not a church goer. I grew up with 2 religions and dropped both. I wish you would write a book. Not to compare you with another family. But you guys seem to love each other!

Also. If we would meet in real life. Would you not like me because I wear jeans?

Another. My husband and I met each other and kissed and all before we got married. Happy to say we’ve been married for 20 years! I do agree I wished we saved our kiss. But it was still special.

Good luck with all of the weddings! While our beliefs clash, I wish you lotsa luck! You have a beautiful family.

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Kelly November 16, 2013 at 1:22 am

Dear Lists,
We’d love to meet you…and no, we wouldn’t mind pants. Most of our close friends wear them. We have our own preferences about many things: music, videos, dress, etc….but that doesn’t mean we only like people based on dress. There’s so much more to a person than just the clothes they wear. We’re all on a journey in life and we may be at different points in our travels, but we hope to encourage others along the journey. Love, Kelly

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Annie November 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Hello there,

How would you feel if Erin was inspired by her new husband’s family and decided to pursue her own career in politics? Or any of your other girls? I’m just curious how you would feel if your daughters waited to get married and started working instead? I find myself in a similar struggle at the moment, maybe God has a plan that doesn’t include marriage right away? I would appreciate your advice.

-Annie

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 2:31 am

Dear Annie,
I think you might have Erin and Alyssa confused. Chad’s dad is a doctor. John Webster’s dad is in politics. Alyssa absolutely LOVES politics! She is very involved campaigning each election. This year she is serving as a campaign coordinator for our local area. We encourage our children to be involved in both church and community. Once a mom, we feel the best career is at home loving the children God loans us for a short time. Love, Kelly

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Chelsea November 16, 2013 at 5:37 am

Mrs. Bates,

Most days, as a young married woman and mommy, i feel so alone in trying to honor God through my marriage, modesty, personal choices and more. It may just be this season of life, but it certainly can be lonely. Seeing your family’s love for each other and the Lord and your faithfulness encourages me to stay faithful too and draw nearer to Him. Thank you for these encouraging glimpses into your lives. And can i just say, i adore your daughters (and soon to be daughter in law) and wish they could send me just an ounce of their great fashion sense!

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Ashley November 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Hi Mrs. Bates,
I am very happy for Alyssa and John!!!! Where did Erin and Chad go for their honeymoon?
Is Erin going to write music for her songs that she can play? I love her playing and I wish I could play like that. I try to add chords and things to my music.
Love in Christ,
Ashley

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 1:31 am

Dear Ashley,
They went to Ireland. She has written a few songs down as class requirements, but usually doesn’t take the incredible amount of time needed to. Instead, she just writes out her own form of music shorthand to remind herself or uses a phone to record her playing if she needs to remember a piece. Love, Kelly

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Kimi November 17, 2013 at 7:36 am

Kelly,

Absolutely thrilled for your family! :) How special and exciting for Alyssa! I was just wondering who takes all the amazing pictures of your family for your blog? Very talented photographer, whomever it is!

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Kelly November 18, 2013 at 4:20 am

Dear Kimi,
We all take turns. It was me that time, but I’m not a good photographer…must have been the camera! Love, Kelly

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Kimi December 27, 2013 at 1:00 am

Kelly, I think your pictures look absolutely beautiful! :) Everything I read on your blog is framed and pictured wonderfully!

Thank you so much for your encouragement through this blog. :) So few are wholesome and encouraging anymore – yours is a breath of fresh air for me, as a Christian, wife, and new mommy!

Kimi

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Lana November 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

How do the young men who want to pursue a relationship with your daughters ask…like in the “get to know you” stage? Do they ask? Or do they just do it on their own?

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 1:28 am

Dear Lana,
Some people they just get to know because we spend time with the families, but if a fellow intentionally wants to pursue getting to know them as a possible prospective courtship, they usually ask us and share their interests. If they happen not to ask, but our girls sense they are wanting to be more than friends, our girls are swift to remind them too talk to us. Love, Kelly

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M&M November 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Congratulations!!!

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Siara November 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Love this. The couple is beautiful :)
Any chance you guys are coming to Phoenix or California in the future? I’d love to meet you!!

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Kelly November 18, 2013 at 4:17 am

Dear Siara,
Would love to lol…maybe God will let our paths cross! Love, Kelly

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Ashley November 18, 2013 at 2:29 am

I found out about you guys while watching 19 kids and counting. I love the Faith you guys if in the Lord. I’m a Christian still growing and involved with my church. Congrats on all the marriages and engagements. Hope to meet you guys one day! You guys are a blessing.

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Aviva November 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

They look sweet. nice!

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Amélie Serey November 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hello Kelly,

My question is about Michaella. You said that she is “waiting on God timing” to get married and have kids, but isn’t it difficult to see three of her siblings in relationships? How does she cope with it? How does she do to keep faith and to be confident in the Lord? I suppose she prays a lot (and just enjoys life J )

I am 23, I don’t have any siblings married, but I am also wanting to wait for the right one, I just find it hard sometimes to wait …

I am French and discovered your family by 19 kids and counting, I really like all the updates on the blog, can’t wait to see more pictures of Chad and Erin’s weeding!

Amélie

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 2:12 am

Dear Amelie,
I’m not in her shoes, but I imagine at times it would require great trust and grace to find contentment in other areas. Michael has always had a servant spirit, volunteering to do so much for others that there’s little time for other sentiments. She recently told me she’s the happiest she’s ever been. But I know that’s because she spends so much time thinking of others first. The old acronym to spell JOY says: “Jesus, others, yourself last – that spells JOY.” I think that’s been true for Michael. I’ve never met anyone quite like her and I feel doubly blessed to have her as both friend and daughter. I know God loves her more than even I, so I can rest that she’s in safe hands. In the meantime, she brings smiles to everyone as she tries to find ways to be a blessing…that keeps her both busy and content! Love, Kelly

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Lynn November 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Congrats to the both of them, I have 5 kids an we are coming to Dollywood soon , do yall live near there .,Maybe we will drop by for a visit LOL

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 2:03 am

Dear Lynn,
Just an hour away. We’d love to meet you! If you happen to visit our church, maybe we can fellowship afterwards! Love, Kelly

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Tammy November 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Congratulations !! Happy Birthday Alyssa !!! Love you BAtes family

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Annalee November 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Wow! What gorgeous shots! And how exciting-the make a beautiful couple. You have such a lovely family:)

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thar November 21, 2013 at 6:02 am

Mrs. Bates,
As first generation Christians, my dh and I are finding it challenging to know how to proceed in some areas of life, such as courtship/dating (our oldest is 14 and we are praying a lot and discussing this more frequently now.) Is there a book or resource you would suggest, that would guide us through the scriptures and/or compliment them as we attempt to learn more about this topic?

Your daughter was SUCH a beautiful bride and I’ve so enjoyed reading about her courtship and eventual wedding. What a blessing that Alyssa is now in a Godly relationship as well. Thank you for sharing pieces of your lives with others. Thank you, too, for taking time out of your very busy days to respond personally to your readers.
Antoinette

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 1:40 am

Dear Thar,
Erin recommends books by Eric and Leslie Ludy (http://setapartgirl.com/). Love, Kelly

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SH November 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Congrats to you all with all the fun and exciting things happening. I have enjoyed watching your families over the years and have appreciated the way you show your lives and the Christian faith in such a positive way.
Just wondering how Erin is settling in to her new life and role as a wife? It must be a big adjustment leaving a house full of family to the two of them. : )
Thanks!

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 1:08 am

Dear SH,
They have been so fun to watch! All giggles…and hugs and kisses! LOL! I love watching them interact! Erin is adjusting great! She’s got lots of cookbooks to learn from and she’s already been experimenting! They absolutely glow everywhere they go! Love, Kelly

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SH November 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Thanks for the reply Kelly! I know it must be overwhelming trying to keep up with it all.
So great to hear she’s doing so well. I remember one of the episodes saying that Erin wasn’t much of a cook. I didn’t even know how to boil water when I got married so good for her for putting in the time. Hopefully she learns to enjoy it, I can’t say I’ve come very far after the years.! Haha
God bless you all and to the happy couples!
-Steph

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Roisin November 23, 2013 at 1:04 am

Many congratulations to John and Alyssa. It was quite surreal to read about where Erin and Chad honeymooned, as I live in the south of Ireland, and I have followed the story of the Duggar family and your own wonderful family for many years. I hope they enjoyed their stay in the Emerald Isle. Perhaps Ireland isn’t as far away from the States as I had imagined it to be :) Best wishes to Zach and Whitney also. Kindest regards

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Kelly November 26, 2013 at 1:06 am

Dear Roisin,
They said Ireland was a photographers dream! They said a person could stay a month and never run out of sights to see! They made some very special memories! Love, Kelly

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Roisin November 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Kelly, you’re an amazing woman, I don’t know how you find the time to respond to all the comments – and yet you manage it! Enjoy all the celebrations. Love, Roisin :)

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Brittany Watson November 23, 2013 at 3:40 am

Congratulations, Alyssa and John!!!!! I hope the Lord blesses your courtship and God’s plan will be made clear for your lives.

It was a joy getting to meet some of your family while my family was vacationing in TN a couple of months ago! Y’all were very hospitable and the church service was great.

Keep walking with the Lord,
Brittany Watson
2 Cor. 9:15

PS. We still owe Bro. Bates $5.00 for remembering all of our names. ;)

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Francesca December 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

Yay for Alyssa! Your family has been so blessed in the relationship department over the past year! You and Gil just seem to be so great at guiding your children and helping them to find the Lord’s path for them. Thanks for sharing the exciting news :-)

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Faith January 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I just wanted to say congratulations on their recent engagement. I am so happy for them. : )

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lora rearick January 25, 2014 at 2:54 am

When was their engagement posted? I missed that post and the details on the proposal and photos, looking forward to their sweet love story.

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Kelly January 28, 2014 at 4:52 am

Dear Lora,
There will be an engagement post on tomorrow…just running behind!! Love, Kelly

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Kristin McAlister April 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I don’t know if anyone has noticed the age difference, but I wanted to give my perspective. My husband is almost 7 years older than me (6 years and 9 months to be exact). We met when I was 20 and he was 27, and then were married when I was 21 and he was 28. The age difference has been a great blessing to us. God knew that I needed someone who was ready to be married, ready to take care of me and whatever family we had come along. He knew I needed a mature life partner. He also knew that my husband needed someone like me. I have always been told that I have an old soul. When my husband first met me, he thought I was about 24 (4 years older than I was). Some have said I was more mature for my age than expected. When people find out the age difference, one of the first things they say is, “Wow! I never would have known that!” :) I have always known what I wanted in a husband, and I knew that when I was diligent in prayer to God and asked specifically for what I needed in my life that He would provide. The age difference is much less noticeable now, 11 and a half years of marriage later, but I do believe it was and is a blessing, to both of us. Alyssa and John look to be so very much in love, and if they trust God to be an integral part of their marriage, then I know their marriage will be long and successful. Congrats to the beautiful couple!!

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hanah May 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

such beautiful photos!!!!!!!!! we’re from AR but we recently visited Rock City its a beautiful place and the Lovers Leap was a neat photo idea for 2 new lovers! lol

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Mary May 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Kelly, you mentioned Alyssa works out? What does she do on a weekly basis? Weights or running? How does she work out in a skirt? I’m a Christian certified personal trainer and very curious how that works. :)
Thank you for taking time to answer your readers questions!

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Kelly June 8, 2014 at 5:03 am

Dear Mary,
They walk and jog a lot. They horse back ride and go biking. They do exercise videos occasionally. They wear leggins with a shorter silky skirt that lays over them. If they’re in their bedrooms alone, they wear just leggins or shorts to exercise. Love, Kelly

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