Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Bates Family Pictures

While driving through the hills of eastern Tennessee yesterday, we dropped by the Bates' house for lunch and fellowship. Gil and Kelly Bates are another family with 19 children and are close friends of the Duggars. A few years ago, they filmed a season of United Bates of America, a TLC reality series featuring their family.

Until five years ago, Gil and Kelly Bates and their growing family lived in a 1,700 square-foot house. Now, the Bates clan enjoys 4,600 square feet of living space, which includes a 2,900 square-foot addition built by the Duggars in 2009 as a Mother's Day present for Kelly.

Gil and Kelly Bates house
 The Bates family home

Like Michelle Duggar, Kelly Bates is able to carry on a conversation while keeping an eye on her many little ones and reprimanding as necessary. 

Kelly Bates and children
Kelly Bates with Addallee, Jeb, and Ellie Bates

Kelly almost always has a child on her lab and at least one by her side, as the younger ones enjoy cuddling with Mommy.

Kelly Bates and 19 kids
 Kelly Bates with Callie and Ellie Bates

While we chatted, the kids played in the living room, and although they were full of energy, they instantly obeyed Kelly and the older kids when told to calm down.

Ellie, Warden, and Jeb Bates
 Addallee, Warden, and Jeb Bates

Two-year-old Jeb is the youngest of Gil and Kelly Bates' 19 children. This is the first time since the couple started having kids 25 years ago that they have had a two-year-old and no infant. Everyone is excited to welcome Zach and Whitney Bates' son, Bradley, into the family in October.

 Kelly Bates and Ellie

According to the older kids, Jeb is the spittin' image of Judson, who is one year older.

 Judson and Jeb Bates

Jackson and Warden took a liking to Ellie's Mr. Handsome and pulled him into their game.

Bates children
Warden, Ellie, Addallee, and Jackson Bates with Ellie's Mr. Handsome

Before we knew it, Ellie's Mr. Handsome was flipping the boys upside down, and they were loving every minute of it. 

 Ellie's Mr. Handsome and Jackson Bates

We accidentally deleted the photo of Judson with the cone on his head, but this one is almost as cute.

 Judson Bates

Things are changing for the Bates, who have watched three of their children tie the knot over the past nine months.The kids say the house seems incredibly quiet with only 16 children living at home.

Kelly Bates and 19 children
 Kelly Bates with Josie, Jeb, Trace, and Judson Bates

Zach and Erin and their spouses live nearby, but Alyssa moved all the way to Orlando, Florida, with her husband. Fourteen-year-old Josie, who was Alyssa's roommate and best friend, is looking forward to visiting her sister for two weeks in August.

Josie Bates
Josie Bates and Ellie

Tori Bates, 18, is taking college classes while helping her mom homeschool the younger kids. 

Tori Bates
Tori Bates and Ellie

Four-year-old Callie-Anna is as cute as a button with her "elephant ears," as she calls them.

Callie Bates
Callie Bates

After we left, the kids grabbed their bins filled with school supplies and returned to their studies. Some of the children use A Beka DVDs, and others use traditional workbooks.

Bates family homeschools
Tori Bates instructs Jackson, Ellie, Addallee, and Callie Bates

Derick and Jill Dillard have a wedding in Tennessee this weekend and are looking forward to visiting the Bates. Too bad we had to leave just two days before they were scheduled to arrive.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Josiah Duggar Update

What is 17-year-old Josiah Duggar up to these days? He is still away at the International ALERT Academy, a Christan training and service organization located in Big Sandy, Texas. The rest of the Duggar family paid him a visit this weekend.

Josiah Duggar and Jinger Duggar
Josiah Duggar and Jinger Duggar

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Duggar Sister Lunch

Even though Jill is married and no longer living with the Duggar family, she still spends plenty of time with her siblings. While Derick was away at work yesterday afternoon, Jessa popped by Jill and Derick's house for lunch and sister time.

Jessa Duggar and Jill Dillard
Jessa Duggar and Jill Dillard

Monday, July 28, 2014

Duggar Family Rules

Last week, you heard about the 28-foot timeline plastered along the hallway leading to the Duggars' side door. Michelle Duggar also has countless photos, Bible verses, and encouraging sayings hung up throughout the main floor of her house. The goal is to keep the family focused on serving God and others during the day and to remind the kids to practice good character.  

The Duggars go to Hobby Lobby to purchase inspirational metal signs for decoration. The "Family Rules" plaque is one of the family's favorites and is displayed in their dining room.

Duggar Family RulesFamily Rules
Keep your promises
Share
Think of others before yourself
Say I love you
Listen to your parents
Do your best
Say please & thank you
Always tell the truth
Laugh at yourself
Hug often
Use kind words
Love each other

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Adorable Marcus Duggar

Marcus Duggar, the youngest child of Josh and Anna Duggar and the youngest grandchild of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, is nearly 14 months old. He was born in the Duggars' home state of Arkansas just weeks before Josh and Anna packed up and moved their family to Washington D.C.

How many more children do you think Josh and Anna will have?

Marcus Duggar
Marcus Duggar today

Marcus Duggar grand-Duggar
 The many faces of Marcus Duggar

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Duggar Timeline of History

Picture this. You turn into the Duggars' driveway, enter through the gate, and drive down the long, gravel driveway to the house. You grab a spot between the bus and one of the family's many Suburbans. You enter through the side door and are greeted by 10-year-old Jackson, who smiles and says, "Do you know which Duggar I am?"

Adams’ Chart of History: UnboundTo the right is the elliptical Michelle uses every morning before her kiddos wake up, while texting with Cindy, her exercise accountability partner and best friend since first grade.

To the left is a 28-foot timeline plastered on the wall leading down the hall to the Duggar-sized dining room table. The timeline is produced by Answers in Genesis and features detailed, full-color drawings of various stages of Earth's history. Sticking with their modesty standards, the Duggars used a permanent marker to draw full sets of clothes on the timeline figures. A description and preview of the Adam's Chart of History Timeline is available on the Christian Book website.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Exclusive Duggar Wedding Details Part 3


Time to share more Duggar wedding details from Ellie's interview with Sierra, one of Jill's wedding planners. (Click here to read part one and here to read part two.)

Looking back on Jill and Derick's wedding, Sierra says her number one goal was to plan a wedding that fulfilled the dreams of the bride and groom. She and the other two wedding planners were relieved to hear that they succeeded.
 
They were pleased, so excited for it, so grateful to see all their friends, and that totally makes it all worth it.

At the same time, Sierra knows that the most important part of a wedding is the marriage. Aside from a quick text, to which Jill responded that she and Derick were doing well, Sierra left the bride and groom alone during their first weeks as newlyweds.

Jill's sisters played a key role in the wedding planning process. Jessa, who has been courting Ben Seewald since September 2013, could have used the time to start planning her own wedding, but according to Sierra, she kept the focus on Jill, as did the other Duggar girls.

[Jessa] really is a great sister. She really supported Jill the entire time. You wouldn't even know that she had wedding on her radar, except that everybody knows that. [She] and Jana and Jinger were all so incredible.

The one downside of being a planner for the Duggar-Dillard wedding was missing the first kiss. Sierra and her volunteer crew left the wedding 20 minutes early to prepare for the reception, which took place outside Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Thanks to TLC, Sierra can watch the ceremony unfold when it airs on TV.

June 21st was a hot, sunny day in Springdale, Arkansas, but guests enjoyed the outdoor reception. Jill and Derick's rain plan was to move the party into one of the mega church's gyms. The skies opened up the day after the wedding, and it rained for four days straight, said Sierra, so the weather turned out to be a blessing.

Fans can look forward to the premiere of new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting, including a wedding special, this fall on TLC.

Photo Credits: TLC/David Welker, Duggar Family Blog

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paintings of Jana and Jill

A loyal reader used Microsoft Paint to recreate portraits of Jana Duggar and Jill Dillard, née Duggar. What do you think?



The Beautiful Jessa Duggar

Ben Seewald and Jessa Duggar have been courting since September 2013. Here's a photo that Ben recently took of his girlfriend:

Jessa Duggar

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Duggar Wedding Photos: Sendoff

After greeting nearly 1,500 family members and friends at their wedding reception, Derick and Jill Dillard hopped into a vintage getaway car and headed off for their honeymoon. Watch their procession through the line of guests as they make their way to their getaway car.

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard wedding
 Guests lined up to bid farewell to the bride and groom

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard wedding
 Jill's brothers continued their tradition of "trashing" 
the bride and groom's getaway car

 Here come Jill and Derick!

 Notice Jill's smiling face



 Guests blew bubbles as the bride and groom walked past

 Jill's sisters stood near the getaway car to say their goodbyes

Johannah Duggar jumped into the bed of the pickup truck to give her sister a long hug

 Before helping Jill into the car, Derick gave his bride another smooch

 Jill sat close by Derick's side as the couple sped away

The couple chose not to reveal their honeymoon location (North Carolina) until after the wedding

Monday, July 21, 2014

Duggars Celebrate 30 Years Together

Thirty years ago, Jim Bob Duggar, 19, and Michelle Ruark, 17, recited their wedding vows in front of 200 family members and friends. Four years later, Josh Duggar was born, and two years after that, twins Jana and John-David Duggar entered the world.

Today, Jim Bob and Michelle have 19 children and three grandchildren, and their family is still growing. Happy 30th wedding anniversary to the Duggars! How many grandchildren do you think they will have ten years from now?

 Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar 30th wedding anniversary
 Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar in 2014 

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar wedding 1984
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on their wedding day in 1984

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Name That Duggar

The Duggar kids are growing up! Can you identify the family members in the following photos? Post your guesses as a comment.

James Duggar, Justin Duggar, Jackson Duggar

Joy-Anna Duggar, Jason Duggar, Johannah Duggar

Jordyn Duggar

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Georgetown Cupcake for Jim Bob's Birthday

To celebrate Jim Bob Duggar's 49th birthday yesterday, Josh and Anna Duggar and their kiddos, as well as Jana Duggar, who is visiting her brother and sister-in-law in Washington D.C., and a few friends enjoyed dessert from Georgetown Cupcake. Although Jim Bob (also know as "Pops") wasn't with them, the group wanted to do something to honor the Duggar dad on his 49th birthday. 


Flashback! The Duggars visited Georgetown Cupcake as a family in 2010, three years before Josh and Anna relocated to the area (video below).

Friday, July 18, 2014