Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bates Family Makes a Statement

Gil and Kelly Bates responded to Access Hollywood's request for a statement regarding the recent attention that the Duggars have received by the media.

"We are praying for our dear friends," said Gil and Kelly. "We respect their privacy and have no further comment at this time."

Gil and Kelly Bates and their 19 children star in Bringing Up Bates, a reality TV series that airs on UP TV. The Bates and Duggar families have been close friends since their oldest children were four feet tall (see picture below).

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Duggars Break the Silence

Next week, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will join Megyn Kelly on Fox News to discuss the heartbreaking situation involving Josh Duggar that their family went through 12 years ago.

The first part of the interview will air Wednesday at 9pm ET during The Kelly File. The second segment, which will feature footage from an interview at the Duggars' house, will air Friday at 9pm ET during a one-hour special of The Kelly File.



Photo courtesy of TLC

Friday, May 29, 2015

12 More Companies Pull Ads from '19 Kids'


Walgreens, General Mills, Choice Hotels, and Payless ShoeSource recently announced that they will no longer be advertising during episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. A dozen other companies followed suit, as the media continues to sensationalize the accusations against Josh Duggar.

Contact information for each organization is provided below. (Links are in blue.)

Pure Leaf Iced Tea 
Contact Customer Relations at 800-657-3001 or via the contact page

ConAgra Foods
Visit the company's contact page

Party City
Visit the company's contact page

Sherwin-Williams
Call 800-4-SHERWIN or fill out the company's feedback form

Crayola
Fill out the contact form on the company's website

Allstate Insurance
Fill out the contact form on the company's website

King's Hawaiian
Contact Customer Care at 877-MY-KHCARES or via the company's contact page

Pizza Hut
Call 800-948-8488, or visit the company's contact page

Firehouse Subs
Contact Customer Service at 888-289-6185 or via the company's contact page

Ricola
Fill out the contact form on the company's website

BEHR Paint
Contact BEHR Corporate Headquarters at 714-545-7101

Ace Hardware
Contact Customer Service at 866-290-5334 or via the contact form on the website


Photo courtesy of TLC

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tony Kornheiser: "He Was a Kid!'

ESPN radio personality Tony Kornkeiser shared his thoughts on what the media is calling the "Duggar scandal" on The Tony Kornheiser Show. Tony is by no means a 19 Kids and Counting fan, but he weighed in on the situation in support of the Duggars.

"My sense of the Duggars is ... they are a very politically astute family," said Kornhesier.

The ESPN talk show host said he does does not condone Josh's behavior, but he admitted he does not understand why the tabloids are out to destroy his reputation over something that was dealt with 12 years ago.

"I'm not even sure that it's reasonable for this guy to be driven from his job," stated Kornhesier.
"Wasn't it addressed a while back? And the only reason he's quitting his job now is because ... it became public."

Kornheiser also made it clear that he does not agree with those accusing Josh of lying to viewers simply because he did not reveal his wrongdoings sooner. According to Kornheiser, the Duggars had the right to address the situation privately.

You don't have to go out and confess everything you have ever done to everyone in the world!" exclaims Kornheiser. He was a kid!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Corporations Pull Ads from '19 Kids'

Following the release of the 2006 police report containing accusations against Josh Duggar last Thursday, TLC removed 19 Kids and Counting from its lineup for the foreseeable future, and at least four major corporations decided to stop supporting the show.

General Mills, Walgreens, Choice Hotels, and Payless ShoeSource caved to customer complaints and the media but announcing that they will not longer be advertising during 19 Kids and Counting. We have provided contact information for each organization below. (Links are in blue.)

General Mills
Fill out the contact form on the Consumer Services page

Walgreens
Email Walgreens Corporate using the contact form on the company's website

Choice Hotels
Call Customer Relations at 800-300-8800, or email grdesk@choicehotels.com

Payless Shoe Source
Email Customer Service at CustomerService@csr.payless.com

TLC Cuts Back '19 Kids' Web Presence

Last Friday, TLC revealed its decision to pull 19 Kids and Counting from its lineup for the foreseeable future. Since that announcement, the Duggars' web presence on the TLC website has been significantly decreased.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their children have developed a close relationship with TLC/Discovery and the 19 Kids and Counting crew since filming for the family's first special, "14 Children and Pregnant Again," began more than 11 years ago. The crew has faithfully stood by the Duggars' side through the ups and downs, and Jim Bob and Michelle have said many times that they are like family. 

The network has not officially canceled the show, so there is still time to make your voices heard. We urge you to continue posting comments to our blog and to contact the TLC/Discovery Viewer Relations Department. (Click here to visit the Viewer Relations contact page.)

You can also go to the 19 Kids and Counting page, click the red "Feedback" button in the bottom right corner, select "Show or Network Feedback," and then enter your comments. As fans and viewers of the show, your opinions matter.

 Justin Duggar and Jedidiah Duggar with "Uncle Jim," 
a long-time member of the 19 Kids and Counting crew


Photo courtesy of duggarfamily.com


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ark. State Senator Backs the Duggars

According to KFSM Channel 5 News in Northwest Arkansas, State Senator Bart Hester is calling for the dismissal of Springdale Police Chief Kathy O'Kelley.

O'Kelley, along with Springdale City Attorney Ernest Cate, released the 2006 police report containing the accusations against Josh Duggar to In Touch Weekly. It was posted to the magazine's website last Thursday. By the end of the day, Washington County Juvenile Judge Stacey Zimmerman had issued a court order that the document be destroyed and expunged from the public record, reported KFSM.

"The law to protect minors’ identities is not a suggestion," Hester told KFSM. "So sad to see the person charged with protecting the community being so reckless and irresponsible. I believe it is unavoidable that the Springdale police chief should be terminated. She has re-victimized these young ladies."

Hester is concerned that O'Kelley will release police reports containing the details of other similar cases with juvenile victims. This incident occurred just two weeks after O'Kelley announced that she would be retiring at the end of June. 

Celebrating Grandma Duggar

Wishing Grandma Duggar a blessed birthday!



Photos courtesy of duggarfamily.com

Monday, May 25, 2015

Matt Walsh Supports the Duggars

Professional blogger Matt Walsh revealed d his thoughts on the recent controversy surrounding the Duggars on The Blaze. Although he watches the show with his wife, Walsh is not a fan of 19 Kids and Counting, but he does admire the family.

"They are living by their convictions, in defiance of cultural trends, and clearly bestowing a strong faith in all of their children," writes Walsh. "That faith hasn’t...made any of them perfect saints, but it seems genuine."

Josh has been called a hypocrite by many media networks and individuals, but Walsh explains why he does not agree with that accusation.

"A Christian failing to live up to his faith does not make him a hypocrite," says Walsh. "It makes him cowardly, perhaps. It makes him selfish. It makes him flawed. It makes him sinful. It makes him any number of things, but not necessarily a hypocrite. A hypocrite is an insincere person who misrepresents his own beliefs."

"I’m not diminishing Josh Duggar’s infractions," continues Walsh. "As I said, he did something very bad. But Christians commit major sins sometimes, which is the whole reason why Jesus died on the cross."

Walsh also puts himself in Jim Bob and Michelle's shoes and admits that if his son made the same mistakes as Josh, he might not "immediately run to the cops."

"Would you?" Walsh asks his readers. "Is it really that simple? The decision to have your child arrested as a sex offender would be an automatic thing for you? Really?"

"..It appears that Josh’s parents attempted to address the situation within their family before going to the church, and then eventually to a law enforcement officer," says Walsh. "As a parent, you have to think whether your 14 year old son deserves to have his life ruined over his mistakes. Maybe you’d decide that he does. I can’t say I’d agree."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Huckabee Backs Duggars

In the wake of the the controversy regarding inappropriate actions committed by Josh Duggar as a young teenager and TLC's decision to pull 19 Kids and Counting for the foreseeable future, public figures are rising up to stand by the Duggars.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee published a heart-felt Facebook post explaining why he and his wife, Janet, still support the Duggars.

"Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable,'" writes Huckabee. "He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story."

"No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility," continues Huckabee. "Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family.We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends."

Read the full statement on Huckabee's Facebook page


Photos courtesy of duggarfamily.com

TLC Pulls "19 Kids and Counting"


It is with heavy hearts that we share this message from TLC, released this afternoon:

Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.

The season finale of 19 Kids and Counting aired on Tuesday, May 19th. TLC has not announced plans to officially cancel the show but has pulled the show for the foreseeable future.

We will keep you updated and will continue blogging about the Duggars. Please keep the family in your prayers during this difficult time, and be sure to show your support for them. As fans and viewers of the show, your voices matter.


Photo courtesy of duggarfamily.com

Duggar #15 Turns 11

Wishing Jackson a happy 11th birthday!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Josh's Resignation from FRC

Due to the nature of this incident and the misrepresentation of information that is likely to occur, we encourage you to exercise caution when reading about the allegations against Josh Duggar on other websites.

Please keep the Duggar family in your prayers during this time. Based on more than 200 episodes of the Duggars' reality TV show, the positive impact the family has made on millions of people across the globe, and the statements that PEOPLE released last night (see our previous blog post), as well as our own personal interactions with the family, it is clear that Josh Duggar sought forgiveness and guidance years ago and is now following God.

News about the incidents involving Josh, which occurred 12 years ago, was communicated to the public by a media outlet, who had obtained police reports from the Springdale Police Department, this week. When other news organizations requested the same reports, the Springdale Police Department stated that the records had since been expunged. Because of the nature of the incident, the reports should not have been released by the Springdale Police Department.

In his resignation letter to Family Research Council, Josh Duggar expressed deep regret that recent media reports about a dark time during his young teenage years have brought negative attention to the organization.
 
FRC Action's mission to fortify the traditional foundations of civil society is more important now than ever before, and I'm heartbroken that any attention has been diverted from these noble causes to my wrong actions as a young teenager. I am so thankful for God's grace, forgiveness and redemptive heart that allowed me to transform into a man of faith and testimony. In good faith I cannot allow Family Research Council to be impacted by mistakes I made as a teenager, so I am resigning as Executive Director of FRC Action. 


Josh also requested prayer for himself and Anna as they seek to "discover the next chapter of [their] lives." (More on PEOPLE.com)


Photo courtesy of duggarfamily.com

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Duggars Respond to Accusations Against Josh

Josh Duggar resigned from his position at the Family Research Council following accusations that he molested five underage girls as a teenager.

Josh, his wife, and his parents released statements via PEOPLE.com this evening.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably, for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Josh told PEOPLE. "I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities, where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."

Jim Bob and Michelle told PEOPLE that this incident, which occurred 12 years ago, was a dark time for their family. They were shocked by their son's behavior, but they lovingly came alongside him to help him through it. The Duggars say they grew closer to God through this ordeal.

"We pray that as people watch our lives, they see that we are not a perfect family," Jim Bob and Michelle told PEOPLE. "We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything."

When this incident occurred, Josh's family members responded with grace and forgiveness. They have chose to stand by him because they know he deeply regrets his actions and that he is now following after God.

Josh confessed his mistakes to Anna and her parents two years before proposing. Anna says she was "surprised at his openness and humility."

[I know] who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended," said Anna. "Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right."

Josh says he "would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions." As a teenager, he sought forgiveness from the people he had wronged and from God. "In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy, and redemption," said Josh. 

More on PEOPLE.com

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins released a statement following Josh's resignation:

"Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Duggar Dad Put to the Test

For the first time, Jim Bob Duggar attempts to recite all 19 of his kids' birthdays. Can he do it? Watch this video clip from the Duggars' interview with NBC journalist Erica Hill to find out:

New Header

We uploaded an updated blog header, designed by Rachel, one of the 13 talented children of Loren and Gloria Wissmann. The Wissmanns have a traveling bluegrass/Gospel band and are close friends of the Duggars. Rachel also updated the cover photo for our Facebook page.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Recap: "Duggars' Guide to Love" and "Digging In with the Duggars"


19 Kids and Counting "Duggars' Guide to Love"
  • The Duggars discuss "rules of engagement" for courtship.
  • What is courtship? Jason's definition of courting is "dating with a purpose." The focus of courtship is to get to know the person and his or her family with marriage in mind.
  • "Not all courtships end in marriage, and that's okay," says Jinger.
  • "Don't be afraid to get involved in your kids' relationships," Jim Bob tells parents. For the first half of their courtship, Jessa and Ben's texts were group texts with Jim Bob and Michelle.
  • Jim Bob and Michelle admit that they kissed before marriage, so they encourage their kids to learn from their mistakes and save their first kiss. But they want their children to set their own courtship standards.
  • Jim Bob and Michelle encourage their kids to take a chaperone along on all their dates so they have someone to keep them accountable and ensure that they stick to their courtship standards.
  • Anna says it's not about having the same guidelines as one's siblings. Rather, the goal should be to maintain a pure heart before God.
  • Even the youngest Duggar kids know their family's guidelines for relationships. "A chaperone is one that watches like [an] engagement or courting person," says Jordyn. "But they don't watch a married person."
  • The married Duggars (Josh, Jill, and Jessa) all had three-month engagements. They chose to save their physical relationship for marriage, and a shorter engagement helped cut down on the temptations. Joy shares her perspective: "Once you say yes, I mean, why wait forever? I just say get it done."
  • The Duggars also make sure they are ready to be parents before they commit to marriage. Jill and Derick found out they were expecting only four weeks after their wedding. Jessa and Ben got pregnant about three months after they tied the knot. Josh and Anna received a positive pregnancy test four months after their wedding.

19 Kids and Counting "Digging In With the Duggars"
  • Erica Hill, a journalist for NBC, chats with the Duggars about their milestone year. Everyone is there but Joseph, who is away at school, John-David, who is working, and Derick, who is recovering from dental surgery.
  • Why is modesty so important for the Duggars? Michelle says that as a teenager, she did not understand how her revealing clothing was affecting the men around here. "What's she's saying is, she used to mow her yard in her bikini," says Jim Bob, laughing. Michelle smiles.
  • Erica shows the family a combination of clips that illustrate their overuse of the words "special," sweet," "amazing," and "hey, hey," as well as Jim Bob's overuse of the phrases "I'll tell you what" and "hey, hey, hey."
  • "Hey, hey is a greeting," says Jessa. "Hey, hey, hey is something else." The whole family laughs.
  • The Duggars also discuss jurisdictions (chores). Josie is currently in charge of gathering the laundry, and according to Jinger, she likes to smell it to determine whether it is dirty or clean.
  • Michelle talks about the eating disorder she struggled with as a teenager. She brought it to light in her daughters' book, Growing Up Duggar, in hopes that it would help others going through the same thing.
  • Jim Bob and Michelle discuss Josie's premature birth and the seizures she has had since then. "I'm all better now," says Josie. Doctors expect that Josie will outgrow her seizures, which occur when she spikes a fever, by the time she is ten. Josie performs "Amazing Grace" and reveals her incredible singing voice.
  • Josh and Anna plan to give baby #4 an "M" name.
  • Jessa and Ben are still pursuing adoption and are scheduled to attend a class for perspective adoptive parents.
  • Jill and Derick are adjusting well to being parents. Derick blesses his wife by changing all the nighttime diapers. Jill says that many people have commented on how Israel looks like "a mini Jim Bob." The Duggar dad's response to that is: "What a beautiful baby!"
  • Do the kids ever get jealous of one another? Jessa says yes, especially when it comes to music. But Jim Bob and Michelle encourage their kids to ask God to help them be content with who they are and to look for their own strengths.
  • Marjorie, Josiah's girlfriend, joins the family on the set and shares her first impression of her boyfriend: "He was a jokester."
  • A few months ago, Josiah asked Marjorie's parents for permission to get to know Marjorie better. Their courtship became official on April 6th. Joy says Marjorie fits in well with the Duggar family.
  • What is next for the Duggar family? Jim Bob and Michelle are still hoping to have more kids. Josh predicts another courtship, but Jana and Jinger say they have no news to share.

Season Finale Tonight

Tune in to TLC right now for an all-day Duggar marathon, followed by "Duggars' Guide to Love" at 8pm ET/7pm CT.

Then stick around for the 19 Kids and Counting season finale at 9pm ET/8pm CT. In "Digging In With the Duggars," journalist Erica Hill sits down with Jim Bob, Michelle, and the kids to talk about family, marriage, babies, and new courtships. They are even joined by a few surprise guests to add to their most exciting season yet.


Photo courtesy of TLC

Ben Seewald Turns 20

Wishing Ben Seewald a happy 20th birthday!

Ben just graduated from National Park Community College with a two-year political science degree. 

Photos courtesy of duggarfamily.com/PEOPLE

Monday, May 18, 2015

16 Weeks!

Jessa Seewald is 16 weeks and 1 day pregnant with Baby Seewald, due November 1st. She visited her family this morning and took a selfie in the girls' newly decorated bedroom.

Be sure to turn in to TLC tomorrow morning and afternoon for a Duggar marathon, followed by the season finale of 19 Kids and Counting (more info on the Showtimes page).

Jessa Seewald


Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

The Dillards on Parenthood

Derick Dillard says that being a dad has allowed him to realize the depth of the love between parents and their children (video below).

Friday, May 15, 2015

Silver Dollar City

This week, the Duggars made the two-hour trek to Branson Missouri's Silver Dollar City, one of their favorite places to visit. Marjorie Jackson and her family also went along. Josiah and Marjorie have been courting since April 6th.

 Marjorie Jackson and Josiah Duggar

 Marjorie Jackson and Josiah Duggar

 Jim Bob Duggar and Jordyn Duggar

The Duggars and the Jacksons


Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com

Thursday, May 14, 2015

5 Weeks Old

Just over five weeks ago, Israel Dillard was born via emergency C-section. It is hard to believe that at this time last year, Jill and Derick had only been engaged for six weeks and were gearing up for their June 21st wedding. Now, they are first-time parents to a beautiful little big boy. Both mom and baby are doing well, and the Dillards are enjoying parenthood.

Jill Dillard and Israel Dillard


Photo courtesy dillardfamily.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Filming 19 Kids Overseas

In a segment from last night's episode, members of the 19 Kids and Counting camera crew share their experiences traveling overseas with the Duggars. "One thing we are always doing, especially on international trips, is headcounts," says coordinating producer Courtney Enlow. "And when you don't hit that 19, your heart stops."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recap: "Behind the Scenes" and "Anna's Having A..."

19 Kids and Counting "Behind the Scenes"
Members of the 19 Kids and Counting film crew share their experiences working with the Duggars.

Courtney Enlow, Coordinating producer
-Has worked with the Duggars since "14 Children and Pregnant Again" aired more than 10 years ago.
-Courtney says the kids are very well behaved but that she is not afraid to speak sternly if a child is doing something that is dangerous or against family rules.

Scott Enlow (Uncle Scott), Director and Photographer
-Has also been part of the camera crew for more than a decade (married to Courtney).
-Scott says taking family pictures of the Duggars is a struggle. "Getting them all on the same page to do anything is difficult."
-Scott jokes that when a child is misbehaving, he tells them: "You listen to me because I have been in this family longer than you have."

Jim Goodwin (Uncle Jim), Sound Man
-Has been a member of the crew for several years.
-"This is probably the best job I have ever had," says Jim. "The family is truly a delight to work with. The children are very open with us."

John Rotan, Camera Man
-Has worked on the set since June 2009.
-"They are the most fun group of kids and adults I have ever met," says John Rotan. He also says that the crew has "built up quite an immune system working on this show," recalling a chicken pox epidemic that hit the Duggar family a few years ago.  
  • Jim Bob says that when the crew first came into his home more than 10 years ago, he was nervous about allowing his kids to be around strangers. Now, the Duggars have full trust in the members of the crew.
  • Often, the crew hears big news, such as the gender of a baby, before the rest of the family. "They probably know more about our family than we do sometimes," says John Duggar.
  • "There have been attempts to extract secrets by bribery," says Jim the sound man.
  • A few years ago, the crew enjoyed handing their equipment over to the children and allowing them to tape an episode of the show. "The kids have just absorbed so much wisdom and information from our film crew because they are so good at what they do," says Michelle.
  • The crew has also learned a lot from watching the Duggars parent 19 kids. "Michelle is probably the most patient person you will ever meet," says Courtney. "She runs a great house. She runs a tight ship."
  • The crew especially enjoys going overseas with the Duggars. While they were in China, Courtney's water broke, and she delivered her baby. Jana and Jill were by her side through the entire delivery.
  • The Duggars all agree that the crew does a fantastic job at filming and producing the show.
19 Kids and Counting "Anna's Having A..."
  • Ultrasound technicians come to Josh and Anna's home to perform an ultrasound. They write the baby's gender on a piece of paper and place it in a sealed envelope. Josh and Anna then head to Arkansas and hand the envelope off to Sierra, who is planning a gender reveal party.
  • Josh and Anna stop by their old house, where Jessa and Ben are now living. Then they leave the kids with Jim Bob and Michelle and fly to California, where Josh has a commitment.
  • In California, Josh and Anna walk along Santa Monica Pier. Anna is afraid of Ferris wheels, so Josh takes her on one so she can conquer her fear. Then, Josh rides a trapeze.
  • During their trip, Josh and Anna visit Angels Way Maternity Home, a residence for homeless women who are pregnant.
  • Back in Arkansas, Sierra enlists the Duggars to help her set up for the gender reveal party. They make signs to put up along the road leading to the Duggars' gate. Then they take 200 pink flamingos and paint half of them blue, so they can "flock the yard."
  • On the day of the party, Sierra and her husband and four children come over to do the final setup. Josh and Anna arrive, and the entire family prepares to find out the gender together. A few of the family members release pink confetti. It's a girl!

2 Hours of '19 Kids'

Michael Duggar and Mackynzie Duggar

Tune in to TLC tonight at 8pm ET/7pm CT for two new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting, and then come back to the blog for a recap of the shows.



8pm ET: 19 Kids and Counting "Behind the Scenes"
Members of the 19 Kids and Counting film crew share their experiences of keeping up with the Duggars for the past decade.

9pm ET: 19 Kids and Counting "Anna's Having A..."
With Baby #4 on the way for Josh and Anna, the Duggars plan an unforgettable gender reveal for them while they're away in California. Upon returning to Arkansas, they are in for a big surprise...is it a boy or a girl? 


Photo courtesy TLC