Monday, February 20, 2017

'The Big Day' Recap

Counting On "The Big Day"
  • The wedding is just three days away, and Jinger is trying on her wedding dress, designed by Renee Miller, one final time. When she walks out in the gown, her female family members and friends are in awe.
  • Later, all the bridesmaids try on their dresses, also designed by Renee. Afterwards, wedding coordinator Wendy gathers all the ladies together to share memories and kind words with Jinger. Lots of tears are shed.
  • “I’m going to miss not being close to you all,” says Jinger, drying her eyes. “I just could go on all day…talking about each one of you.”
  • Sixty-six hours before the wedding, Anna Duggar, Jana Duggar, Jessa Seewald, and Joy-Anna Duggar throw Jinger a girls-only bridal shower. She is thrilled that her soon-to-be mother-in-law is able to attend.
  • Joy-Anna and wedding designer Cindy (Michelle's childhood friend) lead a decorating committee made up of Duggar brothers and several friends in cutting greenery and picking up stumps and the 2,300 roses that Cindy ordered.
  • The siblings end up forgetting the buckets for the roses and greenery. “Our goal in this wedding process is to not stress,” Cindy reminds everyone, hoping the flowers won’t wilt. When the group makes it back to the hotel in Northwest Arkansas, they rush to clip all the flowers and put them in water.
  • On Thursday, Jinger and Michelle head to the airport to pick up Jeremy. “This is the last time I fly in as a single man, and we don’t have to say goodbye after this,” says Jeremy, smiling.  
  • The day before the wedding, the siblings help Cindy use the roses and greenery to create a giant “V” on a chicken wire stand that will be displayed on the stage in the church.
  • Jinger and Jeremy have decided to let their family and friends surprise them with the decorations. Jinger wants everything to be “simple but elegant,” which reflects her personal style. 
  • When the bride and groom enter the church for the rehearsal, they are blown away, and the venue isn’t even fully decorated. Wendy directs the rehearsal.
  • “We wanted to keep the wedding to a smaller, more intimate size, but I think we ended up sending out around 400 initiations and are expecting around 1,000 people,” says Jeremy.
    Following the rehearsal, everyone heads over to the reception venue for an Italian-themed dinner. 
  • Jinger spends the night at Jill and Derick’s [quieter] house so she can get at least a few hours of sleep. The next morning, Jeremy comes over for devotions. They read a passage about love and discuss how they want their wedding to be a display of Christ’s love rather than an event focused on the two of them. 
  • Jinger, Jeremy, and Jeremy’s parents head over to the church, where the bride and groom go their separate ways to get ready for the big day.  
  • Jeremy leads a quick devotion with his dad and groomsmen and passes out quirky animal socks as gifts. “Guys, I wasn’t going to let you get away without doing something crazy with fashion,” jokes Jeremy.
  • Meanwhile, the girls hustle to start their hair and makeup. Jinger gives jewelry and chocolate in cute jars to her bridesmaids.  
  • The middle Duggar boys help Cindy make corsages and boutonnieres. “We are all exhausted—I like to call it joyfully exhausted—but we are thrilled,” says Cindy, who was up until 2am working.
  • When the groomsmen are dressed, they head outside to take pictures in front of the church. Back inside, Michelle helps Jinger into her wedding dress, and Jim Bob comes in to spend a few moments with his daughter.  
  • Jinger gives her dad a handkerchief with a sentimental message on it: “To my dad: You are the first man that I ever loved. When you give me away today, know that I will always be your little girl.” Jim Bob prays with Michelle and Jinger. 
  • The guys return to their room so the girls can take pictures in front of the church.
    At the reception venue, friends are busy baking and icing cupcakes and icing the wedding cake. 
  • When the time comes for the wedding to start, Jinger and Jeremy can hardly wait to join hands at the front of the church. Jeremy’s dad, Pastor Chuck Vuolo, officiates.
  • The couple recites their vows: I, Jeremy, take you, Jinger, to be my wife, in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ. I promise to be faithful, in suffering and in joy, in poverty and in wealth, in sickness and in health. I promise to love you and cherish you until death brings our separation.” Jinger’s vows are the same.
  • The unity song, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” is performed live by the band Page CXVI.
  • According to the couple, the first kiss is "incredible" and "out of this world."
  • Immediately following the ceremony, the couple takes pictures of the two of them, as well as family photos.
  • At the reception hall, Jinger and Jeremy walk out on stage as the crowd cheers. They cut their cake and feed it to each other. The newlyweds greet guests before leaving for their honeymoon.
  • The Duggar siblings say they don't expect it to be long before the Vuolos announce a pregnancy. Some of them also guess that Joy will be the next Duggar to walk down the aisle

Next Monday is the Counting On season finale! More Details coming soon.

Jinger's Wedding Airs Tonight

"It's hard to believe that it's finally me who's getting married."
-Jinger Duggar

Tonight is the night! Jinger's two-hour wedding special airs at 9pm ET/8pm CT on TLC. Scroll down for a sneak peek scene that shows Jinger's final dress fitting. Surrounded by female family members and friends, she cannot believe that in just three days, she and Jeremy Vuolo will be husband and wife.

Monday, February 20
9pm ET/8pm CT: The Big Day (NEW--2 hour special)
After months of planning, Jinger's wedding day is here! The final details, from dress fittings to surprise decorations, are put into place, and family and friends come together to watch Jinger and Jeremy become Mr. and Mrs. Vuolo.
11pm ET/10pm CT: The Big Day

Photo/video courtesy TLC/PEOPLE Magazine

Joy and Austin Speak About Courtship

It has been three months since Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth announced their courtship. The new couple will be featured on next Monday's episode of Counting On. We know you all are eager to hear more about their relationship, so check out the video below. The two chat with TLCme host Danni Star about how they met and share how their courtship has progressed.

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Friday, February 17, 2017

Seewalds Looking For a Bigger House

In this week's issue of PEOPLE Magazine, Jessa and Ben Seewald candidly share details of their new life with two babies, 15-month-old Spurgeon Elliot Seewald and newborn Henry Wilberforce Seewald.

With her first delivery, Jessa was in labor for nearly two days and was rushed to the hospital for a blood transfusion. She told PEOPLE that it was "intense and completely exhausting" and that she "slept for 24 hours straight afterwards."

This time around, both Jessa and Ben brace for another long and grueling birth, but it didn't happen. Jessa's water broke just before midnight on February 5th, and Henry Wilberforce arrived at 4:26am on February 6th.

Now that they have two children, the Seewalds say they have outgrown their two-bedroom one-bathroom home, with Jessa telling PEOPLE that they are "always checking the market."

Both Spurgeon and Henry are named after well-known Christian heroes. If you're wondering whether Jessa and Ben plan to strictly stick to the naming theme, the proud parents say no. "The next kid could have a totally different name," announced Ben.

For more pictures and quotes from the Seewalds, check out this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dillards En Route to Central America

Israel Dillard looks out at the airport tarmac

Have you had a chance to read the post we shared this afternoon? Jill, Derick, and Israel Dillard are headed back to Central America, with plans to return home for the birth of their second son, due in July.

It's always difficult to say goodbye to family and friends. The Dillards, who have been in Arkansas for six months, are leaving behind Jill's large family, including new nephew Henry Wilberforce Seewald, and Derick's small family--his mom, stepdad, brother Dan Dillard, and sister-in-law Deena Dillard.

Photo courtesy

Dillards Headed Back to Central America

The Dillards at Dan Dillard's recent wedding
A couple weeks ago, we shared that Jill and Derick Dillard had plans to return to Central America after being in the United States since early August. Just a few minutes ago, the missionary couple announced that all systems are go and they are preparing for the trip back.

"We are excited to be back to the work our hearts love so much," the Dillards write in a note on their website. From the early stages of our lives, the Lord has put a deep love and care in both of our hearts for all peoples of the world that they would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ."

In addition to serving in the location where they are stationed, Jill and Derick also make weekly trips to villages plagued by violence to provide skills training and Bible studies to adults, as well as children's programs. They express their gratitude to those who have partnered with them in prayer and through financial contributions, and they share their need for additional monetary support. (Click here to be redirected to their donations page.)

"In addition to the ministry outreach expenses, there are always monthly expenses for groceries, utilities, fuel, healthcare, etc," the Dillards write. "We have always purposed to live a frugal lifestyle and continue to do so in the mission field. When you give a donation to our ministry, you are helping our family cover living expenses to be able to remain on the field and helping reach so many precious lives."

Jill, Derick, and Israel Dillard will return home for the birth of their second son, due in July.

Photo courtesy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jessa's Labor was 'Calm and Relaxed'

Jessa and Ben Seewald and their two sons--Spurgeon Elliot Seewald and Henry Wilberforce Seewald--are on this week's cover of PEOPLE Magazine, on newsstands Friday.

The mother of two says her second birth was much easier than her first, telling PEOPLE that it went by so quickly that Michelle Duggar and Jana Duggar nearly missed Henry's arrival.

Fifteen-month-old Spurgeon thinks his little brother is a toy, and according to Jessa and Ben, "has no concept of being soft." But he sure does look adorable posing for pictures with Henry! You'll see some of those photos in the video below:

Photo/video courtesy PEOPLE Magazine

Duggars Celebrate Valentine's Day

Yesterday evening in honor of Valentine's Day, the Duggars threw a party celebrating God's love and their love for each other. The theme was "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Both family members and friends attended. Did you do something special for February 14th?

 Jana Duggar, Johannah Duggar, and Tyler set up for the event

 Jana Duggar arranges a bouquet of flowers

 Jessa and Ben Seewald enjoy some social time seven days after Henry Wilberforce's birth

 Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar pose for a picture

 Joseph Duggar and Joy-Anna Duggar work side-by-side in the Duggars' commercial kitchen

 Joy Duggar and Josie Duggar make dessert

 Johannah Duggar and Tyler also help make dessert

Photos courtesy

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hello from Jinger and Jeremy

Jessa and Ben Seewald have officially chosen a name for their second son, and the rest of the Duggar family is thrilled. Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo share their congratulations and well wishes in the video below. Notice the new painting, with colors similar to those of Jeremy's Rembrandt mentioned a couple weeks ago on the show, above the couch.

Photo/video courtesy

Monday, February 13, 2017

Seewalds Announce Baby Name

One week after the arrival of their second son, Jessa and Ben have chosen a name! Introducing Henry Wilberforce Seewald, younger brother of Spurgeon Elliot Seewald. The elated parents share the meaning behind the name in the video below.

Spurgeon was named after preacher Charles Spurgeon and missionaries Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. (Click here to watch his name announcement video.)

Photo/video courtesy TLC

'All About Jinger' Recap

Counting On "All About Jinger"

  • As the show opens, Jinger’s sisters are helping her pack to move to Laredo. It takes them quite a bit of time to divide up all their clothes and hair supplies. Jana and Joy selflessly give Jinger some of the best outfits.
  • While she was on her way to Spurgeon’s birth in November 2015, Jinger ran over a deer. Her friends mounted the head as a joke, not thinking that Jinger would actually display it in her bedroom, but she did. And now she’s taking it to Laredo.
  • Jana says she is going to miss shopping trips with Jinger, the fashionista of the family. Joy isn’t a big shopper, but she says she is going to miss having face-to-face chats with her sister.
  • As most fans know, Jessa and Jinger are very close, as they are only 13 months apart in age. They both admit they have shed many tears as they think about life without each other.
  • Jinger also has a strong friendship with her brothers, especially Joseph. "I think the thing we will miss the most about having Jinger at home is her personality," says Jason. "She just loves spending time with us siblings," adds Joseph.
  • Johannah accompanies Jinger to the airport to pick up Jeremy.
  • As a wedding present, Jinger’s brothers have purchased her a used car from an auto auction. It is a small, white SUV that is both economical and safe. Jinger and Jeremy are thrilled when the boys give them the car.
  • The next morning, Jeremy, Jinger, and Jedidiah leave for Laredo at 5am. Jim Bob and Michelle see them off.
  • When they cross into Texas, they stop at a store to buy Jinger some cowboy boots. “My goal is to get something that is not super cowboy style,” says Jinger, admitting she wants more of a city look. She ends up buying a pair of urban boots with a slight cowboy flair.

The 'Hidden' Chaperone

Tonight is the last episode of Counting On before the big wedding special airs next Monday! Two weeks before their special day, Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo transport all of Jinger's belongings down to their future home in Laredo, Texas. Jedidiah comes along as a chaperone but has to sit in the backseat surrounded by stuff. You can hardly see him, but we assure you he's there. Check out the promo video below.

Monday, February 13
9pm ET/8pm CT: All About Jinger (NEW)
Jinger packs for her move to Texas, which includes a surprise gift from her family. She, Jeremy, and Jed drive to her future home in Laredo. As they anticipate Jinger's big move, the Duggar siblings take a trip down memory lane.
11pm ET/8pm CT: All About Jinger

Photo/video courtesy TLC

'The Jungle Book' Giveaway

Have you heard of Jim Weiss? He is a world renowned storyteller who has created audio recordings of dozens of beloved, family-friendly classics, including The Jungle Book, A Christmas Carol, Arabian Nights, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Tale of Two Cities, and multiple titles by G.A. Henty.

I (Ellie) recently had the pleasure of meeting Jim and his wife, Randy, and they graciously agreed to sponsor two giveaways for my blog readers. This week, I'm giving away four copies of The Jungle Book. Head over to my personal blog,, to enter to win. Hurry, the giveaway ends tomorrow!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Tyler's 9th Birthday

Celebrating Tyler's 9th birthday at Cracker Barrel
(Jackson Duggar, Jim Bob Duggar, Michelle Duggar, 
Grandma Duggar, Michelle's sister Carol, and Tyler)

For those who haven't yet been introduced to Tyler, we know you will enjoy this post. Tyler is a young, extended family member from Michelle's side who is living with the Duggars.

Tyler is just a few years younger than 12-year-old Jackson, and the two have become great friends. The Duggars shared a birthday message, signed "Aunt Michelle and Uncle Jim Bob": 

Happy 9th Birthday Tyler! We are so glad to have you in our home and a part of our family! Your bright smile and sweet spirit brings much joy to us all!

Happy birthday, Tyler!

Photo courtesy

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jewelry and the First Kiss

In this scene from Monday's episode, Jinger Duggar and some of the other Duggar ladies make jewelry for the bridal party, while Jeremy Vuolo and the guys spend the afternoon golfing. The bachelorette party is led by Seung, the wife of one of Jeremy's friends who also happens to be a jewelry designer (video below).

While the women create beautiful earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, they give Jinger advice for her first kiss.

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Seewald Family of 4

This morning, TLC released the first video featuring Baby Seewald, and PEOPLE shared a news clip with the first family photo of Jessa Seewald, Ben Seewald, Spurgeon Seewald, and the new addition. The video from PEOPLE Magazine is below, and the video from TLC is embedded in our post from earlier today.

Video courtesy PEOPLE, TLC

Seewalds Introduce Baby Seewald

Jessa and Ben Seewald's new addition is two days old. The elated parents haven't settled on a name, but they say they plan to choose something "unique." They introduce their little bundle of joy to the world in the video below.

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Jinger's New Life in Texas

In this week's issue of PEOPLE Magazine, Jinger Duggar Vuolo opens up about her new life in Laredo, Texas. She and Jeremy Vuolo have been married three months.

“We have just so perfectly adapted, it’s been incredible,” Jinger told PEOPLE. “The biggest blessing.”

The 23-year-old says she stays in touch with her Arkansas family via FaceTime and group messages, but she is also making new friends in Laredo.  “I’ve definitely connected with the ladies here, and they have been so gracious,” she shared.

Following in the footsteps of her parents and married siblings, Jinger says she and Jeremy are seeking God for wisdom regarding the size of their future family. “We are just enjoying our life together,” Jinger commented, “and we will see what the Lord does.”

For more from the Duggars sisters, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now. For a snippet from the section on Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth's courtship, click here to read our post from last Thursday. To read about the Dillards' future plans, check out Saturday's post. And if you haven't seen the sweet face of Baby Seewald, take a look at yesterday's post.

Photo courtesy TLC

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Adorable Photo of Baby Seewald

Baby Seewald is one day old, but his parents have not yet decided on a name. It took Jessa and Ben Seewald five days to settle on Spurgeon Elliot Seewald for their first son.

What name suggestions do you have, now that you have seen the baby (photo below)? Also, do you think he looks like his older brother? (Scroll down for a picture of newborn Spurgeon.)

Baby Boy Seewald #2

Spurgeon Seewald, newborn

Photos are property of and may not be used without written permission

Monday, February 6, 2017

'The Bachelor Party' Recap

Counting On "The Bachelor Party"
  • The day that Jessa and Ben have looked forward to since they found out they were expecting has arrived! They are having a 3-D ultrasound to find out the gender of Baby Seewald. Jana and Joy go along and also find out the gender. They will all keep it a secret from the rest of the family until the baby is born, like Jessa and Ben did with Spurgeon.
  • Jeremy and his friends Luis and James, as well as James’ wife Seung, come into town for Jinger and Jeremy’s bachelor and bachelorette parties.
  • “I have no desire to go out on the town and run around,” says Jeremy. “I want to spend quality time with good friends.” 
  • On the first night, the older siblings do a girls vs. guys competition at the Escape Room. The guys go into a room and attempt to solve a puzzle in 60 minutes. They are unsuccessful, but they enjoy watching the girls try to solve the same puzzle. They aren’t able to figure it out either, but they come a lot closer than the guys.
  • The following day, Jeremy, Derick, Ben, Luis, and James play golf. Jeremy admits he isn’t a very confident golf player, so he wears an intimidating, official-looking uniform. “I thought it would help my golf game,” he says. “I was wrong, but at least you look good trying.” Luis does well, but the other struggle. Ben’s score for the first hole is 21.
  • Back at the Duggar house, Seung, a jewelry designer, helps Jinger, Jana, Jill, Jessa, Joy, and Michelle make jewelry for the bride and bridesmaids to wear on the wedding day. Josie also lends a hand.
  • The gals discuss Jinger’s first kiss. “I’m not nervous about the first kiss,” says Jinger. “I’m just excited.”
  • Michelle and the sisters are happy for Jinger and Jeremy, but they aren’t looking forward to seeing Jinger move to Texas. The Duggars are a tight-knit family and spend a lot of time together, so it will be a difficult adjustment. Jinger also does all the grocery shopping and laundry for the family, so others will have to pick up the slack.
  • Jeremy has to return to Laredo for church, but he and Jinger will be married in just one month.
  • Later, Jill, Derick, Israel, and Derick’s mom, Cathy--aka Mima, visit Derick and Cathy’s alma mater, Oklahoma State University. Both Derick and his late father wore the Pistol Pete mascot outfit during their college years, so Derick is looking forward to riding on the Pistol Pete float.
  • After the parade, Derick enjoys putting on the Pistol Pete costume and greeting fans. “When I put the head on, I’m not Derick, I’m Pistol Pete,” he Derick.
  • “My parents have always said, if one of my siblings wants to go to college, that would be fine,” explains Jill, who is a Certified Professional Midwife. Her adult siblings have various certifications and skills, but none have attended a traditional, four-year, brick and mortar university.
  • When the festivities are over, the Dillards take a walk around campus. Derick and Cathy show Jill the dorm room where Derick was living when Cathy came to tell him that his dad had died. Rick was healthy when he passed away, but doctors think it was due to the long-term effects of high blood pressure.

First Photo of Baby Seewald

Jessa Seewald, Ben Seewald, and newborn Spurgeon Seewald

Did you hear the happy news? Baby Boy Seewald arrived early this morning! Click here for more details. 

PEOPLE and TLC still have the exclusive on the first photo of the Seewalds' bundle of joy, but we will post it as soon as we can. Until then, you can view the picture on the Seewalds' website. Jessa and Ben have not yet settled on a name.

Photo courtesy TLC

Baby Seewald is Here!

Baby Seewald has arrived...It's a boy!

Jessa and Ben Seewald gave a statement to PEOPLE Magazine: We are so happy to announce the arrival of our sweet second son.

The new addition was born at 4:26am this morning, weighing 8 lbs 11 oz and measuring 21 3/4 inches long. Jessa and baby are both doing well. The Seewalds have not yet come up with a name for their son.

Photo courtesy TLC

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Seewalds Prepare for Home Birth

Happy Super Bowl! In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, Jessa Seewald revealed that she is planning another home birth. With her first child, Spurgeon Seewald, Jessa was in labor nearly 48 hours before delivering at home, but she was transported to the hospital via ambulance due to loss of blood.

Baby Seewald #2 is now three days overdue. According to Jessa, she and Ben have not chosen a name, although they do know the gender. "We've only had one or two conversations about it, so we need to get on it!" the expectant mother told PEOPLE. For more, check out this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

The nursery was decorated in neutral colors (grays and whites) for Spurgeon's arrival and will stay that way for now. Jessa and Ben still hope to have a large family.

In the following video, the Seewalds chat with TLCme host Danni Starr about their lives as newlyweds and new parents.

For a unique Super Bowl dessert tutorial (chocolate covered football strawberries), visit Ellie's personal blog (

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dillards to Return to Central America

In a recent interview with PEOPLE Magazine alongside her sisters, Jill Duggar Dillard revealed the next step for the Dillard family.

Jill, Derick, and Israel Dillard returned to Arkansas in August after a year of mission work in Central America. They announced their second pregnancy right before Christmas, with a July due date.

In the interview, Jill shared that the family of three (soon to be four) will return to the mission field in the near future. "We are planning to go back very soon," Jill told PEOPLE. "Then we will come back for the birth of the baby."

Jana Duggar, Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Duggar are featured in this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now. 

Photo courtesy TLC

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Joy Speaks Out on Courtship

The five oldest Duggar daughters recently sat down with PEOPLE Magazine to do an interview for this week's issue. 19-year-old Joy-Anna Duggar shared details on her relationship with Austin Forsyth. The two are childhood friends and announced their courtship in November.

“We’ve gotten to experience so much already in our relationship,” Joy-Anna told PEOPLE. “Lots of church ministries, road trips, hiking, hunting and remodeling houses together.”

When asked whether she and her honey would be tying the knot anytime soon, Joy responded that she doesn't know: “You would have to ask Austin what he’s thinking and my dad, but I’m excited to see what God has in store for us in the next year.”

Pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, for more from the Duggar sisters.

Photo courtesy TLC

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Joy and Jed Interning in Little Rock

Joy Duggar and Jedidiah Duggar, 2016

Two of the Duggars siblings are exploring career options at the Arkansas State Capitol. According to Representative Charlene Fite, Joy-Anna Duggar, who turned 19 in October, and Jedidiah Duggar, who turned 18 in December, are currently interning at the Arkansas House of Representatives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Duggars have deep roots in politics, with Jim Bob Duggar serving two terms as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives following the 1997 election and various other family members taking interest in the political realm over the years. The family has also helped multiple political candidates campaign for office.

 Joy Duggar and Jedidiah Duggar, 2011 (ages 13 and 12)

 Photos courtesy TLC, DCL,