Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anna Duggar on Handling Meltdowns

We recently had a chat with Anna Duggar and discussed the interview questions submitted by all of you. Now it's time to share her responses. Are you ready to glean wisdom from this mom of three (soon to be four)?

How do you handle meltdowns in public with your little ones?

Anna: For me, when my children have a meltdown in public, there is a temptation to think that my children are better than that. I try to have a humble spirit and have an attitude of loyalty towards my children by being loving and understanding towards them. Often, a child's meltdown in public is the result of a really uncomfortable situation. 

I speak to my children in a soft voice and ask what's bothering them. And then I encourage them to respond with positive behavior: "It's been a long day, but you are doing so well! We're in this together." 

I ask them what they think the right response is, and then we practice that behavior. For instance, if we're at a restaurant, we practice sitting still at the table and using good manners. And then I praise them.

Like Michelle, I try to lower my voice instead of raise it. I bend down and ask them to look into my eyes. With Michael, since he's a little boy and is so squirmy, I have him put his hands on my cheeks right by my eyes to remind him to maintain good eye contact.

After I reach my kids' hearts, I try to figure out if there is a specific need they have. When we are out and about, I usually pack high-protein snack for my kiddos. When you have a tired kid with an empty stomach, that is really tough. You can keep raw almonds in your purse for forever, if your kids are old enough to eat them.

One of my friends has children who cry very loudly, so she has her children practice loud voices and quiet voices so they learn the difference. Then when her kids are crying, she comforts them and tells them that it is okay to cry but encourages them to cry softly. That's not to say that my children always cry softly, but it helps teach them how to deescalate a situation.

Just a Few More Weeks...

Jill Dillard passed the 36-week mark. While 37 weeks is technically considered full-term, it is usually best for the baby's development if he or she remains in the womb for an additional two weeks. At this point in the pregnancy, Baby Dilly is gaining weight at a rate of approximately one ounce per day and measures about the length of a head of romaine lettuce.

Jill (Duggar) Dillard

Friday, February 27, 2015

Jim Bob Duggar Raps It Out

Do you think Jim Bob Duggar can rap? If your answer is no, this YouTube video might change your mind. The Duggars joined Christian comedian Anita Renfroe at a fundraiser at Grace Polaris Church just outside Columbus, Ohio, last weekend. Anita brought Jim Bob on stage during her famous "In Tha Muthahood" rap, and the Duggar dad really got into it. (Thanks to the loyal reader who helped us find this video!)

For those who are interested in listening to the words, here is Anita Renfroe's "In Tha Muthahood" music video:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Win a Book Endorsed by Michelle Duggar

Erin Harrison recently released a book, Living Virtuously: A Wife's Complete Guide to Keeping Her Heart & Home, that was endorsed by Michelle Duggar. We are partnering with Erin to give you a chance to win one of four copies.

I highly recommend Erin Harrison's new book, Living Virtuously. Erin is an energetic wife and mother who has a heart to encourage young mothers to train their children to love God and to have a ministry mindset.

~Michelle Duggar

Follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. The book is available for purchase on Erin's website and Amazon.

Michelle Cries, Jessa Smiles...

"I feel like I just blinked, and Jessa's ready to get married," says Michelle Duggar as her third-oldest daughter makes preparations to tie the knot with Ben Seewald.

Watch the-bride-to-be try on wedding gowns with her mom, grandma, sisters, mother-in-law, and sisters in law (that's quite the crew!). This week's new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting are available for purchase on Amazon US, iTunes, and Google Play.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finding a Dress for a Duggar Daughter

Last night on 19 Kids and Counting, viewers watched Jessa Duggar (now Jessa Seewald) pick our her dream bridal gown. For those of you who missed the show, or for those who tuned in but want to relive the moment, check out these snapshots. (Picture No. 5 shows the dress Jessa ended up choosing.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1 Duggar & 2 Bates Leave for Philippines

Josiah Duggar, Lawson Bates, and Nathan Bates spent the day in New York City before heading to the Philippines for a month-long mission trip. ABC's Juju Chang gave them a tour of the Natural History Museum and ABC studios.

Lawson Bates, Josiah Duggar, Juju Chang, Nathan Bates, and two NYC producers

Recap: "Jessa Says Yes to the Dress" and "Bridesmaids and Babies"

19 Kids and Counting "Jessa Says Yes to the Dress"

  • Ben Seewald's mom and sisters drive up from their home in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to go wedding dress shopping with Jessa, Michelle, Grandma Duggar, and the Duggar girls (minus Jill).
  • The owners of Tesori dress shop admit they are not used to having such a large group, but they are thrilled to help Jessa pick out her dream gown.
  • Ben asks the ladies to send him pictures of Jessa trying on bridal gowns, so Joy snaps photos of all the "ugly ones" and texts them to the groom.
  • "I guess for me on my end, because I'm still parenting, [the time] has flown," says Guinn Seewald (Ben's mom). "But I know for the courting couple, I think it has been a long process. I'm sure they're quite ready."
  • Guinn, who is giving away her first of seven children, asks Michelle for advice. The mom of 19 reminds her to remember to be joyful.
  • When Michelle tells Guinn that she could be a grandma in just one year, Guinn is shocked. "Let's just handle the wedding," she replies, laughing. "Let's just stay right here. But that's a sweet thought."
  • Ben wants Jessa's dress to be modest. "I get kind of jealous," says the groom, chuckling. "She's my girl."
  • Michelle says Jessa wants to "get in, find the dress, and be done." Jill, who had her hair and makeup done during her bridal appointment, spent more time savoring the moment.
  • Jessa ends up choosing a blush colored gown. She doesn't have time to order a dress online, so she is thrilled to find one at the shop. "I love that it has a little bit of sparkle to it, but not too much," she says.
  • At the Dillard home, Jill tutors James, who enjoys spending time with his sister and her husband.
  • Jill and Derick receive a homemade baby mobile from Josh and Anna. Over the phone, Michael tells the Dillards that he can't wait to meet his new cousin.
  • Michelle and Jessa discuss mother of the bride dresses. "Well this is a very difficult year for Dad, giving two daughters away in the same year," says Jim Bob.

19 Kids and Counting "Bridesmaids and Babies"

  • Jessa and Ben, along with Jim Bob and Michelle, head to the church where they will be tying the knot. Sierra, a family friend and Jessa's wedding coordinator, joins them. (Sierra also
    coordinated Jill's wedding reception).
  • Jessa reveals that she and Ben sent out 900 invitations. "We're expecting a little bit of a smaller crowd than Jill had at her wedding," says the Duggar bride. "She had, maybe 1700 or something. We're probably going to have somewhere around 1100-1300."
  • The ladies at the church are surprised to hear that the Duggars and Seewalds would like to use the church for both the ceremony and the reception. They end up having it outside in the church parking lot.
  • Jessa asks Josh, who enjoys graphic design, to make her wedding invitations. He designed Jill's, as well.
  • Jinger Duggar, who has been experimenting with photography since she was 14, takes Jessa and Ben's engagement pictures in front of an old church. Joy and Johannah come along to assist.
  • "You had to be creative with showing that affection without a lot of hands-on," says Jinger.
  • In the middle of the photo shoot, Jim Bob and John-David drive by and honk loudly. "When you have 18 brothers and sisters, there's a possibility that one is going to pop up somewhere at any given time," says John-David.
  • When Jessa's bridesmaids dresses arrive in the mail, her sisters are a little hesitant. (Jessa chose the "Ellie" Modest Dress in Coral Rose, which costs $50 per gown.)
  • Michelle steams the dresses before the girls try them on. Josie sings, "Here comes the bride, all fat and wide!"
  • "I don't like them," says Jana, as she is trying her dress on. "Come out with your hands up," jokes Jessa.
  • "It's a challenge to find a dress that will fit like 10 different people and look good still," says Joy. The girls agree that the dresses, which come down to the middle of the calf, are an "awkward length." Nothing that a few alterations can't fix.
  • "When it comes down to it, if you really want to do something else, I'll just leave it with y'all," Jessa says. "You can return them all and order your own dresses. I'm not really picky. It would be nice if they stuck with the dresses that I have chosen, but I guess we'll see.
  • Meanwhile, Jill and Derick have their first midwife appointment. Jill, who has been studying midwifery for nearly four years, is 12 weeks pregnant. "I've had a lot of experience in that area, but it's entirely different when I'm the one pregnant," she says.
  • Certified Professional Midwife Joy Coonfield, as well as student midwife Debbie Query, who is a dear friend of the Duggars, will deliver Baby Dilly.
  • Why didn't Jill and Derick choose the midwife Jill works with? They say they want to keep Jill's work separate from her pregnancy.
  • Jill jokes that she has not been having morning sickness, but "all-day sickness."

Tonight on TLC

Tune in to TLC tonight for two new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting (written summaries and video previews below).

9pm ET/8pm CT
19 Kids and Counting "Jessa Says Yes to the Dress" 
Jessa goes wedding dress shopping! Mix in Michelle and several other Duggars and Seewalds, and there are a lot of opinions to go around, but everyone knows it's the bride's opinion that counts. And Jill and Derick receive a special gift from the DC Duggars.

9:30pm ET/8:30pm CT
19 Kids and Counting "Bridesmaids and Babies" 
With only 6 weeks until the big day, Jessa and Ben are in the thick of wedding planning. Meanwhile, Jill and Derick are preparing for parenthood at their first midwife visit. And Jinger is behind the lens as she takes Ben and Jessa's engagement photos.


Full Episodes on

To prepare for tonight's new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting, why not watch a few reruns? TLC recently uploaded another batch of full episodes of 19 Kids and Counting, available for free. Here are the links:

Josh Gets Engaged
A Very Duggar Wedding
Michelle's Birthday Makeover
Do Good Duggars
The Big Question
A Duggar Says Yes

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tour the Seewald House

Newlyweds Jessa and Ben Seewald are living in Josh and Anna's old house, which is owned by Grandma Duggar. Before moving in, they did a few renovations and took care of a mold problem. Join Jessa and Ben for a tour in the following video:

Video no longer available

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Duggars Go Wild

Join Jedidiah Duggar, Jeremiah Duggar, and Jason Duggar in a high-speed car chase, featuring a guest appearance by Josh Duggar (video below).

The Growing Baby Dilly

Jill (Duggar) Dillard has a bun in the oven, and that bun is growing! Can you believe how quickly Jill's pregnancy has flown by? Check out the progression of her baby bump:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

More Snow for the Duggars

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are in snowy Columbus, Ohio, and are preparing to speak at a fundraiser at Grace Polaris Church this afternoon and evening. (Did you know that Michelle is originally from Ohio?) Their initial plan was to bring John-David, but the venue informed us earlier this week that they decided to bring Jinger instead. Even with 19 children, Jim Bob and Michelle still make a point to spend one-on-one time with each kid.

 Jim Bob Duggar, Michelle Duggar, and Jinger Duggar

As residents of Arkansas, the Duggars have experienced more snow than usual this winter. They had a winter storm earlier this week that resulted in a two-day snow day for some local schools.

Jana Duggar and Josie Duggar go sledding in the Duggars' front yard

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dillard & Seewald Update

The Seewalds and Dillards are featured in this week's edition of PEOPLE, available wherever magazines are sold. Here are a few highlights from the article:

Jessa and Ben Seewald
1. Jessa and Ben honeymooned in Paris, Rome, and Venice.

2. They are now renting the house that Josh and Anna lived in before moving to Washington D.C. Who is their landlord? Grandma Mary Duggar! The house is minutes away from Jim Bob and Michelle and about 30 minutes from Jill and Derick.

3. Ben completed an associates degree and is considering attending seminary in hopes of becoming a pastor someday. He currently works for Jim Bob.

4. Jessa is not pregnant (yet).

5. The Seewalds researched adoption but discovered that most agencies require a couple to be married for two years before adopting. Still, they hope to adopt "a lot of kids," as Jessa puts it.

6. Jessa and Ben are considering purchasing a TV to watch football and "a cooking show every now and then," but for now, they watch television shows, such as The Andy Griffith Show, online.

Jill and Derick Dillard 
1. The Dillards' son, whom they have affectionately nicknamed Baby Dilly, is due March 24th, which is less than five weeks away.

2. Jana Duggar and a team of midwives will deliver Baby Dilly at the Dillards' home.

3. Jill says she feels fabulous and that their son is very active. 

4. The Dillards are prepared with a birthing tub, a bassinet, a crib, and gifts received from family, friends, and fans.

5. Derick has never changed a diaper, while Jill has changed hundreds (perhaps thousands).

6. Dan Dillard, Derick's brother, is already planning to take his nephew camping (but not right away).

Couples Trivia with the Seewalds

Jessa and Ben Seewald shared their marriage dos and don'ts in a recent interview with PEOPLE. The newlyweds make a point of talking through their disagreements in calm voices, maintaining a strict budget, and going out for ice cream or a meal at least once a week. Watch the following video to see how well Jessa and Ben know each other after being married almost four months.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ready for Motherhood!

Jill (Duggar) Dillard is due in less than five weeks. Her glowing face tells it all...this gal is ready to be a mama.

Jill Dillard
35 weeks, 1 day pregnant

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jessa and Ben on Adoption

In a recent interview with PEOPLE Magazine, Jessa and Ben Seewald revealed that they hope to adopt "a lot of kids."

"If God blesses us with biological kids of our own, it's not going to quench our desire to adopt," said Jessa.

Have Jessa and Ben started the adoption process? They couple says they are still doing research. 

The Seewalds also discussed how they handle arguments, telling PEOPLE that they try not to raise their voices to each other.

"If we have a hard time and we talk about it, you just love each other so much more afterwards," Jessa shared. "After a disagreement, I often feel, 'I have never loved you more than I love you now.'"

To hear more about Jessa and Ben's life as newlyweds, watch the following video. Mr. and Mrs. Seewald are also on the front cover of this week's edition of PEOPLE, available wherever magazines are sold.

Video no longer available

Sharing the Big News

In the following TLC webisode, Jill and Derick Dillard share their baby announcement with Derick's mom, Cathy Dillard Byrum, and Derick's brother, Dan Dillard. The newlyweds catch both Cathy and Dan off guard, as they haven't even celebrated their one-month anniversary. We laughed out loud at Dan's reaction!

Video no longer available

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recap: "Jill's Secret"

Tonight on 19 Kids and Counting, "Jill's Secret"...
  • Jill and Derick are really enjoying married life. It's an adjustment for Jill, who is used to a significantly more chaotic life than she now lives. As expected, the new Mrs. Dillard often cooks more food than she and Derick can eat, so her freezer is full.
  • "We are settling in," says Jill. "It's really nice just to have a cozy home."
  • With Jessa engaged to Ben, it's time to start planning another Duggar wedding. Like Jill and Derick, Jessa and Ben plan to keep costs down.
  • Accompanied by chaperones, Jessa and Ben head over to Josh and Anna's old house, which is where they will be living after they tie the knot. They quickly realize that the master bedroom is infested with mold.
  • Both Jill and Jessa are renting homes from their parents. Why did Jill and Derick get a three-story mansion, while Jessa and Ben's home only has two bedrooms and one bathroom? Derick is a tax accountant at Walmart, and the house that he and Jill are renting is close to his office.
  • Jessa assures viewers that she doesn't mind having a smaller home. In fact, she is happy to have fewer rooms to clean.
  • When Jana and Jill had their wisdom teeth removed several years ago, Joy was their dedicated nurse. Now it's Joy's turn to have surgery, and the five youngest Duggars are eager to keep her supplied with ice packs and snacks while she recovers.
  • Jill goes shopping for dress-up clothes to prepare for a sleepover with her little sisters. Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn, and Josie are thrilled to spend time with Jill and Derick.
  • After putting on their dress-up clothes, Jill and Derick and the girls have a chocolate fondue party. Then, it's time to paint nails. "Derick is doing great," says Jill. "He is really good with kids."
  • Before putting the girls to bed, Derick reads a Bible passage. "I enjoy spending time with the little girls, just trying to get used to fatherhood," he says.
  • Back at the Duggars', Jessa gathers with her mom, grandma, and sisters to order coral bridesmaids dresses. She chooses a style is already modest and hopefully will not require alterations.
  • "If they don't like them, they are only going to be in them for a couple hours, so they'll live," says Jessa.
  • 30 days into their marriage, Jill and Derick head over for a surprise visit to Jill's family's house. They join in on Bible time, and then Jill makes a "confession."
  • "Yesterday I kind of took something, stole something," she says. She proceeds to tell her family how she took a pregnancy test from her mom's bathroom cabinet, and it was positive!
  • The Duggars are thrilled. The living room erupts with clapping, cheering, hugs, and kisses.
  • When Jill and Derick pick up the phone to call Josh and Anna, Anna answers the phone with, "Are you pregnant?" When Jill confirms that she is, Josh and Anna are overjoyed.

Duggars Wedding Costs

"In our family, it's probably somewhere between 10 to 20 thousand for a wedding, with all the chairs and the church rental and everything," says Jim Bob Duggar. "It all adds up in a hurry." That means Jim Bob could easily pay upwards of $90 thousand to walk all nine of his daughters down the aisle.

Watch this sneak peek video to see what's coming up on tonight's season premiere episode of 19 Kids and Counting. Tune in to TLC at 9pm ET/8pm CT, and then come back to the blog after the show for a written recap.

Duggars Return TONIGHT

Tune in to TLC right now for an all-day Duggar marathon! (Scroll down for showtimes.) The hour-long season 9 premiere of 19 Kids and Counting airs at 9pm ET/8pm CT. (Click here to read a summary of the upcoming season, and click here to watch a sneak peek video.)

What's in store for tonight's new episode?

The family preps for Jessa's upcoming wedding to Ben Seewald. From budgeting to bridesmaid attire, Jessa knows what she wants, but will there be time to get it? And as Jill shares a life-changing announcement with her family, how will the Duggars react? (Click here to view promo pictures.)

Feb 17, 6am ET
A Duggar Leaves Home

Feb 17, 7am ET
Amy's Nashville Dreams

Feb 17, 8am ET
DC Duggars Hit the Road

Feb 17, 9am ET
A Reveal to Remember
Feb 17, 10am ET
Duggars & Mothers

Feb 17, 11am ET 
Duggar Daughter Dates 

Feb 17, 11:30am ET 
Duggar-Sized Wedding Planning

Feb 17, 12pm ET 
Duggar Dirty Jobs 

Feb 17, 12:30pm ET
Duggars Decorate & Diet 

Feb 17, 1pm ET 
Jill Says Yes to the Dress 

Feb 17, 2pm ET
Duggar Girls Go Glam 

Feb 17, 2:30pm ET 
Duggar To-Dos

Feb 17, 3pm ET 
Duggars in Cuffs 

Feb 17, 3:30pm ET 
Duggar Derby

Feb 17, 4pm ET 
Wedding Countdown! 

Feb 17, 5pm ET 
All About Jill 

Feb 17, 6pm ET 
Jill's Wedding 

Feb 17, 8pm ET 
Jessa's Engagement 

Feb 17, 9pm ET NEW! 
Jill's Secret

Photos: TLC/Duggar family