Thursday, October 31, 2019

Shopping with Jana and Jordyn

Happy [almost] Friday! Thought you might enjoy this new photo of Jordyn Duggar, who turns 11 years old in December. Jana took her on a shopping trip the other day, and she posed for a photo with cut-outs of Jonathan and Drew Scott, otherwise known as the Property Brothers. Have you seen their TV show?

Jordyn Duggar
Jordyn Duggar

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

'Count Your Blessings' Recap

Counting On "Count Your Blessings"

  • Lauren’s mom and “Mom Michelle” come over to Lauren’s house for a visit. Lauren is doing better, but she admits that she went through a season of depression following her October 2018 miscarriage.
  • Lana had a miscarriage right after Lauren, who was her first. Michelle miscarried after Josh and then had a stillbirth with Jubilee in 2011. “Having the baby there that you could hold while you’re missing the baby that you can’t hold is so different than being empty crib, no baby to show for the sorrow, the pain, that you’re walking through,” says Michelle. “I just can’t even imagine, Lauren.”
  • In October 2018, Josiah and Lauren named their miscarried baby Asa, which means “living one” and “healer.” They created a box of memories, including the shirt that Lauren wore to announce the pregnancy and a letter that she and Josiah wrote to their baby.
  • Jessa, whose third child is due on the due date (in early June) that Lauren would have shared, says that the miscarriage has opened her eyes: “There can be a tendency as a pregnant lady to complain, and then to see Lauren, having lost that…it really makes me more aware of the words that I speak. I honestly don’t even know how she does it sometimes. She’s always asking me, ‘How are you feeling?’ and ‘What are you experiencing?’ and ‘How’s the baby?’ It brings tears to your eyes. And I’m just like, ‘I don’t know how you have strength to do this, in the midst of everything you’re going through.’ She just has said, ‘We’re so thankful that God has blessed y’all with another baby.’”
  • Jinger and Felicity come back to Arkansas to visit Grandma Duggar, whose health is declining. About two months prior to filming for the episode, she had two strokes within a couple weeks of each other. Jinger meets up with Jim Bob, Michelle, Kendra, and Grandma Duggar at Kendra’s house. “She is moving a little bit slower, but she has pretty much got most of her speech back,” says Jim Bob of his mom.
  • Despite her health issues, Grandma has a smile on her face. “Jinger was one that always invested in Grandma Duggar and spent time with her and loved talking to her and taking her places,” says Jim Bob.
  • “My mom has always been someone I look up to,” says Jim Bob. “She’s been kind of a role model in business. She’s somebody that loves the Lord and has been someone that always encourages other people, and I love her so much.” Jim Bob, who loves taking pictures, gets a four-generation photo of Grandma, Michelle, Jinger, and Felicity.
  • Jessa describes Grandma as a giver. John says she is faithful. “I know I wouldn’t be the man that I am today if it wasn’t for Grandma’s influence [on] me,” says Josiah. Justin admires Grandma’s “true, genuine heart to serve others and just not caring about what other people think about her.”
  • Jinger also gets together with Jessa and Kenra and their kids. “If the baby were a girl, then we would have to think about an addition sooner rather than later,” says Jessa.
  • While Jinger is in town, the Seewalds have their ultrasound. She goes along, and Jana and Anna also join them.
  • On the second day of their Finnish honeymoon, John and Abbie take an overnight train ride to a town on the arctic circle. “I’ve found that in Europe, it seems that most things are a bit more cozy than they are here in the U.S.,” says John. Later, they visit a glass blowing studio. Abbie makes a bowl, and John makes a vase. “I think that blowing glass could become a romantic activity,” says John.
  • “It was fun to have a souvenir to take home that you actually made, that you can use when you get home,” says Abbie. “Until our children break them.”
  • The newlyweds spend a night at the Snow Hotel, made completely out of snow and ice (except for the mattress). It is rebuilt every year and is only open for three months before it melts. There is a heated “locker room” with beds. “Nice warm place for the losers who can’t survive in the snow hotel,” the staff member tells them, laughing.
  • “Being in 20-degree weather, it’s not an excuse, it’s a necessity to cuddle,” says John. The Duggars make it through the night in the show hotel! The next day, they go on a snowmobiling excursion with Lapland Safaris. During their adventure, another snowmobiler runs into a tree, and they have to follow their guide over to the scene of the accident to make sure everything is okay. Thankfully, the first responders are already there, but John and Abbie were told that the victim likely sustained a spinal injury. “I think there’s always that chance that any day, anywhere, any time, we could be called upon to assist in an emergency situation,” says John. He is a first responder, and Abbie is a nurse.
  • “I was a little uneasy after I got on my snowmobile,” says Abbie. “I went a little bit slower and was a little more cautious after seeing what had happened to the lady who ran into the tree.”

Monday, October 28, 2019

Duggars Try New Foods in Finland

John and Abbie Duggar
Honeymoon in Finalnd
"My dad used to call my mom Miss America, and so I thought it would be great to call my wife Miss America because that's what she is to me. She's Miss Universe, as well."
-John-David Duggar

Tomorrow on TLC, an all-new episode of Counting On airs at 9pm ET/8pm CT, with a rerun following at 1am on Wednesday.

The adventure continues for John and Abbie Duggar, as they wrap up their honeymoon in Finland. Lauren Duggar opens up about her struggles with grief and depression, and Jinger travels to Arkansas for a visit when Grandma Duggar's health declines. Jessa and Ben also find out the gender of their third child.


Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com; video courtesy TLC

Duggar #9 Turns 22

Wishing Joy-Anna Forsyth a very happy 22nd birthday!


Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com, dillardfamily.com

Friday, October 25, 2019

15 Years of Duggar TV

Duggar siblings in Washington DC
March 2019
 
Last month, the Duggars hit an exciting milestone. September 9th was the 15-year anniversary of the premiere of their first reality TV special, 14 Children and Pregnant Again. Can you believe that the Duggar family has been on television that long? They started with five specials, which gave way to the start of their weekly series 17 Kids and Counting on September 29th, 2008 (just over 11 years ago).

The series became 18 Kids and Counting in January 2009 and then ran for two seasons before being renamed to 19 Kids and Counting. After six additional seasons, the family was off the air for several months in 2015 before the premiere of Counting On in December. Counting On is currently in its 10th season, although the seasons are significantly shorter than those of the previous series.

The Duggars started filming for their first special around the beginning of 2004, just a few months before Jackson was born. Did you see 14 Children and Pregnant Again when it first aired on TV?

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Michelle on Daughters Wearing Pants

Michelle Duggar and Jinger Duggar Vuolo
On last night's new episode of Counting On, Michelle addressed a question that has been on the minds of fans for many months: What does she think about the choice that some of her married daughters have made to wear pants?

After becoming a born-again Christian as a teenager, Michelle began reading the Bible and praying and was soon convicted to change the way she dressed. "And so the best that I knew, and how I understood, I obeyed my Lord, and I just felt like I should wear dresses and skirts," the Duggar mom shared on last night's episode. "My girls, I just dressed them in dresses and skirts, as well, being that that was my personal conviction. I think that part of it was just more of…Mama’s the mama, and I’m raising my girls to be modest and honor the Lord in how they represent themselves."

Jinger Vuolo told viewers that she spoke with her parents before making the switch from solely skirts and dresses to a mix of skirts, dresses, and pants. They were not upset. Rather, they encouraged her to walk with the Lord, honor Him, and maintain modesty.

A few tears were shed as Jinger and Michelle spoke about the issue on reality TV. "I’m really thankful for my mom, and I know the tears probably are because we are super close, and just knowing that we have different convictions on this aspect but that she still loves me the same, that just means the world,” says Jinger.
 
Michelle gave a few final remarks: "It’s okay that my kids may have different convictions than me,” says Michelle. “I know that He’s leading them, and that’s the most important thing, is their walk, their relationship, with God. And I honestly can say, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. You’re so precious, Jing!”

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and BatesFamilyBlog.com).

Photo courtesy jingerandjeremy.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

'The Vuolos Take LA' Recap

Counting On "The Vuolos Take LA"

  • Jinger, Jeremy, and five-month-old Felicity are in Los Angeles scoping out the area. They take a hike to the Hollywood sign and look out on the San Fernando Valley, which is where they are hoping to live.
  • “I chose to wear pants for the hike,” says Jinger. “We were going to be going down some steep hills, and so I thought it best to wear pants. My parents always raised us just to honor Christ in everything that we do. That’s where the Lord’s led me as of now. Growing up, my parents instilled in us the importance of modesty, and so I’m really, really grateful for that foundation and for that training.”
  • Why did Michelle choose to start wearing solely skirts and dresses as a young woman? “I had a lot of baggage in my life up until the age of 15, and when I was born again, my life totally changed. It was just transformed. And as I began to read the Bible and pray, the Lord totally convicted me about the way that I was dressing.” Michelle mentions something that she shares in one of her books, about her practice as a teenager to mow the lawn in a bikini, not knowing that she could be causing men to stumble. “And so the best that I knew, and how I understood, I obeyed my Lord, and I just felt like I should wear dresses and skirts. My girls, I just dressed them in dresses and skirts, as well, being that that was my personal conviction. I think that part of it was just more of…Mama’s the mama, and I’m raising my girls to be modest and honor the Lord in how they represent themselves.”
  • Is there conflict between Michelle and Jinger over Jinger’s new wardrobe choices? Jinger says she spoke with her parents and shared her heart with them before she started wearing pants, and they encouraged her to walk with the Lord, honor Him, and maintain modesty.
  • “It’s okay that my kids may have different convictions than me,” says Michelle. “I know that He’s leading them, and that’s the most important thing, is their walk, their relationship, with God. And I honestly can say, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. You’re so precious, Jing!”
  • “I’m really thankful for my mom and I know the tears probably are because we are super close, and just knowing that we have different conviction on this aspect but that she still loves me the same, that just means the world,” says Jinger.
  • While in LA, the Vuolos meet up with their new friends, Cade and Gabby, who were both finalists on American Idol. Jeremy messaged Cade online because the two of them share similar theological backgrounds, and a friendship was sparked. They stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and spot a star for the Backstreet Boys, a band that Jeremy loved growing up and still likes to sing to. “I knew the name Backstreet Boys before meeting Jeremy, but I hadn’t listened to much of their music,” says Jinger. When asked by the producers if they are familiar with the Backstreet Boys, Austin is, but Joy, Abbie, Jana, Jessa, and Kendra are not.
  • Later, they visit Venice Beach at sunset, and Cade and Gabby sing “Amazing Grace” for Felicity.
  • In Philadelphia, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, and Justin pick up three limousines and drive them back to Arkansas to sell at their used car lot. Jed is spearheading the operation. Three hours into the trip, one of the limos is leaking oil. They perform a little fix, and the vehicle is back in commission.
  • Along the way, the guys pull into an RV park and start a fire. “Jer and I are both 20 years old, and we’re getting about that point where we are starting to think about courtship,” says Jedidiah.
  • “I’m looking for somebody that‘s going to be a friend, companion, for sure somebody that is humble and has a learning spirit,” says Jason.
  • “I’m looking for a modest, righteous babe,” says James. All the guys laugh.
  • “Tall, dark, handsome, no I’m kidding,” says Jana, chuckling. “Really the biggest thing is someone with character, someone that is a little more established, just mature and wise.”
  • Does Jana feel the pressure to get married? “Well, some will pressure in some ways,” admits Jana. “I’m like, ‘Y’all, when the time comes, I’ll…figure this out. But if I was just sitting there like, ‘Oh man, I’m just waiting to get married,’ I think that would be more depressing. But instead, I really look at this as, okay what are other things maybe that I could be doing right now that maybe I can’t do later. And so I’ve really enjoyed the different opportunities that I’ve had to, I don’t know, travel, even still be able to travel with my family, that maybe my married siblings can’t do.”
  • “Different ones of us have been in relationships, courtships, whatever you want to label it as,” says Jana. “Of course it doesn’t always end in marriage, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to end in marriage.”
  • Meanwhile, John-David and Abbie, who have been married for three months, embark on their honeymoon to Finland.  On the first day, they go on a reindeer safari. Then, they put skis on and are each given the reins of a reindeer. John moves faster, but they both have a blast.
  • The newlyweds also visit the White Cathedral. They are looking forward to staying in a snow hotel.

Pressure to Wed?

Jana Duggar
Jana Duggar picks flowers from her garden


"Jana has a bunch of guys after her, and so I think it's just a matter of time 'till Mr. Right comes around."
-Jedidiah Duggar

It's Duggar Day! A new episode of Counting On premieres tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT on TLC. This on is 60-minutes long, which will surely make fans smile. Check out this little teaser video, and be sure to tune in. If you have a TV provider that allows you to sign in online, you can watch the show now on the TLC website. Be sure to come back to our blog after the episode airs this evening for our written recap.  

 

Tuesday, October 22nd
9pm: The Vuolos Take LA NEW!
Jinger and Jeremy explore Los Angeles with new friends. While hiking, Jinger discusses her decision to wear pants, which is unusual for Duggar women. And could the boys' road trip be the last time they are all together before one of them starts a courtship?

Wednesday, October 23rd
1am: The Vuolos Take LA

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Duggars at Alert Family Camp

The Duggar family spent last week at one of their favorite places, family camp with their homeschool organization in Big Sandy, Texas. Alert Family Camp offers dynamic speakers and activities for all ages. Have you ever been to a family camp?

Celebrating Johannah's birthday with sisters and friends
 
Jeremiah Duggar and Jedidiah Duggar
Jeremiah Duggar and Jedidiah Duggar
 
Jim Bob Duggar and Mason Duggar
 
Meredith Duggar and Johannah Duggar
Meredith Duggar and Johannah Duggar

Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Toddlers Gideon and Garrett

Warning: Cuteness Overload Ahead

We can't handle the incredible sweetness wrapped up in this photo of Gideon and Garrett! The two cousins are less than four months apart--Gideon was born on February 23, 2018, and Garrett arrived on June 8th.

Gideon Forsyth and Garrett Duggar
Gideon Forsyth and Garrett Duggar

Photo courtesy joeandkendra.com, duggarfamily.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

'Who's the Most Romantic' Recap

Counting On "Who's the Most Romantic?"

  • Four of the married couples arrive at Jim Bob and Michelle’s house. Jessa is about halfway through her pregnancy with Ivy. Garrett is eight months old. John and Abbie are enjoying being newlyweds. Josiah and Lauren are still grieving the loss of their first child. “Through this past year we’ve faced some pretty hard times,” says Lauren. “We miscarried. It was definitely heartbreaking and still something I cry about every day.”
  • “We feel like it’s really important for couples to have a date night,” says Michelle. She and Jim Bob are going to watch the grandchildren while the four couples go out on dates, with a little bit of competition mixed in. Who can come up with the most romantic evening out? Each couple can only spend $60 and must stay within one hour of the Duggar home. They will take photos and videos and return after four hours.
  • “I don’t remember the last time we had five in diapers at once here,” says Jim Bob. “We’ll have to get an assembly line going.”
  • Joe and Kendra head out on a penny flipping date. At each major intersection, they flip a coin. Heads means go right, tails means go left. “…That’s kind of like life,” says Kendra. “You can’t really plan your future. So it’s good to just enjoy each moment and to have the right attitude all the time, no matter where you end up.” On their last flip, they end up at a gazebo, where they stop for a picnic.
  • Jessa and Ben spend their date at the KYYA chocolate factory. “We love one another, and we both love chocolate,” says Ben. Then they take a walk outside and sit down by a lake to enjoy the chocolates they made.
  • Josiah and Lauren head to Fort Rock Family Camp, owned by Austin’s family, to ride horses. Horseback riding is something that Lauren grew up doing and that Josiah enjoys, as well.
  • John and Abbie take to the skies for their date. “We play to win,” says Abbie. They stop at a lake to grill steak.
  • “Most of us didn’t really see the romantic side of John, so it kind of has surprised all of us, I think,” says Jana. “I think [Abbie] brought out the best in him.”
  • While the couples are on their dates, they also go through discussion questions that Jim Bob and Michelle gave them to help them grow closer together. The questions spark conversation on topics like finances and romantic gestures.
  • “[Abbie] worked a normal 8-5 job,” say John. “As most of us Duggars do, we are self-employed, so we’re going to go out, and we may tap ourselves out investing in something to get a return on that. So that’s a completely different perspective for her, versus just getting a paycheck every week.” Abbie says they have had a lot of conversation about finances but that she trusts John’s judgement because he has made many wise investments.
  • Back at the Duggar house, Jim Bob is out in the yard running around with some of his kids and older grandkids, while Michelle has the little grandchildren in the house. “My goal when Michelle and I are babysitting the grandkids is to be the fun grandpa,” says Jim Bob. 
  • Meredith bites Spurgeon, and Spurgeon bites her back. Spurgeon calls Meredith a bad girl, and both of them end up in tears. Jim Bob explains why biting isn’t allowed and then tells both toddlers that he is going to tell their parents what happened.
  • Jeremy is in Los Angeles for a conference and picks Jinger and Felicity up at the airport when they arrive. The Vuolos are preparing for their move to LA. “I’m really excited about the decision to move to LA,” says Jinger. “I’ve always thought it would be neat to live in a big city. I love hustle and bustle.”
  • “Jinger’s always loved big city,” says Jessa. “Any time we would take a family road trip and end up in Chicago or New York, she was always like, ‘This is awesome. I would love to live here one day.’ And all the rest of us were like, ‘No, I want to go back to the country.’”
  • While the other Duggars love the country, Ben admits that he wouldn’t mind living in a big city.   
  • “[Felicity] is going to be a Cali girl,” says Jeremy. But life in LA is going to be an adjustment, especially considering the traffic and high cost of living. “…There will be some culture shock, but I’m ready for it,” says Jinger.
  • After the couples return, Jim Bob and Michelle watch the footage of the dates and announce the winners:
    • Most romantic date: Joe and Kendra
    • Thriftiest date: Josiah and Lauren
    • Date we’d go on: Jessa and Ben
    • Most original date: John-David and Abbie