Bringing Up Bates – Summer Lovin’, Guitar Strummin’ and a Surprise a Comin’!”

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By: Jamie Steinberg


It’s camp time! Tori’s “boyfriend” Bobby is helping out a camp nearby that some of the Bates’ family attends. So, the family drives the two hours to meet up with the group. On the way over, we get a breakdown of whether or not Tory and Bobby are official as it seems Papa Gil told them they needed to get to know each other before the official courtship could begin. Flash-forward to almost a year later and here we have Tory and Bobby still seeing hearts and moving into courting.

Jackson, Warden and Isaiah got to go to The Wilds, unlike any of the other Bates kids when they were growing up. Zach thinks they got the go ahead so they could keep an eye on Bobby! Bobby offers to show Mama and Papa Bates and crew their way around the camp. The very first stop on the tour was called “The Swing,” something that kids end up conning the parents into attempting (“It’s romantic! It’s for old people!”) Once their legs are lifted in the air and the cables pull them backwards, the parents are flying through the air! At least Mama Bates (Kelly Jo) was a good sport and seemed to have a good time.

Back at home, Lawson has a new album so he has been driving back and forth to Nashville for his music. Plus, he’s planning a tour! He has put a lot of time and effort into his songs so he’d like to get out and do some live events to interact with crowds. Nathan has given some location suggestions to Lawson and even plans on attending some of the concerts.

Switching back to camp, the family has made their way to the lake. The boys use the zip-lining and a giant pillow under the diving board. Gil talks about how Bobby first approached him to discuss courtship. Gil explains that he told Bobby it was too soon to start courting, but after more than a year with Tori that it is probably time to reconsider. Bobby talks about how he doesn’t get to see Tori much since they live and go to school in different places so this was a nice get together for them.

Lawson heads into the studio in Nashville. Lawson discusses how a song gets made and we get to see that Josie and Kelly Jo have come to support him. Plus, it seems Lawson has been able to team up with Emily Ann Roberts who was on “The Voice.” The two of them duet on a song “I’ll Love Again” to lay down the final vocals for the official addition to the album. Lawson discusses how he worked on the song for a long time and that it was his writing group that put things in perspective to get the song complete.

Trace talks about wanting to be a Dixie Stampede performer so he has taken some of the family to the barn to show that he can ride in a pattern and on time. He has the riding part down, but it seems the showmanship is the part he needs to work on. Kelly Jo says Trace started out shy, but he’s finally breaking out of it so this Dixie Stampede goal is something that could help. Dancing seems to be an additional area of work Trace needs to do because the family never did it when they were growing up (it was too close for comfort for Gil).

At Zach and Katie’s home we see their adorable kids Bradley and Casey. Since Zach works twelve hour shifts as a police officer, Katie has her hands full and they miss having him home. Plus, we get to see Erin and Chad at home with their two kids. They are excited to head over to the Bates family home for a picnic on such a beautiful day. So, with the family expanding and in different places, everyone is coming together for a big family dinner. Gil has done the grocery shopping and the girls are away at college so Kelly Jo is stuck with her sons helping in the kitchen. When the family starts arriving, there is a knock on the door and it is a surprise visit from family friend Mrs. Dingis. She has her flowers in her hands and a basket that she says will be used to “play a game.” Kelly Jo knows that something is up and Lawson explains that when a present arrives expectantly than something big is about to happen! Kelly Jo explains that she isn’t pregnant and it is too soon for any of the girls to be pregnant again. So, what is the big surprise? Ms. Dingis hands out boxes and says that the only rule is no peeking! The boxes revealed that Alyssa was going to be having a baby!

Everyone runs for the door to see Alyssa in the driveway. It seems like in January John and Alyssa are going to be having a new baby girl! Kelly Jo says the news had her in shock! She wonders if they picked out a name yet and it seems that in the box were M&Ms that had the new baby’s name on it. They are sure the kids probably just ate their M&Ms without even looking at them. It sure seems that Alyssa’s surprise was a hit!

Lawson sums things up nicely by saying that it is kind of out of control with everything going on with their family, but they love it. They are used to the family growing and that Alyssa’s surprise was just another special moment for them all. Kelly Jo says when the kids were little they used to say, “I don’t think things can get any better than this,” but now those kids are grown and having their own kids! Life is busy for the Bates, but they assure us that they wouldn’t have it any other way.

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