Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Bates Hotel: Duggars Return

Now this isn't in answer to a request that I criticize the Duggars, but rather it's in response to the episode in Season 5 that I just watched: The Duggars going back to the Bates to visit. I wrote about this back in Season Three when the Duggars went to visit the Bates and surprise them with an addition to their house. Now from watching those episodes, you get the idea that the addition was initially to be a small-ish room added onto their house--a laundry room or maybe another bedroom. A day later Jim Bob has turned the addition into a 3-story house built on the front of the Bates current house. There are repeated comments from Bates and Duggars and Wilsons that "blame" Jim Bob...or Jim Bob...for the size and expansion of the initial gift.

Here's my other question that has been raised repeatedly on the's a gift. What part was a gift? Were the Duggars funding the initial room addition or just offering free labour? They made it sound like the Bates had been planning this project for years (possibly saving up for the project) and just hadn't gotten it done--so it's possible that the labour was the freebie. If that's the case then I do have a problem with Jim Bob's grandiose plans--if the Bates couldn't afford his vision, then that wasn't very friendly. "Here, build this massive extension, we'll see you in a few months when we drive back through..."

Certainly it's quite possible that TLC picked up a portion of the tab. It's also highly likely that a lot of materials were donated for product placement or advertising purposes. Those things we'll probably never know unless someone spills the beans and we find an article about it somewhere. You all know I won't be doing that research hahaha. We did see Jim Bob showing off his skill for finding a bargain. He did take the Bates to places with good deals and places that threw in freebies or discounts. However we didn't ever see any money change hands on any delivery or purchase. We may never know.

But that still brings me back to my original point. So Jim Bob brings his kids back a year later (or whatever) and gets a tour of the house that is STILL not finished. Does he offer to put his kids to work? No they go to a parrot jungle. I have a definate problem with that, but since the Bates don't, I suppose it doesn't matter much. The Bates are seemingly happy with their home even if they don't have all 6 bathrooms functional yet!!!

I would love some insight into this. Am I looking at this from the wrong angle? I suppose the Bates could have always put their feet down and said "no, pull it back, too big" and they didn't. They also still have babies coming, so they obviously need the space.

Am I missing something here?


  1. First of all, I would like to commend you, MaryBeth, for a balanced blog. So refreshing.

    Attached is a link to the Bates' family website, which includes a laundry list of donations to the building project.

    Thanks again, I really enjoy your thoughts and comments.

  2. Marybeth, I'm glad you put this topic up. I also wonder about the burden this house may now be to the Bates. I often feel the same way about those people who win house makeovers and end up with a home completely out of place for the neighborhood they live in and above thier means to keep up with. Taxes on the new value of Bates 'Sky-Dome' must be outrageous, but I'm just guessing. As you pointed out, the Bates really needed the extra space. I really think Jim Bob had his heart in the right place to help them when this all started out. And who knows, it may still end up finished and well!?

    I do think they get some help from TLC, and rightly so for the amount of entertainment produced. TLC MIGHT have an even heavier hand in all this - spacing out trips, dragging out visits with other activities in order to keep the story-line going or build up anticipation of a Duggar-Bates engagement. Just speculation.

    At any rate, I googled the Bates family a while back and saw that their website is now up and running. (Side note - to my uneducated eyes, it appears that they abandonded the Josh-Duggar design, and I found that very interesting.) The website answers lots of questions about progress on the house, and includes a list of contributors.

  3. I'm glad the Bates have their website up and from what I hear, they seem to be enjoying it. A few people on facebook have mentioned getting email from Kelly after sending one to them. So it's nice that they are finally able to connect with people that love them.

    I'm also glad to hear that they are listing their donations. Not just for our interest, but to credit those who gave. I do remember from the initial episodes about the building that they mentioned the project on the local news and that brought out volunteer builders and donations. While I think a community donating that way is fabulous, I have to wonder what they would have done WITHOUT those donations. Was Jim Bob expecting that flood of generosity or at the very least hoping for it?

    If they hadn't had all those donations would the project have been what it is or would they have scaled it down. Who would have foot the bill for it?

    I think my problem with this situation is that they started by telling us one thing "we came to put on an addition to your house" ....making it sound like one thing--a gift....and it turned into something quite different--without any explanation or clarification.

    I suppose the fact that the Bates seem perfectly happy should mollify me, but from a "lead by example" standpoint--something the Duggars are always quick to do--what example are they really giving people? Even if it is just an editing issue--we weren't told everything...

    something is just ...odd about this to me

  4. The more I think about it, the more I think I should say....I probably would like to be friends with the Bates before I'd like to be friends with the Duggars. Don't get me wrong, I love the Duggars...but there is something about the Bates family that tugs at me even more. I think it's their relative innocence when you compare them to the Duggars--I meant Gil and Kelly vs. Jim Bob and Michelle.

    I doubt I will ever be able to listen to Jim Bob speak without hearing the heart of a car salesman. That probably isn't fair to him, but I can't help it. Gil doesn't have that smarmy quality that Jim Bob does. However when you pair Jim Bob with Michelle, you have an amazing couple who are able to conquer the world and then some.

    I would love to see more Bates :)

  5. Mrs. Bates DID say NO, several times as a matter of fact:

    Watch here at 3:32 into the video:

    Mrs. Bates REPEATEDLY said, "No, No, No" and then at 4:14 into the video she says, "That is sweet of you BUT we wouldn't dream of...."

    I think Mr. & Mrs. Bates are just too nice to have said: "Really, JimBob, we must say no." They probably would have thought that would have been un-Christian of them.

    JimBob swooped in, took over, and it snowballed from there. JimBob got to be the hero and it was all filmed for TLC ratings.

    The Bates were left with an unfinished house, higher property taxes, higher utility bills (bigger house, more utilities).

    The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth, but it's not my house. I don't think we'll ever really know how Mrs. Bates felt after that, she'll never say anything against the Duggars.

  6. I love this blog.. I wonder if the whole thing was a surprise or something preplanned.. they did say something like "Zak pulled the permits" IDK it's just my thoughts that maybe they knew a little about it all!
    The house has definately more character than the Duggars, all those little touches look pretty cool and what I saw from the Parrot episode, boys and girls aren't in 2 big bedrooms but split up a little which is pretty cool.
    I think also that Gil and Kelly seem very "True and sweet" oh well back to the topic.. I really don't think Gil and Kelly had to shell out very much money, I think between TLC, Volunteers and JimBob they only had to shell out time :)

  7. Ummm guys for the "higher property taxes" please understand WHERE this "mansion" was built. This isn't redoing some one's house in the middle of the neighborhood.... this is middle of NO WHERE in the hills of TN, property taxes are beyond low to start with and are based on SURROUNDING property values, and square footage. Even though the pop ups keep stating they live in Lake City, they don't... they live in Anderson county outside city limits. And Anderson Co property taxes for those houses out up on them hills is little to nothing since no one BUT those hill folk are gonna live out there to begin with :D

    As for the higher bills that also depends on a few things... if they are on well water, and septic tank bigger house raises the costs by ZERO. (And most houses up on them thar hills is on well water not city).

    As for higher electric, they aren't going to go as high as a new house payment would have cost them...

    Last time I checked when building a house "hill billy style" the biggest costs are in materials, which before the Duggars left at the ORIGINAL build, they had covered. The only things not currently finished is well "finish" work...

    Lastly had not TLC stepped in with the Duggars house this is what THEIR house would look like, as they get the money, materials, and so forth in they finish another part.

    PS this is how us "po folk" add on or build houses... we live in the construction for years as we get the time and the money to finish each part.

  8. It does seem a little fishy, but as you said, we arent sure of whats really going on behind the scenes. I will way one thing though, I always loved the exterior of the Duggar house but felt it was missing something. looking at the Bates new home... i LOVE the exterior!!!! haha i know this is really off topic but i think it looks gorgeous and I now want to build my own house to look like that!! lol

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  10. I just want to reiterate that Mrs. Bates kept on saying "NO" when she read the card.
    That is a point everyone keeps glossing over.

    When I say "no" to something, I mean "no", NOT "yes keep on asking me". Maybe she didn't want the addition at that time, she looked very pregnant/uncomfortable, and with all those extra people wandering around her house? And one bathroom? Yikes.

    Their property tax and/or utilities don't concern me as it does some other posters, but when someone says "no", I take it they mean "no."

  11. i also kind of glossed past Mrs. Bates repeated "no's" ...but only because the way she was saying it and the way it was presented made it look like it was "no i can't believe you're doing this, it's too much" a way that made it seem like shock and surprise, not refusal...because they are such a giving family that they aren't used to receiving....if that makes sense...

    i also agree that it was true Zac did pull permits and get the preliminary work done and i kind of think Gil knew too--just not that the wilsons were coming, that was the surprise....because i do think that Gil's money was the base of the project--they did say they'd been saving to do it and just hadn't done you don't plan to use someone's money without them knowing--and gil did say that there was a mother's day surprise coming, when they were planning their grocery something tells me Gil was in on the plan, just not how big the plan was going to become...

    i do think the timing could have been better--because you're right, being that pregnant in the middle of that project with 50+ people and 1 bathroom was downright cruel...

    on the 1 bathroom issue....i seriously hope they let, told, or encouraged the boys to run into the woods to pee...i mean seriously...

  12. cyn...i hope you copied that story...please repost was probably the best one so far!!! and thank you for the warning...i put my drink down before i read it! hahaha

  13. cyn...i hope you copied that story...please repost was probably the best one so far!!! and thank you for the warning...i put my drink down before i read it! hahaha
    Though funny as hades, I realized AFTER I published it that to many people (because of the other blogs I am posting on) could figure out who the "brother" was in that story... and He'll KILL me.... That's why I deleted it, had it been the younger brother he wouldn't have cared, but my oldest (under me) brother will flat out hurt my butt if that story gets out...

    I'm beyond above board and honest, and painfully blunt, and from most of my posts on this board and other blogs people can figure out who I am (that lived in the same city I did) and then in turn give my brothers still living there grief.

  14. I think if you have knowledge of how Christians are, think in terms of the area the BATES live in, not in terms of your own area, do thorough research, carefully watch the episode in question with an open mind and observing every nuance and exchange, you will realize the renovations done were planned to still have a house within the Bates means and that the Christian community reached out to someone.

    Their original house was a family of about 16 living in an 1100 sq foot house wih an attic (according to the popups). My family of 3 lives in an 1100 sq foot house with a basement. I took a good look at what was done to the Bates house last episode. Depending on your viewpoint and perspective, it might seem to be big and grandiose or it might seem to be making better use of existing space and making a few additions. My own basement now looks huge; yet all we did was put up some shelves, organize things and get rid of unnecessary items.

    GRIN, thanks to what the Bates did to their place and the subsequent comments, we're thinking of converting our crawl space into living space to make our place seem as huge as theirs, LOL!