Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Duggars are Back

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Has it really been three months since the regular season of 19 Kids and Counting was on the air? Maybe it only feels shorter because the breaking story about losing Jubilee Duggar... Speaking of which, I wanted to say a few quick words about JimBob and Michelle appearing on Today on February 14th. They were there to not only talk about Jubilee, but also about the extortion attempt involving Cousin Amy. [Michelle was wearing some different makeup... made her look much younger, though with a fuller face. She wore the same style on the latest episode of 19 Kids and Counting, so I'm guessing she had a makeover at some point?] Michelle kept it together well when she talked about losing Jubilee (which was now eight weeks ago). Regarding the extortion, they basically repeated the same thing that's been all over the internet - the woman was caught in a sting and has been arrested, plus the photo was just Amy and a family friend standing next to each other. I don't really know why Today bothered to put them on, but the duo did say that they were looking forward to a day in New York without the kids, and had a nice Valentine's dinner planned. 

Also, it seems that TLC has decided to re-order how they're numbering the seasons... In November we left off at what was being called Season 8, Episode 10. But, the newest installment is billed as the premiere of Season 6. I know that this is going to make it confusing, but I'm going to go with the new numbering for now, and either consider changing the previous recaps to fit this system or leave them alone, since part of it could be a nightmare (the "original" third season already had 28 episodes). It also looks like the Duggars will only be running for six or seven weeks right now, so I imagine there will be 10-12 episodes, but that's pure speculation. Anyway, let's get on to the good stuff... I can't promise that too much of it is "good," but they really should have split this into two episodes since they covered a TON of events...

19 Kids and Counting "Planning the Future" (S06E01): Michelle is 12 weeks pregnant in this episode, and has been using an elliptical machine often and taking her normal pre-natal vitamins. [the latter is only of note because, at this point, Michelle has allegedly taken over 15,000 of them... some basic math suggests she's probably only taken about 5,000, unless she's taken one every day SINCE SHE WAS FOUR YEARS OLD.] Punctuality is a problem for the family, as always, but it's spreading to within the home rather than just when they try to leave... it's now taking 30 minutes or so for everyone to gather for a family meeting. [I wouldn't stand for that!] JimBob claims that he and Michelle used to be on-time before they had children, but Jana says that the family once got ready without the parents, and they were on-time, so maybe it was JimBob and Michelle who slow things down. [this made me laugh. Also, Joy has braces now.]

JimBob has this "great idea" to get some trees for the yard - both fruit-bearing and decorative. So, the family loads up and goes to buy a bunch. Then, they plot out where they will go. [really? How did you know how many and which types to buy if you hadn't designed your layout first? Oh, JimBob...] Luckily, since they bought so many trees, the nursery sent out a couple guys to help... and they're able to do 28 trees in two hours, in comparison wit the Duggars planting 4 in two hours. [the math doesn't add up that the pros did 8 trees in 45 minutes, then another 20 in 75 more minutes... but I guess they have to get a groove. It was also cute to see one of the younger girls (Jordyn? Jenny?) watering.] Of course, there is a lot of red clay in the dirt, but the shovels seemed to work better than the Duggars' big equipment.

Michelle and the older girls go to a speaking engagement (Michelle says that she likes to bring the girls because they get to hear the message) while JimBob cares for the rest of the kids. [but aside from the four youngest girls, we only see a couple of the boys... where were the rest of them?] It takes JimBob about two hours to get moving, and he looks awful when he gets up. JimBob says that "it's been a few years" since he's had to take care of a bunch of the children by himself. [how sad is that!?] We see JimBob brush the little girls' hair. [he's terrible with a ponytail! Also, interesting that in the 2004 photo, Jessa and Jinger don't look nearly as alike as they do now! Jana looked so pale then, too! Also, it sure looks like some of the girls have naturally curly/crimpy hair... they acted like they mostly had perms a few seasons ago. AND, eww! on the boys putting gum in their mouths that Josie had in her mouth.]

Anyway, Anna meets the others at the speaking engagement, bringing Michael. [eww on Michelle's shoes at the meeting!] Michelle shares her thought process on planning her talks - when she's asked, she finds out what they've been studying and what they'd like to hear her talk about. The girls also play a short tune for the audience. [which didn't sound great... and it was only the five oldest girls... what does THAT say??]

Another day, the family goes to Farmland Adventures, which belongs to some family friends. They go after the official "season" had ended, so it's pretty chilly. There's almost three miles of corn-maze, but luckily you can see a map if you wear red-tinted glasses. The family takes off, mostly in groups, and of the 25 Duggars who attempted the maze, 9 finished. [I did a corn-maze back in 2009, but the corn was much higher and it was dark. AND, there was no cheat-sheet!] They play with baby pigs and goats, then ride some ponies and call it a day. [so many bad puns!]

The last thing to happen in the episode is JimBob and Michelle having a doctor's appointment. The doctor struggles to find a heartbeat using a doppler, but luckily they find it via ultrasound. [wow. bet that made not being able to find a heartbeat later even more of a shock!]
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