This is a short season for 19 Kids & Counting (no doubt due in part to how many double-length episodes there have been, how many trips are being taken, and the fact that they're not doing a good job of keeping up with the press), with only one more episode to go. It's being bills as if Derick will struggle to deliver a memorable proposal for Jill, but let's face it... that girl is head-over-heels for him and it doesn't matter to her how he does it one bit! Jessa might have some expectations for Ben, but that's something different entirely. I do look forward to hearing about how the couple plans to make a living (Jill is not quite a midwife yet, after all), and where they will reside. Plus, it looks as if there will be plenty of wedding preparations, so I'm hoping that we'll get a lengthy special focusing on that before long. In case you're not aware, the couple plans to wed on June 21st, so hopefully we're not waiting around until November to see the nuptials! Here's the happy couples now:
Next, they part ways as Jill volunteers at a birthing center, using tools that are outdated in the US, and the guys enjoy a Nepali shave, which Derick finds relaxing but JimBob finds painful. But the big moment comes when Jill and JimBob go to leave, and Derick officially asks Jill to enter a courtship with him. [they were there a week?]
Back at home, James and Michelle shoot slingshots, and Michelle talks about how she has "good" and "bad" stories from her childhood. Plus, Jinger teaches Joy how to bake the family's bread, as they go through 24 mini-loaves each week. [Jinger might have learned from John-David?]
19 Kids & Counting "Something New" (S08E09): Joy teaches Michelle "Amazing Grace" on the violin, but it has been a long time since the Duggar matriarch held the stringed instrument, plus she can't read music.
Jessa spends some time with Ben's family, and his sisters teach her some of Ben's favorite recipes: chicken alfredo and apple pie. Jinger goes too, as her first chaperoning experience. [that Ben is trying too hard.]
Jana and Joseph go to visit Josh & Anna, and they head to Whitetail Resort for a day of skiing. Anna and the kids have never been before, and Jana sits out and plays with Marcus. [I don't really understand why they went to visit?] Joseph and Josh skied together.
19 Kids & Counting "Couples' Weekend" (S08E10): Jill, Jana, and Jessa go to a delivery, where Jill is the midwife under supervision, which she has done about 30 times. The client goes to the tub to relax, but winds up delivering there. [Jessa is just there to take pictures for the family.]
JimBob and Michelle go to a fertility specialist, who orders a blood test done to check if Michelle is in menopause. At her age (48), there's really only a 5% chance that a sperm will fertilize an egg. [those odds: 1 in 350 at age 35; 1 in 100 at 40; 1 in 10-15 at 45.]
Ben, Jinger, and Jessa fly to Washington, DC. [why is everyone visiting Josh and Anna again so soon?] The couple has been together seven months (official for four), so Josh really grills Ben. Ben likes to work out, so he and Josh head to the gym, though Josh hasn't been in the nine months he's lived in DC. [haha.] The group enjoys a trolley tour.
19 Kids & Counting "A Toast to Love" (S08E11): It's two months after Jill was in Nepal, and the entire Duggar clan goes to meet Derick at the airport, bringing along posters and balloons. [I loved Jill repeatedly asking at Jana to count heads! oh, and everyone commenting on the frontal hug!]
Michelle and JimBob learn that conception isn't likely, but not impossible, according to their bloodwork. But that's okay, it's time for the dinner theater. Joy gets Amy's help with the five youngest kids' song. [odd that Joy takes credit for the idea to call Amy when Jana suggested it earlier.] Derick and Ben help with the building of the stage, though Ben would prefer to assist Jessa in the kitchen. [Ben racing Derick to engagement? awkward!] Jill and Jana's harp concert opens the night, then some of the boys do a heartfelt skit, then the little kids' songs, Josh's video, and Jeremiah's poem. [the steak is a bit tough. oh, and did Joy not actually perform?] It ends with a "We're a Happy Family" chorus with all of the kids, plus the two courting men.
And, speaking of the courting Duggars, Michelle has a triple-date planned, where she, Jessa, Jill, and their respective men, go for an etiquette dinner at someone's house. [an odd event, but probably nice for everyone to get to know one another a little more in a new way.]