A new season of “19 Kids and Counting” kicked off on Sept. 17 and Josh Duggar and his family were in the spotlight. To help with his big move to Washington, DC, all of the Duggars hit the road and it was quite a caravan. Think family road trip – but on steroids (lots of them). Another highlight of Tuesday night’s premiere was a joyful reunion with the Bates family, who live with their own brood of 19 kids in the hills of East Tennessee.
The new episode on Tuesday opened up with Josh and Anna discussing their difficult decision to leave their hometown and roots. "The Washington Post" reported in June that Josh was offered and accepted an executive director position with Family Research Council. During the season premiere, they had just one week to find a new home, move their belongings and growing family cross-country, and set up their new household. “Moving isn’t easy, but moving over 1,000 miles with three kids, one which is a newborn, is really overwhelming,” Josh stated. Michelle said emotionally, “Even though we have 19 children, it’s still difficult when one moves away. This is a huge step. We’re really going to miss him."
Josh and Anna, along with their three young children, flew to Washington, DC to check out potential homes. Josh wanted to be close to a Metro station, but homes near the city are expensive. They chose a lovely 5-bedroom house in the suburbs that featured 3,00 sq. ft., 3 and ½ baths, and a spacious yard for the kids. The trade-off is that Josh must drive to work.
Upon returning to the south, they were tasked with packing up their tiny home. However, with 21 helpers, the job went smoothly. Once the moving trucks were loaded and the house was empty, Josh said thoughtfully, “This house in Arkansas has a lot of memories.” Anna added, “It’s been as much a part of our family as anything else.”
It was time to hit the road for the 1.200-mile trek to DC. The entire Duggar family went along for the trip and they had quite a caravan. John-David and James rode in one moving truck, while Janna and Jason manned the second one. Jessa and Jinger drove an SUV, while Joseph and Jedidiah drove another truck that pulled a trailer. Josh and his family drove their own motor home and the rest of the Duggars rode in their custom bus.
After driving for 12 hours, the Duggars decided to stop and spend time with their longtime friends Kelly and Gil Bates, who live with their 19 children in Tennessee. Somehow, Kelly was able to pull together a baby shower for Anna and a dinner for more than three dozen people with just two hours notice. Anna stated afterward, “It was great to celebrate Marcus and his arrival.”
Josh and Anna rose early and hit the road again, while the rest of the Duggars, on “Duggar time,” slept in. They eventually decided to spend another night with the Bates.
The next new episode of “19 Kids and Counting” airs on Tuesday, Sept. 24. It’s titled “An Emotional Goodbye.” The Duggars will head back to Arkansas after saying goodbye to Josh, Anna, Mackynzie, Michael and Marcus. Later in the season, Jessa Duggar will be featured due to her new courtship with Ben Seewald. According to "TV Guide," Michelle and Jim Bob are "happy with the way the relationship is progressing." Out of many suitors, the 18-year-old is the first one to make the cut.
Interesting tidbits from the season premiere of “19 Kids and Counting”:
- Marcus is the third largest Duggar newborn, weighing in at 9 lbs. 3 oz.
- The average home price in Washington, DC is nine times higher than in Ark.
- A professional moving crew would have taken two days to pack and load up the trucks. The Duggars accomplished the task in just one day.
- The total cost of fuel for the caravan was $2,900.
- At dinner, the Duggar and Bates families consumed 13 pounds of ground beef, 20 cups of shredded cheese, and eight bags of tortilla chips.
- Josh’s commute in Arkansas was 11 minutes. It will be considerably longer in Washington, DC.
More about the Duggar family from "19 Kids & Counting"
The super-sized Duggar family includes mom Michelle, dad Jim Bob, plus children Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn and Josie. The family resides debt-free in Arkansas and stars in a weekly reality TV series called "19 Kids & Counting."
Do you love the Duggars? Then sign up to get my articles personally delivered to your in-box. Just click on SUBSCRIBE, and you'll stay up-to-the-minute with the latest Duggar family news.