Stanley Knepp along with his wife, Shannon, and their children — Bryant, 12, Cody, 11, Darius, 10, Tyler, 8, Zachary, 5, and Andrea, 3 — sang “Be Present at Our Table” as a song of grace before eating dinner in their Loogootee home Dec. 30. Stanley, who described his family’s beliefs as on the more conservative side of the Mennonite faith, said the family will sometimes sing a “grace song” before a meal, as opposed to a nonmusical prayer. He said his family will always dismiss from the table with a song.
Stanley, who cuts the hair of all five of his sons, trimmed Tyler’s hair Dec. 16. “A lot of the Amish and Mennonites cut their own hair,” Stanley said. “It’s very rare to see any Mennonites or Amish go to a barber.” Shannon said that as a general rule for conservative Mennonites, women don’t cut their hair.
Bryant and Cody worked on their chores and helped out their grandfather, Ervin Knepp, near the Knepp home in Loogootee after returning home from school Oct. 31.
Shannon worked with her sewing machine as her children played, did chores and tended to their studies after school Oct. 31 at their home. Shannon said the dresses worn by Mennonite women are sewn by other women in the faith, while the clothing for the men is bought.
Andrea watched as members of Mt. Nebo Mennonite Church gathered to sing following a Sunday morning service and lunch Oct. 29 at the church. Stanley said Mennonite women start wearing the headship covering around kindergarten age, although the age varies in some churches. Mt. Nebo Mennonite Church also practices segregated seating where women and men sit on different sides of the church aisle during the service.
Stanley balanced Andrea and Shannon Wagler of Loogootee, 6, on his lap following a Sunday morning service Oct. 29 at Mt. Nebo Mennonite Church near Newberry, on the Scotland-Newberry Road. Stanley said Andrea and Shannon are two of three girls who attend Mt. Nebo who have Down syndrome.
Jonathan Beachy of Flat Rock, Illinois, showed hunting videos to the Knepp children — Darius, Tyler, Zachary, and Cody — on his phone during a wedding reception Dec. 22 at Berea Mennonite Church in Cannelburg. The Knepps do not have a television or radio in the home and computer access is limited to roughly 20 minutes per child each week. Although the Knepp family does make use of email and the internet, Stanley said social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are prohibited by their church.
Darius helped carry goods into the Knepp home Dec. 30 after returning from a trip to Jasper with his father and siblings to shop and grab a bite to eat. The family makes the trip to Dubois County about twice a month to shop and also travels to the county for things like doctors’ appointments.
Stanley played Rook with his sons — Bryant, Cody, Darius, Tyler and Zachary — to pass time before dinner Dec. 30. Because they don’t have a television, reading books and playing games like Rook are common occurrences in the Knepp household. During the warmer months of the year, the children spend more time with outdoor activities.
Darius watched a candle burn before setting the dinner table Oct. 31.