This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 Candy TurkeyOnce again, we were able to gather in the name of the Lord in thankfulness for His provision, spiritual and temporal, around the Thanksgiving table. This year we had the most folks participating we’ve ever had, I believe; and it was probably one of the most pleasant weather-wise we’ve had.

Here are some of the sights:

Before the meal:

Thanksgiving 2011 Inside Preparations

The men:

Thanksgiving 2011 Men Before the Meal

And the ladies:

Thanksgiving 2011 Ladies Before the Meal

These are the meal tables:

Thanksgiving 2011 Main Course Table
Thanksgiving 2011 Dessert Table

And then the gathering of the brethren to break bread together:

Thanksgiving 2011 Meal Time Around the Table
Thanksgiving 2011 Meal Time
Thanksgiving 2011 Children During Meal Time
Thanksgiving 2011 Timothy Eating

After the meal, we sat around the tables and sang from our Psalter — a joyous time of praise!

We are grateful once again to the Lord for granting us this time of fellowship out here, away from the world, gathering in His name, in celebration of His glory and provisions, both spiritual and temporal.

— David


  1. Anonymous

    I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your Thanksgiving celebration. I was wondering if the ladies have adopted the cape dress and prayer cap for every day wear, or is it just for special occasions? I have always been interested in Amish style dress.

  2. David and Susan Sifford

    Hi Manette,

    Yes, this is standard wear now for the ladies, and then men are on their way too, with broadfall pants, etc.

    — David

  3. Anonymous

    I think that is just wonderful. Would you mind asking the ladies which pattern they use? I have a pattern and would like to see if it is the same one. Some day I would like to come to Ranchfest and would like to have a dress like the other ladies. Do they use buttons or hooks/eyes? I assume that the ladies sew on treadle machines?

  4. David and Susan Sifford

    Hello Manette!

    The ladies here wear the Ohio dress pattern which can be found at:

    It's #201 The Ohio Dress 3-piece pattern. They are actually quite comfortable. To my knowledge, most of the ladies are using either snaps or hooks and eyes. Some still use safety pins to secure the dresses and aprons. A few of the women are sewing on treadle machines and that is definitely where we are headed. And a few women still use their electric sewing machines with solar or generator power.

    As an aside, I have a mid-late 1950's electric Singer sewing machine that works very nicely but I'd like to get away from the electric machine. I had also bought a really old treadle machine but haven't refurbished it yet. Then Danielle Bunker sent me this great link that shows how a person can convert their electric into a treadle machine. Needless to say, that is on my short list of things to do! 🙂 Here is the link in case it may ever be useful:

    Please don't hesitate to ask any additional questions as they come to your mind.

    It would be a great pleasure to meet you, Manette, if you ever come out to visit. Thank you and may God bless you.


  5. Anonymous

    How interesting, your dress pattern is the exact same one that I have. I have made one dress and yes, it is quite comfortable. I didn’t have enough material to make the bodice on the bias, but next time I will buy enough material to cut it on the bias. I imagine that it will be even more comfortable cut that way. I think I even have the same pattern for the prayer cap that you use. I bought it from Friends also.

    I have a treadle machine that was my husband’s grandmother’s. It needs a belt but is fully operational. Paul’s mother had it refurbished some time ago. I think the date is around 1920. Paul’s grandmother was a young widow and supported herself and her two sons by making corsets for the ladies of the town, can you imagine? That was in Brenham, TX, not all that far from where you are. I’ve been thinking of finding a pattern for a bonnet. Have you looked into that? As always, you ladies inspire me.

    May God bless and keep all of you,


  6. David and Susan Sifford

    Hello Manette!

    Wow, what a blessing to have your husband's grandmother's treadle machine and what a history behind it! That's really neat.

    I personally don't have a bonnet at this point. I believe a couple women have simply expanded the brim way out of the existing prayer caps to make a bonnet. Another woman bought a lovely bonnet on eBay. I'm not sure but I think there may be a pattern floating around; I'll try to remember to ask and get back to you about it.

    I'm excited to hear about your own personal endeavors in making the dress and prayer cap for yourself.

    Thank you for your comments and interest in our blog!


  7. Manette

    Dear Susan,
    Since I talked to you last month I have made a couple of plain dresses. The first one I made is sadly too small for me. I was wondering if anyone in the community would like to have it. I will send the pattern also. It is a medium Ohio dress and the pattern is from "Friends". If none of the local ladies can use it, maybe someone who comes to Ranchfest could get some good use of it. It is a dark forest green. I have not hemmed it or added snaps as that is a personal preference. I could send it to you at Michael's address if you think it could be of use.
    Your friend, Manette

  8. David and Susan Sifford

    Hello Manette!

    I'm sorry that first dress hasn't worked out for you. Since you are offering we would be VERY blessed to receive the dress and pattern from you. Thank you so much for your gracious and generous offer. We have several ladies here in the community who wear that size. We have found the hard way, as well, that those size charts are all over the place and we have had to learn to decipher them through trial and error. Yes, please send the dress to me at the address you have for Mr. Bunker.

    May God bless and keep you, Manette. Thank you again!


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