Friday, August 28, 2009

Five for Friday--The Growing Big edition

1. A few years ago, when I was the compassionate service person in our ward, I started making up "welcome bags" for the new families that were moving into our ward...

I've still continued doing it even though I have a different calling now. I love putting these bags together and since we've had several new families move into our ward recently, welcome bags have been on my brain...

Here is what I've been including in each one...

  • Hershey bars--(Hershey, Pa)
  • Pretzels--(did you know that Pennsylvania is the pretzel capital of the world?--the hard pretzel came into existence in 17th century Pennsylvania when a baker's apprentice fell asleep while pretzels were baking. When the Master Baker was about to throw out the "hard pretzels" he decided to taste them first. He liked them so much that he decided to sell them.)
  • Brochures/Maps-- (I pick them up from a local hotel as well as have some sent to me)
  • Tasty Kakes--(delicious sugar filled hostess like cakes--made in Pennsylvania)
  • Crayons--(Easton, Pa is where the Crayola factory is)
  • Local Information--(A typed up a list of doctors/pediatricians, dentists, hair salons, grocery stores, veterinarians, etc...)
  • Ward Directory--(a picture directory of everyone who is a member of our church congregation)
  • Fun Things to Do in the Doylestown Area list--(a typed up list of festivals, events, scenic drive suggestions, etc.)

2. Look what was lurking in our zucchini patch! Have you ever had a zucchini go this awry?! It's beyond massive!!

3. I hosted a lunch yesterday for my friends Jenny Orchard, Olivia Webster and her daughter, Rachael. I couldn't resist taking a picture of these gorgeous hydrangeas...there's not many things out there that are more divine than freshly cut hydrangeas...I love the punch of those chartreuse plates...

4. This was one of Jake's summer highlights. He passed the band test to swim independently in the deep end. I could tell he was so nervous, but was trying to act like it was no big deal...
He was so proud when he passed it. He's been wearing the band around constantly. This has spurred Reilly (who is years away from passing the band test by the way) to wear her own form of a makeshift band made from an old hair tie.

5. This caterpillar transformation has been truly amazing! The eggs were hard to see...but then about a week later, I went in to check on their progress, and noticed that something had been eating the milkweed leaves...

I don't know why it shocked me so much to see actual caterpillars munching the leaves...

They had voracious appetites. We could actually hear them crunching the leaves when we put our ear up to the jar. They grew almost before our eyes...

Two nights ago, we noticed that the caterpillars had crawled to the top of the jar and were hanging in the form of a "J". When we went in to check on them yesterday morning, we saw that they had formed into a cocoon...

Now we're just waiting to see the transformation. Nature is truly a remarkable thing...

***Do you have any other suggestions for the welcome bags?
***Have you ever seen a zucchini that big before?
***Have you ever observed the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly?


  1. that's a huge zucchini! Are you going to eat it? If it's still good, you could slice it up, and make breaded zucchini. yum!
    I love hearing about the latest things going on with the kids. I miss you guys!

  2. I love the welcome bags! Everything is PA and very creative! I bet all of your new neighbors love getting them.

    We have had several zucchini get that big this year. I check on them one day and they are too small but I swear they triple in size overnight!

    Looking at the cocoons reminds me of elementary school! can't wait to see the end result.

  3. wow! and wow! neat post- you are really on the ball!

  4. Shannon, I love your blog! You have some delightful ideas.

  5. you really are the actual martha stewart, you know the one that she pretends to be on TV. one thing to add to the welcome basket is a waiting list, you know the one they need to get on to be your must be EVERYONE's fav!

  6. stunning, stunning, stunning table. i will forever think of you when i see hydrangeas

  7. I love your idea for a welcome gift. How thoughtful! You set a gorgeous table for a lunch, I wish I had the time. That zucchini is going to make a LOT of bread. Yum!

  8. Those are the best welcome kits ever!!!! I didn't know that about the pretzel. It's interesting. It's amazing how many good things were discovered on accident.

    I've never had a zucchini THAT big. That thing is a monster! I guess you'll be able to make a lot of zucchini bread, or maybe a really good stuffed zucchini casserole!

    I've observed many caterpillar transformations but never been able to have one as pretty as the monarch.

  9. You are so nice to make such an awesome welcome kit for your new ward members!

    That zucchini is out of control. Was it too much Miracle Gro or some steroid rich fertilizer? Yikes!

    That table setting with the flowers is so gorgeous! You should make photo cards out of your beautiful arrangements, everyone would love to receive a card with such beauty on it.

    The progress of the caterpillars is just too cool!

  10. wow, can i be your new neighbor? i just really want the tastykates! i used to eat them when i was little, my dad is from PA. in fact, i've been to hanover a hundred times, and had no idea that SNYDER's are from there! what an awesome neighbor you are!

    and oh my gosh - that table for lunch, gorgeous!

  11. Just look at the size of that zucchini! How many breads do you think you could get out of just that one!? The table is gorgeous, too. Nice blog and great photography. :-)

  12. Great going, Jake! Congrats. I used to be a lifeguard in highschool. I was way short...well, some things never changed! But in those days, I was way tiny as well. I had to swim to the bottom of the drain and pick up a huge 10 rock to pass my test. I was scared! But, I did it and had a good job the next few summers! I'm proud of you.

    My Dad had a few zucchinis like that one! It would always make my mom so mad! She liked tiny finger like ones. Looks like that one slipped by your picking fingers!

    I love the idea of your welcome bags. So many famous things come from our neck of the woods! Now, if you were to include some of Grandpa Hicks granola in there, it would be priceless!
    Keep up the good work. We have a lot of new families in the Ward, so I think you're going to be pretty busy!

  13. Wow! I love the idea of the "Welcome Bags"! I have never heard of a ward doing that..I think more should adopt the concept!

    P.S. I clicked over from Mormon Mommy Blogs! Happy Blogging!

  14. Those welcome bags are brilliant! How nice of you to keep doing it. Good call on including those butterscotch Tastykakes -- yummmmmmm. I miss those.

    That zucchini is just insane. And yes, it would throw my grandma into a fit of rage!

    Your hydrangeas and chartreuse plates are to die for!