Happy birthday Cousin WIll!

My dad’s family has always been proud to be related to William Shakespeare. His mother Mary Arden and my great…great grandmother Margaret were sisters; Mary named her second daughter for Margaret. William was the third child and the first son. He was also the first of Mary and John Shakespeare’s children to survive infancy. Five more children were eventually born to the couple. William probably attended the King’s school in Stratford-Upon-Avon where he studied Latin, Greek drama and some Roman history.

Although he wrote 30 plays, only 18 were produced in his lifetime. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was illegal to create religious works, so all of his literary works were secular and/or historical. He was best known for his poetry in his day and it wasn’t until the 19th century that his theatrical works were elevated to a cultural pinnacle. He is credited for adding numerous new words and phrases to the English language; a few of which were published today on the UK’s The Independent website:

” It is often not clear whether a word or phrase was already in existence in Shakespeare’s lifetime or if he invented it. Regardless, his plays often provide us with the earliest use of many.

More words and phrases coined by the Bard
– “For goodness sake” – Henry VIII
– “Neither here not there” – Othello
– “Mum’s the word” – Henry VI, Part II
– “Eaten out of house and home” – Henry IV, Part II
– “Rant” – Hamlet
– “Knock knock! Who’s there?” – Macbeth
– “All’s well that ends well” – All’s Well That Ends Well
– “With bated breath” – The Merchant of Venice
– “A wild goose chase” – Romeo and Juliet
– “Assassination” – Macbeth
– “Too much of a good thing” – As You Like It
– “A heart of gold” – Henry V
– “Such stuff as dreams are made on” – The Tempest
– “Fashionable” – Troilus and Cressida
“What the dickens” – The Merry Wives of Windsor
– “Puking” – As You Like It
– “Lie low” – Much Ado About Nothing
“Dead as a doornail” – Henry VI, Part II
– “Not slept one wink” –
Cymbeline– “Foregone conclusion” – Othello
– “The world’s mine oyster” – The Merry Wives of Windsor
– “Obscene” – Love’s Labour’s Lost
– “Bedazzled” – The Taming of the Shrew
– “In stitches” – Twelfth Night
– “Addiction” – Othello
“Naked truth” – Love’s Labour’s Lost
– “Faint-hearted” – Henry VI, Part I
“Send him packing” – Henry IV
– “Vanish into thin air” – Othello
– “Swagger” – Henry V
– “Own flesh and blood” – Hamlet
– “Truth will out” – The Merchant of Venice
– “Zany” – Love’s Labour’s Lost
“Give the devil his due” – Henry IV, Part I
“There’s method in my madness” – Hamlet
– “Salad days” – Antony and Cleopatra
– “Wear your heart on your sleeve” – Othello
– “Spotless reputation” – Richard II
– “Full circle” – King Lear
– “There’s the rub” – Hamlet
– “All of a sudden” – The Taming of the Shrew
– “Come what, come may” – Macbeth


Thank you William Shakespeare for sharing your talent and insight with the human family all those years ago. 

The Easter Miracle Story Eggs

If you are teaching about Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and atonement, here is a wonderful little activity that can be used for Family Home Evening, church classes… you’ll think of meaningful ways to share.

From the brilliant ladies in Newport Beach; thanks for sharing.

A simplified account of Christ’s atonement is told in these Easter Miracle Eggs. Each egg contains a scripture and tiny object that represents part of the Easter story. After the eggs are gathered, open them in order and read each scripture.

All you need are a dozen plastic eggs and a few items to tuck inside. Number the end of the eggs 1 -12 with a permanent marker. Print the following text, cut into strips and place inside the corresponding numbered eggs by highlighting them, pressing control and “p” on a p.c. (choose “selection”) , or command and “p” on a mac. The objects inside the eggs are:

1. a small cup (check craft stores for a small unfinished wood thimble)

2. 3 dimes

3. 2 – 3″ of twine

4. a chunk of soap

5. A tiny red robe shape cut out of felt

6. wooden or heavy paper cross

7. dice

8. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ square of white fabric, torn almost in half

9. a 1 1/2″ x 11/2″ square of white fabric

10. a small rock

11. a few whole cloves and a bay leaf

12. This egg will remain empty

Tell the story about the sacrament of the Last Supper and Christ’s night in Gethsemane, how he paid the price for all of mankind’s sins if they repented and that they might be able to return to heaven and live with the Father . The following scripture verses are taken from the New Testament in the Holy Bible.

1. “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:42 – 43)

2. Zechariah, a prophet of the Old Testament foretold that Christ would be ransomed or betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. ” (Matthew 26: 14 – 15)

3. “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Matthew 27: 1 -2)

4. “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. (Matthew 27: 24)

5. “And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.” (Matthew 27: 28 – 30)

6. “And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” (Matthew 27: 31 – 32.)

7. “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” (Matthew 27: 35)

8. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27: 50, 51, 54)

9. “When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth” (Matthew 27; 58 – 60)

10. “And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” (Matthew 27: 60, 65, 66)

11. “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow…And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (Mark 16: 1, Matthew 28: 2 – 5)

12. “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead” Matthew 28: 6 – 7)

Shortbread Cookies!

Looking for a way to get the Easter Bunny to come to your garden early and leave the best treats? Try a plate of fresh shortbread cookies – guaranteed bunny bait!

McMurtry’s Shortbread          

            Preheat oven to 325°. Cream until fluffy   

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened

1/3 C powdered sugar

            Beat in

3/4 tsp vanilla extract           

            Set aside. Sift together

1 C all-purpose flour

2 TBSP. cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

            Work the flour mixture into the butter mixture just  
            until crumbly. Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic 
            wrap and roll to ¼ – ½ ” thickness. Cut with cookie 
            cutters, transfer to baking pan, add sugar sprinkles if 
            desired. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes; until   
            edges are barely light golden. 

These are delicious plain with a cup of milk or herb tea; Peter Rabbit would like chamomile. Or you may wish to decorate them with buttercream frosting.