Thursday, January 18, 2024

Book Discussion Questions: Praying Like Monks Living Like Fools

I recently finished an excellent book called Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools by Tyler Staton. Love the book, the title --meh. It is free to read and listen at my local library through Hoopla as well as through Kindle Unlimited discussed with my spiritual formation group and thought I would share the questions. (We read the book in two parts, but I know other groups who discussed it one chapter at a time.)

Overall: What parallels did you find between other teachings on prayer you have heard and Praying Like Monks Living Like Fools?

Chapter 1: What reason among those given for why we don’t pray resonated with you most? (naive, fear silence, fear selfish motives, think we are doing it wrong,) What did it resonate? Would you add any reasons?

Chapter 1: How have you implemented pray as you can?

Chapter 2:How did the charge to “be still” resonate with you?

Chapter 2:What part of the hurry culture gets you most?

Chapter 2:How is choosing stillness countercultural? P46

Chapter 3:How was the description of how Jesus prayed different from how you pray? What is that? P55

Chapter 3:How does knowing who God is, who we are and who we are to one another inform our prayers?

Chapter 3:How do you hallow God in your prayers? Or what do you want to try to become better at it? 

Chapter 4: Why do you think the author thinks confession is so important?

Chapter 4:Does the picture of Jesus as our co-sufferer inspire you to pray? Why or why not?

Chapter 5: How did the fall change our communication with God?

Chapter 5: How do you think we can become more motivated to intercede in prayer for others/the world? 

Chapter 6: How does gratitude fuel our daily prayers?

Chapter 6: How does the encouragement to pray for parking spaces help your perspective? 

Chapter 6: Did you resonate with the ideas that prayer is about control/consent? Why or why not?

Chapter 7: What is praying in the middle voice represent?

Chapter 7: What does praying in the middle voice mean for you right now? 

Chapter 8: Did you resonate with the idea of prayer as labor/birthing? Why or why not?

Chapter 8: How do you think we can become more motivated to intercede in prayer for others/the world?

Chapter 9: How is prayer an invitation to relationship?

Chapter 9: How does the verb tense of ask, seek, knock change the idea for you?

Chapter 10: Do you agree with the idea that fidelity is boring? Does this help you with the life of prayer?

Chapter 10: How can you incorporate daily rhythms to encourage prayer practice?

Chapter 10: Why are we drawn to the idea of experiential spontaneous prayer? 201

“The modern church's best kept secret is this: we believe in productivity not prayer.” Respond 

Related Links:

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Staycation Winter Break 2023

We have a long winter break, y'all. We don't have any travel plans, so I have been collecting ideas for things to do at this time of year (separate from the holiday events).  Here are the ideas I have collected. (It looks like we will get some rain too, so I separated into indoor and outdoor.)  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you have other ideas. We love to try new things.

Santa Barbara and Goleta (indoor):
* Visit Museum of Natural History (our review)
* Cruise over to the Sea Center (our review)
* Play at the  Maritime Museum (our review)
* Create at the  Museum of Art (no review--must fix that soon!)
* Explore the MOXI (our review)

Santa Barbara and Goleta (outdoor):
* Go sock skating at the MOXI (our review)--sock skating is on the roof and is closed when it rains.
* Take a look at the butterflies at the Ellwood Bluffs (our review)
* See the animals at Santa Barbara Zoo 
* Explore the Botanic Gardens 

Date Specific:
Primetime Band Friday December 15th 6-7pm 

Big Brass Christmas Band Saturday December 16th 12-2pm in Storke Placita (700 block State St)

Pictures with Buddy the Elf and Mrs. Claus at Paseo Nuevo Saturday December 16 12-3

Hollister Village Holiday Photos with Santa, carolers, arts and crafts  Saturday December 16 12-2pm 

Santa Barbara Golf Club Sunday December 17th 2-4pm 

Living Nativity at First United Methodist Church  December 20, 21, and 22 5:30-7:30  Live camels and petting zoo 

Friday Nights at the Depot Friday December 22nd 5-7pm at the South Coast Railroad Museum $10 Train Rides, craft and raffle 

Pictures with Buddy the Elf and Mrs. Claus at Paseo Nuevo Saturday December 23 12-3

First Thursday events on January 4th 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Holiday Events 2023

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Here is our annual roundup of all things Christmas and holiday and winter! My original post about advent with kids is here


Pictures with Santa at La Cumbre Plaza from 12/1 until 12/24 (11am/12pm- 6/7pm)

Snowfall at Paseo Nuevo and Candy Cane Lane from 11/24 until 12/24 (fake) snow at 6pm. Weekends only.

Lane Tree Christmas Lot has trees for sale, but also a corn maze, hayride and farm animals to visit. 10am - 8pm 11/24 until 12/17. 

The Trolley of Lights is already sold out, but you can find space on the Rockstar Trolley December 2nd-December 24th at 5:30pm, 7:30pm or 9:15pm or you can make your own tours using these directions (updated 12/3) A house on Carlisle in Goleta has longer light shows with music (tune in on the radio). 

Santa Barbara ZooLights  11/15-1/14 4:30-8:30pm daily Advance tickets $18-$32

By Date: 

Let There Be Light at Westmont College Wednesday November 29th 4:30-7pm  Photos with Santa, hot chocolate, Christmas carols, and the lighting of Kerrwood Hall!

La Arcada Walk Photos with Santa, Christmas goodies and carolers Wednesday November 29 5-8pm 
Downtown Santa Barbara Christmas Tree Lighting and Block Party Friday December 2nd 5-8pm 

Christmas in Narnia at El Montecito Presbyterian Church Saturday December 2 10:00am- 1pm 
Carpinteria Holiday Spirit Parade  Saturday December 9 at 3pm 

Holiday at the Ranch at Stow House Holiday crafts, caroling, hay rides and tours. Saturday December 99-4 pm $10/$5
Goleta Old Town Parade Saturday December 2nd 6pm 

Friday Nights at the Depot Friday December 8th 5-7pm at the South Coast Railroad Museum $10 Train Rides, craft and raffle 

Goleta Valley Library and Inspire Dance Once Upon a Time Saturday December 9th 1pm 
Milpas Holiday Parade Saturday December 9 5:30-7:30pm 

Nutcracker at the Arlington (Santa Barbara Festival Ballet) Saturday December 9 2:30pm and 7pm, Sunday December 10 2:30pm

Goleta Valley Library Festival of Trains Saturday December 9th 10am-5:30pm and Sunday December 10th 1-5pm 

Santa Barbara Wharf Parade of Lights Sunday December 10 5pm, Boat parade at 5:30pm

Pictures with Buddy the Elf and Mrs. Claus at Paseo Nuevo Saturday December 16 12-3

Hollister Village Holiday Photos with Santa, carolers, arts and crafts  Saturday December 16 12-2pm 

Big Brass Christmas Band Saturday December 16th 12-2pm in Storke Placita (700 block State St)

Nutcracker at the Granada (State Street Ballet) December 16 3pm and 7:30pm

Santa Barbara Golf Club Sunday December 17th 2-4pm 

Living Nativity at First United Methodist Church  December 20, 21, and 22 5:30-7:30  Live camels and petting zoo 

Friday Nights at the Depot Friday December 22nd 5-7pm at the South Coast Railroad Museum $10 Train Rides, craft and raffle 

Pictures with Buddy the Elf and Mrs. Claus at Paseo Nuevo Saturday December 23 12-3

Snow Leopard Festival at SB Zoo January 28th 10am-3pm 

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite local holiday traditions?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Book Discussion Questions: All My Knotted Up Life

I recently finished the memoir "All My Knotted Up Life" by Beth Moore! It is free to listen to it if your library has Hoopla. I lead a book discussion and thought I would share my questions for others to use!

Have you done a Beth Moore bible study? Did you think her voice was different in the study versus the memoir? 

Did you know any of Beth’s story ahead of time? Were there things that surprised you? 

Was there anything that you related to in her story? What?

Why do you think she wrote this book now and not 10 years ago (or 10 years from now)? 

Where did you see examples of God’s faithfulness in Beth’s life? 

How do you think God redeemed the hard parts of Beth’s story? 

Thursday, October 5, 2023

La Colina Harvest Festival Recipes


Did you know La Colina Junior High is our only local junior high with a garden? Here are some recipes collected by our garden educators and PTSA volunteers. 😉 Students can opt to work in the garden two lunches a week and families can join after school one day a week. Classes work in the garden creating experiments, learning about native american gardening habits and more. Contact Maureen Granger or the PTSA Garden Representative for more info. Read more about the garden in the June 2023 article from the Independent here.

At the Festival:

Butter in a Jar:  

Classic Lemonade:

Fava Bean Hummus:


Fig Jam:

Cooking a whole Pumpkin:

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread:

Fig Bread:

Grape Bread:

Zucchini Bread by Paula Dean:

Ideas for the farmer's market produce:

Delicata Squash Ideas: 

Thai Butternut Squash Soup:

Heirloom tomatoes can be eaten straight (yum!), but here is a simple salad that might enhance the flavor!

More Info:

La Colina Junior High

Explore Ecology

Independent Article 

Friday, September 29, 2023

Summer 2023 Snapshot

This year I have been working more, volunteering more and blogging less. I would love to get back to into my blogging routine! 

Favorite New Product: My kids love these Pumpkin Spice Cookies from Trader Joe's! 

Life Hack:  Something that is working for me right now is audiobooks. Hoopla (available through my Goleta library card) has a tons of free books and I do have a silver Audible account where I get a credit every other month. I even checked out the Hamilton album from Hoopla before seeing the show in Chicago! 

Last Book I Finished: Dear Mr. Knightley was a fun Chicago based story for my Chicago trip. Foster kid Samantha Moore has aged out of the system when a mysterious benefactor offers to pay for her grad school. She loves writing, often hiding behind the witty lines of Austen characters. The condition of her schooling is that she write her benefactor letters about her life. So she begins to write, Dear Mr Knightley.... Soon she finds help in these letters which help her sort through who she was and who she wants to become. As she makes new friends at school and in her life, she must figure out who she can trust and who needs to be

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.


Life Project: We are rearranging the bedrooms in our house and it takes a lot of work. This room planning website is really helpful!

What we are eating today: We have a rotation of Fun Friday meals. Today is Hot Dogs and other weeks include Nachos, Tortilla Pizzas, Hamburgers and Charcuterie.

Monday, July 17, 2023

The Great American Melodrama

The Great American Melodrama is a treasure located in Oceano just south of Pismo Beach. It is a 90 minute drive, but totally reasonable to go there for the show and back in a day. The format is generally a two act show with and intermission in the middle, then a musical song and dance section for the third act. The actors also servers during the intermission, singing every time you tip! Is is campy? Absolutely. Is it totally fun? Yes! My kids love it. We often make a day of it visiting the Avila Valley Barn, visit the monarchs, or go tidepooling at Elmer Ross Beach/visit Dino Caves Park. We also almost always enjoy Five Guys in Arroyo Grande or BBQ at Ribline in Grover Beach or Mo's Smokehouse in Pismo.

Cost: $26 and up for kids, $30 and up for adults (this is a treat)
Hours: W 7pm, Th 7pm, F 7pm, Sat 2pm and 7pm, Sun 6pm (they do have breaks between shows, so check their calendar!)
Time: 2.5 hours
Drive Time: 90 minutes
More Information:
Nearby: Monarchs, Tidepooling and more (see links above)
Directions: Take the 101N, take exit 182 N Thompson Ave. Turn left onto N Thompson Ave and continue on Los Berros Rd. Turn left onto Valley Rd, then right onto highway 1. Continue about 2 miles. Melodrama is on the right. There is a small parking lot or street parking. 

Related Posts

Summer of the Day Trips (2018)

Choose Your Own Adventure (2023)