My Mundane Musings

Growing up I longed for the fast paced life of big city life and corporate America. Now I’m a stay at home mom of 4 in a small rural community! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! (At least for now).

Total eclipse of the moon… February 20, 2008

Filed under: education,fun,internet,Nifty Stuff — Rebekah Sanders @ 10:24 am

Every couple of years, the sun, moon and earth all line up and the result is a total lunar eclipse as they shadow of the earth covers the moon in an eerie red shadow.  Apparently it can only happen when there is a full moon and you can go your entire life without ever seeing one.

TONIGHT there is a lunar eclipse. And I’m excited! I’ve seen it before and it will never be anything less than amazing to me. That God hung the sun and the moon and the earth in the sky to give us this wonderful experience just blows my mind.

You should be able to see the lunar eclipse anywhere from North America as long as the skies are clear where you live.  The eclipse will start at about 7:43. And I’ve got my carema ready!

All times below are CST and are taken directly from the NASA website:

  • 7:43pm – partial eclipse begins
  • 9:01pm – total eclipse begins
  • 9:26pm – mid-eclipse
  • 9:51pm – total eclipse ends
  • 11:09pm – partial eclipse ends

So, who else will be watching tonight?


Almost over??? January 21, 2008

Filed under: education,life,money — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:08 pm

I cannot believe that January is almost done. I measure months by Sundays and there is only one left this month! That’s crazy! Time really does seem to go faster as I get older. Someone told me it’s because a year is a smaller fraction of my life the older I get. When I was 5, a year was 1/5 of my life. Now that I’m 32, it’s 1/32 of my life. And it’s gone in a blink of an eye!

So, I figured it was time to get started on my goals. I’ve been doing a bit of research online about different financial decisions we could make.  The fact that we pay social security even though it probably won’t be around when we’re old enough to use it doesn’t really bother me because I figure right now I’m paying for my grandparents and eventually for my grandparents. But, the older we get, the more I know we need to make some of our own financial plans for the future.

And I realized as I started my research that I know little to nothing outside of information on things like car insurance and how to get a home owner insurance quote (which even though we don’t own our own home, we are covered under the churches policy).  But the people over at Financial Genius seem to cover most of the bases when it comes to filling in people like me. Maybe, just maybe I’ll get this all figured out before the month of January is over…


Hmm… November 17, 2007

Filed under: blog,church,education,Nifty Stuff,profoundness — Rebekah Sanders @ 11:15 am

I read a lot of blogs by pastors and church planters. Churchianity has intrigued me as long as I can remember. A blog that I really enjoy is CoffeeDrinkinFool by Earl Creps.  He used to work for AGTS (the A/G seminary) but recently joined the world of “missions” and he and his wife have embarked on a journey to plant a church in Berkeley, CA.  I like the way that he thinks and I particularly enjoyed his latest entry…

Sitting in a coffee house in the northwest I was commiserating with a pastor friend about how neither of us had the sort of “big personality” so often identified with leadership.

He described himself as “leading from the middle,” that is, bringing people together around the congregation’s mission in a way that produced results but not heroes.
Talking about this issue brought up the criticism that both of us have taken over the years for not being more dominant, criticism that has always come from believers and virtually never from those who make no claim to follow Jesus.

We began to speculate about whether church folks and unchurched folks have different followership styles. Do they respond to completely different approaches to leadership, at least in the northwest Anglo context in which the observations were made?

This hypothesis (and that’s all it is) draws a distinction between two primary followership styles. I am deliberately exaggerating the difference for the purposes of clarity and discussion:

1. The churchly followership style: Serving for many years as an audience for platform-driven ministry, lots of church folks seem to equate leadership with a dynamic individual standing at the front of a large room casting vision the way a major league pitcher hurls fastballs. The ability of this lone entrepreneur to sway a large group of people with the quality of his/her strategy and the force of his/her personality is considered the very definition of leadership. This kind of attender is not shy about pressuring less dominant leaders to fit into this mold. And the temptation for leaders is to spin the ministry’s ethos in a direction that will appeal to this follower type because they likely control most of the financial assets in the house.

This is not to say that the less forceful leader loses his/her integrity, but that important nuances of the group’s culture are gradually shaped to please the churchly. If you don’t think this is possible, ask yourself what your ministry would look like if the majority of your financial support came from people under 25, or an ethnic group other than your own? If you don’t feel these pressures, we speculated that the reason may be that this battle was lost so long ago that it’s no longer a fight. Followership for the churchly, then, is a response to greatness—the kind of leadership I deserve.

2. The unchurchly followership style: My friend has noticed that the people coming to faith in Jesus in his congregation have an unswerving distaste for “big personality” leaders. These new Christians are likely to regard the celebrity model as an exercise in narcissism that is more about control and ego than servanthood. Their resistance takes many forms, but mainly is expressed by their relative absence from churches directed by the leaders of a more heroic stature. That way of leading feels to them like working for “the man” in the corporate world. They reason that, if Sunday morning demonstrates essentially authoritarian values, then the rest of this religion is probably not worth checking out. However, this person is more likely to be receptive to the “small personality” leader who, like my friend, brings people together in a faith community that responds in love to the mission of Jesus for the world.

Imagine what would happen if this leader began to spin the ethos of the ministry in this direction so that more and more unchurchly folk began to show up? Perhaps this explains research by Barna and others finding that effective evangelistic churches, in all their diversity, have the common feature of a missional culture. Followership for the unchurchly, then, is a response to humility—the kind of leadership that could change me.

Our embryonic idea concludes with the suggestion that these followership dynamics become cyclical, moving the ministry in either a less or more missional direction over time.

That’s the hypothesis. So test it.

If you haven’t read his book, Off-Road Disciplines, you really need to!


Where on earth are you? October 6, 2007

Filed under: education,family,fun,internet,Nifty Stuff,photos — Rebekah Sanders @ 12:28 am

The kids and I were playing around on Google Maps tonight.  Have y’all seen this?  We revisit from time to time.  They combine satelitte imagary with street maps to give you an arial view of pretty much anywhere on earth.  Depending on the area that you live in, you can pull in pretty tight.  You can’t see much in our area, but thankfully we live next to one of those biggest buildings in town (our church building), so we can at least see that.  Tonight, we explored the town I grew up in and found my Gram’s house.  The kids thought that was really cool.  You can see the ramp up to the front door, the deck off the back, the park closeby if you zoom out just a bit.  They went to bed dreaming of places that we can look up next week for part of our school lesson.  I’m thinking this could be a pretty cool way to pull up different things in different states as we study US geography this year.

Anyway – here are a couple of screen captures that I pulled off tonight.  You know exactly where I am now…. if you’re watching from a satellite anyway.

In this one – I circled the church (click the pictures to make them bigger).  It’s the white blob in the middle of the pink circle.  That’s the nice, big, flat roof of the church…

home on google earth

And this is my Gram’s house…

Grams on google earth

So, where do you live?  And can you find your house via satellite?  Be careful – Big Brother is watching!  And apparently watching you closer the bigger the city you live in!


Homeschooling woes… October 5, 2007

Filed under: education,family,internet,kids — Rebekah Sanders @ 8:53 am
Tags: ,

I’ve spent a good part of the morning looking for information on reading tutors.  Elijah’s struggled through all of his schooling years and while he’s doing a lot better with his reading, if things don’t drastically improve by the beginning of 2008, we’re going to be looking for a tutor for him.

He *hates* the idea.  I’m not sure how much of his reading struggles are from him really not knowing what he’s doing or from his lack of self-confidence in this area.  Which is completely unexplained because we’ve never been anything put positive and uplifting because we know how much he struggles.  But, as he gets older, if we don’t get him some help, he’s just going to fall farther and farther behind.

So, I’m looking for information on how to select the *right* tutor for him.  While there aren’t any tutoring centers near me that I can find online (most in the state are either up near Chicago or down near St. Louis – I did find some near the U of I in Cham-bana though), I am getting some good info on what I should be looking for.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing I can do is keep encouraging him to do his best.  I’ve come to accept that he’s most likely never going to be the type of person who just loves to curl up with a book and wants to read everything he can get his hands on (like his dad, sister and I), but I do want him to have the *ability* to so if he wants to. 

Hopefully I’ll look back at this post in December or January and laugh because there is no more need for a tutor.  Maybe that’s why I want to post this – so I can look back and see how far we’ve come.  But for today – I’m glad to have a vacation day to do a bit of research.

And I’m open to any and all suggestions that any fellow homeschoolers out there might have!


Thursday September 6, 2007 September 6, 2007

Filed under: blog,education — Rebekah Sanders @ 10:33 pm

that you don’t have to have an account to leave a comment anymore on Xanga?  My husband said something the other day about not being able to leave comments on my blog without a Xanga account.  Because like a lot of people, he wasn’t signing up for an account just so he could leave a comment.  (Not that he actually reads my blog from my blog page – thanks to great RSS feeders like Bloglines). The good news is YOU DON’T HAVE TO!  So, comment away!

The first week of school is almost over.  My kids are up late tonight studying their spelling words for tomorrows test.  They FINALLY got their bedrooms clean tonight!  We’re enjoying school for the most part.  There have been few tears as we’ve worked together to get things done.  And we’re definitely looking forward to the weekend!


Tuesday September 4, 2007 September 4, 2007

Filed under: education,photos — Rebekah Sanders @ 10:07 am

Well, it’s finally here.  The first day of school!  (I’ll have pictures later).  Seth has been walking around the house all morning singing, “It’s time for school! It’s time for school!” and laughing his head off.  Not that he has any idea what school is, but he knows it has something to do with all of the pencils and notebooks and crayons that are awaiting us on the dining room table.  And he can’t wait to get his hands on it all!

Elijah is dragging himself out of bed like the tweener he is.  Kait and the other two boys were up early and are eagerly anticipating what we’ll do today.  Noah has a great big write-on/wipe-off book that he’ll get to use today.  Kait will have worksheets with Math and Science and History.  And she’ll read – something she’s already gotten a jump start on.  Last night, we thought she was outside with her friends, but instead she was up in her room “practice reading” for school today.  Elijah will start an intensive reading program to see if we can get him where he’s supposed to be.  Now that his reading is really improved, we’re going to get him caught up.  If he’s not caught up by Christmas, we’ll be getting him a tutor for the second half of the school year.  But he’s excited to start things like math, science and history again.  He loves those subjects!

So, the teacher – yours truly – will drink another cup of coffee to prepare herself for general silliness on this first day and we’ll get started!  Got to love the first day of school!

Elijah hard at work on his spelling…


Kait – loving the first day of school…


Noah hardly working…


Not everyone was too happy about school.  Seth was rather sad when his playmates had to sit down and work instead of playing with him…


But cheered up once they got him involved in the fun…