Wordle: My latest post

Yesterday I had in-service at my school. Usually in-service days are filled with boring, seemingly pointless meetings. I get stacks and stacks of information that I never use. However, yesterday was different! During one of the sessions we were looking at improving literacy and different, creative ways to get our students interested in vocabulary.

One of the sites that they presenter shared was Wordle. I was blown away by this site! Basically you take a list of words, an article, anything you want and paste it into the box provided. When you click ‘create’ it generates a graphic of words. The words are sized according to their significance or the number of times they were used. Once your graphic is generated you can change the font, the color scheme, the direction of the words, etc.

I think this is a great tool to use with students when looking at an article. It can help show them what the main topics are. I also think it’s cool to use with the Scriptures. You can copy and past a set of verses or chapter from the Bible and see what words pop out.

However, the coolest feature is that you can type in the URL of any blog, blog feed, or any other web page that has an Atom or RSS feed ! It then generates a wordle for that site. (The one at the top of this post is from my blog. Click on it to make it bigger.) I had a lot of fun typing in different blogs I read and looking at their wordles.

I thought this was too cool not to share and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the site! Have any of you checked it out before? If so, why did you use it? If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! I would love to hear your thoughts on other uses.

February to February

A year ago yesterday I met my husband Matthew Joseph Costner. It is a day I will never forget. Matt and I had been talking on the phone for a few weeks and I decided to fly to Nashville to visit some friends, aka meet Matt face to face. As some of you know from reading my 25 random things, I knew I loved Matt before I ever met him. When our eyes met across baggage claim at BNA that was it. I never understood how people could fall in love so quickly until it happened to me.

Each day I know Matt my love for him continues to grow. I couldn’t have hand picked better qualities in a mate. He is kind, adventurous, passionate, and sensitive. One of the things I love most about Matt is that he is always challenging me to excellence. Whether it’s in the gym, my walk with the Lord or my Mario Kart skills, I know he will be there supporting and encouraging me the whole way.

The past year has been a whirlwind. I moved to Nashville, got engaged and then married to the man of my dreams. I can’t wait for the next leg of our journey and can only wonder what it might look like. One thing I’ve learned so far is that I can never expect too much! Even my biggest expectations have been met.

Random Facts

I finally caved and did this for facebook so thought I would share it with my blog friends as well. The rules were to write out 25 random facts about yourself. Hope you learn something new about me!

1. I am a preacher’s wife!
2. I knew I loved my husband before we ever met face-to-face. (no, we didn’t meet on eHarmony)
3. I pick my laundry detergent solely based on the smell. I could spend hours in that aisle at the store.
4. I have 2 amazing brothers. We are all very different but get along famously.
5. I love my job. It’s rare for me to look back at a day and be able to say I didn’t enjoy it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
6. I love to read but don’t make time for it. I’m hoping to just read a ton this summer by the pool to make up for the rest of the year.
7. Exercise is slowly growing on me. I thank spin class and Matt’s pleading for me to join him.
8. Baking is one of my favorite things to do. I consider cupcakes my specialty, even if no one else does.
9. I’m currently addicted to Mario Kart for Wii.
10. I have the best in-laws of anyone I know. Except for Matt, his are great too!
11. I LOVE international travel. I have been to 10 different countries so far.
12. One of my goals is to see the seven wonders of the world. (The new ones announced on 7/7/07.) I’ve seen two. Five more to go.
13. I have way more gray hair than is necessary for a 26 year old.
14. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite household activities.
15. Doing laundry comes in a dangerously close second.
16. The number of quilts I own worries me. I love them all and would never get rid of a single one, which causes my husband to worry…
17. I love watching football and basketball. I’m the type of person who yells at the TV.
18. I shamelessly watch shows like The Bachelor, The City, True Beauty, Paris: My New BFF, etc.
19. I like getting up early in the mornings.
20. Sometimes I talk in my sleep.
21. I was once in a rock band, The Screaming Nones (we spelled it that way because we thought it was 'cool'). We won the school talent show. I still have no musical talent.
22. Matt and I have a ‘happy dance’ we do any time something good happens, no matter how big or how small.
23. I don’t do well in cold weather.
24. I miss my family and friends in OK. I wish I had more time to visit.
25. I am blessed.