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Birthday at Lake Kandle

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 14, 2008 in Family Stuff

We had Matt’s birthday party yesterday at Lake Kandle – it was such a gorgeous day! 

I did a little swim theme for the party and got lots of compliments from people walking by – this was so simple (and inexpensive):

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Each child got a little bucket and shovel as a favor (filled with goodies, of course) and I served snacks out of buckets as well (chips, pretzels and starfish goldfish).  Nothing fancy, but it was bright and colorful.

My parents came by for a bit:

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They brought some really yummy water ice for the kids – great on a hot summer day!

I think even Andrew had a good time (13 year-olds are so hard to impress):

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There was lots of snacking, swimming, volleyball and ping-pong all day long (I’m not sure exactly what happened to the brand new ping-pong paddles I bought for the party – they look like they’ve been through a war!).

But most importantly, Matt had a blast – and that’s all that really matters.  Happy birthday, Matt!

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Summer Reading – The Space Between Before and After

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 14, 2008 in Books I'm Reading

I just finished another summer read – The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page.

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This book followed the life of Holli (formerly known as Hollyanne) from her childhood days to her current life as a divorced mother of a college-dropout son. When she was a child, Hollyanne’s mother died in an accident while pregnant with a nearly-full term baby. The accident took place minutes after it was revealed that Hollyanne’s father had been having an affair with a neighbor, Georgia, and that Georgia was also pregnant with her father’s child.

After her mother’s death, Hollyanne is sent to live with her grandmother and is not allowed to be involved in the life of her new baby half-sister. She is not able to forgive her father until just before his death, and still struggles with forgiving her stepmother for excluding her from their life.

These events are described intermittently with Holli’s present life – her son has dropped out of school to live with his terminally ill girlfriend – who also reveals that she is pregnant (lots of pregnant women in this book!).

This is a complex tale of mistakes people make and the prices they pay for those mistakes. I wish the author would have worked a little bit more on developing the supporting characters – we have a good idea of who Holli is, but there are so many other characters and small plot-lines that remain hanging. For instance, Holli’s son Conner has a night of drunken intimacy with a girl on campus – totally out of character with everything we know about him. Afterward, he runs away thinking that the girl is going to claim that she was raped – which she never does.

Throw the terminally ill girlfriend’s aunt into the mix (her parents died on a water-rafting trip when she was a teenager); Holli’s half-sister, Tina, who works on a dude-ranch in Texas; Holli’s ex-husband, Harrison – the nerdy professor who lives in his own little technical world; the grandmother, Raine, who hears voices from beyond…it’s a lot of characters and a lot of story – I feel like only the surface was skimmed on most of these.

But this was a pretty good summer read overall – not exactly the next modern classic novel, but a nice book with which to curl up in the sand…

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