Some of the things we did this year to celebrate Sophia's 17th birthday which was on December 30th:
Prior to her birthday, on December 29th, she donated blood. There were no blood drives being held on her birthday, so she picked the day before to donate blood. She reached her goal of donating six times (the maximum number of times in one year) between her 16-17th birthdays.
On Sophia's birthday, I put up the birthday banner that I made for her 16th birthday. There's a photo from each year of her life on it along with the words Happy Birthday. I still need to add the photos to represent this past year and have her take a photo by the banner.
We had breakfast: miniature quiches, pancakes, bacon, and fresh pineapple.
Afterwards, Sophia opened gifts. In the past, she's received one gift for each year represented by her birthday. This year, since it is the last year before she becomes an "official adult," I thought it would be better to give her 7 smaller gifts and then do one activity each month from January through December 2018 - her 18th birthday.
Each month, there's an activity that we can do together - sometimes all of us and sometimes just some of us, depending on what the activity is and if each person wants to do it. The point is to create some wonderful memories of her last year as a "child" before she becomes an adult.
One of the gifts that I gave her was a quilt that my mom began working on, but never completed before her death. There are actually about a half dozen quilts in different stages and patterns/colors. Sophia has her choice between this one or one of the other ones. I'll sew it during the upcoming few months for her.
A bit unusual for Sophia's birthday was the harp job that she did for her harp teacher's daughter's wedding. It was held in the afternoon, so it affected what we did to celebrate Sophia's birthday that day.
It was held in downtown St. Paul and the hotel was still decorated with Christmas trees and holiday decorations.
She played during the reception which was nice. For about an hour of playing, she made a nice sum of money - an extra birthday gift!
Because Sophia's birthday was rather disjointed, we continued to celebrate it (as well as New Year's Eve) on December 31st. We had some appetizers that I got from the store. We had spanikopitas which we all enjoyed.
There were pastries stuffed with different fillings. Some were better than others.
We all liked the spicy chicken wrapped in bacon.
For dessert, Sophia had picked a beautiful cake from Kowalski's. It was a champagne cake which none of us ever had before. It seemed fitting on New Year's Eve.
She also chose a chocolate torte - just in case Olivia didn't like the cake.
We crammed 17 candles on the cake and lit them quickly.
There was a big fire on that cake! So many candles...and so many years and memories represented by each one of them.
One candle went out, so Sophia had to light it.
Time to blow out the candles!
Some of the candles being blown out....
All the candles were blown out with one breath!
While we were celebrating, what also was happening that our water went out. The pipes froze, were temporarily unthawed long enough to haul buckets of water to the barn to fill the horses' water, and then it went out again.
To make a long story shorter, we went without water for several days. We had to buy water at Wal-Mart in jugs and use it for drinking water, the pets' water, cooking, and flushing the toilet. We went to the YMCA to take showers.
One of Sophia's gifts was a massage. We went to the YMCA before we went to the salon/spa to take a shower, and then went for our appointments. She enjoyed the massage and was relaxed afterwards.
Sophia's birthday was spread out from December 29th-January 2nd this year. The five-day celebration was a memorable way to celebrate her 17th birthday!