Celebrating a 16th Birthday in America!


Turning 16 in America is called your “Sweet 16 Birthday”. In Germany it means you get “floured”! I’ll explain in a little bit. First… here’s how Lara celebrated an American Birthday!

It started with a text message I sent to anyone in my phone who had met Lara. I asked everyone to text her birthday wishes and be sure to tell them who it was because she wouldn’t recognize all the numbers. By lunch, she had received 30 or so messages. I told her what I had done and she thought it was funny. By the end of the day, she had received 56 text messages!

At school, students can buy balloons for friends and have them delivered to their class. Morgan and Gabby made sure that happened! Lara had to carry a bunch of balloons from class to class. Luckily for her, I picked up Lara and Brittany at school for lunch and brought the balloons home with me. After school, Lara went to the Yearbook Signing Party…something they don’t have in German schools!

After school, Lara also received a gift from Kim….a photography gift since they both share that interest. Kim has taken Lara on photo shoots and has used the photos Lara has taken at weddings. The book will help Lara further her new interest in photography.

To celebrate Lara’s birthday at night, we had a family dinner at The Cheesecake Factory… a place Lara had not yet been to. Everyone was there…. the five of us, plus Amber, Tyler & Sharon and Melody. Also, Kay joined us… Lara’s cabin mate on our Baja Mexico cruise! Several servers sang Happy Birthday to Lara with her candlelit slice of Snicker’s cheesecake, that she and Brittany shared!

Lara received a few gifts…. a Gift card to Charming Charlies from Tyler & Sharon… a jewelry store that is arranged by color and one that Lara has yet to visit! She also received a cash gift from Kay and a stuffed dog that looks exactly like our dog, Angel, from Travis and Brittany. Since Lara LOVES Angel… we figured now she can take her own “Angel” back to Germany because we KNOW she will miss the real Angel very much!

Terry and I had a challenge finding Lara’s birthday gift! Since she’s been with us, she has said she wanted a suitcase that was red with white polka dots to bring all of her new things from America back to Germany. It will less expensive for her to bring a suitcase back than to ship a box. So, we knew exactly where we were going to find that particular suitcase…. at the Outdoor Market we frequent. In fact, we’ve seen it every time we’ve shopped there. But the market is only open on weekends so the weekend before Lara’s birthday, we went to get her suitcase but it wasn’t there anymore! I couldn’t find one anywhere else so we needed to settle with a black and white polka dotted suitcase. We also got her a Travel Blanket that comes in it’s own small carrying case. You see, Lara is always cold and is always putting a blanket on her. So, with her long flight coming up, I thought she could use that.

After dinner, Brittany and Lara had to work on a project for their Interior Design class. But there was still one thing that needed to be done for Lara’s birthday. She had to be “floured”. It’s a tradition in Germany for kids when they turn 16 to be floured…. not with real flowers…but with flour…that you bake with! They get it poured over their head.  If it happens at school, they have to walk around school all day like that! Well, in America, you can’t do things like that at school. So, we had to put a plan in place to make sure it was done! I had sent a text message to one of the YoungLife leaders, Brittany, explaining this tradition and asked for her help in getting some of Lara’s friends to the house to flour her. It took a little time but Brittany and I finally got her outside and the flour started to fly! Check out the pictures!

On Saturday, Lara had a pool party. There were 8 friends who spent the afternoon and evening at the pool and watching a movie! The pictures really tell the story!

About schreinerrealty

I'm a Realtor, Property Manager ad Owner of a Real Estate Brokerage, Schreiner Realty. I'm a Mother of 2, stepmother of 3, and now a Host Mother of a German Exchange Student. I am an avid volunteer in our community, involved in networking groups including Women's Council of Realtors and Women of Faith in Business. I spent 16-years in TV News as a Producer/Anchor/Reporter/Newsroom Manager and still participate in free-lance Producing Projects.

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