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  1. It doesn’t help for strangers who comment, but I promise that when your kid goes on to a good college or job, the doubters will finally hush. When my oldest got a 32 on the ACT and good scholarships for college, I really wanted to go around and say something snarky and in your face, but I don’t have the guts to do it. Ds is starting high school this year and I don’t expect him to score so high and he may take a different career path than traditional college. I still expect that he will do well in life. Ignore the naysayers. Your kids will turn out great.
  2. We use binders for nearly everything. Dd had a few subjects that she preferred to use a spiral notebook for, but that was her choice. I don’t like to spend a lot on binders. I usually buy them at Costco or mega discounts at other stores. However, I will also buy binders that are in really good shape at yard sales and thrift stores. You would be surprised how good condition-wise used ones can be. Dd has been buying school supplies for going to college in a few weeks and she bought several at a local thrift store for 50 cents each.
  3. Dis is taking an online computer science course this year that says it has an approved AP syllabus. It gives the number for the syllabus. When dd took AP exams, she was taking the course through an online school so her teacher gave them a class number (or something like that) that she had to enter, then we coordinated with a local school to complete registration and take the exam. Can he register with the syllabus number and not a class number? Is there something else I’m missing? I soooo do not want to have to call College Board. I have never talked to anyone there who sounded like English was their first language and they could understand what I was asking.
  4. We buy TP, paper towels, and Kleenex. Kirkland brand is really good for those. They have good prices on cleaning supplies like laundry and dishwasher detergent. We also buy frozen hamburger patties, frozen chicken breasts (they are big), frozen pizza (including gf pizzas for my dd who needs it), butter, and vanilla ice cream. They have some school/office supplies at good prices that we buy sometimes. You can get a 6 pack of 1 inch binders cheaper that other places. Also printer ink. My printer chugs ink! If they take your vision insurance, it’s a great place to buy glasses. They will take a current prescription from anywhere. My kids have to see a pediatric ophthalmologist, but we buy the glasses at Costco. Happy bulk shopping!
  5. My teens went to a camp recently that was going to require masks and we went into a panic because we didn’t have enough for a clean one daily for an entire week. There was no way they were going to hand wash them while there. We went to a couple stores that used to have tons and only had kid sizes or way overpriced adult masks. Dd bought some she liked at Hobby Lobby. Do didn’t like the colors there, so I ended up buying him a pack of disposable ones in the first aid section of the grocery store. I hope you can find some without too much trouble.
  6. We have YouTube TV. When dh wanted to get rid of cable or satellite because they were getting so expensive, I told him the biggest thing I had to have was local tv channels. When it’s tornado season and the sirens go off, I want to know what’s going on and where. I like to keep up with other local news also. We get all the local channels with YouTubeTV. The only thing I don’t like about it is there’s not a way to quickly scroll through the channels when I’m bored and looking for something to watch, but that’s not often, so I can live with it.
  7. We need pictures of them!
  8. Not to high jack the discussion, but how do you use the boxes to block weeds? Our recycle bin is always full of them and I have so many weeds in lots of flower beds.
  9. Can you call whoever is over your foster care and get permission to leave? Maybe they can override the bio-mom? Maybe mention how bad the smoke is for the child (and your whole family’s) health will be reason enough for you to be allowed to leave.
  10. I got an award for “1 year in.” I know I’m not a mega-poster, but ive been around way longer than 1 year.
  11. I didn’t realize home health gave you a pathway into this. We will definitely look into it. How do you get on Medicare from disability without a major health event? Does that also vary by state?
  12. I have an uncle who has been on full disability for a number of years. He has had health issues his whole life with many surgeries and hospitalizations, so he has no savings. He currently rents a tiny studio apartment. He is to the point that he really needs to be in an assisted living place. His daughter was starting to look at places for him, but had her own health problems that sidelined that. My mom is willing to help him get in a place, but doesn’t know where to start. The biggest question is how to find a place that isn’t really horrible (there are some in the area) when all you have is disability/Medicare? He isn’t quite to 65yo yet. Living with relatives is not an option.
  13. A lot of people going through chemo get cold a lot. My mom sews cute, soft, warm hats for a local chemo center to give out. Maybe you could find one like that to send. It’s useful and reminds her that you care. A hand written note every so often would probably be an encouragement also.
  14. I don’t have any railing suggestions, but have you considered fixing the sinking stoop so it’s not such a big step? There are several companies near us that advertise ways they can fix that by adding something (I’m not sure what it is) under it to raise it back to the proper height. That would probably be a good idea if visitors have trouble stepping up very high.
  15. This is what we have (does not have an auto lock). We love it. It’s nice to not have to worry about keeping up with keys (although I do have the backup on my key ring. It’s just simpler for everyone. I like that it’s not dependent on an internet connection. The code can be changed if needed, although we have only changed it once, when we bought the house.
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