Having a 2020 High School Graduate: The Highs, Lows, and Expectation

At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year there was no reason to believe that it wouldn’t end just as any other school year did. With the exception of my oldest son who would be graduating. We sat through the FAFSA education meetings, I asked a million questions to family and friends about preparing my child, financial resources, scholarships, wading through paperwork, etc. It was a learning experience for us and we’re still making sure we check off steps to get things done. But, my son was accepted to his first college choice which is the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He intends to major in Environmental Science but can’t decide if he wants to minor in Geology as well.

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit there were so many questions. Will there be a graduation and if so, how will we do it? I guess there’s no senior prom then huh? Will the kids get to finish out their sport as a senior? Will any of the events be rescheduled? Will anything change with the college process? Will there even be college in the fall? So many questions.

This was my son’s last year of archery club. He had made it to States again and had hoped for one more try to make it to nationals. States was canceled and we’ve heard nothing about rescheduling. This was probably the most disappointing thing to my son. One of the lows for him. But he was grateful he got to experience his senior year of football in its entirety including receiving several football awards at his banquet. One of the highs of his senior year.

We did have a graduation. Socially distanced. I really didn’t know what to expect but it turned out beautifully. It was amazing to see the community support for our seniors. People lined the streets with signs including local businesses. You could tell how much time and effort was put into this graduation. Almost everyone I talked to said they think they enjoyed it more than the traditional graduation. I told him, I don’t remember a think about my graduation but you will remember at least some of this forever. Definitely a high in all this. I think our seniors felt recognized and validated in a time when they could have missed out on a lot.

Now that things have moved to the “green phase” here in Pennsylvania our school has decided to hold a traditional graduation and prom as well. My son is excited about prom but we feel nothing could top the first graduation they had.

Still some anxiety about if he will actually be able to physically attend college in the fall or if it will be virtual. Thankfully he had already decided he wanted to be a commuter (we don’t live far from the college) so no worries about dorm situations. And if it’s virtual will there be a change in fees? We really don’t know what to expect.

I’ve been seeking out scholarships for some time now. Nagging my son about applying for school scholarship, college offered scholarships, and any other ones I find lol We were blessed that he received one scholarship. I love finding scholarships online too. Especially the ones that aren’t so prominently advertised. I just found the Nancy Etz Scholarship which I will definitely have him apply for. Every bit helps! As I told my son, for every grand and scholarship dollar you received that’s one less dollar you have to pay back later!

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


HealthSapiens Offers Telemed Services For Counseling and Medical Advice

COVID-19 has made businesses get creative with how they can keep going in these trying times. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are making people ask themselves “Do I really need to go out? Do I really need this right now?” Unfortunately, it can also make people hesitate on getting evaluated by a medical professional.

Social distancing and the temporary closing of some facilities has also been in the news for people with depression, anxiety, and loneliness having trouble coping with everything going on. I’m a part of a group for the gym I’m a member of. Many people used the gym as a way to help with depression, anxiety, addiction behavior, and more. I see frequently in the group, people that just don’t know how to cope and are losing motivation.

So what can you do? Many health facilities are offering by appointment only and only if it’s medically necessary. My daughter’s well check up and my son’s wisdom teeth removal were canceled with rescheduling when able. Some facilities have telemed services set up but not all. If you’re really struggling mentally, it can be hard to leave the house anyway.

HealthSapiens is a solution. HealthSapiens offering Telemed services for both medical advice and counseling.

HealthSapiens offers an affordable subscription plan for individuals and families. The family plan will cover unlimited visits for up to 7 people! There are no copays, available 24/7, and they can even send any prescriptions to your pharmacy of choice.

There is no waiting in lines, no sitting in a waiting room with sick people, no sitting in an exam room for 30 minutes until a doctor can get to you. Honestly this sounds amazing to me. I have ulcerative colitis and IBS so sitting for 45 minutes in a waiting room then another 30 minutes in an exam room can mean several bathroom trips for me. I’d feel much more comfortable at home.

I’ve also considered getting counseling for my anxiety and depression. My insurance doesn’t cover it and it’s something like $100+ per hour so I never did. This is a much more affordable solution. I don’t have to let my bank account decide if I can get help or not.

Health Sapiens: Sign-up for Affordable & Easily Accessible Counseling Today!

Don’t let current events or copay worries hold you back from getting the care you and your family need. Sign up today and start feeling better.

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This post does contain affiliate link. I will get a small commission from actions taken through my links.


Finding Remote, Work-From-Home Jobs

At a time when many people are temporarily out of work, more and more people seem to be searching for jobs. Jobs allowing people to work from home are very appealing.

The coronavirus quarantine has brought “stay-at-home” orders to many states. I live in Pennsylvania. There is now stay-at-home orders for the entire state. I’m a healthcare worker at a local hospital and my husband is a corrections officer at a state prison. There is no stay at home for us but I feel for those that aren’t able to work right now. I’m somewhere between being grateful to still be working to being afraid to still be working if that makes sense.

If you are one that’s at home right now you may have been looking for possible jobs that allow you to work from home. Most school age children are home with homeschooling set up now which makes it even harder to leave for a job. But if you’ve done the searches, you know there are a lot of work from home scams out there.

Flexjobs is one sources for remote, work from home jobs. Check out their site here:

I was actually surprised how many jobs can suddenly be work from home when it seemed like it wasn’t possible before. Insurance agents, teachers, telemarketers, radio dj’s and more. Turn on the TV and you’ll see a lot of talk show hosts doing their shows from home. I’ve heard of people doing medical transcription from home. I honestly considered going into medical transcription for a short time.

Access to full service starts at $14.99/mo with a satisfaction guarantee.

I hope this site is helpful to you. I wish everyone good health and hope this is all over soon!

affiliate link: I will get a small commission from sales made through my links.


My Daughter’s Birthday During COVID-19

About 6 weeks ago I was tossing around the idea of my daughter having a friend birthday party for her birthday which is March 26. In the end, I decided not to. I’m so glad I did. My daughter has been talking about her birthday since probably the end of January. If we would have planned a friend party somewhere exciting she would have been crushed if we would have had to cancel it. So that was at least a silver lining in this.

We always have a family party for the kids though. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins come over and we have a nice party with cake, candles, gifts, and the kids all play together. We weighed the pros and cons of having the family party last week. In the end, we decided, it probably wasn’t the best idea.

On Friday, while at work (I’m a healthcare workers), I got info from several different sources that more shut downs are expected with all this COVID-19 stuff including our local Walmart. I didn’t know how true it was. We had been talking to my daughter about letting her pick out a bike and helmet for her birthday. She loved looking at the bikes and had an idea what she wanted. I talked to my husband and decided we better go get it since there’s so much uncertainty.

So yesterday I took my daughter to Walmart and let her pick out whatever bike and helmet she wanted. It was too big to fit in the cart. I told her to push it, but she wanted to ride it. (It did have training wheels on it). I expected people to be annoyed. But so many people smiled at her and were very patient with her. She was smiling ear to ear through the store while I picked up some last minute necessities. She’d tell people at random that she was getting the bike for her birthday. People wished her Happy Birthday.

I told her that we probably weren’t going to be able to get the Reese’s cake from the bakery that she really wanted but she could pick out any cake mix and icing she wanted at the store and I would make it for her. She chose a brownie mix with some glitter gel icing.

We ran into a mother with her teenage daughter. While my daughter was picking out the icing the mother said “Is it her birthday too?” I said it wasn’t until March 26 but since we didn’t know what was going to happen we’re preparing for it now. The mother told me her daughter’s birthday was Sunday and the girls wished each other a Happy Birthday. Then my daughter said “Mom this is one of the best days of my life”. Imagine, amidst the the stress I was feeling with trying to prepare, telling her her birthday wasn’t going to be like it usually is, she thought everything was great. That really turned my perspective around.

Then later that evening she started talking about her birthday again and about how pappap and the girls (her cousins) were going to come over. I had to remind her that they weren’t and why. She said “oh” and her lip quivered a little. I told her we could face time everyone in to sing happy birthday and maybe we could drop a brownie off for everyone. That seemed to perk her up a little.

I decided to post on facebook that if anyone was bored, if they’d like to send my daughter a card for her birthday that it might help make her birthday special. I’ve had at least 10 responses already.

It’s amazing how things can change so fast. While we’re trying to make the best of it and make her birthday as special as we can, I realize that things could be much worse. We’re counting our blessings and trying to keep a smile and positive attitude for the kids.


Best Way SleepLux Mattress Review

So about a month ago, my mother in law asked me if she could stay over night at our house to spend some time with the kids. She said her husband was working late shift and she didn’t really want to be by herself anyway. So I said, of course. I figured she could sleep in my one son’s room since he wasn’t there that night anyway. Well my two youngest told her they wanted to stay to all sleep in the living room. My mother in law ended up having to sleep on the love seat, my youngest son slept on the floor in a sleeping bag. My daughter tried to sleep on the couch with grandma but didn’t make it and ended up going upstairs to her own bed. I had thought a few times before that we needed an air mattress but this really did it.

Then about a week later my son had friend sleep over. We had received the SleepLux 22 ” Queen mattress and the SleepLux 15″ twin mattress to review. The kids got to try out the mattress that night.

I could not believe how easy they were to set up. If I can go back about a decade or so ago, we had an air mattress but we had to pump it up with a bicycle pump and it was a real PIA to set up. It ended up getting a hole it in it, we tossed it out and hadn’t had one since. BUT the Bestway SleepLux ones are AMAZING. You just plug them in to the wall with a little plug that is attached and tucks away in it’s own compartment. You turn the little knob to the right and it pumps itself up! Less than 5 min y’all!

You would not believe how excited our guests were to try it out too. The adults wanted to try it out, the kid wanted to try it out, you name it. Well The kids ended up sleeping on it for the slumber party. They all told me it was really comfortable and asked if we could leave the up for a while.

To take them down, you just turn the knob the other way and wait for it to deflate. Once deflated you can fold them up and put them into their own convenient storage/carrying bag. The bags are actually pretty sturdy and have a strap on them so they are easy to take with you on a camping trip, for a sleepover, or wherever you might need to use it.

Unfortunately, some of our guests couldn’t make it. The flu has been going around something fierce in our area. I just had my son off of school last week due to some flu-like symptoms. But that brings me to another point, these mattresses are easy to clean too.

Bestway SleepLux air mattresses are surprisingly affordable for the value!

You can find Bestway SleepLux air mattresses at Walmart

I received the above mentioned products at no cost from Tryazon. This post also contains affiliate links.