Changing a 3 prong dryer outlet

We bought a house, and not even a month in we have issues. First the power goes out with no indicator as to why. Flipped the circuit breakers and everything worked again. Next was the dryer. Brand new dryer. Not working. So I test the outlet, sure enough that wasn’t working. Changing didn’t solve the problem however. The dryer needs a new power boardūüėĎ 

Here are some pictures for how I changed the outlet. I had some help from my dad in what to do. 
First, find the main panel and turn off the power (to be safe). I still haven’t figured out all the switxhes but that is for another day. 

Dryer outlet

Test the power with a volt meter. Make sure it reads zero. 

Unscrew the screws on the front, gently pull out to reveal the wires. If yours aren’t color coded like mine, make a note of where they go. 

I changed one wire at a time so I couldn’t get them mixed up. All you do is unscrew each screw,  take the wire out of the old outlet, place in corresponding slot in new outlet(push wire gently in all the way), tighten the screws as much as you can. Repeat two more times for the remaining wires. 
Voila!! All the wires in and tightened. I didn’t take a picture of it all back together but basically put the wires back into the box, push the outlet flush against the wall, and put the crews in place and tighten. 
Last is to turn on the power and test the outlet. It should read for what ever your voltage is. Mine happens to be 255v. Prior to changing the outlet the voltage was maybe 120v.  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and my dad helped guide me with using the volt meter as I had never used it before. I can use tools, but had never done anything like this. I am not about to go update everything in my house but I am better off for knowing! Even if it didn’t solve my dryer problemūüėē

Politics

I despise it really. I am getting junk mail bashing a candidate when I am not even registered to that party. I am getting junk mail bashing the same candidate in spanish due to my last name and I don’t even read spanish. Most recently, bashing same candidate, I get junk mail about women’s right’s and saying he is a doctor, not a politician or something along those lines. I cannot wait for the election to be over. I already know who I am voting for. I already know where I stand politically. None of this unwanted junk mail will make me change my mind.

Unlike the sheep out there that blindly follow the (m)asses, I have done my research and do not follow what media or junk mail says. I have an open mind however I also now the facts to support my decisions instead of just going based off my emotions like so many seem to do today. I am willing to talk to those who listen but it seems that certain those in certain party lines refuse to listen to logic. Very rarely do I meet one who actually is interested in what the opposition has to say. I have lost friend’s due to them being unable to see the logic and reality of a situation due to being so blinded by their emotions on a subject. It is terrible but I don’t want people like that in my life because they are the kind who tend to cause drama and other problems that I just don’t want to be around.

Only two months left until all the political bashing is over. I cannot wait!

First Day of School

The official first day of school for our district was on Monday, August 29th. My oldest would have started in kindergarten. Instead he spent the morning sleeping in. Just how it should be. We read books, played video games, basically a typical day in our home. His first day of school picture is him curled up and asleep in bed. Getting all the rest he needs so that he can grow and function through the day. I was so worried about my choice until Monday came around. Then I realized that this is the right choice for us at this moment in time. The future may dictate something else but for now this works. He can learn at his own pace, play when he wants, sleep when he wants, most importantly he can learn what he wants (which I assist with). Not to mention the freedom to go with Daddy’s schedule and not miss out on that valuable time.

Hardest part of homeschooling…

So this is purely my opinion of the matter, since everyone feels differently.

 

I think the hardest decision I am facing with homeschooling, is what method to teach my children. I have been homeschooling since the birth of my oldest. It has been a decision I was set on before he was born. Fortunately my amazing husband has agreed and supported the decisions I have made in regards to our children’s education. I have looked at a lot of different methods for homeschooling too from standard curricula (like in a classroom or school) to unschooling (the far opposite end where it is child-led learning). When I first read about unschooling, I was against it. I thought “How can a child learn that way for everything they need to know to get through life?” . So I moved on and kept looking. Well I came across it again when my son was a little older. This time I joined groups, talked to people, and found success stories. Children learn things on their own from birth: how to hold up their head, how to grab something, how to eat solid foods, and I could go on. A child is naturally inclined to pursue things that are beneficial to them. Yes there are exceptions for those that need extra assistance due to disabilities or other issues, and unschooling is probably not the best fit. In general terms though, a child is eager to learn new things and as long as the parent/guardian is there to help the child in pursuing their interests then they will learn.

For me, I really do like what we have experienced the last 5 years with unschooling. My oldest has learned all of the basics (numbers, colors, letters) with my assistance when he was ready to learn them. Then he started getting interested in letter sounds, how to add and subtract numbers, how to read. Well I have helped him when he needs help. We research online things he wants to know, recently was how a dog can see when it is getting dark out. He uses a calculator to add numbers together and he loves it! He is learning how to read with a little of my assistance but mostly just from me reading every day to him and his brother’s. I do have concerns though from when I was going to school to be a teacher and from having family members that are teachers, including one who was home-schooled and has some social issues. I don’t think radical unschooling is for my family. We set limits on things and have a bedtime in place. I want to be sure my kids are not behind on grade level things that they should know. I also do not want to sit down with a curriculum every day and force my kids to learn something they are not interested in at that moment.

Ultimately this is the hardest choice I am facing right now. I want my kid’s to be free to pursue their interests but I also don’t want them to get so focused on one thing and neglect to learn anything else that they will need to be successful when they are adults. Not to mention, with unschooling I will have to face my family who already does not like the fact I homeschool let alone a child-led method. Fortunately it is only time to start kindergarten which is an easy year. I can postpone making a decision for another year, I hope.

Trucker Wife

So my husband is a truck driver, professional driver, what ever other terms there are for driving the big trucks on the road that haul our stuff to the stores. That makes me a trucker’s wife. He may not be out as long as some other drivers or even other professions, but with three young kid’s at home it seems like it is much longer. I home-school our children, we have no family out here and few friends, so the only reprieve I can get is when our babysitter is free (she works full time) or when he is home. Some days I feel like a single mom, minus the need to work to support my family, because I am so stressed over what needs to be done. Other days I enjoy every moment I get to spend with my children. This style of life isn’t easy, no matter how long you have been in it. Hubby drove for 5 months about 6 years ago but quit because our oldest was born. ¬†He went back about a year ago, just before our baby turned 1 year old. The kid’s are used to it by now but some days it gets hard, especially the day after daddy leaves from being home for a few days. So I try to not plan anything the day or two following him being home so I can make life a bit easier on myself instead of having to tame tantrums all day long. ¬†I can’t say I love this life but it is income, it puts food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our bodies. He enjoys driving and being in new places so he doesn’t get bored with the job unlike others in the past where he gets into a routine and it is the same day in and day out. Hubby just cannot stand that. I am thankful that he makes enough to support us so that I can stay home to raise our children and home-school them since public education here is not the best. There are worse things to be than a trucker wife. I know being a military spouse while your partner is on deployment is no easy feat. At least my hubby is home a few times a month and we have pretty much open contact with each other while he is driving from place to place. I wouldn’t change my life for anything though, because the joy the kid’s get at seeing daddy’s truck definitely makes it all worthwhile!

A Mom With Guns

Guns are such a taboo topic these days, along with a myriad of other subjects. You have people far off on one side wanting civilians disarmed. Then there is the other side that wants no regulation what so ever. Of course there are people that fall in between those two as well. What it comes down to is an extremely touchy subject that is difficult to bring up in conversation unless you know the person or are willing to get into a debate.

As for me, I am a gun owner. I also teach my children the simple rules from Eddie Eagle  as well as the cardinal rules of gun safety for my older two children who are starting to be interested in firearms. I think those are the absolute best ways to prevent accidents. There is also my responsibility as a parent; that is to ensure my firearms are kept locked away from my children so they cannot obtain access without permission and supervision.

I do carry a firearm on a daily basis when I leave the home. I hope that I never have to protect myself and children but I do not want to take that risk. It takes minutes for police to arrive, by that time myself and my children could be dead. I have yet to have a negative encounter from other people. Usually it is those who are surprised it is legal and ask how they can start carrying as well. Once in a while I get comments like ” If something happens here, I am coming to find you!”, from those that do not carry firearms but are supporting of the right to do so. I also live in a state where it is legal to do so, we have quite a bit more freedom than other states who infringe on citizens rights.

Firearms are not something to be afraid of. Take some time to educate yourself, take a trip to a gun range with an experienced instructor, you will find it is not scary at all. Remember criminals do not obey the law and a background check will not stop the majority of them from obtaining a firearm .  See the following links for examples, including a paper that surveyed criminals on various subjects with the focus being firearms for the paper.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/11/where-criminals-get-their-guns/

https://www.nraila.org/issues/background-checksnics/

https://d3uwh8jpzww49g.cloudfront.net/sharedmedia/1508093/ccjstudy.pdf

 

I will end¬†with the 2nd Amendment¬†“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

5 years old

My oldest turned 5 earlier this month. Time seems to be flying by and I am not ready for what is to come. The positive of it, I get to watch him learn and grow.

I know life will be an adventure with three boys and a trucking husband but in the end I know it will be worth it when my boys are free to pursue their passions and explore the world.

 

Downside of him turning 5, is that I have done very little in terms of prepping. Especially with trying to buy a house so it may be put on hold until it goes through. A little is better than nothing though. I did manage to buy a few cases of water though I will rotate it out since I do have concerns about storing in plastic for too long.

Tax Season!

That wonderful time of year, we get to count up all our income and subtract our deductions to *hopefully* get our hard earned money back from the government that we let them take so willingly from our paychecks. I am just waiting on one W-2 before I can file. Fortunately the rest of the forms I have needed were mailed out earlier than January 31st. I don’t have anything spectacular or out f the ordinary to claim, I don’t own a house and no longer run a business so my taxes are pretty straight forward this year. I know that will change in the future if my husband decides to purchase a truck (big rig) as that will come with a lot of expenses and more detailed things than I am knowledgeable on to do taxes.

How do you file taxes? Accountant, pop-up stand in Wal-Mart, dedicated business, or online/paper on your own? I usually use TurboTax online as it seems to do the best job at getting the deductions I qualify for.

How Do You Prep?

How many of you actively prep for a SHTF situation? How many have thought a little bit about it and have some supplies that might get you through a week? Who hasn’t done anything at all to prepare if something happens to ruin the current economy?

We have camping supplies and a 72 hour freeze dried meal kit but that is about as far as we have gone with prepping. With recent news that the stock market may completely shut down, I am thinking I need to do a bit more in terms of preparing my family for the worst. So I decided instead of my normal grocery shopping this week, I was only going to spend half on groceries and rely more on what was in my cupboards so I could use the rest to start buying some things to store. I spend about $100 a week on groceries, so I limited that to $50. I admit I do tend to have plenty stocked and could last longer than a week between trips but I choose not to because I like variety:)

 

This is what I bought on this trip.

Dollar Tree

2 packs  emergency candles (54 hours total)

10 match boxes (320 total matches)

2 sterno cans (off brand)

can opener

Sam’s Club

12 cans (case) corn

12 cans (case)  green beans

12 cans (case) condensed chicken soup

 Walmart

5lbs rice

5 gallon water jug

So I know it isn’t that much but I spent a total of $50 on it and it will at least last us a few days more than what we have in the house. I am planning on buying more each week I go shopping and planning my grocery shopping different to hopefully get on a monthly rotation of supplies that I just restock ¬†as they are used.

I know I need to plan for my kids and my animals as well so that will be something I do on future trips. Food and supplies for the dog, food for the fish (though they probably will end up getting the short end of the stick if we have to bug out), things for the kids to keep them entertained in a time of crisis, as well as things for my husband and myself since we will need something to keep sane.

Future supplies , other than food & water, I’m thinking of: small bottles of propane (lantern and stove), paper goods, foil, diapers, baby wipes, hand sanitizer (wipes and gel), soap, small tool kit, blankets, books, and writing tools. I know we would have to plan for the bare minimum to bug out but anything that could help last in our home and keep the kids safe before that point, the better.

I definitely want to try for more healthier options but I don’t have the ability to can my own food so I will plan with what I am able to since any food will be worth having when there is none left in the stores.

What are you doing to prep? What about having healthy options for your family in a time of crisis? Share in the comments!

The End of Another Year

Another year is gone, with all of the ups and downs it brought.  Here is to a better 2016!

My recap of 2015

-I failed my squat challenge.  I completed 18 days out of 30, so better than my first attempt that I did a week.  Third times the charm?

 

-We are finally recovering financially from my husband’s accident this summer. ¬†One income makes things stressful at times but it brought us to a much better place now.¬†

 

– I am sticking to my homemade toothpaste and it is slowing remineralizing two holes in my molars as well as removing built up plaque.

 

-I have made it through a year of being a mom of 3, with one minor urgent care trip that in reality didn’t even need to happen. ¬†Better safe than sorry!¬†

 

So the bad with the good. I am not ready for the new year because it means my oldest son will be turning 5. Something I am not ready for, then again I am not ready for any new milestone that my boy’s conquer. Here is to putting the past behind you and embarking on the adventure of 2016!