Category Archives: About the Delancey’s

Daily Vlogging

Last summer we tried our hand at daily vlogging. Needless to say, it didn’t last very long and I felt like it was all that we did. We didn’t do anything fun last summer because of Zachary’s broken elbow. This year we already have our pool membership and river access key/pass. So we’re going to be living it up this summer at the community pool or the river.

Because last summer was such a bust due to having a kid in a cast for 4 weeks, we’ve decided that we’re going to try daily vlogging again this summer. Starting July 1st, which really means I’ll be recording at the end of June so we upload on July 1st.

We have so much to share in our daily lives. Like how we raise our 5 children, how the adopting/fostering thing is going, what we do all summer, how we budget, teaching our kids life skills while making things fun, etc.

We will also be addressing Zachary’s behavioral issues as he was just diagnosed with ADHD and we’ll soon be testing the waters of medications available for him. We will still be pushing to have him tested to see if he is on the Autism Spectrum.

We’re looking forward to taking you all along for the ride that is our lives. We’ve got a crazy bunch of kiddos and we’re blessed beyond measure. But remember we’re only showing you the majority of the good moments in our lives. Things do go wrong and we’ll capture some of the bad moments in our lives, but we don’t want to dwell on the negative things unless there is a teachable moment.

Our main purpose for daily vlogging is to share our lives with family members who do not live nearby. Since we live in a different state than both mine and Kevin’s family we don’t see them as often. We will be using our YouTube channel to share our daily lives with those close to us. Obviously, we are opening up our lives to criticism and the potential for negative comments. We (Kevin and myself) will not tolerate negative comments towards our children or our family, we do have the settings for our comments set to where we have to manually approve them. So if there is a negative comment our children will never see them.

We look forward to sharing our Daily Dose of Delancey with you in just a few short weeks!


Fostering to Adopt a Teenager

For those that don’t know; our preference has always been fostering to adopt a teenager. Why? Because our family dynamic doesn’t really allow for us to have a younger child. We feel that a child that is a little more independent will fit our family dynamic better.

Not only do we feel that fostering to adopt a teenager is the best for our family dynamic, we know that children in their teen years are more than likely not going to be adopted. So here at the Delancey’s we have plenty of time, space and love to share with a child who wants a family to call their own.

There are so many children in the U.S. Foster Care system, there are just 4,011 listed on the National Adoption list at AdoptUsKids.org. Unfortunately, there are many more children in Foster Care that are not yet available for adoption. Meaning their parent(s) is doing whatever they can to re-gain custody of their child(ren). The CPS and Foster Care System’s main goal is reunification of family, if the parent(s) fail to do their portion then the parents rights can be terminated. Some states don’t terminate parental rights to a child until a suitable adoptive family is found.

With that being said, our families goal is to provide a teenaged child with a place to call home. A family that will love them unconditionally and allow them to flourish/grow into the young adult they wish to be.

We have no problem giving a home to a child in need, but we feel that there are so many children in their teenaged years that need a place to call home and a family that we’re stepping up to fill that need.

 


Completed Home Study

Today, I wanted to tell our readers that we have an approved and completed home study. A few weeks ago we received a phone call from our chosen agency asking if we would take an emergency placement, we agreed. We just had to complete mine and Kevin’s medical forms.

In December I will be uploading a video on one of my channels that will discuss our first foster experience. I will also be discussing what our next step in our foster/adoption journey will be.

Please understand that we cannot divulge certain things, nor can we show photos of the child, so we will only be discussing our feelings and our overall experience with fostering a child. Keep your eyes peeled for a video on my Channel around December 4th.

I would l0ve to tell you more but that would just ruin the opportunity for me to make a video. I am trying to get back into the YouTube swing of things now that life has somewhat calmed down. With only one kiddo home during the day I can get more done and dedicate some time to batch recording some videos to upload in coming months.

Today is a little out of the ordinary, Zachary is at home sick. Poor guy had a fever yesterday and still has one today, so we’re hoping that he feels better tonight or tomorrow so he can go back to school on Wednesday. We just have to see what the next 24 hours holds for my sweet little guy. Since Zachary is not feeling well, I’m unable to get an real YouTube related work done.

Now that I’ve covered everything and more that needed to be covered in this post. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Check back soon for updates!

 


The Life We Live

Never in a million years did I ever think I would tell random strangers about our personal life. But here I am telling the whole world about the life we live. I can’t really pinpoint a reason as to why I love to blog, but I do. I hope that eventually my blog will inspire others or teach others something of value to them. Not everyone is going to get the same thing out of my experience in life. So welcome to the life we live and I hope you find some tidbit of value in here somewhere.

I have spent the last month or more playing catch up in life. The whole month of May seemed to bring us bad luck. Five negative things happened pretty much back-to-back. I think there was a sixth, but I can’t remember what it was at the moment so it must not have been that bad.

  1. Kittens broke my laptop
  2. Hot Water heater started leaking
  3. Kevin injured his back at work
  4. Kevin’s truck died while in his mom’s possession
  5. Zachary (our 5-year-old) broke his elbow while we were at First Aid/CPR Classes

Thankfully, the laptop had a protection plan with the GeekSquad. So it took 2 weeks to get my laptop back. It’s still not 100% perfect like it was before it was broken. But it works, for now.

I replaced the hot water heater with minimal help from Kevin. He couldn’t lift anything because the same day he picked up the hot water heater from Lowe’s is when he hurt his back at work. So I ended up having to wait until that Friday to replace the hot water heater. Our old one was leaking, so we turned off the electricity running to it, drained it the best we could and then I rocked it to where I could put it on some cardboard from the new hot water heater and slid that sucker out the back door. I’m so glad we purchased waterproof flooring because the hot water heater was still half full of water, it wasn’t draining properly because of sediment from our well water.

Kevin ended up on some pretty heavy duty meds for about a week. So he was home with me and the kids resting up. In that time frame, his mom called him to tell him that his truck died on her. Come to find out, his truck threw a rod for the 2nd time since he purchased this truck in 2010. He loves this little Ford Ranger, but man does this engine in it suck. It had less than 70k miles on it, when it threw a rod for the second time. If only he would have gotten an extended warranty on that dang truck. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Now, Zachary’s broken elbow is a giant fiasco in and of itself. All I know is that it happened at the playground while his big brother was swinging on the swing set. He ended up needing surgery. We’re 4 weeks post-surgery and finally have his pins out.

So all-in-all, we’re finally started to get back on track with the life we live. It’s been a crazy ride and I hope that the rest of 2017 goes a little more smoothly than the month of May did for our family.

We need to get back on track with our debt journey. A few things set us back a little, but we’ll get back on track soon.

 


Our Debt Free Journey

I’ve talked about this on this blog several times about getting out of debt. Well, our adoption paperwork has opened our eyes to the bigger picture. We knew we were in debt, lots of debt. But we never sat down to figure out what our net worth is. In the adoption process, you have to disclose your assets, your liabilities, and your net worth. Seeing a negative net worth really put things into perspective for us. So here we go again. Debt Free Journey take 51 (okay, that’s an exaggeration but you get my point).

I’m going to break it down into real numbers here, the exact amount of debt we are in and we’re going to take you on this journey with us… here!

As much as it pains me to say how much we owe at the same time, I know that there are others in the same boat as us. So here it goes. We owe $410,163.67 as of today, April 24, 2017. It’s insane. That’s 2 mortgages, 11 credit cards (store and regular credit cards), 2 personal loans, 1 car loan, and 4 student loans.

While I understand Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Method, I don’t think the Debt Snowball Method is for Kevin and myself. We’re going to start with the snowball method for our smallest debt ($747.95 with an interest rate of 24.4%) and pay that off. Then we’re going to start using the Debt Avalanche Method with the rest of our debts.

So what are we starting with? $200 on top of our minimum payments. May 1, 2017, is when our plan goes into effect. Any spare dollar we have is going into paying off our debts as fast as we possibly can. Not because of our adoption, but because we want to set an example for our children. In 10 years or less, we can be 100% debt free all starting with an extra $200! That’s not including any of Kevin’s over time or per diem pay, not including raises or when I go back to work when Ryleigh goes to school.

Once a month, I want to start posting an update both here on the blog, as well as a video for our ‘Journey to Being Debt Free’ Playlist on my YouTube Channel. I haven’t decided when I will update, but it will be on a monthly basis. I might post them on the first of the month for the previous month. Either way, this will happen. It is going to help keep us accountable for our debt situation. Be sure to subscribe for our monthly updates!


Finding a Way

The Delancey family is in the process of finding a way to fund an out-of-state adoption if we are approved to foster/adopt. I’m not going to beat around the bush. Kevin and I have finally started the process of adoption. We’re filling out the application, preparing the kids for the process and getting all our ducks in a row.

For those that may not know, adopting through the Foster Care Program in your state has little or no cost associated with it. In fact, if you adopt in your state of residence your court costs and attorney’s fees are reimbursed by the state. People automatically assume that adoption is expensive, well it is if you aren’t adopting through the foster care system.

So right now, I’m looking at all the options available to us for fundraising in the event that we are approved to foster or for adoption. We are finding a way to complete our family.

We have some things that we will need to do, like make our basement office into a legal bedroom by reframing the doorway to include a window, in the event that there is a fire within the home. So our handyman is coming out over the weekend to give us a quote on the cost associated with moving the doorway and drywalling the area where the door was originally located.

Since we are just in the very beginning stages of the adoption process, I am not saying that we are going to fundraise, but we’re looking into all options. There are so many creative fundraiser ideas. T-shirt fundraisers, Tag the bag fundraisers, bake/candy sales, online auctions, cookbook sales, spaghetti dinners, mini photo sessions for a donation, puzzle piece fundraiser and the list goes on and on and on.

Our goal is to earn the money ourselves, Kevin hopes to work as much overtime as possible between now and when we start our training for the foster to adopt program.

I’ll be updating things as we get further into the process, but as of right now the Delancey’s are in the process of making our house a home full of happy, healthy children and a place they can always come home to when things don’t go as planned!

Thanks for stopping by, make sure you check back for future updates and for all the changes that we hope will be happening soon.

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Great News!

I just found out the great news… We got our pre-approval. We can officially start the hunt for our dream home. Kevin will be gone almost the entire month of April but at least, we have one thing less to stress over! Now all we need to do is find a home, coordinate movers to get our belongings from our storage unit in Maryland to our new home, and actually move! EEEKK! This is finally happening.

This has been a long time coming. We’ve stayed our course. Paid off bills, worked hard, fought hard and are finally getting to where we wanted and need to be!

I have never felt so blessed. We could go to closing before the kids finish school and we could move in as soon as the school year is over! BEST NEWS EVER! We didn’t want to uproot them in the middle of a school year. So this is great news.

I can’t wait to find a house that we can call our own.

Time to beef up our savings account. Going to need that for closing costs and moving expenses. We’re going to need about a $1,000 to $1,500 for moving expenses. Hiring movers, because I’m totally not moving everything. I’d rather have it all done before the kids and I move.

Oh, man I’m so anxious. Time to go see what Zillow has available in the area in which we want to live.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and an even more wonderful week. My week was starting to look horrible, but now that things are looking up… I’m ready to get things started.

Don’t forget to check back and see how things are going in our loan process and house hunt! That means new fun blogs are in our future, DIY, Painting, etc!

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Taking the Next Step

I feel like we’re heading in the right direction. We are finally taking the next step in the mortgage application process. Our application has finally been assigned a Mortgage Specialist. I’m so excited that we’re hopefully one step closer to homeownership. I really hope the Maryland property doesn’t mess this up for us.

Taking the next step has my stomach all in knots. I can’t believe that we’ve finally gotten to this point, it’s been a long time in the making. When we last applied for a mortgage Kevin wasn’t making enough money to cover two mortgage payments. Now that we’re in a better financial place we’ve got the ability to cover the two payments if the need is there.

So what got us to the point of taking the next step? Well, it all started when Kevin was involuntarily separated from the Marines in late 2014. The moment we found out that $hit was going down, we immediately went into saving mode. We took our tax return and paid off Kevin’s truck and paid down/off credit card bills. We knew we’d get a separation pay, that would cover the mortgage on the Maryland property. So we didn’t have to stress about that. We put aside every single dime we could from the middle of April until October when we got his separation pay.We moved before we had to be out of our house, we found Kevin the first job he could get in August 2014, so he was getting paid by the military until October and was getting paid by the new company. So we were just putting money into savings or paying off bills.

We had moments of struggle (financially) during the last 18 months. But finding Kevin this amazing job and the opportunity he was given by them… has been such a blessing. We are both so very thankful that he has this job. I’m so glad that we are finally taking the next step and moving forward with our lives.

I guess, I’ll have more to update once the Mortgage Specialist and I go over our paperwork. We could be homeowners by the time the kids get out of school for Summer break, which is what we’ve been hoping for all this time. We’ve done our best to not uproot them during the school year. So we’re hoping for the same this time around.

Well, my household chores are never done. Dishes, laundry, picking up toys and vacuuming is on my to do list today.

Update to come once we’ve gotten our pre-approval or if we’re back to square one.

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How to Start Reviewing Products

Have you ever wondered about reviewing products? Well in this post, I will show you where and how to get started. So if you are really interested in learning about How to start reviewing products… just keep reading.

I just recently started reviewing products for Amazon purchases. I don’t get everything for free, but some things I do. I belong to two websites that you can use to start reviewing a multitude of products. It helps if you have Amazon Prime.

So let’s start with this site here…. This site does either free or a percentage of the product price (the seller decides the discount). You can only pick a certain amount of deals on this site at day. If you purchase in the morning, you have to wait until the afternoon to pick out another deal. I’ve personally only picked three deals off of this site, but so far I really like it. It’s definitely a legitimate site because I have received all three items I picked to review. I only paid a $1 or got the item for free. They don’t have a huge selection of items, but they have decent items to pick from.

Now, on to the second site…here! This site has a TON of items to pick from, in varying departments and varying price. I’ve gotten stuff ranging from beauty to sporting goods. I personally don’t get things I won’t use. The most I’ve paid for an item was $7. So all in all, I think it’s a great way to get products that I’ll use at a discount. It’s actually a ton of fun to scroll down the deals page and see what they have to review. In fact, I’ve already ordered, received and reviewed 5 items in the last 2 weeks. With 2 more reviews to do this week and 2 more items coming this week, as well.

I do these product reviews for fun. Again, I only get things that I will use. Mostly beauty products, home products (aka baking or cooking items), and a few other things like electronics. I don’t earn an income from doing these Amazon product reviews, but I am slowly earning an income via my blog. While it’s nothing but pennies at the moment, over time I hope to be making, at least, $500 a month. I want to be able to contribute more towards our household bills.

The reason I wanted to share this, is because these companies are looking for normal everyday people like myself to review their products to help them rank on Amazon in order to be seen on the first few pages of searches. The closer to the 1st spot in a search the more likely you are to purchase an item, which means more sales for the company.

Well, if you haven’t already head on over to those sites and sign up. It’s a great way to try new products for a discounted rate and all you have to do is leave a short review (or long, if you want) about the product.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed today’s post about How to Start Reviewing Products! I know I sure have enjoyed talking about doing product reviews for Amazon Purchases.

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Leap Day

Today February, 29, 2016 is a leap day. This adds one more day to this wonderful year. Also adding one more day to our wait until our credit reports update. While a leap day is cool, it’s always something I forget about. I’d hate to be born in a leap year, your birthday only comes once every 4 years, lol.

So today on this leap day, I’m picking up a friend and we’re going out for coffee with my two little ones. But before I can go anywhere, I need finish eating, wait for Zachary and Ryleigh to eat their cereal, do the dishes, start the laundry (which is never ending), and vacuum the house. Have I said how much I hate chores. Honestly, the only chore that I hate doing is dishes. I am weird about the feeling you get when glass/ceramic items slide across my prune-like finger tips. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

I really want to change the direction that my blog is going. I want to steer more towards posting things with more meaning. Only posting “personal” posts every once in a while.

My goal for my blog is to have a lot of different topics discussed like DIY, food related, fiance related, and fun stuff. My intent once we’ve moved into our dream home is to really start focusing on using my blog as a way to help support of family of 7. Obviously right now my blog has very few readers/viewers, but it does have a few. So over the next few months, I’ll be working on my SEO, figuring out the best writing style for my blog, and a few other things. It’s time I stop wasting time and start getting serious about not only this blog, but my other ones. Please know that I’m not blogging to only make money, as I really enjoy blogging. But this little bit of money that I am making and the money that I could be making can help my family purchase our dream home (or pay it off faster once we get it) and/or purchase a new family vehicle without financing it.

Be sure to check back all throughout the month of March to see what’s happening here on Delancey Dream Home!

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