Tag Archives: Delancey Family

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.

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.

 


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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Motivation is the Key to Success

The last few years have passed me by, as I’ve had absolutely no motivation. The only way for me to succeed at my goals is to realize that “Motivation is the Key to Success.” There’s nothing more in this world that I’d rather do than be the old me. I have just had the hardest time finding the motivation.

We’ve been in our house or almost 2 months, but I feel like we are nowhere near settled in. The kids still don’t have their bedroom furniture put together, Kevin and I haven’t decided on bedroom furniture. We still don’t have all the rooms in the house painted. So we still have the boys room, mine and Kevin’s room and the hall bathroom and the sunroom. The basement is completely finished, but the upstairs is still lacking in furniture, paint, and organization.

With Kevin hardly being home, the kids getting into everything that I move or organize I’ve just given up until we have the ability to put it all away. But because the house is unorganized and cluttered… I feel less motivated to do anything. Not to mention, I still have to go through all the stuff in the garage. My goal is to get rid of as much crap as I can and sell the big items that we aren’t using. No point in keeping them, then I can use that money towards paying down credit cards or purchasing workout equipment to create a home gym in half of the garage.

I just have to find the motivation to do all of these things. Hopefully, life will stop passing me by and I can actually get my life back on track where I hoped it would be.

Today, I’ll be making a video that will be uploaded on one of my YouTube channels today or tomorrow, not sure which one yet. I’m really hoping that I can get into the routine of doing a short daily vlog, as I’m trying to document and hold myself accountable with YouTube Videos. So now that we have the basement all finished up, I can workout down there. Just have to reach deep down and find the motivation and the time (looks like I may get to see the sunrise each morning while I drink my coffee). I just hope that my late nights and early mornings don’t affect me too much.

Well, I’m off to do all the regular household chores. Don’t forget to follow us on all our social media accounts!

 

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Remaining Stagnant

For the last 2 years, I have been in this funk or a rut. I feel like I am remaining stagnant. The longer I am here, the more I feel like I am unable to get out of this funk. I feel alone here. I feel tired. I just don’t feel myself. By remaining stagnant, I am not helping my children. I’m tired of submitting to this awful feeling.

So what does remaining stagnant have to do with anything? Well, I’m currently conditioning my mind to start over with our move, our new house, and all the space we’ll have available to us.

I’m really looking forward to being in Loudoun County. The schools in our area have great ratings. So I’m looking forward to them getting settled in and growing roots for the first real time in their lives. We know our house isn’t our dream home, so this is just a starter home. We plan on being there for about 10 to 12 years, while paying off the house. Once we’ve paid it off, we can use it for rental income and we can then move forward to buying our dream home (even if that means that we have to have one built for us).

I’m already trying really hard to eat better, but that really isn’t going to do much for me if I’m not active. Being here has ruined any kind of motivation I’ve had to lose weight, to better myself as an individual, etc. So I’m ready to get moving and get this show on the road. For the sake of my children I need to get back to the old me. I cannot keep on this path of remaining stagnant, my kids deserve the best.

By starting fresh in a new place, I’ve got to explore. I’ll be setting up a small home gym in the garage. Treadmill, punching bag, weight bench, free-weights, etc. All of which I have either in storage or my brother has offered to me since he is not using them anymore. So I have no reason not to workout once we move and I set everything up. I just will have to get up at 4am with Kevin. I’ll be working out and he’ll be getting ready for work.  I’ll be able to take my laptop out to the garage for some music and/or to use for BeachBody Workouts Videos.

I’ll also be spending more time doing things other than sitting on my butt. I have to be more active if I wish to lose weight and keep it off. I have to eat healthier and actually stop skipping meals. So I’ve already got containers for meal prepping, I have two digital kitchen scales to weigh my proteins for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. I have a Ninja Blender to make shakes. I’m doing everything I can to set myself up for success from the get go. We just have to get into our new home. If I start out on the right foot, then I think I’ll be able to keep myself on track.

We’re going to cut back on eating out (me not wanting to cook, so I order pizza) and also cut way back on my soda consumption. I’m also going to start buying a massive amount of fresh veggies and shrimp, so I can steam them daily for my lunches and dinners. Basically, I’m doing everything I can to keep myself motivated and preparing for the changes ahead.

There will be no option for me to allow myself the opportunity to continue to remain stagnant. I am moving away from this place and cannot wait to reunite with our family. We’re moving on to bigger and better things. I’m moving on to a better and healthier me! I just have to survive the next few weeks of “torture” and then we should be smooth sailing.

I know that there will be a time where I post a “before & after” photo. But I will probably also post during photos! But only time will tell. At this time, I cannot make any promises, as I don’t want to let anyone down.

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Waiting Game Again

Are we really playing this waiting game again? I think so… UGH! I’ve never bought a house before and we’ve never gotten this far into the home buying process in the last 2 years. Mostly because Kevin didn’t make a sizeable enough income to support two mortgages. Now that Kevin does make enough income; without using his overtime or per diem, I’ve been able to really get some insight that I didn’t have when we tried to start this journey.

Once we realized that Navy Federal Credit Union was unable to get their figures correct, provide us with the proper information or get the information I had given them correct that we would be using another bank. So we decided on Wells Fargo. Our buyer’s agent hooked us up with her mom, who just so happens to be a mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo. So We’ve been getting great service from Wells Fargo. I truly can’t say good enough things about Wells Fargo and our mortgage consultant.

This waiting game again, is really getting on my nerves. Right now we’re waiting on the VA Appraisal. Once that is submitted, as far as I know the underwriting department looks it over and decides if the house is worth what we’re paying for it, if not then we’ve got to start over and we’ve already put about $1,300 into this process already. Fees that we don’t get back if our contract goes to shit!

Right now, we’re on business day 8 out of 10. So hopefully by Monday the VA Appraiser has done their job and writes up their report and submits it to our bank before the close of business on May 20, 2016. With a VA loan there are certain stipulations, for example ALL of our documents have to be in our file for 14 business days before we can go to closing. That means all the inspections (pest/termite, water test, VA appraisal) and all of our income related documents, our bank statements, etc. I honestly think that the process may have been easier if we hadn’t used Kevin’s VA loan. But then we would have need at least 3.5% down for a down payment. Which right now, just wasn’t possible for us, so we just went with the option that was best suitable for our family and our financial situation.

I will say that it hasn’t been a horrible process now that we’ve chosen the proper bank for us. Right now, we have our conditional approval. Just waiting on the paperwork from the appraisal to be uploaded and then play another portion of the waiting game again!

It’s a rough spot to be in, mostly because we’ll be leaving for the East Coast shortly before closing and with either stay with my sister or just go visit friends in Virginia that are still active duty. Until we close we’ll be in limbo. So we’re really trying to wait until the last minute to leave here and head to the Maryland/Virginia area.

Man, I still think about all the times I said I hated the Virginia area and how much I wanted to be back in Maryland. I guess I felt so isolated from the “real world” when we lived on base. But now, I’m chomping at the bit to move back. I can’t wait. We’ll be close enough to visit family again. I’m dying for the family interaction again.

Well I’m headed out the door to go get some milk. I forgot to buy some yesterday while I was grocery shopping. I was so focused on getting out of the store without wanting to rip my hair out. If anyone has young children, they you understand my dilemma when it comes to shopping with them. Their hands are always touching things, they want to whine and cry, ask for things I haven’t paid for yet, etc. So I rushed and missed a few things I needed.

In the meantime, wish us luck and that this appraisal process is quick and painless.

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Moving Forward & Letting Go

This post is going to be a little personal today. Today we’re moving forward & letting go.
We’re headed on to the next step in our loan process. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to use a VA Mortgage loan, it’s not always an easy, quick, or pleasant process. The VA is 30-45 days behind on all their stuff. They’re overworked and understaffed, so it is taking a little bit of time to get to everyone’s requests and paperwork. So we’re right on track to close when we had originally planned! YES!

Right now our realtor has hooked us up with a great Home Inspector who can do the entire thing. Pest Inspection, Termite Inspection, etc. So we’re scheduling him to go out to the house as soon as possible. Then we have to get a VA Home Inspector to come out to the house to do the appraisal process. Then once all the paperwork is in our file, we can go to closing!!!! We’re so close! Just gotta make sure that everything with our actual home inspection goes to plan. Keeping our fingers crossed that there are no structural damages or anything that would cause us to back out of our contract.

The Coupon Clippers

While this house gets us into our own home, it is not in anyway shape or form our dream home. We’re going to pay off this home as quickly as we can so we can use the property as rental income in the future and have a home built for ourselves. This is our starter home! Being that we can realistically pay the home off within 10 years (we’re getting a really great deal), we know that we’re not stuck with this home for longer than we want to be in it!

So now that our house process is moving forward, we can start letting go. Letting go of things from our past. We’re going to downsize our possessions and make sure our home is only full of things that bring us happiness and joy. There’s no point in having things in our new home that drag us down. So out with the old and in with the new. Obviously, this will take time.

I’m really looking forward to being less scatterbrained all the time. I always felt more on top of my game, when we lived in Virginia. My brain just functioned so much better in my own home, even though I had a million and one different things that needed to be done every single day. We’re really ready to get back to our normal life with each other. We have a lot of time away from each other and Kevin’s been living in a hotel pretty much since he started this job in November. Granted, Kevin will still have to travel for his job, but 50% of the time he will be home at night with his family where he belongs!

I’m so ready for our lives to become normal again. I’m so ready to be able to catch up with old friends and actually be able to host holidays and parties. Plus once we move into our home I call the shots. I can make all the YouTube videos I want. I’m really looking forward to being able to post videos again. Lots of DIY videos to be done, ha ha ha. I’ve got so many ideas floating around my head that I just can’t think straight. I’m so ready for this house to be OURS!

So from here on out we’re moving forward & letting go!
I’ll be crossing my fingers for a good outcome to our home inspection and once that’s done if all went well, we move on to the VA Home Appraisal.  Keep checking back for updates as we have them!

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How to Make 13 Mortgage Payments in 12 Months

Have you ever wondered how you can easily take off years worth of payments and  save money on your mortgage? This method will save you thousands of dollars on interest payments. Well, today I’m going to tell you how to make 13 mortgage payments in 12 months.

Let’s use an even figure for a mortgage amount (this is not the cost of the house we have a contract on) so let’s go with $200,000 and I’ll use our interest rate of 3.375% (no points). I’m using a mortgage amortization calculator; here!

$200,000 for the price of the house over 30 years at 3.375% interest will cost roughly $118,309.28 just for the interest. So a grand total of $318,309.28 over 30 years!

So here’s how to make 13 mortgage payments in 12 months…

If the total cost of the mortgage loan was for $200,000 our mortgage payment would be around $885 (not including escrow; i.e. taxes and insurance). So take $885 and divide it by 12, which would equal out to be $73.75.  Now that you have the figure of $73.75 add that to your $885 and you’ll get $958.75.

By paying an extra $73.75 a month on your mortgage payment each month for the life of your loan will save you $16,527.18 and will shorten the life of your loan by 3 years and 8 months! And if you think about how much you’ll have after you’ve paid off your mortgage… in that 3 years and 8 months that you would have been paying your mortgage, you’ll be able to take that money and save it. That same $958.75 multiplied by 44 months would equal out to be $42,185 (that’s not including any interest earned if you put it in a high-yield savings account). That’s MORE than half the cost of a brand new Chevrolet Suburban!!!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be mortgage free? Our goal is to pay off our mortgage in less than 10 years. Do you think we can do it? I know we can. Just keep reading and see how long it takes us to pay off our mortgage. We’re really hoping that we’ll be in our house come Mid-June. But only time will tell; at this point.

My next post will be about finding extra money to put towards your mortgage payments. So make sure you check back in a few days!

Make sure you follow us on our social media accounts, as I’ll be posting updates on Instagram and Twitter as we have them!

 

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Meal Planning

Since we put in the contract on the house in March, I have been trying to figure out more ways to save even more money. Meal planning? Is it the key to saving extra money? That I’m not so sure yet. I will have to figure out what stores are in the area, figure out when their sales run for specific items and plan from there.

I already planned on stepping up my “coupon game”, not because we can’t afford to buy our groceries… but so we can put the money away for other things or pay off our debts. I think meal planning will be the key to not eating out as much as we have in the past.

With 5 kids, Kevin and I, our grocery budget will be between $400 – $600. Which is around what it is now. I personally would like to see our budget for groceries be around $300-$400 while using coupons and meal planning. If I can really make 20 dinners for around $120, then I’ll be able to feed our family for well under $400 a month. Now I know I’ll still need to buy things like cereal, milk, eggs, bread, flour, sugar, etc more often as I use them regularly. But if I can cut the bulk of the cost of our dinner meals down to $6 then I could do an entire month’s worth of dinners for about $180.

To me, there is nothing more rewarding than feeding my family a healthy home cooked meal, while saving money that we can use for other things that our family needs/wants.

Who would like to see meal planning posts in the future? I’m thinking a 30-day dinner crockpot meal plan. When we move into our home this summer we’re going to have to start all over as far as food things go. So when I go to the store, I plan on doing the bulk of the shopping at once. Mostly because I don’t know when Kevin will be home to either watch the kids or help me do the grocery shopping. So I want to get it all done as soon as possible and then go from there.

So is freezer/crockpot meal plans something that others would be interested in?

Leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do once we get into the house this summer. Maybe I’ll even put together a Crockpot Freezer Meal Cookbook with all of our families favorite meals for those on a budget.

Well, I’m off to run some errands now that I’ve gotten the little ones off to school.

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