Sunday, December 30, 2012

Comments and addresses

I just wanted to let you all know that I have made it easier to make comments because I want to hear from you all.  No more puzzles to figure out.
We expect to continue to use our regular email addresses.
This will probably be the best way to send letters and photos, but if you want to send snail mail, here are the addresses.
NOTE!  We will only be at the MTC for 10 days but here is that address

Elder and Sister Rodney Castillo
Spain Malaga Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah  84604

Once we get to the mission  the address is

Elder and Sister Rodney Castillo
Spain Malaga Mission
Av. Jesus Santos Rein N⁰ 2, 3 D-E
Edif. Ofisol
29640 Fuengirola, Malaga

We love letters and will answer every one we receive.  Packages are a problem.  Much dutiable merchandise doesn't make it to the missionary and if it does the duties are so high it may not be worth it, so just send photos and love.

We are so excited to finally start this mission thing.  Keep up those prayers.  They keep us going. Stay tuned....

Sorry everyone.  I fell off of the blogging bandwagon in  December, well November too really.  Hey, I'm not the only one. Here's hoping I get more consistent when we get back on some sort of schedule I had planned on posting photos from our trip to New York and I may still do that if we have a 'slow news' week. Anyway, thank you for your patience.
The good news is that we found out what the hold up was for the visa.  Apparently Spain requires visa applicants to request visas in person and pick them up in person.  Since this would be such a problem  for missionaries and since the church has a good relationship with Spain,  an arrangement was made for an honorary consul in SLC to handle that. To ease the paper work, the church paid for an intern to handle missionary visa paper work and then whatever else they wanted.  Well the intern quit but the church didn't know and the paper work just piled up in the inbox.  It took a while to figure out that there was a problem but once they figured it out, it wasn't too hard to fix.  .Jamie in Church Travel said that our visa should be there any day.  Yea!  Anyway, we leave for the MTC tomorrow morning, finally.  The delay has been a blessing in many ways.  We were here to greet our new grand son, Benjamin Eric Wach.  He was born Dec 14th, 6lb 7oz and 19 in.  He is growing already, and his sister thinks he is the best! We are excited that Weston is no longer the only grandson.  We are thrilled that second daughter is expecting a son also.  Imagine the family campout in two years!  We were also able to attend and help with the reception for my niece Emily in Colorado.  The Lord knows what he is doing.
Sooo, Please keep us in your prayers as we start off on this new adventure.  Watch out Spain, here we come!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


One of the biggest challenges while packing was deciding what to keep and what to toss.  If we were packing right now, much that is  in storage would have been sent on.   Clothing, of course, has to be tried on.  Yes, I am bragging on my husband.  He has been working very hard for a couple of years, and has lost quite a bit of weight.  Well, one of the things he tried on was the suit he had tailored for himself just before he left Chile, his first mission field of service. That was in 1979.  He wore this suit when we went to the temple to get married. 

Look at that!  He can still fit into the pants!

The jacket is another story. I'm not complaining about a bigger chest though.
I am so proud of him.  This isn't just because he looks so hot.  Honest.  Really.  Truly! 
Well he does look hot, but it really does make a huge difference health wise because fat built up in the belly also means fat built up around the heart.  In addition, extra weight increases BP and diabetes.  I just want to keep this man around for as long as I can and this will help so very much.  If only I would follow his example. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October Expedition # 1

I know it says posted by Rod.  Well Jeanene is posting this.  I have been told how to change that but have forgotten how and it is more work than it is worth to figure it out, so since AZ is a community property state, credit for posts will be shared. 

We have had a busy month.  Wasn't 'being retired' supposed to be relaxed and slow paced?  I know, you are full of sympathy for my plight.  Still....  Well.... Moving on.   The first expedition of Oct was to Utah.  We became close friends with Ryker when he was in Mesa on his mission.  Over the years we have pestered and imposed on him and had a great many good times.  Ask the 2 youngest daughters and husband about demolition derbies.  Such fun!  Anyway his 2nd baby was being blessed so off we went.  We had planned to visit my cousin on the way but she was on vacation in Cali so we missed her.  One of Rod's favorite places on earth so far is Zions.  Since we had a free day in Utah, we took the opportunity to go there.  We arrived rather late in the day, it was actually night, found our hotel in 'Hurracn' and ordered pizza for supper.  It was raining intermittently so we were glad to get back to the hotel, especially when it started to hail.  I'm such a desert baby.  I just had to photograph and taste it.  Cool-or rather Cold.

It  was cloudy and chilly with another gust of hail when we got up the next morning. We debated what to do.  We went on to Saint George and shopped for a while but then the sky started to clear up so we headed back to Zion's.  It remained cloudy with little mists of rain now and again, but we very much enjoyed hiking to the Emerald Pools.  It was so beautiful.  I think the rain enhanced the experience for us at least. 

What a view!

Behind the falls

I love the combination of cactus, green leaves and the falls in the background.

After our day at Zions, we went on to Las Vegas.  Saturday was Taggert's birthday party and then on Sunday, the baby blessing. 
The birthday party included a visit to the 'pumpkin patch'.  Taggert loved petting the goats.

Ruston is such a sweet little guy.  He slept and ate and smiled the whole time.

Somebody likes birthday cake.

We got a photo of Ryker!

These tools were used to 'reattach' Rod's arm when Taggart 'cut it off' with his toy saw.
Endless fun, cause Rod could actually make his arm disappear into his sleave..

What a blessing good friends are.  They add such richness to our lives and multiply our joy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We Are Moved!

Are you tired of hearing about it yet?  Well we are just plain tired so bear with us.  Just so you know there were some minor miracles in this move.  Monday the 17th of Sep. Rod had been loading large shelf units from the garage onto the brother-in-law's trailer all morning.  He spent the afternoon arranging equipment in a neighbor's barn so he could store his TR6 there.  He was just puting the car on blocks, twisting to raise the jack one more notch when he hurt his back... badly.  Not as badly as it had been hurt several years ago but enough that he was out of commision in the lifing department. Now what? His last episode left him working for months to recover his strenght and mobility.  We still had a whole house full of furniture and lots of boxes to move.  We were both anxious and stressed. There were lots of heart felt prayers about what to do. Yes, we had to swallow some pride. I finally called Alicia's husband Eric.  He generously took a day off of work on Thur, brought his trailer over with a friend and loaded almost all of our furniture onto it, hauled it over to the warehouse, unloaded the first trailer and his trailer and stacked everything for us.  A true answer to prayers.  It was hard on Rod to lie down while other people worked, especially hauling our stuff. I sent him to the gym to soak in the jacuzzi so that I could fill the pickup.  The next day we hauled that over and lo and behold there were people to help unload.  It is the little things.  Each day he got better, much more quickly than the previous time his back was injured.  After just 1 week he was able to lift moderate weight if he was careful. He and I loaded our bed and he was able to unload it alone. My sweet sister-in-law spent 3 days helping me clean, and our good home teachers have lent us their downstairs to live in while we wait for our visas, which made it much easier to move. anything that we might need, we just took to their house. When the bed got loaded, we had a place close by to sleep and clothes could just go directly from one closet to another.  That last day of cleaning was hard.  We were worn out.  Our friends from college called and took us out to supper, then sweet Linda washed floors on hands and knees.  Finally it was done Friday the 28th about 10 pm.  I know that lots of you out there would gladly have come help if I had just asked.  I am just not good at that.  I will have to develop that skill and the humility to use it.  I always think I can just do it myself, and I probably could have but not in the time that we had. We spent Sat morning finishing up the garage and junky side yard.  There will still be a day of fixing sprinklers but we are DONE!
Now we are going to try to be 'retired'.  We plan a trip to visit the Tucson kids and another to Las Vegas for a baby blessing. Then... an adventure or 2. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Packing up!

Yes, I know!  I have been packing for weeks.  The china cabinet has been empty for a month.  The linen closet, coat closet, and the bathroom cupboards have been cleared and there have been a couple of trips to DI.  The spare room has been empty for a week and the play room is packed, ready to move everything to storage, but it wasn't till today that I started to feel that we are really moving.  What 'did it' for me?  There are now empty shelves in the study.  Rod's 'inner sanctum' is starting to empty.  We are really doing this!

Wow! Almost all of the finishing up projects are done.  The doors latch, new tile is in the bathroom.  It is truly going to happen. We have been in this house since the month before our last daughter was born, about 25 years ago.  There has been a lot of living here, lots of wonderful memories.  Who knows if we will ever live here again. Not us.  Still, you can't move forward if you don't leave the past behind, sooooo onward we go to new adventures.  Stay tuned.......

Thursday, September 6, 2012

'Farewell' sort of.

In between our camp out and our family photos, we had our 'farewell' Sacrament meeting.  Normally I don't have too much trouble speaking in church, but I admit to being nervous about  this one.  The reasons were probably  the stress of planning the camp out and also from the feeling that people have high expectations from Rod and I.  Actually, Rod has to face more of that than I do.  I was glad that I went first.  I quite purposefully made my talk quite short and left Rod most of the time.  Our assigned subject was 'attitude and hope' and I was glad that Rod chose attitude.  I took the subject of hope and talked about the comparison between the Spanish esperar and hoping and waiting  (the Spanish verb can mean either). Studying the scriptures on the subject, it became clear that hoping is a very active process that leads to charity.  That is one purpose of speaking, it forces me to study and grow in understanding.  Another reason I was glad that I went first was that all five of our kids sang the 'special number'.  They sang  'As Sisters in Zion- Armies of Helaman'  They did such a beautiful job and Rod and I weren't the only ones in the congregation that started crying when the boys sang 'we have been born ... to goodly parents'.  Rod did a fantastic job as always.  He spoke of the importance of attitude and the impact that members of the ward and their attitudes had on us and our family.  He quoted from his journal some of the comments that ward members had made that impacted our family.  We were deeply touched by all the people that attended the meeting to show their love and support for us and our mission.  We are so very blessed.  Thank you all!

Missionary companions!
Yea!  The talks are done!

I have a good looking comp.
Now we just have to get those visas in so we can actually leave.  As of now, we go to Provo for our 'medical training' on Dec. 3.  If the visas aren't ready by then, we will come back home and wait for them. Well, maybe I will be able to absorb more Spanish by then.  Pray for us.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Family portrait 2012

Those of you who have known us for very long, know about our family portraits.  For the rest of you, since spring  1981 we have had a family portrait every year.  Most years were thematic, ie:  oriental, safari, patriotic etc..  Individually they are fun but all together they are amazing just for the progression and history.  We have been very blessed because the kids-in-law have been good sports and gone along with this craziness, and as you might guess, the more children the crazier it gets.  For this year's photo, Rod decided we should do tie-dye as the theme.  Turns out our camp out was the perfect place to dye our shirts.  The mess was much easier to clean up outdoors.  It was my first experience doing tie-dye.  We had a good time. Here are the results.

Each family designed their own shirts and chose their colors.  Rod and I tried to use most of the colors.

I am afraid that we do the crazy version better than the serious.

We sure do enjoy being together!

Todd's family
Not everyone wanted individual family photos.  I think Keith was in a hurry to get out of his shirt.  The colors for their shirts were chosen by his six year old daughter.  :)

Alicia's family

If you should decide that you want to see the rest of the photos, come by soon.  Things are getting packed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

For the first time the Rod Castillo family had a 'family reunion'.  We all went up on the rim and camped out for 2 days.  We had a wonderful time.  Of course no camp out is without it's 'adventures'. First, the instructions for finding our camp site were less than clear.  It was especially interesting for those that arrived after dark and were looking for us in the rain.  (Second) Yes, it rained that first night.  Real RAIN.  Wow, I don't think our tent has ever actually been rained on.  It wasn't very water proof.    Still, it wasn't too bad.  We had enough sun the next day to dry everything out and only got sprinkles the second night. Third was setting up tents in the rain.  Heavenly Father was kind enough to have the rain let up while we were setting up tents for Todd and Keith. (You probably remember trying to assemble a tent without instructions.  Even if you've done it once before it is still hard to remember.) We got them all together and everyone bedded down but they got pretty soaked during that first night. Thank goodness they were sleeping on those thick air mattresses and so were off the ground.  We had skunk visitors each night, and a bear was sighted though not in our camp. On the fun side, we got to see everyone and just visit.  So nice!  All the kids got to play together.  It was wonderfully cool, enough so that we were grateful that Dad was a good scout.  (He was prepared with jacket and sweat shirt for those that didn't think to bring such things.)  The Mom and Dad brought and prepared the food to take some of the work off of the parents of small children.  Nora was the only child 'lost' and that only for about 5 min. Alicia and Eric got the best toys award for bringing a play house and the coaster car.  Kids played in the creek too.  What could be better.

tent assembly

calm and quiet


This was the clearest rainbow I have ever seen!
Kiss it better Pop pop!
Don't we have the cutest family?

Why is it harder to do something new the 2nd time?  I know.  Cause I don't have anyone here helping me.  Lena I miss you.  Here is hoping this works.  I wanted to add more photos of the front yard remodel.

This is the finished product.  There is a little twig that has new leaves on it.  Our second transplant took.
We have found renters and are pleased. They will move in on Oct 1.  We are continuing to fix up the things that have been on 'the list' for a long time.  You know 'the list'.  It is all those things that ought to be fixed but you can't find the time for till you are about to leave.  Things like sprinkler repair, grouting the brick pathways that were put in 10 years ago, anchoring the garden arch so the wind doesn't have such an easy time blowing it over, that stuff.  If you don't have enough of your own list to do, come on over.  We'll be happy to share.

Monday, August 20, 2012


This is my first time posting anything.  Another skill I have to develop for this mission.  We are in full
 'get ready to leave' mode.  It is exciting and a bit scary.  We have had some potential renters look at our house.  I don't have any doubt that we will know who we should rent it to, but I am afraid I will have a hard time saying no to the rest.  Rod has almost finished redoing the landscape in the front yard.  It looks good.  The photo is before we spread 25 tons of red granite over the front and side yard.  We also have added some plants along the curved wall and Rod built a path from the front side walk to the entry way.  One tree we planted has died.  It was a volunteer (it started growing on it's own from seeds left either by the wind or birds) that we tried to transplant.  Since it was free, it is no great loss.  We had to move it anyway so it was worth the effort to try and transplant.  There is another one just like it we will try and a couple of other kinds we may give a shot if the second dies too.  Another photo will be added soon.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Mission Call

We received the letter from the First
Presidency on 2 March 2012
Jeanene and I have been called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).  We will be serving in Malaga Spain.  We will report in September, 2012.  Malaga is on the Costa del Sol---the Spanish Riviera.  It was a tough call, but as I told Jeanene, someone had to "man up" and accept spending two years on the Mediterranean :)  I can speak Spanish but it has been fun listening to Jeanene convert her French to Spanish.