Personal Stories

Castillo Family April-June Family Updates…

I just realized that I haven’t been posting any updates on our family. The following is a list of Facebook Updates from the past 2 months!

RECENT POSTS

Malaya and I have been competing each day to see who has the most steps. Our goal is 10k/day which is hard to do without leaving my parents’ house.

She just did 2 intense hours of an online dance class… and I simply cleaned out two of mom’s closets. Guess who had more steps? 🤗

Malaya was mad … but I just think it just speaks to how long it’s been since Diana Owen has done any spring cleaning! 😳😉

***

2. Jody Owen Castillo is with Jose Alexander Castillo March 29Versailles, KY

Asher and Rosie kept begging me to go bike riding. So yesterday we rode in an empty flat parking lot near Kohl’s in Frankfort!

Today we went to my old high school where apparently they added speed bumps.

I may or may not have crashed my bike 3 times!!! 🚲😱

The kids may or may not have laughed so hard that one of them peed their pants! 😳😂

I may or may not need stitches😬

***

3. Jody Owen Castillo April 12

Happy Easter from the half of our family that’s still in Haiti! Missing them SO much today.

Last Easter, Malaya and I went to church with Lori. Today is her first Easter in Heaven.

It’s STILL so difficult to process but I have peace that she is leading worship (as she did every Easter) and that brings me great joy.

***

4. Jody Owen Castillo April 13

We are humbled and honored by the thoughts, prayers, and efforts of those who have continued to surround our family!

We just wanted to extend another – Thank You – for those who’ve written notes, sent cards, drawn pictures, and mailed gifts to Rosie and our family! What a HUGE blessing! Seriously…you have NO IDEA how much it has meant to us.

So far, we received one envelope of drawings for our Campus Kids! Thank you for thinking of them! We hope to receive more…so keep them coming! (You can see a previous post with more information about the 34 children who live on our campus).

Rosie continues to be CONSUMED with fear as her surgery is delayed. We are working through an Anxiety/Fear Workbook as so many things continue to remain out of our hands. Honestly, it’s just as much of a blessing for me as it is for her! Our family is also spending countless hours every week with our therapist. That has definitely been the best part of being out.

**
A VERY sweet family from the Louisville area COMPLETELY surprised us last week with an Easter Basket unlike anything we’ve ever seen before!

Though we don’t personally know them, they had seen Rosie’s post and felt a nudging from the Spirit to drop off this special gift… in hopes of calming her nerves.

So it’s with great shock & awe that we present the newest Castillo: Chloe! 😱🤗

She’s a 1.5 pound, 4-month old schnauzer… who isn’t expected to weigh more than 3 pounds when fully grown! She is SO TINY!

Though I was uncertain at first – she has truly brought great JOY & LAUGHTER for the kids (and my parents) during this quarantine.

For the first time in weeks – Rosie is smiling from ear to ear and rarely puts her down. Asher has new found purpose in trying to teach her tricks; and Malaya keeps her alive by constantly reminding us that we are about to step on her.

Yesterday, we face-timed with the rest of our kids still in Haiti. Their Easter Baskets were supposed to come in with the team but they had to cancel due to the virus. So unfortunately, they didn’t have anything to open. BUT we did introduce them to Chloe and they seemed pretty content with that! 🙂

***

5.Jody Owen Castillo April 15

That awkward moment when you are talked into joining a LIVE video chat on Forward Facing Trauma with 30 other therapists…

AND YOU CLICK “HIDE YOUR PICTURE” SO YOU CAN…
-Sit on your bed wearing your favorite Christmas nightgown… that doesn’t quite button right and has a big stain on it
-Adjust your screen 20+ times – not worried about WHAT PART OF YOUR BODY or area of your room the camera is facing
-Put your hair in a bun and go through your daily skin care routine
-Eat cheese dip… that falls on said gown – AND since no one is looking – you just lick it off instead of grabbing a napkin

Jose may or may not have told me 25 MINUTES LATER: You know they can still see you right? All you did was black out your own square… so you (personally) don’t have to stare at yourself.

I may or may not have immediately ended the session!

I may or may not “show my face” in that group EVER again! LOL! 😳😂🤣

***

6. Jody Owen Castillo is with Diana Owen. April 27

For my dad’s 75th birthday (his first without Lori) – we wanted to do something special. Everyone knows how much our family loves Christmas! I remember when I was little, we would cut down 10+ trees and plant them in our yard so we could create a Winter Wonderland! We would spend a full week decorating… and even won competitions for having the best Christmas Displays!

So in honor of my sister and his birthday – we planted a blue spruce which looks like a Christmas Tree. It’s planted in our front yard where he can look at it from the porch – and we can look at it from our bedroom window.

We spread some of her ashes with the roots of the tree and decorated it as we typically do. She loves Disney – so we have a Mickey Mouse Flood Light facing it. We have a timer on the lights so it will automatically come on for 2 hours every night.

Last night after my dad opened his presents and cards… we brought him outside to see the special tree. Though it was a tear-filled evening… it brought a lot of joy to our family.

We wanted to say a special Thank You to everyone who made his birthday a day to remember!

***

For the past 10 days I’ve been walking 9-10 miles a day in random neighborhoods… rain or shine. I’m usually gone 3 hours a day as part of my therapy/mental health regimen. Sometimes the kids come but usually I’m by myself.

Asher: So what do you think about when you walk everyday? Do you think about auntie Lolo and Haiti?

Me: Sometimes I do. But honestly… I usually think about how I would decorate each house during Christmas. Whether their yard is big enough for my imagination and if there’s enough foot traffic to make it worth the effort!

Asher: Oh I see. That would definitely require deep thoughts because it takes us forever to decorate the Mole.

Me: Exactly. Sometimes I’m completely worn out mentally with all my ideas on how to make each yard look as Merry as possible.

Asher: yeah I bet that’s really difficult. Next time I’ll walk with you and we can discuss it together.

Me: thanks Asher! That would be a HUGE help if I knew the best yard/house to buy If we were rich and had an unlimited decoration budget.

Asher: no worries. I got your back. You don’t have to think through this all alone!

🥰🤣😂

Other Comments I made:  The first week of April – Malaya and I started a competition on who had the most steps every day. We couldn’t show each other our count until 10pm. Then we had 2 hours to battle it out on Just Dance… giving the loser a chance to catch up if desired.

You know how competitive Malaya is. I’ve exercised right up until midnight just to beat her for that day. We went from averaging 10k steps/day to 13k then 15k.

My therapist gave me some seminars/audio books to listen to while I walked… and the next thing I knew I was averaging 21k steps!!

I can’t shut off the “Christmas” that lives so deeply inside of me. So even in deep thought – I’m thinking about all the ways to decorate wherever I am. 😉

Another Comment I made: Jose & the kids have joined me the past 3 days. 

Asher: None of these yards are big enough. The houses just get in the way.

Me: So true.

Asher: Plus we live in Haiti so we don’t need a house. We should just rent a yard for Christmas. I really like the yard by the Rosa School.

Me: hmm… Maybe we could ask them to let us use it at Christmas so all the kids there can see it. Then the community will love the school even more.

Asher: AND we can put out a donation box to cover the power it needs.

Me: That’s brilliant. But how do we afford the decorations?

Asher: Remember when the boat sank? And I talked to customer service at Home Depot? Remember I told them about how we need help and they gave us a discount? Even the people in line gave us money too.

Me: Yes. You are a really good fundraiser.

Asher: What if I talk to them and tell them what we are doing for “those little kids”? We could have them give us the “examples” they put on the floor. We can leave the price tags on them. When people see them – we can say they came from Home Depot and give them their phone number so they can order them.

Me: WOW Asher! You are really smart. I definitely think you should talk to customer service instead of me…cuz you make friends really easily.

Asher: Yeah.. it’s cuz I’m so cute! So when should we go to Home Depot?
🤗😂

#DeepThoughtsWithAsher
#FutureLeader

***

It’s our first “family outing” since we flew out in March.

We brought a few friends with us tonight. We pulled into the theater at 6:30pm to reserve our spots… and the first movie started about 45 minutes ago!

I love going to the drive-in with the kids… it’s WAY LESS stressful than going into an actual theater.

We were with Lori the last time we went to a drive-in … 2 summers ago.

In fact, she also took me to my very first one when I was in middle school. We used to go twice a month when she lived in New Albany, IN.

**
Rosie asked me, “Why does the Trolls Movie make you cry?”

I told her it’s not the movie… just the flood of incredible/hilarious memories that I didn’t anticipate feeling. Missing my sister SO MUCH tonight.

I’m thankful that so many of my best experiences were with her … though reliving them now often feels bittersweet.

 

 

 

We just heard from the hospital that Rosie needs to be there tomorrow at 5am and her surgery will be at 7am.

Because of the Corona Virus – the nurse is unsure whether both of us parents can be with her during recovery. We hope that’s not the case. It will be hard for Rosie if only one of us gets to see her after surgery.

Rosie has been SHAKING and crying “knowing” she will die tomorrow. This weekend she started sending messages to her friends in Haiti saying her final goodbyes. 😢

Please pray for her surgery tomorrow and that everything goes even better than expected!

With Rosie’s sensory disorder and developmental delay… we are all a bit anxious of how she’ll handle the pain. Please pray that God will give Rosie peace and comfort.

Categories: Personal Stories

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