Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brittney Nicole Robbins Riggin

When Britt was learning to talk it was at the same time that her deaf brother Brice was in intense speech therapy. So she talked younger then most but she had trouble with pronouncing her own name, Britttney. She called herself "mitmey". What's your name people would ask and she proudly stated "mitmey". So we decided to do a little speech therapy our self with her. We would practice over and over brrrrrrrrrrrr. Now say brrrrrrrrrrrrr. Clear and beautifully she would say brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Then when we were certain she had it we would have her add itney but it still would come out brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmittmey.

As the mommy I wanted Britt to have pierced ears early on. I would have been happy if she had them as a baby but Marty would not allow that. He said that when she was old enough to ask for her ears pierced he'd succumb. So my next lesson on speech was "daddy, ears pierced" . All day we practiced , over and over again until she could perfectly rehearse "Daddy, ears pierced". She was barely one year old. He came home and with a little coaching she hugged Marty and clearly stated "daddy, ears pierced" with big head nods and big puppy dog begging eyes (we rehearsed that part too). He promptly responded "head chopped off". Britt with her great mimacing talent put on those puppy dog eyes and nodding declared "head chopped off".. It was quite a while til she ever got her ears pierced.

Around this same time Britt comes running up to me one day all excited. She opens her mouth and wiggles her tongue around and in all seriousness says, "Look mommy its alive!"

She informs me one day that "When I'm the mommy and your the little girl....."

When Britt learned to count to a hundred she was insistent that I listen to all the counting she could do. All the numbers. Everyone of them from one to a hundred. Good thing she hadn't learned to count to 1000 yet!!!

When Britt was about nine, Marty handed her a dollar for something. She looked at it and said, "I love you Daddy!" The money wasn't for her but I guess she loved him anyway.

Britt we love you and you were and are a delight. Have fun with Olivia and be sure and blog all the cute things she does.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Child's Paradise


















One of the sweet blessings of my life is spending four years of my childhood in Oahu, Hawaii. Truly a child's paradise. I went to Laie Elementary school barefoot, like everyone else including the teachers. I learned to hula in first grade, "goin' to the huki lau". I wore my swimsuit under my little sundress so I could run into the ocean right after school. I could make my way home on the beach most of the way. We lived on Kamehameha Highway across the street from the ocean in a beach house. It is no longer there but the land is now part of of the Polynesian Cultural Center. I learned to surf when I was eight, watched seahorses play in the coral and would ride on my Uncle Lamond's back as he swam me out to the reef. It was there my first year in Hawaii that I learned to swim. I was five years old. You could stand up on the reef, it was about a 100 yards out from the beach but seemed like miles to me then. He started to swim away and I yelled " what about me?" . "Start swimming" he said. "you know I cant swim yet," I replied and he wisely said "You think you can't but I know you can. Jump in and swim. " I trusted him and I swam. Lamond lived with us for a time, he was enrolled at the Church College of Hawaii, now BYU Hawaii, in fine art. I would watch him work on his projects and he would let me do some art with him He told me I was an artist, I believed him about that too and am probably an artist today from that encouragement (along with the incredible support of my number one fan, Marty Robbins). Marty has taken me back to Hawaii a number of times. I sat on the beach where I played as a child and painted it in watercolor.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stefan and Violin

videoMy daughter, Kendy plays the Cello. She decided from her own enjoyment and personal growth of playing the Cello that she wanted this for her son. When he was three she went into the music store intending to buy Stefan a Cello. He was fascinated with and sure he wanted a violin. Since personal commitment and motivation were key, she got the violin. It was a little sixteenth size instrument. He is ready for a half size violin now. He had the opportunity to play for his school this past year and has made tremendous progress in his skills. This year he was accepted into the Intermediate Timpanogos Chanber Strings which will be a new and challenging experience working with the other musicians. He has an outstanding teacher David Beck who is Managing Director and Conductor of the Utah Valley Youth Symphony.

Olivia Ann Riggin


Olivia was greatly anticipated as the first child to Bret and Britt Riggin, the first grandchild of Ray and Donna Riggin and the first granddaughter to Marty and Anita Robbins. She decided to lessen the suspense by arriving three weeks early. Tiny but strong she came on July 6th the day after her Grandpa's, Marty Robbins, birthday.
The photo is of Olivia in her blessing dress. Britt had made a gorgeous one for her but it was waaaaaaay too big because Olivia was not even 5 pounds. Her Grandma Donna whipped out a darling dress using a doll dress pattern. Britt had to sew up the itty bitty shoes so they would fit. The blessing was wonderful. Many Spokane family members attended, Marty and I were there. Bret was one of the speakers. I'll sum up his wholehearted testimony of one of God's greatest earthly blessings, parenting, by quoting the same chorus of a country song he did. This was his immediate feelings the moment he held his little girl,
"Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

(Love Without End, Amen Lyrics by George Strait)


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My old friend Earl

Earl was old. He had lived a difficult and troubled life. He had little money and was unable to work a regular job. Early in our marriage Earl moved in the apartment across from us. I saw him often because when Earl would go fishing to catch some cat fish for dinner he would catch many and take them to his neighbors. He would go in the woods and find wild blackberries and pick enough to give away some to his friends. I said to him, "Earl, you should freeze your fish and your berries so you can have them on the days you're too ill to go out.” And he explained that if he wasn’t doing something for someone else everyday it was a wasted day. He had very little but he gave so much.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Britt Riggin Joins Dad and Mom as BYU Alumni















6000+people in the Marriott center in Provo, Utah. Among the crowd of strangers I hear "Anita". Examining the sea of faces there she is, SydButler with husband Kevin Calderwood, fellow graduates of MHS! With them their daughter Quincey and great parents we love dearly Bob and Ellen Calderwood . (Bob baptised Marty!) Syd and Kevin live in Virginia and us from Texas , we probably couldn't have found each other if we had tried. It was surreal to sit together with our family and friends as we watched our Britt and the Calderwood new son-in-law, Quincey's man, graduate from Brigham Young University.

It was so amazing to see our daughter complete such an outstanding accomplishment. Britt has always been one to work hard , set high goals and make it happen. She has already done so much in her life. She was a leader in color guard, graduated high school with amazing grades, served a wonderful mission at Temple Square and now a graduate from BYU.
Britt presented Marty and I with her white BYU stole and wrote, “Mommy and Daddy, I love you so much! This has only been possible through your love and support and your wonderful examples. Thank you! Love, your baby girl”. We will treasure it.


So Britt: Congratulations!

You're off to Great Places!You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the gal who'll decide where to go.

The Day Brice was Born






Twenty-six years ago I was three weeks overdue with a baby. I was thinking I might have a baby girl in April and call her April. But it was May and a boy on the way. Marty was in Provo ready to start his first class at BYU while I stayed put in Montrose Colorado til our baby was born. Marty called me in the evening from a pay phone because he was just getting things set up in our new apartment. This was before cell phones. He wanted to hear what the doctor had said earlier that day. The doctor told me that there was no progress and the baby would be taken cesarean on Saturday when Marty would be back in town. They had already induced me and that hadn't worked.

Shortly after I hung up the phone I had a labor pain. They persisted and we tried to figure out a way to call Marty. My mother-in-law, Bernadine, was able to get a hold of the manager of the apartment who said he wasn't home but that she left him a note. He was actually there and never saw the note when he rushed out the door in the morning.

Bernadine took me to the hospital and they put me on an infant stress monitor to make sure the baby was doing ok. It showed my labor pains also. The were sporadic and intense. Near the end of the progress to delivery they became concerned about the baby. His pediatrician was present and it was a blessing because Brice Glenn Robbins was born blue. It was frightful to me as they whisked him away to clear his passage way and help him breath. Soon I heard his precious cry and he was given to me.

In the mean time Marty slept, got up and went to class at BYU. Midway through his first class he was pulled out and given a memo telling him his wife had had a baby!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stefan's Baptism



My grandson, Stefan was baptized on Saturday April 18th in the same font as his mother, Kendy. Friends and family arrived. Kendy started tuning Stefan's violin for the musical number he was to play as part of the service, when to Stefan's surprise and thrill his violin teacher Mr Beck took the violin from her and tuned it. It was Mr, Beck's birthday but he had still come.
We began by singing one of Stefan's favorite songs, I know that My Redeemer Lives. After a heartfelt prayer by his Aunt Jane Arriscorreta, Stefan played his violin accompanied by Megan Gygi, his friend Harrison's mother. He did a marvelous job of playing Johanns Brahms Waltz. I spoke on baptism. I began talking about my own experience on the island of Oahu and put a lei on Stefan as my Mom had done to me on that special day. The beautiful white and green Azalea lei was made by his mother. After kissing each adorable cheek, I explained that the white represented the purity of forgiveness provided by our Savior thru the ordinance of baptism. The green leaves represented how this can give us eternal life. I talked about the importance of repentance and of living a life of service as a member of God's family, God's church.

Stefan was baptized by his father, Luis Arriscorreta. Afterward Britt signed the words of the song Footprints in the Sand, Marty gave a moving talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost and shared his own conversion story, along with his own baptism some 30 years ago. We closed by singing another of Stefan's favorite hymns Called to Serve. Stefan's aunt Alejandra poured out her heart in a sincere prayer of closing.
We held a reception that evening in celebration of this occasion. Kendy made Kalua Pig and there was a white chocolate fountain with tropical sweets to dip in it.

Stefan was confirmed on Sunday by his grandfather, Marty Robbins. After the confirmation Stefan arose with a big grin on his face and headed straight for me. His eyes clearly read "Look grandma, I did it!" I smiled and motioned him back up where the men of the circle stood waiting to shake his hand.

Later Stefan gave remarks regarding baptism in Primary as part of Sharing Time. He said " I was baptised by my father yesterday. When you are baptized you are born again.....
into the family of God. I know that most of you in here have been baptized also. (thoughtful pause) and that is all I have to say about that. "

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dynamic Entrance

We were sitting around the living room 7:30 in the evening in our little apartment in Provo, Utah on February 20th, 1981. The phone rings. "Mom it's for you" I call to my mother, Olive, who's been with us for the past three weeks awaiting the birth of my fourth child, now overdue.
"Bill is in Salt Lake for a bite to eat and I am going to meet him there before he heads off to Elko, Nevada in the eighteen-wheeler. I'll only be gone for three hours at the most so don't have the baby while I'm gone." and she left. Marty left shortly after to tutor in the Physics Lab, where he attended Brigham Young University. The kids Kendy, Casey, and Brice were watching a movie so I took a quick shower. As I dried off, I had a contraction, then 3 minutes later, another. I began to feel panicked and grabbed the phone book to get the number for the Physics Lab. It took some doing but finally I got a hold of Marty and told him the situation. He flew home; I don't think speed limits existed in his mind at that moment. The neighbors took the munchkins and Marty got me in the car and flew to the MedArt Birthing Center, running two red lights! Good thing too, because after I got out of the car I had a pain, walked to the door, had a pain, walked a few steps, another pain. After they laid me down the doctor had only time enough to put on gloves and say "the baby is coming," which I knew. The nurse didn't make it, the old Dr. Broadbent assisted the young Dr. Broadbent. It was quick and the pains never really got too extreme. I felt like dancing after she was born but they wouldn't let me. Old Dr. Broadbent asked what we were naming her and I told him Brittney. "Brittney Nicole" he suggested. We loved it. 10:36 pm Brittney Nicole Robbins had made her dynamic, yet not very painful entrance into the world. .


My poor Mom arrived back at the apartment to find noone there! The neighbors came over and told her I had had the baby while she was gone. I tried to mind my mom but being a mom took over.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Three in the Hospital within 30 days!



From my journal October 20th 1981
"Kendy had a doctors appointment this morning. She went in 4 weeks ago for her year-old check up and there was a concern she weighed 15 lbs. 2 oz, well below the normal range. This follow-up visit showed her at 14lbs. 6 oz. Dr. Auxier insisted I take her to the hospital for tests and observation. Testing from the first visit showed a high level of nitrogen in her urine, a sign of kidney malfunction. At the hospital, they weighed her again, 14 lbs. 9oz. This was 1:30 in the afternoon. She ate a regular dinner of milk and baby food. They weighed everything."

That night many prayers were said by friends and family in Kendy's behalf. Two close friends, elders of our church, came to give her a special healing blessing. The disease in Kendy's body was commanded to leave and she was blessed to begin a normal growth pattern. I wrote, “It was a powerful and sincere blessing and I felt a lot of faith was in that room.”

Oct 21st entry: “This morning at 6:00 am Kendy weighed 15lbs, 9 oz! I couldn’t believe it and had the nurse weigh her again. The doctors couldn’t believe it and had her weighed on another scale and sure enough it read 15 lbs. 6 oz. She gained an entire pound in less then 24 hours. I knew it was the blessing and prayers and that she was healed.” That day they continued to do numerous tests and kept her for observation for 5 more days before releasing her to go home.

Nov. 14th , 1981

I am admitted to the hospital. My second baby, Casey, is born.


November 17th “I took Casey to see Dr. Auxier ( he routinely sees the baby on their 3rd day of life). Casey was asleep as the doctor listened to his heart beat. He listened for a long time and then said, “I will need to see him in a week,” and walked out of the room. I was dressing Casey when Dr. Auxier walked back in. “I’ve been thinking of what to do. You might have noticed I spent an unusual amount of time listening to the heart. His beats were only 60bps while he slept, they should be 120. I know you have been through so much but this is a serious concern and you will have to admit him into intensive care for a heart monitor and testing. He may have SIDS.”

At the hospital the heart monitor would sound an alarm when ever Casey’s heart beat would drop below 80bpm referred to as bradycardia. It would happen frequently. During the night he had aphnea, which is when he stops breathing for over 15 seconds. This condition is usually in premature babies and they outgrow it by the time they reach normal birth age. Casey was two weeks over due.

The same elders came and gave Casey a blessing. Again it was powerful and there was a command of healing. Although it wasn't as immediate like Kendy, Casey’s monitor stopped going off less frequent. Finally Casey was released on November 22nd with a home monitor. This home monitor recorded his heartbeats and would alarm for any bradycardia. It only went off because of bad connections not for bradycardia. First comes the trial of our faith and then the blessings.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cooking for Ten!

The house was wildly busy and messy for the past two weeks. I have been cooking and cleaning for ten! We had enormous yummy dinners and treats.
We played a lot of fun games including chiming out Christmas carols on pipes. Kendy brought some great game ideas. We had a gift bow that was always on someone’s back and that meant they were IT and had to tag someone else with it without them being caught doing it. We played a game where there were wrapped boxes in boxes. We went around rolling dice and when you had doubles it was your turn to unwrap but you had to do it with oven mitts on. The last box was very small but it had 10 dollars in it. Lucky Luis got that.

I made pajamas for all the boys and bought a pair for the girls that we all wore on Christmas morning. The girls were in pink stripes and the guys in gray.

Marty gave me an incredible present. He gathered all my artwork digitally and compiled a book he wrote about me. It is full of about 150 pieces of my art. He actually had three books done for me, a paperback, a hard cover and a hardcover with a dust jacket. I was in shock and awe when I opened it. Reading it brought me to tears.

Christmas morning both Bret and Britt opened a present they had gotten for each other. It was a baby outfit that had on the emblem for the Boston Red Sox. We teased them that it meant they were having twins someday.


Because I did the painting of the Great Wolf Lodge they gave me a complimentary room that slept 6 so the Arriscorrettas and Brice and Angelina stayed there. They were able to enjoy the water park that is adjacent. Stefan really enjoyed the rides. It was a fun filled two weeks. It was sad to see everyone go but we have great hopes for all of them and the things they will do in 2009.

One night at dinner we discussed what would be different in our lives in a year from now and what about in five years. It was a great thing to think about. What we do now matters so it needs to be a planned pursuit. I’m still contemplating but I do know I want to do better art. I would like to feel healthier and have things more simplified and organized. I would like to do more things with Marty.