When we began applying for the open position at BYU back in 1997, I felt like Heavenly Father blessed us along the way and helped things fall into place so that we could make the change. I felt like it was a blessing from God when we received the job offer in June of 1998. But we found ourselves in a position of needing to sell our house quickly and at the same time needing to find a new house in Utah. We got our house in Louisville ready to sell and put it on the market, but didn't receive much interest. And we scheduled a trip in early July for Kathy and I to go to Utah to begin looking for a house here. We found ourselves needing to buy a new house in Utah while still owning one in Kentucky. We spent about five days in Utah looking at houses with a realtor. We couldn't find anything within our price range. Near the end of that week my parents offered to give us some money so we could go a little higher on our purchase price. We also heard from our realtor in Kentucky that there were two offers on our house out there. We accepted the best offer on our old house and put in an offer for the house we currently live in in Orem. Everything was falling into place. At the time I felt like this was all happening to bless me in my career and in my life. But as I look back, I now realize that there was much much more to the miracle of our coming here to Orem, Utah.
Joe was a student at BYU and had been living off campus in Provo. When we moved to Orem, he decided to live with us to save money. He began attending the Young Single Adult Ward in our Stake. It didn't take long for him to become interested in the Ward Relief Society President, Andrea Hill. I can't remember how long he pursued her, but finally she agreed to marry him. We feel so blessed to have Andy in our family and love their five children so much. How could this have happened if we hadn't made the move to BYU? The miracle was about more than me.
When Ben applied to BYU as a transfer student from Utah Valley College, he was turned down. I remember calling an admission's counselor to ask what Ben could do to make his application more competitive. He said, "We didn't know he was your son. We try to be supportive of our faculty when their children apply to BYU." He said he would take another look at Ben's application and get back to me. A few days later he called and told me that they couldn't admit Ben for fall semester, but they could for winter semester. Ben transferred to BYU and after a lot of hard work got his degree in animation and ended up at Pixar. What if I had not been faculty at BYU? The miracle was about more than me.
I can't think of anything specifically about being here that helped Sarah, Betsy, and Hannah. They all met their spouses at BYU and that could have happened anyway because they all lived off campus in Provo.
Abby attended Timpanogos High School, just a half mile from our house in Orem. That is where she met and started dating Kameron. He left on his mission soon after he graduated and though Abby was no longer writing to Kam when he returned, they did eventually get together again and are now happily married. Abby has a good job at BYU. She was hired to a full-time position in Conferences and Workshops at a time when there was a hiring freeze at BYU and only rare exceptions were granted to hire. Steve Taggart, who was the Director of Conferences and Workshops, gave Abby a strong recommendation for the job. I got to know him when we were both Bishops in the BYU First Stake. He got to know Abby when she was friends with his daughter, Jenny. His willingness to put in a good word for Abby likely made the difference in her being hired. The miracle was about more than me.
Caleb developed a curved spine during his growth spurt. In November of last year he had spinal fusion surgery to get it fixed. This was major surgery. He was able to have the procedure performed at Primary Children's Medical Center where he received excellent care. Thanks to the health insurance that I have through my work at BYU, the cost of the surgery was almost all covered. We could not have afforded the surgery without the insurance. Caleb is healing well. He recently received his mission call to the Texas Lubbock Mission speaking Spanish. He has had a strong cadre of great friends in our ward and in his school who have helped him prepare for this important call. He has also had great church leaders and seminary teachers who helped. The miracle was about more than me.