Family expands

We gained a fifth grandchild a couple weeks ago with the birth of Connor Ian Schultz in Dallas.

Those who have been blessed with grandchildren know how exciting those events are and it was no different for our family.

We anxiously awaited that phone call from our son, saying the new addition had arrived and that all was well with mom and the new son. It was a wonderful feeling to get that email from our son, complete with a photo of the new baby and mom resting comfortably.

Then, a day later, using the miracles of technology, we actually got to do a little “FaceTime” with their whole family, now including mom and dad, and all three sons!

It simply doesn’t get any better than that!

The two older boys, ages 8 and 5, were in love with their tiny new brother from the very first minute they saw him.

Just like all of us adults, they marveled at the perfectly formed little fingers, how he could grip their much larger fingers and all of his facial expressions.

Everyone in the family is back at their home, once again getting used to the routine that comes with a new baby. Our other son and his wife live in Kaukauna and they have a son and a daughter. So that gives us four grandsons and a granddaughter. And, what I was told about grandmothers is right — my wife loves them all, but there something special about the granddaughter!

My mom and dad, now both 94, carried some big smiles when we showed them pictures of the newest member of the Schultz clan.

We’ll be heading to Dallas fairly soon and can’t wait to see Connor Ian in person and of course hold him and fuss over him!

There was more fun in the family a couple weeks before Connor was born; my youngest sister connected with us to say the long-awaited twins of her daughter and son-in-law had been born! They are two healthy little boys and that was also a pretty exciting announcement.

With those new twin boys only a few weeks old, they hopped a plane from their home near Raleigh, North Carolina, and came to visit the family here in Watertown.

I happened to be outside when their rental vehicle rolled up to my parents house and got to carry one of the tiny ones in the house. That was exciting.

But, things got better. Once everything got settled down a bit it was time for a few pictures. The best pictures of all were when my parents (the great grandparents of the twins) each got to hold both of the new babies at one time. Talk about big smiles!

And, then, a few days later, the twins, their parents and grandparents drove back to O’Hare airport and on to Raleigh. Things have all settled down here in Watertown but all the great memories remain warm in our hearts.

New babies have been coming with some regularity in recent years in our family. We have five grandchildren. In addition my sisters have four more grandchildren at this point and who knows what the future holds.

The expanding family is one of the great blessings my parents have been enjoying to the fullest, and that enthusiasm is shared throughout the generations!

STARS STARS

Wealth in America

The most recent issue of Forbes Magazine featured the 400 richest people in America and once again the person with the highest net worth is Jeff Bezos, at an estimated $114 billion. Right behind him were pals Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Bezos stayed on top despite his divorce settlement which gave his former wife, MacKenzie Bezos, $36.1 billion in Amazon stock in addition to other financial arrangements.

But what did catch our eye in that issue of the magazine was a page on the most valuable teams in professional football. The Green Bay Packers are listed as the 13th most valuable in the National Football League with an estimated value of $2.85 billion. That’s an increase of 9% from a year ago.

As most all of our readers know, the Packers are unique in that they play in the smallest venue in pro football, Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a population of just over 100,000. Despite that small-city image, the team always plays to sellout crowds and in fact over 100,000 people are on the waiting list for season tickets. Each person on the list, when their name bubbles to the top, is eligible for four tickets. That means the waiting list is about 400,000 tickets and it goes down very slowly each year.

A word of advice — put your child’s name on the list the day he or she is born and if you’re lucky, maybe the child will get that coveted call when they are 70 or 80!

And, of course, the Packers are unique in one other way — they are the only team in professional football owned by the community. All others are owned by wealthy people or consortiums of wealthy people.

But now, back to the rankings of NFL teams by value. The team with the highest value is the Dallas Cowboys at $5.5 billion. It was no contest there. The second highest valued team is the New England Patriots at $4.1 billion and third is the New York Giants at $3.9 billion.

At the bottom of the 32 team list is the Buffalo Bills at $1.9 billion, and just above the Bills at the 31st position is the Detroit Lions at $1.95 billion.

The average team value is $2.86 billion, almost exactly where the Packers are. And, the average increase in value this past year was 11%.

Tom Schultz

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