Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crohn's and Colitis Walk

Dear Friends,

On May 12th, we will be walking in the Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis walk, the nation’s largest event dedicated to finding cures for digestive diseases. Our team goal is to raise more than $1000 for this worthy cause and I need your help to reach this goal!

More than 1.4 million patients across the country suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Beyond raising money for research, Take Steps brings together the community in a fun and energetic atmosphere. Participants are encouraged to make noise and be heard—raising awareness of these little known diseases in their community and across the nation.

You can support our efforts by making a tax deductible contribution to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation:

Donate or register to walk with us online at

Mail a check, made payable to CCFA to : Jan Gatzke, 3860 Cobblestone Lane, NW Rochester, MN 55901

If you would like to do more, you can also join our team and walk with us! You can register today by following the link above and following the prompts to register for the Walk at Silver Lake in Rochester, MN on Team Gatzke. When you register, you will receive valuable fundraising tools and information from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, in addition to your own personal fundraising Web site. There is no registration fee for the walk, although to receive a t-shirt, a person needs to raise $100. If you are a new to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, there is a link to fill out to register to walk as well.

On the day of the walk, a variety of activities will be available prior to the walk. Dinner and beverages are provided for all registered walkers. All ages are encouraged to walk or ride via strollers – there will be a bouncy house, temporary tattoos, crazy hair, balloon animals for the kids, and entertainment for all.

This year is particularly important to Steve and me. Last year, Steve was unable to participate in the walk because he was hospitalized. This was his third surgery in less than 2 years. We are celebrating his recovery and are grateful for his continued health. Steve is also being recognized as the "Honored Patient" for the walk! I am also on the planning committee and it is a privilege to be part of the Crohn's and Colitis community.

With your help, we will fund important research and raise awareness of diseases that affect millions of people. We would love to have you If you have questions about Take Steps or the work of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pictures from Great-Grandma's Party

Here are the pictures we took when we celebrated Great-Grandma's 93rd birthday!

Singing Happy Birthday

Excited for cake and ice cream!


Great-Grandma got several beautiful flower arrangements.

Snuggling up with Grandma!

Amaya's 4th Birthday - Part 2

Amaya's big birthday party was on Sunday, January 22nd. We had all of our family in Rochester, with the exception of Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa, and our friends - the Hull family - over for cake and ice-cream.

I'm not sure where Amaya got the idea of having a pinata at her birthday... but she really wanted to break open a pinata and get a bunch of candy.

There's another baseball player in the family - Miles! That kid can really swing!

Amaya took a few whacks at it, but it proved to be difficult to bust it open.

Once the kiddos got the top off, Steve emptied out all the candy. Cooper and Tess are picking out some loot.

Amaya and Lydia filling up their bags.

After the pinata, we had cake and ice cream. After going back and forth several times, Amaya finally decided she wanted a princess castle cake.

Getting ready to blow out the candle!

Amaya also wanted spritz cookies, cake pops, and Grandma Gustafson's mints!

After cake and ice cream, Amaya opened presents.

She received a bunch of craft supplies (construction paper, markers, color wonder paper and markers, tape and glue sticks!) from Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson.

The Hulls gave her Belle ...

She also got her very own American Girl Bitty Baby! I took some video of her opening it and at first she thought it was going to be a book! When she saw her baby, she said, "I was hoping for a crib too!" Guess she'll be saving up her money!

Mike, Arwen, Carol, and Dan and families gave her a new outfit for her Bitty Baby.

Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson also gave her a bunch of clothes and blanket to dress her new doll.

Grandma and Grandpa Horning gave her a recorder. She's beginning to learn a few notes, but her fingers are still a little too small to reach some of the other notes.

They also gave her two puzzles... This Hello Kitty one was a little tricky because it was 100 pieces and Amaya and I quickly discovered that it had too many pieces! We had four extra puzzle pieces that didn't belong to the puzzle! Crazy!

Paul, Debbie, Emily, and Brian gave her the game Cooties (which we've played numerous times!)

And they gave her several Fancy Nancy books!

After some help from Annika and Lydia, Amaya's Bitty Baby got dressed in her new outfit.

This little 4 year old had a great time and crashed pretty hard... with her sweet baby girl, whom she named Pearl - (Lydia's middle name and my grandma's name!) Good night, sleep tight....