the final months of 2015

Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel good to sit in front of the computer anymore.

It seems I’ve been in front of the computer screen on a daily basis the past 2 months. I think I’m ready to load up the Beast and head south again! Before the new year gets much further into January, I’ve got to update my pictures and print my blog for the year. So, with that, let me tell you a condensed version of what’s been going on. One day soon (I hope), I will get the want to sit down and write again…

So, let’s back up to September. We had great weather for the proso millet harvest. The pickup header took a little getting used to for me. Seems like just about the time I sorta felt like I may have it figured out, it was over. And those of you who know me, know that the end of harvest is NEVER easy for me. Even though I was anxious to get home to see the kids, the daily routine and excitement of harvest was over.

IMG_0115The millet had to be swathed before the combines could pick the rows up. This was usually done about a week before the combine followed.







Doing IMG_9481The every-night-chore of blowing the Beast off.


IMG_9409White millet.

IMG_9560We picked up white and red millet. When we changed to red it was like Christmas. It was so beautiful!







IMG_9731The final night of Harvest 2015.

IMG_9671We worked nearly every day in September. One Sunday, it was decided we just needed to take the day off – rest up and enjoy a day away from the field. By accident, we were given the option to ride the Pike’s Peak train from the base of the mountain to the top with our farmer family. It was a BEAUTIFUL fall day. I was hoping to see more of the changing colors but I took what I could get.



IMG_9686It was about the clearest it had been all fall on this particular day. I think if we looked hard enough, we could have seen the combines sitting in the field!


IMG_9692It was a DARN GOOD DAY!

IMG_9734Before we left Colorado, we were able to get a view of the 2016 wheat harvest in the making.


IMG_9812We said our final goodbye’s and headed home, home for the final time for 2015.

Callie celebrated her 18th birthday on October 8th. On October 9th, she was crowned  the 2015 E-M Homecoming Queen.  The pressure of following in her sister’s footsteps was great. 🙂

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IMG_9937Best friends since kindergarten!


IMG_0081The very next weekend was another Red Letter Day for Cal. She and her bestest Jordan, MT (Lusk, WY) buddy attended the Nebraska vs Michigan Husker Game. It was one to have been a part of as they actually won and the celebration was grand!

IMG_5981-5October wouldn’t be right without the pumpkin patch (thank you, Taylor for the pictures). Notice the black spots on the pumpkins? Due to a HORRIBLE early fall hail storm.




IMG_0009We also took the kids to a local “real” pumpkin patch.



IMG_0020And then there was a fun thing called Halloween that happened.


IMG_0050Our little firefighter, dalmatian and Aunt Taylor as a good witch. This was at the “Trunk or Treat” event at a local church.

IMG_0054Those beautiful trees behind Jamie are in their yard. They were almost neon.

Taylor celebrated her 21st birthday on November 2. Unfortunately the entire week prior was spent in and out of the hospital because Jim’s mom wasn’t good. On Taylor’s 21st birthday, we had to say our goodbye’s to this lovely lady, Grandma Ruth.

IMG_0071Halloween 2014

IMG_0070Her kind heart will be missed!

IMG_1431 (1)Five days later, on November 7th, Taylor’s boyfriend, Colten, proposed and she said yes. She reluctantly agreed to wait for a November 2016 wedding. Our harvest lifestyle certainly puts a cramp in plans. The months of harvest have to be thought about when there are major plans…such as a wedding.

And, so our family grows!

IMG_0106Time to get Frank and the Beast into their winter quarters.



IMG_0126Callie applied for and was accepted into the Nebraska All State Honor Choir for the second time. It. Was. Amazing!

IMG_0130Thanksgiving brought an ice storm. Not really bad but bad enough that mom couldn’t make it and we were without electricity for several hours. Made for memories. 🙂



IMG_0161Our plans for getting our traditional cedar tree was a flop this year. We started much too late in the day and drove from area to area with no luck. Poor Eli was heartbroken that we didn’t get to “cut, cut, cut” a tree. I think I’ll do a little more preparation next year! We didn’t get the cedar trees and had to buy some. It just wasn’t the same. I didn’t even smell like Christmas.

IMG_0173Yep, that’s Pike’s Peak  in the distance. This is another story that one day I will share but I just can’t yet.

IMG_0152Nora turned one on December 5. Happy Birthday little girl!!!



IMG_0181Our very last Christmas band and choir concert. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been going to school activities in this school district for a LONG time! The next Christmas concert I will attend in this district will be when Eli is standing on the stage.  Jamie and Curt purchase some land in the district and will be building a house. I’m so excited for them!


IMG_0189How sweet is this? I babysat the kids while Jamie and Curt went to his work Christmas party. I got to spend the evening with them again when they celebrated Jamie’s 30th birthday. 30 years…


IMG_0194Eli lining up the OLD matchbox cars. These were my brother’s cars and they, too, lined them up just like this.  I’m thinking I need to invest in a few more boy toys.

IMG_0195Sights of the season.




IMG_0216We had an unexpected, unpredicted snow storm on Christmas Eve. The kids were so excited to see the snow that morning (a Christmas miracle), until they realized that it meant Jim would be gone. He had to go to the Air Force base in Bellevue to move snow. So, we had to postpone Christmas Eve. But it really was beautiful.


IMG_0211The house was full and it was noisy and it was everything I had hoped for! The kids were all under one roof for another day.

IMG_0223Our final Christmas celebration was at Mark & Candi’s house. We had a wonderful afternoon and even better supper. How blessed we are and how wonderful for me that these kids call me Grandma (or Ga)!

With that, I will bid adieu to 2015. And welcome the newness of a brand new year. Stay tuned and watch what this new year brings for the Z Crew!

Happy New Year!

6 comments on “the final months of 2015

  1. Paula says:

    Lovely memories! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tom Stegmeier says:

    As always Tracy , super pictures & a year of special events. Eli and our Ethan had the same Halloween costumes !!! Time stands still for no one. May your horse never stumble, Your cinch never break ,Your belly never grumble, Your heart never ache. All the best in 2016!!

  3. HI. Beautiful pictures of harvest and family and all is well. My harvest did not go as plan I lost combine and corn head in fire and 3 months later still not settled with insurance company what a nightmare. Wish Taylor the best on her engagement and future plans.

  4. I love the pictures!! Especially the one in Colorado and the ones of you and the girls. Such beauties you all are! I do hope you have a wonderful 2016.

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