Hello My Love (aka Driving into Saskatchewan)

The kids are all in trouble because they were super SUPER rude today! In fact, everyone EVERYONE has to write a big LONG APOLOGY letter to me…..(I’ll publish them in a book and make money from it, don’t you worry!).
Here’s what happened, enroute to my parents’ farm, the students asked if they could watch a movie. Well, WELL I replied in a VERY KIND manner and said, “Why would you want to watch a movie, look at that beautiful scenery out the windows….”

Oh. My. Goodness. The jeering, the sneering! They were ruthless with their disdain and insults. So INCREDIBLY Rude.  

And that’s why they’re all writing sincere apology letters right now (while they watch Monsters Inc!).  
Before all that happened, they had a pretty eventful morning (as in they had their usual breakfast, packed their bags back up, hung out in the hallway and loitered in the parking lot waiting to board the bus!). ACTUALLY, they did meet a dinosaur who visited them in the hallway of the hotel room (which doesn’t happen every day!).
I’ve taken to multi-tasking (mostly because I’m running behind all the time and secondly because I’m dog-tired and wanting to get as much sleep as I can!). This morning Josee slept in (and by slept in, I mean she woke up mere minutes after her 5:15 alarm – she’s pretty much conditioned to get up at this time, with or without an alarm!).

Anyway, back to my multi-tasking. That’s why you would have found me bossing kids around a parking lot this morning while still brushing my teeth. It’s multi-tasking taken to an art form (in my opinion!).

Rumor has it that a busload of kids had to await Zac, Quinn and Jamie’s arrival. The three boys were lolling about in bed, just chillin’ when Ms. From walked in to check if their room was clean and emptied of its contents (which it was clean. and emptied of its contents. except 3 humans!). Upon advising them that they were a little out of area, they got up faster than students hearing the words, “gym time”. Impressive.  

Departing Drumheller, we realized that we forgot the pizzas. This would have been a catastrophe except the hotel is next to a McDonald’s which means we all got a topped-up-coffee! Ahhhhh, the little things in life!

The bus ride to Saskatchewan was pretty quiet (they are SO TIRED), except James who was listening to ringtones on his phone, which is APPARENTLY hilarious, because it involved 4 kids giggling their heads off and one comment I overheard, “ahahahha, this one is Mrs. Parrish’s ringtone”. I’m too tired to even care.

Lunch was awesome! All hands on deck by the chaperones who cut up fruit, prepped iced tea, assembled veggie platters and set up the buffet. Kayli said the lunch was “the best one yet” which we’re going to give her money for saying so because quite honestly, any compliments coming our way at this point have to have monetary value! It was super, super windy and about 10 plates and cups were picked right up off the picnic tables because of it. We thought we’d have to assemble them into a large group to tell them, “Kids, It’s. Really, Windy. Out”, but thankfully after about 10 plates had went flying, they realized it on their own….

From lunch, it was to THE FARM (my favorite spot on this whole trip and ahemm…in the WORLD!). As many of you know from my blogs (and if you’ve ever talked to me), I had a great childhood growing up in Southern Saskatchewan and wear my prairie-love proudly! It may surprise you to know that it wasn’t actually my idea to stop at the farm 6 years ago – it was Jim Reid’s! He said, “we should take the kids to Ponteix” and I was like, “for what?”. I didn’t realize how much the kids would love it, nor how much I would love seeing them love it!  
And love it they did! From the “best mantracker game ever” to a “lawn dance party” to a “homecooked meal” and “climbing huge trees (well I tried Mrs. Parrish….)”, they spent the late afternoon and early evening having a great time. 

 Scanning the farm from my vantage point (a comfy chair in the garage), I could see them enjoying themselves and their time with their friends. Supper was catered by Ponteix Bakery and Restuarant (which my mom used to own), tractor rides were provided by my dad! The mantracker game was complete with Dale’s trailer from The Walking Dead (they loved this!) and loads of vehicles they could hide in and under. Jakob had the GREATEST hiding spot – except that we were all having supper while he giggled with glee at his cleverness! Thankfully, Quinn looked around and saw him missing (and took initiative to find him, cuz I was too busy enjoying the chicken and macaroni salad!).  

Students with the penny boards enjoyed some free time learning how to ride them – which I commended them on until one flew out from their attempted trick and pegged me in the shins, “No one is allowed penny boards from now until you’re 20!” (or at least until I’m a minimum 1 kilometre away!”

We stretched out the evening because everyone was having the greatest time. Kids were happy to have the time to JUST PLAY, and I was happy to just sit and visit with my parents! Around 7:30, we decided to head into town to begin our gym-camp-out. Most of the kids were somewhat tuckered out (and by “most” I mean, 1 or 2 because the other 27-28 of them never seem to run out of energy, which is awful and awesome in equal measure).  

Unfortunately, the bus had difficulty starting and after some quick troubleshooting, the kids were told “go and play some more”. My dad called the neighbour (a high school friend who is also a diesel mechanic) and the men put their heads together to figure out the issue. Within a fairly short amount of time, they had it figured out and were problem solving how to get the part and a mechanic to the farm. We advised the kids that they were staying at the farm and expected to hear some groans. Instead, they happily started unpacking the bus, setting up beds and just being generally the MOST AMAZING KIDS EVER (why aren’t they like that all year long….).  
The boys set up in two locations (the 5th wheel and the garage). Garage kids got top priority on air mattresses and blankets which seemed almost not worth it seeing as Jamie, Zac and Quinn were begging to sleep “under the stars”. In fact, when I told them that there are coyotes on the farm, they looked at me trying to figure out how that was a problem (this. I. cannot. understand.).
Mr. Renner and the boys did some glamping in the camper with a pretty sweet deal that a hotel room would have had a hard time beating (and a gymnasium floor wouldn’t stand a chance against!).  

Sabrina, Taylor, Jinelle and Jade got my brother’s room (which has a KING SIZED bed in there, which I am NOT BITTER about at ALL….). They set up to sleep perpendicular to its usual orientation which was cool except that Taylor’s long legs were well over the edge!

Shayne, Trisha, Kristy and Aubrey slept in my sister, Melissa’s room. Rumour has it that they stayed up late “learning how to twerk….(insert giggle, giggle, giggle)” so I’m glad I didn’t check on them AT ALL.
Kayli started off in the lazy boy but moved to the memory foam (“I actually had a good sleep, Mrs. Parrish….”). Emily, Emma, Brooklyn, Landon, Ruby, Allyssa, set up home bases on air mattresses in the downstairs rumpus room (I think this was the first group asleep!). They settled in quickly and (I think) were sleeping before 11 (except when Trisha woke the whole bunch up by flopping on to Emma and Brooklyn’s air mattress (thanks Trisha!)). 

Chaperones stayed up to visit with my parents, but I was pretty much out of it with tiredness. I was guzzling coffee like these kids with their Starbucks drinks, but it didn’t seem to help one bit! By midnight we were all in bed with hopes of a quick-bus-fix and a lot of thankfulness about just-how-awesome-can-these-kids be! They have been really “go with the flow” which is what you really, really need when there’s 29 of you and you’re travelling 5000 kilometres! 

So, although things didn’t go as planned, we made the best of it! Of all the times to have bus trouble, this was okay. We weren’t stranded on the side of the highway, we weren’t confined to hotel rooms, we weren’t too far from the mechanic or the parts….In fact, we had a place to stay – an absolutely awesome, amazing, wonderful (and FREE!) place to stay! I think Kayli said it best when she commented, “that was so good, Mrs.Parrish”.  🙂 


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