Archive | February, 2010


26 Feb

I know that other parts of the country have had tons of unusual snow this year, but here – where snow is normally pretty plentiful – we haven’t had a BIG storm all season.

We finally got what we were waiting for – somewhere around 18″ of the fluffy white stuff!

Snow 01

We were all out in it by about 7:30 this morning to help MechDaddy finish shoveling out so he could get to work on time. Happy KarateKid stayed outside until about 10:00, finally coming in for some breakfast.

Snow 05

It’s not the best snowman-snow, because the final 5″ were very powdery, but with the heavy, wet base it makes great tunneling snow! KarateKid made his first 6′ tunnel while he was out in the early morning.

Snow 03

GoGoGirl loves it too but with shorter legs she seems to have less endurance for it, staying out only 45 minutes to an hour at a time… but she’s been in and out at least 4 different times already.

Snow 02

The kids have been digging, shoveling, flinging, snow-ball-ing, and playing with giant icicles. You can see that the snow is about as deep as the top of our kiddie picnic table. Definitely the most snow we’ve had on the ground at once all winter. (Just after this picture was snapped, a car crept up the hill, and GoGoGirl pointed her icicle at it and hollered, “EN GARDE!”  The cowardly car fled from her fierceness.)

Snow 04

Since it was so easy to get onto the picnic table, that became the favorite launching pad!

The kids are outside again right now, having an absolutely wonderful time of it. We’ll all sleep well tonight, and have more snow fun tomorrow!

Book Tour: Iggy the Iguana

23 Feb

This week, KarateKid and I are part of a blog book tour for two kids’ novels by Melissa M. Williams: Iggy the Iguana and Summer League.

Iggy the Iguana is the first book in the Iggy Chapter Book Series for ages 7 to 11.  The story focuses on the major themes of acceptance, friendship, and diversity while Iggy starts a brand new school.  The transition from a private “all-lizard” school to a public “all-animal” school is eye opening, as Iggy soon accepts that just because other animals are different doesn’t mean they can’t be your friends.  By the end of Iggy’s 4th grade year, he realizes that changing schools was the best move he could have ever made!

Summer League is the second book in the Iggy the Iguana Chapter Book Series.  After an exciting school year, Iggy and his friends kick off their summer vacation with some fun in the sun and … baseball!  While playing on his All-Star little league team, Iggy faces a very difficult situation that could change his future in sports forever.  Iggy learns many valuable lessons during the summer, most importantly, it is not wise to keep secrets from adults and we can’t judge others on the outside.

Melissa M. Williams has been writing stories since the age of eight years old.  Many of her stories were inspired by real life experiences with childhood pets she owned while growing up in Houston, Texas.  It is extremely important for her to reach out to her young readers and show them the benefits of using their creativity at a young age. While pursuing a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling, Melissa started substitute teaching, which inspired the writing of a series relatable to elementary students while including lessons, values, and acceptance within the storyline.  Melissa spends most of the school year visiting students and encouraging them to think outside the box and write their own stories. Inspiring students to read and write is the main goal as she promotes literacy through her creative writing contests and activities within the Texas area.  Williams always reminds her audience that she gets her ideas from them.  “The young brain is a naturally creative brain, so we must learn to take advantage of that gift and continue to develop it into our later years.”  Melissa’s articles, radio interviews, and online author presentations can be found on Iggy’s Website at

The picture above is a young Melissa holding the original Iggy the Iguana!  Since KarateKid has recently adopted two lizards as pets, he was very taken by the fact that the book’s author really had an Iggy (and a Liz, and most of the other characters).  I think kids love to be able to relate to people in that way, to know how their childhoods made them who they are.

KarateKid and I both read the books, and we discussed them together.  Here is what he wanted to contribute to the review:

They were awesome, as any good story should be!

It’s about a young boy lizard, Iggy, who falls in love with a girl lizard, Liz, at his school.  In the first book he sort of has a rival too.  He also meets a sort of slick, cool dude who’s a turtle, Snap Shell.  The first book is mostly about Iggy making new friends at his new school, and it’s very cool.

In the second book he hurts his arm but keeps it a secret from his family until it hurts him so much that he almost passes out from the pain in the middle of a baseball game.  That was one of the most exciting parts of the book, I think you’ll be worried about Iggy just like I was.

I can’t wait until the next book comes out.  I bet that when you guys, who are reading this blog, read these books, you’ll want the third book out too!

To me, as a mom, any book that makes him that excited and gives him that much enjoyment is well worth the read!  The stories and characters were engaging and face typical confusing social situations, and draw strength and wisdom from their families and friends to help them through.  I’m glad to add these books to KarateKid’s shelf.

I am also impressed that Melissa Williams and LongTale Publishing have created the Read3Zero campaign for literacy awareness, with the idea of encouraging adults to spend at least 30 minutes a day (3Zero) reading with the kids in their life.

To learn more about Iggy and Melissa Williams – visit Win the Iggy the Iguana Give Away! Including the Newly Released Items in Iggy Collection, Snap Shell the Turtle (Plush Doll), Iggy Collector’s Baseball Cards, and The Read3Zero T-Shirt … supporting the fight against illiteracy 30 minutes at a time. Be our most active visitor during the tour for a chance to win this Iggy Collection — the tour schedule is posted at to make it easy for you to visit and comment.

This post is part of the Iggy the Iguana blog tour.  The books were provided to us for the purpose of this review, but we weren’t compensated in any other way.  The opinions above are our own!

Parents’ Night at the Gym

22 Feb

We love watching GoGoGirl at the once-monthly parents’ night at the gym.  Apparently our cameras, applause, and oohs of adoration are too distracting for the regular practices!  We can only go in once a month, so we make the most of it when we’re there.

Gym Girl 1

She’s serious here, but she really does smile a lot. Usually when she’s moving, though, so it’s hard to get a good smiley picture, especially since we’re not allowed to use flash.

Gym Girl 2

This one was kind of funny, with her tongue out, though, and you can see that excitement in her eyes! Her coach was trying to help her get in position.

Gym Girl 3

I love how little she looks compared to the serious gymnasts. She’s about the second-smallest person out there – there is one girl in her preschool class who is smaller, I think.

I don’t ever want to forget how much she loves this class, and how excited she is about it.

I’m also thinking, looking at these pictures, that one day I should be sure to document a day in the life of GoGoGirl’s wardrobe for you. She goes through quite a variety of costume changes from fancy pajamas to play clothes, going out clothes, snow clothes, dress-up clothes, on Mondays the leotard, and so on… she’s quite the clothes horse!

The Shakespeare Experience Begins

22 Feb

Last year, some members of our local homeschool group put together a series of drama meetings and rehearsals in order to put on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The timing didn’t work out for us to join them, because last winter GoGoGirl was still often taking a morning nap – and KarateKid didn’t mind missing out.

This year, GoGoGirl is big enough to come along to the meetings with her own amusements.  And Leigh’s spare Oreos.

Drama Girl with Cookie

KarateKid adored today’s preliminary meeting, doing lots of improv games with the director, a homeschooling dad with tons of energy and intensity who draws the kids right in.

The kids played all kinds of great games with D. while the other parents had a little meeting about possible performance dates and places, and the pooling of money and resources to make this happen.

Drama Frogs and Tiger

Here, the kids are all being animals while D. tries to determine what they are. He would call out, “Now it is raining! Find shelter!” and see how and where they moved, or “Now it is night time!” and see all the diurnal animals head to bed while the nocturnal ones started flitting about.

In the picture above, Emily and Anna were being happy frogs while KarateKid (in the sweater, moving away from camera) was a fierce tiger.

Drama Bat and Baffled

Our friend G. was being a bat, sleeping in a bat box. Nate seemed to have a slightly harder time with these improv games (pretending without a set script doesn’t come naturally for him) and so here he was standing near G., not sure what to do. But he certainly got into several of the games, including one where, on cue, the kids had to scramble into different positions including “Octopus!” where two kids needed to fold up together to get 8 “feet” on the ground.

The kids had so much fun – and we’re all looking forward to the next few months of meetings & rehearsals with friends.

George Washington’s Birthday

22 Feb

Happy Birthday, George Washington!

Painting by R. Peale

George and Abe brought the kids presents (play money and “Campaign in a Box” kits from the dollar section of the craft store) last week on President’s Day, but we didn’t do much more to celebrate then because we were spending the day off with friends.

Since KarateKid has been a long-time fan of George Washington, we decided to spend the morning today re-reading our collection of George Washington books as a way to celebrate.  Here’s what we enjoyed from our shelves this morning:

  • A Picture Book of George Washington by David Adler – a short and simple look at his life.
  • George Washington by Ingri & Edgar d’Aulaire – this is a much longer biography which ends at his election to president, but contains lush lithographs and the rich language that is the hallmark of the d’Aulaire books.
  • George Did It by Suzanne Trip Jurmain – pairs well with the d’Aulaire book, because this story focuses on George’s reluctance to accept the position of president (because he was nervous that he wouldn’t do a good job), and so picks up where the last book left off, focusing entirely on George becoming president.
  • George Washington and the General’s Dog by Frank Murhpy – this is KarateKid’s old favorite, the Step Into Reading book that started his interest.  It’s a fun level 3 story about George’s love for animals and how he found a lost dog and returned it to the General Howe, the leader of the British army, during a break in the battle in 1777.
  • In 1776 by Jean Marzollo – a very quick, rhyming picture book giving the bare bones of the American Revolution.
  • If You Grew Up with George Washington by Ruth Belov Gross – a detailed look at what life was like in the 1700′s, with line drawn illustrations by Jack Kent. The newer version of this book has full color illustrations by a different artist, but I’m partial to Jack Kent!
  • Let’s Play Soldier, George Washington by Peter and Connie Roop – this is one short and simple chapter book (about 60 pages at RL 3.5, according to the back cover) from a series called Before I Made History which talks about the childhoods of famous people, so most of the book talks about George’s childhood with only the final chapter breezing through his later years.

These are the other books that we have pulled out to enjoy later today or this week:

  • George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz (our copy has nice illustrations by Paul Galdone, another one of my favorites) – the story of a young boy in modern times who is named George Washington Allen and wants to learn all about George Washington.
  • George Washington’s Cows by David Small – a silly, rollicking picture book supposing that even George’s cows were special and brilliant, had their own room in his house, wore clothes, could read and count and dance.
  • George Washington (DK Biography) by Lenny Hort – quite in depth but with DK’s usual gorgeous photographs.
  • George Washington: The Man Who Would Not Be King by Stephen Krensky – a longer biography at about a 6th grade reading level.
  • George Washington, Spymaster by Thomas Allen – from National Geographic, this is a longer book about the Revolutionary War and George’s role in it. MechDaddy and KarateKid will be reading this one together and discussing it.

We also talked about the cherry tree myth (“I cannot tell a lie”) and how George’s biographer made up that story to make a point about George’s ethics and honesty (how ironic!), and that even though it didn’t actually happen, it’s a fun story.  We talked about the cherry blossoms in Washington DC and made a few of our own:

Cherry Tree Boy

The kids traced their hands and a bit of their arms and cut those out to make the tree trunks.  The trunks were glued to another piece of paper and then the kids dipped their fingers into white and pink paint and fingerpainted little dots to make the cherry blossoms.

Cherry Tree Girl

Later, KarateKid wrote up a little page that said, “Ten Things I Know About George Washington” including lines like “He crosst the Delwer in December 1776.”  It is so hard for KarateKid to let go of his need to spell everything correctly but just this once I asked him to do his best on his own instead of asking me how to spell all the words.  So much of the time he’d rather just not write at all than spell things wrong.  Of course spelling is an important skill, but I don’t want to the fact that his spelling level is so far behind his reading level to make him feel he can’t write.  He did pretty well overall, but “hippopotamus” truly stymied him!  (At least one set of George Washington’s teeth were made from hippopotamus tusks.)

All in all, it was a fun way to spend the morning.  Did you do anything special this year to celebrate President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday?

Muffin Tin: ORANGE

22 Feb

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This week’s kid-pleasing Muffin Tin Meal theme is the color ORANGE… if you remember, last week we did RED for Valentine’s Day.

Since we had a lot on tap for Monday this week, we decided to have our orange tin as an evening snack on Sunday.  Originally I had thought to make Curry Pumpkin Soup to go in our tins – everyone in the family loves that yummy soup – but there is a big pumpkin shortage this year and our grocery store didn’t have any pumpkin – canned or fresh – in stock.  It turned out to be okay, since the kids were still fairly full from our big dinner earlier and only needed a snack before bed instead of a whole meal.

Muffin Tin: Orange

They enjoyed: orange slices (in two cups), cubed Cheddar cheese (in two cups), baby carrots, and orange bell pepper slices.  GoGoGirl was tickled that we used our “Halloween” orange pumpkin silicone tins too – orange is her favorite color these days!

To see more ORANGE muffin tins, visit Muffin Tin Mom!

Game Kids: FamilyFluxx and EcoFluxx

21 Feb

A package in the mail… return address: Looney Labs?  Pure fun in the mailbox!

This weekend we were delighted to preview the two newest re-releases from Looney Labs’ award-winning Fluxx games – FamilyFluxx and EcoFluxx.

Our family has loved Fluxx games for years, since the original came out and our dear friends Jody & Nathan introduced us to it.  The basic premise of any Fluxx game is very simple: draw a card, then play a card.  As cards are played, the rules of the game change: how many cards to draw, how many to play, and even what the goal is that will let you win!

The ever-changing rules make the games always feel new and fresh, as well as very, very interactive.  You may think you know what you’ll do on your next turn to win… until your husband plays the “Hand Limit Zero” card and you lose everything you were holding.  The flip side of this chaos is that sometimes, luck just lands in your lap and you happen across the winning combination.  The wild and crazy amount of luck and chance make the Fluxx games great choices for a range of ages.  There’s not much strategy, not much pre-planning, so the kids have as good a chance of winning as the adults do.

This week, Looney Labs will re-release two of their popular Fluxx titles in slightly revamped forms.

FamilyFluxx, which is geared towards slightly younger ages and includes a smaller deck that uses simple household items and fun goals, has not been changed much at all.  Only a new rules sheet and a now-standard flat box are different from the original.

FamilyFluxx is a great way to introduce kids to the idea of a game with changeable rules.  Games of FamilyFluxx usually last about 15-20 minutes.  Some reading is required, though, as all the action cards are different and need to be read to know how to use them. Poor GoGoGirl misses out on most of the fun, although she can play a very simplified version with only Keepers (the green cards you keep in front of you, like The Gift and Cake) and Goals (the pink cards that tell you how to win, like Happy Birthday!).  A few more years and she’ll be reading enough to play the full version!

EcoFluxx is geared towards slightly older kids – and has even been correlated to the National Life Science Content Standards for levels 5-8 and 9-12.  Lots of new cards have been added into the new version of EcoFluxx, including new Creepers – cards that prevent anyone from winning – Flood, Drought, and Forest Fire.

New goals and cards in EcoFluxx include “Eats” goals to demonstrate food web connections.  For example, for “Bear Eats Fish,” whoever has the Bear card on the table can win if anyone in the game has Fish out.  These new cards make the game a more complex experience, but for families with younger kids, Looney Labs has included an “Easy” version in the rules, telling families which cards to pull out of the deck to make a simpler game.

Even better, 5% of sales from EcoFluxx are donated to environmental groups, such as the Nature Conservancy.

We have had so much fun in the past few days trying out these two new releases, and EcoFluxx has really won a place in our hearts.  I love the “Herpetologist” goal – you need at least one reptile and at least one amphibian!

If your family hasn’t tried Fluxx yet, you really should find a version that speaks to you – besides the original Fluxx, FamilyFluxx, and EcoFluxx, there are ZombieFluxx, MartianFluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, and Fluxx en Espanol.

Looney Labs provided me with copies of these games for the purposes of this review, but did not compensate me in any other way.  The opinions above are mine.

stART: Curious George and the Chocolate Factory

18 Feb

Who doesn’t love chocolate – and monkeys? Both were part of our stART project this week!

My kids have both been fans of Curious George for a very long time. In fact, Aunt Robin bought KarateKid the big anthology of original Curious George stories when he was about a year and a half old, and we read that book to shreds – we had to take it everywhere with us and MechDaddy started calling one of the stories “Curious George Rides a &#@%!* Bike” because he’d read it so many times!

We also have two smaller anthologies of the shorter books that were based on episodes of an early tv show of George, though we’ve never seen that show. One of our favorites is Curious George and the Chocolate Factory.

Since this week was Valentine’s Day and we had a lot of chocolate, we decided to do a special project to go along with this book for stART.

We gathered our materials: flour, salt, and cocoa powder.

Chocolate stART 01

The kids helped me make some cocoa-scented salt dough. We mixed about 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. cocoa, 1 c. salt, and 1 c. water to make a dough. (I think one of us added a little too much water, so we had to add some extra flour – but it’s a very forgiving dough. If it’s too wet, add flour. If it’s too dry, add water.)

Chocolate stART 02

I think all kids love to help in the kitchen, mine certainly do – whether it’s making dinner or playdough. We had fun measuring and mixing together.

Chocolate stART 03

Then the fun began – playing with the dough. This is a salt dough, meant to be baked, and so our hands got pretty dry and crusty after working with it for a while – this dough wouldn’t work well as a regular playdough to use for a long time! (I have a different chocolate-scented recipe that I use for playdough.)

Chocolate stART 05

One exciting part was that because we were doing this project on Valentine’s Day, which was Sunday, MechDaddy was home and sat in on our project. He misses so many of our interesting art and craft projects and science experiments that it was extra special to have him with us for this one.

Both my kids love this little story about Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat stopping by a chocolate factory to buy some candies. George slips onto the factory floor with a tour group but accidentally bumps the conveyor belt up to “extra fast” and the candies fly by so quickly that the workers can’t keep up – but a clever little monkey can, and his fast fingers save the day.

Both KarateKid and GoGoGirl have always been drawn to the page below, where Curious George learns that the swirls on the tops of the chocolates show what kind of filling is inside:

Chocolate stART 04

I have spent countless hours staring at this page with my kids and talking about the marvelous swirls! We set the book out on our table, open to this page, to take a little inspiration for making our chocolates.

We made round chocolates and oblongs, tiny M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, a chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate bar, banana creams inspired by the book.

When we were done making the shapes – we only used about half of our dough – we baked them in a slow oven (250F) for about two hours. We let them cool and then used a glossy brown paint to paint most of them. In the picture below, you can see a few that are lighter brown, or have lighter brown swirls – those parts are unpainted.  We also left the bottoms unpainted so we can still smell the cocoa!


We filled up GoGoGirl’s heart-shaped candy box, and the dough goodies now have a special place in her play kitchen!

This project was fun from start to finish – reading a favorite book, making dough in the kitchen, playing with the dough with MechDaddy, painting the chocolates, and winding up with a great addition to our pretend kitchen area. The kids are so proud of their finished chocolates!

To see more projects that include a story and art, visit A Mommy’s Adventures.

Game Kids: Walk the Dogs (and a Giveaway!)

17 Feb

My kids have a new favorite family game:
Walk the Dogs by SimplyFun.

That Doggie Bag of 63 tiny plastic doggies is absolutely the game’s biggest draw.  My kids – and all the other kids we’ve played this game with – are so interested in holding and touching, trading and arranging these dogs even before the game begins.

Walk the Dogs 1
The first step is to find a nice big space to play, and the kids take all of the tiny dogs out of the bag and line them up in one big, long, curving, snaking line.  Just make sure that the dogs are all head-to-tail.  Even this first step is a fun one for the kids!

Walk the Dogs 2

Each player gets two cards to hold and draws a third card at the beginning of each turn.  The cards let you take dogs from the front of the line, the back of the line, your choice, or from another player’s dogs.  When you take dogs from the main line, you add them to your own doggie line in front of you.  After all the dogs have been claimed, you score points for the dogs in your own line – groups of 2, 3, or 4 dogs score better than a single dog, and that adds simple strategy as you’re choosing your dogs during the game.

Walk the Dogs 4

KarateKid, who is 7, enjoys the simple strategy of the game and tries to plan a couple of moves ahead to string together the most dogs of one kind.

What I love about Walk the Dogs is that GoGoGirl, who is 3, can play right along with us, minus any thought of strategy!  She draws a card on her turn, chooses one of her cards to play, and counts the correct number of dogs from the line.  It’s a great game to play to include her – she gets just as many turns as everyone else, and gets to hold the cards, play the cards and arrange her dogs.

Walk the Dogs 5

Another thing that I like about this game is that once you’ve learned the rules, you can keep the dogs and the deck of cards right inside the “Doggie Bag” that comes with the game, and that makes the game very easy to take along wherever you go – we’ve played Walk the Dogs at friends’ homes, the Y, and several restaurants!

It’s easy to learn, extremely appealing to kids, and encourages a little bit of strategic thinking.

Does it sound good to you too?  The folks at SimplyFun have sent me an extra copy to give away!

If you’d like to win your own copy of Walk the Dogs, please leave us a comment. And my kids love reading interesting comments, so it would be nice if you could tell us your kids’ favorite game, or a funny story about dogs, or something else to liven up our day!

For extra entries, you can blog, tweet, and/or post at Facebook about this contest – just leave an extra comment telling me how you spread the word, and where.

I’ll leave this contest open until MechDaddy’s birthday – March 5 – so you have 2 weeks and 2 days to spread the word and enter!  Good luck.

This review and giveaway was sponsored by SimplyFun.  They provided me with a copy of the game to review and a copy to give away, but did not compensate me in any other way.  The opinions above are mine.

Mardi Gras: King Cake, Drachmas, and Glitter

16 Feb

Celebrating Mardi Gras with an opinionated boy who believes more deeply in the Greek, Norse, and Egyptian Gods than the Christian one turned out to be pretty interesting.

Me: “To start, do you remember the story of Jesus?  Christians believe that he was the son of their God and a woman on Earth named Mary.”
KarateKid: “The son of a god and a mortal woman?  What’s so special about that?  That’s just like all the other kids at Camp Half-Blood.”

Only Jesus wasn’t guided by a satyr…

Then we got into the discussion of Easter and how it was pretty stingy of the Christian god to only resurrect one guy, and his own son, at that.  It’s a good point, actually… !  A long discussion followed when he asked why eggs are special at Easter, and we talked about the pagan celebrations and the early Christians using the older rituals to help steer the people towards the new religion.

Eventually, I started discussing the cultural celebration of Mardi Gras (since we celebrate the cultural Christmas, Easter, etc. and not the religious ones).  That made a whole lot more sense to him, and he liked the idea of a party.

Mardi Gras Goodies

Whatever the day was meant to celebrate, the kids gladly dove into their table of presents – beads, masks, doubloons, and pinwheels in the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras green, yellow, and purple, plus two small games that happened to fit the color scheme.

Later, the kids got to trading each other the piles of doubloons for goods and services… only, by that time, they were calling them drachmas.

We decided to make our own super-easy version of King Cakes for breakfast.

King Cake Makers

We took some refrigerated cinnamon bun dough and stretched it out a little to make a ring shape – though by the time they were done baking, the rings had almost completely closed back up into regular buns!

Icing King

The kids decorated the buns with tinted icing – green, yellow, and purple, of course – and sprinkles too.

Icing Queen

Only I didn’t have purple sprinkles. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to hear that after I searched unsuccessfully for purple sprinkles this weekend, last night I had a dream about shopping for purple sprinkles! In my dream I found them…

King Cake Goodness

In real life, we used red in place of purple, and they tasted just as good.

After breakfast, I had another lesson in patience.  It’s not easy to let a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old help make dinner, especially when they both want a turn with the very sharp knife cutting up onions and peppers and celery!  But I know it is absolutely worth my time to help them start to learn these skills and to encourage their interest.  We made a not-at-all-authentic crock-pot jambalaya, and it was very yummy.

I loved watching GoGoGirl in her play kitchen later in the day looking for the same ingredients that we’d used – tomatoes, celery, onion, garlic, bacon, sausage, ham.  It got me thinking that I should keep an eye out for someone’s broken Little Dipper – you know, those tiny 2-cup crock-pots meant for dips or sides.  If I clipped the cord off one, it would be the perfect addition to her play kitchen.

We broke out some special glitter paints today – can you guess which three colors?

Mardi Gras Painting 02

I also had the neatest project in the back of my mind – that we could use small boxes and other interesting items from our box of recyclables to make Mardi Gras floats, and we could paint them with glitter paint, and put on music and have a parade in the living room!

Wouldn’t that have been fun?

But my kids were too interested in the paint, and kept asking for different tools or different types of paper, and just wanted to experiment with the paint for an hour.

Mardi Gras Painting 01

And that was good too.

GoGoGirl favored the globs-of-paint technique:

Mardi Gras Painting 03

KarateKid made several paintings where he did a light wash of color over the entire sheet, and he did some masks too:

Mardi Gras Painting 04

It was fun, and festive, and delicious, just the way every holiday should be!