Sunday, August 24, 2008

warm fuzzies

my kiddos are really into "projects" right now. they love working on their table and coming up with many fun crafts and ideas all on their own. i just have a big box of paper, glue, pipe cleaners, pom poms, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, feathers, googly eyes, etc... they will really spend hours coming up with new's great. the other day i peaked over and saw this {the picture above}, and J and G told me that they were called "warm fuzzies". well, not only did i think these little creatures were amazing, but i instantly recalled a story my 4th grade teacher read to me, and i found it on the internet so that i could share it with you. maybe we will have to give some of our "warm fuzzies" away.

{i know this looks like a ginoramous post, but it's a great share it with your family, and make your own warm fuzzies}

The Warm Fuzzy Tale

The Original Warm Fuzzy Tale
By Claude Steiner

Once upon a time, a long time ago there lived two very happy people called Tim and Maggi with their two children, John and Lucy.

To understand how happy they were you have to understand how things were in those days. You see, in those happy days everyone was given, at birth, a small soft Fuzzy Bag. Anytime a person reached into this bag he was able to pull out a Warm Fuzzy.

Warm Fuzzies were very much in demand because whenever somebody was given a Warm Fuzzy it made him feel warm and fuzzy all over. People who didn't get Warm Fuzzies regularly were in danger of developing a sickness in their backs which caused them to shrivel up and die.

In those days it was very easy to get Warm Fuzzies. Anytime that somebody felt like it, he might walk up to you and say, "I'd like to have a Warm Fuzzy." You would then reach into your bag and pull out a Fuzzy the size of a little girl's hand.

As soon as the Fuzzy saw the light of day it would smile and blossom into a large shaggy Warm Fuzzy. You then would lay it on the person's shoulder or head or lap and it would snuggle up and melt right against their skin and make them feel good all over.

People were always asking each other for Warm Fuzzies, and since they were always given freely, getting enough of them was never a problem.

There were always plenty to go around, and as a consequence everyone was happy and felt warm and fuzzy most of the time.

One day a bad witch became angry because everyone was so happy and no one was buying potions and salves.

The witch was very clever and devised a very wicked plan.

One beautiful morning the witch crept up to Tim while Maggi was playing with their daughter and whispered in his ear, "See here, Tim, look at all the Fuzzies that Maggi is giving to Lucy. You know, if she keeps it up, eventually she is going to run out and then there won't be any left for you."

Tim was astonished. He turned to the witch and said, "Do you mean to tell me that there isn't a Warm Fuzzy in our bag every time we reach into it?" And the witch said, "No, absolutely not, and once you run out, that's it. You don't have any more." With this, the witch flew away, laughing and cackling.

Tim took this to heart and began to notice every time Maggi gave up a Warm Fuzzy to somebody else. Eventually he got very worried and upset because he liked Maggi's Warm Fuzzies very much and did not want to give them up. He certainly did not think it was right for Maggi to be spending all her Warm Fuzzies on the children and on other people.

He began to complain every time he saw Maggi giving a Warm Fuzzy to somebody else, and because Maggi liked him very much, she stopped giving Warm Fuzzies to other people as often and reserved them for him.

The children watched this and soon began to get the idea that it was wrong to give up Warm Fuzzies any time you were asked or felt like it.

They too became very careful. They would watch their parents closely, and whenever they felt that one of their parents was giving too many Fuzzies to others, they also began to object. They began to feel worried whenever they gave away too many Warm Fuzzies.

Even though they found a Warm Fuzzy every time they reached into their bag, they reached in less and less and became more and more stingy. Soon people began to notice the lack of Warm Fuzzies, and they began to feel less warm and less fuzzy. They began to shrivel up, and, occasionally, people would die from lack of Warm Fuzzies.

More and more people went to the witch to buy potions and salves even though they didn't seem to work.

Well, the situation was getting very serious indeed. The bad witch didn't really want the people to die (since dead people couldn't buy salves and potions) so a new plan was devised.

Everyone was given a bag that was very similar to the Fuzzy Bag except that this one was cold while the Fuzzy Bag was warm. Inside of the witch's bag were Cold Pricklies. These Cold Pricklies did not make people feel warm and fuzzy, but made them feel cold and prickly instead.

But they did prevent people's bag's from shriveling up. So, from then on, every time somebody said, "I want a Warm Fuzzy," people who were worried about depleting their supply would say, "I can't give you a Warm Fuzzy, but would you like a Cold Prickly?"

Sometimes, two people would walk up to each other, thinking they could get a Warm Fuzzy, but one or the other of them would change his mind and they would wind up giving each other Cold Pricklies. So while very few people were dying, a lot of people were still unhappy and feeling very Cold and Prickly.

The situation got very complicated. Warm Fuzzies, which used to be thought of as free as air, became extremely valuable. This caused people to do all sorts of things in order to obtain them.

Before the witch had appeared, people used to gather in groups of three or four or five, never caring too much who was giving Warm Fuzzies to whom. After the coming of the witch, people began to pair off to reserve all their Warm Fuzzies for each other exclusively. People who forgot themselves and gave a Fuzzy to someone else would feel guilty because they knew that their partner would probably resent the loss. People who could not find a generous partner had to buy their Fuzzies and they worked long hours to earn the money.

Another thing which happened was that some people would take Cold Pricklies.....which were limitless and freely available..... coat them white and fluffy, and pass them on as Warm Fuzzies.

These counterfeit Warm Fuzzies were really Plastic Fuzzies, and they caused additional difficulties. For instance, two people would get together and freely exchange Plastic Fuzzies, which presumably should have made them feel good, but they came away feeling bad instead. Since they thought they had been exchanging Warm Fuzzies, people grew very confused about this, never realizing that their cold, prickly feelings were really the result of the fact that they had been given a lot of Plastic Fuzzies.

So the situation was very, very dismal, and it all started because of the coming of the witch who made people believe that some day, when least expected, they might reach into their Warm Fuzzy Bag and find no more.

Not long ago, a lovely, strong woman with big hips and a happy smile came to this unhappy land. She seemed not to have heard about the witch and was not worried about running out of Warm Fuzzies. She gave them out freely, even when not asked. People called her the Hip Woman and some disapproved of her because she was giving the children the idea that they should not worry about running out of Warm Fuzzies.

The children liked her very much because they felt good around her. They, too, began to give out Warm Fuzzies whenever they felt like it.

The grownups became concerned and decided to pass a law to protect the children from using up their supplies of Warm Fuzzies. The law made it a criminal offense to give out Warm Fuzzies in a reckless manner, without a license.

Many children, however, seemed not to know or care, and in spite of the law they continued to give each other Warm Fuzzies whenever they felt like it and always when asked.

Because there were many many children...almost as many as began to look as if maybe the children would have their way.

As of now it is hard to say what will happen. Will the forces of law and order stop the children? Are the grownups going to join with the Hip Woman and the children in taking a chance that there will always be as many Warm Fuzzies as needed?

Will Tim and Maggi, recalling the days when they were so happy and when Warm Fuzzies were unlimited, begin to give away Warm Fuzzies freely again?

The struggle spread all over the land and is probably going on right where you live. If you want to, and I hope you do, you can join by freely giving and asking for Warm Fuzzies and by being as loving and healthy as you can.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

remember when...

{you used to get all the sheets out of your mom's linen closet and set up all the chairs and stools and make a fort?}
well, friday night when matt got home from school...he was pooped!...i was pooped {G has another UTI, and both kids have colds}, and the kids were just excited to have daddy home. it's just going to be one of those "couple months" where we don't get to see dad very much. so matt came up with this idea that we build a fort and have a family movie night {like last week, only we didn't build a fort} and let the kids stay up till 9 pm rather than go to bed at their normal 7 pm bed time {i'm done being a mom at 7 pm!} i know, this staying up late thing goes against all logic of having them get more rest b/c they are sick, but for cryin' out loud, they missed their daddy, and we were all up for some out-of-the-ordinary-fun! for our movie, the kids wanted to watch "mommy and daddy's wedding video". they love to see our wedding day and the pics of matt and i growing up. they always ask where they were, and then before we can answer, they say, "oh yeah, we were in Heaven." and i add, "and you were so excited that mommy and daddy got married because that meant that you got to come to earth to our family." then jack says, "yeah, and our other brother and sister were there with us," hmm...does he know something i don't? {or maybe he's just wishful thinking!}

oh we had a good time snuggling on the floor. and the thought came to me...these are the memories that last. no amusement park or new expensive toy can top this. love is free, and i relish in it.

{and with a little self timer action on the is our moment captured}

Thursday, August 21, 2008

a little patch of heaven

i LOVE my bed! it's a spring air with a pillow top...firm underneath + soft on top = perfection! we made our headboard out of an old door, and i found those zany pillows at TJ MAX {love that store!} at night i absolutely love climbing into a made bed {for this reason i make my bed almost every morning, even if i do nothing else}, into cool sheets, and under my goose down comforter! my body instantly relaxes and an audible sigh escapes my lips. then i grab my latest book on my nightstand and read until my eyelids become heavy. then comes morning where my kiddos come in {yes, i know i'm kids wake me up}, and say, every morning, "good morning mama". they used to come in and whine for chocolate milk or to turn on cartoons, but it was driving me cRaZy! so, matt had a talk to them and told them to come in and wake mommy up in a nice i LOVE waking up. then usually they end up in my bed for about 15 minutes just snuggling and giggling with me. then, i make my bed with the kids in it, and they carefully climb out so they don't "mess it up". i think when i look back to having small children, mornings will forever be a warm memory to my soul!

Monday, August 18, 2008

"mommy-made oreos"

so for jack's preschool get-together i was assigned to bring a "fun dessert". i thought i'd ask jack what he wanted me to make...knowing full well this is what he'd pick. he loves "mommy-made oreos" {not the ones in the package he clarifies}. this has been jack's favorite "mommy-made" treat since i can remember. a little over a year ago i had a beautiful platter of these yummy cookies sitting in the middle of my counter, all ready to take to a BBQ, and when i came back into the kitchen after getting ready, i found evidence of the top ten missing cookies on jack and gracie's face and hands. i'm sure many of you have at least had a variety of these...aka {cake mix cookies}. we just add frosting. so go make some "mommy-made" oreos today!

*1 box chocolate cake mix {just the powder}
*1/2 C. oil
*2 eggs
*1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all together. Spoon cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake @ 375 for 7-10 min. After completely cool, frost with:

Vanilla Butter Frosting:
*3 C Powdered Sugar
*1/3 C softened butter
*1 & 1/2 t vanilla
*2 T Milk

Mix pwd sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth.

*use mint extract instead of vanilla and add green food coloring for mint oreos
*use cream cheese instead of butter for cream cheese frosting
*use a tub of vanilla frosting from the store if you must {i'm such a frosting snob! i only like homemade!}

{for those of you who didn't read the comments, my friend heather said for the fall she likes to use spice cake mix for the cookie part, and adds pumpkin to the frosting: YUM!!!! thanks heather!}

Friday, August 8, 2008

the twists and turns of life

{I Matthew John Ellingson having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.}

so, when we first got married matt and i wrote down and mapped out a 5 year plan. from planning schooling, to jobs, even down to when we wanted children. as for that 5 year plan, which planning and working towards a goal are great, the only thing sthat truly happened are that i became a kindergarten teacher, and matt is in dental school. i guess we should have done it in pencil so that we could erase and add changes as they came our way. also, to leave room for all the wonderful life's lessons learned and relationships gained along the way who help shape you into the true person you really become. even though jack came 3 years early, and my sweet husband joined the army...i would have it no other way.

well, as we embark on a new chapter in our lives, the military chapter, we go forth with excitement. if you asked me a year ago if this was even a possibility, let alone the army, i would have screamed NO! matt was always on board. with the military paying for all our school plus giving us a substantial monthly stipend...we figured that after all was said and done, and after paying off our student loan for the next 30 years, the military will save us over 1 million dollars. huh, it's a "no-brainer" if you ask us. plus, matt and i both like to consider ourselves patriots and are happy to serve our country in this way. matt will give 3 years back as a dentist for the US Army.

after many prayers, and 100s of questions, hearing the good the bad and the ugly...the army was a better fit for our family. if the opportunity arises, we hope to spend our 3 years in Europe. we'll see where life takes us at that point.

{jack and gracie sitting by matt while he signs the paperwork}
{jack and gracie sneaking in a squeeze...jack wanted to wear his camo pj's like the "solider" and they were both very excited about the "soldier" coming to our house}
{matt taking the oath written above}
{matt and major Riggle}