Stories and Ramblings
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Lil rubbed her arm and groaned. “I knew I’d be sore after pointing that wand all day.”
“The sacrifice was worth it,” Nim said. “Did you see their faces when they saw us?”
Lil smiled. The boys were thrilled to see the elves re-enacting a scene from their favorite movie. They’d insisted on a Harry Potter marathon in the hope of an encore.
“I hope they aren’t too disappointed when we don’t do Harry Potter again tonight,” said Pixie.
“What are we going to do tonight?” asked Figgy.
The eve of Christmas Eve was the elves’ last night with the boys. They wanted to do something special and go out with a bang.
“Everyone needs to be a part of tonight’s mischief. Barrel included,” said Pixie as she picked up pieces from a board game the boys had been playing before bedtime.
“Oh don’t pick Clue up,” said Glitter. “I heard the boys say they were going to finish their game after breakfast.”
“I just want to see who killed who, where, and with what,” said Pixie.
Figgy and Nim shared confused looks. “Huh?”
“You know,” said Lil flying into the Dining Room. “Colonel Mustard, in the Conservatory, with the candlestick.”
“Ooohh,” said Figgy with exaggerated understanding. “Who killed who, where, and with what. Of course.”
Nim landed in the Library while Figgy invaded the Study. The elves picked up the toy weapons and zipped over the game board, knocking over pawns and making a mess of the cards.
“The boys are going to be furious if you mess up their game,” warned Glitter. “Jake almost solved the murder.”
“We can play Clue!” Figgy crashed into the Kitchen.
Barrel barked and ran around the board, giving Pixie an idea. “We will solve a theft instead of a murder.”
“Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” teased Nim.
“Who stole my cheese?” laughed Lil.
“What came first, the chicken or the egg?” asked Figgy.
Lil rolled her eyes and unclasped the collar around Barrel’s neck. “No. Who hid Barrel’s barrel?”
“Who Hid Barrel’s Barrel?” All the elves turned to Glitter.
Glitter grumbled as she squeezed into the envelope with the solution. “I don’t see why I have to be the thief.”
“You are Mrs. White, Glitter,” said Lil.
“Yes,” added Nim. “You needed the barrel for the special punch Miss Scarlet made for Christmas day.”
“Don’t worry,” smiled Pixie. “You don’t go to jail.”
As they set up the game, the team thought of all the fun they’d had this Christmas season. Even though there were a few rough patches at the beginning, they’d all pulled together and made December as special as ever for their charges.
Nim put his monocle to his eye and looked at each of his friends. “I had a lot of fun this season even though, in the beginning…”
“Are you kidding?” squeaked Pixie. “This was the best fun I’ve had…EVER!”
Figgy nodded enthusiastically. “I’m so grateful that my first assignment was with you and Lil. I’ve learned so much!”
Lil hugged Nim. “And I’m grateful we made up.”
The elves laughed. “Merry Christmas to you too Glitter!
Nim let out a big yawn. “I thought they would never go to bed.”
“Well, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a looooong movie.” Lil stretched.
“And the boys LOVE it.” Glitter flexed.
“And Mom and Dad fell asleep on the couch,” added Figgy. “The boys took full advantage.”
“Which gave Figgy and I an idea,” Pixie danced on her toes. Lil, Nim and Glitter looked at the pair expectantly.
“A re-enactment of the best scene in the movie,” said Figgy with a flourish of his hands.
Nim stretched like a cat. “And what’s the best scene in the movie?”
“Dobby’s freedom of course!” Pixie smiled.
“Oooo,” said Lil. “Can I be Dobby?”
Pixie shook her head. “Nope, you are Malfoy Sr.”
Lil slumped. “Why do I have to play the villain?”
Figgy fluttered over to Nim. “Nim will play Harry.”
Lil scowled. “Why does Nim get to play the hero?!”
“I am playing Ron,” said Pixie.
Lil glared. “Why do you get to play the sidekick!??
“And I’m Dumbledore,” finished Figgy.
Lil crossed her arms, playfully huffing and puffing.
The elves smiled, excitement in the air.
“Wait, aren’t you forgetting someone?” asked Glitter. “Who is going to play Dobby?”
Pixie and Figgy smiled with a mischievous gleam in their eyes and turned to Glitter. Nim and Lil giggled when they realized who was going to play the house elf.
Glitter the house elf
was a jolly happy sprite!
With a pillow case and a dirty sock
And a face filled with delight
Oh Glitter the house el—
“Can it,” grumbled Glitter. “I’ll play the little gremlin, but I would have been a better Dumbledore.”
“Hey!” protested Figgy. “I am going to look great with a beard!”
The group threw themselves in to making costumes and setting the scene. After several small skirmishes and a few huffy tantrums, they had the scene set up perfectly.
“Why couldn’t we have started the scene when they are all in Dumbledore’s office?” whispered Nim.
“My arm is going to get sore pointing this wand at Harry all day,” Lil groaned.
“Shhhhhh!” hissed Figgy. “I hear them. Places everyone!”
Lil, Figgy and Nim sat hunched over a pile of sugar cubes, thinking.
“Sugar cube village?” Nim asked in a less-than-enthusiastic tone.
“Too much like the Lego village, er, disaster.” Lil eyed Nim and giggled.
“Underwear on the tree?” offered Figgy.
“Maybe.” Nim shrugged.
“That’s it. We are officially out of ideas.” Lil put her small face in her hands.
“Chocolate always helps me think of good ideas,” said Pixie from inside the refrigerator.
“Chocolate helps everything,” said Lil.
“Aaaaand…here it is!” Pixie gave a mighty tug and pulled out a jumbo bottle of chocolate sauce.
“PIxie, be care–”.
Red and green apples tumbled to the floor, rolling in every direction.
“Oops.” Pixie landed with a squelch on the bottle of chocolate sauce. The lid popped off with a CLICK and thick syrup glooped out onto the floor.
Glitter came galloping into the kitchen with a red pipe cleaner trailing behind. “Is everyone ok? I heard a crash.”
“Everyone is fine,” said Nim. “Pixie had an…accident.”
“Glitter,” said Figgy. “Why do you have googly eyes on your antlers?”
Glitter jingled her collar. “I was looking for a craft.”
“A…craft?” asked Lil.
“Yes. For the boys.”
“I suppose we could—”.
“I’ve got it!” interrupted Pixie.
Lil, Figgy and Nim floated over to Pixie while Glitter cantered behind. Pixie had arranged all of the apples in a winding line on the bookshelf.
“Pixie, what are you doing?” asked Glitter.
“The apples represent the caterpillar.”
“The what?” Nim crinkled his brow.
“Figgy, you will be the One Apple.”
“Are you feeling ok, Pixie?” Figgy asked.
“Lil, you can be the cookie.”
“Wait a minute,” said Lil. “I think I know this story. Something about a caterpillar…”.
“I’ll be the chocolate bar.” Lil waved her hand at her already chocolate covered hat.
“A very hungry caterpillar,” said Figgy, catching on.
“And Glitter, you can be the beautiful butterfly!”
The team was smiling once again.
Everyone except Nim. “This is the boys’ favorite book and I don’t have a part in it?”
“I have the perfect job for you, Nim.” Pixie handed Nim a small stick with a string.
Nim frowned at the stick. “Well, that’s not in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And what’s going on with the celery at the end?”
Pixie smiled. “Bait.”
*The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A quick trip to the North Pole and heartfelt talk with Santa had the team feeling more confident in their ability to keep belief alive in Joe’s heart.
It’s not presents and shenanigans that turn disbelief around…all Joe needed was a reminder of the true magic of Christmas. A magic that cannot be seen, but only felt.
“It’s like Santa said, he’s not the true spirit of Christmas, he’s just another angel helping spread the joy of the Season,” said Nim.
“I don’t know why we don’t keep a copy of his poem with us all the time. The answer was right there in front of us!” said Lil.
“Poem?” asked Pixie. “What poem?”
“Oh, we almost forgot!” said Glitter. “You haven’t heard Santa’s end of year poem yet.”
Lil cleared her throat.
Christmastime is full of cheer,
a happy, joyful time of year.
But please remember it is more
than presents scattered on the floor.
A Savior King was born this day
in a lowly manger full of hay.
Though this King was very small,
He had come to save us all.
And when He grew into a man
He traveled far across the land.
God sent his son here to fulfill
and carry out His glorious will.
Have fun, delight in all your play
and laugh, make merry, every day.
Take moments to reflect and see
God’s awesome gift to you and me.
Pixie sat speechless and filled with happiness. The poem was perfect. Beautiful.
“All right, places everyone!” said Glitter. She cantered to the Nativity with a rolled up copy of the poem in her harness.
Nim, Lil, Figgy and Pixie each took a spot on the edge of the manger while Glitter joined the animals, hanging the poem from shepherd’s crook.
We…wish you a merry birthday,
we wish you a merry birthday.
We wish you a merry birthday
and a happy new year!
Nice presents for you
a fun breakfast too.
Now you have a good day
that is filled with good cheer!
Happy 8th Birthday Joe!
The team had prepared a birthday breakfast to surpass all other birthday breakfasts. A tower of chocolate donut gems rose high over strawberry PopTart village with chocolate and caramel lakes. It was beautiful and Joe loved it.
“Pssst. Lil. Did you hear that?” Pixie asked from her perch on the light fixture.
“Hang on, did he just thank his mom for this birthday feast!” Lil hissed.
“How could he think that? We always make it!” Nim was outraged.
“Santa was right,” Figgy whimpered. “He is starting to change.”
“STOP MOVING!” Glitter fumed. “Remember Chapter One, Section 1, Rule 1.1 in The Book!”
Nim, Lil and Figgy gasped. Pixie didn’t know what Rule 1.1 was, but she could tell breaking it would be bad by the looks of horror her friends shared.
The Book Section 1, Chapter 1, Rule 1.1: Never let the humans see you move. Failure to follow this rule will result in immediate expulsion from the Mischief Maker Team and Gum Drop Sugaring duty for one full season—with no sampling. Reinstatement not guaranteed.
After the family went out for Joe’s birthday treat the team untangled themselves and gathered at the table.
“We need a game plan,” said a determined Lil.
“I agree,” added Figgy.
“How can we keep Joe’s belief alive?” Pixie’s brow crinkled.
“What can we do?” Nim asked in despair.
All four elves turned to Glitter for guidance, but Glitter was quiet, an almost hopeless look on her furry face. “I just don’t know.”
“We were scared almost to death!” said Lil, glaring at Glitter. “I didn’t even know there were garden gnomes, let alone that they were your friends!”
Glitter laughed and snorted.
“I still say it was a dirty trick.” Nim scowled at Glitter.
Glitter just laughed harder. “Oh Nim, you should have seen your faces!”
After being terrified and nearly roasted alive over a small gnomish fire, the elves screamed as Glitter galloped out to the garden laughing so hard she brayed and called the gnomes off. Apparently, she had orchestrated the whole thing.
Figgy and Pixie giggled.
“What are you two laughing about. You were just as terrified as we were,” said Nim.
But Figgy and Pixie were not laughing about the gnomes. They were slowly preparing for the night’s mischief.
“What are you two doing over there?” asked Lil, finally noticing their secretive movements.
“Us? We aren’t doing anything,” said Pixie with wide, innocent eyes.
Slowly, Nim, Lil and Glitter approached.
“Oh. My. Goodness. What on earth did you do to Barrel?!” Lil exclaimed.
Barrel was completely covered in toilet paper with only his eyes, nose and tail free from the white wrapping. As the original trio gaped in surprise at the little dog, a cotton ball sailed toward them and hit Glitter on the antlers.
Then, chaos erupted.
“Snowball fight!” yelled Figgy and Pixie.
By the time the elves and Glitter were done, the entire living room, kitchen and hallway were covered with cotton snowballs, Barrel had escaped and Nim, Lil, Pixie and Figgy were tangled in tinsel.
Glitter was breathless with laughter…until they heard the sound of shuffling steps and soft sighs.
“They’re up! Everybody freeze!”
“Very good job team,” said Santa as he smiled down at the four elves.
“Thank you sir, Mr. Santa.” Pixie had not quite gotten used to the big guy yet.
“I’m glad to see you two getting along again.”
Nim and Lil turned pink, embarrassed by their behavior over the past weeks.
“Yes Santa,” said Lil. “We’ve worked it out.”
“Good, because I have some important news that affects you all.”
Santa’s suddenly serious tone worried the group. Was something wrong?
“As you know,” Santa began. “Joe is 8 in just a few days.”
“Is that all?” asked Nim with relief. “Yes, and we have such a fun day planned!”
“Yes, yes. That’s very good, but that is not all.” Santa spoke in a voice he used only for the most grave Elf Mishaps.
“I-it’s not?” Lil reached for Nim’s hand.
“I’m afraid that we must plan for the inevitable. This may very well be the last year Joe believes in the magic.”
Nim and Lil looked at each other in shock.
“It’s true,” said Pixie. “I heard him when I came out for Jake’s birthday in October. He was asking questions about elves, hobbits and even…the Tooth Fairy.”
“But, he knows us. He sees what we do each night,” said Nim.
“Sometimes, even the clearest vision gets clouded with doubt,” said Santa sadly. “I’m afraid Joe is growing up and will very soon have no time for Santa and his elves.”
The group fell silent.
As the four friends flew back to the house, Lil couldn’t help but feel a heavy weight in her heart. What would happen to them when Joe stopped believing?
“INCOMING!!!!” Figgy dive bombed toward the window and missed, skidding to a halt in the snow covered garden bed.
“It’s locked,” said Lil in surprise.
“Locked? How can it be locked?” asked Pixie.
All four elves gathered on the window sill and tried in turn to open it, but it was shut tight.
“I don’t believe it. They never lock this window,” said Nim.
“Maybe Glitter will let us in. Do you see her anywhere?” Figgy peeked inside, searching, but Glitter was nowhere to be found.
“Now what do we do?”
“Yeh could come ‘n join us by da fire,” said a gruff voice from the garden.
Startled, the elves turned as one. A gnome was standing at the edge of the garden staring at them.
“I didn’t know those gnomes were real!” Nim whispered excitedly.
“A fire does sound nice,” said Pixie, the first to recover from the shock of a talking statue.
“And I am a little chilly,” added Figgy.
Nim glanced at Lil who shrugged. They all followed the gnome.
When they reached the small hut in the garden, they found a crowd of gnomes huddled around a fire.
“Ah, Phil. Yer back with dinner.”
The elves glanced at Phil. He didn’t have any food in his hands.
It was then that they noticed all the gnomes slowly surrounding them.
“Uh oh,” said Pixie.
“Charge!” cried the horde of gnomes.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Nim and Lil, what a thrill
won the prize again!
Pixie, Figgy gave their all
but scored only 9 of 10!
Figgy and Pixie laughed good naturedly. They were too happy that everyone was getting along and Nim and Lil were friends once again to be too sore at coming in second in the SugarRush competition.
“To be fair,” said Glitter. “It was a tie until the boys’ mom voted.”
Lil and Nim smiled.
“What are we doing tonight?” asked Figgy.
“A science experiment,” said Lil.
“Oh no,” said Nim. “We aren’t going to try and make slime again are we?”
“Slime?” asked Figgy.
“That sounds interesting. And fun,” said Pixie.
“No way. I think we would definitely be suspended if we did that again.”
The last time Lil and Nim attempted to make slime, they made a fantastic mess of the kitchen counters, floor, cabinets and stove.
“This time we’ll try something less messy,” said Lil.
“Or, at least easier to clean up,” said Pixie.
“Yep, we are going to set up an experiment for the boys to make their very own snowman…indoors.”
“No,” said Glitter firmly. “Absolutely not. When they melt, and they will, the floors will be ruined, the parents will be angry and we will all be in big trouble.”
“I said NO.” Glitter stomped her hoof.
“They won’t be made of snow, Glitter,” said Lil.
“Oh.” Glitter relaxed. “Well then, I suppose that’s–”.
“And vinegar. I call them ‘Sizzling Snowmen’.”
Glitter sighed, snorted and stomped away.
Recipe for Sizzling Snowmen
- Small plastic cups
- Baking soda
- Black beads
- Orange foam paper
- Basters, eye droppers, or spoons
Optional but super fun
- Glitter and sequins
- Food coloring
Slowly add water to a cup or so of baking soda until you get a crumbly but pack-able dough.
Place two beads and an orange triangle nose in the bottom of the cup.
Add some of the mixture. Then place some sequins and glitter on top and cover with more mixture and glitter.
Place in the freezer overnight.
Run hot water around the outside of the cups. This will loosen the snowmen and they will slide out more easily.
Set out your snowman baking soda science activity with a baster and a bowl of vinegar. Make sure to put them on a tray or dish that will hold the liquid.
For more fun, add a drop or two of blue food coloring to the vinegar. Drip drop the vinagar onto your snowmen and watch them sizzle!
What’s the science?
The chemical reaction that occurs between the baking soda (base) and the vinegar (acid) produces carbon dioxide.
(Experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands – http://www.littlebinsforlittlehands.com)
“Did you get it all?” Nim hovered over the garbage can, now full of all the sugar-free snacks, syrups and sodas found in the house.
“I think so,” said Lil dumping another box of sugar-free sugar in the trash.
“And I’ve stacked the last sack of real sugar on the counter,” said Figgy. “We are ready for SugarRush!”
Two recipes lay on the counter. One the boys’ great grandmother’s famous molasses cookies. The other, Nim and Lil’s Super Secret Sugar Cookie recipe.
“Team One will be making Sugar Cookies while Team Two tackles the molasses,” said Glitter. Her gaze traveled from Pixie and Figgy to Nim and Lil. “Teams?”
Lil looked down at her toes while Nim shuffled his feet.
Figgy and Pixie looked at each other and smiled. They knew exactly what Nim and Lil were thinking.
Figgy nudged Pixie. “You know, I’d love to make the molasses cookies.”
“Oh, me too!” said Pixie with a grin.
“I guess that leaves you and me on the sugar cookies, Nim” said Lil, scuffing her foot on the table.
Nim smiled. “I guess so.”
And just like that, Nim and Lil were partners in mischief once again.