Bubbamom, the question is not just making it soft, but keeping it without crystals. Taking it out of the freezer will soften the part you don't eat, which then going back into the freezer will be sort of ruined.
To SOFTEN ice cream, though, i put it in the dish, put it in the microwave at the lowest setting (90 watts) and turn it on for five seconds. Perfect!
For preventing crystals, the italian meringue is excellent.