Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday with Friends...

Abby, Baby Liv, and I headed off down the highway Friday morning. Our destination... Bowral in the Southern Highlands region of Australia. Our reason... to meet Ellie and Elijah for a fun afternoon! We arrived in the quaint little town around 11:30 ~ it was truly beautiful. The drive (once leaving the main highway) was the Australia that I had dreamed of... lush green farms ~ one after the other... horses, sheep, cattle.... one farm named "Brigadoon"! We drove through Moss Vale which I must return to visit one day soon and onto Bowral. This is a tiny town ~ population 8,000 ~ that has "refurbished" the main street of town into a thriving little metropolis. The sidewalks were full and the shops bustling!

Ellie and Elijah had made it to town a little earlier and were waiting for us. It took Abby a little while to warm up ~ it had been a few months since our last visit in Sydney. Elijah is such an amazingly sweet little boy ~ wanting nothing more than to hold Abby's hand and help her! She did declare when we arrived home that he was her new best friend!!!

We walked around, had a great lunch, did a little window shopping and then it was time to return home. It had been a beautiful sunny day... up until we returned to our cars. 2 seconds after loading the girls and their associated paraphernalia into the Nissan, the bottom dropped out of the sky! What a storm!

We drove slowly to the highway only to have to pull over on the side and wait for about an hour until things cleared.

I called Joe to tell him about the 2 feet of snow on either side of the road... and learned that I was in the middle of a horrid Australian hail storm.... YUCK!!! The temperature dropped from about 80 degrees to about 40 degrees in a matter of minutes and I am not exaggerating when I say the white stuff was piled up two feet on either side of the highway!

I finally pulled back onto the highway and had a white knuckle drive home. But... it was so worth it! We had a great visit with Ellie and Elijah! Just wish we lived closer so we could visit much more frequently!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Of Personal Care Products....

On a shelf in my bathroom are an array of different perfume bottles lined up in a row. The odd shapes and colors multiplied as they sit in front of the mirror. Most are gifts from Joe ~ picked up at this or that duty free shop from airports around the world. The names are all fancy... I can't even pronounce of couple of them! They all smell nice ~ especially my favorite by Ralph Lauren!
Now I do believe I have written about the differences between the US and Australia ~ more than anyone would ever imagine! But the one that shocked me the most was the difference between our personal care products. Many things are just NOT the same! To enjoy my normal products, I have become a regular on But it takes weeks to get things delivered down under and sometimes I am just not fast enough.
A few weeks ago, I ran out of my ever so coveted Secret solid antiperspirant/deodorant. "No Worries" I thought to myself, I would run to Kmart or Target and pick one up if my supply was not replenished by the post man! :) That proved to be a little more difficult that I imagined! There is no Secret.... basically, there is no solid... and there is no antiperspirant for ladies! At least not that I could find! Tons of deodorant... in beautiful bottles ~ swirling around in liquid form. There are also tons of sprays... in cool little modern cans with beautiful logos.
As rubbing liquid anything under my arms seems to me to be defeating the intended purpose to begin with, I opted for the hot pink spray bottle with the cool logo and interesting "lid"... I am a marketers dream!!! I was surprised when I used my new personal care product for the first time that it had such a great scent! It definitely was not antiperspirant... but it smelled lovely.... so I just used tons! :)
Fast forward and my Secret arrived from the US in an abundant manner ~ I will never again run out!!! I decided that I would still use my new spray with the unscented Secret ~ makes for a great combination! It smells nice and it stays dry!
So this week, I get dressed for work on Tuesday. As I am leaving Joe told me that I looked really nice! He made my day! Then he added "And you smell nice, your perfume is so nice... not like all the rest of the ladies that wear too much and it is too strong... which one is it Rebel? " I chuckled before I told him that it was not the expensive bottles that decorated the bathroom shelf, but my $3.48 deodorant from the local grocery that is called "Hoity Toity"..... I guess I will be stocking up before I move on to the new location.... does carry Hoity Tooty.... I wonder????

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Another place we visited over school holidays was Floriade. As folks all across the US are getting down their sweaters and shaking the dust off of their winter boots getting ready for fall, in Canberra we are in the middle of Spring... and how beautiful it is!!!

Each year, Canberra welcomes spring with a flower festival like no other... It is known as Floriade. Abby went several times with her school mates. With Daniel in tow last week, I took Abby and baby Liv. Even though we attended during the last week and had missed the true "splendor" of the bloom... it was spectacular!

I am glad that Abby insisted that we go!

I meet myself coming and going...

It has been a while since I posted... but as my mother likes to say... "I meet myself coming and going..."!!! This has been so true for the last few weeks! The kids were on school holidays which would make one think that like would be a little less "busy"... but not at the Judge house!

Everyone is back in school now and we are working on getting the "new" schedule down... basketball practice before and after school, softball practice, work, along with the normal things that one must do in order to survive... i.e. grocery shopping! :)

A highlight of the last few weeks was a visit from our friends from Indonesia~ Aristotle, Henny, and their daughter Hillary! They are doing a "tour" of Australia and added a stop in Canberra to see Holly on stage. Hillary is a big fan of High School Musical... just like every other child in the world!!! Hillary spent the night with us and was treated to some yummy "Holly Pancakes" for breakfast! Then Joe and I and Abby drove her back to Sydney to meet her parents. We had a great afternoon in Sydney and then returned home. Joe later met up with our friends again in Brisbane and will see them once more in Adelaide this week. It was great to see them again... makes us homesick for all of our wonderful friends in Indonesia!!!

A final note... Ladybugs are considered very lucky in the "Chinese Adoption Circle"! The belief is that a sighting of one of these beautiful little creatures is always followed by good news! I always get emails from exciting mommies-to-be about seeing a ladybug in their gardens or in the park and getting much anticipated news shortly there after! Pictures of newly adopted little girls from China in their beautiful little ladybug dresses adorn most family websites! I too have bought my share of ladybug items for Lilli. These include a cute little red ladybug sippy cup that has been sent to China, cute denim capris with ladybugs embroidered on the side, ladybug bathing suit, and a cute ladybug hair bow. I thought the little cartoon ladybugs would be the only ones that I would ever see... as I have only seen maybe 6 ladybugs my whole entire life! But on Saturday, as Holly and I were leaving her softball game, we spotted a cute little ladybug perched on the wooded barrier that marked our parking spot! Holly thought I was a bit strange as I got so excited by this marvelous "find"... I did not have our camera, but was able to snap a photo with my mobile phone! I hope I receive good news this week... :)