Tuesday, December 25

Saturday, December 15

Spiritual Exercises in Kansas (Silent Ignatian Retreats)

I benefited so much from my retreat with Miles Christi last fall and I am looking forward to the next one coming in April. I want to share this information with any of you that might be interested in making the Ignatian Retreat in Kansas. The retreat center in Wichita is very beautiful.

Preached and directed by the priests of Miles Christi

The Spiritual Exercises are a silent retreat based on the well-proven method of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The priests of Miles Christi, devoted to the preaching of these Ignatian retreats, frequently offer them in a weekend format. Throughout the centuries, the Spiritual Exercises have shown to be an excellent means of sanctification, highly praised by Popes and Saints.

For Women and Young Women
April 18-20, 2008 (Wichita, KS)

For Men and Young Men
September 26-28, 2008 (Wichita, KS)

Miles Christi Religious Order
P.O. Box 701200 - Plymouth, MI 48170
(248) 596-9677 - infousa@mileschristi.org

Tuesday, November 27

The baptism of my new God-Child

Originally uploaded by smollerus

What a wonderful day when a soul becomes the adopted son of God. I was so happy to be holding such a beautiful creation and so honored to be a God-mother!

Tuesday, October 16

My Friends in Europe

So many of my friends are either in Europe or have been there in the past and I just can't wait for my turn! So check out their travel blog!

Monday, October 15

St. Michael's Sword Smith

My friend Gabe Hugoboom has an awesome website where he sells beautiful wooden swords that he crafts himself. He is very talented and his works of art speak for themselves. His website has been recentely updated - so check it out!
From the website:
St. Michael's SwordSmith™ brings you the largest exclusive collection of fully-functional hardwood swords. Each meticulously handcrafted in the USA to match the look, detail, strength and weight of a steel sword - the main weapon carried into battle for thousands of years. This collection of wooden swords has been based upon historical designs and named after great historical saints. As for the biblical, these sword designs are fabricated works of the production designer and the names are of the great archangels and guardian angels whose existence is attested in the Holy Bible. these wooden swords outdo the name 'waster' and are more of replica swords, built to last and perform in intense combat as the steel swords did for centuries, but in the substance of wood.

Tuesday, October 9

Baby Steps

I know that so many of you enjoy seeing the progression of my artwork and so (thanks to my friends who took the class with me) I have a series of pictures of my icon as I was working on it during the 5 day class in Dallas.

99 Balloons

Hat-tip to American Papist

Cast your vote!

My Friend who runs the amazing American Papist Blog (see my blogroll) has been nominated as one of the top 20 finalists in the 2007 Blogging Scholarship contest out of a pool of hundreds of applicants. Voting will end in 20 days (October 28th). The grand prize is a $10K scholarship. I really hope he can win this contest so if you want to help please take 5 seconds and vote for him! Just visit here: http://www.collegescholarships.org/blog/2007/10/08/vote-for-the-winner-of-the-2007-blogging-scholarship/... Thomas Peters is second from the bottom. If his blog wins, Catholic blogging - and especially Catholic Youth blogging - will receive greater attention and be able to reach more people. And that's an awesome goal. So please, vote now, and tell your friends! THANK YOU!

Tuesday, September 25

Benedictine monks will make own beams for cloister from oak trees

By Dave Crenshaw9/25/2007
From : Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)
HULBERT, Okla. (CNS) – Benedictine monks will transform 75 large oak trees felled on the property of their monastery near Hulbert into large beams for their cloister and into doors for their residence and gatehouse.
ABBOT BOWS IN PRAYER DURING MASS AT MONASTERY – Abbot Antoine Forgeot, center, of Our Lady of the Assumption Abbey in Fontgombault, France, bows in prayer as he celebrates Mass Sept. 2 with the faithful and the monks of Clear Creek Monastery near Hulbert, Okla. Abbot Forgeot traveled to the monastery to inspect the progress of the construction of the new monastery. (CNS/Eastern Oklahoma Catholic)
Construction on the Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek began in 2004. The first building phase cost an estimated $4.5 million and consisted of the crypt and basement of what will be the church.
Phase two of construction is expected to cost $12 million. It began in November 2006 and is scheduled for completion in December of this year. It includes a four-story residence, or cloister, for the monks and the gatehouse, which will serve as a point of contact when visitors come to pray at the monastery.
With their massive walls and their huge concrete pillars sunk deep into the Oklahoma bedrock, it is clear that both the cloister and the crypt that will support the monastery's future church are meant to last.
The Benedictine community arrived from Fontgombault, France, in 1999 at the invitation of Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Okla. The 26 monks at Clear Creek have been using an original log house on their property as their kitchen and refectory, while they live and pray in several large metal buildings erected since their arrival.
On Sept. 2 Abbot Antoine Forgeot from Fontgombault celebrated Mass with the monks of Clear Creek. It was attended by about 200 of the faithful, who came from across the Diocese of Tulsa and from the surrounding region to see how quickly work is progressing.
In an effort to cut costs, much of the finishing work on the monastery will be completed by the monks themselves, which is expected to delay occupancy until early 2008.
Funding for the building project comes from financing, private donations and the support of the monks' motherhouse in France.
"We are probably going to build a small, wood-burning heating system for the residence next," said Father Francois de Feydeau, who is subprior and a founder of the monastery.
"But the main project we want to start is building the church. As to when we will be able to do that, well, only God knows," he told the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Tulsa.

Wednesday, September 19

Art Post on Small Pax

In case I had not mentioned it before I am a member of the
Small Pax Blog and I wanted to share with you my recent post about an icon I just finished. Small Pax is an art blog that has many amazing contributors! It is an honor to be one of them! If you would like to view my post here is the link: Small Pax - Christ the Teacher Icon

Monday, August 27

28 August 2007 lunar eclipse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: 28 August 2007 lunar eclipse

A total lunar eclipse will take place on August 28, 2007, the second of two lunar eclipses to occur in 2007. The Moon is expected to enter the Earth's penumbra at 07:53:39 UTC. The first partial phase will begin in earnest at 08:51:16 UTC when the Moon enters the Earth's umbra.
The total phase is expected to begin at 09:52:22 UTC and end at 11:22:24 UTC-- a length of 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 2 seconds. This is a typical duration for such an event.
Oklahoma is UTC-7 time zone (so the eclipse should begin at 2:52 am - that is if I am understanding the UTC times conversion)
Here is a cool video clip from earlier this year:

Tuesday, August 21

Guess who?

Ria, my cousin, posted this old family photo of me holding her when she was just a wee littl' baby - I think it such a cute picture and it brings back beautiful memories. Had to share this one!

Friday, August 17

Prayer Request

Please pray for the Zaplatol family who is still searching for their missing 9 year-old son, Michael, after he was swept away by the Kansas river. They are good friends to many in our local community and a very sweet family. Here are some quick articles I found on google. I will post any new information as I recieve it. Thank you.

Search continues for 9-year-old swept up in Kansas River’s current

Church Family Mourns Michael Zapletal (videos included in this article)

Tuesday, August 7

So funny!

I found this video awhile ago on youtube but then it was discontinued ... well now, courtesy of americanpapist, I have found it again! Enjoy!

Friday, August 3

Colors in Clear Creek

Picture taken from the creek that flows by the Monastery
(photo credit goes to my friend Matt R.)

Bales of Hay

A picture of bales taken by my Aunt. To see more of her photo's check our her Flickr site : http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairity/

Saturday, July 28

The Monk and the Murderer

Here is the article (it may take some time to upload) :

A recent article from the Catholic World Report features one of the dear monks from the monastery here : Br. Vianney Marie. As a community we had been asked to pray for this man in jail that Br. Vianney Marie was writing letters to but it was not until I read this whole article that I realized how amazing and providential this man's last minute conversion was! My younger brother who is 10 yrs old absolutly loves Br. Vianney Marie and often helps him with odds and ends after mass during the week and from what I hear afterwards Br. Vianney Marie has quite a bit of humor. One of my favorite parts of the article is this:
"You have a contemplative order whose purpose is just prayer and not ministry, but there's an overflow into the world. Most of it is invisible, in souls. Once in a while, God lifts the corner of the veil, and you see how it works." - Fr. Pior
I believe that this is just the beginnings of amazing things to happen because of Clear Creek Monastery! I love our monks!

Saturday, July 21

Girls Gone Mild

I hope to see more articles and websites like this!
MSNBC - Girls Gone Mild? From the article: "... But they are from the Web site of Pure Fashion, a modeling and etiquette program for teen girls whose goal is "to show the public it is possible to be cute, stylish and modest."
Here is the new site: Pure Fashion (Sponsored by Regnum Christi!)

Saturday, June 23

Flood Waters in CC

On our way to high mass at the monastery we drove over a slightly flooded low water bridge and listened as all during mass the rain hammered on the metal roof of the chapel and the thunder shook the walls. On our return home only a few hours later not only the bridge but that whole segment of road was completely under a fast rushing current of brown foaming water. We travelled home by a different road which was much longer and ended up helping some others who were unable to get through a different flooded low water bridge that we could get through with our excursion. Later in the day we returned to the first bridge to take these pictures and already the water had lowered quite a bit. This river where we are standing is upstream just a little from where it flows right by the monastery.

A Recent Graphic Design Project

Here is the latest Catholic Answers Catalog - Summer 2007
The image above is the front of the catalog and the next 47 pages follow a similar color and image theme. The image of the angel was taken by my good friend Matt R. during his study abroad in Europe. Here is the website for Catholic Answers if you would like to recieve a copy for yourself : http://www.catholic.com/

Friday, June 15

Some of the things you might find when you search my name on the internet

I was browsing around with the search engine 'my way' and came across a few things of interest

Some of my artwork from my graphic design class back in SD : here is the display of my artwork from Palomar College (it says Michaela Lawless underneath)

Here is an image from the SD wildfires that I took

and a CD cover that I designed

Wednesday, June 13

Unique Horse Art

These are images from an email sent to me. I love art in general but I have a particular interest in using common objects as art (tastfully that is). Much modern art is disgusting but here is a new art form that really brings forth something beautiful and natural.

1.) 2.)
Which is your favorite image?
image 1
image 2
image 3
image 4
image 5
image 6
image 7
image 8
image 9
image 10
pollcode.com free polls

Friday, May 18

Farm Fresh Chicken!

We now have fresh chicken available for purchase ... come get it now! They are all natural and have been raised out on our pasture. To see more information check our new blog : www.vitabellaranch.blogspot.com or click on the flyer for a high rez version.

Sunday, April 29

Bees are buzzing on Vita Bella Ranch

We now have our first two bee hives! We bought two Nucs from Carl Harrison who is a beekeeper with the NEOBA bee-club in Tulsa. FYI : A Nuc is a small starter hive that many keepers use to begin beekeeping, or to increase the number of hives they own. My sister and I took an eight week bee-keeping course last fall but I must say that until we actually went out and saw the live bees the bookwork was a lot of greek to me. The pick up day was yesterday and so all day Friday we were frantically trying to finish the bee yard, shelter, and hive.

We assembled 20 frames (10 for each hive) and the trickiest part was melting the supporting wire into the wax foundation on which the bees build the comb. Pictured below you can see the wax foundation (sheet) and the frame with the horizontal wires.

Once I had slipped the wax foundation into the frame David applied a short electric shock to the wire which heated it enough to allow it to melt into the wax. The idea is that the wire once hardened into the wax will give it structural support. Since neither the wax nor the wire was very staight it was tricky business to get the get the wire evenly into the wax. The technique we were most happy with in the end was rolling up a few sheets of newspaper into a fat roll and placing it under one wire at a time and only "zapping" that one wire until it was as even as we could get it.
You can see in this picture the vertical wires that came already embedded into the foundation ... So with the horizontal wire we were adding there was really quite a bit of support.

Adding another finished frame to the hives.

Dad and David built the shelter and yard for the bees. You cannot quite tell from the picture but the pond is just a few feet to the left of where I was standing so the bees had easy access to water. The hive entrance faces south east so the morning sun reaches the hives ... and the view from the bees front door is quite spectacular. And yes we did get a roof on it ... I will have to post an updated picture later.

My dad and I loaded our finished (empty) hives into the car and drove to the bee yard in Tulsa. There were about 90 nucs scattered throughout the yard and bees were buzzing all around. Several people were around helping Carl (the bee owner). It was pick-up day for many people besides myself and so others were there with their empty hives. I pulled out my bee costume (a bee-hat, a white long-sleeve shirt, and gloves) and clumsily assembled myself in the bee armour ... I certainly felt like a rookie. I then joined the small "astronaut" looking group huddled around a buzzing hive.

They group was looking for the 'queen bee' amidst the hundreds of bees crawling all over the exposed frame (in the picture above I am on the far left).

It took awhile and with several pairs of eyes looking before someone spotted the queen bee (which is double the size of the normal bee). Once found she was placed in her new hive and was ready to be taken to her new home site. My dad and I unloaded our two hives onto the grass and soon 5 of our empty frames were exchanged with 5 frames filled with honey and bood and covered in masses of bees. We very carefully closed up the hives and transported them to our car. The bees were much more quiet than I had imagined they would be during our drive home ... I actually even slept a little (my dad was driving). Once we got home we placed the hives on two cinder blocks and let the bees begin exploring their new territory.

Some links for those it may interest:

North Eastern Oklahoma Beekeepers Association

Some beekeeping basics

Construction of the Langstroths 10 frame bee-hive

Article on beekeeping with a nice glossary