November: A Month in Review

November Header Image

Wow. Weren’t we just getting fresh haircuts and collecting school supplies for the beginning of a new school year? Somehow August, September and October have ended and we are now wrapping up November and our first semester! It’s been a busy first semester, but so very successful. Keep reading to see everything that happened in November alone!

General Olive Plants News: 

Between opening the OP Shop for the first time, introducing new tutors to our roster, fundraisers, and much more this semester has been a full one. In the most recent news, the students of Olive Plants met their goal of selling $750 worth of doughnuts; this money will go towards a library and various resources for the co-op. donuts2There are a few frozen boxes leftover for $7; please contact Christy Holloway if you’re interested.

This year we have added multiple new tutors such as Jason Bennett, our high school worldview teacher, Cassi Wisener, who teaches state history, journalism and world geography. Also added are Joy Pemberton who teaches math to the greenhouse students, Elizabeth Hewett, ELA teacher for the greenhouse and Jessica Folds who also teaches for the greenhouse.

Unfortunately, we are also losing a tutor this semester. We are sad to say goodbye to our high school British literature teacher, Chloe Petrus. She will be moving to Kansas City in January with her husband, and dog.

shakespearesIn other news, Mrs. Dawn announced that she has an opening in her Shakespeare class for next semester, if you are interested, please email Mrs. Dawn for more information.

As for our OP Shop opening, it will still be open next semester, but they are in search of a new manager, as our old manager can no longer hold this position. Again, if interested, talk to Dawn Hays.

Lastly, as this semester draws to a close, remember that we have a lost and found in room 303. Make sure to check it before you leave for the year in case you have left anything.

Thank you for all of your hard work this semester, and we’ll see you next year!
OP Journalism.

Families and Health updates:

Olive Plants Family Health Updates:
Ben Hayes- Great news! While his recovery with the first leg was a slow process, but he was given the all clear to have his next surgery which is slated for December 20th! Please keep Mrs. Dawn, Ben, and the fam in your prayers as he will be recovering over the Christmas Break.scripture memory

Marcus Hewitt- Marcus is the son of Mrs. Elizabeth. He has an ongoing intestinal issue that has left him hospitalized a few times, including once this past month. Marcus and Elizabeth are waiting to see a specialist in the new year and will hopefully have more answers and plan to help heal Marcus!

Katie Blue- The Blue family is anxiously awaiting the arrival baby Blue Number 7! Mrs. Katie is due after the new year.

Hazel Cromer- Hazel’s dad underwent a procedure earlier in the month. Please continue to keep her and her family in prayer.

Tutor Spot Light: 

FB_IMG_1511815362065Thank you, Mrs. Chloe, for being a passionate teacher of literature and for making each class engaging and a fun atmosphere to learn in. We will never forget all of your valuable contributions and useful advice. We will miss you and your special teaching skills. As you leave our co-op, we wish you and your husband all the best and pray for God’s hand of protection and guidance over you as you pursue your dreams.

Greenhouse Updates: 

Our teachers have had a blast this month making learning fun for all ages. All about AAS2spelling used Bananagrams to practice spelling, and the K5 class had the opportunity to learn about and dress as their favorite Community Helper. The tutors also spiced up their lessons with puppets teaching in K5 and ELA classes. The geography 3- 5 class had the chance to create and present posters and projects to go along with their studies. Thanksgiving doesn’t only mean no school it also came with learning opportunities for our elementary students.

Elizabeth Hewitt taught her class with Thanksgiving Mad Libs, and we got to enjoy the Zebra class singing Thanksgiving songs taught to them by Mrs. Jessica thanksgiving pres 2folds. We are super proud to announce Kayde and Jonas for achieving super reader status! We are so glad our tutors can improve their students learning ability by making things a little more fun for everyone, and we are delighted to see our students working so hard!

Grove Updates: 

Mapping the World by Heart is an excellent curriculum that teaches students how to not only draw but also introduces unique features of each of the seven continent. By the end of this course, each child will be able to draw each continent in vivid detail from memory.

Arboretum Updates: 

Our high school classes have been working hard as well! Mrs. Janice’s Physical Science Class presented their science projects where they were given an element from the periodic chart and then recreate it with marshmallows or on a poster.

kimchi world geoMrs. Cassi’s World Geography class enjoyed trying Asian and European snacks. While the Asian snacks were met with mixed reviews, all agreed that European chocolates were delightful and tasty!

Mrs. Amy’s Algebra 2 class got ready for Thanksgiving by making turkey factors!math turkeys

Archery Update:

On December 2nd, Olive Plants Archers competed at a regional tournament hosted at Lafayette Christian School. Each archer shot a total of 30 arrows, 15 of which were shot 10 meters from the target, and 15 arrows were shot 15 meters away. The team consisted of 19 shooters, most of which have been shooting for a year or more. The team placed 2nd overall in the High School division with a cumulative score of 2878 points. Although 3000 are necessary to qualify for regionals, this is a very impressive score for a first-year team.

archery 3Kari, Bethany, and Rebekah Vanlarrhoven, all daughters of Coach V, shot the top three scores of them team and placed 4th, 5th, and 6th place respectively among all the female shooters with scores of 261, 259, and 255 respectively. Cade Parnell, who has been hunting since he was young, scored 250 points and placed 3rd in High School Boys and 1st among the 9th Grade Boys. Archer Ben Hays shot a score of 246, as opposed to 221 at a previous event, placing 4th among High School Boys and 1st among Senior Boys. Ben shoots with a bow that forces him to use his “blind eye” which skews both his view of the target and his ability to focus on one spot. Other impressive High School scores include Brian Johnson with 243, Sadie Bryan with 232, Jake Holloway with 232, and Javin Hutto with 220.

In the middle school division, Joshua Vanlaarhoven took home the silver in 5th-grade boys with a score of 228. Jonothan May, one of our newest shooters, shot just slightly lower with a score of 226. Lydia Vanlaarhoven scored 223, placing 1st in 4th-grade girls.

archery 2Olive Plants Archers continues to aim for Christ and to hit the mark as they continue to train and improve in the sport of archery. This is just the beginning for the team, and they can only improve from here.








A Farewell to Mrs. Chloe

Chle 1

To say that the Olive Plants Co-Op is going to miss our Mrs. Chloe is a gross understatement. Mrs. Chloe has played an integral part of our group for several years now. She was an exceptional student turned tutor. We are exceedingly grateful for all of her help, support, guidance, and cooperation she has shown over the last several years. She has been a ray of sunshine and always ready with outstanding advice and a strong desire to bring out the best in each and every student she has encountered.  FB_IMG_1511815219695

Thank you, Mrs. Chloe, for being a passionate teacher of literature and for making each class engaging and a fun atmosphere to learn in. We will never forget all of your valuable contributions and useful advice. We will miss you and your special teaching skills. As you leave our co-op, we wish you and your husband all the best and pray for God’s hand of protection and guidance over you as you pursue your dreams. 

While still in high school Mrs. Chloe began her teaching career as an intern for Mrs. Dawn in 2015. After graduating high school she went straight into online courses at Thomas Edison State University. She has been homeschooled her entire life along with her four other siblings.

FB_IMG_1511815174396She began to get to know her now husband, Sam, in 2013, knowing his family long before. They dated for a couple of years and got married last school year, September 2, 2016. They adopted a fluffy senior Saint Bernard named Marly, who is 8 years old. Chloe enjoys British literature, yoga, Crossfit with her mom (according to Chloe, her mother is a much better crossfitter than she is) and coffee which should not surprise you.


FB_IMG_1511815098630On January 2, 2018, she will be moving to Kansas City for her husband’s job. While there she plans to further expand her photography business, Chloe Virginia Photography, and begin a part-time job at a coffee shop. She has been a wonderful teacher and a joy to everyone around her.

A Special Note From Harlee Sims:

I met Chloe when she was an intern in one of Mrs. Dawn’s English classes, she was incredibly helpful and kept everyone laughing the whole class. Fast forward to this year, Chloe is my British literature teacher and I love her so much! She uses a humorous and memorable teaching method which helps me to soak up the content we learn. While reading our first book of the semester, Beowulf, Katie Belle and I decided to summarize the book in redneck/slang terms. One of our projects was to make an event chart of the main events in the story, we did our entire project in our red-slang language, and Chloe let us. I can tell you all of the important points in Beowulf because of her letting us use our imaginations to learn. She recently agreed to give us extra credit if we made a movie highlighting the main points of Tale of Two Cities with our typical method. So, Katie Belle, Cate and I will start the filming for that soon, and hopefully, she will appreciate it just as much as she appreciated the Harry Styles music video we made her watch in class. Thank you for your time, Chloe. I have loved getting to know you and learning from you. I will miss you but I hope you have an amazing time on your new adventure!

(p.s. Aren’t you thankful that this isn’t the abandonment paper that I told you it would be? )

A Special Memory From Mrs. Dawn:

I have known Chloe since she was a little girl, and my favorite Chloe story is the first time I visited the Petrus house. She and Olivia dressed Ben up like a prince, and the outcome was…well, hysterical. She stole my heart that day and has been an important part of my life ever since. She filled my classroom with joy and laughter. Toward the end of that year, I knew I needed an assistant to help me in my tutoring responsibilities for the next year. The Lord impressed upon me that Chloe would be the perfect young woman for the job. As always, He was right. I am so thankful she accepted, interned with me during her college years, and has grown to be a worthy colleague. I will always see a precious 8-year-old, bounding down the stairs with excitement to present “Prince Ben” when I look at her. Yet I also recognize that she has become a wonderful, godly, “Tutor-ific” woman whom I am so proud of and will miss dearly.


The Golden Donut Fundraiser and Some Interesting Trivia


golden donut

Have you ever found yourself in a heated debate about Pepsi vs. Coke, milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate, pancakes vs. waffles? After a brief survey, we have found that the Cake vs. Yeast doughnuts is a very passionate topic as well. So whats the difference between a cake doughnut and a yeast doughnut? While cake doughnuts carry the characteristics of cake by being much denser and is leavened with baking powder, yeast doughnuts have a much fluffier and lighter interior and are probably the first thing you think of when you hear doughnut. Yeast doughnuts must rise before frying and can be frosted, glazed, sprinkled, and filled. Cake doughnuts have a firm, slightly crunchy exterior, and a dense interior just like, you guessed it, cake. Unlike yeast, cake doughnuts can be flavored and topped with heavier treats like nuts, cereals, and bacon. So, what is your favorite?

donuts4The doughnut we know and love today was created by 16-year-old Hanson Gregory in 1847, aboard a lime-trading ship. Until this time, doughnuts were molded into random shapes or just plain circles. He supposedly said that he did not like the greasiness of the twisted doughnuts or the rawness in the center of the circle doughnuts. Since that time there have been many forms of doughnuts. Balushahi from India, which resembles the American cake doughnut, potato donuts from Indonesia, bamiyeh from Iran and sufganiyah, a jelly doughnut from Israel. These are just a few variations devoured around the world, but can any compare to Golden Donut’s simple glazed doughnut? That’s for you to decide.

As you may have noticed there are two different spellings for the word “Doughnut,” or is it “Donut”? Which is correct? The short answer is: They are both spelled correctly. The original spelling of the word is “doughnut,” but as is typical with American English, we get lazy. Somewhere in the 19th century, someone shortened it, and it just became an acceptable spelling. However, it wasn’t until Dunkin Donuts became a national chain that the spelling “donut” became a more conventional usage of this word. donuts 3

Now that you know there are two types of doughnut and two acceptable spellings of this word, cake vs. yeast, and doughnut, vs. donut wouldn’t you like to know which type of doughnut the Golden Donut is? Well, it falls under the yeast category. A Golden Doughnut is one with a fluffy texture and the thin, soft, golden-fried outer crust. Compared to a cake doughnut, the yeast tends to have an airier texture, which is a result from the flours and starches that are mixed in. The Golden Doughnut is a locally owned service in Columbus, GA, and surrounding areas.

This year, Olive Plants Co-op will be holding a fundraiser selling these fantastic donuts. One dozen donuts sell for $7, and individual donuts will be available for sale on November 20th, which is also donut delivery day.

donut 2All co-op students are encouraged to sell donuts to raise money for the co-op’s ever-growing self-sustained library. If a total of $750 profits is made, all tutors and staff will dress in costume on December 4th in something Christmassy (think Santa and his Elves). If a grand total of $1000 is raised in profits, the entirety of the student council will dress as reindeer for the entirety of December 4th. The person who sells the most donuts, regardless of amount, will have the opportunity to single-handedly elect the tutor who must wear the bacon costume on December 4th. All sales numbers and payments must be submitted to Mrs. Christy Holloway on November 13th. Donut delivery day will be November 20th at Rosemont Baptist Church.


Living in the Light

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“Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” {ps 43:3}

“Your light” – what does that mean? Obviously, the light is the thing that guides this person to where the Father dwells. But maybe the light isn’t a what. It’s a who.


I believe that God’s light can be sent through people. We are the messengers of His light and glory. How fantastic for us to be a part of His eternal plan? To win souls and lead people to His holy dwelling place! But, friends, how do we become the carriers appointed for this particular task?

• Love others {Matt 5:44/ Luke 6:35}
We can do this by volunteering in our community, sending a word of encouragement to a friend, going on missions trips. Anything that demonstrates the love that Christ gives us to others.
•Walk in humility {Phil 2:3}
Which means that everything we do should be out of LOVE (see step 1) and not selfish ambition. Everything we do is for the glory of God.
• Be a light of truth {2nd Cor 13:8}
We need to always keep the truth in our heart, and on our lips. Even though speaking the truth may be hard, it’s something that is desperately needed in this world. And truth always needs to be spoken in LOVE (see step 1)


“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
{ ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1‬ }

• Surrender your life to Jesus {Job 11:13-15}
“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭11:13-15‬ ‭

It may be a difficult task for us to undertake but through Christ, all is possible.

You are called, you are chosen, you are anointed, you are His light.

“Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” {Isaiah 2:5} •

Mapping the World By Heart: North America Display

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1016171139Monday at the Olive Plants Co-op the World Mapping Class, a 7th and 8th-grade geography course taught by Mrs. Mary Fields, met at lunch to present their recent studies on North America.

The assembly of middle schoolers introduced many favorite snacks for each country and clay projects of their own making. The snacks included were Kit-Kats, and Swedish Fish represented Canadian favorites. M&M’s were Americas lackluster option. Mexico came in with a bang with Acoiris, a strawberry cracker topped with pink and white marshmallows and coconut shavings, Emperador, a lime sandwich cookie, and everyone’s favorite, Takis.

1016171141aAs for their projects, there was an array of creations by all students. Ally Skipworth, 7th grade, made a model of North America, a posterboard project of Canada by Garrett Cromer, and a drawing of North America portrayed through flags by Paul Batastini.


We interviewed Ally Skipworth and Anna Kate Bakarich who both agreed that they “loved learning about different cultures, even though they are not far away!”


1016171230aMapping the World by Heart is an excellent curriculum that teaches students how to not only draw but also introduces unique features of each of the seven continent. By the end of this course, each child will be able to draw each continent in vivid detail from memory.

The students and Mrs. Mary show great enthusiasm for this class, and we enjoyed learning about some unique aspect of the North American continent. We look forward to seeing more from the Mapping the World by Heart class! For more information regarding this curriculum, please feel free to contact Mrs. Mary Fields.


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Caitlyn Daniel’s Pinterest Recipe Review

cinnamon roll review

Let’s face it, 90-95% of the recipes we pin on Pinterest is never put into action, they are never tested! After reading that you may have thought something along the lines of, “They looked so good… but what is cream of tartar?” or maybe, “This says the prep time alone is an hour! Not including the baking time. I don’t have time for this!” Well, I’m here to tell you about an excellent recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls that I found on Pinterest that takes only forty-five minutes!

image4.JPGLayla, from, posted on that this cinnamon bun recipe would be the only one you would ever need, and I completely agree! Although this recipe did take longer than forty-five minutes for me, I think the more I practice it, the faster I will be able to do it.

The recipe does require that you make your own dough, but down let that scare you! It is much simpler than anyone has ever made it look. It’s a simple mixture of flour, sugar, water, milk, butter, egg, salt, and a package of fast rise yeast. After microwaving the milk, water, and butter together, you simply throw it all together in a bowl and begin to knead. If the word ‘knead’ scares you, it shouldn’t. All you are doing is pressing the sticky ingredients into the dry ingredients with the heels of your hands. When your dough is no longer sticky, they tell you to

If the word ‘knead’ scares you, it shouldn’t. All you are doing is pressing the sticky ingredients into the dry ingredients with the heels of your hands. When your dough is no longer sticky, they tell you to sit it aside in a lightly greased bowl for five minutes. While you’re waiting, you can mix the filling of your delicious rolls. Mix two tablespoons of cinnamon and ¼ cup brown sugar and set aside. When your dough is ready, roll it out into the neatest rectangle you can get, remember the wider the dough is rolled out, the more beautiful spirals you will have. I knew that my mother would not appreciate me spreading flour all over the counter of a Saturday morning, so what image3I did is take a cookie sheet and flip it upside down, cover it with a thin layer of flour and rolled my dough out on that. This kept the mess of the flour contained, for the most part, and also gave me something to stencil my dough into the right shape with.

From here she tells you how to rise the dough in the oven for twenty minutes and bake them for 15-20 minutes. This part is explained simple enough so I won’t go into detail. When your kitchen has the aroma of what you imagine Heaven smells like, your cinnamon rolls are ready to come out and be topped with your coffee or original glaze.

image2I highly suggest this recipe for any sort of brunch or even if your friends are just coming over for coffee and movies. This recipe was simple and enjoyable to make, nothing was stressful, my curls are not yet gray, and so I say that anyone of any age can try, and rock this recipe!

Gas Station Restaurant Review: Granger’s Hot Wings


Granger’s Hot Wings, located at 2911 Hamilton Road in LaGrange, GA, is much more than meets the eye. Though the establishment’s focus may be chicken wings, the menu is far more expansive than it may seem. Granger’s offers a wide selection of classic and quality southern food including fried chicken, hamburgers, and barbeque sandwiches.

 To be20170928_131318~2gin, one must discuss the chicken. The Fried Chicken sandwich is enormous and contains everything you would want on a chicken sandwich. Crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, and numerous sauces encompass a cooked-to-order chicken patty that is at least an inch thick! Each bite is filled with simple, yet exquisite, flavors that may surprise many. Each sandwich is served hot and fresh with the side of your choice (more on that later). The chicken is very tender throughout and juice splatters with every bite. If you have a hankering for a chicken sandwich but don’t like eating fast food, this sandwich may very well be for you!

Chicken is not the only item on the menu, however. Granger’s hamburger and double hamburger, known as the Big Nasty, is chargrilled to perfection and is ordered, cooked, and served within 15 minutes! The sandwich features many of the same toppings as the fried chicken sandwich, but in slightly larger portions.20170928_131438~2

When asked, Dawn Hays said, “The Granger Burger is, an amazing burger that blows all other hamburgers in LaGrange out of the water. Just ask for less sauce if you don’t want a mess to clean up.”

To round out the All-American sandwich trio, Granger’s offers their own unique twist on a barbeque sandwich. This barbeque, as well as their brisket, are slow-cooked for 15 hours. The meat itself is sweet like honey, slightly spicy, and well-rounded enough to please any carnivore’s taste buds. This sandwich is topped with a cooling, calm Cole-slaw which is freshly made on site every day.


Michael Hays, a native Memphian, calls this sandwich “the best barbeque in town and easily the second-best barbeque I’ve had in my life. That’s saying something seeing as how I’m from Memphis!”



Not interested in french fries? Not to worry! Granger’s offers many alternative side options. Personal favorites include the fried okra and fried pickles, though the French fries are amazing. The fried okra is lightly salted to add flavor to already soft and flavorful okra. The fried pickles are served with two ranch dipping sauces, but seriously, the fried pickles don’t need it. The $3 (or $1 if replacing fries) bucket of pickles is filled to the brim with delicious, sweet pickles deep fried that morning!20170928_131305~2

Service at Granger’s is fast, efficient, and friendly. The exact time between ordering my food and receiving it was 15 minutes. Some “fast” food restaurants are slower than that! The restaurant plays Christian music in the store and is decorated with 80’s memorabilia and bible verses lining the walls. Unfortunately, Granger’s does not offer very many, if any, alternative food options for vegetarians or gluten-free diners. However, if one is searching for a local, fresh, fast place to eat fried southern food, then Granger’s Hot Wings is a near-perfect restaurant, and I highly recommend one dine at this wonderful establishment!


Olive Plants Co-Op Fundraiser

penny race image

On September 25th, 2017, Olive Plants Co-op will begin their first fundraiser for missionaries in Guatemala. The event will be a penny race that runs from September 25th to October 23rd.

The event participants will be divided into two teams, being a boys’ team and a girls’ team. Boys will be asked to put coins into a joy marked “Boys” to earn points for their team. The value of a coin will represent a number of points awarded to their team. For example, a penny would award one point, whereas a quarter would award 25 points.

However, if boys wish to sabotage the girl’s team, they may insert dollar bills and checks into the girl’s jar. One American dollar would reduce the girl’s score by 100 points; a 5-dollar bill would reduce the girl’s score by 500 points, and so on. Girls are asked to insert coins into their jar marked “Girls,” while also putting bills and checks into the boys’ jar to sabotage the boys’ team.

Donation rewards are offered to promote donations. If the boys’ team wins, Mrs. Amy Camp, the math tutor for the co-op, will be forced to wear a bacon costume and do a silly dance at lunchtime on October 30th, the week after the penny race ends. If the girls’ team wins, Mr. Jason Bennett, the co-op worldview, and social studies tutor will be required to wear an Incredible Hulk costume and perform the same dance routine at lunch. If $300 or more is raced over the course of the event, all Olive Plants Co-op tutors will be required to dress in costume and perform a dance at lunchtime on October 30th.

All funds raised from this event will be donated to local missionaries in Guatemala. A certain percent will be used to purchase children’s bibles translated into Spanish, while the majority will be given directly to the Rosemont missionaries, Meghan and Joe Frye.

This fundraiser is expected to end this coming Monday, October 23rd. To date, the kids have raised a combined $47.65.