Some days are full of bumps and bruises, dings and dents
For days like that, I am thankful for Virginia Soaps and Scents
Holding a bar in my hand I sniff the smell
and then, I feel that all is well
What makes Virginia Soaps and Scents different than ivory, dial or dove
It is because Virginia Soaps and Scents are made with Love.
Ok, fine I admit it – I didn’t write this poem just for this post. Actually I wrote this almost a year ago after the last HEAV convention. If you want to read that post (and not only find out why I wrote the poem, but ALSO how Virginia Soaps and Scents saved me during my last pregnancy - check out my post – Oh the Smells!)
One of my favorite companies at the HEAV convention – Virginia Soaps and Scents has been attending the HEAV convention for as long as I can remember (and as you will read – almost as long as the HEAV convention has been going on!) Roy and Richelle Spargur, a homeschooling family from Suffolk, VA, began their soap making business as a history project. Originally only planning on making a little soap, the “project” has turned into a booming business.
The soaps smell great and look beautiful – PLUS they also have other items, such as lotions, shampoo, conditioner, sun screen, bug spray, laundry soap, and these really cool felted soap balls.
I had the opportunity to chat with Richelle recently through email . . .
Where are you located? Suffolk, VA
How did you get started? We began as a homeschool unit study and planned to make only one pound of soap as a project…we now keep 3000 bars on the shelf consistently!
How long have you been in business? 6 years
Can you tell me where the idea of Virginia Soaps & Scents came from – how did you decide on the name? We are not originally from Virginia. Roy and I grew up in South Dakota and Roy was stationed here in the Navy. We have made it our home of choice and wanted to be identified as a “Virginia Made Product.”
Did you homeschool your children? Yes
How many children do you have? 9
Have you homeschooled them all along? Yes, we are now ending our 26th year and have 4 years to go until our “baby” graduates.
How long have you been attending homeschool conventions? We attended our first homeschool conference 2 months before we began homeschooling…HEAV in Virginia. The curriculum hall consisted of 2 tables of books!! We launched our family business there in 2007 21 years later.
What do you hope people will gain if they come by your booth at the HEAV convention in June? Some fantastic soap and body products…encouragement in “long haul homeschooling” and mentoring on home based business.
I see on your website that you have a variety of scents. How do you come up with all of the different ones? I try to have a good sampling of the major scent families…fruits, florals, spicy, woodsy, food scents, musky etc. I work with some excellent scent companies that test extensively and I read a lot of customer reviews of the oils.
Where do you get your ingredients and packaging materials? I spend countless hours searching the web for the best prices on packaging and I’m always on the lookout for the bigger, better deal. We design and print all of our own labels.
I have seen your soaps in person and on the website – they both smell good and are beautiful to look at. How do you get them to look so nice? Practice, practice practice. I tell my customers that how great the soap looks is in direct proportion to how badly the house needs attention!
You have a number of different products, can you tell me about a few of your favorites? Our two new top sellers are our Bug Off insect repellent and our new sunscreen. Both have been selling off the charts and getting wonderful reviews which is always exciting. And we can’t seem to make enough Kumquat soap!
Can you tell how you test your products? Our family tests everything first then we go by customer reviews.
Do you need testers? yes occasionally.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with my readers? We’d love too see them at HEAV or any of the other convention sites.
What other conventions or shows will you be attending? The CHEO conference in Akron, Ohio and the CSTHEA curriculum Fair in Chattanooga, TN. We have an “events” page on our website for all homeschool conferences and craft shows on our schedule.
Want to learn more about Virginia Soaps and Scents before you go see them at the HEAV Convention? You can find then online at :
And now – for the giveaway!!!
Bear in mind that you have to read the title with the Sunday Night Football guy’s voice in your head.
So are you ready? Let’s check the checklist! (a note – this checklist was completed over several days as I would think of things I would enter them – so at some point the checklist becomes part check list, part tip list – so – take what works for you and ignore the rest!)
- Praying – Whether or not you are a praying person, convention is huge. When I get to convention and see all of the STUFF I tend to want to get first and pray later. So this is a reminder for both of us – Pray first – God please don’t let me spend all of our food budget on homeschool stuff.
- Make your lists -
- curriculum for each child
- resources for mom
- gift lists for birthdays / Christmas / etc (there are all sorts of vendors that have wonderful things, many of these vendors are homeschool families – what a great way to support other homeschoolers AND be able to say you started your Christmas shopping in June! Be sure to watch for my post featuring Virginia Soaps and Scents – it’s where I do a lot of my birthday and Christmas shopping!)
- UCS lists – curriculum prices for things you know you want – make sure you know the price BEFORE buying it in the UCS only to discover that it was the same price new
UCS TIP – Did you know that you can search for things on the UCS bar coding website? You have to have a username and password, but you can create a free login so it’s not a big deal. How is this helpful? Well – if you are looking for a certain book – Say Apologia Zoology – where would you look? Would you look in 5th grade science, or 6th grade science? After entering Zoology into the search feature – here are the results:
As you can see there are 15 items for Zoology at the time I did the search – they are in grades from 1st to 7th science AND there is one in Non-fiction. How does this help? Well – the categories listed here are the same as the categories that will be on the signs at the UCS – so if you know where the books are – you know where to start looking. Ok – back to the checklist.
- Printouts – At the very least it is great to print out the following:
- Arrange your 3 – Ring Binder –
- Punch holes in your lists – put them in your binder
- Add blank paper for taking notes
- Add a 3 hole punched pencil holder for pencils, pens, etc.
- Add tabs if you want to be super organized
- Make and Print your Return Address Labels
- Don’t know about these already - check out my post about return address labels
- Find, borrow, build or purchase something with which to haul your books, paper and various other things (including husbands and children when necessary) around. This can be a rolley cart (basically a milk crate with wheels) that you can find at any office supply store, a suitcase with wheels, a stroller or if you think you will be doing a LOT of shopping at the UCS – a forklift. Either way – you will get tired of carrying things – so make sure you have somewhere to put things down.
- Have a plan of workshops that you want to hear.
- Be prepared to toss your plan out the window when you hear a really awesome speaker and decide that you want to go to the rest of his or her sessions.
- Take a deep breath and know this – you are awesome! You are doing a wonderful thing for your kids. It WILL be OK!
- Plan to enjoy yourself – either with the whole family, just hubby, just the kids or on your own, plan to smile at other people, to be open to that random conversation in the elevator or while waiting in line – and have fun!
Finally – VOLUNTEER!!! This is not only a great way to give back, but I have always found that I get so much more out of the experience when I volunteer. The people that I have met while volunteering are amazing! And if that wasn’t enough . . . When you volunteer for ONLY 2 HOURS – You get into the UCS @ 9am! That is an hour earlier than even the early tickets!!
So go sign up now – from what I hear they really need people in the children’s program and Friday Registration - http://heav.org/convention/volunteering-at-the-convention/
I can’t wait to see you soon – I’ll be the one driving the forklift while talking on the phone explaining to my husband why we are going to be eating Ramen noodles for the next few weeks. :)
New to the HEAV convention this year is Creating a Masterpiece. I saw their display at the CHAP convention in PA and was blown away by the quality of work – when I was told the work was done by Level 1 students I was even more impressed.
As someone who does pretty awesome stick people I tend to be a bit of an art snob . . . ok – not really, but these pictures were great. I want to get the DVD’s so I can learn how to do this – I may share with the kids.
Where is Creating a Masterpiece located?
3631 Hidden Acres Lane
Fort Calhoun NE 68023
How did Creating a Masterpiece get started? How long has Creating a Masterpiece been in business?
Sharon Hofer is a professional artist and teacher. She teaches hundreds of home schooled students yearly in the Omaha, Nebraska area. During the summer she holds art camps and travels to Africa to teach art.
Sharon’s vision for Creating a Masterpiece video teaching came when she realized there were so many more students wanting to be apart of the Hidden Acres Art School than she could accept into her classes. Parents were asking if there was any way for their students to get a ‘jump start’ on preparing for the art classes while they remained on the waiting list. Still others who were interested in taking art lessons lived too far away to travel to classes. It was then that Sharon decided to help these families by developing a curriculum for school age students.
Sharon decided to offer her art teaching in video format. The filming began in late 2010. The curriculum debuted in the summer of 2011 at a local homeschool curriculum fair.
If a child has already had a few art classes, should they still start at Level 1?
If they have not had quite a bit of art experience level one is a good place to start. Eight through twelve year olds with some art background are capable of doing any of the level 1-3 projects. Level three will obviously be more difficult to begin with, so Level 1 is a great starting point.
Does it matter where in Level 1 you start, or do you recommend a particular starting spot?
Within level one there are various degrees of difficulty. All the projects can be used at any time as they are so different from one another. We recommend leaving the pencil drawing known as “Sunflower” until after the pastel, silk dying, colored pencil and sculpture have been completed. Beyond this there is no real “order” that must be followed.
Personally speaking as someone who can make pretty good stick people is there any way that this program could work for someone like me?
Yes, you can do it! Those who have little or no art ability will be amazed at what they can do if they just know the steps!
Now for the giveaway??? What? No giveaway – it’s ok! This is good – keep reading . . .
As we homeschoolers know, not everyone does things the same. So rather that doing a giveaway for one winner Creating a Masterpiece wants to bless around 30 families. Plus – you don’t even have to enter here to win – although feel free to leave a comment about which art project you would like to do.
Here is what you do – go by the Creating a Masterpiece Booth to sign up to have a student try out the lessons. The students then return at their allotted time to try out a DVD lesson from the “Peaceful Lake” DVD. How awesome is that?
So make plans now to check out Creating a Masterpiece – you can find them at
AND at the 30th Annual HEAV convention – of course!!
What program do you use for art with your kids? Do you teach art? What do you think about being able to teach a fine arts program at home?
Congratulations to Briana Eibest who won two boxes of Children’s Bible Learning Cards from words 2 remember 4 kids – one for her family and one to share!
Didn’t win? That’s ok – stop by to see words 2 remember 4 kids at the HEAV convention and pick your own box of Bible Learning Cards.
Be sure to tell Vicky Homeschooler on the Edge said Hi!
Looking for ways to use the Bible Learning Cards? Well – y’all submitted lots of great ideas – here are just a few of them!
- Dinner discussion topics
- Devotions for after school care kids
- Little reminder for short attentions spans
- Leave them in a special place for kids to “find”
- Reinforce positive behavior
- Place a new one on the fridge every few days
- for yourself
- Character building
- Weekly scripture learning
- Bring them out whenever the situation requires a gentle reminder
Thanks for the giveaway words 2 remember 4 kids!