The AFHE Convention 2018

Finally sharing lots of pictures of Generation Rising at the annual “Arizona Families for Home Education” convention!! 

(hover over the pictures for captions)

Okay, I just gotta say right off… the weekend was FANTASTIC. Even though I was having health problems most of the time and maybe kinda hurt my wrist badly, I would so so rewind and do the whole time all over again right now!!!

For exhibitors, AFHE starts the day before the convention actually begins. ๐Ÿ˜‰ After taking a bench seat out of our 15 passenger van and throwing everything + the kitchen sink into the back, we drove down to our older sister’s house to carpool with her to the convention center. Perry was collaborating on an adult booth with another Indie author!

Lots of loading and measuring and brainstorming and reloading and we finally decided to leave one of our bookshelves behind. Yes, we hauled bookshelves all the way into the exhibit hall. XD Yes, we got some funny looks. *hides* But y’all, tell me, what is cooler than displaying your book stock on a legit wooden (heavy, i might add) bookshelf?!!


Downtown Phoenix is a labyrinth. We found the right convention center (out of multiple ones) pretty easily, but then went around and around trying to find the loading docks. It’s all one-way streets, and we honestly needed a ball of string we got so lost. ๐Ÿ˜›

The exhibit hall/loading dock coordinators were the best (obviously we found it… with lots of adventure and funny stories to tell sometime ๐Ÿ˜€ ), letting Perry drive right into the exhibit hall and helping get us unloaded onto carts. We signed in and slipped on our name badges, met up with the rest of the Generation Rising people in the YE section, and got to setting things up!


This year we decided to get a new banner with our logo on it and went ahead and ordered a second banner for the front of the booth!

I’m not sure if you can read it in the picture, so here’s what it says: “Homeschooled Authors. If they won’t write the kind of books we like to read, we shall have to write them ourselves”.

Maggie and I tried several ways of trying to get it to hang flat until someone thought up the brilliant idea of simply stapling it. ;P

The boys engineered a way to hang our other banner and got that up–


“Make sure you get pictures for my blog post.


“Wait, not of me!”

Plenty of silliness and photobombing…



Here are some closer pictures of the table set-up. Everyone loved how we added height to our table with a bookshelf laying on the table and the unique display: a canvas drop-cloth as a tablecloth, briefcases and wooden boxes for adding interest and height, and cool props themed with the books! The display on the far right showed our fantastic new releases!


The Friends of Generation Rising– many of our friends also had booths in the YE section, and it was very fun to hang out with them the whole weekend, popping into each other’s booths through the back curtains or walking by to ask how it’s going. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I didn’t get good pics of two of their booths, “All About Wood” and “Providential Pens”.)


With a quick clean up of the post-set-up-wrecked booth, we put the boxes of stock under the table, stopped for a quick picture together, and parted ways to go home and get a little rest before the super early start the next day.

thanks to Mrs. R for taking this one ๐Ÿ™‚

Some of you might remember my quick, scatter-brained post that night…

well I forgot to mention a really important part of Thursday. On the way home, we stopped for french fries. โค


Next morning we got up way too early. But at least we got coffee.

“Enroute Coffee and Tea” stop! Oreo mocha frap + 2 shots espresso for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And the sunrise was gorgeous to watch on the way…


With teamwork we had the stock all out and beautiful and counted FAST.


Then Paul called a huddle and we went over payment, different teams, and things. (Thx to Tanner for being weird and snapping this pic of me taking a pic. ๐Ÿ˜› )


Armed with walkie-talkies, my hurt arm (yeah idk how xD ), and a GIGANTIC bag of amazing snacks Tanner brought, we were ready to start the convention.

codenames were hilarious/epic

Um, guys? When something is so so dear and hidden away in your heart, how do you put it in words? How do I describe the fun times, the tired times, the hilarious times? Guys, I haven’t managed to even journal about the convention. *hides*

So I give up on trying to remember what happened on what day. It’s all mashed together in my head as one big happy warm smile-time.

Spelunking the exhibitor hall with different friends and siblings and looking at all the cool things.

The quiet, kind words passed between friends.

The carton of ice cream, plastic spoons, and disposable cups… perfection.


Binging on Tanner’s fantastic snacks and trying new weird flavors of cotton candy as we got to them.

The smiles that lit Perry’s and Rebekah’s faces when we’d drop by their booth to talk about random things.

“Ink and Endsheets” and the beautiful ladies! (thx to perry for letting me grab this off their facebook ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Hunting down an author each time they needed to sign a book for a customer.

The brother of a friend who came to say hi even though the first time he ever saw me I was a crazy sweaty flustered person who didn’t even know he existed. *hides*

Dodging out of Tanner’s videoing he would randomly start up.

Our different walkie-talkie codenames. xD

Breaking into Les Mis songs (they related, don’t worry) and then suddenly stopping when we realized it was possibly slowing our chances of customers.

IMG_20180712_172319 (1).jpg
dart-gun contests

The marshmallow-gun war between the “Boys’ Adventure Toys” booth and the skateboarder booth across the way.

Sneaking up to a fellow (stranger’s) YE’s booth and fixing their sign without them ever noticing.

The wide variety of conversations we had with the booths on either side of ours.


Telling so many interested people about my book when they asked… even though it’s not finished/published yet! It was so cool when they got all excited about it. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ™‚

The chocolate Kate and I swiped from a booth’s candy bowl…

Getting to meet online writer friends IN PERSON!!

The excitement, shock, awe, encouraged look on aspiring-writers’ faces when they realized we’re all homeschoolers who actually published.

a decorative plack on the cashier end of the table

Telling them to start up those “there was this sci-fi novel” “eh I tried but it was junk” “oh, I used to write” projects again and seeing them inspired again.

The people who forced me to take care of my health. And took care of me too.

Giving thumbs-up to the tired exhibitors every time I passed their booth.

When the skateboarder booth bought a marshmallow-gun from their arch nemeses’ booth and began their retaliation.

goofy lady xD

Smiling at/playing-across-the-room-with the toddler with down-syndrome who was the cutest little guy in the world. โค

When my friend who had a super cute hairstyling booth did my hair because I couldn’t with my hurt wrist.

Recognizing the people we had met last year and hearing what they thought of the books they had bought.

driving home in the dark above gorgeous city lights

The creative-writing teacher who stayed at our booth and talked and talked and asked questions.

Texting my mommy fun updates about customers and sales and what everyone was busy with.

hanging out

When the whole YE section wandered around and hung out and encouraged each other before the exhibit hall opened.

Wearing the wrist-brace Gabby brought me Saturday.

The shy girl we met last year walking right up to our booth and starting conversations.

The encouraging exhibitor/curriculum writer who stayed at our booth for a while asking each of us what we liked to read or write and swapping book suggestions accordingly.

(thx to Chris and his photo-bombing attempts for making our expressions weird ๐Ÿ˜› )

Running with Kate to buy french fries from the vendors in the back of the exhibit hall.

The nice chat we had with an exhibitor who was also buying french fries (because when the vendor sells everything from salad to hamburgers, the only thing really worth buying is french fries of course) and was waaay impressed when he heard what our booth was about.

Sitting on the floor behind our tall table when we got tired once and just talking and snacking.


When the doors would open after a session and a flood of people would rush in.

Glimpsing so many stories behind the people’s eyes.

The time our friends got turned around on where they had parked in the parking garage so we went searching with them, only to find they had parked in a completely different garage. #epicadventures

it was a spectacular sunset โค

Watching the sunrise on the way, mostly-awake and ready to go, and getting to also see the sunset on the trip back, exhausted and happy.

The groups of girls I had met a few years back that recognized me, squealed excitedly, and hugged me hello.

Slipping shiny new, signed books into cool paper bags for hungry readers.

The people who got our jokes and weren’t creaped out when Malachi called to them by name (name tags, y’all, we forget their power ๐Ÿ˜› ).



Sitting in a chair in the back of our booth when I felt so gross, but still loving every moment of the convention.

The mom who bought a book for her young kid to read during a “boring” session.

Getting to tell writers about Perry’s booth and the very cool writing/publishing tools she was offering.


The new writer friend we have after two full days of him and his brother standing at our booth talking about anything and everything. (Hi Micah! When is the next write-in? ๐Ÿ˜› )

Stalking the Lamplighter booth with Maggie.

thx to Maggie for grabbing this pic ๐Ÿ™‚

When I hauled Malachi over to Elijah’s music booth to catch the end of my brand new audio-book when it played on the headphones.

Forgetting our different team’s booth shifts on Saturday and mixing them up however we wanted and just hanging out in the booth all together for fun. ๐Ÿ˜€


The goofy selfie I took with Paul and Julia.

Seeing who won our gigantic giveaway and then getting to letter “Congrats!” on the special shopping bag. (happy happy it was my left wrist that hurt and NOT my right one!!)


That amAZing cool moment when we heard our booth’s name and number over the intercom as they kindly announced our giveaway winner for us because it was soon til closing time. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Dodging the maze of teams breaking down booths and skateboarders having fun and a few last-minute-fellow-exhibitor customers.



When the epic volunteers helped us load everything back up in record-breaking speed.

Yawning and laughing and shivering and jumping-jacks and eating and joking and finishing up AFHE 2018.


It being okay that I can’t remember half of the fun things. Because it is hidden cozily away in my mind. 

Sorry this post was so long in coming, you cool encouraging people! As you can probably tell… it was almost impossible to write. But hope you enjoyed still!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ~A

46 thoughts on “The AFHE Convention 2018

  1. That was so awesome to read! It sounds so fun!
    Iโ€™m actually pretty new around here, soโ€ฆ there is this thing full of tables and booths and stuff, and you had a table? And it happens once a year? (sorry haha I donโ€™t know what my family is even doing half the time so Iโ€™m obviously pretty bad with figuring out these sort of things)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed it, Julia!! It was very very fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      So our state has an annual convention for all the homeschoolers and there’s all the usual sessions and classes and things, but also a gigantic exhibit hall where businesses and colleges and homeschool curriculums come and sell their stuff at booths. Ours has a super cool discounted section for Young Entrepreneurs to be exhibitors and we’re part of that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Does that make more sense? Lol ๐Ÿ™ˆ It’s a super neato and special opportunity, and I’m so glad we got to do it again this year!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That been AWESOME. Hard, but AWESOME. (But why is Malachi waving around an axe?? O_O (Wait that is Malachi, right?) It’s a family zone! XD) All those little memories are really fun to read! I wish I was there.. though I’d probably buy myself a weapon from Boys’ Adventures Toys despite my being a girl. ๐Ÿ˜› One day if Generation Rising will still be at the convention, I’d love to drive down there and give you all sustenance for survival. *nods* And talk charries. *nods again*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly!! (lol Yep, that’s Malachi… Let’s just say we all got pretty crazy near the end. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Actually, real answer, we’re each holding something that goes with our books. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The real question is… Why did we even have an axe there??? ๐Ÿ˜‚)
      Aw so happy my big jumbled list of memories was fun! Haha right??!! I totally wanted to buy one of their huge swords with the engraved hilt!!
      Ooh YES you very much should drive down and talk stories!! Please make it sooner than “one day”!!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for commenting, Jo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. XD Wouldnโ€™t the axe be a safety hazard?? ๐Ÿ˜›
        It really was. *gasp* They had swords!! I gotta get one- for book research, of course. *coughs* *clears throat*
        I hope I can! Very, very soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ Youโ€™re so welcome! Love reading your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m just so happy right now Anna. The way you recorded the unrecordable was amazing!! I wish with my whole heart that I had been there and I’m so so happy that you were! I was praying for you guys the whole weekend and I’m so glad to hear that it went so well and you guys had so much fun!
    I am really sorry about your wrist and about you not feeling well. I wish you had been at 100% power so you could have enjoyed the convention even more, but praise God you had as much fun as you did!
    And yes! French fries!
    I know how it is to want to write something epic down but all the events get jumbled into one big happy mush and your chronological order goes down hill. XD as long as you have it in your mind, that’s all that matters.
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I’ll keep praying for you. If you want to talk about anything, you can contact me. ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope your health gets better and your wrist heals up.
    *cough* and I can't wait for your guys' next chat.*cough*
    And CROSSROADS IS IN MY LIBRARY WAITING FOR ME! *dies from excitment* *revives so I can read it*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so sweet, Libby!! Thank you bunches for all the prayers. โค It was a fantastic time, and you should definitely come next year. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Aw thanks! It was still a blast even so , and everyone was sooo amazing to me and made me enjoy the convention a ton anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yay french fries!!! *heart eyes*
      Ooooh yeah you said that so perfectly! That’s exactly how it is! Yep, I’ve got it in my mind. โค
      Thanks so much, Libby! It was waaay fun doing camp with you and getting to know you and the other girls!! Would I contact you through your blog?
      Oh yes, we’ve got to do another chat soon! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      WHAAT??!! That is so awesome!!! Enjoy enjoy!!! And try to keep your heart from breaking into a million pieces and your mind from whirling with deep thoughts!! (Actually that last one is good…)


    1. Happy you enjoyed it, Amie!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh you should totally come next year, it would be way cool to meet you!
      WOW that would be a blast to do more conferences! I haven’t heard of that convention, but I might just be completely ignorant lol… what is it??We should definitely look into touring to other conventions…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s a few conventions that spread over the south-eastern states. This year they had them in Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and a few others that I don’t know. Oh, Arkansas…And I think there was two more. I just can’t remember, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry your wrist was hurting you! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ *hug* Is it doing any better?
    Oh, gosh, y’all. Seeing y’all’s posts and pictures from the convention just makes my spirit happy! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is so amazing to see y’all shining as lights for Jesus and uniting. It’s awesome seeing you guys have so much fun. =D
    I also LOVE your photos, girl! (FRENCH FRIES AHH! And dude, Oreo mocha frap? That’s a thing? I GOTTA TRY IT.) So much amazingness and goofiness. ๐Ÿ˜› Though, honestly, goofy is the only way to go.
    Thank you for this post and you did a fabulous job!
    – Ang

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Angela!! *Hug* My wrist is really good now, weak and weird sometimes, but definitely much better!!
      Aw yeah. โค It’s super amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Haha Thanks, lady!! I loved making sure to document the weekend and then getting to share it with y’all!! (AAAHH yeah!! French fries were my diet and I so didn’t mind!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ Yes, dude. Try it. It’s beyond fantastic!!!)
      Lol yes goofy. *fist bump*
      Thanks so much for your comment, girly, it is so happy and sweet and excited. โค


  5. This made me wish I was theeeeeeeeeerrreee!!! โคโคโค Y’all looked like you had a great time! Thanks for putting up the post! It was the closest I could get to coming ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh YES, my Penny!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ โค You should have been there. For sure. Glad you enjoyed reading about it though! And save up for coming next year, k? ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This looks so wonderful and fun and whimsical and lovely and delightful all at once! Reading it brings to mind the perfection of curling up on a cold winter day and mixing it with all my favorite childhood memories. โค โค โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I love that sentence, Lydia, completely describes the weekend so perfectly!! Aw that sounds so dear. Glad this post gave you a cozy happy feel! โค


    1. Yesss it was amAZing!!
      Aw that’s super!! What’s your favorite part of the conference?
      Thanks so much for commenting, Keziah, and I hope you enjoy looking around my lil blog. ๐Ÿ˜€ I definitely had fun exploring yours!


      1. Hey, Anna!
        Well, I LOVE the sessions, but I also love being able to go to the expo and shop. SO much fun!! I always go with my cousins too, so we have blast with each other, too.
        Thanks so much! Your blog is so cute. I love your icon!!

        Liked by 1 person

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