The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Tally Ho spread 1_smWhile my husband was alive, we came up with a great idea to write a story based on the wonder of raising our kids in the country.  It seemed so right, like an apostolate. We knew we had been blessed in a mighty way, and that God had guided us to our little home and helped us to learn the amazing skills needed to garden and manage a mini-farm.  John took to homesteading like a fish to water.  Other homeschool dads used to call him “Our Amish Paul Bunyan.” So, it felt natural to share our joy and success with others. I wrote stories based on what we did every day: meals, working our little garden, nurturing nature, loving kids…loving God. John was going to create the illustrations since he had a wonderful knack for drawing.  Except he couldn’t.  Leukemia intervened, and that success was put off…forever it seemed.

After he passed away, I felt tugged to see our project through to completion.  But how? God has ways. I’m not sure if John was whispering in anyone’s ear, but somehow or another I met up with a wonderful illustrator who knew exactly what we had imagined. She put her talents to work, and the story unfolded better than I had imagined. It’s been published under the title: The Adventures of Tally-Ho. Tally-Ho was what John called our fourth daughter because she loved to gallop around the house on her imaginary horse. How we used to laugh about that.  What a wonder imagination brings to life!

As I state in the dedication to the story, John’s love made the stories true.  His vision is what made our real-life family possible.  As I contemplate the finished product, I wonder what God will do with this little book.  Surely, He has a plan. I very much doubt that it has anything to do with making money.  I pray it has something to do with loving families.

So Tally-Ho, like a new kid on the block, is finding its way in the world. I pray that it will be a light and joy to souls.  Perhaps it will be a vision of what might be…a hope, a dream, a longing that yearns to be fulfilled. Real dreams don’t die…they grow.

I think John would agree.

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Historical Fiction

ARAM http://amzn.to/2lTHVXR

Ishtar’s Redemption http://amzn.to/2kHKLtN

Neb the Great http://amzn.to/2kS1Ylm

Georgios I—Hidden Heritage http://amzn.to/2lscPWg

Georgios II—A Chosen People http://amzn.to/2lTK0mu

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Ringshttp://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Homeschooling

I teach a wide age range and enjoy the challenge.  The fun part is seeing how far each child can reach mentally and spiritually while maintaining connections to their siblings. Some people wonder why I go to all the painstaking work of homeschooling when I could more easily put my kids into a public or private school. Though the answer is involved, I can simply state that homeschooling binds us together as a family like nothing else could.  We learn together, we deal with problems together, we have fun together, we help each other, and we grow together. My older kids enjoy giving the younger kids humorous previews of what is coming next... while the younger ones have a uniquely adapted educational experience.  We have become self-starters and independent learners.  Everyone owns their own curriculum.  We go over books and material options together before I buy what we need, and as some zoom ahead in certain areas others choose to do more in-depth studies on a favorite subject.  I realized long ago that it is best to have the kids involved early on in some of the educational planning because then they take responsibility their education. Though they may not love a particular subject (spelling) they know they also have subjects (history) that they really do love.  When motivation is embedded in the very learning process itself – so much the better.

We can’t run away from problems.  My kids and I have to face discipline issues right away or disruptions will plague us all day.  It is funny how the older kids hold the younger kids accountable for their attitudes and say things like: “That pout won’t help you learn, and if you don’t get over it, you might get stuck like that.”  Then they go on and tell a long ridiculous story about the second cousin of someone who actually did grimace all day and ….you get the idea.

So as the school year gears up for another semester, I won’t have as much time for writing and gardening and long rambling walks with the kids but such is life.  I have the duty and joy to raise each of my kids to rise to their potential.  I want them to be great citizens of this world and the world to come.  May God will give me the strength and wisdom to do so.

Joy and the Art of Contentment

IMG_0273 (2)Blagobear in the flowersToo often I find that I am waiting for this or that to happen, and then I’ll give myself permission to be happy and know true contentment.  Time passes and I get things on my to-do list finished just in time to fill up another list. It is like the laundry, I have finally accepted the fact that the laundry is never really done – it is just a cycle that goes around and around and around. But life is more than laundry or jobs or things that must be dealt with. If that is all God wanted from us then He would have done better to make us robots.  But he didn’t. He risked everything by giving us free will which allows us to know Him intimately or reject Him utterly. God is willing to live with us and die for us. That truth makes my particular to-do list rather insignificant by comparison.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to achieve results: keep the house clean, teach the kids, organize and plan with the best of home-schooling mothers, but I know that the temptation to work without reference to the God who made me is very great. I end up thinking that disasters like a spoiled dinner, a ruined shirt, or a torn book make the world a little less good. Or when I set goals that are not achieved as quickly as I would like, the sun doesn’t seem to shine so brightly. Yet God exists even when real disasters strike and I can always love Him.  In that acceptance, I feel a joy of contentment because my worth is not based on a thing or a result but on the desire of my God who made me on purpose for some definite good.

So, I once again sally forth to take a walk, listen to the birds, feel the gentle breeze, and thank Him, knowing He is mine as I am His. Life—with all its arduous details and never-ending to-do lists—is good.