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

Historical Fiction


Ishtar’s Redemption

Neb the Great

Georgios I—Hidden Heritage

Georgios II—A Chosen People

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings

The Angels of Abbey Creek

The Angels of Abbey CreekI like reading children’s books to my kids and we have recently enjoyed many a cozy afternoon reading through: The Little House stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Wind in the Willows by Kennneth Grahame, Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery, The Borrowers series by Mary Norton, The Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite De Angeli, and Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray and several biographies of famous people including: Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth of Hungry, and Pope Pius the X.  Now, I get to include a charming children’s book by an author I just met, virtually anyway, over the internet.  As Sue lives in Australia and I live in the U.S., our meeting was one of those serendipitous joys of the modern world.  We both love to write books and read great stories.  Here is hers:

The Angels of Abbey Creek is a children’s story set in present-day Australia.  They are a large Catholic family doing all the things that families do together—celebrating the New Year, Mother’s day, camping, church, having fun and disasters together and making the best of each situation. I especially enjoyed reading how plans were made and how things rarely worked out as expected.  Parents can readily agree that Sue Elvis knows what adventure is in store for unwitting parents as they take kids out into the world with the highest of hopes only to find themselves struggling to maintain their sanity and dignity. Yet the Angel family, with their unconquerable love and unfailing desire to make the best of things, do what we all wish we could—keep trying till things get better.

Being set in Australia lent a flavor to the story which I really enjoyed.  I liked reading about their hikes into the bush and the unique foods and traditions that have developed in the “World Down Under.”  As a Catholic, I could readily relate to the religious traditions that make Catholicism uniquely wonderful, but a reader who had even a passing familiarity with faith and family would find plenty to relate to.  The characters are real and the events life-like.  Things don’t always go perfectly in real life or in story life either and there is something to be gained from a humble and loving approach to life’s up and downs.  The family members may not be celestial angels, but there is great hope that they may one day become saints. The Angels of Abbey Creek is a fun story to read aloud and share with children with lots of interesting discussion points.  Thanks, Sue!

Available on Amazon:


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.