Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blog Break and a Give Away

I mentioned earlier that mid-August is the Anniversary (blogiversary) for Coffee Tea Books & Me.  In that week, I reached nine full years of blogging.  Amazing.

When I first started blogging, Christopher didn't have his driver's license and we were in full scale high school homeschooling mode.  Now he has graduated from college in Computer Science, gotten married a few years ago, and works as a Software Engineer-Manager. Another Amazing.

Stephanie had three tiny kids and now she has five, her oldest having reached thirteen.  Perhaps that is the most amazing of all.  Tempus is definitely fugiting.  Stephanie reminded me that this week it has been twenty years since the day she started college and Christopher began Kindergarten! 

Actually, the greatest miracle is a gift from God.  The fact that I'm still fine in spite of living with two auto immune system diseases (Type 1 - aka: Juvenile - Diabetes and Hashimotos Disease).   Of course, "fine" is all relative.  My body tells me everyday it is fighting against itself as my feet are both numb and painful, my fingers are numb, my eyesight helped through multiple surgeries, and I take a substantial amount of insulin.

But considering it has been at least fifteen years since the first diagnosis and a specialist predicted all kinds of terrible things within ten years... I am most fine thank you very much.

All that to say... I'm taking a teeny tiny blogging break from now through probably the day after Labor Day here in America (which is celebrated September 7th this year).  I need to work on some projects, read some books, and let my brain not have to think so much for awhile.

So to celebrate the beginning of this 10th year of blogging (fully realizing that the real 10th celebration will come next year), I'm giving away the book in the photo above, Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry.  It is a beautiful, colorful book with pantry recipes.  I will also throw in another yet-to-be-decided book from my own bookshelves.

Here is all you have to do.  Leave a comment and tell me what one book you would say everyone has to read!  It is a book that has or is making your heart sing.  If you can't think of just one, we'll take two or three or four or more.

I will be moderating comments each day.  They have to be moderated.  Since without moderation, I was experiencing something like 200+ Spam posts a week.  So your comment will not show up immediately.

See you in September!  (Hmmm... wasn't there a song by that title?)


Elizabeth said...

Very nice! The only book that I can think of that I would say everyone should read is an old book "Something more" by Catherine Marshall. I first read ad it 40 years ago after my Dad died it made such an impact on me and hat I have recommended to friends several times over the years!

Rebecca said...

Enjoy your break! I know you will use the time well and come back with fresh inspiration and perspective! Looks like an interesting book. However, I am currently weeding out our current collection and should be having some giveaways myself :)

Ashlee said...

My favorite books are typically series as I get more story that way! I am sure they aren't classics or going to be carried on for years, but I get so much more attached to characters and invested in the stories when I can read 4 full books about it. I love the transformations of all the characters and all the story lines. I really enjoyed the Seasons Series by Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what "tempus fugiting" is but I thought, "Oh, no" when I read that you are taking a blogging break. I will miss your post as I check everyday to see if there's anything new. But I realize you need some "down time" and hope you get lots done as well as get some needed rest.
I guess one of my favorite books is Grace Livingston Hill's "Recreations". Such a wonderful book on making a home beautiful with so little resources and making it a place where a loved family wants to be. Just a fiction book but one I love.
Blessings, Sharon D.

Sherry said...

without a doubt, i encourage every woman (& man!) to read Darlene Dieber Rose' book: Evidence Not Seen. this is a book i read over and again, for the biblical truths therein embrace the heart, and make the focus of my existence to be Christ. here's a link:

congratulations on this blogging milestone, Brenda. :)

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, the Harry Potter books. Easy to read, with layers of hidden meanings, strong character. I'm 66 and have read the series at least 6 times. It's a bedtime ritual for me.


jules said...

What a wonderful give-a-way! Thank you for the opportunity. The book I'd like to recommend is Homegrown by Ben Hewitt! Happy 10 years blogging!

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

I would say that the Bible is the book everyone should read~ there are blessings for all that read it! I would also highly recommend "Steps to Christ" by EG White.
God bless, Lisa :0)

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Congratulations! I am on year eight as a blogger!

I love the Bible, of course, but also the books of Emilie Barnes. They were such an inspiration to me as a young wife - it was such a joy to find a kindred spirit and someone to encourage me along the way!

I also really have loved Susan Branch's book "A Fine Romance." I love Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion by Jane Austen.

I'm certain there are others, but I can't think of them right now!

We'll miss you on your break! Recharge!

Anonymous said...

The one book that I read and re-read is Ann Voskamp's "One THousand Gifts" - her writing speaks to my heart in a way that no other does. Enjoy your break Brenda - I don't often comment but I always read your blog.


Cheryl said...

I love all the Little House on the Prairie books. Every winter I read through them and even have the cookbook. I just found your blog recently, and really enjoy your hints and ideas for the pantry. Cheryl

Angelina said...

Defying Isis b Johnnie Moore.

lynneinMN said...

A well deserved break, indeed! Thank you for all you write - I look forward to each post :-). Thank you also for the giveaway! It looks like a fun read. I would say that everyone should read the "Chronicles of Narnia", which is definitely more than one book, but you just can't read one! Enjoy your time off! Lynne in MN.

terricheney said...

Gosh how can you say just one book for all to read? Narrowing it down is tough, but I think the one book everyone should read is Anne of Green Gables. It's full of tears and laughter and a genuine feeling of childhood.

Debbie said... is so hard to narrow it down to just one or even a few. My top pick would be the bible. It has so much encouragement and guidance in it for me. Another book I return to time and time again for inspiration is "The Complete Guide to Creative Gift Giving" by Cynthia Yates. I love her style of writing and she has some great ideas for giving meaningful and fun gifts on a tiny budget.

Tnjoy your bloggy break!

Kathy said...

Happy Blogiversary! 9 years is a wonderful accomplishment! Congratulations! Enjoy your break.

I love the Lord of the Rings books! I have reread them several times. I loved the movies too although the Hobbit series wasn't my favorite, but it was still better than most of the movies out there.

lejmom said...

Enjoy your blogging break, Brenda! We will miss you!

Three of my favorite books read in the last several years are: The Help, The Kitchen House, and Sarah's Key. I love to read---just need to make more time to do so... Jane

Lynn said...

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. A book I read and reread often, as I need the reminders! Happy anniversary! Enjoy your little blog break and we will look forward to your return.

Brenda Wilkinson said...

Hello from New Zealamd. My favourite book is A Fine Romance by Susan Branch.

Best wishes

Brenda Wilkinson

GrammaGrits said...

I would say Jan Karon's book from last year - actually the series is wonderful!!!

Next would be Lisa Samson, each book very unique in itself.

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations Brenda" on your 10 year blogging. I have only discovered you in the last year & so glad I have. You are a wise lady with knowledgeable insight, I so enjoy your posts.
My first book above all else will have to be my Bible, it is a must, from there, oh goodness, too many to mention. Most recently Priscilla Shirer's "The Resolution for Women", I found it to be full of 'womanly' inspiration.

God Bless,

Bonnie said...

Sounds like fun, Brenda. Besides the Bible and anything by CS Lewis, I love Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It is a beautifully written book about the south in the 1940's.

Janice Bakke said...

Two favorite and highly recommended books that come to mind that are in the spirit of your website are the More-With-Less Cookbook and Living More With Less by Doris Janzen Longacre, as well as Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer (because you said we could list more than one book!).

Lori said...


Happy blog anniversary! I have been enjoying your blog for many years. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

Books - only one?! I will share just a few:

"The Shell Seekers" & "Winter Solstice" by Rosamunde Pilcher

"The Sin Eater" by Francine Rivers

The Mitford Series by Jan Karon

Anne of Green Gables series

I will stop for now. :)

Lori in PA

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 9 years of blogging! I always enjoy your posts. A favorite bok of mine that I think veryone should read is "The Sheperd of the Hills' by Harold Bell Wright.
Dianne L

Stefanie said...

Pilgrim's Progress. I just finished reading it to my kids and it was amazing!

Anonymous said...

I don't often comment but any book by Rosmunde Pilcher makes my heart sing...I reread them all this summer and I enjoyed them just as much the probably 5th time around...I also enjoy any book by Jon Hassler another oldie but goodie..I very much enjoy your posts...Jill

Mary said...

Kindergarten and college - now there's a spread for ya ;) Sounds like my family. Nine years is a very long time to keep a blog going. Yours is worthwhile though, so I'm glad you've kept it going. Hmmm, fav of the most enjoyable, escape-type books for me was "Papa's Wife" by Thyra Ferre Bjorn. Fascinating look into Finnish culture in the 50s or before. True story written from the daughter's perspective about her parent's getting together.
Enjoy your short break, Brenda <3

Naomi Jones said...

Hmm, I am a book lover. A serious one: Humility by Andrew Murray. A fun one: Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth VonArnim.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your blogging break! Favorite book that makes my heart sing….mmmm….lets see, just about anything by Nora Roberts and the Outland series.

accrisanti at yahoo dot com

Kellylynn said...


Thoughts for the day said...

Oh I think the Little prince is a must read. It is a great little book the author
The Little Prince
Book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It is a great well written both entertaining and challenging book.

becky said...

One of my favorite books is "A Fine Romance" falling in love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch.
Love that book!!

LauraC said...

Well, my favorite book is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I wouldn't say everyone has to read it, but I try to get everyone that I can to.

Scrappy quilter said...

A must book is Simplify by Bill Hybels. Love your blog. Have a wonderful break.

Anonymous said...

Happy Blog Anniversary!! You will be missed while on your break, but we all need a break now and then. So glad you are staying relatively healthy! Praying you keep improving! As for my favorite book everyone should read, well, my absolute first choice would be the Bible! Wondering if it's still the No. 1 best selling book in the world? As for another, that's a tough choice! A book that really challenged my relationship with God was "Crazy Love" by Francis Chann. I could name more, but I think I'll stick with that one for now.
Blessings to you while you're on your break!
Laura C. (WA)

Heather LeFebvre said...

Happy Blog-versary! :) book! How to choose! How about I just pick one from recent months? :) Tim Keller's book "Prayer" has been a really good read this year.

Vee said...

Congratulations on nine wonderful years! I have been along for eight of them and consider your blog one of the very best. Breaks are good and I know that you will very much enjoy yours.

Vee said...

The book challenge was too great. I might be able to come up with a top ten list. Of course, The Bible takes top spot. That was just too easy.

Unknown said...

Gifted Hands- Ben Carson
Lit-Tony Reinke

Nancy said...

Happy Anniversary, Brenda! Your blog has been a huge blessing in the five years since I discovered it. You and I think very much alike. Best of all, we're sisters in the Lord! My favorite books are the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I also have discovered a new joy in reading my Bible. His Word is truth! Thank you for years of encouragement, Brenda!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!! I enjoy your blog so very much!!!
The one book I would recommend is Mary Jane's Idea Book-CookBook-Lifebook..for the farmgirl in all of us by MaryJane Butters. NOT that I follow it word for word, idea for idea..but it opened up the world of gardening, old ways, it makes me happy to
page through it. It's farming with a romantic twist!!!!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Happy anniversary! My must-read is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

Anonymous said...

"South of Superior" is a well written book which depicts the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but is a fictional story.

Another good read is a book which was also made into a TV movie is Brian's Song.

Debi said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.
My favorites are anything by Gladys Taber and her country life at "Stillmeadow" in CT. And for a wonderful, old- fashioned, snow-ed in winter/Christmas story, "The Substitute Guest" (1936) by Grace Livingston Hill.
Enjoy your time away, we will miss your posts.

Deb said...

Happy Blogiversary, Brenda. You've done a great job of keeping up the blog!

I'm not sure a book I would pick. I always liked Christy by Catherine Marshall and read it more than once. When we were homeschooling, I enjoyed reading Where the Red Fern Grows to the kids.

Judy said...

Do enjoy your break, Brenda.
I'm not ever quite sure about books 'everyone' should read, but find myself drawn to those peopled by ordinary people in mostly small communities, facing life's joys and trials with quiet grace. The children's story "Treasures of the Snow" (not one of the recent edited versions), "Heidi," "The Trapp Family Singers," "Anne of Green Gables," Goudge's trilogy about Pilgrim Inn, and the 'Mitford' series all fit nicely. A recent read (a new release), though not from a Christian perspective, that surprised and delighted me was "Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow"by Tara Austen Weaver (a food writer). There is an extensive 'Look inside' at Amazon if you should like a preview.
Happy Reading!

Jan said...

Happy Blogiversary!
Narrowing down favorite books is hard, but here are some favorites:
• "Persuasion" and "Emma" by Jane Austen
• "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
• "Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books" by Tony Reinke
• "How to Read Slowly" by James Sire
• "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss
• "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte

Amy said...

Hello Brenda! Congratulations on your blogiversary! I love seeing Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me pop up in my inbox each week, so I hope you're writing for many years to come.

One book? Tough challenge! Of course, the Bible, but after that, Francine River's Redeeming Love. I never understood grace until I read it. Life changing for me.

Also, Karen Hancock's series The Legends of the Guardian-King, which is a fascinating fiction read. If you're interested in applying apologetics and theology in a fantasy fiction setting, she actually pulls this off well!

Linda D. said...

I love your blog, Brenda, and I hope you're enjoying your little break. The 1 book I think everyone should read is the Bible. Here are other titles that were significant with my becoming the book lover that I am today:

Roller Skates (Ruth Sawyer), (The Yearling (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings), Exodus (Leon Uris). I recommend them all. Each of these came into my life at just the right moment to expand my world, and I grew and matured as a result of these books encountered early in my life.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and the book looks wonderful!
Patty G

Anonymous said...

-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)you will laugh, cry, and be in awe of this author's imagination.
-Autumn Quartet by Barbara Pym (1977) ditto. This was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. If you are an Anglophile, read Pym.
-Disciplines for a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes (2001) This book changed my thinking and so changed my life.
-Lord, I want to be Whole by Stormie Omartian (2000) ditto.

I also like anything by C. S. Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L. M. Montgomery, & Agatha Christie

Have a great break and thanks for writing your wonderful blog,
best regards

Anonymous said...

The Bible, I would be lost without it. Also love Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lauraine Snelling, and most anything to do with history. And far too many books/authors to mention here!

Congratulations Brenda and thank you so much for taking the time to keep up your blog. You have no idea how much I look forward to your posts, and how much I learn.
God bless you, Marsha

Mrs.T said...

Certainly the Bible would be at the top of my list. One must not only read it, but re-read and meditate on it. Another book that I would recommend everyone read is Loving God with All Your Mind, by Elizabeth George. It is truly life-changing.

Enjoy your break, Brenda! You have been a blessing to many, so get refreshed so you can carry on!

Peggy said...

Lose the clutter, lose the weight by Peter Walsh. I love reading your blog so much and thank you for the chance to win!

Unknown said...

Hi Brenda!
Happy Bloggiversary and enjoy your blog break! I would say everyone should read the Bible, that's one book that comes to mind immediately, :)
Thanks for the giveaway!

Kim Stewart said...

Brenda, Enjoy your break!

I can't really say what one book that everyone should read but I can share the five books that have most influenced my life and worldview.

1. The Bible
2. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider
3. The More with Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre
4. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary radical by Shane Claiborne
5. The Shack by William P. Young

And for pure pleasure I loved The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Woman of the House said...

Happy anniversary! I read regularly though comment rarely. A book that I thoroughly enjoy (and I'm sure you and your readers would too) is Sixpence in Her Shoe by Phyllis McGinley. It was published, I think, in 1960. The author defends the benefits of homemaking at the dawn of the feminist age with intelligence and humor. Great read!

skmanning said...

For those who plan to homeschool or are schooling young children, I think "A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola is a must read.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your Blog-a-versary! I read your blog when I am able. I enjoy your pictures and your thoughts. A book to read other than the Bible..Well when I was a child I enjoyed The Happy Hollisters series by Jerry West, The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew (author?) and several books by Christmas Carol Kauffman..Regina was one of them. In a different season of my life, I Will Carry You by Angie Smith, and GONE but Not LOST by David W. Wiersbe and Praying the Scriptures for your Children by Jodie Berndt. It is hard to pick just one since there are different seasons that come into a person's life and therefore books that speak to that season. I trust you have been able to enjoy your blogging break!

The Journey said...

One book people should read is Edith Shaffer book- Hidden Art of Homemaking- for creativity when one has little

Heather said...

Happy blog anniversary! I really enjoy your blog. I read it regularly, even though I don't comment very much anymore.
Books :
The Bible
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Keep a Quiet Heart by Elizabeth Elliott

PJ Geek said...

"She" by Kathryn Tucker Windham (on Kindle) The author was known to every Alabama school child of the 70's and 80's as she was a southern story teller of ghost stories and southern life. She lived near the small Alabama town where I grew up and was a distant , distant relative. The book makes me laugh out loud and al fits my current life as I age in to my 50's. From Amazon ".... she faced old age and its accompanying limitations with humor and curiosity. In She, the book, whose spirit has not changed, and her alter ego, who moves haltingly toward her earthly end. She will leave you laughing and crying but also grateful and hopeful. Windham was putting the finishing touches on when she died, the author describes how she woke up one day to find that she had an unwanted houseguest, an old woman who had suddenly moved in and was taking over her life. Referring to this interloper simply as SHE, Windham invites readers into a lively colloquy between the author ."

Anonymous said...

I have loved all of Heather Lende's books about life in Haines Alaska (we finally made it there this summer).....She writes the Obituaries for the local paper and weaves the most wonderful stories of people's lives. "Take good care of the garden and the dogs", "If You Lived Here I would know Your Name", and her recently released "Find the Good".
Congratulations on your impressive years of blogging! May your health continue to be stable and managed. As a person who lives with chronic illness.....I am resilient to change for the most part but hopeful that whatever is the "new normal" lasts long enough for me to adjust and have a bit of a reprieve :) Helen Nordseth

Jan said...

Jan Karon's Mitford books are a must read! I loved following most of the same characters through all of the books - am anxiously awaiting the release of the last book in the series but, at the same time, am sad that the end is coming. Thank you for taking the time to blog and share your life but mostly for all of your encouraging words!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your Nine Year Blogiversary!! While there are several "grown-up" books that I would consider "must reads", I am a firm believer that one should read children's books all through life. So, I am suggesting one of my all-time favorites ~ "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes! I'd line my bookshelves with children's books if I could. There are so many fabulous ones! Hugs ~ Donna

Rachel H said...

I love "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ", I believe the author is Betty Smith. I read that book so many times as a young girl, and the movie is great too. Another book I read a few years ago is "The Last American Man" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's the true story of a man who lives in the woods of North Carolina. He is completely self sufficient, hunts, fishes, can make his own buckskin clothes. He is very opinionated of how Americans have lost sight of taking care of oneself, have lost the abilities of our forefathers.

Lynn McCoy said...

I think everyone should read the Little House books to get a picture of what it was really like as people moved west and settled the country. I really enjoy reading your blog and always draw inspiration from your deepening the pantry posts.