Monday, December 30, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Pope Francis, First Pope from the Americas by Stephanie Watson

Pope Francis: First Pope from the Americas
I remember when I first realized that TV networks often have 'specials' worked up about famous people to be aired in the event of their death, long before that actually happens. While it makes good business sense, I felt gypped somehow.
Somewhat similarly, when there is a new face in the news, you see a scramble to be the first book publisher to come out with a biography. Sometimes astute publishers and authors have had an inkling that an individual's time was coming - at other times, you can see it came down to grabbing any accessible information and putting it into print in time to beat a deadline.
This biography, published about 8 months after Pope Frances started making the headlines, leans toward the latter. Anyone who has had half an eye on news stories will not learn anything new about this very popular leader. The text, while mostly flowing and accessible, does seem rushed in places. It also shows a bit of whitewashing that I would hope we are getting away from in children's books - the accusations related to Argentina's "dirty war", for example, are mentioned, but quickly dismissed.
For children who are not as familiar with Pope Francis's childhood and history, or the surprising changes he made beginning from his very first day, this would be a good introduction. It will also likely be popular with those who are just plain fans of his. Worth adding to a collection, but if you have limited funds, you may want to wait on one with more meat to it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Goldilocks and the Three Brothers

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.

Well, that wasn’t really her name, but look at these curls!


Goldilocks had three crazy brothers:



And Baby Shane. (Baby Shane wasn’t born yet).

They were always getting into trouble, and Goldilocks was always having to rescue them!

One time, Christopher was attacked by evil villains.


Goldilocks captured them all, and made Christopher a bacon sandwich so he would feel all better.

Another time, Logan got wrapped up by a giant spider.

Goldilocks set him free, and made him a bacon sandwich.

When it was time for Baby Shane to be born, he had to stay in the hospital for a little while.

Everyone was sad, because they wanted him to come home.

So, guess what Goldilocks did?

That’s right! His very first bacon sandwich.


And, it worked – Baby Shane got to come home, so everybody could help Goldilocks look out for him.

But, a sister’s work is never done, so Goldilocks knew to keep plenty of bacon on hand!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Things That are Vastly Under-Appreciated

Eating without heartburn.
Being able to sit without pain.
Being able to stand without pain.
Being able to move from one of those to the other without having a planning session first!
Being able to look down and see your entire body.
Being able to wash dishes without standing sideways at the sink.
Being able to bend down and pick something up, without giving it a second thought.
Being able to carry anything heavier than a coffee cup.
Sleeping in whatever position you want, not just whatever position your body will go into.
Going to bed because you are getting tired, or because of the time, not because you can't stay upright any more.
Fitting behind the steering wheel of your car.

*I left out several bathroom-related thoughts. You are welcome.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Military Special Ops series from Lerner

Navy Seals: Elite Operations
While military operations are not on my top ten list of most exciting topics, they sure rank highly with many of my patrons. I'm always looking for a new series to point them to that will have the right balance of information and readability.
For this series I read the above title about Navy Seals, and this one about the U.S. Air Commandos:
Air Commandos: Elite Operations
The tiny print may scare some kids away, and the reading level (about 5th grade) will keep me searching for something for the younger crowd, but for older readers I think these will do the trick. Both books held my interest, and I learned quite a bit with each - although in some cases, it was because I was curious enough to do some internet searching (I really would have liked to see a picture of the bone phones.) I think I will add these two to the collection and see how they do before deciding whether to add the rest of the series.
Thank-you to Lerner for the review copies!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shane Michael What Cat Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo Hello Kitty Duck Butterfly Flower Jack John Jones...

...has a slightly longish name.

...has spiky black hair like C.

...likes to hold a mouthful of food like L.

...enjoys farting on us, like S.

...stares around at the world with a serious expression, like M. did.

...has Mommy's nose.

...has Daddy's cowlick.

...does not bestow smiles easily, but smirks when he knows he has won. the only child I have had that LIKES to be swaddled.

...does not expect to have to work for anything. Or wait.

...has a natural Mohawk. What is up with THAT?

...has already peed on Daddy once.

...has dark blue eyes at the moment, which, if they stay, are going to be a killer combo with that hair!

...never belches less than a "six".

...cries when Mommy sings to him.

...gets an adorable chin-quiver when he is hungry.

...has an eye-roll worthy of any teenage girl. perfect. And...


And to all a good night:)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Definitely My Son!

(Warning - contains some icky birth stuff!)
Well, a very stressful and disappointing Tuesday ended, at least, with a good Christmas program. We got up Wednesday morning and headed towards Albuquerque (as someone else pointed out, very pregnant lady on the road to a distant land, not knowing where she would spend the night, at Christmas time - nothing holy about this group, though!) We had a consult with a doctor at Presbyterian right after lunch, and one at UNM shortly after that. Liked the first guy, second one lost our appointment. Pres it is! Not that there was really any question by this time, after all their other screw-ups.
Of course, this meant a lot of scurrying for Pres staff, but they managed to have the NICU and cardio teams ready for me to have my C-section at 11:30 the next day (Thursday). Mike and I got checked into a room and found a place to eat. I had to force myself to chew and swallow, because I knew I should at least get my iron up, but I really just wanted to curl up on the booth and go to sleep! I was in a lot of pain after the 4 hour car ride, my blood pressure was high for the first time in my life (can't imagine why), and I was just plain exhausted. The doctor had tried to talk me into staying in ABQ for a week and having the baby after Christmas, and I could barely hold back the tears. I was DONE!
Quick phone call with the kids, then into bed. Where I listened to the lady in the next room talk on the phone. All. Night. Long.
So, not really rested, but excited, we got out of there the next morning as soon as possible - way before our scheduled arrival - and stopped at a Walmart for a few things we needed. The cashier asked me when the baby was due, and I don't think she quite believed me when I said "In 3 hours". In due time, however, I was on a bed in Labor and Delivery, chatting with the nice nurses who knew off the top of their heads that S. was 8 pounds 10 ounces at birth, and who were generally more on the ball than anyone we had talked to at UNM.
About 30 minutes from C-section time, the nurse and I both noticed a change in one of the beeping monitors. This was the one that checked for cord compressions, and for a few seconds, it registered one. She frowned, but then smiled again when it stopped. "You could have had a contraction, or he could have grabbed the cord himself."
"It did just feel like he was rolling over," I said.
"That could have been it."
"Right. It couldn't have been a contraction, because I'm not actually due until...ow!"
Yes, folks, within the next few minutes, it became obvious that I WAS IN LABOR. Not Braxton Hicks, the real deal. That didn't change the C-section any, just reminded us once again that this baby is going to do things his own way, and in his own time - not to mention reinforcing my decision not to wait a week!
Of course, being my son, he decided to make the C-section a little more difficult by wedging his big old head behind my pelvic bones. I couldn't see past the drop cloth, but the solution seemed to be placing a very heavy baby elephant on my sternum and having him jump up and down. OW! He finally popped out, though, I got a quick flash of dark hair, and the baby (mine, not the elephant's) was whisked off to the NICU (I have no idea where the elephant's baby was taken - don't care, just so long as he was off my sternum!)
Then I started throwing up. And throwing up. And throwing up. I always throw up right after, but then I'm fine. Not so, this time. I got to see him briefly, on the way to my room:

See how I'm holding his sweet little hand? He immediately yanked it away and wedged it behind his head, so I couldn't take it back. Definitely my son.

What a chunker! 7 lbs 13 oz at two weeks early.

Initial reports from the NICU were good, and Daddy got to see and hold him, but I literally could not move without throwing up. It was a pretty miserable night. Finally, after 5 doses of Zofran did nothing, they switched to something else. Relief! And now I was dying to see and feed my baby. But first I had to wait through my check-up. And then the NICU closed for rounds. I was waiting at the door when they reopened, and finally...

Bliss! He refused to nurse, so we just got lots of bonding time in, before I HAD to go get something to eat. 36 hours without food can make you a mite hungry, and I think I scared the guy who delivered it with how fast I inhaled the bacon (sorry about your hand, dude, but don't move so slowly next time. I think they can reattach that finger.)

As I said, initial reports are much better than we expected. UNM was leaning heavily towards him needing surgery, but the initial echo here is indicating very minor constriction. We have to wait until the ductus arteriosis closes in order to know for sure, but hopefully that will happen over the next few days. We still have hope we will all be home for Christmas! Thank-you so much to all those who have been praying, I know that has made the difference.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another Baby Update, or: Who Wants to Post My Bail?

Tuesday afternoon. T minus a-day-and-a-half until the baby is born. At UNM.
Bags are packed. Christmas presents wrapped and boxed up in case Christmas happens in a hotel room. House sitter set. Fridge cleaned out. Who-is-watching-kids-when sorted out. Car gassed up. Gift baskets dropped off. School party stuff dropped off. Dress rehearsal of school program watched. I'm in the middle of setting up for tonight's Christmas program at work and getting my desk cleared off. I get off at 8PM, we leave for Albuquerque (a four hour drive) tomorrow morning at 7AM. And I get a phone call.
Two small issues. One: my insurance company got into a tiff with UNM, and severed their contract. Two: The NICU at UNM is suddenly full, so they probably can't deliver my baby Thursday as planned. Maybe Friday. Maybe next week. But, I should still come up and just, you know, hang around. Or, they could deliver the baby Thursday, and transfer him to another hospital - BUT NOT ME.
I'm not a doctor, but when a woman is 97 months pregnant with a high risk baby, should you be quadrupling her blood pressure like this??? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????
So, I really need to be setting up the rest of the way for tonight's program, but I am afraid to step too far away from the phone (it only allows three rings, and even NOT pregnant I can't make it across the room in time.) I have a consult scheduled with the other hospital tomorrow, but no news on a date for the baby, yet. It is, at least, a good hospital, so I would have no problem with the switch in general - IF IT HAD HAPPENED A LITTLE EARLIER!
I am going to go practice my Lamaze breathing. Except I never took Lamaze classes. I;ll make something up.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Lily Learns About Wants and Needs, by Lisa Bullard

Lily Learns about Wants and Needs
Lily Learns About Wants and Needs is part of the "Money Basics" series from Cloverleaf Books. Other titles in the series cover borrowing, saving, and keeping track of your money. As the series title suggests, each topic is covered in simple terms, appropriate for the 1st-3rd grade range (although we can probably all think of a few adults who could do with refreshers!)
Lily wants a lot of things - a bike, ice cream, a trip to the bowling alley. She tried to convince her father that these are things she NEEDS  (after all, she needs to exercise, right?) but her father good-humoredly explains the difference between those and real needs (for example, there are ways to exercise for free). He even differentiates between general needs (like a new coat) and specific needs (NOT the most expensive coat on the rack!)
This title includes a poster activity, glossary, and web sites to go for more information.
While this book is written in a story form, I would pair it with one that is a little more fictional and fun - Betty Bunny Wants Everything
Betty Bunny Wants Everything
Betty Bunny is a huge favorite at our house. Come to think of it, Betty Bunny lives at our house. At any rate, what better topic to look at just a couple weeks before you-know-what? These two books together would pair well with the start of some sort of allowance/chore chart, or a child's very first savings account.
Thank-you to Cloverleaf (a division of Lerner) for the review copy of Lily!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Baby Update

We have a date! And it is definitely earlier than we had planned. Tuesday the 17th will be my last day of work for a bit. I am ending with a 'bang', as that evening is our annual Family Christmas Program. My apologies now to whoever has to finish cleaning up in the morning, because odds are slim that I will get it done in the half hour or so between the end of the program and the time we close. The morning of the 18th, we drive up to Albuquerque and meet with someone from the NICU, then we are scheduled to deliver early the next morning.
As you can imagine, this has put us into a flurry of arranging and packing and planning! Trying to spend time with the kids and keep things fairly normal, at a time of year that is already insane. Wrapping up Christmas shopping, baking, decorating, etc., a week earlier than expected. Cancelling programs at work, and trying to figure out how to cover the children's room 54 hours a week with a 25-hour-a-week clerk. Arranging for house sitters and deciding where the kids will be, when. C.'s Christmas program is Thursday evening, and it's killing me to miss that - although we have arranged to watch the dress rehearsal Tuesday, and I already have his gift for the gift exchange and treats for his class ready. A lot of Mommy guilt going on, here!
We won't know until a few days after Mr. Narcissist is born, whether he will need surgery or not. Whereas at the beginning they were leaning towards not, now - after another ultrasound - the assumption seems to be yes. So, we could be there three days, three weeks, or three months. That makes packing and planning just that much more 'fun'. Do I just bring a pair of sweats for myself, or a full suitcase? One outfit for the baby, or ten? Should we try to get two vehicles up there, so Daddy can go back and forth? Do we just need a basic hotel room, or one with a kitchenette?
And the big question...when and where will Christmas be???! I know, I know, Christmas is in your heart, we should celebrate Christmas all year, blah, blah...I have 4 words for you: seven year old boy. He can read a calendar and count days. And, unless we keep them all locked away from the world, they are going to know if the 25th has passed them by.
So, again, a little bit of scurrying going on, a little bit of worry, but we have full faith that it won't be too long before we are all home together, back in a normal routine.
Well, what passes for normal around here, anyways!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Wild Animal Neighbors

Wild Animal Neighbors: Sharing Our Urban World
It is no secret that, as man takes over more and more land, wildlife is running out of places to go. Living on the edge of National Forest land, we see more than our share - the mountain lion that occasionally streaks across the road in front of our car, the bear that tried really hard to squeeze through the pantry window, the raccoons that got into the dog food bin, the elk and deer that drive the chocolate lab crazy (to be fair, she also barks at leaves), the chipmunk that lives under the boys' room and stuffs itself from the compost heap. For the most part, we live harmoniously, with minor adjustments like moving the dog food to the pantry, and securing that window.
One of Daddy's many jobs, however, is removing animals from places where there is a bit less harmony. Since the humans pay more than the critters, it is usually the latter who get relocated! Sometimes people contact him directly, sometimes through Game and Fish. In the cases of skunks or raccoons, he can usually trap the problem critters quickly, and give some tips to keep their relatives from returning. Sometimes, though, people aren't happy with the answers they get. If a bear is getting into your trash can, Game and Fish personnel are not going to come out and trap the bear; they are going to tell you to move your trash can. (So will Daddy, so don't ask).
Wild Animal Neighbors gives readers an overview of the different types of wildlife that are increasingly making their homes in urban areas. Some are more successful than others at blending in and living harmoniously with humans. In some cases, this is due to the animals' ingenuity or stubbornness, in others it is with the help of humans willing to find ways to coexist.
Each chapter looks at animals in a different part of the world, from crows in Japan to alligators in Texas. Side bars give information about each animal species, animal tracks wander across the pages, and photographs and additional information are peppered throughout. This can make the pages seem a bit busy, but for the most part the information is easily accessible and understandable.
Overall, a good introduction to the subject, and a possible jumping-off point for classroom projects. This would also be a good Christmas gift for a young nature lover, possibly paired with a stuffed animal, or a gift sponsorship of an endangered species, such as those available from the World Wildlife Fund, or your local zoo. Published just last month.
Thank-you to Lerner Books for the review copy!

For more fun nonfiction, hop over to the new official Nonfiction Monday blog.

Make sure you add it to your favorites and/or newsfeed - instead of hopping around, from now on you can get all your posts in one spot, but still have links to check out other fun blogs!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Drat That Cat, by Tony Ross

Drat That Cat!
"Whenever anything bad happened, Suzy got the blame...usually because she had done it."
Whether your family has a cat, or a certain someone wants one, kids of all ages will enjoy Suzy's antics - as well as the way she reminds her family to appreciate her in spite of them. The illustrations are always a strong point in Ross's books, with plenty of details to chuckle over - the fur landing on Granddad before Suzy even does, the smelly brown substance on brother's finger as he goes poking through the dirt - as Suzy smirks nearby.
New pets make a tempting Christmas gift, but there are so many reasons to wait until the chaos dies down. Perhaps pair this with a stuffed kitty, or a date to volunteer at a local shelter. This one, for example, offers obedience classes (for dogs, not cats), and is always looking for volunteers to bring their adoptable animals to classes, so they can learn to be a BIT better behaved than Suzy!
Thank-you to Anderson Press for the review copy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Picture Books for Christmas

Zoomer's Out-of-This-World Christmas
It's Christmas Eve, and something has landed in Zoomer's backyard - but it ain't Santa! This story moves quickly, even for a picture book, but manages to impart silliness and the spirit of giving, accompanied by imaginative illustrations that made me think of Dr. Seuss (not in style, but in detail, if that makes any sense). Not a must-have, but a solid choice to add to your seasonal offerings.
Santa Claus and the Three Bears
In this version of the old fairy tale, the three bears take off on a walk while their Christmas pudding cools. Someone in red comes along and decides to have a taste...but it isn't a naughty little girl this time! I felt like this one ended a couple pages short, but overall I think kids will get a kick out of Santa being just a little bit bad. It may even inspire them to leave him something besides cookies and milk (I think bacon would go over well at our house.)
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Speaking of naughty little girls...Jeffers' illustrations are beautiful as always, following a little girl whose sneak peek at Christmas presents results in a minor tragedy followed by a dreamy journey with Santa. Children will need to be familiar with the song in order to make sense of the first part of the story.
Gift-giving ideas:
- Zoomer's story would pair well with anything alien, spaceship, or robot-related.
- The Three Bears begs to be read over a bowl of Christmas pudding. Attach the dry ingredients and a recipe card, and mix it up together!
- Start a Christmas tradition of an ornament or decoration involving one of the Twelve Days gifts each year.
Thank-you to HarperCollins for the review copies!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for Babies and Doctors

Like most expecting parents, Daddy and I often wonder out loud what baby-to-be will be like. Our kids are all so unique, with such strong personalities, that we spend much of our time shaking our heads in amazement (or amusement).

In fact, it is usually at those times that we look at my belly and ask that question.
I'm beginning to think this will be our "It's all about ME" child. He gave us a bit of a scare at 6 weeks, and since then has doubled every pregnancy symptom I experienced with his siblings. The first time I felt him kick, he was trying to kick S. off of my lap. He is very food-oriented, and lets me know exactly what he thinks of whatever I have eaten (or not eaten). He also lets me know exactly what positions I may or may not sit/stand/lay in. He has been known to interrupt conversations with sudden backflips, and staff meetings with hiccups.
His due date has been January 1. You would THINK the possibility of being the New Year Baby would appeal to my little narcissist. Unfortunately, he must have heard me say that I would actually prefer the tax deduction - just so long as he comes after Christmas. You know, so everyone can have a nice, relaxing holiday at home, before the hustle and excitement of welcoming him into the world.
Which brings us to the ultrasound we had back in August. Not only did he insist on being a boy, rather than the twin girls I had requested,
the prenatal specialist in Albuquerque expressed concern that his left ventricle looked slightly smaller than his right. If I squinted really hard at the picture the doctor showed me, I could kind of see what she meant. The important thing was, it meant another ultrasound! One of the perks of being of "advanced maternal age" is that you get the fun 3D ones, with lots of pictures.
So, a few weeks ago, we headed in for a rather longish ultrasound. We saw his fat little cheeks,
his objection to being poked,
and his perfect little fingers.
What we did NOT get a clear view of was his heart. He was not exactly cooperating with the tech, and finally fell asleep and refused to move at all.
The specialist decided she needed to see him in action herself, so we were back again just a week or so later. This appointment took two hours, and when the tech got a clear view of his heart, there was no squinting needed to see the difference. The left ventricle is quite a bit smaller than the right, and what is more important, the aorta (the artery that comes out of the left ventricle and takes oxygenated blood to your body - see, I did listen in fifth grade science!) is proportionately narrower.
This is known as "coarctation of the aorta", and if you want to google it, you can really freak yourself out. This is one of those things with a wide range of seriousness, however, and both the prenatal specialist and the neonatal cardiologist who saw the images later seem to feel it's somewhere in the middle. Not serious enough that he should need surgery (pretty please, God), but serious enough that we will be delivering in Albuquerque, at UNM. Exactly how bad it is/what needs to be done won't be known until after he is born (insert here, if you wish, long explanation about valves that close after birth and Mr. All-About-Me screwing up blood flow measurements with his constant practice breathing).
We're hoping to have the baby on a Friday, spend the weekend watching him eat, sleep, and poop, and be told, "Meh, you're good - come back for a check-up next month." A more serious possibility is an angioplasty - a little balloon inserted and inflated. Not fun to think about, but better than actual surgery! Either way, we feel very good about him being born at UNM - excellent hospital with fantastic staff.
Now, we are just waiting on a new due date. December 27 would be the optimal choice gestation-wise, but there's the minor matter of making sure enough of the team is actually going to be there, and not on vacation! So, we may be looking at earlier - and spending Christmas four hours away. I have the feeling Mr. Me will be pushing for the latter, in an attempt to keep our focus on him, and not on some other little baby born in less than perfect conditions.
We appreciate your prayers, and I will try to keep everyone up to date. I hope this will help excuse my lack of posts this month - and, if there's a bright side to being stuck away from home for a stretch, maybe it will include time to write reviews! Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving, spent whatever way you wish!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bountiful Baskets Haul - End of October

Feeding my cheap produce addiction this week:

Two regular baskets and four root pack add-ons. Check out those mammoth sweet potatoes!

We could hollow them out and sit in them!
I also got 75 pounds of Roma tomatoes (at approximately 57 cents a pound). They came in very underripe, thank goodness, so I didn't have to process them immediately. The kids helped me sort them by color:

(and, for some reason, my pictures have disappeared completely...I am leaving the boxes in case they spontaneously reappear...if not...imagine!)
and, after I put together a basket to share with Grandma, I tackled the potatoes. Full disclosure: this didn't all happen in one day!
I decided to just wash, cube, and can most of the brown potatoes, and ended up with 13 quarts. I boiled them briefly first just to get some of the starch out.
Any cloudiness you see here is on the outside, because I forgot to put vinegar in the canning water.
I saved a few out to eat now, and decided to try one of those recipes that is all over Facebook. You just slice a potato most of the way through,
sprinkle with oil and seasonings, and bake.
I have to say, I wasn't terribly impressed. They took FOREVER to cook, and ended with the skins being very tough. The kids were especially unhappy with the chewiness. We finally chopped them up and added baked potato toppings, and ate them that way.
I used one of the pears to freshen up a mix I made from the last basket's fruit - kiwis and persimmons - and layered it with Greek yogurt for parfaits. I topped it with BB granola, which is DIVINE, and told the kids we were having dessert for lunch.
While all the chopping and canning was going on, I was also roasting the Halloween pumpkins we had just decorated, along with the seeds:
I like the seeds best when they have soaked in a mix of lime juice and chili powder, and are roasted just shy of burning. The pumpkin I just roasted, cubed, and froze for now. I have enough food saved up for the first part of maternity leave, now I want raw ingredients so I can cook when I'm up and around!

After a few days of waiting, I had about 25 pounds of ripe tomatoes. These I peeled, chunked, and canned with a little garlic and oregano. To peel your tomatoes easily, dunk them in boiling water for about a minute, then ice water. The skins should slide right off. If they stick, you can toss them back in the hot water for another 30 seconds. Don't you wish everything peeled that easily?!

Another few days, another 25 pounds ready. I made 14 quarts of a spaghetti sauce that made my house smell like Heaven!

Your basic tomato sauce recipe with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. I also threw in some of the parsley pesto I had made and frozen after an earlier basket.
Then I started experimenting, and ended up with what I am calling "Sweet and Sour Chunky Salsa". This is roughly the recipe (there was little to no measuring going on):

About 15 pounds of tomatoes in varied stages of ripeness, diced (I like chunky salsa). The greener they were, the smaller I diced them.

Diced tomatoes - three small purple, and one large yellow.

Three cans of diced jalapenos that someone gave me, and which are too mushy to use in anything else, but hey, they were free.

2 cups of cider vinegar. This turned out to be way too much. I was going by proportions based on another recipe (7 lbs tomatoes to 1 cup vinegar), and I didn't want to skimp since I was water bath canning, but - sour! So, I had to add more sugar - about 3/4 cup in all - now both sweet and sour! Oops.

Salt, cumin, pepper, oregano, cilantro.

Five Anaheim peppers I froze from an earlier Bountiful Basket pack, sliced and diced. I had cut the tops off and partly deseeded, but these aren't hot peppers, so you don't really need to.

Bring to a boil and then simmer about 20 minutes.

Hot pack into prepared pint jars (there were 14 in all) and water bath for 25 minutes.

There was a LOT of liquid left, and I can't throw anything away, so I funneled it into an empty bottle to save!

I was eating through leftovers in the fridge as I cooked, and spooned some of the salsa in with some corn. Yummy! Any other suggestions for using a salsa (pico de gallo, really) that is a bit on the tart side?
The remaining tomatoes have been ripening slowly, and I have been peeling, dicing, and freezing them every couple days. This is what I have left of the original 75 pounds, 2 weeks later:
There are several was to encourage your tomatoes to ripen faster, but I have been happy with letting them get ready in stages. I really need to win the lottery so I can just stay home and cook all day! Well, and maybe do a few other things. I suppose that means buying a ticket first, though...