At the top of my to-do list this week, face to face with history

Brady and I had a date at the Gilbert History Museum to see the exhibit: Documenting War: The Kinnaman Collection


The exhibit runs until 12/31.  To see the exhibit, ask a docent to take you back to the locked gallery.


We had the place to ourselves.


Some of the items gave me goosebumps.


if you look closely, you can see the signatures of the American soldiers who captured this Nazi flag.


makes it less evil, and more intimate.

1231561_10202031285843904_94307217_oDr. Kinnamen’s collection was formed around the idea of the ordinary men who showed such valor.

sympathy letter to the mother of a lost soldier, from a friend who writes in his four page letter (on display) your son was "one of the closest buddies I had when I was overseas" and the shares his heartbreak(sympathy letter to the mother of a lost soldier, the friend writes in his 4 page letter (on display) your son was “one of the closest buddies I had when I was overseas”)

When you look at his collection. He succeeds.


The collection includes autographs from Abraham Lincoln, General Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Patton and many more.


I encourage you to visit this exhibit, and if you are nearby, buy a family membership. It’s a great value.


The Gilbert History Museum is the best way I know to let my boys get their hands on the past and imagine where we are going.

Thank you Dr. Kinnamen, for sharing your collection with us. You are always welcome to come to my library!



hi-ya: kicking off a new school year at Villari’s

Hello Friends,

Villari’s Family Center is one of my favorite family destinations in Gilbert.  As a family center, it is a play place, martial arts studio, restaurant.  We go there for a quick bite to eat, for meet ups with friends, I go to get a respite from the kids and catch up on my email. We’ve been to birthday parties there. Today we are going to find an after school club for Brady. It’s one of those places that you have to visit to understand. Have you been? What did you think?


Why do I like Villari’s so much?

  1. It’s spotlessly clean, too many times “family” equals grungy. Not here!
  2. The staff is amazing…everyone we encounter is patient, considerate of families and go the extra mile to make sure your visit is awesome
  3. Free WiFi in the cool AC while the kids play. A generously sized play place and generously sized booths for us to spread out projects
  4. Healthy, affordably priced food
  5. It’s never crowded. Sometimes “Family” means sensory overload, loud, crowded. Not here!
  6. I walk in the door and my kids take off and just PLAY and let me catch my breath.

When I took this photo you can see me in the mirror so I put the minecraft guy over my image. Here you can see Brady taking his first class with Sensei Mendoza

I took a break from back to school shopping and walked into Villari’s not knowing what to expect in terms of club offerings. Sensei Mendoza greeted me and went over the schedule together.  There are no contracts and I can upgrade our membership at any time. Great!!


Brady joined the Junior Beginners program and if all goes well, we will upgrade to a family membership. I want to lose weight this year, Max wants to copy his brother and do everything he does, the prices are affordable and overall, I feel like I get a great value for my dollar here.


Don’t forget your socks! I put his socks on after the picture, I promise!

During Brady’s class, Max played in the play place. The play place is scaled for kids of all ages, broken into zones. They even have a small enclosed area for infants. Max loves to run, climb and build at Villari’s. (note: there is a separate fee to use the play place, see end of post for discounts).


There is a separate fee to use the play place, so make sure to check out this Groupon or this deal on Yelp.

Brady’s had two classes so far. He loves it and was happy to demonstrate what he’s learned for my blog post.

For Villari’s discounts go to Yelp or Groupon or arrange a group and call and ask for a group discount. This is an awesome place to meet for book club or mom’s club or get caught up on your work. Some of the tables are whiteboards, so you can have meetings or kids can work on projects together. Be sure to stop by the Family Center on 1495  S. Higley (and Ray) and check it out!