Last week, after spending some time chatting with The Dependas (Check them out!), they recommended I take my boys to Dad’s Toys, in downtown Leavenworth. I’d window shopped there before, but never walked inside thanks to the many “what-ifs” running through my mom-mind. I am SO glad that I stepped foot into this fabulous hobby and toy store!
I immediately received a friendly greeting from Dora, the store’s pup. Then I met Thaddeus Moulden, who manages the store. He was so friendly y’all. He shared the store’s history, explaining his grandfather’s love for trains and how the store had once been a family flower shop. After only a few moments of chatting with Mr. Moulden, I know two things: 1. He LOVES trains (as much as my boys do) and 2. He is proud of his Kansas town. As we chat, I learn he is seventh-generation working the family business and he knows the ins and outs of little ‘ol Leavenworth. Apparently, there are more underground tunnels here than I knew of…he has my attention! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Melissa and Doug variety, and my boys will love the legos, cars, and trains in this hobby shop, but learning more about local families and buildings like his, that have been here practically since this town’s birth, is exciting. Thaddeus shares about his support for local schools and the children in this community, military included, before showing me the train exhibit that covers the main floor space.
We have a mini Union Station exhibit right here folks! I am off exploring all 3 stories, and am thrilled to stumble over several train tables and activity tables set out for children upstairs.
Before I leave on this first visit, I’m intrigued by two characters that reside in the shop, Annie and Pup (aka Billingsly)—they look oddly real friends, and I’d say they kept a good eye on me! You should stop by and visit with them 😊
I’m also surprised to learn of the old-school soda fountain in the shop—how fun! As I walk out, Dora bids me farewell, as Thaddeus reminds me that I have to return for Alive After 5, a Leavenworth must-do. Check out these fun downtown events on FB at Alive After Five Facebook Page
If you want to learn more about the items Dad’s Toys carries, you can visit them on FB at Dad’s Toys Facebook Page
What did I do next you ask? Return to Dad’s Toys for a play date —it was perfect. Some may not agree, but my 3 and 5-year-old boys do chores in our home and were excited to also purchase their own hot wheels cars (cheaper than the dollar store, I might add).
For those who aren’t tracking—we are a military family and we move a lot! Lately, my heart continues to grow for this local community and I have a feeling it will do the same at our next “home.” It’s taken a shift in perspective friends, and if you’re a military spouse stationed here, you haven’t explored much, or connected with others, I want to chat with you for a moment. I’ve been there. It is hard, especially if you’re a new mom, or have multiple kids. I can imagine it’s even more challenging for the international CGSC spouses whose first language may not be English. Sometimes, I don’t want to go anywhere—parenting can be exhausting in and of its own! The idea of leaving the house can be accompanied with a lot of “what-ifs.” What if the kids get hungry or have to go potty as soon as we get in the car? What if they act out? What if things don’t go as planned? What if, what if, what if? Mommas, I’m learning it’s okay. All will be well. A little planning and reassurance from other moms has helped! After leaving the toy store, I venture over to Out of the Barn for a peek inside, and am encouraged by their inspirational art: “Be Afraid, and Do It Anyway!”
I can’t wait to return to this artsy and inspiring store. I hear they hold group classes too. Take a look for yourself: Out of the Barn’s Facebook page
I leave you with something to ponder:
What are you afraid to do, and why aren’t you doing it?
The idea of taking my boys to a toy store, does not sound like fun. Prior to today, I couldn’t understand why any parent would want to do that to themselves. Dad’s Toys had people like me in mind though—my boys did not destroy the store. They played, they explored, and they loved it! As for me, I got to connect with a military spouse, observe a military mom braving it with 3 of her own, and loved the store experience 😊
May the wind always be at your back friends!
p.s. Recently, I received my DNA results and wouldntchaknow…I’m 16% Irish! Here’s a fun downtown Shamrock Hunt to get you in the Irish spirit this month. Have fun finding these, and be sure to step inside and say hi to the locals!
p.s.s. Want to learn more about my Leavenworth Series? Here’s the the blog post that started it all: Link to “Leavenworth: Hello Buffalo!”