About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley!

I’m an imperfect mother.  Flawed wife.  Servant-hearted Christ follower.  Encouraging teacher.  Lifelong learner.  Recovering introvert.  Chocolate lover.  And scaredy-cat “adventurer.”  Parenting is by far my greatest adventure of all!

My heart is for parents during this confusing, rewarding, hilarious, and terrifying stage of life with teens and tweens in the home.  The goal is for Navigating the Years to be a place where parents with a growth mindset support and encourage each other.  Together, we seek solutions to raising teens with character and practical life skills.  And, maybe, just maybe, we can send off young adults who

So, please join us as we navigate the skills for life!

More about me…

The Man and I have been married for 20 years and have spent most of that time in Florida, where we grew up.  We met at Florida Southern College, got married, and then I taught in Durham, NC while he continued with graduate work.  We now live on the Atlantic coast of Florida.

The Man and I have two daughters.  Our oldest darling daughter (DD1) is 15, and our youngest darling daughter (DD2) is 12.  I taught for over 10 years in elementary grades and preschools as we moved throughout Florida.  I also spent time at home with our girls.  I found that when our girls were younger, they needed their parents physically.  Now that they are older, the need their parents emotionally.

We love our family and friends.  We love our church.  We love to exercise and travel as a family!

7 Random Things About Me

1. I originally planned to get my doctorate in order to become a college professor in the education field. I had no plans to marry or have children as I did not have a “maternal instinct.” Currently, I am a stay-at-home mom and I love it!  (But, I’m still a nerd who loves research!)

2. I did not grow up going to church, but I am married to a pastor.

3. I do not like to fly. I was on a plane that took a thousand foot nose dive (according to the pilot), drinks flew everywhere, grown men cried. It was ugly.  And yet, this faint-hearted traveler has flown to Haiti, Guatemala, and Belize to serve the least, the last, and the lost.  Sometimes one’s calling trumps one’s fears!

4. I love to exercise. It gives me a natural high. Besides, exercise is cheaper than therapy.

5. I actually crave vegetables. I also crave dark chocolate. For that matter, I just love to eat. Hence, the 10 extra pounds I carry on my frame.

6. I am a very active dreamer in my sleep. I talk out during my dreams. The worst was the time I shouted, “I’ve been shot in the neck!” I woke up to discover a “crick” in my neck.

7. I worry way too much about what others think about me. My biggest fear is that people will think I am stupid and/or lazy.  And yet, I talk too much.


A Note to Parents of Teens and Tweens

Parenting is not for the weak!  We must be strong and humble enough to recognize how much we need to learn.

We need encouragement to maintain our boundaries and continue to love our tweens and teens enough to do the hard things.   We are brave parents who raise children into successful adults, rather than abdicate the responsibility to teachers, coaches, Youth leaders, etc.  (Although, these people are wonderful to have in our teens’ lives!)

Our goal is to create self-discipline within our adolescents through character development and life skills.

We influence their character which influences their choices. Click To Tweet

Ultimately, our teens have the ability to choose, good or bad.  But, character influences the choices they make.  And, our parenting influences their character.

We are imperfect people parenting imperfect people. It is normal to feel off-balance and uncertain during the adolescent years.  Our growing children surprise us, entertain us, frustrate us, and even change us.  Sometimes, they just confound us!

We are imperfect people parenting imperfect people. Click To Tweet

Goal of this Blog

This blog is a virtual parenting village where parents can share resources and tips for developing life skills and character traits in adolescents.  As a village, we have unique experiences, knowledge, and resources that we can contribute.  As individuals, we are experts on our own children.  Two children from the same gene pool and environment are completely different individuals.  But, we select and design strategies that support our values and help each child grow into a functioning, contributing citizen.

One way Navigating The Years will provide resources is through book recommendations.  Parenting books are as much about changing me as they are about guiding our girls.  I become a better person and more understanding parent.  This affects our daughters in two ways:

  1. I’m a better example.
  2. I respond to them better.

So parents, be strong and courageous!  And, let’s join together on this journey called parenting.

I love participation!  I strive to be a “leading learner” as I research, apply, and share ideas from experts with parenting experience and experts with degrees.  I invite you to join with me!  Your thoughts and experiences are much appreciated!  In sharing and responding, please keep in mind that one of our guiding principles is to “treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Thank you for joining us! I am grateful that you are here.


P.S.  Please note:  As I share stories on this site, I have our daughters’ permission to share the good ones.  However, they are not perfect. In general, sensitive and embarrassing stories will not be shared!  Usually, permission will be granted when they have learned from their mistakes.  But of course, I will share my mistakes in the hopes that they will benefit others.

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Books for Parents, Teens, and Tweens

As thoughtful parents of teens and tweens, we read books on brain development and psychology to inform our parenting. We also encourage our teens and preteens to read helpful books to develop themselves.    After all, we strive to be life-long learners!...

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Start Powerful Technology Discussions with Your Teen/Tween

In Part One and Part Two of Teens, Tweens, and Technology:  The Rules Change.  Principles Stay the Same, I state, “Please keep in mind that we should have a dialogue over time in regards to technology. One discussion does not make an education complete!”   Parents,...

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Navigating the Years


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