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Family Matters


by on Jan.03, 2013, under Ashley Bingle, Family Matters, Richard Bingle Family


A little known fact that I have avoided through out my posts on college life is my exact relationship to this guy:

He’s the partner from all of my Fall projects. The reason I went walking on Mackinac Bridge in September. Part of the “we” I referred to in much of my writing about that interim trip last January. And now he’s my Fiance!

His name is Josh Peters. I met him when we started our first Computer Science class in 2010 and we have sat next to each other in every class since. We will not be getting married until we graduate in 2014. He currently lives with his family 20 minutes south of school, commuting back and forth so that he can also work at Byron Center Meats during the week. He has been my best friend ever since I met him, and will continue to be for many, many years to come.


And now, what I’m sure you’ve been waiting for: a picture of my beautiful ring (which he picked out all by himself!) it’s white and rose gold, so pretty!

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Isle of Palms Memory Books Added To Gallery

by on Jul.29, 2007, under Family Matters

While we were enjoying our “Bingle Family Get-Together” on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina back in June, Linda presented the family with some “memory books” and asked that everyone take some time to contribute to them in some way, even if it was just to sign their name. In the end, everyone contributed (at least) an entire page.

Karen and I have finally scanned in the memory books that we created while we were there.

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Isle of Palms – Friday

by on Jun.17, 2007, under Family Matters

Karen got the girls up early to try to go boogie-boarding while the tide was coming in. They were out there for almost two hours, right through high tide. Luckily for them, the high tide wasn’t nearly as high as it had been the night before. The high tide the night before had scattered all of the built up sticks from the edge of the dune away, making the step down to the beach about a foot and a half. It had also deposited a palm tree (likely one of the ones we had seen) a couple of feet away from our path.

We tried making a trip out to “Bird Island” after lunch, but the tide was still too high and it was drizzling and the wind was making it a bit too chilly, so we turned back and decided we’d make a second attempt closer to when the tide would be at its lowest. Karen, Rich, Ashley, Amber, Alyssa, Chris, Tony, Anita, and Amber ended up making the trip. We found several more (deceased) sand dollars, a couple of empty whelk shells, and another (living) starfish. Ashley and Amber took turns holding the starfish on its back while everyone took the opportunity to feel its hundreds of little legs which were frantically waving back and forth.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. The memory books were finished, a couple of games of Blokus were played, and the packing of the vehicles began in earnest. We need to have the keys back to the rental agency by 10 a.m., so everyone is getting a pretty early start in the morning.

We finished off the evening with games of “Up and Down the River”, Rummy, and Formula De. The Formula De race ended up only being one lap instead of two as it was getting pretty late and Ashley was already falling asleep at the table between turns.

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Isle of Palms – Thursday

by on Jun.15, 2007, under Family Matters

After breakfast, Tony and Anita escaped again, this time to tour the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Around lunch time, Tim and Tiffany headed off to the airport to start their journey home. Unfortunately, their flight out of Charleston was delayed quite a while and they ended up missing their connecting flight out of Charlotte. Overall their trip home took over 8 hours.

Karen and Ashley rode a couple of bikes they had found under the house down to the Isle of Palms city hall to take advantage of a free t-shirt offer we had found on the city’s web site. They rode down the beach about a mile and a half. They had a head wind the whole way there and the bikes have seen better days, so they were pretty worn out by the time they got there. Luckily, having a head wind on the way there meant that they had a tail wind the whole way back. While they were gone, Amber, Alyssa, and I played in the pool.

After lunch most folks either hit the beach or the pool (or both). Karen and I were headed to “Bird Island” with the girls when a local warned us that the tide was already coming in and we’d likely have rough time getting back if we went out there, so we decided to head down the beach instead. We saw several people kite boarding while out on our walk. One guy was pretty good at doing flips and such. While they made it look easy, I’m sure it takes a lot out of you.

Karen tried to take the girls out boogie-boarding again after dinner while the tide was coming in, but there must have been a storm out to sea or something because the tide was really high. Overall, folks saw a couple of palm trees, a lounge chair, and a cooler all being swept towards the inlet. Needless to say, Karen didn’t end up taking the girls boogie-boarding after all.

The evening hours saw some games of Cartegena, Rummy, and (to the bemusement of Tony and Anita) a rousing game of Pit – complete with bell, and folks working on their contributions to the memory books. The fresh air must have taken a toll on all of us, because we all made it an early evening and were in bed by midnight.

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Isle of Palms – Wednesday

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Family Matters


When we went out for our morning boating and shell hunting at low tide, we found out that someone had spotted a shark in the shallows. Soon enough we had spotted it not far from where Tim and I were wading and where Karen and the girls were boating. It was a little shark, but we were careful to keep an eye on it to make sure it was going to leave us alone (which it did).

Several of us ended up out on the farthest sand bank, which we had nicknamed Bird Island. While out there, Alyssa found another intact and partially bleached sand dollar to add to our collection. We also found a couple of whelk shells we initally thought were empty. Turns out some hermit crabs had beaten us to the empty shells and had set up residence within. We also found 3 starfish in the tidal pools out on the sandbar.

Karen and Ashley rescued a pair of bikes from the storage area under the house and eventually had them working enough to ride around in circles out on the hard sand while the tide was coming in. They had just decided to take them back to the house when the wind started whipping up. We ended up having a quick storm roll through, complete with wind and rain.

We got a couple of games in before dinner, including Abalone, Blokus, and Cartegena.

After dinner we had a short talent show. Abbie Hatfield sang Baa-Baa Black Sheep and A-B-Cs, Amber Hatfield sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Bingle girls sang Until That which is a song that Ashley wrote the words for and is set to the tune of I Just Can’t Wait To Be King, Chris and Mom sang something, Linda showed off her Artist’s Trading Cards and gave the group two memory books for all of us to contribute to, and Don closed the show with spoon hanging and a reading of his award winning short story “My Dad”.

— Rich

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Isle of Palms – Tuesday

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Family Matters

After breakfast, Mike, Tim, Karen, and I took the 5 girls out in the ocean in 3 inflatable boats that a couple of us had brought. Two of the boats had oars, so we tied the smallest non-oared boat to the largest oared boat and tried to row around in the shallows protected by the sand bars at low tied. Unforunately, the water level was such that the adults spent a large amount of the time just getting themselves ungrounded.

Also during low-tide, there was another massive shell hunt performed. Again, we came up with lots of the fan shaped shells and occupied whelks. Karen found some living creature of unknown origins, and I found my “find of the day”, an intact (yet deceased) sand dollar.

Tony and Anita took advantage of all of the free baby-sitting and took a side trip over to Fort Summter, while Don and Linda took a drive and went shopping.

Before dinner, we took the Bingle girls down to the ocean during high tide and let them try some boogie-boarding. I seemed a bit heavy for the boards and was pretty unsuccessful, so ended up jumping the breakers with Alyssa while Karen, Ashley, and Amber got fairly good at riding the waves into shore.

Mom and I were sitting outside after dinner when I spotted what I thought was a dolphin. Turned out it wasn’t a dolphin, it was three of them! I quickly went inside and announced my discovery and grabbed Linda’s binoculars and we spent the next 20 minutes scanning the waters with the binoculars and various cameras.

After dinner, we played a 12 person game of “Up and Down the River” and then an 11 person game of double-deck elimination “Up and Down the River”. The night ended with Tim, Mike, Chris, and I playing a quick game of Cartegena.

— Rich

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Isle of Palms – Monday

by on Jun.12, 2007, under Family Matters

Several of us spent several hours out on the beach during low tide looking for shells and such. We again found lots of whelk shells, but they were again all still inhabited and had to be put back. Mike was out there quite a long time and unfortunately had failed to put sunscreen on the tops of his feet and got quite burned.

After lunch there were several games of Puerto Rico and Blokus played and several people went swimming in the pool. Tony spent an hour and stripped down and cleaned the grill in an attempt to get it working for grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. After a thourough cleaning and reconnecting the propane, things seemed to work much better.

Karen and Ashley took a couple of kites we found under the house out on the boardwalk to the beach and flew them until one of them broke loose and took off down the beach and into the water. Ashley rescued it, but it will need some repairs before it will fly again.

After dinner we all played a game of Encore. My team won despite being behind the entire game and a post-game protest by the other team. We followed that up with a game of Pictionary, which my team also won. A few of us us finished off the evening with a game of “Up and Down the River” which Mike won (and Don lost badly).

— Rich

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Isle of Palms – Sunday

by on Jun.11, 2007, under Family Matters

Spent some time today down at the beach. At low tide you can walk quite a ways out into the ocean and, despite a few sudden depressions, the water doesn’t get over knee deep. Found several crabs, lots of whelks, some uninhabited fan-shaped shells, and a (live) starfish.

Later in the day, a good portion of us spent some time in the pool. Even Mom got in the pool.

The 5 girls appear to be getting along great with each other. They’ve been playing lots of games (Jenga and Blurt) and playing catch. The adults (and the older girls) also played some games (Blokus, Abalone, Puerto Rico, Play Nine). Tim even tried playing a game of chess against the resident master.

Apparently the grill could use some TLC, as the steaks we had planned for dinner took longer than anticipated. We probably won’t have Don volunteering for grilling duty on Monday when it comes time to grill the hot dogs and hamburgers.

The evening, after the littlest ones were put to bed, ended with a few games of Apples to Apples. Some were a bit skeptical at first, but I think eventually everyone warmed up to the game and enjoyed themselves.

— Rich

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Isle of Palms – Saturday

by on Jun.10, 2007, under Family Matters

Everyone arrived safely to the family get-together on Isle of Palms, South Carolina today. Tony and Anita (and kids) and Mike and Belinda got into town a couple hours early, so they drove into the driveway two minutes after we (Rich and Karen (and kids) and the folks) arrived. Don and Linda got in a couple of hours later. Chris and Rob ran into some issues with their connecting flight so ended up flying into Charleston on the same flight that Tiffany and Tim were flying in on (saving Mike from a trip to the airport).

As everyone is supposed to have a “beach buddy” when going out to the beach, Karen, Ashley, and Tiffany ended up going for a late night walk on the beach after Tiffany arrived. They were gone quite a while and hadn’t taken a flashlight, so Tim and I eventually went out on a search and rescue mission. We had a 50-50 chance of choosing the right direction to seach, but, of course, chose poorly and the girls showed up back at the house about 15 minutes after we went out looking for them.

— Rich

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