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Alyssa Bingle

Girls get new do’s

by on Jun.04, 2016, under Alyssa Bingle, Amber Bingle, Ashley Bingle, Karen Bingle

Most people who know our family know how we tend to eschew haircuts and grow our hair long. I cut my hair for the first time when I was 14, Amber waited until just before she went off to college at 17 and so it made sense for Alyssa to want to cut her hair too. After all, she has the thickest hair in the family and it was getting to the point she kept it up in a bun (a bun almost as big as her head) for most of the time.


Because her first haircut is somewhat of a special event she made sure that we would all be home for the excitement, and cut it off between Christmas and New Years. Mom wanted to shorten her hair up too, and with them both getting their hair cut I decided that 9 years was long enough between trims that maybe I was due to shorten mine up as well.


Shorten for me turned out to be whacking 19 inches off, which was nowhere near Alyssa’s 29 inch donation. Mom shortened her hair by 16 inches and after all of that Amber ended up joining the trend and was able to take off 13 inches to donate as well.

We sent all of our hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which makes free wigs for cancer patients.


I am still getting used to my shorter hair, it has taken different people a while to notice the change, but I mostly notice how much shorter it takes to dry. Alyssa really enjoys swishing her hair around her shoulders, and how she can brush it back from her face and not have to reach to put it behind her back. She says it’s much nicer not to worry about it getting caught on a doorknob. Amber managed to surprise some of her friends at school with her new ‘do, and I got comments from the little girls at my church, but Alyssa got the best surprised reaction of all. (Makes sense since hers was the most drastic change.) We went to visit our cousins and one of them was admiring her new hair, had Alyssa turn around so she could see the back, and her mother thought she was reading the back of Alyssa’s shirt, until she suddenly realized, “Your hair! It’s gone!” And it is gone, an entire 6 ounces of hair is missing from her head, but everybody agrees that her short hair is adorable. She has even been able to replicate the pigtails she used to wear all the time when she was little.

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Halloween 2014

by on Jan.31, 2015, under Alyssa Bingle, Amber Bingle, Ashley Peters, Karen Bingle, Richard Bingle, Richard Bingle Family

Years ago we figured out that a certain number of days after Halloween Target would have their 90% off sale and we would go and pick up some costumes for “dress-up” clothes to play with at home. This was helpful as the kids got older as we used them to supplement their ideas for costumes (which were needed to be out of the house somewhere else if people decided to ring our doorbell).

As time progressed, and Target changed their sale policies, the family has still been able to be creative with their costumes, involving various amounts of time in preparation and thrifty use of materials in their construction. This fascination my family has nurtured these many years has amused me, as it has now expanded to include dressing like a pirate (rewarded by Krispy Kreme’s free dozen “golden rings” for doing so) on Talk Like A Pirate Day (as mentioned in a previous post), and I get to maintain my support, encouragement and “only dress up if I have to” position. So I am pleased to share the efforts of my family for Halloween 2014.

Rich has now established a reputation for wearing Halloween costumes to work and tries to encourage others to participate by figuring out what exactly he is even if they are not willing to dress up themselves. Can you guess what he is?


Ashley, now that she has graduated and entered the employment world, crafted a costume that required less guessing than her father’s.


Amber acquired a wonderful stick early in the semester, which inspired her creation. She found out later it only made sense to certain age groups who were familiar with the Lion King, but she enjoyed spouting off movie quotes which may have been relevant even if they didn’t know who she was.


Alyssa and Kirsten (her cousin) attended our church’s youth group’s party as ninja’s!


Gypsy only likes dressing up for a moment at a time. In other words, she likes to figure out the appropriate way to remove her costume as quickly as possible!


And finally, Alyssa, Rich and I continued the tradition of avoiding being home (and my other favorite tradition of receiving discounts) by dressing up for Booritos at Chipotle.



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Halloween 2013

by on Nov.24, 2013, under Alyssa Bingle, Karen Bingle, Richard Bingle, Richard Bingle Family

This Halloween was my first as an only child! This year, instead of putting on an ordinary costume at the last minute because my whole family has been so busy helping my sisters make theirs, I spent four or five hours on my own costume. For Halloween this year I went to a party at my church for the kids who go to the youth group weekly. The idea was to dress up as a character from your favorite movie or TV show. So after finding out about it at the last minute I decided on dressing as Indiana Jones.


I already had the hat, shirt, boots and satchel. So I went shopping and bought brown pants, but I couldn’t find a good whip so I decided to make one. Problem is we couldn’t find anything to make a whip out of. Monday morning (the day of the party) I began work on a Gaffer’s tape whip.


It took about five hours to finish and you could argue that I wasted the whole day on it but I am proud of my first hand made Halloween costume. Sadly my bull whip was too realistic because everyone I talked to at the party thought it was real and were therefore less impressed than I was hoping they would be. I lost the contest to Snow White’s evil stepmother but the prize wasn’t that important.


Then on Halloween night we went out to Chipotle and had three dollar burrito bowls because we were in costume (dad had gone to work as the Farmer in the Dell so mom dressed as the farmer’s wife).


All in all it was a very interesting Halloween.

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Halloween in January?

by on Jan.07, 2010, under Alyssa Bingle, Amber Bingle, Ashley Bingle

As usual, we attended two Halloween parties this year. Alyssa volunteered to do a post about the Chick-Fil-A party, and it fell to me to do this post. Our youth group had a party at church, which included a costume contest, and that is what I am writing about.

Alyssa has been attending youth group, even though she is in fifth grade still. Because she was not officially a middle schooler, she decided not to go all out with her costume. Her end result was a black cat with white paws.


After much thought, I decided to be a three-tone grisly bear.


I have a cloth hump, Styrofoam cup nose, pipe cleaner ears, foam claws, cloth tail and glove paws. While at the party, I held a stuffed bear that had a fish in its mouth. He was my cub.

Ashley decided not to go with the animal theme. She was a barrel shaped traffic barrier.


We got a large plastic barrel from a friend of Dad’s, cut of the top, flipped it over and cut a hole in the new top. She spray-painted orange stripes on it and added a real barricade reflector (that Dad had in college), which she rigged to flash. She wore an orange sweater, orange and black ski mask, plastic orange sunglasses and a hardhat. She wore a pair of Dad’s old work boots and his old pants.

Both she and I were trying to hide our identities. The reason for this was that we had apparently won so many times that we were no longer allowed to win… unofficially. We made sure to arrive at different times so we did not look like we were together. Also, neither of us spoke and we avoided each other during the party.

No one could tell who she was (except the youth director). The other kids followed her around, asking questions she would not answer and trying to guess her identity. The work boots threw them off but they found out she was a girl when they pulled up the ski mask and saw her hair. I was not as successful, but confused a few people for a while.

After a few games (none of which we could participate in, because of our costumes) the contest was judged. The rules of the contest were simple. The costume has to be creative, original, and homemade. There were three third places (each for different attributes) a second and a first.

I received third place for most work put into the costume, and Ashley came home with first place! The prizes were $10 of iTunes money, and $50 dollars at Walmart, respectively.

Alyssa can’t wait until next year (when she could potentially win) when she will be a– wait! It’s so secret even I don’t know! I guess you’ll just have to wait until next year!

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Gone Fishing, Back Soon

by on Dec.10, 2009, under Alyssa Bingle, Amber Bingle, Ashley Bingle

Back in 2007 I did a post about Fish for the Fun of It. That was the second to last year I could be involved, but we went again this year for Alyssa. Fish for the Fun of It is an Orange County Parks and Recreation program. Three Saturdays in a row there is a fishing tournament at three different Orange County Parks.

The first Saturday we arrived at Barnet Park and found out favorite spot from years past, out on a little island across a board walk. As we were walking across we spied many brim, large and small, swimming about. We figured with so many fish it would be a good spot.

Over the two hours of the tournament Alyssa (the only one allowed to fish) caught four brim, each a little less than an ounce and a half. She was very excited because she caught one almost as soon as the tournament began.

The next week the tournament was at Blanchard Park. This park has a large spillway that many people like to fish off of. We arrived early enough to stake a claim on the bridge with our camping chairs.

The bridge was not quite the hot spot it had been last year, but Alyssa managed to catch another brim with no help at all.


On the down side of the spill way there were a pair of alligators. They were both six (or so) feet long. They live there and we have seen them for the past couple years.

On a side note, the fishing tournament happened to fall on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The third park was Bear Creek, and is the closest to our house. Unfortunately Alyssa did not catch anything. After the tournament was over Alyssa allowed me to try my luck. I managed to land a brim.

As we were leaving we were told there was another family fishing event in Winter Park the next Saturday. Ashley and I were scheduled to be on a Leadership Retreat with the youth. The rest of the family went, and had a great time.

At this tournament there were no prizes and everyone (including adults) could fish. You could also keep any fish you caught. The three of them caught 8 catfish and a brim. They gave the catfish to a man who was going to eat the fish he caught.

At this tournament they found out another was to be held in Ocoee the next Saturday. It turned out to be a founder’s day event where the first fish you caught earned you a ribbon.

We snagged a spot in the shade, but we had little luck. Ashley managed to catch a lizard that was scampering over everyone, though not with a fishing pole. At the end of the day our only catch was one small brim.

It was a bit disappointing, so when we came home we decided to try in the pond two doors down from our house. We had received fishing poles in previous years and had some extra worms from the morning, so we had plenty of equipment.

We fished until it became too dark for the fish (and us) to see the bait. The total ended with four fish caught by Ashley, four by me, and three hooked by Alyssa. All were brim of many different sizes. I didn’t even know there were that many fish in our little pond!

Ashley had only been allowed to fish in the tournaments for two years before she was too old. Neither of those years was she able to catch anything, so these four fish where the first she had ever caught. They were also the biggest of the ones we caught that day.

The next Saturday we tried again in the pond. However, the leftover worms had turned to mush, so they did not make very good bait. We tried with frozen corn and that worked only a little better. The day ended with a lot of bites and only one catch.


We had fun though, so we tried again on a Saturday afternoon. The corn was working better, and I caught two more brim. Alyssa landed four, one of which was the biggest we have caught from that pond. Ashley hooked a couple, but they all got away about a foot from the bank.

We have not had an open Saturday for a while, but we plan to fish more in the future.

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Arg Ye Matey, It Be Halloween!

by on Nov.16, 2009, under Alyssa Bingle

Ahoy thar it be the Pirate kid this time. I’ve just returned from plundering Light Night’s candy and eaten some plus made up a song, it goes like this.

A rollicking band of pirates we
Who tired of tossing on the sea
Are trying our hand at a burglary
For all of Light Night’s candy

Can you guess what we were for Halloween?
That’s right, Pirates.


Apparently pirates were very popular because we met one in the parking lot wearing Ashley’s costume (with a gun) and his infant sibling had a wagon made into a pirate ship.

Then at the party there was another kid that was wearing her costume and a few more wearing pirate costumes.

There were lots of games and music, so you couldn’t hear anyone talking to you. Towards the end there was a costume contest, the winners for the 4th and 5th grade: in 1st place The broke businessman (AKA Conner Rose) in 2nd place The artist (AKA Kirsten Lindemulder) and in 3rd place The Texas chainsaw massacre (AKA I don’t know who) then after that you could play some more games, but while I was waiting in line for one of them a lady went running after a ping pong ball for the game and she clunked her head into mine. After that I had to sit with a bag of ice wrapped in Ashley’s sash so that I didn’t freeze my head. Then Amber went to get more candy.

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