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Amber 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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Trails Forever: Smoky Mountain Service Learning

by on Feb.03, 2016, under Amber Bingle

Amber will be participating in a service learning project over spring break. See her support site for details.

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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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Talk (And Dress?) Like A Pirate Day 2014

by on Sep.19, 2014, under Amber Bingle, Ashley Peters, Donald Bingle, Linda Bingle, Richard Bingle

Arr! It be that time again! Talk Like A Pirate Day!

This year Bingles in 3 states celebrated TLAPD not only by talking like pirates but even dressing like them.

Cap’n Rich prompted the following missive from an officer in the Royal Navy:


We need the K-9 unit dispatched to 1120 please.

The “Cap’n” may be enticed to leave the premise by placing Solaris scripting books or chicken wings in the parking lot. Don’t be alarmed about the apparent firearm as it’s been identified as the make shift window handle from the Telecom equipment van. Please do recover the key as it needs to be returned to a nearby 7-11 so they can regain access to the men’s restroom.

Splashly Ashley was also highlighted by her captain in a missive:


If you have not filled out your talent profile and turned it in to your manager, please do this by EOD today. We appreciate your help and timeliness in this effort.

Also, make sure you fill out the Career Ambition section!

Ashley’s is to talk like a Pirate… but just for today.

Amber (aka Leftie) and her parrot Evermore plundered The Isle of the Krispy Kreme with her sister.


And then there is Scurvy Don and Crazy Linda. Words escape me…

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My First…

by on Aug.16, 2013, under Amber Bingle

In preparation for my first summer job and my first year at college, I did something that was long overdue: I got my first haircut.

Now it’s not like I was trying not to cut my hair, I just never bothered. And after seventeen and a half years, it was pretty long. Years ago I started to wear it only in one or two braids because otherwise I got too hot and tended to get caught on doorknobs.

The first thirty inches were donated to Locks of Love (which made the haircut free, which means I still have not spent any money on haircuts, though I’ve probably made up for that in shampoo).


It has been quite the change: I have to get used to not sitting on it, it getting in my face when I lean forward and the fact that I can re-do it any time I want in less than thirty seconds and in a wide variety of hairstyles.

I’m happy with how my haircut turned out, but I wonder if it will take seventeen years to get that long again.

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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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by on Jan.07, 2010, under Amber Bingle, Richard Bingle Family

So we finally got a chance to go fishing again. We needed a break from school, and it seemed like good fishing weather (foggy and overcast) so we tried at 9:30 in the morning. We tried using yet another different bait: bologna.

It seemed to work rather well, as the fish started biting right away. However, almost as soon as the bait was in the water, it was gone. It simply slipped off the hook.

Ashley and I tried for a while, and finally Ashley caught something. It was a brim, and about medium in size. It was at least something.

Pretty soon she was just pulling them in. Three small brim later and Alyssa decided to try too. She got a lot of bites and soon had another, larger brim landed. The next one she caught was even bigger.

Ashley caught one more and then we ran out of bait.

Dad had been at jury duty, so he got home earlier than usual. Hearing about the luck we had had, Dad took us out fishing a bit longer right before sunset. We got another slice of bologna and headed out.

Alyssa went back to her “perfect spot” and soon caught two more, large brim.

Dad rubbed a rubber worm on the bologna in an effort to solve the problem of it just falling off. It worked, and he caught a fish.

It was Ashley’s turn again, and the fish were getting smaller. Then Alyssa caught two more. This brought the totals up to seven for Ashley, six for Alyssa, and one for Dad. Ashley caught more fish than she has in the past, put together.

I was beginning to feel a bit left out, as I was not even getting any bites. I tried moving over to Alyssa’s spot, but she just kept pulling them in next to me.

While Alyssa was catching her last fish I thought I had a nice one, but the reel seemed to stop working, then suddenly the line went slack. In this case “the one that got away” was HUGE. I should know, two minutes later I actually caught it.

Yet again the reel stopped working, and I could not figure out why. Everyone else could, and started shouting at me to back up and pull it out of the water. When I did I understood why the reel would not reel: the fish was too strong.

It was an Alligator Gar.

We caught one of those a few years back fishing at one of the tournaments, but this one was bigger.

It, of course, had a lot of teeth, so none of us wanted to try to get the hook out. Thankfully, when we tried to pick it up by the line, the hook came out. That left the tricky task of trying to get it in the water. We took some pictures first, including the one below.


That proves that the fish was about two feet long, as my hand is approximately 8 inches across when spread like that.

After a bit of trouble we got the rag around the fish so Dad could pick it up. He said he had to squeeze pretty hard, or it would just flop back and fourth until he dropped it. We got a few more pictures, displaying the fish’s underside and back. (Look in the gallery for these.)

Finally we put the fish back in the water and went inside. We had had enough bites (from bugs and fish) for one night.

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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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Fish For The Fun Of It

by on Oct.26, 2007, under Amber Bingle

Every year, three Saturdays in a row, Orange County Parks and Recreation hosts Fish For The Fun Of It. Fish For The Fun Of It is held at three different parks with lakes. The tournament is only for kids (12 and under). Poles and bait are provided. The kids fish for 2 hours, and then trophies are given to the kids in each age group (4 and under, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, and 11 and 12) for largest and most fish, first, second and third places. The fish that are caught are returned to the lake and are wiser fish (or not and they get caught again). They also give out raffle prizes, like fishing poles, bait boxes, and more. When the kids sign in they get a free Fish For The Fun Of It t-shirt. Going three times every year for four years we now have a lot of those shirts.

For the last few years, I was the only one of the three of us that caught any fish, and I did not win any trophies. Ashley is now too old to be in it. This year, at the first park we decided to walk across a bridge to cut a corner and get to where the birds were. The only thing was the bridge went to an island. We decided to stay there though because it was shady. Two men from the Fishers of Men group that was helping out came over and helped us. It was a good thing too, because we caught a lot of fish and wouldn’t have known how to get the hooks out by ourselves.
That day I caught 6 fish (4 catfish, and 2 others) and Alyssa caught 5 (4 catfish, and 1 other). I got the first place trophy for most fish and the second place for largest. Alyssa got a second place trophy for most fish. Alyssa also got a bait bag in the raffle.

A cool part of the day for me was that I got to learn how to correctly hold a catfish. I carried one to the weighing table myself. I also learned that you can carry the other fish I caught by their mouths.

There is one girl who is one year younger than me and in the 9 and 10 age group this year that always gets first for most fish and somtimes first and second for largest. That time she caught 19 fish.

The next Saturday it was at a park with a big, big lake with a spillway. That day Alyssa caught 3 fish and I caught 2. One of the weighing people fed one of my fish to a bird that was standing there, looking at my fish. I would have gotten third place for most fish and Alyssa would have gotten second place for most fish, but my fish got counted as her fish (or something like that) and so we got first place for most fish in Alyssa’s age group. In the raffle, Alyssa got a fishing t-shirt. That time, the other girl got 28 fish.

The last Saturday was at our home park, Bear Creek. That time Dad came. Though we didn’t catch anything or win anything in the raffle, it was still fun. That time the other girl caught 86 fish. Dad saw how she did it, (in my mind cheating) with four poles (not borrowed from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Organization).

Even though next time the other girl will be in my group, and we might not catch anything, I think we will still have fun at Fish For The Fun Of It.

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