We are on YouTube!
We are now on YouTube with seven (7) videos from our performances at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. We were performing as part of the Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival this past May, 2012. We participated in two separate contests during the festival, "The National Single Microphone Contest" and "The KSMU Youth In Bluegrass Contest". Silver Dollar City recorded us and put us up on their YouTube channel. If you want to see us, go to YouTube and do a search for "The Haining Family". We'd really like for our view count to go up; if you can help us, we'd sure appreciate it.
We visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway
On our recent trip to sing in the Indianapolis area, a few of us took the opportunity to visit the museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They have an amazing display of many cars that have run in the Indianapolis 500 race. It was very interesting to see how the cars have changed over the years, from front-engine Sprint-style cars to rear-engine cars, to "wedge"-shaped cars, to the cars with wings in various places. Unfortunately, the track was closed as they were training for an upcoming motorcyle race, so we were unable to take the bus tour of the track or visit Gasoline Alley. Still, it was an exciting day as we got to see so much history and experience some of the tradition. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!"
Did you know that the Indianapolis 500 race was started and sponsored by auto manufacturers so they could find out what would be popular with the car-buying public?
4-Wheeling in the Desert
The last weekend of our Arizona tour, several of our friends from The Little Church of Hope, our winter-time home church, took us for a ride in the desert. The four-wheelers commonly used there are different than we were used to: they seat two people side-by-side, and they sit a little closer to the ground, but still have lot of clearance underneath so they can go over rocks. This is good, because there are a lot of rocks out there in the desert mountains. The engines are in the rear. "Dress warm," they said, "and wear clothes that can get dirty!" Good advice!
We went on about a 4 hour ride, with a stop where someone was supposedly buried in the hillside. On another stop, we climbed the hillside and found "Desert Rose", a kind of unique rock that is like quartz, but it was in the middle of a lava flow, so when the lava cooled, the quartz formed into crystals which sometimes did look like a rose. Very cool.
We went over a very high pass in the mountains and on the way up, went through a Cholla Forest. Cholla (pronounced Koy-ya) is one of the multitude of cactus, and there are several varieties. One is called Jumping Cholla because if you are supposedly within 2 feet of it, it senses you and jumps at you to stick you with its quills. We didn't try and find out: we were very careful to stay clear of the Cholla (and all the cactus, for that matter).
It made for a great day, and we hope we can repeat it next year! Thank you Little Church of Hope.
We Say Goodbye to a Dear Friend
Through many tears, we are saying goodbye to our dear friend, Dennis Thompson, who passed away at home on October 5, 2011. Dennis and his wife Patricia have become very close to us this past year, and have been a great help and encouragement to us as we moved from Minnesota to Missouri, and then as we were back in Minnesota on tour this past August. Dennis had a great love for life, and enjoyed talking about his love of horses and his cattle ranch, and he always had time for one more game of pool, Wii or cards. He will be missed by many. Our prayers for God's comfort to Patricia and the rest of the family, as well as our prayers of thanksgiving for the time we spent with Dennis are echoing through our little household this morning.
We miss Dennis already, but we rejoice in the knowledge that because he knew the Savior, we have the sure hope of seeing him again, and of gathering together with him to worship the King of Kings. We will be traveling to Minnesota this weekend to help the family celebrate Dennis' life. Pray for a safe trip for us and the family who will be traveling, and for God's grace to cover the service and the rest of the weekend.
[As a side note, we were concerned and upset earlier this week. We thought we had a concert scheduled for Sunday, but found out on Tuesday that this concert was rescheduled for 3 weeks later. We didn't understand why, but God knew! We are grateful that we are free to go to support Patricia and honor Dennis. Praise the Lord!]
We love you, Patricia!
We are on a local Fox News channel
As part of the Central USA Division convention of the CGMA, we were asked to go over to the local Fox news channel in Northwest Arkansas, to do a segment on the convention. It was loads of fun! You can see the video of Grace yodeling here at KNWA.
We have moved to Branson
Yes, the Lord has seen fit to move us. In mid-May, 2011, we packed up our house and moved from Minnesota to Branson, Missouri. It has been a big change for us. The climate is a little more humid than we are used to, but the lush green hills of the Ozark Mountains are very beautiful. We are still meeting lots of people and getting acquainted with the community. Of course, Branson is home to many of the world's greatest entertainers. Sometimes we wonder why the Lord moved us here, but we know He has His reasons.
Please pray for our adjustment time. We are house-sitting for some friends through the summer, and looking for the Lord's provision for a new place to hang our hat after that. We know that He is faithful, but we are so impatient. Waiting for Him to open the next door is sometimes difficult. We miss our church family, too, and know that that family cannot be replaced. We will find a new church home, but it will not be a replacement, it will be an addition to our family. Those of you at Zion-Sarpsborg Free Lutheran Church in Dalton, and the entire Dalton parish are so special to us, and we miss you so.
We love Bluegrass festivals, and especially Gospel Bluegrass festivals. This summer we will have the opportunity to be at two of our favorite festivals. GospelGrass is in Calhan, CO, the last week of June. Read about it at the GospelGrass website.
Also this summer, we will have the privilege to play on the main stage at the Lake Itasca Family Music Festival. We have enjoyed being a part of this festival several years, as a main stage act, but also helping behind the scenes. It is a great time to develop family relationships and participate in family ministry. If you are in the Northern/Central Minnesota area, we encourage you to go for a great time of family fun and encouragement!
2010 CGMA International Band of the Year
We returned from the 2010 International Convention of the Country Gospel Music Association with their endorsement as International Band of the Year. What an honor!
The convention was a marvelous week of fellowship with some of our very close friends and fellow artists. We were able to deepen some friendships, as well as making some contacts for possible concerts in the future.
One of the highlights of the week was Peggy and the girls got to host a Tea Party (not the political kind) for the other ladies at the convention. A number of ladies had never been to a tea party, and were greatly encouraged by the fellowship they had with other ladies there as they sipped their tea and nibbled on cookies. We are grateful that we got to see first-hand as God drew ladies together and created bonds between them!
Thank you to several supporters who made this trip possible. We are grateful for your partnership with us. We pray God's blessings for you as you continue to follow His leading.
2010 CGMA Central USA Convention results in 6 Silver Heart Awards
In July we attended the convention of the Central US Division of the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA). We were blessed in receiving Silver Heart awards in 6 categories: A Capella Artist of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Band of the Year, Bluegrass Artist of the Year, Yodeler of the Year (Grace), and Manager of the Year (Mike). As recipients of these awards, we are chosen by the Division to represent them in those categories at the International Convention in October in Branson, MO.
The Central US Division is made up of artists from 13 states, including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and East Texas. Many new artists (to CGMA) were in attendance at this year's convention held about an hour south of St. Louis, MO.
During the day, we had the opportunity to share at several nursing homes and/or senior living communities. It was a great joy to see the smiles on faces of many folks as we shared the Gospel in music with them.
The convention was the culmination of a nearly 6 week tour, which included almost 30 concerts in 9 states. We returned home tired, but refreshed. We missed home, but after we were back, we all felt that we missed being on the road more! So now we look forward to our next extended road trip and what the Lord will do.
We are endorsed by Roy Hope Ministries
In December, 2009, we met with Roy Hope of Roy Hope Ministries. Roy has been performing over 200 concerts a year since 1971. He has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, and Norway. He shares a unique blend of hymns, contemporary gospel songs, and adds a touch of country western flavor to his varied repertoire. Roy has produced more than 28 recordings of his own, as well as producing for a variety of other artists.
Roy wholehearted endorsed our music ministry. He said that he knows our family will connect with audiences in a unique way, and that people will be touched as they listen to our music.
CGMA International Convention in Branson
We attended the Country Gospel Music Association International Convention in Branson, Missouri, October 22-24, 2009. We were there for "Nominee Night" for Bluegrass Artist, Vocal Group and Band.
On Saturday night, the 24th, we received Gold Heart awards for International Bluegrass Artist of the Year and International Vocal Group of the Year.
We were very happy for the opportunity to connect with many wonderful artists. We truly feel like a family with many of the other members of the association. We are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of an association that puts so much emphasis on ministry.
We were honored to receive these awards, and they provide us with a motivation to continue improving, so that we show that we were worthy of the high esteem bestowed on us by our peers.
We received multiple awards from the CGMA
July 19-25 we attended the annual convention of the Central USA Division of the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA), held at Agape Acres Christian Center, near Lake Park, Minnesota.
At the conclusion of the convention, we were pleased to receive awards for Bluegrass Artist of the Year, A Cappella Artist of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, and Band of the Year. Individually, Peggy was named Psalmist of the Year (putting Scripture to music), Pearl was named Teenage Performer of the Year, and Grace received Yodeler of the Year.
In a pre-convention concert for newcomers to the CGMA, we were awarded "People's Choice Award", as selected by those listeners in attendance.
As recipients of these awards, we are invited to play at the International Convention of the CGMA, held in Branson, Missouri, October 20-25, 2009. Please contact us if you need more details.
We launch into full-time ministry
Mid-April will be remembered by us for a long time. This is when God launched our full-time ministry. We had been praying for many months, and sensing God wanting us to do more with our music. "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4). It is not clear to me if this says the Lord will put His desires into your heart, or if He will give you the working out of the desires in your heart. In this case, it is probably safe to say that both of these are true. Of course, our responsibility is the same: to delight ourselves in the LORD!
Many things remain: our schedule needs to be fuller, we need to keep learning new music and improving our skills. We are reminded of this verse which has been a comfort to us: "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Our New Bass has arrived!
Dateline: April, 2009.
As many of you know, we have been saving for a new bass for some time. We had been borrowing a 1/4 size bass from a friend for about a year and a half, but he wanted it back so his own boys could start playing it. So, we put out a box at our concerts beginning summer of 2008 to give many of you the opportunity to help us in this project. In April, Peggy called the manufacturer of the bass we had been borrowing to ask some more questions, and he said he had one and would let us buy it from him at wholesale.
We made those arrangements and have been playing our new 1/4 size bass since April.
We were truly amazed at the great sound it gives us, as we figured it would take a couple years for the wood to open up and give us this full sound that we got immediately.
If you hear us in concert, you will see us with our newest instrument. So check out our schedule page and come see us!