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    This is one of my favorite things around our house. It only cost a few dollars to make, and it will never be completely finished, but it's a pretty reminder of how much we love our family, even when we're far apart. 
   First, I got a bunch of little unfinished wooden birdhouses at a craft store. They are only a dollar each, and we used the acrylic paint I already had, so it didn't cost much. Then, I harrassed each member of my extended family into painting one when they came over to our house. We had a big family Christmas Dinner at our house, and then a birdhouse painting party after dinner. It was great to see my kids painting with their great-grandmother. Everyone had their own inspiration, and each birdhouse has a different personality. 
    When the birdhouses were dry, I sprayed them with an outdoor polyurethane to protect them from the weather, and hung them in the apple tree out in the garden. You can always see them peeking out through the leaves, but when the leaves fall, the birdhouses are left to remind us that no matter how far apart we are, we are all part of the same famly tree.
 




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