Dear 100 Hour Board,
This question requires illustrations, and so I have set it up on my webspace. Basically I am wondering about two bright points in the sky, neither of which are the moon or our sun.
You can find the rest of my question here: http://tinyurl.com/cy4d7
I think the two "stars" you're seeing are Mars and Venus. According to a Star Gazing site, Mars has been following the moon for most of the past half of the month, so I believe your first picture is Mars. Venus has also been prominent in the night sky, and is usually the brightest "star" in the sky. None of the other planets would be significant enough to see.
For more information on stargazing tips, visit http://stardate.org/nightsky/
That is all.
Horatio the Star Gazer