We had an awesome experience last Friday.
I had mentioned to my brother, Aaron, that Elizabeth could use a microscope and if he so desired, he could get her one for Christmas. A few weeks before Christmas, he called me up to tell me he had an awesome gift for Elizabeth. He asked me if she still needed a telescope, since he remembered that I had mentioned something about a something-scope, so that's what he got and he had already put it together for her.
There was no way I was going to tell him that we really needed/wanted a microscope and not a telescope, so I agreed wholeheartedly that this would be an awesome present and that Elizabeth would be very happy to receive it, and she was.
But we had no idea how to use it. I mean, other than the obvious to point it at the sky and look through it, we were completely ignorant of how to really use this huge thing that was hanging out in our house.
I may have mentioned before, but we have been truly blessed by a man in our church offering to tutor Elizabeth in Algebra 2, and it just so happens that he is really into astronomy, too! What a double blessing! So, last Friday, he and his wife invited us to stargaze with him. We took our telescope down to a dirt lot that had a good view of the sunset horizon, and he helped Elizabeth set it up and we got to see some planets! It was incredible! First, we saw Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, and then we turned around to the other side and got to see Saturn! We got to see the phase of Venus, and we also saw the rings and the space in the rings of Saturn. I have never seen anything like it up close and personal like that! It really looked just like the pictures you see in the books! Awesome!
I can't wait til next time. Elizabeth is all pumped up about it now that we know how to use the telescope, and she is also anxiously awaiting her next astronomy lesson!