>I noticed a few shots I took at dusk fo the kids playing turned >out ok, but there was a fair amount of them that were blury.
The blur is probably due to using a shutter speed too low to freeze the movement of the subject. In low light conditions you can increase the shutter speed by increasing the ISO setting. This will make the sensor more sensitive to light, thus allowing a faster shutter speed.
>Once thing I alread notice with the d5000 is that auto makes >the pictures too soft.
It is not the camera making the image soft. Auto mode does a decent job under most conditions but is limited by the ambient conditions that you are shooting in.
>I prefer programmed mode with the setting on vivid.
Vivid is great for capturing bright colors but not so good for capturing skin tones. It adds a red cast to skin tones. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!