Hi there -
In regards to #1 -- correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're trying to modify the menu vs. change the content/layout of the home page.
It sounds like you may be using the default/dynamic menu that the theme displays if you don't define one explicitly. If you would like to change the content of the menu bar (top right), do this:
1. In the Dashboard, go to Appearance > Menus...
2. At the right, type in a menu name to use -- doesn't really matter what it is -- I'd use "Primary", and then click "Save Menu."
3. To the left, you should now see a widget that reads: "Theme Locations / Your theme supports 1 menu. Select which menu you would like to use." Choose your newly created menu from the dropdown and click "Save."
4. Now, you can add links to the menu -- choose from the widgets on the left side, and click "Add to Menu." On the right, you will be able to organize them as you'd like.
5. Once you're happy, click "Save Menu," and view your site to make sure all is good.
If you are trying to change the content of the home page from the typical recent posts to a static page, simply create a page that you want to use as your home page, and then go to the Settings > Reading menu in the dashboard, and choose "Static Page", and then choose your new home page from the "Front Page" dropdown below.
Hope this helps,