Chris has also been making a homemade weed spray and killing some of the weeds that way, which has so far proven to be fairly effective. We're unsure of whether it will kill the grass, too, though so we are being cautious with it.
On a more successful note (since many people have asked), we did finally get that big dead tree from our front yard removed! We had a neighbor come take it down in pieces, and got a pretty good deal on it. We haven't done anything with the stump yet and haven't planted anything new, but we will do something eventually. I am thinking we'll deal with the stump this fall when it gets cooler outside and things settle down and then hopefully plant something next year. Anyway, it has all been much more work than we'd imagined, but we've learned new things and (for the most part) are enjoying the challenge.