How can I connect the skeleton to the mesh. I can refresh my memory on how to create the basic skeleton (but if you can explain it in more begginer terms, that would be much appreciated).
Although this is a very broad question you have to understand blender (pun intended i guess by the one who picked the name) is a composition of many different sub programs such as shading systems, particle effects, basic 3d modeling, lighting, and such. As you start to look for online tutorials and stuff I suggest you focus on learning one school of thought at a time. Just learn all the ins and outs of basic 3d modeling and playing with the meshes in different ways and the keyboard command shortcuts to copy, rotate, and any other direct interaction with your 3d meshes before you venture into key frames (animating 3d mesh) or shading. Once you feel comfortable with that then you move to something like lighting and then some.
A mistake many make, including me is that we all tried to dip our fingers into everything at once and going back and forth between the different aspects of blender can actually slow the learning process. Once you focus on a specific aspect of blender you"ll get more specific questions, which then you can ask here. Once you learn to ask the right things you'll find the blender community to be one of the most supportive and wonderful.