No need to lug home journals every week.  Add something special to the line-up and surprise your students.  Have a guest writer respond to their journal entries -- perhaps a teacher the student had last year (always a fun person to hear from at the beginning of the year!), the media specialist/technology teacher/art teacher/music teacher/physical education teacher, the principal, or even someone from your family that could give your students fun little insights about you!  OR try writing your journal entry response to them as if you were a famous person, your pet, or a person from outerspace.  Never dread journal time -- it is your time to be creative, too!