Thumbscrew,the important updates are marked "security" updates and are the ones that you should really keep on top of.It sounds to me like you have either missed out a SERVICE PACK download or you have recently done a windows re-install ? which would lead to those updates keep coming in as you say you are getting.
You can turn off auto update in your settings if needed (not ideal) and do a manual update every few weeks or so.But be advised if you do that you will keep getting reminded that auto update is off and can be just as annoying as the constant stream of updates you get.
The other thing to do is set aside a few hours and just keep checking and adding the updates in one hit and get them cleared,then you can have a clean slate for a while.
What OS are you using ?